Still, the Small Voice
Narrative, Personal Revelation, and the Mormon Folk Tradition
Memorates—personal experience narratives of encounters with the supernatural—that recount individuals’ personal revelations, primarily through the Holy Ghost, are a pervasive aspect of the communal religious experience of Mormons, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In accordance with current emphases in folklore studies on narrative and belief, Tom Mould uses ethnographic research and an emic approach that honors the belief systems under study to analyze how people within Mormon communities frame and interpret their experiences with the divine through the narratives they share. In doing so, he provides a significant new ethnographic interpretation of Mormon culture and belief and also applies his findings directly to broader scholarly folklore discourse on performance, genre, personal experience narrative, belief, and oral versus written traditions.
In Still, the Small Voice, Tom Mould offers a strikingly innovative perspective on the classic religious problem of how the deeply individual and interior experience of personal revelation may be made social and public. His detailed, performance-centered analysis of Mormon narratives of personal revelation illuminates the ways in which narrative performance renders personal revelation memorable, repeatable, durable, and affecting. Mould’s book is a singular contribution not only to Mormon studies, but to religious studies, folklore, and performance studies more generally.'
Tom Mould is a remarkable scholar. He knows his Mormon sources better than many Mormon researchers, and he is fully conversant with trends in folklore scholarship. I would guess that in time he may become one of the American Folklore Society’s best known scholars. USU Press should be proud of publishing his book.'
—William A. Wilson
Tom Mould is that curious, respectful, and probing researcher illuminating a tradition of sharing faith-based personal revelation narratives. Throughout, Mould weaves social and church history, trends and development, to give a broad background for the material. His work analyzes the complexity of experiences, performances, contexts, histories, and meanings, and leaves the reader with a greater understanding of the power of the spoken word.'
—Anne F. Hatch, Journal of American Folklore
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