Blog Archives

Call and Response

February 16, 2006 | 63 comments

Last night at 6:30 PM Pacific time, most members of my family dialed in to a conference call to Provo, Utah—to the lobby of Stover Hall on BYU campus, to be specific. My brother Benjamin—seventh child, sixth freshman at BYU, fifth missionary, third son, and a few days shy of nineteen—was about to open his mission call. Read more »

At Sixes and Sevens

February 13, 2006 | 26 comments

The high point in my Church career so far came at age two, when I stood and recited the first four Articles of Faith from memory in Sacrament Meeting . Alas, early precocity did not usher in mature perspicacity, and I confess that these days, while I can still recite most of the Articles as stand-alones with some accuracy, I’m hard pressed to string them together in any recognizable series. (I can, however, rattle off all the books of the Old Testament in order to the tune of “Praise to the Man,” thanks to the heroic efforts of my... Read more »

A Quick and Easy Way to Tell if Something You’re About to Say is Patronizing

January 31, 2006 | 32 comments

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Notice: Joseph Smith at the Library of Congress

January 11, 2006 | no comments

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December 27, 2005 | 68 comments

So which books molted beneath your tree and emerged Christmas morning? Let’s have them all, the good, the bad, the remaindered and the regifted. Read more »


November 4, 2005 | 69 comments

So my sister Rachel, having graduated the MTC, has just had her first real transfer. Read more »

Kinds and Reasons

November 2, 2005 | 24 comments

I recently read an article by Robert Winston, a British writer and television presenter, exploring the implications of evolution for religion and asking whether our earliest ancestors gained some competitive advantage from their shared religious feelings. Winston’s stuff was just okay, I thought; it was something else that caught my attention. Read more »

Holy Men and Hucksters

October 21, 2005 | 15 comments

This post is ostensibly by way of reminding our Southern California readership that it’s not too late to catch the last day of the Claremont Conference on Joseph Smith. It’s also an excuse for me to ruminate on the ever-engaging question of what sixteenth-century blogging might have looked like had they, you know, invented computers and the internet and everything. Here’s a possibility: Read more »

On the Blowing of Noses and the Bearing of Testimonies

October 18, 2005 | 16 comments

While I was running errands with my children one morning last week, I glanced up at the rearview mirror to see my four-year-old daughter’s finger probing her nostril. I reprimanded her, gently, and asked if she needed a tissue. “No thank you, Mom,” she answered cheerfully, “This kind comes out only by a fingernail, right?” Read more »

Heder-day Night Live

October 9, 2005 | 74 comments

Last night Jon Heder, star of Napoleon Dynamite, hosted “Saturday Night Live.” I caught a few of the sketches he played in, and one thing was pretty clear: the kid’s no Philip Seymor Hoffman. He’s amiable and sweet-faced, to be sure, but there’s a muddiness to his voice he can’t seem to clear, and his mouth, for all its soft pliability, is suprisingly unagile with dialogue. I haven’t seen his latest effort, a supporting role in the romantic comedy Just Like Heaven, but in my judgment he doesn’t have either the chops or the charisma to make a career... Read more »

Claremont Conference on Joseph Smith

October 4, 2005 | 8 comments

As part of our occasional series of announcements on important Mormon Studies events, we’re happy to publicize an academic conference entitled “Joseph Smith and the Prophetic Tradition,” sponsored by the School of Religion of the Claremont Graduate University and to be held on its Southern California campus on October 20 and 21. Read more »

Mother Eve Goes to Relief Society

September 7, 2005 | 59 comments

The August Ensign reprints a talk prepared by Elder Richard G. Scott for an international leadership training session in 2004; entitled “The Doctrinal Foundation of the Auxiliaries,” the piece outlines the functions and footings of the three female-led auxiliaries. Read more »


September 2, 2005 | 15 comments

Early this morning my children clattered out the door to the schoolyard across the street, where they returned to freedom a tiny ground frog they’d captured yesterday. Read more »

Mormon Studies Periodically: Bert Wilson and Mormon Folklore

July 12, 2005 | 29 comments

After a stimulating discussion following the first installment of this recurring feature, we’re happy to present the second, courtesy of the Association for Mormon Letters’ publication Irreantum, and exclusively accessible online at Times and Season. In keeping with its overall theme, the current issue of Irreantum features an interview with the eminent Mormon folklorist Bert Wilson. The interview is available for Times and Seasons readers to view here. Read more »

Imagining Bathsheba

July 8, 2005 | 61 comments

Recent weeks have seen stimulating (and occasionally heated) discussion of a July Ensign article on the life of Bathsheba W. Smith. The article, meticulously parsed by Justin Butterfield, omits, together with other biographical material, all references to Bathsheba Smith’s sister-wives and any reference to the polygamous families of her husband, George A. Smith. This conspicuous lacuna looks to many readers like a deliberate effort to edit the historical record, selectively striking embarrassing references to polygamy—and, in the process, variously flouting standards of historiography and simple honesty, dishonoring the memory of polygamous wives, and writing women out of Mormon history.... Read more »

Round Here We Stay Up

July 2, 2005 | 31 comments

very very very very late. I do, at least. It’s 11:41 presently, and I’m still planning to finish this post, fire off some comments, do my sit-ups and read the new Adam Gopnik in this week’s New Yorker before I turn in. Read more »

Who Are You?

June 23, 2005 | 127 comments

Or maybe what I really want to know is: Who am I ? Am I a feminist? Read more »

The MTC Diaries

June 17, 2005 | 60 comments

Today is Sister Rachel Frandsen’s twenty-fourth day in the MTC, her fourth Friday and, right about now, probably something like her sixty-eighth meal in the cafeteria. Read more »

Reading in the Sand

June 14, 2005 | 52 comments

The first thing you need to know about what happened is that it’s not about doubt. This is not the story of how I lost my testimony. I’m as committed to the church and as convinced of the reality of the restoration now as I was before what happened on Friday night. This is a story about reading, and how to do it. Read more »

New Feature: Mormon Studies Periodically

June 6, 2005 | 16 comments

Times & Seasons is proud to announce an innovative partnership with BYU Studies, a leading venue for Mormon Studies scholarship and publishing. Read more »

Mormon Studies Periodically: Episode I

June 6, 2005 | 28 comments

This first installment features Scott H. Faulring’s article, “An Examination of the 1829 ‘Articles of the Church of Christ’ in Relation to Section 20 of the Doctrine and Covenants,” available here. The long title introduces a careful examination of a fascinating document: the 1829 “Articles of the Church of Christ,” composed by Oliver Cowdery, is a little-known forebear to D&C 20, the 1830 “Articles and Covenants.” Faulring’s thorough treatment includes a discussion of the relationship between the two documents, a close summary of the “Articles,” and a complete holograph photographic reproduction of the handwritten text. The article raises compelling... Read more »

Stay-in-School Mothers

May 16, 2005 | 96 comments

Recently a T&S reader emailed me asking for my advice on the graduate school questions: is graduate education a worthwhile option for a young woman who intends to have children? I wrote back to her (rather astonishing myself at how much I found to say), and I’ve posted here my reply. Read more »

Mater Abscondita

May 10, 2005 | 61 comments

Gordon’s post has prompted, not surprisingly, a torrent of discussion, which now seems to have veered off into a rather different streambed. I want to paddle up to a stream of the conversation that branched off a while back, taking another look at the presumptions behind the “absent mother.” Read more »

The Sea All Water

May 8, 2005 | 7 comments

(Note: We seem to have something of a glut of Mother’s Day posts. By all means, read Julie’s and Kristine’s before mine.) Motherhood rose around me like a tide in the weeks after my daughter’s birth. Each night advanced toward me, implacable as a wave, my panic and dread rising like froth up a beach until the moment of submersion, when, wondrously, I found I could float. Few things in life have come to me as arduously as motherhood came, and nothing else has revealed itself as suddenly. Read more »