Bob Rees stands out as an extraordinary human being, one who has navigated the road less travelled that meanders around and through the valleys and peaks of Mormon orthodoxy and progressivism. Succeeding Eugene England as the editor of Dialogue, Bob has lived almost 50 years as a vocal critic and conscience of the church, all the while giving the church of his youth and heart his absolute devotion. A former missionary, Bishop, and counselor in a Mission Presidency; Bob has been outspoken in his writing about his advocacy of equal rights, particularly gay, gender and race rights – sometimes in the face of profound resistance and punitive discipline from his church leaders. Bob proclaims his Christian devotion as the centre of his faith life which has, without doubt, provided him with a strong sense of spiritual centeredness that transcends the sometimes inflammatory situations that periodically erupt as the church groans into maturity. While he could have transferred his Christian devotion to other religious contexts he has chosen the theology of the restoration as the basis of his faith and ultimate hope.
Bob is a writer, a poet, a speaker, an author and characteristically responds with a searing intellect and wisdom to the challenges of the day. Bob is candid about the shortfalls in the LDS community, but he is ever hopeful, generous and kind about the religion he loves. His faith is of the rare variety – while he raises poignant challenges to the body and leadership of the church he sees himself as ultimately responsible for his own spiritual creation.
Bob is currently the Vice-President of the Liahona Children’s Foundation, he is a Visiting Professor at the Graduate Theological Union and UC Berkley and the editor of ‘Why I Stay’.