The Brigham Young University 2018 Mormon Studies Review Vol 5 is a forum titled “Mormonism as Media.” In the Introduction, authors Benjamin Peters and John Durham Peters describe a “Mormon movement” that “has used many kinds of media, modern and ancient alike, to preach the gospel and perfect the saints. From pamphlets, choirs, and manifestos to visitors centers, filmstrips, and websites, the history of the global correlated church is inseparable from mass media.”
Peters and Peters then define the origins of our modern use of the word media. Derived from the word medium, it wasn’t until after 1900 that the term media came to be defined as “the agencies of mass communication. Before then a medium bore light, truth, heat, or magnetic force. The older, elemental meaning of medium has found resonance today when so much of our lives is digitally governed…”
I am sure these scholars would also include The Arizona Beehive on the list of the many kinds of media used to move along the Mormon Movement! And why not? As you will read in this issue, The Arizona Beehive was founded five decades ago by the Taylor Family as a simple yet effective and loved Relief Society newsletter. Today it flourishes as a conduit to our LDS community.
As a few of you will recall, back in 1975, the most efficient technology available for disseminating The Beehive was the mimeograph machine. (Can you still smell the fragrance of a freshly “run-off” copy of a mimeographed page?) Today, while printed paper remains an integral part of how we receive and pass along media, smart phones, tablets, lap tops, social media and apps drive all communication in digital form. We endeavor to utilize all such media to provide LDS light, truth, heat and positive force.
Peters and Peters suggest that “a more complete Mormon media curriculum might highlight … public and private spectacles like pageants and seer stones, sites of worship and service such as tabernacles and temples, the various channels by which Mormon modernity has expended its messages from the Erie Canal (the economic boom that brought the Book of Mormon into print) to the Mormon Channel … from Joseph Smith’s celestial bookkeeping to the embarrassingly bad (the author’s opinion, not necessarily the opinion of The Arizona Beehive!) film Johnny Lingo. Each offers a medium with a new story to tell.”
We hope that you continue to enjoy the medium and media known as The Arizona Beehive as we bring you new stories to tell about Mormonism and the Latter-day Saints that make up our marvelous community!