Below is the “Look Book” for “Companions”–a feature film, not a documentary. The film is the first part of multiple projects which Bruce and I will be doing in the Congo as Fulbright scholars at the Universite Catholique Du Congo.  If  all goes as planned, we will be in Kinshasa next October and will stay for ten months.  We also plan on doing work in Lodje. Eventually, we will return to the DR-C as missionaries. This is the basic plan:… Read more

No one is more hungry for applause than someone who questions their fundamental worth. One of my activities as a young teen was inventing schmaltzy dramas and acting them out–alone, of course.  Oh goodness, it would have been a disaster if anyone had seen me! Many of my dramas ended in tears.  It was a good way to get out my emotions and to (unwittingly) rehearse for a life of acting. My first opportunity was in tenth grade, when I… Read more

This photo was taken in July, 1963.  It was my last summer–for many years–of believing that I was lovable outside of my family.  Just around the corner, a bully awaited me, surrounded by her followers,  who were all afraid of what the bully’s revenge would look like if they didn’t follow her orders. Bullying is not an event; it is an evil seed.  If the one being bullied has no antidote (in the form of parental support, or religious/cultural re-interpretation… Read more

It was years afterwards that Joseph Smith made his first attempt to describe what we Mormons refer to as “The First Vision.”  Certainly, making a pamphlet boiling down a theophany to mere words was beyond daunting; perhaps it felt like a mockery. There was a persistent request for an understandable account of an indescribable event, and eventually Joseph attempted it. In fact, he attempted it multiple times. After a century, illustrators created their own interpretations of what the divine beings… Read more

A look at the film previously known as Heart of Africa. This is what we’re doing.  We have raised well over $100,000. through donations and are now seeking investments. This project has been my personal opus of love. I didn’t design the “Look Book,” and would probably have deleted the soldier pictures had I done it, but I think it’s a very good peek into what we’re doing.  I would probably have added more women, as women (two main characters… Read more

A few years ago, I wrote this account of some experiences I had with Darius Gray.  I must share it again. Prejudice, which President Kimball called “thou ugly,” mattered deeply to President Gordon B. Hinckley. He was troubled to hear about anyone being mistreated—and particularly when the excuse for mistreatment was race-based. Darius Gray was similarly concerned as he received countless calls from men and women all over the United States who were still dealing with the ripples of racist… Read more

  I won’t be coy.  I am disturbed by the upcoming Doctrinal Mastery (New Testament) manual for Mormon youth.  This is a sample of what disturbs me. The teacher is asked to divide her students into groups and to discuss the principles behind various church practices.  Questions 2 and 4 elicit a response justifying the long abandoned priesthood restriction.  In fact, the manual writers are fishing for an explanation which is indefensible.  (See note below.) Youth are given a list… Read more

Sunday, March 20, 2011: I am writing this talk at my father’s hospital bedside.  We are in the final phase of his life, though we don’t know how much sand remains in the hourglass neck. When Dad was in the ER on Saturday, I sat at his bedside, a few feet  from my mother.  Mom gave family news, and smiled and laughed as though we were at the dining room table, not in the ER.  I kept my eyes on… Read more

On June 7, I turned sixty-one.  My two best friends, Jackie Selck Clegg and Elizabeth (Buffy) Cannon Wright, both died in their forties, Jackie of cancer and Buffy in a car crash. My aunt Carolyn also died in her forties.  A heart attack took her.  Two of my husband’s sisters died at age forty-five, one of cancer and one of multiple sclerosis.  I look back over the twenty years which I got and they did not and contemplate what that… Read more

“Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.” (Psalms 2:9)   I did not learn of the bulldozing of the LDS chapel at Dale’s finca until a decade after it had happened.  Because I had agreed to teach full time at BYU-Hawaii (I usually teach part-time at BYU-Provo), I had an interview by a general authority.  After a few minutes, we both learned that we had something in common–our… Read more

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