Life Outside the Book of Mormon Belt is about the experience of being a believing Latter-day Saint, living on the cultural edge of Mormonism. The tone crosses the spectrum from tickled to (politely) ticked off, but ultimately radiates reflection and a deep affection for the LDS way of life, broad as that may be. A great philosopher once said that humility is the ability to see ourselves the way God sees us, and so that becomes the goal of Life Outside The Book of Mormon Belt–to help us take a long and loving look into the mirror that is the eyes of God. Of course, as the scripture famously indicates, our glass remains dark and we see only in part, so Life Outside The Book of Mormon Belt will keep this in mind.
Who should read Life Outside the Book of Mormon Belt? Everyone! Mormons, yes, please read away! But all are welcome, whether or not they share the faith, have a different faith, or no faith at all. This site is about building bridges and communicating better, not only for Mormons who wish to understand the Other in Mormonism, but for those who wonder why Mormons do what we do, say what we say, or think the way we do. Questions are welcome. The emphasis on this site, however, is cultural, not doctrinal.
What this site is NOT: Life Outside the Book of Mormon Belt will not devote time to justifying LDS beliefs. Bigotry will not be tolerated in comments. Respect is the Word of the Day everyday.
About Lisa Torcasso Downing (L.T. Downing): Downing is an award-winning writer and an advocate for the advancement of Mormon Letters. Her writing career began in the 1990′s with publication in various magazines owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. However, she soon branched out, publishing in what she affectionately calls “unauthorized” Mormon journals and magazines, where the emphasis is on both Mormon culture and literary quality. She has served as fiction editor for Irreantum, the literary journal published by the Association for Mormon Letters, as well as for Sunstone, a magazine dedicated to Mormon art, culture and scholarship. She is the author of the Young Adult novel Island of the Stone Boy, published by Leicester Bay Books, and of the Adventures of the Restoration series of novels for middle grade and young young adult readers, published with Zion BookWorks. She blogs about the craft of writing, her work as a writer and editor, and Mormon literature in general at lisatorcassodowning.com.
Downing is a convert to the LDS faith, having joined in her late teens. She currently resides in Texas, though she has called both California and Utah her home. She received a BA in English from Brigham Young University and an MA from Texas A&M Commerce. She is an active, believing Latter-day Saint, a wife of nearly 30 years and the mother of three. And best of all, she simple loves life.
This site is in no way connected to the official Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the views expressed here do not necessarily reflect official positions of the Church.