Blog Archives

I don’t even know if Maria is her real name!

September 4, 2007 | 71 comments

My neighborhood erupted a little while ago. The issue was immigration. I found out about the eruption when I was doing my visiting teaching. I won’t go into the details of the neighborhood fight, just a few lines I heard as I prepared to do a typical visit. “Maria is illegal, you know. She has her sister’s social security number. I don’t even know if Maria is her real name.” Read more »

God’s “plaiting” of evil

April 7, 2007 | 32 comments

This will not be a commentary but a question. And I really do want some answers. I’m posting it on T&S, but I hope bloggers from all over will add insights. I want a deeper understanding and recognize that people like Jim Faulconer, Kevin Barney, Julie Smith, and others who have studied the scriptures better than I and looked at the etymology of the words can help me understand. Read more »

Sitting in the Temple with Dad

February 27, 2007 | 14 comments

I remember sitting on my dad’s lap after I burned my bottom on our ancient heating pipes at Hoosier Courts, Bloomington, Indiana. I was four years old, so it was 1959. Read more »

Some Thoughts: 30 Years after President Kimball’s Plea to Mormon Artists

February 12, 2007 | 110 comments

We’ve all heard something like this before: “I can’t really claim credit for what I’m about to read, because it came to me as inspiration. God is the author.” The follow up is usually a poem which compares faith (or some other virtue) to a gate/ not a fate/ Spirits’ bait/ please don’t wait—or something Edgar A. Guest might have composed. You do not say anything. You do not voice the words in your head (“God must’ve been having a really bad day”) because you respect the sincerity of the writer—and maybe you recognize your own arrogance. (Surely the... Read more »

Random (an not necessarily organized) thoughts on blogging and other things

January 27, 2007 | 15 comments

Last week I read _The End of the Spear_, a book by Steve Saint about evangelical missionaries who had gone to the deep Ecuadorian jungles in the 1950’s. The first five missionaries were killed by the natives, but the son a slain missionary (the author himself) returned to the place where his father died. Read more »

Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration–what did you do?

January 18, 2007 | 51 comments

Over the past several days, I’ve attended some magnificent presentations at Utah Valley State College in commemoration on Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy. Besides asking myself the obvious (“Why aren’t we doing this kind of thing at BYU?”), I have been taking notes and thinking about how my life can change because of the things I’ve heard and been engaged in. Read more »

The human face calls us to responsibility–sometimes

December 29, 2006 | 67 comments

Years ago, I responded to one of those philanthropic commercials inviting viewers to request some “no obligation” information about their charitable organization. I requested it and soon received the photograph of a little girl in the Philippines, along with the invitation to sponsor her. How could I say no? There she was, looking right at me, calling me to responsibility. I had the means to provide for her, and surely I had to do it–and did. But a change has happened over the years. I now have a daughter with an eating disorder. On her binder, she has put... Read more »

Mr. Potter

December 6, 2006 | 30 comments

Are you bothered that Old Man Potter doesn’t get his just desserts in _It’s A Wonderful Life_? Read more »

Mother’s Blessings

November 27, 2006 | 29 comments

Last Saturday, I had lunch with my oldest daughter and her best friend, Adrea, who happens to be my best friend’s oldest daughter. My friend, Buffy, and I went through our first pregnancies laughing at ourselves and at each other, but also struggling in our new marriages. Read more »

To accompany Kaimi’s post

November 9, 2006 | 31 comments

How about lyrics which folks (especially children) often mis-hear? My mother was terribly ashamed of her parents when she saw that cherries were included for Sunday lunch, since they had just sung, “Cherries hurt you, cherries hurt you…” (Cherish virtue…) Read more »

Making Isaiah (and the rest of them) FUN

November 6, 2006 | 23 comments

I teach all of the youth in my ward. I suspect this is because nobody else will do it. Also, most of the youth (whether or not I’ve given birth to them) pretty much live at my house. So I am very able to tell them to behave and get a quick response. Read more »

Faith in the Shadow of Death

November 2, 2006 | 27 comments

My sister-in-law, Lynda, is dying of cancer. It was in remission for eight years, but has now returned and is in her bones. Read more »

We have nothing to apologize for–but should we do it anyway?

October 4, 2006 | 151 comments

I’ve been thinking about President Packer’s Sunday talk–mostly centered on the idea that we have nothing to apologize for in LDS history and should proudly defend our heroic, pioneering past. Read more »

Hagar and Sarah/Publish or Perish: The Obvious Parallels

September 21, 2006 | 31 comments

My husband is writing a book. Of course, this is nothing new. He is a professor. He is supposed to write books. Actually, he is required to write books if he wants a promotion. Read more »

All-expenses-paid Guilt Trips

September 12, 2006 | 110 comments

I had a beautiful experience last week. I went through the temple with one of my Sunday School students/neighbors, a young man headed to the MTC on Wednesday Sept. 13. Last week, another of my SS students/neighbors left for his mission. There is one other member of the neighborhood of age to serve a mission, but he will not be doing it. He is my son. Read more »

Working with Darius

September 1, 2006 | 16 comments

Alas, my other lives (teacher, wife, mother, producer and writer) are calling me, so I will contribute less frequently to T&S and other blogs–though this has been really fun. I promised to publish a post about writing the trilogy with Darius. I’ve written elsewhere about some of that experience–the miraculous parts–and thought I’d write here about the more difficult parts. The most obvious difficulty I dealt with in writing about Black Mormons and the history of the Church in regards to race was the research. Not the research per se–I loved doing that–but the things I... Read more »

Approaching a new semester

August 26, 2006 | 37 comments

I have been teaching English at BYU for over twenty years, focusing on creative writing for more than half of that time. As I contemplate fall semester in my new identity as a BLOGGER, I have been thinking about the conversations we teachers have with our students. Some might label the conversations lectures or lesson plans, but I always aim for an exchange–a luxury not all departments can afford. (I have no idea if Chris Grant could hold a conversation with me about math, though I doubt it–simply because I don’t speak the language.) Since I married one of... Read more »

Camels and needles’ eyes in Mormondom

August 21, 2006 | 105 comments

My daughter said recently that she had been raised to view extremely wealthy people as wicked. I was appalled, since I am one of the primary people who raised her. What messages had I communicated which elicited those words? I admit that my father, on first view of a cousin’s enormous mansion, said simply, “Well, that is obscene,â€? and that I have maybe repeated similar sentiments once or twice. I admit that my time living in 3rd World countries has affected my perceptions of wealth, and I have sometimes commented that the price of the richest homes in Utah... Read more »