Blog Archives

Placing the Indian Placement Program

February 10, 2005 | 48 comments

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

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

“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

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

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
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

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 »

In the Cultural Hall

January 14, 2005 | 36 comments

The danger in telling people you write a little bit is that they then assume you can. Last week a friend from my ward called and asked me to write the libretto for a musical show she has been called to coordinate for the stake; a few of the creative decisions had already been made, she told me, but she needed me to write lyrics and a narrative frame for the story. The show is meant to commemorate the twenty-fifth anniversary of our stake, headquartered at the Butler Hill meetinghouse; the stake presidency had designated a “Sound of Music”... Read more »

The Way to Apply the Truth to (My) Life

January 10, 2005 | 23 comments

As I read yesterday’s text from the David O. McKay reader, “Jesus Christ: ‘The Way, the Truth, and the Life,’â€? I was struck by its repeated injunction to apply Christ’s words to our lives—and, more boldly, to extend that application into the world. I frequently hear admonitions of this sort urging me to liken the scriptures to myself, and inasmuch as this means merely that I must be a doer of the word and not a hearer only, I think I get it. But once I get down to the actual business at hand—that is, reading the scriptures and... Read more »

David O. McKay: Father, Teacher, Prophet

January 7, 2005 | 29 comments

On Sunday I received this year’s course curriculum for RS and Priesthood: a diminutive paperback with a striking portrait on the cover, entitled Teachings of Presidents of the Church: David O. McKay. Read more »

So Long, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehen and All the Rest

January 1, 2005 | 5 comments

Please join me in sending off our crack team of guest bloggers, Shannon Keeley and Brian Gibson, with our collective thanks. Invariably funny and occasionally controversial, their posts were a delightful addition–and one of them even made it onto the T&S favorites sidebar! We especially thank them for blogging over a difficult holiday period and soldiering on through more than their fair share of Christmas travel woes. Back to work taking over the universes of reality television and educational literature, you two! Read more »

Springtime in Winter

December 22, 2004 | 6 comments

After you try your hand at composing a haiku, take a chance on writing a Christmas story. All you have to do is supply the ending: a crotchety old cop is assigned to supervise a Christmas shopping trip for two needy kids, and after grudgingly performing the act of service he finds himself Read more »

Labute and the Beasts

December 17, 2004 | 171 comments

Speaking of Mormon masculinity, once-Mormon playwright Neil Labute premiered his new play this week, Fat Pig. Read more »

Welcome Shannon Keeley and Brian Gibson

December 14, 2004 | 14 comments

We’re pleased to introduce Shannon Keeley and Brian Gibson, our newest guest bloggers and our first co-blogging team. Read more »

Mormon Masculinity

December 8, 2004 | 106 comments

An exercise in historical imagination, if you please: you’re sitting in the tabernacle on a hot Sunday afternoon, Brother Brigham at the pulpit. Read more »

Fa La La La La

December 6, 2004 | 59 comments

It’s shockingly easy to make confessions on the internet, and I can’t resist making one of my own: Read more »

A Sense of Place

December 1, 2004 | 41 comments

It’s been five months since my family moved from the edge of the country to the middle, and I’ve never felt so out of place. The change of season is to blame, of course: it happened quite quickly, here, on the day before Thanksgiving, when the low sky let fall flurries of snow and something else, too–a dampening of the light that makes everything look different, somehow. I’m not pleased. Read more »

Reading, Recreation, and Redemption

November 20, 2004 | 32 comments

Well, it must be autumn again. Not only is my house threatening to sail away in a sea of leaves (mostly ugly brown oak, sadly), but I’ve been asked to teach a mini-class on literacy at Enrichment. The rhythm of the schoolyear is hard to resist, and almost every fall I’m asked to give a presentation on reading. I’m always happy to comply. This year, though, the notes to my standard presentation were lost in a cross-country move, so I’m asking myself–Why do I like reading fiction, again? Read more »

Notes on the Proclamation

November 15, 2004 | 58 comments

In the fall of 1995 I enrolled in a critical theories seminar; first out of the block was feminism. One afternoon in September, I sat at a carrel in the old reading room on the south side of the HBLL and wrote on the inside cover of my reader a personal manifesto of sorts: “Why I don’t believe in gender essentialism.â€? Less than a week later, I sat in the Marriott Center watching the Women’s Broadcast on the big screen, and heard President Hinckley say, “Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal and eternal identity and purpose.â€? Read more »

Against an LDS Theology of Conscience

November 12, 2004 | 24 comments

I’ve never seen the Disney version of “Pinocchio,â€? but I’ve absorbed by cultural osmosis the image of Jiminy Cricket cheerfully chirping, “Always let your conscience be your guide.â€? Our banal present-day version of conscience—and our uncritical acceptance of the concept as a stable psycho-spiritual category–belies the treacherous history of the idea. Read more »

Bowdlerizing the Book of Mormon

November 11, 2004 | 22 comments

This afternoon at lunch, my angelic three-year-old daughter said causally to her quesadilla, “I’m going to kill you by plunging my spoon into your heart.” Read more »

Dinner Theater, or Do We Consume Media?

November 8, 2004 | 89 comments

It was late spring in London, and just as the weather outside started warming up, things inside started heating up, too. Read more »