Finding Christmas Peace in Faith Transition

READER POST: Religious holidays can be really hard after a faith transition. I often feel like I have to settle the questions of belief that I’ve wrestled with during the year, or that the wrestle isn’t allowed or worthy during the holiday season. I feel pressure to either declare myself a Christian with all the trimmings of a salvific Christ and a virgin birth, or I have to entirely reject Christianity and exclusively embrace a secular or pagan observation of the season. Continue reading “Finding Christmas Peace in Faith Transition”

Lessons from Mother Winter

READER POST: I used to really hate winter.

A sharp, bone-slicing, we-do-not-negotiate-with-terrorists hatred.

Then….?

I noticed that we always talk about the earth as a mother. Hey, I’m a mother! Maybe I could pick up a few lessons from The Master Mother? I was starved for some kind of pattern of a proper mother, since my own was too overwhelmed to really show up and I didn’t want to repeat that. Continue reading “Lessons from Mother Winter”

Coats of Love

READER POST: 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”

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 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”

Mormon and Transgender: A Human Response to Institutional Mormon Transphobia

READER POST: Tonight, as I go to sleep, I am deeply troubled, and so are others in the LGBTQ community of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint.  This weekend, at the bi-annual General Conference, our leaders waxed spiritual over the pulpit.  Most speakers talked of Jesus Christ and of his healing atonement.  However, one speaker chose another way and probably turned away both members and perspective members.  Continue reading “Mormon and Transgender: A Human Response to Institutional Mormon Transphobia”

What LDS Men Can Do to Support The Women’s Social Media Fast

READER POST: Many of my Mormon sisters will be fasting for 10 days from social media in order to focus on gospel learning. They were invited to do so by the president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Russell M. Nelson. My beloved sisters and friends who are fasting, God be with you. Fasts are such a special set-apart time to be close to God, to rest in God’s love, and to rededicate ourselves to being Light.

I understand that some men have expressed concern that some women may not be fasting as they were expressly invited to. It is to them, and all the men of the church, that I address my next words. How I hope to impress upon your minds the deep need the sisters have for you! Continue reading “What LDS Men Can Do to Support The Women’s Social Media Fast”

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”