Dear God, Please keep America a Foreign Land

The best thing I heard on National Radio this morning was; “This is a wake-up call for the rest of the world. America is foreign. They may talk like us and look like us, but it’s foreign.” Except if you are New Zealand Mormon where America is present everywhere.  From our services to our dress, to [Read More…]

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The Spiritual Dilemma of the LDS Church’s Overblown Wealth

I’ve tried and tried over the years  to figure out why the LDS church needs so much money.  Estimates are that LDS Inc. owns about USD$375B, debt free.  That makes them a Fortune 5 company.  It feels  sketchy and inexplicably off to me.  I know, I know – I’ve heard all about the church’s rainy [Read More…]

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Moral Judgement and the Problem of Protecting the Church’s ‘Good Name’

Sadly, the church is the religious home of  both victims and perpetrators of crimes and abuses. I don’t expect to never see these kinds of abuses in the church.  Mormons are just as prone as anyone else to lapses in self-control and moral reasoning.  But what concerns me most is the sometimes unhealthy ways in which Mormon [Read More…]

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Tyler Glenn and Jeffery Holland: The Power and the Limits of Anger

Shortly after Nathan and I married we were enjoying a family evening for two. He was about 12 years old at the time (#kiddingnotkidding) and had literally just come home from his mission. He’d had a wonderful mission and he was determined to start our marriage on the right Mormon foot by setting set up [Read More…]

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How I Failed My Mormon Sabbatical

At the end of last year I tearfully thrust my Temple Recommend into my Bishop’s hands, I stopped wearing temple garments and I gave myself permission to walk away.   Like many, I’d had years of feeling like the breath was being sucked out of me as I pulled into the meetinghouse car park; years [Read More…]

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‘Gospel’ Culture Shock

I grew up in New Zealand hearing a term that was frequently deployed in order to remind us that certain cultural practices don’t comport with one’s membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Gospel Culture has become a ubiquitous term that reminds us non-Americans that we are obligated to ‘pursue a [Read More…]

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The Foolishness of the Calderwood Excommunications

Last night Marisa and Carson Calderwood were excommunicated at a Church Discipline held at their Maple Valley, Washington stake. Marisa and Carson are cradle Mormons who had done everything they were required to do;  missions, temple marriage, children, church service. Their sin? They talked to people about their thought, their questions and their doubt.  For that [Read More…]

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Freedom for all, except people who disagree with me

This guest post is by Nicola Ward Petty, a convert from Catholicism, a returned missionary and a former Stake Relief Society President.  Nicola and her husband Mark are the parents of two sons and the grandparents of one grandson.  They live in Christchurch, New Zealand.   At the recent General conference, Elder Robert Hales gave [Read More…]

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Gloriavale and the Mormons: What New Zealand’s latest religious drama has to teach us

Nestled against the Western range of the Southern Alps in New Zealand is a Christian commune known as Gloriavale. It has always attracted attention largely due to its inauspicious beginnings surrounding the aberrant sexual ideologies espoused and at one time practiced by the central figure Neville Cooper who was jailed in 1994 for 10 counts [Read More…]

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Digesting the Dehlin Drama: Thoughts in the wake

I’ve spent the last couple of days percolating the latest excommunication drama, waiting for the heavy weight of it on my heart to lighten somewhat.  It hasn’t.  It was sadly inevitable that John was excommunicated.  Not because John did anything different to what he usually does – tell all, scrap it out to the last, and do [Read More…]

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