Risen and Rising

julie and michael in guate

My fundamental belief as a Latter-day Saint is that we are continuously in process of either blossoming or withering, that our potential is infinite and our mortality only one phase of our eternal learning. I have often said that mortality is pre-school, in which we learn (or refuse to learn) the basic principles of the gospel—faith, repentance, forgiveness, charity. I believe that most religions espouse these virtues, and that eventually all will become one, with Christ at the head. In other w … [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 ign … [Read more...]

Christmas Church in China

dad in Shangdong with woman

“Do you actually believe in GOD? Do you PRAY to him? Do you think he lives in the clouds?” These were the chants of my parents’ students in Shandong, China upon learning that Mom and Dad were Christians. The questions mocked–as though the askers had been collectively coached in how to deride religion. But outside the classroom, the questions and the tones changed. The year was 1980, just a decade after the Cultural Revolution. Mom and Dad, accompanied by my baby sister (Carol), were teachin … [Read more...]

That “Third” Conversation? Never, No Never!

baptism of carmella

Fourth grade can be terrible. Not only do you get introduced to hard math, but all the kids start experimenting with identity and control. In my fourth grade class, a particular girl was in charge. Of everything. If she liked you, she would call you to tell you what color of dress to wear. (Yes, this was in the days when girls always wore dresses.) Sometimes, she would test your loyalty. She did this to my classmate, Laurie. She told Laurie to twist Barbara Hatch's arm. We were all at … [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...]


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