The Call of Faith

It is January 3, 2016, and I am feeling nostalgic.  My mother died for fifteen minutes in October when her heart arrested as she was being wheeled in to the OR to have a pacemaker placed.  My father continues in his relentless but merciful decline–which has included several reprieves.  They are asleep, and I am doing the nighttime parent care–a measure we have taken to be sure they are safe.  (Indeed, I have had to call 911 twice.  Each has… Read more

Gratitude #3

  In this third gratitude essay, I focus on my dad. I have written many essays about him and his influence in my life, which you can find by simply googling his name—Robert Wallace Blair.  Or look here. I am grateful that Dad’s heart was always good, that his fidelity was constant. He has expressed regret that he wasn’t fully present for us kids as we were growing up, though I remember him as very much a presence. Perhaps as… Read more

Every Word

  This is a guest post by my nephew, Josh Sabey, about a fascinating project for Biblical studies. This project attempts to increase interfaith interaction and cohesion by creating a crowdsourced study Bible. The website works like this: Users may post their own interpretations, as well as videos, music, books, or other resources relevant to a particular passage of scripture. Results may then be filtered by religion, author, medium, and so on. By crowdsourcing Biblical commentary, everyword seeks to bring people… Read more

The Future of Mormonism (the Next Five Years)

Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on the Future of Faith in America: Mormonism. Read other perspectives here. Despite claims that the sky is falling and multiple reproductions of trumpeting Moroni are toppling from various spires, the future of Mormonism is bright. We are on a bridge. The past five years include the LDS Church’s huge step into transparency.  The hard historical issues visited by official essays were shocking to some, validating to others, and ignored by most. … Read more

Death, Thou Shalt Die!

  This blog will be periodically edited.  It will contain my reflections on my father’s final days on earth. Read more

Three Doors (A Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Post)

The Waiting Rooms in the Great Beyond   Peter may indeed wait at the Pearly Gates, but there is another gate for people who die harboring hurt feelings.  The greeter is female and wears diaphanous white robes with a crown of light which you might mistake for a Santa Lucia wreath, until you realize that there are no actual candles, just the light—haloing her head, each light a sun.  You have to squint to see her face.  It is surprising… Read more

He is Risen! She is Risen!

It is a triumphant song.  I have loved it since I was a child.  I even composed my own, majestic arrangement of it during my teen yers.  it’s the sort of song you could imagine being sung at a coronation. It has many more meanings to me now than it had when I created my own version of it all those years ago. He is risen: My brother, Bobby. On Dad’s birthday in 1982, my brother (his son) was pinned… Read more

Invisible Women and The Winter’s Tale

The best role for a female Shakespearean actor is Hermione in The Winter’s Tale.  Hermione, though absent for much of the play, dominates it with her nobility and grace.  Unlike Rosalind or Portia or others of Shakespeare’s strong women, Hermione never puts on a man’s clothes to show her power.  She is already empowered.  She states it herself when she is brought to trial for adultery, of which she is innocent. Since what I am to say must be but… Read more

Book Signings–how to do them successfully

This is a serious post. I personally hate book signings.  I did my first one twenty-six years ago.  I know when it was, because my twenty-six-year-old daughter was in a baby carrier.  I was still carrying the “I just had a baby” belly and trying to look glamorous.  There was another book signer next to me.  She was actually glamorous, and she had a prop which was not a baby.  She had a beauty queen.  A real one.  Crown on… Read more

How Do We Overcome Prejudice?

This is a guest post by Kendell Coburn, a young man who was called to be a missionary in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and served in Cameroon. He was in the MTC branch which my husband and I helped with. When I was filming in the Congo last August, I met a young Cameroonian man, Jean-Claude Olama, who had just finished his mission and was headed back to Cameroon the next day. I mentioned Kendell Coburn’s name, and Elder… Read more

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