Monday, February 13, 2006

i need your help

BYU is having doing a summer seminar/fellowship that I want to get accepted for. see if any of you have the skills/knowledge of these applications, look over the essay i'm including here and give me some pointers on what you think needs to be added/deleted/changed. also, if you have read any of my papers, which one should i include with my application. it is due on wednesday.


I am currently attending Utah Valley State College where I am pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Philosophy with a minor in Religious Studies. I was recently awarded a Presidential Fellowship at UVSC to assist in their growing Religious Studies and Mormon Studies Programs. I am currently a research assistant for Dr. Brian Birch and am an assistant editor for the next upcoming issues of Element: The Journal of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology, as well as the upcoming volume of proceedings for the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology. After graduating in December 2006, my goal is to attend Claremont Graduate University where I can study the Philosophy of Religion and participate in their establishment of Mormon Studies.

Though I have always been interested in Mormon Studies, my interest grew significantly during my mission in Hawaii (98-00) and has been increasing ever since. Besides institute classes and scripture study, I have done much reading in Mormon history, culture, theology, and philosophy (including works by Bushman, Quinn, Givens, Bergera, Van Wagoner, Arrington, Anderson, Ostler, McMurrin, etc).

One of the issues of Gospel study that I am particularly interested in is the relationships between Mormon culture, theology, and organization. I find particularly interesting the roles and effects that these different aspects of Mormonism have on each other, both within the Mormon community and in the interaction with other religious (and non-religious) cultures. How do certain beliefs shape the lives and actions of Latter-day Saints? And vice-versa, how do certain aspects of Mormon culture shape LDS theology? Similarly, how does the organizational Church affect (and how is it affected) by culture and theology?

Another Gospel study of interest is in how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and some of its members/leaders have attempted to approach the Gospel “by study and also by faith” through scientific, intellectual, and/or philosophical methods (for example: the attempts by Orson Pratt, B. H. Roberts, and James E. Talmage).

I wish to participate in this fellowship because it is an opportunity to further pursue these interests and increase my understanding of the Gospel as it has developed in the lives of Latter-day Saints. I will also be able to take the skills and knowledge gained from the fellowship into my further graduate studies and involvement with Mormon Studies.

any help is greatly appreciated


  1. Wow Loyd! That was really good. I don't have any knowledge or skills but I really enjoyed reading it!

  2. This seminar sounds great for you. I think your application looks good. I have one small suggestion: don't use both "including" and "etc." on the same list. I'd drop the "etc."

    I hope you found what you needed at the library yesterday. And good luck with this.

  3. Third paragraph, first sentence: One of the issues . . . is the relationships - I think you need to reword this sentence somehow. I think it's some kind of subject/verb disagreement since relationships is plural but one and is are singular.

    At the end of that paragraph: place the close parenthesis on the outside of "by."

    At the end of the next paragraph: I think a comma might be better than a colon after "for example." And I'm sure you know that "e.g." is the Latin abbreviation and probably have a reason for writing it out. I think both are okay.

  4. camille, thanks! how have you been. haven't seen ya for a while. have you started the book yet?

    heather, thanks but too late. i dropped it off this afternoon.

  5. Oops! Too late.... Sorry I didn't see it sooner...good luck!

  6. Oh, man, that essay stinks! You already dropped it off? That's too bad. Well, maybe you'll get in anyway.


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