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”
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”
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)”
SERENA: A recent story I read online has caused me to wonder where I can turn for peace when a church leader is exercising unrighteous dominion. The story involves a mother who was told by her stake president that if she didn’t refrain from nursing uncovered in a foyer during services, she would be denied a temple recommend. To further add insult to injury, her husband was told he had to choose between his church and his wife, and the leader implied that he should be able to control his wife’s will. This couple reportedly took their case to an area authority who sided with the stake president. The story caused me to wonder how someone who is being bullied by a leader gets justice when the area authorities are lockstep with whatever a stake president decides. Continue reading “When Leaders Choose the Wrong”
READER POST: I sat in the Bride’s Room, listening to the temple matron, feeling very aware of my first pair of silky garments beneath my temple gown. The bottoms felt baggy, but the top fit well, except for a seam that cut right across my breasts. It felt a strange, having a bra on over the garment top, especially with that misplaced seam. I focused harder, trying to feel the spirit of what was happening. The temple matron quickly taught how to launder garments and told us when and when not to wear them. “Of course,” she said, “you’ll remove them for intercourse, but replace them right afterwards and always wear them overnight.”
I did a double take. What did she just say? Continue reading “What Comes Between My Husband and Me”
In Part II of this interview, SQ’s Pilar explains how local church leaders addressed the sexual and physical abuse within her marriage. Read Part I, which focuses on how historic polygamy affected the domestic violence.
SQ: Pilar, before we get any deeper, please tell us your present standing with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?
PILAR: I’m an active member, attend my meetings, and hold a calling. My first sealing was cancelled and I’m now sealed to my present husband. I decided to talk about these things because I love the Church and want it to do better.
SQ: Out of curiosity, how did you feel about the response to the first part of this interview?
PILAR: I appreciated the support. But some people expressed more concern over the mental state of my ex than they did for me, the abuse victim. That was disappointing. Demoralizing. Continue reading “How Local Leaders Responded to Marital Abuse: An Interview with Pilar, Part II”
READER POST: When I was 19, I made the conscious decision to be baptized against my parents’ wishes. In response, they refused to accept the invitation. I remember looking at how beautiful the sky was that day. I had never see such a bluer sky with a more perfect ratio of clouds.
Continue reading “The Lonely Road”