“FAIR Conversations,” Episode 14: Tom Mould on Folklore and Personal Revelation

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Perhaps the most underrated Mormon-themed book of 2011 was Tom Mould’s Still, the Small Voice: Narrative, Personal Revelation, and the Mormon Folk Tradition. As the title suggests, Mould explores how the Spirit’s “small voice” is still an important part of religious life for Latter-day Saints. The book is a folklorist’s examination of the stories Mormons share about personal revelation.

In this episode of FAIR Conversations, Mould describes some ways revelatory narratives highlight distinctive Mormon beliefs such as stewardship and agency. He highlights the role revelation plays in Mormon decision making, in relieving anxiety, and in dealing with the ambiguities of everyday life. The stories Mormons tell about the revelation we seek and receive suggest important clues about our values. Mould’s work is thought-provoking, challenging, and inspiring, religiously and academically. He brings the perspective of a thoughtful outsider but speaks with an insider’s knowledge.

Mould is associate professor of anthropology and folklore at Elon University in North Carolina. Check out the author bio on Utah State University Press’s website here, and my full review of Still, the Small Voice here.

Questions or comments about this episode can be sent to [email protected]. Or, join the conversation in the comments here. 


Runtime: 80:59

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