Let Your Hearts and Minds Expand

Reflections on Faith, Reason, Charity, and Beauty

Jonathan Langford Linda Hunter Adams

“Tom Rogers has lived his faith all over the world. The experiences he relates from far-flung places—mingled with thirty-one years as a BYU professor of Russian—give remarkable insight into the hard work always involved when we practice charity, “the pure love of Christ.” In these essays Rogers is a defender of the faith, but his words move us well beyond typical apologetics. His Mormonism serves as the bedrock for discussions on the life of the mind, the value of literature, and the challenges of religious orthodoxy.”

Jack Harrell
Author of A Sense of Order and Other Stories


The Collected Plays of Thomas F. Rogers

SEE HERE for free access to scripts of Thomas F. Rogers’s plays and contact information for production rights.

Living Faith-01


[Rogers] cares deeply about ideas, and he does not shy away from difficult questions and paradoxes.

Roger Terry

BYU Studies

...an interesting mix of apologetics, personal memoir, and meditations on gospel and other philosophical themes...commendably honest...a solid addition to the Living Faith series.

Stephen Smoot

Ploni Almoni blog

The book is certainly apologetic but not in the usual sense. Rather than offering a straight defense of the faith, Rogers opens up about his reactions and struggles to challenging ideas, as well as honestly engaging with others who find themselves in a similar situation.

...there was much to be gleaned from Rogers’ insights. I will continue to engage with the ideas and wrestle with the paradoxes that Rogers addresses, striving for that tentativeness that he promotes, while always hoping to empathize with all, even those I vehemently disagree with because 'divinity is in them too.'

Conor Hilton

Conor Hilton blog

Readers who stick with the book from cover to cover will receive more than they paid for in time, thought, and the price of the book, but it will also serve as a useful reference for personal study, writing ideas, sermons, and topical learning. This compilation casts a long complementary shadow for one of Mormonism’s rare hearts and minds.

Douglas F. Christensen

Association for Mormon Letters

The main theme that I found in this collection is that of charity—the true love of Christ. Rogers has a unique and clear capacity to find the good in everyone and every situation he encounters, while still being realistic and firm as required.

About the Editor

Jonathan Langford

About the Author

Thomas F. Rogers

Thomas F. Rogers is a noted playwright, essayist, and scholar who taught Russian at Brigham Young University from 1969 to 2000. He also served as director of the BYU Honors Program in the 1970s. From 1993 to 1996, he was president of the LDS Church’s Russia St. Petersburg Mission, the subject of his memoir A Call to Russia: Glimpses of Missionary Life (Provo, UT: BYU Studies, 1999). Subsequently, he and his wife, Merriam, served in the Stockholm Sweden Temple. From 2007 until his release in 2014, Rogers was a traveling LDS patriarch assigned to the LDS Church’s Europe East Area. Tom and Merriam currently live in Bountiful, Utah, where he spends time painting and visiting their seven children and forty grandchildren.      

Table of Contents

  • Foreword
  • Author’s Preface
  • About the Author
  • PART 1: The Just Shall Live by Faith

    It Satisfies My Restless Mind
  • Limbs
  • On “Fate” and Circumstance
  • Letter to a Doubting Former Student
  • Letter to My Son
  • An Insider’s View of the Missionary Training Center, 1993–1996
  • The Miracle of Conversion
  • On the Importance of Doing Certain Mundane Things
  • PART 2: Now Come, Saith the Lord, and Let Us Reason

    Riding the Edge of the Herd
  • Gospel Continuities
  • Thoughts about Joseph Smith: Upon Reading Donna Hill’s Joseph Smith: The First Mormon
  • Why the Book of Mormon Is One of the World’s Best Books
  • Remarks to Members of the BYU Honors Program, Fall 1976
  • On the Need for Both Greater Spontaneity and Authenticity in Our Religious Life
  • “Bumping”: On Reconciling Contemporary Views of Knowledge and Causation with the Restored Gospel
  • PART 3: The Greatest of These Is Charity

    Discovering Ourselves in Others
  • Coping with Orthodoxy: The Honors Student Syndrome
  • The Difference
  • Insights from a Patriarch’s Journal
  • What Is Love?
  • The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, DC
  • “Interconnecting” at Home and Abroad
  • PART 4: Out of Zion, the Perfection of Beauty, God Hath Shined

    The Sacred in Literature
  • Cokeville
  • A Playwright with a Passion for Unvarnished Depictions: An Interview with Tom Rogers, by Todd Compton
  • Why I Wrote Huebener
  • For the Cast and Production Staff of Huebener
  • The Gospel of John as Literature
  • The Image of Christ in Russian Literature
  • Hearts of the Fathers, Hearts of the Children: Transcendent Familial Ties in Selected Films and in Works by Twentieth-Century Russian Writers
View More

Publication Information

  • Publication Month: June
  • Publication Year: 2016
  • Language: English,
  • ISBN 13: 978-0-8425-2976-1
  • Page Count: 349
  • Illustration(s): 4
  • Price: $ 21.95
  • Imprint: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

Monthly Newsletter

Contact The Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship Brigham Young University Provo, UT 84602

Local: 801.422.9229
Toll-Free: 800.327.6715
Email: mi@byu.edu


The views expressed here and in Maxwell Institute publications are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Maxwell Institute, Brigham Young University, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“Seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.” (D&C 88:118)