It is to be noted that Dialogue receives fewer letters to the editor than it formerly did. Is that because we have gone totally stuffy, as some notable frequenters of Mormon weblogs have claimed? Or is it that blogging drains off the kind of energy that used to go into writing letters to the editor? I could hold to the latter explanation more easily if the blogging opportunities on Dialogue’s own website had an abundant clientele. Ironically, the Dialogue website now offers a letters section where you can post responses to the most recent issues of the journal in a blog format. Unfortunately, user statistics are light. Exactly three persons have posted letters for the spring 2006 issue, two for the summer issue; and two for the fall issue. However, numbers alone don’t tell the entire story.
For example, consider the last two. Both strike me as exceptional. One of these letters is from the artist whose art we featured in color on the cover of the fall issue. Conservative writers don’t want to appear in Dialogue because it might brand them as unfriendly to Mormonism. This writer holds an opposite view. He is afraid that his art on the cover of Dialogue may indicate that he endorses Mormonism, and he wants it known that he doesn’t. So if you happen to be convinced that Dialogue is unfriendly to the Church, just be advised there are a lot of people who feel that it isn’t unfriendly enough.
The other letter grips my interest even more. It is from a man whose encounter with deity has informed him that he himself is no less than the One Mighty and Strong spoken of in the Doctrine and Covenants–a figure of great importance among virtually all Fundamentalist Mormons. That figure is important because it is his role to correct the Church in the multiple errors it has fallen into since the Manifesto. I respect this man in his claim of an anointed role. I have visited his website and found it loaded with scriptural arguments for his position. Nonetheless, it is a fact that never in my career as an editor or as a reader of letters to the editor have I found one quite like this.
I invite you to read these letters for yourself at the Dialogue website.