Introducing ESO

Special Skills:
Can change ANY diaper using maximum number of two baby wipes.
Can bathe from one bucket of water (whatever temperature), including washing and rinsing hair.

These are my survival skills.

www.esodhiambo.wordpress.com

187 Posts
Crowdsourcing Request: How one Women’s class caused an Uproar Nov. 21st, 2014 at 11:46 am

This post isn’t about polygamy or immigration or even Bill Cosby. I am just interested in your reaction to the below email. It was sent to the entire Elder’s Quorum of a ward about a meeting none of the Elders had attended, apparently based on the reaction of the wife of the Elder’s Quorum president who came late, did not ask any questions or make any comments, and had not done the reading for the evening. Personally, I have never seen a letter like this in a ward.

How would you expect the cast of characters in an average ward to react once this letter has been sent?

(As a little background, this class was taught at the request of the Primary, Young Women, and Relief Society Presidents; the RS president attended and presided the evening that inspired this reaction).

Dear Elders:

I hope this finds you well and having a great week. The purpose of this email is to provide you with some information so you can better serve those in your stewardships – both as husbands and as home teachers. I invite you to ponder and pray to know if the counsel I give here is inspired of God. (Moroni 10:3-5; Ether 4:11)

Please keep this email private and confidential. I trust each of you that you will not use this to further gossip or to create any discord in our ward. Let’s keep the commandment to “Judge not … but judge righteous judgement.” and to “forgive all men.” (Matt 7:1, JST; D&C 64:10)

Recently at the women’s institute, the teacher used inappropriate teaching methods to push a personal agenda on the class members that is contrary to the doctrine and beliefs of the Church. Some of the women who attended were deeply hurt, and felt confused and violated. Many knew what was happening was wrong, but did not know how to handle it, or whether they were alone in thinking what happened was wrong.

Husbands, if your wife attended, please reach out to her in love and help her. Assure her that she was not the only one who felt like it was wrong and with your faith and testimony, help her unpack this with pure doctrine and the Holy Spirit. Probably not for all, but for some, this is a very deep and important thing that she may not be talking about.

Home Teachers, please be sure to visit the sisters on your route, especially the single sisters who do not have husbands to support them. During your next visit, please share a message based on “The Family: A Proclamation to the World” and invite your families to read it. https://www.lds.org/topics/family-proclamation. Reassure these women and families of divine truth and of the reality and wonderful blessing of the Restoration and of a living prophet.

Thank you for considering this counsel. To the extent that it is in our power, let’s quickly root out any false doctrine or evil spirit that has been planted in the hearts of those in our stewardships and avoid any potential big problems down the road.

Thank you for the much good you do while carrying such heavy family and work responsibilities. You are the salt of the earth in this area. May God strengthen you and quicken your every good intention and effort, for Jesus Christ’s sake.

Thanks for your time. If people are interested, I would be happy to share the actual fallout from this letter, but I am genuinely interested what you would expect from people in a ward.

Target Audience Feb. 10th, 2013 at 10:22 pm

The sister who taught Relief Society this morning included her own conversion story, which always makes me perk up and listen. She referred to herself as a “media referral;” apparently her introduction to the Gospel was through a commercial for a free Book of Mormon during an initial run of Star Trek: The Next Generation. I can tell you the natural consequences of such a media buy: 20 years later, our Lorenzo Snow lesson on conversion was taught through an extended Hobbit metaphor. It was fun.

Truely, I love the idea (don’t tell me I’m wrong) of people at Church headquarters deciding Trekkies are their most receptive TV audience, even though it might lead to an extra-ordinary share of sci-fi fan converts. If they were asking you, what TV shows’ audience would you go after with church commercials?

So THIS is what those Feminists are Complaining About Nov. 18th, 2012 at 7:24 pm

I am not one of THOSE feminists. I don’t care to “hold the priesthood.” Baby blessings that are really Father’s blessings don’t kill my soul even a little bit. As a young woman, I did not envy the young men passing the sacrament, advancing through the priesthood ranks, or emptying the trash cans after church. One of my more classically feminist friends used to tell me how sorely she wished the Relief Society presidency ALSO sat on the stand during Sacrament Meeting so the congregation would have a visual representation of all the work women do in the Church–I thought that sounded kind of crazy and would MUCH rather have fewer people sit up front than more. But today my Sacrament Meeting was kind of a feminist nightmare, and it had nothing whatsoever to do with content.
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Boy oh BSA Oct. 22nd, 2012 at 10:41 pm

I am an admittedly less active member of the bloggernaccle these days, but I know a common enough sentiment around here is that the LDS Church should get a divorce from BSA. Whether for monetary, feminist or egalitarian, or simplicity reasons, lots of us can jump on that bandwagon. Some of us just don’t want to be a den leader. Ever. To my knowledge, whenever such a sentiment is hinted at, some cosmic balancing force comments that that will NEVER happen under President Monson or that it will be a long long time or that BSA would die without us or whatever. Really, it always goes like this.

So I fully expected a post last Thursday along the lines of “here is 30 years of perversion papers from the BSA–let’s get a lawyer and get divorced!” The files released last week apparently show how, in case after case, someone at BSA chose to protect an adult over a child. Perhaps it doesn’t happen now. Maybe two-deep leadership fixed those problems. Some might say that parents who allowed their boys to sleep at a leaders house were the negligent ones. I have to admit that I am one of those bloggernacclers who eagerly anticipates at least a sepperation between the Church and BSA (wherein, interested families might participate in scouts and sponser and run the troop, which may meet in our buildings, but which would NOT recieve support from wards in the form of money or callings of leaders), so I am wont to say hey, this looks terrible! Let’s bail! Let’s do it FOR the kids.

Our stake just participated in the Childrens’ Sabbath wherein we all did our Primary Programs on the same Sunday. At the behest of my Stake President, I re-read Elder Oak’s recent General Conference address and while I can’t say I agree with every inch of it, I can of course support the thesis of it: that children are a valuable and vulnerable population who need protection. And, here’s the kicker– we must provide it.

So I am an easy target for this BSA problem. I have no great attachment to the organization, and could easily cut ties at this evidence of institutional illness. I’m there. But I wonder about others–are there defenders? Do any of you feel that these perversion papers are sufficinetly old or out-moded? That we cannot condemn this organization? That the good elements outweigh the (very) bad?

I’d love to hear what you and your troops have thought about this.

Fabulous Secret Powers Jul. 3rd, 2012 at 6:52 am

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 »

Bullying in the Presidential Campaign May. 11th, 2012 at 10:03 pm

Perhaps you don’t remember me well enough in the bloggernaccle to recall that I am politically liberal. I am. Very. And I just want to be up front about that.

There have been a number of political stories this week that will last longer and almost all of them are more important, but the story that caught me this week was the one about Mitt Romney reportedly bullying a classmate in high school by cutting off his long hair. I know! So Amish! Read more »

Announcements You DON”T want to Hear at Church Dec. 18th, 2011 at 10:32 pm

“A ward member has had a bedbug infestation and bedbugs have been seen in the Chapel. We’ll try to get that taken care of this week. Please let me know if you see any elsewhere.”

This was an actual announcement at my ward today. Bummer.

What announcement would you most like NOT to hear?

Bannination by Bishops Dec. 7th, 2011 at 9:46 am

There is something happening in my ward that I can’t quite wrap my head around.  In fact, I can’t tell if it is past tense or not.

Like many (most?) wards, we have a crazy lady.  She is homeless (by choice, it seems), mentally ill, alcoholic (in recovery for many years), and excommunicated.  Read more »

Over the River and through the Woods: Recipe Edition Nov. 18th, 2011 at 9:15 am

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 »

Public Service Announcement: Sick Day Nov. 3rd, 2011 at 1:41 pm

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 »

Trunk-or-Treat Me Oct. 27th, 2011 at 1:11 pm

Not de rigueur, for a Mormon ward, but increasingly ubiquitous is the ward Trunk-or-Treat. Every American ward I has been in for the last decade have hosted one, and I know lots of other wards do as well. Whether it is strictly a parking-lot based event, or an entire Halloween festival started in the cultural hall, we Mormons seem to have grabbed on to this questionable American holiday with vigor. From best-decorated-trunk to haunted house in the Primary room to jack-o-lantern carving competitions, All Hallows Eve has made an oddly warm impression on us. Read more »

Elders and Sisters Oct. 19th, 2011 at 8:16 pm

As I read a post last week complaining about sister missionaries having to bike in skirts (and proposing that they be allowed to wear pants instead), I got this strange feeling I have every so often in the bloggernaccle: a provocation to defend the status quo.  This is not a position I am in regularly in my real life.  Or my Church life.  I quite like change, especially change that makes sense.  And I am one of those poor beleaguered sister missionaries who both had to wear skirts or dresses (and nylons!) every day and had to use a bicycle as my only mode of transportation.

I hate wearing skirts and dresses (and nylons!).  I hated biking much of the time.  The combination of the two was a giant pain in my tookus and a cramp in my style. Read more »

2 Questions Inspired by the Church Site at Sharon, Vermont Oct. 11th, 2011 at 8:56 pm

This past weekend I took the combination of a three-day weekend and Stake Conference as a sign that I should take a little trip. Since I have not previously been, we headed to Maine to visit a friend, but stopped a few places between here and there. One stop was the birthplace of Joseph Smith in Sharon, Vermont. While I wonder why we have created this kind of a shrine for someone we do not worship, it was a perfectly lovely place and prompts my first question Read more »

General Conference from the Homefront Sep. 30th, 2011 at 9:23 am

I don’t know if you saw this

I suppose this would be really fun for some families to put together and submit. I predict there will be much cinnamon-roll eating, snuggling on the couch, smiling families, and maybe even some tears. That is not my General Conference experience, though. In fact, probably none of the things my family does General Conference weekend would make the cut. Read more »

Seperate but Roughly Equal Sep. 26th, 2011 at 9:10 am

I spent Saturday night watching the Relief Society Broadcast.  It only happens once a year, you know.  That might make some people uncomfortable.  Maybe they would feel that it demonstrates the gender inequity in our Church.Men get their own (super secret) session every six months and women are only addressed once a year!  No fair. 

Does that get your goat?  I don’t really care.  Well, I would prefer that the Priesthood session was broadcast like the women’s sessions are, but I’m not losing sleep over it.  When I had a calling in Young Women, I attended both the YW and RS broadcasts.  I suppose I still could.  I like the idea of having seperate meetings for the youth and the adults, because, frankly, we likely have different kinds of lives and could benefit from a different sort of meeting.  Those poor men have to go and sit through a bunch of advice geared toward middle-schoolers.  That must be a drag.  Yeah.  In fact, maybe the women are better off, only being on the hook for our once annual apostolic pep-talk.

What do you think?

 

Help a Temple Truant Sep. 19th, 2011 at 10:30 am

Confession: I am a temple attendence slacker.  Sure, I magnify my calling.  My visiting teaching is 100%.  I even go to those optional church meetings like ward parties, Relief Society: weekday edition, and service projects!  But my temple attendance would not win any awards and I am defineitely way sub-par.  No question about it.  Of course, I’ve got a number of reasons for this, but none of them qualify as good, so I won’t bother you with those. Read more »

Baptism by Fire Sep. 13th, 2011 at 2:06 am

Recently, my newish Bishop announced that henceforth, there would be one baptismal service per month and all children of record would be baptized during it. He said that this is the way the Handbook says we should do things.

I am sure that sounds very normal to many of you. Whether this was the way you were baptized, or this was the way your kids were baptized, I realize it is the way things are done in some parts of the world. The Mormon parts of the world. In my part of the world, though, we have done things a little differently. Read more »

I Believe the Joseph Smith Sphinx is True Aug. 15th, 2011 at 9:33 pm

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 Aug. 9th, 2011 at 5:52 pm

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 »

Do You? Jul. 18th, 2011 at 4:27 pm

From time to time in the course of Church life, we are asked to fulfill responsibilities for which others may be better qualified or more experienced. Some of us manage quite multifaceted organizations and really have our hands full. Others, perhaps, don’t have enough to keep us busy. Occasionally, people feel compelled to suggest or complain about certain practices in anothers’ jurisdiction. Below is one such example.

Dear Sister Primary Counselor–

As I carried my two-year-old kicking and screaming out of Church today, I thought I would finally put this in writing. When you guys give treats to the Primary kids, it causes a big problem for their siblings in Nursery. I don’t think I need to elaborate on that, but let me a suggest a few alternatives to offering super-delicious looking treats to your kids as they exit your care to sit in the car on the way home with (generally irrational) children who have none. Read more »

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