Laura Hales, Who Examined Her Church’s Tough Issues, Dies at 54

Her writings and her podcast on subjects like polygamy explored the history and doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Laura Harris Hales, who turned her own quest for enlightenment on thorny issues faced by her church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, into books and a podcast said to have been downloaded millions of times, died on April 13 at her home in Kaysville, Utah. She was 54.

Her husband, Brian C. Hales, said the cause was pancreatic cancer.

The Haleses maintained a website, Joseph Smith’s Polygamy, devoted to examining that contentious aspect of the history of the church and its 19th-century founder. In 2015 they co-wrote a book on the subject, “Joseph Smith’s Polygamy: Toward a Better Understanding.” In 2016 Ms. Hales compiled and edited “A Reason for Faith: Navigating LDS History and Doctrine,” a book of essays by church scholars whose chapters include “Race, the

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