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Meeting Irene

We live in a Northeastern state that was hit directly by Irene. Our house is just a block in from the ocean. We were in an area that was covered by a mandatory evacuation. Like all good Americans and 80% of my neighbors, we chose to ignore the evacuation order. I should note that the evacuation order was due to nervousness about a little bridge which is the only way into our neighborhood which meant that no emergency services would be available for 48 hours and not due to some risk of death. Given we are all healthy, our house is on a little hill, and we have hurricane proof windows, we chose to stay, instead of stay in the high school gym which was 1 mile down the road. The storm started fairly small on Saturday night, but by Sunday morning, it was blowing really hard. We had pulled out flashlights, some food, our 72 hour kit, and blankets and put them in our basement in case we needed them. I was feeding the kids breakfast at 7AM or so and the really hard winds hit. The house was shaking and I got a little scared. We were ready to vacate to the basement, but the wind shifted direction and the rest of the day the house never shook again. The trees would bend at some amazing angles and not break. It was amazing to watch. Here, here, and here are some youtube videos from the beach near our house that some idiot shot – it shows the power of the wind. We were amazed at the number of people who were walking or riding bikes and headed to the beach in the middle of the Hurricane. It sure did not seem smart to me. We lost a few limbs from the trees and a lot of leaves, but no other damage – oh, and our power was out for 36 hours. Anyone else meet Irene last weekend?

Jesus As A Marketing Tool (This post is by Living in Zion–we’re having issues)

Being a small business person, marketing is a big deal to me. I have read books about it, follow business blogs on line and try to stay aware of the latest information regarding how to let customers know I exist. None of that is unique. Every business deals with how to get people in the door.

My problem may come from being in a niche business, Alternative Medicine. In my line of work convincing prospective clients that I am legitimate and have their best interest at heart is a daily hurdle. Read more »

The “Cake Walk”

This morning my son asked me if I knew what a “cake walk” game is. I must admit I have not thought about cake walks for years. However, growing up in Utah, I fondly remember the cake walk at various Church activities and school activities. I won once – I remember it was in 4th Grade and at a Primary Activity we had a cake walk. It was a yellow cake from a box with chocolate frosting. I started to eat it with my hands on my way home. It was a good day for a 9 year old! Do they still have cake walks? I have never heard of one occurring in the East Coast where I have lived for 16 years.

It’s About Time

Whatcha think of this: “Hearing set for Mormon bishop accused of not reporting child sex abuse” —it’s a headline in the Tribune (and it was in my local paper as well). Here’s the link (realizing I’m link-challenged) http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/52448399-78/moon-church-abuse-report.html.csp.

It seems like there was one other case awhile back, but I can’t remember specifics. I’m glad they’re prosecuting here. I feel some compassion for the bishop because his ignorance is a result of conditioning and tradition, but the church has got to make improvements in the way it handles these types of situations. Read more »


I used to think being Mormon was difficult. As a young woman the rules for dress, dating, music, movies and entertainment seemed stifling. The popular ’80’s song with the line, ” You don’t smoke, you don’t drink, what do ya do?” was a very common question I had to answer at school. As I have matured, I have changed my mind. I have friends from lots of different religions that I think are much harder than being Mormon. Some examples are below:

1. Seventh-Day Adventists are strict vegetarians. They also don’t dance. (I love meat and dancing.) Read more »

Welcome to our new permablogger “Living in Zion!”

We’re delighted to welcome living in zion as a permablogger at Mormon Mentality. I’m personally excited to have another woman on board.
 Living in Zion ( Heather Young) is a 40ish year old convert to the Church. She was raised in foster homes, so she has been Catholic, Jewish, Baptist, Jehovah’s Witness and any other religion that was willing to send a ride to the foster home to save the children’s souls.  She has been Temple married for 24 years to a great guy who has put up with a lot of crap from her. She and her husband have three kids who managed to get through high school without  being in the press for anything other than being good kids. They are waiting for the birth of their first grandchild who is due to arrive in October.
Heather has been a Homeopathic Practioner for 13 years. She got into Alternative Medicine when her children were born with severe allergies and other illnesses that conventional medicine could not address. Like all mothers, she went in search of help for her children and Homeopathy is what worked. She trained in Homeopathy with the intention of keeping her family healthy. It  has snowballed into a full-fledged practice that many times has left her panting on the floor. She loves to talk about Homeopathy (especially the history of Homeopathy in US – facinating stuff.) but does not like to argue with closed-minded people. 
Her politics are constantly evolving and she chooses to remain an Independent voter to avoid exhausting arguements that don’t solve problems. This position has caused many a lively discussion at the famly dinner table but never at church.  

Food Stamp Nation? Clash Of The Ideologies…

There was an interesting article on Food stamp usage in the US. What surprised me was that 15% of the population is on food stamps or 46 Million people which is nearly double from 4 years ago. I was also struck by the comment that Food Stamps are an “implicit subsidy for low-wage jobs” and basically, disincent companies from paying higher wages.

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Tonopah, Nevada is an interesting town and was one of the places I lived as a girl. An old mining town, the hills around are dotted with mine shafts; some of the buildings from the 1800’s are still standing. As kids, we ran barefoot in the hills, pretending we were cowboys, making complicated sets out of whatever was lying around. Kids today don’t know how to play.

Our grandparents lived in a tiny four room house built into the side of one of the hills; they were our stability because our parents moved frequently—sometimes just around Tonopah, but often leaving on a whim for parts unknown as we crowded into Grandma’s house for an extended stay.

As usual, we were in the dregs of local society because of our parents’ shiftless ways and drunken public brawls. Outdoor toilets, no electricity, and hunger were part of our lives. And this was in the early 60’s! We felt a bit more security there because of our grandparents–we could always eat at Grandma’s. Read more »

Honesty & Alzheimer’s

With the sad passing of Elder Marion Hanks, the Church lost a great leader. One thing I found interesting is that the Church, a la the Deseret News, actually acknowledged he died of Alzheimer’s Disease which is a first in my view. Typically, we don’t acknowledge that our leaders would get such an ailment that would cause dementia (a la President Benson). However, data show that 1 in 8 people older than 65 years (approximately 13%) have Alzheimer’s Disease. Using these stats, you would assume that at least 1 of the Quorum of the 12 or First Presidency would suffer from the disease at any point in time (not saying any do). However, would the Church disclose this given it is a lifetime calling? Should it be disclosed? Should we allow someone to go “emeritus” if they suffer from a dementia?

Two Minus One Pregnancy

Recently the NY Times ran an article on mothers who are carrying twins who intentionally abort one of the fetuses and carry the other one to term and raise the child.

So as seen thru an LDS prism……. is this morally acceptable?

I vote no. Full disclosure I have a set of twins that were our third and fourth child born in 4 years. So yeah I am biased. Spare me the idea that its just to much work to have a set of twins and one of them should die.

It seems to me to be the ultimate in an abortion for Birth Control. I can’t imagine doing this and looking at the surviving twin and not feeling horrible guilt about the decision to kill the surviving twins sibling


I Believe the Joseph Smith Sphinx is True

We had a few hours to kill between family obligations when we visited Salt Lake City a few weeks ago, so I took my crew down to Gilgal to visit the Joseph Smith sphinx. Read more »

About Birds and Bees and Chastity

I have been asked to teach the lesson on The Law of Chastity in my Relief Society in a few weeks and I am pretty excited about it.  First, I just like Relief Society and I like teaching, and the combination is the most fun.  Second, I can think of a lot of ways this lesson could go wrong in some hands, so I hope to be able to keep it productive.  Third, it is kind of a unique topic.  Chastity is a bedrock social practice and belief, yet it is one that adults (perhaps especially women) and long-time members rarely, if ever, discuss.  Read more »

Questioning Adam and Eve…

NPR had a very interesting story this morning on Evangelicals who are questioning the validity of the Adam and Eve story based on the scientific evidence we have. In short, the genomic data suggests that it is impossible to have had fewer than 10,000 initial founders of the human race given the genetic variation within the human population today. It is interesting that evangelical scientists are questioning the validity as this is a very conservative movement – similar to Mormonism with regard to literalism of the scriptures. Within Mormonism, I think you have the same basic trend among Mormon scientists (at least in my experience with other Mormon scientists n=30 or so). The view I have heard (and agree with), is that Adam and Eve is a story about the creation, but it is not literal. There could have been people named Adam and Eve, but they are only representative of the creation of Humans. There is a lot more nuance than this obviously, but what do others think? But the key question to me is: Does the Gospel fall apart if Adam and Eve is downgraded to a story from literalism? I say no…

Farewell Chieko

I remember the first time I saw Chieko Okazaki in person. I looked out my dorm room window and there she was, walking down the sidewalk with two other women that I couldn’t name. It was a beautiful California spring day in 1996. I commented to my roommate, “There goes one of the most famous Mormon women in the world, walking behind our dorm of all places.” My roommate, not being a member or the least bit interested in Mormonism simply shrugged and didn’t even look out the window.
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The Huntsman dropout watch

Jon Huntsman will not be the Republican nominee in 2012 or ever. I am 100% convinced of this. When you run in a Republican primary you need to appeal to Republican primary voters. Huntsman has simply not done this. Check out the poll averages: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2012/president/us/republican_presidential_nomination-1452.html

Huntsman is not even measuring any support in the polls!!

To me this is no surprise. I am a Republican primary voter. (OK I voted once in a primary in 1996). Huntsman seems more like a Democrat to me. If I wanted a Democrat in office I would vote for a legit one. He is sending out the “I am a squish RINO” signals all over the place. Voters notice. Hence I predict that he will drop out in the next couple of months.

When do you think he will drop out?