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Wanted in November: Scared, angry people who are filled with hate

Princess Buttgold was so doted on that she was sometimes difficult, although most of the time she was sweet and charming. But she had a weird kind of jealousy where if I complimented one of her friends, she’d say “oh, so I’m not?” or, “oh, so you love her and not me?” It drove me crazy.

A few days ago I criticized an article about Romney’s job as bishop that someone had posted in facebook and the person who posted it asked me something like “don’t you think they do this to Obama, too?” And I thought of Sarah’s fractured logic. Read more »

Book Review: “Why I Stay”

I ordered this book because it popped up while I was ordering Joanna Brooks’ book. I’m so glad I did. I devoured it, feeling much the same elation as I did when I found Times and Seasons. These twenty authors (compiled by Robert A. Rees, published by Signature Books) speak my language.

As I read, I was struck by recurring themes that I want to share with you (this review might be continued): Read more »

The Talk I Will Someday Give

In the April General Conference, President Uchdorf spoke about forgiveness. He reminded listeners of the need to forgive as Christ taught, “Forgive one another, for he that forgiveth not…(stands) condemned before the Lord; for there remaineth in him the greater sin.”

He also noted the common trap people make when it comes to the idea of forgiveness. “We make exceptions when it comes to own bitterness because we feel that, in our case, we have all the information we need to hold someone else in contempt.” Of course. When I am upset, it is righteous anger. When you are upset, you are unreasonable. You might even need anger management therapy.

President Uchodorf gave two suggestions on how to not judge others and forgiving. The first suggestion made me smile. Stop it. “When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following: Stop it!” I have always been a fan of simple solutions. Read more »

Storing Blessings

In the February 2010 Liahona President Thomas S. Monson had this to say about patriarchal blessings:

“Your patriarchal blessing is yours and yours alone. It may be brief or lengthy, simple or profound. Length and language do not a patriarchal blessing make. It is the Spirit that conveys the true meaning. Your blessing is not to be folded neatly and tucked away. It is not to be framed or published. Rather, it is to be read. It is to be loved. It is to be followed. Your patriarchal blessing will see you through the darkest night. It will guide you through life’s dangers. … Your patriarchal blessing is to you a personal Liahona to chart your course and guide your way. …” Read more »

Oh, the Things You Will Learn!

When my husband and I were married college students with children, we took advantage of a little-known federal mortgage program that gave housing loans to low-income families. The goal was to keep rural towns alive at a time when people were fleeing the country to find jobs in the city. That is how we ended up in Windsor, Colorado and became friends with the most interesting older person we have ever met.

The older part is important because up until that time, we had no personal experience with anyone in retirement beyond grandparents and extended family. The crucial distinction is that with family, we knew their life stories but they knew little of our daily lives. Twenty-something kids just don’t have much in common with old folks. Or so we thought.

Forest “Stoney” Stonemets introduced himself at church shortly after we moved into our first house. He was average height, 5’9ish, with a full head of white hair and blue watery eyes that age sometimes brings. Wearing his Sunday suit it was impossible to detect his well-developed arm and leg muscles, born of years of hard work. He was chatty and curious, asking questions of us that signaled more than passing politeness. Read more »

Welcome, Sunshine!

We are pleased to announce that Sunshine is joining Mormon Mentality! We welcome her insight and chutzpah and know you’ll enjoy her posts.

Sunshine is a happily married mother of four children, ages 2 through almost-12, who also works as a midwife. She enjoys the wondrous process of helping to bring life into the world and has had all her children at home, so she is able to relate to those young mothers who want a natural home birth. A lifelong Mormon, she has an avid curiousity and an open mind that allows for life’s circumstances that don’t fit into the cookie cutter mold.

Sunshine has worked her butt off in the Young Womens program and is now working in the nursery of her ward. She’s looking forward to adding Mormon Mentality to her to-do list. Whenever I see her posts or comments, I think “Good Morning, Merry Sunshine!” She’d probably think that was hokey, but it makes me feel good.


I don’t think we realize how different our faith is between generations until we’re staring straight at it, and even then we’re searching for the familiarities of our own. Read more »

Oh, my Dog….

This morning as I watched the morning news shows, I was dismayed to hear that President Obama ate dog as a child. Not dismayed that he did it, but dismayed to hear about it. For crying out loud. American politics is/are (?) the stupidest of human events.

We have dogs and love them. They’re part of our family. Dogs have funny personalities—ours do anyway. Our first family dog was Emily, a white Chihuaha mix, whose loyalty to James can’t be overstated. We got her when the vet, who lived a couple of houses away, sent her to our house with four little boys, who said “Doc says he’s going to put her to sleep if you don’t give her a home.” She was worth it, quiet and sweet. Read more »

Perky, big, small–We’re all the same (After All)

Since I have become a member of the blogging world I have read many articles pertaining to modesty. Being raised in the church I was taught the belief that modesty starts at a young age. Beliefs like not allowing your 3 year old wear a sleeveless dress because she will, most assuredly, grow up to be a slut, or worse get pregnant. I bought into those beliefs and for the most part bought clothing that I felt or was taught was modest. Through the years I’ve come to understand that modesty isn’t ‘just’ about the clothing. Tracy M, a very popular blogger, wrote a most exceptional piece on modesty. I loved it and it opened my eyes as to what I was missing, and how I wasn’t including a persons actions to be modest. That post helped me let go of all the old beliefs about modesty and helped me embrace all my new ones.
Read more »

CS Lewis rocks

I discovered CS Lewis totally by accident, in the pell-mell way I tend to approach most things. He had me at “hello.” I plan to spend a lot of time with him–and Walt Whitman, when I die. I might not mind being the plural wife of CS Lewis, actually. MIGHT not. I might, too. Never know. But when I was looking for that quote, I found (in some cases, rediscovered) these great quotes. There are probably thousands of others. Thought I’d share Mr. Lewis’ wonderful foods for thought (however it’s grammatically correct) with you guys. What a guy. A confirmed bachelor and atheist who fell head over heels in love with God and woman. Can’t wait to meet him.

“The great thing is, if one can, to stop regarding all the unpleasant things as interruptions in one’s own or real life. The truth is, of course, that what one regards as interruptions are precisely one’s life.” Read more »

Young Love

My dear, sweet, intensely committed-to-the-gospel daughter has been home from her mission for four months now. When she first got home, she decided attending the local single’s branch wasn’t for her. She was much more comfortable attending our family ward, where she spent Sunday meetings hanging out with the sister missionaries. It was lovely and devoted, but seemed to be keeping her in missionary mode rather than transitioning back to the Real World.

After a few weeks of comfortable family church attendance, our daughter got the spiritual impression she needed to be in the single’s branch. She did not want to go but decided that was where she should be.

Listening to her describe her fellow young single worshippers, Rob and I were transported back to our days in the purgatory known as the Singles Ward. It reminded us why on our wedding day we were not consumed with feelings of romantic love, rather we both thought, “Thank goodness I’ll never have to worry about dating ever again.” We did not enjoy the dating scene at all. It was awkward, embarrassing and every first date felt like Decisions Must be Made. Nothing was spontaneous or fun, it was all orchestrated into one never-ending episode of the reality show “Are you the One?” Ugh. Read more »

To all the food I’ve loved before…..

I made Tilapia for dinner last week and as I was stirring up the sauce (Bill has to have catsup and miracle whip for his fried fish), I had a sudden memory of when I was 14 and living with my grandmother in Tonopah. It was the only house Grandma ever owned, a little four room shack, really. It was built into the side of a hill. I’ll write more about Grandma another time. But I loved lettuce and tomato salad with Miracle Whip on it. That was a treat for me.

Now, I kind of can’t believe I ate that, but Miracle Whip was the absolute bomb. I remember one peaceful afternoon–no one was home and I stirred up some Miracle Whip with the lettuce and tomatoes (nothing else, I thought that was what salad was!) and I felt on top of the world. I don’t think I tasted Ranch dressing until maybe 1975?? Read more »

The Prince of Peace

Brian Duffin put out a call for the bloggernacle to post on this topic, but ended up leaving the country and I don’t think it ever got organized. The subject itself—with an emphasis on eschewing war—makes me feel guilty. Because I’m war-like by nature. I’ve spoken loudly and proudly against the Iraq war, but felt we should have retaliated against the Taliban and Al Queda. “We should make a parking lot out of Afganistan” I said a lot in those days after 9/11.

But, in my heart of hearts, I know I’m a lucky duck and should be more charitable I am grateful and thank God often that I have hot and cold running water–and plenty of it—a soft bed in a warm home. I don’t worry about being dragged from that bed and gang raped by soldiers or my children being blown up by a car bomb. My heart aches for the mothers of Afganistan and those in Africa and elsewhere that war flourishes.. Read more »

And Here She Is —-Introducing the Fabulous, Supendous “NewlyHousewife”

On the cover she’s your average female married LDS. Went to school, got married, had a kid, and stays at home to care for said kid. Dig deeper and you’ll find she’s quite cynical about life, doesn’t really enjoy parenting at the moment, and still hasn’t made up her mind on how she feels about marriage. She averages once to twice a month on the scale of Sunday attendance, so yes she’s considered active.
NewlyHousewife does not have a working car during the day and bides her time at home by watching unhealthy amounts of reality television, nursing, and mingling here and there on the web. She has no idea what she wants to do in life and plans on returning back to school in the fall on an extremely part-time basis.

She turns 21 in April, but don’t let her young age fear you. As a naïve, inexperienced young adult she has boatloads of knowledge on random subjects that really don’t matter. Right now she is just beginning her dive into the pool of church history, so forgive her if she is unaware of basic facts. Having a poorly funded library, and poorly paid wallet, has limited her learning to the online realm, good and bad.

NewlyHousewife runs two blogs, one called “Life as Bryan’s Wife” which deals with everyday grievances, and “Parenting with Ushers” which deals with vision/hearing loss and parenting. Since she’s busy with said reality television, nursing, and mingling here and there on the web, one can rightly assume both blogs are not frequently updated as much as she would like.

I Am a Survivor

Years ago during a Sacrament meeting talk a new member of the ward introduced himself and his family by saying they were survivors. He went on to explain that he and his wife were children in Idaho when the Teton Dam broke. I remembered reading about the Teton Dam disaster in my monthly copy of The Friend. When I was a kid there weren’t many natural disasters that made it into The Friend. I was impressed by this adult brother and the terrible trial he survived.

A while later I mentioned the brother’s comment to another friend in the same ward. She scoffed and said, “Yeah, my husband and I choked back laughter when he said he survived the Teton Dam. We were kids in Idaho when the Dam broke. We were there when it happened. Nothing terrible happened. All it meant was we got out of school for the year early and the adults were busy. We were able to have a super long summer vacation.”

I laughed. Perspective is everything. Read more »