Episode 91: Steve Taysom and the Mormon Studies Reader

Glenn Ostlund interviews author Steve Taysom about his upcoming Mormon Reader.

Shakers, Mormons, and Religious Worlds: Conflicting Visions, Contested Boundaries

Dimensions of Faith: A Mormon Studies Reader

Episode 91

23 comments on “Episode 91: Steve Taysom and the Mormon Studies Reader”

    • G Reiersen Reply

      Richard, I wonder if you ever encountered the book O, DU SION I VEST during your mission in Norway, or since you started living there? If you can find a copy, I think you would find it a very interesting read!

      • Anonymous Reply

        Yes, I remember that book from my mission, but I never did actually read it. It’s still floating around the mission field here as are many Danish books from the early years. I should check it out!

        • Wags Reply

          Everyone does a great job on the podcast, however some position in life get more limelight than others, i.e., quarterback, strikers, pitchers, etc. I thoroughly enjoy listening to both John and especially Glen host the podcast. Tom you do great too, but Glen definitely has a talent for this sort of thing. I like the way you keep mixing things up, I think it keeps more people interested. It would be interesting to hear Mike host once in while (of course you’d have to limit his topic selections). Glen from me to you — “most interesting” and great job with Taysom.

  1. G Reiersen Reply

    As I was listening to this podcast, especially when Steve was talking about how Europeans viewed Mormons in the early days of the Church, I was reminded of a book written by a Danish Mormon while I was on my mission in Denmark called O, DU SION I VEST about the remarkable success of early missionary efforts in Denmark and the large numbers of Scandinavians, especially Danes, who immigrated to build up Zion in Utah. There was such an enormous number of these Scandavian saints that even today, a very high percentage of U.S. Mormons, especially in Utah and other Western states with a strong Mormon history, have Scandinavian ancestry and surnames (John Larson himself, for example). John A. Widtsoe, one of the early apostles was one of them, and there were others who also became prominent LDS leaders. I wonder if Steve Tayson is at all familiar with this work. He may not be, because, as far as I know, it was only published in Danish. It was quite interesting and well written, and was quite popular among the Members in Denmark. I think it would be well worth Steve Tayson’s while to find a copy of it and someone who could translate it for him.

    • G Reiersen Reply

      In fact, Steve Tayson himself (with a name like that) is very likely a descendent of some of these Scandinavian pioneers.

      • G Reiersen Reply

        Whoops! My bad! The name is Taysom, not Tayson, but even so, there is a very strong likelihood that Steve also has Scandinavian ancestry if he comes from a family that has long been in the Church.

    • G Reiersen Reply

      And, of course, Ostlund is also obviously Scandinavian, most likely Swedish, though it could easily be Norwegian.

  2. Glenn Reply

    Ostlund is Swedesh. The Americanized version means “cheese land.” The original Swedish version of Östlund (with the two little dots over the o) means east land.

    Taysom, of course, is Comanche Indian (cousin of Poon).

    • Anonymous Reply

      Lund = grove of trees. Joseph prayed in a “lund” when he received the First vision. So your name means East Grove. In Swedish.

    • G Reiersen Reply

      NightAvatar has it right. Östlund does indeed mean “East grove” in Swedish. The Norwegian equivalent is Østlund. You are also half right in that if the original spelling of your name were Ostland instead of Östlund, it would have meant “cheeseland” in Norwegian, Swedish and Danish.

  3. Steve Taysom Reply

    The Danish book sounds interesting. I would like to get a copy. “Taysom” comes from the English west midlands on the Welsh border. Not sure where it traces to before that, although Norman France is a possibility.

    • G Reiersen Reply

      I hope you can find a copy. I’m sure you will find it interesting. I would like to find a copy myself and reaquaint myself with its contents.

  4. Anonymous Reply

    I’ve listened to this twice and I am very impressed with Steve. He seems like a very sensible, intelligent and well read person. I look forward to his essays and books. Glad Signature is publishing his works!

    Glenn I really liked your quiz. I would have answered the same as Steve I think, except I wouldn’t have known who you meant when you mentioned those two obscure names. But Star Wars is always the right answer, no matter the question! 🙂

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  6. Chris Reply

    Steve’s book sounds very interesting, though maybe a bit heavy on case-studies, and a bit too light on meta-level narrativizing.

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