In the fall of 2014, I had the privilege of sitting down with our new university president, Kevin J Worthen, to get his thoughts on Religious Education and more broadly about coming changes. I hope you enjoy as much as I did the opportunity to hear President Worthen share his thoughts on faith, student challenges, and the Church’s increasingly visible presence in the world today.
In this issue you will also find other important essays and contributions by leading scholars and historians. I’ve had the privilege of reading each of them personally, and I am pleased to report that they each offer insightful counsel and discussions. In the behind-the-scenes preparation for this issue, I was able to work closely with Elder Bruce C. Hafen on the article that is published here. The article “Fear Not, I Am with Thee” has an interesting history and is the first of a two-part discussion. This article was originally presented at the 2014 BYU Women’s Conference, and a second part will be published soon in the Religious Educator. The second part contains Elder Hafen’s talk at the 2014 Sidney B. Sperry Symposium held at BYU in October.
The remaining articles cover a wide range of important topics, reaching from a discussion of the historical setting of Doctrine and Covenants 127 and 128 to a reflection on the interplay of agency and accountability. Two of the articles in this issue go hand in hand: one that discusses the growth of the Church on a global scale and one that treats the sensitive issue of teaching about world religions in LDS classrooms. I hope you enjoy these insightful essays and studies.
Thomas A. Wayment