December 9, 2018

Whatever you may think about the soteriology of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it offers big, audacious blessings.   I  went to the temple to be sealed to my first husband when I was 19.   That marriage didn’t last,  but that was OK because when it came time to marry  Nathan, President Hinckley moved pretty quickly to clear the way for our temple marriage.     I remember that September morning like it was yesterday.   After the… Read more

October 9, 2018

Zina Huntington (1821-1901) was a young woman in her prime when she married Henry Jacobs.   But Joseph Smith had long fancied her.   Her marriage to Henry, however, was no impediment to Joseph whose superior priesthood afforded him the right to approach the married Zina with a polygamous marriage proposal. This he did proclaiming that he’d had a revelation involving (you guessed it) flaming swords and angels and threats of death.  She finally consented.   When Joseph Smith was killed, Zina… Read more

September 17, 2018

“Some churches, sects, cults or religious movements are basically collective egoic entities, as rigidly identified with their mental positions as the followers of any political ideology that is closed to any alternative interpretation of reality.” – Eckhart Tolle When I was 11, the first man entitled to ask me if I kept the law of chastity was my Stake President.  A few years ago he was found guilty of paedophilia and imprisoned. When I was 13 my then Bishop came… Read more

June 8, 2018

A few days ago I sat in the Kirtland Temple.   It’s currently the only Mormon (or should I say an ‘Expression of the Restoration’)  temple in which I’m permitted entry.  So, it meant a lot to me to be in this place that stands in the cross-currents and energies of a tradition that formed me.   It felt like I was caught in a religious undertow and being there reminded me of where my spiritual roots are buried and where,… Read more

April 19, 2018

I think I’ve always been a God girl.   I knew I loved Jesus when at seven years old I heard the story of the Good Samaritan.   I remember staring intently at the sepia picture of religious leaders passing by a broken man on the side of the road.  I listened enthralled as Sister Faifai told this most amazing story of radical love.   It was then that the miracle of Jesus stretched out in front of me as a wonderous… Read more

March 28, 2018

27 March, 2018 Dear Sisters, Children, and Brothers of the Church, In light of the recent case of sexual abuse involving a former MTC President, we feel moved to sincerely apologize to anyone who has been similarly victimized.   We reiterate that we have zero tolerance for sexual abuse and will be working very hard to ensure that our future practices reflect that intolerance.  Sexual abuse is a matter of deep concern for us and we will be working very closely with the General Women’s Presidencies to… Read more

February 2, 2018

A couple of Sundays ago  I preached three back to back sermons at All Souls Anglican church on ‘The Way of Jesus and the Women’s March in Washington DC.’ My family, dressed in their Mormon Sunday best, sat on the front row listening to my discourse on the feminist Jesus.   I was so happy that my boys were able to witness the depth of my love for Jesus and why as a woman Jesus continues to mean so much to… Read more

January 17, 2018

  Dear First Presidency,   I refer you to just one of the many conclusions from the many years of research done on culture and identity.   “Cultural identity is an important contributor to people’s wellbeing. Identifying with a particular culture gives people feelings of belonging and security. It also provides people with access to social networks which provide support and shared values and aspirations. These can help break down barriers and build a sense of trust between people -… Read more

January 16, 2018

To what degree, (do) our congregations constitute “environments of developmental expectation.”   Do we signal that ongoing growth and change in faith and vocation are expected and will be supported?  Do we provide images and understandings that will sponsor persons in moving into the questions and issues that seem to lie on the frontiers of their commitments in faith and vocation?  Do we draw on the rich process imagery our tradition offers in the themes of journey, pilgrimage, wilderness, shipwreck, struggle,… Read more

January 9, 2018

Last week I stated that I was going to bring my best and honest out-of-the-box self to the Mormon pew for a year.  Just to see what happens.  Yesterday was Week One and here’s my report:   I belong to a very diverse ward where extending warmth and welcoming is a high priority.    That diversity was expressed in the testimonies.  Gratitude was extended for God, for the Book of Mormon, for the restoration, for Heavenly Mother, for the Māori language,… Read more

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