If I left the Church

The last few days have been less a whirlwind for Mormons, and more a tornado of emotions. The Church released updated policies to local leaders, in an amendment of the official administrative handbook that only leaders typically see. It didn't take long for former Mormon John Dehlin to leak the updates to the press, following which the Church promptly confirmed the updates to news sources, before remaining silent on the matter for an additional, excruciating, 24 hours. In those 24 hours of … [Read more...]

Abortion as Seen in Young Adult Science Fiction

 Imagine a world where a civil war has been fought over abortion, and the compromise that ended the war was The Bill of Life, a document that essentially postpones abortion by making it illegal to tamper with life from the moment of conception up until age 13. In the teenage years, however, parents may choose to have a child “unwound” into parts used in organ transplants. Improbable as it sounds, this is the premise of Neal Shusterman’s Unwind series. If you can ignore how preposterous t … [Read more...]

If Mormon Women are Too Busy to be Leaders, We Have a Problem

The recent news that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will officially include women on some of the Church's top governing councils is just one more snippet in a long conversation about ways women can and should do more in the Church. From Ordain Women's ongoing efforts to petition for ordination, to moderate feminist's pleas for women already in positions of authority to be heard (such as Neylan McBaine's book, Women at Church: Magnifying LDS Women's Local Impact), this interest in … [Read more...]

Another Year, Another Mormon Feminist Silenced at Church

If someone had asked me three or five years ago whether I feared retribution for being an outspoken Mormon feminist, I would have told them no, not really. But I would have added that I didn't fear it because on an intellectual level I saw how the Church had become more inclusive. That we were past the days of the September Six excommunications, that efforts such as the I'm a Mormon campaign demonstrated the Church's commitment to including diverse members with varying viewpoints. But I also … [Read more...]

Can Discipline Remain Local in a Global Church?

Leading up to Kate Kelly's disciplinary hearing in 2014, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints published a statement that emphasized the role of local leaders: "Disciplinary councils may be held by local leaders when members preach doctrines contrary to teachings of the Church and refuse to be counseled... Council proceedings are considered private matters between a member and his or her local Church leader." The statement implies that Church leadership agrees with Kelly's local leade … [Read more...]

The Problem with Automatically Changing Women’s Last Names and What to do if it Happens to You

When I got married in May, I had long since decided to keep the name I’ve had since birth. My name was already attached to higher degrees, as well as publications and teaching records. More importantly, my last name is an integral part of my identity that connects me to my family’s Quebecois roots.My husband supported my decision, but as many women have discovered before me, a number of family and friends objected. Some of my fellow Mormons objected to my decision on the grounds that the Chu … [Read more...]

Who Calls Apostasy? Picking up the Pieces When Local Leaders Fail

Kate Kelly is not my favorite Mormon feminist, and Ordain Women is a movement I've never agreed with. In fact, I've gone out of my way to make it clear that I'm in a different feminist camp.But the news that the Ordain Women founder Kate Kelly would soon face a disciplinary council for apostasy and possibly be excommunicated - all in absentia since she moved across the country before receiving the news - struck a chord with me. It reawakened that bubble of fear that lives in a tiny, nearly … [Read more...]

If Your Sexual Thoughts Were Like My Asthma

When my mother was at BYU in the 70's, her bishop came into Relief Society and explained to the college-aged women that they were not dressing modestly enough. Why? Because their knee-length and calf-length skirts were baring their ankles and making it difficult for the men in their ward to control their thoughts. I'm talking about the 1970's, not the 1870's.If you're Mormon, or simply know Mormons, you've probably heard a lot about modesty and the way it's taught. And if you're like me, … [Read more...]