Blog Archives

Reading to Peter

December 6, 2004 | 38 comments
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In our house, we have a box full of picture books that comes out on the first Sunday in Advent, and I’m always on the lookout for new Christmas books. Read more »

Christmas Letters

December 3, 2004 | 29 comments
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Aaargh–’tis the season for those yuletide roundups of the activities of everyone’s perfect families and overachieving children. A couple of years ago, I decided to fight back with this parody, which I mailed on April Fools’ Day: Read more »

Thanksgiving Reading

November 24, 2004 | 4 comments
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When I was younger, I used to entertain fantasies of forcing my children to listen to all of Milton’s Ode on the Morning of Christ’s Nativity before letting them open their presents. I’ve never done it, but I do make them listen to a paragraph of a John Donne sermon before Thanksgiving dinner: Read more »

Shameless Self-Promotion

November 19, 2004 | 9 comments
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(As if there weren’t already enough navel-gazing around here today…) Boston area Bloggernaclites should come see the New England Latter-day Saint Choir (from the Cambridge YSA Wards) concert of Wilbergiana on Sunday night, featuring ME playing 2nd fiddle (not being modest, I really am playing Violin II). The concert is at First Church in Cambridge, 11 Garden St. , at 7:30. (Free, about an hour long, all Wilberg hymn arrangements around the theme of heritage) Read more »

On Spiritual Education

November 12, 2004 | 29 comments
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About 10 minutes after my first positive pregnancy test, I was at the bookstore, perusing the shelves of parenting titles, a pastime I’ve continued with some regularity for nearly a decade now. One of my favorite of these books is called 10 Principles of Spiritual Parenting. Read more »

O Quanta Qualia–More Musings on the Sabbath

November 2, 2004 | 12 comments
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Nate’s post on the Sabbath returns me to some thoughts on the Sabbath I’ve been kicking around for a while. Earlier this fall, as I was looking for music for my ward choir to do, I considered Healey Willan’s setting of “O Quanta Qualia.” The text is as follows: Oh, what their joys and their glories must be, Those endless sabbaths the blessed ones see, Crown for the valiant, to weary ones rest, God shall be all and in all ever blest. Read more »

Sometimes God is Funny, or, It’s True that You Should Be Careful about the Movies You See

September 8, 2004 | 7 comments
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Last night I was reading Haggai (*really* bad insomnia). I actually woke up my husband with my bed-shaking giggling after I read “I smote you with blasting and with MILDEW…” (Haggai 1:18) I just couldn’t help picturing a guy with a bad French accent, yelling from a tower, “I smite you with mildew, you silly Englishman…” Come to think of it, maybe this suggests that Haggai was actually a woman–after all, men don’t think about mildew, do they? Hmmm–I feel a dissertation coming on! Read more »

For Labor Day–Remembering Esther Peterson

September 6, 2004 | 13 comments
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Before T&S is reduced entirely to partisan bickering and banter among Yankees fans (it’s OK, guys, I understand–not everyone is noble enough to endure the agonies of Red Sox fandom), I thought I’d write about Mormonism’s own labor hero, Esther Peterson. This is mostly adapted from an interview Cokie Roberts did in 1993, and retold in her book _We Are Our Mothers’ Daughters_ (dumb title; pretty good book). Esther Peterson’s mother was one of the first women to attend Brigham Young Academy, but she had to drop out and work when her father became ill. So from a young... Read more »

Theodicy and Me

September 4, 2004 | 6 comments
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Yesterday was our last long beach day before the start of school. As I watched my achingly beautiful children playing in the waves and building sandcastles, I couldn’t help but think about how utterly charmed their lives are (with the exception of having a neurotic and incompetent mother, whose genetic endowment to them will likely result in eyebrows, noses, and thighs that fail to meet the highest aesthetic standards). And of course, because of them, my life is also blessed beyond all reasonable hope. This unnerves me; it is so clear to me that these blessings are bestowed without... Read more »

Q: When is a policy not a policy?

August 17, 2004 | 30 comments
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A: When noone knows about it? A couple of Sundays ago, in the hall during Sunday School time, I was talking about vasectomies with a woman in my ward. (What?! What do *you* talk about in the hall during Sunday School?) She was telling me quite matter-of-factly how glad she was that her husband had been willing to have one when they were sure their last child had arrived. This woman is fairly conservative, and I’m sure she would never knowingly do something contrary to Church policy. In any case, she would not discuss it openly if she had.... Read more »

My Thought on Nate’s “Colossal Ignorance”

July 27, 2004 | 11 comments
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I might as well go stick a knife in the toaster now! : ) Read more »

Music Notes, July 25

July 25, 2004 | 11 comments
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No history lesson today, just my favorite story about one of the hymns we’re singing. The LDS poet Emma Lou Thayne relates this story about her friend, Jan Cook, who moved from Salt Lake City to a remote part of Africa: “ work had taken them and their three small children there, and any meetings attended were in their own living room with only themselves as participants. By their third Christmas, Jan was very homesick. She confessed this to a good friend, a Mennonite; Jan told her how she missed her own people, their traditions, even snow. Her... Read more »

Waugh on Unexamined Faith

July 18, 2004 | one comment
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The really terrific discussion in the comments on Jim’s “Unexamined Faith” post puts me in mind of a favorite passage from Evelyn Waugh. I was saving it for Epiphany, but it fits here. It’s from an early (bad!) novel, _Helena_, and it’s a bit overwritten and treacly, but, well, some of us like that sort of thing! Read more »

Music Notes, July 11

July 11, 2004 | 18 comments
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I don’t do great Sunday School lessons like Jim and Julie, but I do write short notes on the music for our ward bulletin most weeks. Mostly I shamelessly steal from Karen Lynn Davidson’s book on the hymns, but sometimes I plagiarize from other sources as well, and I occasionally have an original thought. I’m going to start posting my notes here, too, on the off chance that someone might find them interesting. Read more »

A Practical Matter

July 9, 2004 | 37 comments
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I’ve been trying to put my finger on what is so troubling to me about some of the recent discussions of abortion. Aside from the distressingly obvious lack of female participants in the discussion, I think the thing that makes me twitchiest is the discussion of whether or not rape victims should be *allowed* to hear from a compassionate bishop that abortion is an acceptable course. I’ve been thinking a lot about how a bishop could provide appropriate and helpful counsel in that situation, and I have to say that I think the odds are stacked against him, even... Read more »

Belated Thanks

June 23, 2004 | 8 comments
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I have to apologize for not thanking Melissa Proctor for her excellent guest-blogging. I was hoping to provoke her into another post or two, but she is ever-so-diligently preparing for qualifying exams and writing a dissertation prospectus, and has steadfastly refused all of my wiles. So, hearty, if somewhat belated, thanks to Melissa for some quietly thought-provoking posts. If you’re looking for a break from all the war talk, I’d suggest a re-reading of hers. (I’m still trying to figure out what to think about “Deseret.”) Read more »

A Peek Behind the Scenes at T&S

June 23, 2004 | 13 comments
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Our gentle readers may be interested to know that Jim’s post on discussing politics grew partly out of some extended e-mail discussion that has gone on today among the T&S regulars about a perception among readers of a conservative tilt in the comments and discussions here (there were a few e-mail complaints from readers; a few of the regular bloggers–cough, khh, cough–were feeling a little oppressed). After reading and responding to this flurry of e-mail, I checked in just in time to read the exchange on the Elder Packer and Beards thread about how the conservatives are oppressed around... Read more »

Goodbye, Hello

June 1, 2004 | 28 comments
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Ahem. We’d like to release grasshopper with a vote of thanks for his excellent contributions as guest-blogger. All in favor, please go back and reread his posts, which were hefty enough to merit a second reading! And, of course, visit him at Let Us Reason for continuing lessons in careful and articulate thinking about all things Mormon. Also, at this time, we are pleased to welcome Melissa Proctor as our newest guest blogger. Melissa holds an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Yale Divinity School and is currently a doctoral student in Religion at Brown University. She teaches Gospel Doctrine... Read more »

Modesty and Shame

May 25, 2004 | 87 comments
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We’ve had a few teasingly warm days in the last few weeks, and so my children are starting to want to be as scantily clad as possible. I’ve been horrified as I’ve shopped for summer clothes for my 5-year-old daughter–everything is spandex and mini and halter-topped and sex-kitten sandals *in size 5!* It’s awful. On the other hand, I scandalized my visiting teacher last year, when she was kind enough to visit teach me at the beach (because it’s the only place my children can play by themselves for 15 or 20 minutes and not end up bleeding), by... Read more »

Revelation and the Brotherhood of Man

May 16, 2004 | 18 comments
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Ha! I can beat Nate Oman at pompous blog titles any day (even when I’m just recycling one aspect of his question in less philosophically sophisticated terms!). And I apologize for the gendered language, but “The Siblinghood of Humankind” just ain’t got that swing. Astute readers (or literate nine-year-olds, really) will have noticed by now that I have a teensy tiny little problem with authority, especially when other people have more of it than I do. It has occurred to me that I have long since passed the age when such authority issues are appropriate, and even the age... Read more »

A Sunday Poem

May 16, 2004 | 5 comments
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Here’s your RDA of George Herbert: IESU Iesu is in my heart, his sacred name Is deeply carved there: but th’other week A great affliction broke the little frame, Ev’n all to pieces: which I went to seek: And first I found the corner, where was ‘I’, After, where ‘ES,’ and next where ‘U’ was graved. When I had got these parcels, instantly I sat me down to spell them, and perceived That to my broken heart he was ‘I ease you,’ And to my whole is IESU. Read more »

A poem you will probably not hear read over the pulpit this Sunday

May 7, 2004 | 8 comments
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if there are any heavens my mother will (all by herself) have one. It will not be a pansy heaven nor a fragile heaen of lilies-of-the-valley but it will be a heaven of blackred roses my father will be (deep like a rose tall like a rose) standing near my (swaying over her silent) with eyes which are really petals and see nothing with the face of a poet really which is a flower and not a face with hands which whisper This is my beloved my (suddenly in sunlight he will bow, & the whole garden will bow)... Read more »

Thanks, Richard and Welcome, Ben!

April 26, 2004 | 4 comments
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Alas, today we bid farewell to guest blogger Richard Bushman, whose first entry broke records for the rate of immediate commenting (I’m guessing–not even Kaimi is nerdy enough to keep those statistics!), and whose last flurry of posts should keep us in interesting topics for a month or two! Thank you very much, Richard, for asking such good questions and helping us think about interesting things in new ways. Fortunately, we will not lack for good new discussions–Steve Evans continues his stint for another week, and today we welcome another guest, Ben Huff. Ben’s animal magnetism has been discussed... Read more »

Higher Powers

April 25, 2004 | 2 comments
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This morning as we were leaving for church, I ran over my daughter’s scooter, which she had left behind the mini-van. It was firmly wedged under the rear axle, with the handle bars turned to make removing it impossible. While we were puzzling over what to do, and trying to remember how to work the jack, Louisa (age 5) piped up, “I know what to do!” We immediately thought it was going to be one of those testimony meeting moments, where a child in sweet innocence asks for the immediate and practical help of angels. Our sappiness was quickly... Read more »