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Church Leadership and the Dilemma of Dementia

Towards the end of Ezra Taft Benson’s life I recall him being very unwell.   I have a lasting image of his being seated in General Conference wide-eyed, bewildered and confused. I thought at the time, ‘He has dementia.’   But there were no announcements to confirm this. It was no secret that he was sick, but the nature of his condition wasn’t publically stated.And so as a newly married couple we would regularly pray for President Benson’s return to full health. Until one evening at the end of … [Read More...]

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A Conversation with Kate Kelly: Feminist and Optimist

Kate Kelly, a recently excommunicated Mormon feminist, is the founder of Ordain Women. Though she has attracted significant media attention she still remains a bit of an enigma. A staunch apologist for the fundamentals of Mormon theology she holds doggedly to the doctrines of continuing revelation and open cannon. At the same time she is an unapologetic feminist and activist.In this podcast interview (posted at 'A Thoughtful Faith')  I talk to Kate about her feminist awakenings, the de … [Read More...]

Saving Zion from America: Theorizing in the aftermath

I've been thinking about Zion. I am one of a few fortunate Mormon feminists,   I have a bishop and a Stake President who are first and foremost disposed toward love and mercy before judgment and punishment.   They don’t agree with me on several points, but what defines their ministry is … [Read More...]

Burying Shirley, Unexcommunicating Kate

My mother-in-law, Shirley, died a week ago.  At the same time as we have been processing her death and all that it means to our family, hovering over me has been the shadow of a different kind of death - the excommunication of Kate Kelly, of Margaret Toscano, of Lavina Fielding Anderson and all of … [Read More...]

Room For All In This Church

We face a difficult and pivotal moment in Mormonism as LDS leaders and church members wrestle more openly with complicated aspects of our faith, its doctrine, and its history—often in spaces afforded by the Internet. In light of possible disciplinary action against prominent voices among us, we the … [Read More...]

The Importance of Religious Heresy: Recent Contemplations

So lets talk apostasy.It  might surprise some people but I've actually been accused of apostasy on several occasions and  I'm frequently asked to leave the church.  Interestingly none of this has come from my ecclesiastical leaders of course, just from people whom I don’t know who use pseudonyms … [Read More...]

Paying the Price For Patriarchy

Firstly to my sisters, and brother allies in arms;  You have not wept, cried nor raged alone today.  To Kate Kelly:Your pain is our pain.  The letter  calling you to your religious trial was sent to us all.  Your disciplinary council will put thousands and thousands of men and women all over th … [Read More...]

Reflections on the New Zealand Regional Broadcast: Why Censorship is Sometimes Necessary

In the October 2010 General Conference Boyd K. Packer made some controversial remarks.  Firstly he claimed that the Proclamation to the Family was a revelation.  Then he suggested that homosexuality was not inborn proclaiming;  “Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel a … [Read More...]

Speaking Confidently of Motherhood Memes

This  week some geniuses from the LDS.org meme department published  advice to women about how we  can better relate with each other.  It was in the form of a graphic featuring very young women sustaining three religious directives with their happy smiles:  'Speak Confidently of Motherhood, Speak Mor … [Read More...]

Mormon mystics and managers: The traces of Joseph and Brigham in us

I love the idea that our church had its roots in the spiritual raptures and visions of a mystic.     Mystics have a vast spiritual intuition and are truly gifted in working out the tangle of cosmic threads in a way that ultimately reveals paths to individual and community spiritual enlightenment.   B … [Read More...]

Utah: Where being a brown brother with a pen can cost you your life

 Utah has one of the most sizable Pacific Island populations in the United States of America outside of California.  In Utah the most significant Pasifika communities are Tongan and Samoan.  Where New Zealand and Australia both have substantial Polynesian communities, migration to Utah has had an … [Read More...]

Reflections after Temple Square: Furious musings from the periphery

Two nights ago there was a men’s dinner at our home.  It was Nathan’s birthday celebration and I had offered to cater a sumptuous blokey kind of meal for him and his friends.  Friends who included two bishops, one former bishop and former counselor on the Stake Presidency, and one young men’s preside … [Read More...]

I was at the Ordain Woman action but…

Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Public Square 2014 Summer Series: Conversations on Religious Trends. Read other perspectives from the Mormon community here.   THE FOLLOWING POST HAS BEEN REVISEDI attended the Ordain Women action on April 5th.  I supported it, and I suppor … [Read More...]

Its Time to Overhaul the Church Bureaucracy!

Years and years ago I was the Stake Librarian.  My first job was to bring order to the Christchurch Stake Library which was  straining under the weight of decades of junk.  In order to make sense of what I was to do with a dusty room full of layers of stuff I cracked open the librarians handbook and … [Read More...]


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