Mormon. And Free. Forever. Introducing The New Dialogue


The Dialogue Board has today unveiled some new things. A new website. A new journal. And a new philosophy of how to be the cultural and intellectual center of the Mormon world. And the essence of this philosophy is “free.” Free as in speech. Free as in (root) beer. And free as in Dialogue.

In 1966, Dialogue was something brand new and absolutely unique: an independent voice that covered the entire intellectual and creative spectrum of Mormonism–Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saintianism, of course, but also the larger Mormon world–its history, literature, poetry, spirituality, and, occasionally, its rough spots. For 52 years, Dialogue has been there for pretty much everything.

And the world–Mormon and otherwise–kept changing. Independent voices multiplied. Blogs happened. Facebook happened. Twitter did whatever it is that Twitter does. And information started wanting to be free. And so it is.

The new Dialogue web site will archive all previous issues of the journal for free. It will host the most recent, up-to-the-date issue for free. It will include extra content, extensions of current articles, podcasts, follow-ups, and interviews for free. You get a free Dialogue. And you, and you, and everybody gets free Dialogue.

This means that you can now access the new Fall 2018 issue, which contains essays and reflections on racial issues in Mormonism 40 years after the lifting of the Priesthood Ban, including a reflective essay by Lester Bush, “Looking Back, Looking Forward: ‘Mormonism’s Negro Doctrine’ Forty-Five Years Later.”

It means that you can access additional, website only content related to this issue, including an interview with Quincy D. Newell, author of the forthcoming biography of the African-American Mormon pioneer Jane Manning James; discussions of the recent discovery of a document proving Elijah Abel’s ordination to the priesthood; and a new essay by one of the issues star contributors, Melodie Jackson.

It also means that you will have free access to upcoming special issues on Women and the Temple and the Book of Mormon. And it means that you will be able to read and enjoy all of the articles, poems, stories, essays, reviews, and sermons that Dialogue publishes on the day that they are published.

And it means that you will be invited (but never required) to become a Dialogue Sustainer as part of a new support model tailored to the realities of the Information Age. Sustainers at $10 a month or more will continue to receive the print journal, which is not going away.

Come for the Mormon. Stay for the Free. Be part of the Dialogue forever.


  1. Hooray for Dialogue!

  2. Does this mean there will no longer be a print journal?

  3. So I should respond to that request for support that I guiltily put to one side?

  4. Michael Austin says:

    Wally, there will still be a print journal, which will come through a subscription model that also incorporates philanthropy.

  5. Great. Love the print journal.

  6. Invaluable. This is great.

  7. This is WONDERFUL. I remember the first time I was called as a Gospel Doctrine teacher, how Dialogue was –invaluable– to adding serious weight and thought and history to each and every lesson I gave. I’ve grown to love it more and more over time. I’m ecstatic!

  8. Great news. And that Lester Bush article is so good.

  9. I remember trying to persuade the UCLA librarian to subscribe to the new journal for Mormon intellectuals and being informed that “Mormon intellectual” was an oxymoron. But he repented sometime in the next year or two.
    On a personal level, Dialogue indirectly introduced me to my wife. Each on our own coast, we saw the announcement of a new email discussion group, and each of us signed on to Mormon-L. After a few years of sometimes-heated discussion, we ended up in the temple together. I love Dialogue.

  10. If anyone wants to weigh in on favorite classic articles, that’s a page we’re still working on.

  11. this is fantastic ^_^

  12. Kevin Barney says:

    Wonderful. I’m pretty familiar with the entire run, because:

    – I first discovered Dialogue in what used to be one of the finest university bookstores west of the Mississippi, the BYU Bookstore (may it rest in peace)..

    – I worked for an Ancient Scripture prof who had a Dialogue subscription, and I had access to his office, so that was one way I was able to read older issues.

    – I went to law school at the University of Illinois, and the Institute library had a subscription to Dialogue, so I was able to read recent back issues there. (I’ve been informed that those old issues of Dialogue are still in the Institute library.).

    -I discovered the University of Illinois graduate library had a complete run of Dialogue, so I spent a couple of days in the bowels of the beast (sitting on the concrete floor) and reviewing back issues all the way to the beginning.

    -When I graduated and got my first professional career job I started subscribing myself, and have been a subscriber ever since (so since 1985, I believe).

    -I would encourage younger folks to review the entire run (you don’t have to read everything, of course, but stop to read what catches your interest, which will be plenty.) That will be a terrific education in Mormonism for you.

    A question: can I just give an annual donation of $120 per year and still get a print subscription? I’ve fine with the donation, but I don’t like to set up automatic monthly hits on my credit card.

  13. J. Stapley says:

    Lester Bush’s article is 45 years old. That is remarkable. Even more so that it is still essential reading. Here is to many more significant essays and articles that will similarly change the way we see things.

  14. Michael Austin says:

    Kevin, definitely. You should be able to make a single, “one-time” donation and get a subscription. You just have to renew every year.

  15. So, I had a recurring subscription set up at the old rate. Should I just set up a new one? (I don’t mind paying more; Dialogue is worth it to me, but I want to avoid redundancy.)

  16. In case anyone wants to read the next half-century’s landmark articles, like Lester Bush’s for the last half-century, they’re and (the link is broken on this, but I presume it will get ironed out soon :)).

  17. wreddyornot says:

    I subscribed to Dialogue in the mid 1980s after “discussions” in priesthood meetings about the compatibility of agency and a God unerringly knowing the future led me to see if I could find other members who saw things at all like I did. I found an article by Blake Ostler in the Spring 1984 Dialogue, “The Mormon Concept of God” at the UofU Library. What a treasure-trove this step is for everyone. Thank you.

  18. Mary Bradford says:

    MARY B–

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