Vacation Bible School

Back in 1999, Rob and I moved our family to the rural mid-west. We were from the west and had lived most of our lives smack in the middle of Mormondom. Read more »

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Living Off The Mission

I have seen posts around this topic before, but I have been acutely aware of how many male returned missionaries live off the spiritual experiences from their missions (myself included). Every week in lessons and talks you hear mission stories, but not so many contemporary spiritual experiences from the men. Is this just my experience? Is this a problem?

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Don’t Be Shy. It’s Time to Share.

Two important questions:

What is the best thing about being a Mormon?
What is the worst thing about being Mormon?
Please discuss.

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Clark Henry

Clark Henry started out as a random, accidental assignment. He had recently been transferred to a nursing home in our small town. I got a call on Sunday morning from someone asking me if I would be able to pick him up for church that morning. I was asked because we lived closest to the nursing home. I was busy wrangling the kids into their church clothes and Rob was already at church for early morning meetings but I figured picking up a stranger for church would be my defense when we came straggling into church late. Read more »

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Touching View of Mormonism from an Ex-Mormon

This was one of the best views of Mormonism from an ex-Mormon that I have ever read. It is very balanced and highlights both the positive and negative views very nicely. I would be interested to see if others enjoyed it?

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My Non-Mormon Friends Think We Are Crazy…

I have had a few conversations recently with non-Mormon friends who say Mormons do and believe some crazy things. I try to defend Mormonism by saying I know a lot of Mormons who are not crazy (while admitting there are a lot of crazy Mormons whom I disagree with), and that you cannot view us a homogeneous group. This has caused me to try to view the three hour block from one of my non-member friends point of view. For example, this past Sunday, sacrament meeting was good. The talks were focused on becoming Christlike and used personal stories – so far so good. Then came Sunday School – we were talking about Zeezrom and anti-Christs. The teacher quoted Bruce R that anyone who believes or preaches a way to salvation different from us is an anti-crhist. The number of comments that were in agreement was astonishing (and a bit depressing). When two of us tried to tone down the rhetoric, we were effectively ignored as the teacher proceeded to tell us how to defend ourselves from the anti-christs we encounter in our lives. Ok, so now my non-Mormon POV views us as crazy. I have been taking this approach for the last month or so and every week, Sunday School usually throws it over the edge into the crazy zone. It does make me wonder if folks really think about what they are saying and what impact it would have on others in the room…

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The Box of Shame

Since I have told several stories about my husband Rob and his adventures with fishing, he decided it is time for me to come clean about a situation I created all by myself, without any assistance from him. In the spirit of equity within marriage and because Rob thinks this is the funniest thing ever, I will tell this story so you will feel sorry for me and will agree that I was deeply wronged. Read more »

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The Lord’s Annointed

For the first time ever, I am sincerely asking for your advice. I know that might seem funny since the whole point of a blog post is to generate comments, which I usually welcome. This time (again, for the first time) I don’t want comments. I need advice. And perspective. And someone to hold my hand. Read more »

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Extreme Garment Wearing

Since Living in Zion brought up garment folklore, I want to discuss another aspect of it. Modesty, so one can wear the garment, to the extreme. Read more »

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Standard Operating Procedure

When I was a kid we had a brother in the ward that had diabetes. It wasn’t as common back then. Or maybe there just weren’t commercials for drugs for it. Anyway, this man had trouble with his illness. Enough that even as a child I knew he had diabetes. Read more »

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Anybody know how to banish Screwtape?

CS Lewis’ fictional communication between an apprentice devil and his mentor crosses my mind regularly. I’m a believer. I’ve been told that we have friends who were in the third of the host of heaven who sided with Satan. So there are spirits who know our eternal natures pretty dang well.


I’m aware, sometimes, of thoughts I didn’t think—that is, someone in the spirit world, who knows my weaknesses and tendencies (they can’t read our thoughts) will whisper something into my ear and before you know it, I’m screwing up yet again. I’m mad or despondent or impulsive (not in a good way). I say things I regret. Cause trouble. Hurt others. Read more »

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We’re Not the Only Ones

This article for Time : http://ideas.time.com/2012/06/29/why-were-still-catholics/?iid=op-article-mostpop1 by Tim Padgett caught my eye. Read more »

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Miscommunication – Fishing Style

As you might remember, my dear husband is a fisherman. I try not to hold it against him since he is like a kid in a candy store about it, but sometimes it really can be just. too. much. Read more »

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Fabulous Secret Powers

My little brother was just the right age for He-Man, which I always thought was a fairly ridiculous show, with an ear-worm of a title sequence. Who can forget the epic “I have the POWER!” Read more »

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Don’t Trust Rosalynde Welch’s Investigation of Mormon Stories

Quick disclaimer: I am not a spokesman for Mormon Stories, and I have no official connection to it. I have belonged to its Facebook page for the past few months, but have not otherwise participated or contributed to it. I am a lifelong Mormon and an active participant in my local Mormon congregation.

It was disappointing to read Rosalynde Welch’s recent report from “investigate[ing] John Dehlin’s Mormon Stories project.” Rosalynde is the daughter-in-law of Jack Welch, who was a founding member of the leadership group referred to when she speaks of “the shake-up in leadership at the Maxwell Institute.” As one might expect from someone with her familial connections to the Maxwell Institute, Rosalynde Welch’s report on her investigation adopts a nominally sympathetic tone while asserting that Mormon Stories is “silly,” lacking in “intelligent discourse,” and marked by an “edge of anger.” In the end, she compares it to an LGBT affinity club at a high school. One could easily come away from her report with the impression that Mormon Stories is dominated by inarticulate and weak Mormons who lack spiritual maturity. Unfortunately, Welch’s report lacks maturity and perspective in its own right. She mischaracterizes Mormon Stories at every turn, and her discussion of the issues surrounding Mormon Stories is both confused and confusing.

The need for Mormon Stories arises from the tendency Mormons have to value each other based on how well they echo or amplify the opinions of LDS leaders. Mormons who cease to echo or amplify these opinions often discover that there is little or no bond of personal loyalty or compassion underlying their relationships with loved ones. As a consequence, the Mormon who suffers a crisis of faith frequently faces rejection and ultimatums from family members, including her spouse. She sometimes even finds herself accused of disobedience or immorality. In a sense, the Mormons are a morally handicapped people; their tendency to value members based on their alignment with LDS leadership limits Mormons’ potential for virtue by rendering them less capable of loyalty and compassion.

The tragedy of Welch’s report is that it embodies exactly those Mormon moral handicaps that Mormon Stories seeks to mitigate. Her stance toward the Mormon Stories community is one of rejection and accusation — an artfully conceived repetition of the temper tantrum so common among the broken children of the Mormon restoration, the temper tantrum they throw when they are forced to justify their brook-no-criticism approach to their religion, when they perceive attacks on the church, or when they detect an invasion of mainstream Mormonism by those whose beliefs or practices are not part of their desired norm.

Read more »

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True Story

About six months ago, in a joint RS/priesthood meeting, the Relief Society president reported that the Stake President wanted the sisters to encourage their husbands to do their home teaching. She also asked us to call our home teachers and ask them to come. Read more »

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My non-July 4th…

This year is our first Fourth of July living in England, so my first non-Fourth of July ever. No fireworks, no BBQ, just work and school for us. The 4th has always a hallmark of summer for me, so this year we will be searching for that summer hallmark – schools in the UK get out July 22nd and return in early September so the break is limited. It is also quite interesting to now live in the land from whom we Americans declared Independence so many years ago. This is probably the only US holiday that I have really missed. Well, Happy Fourth to those who get to celebrate it – enjoy!

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