A Mormon blogger against blogging

At last month's Women and the LDS Church conference, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich's stimulating plenary address was a guided romp through the archives, sharing some of the best bits of the sources for her latest project on 19th-century Mormon women. Though her tone was upbeat and very funny, her theme was tragic: the appalling scarcity of surviving Mormon women's diaries. So scarce are women's diaries, which she carefully distinguishes from long-after-the-fact personal histories, that she has been forced to look further afield, to autograph books and handicrafts, for a window into that historical moment. Nevertheless, she emphasized the richness of the records that do exist, the power of their implicit witness and invitation.

Ulrich is, on this point as on every other, indisputably correct.

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