ShadowLeaks Discovers a Modest-Is-Hottest Proposal

HILDEGARD: Wow, fellow church members, ShadowLeaks™ has found another shocking memo related to today’s announcement about class progression for young members of the church. Without further ado, here it is:


Dear Sisters and Brothers:

Adult Responsibilities Extended to Youth

Pursuant to recent Revelation™, we realize that our beloved daughters may be as prepared as our noble sons, to assume greater responsibility than traditionally delegated to children, in the name of increasing their faith and unity.

To that end, we are delighted to announce the following change: Effective in January 2019, the recommended minimum age for dating and marriage has been lowered to 11 (eleven) years of age, for young women. Continue reading “ShadowLeaks Discovers a Modest-Is-Hottest Proposal”

Coats of Love

READER SUBMISSION: I sat alone in the dark, the blur of Christmas lights blinking against the icy windows. I glanced at the cardboard box of decorations: the dollar store stockings, the plastic ornaments, the artificial secondhand tree–none of it familiar. I began removing each substitute item, given as condolence for not having our cherished Christmas belongings. Surely this was not the life I planned. Being a single mom of four young children, one with profound special needs, came with challenges that I embraced fully, but it was all still bewildering. Continue reading “Coats of Love”

Discovering Sisterhood through Vulnerability: A Story of Gratitude

READER POST: The doorbell rang last night as I was folding laundry and my kids were absorbed in electronics. Because #singlemomlife.

It was the sister missionaries from my previous ward. They recently requested my Facebook friendship. I had accepted with a chuckle, expecting they would take one look at my feed and think me an apostate.  I honestly thought to myself that I maybe I should brand myself with a scarlet letter “A” for “apostate” and that would simplify everything. Continue reading “Discovering Sisterhood through Vulnerability: A Story of Gratitude”

Fathers in Heaven, Absent on Earth

HILDEGARD: In a recent conference talk, Church President Russell M. Nelson spoke idyllically of motherhood—that he valued it so highly as to have chosen his surgical career because he couldn’t choose to be a mother.

Let’s put aside for a moment that not every woman can choose to be a mother, either; and Life doesn’t always honor our choices anyway.

Let’s also put aside for a moment that careers outside health care are honorable, too.

I’d like to talk about what was notably absent in his treatment of the topic—what he left unsaid, that speaks volumes more to me than what he did say.

He couldn’t choose to be a mother, so he chose a health-related career. What value does he assign to his own fatherhood? Why would mentioning his earthly career take precedence over mentioning his divine identity as a father?

Let’s start by looking at where fathers are most often seen in the Mormon world.

Continue reading “Fathers in Heaven, Absent on Earth”

Home-centered and Church-supported Mormonism in Context

LAURA: I listened to Saturday morning’s session of General Conference with interest. There were rumors in online Mormonland that this change to a 2-hour block was coming and so I wasn’t entirely surprised by it. I was surprised by the way it jumbled my feelings though.

As Pres. Nelson shared the story of a family who held church in their home, I felt grief and frustration. He shared how the husband was more careful about his language and tone in their home, knowing that it was under that roof he would bless the sacrament. Four years ago, I had friends who were excommunicated for doing the same. Although the surrounding circumstances were different, it was a painful reminder that the church is not the same wherever you go. Continue reading “Home-centered and Church-supported Mormonism in Context”

Yes, I Can Forgive…

READER POST: In his October General Conference talk, “The Ministry Of Reconciliation,” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland states, “Surely each of us could cite an endless array of old scars and sorrows and painful memories that this very moment still corrode the peace in someone’s heart or family or neighborhood.” I have those scars. In fact, I do not attend church right now because it is not a safe place for me. People don’t ever ask why, but they are quick to tell me to forgive and forget and beware of pride and victimization. Continue reading “Yes, I Can Forgive…”

The Good in General Conference

SERENA: I have never been a leader worshiper. I believe the brethren serve out of a place of love. We are all fallible, our human leaders included, and I worship Jesus Christ, not man. I have admiration and respect for the apostles, general authorities and general officers of the Church who devote so much of their lives to the service of our Heavenly Father. I believe they are good men and women doing their best to do the will of the Lord. I sustain them by listening and seeking revelation as to how to apply their teachings in my life in ways that strengthen my relationship with Heavenly Father and help me be more in tune with His will for me.  Continue reading “The Good in General Conference”

The Mormon Male Voice

READER POST: Buttermilk, powdered sugar, cream cheese: the cashier is bagging my Target purchases when I hear a familiar male voice, a neighborhood friend’s. “You must be getting ready to make something delicious for conference weekend,” he says. “Are you excited to listen?”

Before I can answer, he starts talking about how eager he is to hear the prophet’s voice. I smile, swipe my REDCard, gather my bag, and leave, voiceless.

His is just another in a long line of Mormon male voices I heard this week, this horrible week before General Conference, voices trying to tell me something about the choices I make in my life, what they believe I should believe, which parts of women’s experiences are valid or valuable.  Continue reading “The Mormon Male Voice”

The Correct Name of Our Mother in Heaven

READER POST: Just imagine:

“When we omit Her name from His Church, we are inadvertently removing Her as the central focus of our lives.

“Taking our Heavenly Mother’s name upon us includes declaring and witnessing to others—through our actions and our words—that She is our Mother. Have we been so afraid to offend someone who doesn’t believe in Her that we have failed to defend the Mother Herself, to stand up for Her even in the name by which we call Her? Continue reading “The Correct Name of Our Mother in Heaven”

Women, How Will You Travel the Covenant Path?

DEBORAH: I hear with different ears than those I heard with in my youth. As a new convert, then a wife and young mother, I heard the men at the General Conference podium through ears of hope and expectation. I relished their promises that following their counsel—being a wife devoted to the betterment of my husband in both career and church, being a sacrificing mother intent on raising my children in a new, exciting gospel—would result in a happiness unmatched outside the reach of the gospel. Every inch of my soul longed to please God and, with my whole heart, I trusted the men called to speak for Him.

I’m at the other end of life now. I’ve raised my children and am watching them raise theirs. I’ve lived as is prescribed for Mormon women. I earned an education—a bachelor’s before marriage and a master’s degree in midlife—but I’ve not had paying, full-time employment since my first child was born. I ensured my children learned the gospel; we attended our meetings, held callings, and lived an existence centered around the church and gospel.

When I listened to General Conference last weekend, I listened with the ears of an experienced Mormon woman and with eyes wide-opened by time. While most of General Conference was uplifting, some of it rang as a sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal. Certain things said leave me wondering if some of the men who lead the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints understand women at all. Continue reading “Women, How Will You Travel the Covenant Path?”