Losing a Life: The Trauma of Impending Miscarriage

JUNE: I became pregnant while my husband was in the middle of his medical residency and working 80 hours a week. We were living in a place that provided us little support and without family around. I was a full-time, stay-at-home mom to my three children, all under the age of five, one of whom has profound special needs that required my constant  attention and advocacy. I had already suffered three prior miscarriages over the course of just a few years, each one devastating, difficult, and painful, both emotionally and physically. 

Here my husband and I were, almost 11 weeks along, undergoing  an ultrasound, happy and hopeful. Then the technician averted her eyes and I saw it, the heart rate—70 bpm, less than half the rate it should be. The appointment abruptly ended and we obediently followed as she led us to speak with the doctor.  Continue reading “Losing a Life: The Trauma of Impending Miscarriage”

When Women Use the Temple as a Weapon

READER POST: Early in my marriage, I learned that my mother-in-law loves the temple. To her, it’s the pinnacle of family bonding time and the first thing she wants to do any time the family gets together. For instance, the evening before one family wedding, her sons had to explain why it would be insensitive for those of us with recommends to ditch the bride’s parents and the groom’s grandparents, who did not hold temple recommends, in order to attend a session together.  On another occasion, my mother-in-law picked up family at the airport and informed her travel-weary relatives that they were heading straight to the temple for a 2-hour session. Yes, she loves the temple that much, and its a problem. Continue reading “When Women Use the Temple as a Weapon”

The Silencing of Women in the Church

READER POST: At the foundation of the patriarchal culture of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the silencing of women. Until recently, women were not allowed to speak in General Conference. Their voices are excluded from critical councils of the Church–the councils that make policies which determine the quality of a woman’s life and how a woman may participate in the Church. Under these conditions, women are expected to obey Church leaders without complaint. Those who refuse to do so are too often marginalized and shamed. Continue reading “The Silencing of Women in the Church”

Of My Own Free Will and Choice

TABITHA: “Sister Tabitha, would you like to come sit by your husband up here?”

My husband was serving as a witness for sealing ceremonies, the rite that binds families together for eternity in temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There’s not much to the job, just being one of two men making sure that the man performing the ceremony does it correctly. By sitting next to my husband, at the head of the room, I had a glimpse into church service and duties that I’ll most likely never experience for myself. At first I was excited. Here I am, sitting next to my husband, not behind or ahead. We are already sealed together as a couple. Now we’re a team serving together, as witnesses, even if I’m only unofficially one. Except, I’ll always be an unofficial witness. I’m not needed because I can’t be ordained to an office of the priesthood; I’m just kinda nice to have around to make the work more bearable. Or something like that. Dang. That was a cool feeling for a minute. Continue reading “Of My Own Free Will and Choice”

What I Was Supposed to See

READER POST: It’s funny, really. You’d think a less sexist temple ceremony would make me happy. And in a detached, distant kind of way, it does. I’m glad other women won’t have to feel the way I did; like I was trapped. I’m a lifelong feminist and a born-in-the-covenant Mormon, and I wrestled that with the best of them. I thought I’d figured it out.

Continue reading “What I Was Supposed to See”

Let’s Hear It for the Boys! (and Other Shout-outs Re: the Temple Changes)

DEBORAH: Changes have been made to the temple ceremonies, and, having not yet witnessed them, I rely on reports that every single thing feminist-leaning Latter-day Saint women have been protesting has been corrected. Finally. A step forward that is adult-sized. Of course, the entire topic of the temple falls into most members’ Too Sacred for Words file, so I won’t go there. Instead, I’d like to give a few shout outs. Continue reading “Let’s Hear It for the Boys! (and Other Shout-outs Re: the Temple Changes)”

Addendum to The Slack in the New Missionary Dress Code

DEBORAH: When I wrote my last post on the new missionary dress code, I had only the public announcement made by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In a comment, an SQ reader supplied the official wording, as it landed in the hands of our female missionaries. I’d like to say that the additional information demonstrated a greater mindfulness and care for the young women who serve. However, what it did was confirm that sexism—an inconsideration for the additional burdens the formal Church places on women—is alive and well. Continue reading “Addendum to The Slack in the New Missionary Dress Code”

The Slack in the New Sister Missionary Dress Code

DEBORAH: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has released an announcement that all female missionaries may wear pants. Sometimes. Depending. Not in the temple, not at missionary conferences or various other mission- or church-specific meetings, and, of course, not during any Sunday meetings. Online rejoicing abounds. But not me. I can’t rejoice. Continue reading “The Slack in the New Sister Missionary Dress Code”

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”