How Could We Have Forgotten Our Mother?

Mom reading The God Who Weeps to Dad

Mom reading The God Who Weeps to DadI talk a lot about my dad and often neglect to talk about my mother. This post is for her.The picture, one I took with my phone (sorry!), shows her doing what she does every night. She reads to my dad. As visitors drop by, Dad sometimes talks about how grateful he is for what others do for him. "My wife, Julia," he says, "reads to me every night. She serves me that way, and I love her." This particular book, by Terryl and Fiona Givens, is a token … [Read more...]

Looking Back Down the Years

mom and baby me

One assignment I give my students is to write a letter. My objective is for them to use their natural voice and to focus on a familiar audience, and thus to escape the pretentions of "officialese" or academic loquaciousness (like that). This semester, a student wrote to herself in the future, asking if she had turned out okay. It was a lovely essay.Five years ago, I wrote this to a missionary in the Congo--one I had later as a student.My letter:Dear Elder--On Thursday, I went … [Read more...]

A beautiful blog post

This is by my friend Kerri Lynn Harris Bigler. I resonate with her insights on Veterans' Day. With her permission, I post it here.She blogs at Www.unevieenrose.comText:Every year, I am humbled by November 11, which in the US is celebrated and holidayed as “Veterans’ Day”. In the United States, it is a day we remember those who have served in the Armed Forces, particularly during times and places of war. Many cities have veterans’ parades and military shows, which is lovely and make … [Read more...]


poor clares

(Part I of this series is here.)CloistersWhen my friend Robinlee and I visited the Old Mission in Santa Barbara, California, we happened on two statues--one of St. Francis of Assisi and the other of St. Clare. Most Christians are familiar with St. Francis's life and words. We sing his poem, "All Creatures of our God and King", which celebrates nature as God's grand cathedral. St. Francis and his chaste friend, Clare, began new orders for monks and nuns on Palm Sunday in the year 1212. … [Read more...]

Making Room for Difficult Mormons and their Friends

From Mark Mabry's _Another Testament_.

I began my Halloween by reading the much talked about article in Meridian Magazine--a terribly unfortunate piece which characterized "liberal Mormons" thus:Liberal people had been to Europe and let you knew it. They had Continental tastes, exposure to the latest fashions, and eagerly embraced whatever was new and exciting. They were the daring crowd, the ones who were unafraid to live life on the edge. Bohemians, free thinkers, beatniks, hippies—all prided themselves on being open to take r … [Read more...]

The Prodigal (from a mother’s perspective)

Brian Kershiznek's "Halo Repair"

A certain woman had a son. They were not wealthy, but she had given him her time. She had worked with him through his schooling and had helped him understand the things which he did not. She had gone to battle for him when he did mischief and begged those who expressed disappointment, "This is my son. He is a good kid. Don't make him feel like he's not."And behold, there came a day when she knew in a way that many woman know, through her intuition, that the son had a secret life. She … [Read more...]

Death of the Organist

bush organ 3

I once learned how to play several stanzas of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody. I played them over and over. But then the music got hard. It would require work to get the next part, and I wasn’t willing to practice THAT much. I gave up. I am able to play hymns now, but not much more.I thought about my regrettable unwillingness to learn the “hard parts” as I attended Douglas Bush’s funeral in the Provo Central stake center, which houses the most glorious organ in Provo.I was in the stake … [Read more...]