I live in Salt Lake City with my wife, an aspiring architect. In addition to freelance graphic design, I work at a local library. Among the subjects I’m fascinated by are history (particularly classical history and modern), linguistics, mythology, and politics. My curiosity is insatiable!

When not voraciously reading or pontificating, I occasionally dabble in art. I am actively involved in our local LDS ward.

39 Responses to “About”

  1. marshall Says:

    Not sure where to post this and I didn’t see an email.

    Could you please comment on this?

    LDS views on vouchers


  2. Richard Davis Says:

    Thought you might be interested in this.

    Press Release
    April 30, 2007
    Contact: Richard Davis – 801-369-6235

    Candidates for Democratic Party Office Want to Make Party Electorally Viable Again

    Making the Democratic Party viable again. That’s the mantra of a group of local Democratic party activists who have announced their candidacies for office in the Utah County Democratic party. The four – Richard Davis, Orem ; Larry Brown, Alpine; Hinckley Jones-Sanpei, Provo ; and Kristin Gerdy, Orem – are running for chair, vice-chair, secretary, and treasurer, respectively.

    “It’s time for the Democratic Party to win elections again,” Davis said. “We believe Democratic candidates reflect Utah County values more than Republicans do. We want tax money to go to public schools, not private schools for rich people. We want working families to have decent wages and health care coverage. We’re concerned about planning for growth rather than just letting it happen. We think the tax burden needs to be shared by all, not just by the middle class. Republicans haven’t stepped up to the plate on those issues. And they’re not likely to in the future.”

    The four are veterans in the party organization. Davis and Brown have chaired or served on various party committees at the state and county level, and Jones-Sanpei and Gerdy have been precinct chairs. Gerdy also currently serves as the party treasurer and is running for re-election. Professionally, Davis is a political science professor at BYU; Brown is a senior program manager for Cisco Systems; Jones-Sanpei is a full-time homemaker and part-time researcher; and Gerdy is a law professor at BYU.

    For the first time in memory, the race for county party leadership is competitive. According to Davis , the competition for party office is one of several signs of resurgence for the local Democrats. Davis also points to increasing numbers of registered voters who are Democrats, higher vote totals last year for local state legislative candidates, and the strong interest by local Democrats in running for office.

    “These are all signs that the Democratic party is coming back to life in Utah County ,” David explained. “We’re excited to be a part of that and hope we can lead the party to victory in the future.”


  3. george fisher Says:

    I just found your blog and am enjoying reading your posts. I hope you do not mind as I have added it to my list of blogs on Centerville Citizen. My compliments to you for being both an active, liberal and thinking member of the LDS church. All three are rare combinations and I have found to be suspect from time to time.

    Best wishes!

  4. soylientgene Says:

    Thanks for letting me link to your blog for the post below: http://soylientgene.wordpress.com/2007/08/23/thoughts-on-religion/

    I’m looking forward to reading your blog entries. As well as the Minarchist blog on your list.


  5. mfranti Says:

    if you don’t already know about the bloggernacle….you will fit right in

    welcome and enjoy


  6. Andrea Fife Says:

    Thank you for your blog. You put so well into words what I can only theorize about in my mind.

  7. Jeff Roberts Says:

    I love the Kim >>Rainman story…May I share this as my Christmas message to friends?

    There are many of us liberal thinking active Mormons out there in the boonies. Sometimes I have to push the limits even in Elders Quorem to get them to think about what they believe….they mix the gospel with Republican dogma. Can’t let them get off that easy.


  8. Ann Marie Curling Says:


    I was happy to find your blog. I am in the process of launching an LDS Political community of bi-partisan members of the church, and I am in need of Democrats and Independents and wanted to extend the offer of you to the group. So far we have one Democrat amongst a ton of Republicans. I truly want the site to have a balanced perspective though, so I’d be most grateful if you’d contemplate this offer and get back with me. I added my email address to this comment, so if you’re interested use it 🙂

    Ann Marie Curling

  9. April Durham Says:

    Wow, how refreshing. While I consider myself conservative – in the eyes of my LDS peers I am certainly liberal. I think you’d really like my blog – it’s kind of for people like us. I just started it so take a look! http://www.normalmormons.com

  10. Erin Says:

    I am so happy to find this blog. I am a democrat and liberal Mormon. I am very active (have been serving as RS president) but often feel very out of place when any one gets a hint of my political leanings. It is nice to know I am not alone in my ideas and thoughts. I look forward to your future posts and have devoured your past ones.

  11. Alan Says:

    With only two main politcial parties – Democrats and Republicans – to represent the wide political spectrum, it is difficult to bunch all of one’s beliefs and convictions into one party. Sometimes you agree with one sometimes with another party. But I guess you choose based on your perspective of the role of govenment and what the politician’s actual record once in office (actions do speak louder than words!).
    Sometimes I agree with Mitt Romney, or Orrin Hatch, or with Harry Reid. I believe this is part of a healthy democracy, and shows that latter-day saints can be active in all political parties. I would fear it when we concentrate into only one camp.
    However, I also fear whenever I hear that true latter-day saints are only republicans. When did the republicans highjack the church’s political position. The church continually states it favours no party and only encourages members to be involved in political discussion and processes, local and nationally.
    The Republican party or any political party does not represent the church or all latter-day saints.
    Plus I was disgusted by the way the Republicans treated Mitt Romney and the church during his preisdential nomination campaign. After all the time, money and effort lds republicans put into the patry we finally saw their true colours. Not that the democrats are totally clean either.
    In the political spectrum I do not agree with those to the hard right or the hard left. I do not stand with the big ‘C’ onservatives or the big ‘L’ liberals, but rather I am a small ‘l’ liberal. I believe there is a role of government to intervene in to ensure social and civil equality. It is what the church welfare program is about. I believe such programs may be funded or directed to ensure consistently at a national level but implemented locally.
    I am a small ‘d’ Democrat who is active, retired bishop of 7 years, and now HPGL. Do I like Hilary – no. Would I favour Obama over John McCain – yes. But Obama needs to prove he is more than a good speech writer. He needs to convince me over the next few months that he can negotiate hard with congress and with world leaders. Consult – yes, but at the end of the day you need to know how to negotiate. Reagan knew when to consult and how to bargain, when each was needed.
    Bush jnr is an embarrassment. Iraq had little to do with Bin Laden or 911. He went after the wrong target and we have lost our moral compass.
    John McCain has not proven to me he can provide a vision.
    LDS democrats need to show that they can influence the Democratic party better than the lds republicans have influenced the Repubilcan party, because with Mitt’s campaign it only shows all their work has failed.
    Jack Kennedy, was a good democrat but he was killed before he could prove himself. I think his second term could have been better had he lived, but that is only hypothetical. In some ways the saddest day was when Bobbie Kennedy was assassinated, he was a great Democrat and potentially a great president. Again, we live with democrat hypotheticals.
    Unfortunately, Clinton was the weakest Democrat. He had opportunities pass him by.
    But if you disagree with me, then good. This is what democracy is all about, and political diversity is healthy especially amongst latter-day saints. I hope we don’t become like the evangelicals and vote on masse becuase someone said latter-day saints are republican no matter who the candidate is or what they say or do. As I said earlier, no political party should claim ownership of latter-day saints. Only by discussion and healthy debate can democracy flourish amongest latter-day saints and in our community.

  12. Andrew Peters Says:

    Like the others on here, I wanted to get in touch with you but didn’t see any way to do that other than via comment. Anyway, I’ve been reading your blog and thought you might be interested in some information on oil shale development in your state. As I’m sure you know, it’s a hot topic in Utah and throughout the west, especially in the face of such high gas prices. My organization, The Wilderness Society, thought you might be able to offer some perspective on the issue, and we’d like to share our information with you. If that strikes your fancy, I’d love to talk to you a bit more via e-mail. Just let me know — I’m looking forward to hearing from you.

    -Andy Peters

  13. Jenni Says:

    Thanks for your recent comment on my blog about the gentrification of Salt Lake City. I wondering if there’s some way to organize on this. I thought I’d start by writing my SL Councilmember. I’d like to get Ralph Becker on board with this as well. My biggest limitations seem to be time. If you know others that are interested in this issue, please let me know. I think it’s important to move on this before things get more out of control.

  14. mormondemocrats Says:

    Great Blog! We all need to do our part to help others with similar views understand that liberal Mormons are not alone! http://www.mormondemocrats.com

  15. Shinai Says:


    Hi again,

    I saw this and thought of you.


  16. Laurel Says:

    Great blog! I just stumbled across you on LDS BLOGS. My husband and I just built a website (MormonsMadeSimple.com) which uses simple, explanatory videos to explain the Mormon faith. Feel free to embed one of our videos in your blog, if you think it would be a good missionary tool.

    Laurel & Doug

  17. Dimitri Says:

    Love your blog. However, you had mentioned my full legal name and something about my medical condition from last year’s state convention. It is one of the first things pulled up when I am googled. I wish we lived in a better world than the one we do, but quite frankly it’s making me unemployable since people don’t hire people with incurable serious diseases. If you could misspell my last name perhaps in editing or just erase it altogether my wife and I would greatly appreciate it.

    Much appreciated,

  18. Forest Simmons Says:

    I lack the patience to try to reason with those who appear (from my viewpoint) entrenched in their ignorance, but I am glad that you show patience, respect, and compassion, above and beyond the call of duty; if the entrenched don’t budge, some of the lurkers will benefit from your efforts.

    Keep up the good work!

  19. Consumers Union Says:

    I’m a video producer for Consumers Union, which publishes Consumer Reports, and I thought you might be interested in some videos we’ve done about Utah residents’ experience with the health care system.

    Here’s one about Wellers bookstore in Salt Lake City, UT, and how they’re coping with high insurance costs:

    And another about a general contractor in Lehi, UT who has a ceiling on his career because of complications with getting coverage with his wife’s pre-existing conditions:

    Feel free to embed then in your blog posts if you’re looking for more multimedia or personal stories when writing about health care. There’s code for embedding the videos right below the video.

  20. Gene Pann Says:

    I can remember my mother reading church books by Dr Skousen: http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2009/09/16/beck_skousen/

    This is not good for the church.

  21. nick humphrey Says:

    hi, i’m wondering if anyone would consider signing a petition for financial transparency in the lds church:

    i myself am a member of the church and i think transparency would be a positive thing to have.

    • Matt Nelson Says:

      I agree that transparency is a good thing, but unlike most political figures, I trust the church leaders to make sound decisions with my 10%.

  22. Damon Says:

    I didn’t see an email but I thought you might be interested in this…

    This Tea Party activist
    is SELLING copies of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” sung, probably, by the Mormon tabernacle choir.

    The choir is probably not aware of it. Because they would surely shut it down… Unless of course they supported the sentiments of the video.

    Such law abiding citizens!

    I thought you might be interested…

  23. Barbara O' Brien Says:

    Liberal Mormon,

    I just have a quick question for you but couldn’t find an email so had to resort to this. I am a progressive blogger. Please email me back at barbaraobrien@maacenter.org when you get a chance. Thanks.


  24. Gene Says:

    Hey Derek did you see this?


  25. Gene Says:

    Utah’s New Senator And The Intellectual Decline Of LDS Conservatism



  26. Andrew Says:

    I just joined the church, its been a little more then a month. My mother called when she found out and freaked out saying “Mormons are Conservatives, Republicans. Mit Romney etc and How could you being such a hardcore liberal join a church like that. ?”
    Well, Im glad to have found this blog. I will be reading it alot. I didnt see an e-mail and just wanted to be able to send personal emails back and forth about being a liberal mormon. Maybe someone out in Internet land could create like a yahoo liberal mormon group or maybe a facebook page. That would be awsome. If one already exist can someone send post a link for me?
    Thanks everyone here, now I dont feel alone.

  27. Derek Staffanson Says:

    Welcome, Andrew. Good to hear from you. Congrats on your recent conversion.

    I’m afraid, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, and for a variety of reasons, I’ve been less active on this blog for the last year. I still hope to write more here sometime soon, or perhaps to merge this blog with others to create a group liberal blog. Whatever I do, never fear; there is still a lively liberal LDS community in the blogosphere, and in the Bloggernacle (the term we use to refer to the LDS presence in the blogosphere). I participate a bit more frequently right now on feministmormonhousewives.org, a blog not directly about politics, but one whose participants tend to lean left. If you want really radical, leftist Mormon political blogs, you can go to themormonworker.wordpress.com. There are others. I believe I have links to several mormon liberal blogs in my Delicious bookmarks (see the sidebar on the homepage). If you participate on FaceBook, you can find a couple different active LDS Left groups there (to at least a few of which I belong), and yes, there is a LDS Left Yahoo! group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lds-left/?yguid=48242619). I’m sure you can find other online LDS left resources.

    Hope to hear from you again, here or elsewhere Andrew!

  28. Morley-Moffitt Says:


    I apologize for the indirect communication (I couldn’t locate an email address), but my wife and I have enjoyed reading and perusing your blog for some time and were thinking/hoping that you might be interested in a blog that we have recently begun with a few others: http://voiceoftheorder.blogspot.com/ . Being complete neophytes in the blogosphere/bloggernacle, I was hoping that you might take a glance there and consider whether my initial posting would be of interest to you or your readers/contributors/etc. If such is the case, I would kindly request that you mention it, link to it, or comment upon it in order to generate traffic and interest in what I hope will become an innovative and relevant topic to interested members of the LDS community. We’d appreciate any links (or advice for that matter).

    Please keep up the good work in providing an interesting and valuable resource for the online LDS community.

    Best regards,


  29. Derek Staffanson Says:

    Welcome, Morley-Moffitt. Thanks for the kind words. I appreciate your concern for and interest in these sorts of issues, and your blog looks like a great start. I’m afraid I’m on a bit of a sabbatical at this time. I hope to begin posting on politics and social issues again before long. In the meantime, as I mentioned to Andrew earlier, I would recommend you to check in with themormonworker.wordpress.com. I suspect you would enjoy their discussion and advice.

  30. Joe Says:

    Okay, try this on for size:

    There’s a book out called “How Can You Possibly be a Mormon and a Democrat?”

    That’s what I’d like to know!

    Well, a quick look through the book, on Amazon, and the reviews and… well, turns out that’s exactly what the book answers.

    It’s at Deseret Book too. Your thoughts?

  31. soylientgene Says:

    Why Utah Mormons should become Democrats: http://signaturebookslibrary.org/?p=19103

  32. Keira Says:

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  33. John Draper Says:

    My name is John Draper. I’m writing my first book. It takes place in a ward in the Pacific Northwest in 1979, right after Spencer Kimball reversed the priesthood ban. I’m not a Mormon, so I’ve done a ton of research, including interviewing a ton of Mormons and es-Mormons – and having them read drafts.
    Anyway, I’m adding a new character: a liberal member of the ward.
    I would like to talk to a Mormon who was a liberal Mormon in 1979 and lived through this whole passage.
    Do you know someone who fits that description?
    I’d love to talk to them. The conversation will help me build my character sketch

    Thanks for your time

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