Joanna Brooks

  • Aired:  08/09/12
  •  | Views: 24,434

In "The Book of Mormon Girl," author Joanna Brooks discusses her turn to liberalism at Brigham Young University and the evolution of Mormonism. (5:12)

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT A SCHOLAR OF RELIGION AND A NATIONAL VOICE ON MORMON LIFE.

HER NEW BOOK IS CALLED "THE BOOK OF MORMON GIRL." PLEASE WELCOME TO THE PROGRAM

JOANNA BROOKS.

[CHEERS AND APPLAUSE]

THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

>> IT'S MY PLEASURE.

>> Jon: IT'S CALLED THE BOOK OF MORMON GIRL.

>> BOOK OF MORMON GIRL.

>> Jon: I VERY MUCH ENJOYED THIS BOOK.

>> THANK YOU I'M GLAD.

>> Jon: THIS IS SELF PUBLISH AND PICKED UP.

>> IT'S TRUE.

NO ONE WANTED TO PUBLISH A BOOK ABOUT MORMON IN 2012.

A STRANGE THING.

>> Jon: THAT IS STRANGE ESPECIALLY ONE THAT IS NOT -- IT'S A PERSONAL STORY AND SUCH A

WELL DONE -- THE WAY THAT YOU DESCRIBE -- YOU DESCRIBE BEING A ROOT BEER IN A COUNTRY OF COKES.

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

WHEN I WAS A LITTLE GIRL GROWING UP.

I GREW UP IN A VERY OBSERVANT MORMON HOME.

ONE OF THE THINGS I WAS RAISED TO NOT DRINK COCA-COLA.

THERE'S LOTS OF MORMONS WHO DO IMBIBE THE DIET COKE, THE NOT FLEL NEW YORK CITY DIET COKE.

>> Jon: FUR THIRSTY BE THIRST.

THE COFFEE IS TOTALLY OFF LIMITS.

MY TRICK AT A BIRTHDAY PARTY WAS TRY TO FIGURE OUT WHICH OF THE BROWN SODAS ON THE TRAY WAS NOT

THE COKE.

>> Jon: AND THEN COULD YOU TASTE IT.

WHEN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR CHILDHOOD I HAVE TO SAY THERE'S SOMETHING

INCREDIBLY COMFORTING ABOUT AN ATMOSPHERE AND I ALWAYS THOUGHT THIS ABOUT RELIGION BY PROVIDING

THE ANSWERS TO DIFFICULT QUESTIONS TO CHILDREN, IT IS COMFORTING FOR THEM.

>> YEAH, ALSO -- BEING A MORMON THE FOUNDING STORY OF OUR RELIGION IS THAT THE 14-YEAR-OLD

HAD HARD QUESTIONS AND WENT TO A GROUP AND ASKED HARD QUESTIONS.

I WAS TAUGHT TO ASK HARD QUESTIONS FROM THE TIME I WAS A LITTLE GIRL.

I THOUGHT IT'S WHAT I SHOULD DO.

LIFE WAS MEANINGFUL I SHOULD SEEK OUT MEANING.

IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL, WARM COMFORTING WAY TO GROW UP.

>> Jon: THE CONFLICT THAT HAPPEN AS WITH ANY RELIGION, AS YOU GET OLDER YOU START TO SEE

CRACKS AND CHINKS IN THE ARMINGOR OF THIS.

>> HAPPENS TO ALL PEOPLE OF FAITH, CATHOLIC, JEWISH,

PROTESTANT YOU SORT OUT THE VALUES SEE THE CRACKS IN AND THE LIMITATIONS AND YOU OWN UP TO

THE COMMUNITY'S OWN PROBLEMS.

THAT'S WHAT HAPPENED TO AMERICA I CAME OF AGE IN COLLEGE WHEN I BECAME A LIBERAL AT BRIGHAM

YOUNG UNIVERSITY.

>> Jon: WOW, HOW DID THAT GO?

SO THAT'S SOMEONE WHO HAS DIET COKE.

>> A MORMON LIBERAL IS SOMEONE WHO DRINKS DIET COKE, YES.

THERE'S THIS MORMON TRADITION OF PROGRESSIVE THOUGHT THAT PEOPLE DON'T KNOW ABOUT.

>> Jon: YOU SAY YOU MET PROFESSORS AND THEY INTRODUCED YOU TO A WHOLE DIFFERENT WORLD.

>> AND I FELL IN LOVE WITH THIS WORLD AND I LOT OF PEOPLE WERE EXCOMMUNICATED BY THE CHURCH.

I WAS 21.

I LOVED MY FAITH BUT WAS A THINKER AND CARED ABOUT JUSTICE AND PROGRESSIVE CAUSES.

THERE WAS A WAY TO BE MORMON.

SORGT IT OUT WHILE STAYING WITH THE FAITH AND STAYING TRUE TO MY CONSCIENCE.

THAT'S THE STORY.

>>.

>> Jon: DON'T YOU THINK IT HAS TO DO WITH THE YOUTH OF MORMON RELIGION IN GENERAL.

I'M A JEW WE'VE BEEN HERE 6,000 YEARS.

>> WE'RE BABIES.

>> Jon: THESE RELIGION FACE THESE QUESTIONS AS THE RELIGION GETS OLDER.

JEWS DO IT THIS WAY, YOU WANT A BACON, EGG AND CHEESE SANDWICH?

YOU'RE REFORMED, DONE.

MORMONS ARE WHAT?

>> 180 YEARS OLD.

>> Jon: YOU ARE A BABY.

IN SOME WAYS THE MORMON FAITH IS ADVANCING THROUGH THESE ISSUES MORE RAPIDLY THAN I THINK MANY

OTHER GROUPS HAVE IN THE PAST.

>> JUST THIS SUMMER.

THIS SAY REALLY IMPORTANT MOMENT FOR MORMON PEOPLE.

WE'RE WILLING TO TALK ABOUT HISTORY WITH CANDOR.

WE'RE DEALING WITH THINGS WE'VE BEEN RIDICULED ABOUT WITH MORE

PRIDE BUT WE HAVE ISSUED TO WORK OUT.

MORMONS MARCHED IN GAY PRIDE PARADES IN TEN CITIES ACROSS THE UNITED STATES.

>> Jon: DID THEY KNOW THAT OR THEY THOUGHT OOOH I WONDER WHERE THESE PEOPLE ARE GOING?

>> I WENT WITH MY KIDS.

AS AN EXPRESSION OF YEAH, THERE ARE GAY MORMONS.

THEY BELONG TO US.

WE'RE NOT GOING TO PUSH THEM OUT.

THE STORY OF MORMONISM IS --

>> Jon: IT'S AN INTERESTING THOUGHT BECAUSE LIKE THE RELIGION ITSELF AS IT GROWS

OLDER, IT BEGINS TO REALIZE, THE MORMON RELIGION IN ITSELF IS THE SIX-YEAR-OLD KID SURROUNDED BY

THE VEIL BUT AS IT AGES AND SEIZE THE SAME THINGS YOU DID AS REASON IS INDIVIDUAL.

>> ABSOLUTELY.

IT'S A FASCINATING MOMENT WE'RE IN.

>> Jon: COUPLE MINUTES TO STICK AROUND?

>> WE'LL DO IT.

>> Jon: THE BOOK OF MORMON GIRL.

JOANNA BROOKS.

WE'LL BE RIGHT BACK.

[CHEERS AND A

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