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Independent Mormon Press Seeks To Highlight Inquisitive, Faithful Voices

By Common Consent

A blog run by Mormon thinkers and writers has now launched a new publishing press to encourage diverse voices in the LDS community.

The blog’s name is By Common Consent and it was launched back in 2004. Since then it has served as a community of writers who are active members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but are also willing to ask tough questions.


Articles have addressed topics like gender norms in Mormon communities and controversial church history. Often sparking lively debate.


The blog averages 30 to 50,000 hits a day. And now, they’re publishing books.


“It’s kind of a logical extension of how we see the blog and what we see the purpose of blog is," Michael Austin says, one of the contributors to the site responsible for launching the press.


Austin is also an executive vice president at the University of Evansville in Indiana. Like a Mormon congregation, Austin says he shares the publishing workload with other blog writers who also have full-time jobs and busy lives.


Their mission is to seek out unique and talented Mormon authors who can speak to their thoughtful audience.


"They’re not going to be united by style but they’re going to be united by the kinds of questions they ask," Austin says.


The first book published is a theological meditation about faith and science by a biology professor at Brigham Young University. Next will be a memoir of a Mormon woman who writes about addiction, divorce and returning to school as a single mother.

The By Common Consent Press is run as a non-profit and is made possible by Amazon’s print-on-demand technology. Books aren’t printed until they’re ordered.

Austin says they want to pass along as much profit as possible to the authors. Their overall goal isn’t to make money, it’s to inspire thoughtfulness about all aspects of Mormon life.

Lee Hale began listening to KUER while he was teaching English at a Middle School in West Jordan (his one hour commute made for plenty of listening time). Inspired by what he heard he applied for the Kroc Fellowship at NPR headquarters in DC and to his surprise, he got it. Since then he has reported on topics ranging from TSA PreCheck to micro apartments in overcrowded cities to the various ways zoo animals stay cool in the summer heat. But, his primary focus has always been education and he returns to Utah to cover the same schools he was teaching in not long ago. Lee is a graduate of Brigham Young University and is also fascinated with the way religion intersects with the culture and communities of the Beehive State. He hopes to tell stories that accurately reflect the beliefs that Utahns hold dear.
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