Blog Archives

Ordain Women – the Joke Is On You

March 8, 2014 | 37 comments
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Ordain Women – the Joke Is On You

I just read the “hilarious” post on Andy Kano’s blog titled: Some LDS Women Want The Priesthood? Well LDS Men Have Some Requests Too. If you don’t want to read it, in a nutshell it’s a “comical” slapdown of Ordain Women in which he demands equality by, you know, providing a room where men can nurse their babies (I mean who wants to see all that exposed chest hair!), adding padded priesthood room chairs, and equalizing other disparities that he, apparently, thinks (in that über gut-busting way) are equivalent to not being able to share in the power of... Read more »

To LDS Seminary Teachers Everywhere

May 22, 2013 | 120 comments
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To LDS Seminary Teachers Everywhere

My husband and I are both graduates of LDS seminary. I, by the skin of my teeth after a lingering bout with mononucleosis and a pile of home study booklets. Sam, after being on seminary council and a master seminary bowler. So far our children have attended 18 total years of seminary instruction in two states, at church buildings and seven different released-time facilities, and with at least 37 different teachers. We have three daughters who are seminary graduates, one daughter who is a current enrollee, and two sons who will be joining the ranks in the next few... Read more »

Dumb Reasons for Exclusively Male Priesthood

March 22, 2013 | 176 comments
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This post is a follow up to Kaimi’s thoughtful post I’m a Mormon, and I believe that women… For the record, I don’t actually “believe that women should be eligible for Priesthood ordination.” Rather, I think it would be helpful and I see no overriding reason why it shouldn’t happen. Neither do I see scriptural/doctrinal evidence to show that the scriptural “man” means “mankind” most of the time — but only males when it pertains to the priesthood. I do not believe the issue has been addressed completely. Authoritative statements seem to indicate a long-term acceptance of cultural patriarchy... Read more »

Single Sisters Unite – and Babysit

February 1, 2013 | 42 comments
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The following appeared in a ward bulletin this past week. It was forwarded to me by a friend. Edited only to remove identifying information. Thursday, February 14 at 6:30 pm the Relief Society is hosting a Couples Dinner and Fireside. Come enjoy a nice evening with your spouse and gain some insight on how to strengthen your marriage. We will have dinner and babysitting... Read more »

Earthly Father, Heavenly Father – Earthly Mother, Blank

January 28, 2013 | 124 comments
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This week a number of my Facebook friends shared a video from the Mormon Channel, titled Earthly Father, Heavenly Father. It kept showing up in my timeline, and finally I watched it. I’m generally a fan of the church’s public relations offerings, so I expected to like this short. I mean, who doesn’t love fatherhood? Instead, the film made me sad. Before playing the video, I saw the blurb underneath: Men on Earth have the opportunity to become fathers and experience some of the same joys that our Heavenly Father feels for us. Fatherhood is a divine responsibility to... Read more »

Priesthood Power and Seduction

August 26, 2012 | 81 comments
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A defining moment in my religious life occurred when I was 11-years-old and sitting in a typical Sacrament Meeting.  A boy who had bullied me — at church, at school, in the neighborhood — for six years was sustained by the ward after getting the Aaronic Priesthood. Sitting the the pew it hit me squarely that his behavior had little do to with his obtaining “eternal power and authority of God.” That being “worthy” meant mostly being male and 12 years old and that I would never be “worthy” to  “act in His name for the salvation of His... Read more »

GAGA: The Insidiousness of Assuaging Guilt with Government

August 19, 2012 | 73 comments
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By Samuel M. & Alison Moore Smith On August 11, 2012, a politically charged discussion began on Facebook among some church members. One man posted a link to an article written by his former dissertation advisor, Steve Schneck. While the article did little to claim ownership of “subsidiarity,” it did bring out some strong opinions. [Note: The Facebook post and comments referenced here were not private. They were posted on a wall that (at this writing) is still set to public availability. Originally this post quoted the actual conversation as it occurred. I was asked to remove some of... Read more »

The Block

July 29, 2012 | 58 comments
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Some Sundays three hours is more like eternity squared. Discuss. Read more »

No Women Allowed: Why Exclusion Makes the Priesthood Awesome

March 29, 2012 | 122 comments
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No Women Allowed: Why Exclusion Makes the Priesthood Awesome

In the name of full disclosure and in order to clarify my agenda, if any, note I tend to agree with Ralph Hancock a great deal of the time and to disagree with Joanna Brooks about as often. In addition, even before I began blogging in 2003, I wrote for Meridian Magazine. (I was one of the original three in the “Circle of Sisters.”) In his recent, two-part review of Joanna Brooks’ The Book of Mormon Girl, Ralph Hancock responds to Brooks’ negative response toward gender differentiation in the church. While I believe it minimizes this differentiation — with... Read more »

Church and the Value of Girlie Things

November 20, 2011 | 31 comments
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Church and the Value of Girlie Things

Often in the quest for equality in the church programs for girls and boys, women talk about how much they would have loved to do all the scout activities. As I said in the Boy Scout Redux, I was very envious of many parts of scouting. I love rafting, I pitched in the first girls’ little league in Orem, I ran a marathon to “celebrate” my 40th birthday, and I played intramural flag football and co-ed softball at BYU up until I was past my due date with my second pregnancy. But I don’t love everything “boyish.” I was a... Read more »

The Boy Scout Thing Redux

November 5, 2011 | 155 comments
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It started when I was about four-years-old. My oldest brother became a Cub Scout — and got a uniform and badges and all sorts of awesome awards and activities. As soon as I could read, I began pouring over Boys’ Life…and coveting. We didn’t even have Achievement Days/Activity Day back then (not that it compares, but still), so I begged my parents to let me be a Brownie in the Girl Scouts organization. Alas, the church leadership had strongly recommended avoiding the heathen group, which left the girls with…nothing. For 43 years I’ve carried this uneasiness about the disparity... Read more »

Can God Proscribe Behavior?

October 9, 2011 | 61 comments
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First of all, I want to be clear where I’m coming from. I would call myself a faithful member of the church. I pretty much go along with all the “orthodox” Mormon stuff. I’m not cafeteria. I’m not New Order. I’m stereotypical, boring, Happy Valley Mormon — except that I despise scrapbooking. Second of all, I think asking questions, searching for insight, and being uncomfortable with parts of Mormonism don’t make me, ipso facto, unfaithful. Nor do I think doing so is bad, wrong, or problematic. In case you haven’t noticed, I have problems with church gender issues and... Read more »

Shunning the Unbelievers

September 4, 2011 | 110 comments
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I didn’t see anyone suggest “shunning” — or being rude or unkind — as being appropriate. But I do keep seeing repeated claims that it’s wrong. It seems a straw man that keeps being beaten down. First, yes, I have gay friends. Most of them were childhood friends, most of them former LDS. The rest are from my experience in performing arts (stereotypical, but true) or clients. I simply don’t run across a lot of gay folks at church or in homeschool groups or in playgroups, which is where I spend most of my public time. The “dilemma” some... Read more »

Serving on the Sideline

August 28, 2011 | 77 comments
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Commenting on my controversial/popular (also tedious/stultifying) post “Does Gender Matter?” — asking if it’s reasonable to claim both that gender matters enough to make all sorts of exclusions and that it doesn’t matter enough to require more equal representation — led me to describe a long-held frustration: Men create worlds, men direct the work of the gospel, men bring to pass immortality. Whatever we see God doing are things men can anticipate doing should they be exalted. What will women do? Will we still be in the Relief Society room asking the bishop for permission to get someone to... Read more »

“[The Church] Was Wrong”

August 21, 2011 | 155 comments
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Yesterday Jake Tapper asked John Huntsman about the church’s “racist rules” of the past. Huntsman said, “I think it was wrong, plain and simple. I think it was wrong.” When the church ban on giving the priesthood to blacks was lifted, when I was 14, every single LDS person I personally knew rejoiced. My mom ran to the stairs shouting to tell us. We jumped up and down. In our mostly Mormon community of Orem, Utah, people literally flooded into the streets to hug and talk as word spread. Over the years I have come to my own conclusions... Read more »

Does Gender Matter?

May 24, 2011 | 286 comments
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Does Gender Matter?

Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose. ~ The Family: A Proclamation to the World Gender is part of who we are and who we have always been. It is important. It matters. The church uses gender to delineate authority, callings, and roles: By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. ~ The Family: A Proclamation to the World Last night my third... Read more »

Are These Rooms Modest?

May 19, 2011 | 91 comments
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Are These Rooms Modest?

Follow up questions: Is it possible for any room to be immodest? Can (lack of) functionality render something immodest? Can extreme departure from the norm render something immodest? Would rooms designed to draw a lot of attention be immodest? Can cost make rooms (or houses) immodest? (I don’t know how much these rooms cost, but a lot more than my family room!) If so, what is the price cut-off for modest rooms/houses? Just in case it isn’t clear, this post really isn’t about these rooms. It is about the parameters of modesty. Also to be clear, this isn’t about... Read more »

Skanky Legs

May 14, 2011 | 51 comments
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Women, celebrate. You no longer have to wear pantyhose in order to maintain an appropriate standard of modesty. And, yes, you did until this week. Discuss. Read more »

What About Portable Temples?

April 4, 2011 | 42 comments
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In his Sunday morning session remarks in general conference, President Monson told stories of great sacrifice offered to reach temples for sacred ordinances. He told of those in the Amazon who travel thousands of miles to the temple in Brazil. He told of the dedicated Tahitian man who — with his two sons — spent a total of six years, living away from the family, working in nickel mines to earn the money to get the family to the New Zealand temple. Given the recent local emphasis from the church on keeping families together, I was surprised to hear... Read more »

The Purpose of the Prayer Roll

February 15, 2011 | 50 comments
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Today I was sent a FaceBook request to join a “prayer chain page” to pray for a woman hospitalized in Texas. I don’t know the sick woman and only distantly know the woman making the request. A similar thing happens on some email lists. People post, requesting others to pray for someone they know but those on the list do not. There are two things about this that strike me as being odd Given all the people I actually know who need help — on all different levels — it would seem a strange use of time (and spiritual... Read more »

United Order Vs. Communism

January 6, 2011 | 130 comments
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United Order Vs. Communism

Looking back at last year’s MOTY post, I came across a comment I had not seen before. Having been raised hearing about the vast differences between communism and the United Order — and how communism was actually a counterfeit of God’s community — I was surprised that the comparison was being made. This was coupled with a discussion I had two days ago with Belinda, one of my children attending BYU. She just started a church history class and we were talking about the first chapter in her text. It discusses the divine nature of the founding of the... Read more »

How Much Does a Mormon Wedding Cost?

September 25, 2010 | 55 comments
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For a decade we lived in Boca Raton, Florida — a city with a synagogue on every corner where you were much more likely to be invited to a bris or bar/bat mitzvah than any other religious ceremony. Boca had a single ward that varied between fairly thriving (when IBM had a campus there) to barely surviving (when they moved out) and spots in between. But few in the area seemed well-versed in Mormon culture or doctrine. One day I hosted a meeting for the room mothers for oldest daughter’s kindergarten class. When the women walked into the living... Read more »

Leadership and Self-Flagellation: Sharing Your Sins with the World

July 25, 2010 | 41 comments
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Nate’s thoughtful post inspired a great discussion. Andrew spoke up to say: …even though Church leaders could and should stress their own imperfection before Church members, they don’t…but instead they play into this paragon of virtue imagery that people put on them. Wm Morris responded with: I have no desire to see more self-flagellation on the part of our leaders. And I don’t see the paragon of virtue imagery — when general authorities to talk about themselves as persons, they are very often self-deprecating and even talk about their imperfections. “Self-flagellation” is is kind of a stretch. Exposing our... Read more »

Institutionalized Lying

April 12, 2010 | 108 comments
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Currently I serve as the Primary chorister in my ward. (Call it the curse of anyone who can sing and direct music.) The assigned song for March was “Follow the Prophet.” In case you’re not familiar with the song, it was written so that children around the world can mumble through the 400 verses, followed by yelling out the chorus at the top of their lungs. One verse is about Jonah, as in the guy with the great fish problem. It has this line in it: When we really try the Lord won’t let us fail. I had long... Read more »

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Times and Seasons is a place to gather and discuss ideas of interest to faithful Latter-day Saints.