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If your 14 year old daughter was pregnant what would you do?

One of my employees recently learned that her 14 year old freshmen in HS daughter was pregnant. The Mom who is non LDS but church attending whom we will call D for the purposes of this thread was for the self evident reasons shocked, saddened, embarrassed all wrapped up in one. For now anyway the plan is to adopt the baby out thru a adoption agency upon birth therefore giving the child the best chance at life. (my employees words)

What role does a parent have in deciding for a minor child what to do with an unexpected pregnancy? Can the parent legally force the girls hand?

My church exp. is that church leaders will normally encourage expectant unmarried mothers to adopt the child out. I agree that this is the best option. Most potential unmarried LDS mothers and their parents resist this idea in my experience. There seems to be a great deal of grey area here as well in our culture on adoption vs none adoption besides what seems to be the official party line that adoption is the best option. On Sunday I stood in the circle while a grandfather blessed a child that had been fathered by one of my former YM from 5-8 years ago. He is now 23 and “somewhat engaged” to the child’s mother. He has a decent job and seems to be trying his best to make right of a tough situation. I don’t think its right to encourage adoption in this situation. Best for this young man and his fiancee to try and make a go of it. I could feel his grandfathers heart breaking as he blessed this child for the best possible outcome in life.

What is your experience/opinion on this complicated issue?

Filtering Philemon

Recently in Gospel Doctrine we discussed Paul’s Epistle to Philemon. Philemon is very short epistle that doesn’t get discussed much. In short, an escaped slave named Onesimus has somehow met up with an imprisoned Paul. Many details are unclear, but Paul sends Onesimus back to his master Philemon with this epistle in hand. The purpose is for Onesimus to return to his master and ask Philemon for forgiveness.

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Deseret News is kind of meaningful…….

As I’ve written before, we’ve started taking the Sunday edition of the Deseret News, which includes the Church News. It’s possible that what we get is a Readers Digest version because there’s no local news or comics in what we receive and we receive it on Saturday. So today’s paper included the November 27, 2011 edition of the Deseret News.

We kind of trashed the paper awhile back and I’ve been a bit disdainful ever since in my approach to reading it. I don’t know exactly how I’d categorize it—-there’s no real news, but this morning I was struck by several articles that I feel are quite meaningful and good food for thought.

Guess what? Nate Oman wrote an opinion piece titled “US uniquely obsessed with church-state conflicts”! And guess what else? He has a mustache and goatee. I wonder about his thesis—I never considered that church v state is a US issue. Perhaps we got this from our forefathers fight to practice their religion freely and now it’s evolved into a “save the state from religion” instead of “save the religion from the state” kind of deal. Read more »

Jacob I Have Loved

As I read the scriptures, I am always looking for the story. I get bored by long passages of exhortations, lists of genealogy and symbolism run amuck. The books of Isaiah and Revelations – shoot me now, please.

Since I really only remember stories and am a miserable failure at rote scripture memorization, my knowledge of the scriptures is nowhere near scriptorium level. It isn’t even up to Gospel Doctrine standards. The last time I was comfortably able to talk about the scriptures without a lesson manual guiding me was when I taught a nursery class that Jesus loved them.

I am telling you all of this so you have a context for this post. I have a testimony of the gospel. It is founded solidly on the Book of Mormon. I find the Old Testament a scary book of horrible things done to women and a version of God I am not particularly fond of. The Dude has anger management issues. Read more »

You are Special, You are the Only One. There is No One Like You

Every family has its way of doing things. Celebrations, holidays, religious observance, even household chores are done in a way that suits that group of people. We each adapt to our unique situation and get cozy with it. It is human nature. Of course the sparks fly when marriage happens and negotiations begin on how this new family is going to cut the turkey, trim the tree or bake a cake. New versions of traditions emerge.

Our family has been celebrating Thanksgiving in our own style for years. I don’t know of anyone who does what we do, and certainly not for the same reason. Two years ago one of our daughters was engaged during Thanksgiving and her fiancé wanted to know what to expect. Our daughter knew what we did, she just didn’t know why. Like all good traditions there was no explanation for our habit, it was just how it is done. (cue the soulful fiddler swaying on the roof as the song “Tradition” is played from Fiddler on the Roof.)
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Over the River and through the Woods: Recipe Edition

In our case, grandmother’s house is only 20 minutes a week and we visit regularly anyway, but this time we’ll eat turkey.  A friend posted this recipe on her blog and she claims it is fantastic.  Maybe I’ll try to commondeer the corn dish and substitute this this year.  What do you think?


Incredible Cream Corn
2 lbs. frozen white baby corn (thawed)
24 ounces whipping cream
3 Tblsp melted butter
4 Tblsp flour
2 tsp salt
4 Tblsp sugar
white pepper
Parmesean cheese Read more »

I Just Can’t Do This Anymore

I love America as much as the next citizen who was born here and who has never traveled out of its borders. I think like all countries we have our strengths and weaknesses. The one strength I read about all the time is our democracy. Compared to other countries who are ruled by despots, dictators and bad guys (who we feel compelled to go to war against) we are free to vote our leadership in and out of office. Isn’t it grand?

That brings me to a weakness I haven’t read a thing about lately. It’s our democracy. The same freedom we have to hold elections and vote, has gotten completely out of hand. This current presidential election season is nuts. I noticed the problem last go round, when Obama formally announced the opening of his campaign for presidency TWO YEARS before elections. I’m sure other candidates have done the same and I just didn’t pay attention. I don’t think Mitt Romney ever stopped campaigning from his last attempt. It has become his full-time occupation. On his IRS forms where it asks Occupation, he writes Candidate.

Yes, because I live in Iowa the whole situation is magnified for me. Those of you who live in a small area not worthy of visits from every shape of presidential wannna-be, be grateful. You get to watch regular car commercials on tv and listen to crappy music on your radio instead of being bombarded by endless, 24-hour political news cycles where every time a hapless candidate picks their nose it has to be discussed, dissected and his chances for presidency measured against his competitors latest gaffe.

It is so friggin’ tedious and we still have a full year left of it before the next election. I don’t think I have the will left to enjoy my share of democracy. It has been completely sucked out of me. I am so, so over my right to listen to potential presidents each take frantic turns at the lectern trying to convince me they are the smartest, handsomest, and most qualified person to ever run for office . Stop the ride, I want off.

Lest you think I am anti-America or just rambling on and on about my own personal agenda, I have come up with some real world examples to put this situation into context. These vignettes should make your spine tingle with fear and loathing.

1. A young man/woman can repent of their youthful sins and commit themselves to serving the Lord on a mission. They put in their papers, visit the doc, go shopping for missionary socks and wait for their mission call. They get the call, pack and report to Provo, UT. They learn a foreign language in the MTC. They fly around the world, learn how to teach the gospel in another language, become fluent in that culture, learn to love the people and after 18 or 24 months they return home. First thing they see as they exit the plane in their hometown? A billboard for a presidential candidate who is STILL campaigning for the same race he was actively campaigning for BEFORE the kid left on his mission.

2. A person can lose their job (due to these unfortunate economic times), spend 3 months looking for another job in their now defunct career field before slumping into full-time despair. They spend a few months on the couch, watching mindless tv until their cable is shut off due to nonpayment. The home teachers come to visit and help him shake off the funk of despondency by giving him a catalog of courses available at the local community college to start a new career. “Yes! This I shall do.” the person vows and immediately picks a new, rewarding job and signs up to start classes. Here is a short, non-comprehensive list of job training the person can indulge in while utterly unemployed:

Surgical Technologist
Automotive technology
Automated drafting
Licensed Practical Nurse
Preschool Teacher
Emergency Medical Technician
Computer Technician
Medical Coding and Billing Specialist
Fire Management Specialist
Computerized Accounting Specialist

After considering all the many options open only in America, the person takes classes, graduates and begins working their new field. For example: One year intensive training to become a hairdresser then six months on the job training to get decent in the craft. If that hairdresser lived in Iowa, they best be prepared to have a presidential candidate come through the door, looking for a haircut from a real, live working person. All of this happens while the politician is STILL campaigning for the same presidential race.

And my last and I think, best example, of how ridiculously long presidential campaigns are:

3. A man and woman meet at a young adults dance in Utah. They date for 4 months, decided to marry and are engaged for another 4 months. They get married, move into BYU married student housing and get pregnant. The baby is born healthy and strong. Time flies and soon the baby is crawling, cutting teeth and eating table food. All the while, the political candidates are STILL campaigning for the same race.

I’m telling ya. It is C-R-A-Z-Y.

All those in favor of a new three month limit on presidential campaigns, say AYE.

The Deseret News Has its Banner of Heaven Moment

Over a year ago the Deseret News announced major changes at the paper. I expressed my pessimism about the nature of these changes and the direction the paper was headed.

Part of these changes involved emulating the Huffington Post, a trashy news recycler, by allowing random people to write for the paper as unpaid correspondents. One of these correspondents turns out to not have been an actual person. However this fake person supplied a headshot of himself (actually a photo of an athlete unrelated to the scandal) and a false name. Then he wrote several articles for the paper. Sound familiar?
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Reflections on the presidential “race.”

Haven’t begun to decide who will get my vote about this time next year. Such a mish-mash of candidates on the Republican side. Disappointed with Obama.

I think Perry and Romney’s physical resemblance is kind of funny. Were I their handlers, I’d have my guy get his hair cut really short and increase the gray. It strikes me that appearances matter very much here. Because who knows what they really believe or will do as president? We have to see how they handle themselves under pressure. It’s a beauty contest is what it is.

So…..a lot to laugh at, guess that makes the presidential race a sitcom as well. “I’m not a witch.” Bachmann’s non-answers. “I’m terrific” is her basic response to any question. Herman Cain should have his own show….no—the guy with the cigarettes should have HIS own show. Two Dudley Do-rights. A sitting president looking rather aimless and pointless.
He reminds me a bit of Chevy Chase’s character in “Community.” Jon Huntsman’s kids made a really funny video which makes me think twice about him. You make me laugh—you can catch me. Read more »

Knife-Wielding Sister Missionaries Kick Butt!

Feast your eyes on this. Read more »

Thanks To President Packer All My Problems Are Solved

I just got the fall general conference edition of the Ensign. I like reading the talks and catching the nuggets I missed while listening. This time, my first nugget came from the Priesthood session. Since I am woman I didn’t get to hear this live, but I am glad I got it now. It is a big weight off my shoulders. Pres. Boyd K. Packer gave a talk entitled Counsel to Youth that has answered a question I have carried for years.

Growing up I had a colorful grandma. She was an adult convert to the church so she had a lifetime of religious traditions she incorporated into her new faith. One of the things she was taught as a child and firmly believed was that the world would end in 2012. Everyone in her rural community believed the same. They knew about the Mayan calendar and that it ended in 2012. I grew up knowing that was grandma’s opinion about the future. Read more »

Public Service Announcement: Sick Day

I called in sick to Church last Sunday.  As a Sunday School teacher, I always feel a little guilty about that kind of thing, but who else is going to keep the Sunday School presidency on their toes, if not teachers who need last minute substitutes?  No one in my family actually felt that bad, but I knew we sounded contagious and I didn’t want to worry anyone in nursery or primary. Read more »