A 20-year-old Harvard junior from Idaho named Rachel Esplin is capturing the attention of both the Mormon and non-Mormon community with this six-month-old video. Esplin is the president of the Harvard Latter-day Saint Student Association, and was chosen to represent the Mormon religion during a University “Day of Faith” Panel moderated by journalist Sally Quinn. On March 6, 2009 The Boston Globe ran a feature article on the video, and included a follow-up interview. The article had received nearly 300 comments as of this posting.
Esplin is asked a series of questions that could be considered “tricky” for members to answer in a private setting, and certainly challenging in the public arena. However, she delivers a poised and candid interview. Questions range from whether she wears sacred undergarments, why the temple is secret, who Joseph Smith was and why he is important, and how she reacts to allegations that Mormonism is a cult. She is also asked to respond to the often negative perception of the role of women in the church. Concluding questions deal with her personal relationship with Jesus, and her plans for the future.
You will notice that this interview lasted 21 minutes, but don’t let that put you off. This is well worth your time! It is a fine representation of a young Latter-day Saint perspective, and informative for those who may have curiosity of our beliefs. It also stands as a great example to Latter-day Saints themselves, on how to answer the “tough questions” with grace, honesty, and humor.
“Esplin is …an East Asian Studies major who is planning to get married this summer and expects to graduate in December; she hopes eventually to go to law school.” -from Boston Globe