Dana M. Pike

Since this is the last foreword I will write for the Review magazine, I decided to begin with a quotation I often use in the classroom. It focuses on what I consider to be an essential attribute in anyone’s gospel understanding and progression. John Sorenson, a retired BYU professor of anthropology, observed: “It continues to strike me how incurious many of our [LDS] people are, how they want to hear the same thing over and over again. Too much of our scripture ‘study’ is like a bedtime story where, if we get one syllable wrong, the child says, ‘Oh, that’s not the way it goes.’ I am convinced that we have a long way to go in uncovering the stone box of meaning where the scriptures lie passively for too many of us. The first thing we need is an opening up of curiosity, a willingness to accept that it is okay to be curious, it is okay to try to learn something new. If we merely accept the status quo in our studies, we find ourselves playing the tape over and over again instead of grasping the riches of light for ourselves.”[1] My experience is that righteous, judicious curiosity coupled with studious follow-through lead us to “riches of light” that are personally rewarding and significant.

The last word in this foreword’s title is “Change.” This summer Professor Brent L. Top accepted the assignment to serve as the new dean of Religious Education. Professors Robert C. Freeman and I are serving as his associate deans. Outgoing dean Terry B. Ball and his two associate deans, Richard E. Bennett and Dennis A. Wright, served well and made a significant contribution to Religious Education (see the interview with Dean Ball in this issue). Given my new assignment, Professor Thomas A. Wayment has been appointed publications director of BYU’s Religious Studies Center. Thom is a capable and thoughtful colleague who will continue to advance the mission of the RSC.

It has been my pleasure to work with the RSC publications staff—Joany Pinegar, Devan Jensen, and Brent Nordgren—since spring 2012. In addition to our regular publication duties, we have undertaken a number of initiatives, including developing an RSC app, moving towards e-publishing our back catalog of books as well as current issues of the Religious Educator journal, making our website and its contents more accessible, and pursuing book copublishing opportunities with certain other university presses. I expect that these and other initiatives will be more fully discussed in future issues of this Review and will bear much fruit for those who are curious enough to investigate them.

Dana M. Pike

Associate Dean, Religious Education


[1] John L. Sorenson, in “An Interview with John L. Sorenson,” Journal of Book of Mormon Studies 11 (2002): 85.