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, [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 inclusion rather than exclusion.  [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...]

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 are inborn tendencies toward the impure and unnatural. Not [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 president and former [Read More...]

“Church Instructs Leaders on Same-Sex Marriage” – or did it just make a bad situation worse?

Once again the church releases an ‘Official Statement’ that makes the hearts sink.  My first thought when I read the latest was, ‘lets  watch and see how many members will bail’, and then over the ensuing hours the exit narratives in the social media began; ‘I’ve had enough’,  ‘I can’t do this anymore’, ‘I’m out’.  [Read More...]

The Future of the Church IS the ‘International’ Church

It’s a beautiful Winter’s day in Christchurch today.  Clear blue skies, cool temperatures in the shade but warm in the distant sun.  Travelling past Travis Wetlands on our way to church this morning our son Finn asked, “Mum, why do Pukekos have red beaks?” We’d been observing the flocks of Canada geese and pukeko congregating, [Read More...]

So you’ve been called to serve a mission in New Zealand! Some insider tips for the Americans

I’ve been travelling over the last three weeks and last night I found myself in Provo with a group of friends when the discussion turned to mission preparation in the context of this wave of new young things who are about to be unleashed, bright eyed, and bushy tailed onto the world. The thing about [Read More...]

Embodying the Mormon Cultural Turn: A personal reflection

I’ve only been blogging since the beginning of the year but in that time I’ve had hundreds and hundreds of comments from readers.  On a regular basis I get messages from well meaning folk who have questions about my level of observance,  some gently call me to repent, some have  even urged me to leave [Read More...]

Romney’s tithing and the case of the Mormon Blue Blood

Seriously? So Romney doesn’t want to disclose his financial returns because he feels that the amount of tithing he pays to the church should be private?  Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s  rationale is that  Romney’s desire for tithing privacy is meant to save the recipients of his tithing largesse from the embarrassing position of having their financial need [Read More...]


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