Thank You For Your Criticism

MIRIAM: When my second daughter was three years old, she answered the door to a friend I served with at church. A few minutes later when we were alone, my friend joked that my daughter was going to be a challenge as she got older. I laughed. Her observation was already being confirmed. This child was determined, extremely observant, and fearless. When she was five years old, we lived in a small apartment complex surrounding a playground where she and the other kids would play. One day I was checking on her and her older siblings from the third story window. I didn’t see her. “Hi Mom!” rang to my ears. It was my girl, but, where was she? The sound seemed strange. I kept looking and realized why the sound was strange. She was calling to me at eye-level from the tree she had climbed! Did I mention I was on the third floor? Continue reading “Thank You For Your Criticism”

Robert Kirby: Victim of Misandry?

DEBORAH: Last week’s column by Robert Kirby landed him in a field of cat vomit and dog poo, or so he described the aftermath. The column focused on McKenna Denson and her trip to a fast and testimony pulpit in the Arizona ward of the self-admitted sexual predator who molested her while he was the MTC president and she, a missionary-in-training. In Kirby’s effort to clean up the figurative cat vomit and dog poo, he failed woefully, letting ferment in the light of day the misogynistic, rape culture attitudes that created a church system that assures McKenna Denson can receive no justice. Continue reading “Robert Kirby: Victim of Misandry?”

On McKenna Denson and the Pulpit Watch Tower

READER POST: A few years ago, my daughter had a lesson in school about early American history. In it, the teacher mentioned (but did not detail) the rape and abuse of the native peoples on a mass scale and taught that such terrible acts have been used in war and oppression in all of history. He taught his students that we learn about these things so we can recognize the evil in them and fight it. Because he comes from a culture that has experienced a great deal of violence and persecution, he wanted to be honest about history.

When my daughter came home, she asked me several questions about war and rape. I felt physically ill. I was horrified that her teacher had torn back the curtain on our broken world and revealed it in all its ugliness—revealed that rape isn’t limited to isolated violence behind closed doors, but, throughout history, has been used on a mass scale as a weapon of war, subjugation, and torture. Continue reading “On McKenna Denson and the Pulpit Watch Tower”

Sam Young and Mormonism’s Failure to Do Better

LAURA: I’ve seen a meme floating around recently that says something like “The thing that hurt me was my own expectations.” I don’t know if that’s true. Sometimes I think it’s hope that hurts us. I do know that, when it comes to people, I’m an optimist and I regularly expect people to be amazing. I’m often disappointed and hurt. Continue reading “Sam Young and Mormonism’s Failure to Do Better”

A Transgender Perspective on the Style Guide for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

READER POST: About ten days ago, the Church put out its new style guide. In it, they asked that it be called by the official name, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and made a plea to others outside the faith do use the correct name, not “Mormon” or “LDS.” Asking for the name change isn’t wrong, and leaders shouldn’t be called wrong for doing it. However, the announcement alienated LGBTQ followers and supporters.  Continue reading “A Transgender Perspective on the Style Guide for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”

Mormon No Mo Yo

PILAR: Although Juliet opined that “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” Anne of Green Gables disagreed and memorably said, “I don’t think a rose would be as nice if it were called a thistle or a skunk cabbage.” I’m not sure which character I agree with more, because they both make valid points.

This week, Russell M. Nelson, president of The Church, announced that the  Lord “has impressed upon my mind” that God doesn’t like the use of the word “Mormon” for this, that, and the other thing. No more Mormon or LDS Church. Strictly The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, unless you use the so-called shorthand “restored gospel of Jesus Christ.” Continue reading “Mormon No Mo Yo”

A Form Letter of Appeal in Support of Let Babies Eat

SISTERS QUORUM: The writers at Sisters Quorum stand in support of the Let Babies Eat initiative and its letter writing campaign, which encourages The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to establish a policy that supports breastfeeding families, particularly mothers who openly breastfeed on church property. The initiative’s complete list of goals and suggested actions can be found on the Let Babies Eat website, including general advice about how to write a letter of appeal.

Because SQ understands that some supporters of Let Babies Eat are uncomfortable writers—and because we believe that the volume of letters will speak as loudly as the content—we offer our readers a form letter that can be easily copied, adapted, and sent to the female general auxiliary leaders or other general authorities of the Church. The form letter will fit nicely on a single, standard piece of paper with either Times New Roman or Calibri 11 pt font.

Continue reading “A Form Letter of Appeal in Support of Let Babies Eat”

Wedded to What?

HILDEGARD: Shortly after I married my husband, I had a troubling dream. In that dream, I had been carrying on an affair with an anonymous priest—an unknown man wearing a clerical collar. Waking up to wracking sobs of guilt, I felt like I’d been disloyal to my husband, like I’d betrayed him without even trying to.

I had no real understanding of the dream world, and I was new to the world of sexual activity. I felt the need to confess to my husband, so, as hives erupted on my body to accompany my tears, he listened and consoled me that it had just been a dream, and I’d done nothing wrong. Even my horrified reaction was a testament to my loyalty. We talked and laughed and mentally filed it away under “Weird Dreams and Learning Experiences.”

Now, more than fifteen years later, I think there was a message in that dream.  Continue reading “Wedded to What?”

Enough

LEAH: My heart is racing. I can’t believe you’ve done it again.

The card in my cold, shaking hands is addressed directly to my seven-year-old daughter. It wishes her a happy birthday and is signed, “your Primary presidency.”

You’re not her Primary presidency. You don’t even know her. But you and I know that this is far from the first time our name has been on your ward council’s agenda. This isn’t just a card. This is the beginning of another exhausting series of intrusive confrontations with you. Continue reading “Enough”