Boyd Jay Petersen is the Mormon Studies Coordinator at Utah Valley University, where he also teaches in the English Department, including courses on Mormon literature. He is also an adjunct instructor at Brigham Young University. In this delightful conversation hosted by Dan Wotherspoon, Boyd shares about many aspects of his spiritual journey, centering on a several-decades-long process of coming to be able to testify that the “Church is true.” His framings and how he got to them reveal an active mind and open heart, a person who is deeply thoughtful and who takes the challenges of history, human foibles, the call to actively work for social justice, and spiritual and other meaningful experiences seriously. In sharing this journey, he offers a wonderful and powerful analogy about similarities in the ways he makes sense of his relationship with the Church and how he does it in his relationship with his wife. One recurring struggle in Boyd’s life is with depression, which he talks about openly in this episode. The discussion also includes anecdotes about Boyd’s experiences with Hugh Nibley, his father-in-law (Boyd is married to Zina Nibley Petersen), including some about the processes involved in his writing of the award-winning biography, Hugh Nibley: A Consecrated Life (Greg Kofford Books, 2003).
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A few things from Boyd:
- Boyd Jay Petersen, “Arriving Where I Started: Disassembling and Reassembling a Testimony” (Sunstone, June 2013).
- Boyd’s blog: http://boydpetersen.com/