Author: Marjorie Conder

Relief Society

In my intro bio to T&S I said, “In truth a substantial part of my heart is in Relief Society—not for what it is now but for what I feel it can and must yet become.”

Sacred???? Santa

We could hardly we accused of being “Bah, humbug.” We have a holiday season filled with light, music, food, family, gifts and most important love. Also, as far as I can tell, we consistently pass the “grandkid test.” We are just not very traditional in our approach.


For several years running I submitted some version of the following editorial to the Deseret News. Last year they finally published it. You may well guess it was controversial, as of course I knew it would be. I will have more to say on the subject of Santa, but first I want your initial reaction to this piece.

A cautionary tale

We had a large garden before we had lawn when we bought our home in the early 1960s. During my “domestic phase” years I felt obligated to preserve—can, freeze, pickle, dry, etc. as much as possible. (We even have a root cellar on our suburban lot.)


I find light in all its iterations compelling. I often sit crossed legged in front of our bedroom fireplace with a fire and/or just a candle on the hearth. Sometimes I listen to music or beat a drum as I watch the flames. Sometimes I just sit.

Holiday Surprises and Flexibility

We have always been clear that that our married children have two sides to their new families and we have also made it clear that while we may invite them to everything we also don’t want to hog their time or force them into difficult choices.

Welcome the Season!

Since we are entering the holiday season I am thinking about building some of my posts around the holidaies and maybe some of my evolving ideas of a personal liturgical calendar. I seem to have needed this calendar all of my life and over the last ten years or so I have been actively and successfully pursuing it, including a thoroughly Mormon Passover and some beginning stabs at celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles.

The Muddle

This last week has again brought into sharp focus one of my more important discoveries of the past decade. It is “The Muddle” and I am surprised and appalled that I was so old before I figured it out. On the off chance some of you have not yet figured it out, here is my take on the subject.