In July of 2022, Rosalynde Welch had a distinct impression while cleaning her house — that she should reach out to Kate Holbrook and ask how she could help share more of Kate’s own writing and thinking with the world.
As many of you know, Kate was a historian, scholar, and a light in so many lives. Kate had been previously diagnosed with a rare eye cancer, which had just entered a terminal phase. As she cleaned, it struck Rosalynde that Kate had spent so much time promoting others’ voices, particularly the voices of women, that the insights Kate herself needed to share were preserved. She reached out immediately, and Kate responded gratefully. Rosalynde, and a few others who she mentions in the episode, began an urgent work of gathering, compiling, and filling in gaps to complete what is now a brand new book of Kate’s writing: Both Things Are True, which is part of the BYU Maxwell Institute’s Living Faith series. Kate, tragically, would pass away only a few weeks after this work began, in August of 2022.
And we want to be really clear about this — this is a really special book. What comes shining through so clearly is Kate’s gentle nature alongside her “backbone of steel” (as Rosalynde puts it), and perhaps more than anything, her authentic discipleship. As the book’s title indicates, it wrestles with what Joseph Smith called contraries: how the church can be both true, and open to further truth; how revelation can be, how what Kate calls “the crucible of housework” can bring about a sense of both inadequacy and divinity. And, true to Kate’s hope that she’d be remembered for her recipes, the book ends with Kate’s own recipe for what she calls “the perfect chocolate bundt cake.”
Our guest, Rosalynde, is an incredibly insightful scholar who currently works as a Senior Research Fellow at the Maxwell Institute. She has also hosted the Maxwell Institute podcast since March of this year, a resource which we can’t recommend strongly enough, especially with Rosalynde at the helm.