I've been looking for a post from Mormon Metaphysics to summarize here for commenting. and found these comments on Kierkegaard interesting although the conversation wanders around a bit. Click here for a short summary of Kierkegaard. As the most noted Christian philosopher of the modern era, you would think Kierkegaard would figure in LDS theologizing from time to time, but Mormon thinking pretty much ignores him. He just doesn't seem to click for a Mormon audience, as noted by Clark. Why not? Here are a couple of ideas.
First, I think Kierkegaard's Christian existentialism is quite foreign to the Mormon perspective. Mormons don't see themselves as thrown into a confusing world and choosing a leap of faith to escape despair. Instead, to Mormons the cosmos and the Plan of Salvation are comprehensible; we weren't thown into the world, we voted on it in the Great Council; and faith isn't a leap, it's the predictable and dependable result of applying Moroni's Promise. I know that's overly simplistic, but it captures the disconnect: what Kierkegaard thought were big issues aren't preceived as problems by an LDS reader or thinker.
Second, Mormonism is nothing if not upbeat and optimistic, whereas existentialism and Kierkegaard tend to be incurably downbeat and depressing. Being happy is so important to Mormons that depression is often regarded as something akin to a sin rather than as a medical condition or mental malady. Don't worry, be happy is our unofficial motto (dressed up in fancier language, of course: "Man is that he might have joy."). So Kierkegaard's focus on downbeat concepts like anxiety, despair, dread, and melancholy just doesn't resonate with a Mormon audience, even though he wraps it in Christian images and vocabulary. Imagine hearing a Conference talk entitled "The Blessings of Anxiety" or "Melancholy Motherhood" or "Dread Preceeds the Miracle." Nope, won't happen.
Anyone have any other ideas? Has anyone actually finished one of Kierkegaard's books? I've gotten halfway through two or three, then kind of lost interest and found something a little cheerier to read.