LDS Perspectives Podcast: “The Delicate Art of Critical Judgment,” with George Handley

In November 2015, George Handley, associate dean of the College of Humanities at BYU, spoke on his journey of faith in an Education in Zion lecture that was later published in BYU Studies.

Partially because of its timing and mainly because of its powerful message, his speech has been widely circulated since that time. Not only did he offer words of comfort to those who were struggling but also tools to be a more critical consumer.

Handley suggests that the three crucial ingredients of criticism, compassion, and charity must work together to create a quality intellectual and spiritual life. These elements also work together to develop meaningful relationships and build communities.

Exploring the humanities offer an incomparable opportunity to expand the soul, increase creativity, learn from others, and criticize our environment. Critical judgment allows us to step back and analyze a situation and to get out of ourselves emotionally; it is a deliberate and calm process of evaluation. We can’t experience all things so must look to others for deeper understanding of diversity in this complex universe.

Handley has found that the major driver in one’s relationship with the church can be the relationship one has with the people within the church.  People who struggle stay because they feel loved and that they belong. A community cannot be realized without coming to terms and accepting difference through compassion and charity and realizing the natural ebbs and flows of any relationship.

Join Laura Harris Hales of LDS Perspectives Podcast as she discusses with George Handley the importance of encouraging criticism, compassion, and charity in order to build community and find belonging.

Check out the resources referenced in the podcast at LDS Perspectives.

Download the Transcript

3 thoughts on “LDS Perspectives Podcast: “The Delicate Art of Critical Judgment,” with George Handley

  1. Rather than a subtle Mormon Liberal (Progressive) exposition about how it is feasible to be critical of Church General leaders, I would prefer Elder Dallin Oaks discourse on Criticism. Not a fan of these Liberal podcasts, and I wonder why Interpreter sees need to promote them.

  2. Hi Glen,

    I appreciate that you are one of our regular listeners.

    There are all kinds of Mormons, and the LDS Church is big enough for them all. George Handley is one that I will always consider it a pleasure to meet and chat with. He is truly a giant with a wonderful perspective that I find reassuring and helpful. For me, his community-building ideas resonate with the Restoration concept of Zion.

    I know you like to engage in long online discussions, but I only have the time to thank you for listening.


    Laura Harris Hales

  3. “People who struggle stay because they feel loved and that they belong.”
    It seems a poor reason to be in the Church. I hope they stay long enough to actually believe in the teachings of the Church. I would not like a church filled with people who are there just because of camaraderie. The Church has a serious message.

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