Blog Archives

Mater Abscondita

May 10, 2005 | 61 comments
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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
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(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 »

Pictures of You

May 7, 2005 | 31 comments
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The current issue of BYU Magazine, organ of the Alumni Association and tireless fundraising vehicle, is in mailboxes now–or, if your dining room table looks like mine, buried under gleaming drifts of your husband’s voluminous correspondence with the American Medical Association. Read more »

The End-Stopped Line

May 2, 2005 | 34 comments
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Sixteen years ago today, May 2, 1989, was a Tuesday. I got up and went to school that morning, along with my three other school-age siblings; I was fourteen, in ninth grade, an everting adolescent just starting to worry about my weight, thinking about my first AP exam in a few weeks. My mother probably stayed in most of that day, occupied with our new two-month-old, Abraham, and the three other home-age children. My dad went to work, and then to a school board meeting that evening. My grandma was in town, too, visiting for a few weeks. Read more »

Friday I’m in Love

April 22, 2005 | 37 comments
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It’s Friday morning, and the house is full of the feeling that something good is just around the corner. Nothing is, of course: I have no plans for tonight, tomorrow brings no particular respite from the daily round, the weekend provides no special bookmark in the text of my life, these days. Well, there is the adults-only session of Stake Conference on Saturday night, I guess. Still, though, Friday tastes good, like movies and loud music and books and beds and restaurants and release. Yeah, you could say I’m in love. Read more »

Bon Appetit at the Ward Dinner

April 19, 2005 | 58 comments
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Speaking of dreams, I have a recurring nightmare that I’ve been called to a church position whose primary purpose is to produce food for large numbers of people: you know, activities chair, primary teacher, stake Relief Society president. I’m convinced I would fail more spectacularly at this task than any other woman in the ward, nay the whole stake, even unto the entire region. So spectacular would be my failure that baby meals sign-up clipboards would discreetly avoid me in RS, and the missionaries would rustle up a discussion rather than risk dinner at the Welch’s. I was convinced... Read more »

Night Light: “Without Conscience”

April 15, 2005 | 39 comments
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This week’s New England Journal of Medicine opens with an essay by Elie Wiesel entitled “Without Conscience.” The essay asks how Nazi doctors, who played a horrifically crucial role in the organized cruelty of the Holocaust, came to betray the Hippocratic oath, their consciences, humanity. Read more »

A Numbers Game

April 7, 2005 | 60 comments
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I think our Stake Executive Council must be scheduling its meetings right after the TV show “Numb3rs.” Either that or tax season is getting to everyone. Read more »

Thinking Mormon Philosophy and Theology

April 5, 2005 | 27 comments
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A few days after I returned from my trip to New York, I packed the suitcases again–this time with the children’s pajamas and toothbrushes, too–and flew to Utah for the annual conference of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology, where I was slated to read a paper. Read more »

Here and There in Mormon Art

March 29, 2005 | 19 comments
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Last month I kindly provided my husband some uninterrupted bonding time with his children and flew to New York City for a few days. On the recommendation of a friend (bloggernacle personality D. Fletcher), I stopped by Lane Twitchell’s current art show, “Here & There,” at the Greenberg Van Doren gallery in midtown. Read more »

Ensign Marginalia

March 25, 2005 | 56 comments
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I can’t read without a pencil in my hand, and my greatest vice is pencilling in the margins of library books. In my defense, I can argue that at least I’m not breaking the golden rule: I love reading other people’s marginalia, too. When I was in graduate school, I came to recognize the distinctive notations of my advisor in the margins of the books we both borrowed from the library, and I learned almost as much from his notes as from the texts themselves. Every once in a while I’d take home a book to find my own... Read more »

Terry Schiavo and the Good Death

March 21, 2005 | 137 comments
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Last weekend at the conference of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology, Richard Sherlock presented a stimulating paper observing and explaining the complete absence of an LDS casuistry of medical ethics–that is, the absence of a body of literature exploring in a careful, ethically- and scripturally-bound way the trade-offs inherent in the excruciating panoply of choice that modern medicine demands of bereaved families and dying patients. This sort of literature abounds in most other religious traditions, made available to priests, pastors and rabbis as they counsel with congregants staggering through the worst day of their lives; Mormon bishops,... Read more »

Introducing Guest Blogger Naomi Frandsen

March 8, 2005 | 10 comments
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I’m happy to announce that Naomi Frandsen will be joining Times & Seasons during the next two weeks as our newest guest blogger. Read more »

Richard Dutcher on Mormon Cinema

March 1, 2005 | 159 comments
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Noted LDS filmmaker Richard Dutcher recently addressed the Southern California-based Miller-Eccles Study Group. Read more »

Approaching Nibley

February 23, 2005 | 142 comments
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Yesterday the postman delivered the latest installment in the collected works of Hugh Nibley, volume 15, Apostles and Bishops in Early Christianity. At a modest 254 pages, the volume has quite a bit to say about church history, record keeping, authority, change and apostasy. It may have even more to say about the life-cycle of Mormon Studies. Read more »

Technologies of Family

February 18, 2005 | 26 comments
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I experience flashes of poetry, but I was assigned an unreliable muse in the heretofore, alas. My moment of greatest poetic inspiration arrived when I was twelve or thirteen, on a trip across country in our fifteen-passenger Ford van. My mother devised a contest among us siblings to compose the best family cheer, and, motivated as I always have been by competition, I came up with these four immortal lines: Get the baby, shut the door! What’s for dinner? We want more! Though we’re busy and sometimes mad, The Frandsen family is really rad! Needless to say, I won... Read more »

Love Requited: Fidelity in Marriage

February 14, 2005 | 66 comments
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In honor of Valentine’s Day, a love simile: If married love were chocolate, it would be have to be a bittersweet dark, because no chalky milk or bland white could adequately convey the depth, complexity, and challenge of fidelity in marriage. Read more »

Placing the Indian Placement Program

February 10, 2005 | 48 comments
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Two weeks ago I caught a few minutes of a story on NPR about the Church’s Indian Placement Program. Read more »

Unrequited Love

February 7, 2005 | 91 comments
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I just finished a ravishing little novel called “The Confessions of Max Tivoli.” It begins, “We are each the love of somebody’s life.” Read more »

From the Pulpit: “A Mantic Celebration of the Holy Spirit”

February 6, 2005 | 5 comments
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“I wish to celebrate this morning the reality of the often ignored and too little heralded but very real outpouring of the Spirit of God upon the believing inhabitants of earth–right now, this morning, in the early evening of the last dispensation.” Read more »

Marrow and Fatness: LDS and BMI

February 1, 2005 | 80 comments
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My husband’s grandfather once uttered a one-liner that has made its way into family lore. Surveying a particularly, uh, well-endowed session of temple patrons, he said, “We may be a chosen people, but we are a corpulent people.” Read more »

From the Pulpit: Notes on Repentance

January 23, 2005 | 17 comments
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In the noble tradition of literary hacks who never miss an opportunity to recycle old material, here are the interesting bits of a sacrament meeting talk I delivered in church today. Repentance is, at its simplest, a turning away from sin and a returning to God. Read more »

An Interview with Neil LaBute

January 19, 2005 | 3 comments
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An Interview with Neil LaBute

Writer, director and playwright Neil LaBute has been producing provocative and critically-acclaimed theater, film and fiction for more than a decade in the US and abroad. Read more »

For JV on January 17

January 17, 2005 | 7 comments
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JV is the kind of person one notices right away in an LDS chapel, the kind of person one remembers. I’d seen her at various stake activities after I moved with my new husband into our micro-studio apartment in a transient-urban ward; when we moved into student housing in the neighboring transient-student ward the next year, hers was one of the few familiar faces that greeted us that first Sunday. It was impossible not to like her instantly: JV is outgoing, exuberant, affectionate, interested, and an intent listener. She also happens to be African-American. Read more »