How I choose to see the revisions

I write this as a heterosexual person, one who is not directly affected by the new strictures in the Church Handbook of Instructions (CHI). For that reason, this is all very easy for me to say. I do not blame those who are 'closer to' this situation if their reaction is different from mine. I do not blame those who will leave. However, let's get one thing straight from the beginning: those who made this decision did not relish it. The Brethren do not look for ways to kick people out of the … [Read more...]

Sister Wives’ Madison Brown’s Mormon Baptism Rejection, Explained

Confession: I actually really love the show Sister Wives. It is a pretty remarkable snapshot of American life that is uncommon, but it is also kind of an anti-reality show, designed not to hype up mundane existence into needless drama, but instead to normalize the lifestyle of the polygamist Brown family, proving that not all polygamists are cultish creeps like Warren Jeffs.The problem, it appears, is that the mainstream Mormon church isn’t buying this show’s premise. The Browns are members o … [Read more...]

Souls, not Skin: Why I stand with the 3 new Apostles

Yes, I admit the natural woman in me was somewhat dismayed that the 'white American standard' within the Quorum of the Twelve was preserved last weekend when three new Apostles were called and sustained. However, I chose then and continue to choose now to trust that it was the right thing to do and that the callings were of God and not of man. Where each of the three new Brethren spoke of how President Monson told them their calls were from Deity, it makes me wonder if those who are criticizing … [Read more...]

The saving habit: 123 weeks and counting

See the crazy world going by in front of the LA Temple there? See the peace and safety the temple projects from atop its little hill out along Santa Monica Boulevard? Don't you want that peace and safety in your own mind and heart and life? This is me encouraging you to do whatcha gotta do to get yourself there as often as possible starting now.123 weeks ago last night, I attended the temple for the first time in more than two years. Coming off more than a year and a half of inactivity, I … [Read more...]

Thomas, Meet Francis: The Glory of the Outsider-Leader

I remember the day he was elected, feeling amazed that a non-European was finally going to be in charge. I'd been LDS for a long time by then, but the prospect of some new blood...an outsider of sorts, shaking things up in my church of origin...intrigued and excited me more than might be expected of a temple recommend-carrying Mormon. The past two and a half years since his accession have been the unfolding of what I consider to be a divinely-led series of reforms and refocusings, and with … [Read more...]

LDS Church frankly tackles addiction and recovery

In the late Apostle Boyd K. Packer’s 1975 book “Teach Ye Diligently” he encouraged the Church’s teachers to “treat with care” the sensitivity of subjects “pertaining to sex and the dangerous world of [drugs] and pornography.” He asked for teachers to “protect first the innocence” of the members of the church before speaking frankly.Times have changed. Now, 40 years later, Elder David A. Bednar’s counsel to the South Salt Lake Area stakes in August 2012 that, “what was once sufficient” to prot … [Read more...]

No Blessing: A plea to LDS leaders regarding single members in the Church

First, a caveat: I don't mean to come off as whiny or overdramatic in this entry. I know this is a first-world problem. I know life could be so much worse than it actually is for me and those in my relationship category. However, those other, 'worse' problems are not mine/ours. I can only speak for what I know, and this is the biggest cross I've been called to bear to this point in my life. Despairing your future, no matter what circumstances bring on such feelings, is a terrible situation in … [Read more...]

Death, Sealing Power, and “Trusting into Transformation”

[Preliminary note: This is the first of two posts relaying insights from a few years of reflecting on Mormon ideas about salvation and family in light of Sam Brown’s masterful study of early Mormonism, In Heaven as It Is on Earth: Joseph Smith and the Early Mormon Conquest of Death.] My favorite invocation/description of what Mormons call “the sealing power” comes from the eulogy that inspired the King Follett Discourse, Joseph Smith’s boldest challenge to the brand of Calvinism popular among ma … [Read more...]