On the Sin of Weaponizing Testimonies

  I’ve been asked on several occasions to bear my testimony. On one occasion I was seeking a renewal of my Temple Recommend from  a counsellor in the Stake Presidency who announced: “I’ve heard your testimony of Jesus Christ often enough, but I haven’t heard your testimony of President Monson – would you bear that for me now please.” It was admittedly difficult to share a testimony on demand, but I did my best with little to recommend the conditions… Read more

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 our leadership, to our curriculum, to our religious training, to our books of scripture,  everything about who we are as a religious community screams America,… Read more

Hurray! It may or may not be fine if you are Mormon and Gay!

The re-vamped Mormon and Gay website  went live today. If I had discovered the website as a newbie I might give a wee yip of approval. But I’m not new to the Mormon church’s misguided and historically painful past on the matter,  and anyone who has paid attention might be all too aware that the Church has made it NOT OK to be LGBTQ and Mormon –  over and over again.   In a thousand ways, in a thousand talks, in a thousand micro-aggressions,… Read more

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 day policy but the more I think about it  this runaway corporate train just looks like a huge conceit  for the suits who run these ventures…. Read more

Holding on to those in Faith Crisis: A Sacrament Talk

  Guest Post by Nathan McCluskey.    What follows is an extract from a 15 minute sacrament talk Nathan was asked to give as the Ward Mission Leader on the topic of “Reactivation and Rescuing.”     In April 2012  Bishop Richard C. Edgley of the Presiding Bishopric stated that:    “Reactivation has always been an important part of the work of the Lord. While the rescue is a responsibility of every member, holders of the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood have the… Read more

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 communities  manage the consequences for victims who share the same religious space as their offenders.  What concerns me is that often the first reaction to… Read more

Our Divided Community: American Mormonism, New Zealand Mormonism and the Question of War

The Book of Mormon is full of war. However, how this is interpreted by many American Mormons is quite different from the way it is interpreted by many Kiwi Mormons. Read more

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 the church’s ‘home and family’ programs in regimental fashion. I had watched his zealotry unfold with suspicion but held my misgivings until this particular evening…. Read more

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 of feeling as though my head would explode every time I went to sacrament meeting or Sunday School. I’d had years of sorting and sifting… Read more

Why this KiwiMormon would Vote for Bernie Sanders if I Could

A couple of weeks ago someone challenged my right to have a say on the American Presidential elections. As far as she was concerned I’m not an American so I don’t get to have an opinion.   As a Kiwi – I’m calling that remark out as complete bollocks.   The US has been referring  to itself as the greatest nation on Earth ever since I can remember. America is like a big flickering TV screen that draws the rest of the… Read more