Dissing Jesus: The Great Mormon Divide

Satan works through me at church when I hear people talk about all the “shoulds” and quote “faith without works is dead.” (Which I always wonder if it’s grammatically correct). Because I forget what I’m supposed to be about and then contention enters and it gets all ugly.

There’s been a flap about a childrens book by Wendy Watson Nelson, the wife of Elder Nelson (who, I think, is one of the sweetest apostles we’ve ever had). You can read about it here: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/blogsfaithblog/56851977-180/book-lds-christ-club.html.csp

I loved this quote from Peggy Fletcher Stack’s column: “If only we can prevent people from performing wrong actions, we think, they can return safely to heaven, untouched by the world and I would add, untouched by Christ’s grace.” (Edward Jones, A Rational Faith) Read more »

Goldfield Days…..

I lived in Goldfield, Nevada for about a year when I was a little girl. It’s hazy because we moved back and forth so much. Nevada has some interesting old towns that were once boom towns and Goldfield is one of the most interesting.

When I lived there, there wasn’t much left of the town, the population is quite small. In its boom period, they’d built a big high school and gym, which we were threatened with our lives not to play in. We did anyway. We found a place that was broken to sneak into the gym and we had a good time. Someone had hung a thick rope with a knot in it to the ceiling and we’d work together to pull it to the side (no memory how we did that) and then we’d sit on the knot and swing. It was pretty fun. Read more »

Heavenly Father Loves the Winners

I am not a competitive person in the ways most people are. I couldn’t care less about sports scores, I don’t believe in praying before a game to get Jesus on my side and I don’t like to see anyone lose. Read more »

Gratitude Dress

It probably isn’t normal, but I struggle with gratitude. Years ago when Oprah made Gratitude Journals a big deal and all my girlfriends jumped on the wagon, someone gave me a blank Gratitude Journal of my own. Read more »

R Rated? Why I’m Going Back to “The MIddle.”

The middle 3Well, for me, it started with “Boss.” Or maybe it was “Homeland.” I can’t remember. One of those. Anyway, I got hooked on both shows.

Boss stars Kelsey Grammar and is about a political “boss” with no morals. The acting is superb, the actors and characters are compelling and the plots interesting. I blew off the sex scenes because pornography doesn’t interest me in the least and they couldn’t corrupt me that way and I fast forwarded through the violence. Read more »

How an African Pygmy Tribe Explained My Life to Me

In November 1989 I was not a happy person. I was struggling with something, a feeling of injustice I couldn’t quite put my finger on. Rob and I had been married for 2 ½ years, our first child had just turned one. Rob was working full time as a janitor at night, cleaning the university classrooms he sat in during the day as a full time student. We joked he was home long enough to get me pregnant and then he was gone. I was by default a stay-at-home mom because we couldn’t afford to pay a babysitter to stay with Jennifer while I continued taking classes for a degree I no longer cared about and didn’t want to go further into student loan debt to get. Read more »

Hamsters Pondering Their God

I first heard this radio sketch on Public Radio’s This American Life show Read more »

Will you guys help me identify these guys?

British actors in a bar NYC

First of all, kids, I am the most un-photogenic person on earth, so pay no attention to the lady in the picture.

When Sarah and I went to New York in 2005, she became very ill. We cut our trip drastically because we spent the better part of two days in Bellevue’s ER. I pushed her in a wheelchair to visit the Natural History Museum and we really had to pace ourselves. We couldn’t get a flight home until the day before we’d planned to go anyway and it was double the cost, so we mostly hung out at our hotel.

I fell in love with New York, loved the blunt goodness of the people. But it was pretty stressful. One evening, Sarah had gone to sleep and I asked the doorman where I could find shepherd’s pie. I needed comfort food. He directed me to the pub next door and I sat down near the fireplace and ordered good old shepherd’s pie. Read more »

Heavenly Mother the Focus of New Art and Poetry Contest


There have been LDS art contests in the past, either sponsored by LDS church institutions or by private organizations, but none have yet focused on Heavenly Mother as their theme. That changed this month with the newly announced A Mother Here Art and Poetry Contest. Aiming to stimulate the visual and poetic expression of Heavenly Mother, as well as highlight the nascent divinity lying in women as well as men, monetary prizes in excess of $2200 will be awarded to the best entries.

The contest accepts two-dimensional art submissions to be considered in its visual arts awards, and all forms of poetry for the poetry awards. The contest will accept submissions until March 4, 2014, after which award-winning entries will be chosen by prestigious judges Susan Elizabeth Howe (esteemed poet, playwright, and professor) and Herman Du Toit (former head of the Durban Art School and former head of museum research at BYU’s Museum of Art). Winning entries will be announced on May 11, 2014 (Mother’s Day) and they, with other merit-worthy entries, will be collected in an online gallery and a printed booklet for all to enjoy. Attached is the official call for artists and poets. Read more »

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Truth is Where You Find It

This post is everything I want my kids to know about figuring out their adult lives.
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Recently I had a friend tell me about a frustrating situation at her church. A family in her congregation has been reported to child welfare services for living in a filthy, garbage-strewn house. Read more »

Letters from my mother…….

The last thing my mother said to me was “I love you.” We were driving home from the hospital where they’d told me there was nothing they could do for the broken bones in her back. I ache with regret for not making them send her in an ambulance. They’d drugged her to the gills for the ride back to the rest home where she lived (she thought, in her own apartment, where she could go on daily walks to see the other tenants) but she was in such pain. I am the WORST person to be around when you’re suffering, I just empathize to a ridiculous level that I’m worthless to help. I kept saying “I’m so sorry, Mommy, I’m hurrying. We’re almost there.”

I didn’t think she even knew who I was, but she touched my leg and said clearly, “I love you.” And I nodded and she said, again “No. I mean it. I love you.” She died five days later, mostly comatose during that time. Read more »

Web Spurring Doubts

Did you check out The New York Times today?

If not, the gist of it is a emeritus area authority from Sweden (currently residing in Spain) by the name of Hans Mattsson has publicly stated he has had a crisis of faith. Go read the article, it’s quite enjoyable simply for its honesty. Read more »

The temple is for real…….

Bill's great grandfathers house in MinnesotaWe talk a lot about what’s wrong with the church on the bloggernacle; I’m not uncomfortable with that conversation, others are. I’ve talked openly about things that bother me, family history is not one of them.

I’ve always been interested in my heritage, but have become more immersed the last few years. For Bill’s 65th birthday, I did a lot of research and gifted him with a huge scrapbook. I found the house his great grandfather built in Minnesota—it’s still standing! The people who live in it now were delighted to get a picture of it way back when, with Bill’s family sitting in front.

That got me started. Then I started indexing and noticed something–a thinning of the veil?–as I typed in names from documents. I began to work on my own genealogy and in March, Bill and I went to the temple armed with 48 names. With help from the temple workers and attendees, we got initiatory work done on all of them and endowments on most. Bill and I spent hours in the temple doing initiatory, endowment and sealings for these people. My aunts and uncles from Quebec, my stepfather’s family, Bill’s relatives. We came home that weekend on a spiritual high. And I knew that work was what God wanted to happen. Read more »

The Golden Years: On Evolving as a Couple

Coupla years ago, Sarah came to our sacrament meeting and noticed a long-married couple sneak out, holding hands. She leaned over to me and asked “Mom, are they in their golden years?” I laughed, it was a Sarah-ism, where one isn’t quite sure what she means.

But I’ve thought a lot about that, the golden years. When Bill and I were first married, I’d get my feelings hurt and cry if he didn’t come home for lunch on time. I think a lot of young couples (although we were nowhere near representative of anything normal, mind you) experience the sort of thing we did: wife a bit clingy and emotional and husband a bit dense and insensitive.

Of course, it was more than that, but this morning I was reading the movie listings, musing over RIPD (my kind of show, off-beat and irreverent humor), Pacific Rim (Bill’s kind), Red 2 (something we’d both probably enjoy) and I realized how far we’ve come. Read more »

Awesomely Awful Modesty Creep Stories

Two modesty creep anecdotes too awesomely awful not to share:
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To Succor Those in Need

12 years ago our youngest child had a medical emergency that extended for four long months. Rob and I were living far away from our families and had to handle this on our own. Read more »

The Boogie Life

I am so lucky. I live in a funky college town that works hard to keep its small downtown alive. The city has free musicians playing on the pedestrian mall and every summer weekend is packed with music, literature and art festivals. Read more »

I Don’t Think I’ll Be Saving Seats At Church Again, I Bleed Too Easy


I was thinking about this very thing on Sunday during Sacrament Meeting. There is a prime bench in our chapel that one family uses every week. It is prime because it is the last bench in the side row and affords easy access to the door when their kids act up and need to be taken out.

This week, the usual family was late and the bench stayed open for them, even as the overflow filled back into the gym. I was looking at the bench, thinking what a nice ward I have, since no one tried to take that bench. Not every ward is as lucky, I guess.

The Accidental Busybody – Part II

In the interest of full disclosure, I decided it was time to tell the rest of the story of my previous post http://www.mormonmentality.org/2013/05/30/the-accidental-busybody.htm (Which was a stellar example of fabulous writing that I highly recommend you peruse just for inspiration’s sake.) Read more »

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