Still, the Small Voice: Narrative, Personal Revelation, and the Mormon Folk Tradition

Book Review
Author: Tom Mould
Categories: Book Reviews
Journal: 51:3

Tom Mould is an associate professor of anthropology and folklore at Elon University in Greensboro, North Carolina. He is the author of two books on Choctaw narrative: Choctaw Prophecy: A Legacy of the Future (2003) and Choctaw Tales (2004). He has published articles on varied aspects of generic boundaries and constructed identities and has produced video documentaries for public television on folk art and culture in Indiana, Kentucky, and North Carolina. Mould is particularly focused on the study of oral narrative, and his interest in prophecy and sacred narratives led him to his work with the Latter-day Saints. His book Still, the Small Voice: Narrative, Personal Revelation, and the Mormon Folk Tradition will appeal to LDS scholars, general LDS readers, and others interested in knowing more about the shaping power of personal revelation among Latter-day Saints. The book has six chapters and is made further accessible by an introduction, afterword, appendix, extensive chapter notes, works cited, and an index.

In his book, Mould creates a significant scholarly analysis of Latterday Saint performance-centered personal revelation and presents it with a thoroughly researched folkloric perspective. His work is a long-overdue academic discussion of personal revelation and its importance in Latterday Saint practice and culture. He has gathered and analyzed both spiritual and temporal revelations by conducting extensive ethnographic fieldwork, researching folklore archives housed in Utah universities, and examining published records of representative LDS experiences involving supernatural revelations. These revelations are more often called impressions or promptings by the LDS people; indeed, Mould mentions that in the Utah archives where he researched, there was surprisingly no specific category called personal revelation.