Who are These Three Women?

three women picture

Who are the three women in J. Kirk Richards's painting of the lepers? They do not appear in early drafts of the painting, but clearly balance the men on the other side of the cave in the final draft.The brilliant Maxine Hanks sees them as the three Marys--those three who are mentioned in John 19:25 as being present at the crucifixion (and in some modern readings, also present at the resurrection): "Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of C … [Read more...]

Caves, Cloisters, and Temples


Part I: CavesA year ago, I visited J. Kirk Richards's studio. I saw a large, mid-creation painting. A few of his students had worked on the piece, filling in the details. It was clear that this work represented a community in an enclosed area, but I couldn't guess who they were. The suggestion of Christ outside the cave was just a suggestion. What was the Savior doing? In the early rendition, there were no women behind Jesus, but there are three in the final draft. Who are they? Why … [Read more...]

My Prayer upon Opening the Internet

Bruce's socks

Dear Lord, I am about to enter the world-wide internet, where good people can use fake names and say awful things. As I click on the icon, I ask for your blessings.Let me not be taken in by any trolls. Erase my fantasies of hiring a computer geek to hack into their email and send thousands of messages about losing weight by eating only raspberries and holding a sanctified piece of granite. Bless me to recognize the trolls and to refrain from feeding them.Let me recognize that insults … [Read more...]

“Margaret Young has Weighed In.”

Margaret Young and Darius Gray at the Jane Janning James monument

These words, beginning my friend Russell Stevenson's one-sentence summary of one of my blog posts, should be spoken in fear and trepidation, and only at a Weight watcher's meeting.I had a message from a good friend urging me to respond to the response to my first blog on priesthood restrictions, etc. I am not eager to enter the fray yet again, as it is generally unkind. But my statement was not: "[T]the proper way to address this is through personal conversations with leaders in power." … [Read more...]

A Few of my Sisters

pablo choc passport picture

This is Augustina Choc and her family. It's not a great picture. You can see my thumb holding it. This was the passport picture the Choc family of Patzicia, Guatemala had when they went by bus to the Mesa, Arizona temple. They saved for years to make this trip. There were a few other families with them. One of the women who participated, Rosalia Tum, told me in her broken Spanish (she speaks Cakchiquel) how touched she was that "everyone was dressed alike." There were no distinctions … [Read more...]

Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra

hill of crosses

This was one of the last posts I did when I blogged at By Common Consent. It has renewed significance now.My husband and I recently saw a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode called “Darmok.” In it, the Enterprise is threatened with destruction if they can’t interpret the language of the “enemy” ship’s creatures. Captain Picard is sent to a planet to attempt communication with one of these “enemy” aliens. As it turns out, the aliens’ language is all based on metaphors from their folklore. … [Read more...]

Learning to Talk Past Our Differences: Hello Fellow Feminists!

provo temple roses

When my family moved to Utah from Illinois, I spent the last month of fourth grade at Wasatch Elementary. Two days after I arrived, nobody would talk to me. Finally, a classmate who was also in my primary class gave me a two-page list of my faults, explaining my unworthiness to associate with the others. First on the list was this: “You have red hair.” True. I could not deny it. Second: “You show off.” Also true. I did cartwheels during recess.I became a loner instantly and played hop … [Read more...]