Why I Pray

Last August I discovered a little cancer in my eye, ocular melanoma. For a week or so I was scanned and tested and faced the possibility of my imminent demise. Dramatic. Then I had my left eye removed, which rid me of the cancer but the wound did not heal. Months and followup surgeries later, my eye looks to be healing properly and I am cancer free.Lucky as I am, these months have given me plenty of time to ponder, to experience the shocking goodness and generosity of friends and strangers, … [Read more...]

Appeal for a Shorter Work Week

Capitalism has much to recommend it. In a fallen world where every system is deeply flawed, capitalism has given us Google, penicillin, and time-delay features for our washing machines. But it exacts a high price—security and time.In 1930, John Maynard Keynes' predicted that within a hundred years, per capita income would rise sufficiently to meet people's basic needs, and no one would need to work more than fifteen hours a week. In light of our failure to realize Keynes’s vision, Robert and … [Read more...]

Serving Community Members

To my mind, a particularly beautiful aspect of religious community is the support it can provide when a member is in crisis. I think of Amish communal barn raisings as a consummate example. A Catholic Folklorist friend of mine often reminds me to be grateful for the richness of community I have enjoyed in my own ward. I attribute much of that vibrancy to the fact that I see these people every week; we take each other meals and share tips; we work side by side to produce funerals or ward dinners. … [Read more...]

Sports as a Religious Legacy

When Olympic season appears on the horizon, I tend to recall how I was a disappointment to my parents. Well, only on one account but it was significant: I was not athletically inclined.My parents were my mother and grandmother, and they loved sports. My Grandma graduated from BYU with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Education. She was one of the first white women to hike across the Grand Canyon from the North to the South Rim. She taught PE at Farrer Junior High School, where her … [Read more...]

My Emergency Shelf

Chef James Beard is a hero of mine. His prose is clean, content-rich, and full of wry opinion. He honored history and tried to be an Everyman. Beard’s manifesto in favor of ham as party food changed me forever.[i] … [Read more...]