March 1, 2016

To begin with, you have to know that I’m not a Donald Trump supporter. I’m not even a Trump sympathizer. I’m unimpressed with his character and his background, and I think he’s poorly suited for the Presidency. I’m troubled by his ugly rhetoric, and by its popularity. I think he’s doing real harm to our political culture. I hope he is not the Republican nominee, and if he is I will vote against him in the general election. And apparently... Read more

October 5, 2015

Mormonism’s Pope Francis moment didn’t happen this weekend. Its pre-Francis moment, that is, in which an ecclesiastical leader from the global south ascends to the highest ranks of an historically northern tradition, in line to assume the faith’s supreme office. Either way, it didn’t happen this weekend. The three new apostles are, on paper, demographically identical: married, lifelong, multi-generational Mormon men from Utah in their early 60s. As individuals, of course, they bring diverse personal and administrative contributions to the... Read more

August 4, 2015

Editors’ Note: This article is part of the Patheos Public Square on the Future of Faith in America: Mormonism. Read other perspectives here. In the present moment, I think it’s fair to say, Mormonism is preoccupied with the vitality of heterosexual marriage as the fundamental private social institution and the premiere context for childrearing. As law and social attitudes in the US evolve on this question, Mormonism will be displaced from the position relatively near the mainstream of American society that it has... Read more

April 16, 2015

Presented without comment, at first: Tinder While I Taper Women without men The elective spinster: making a life of one’s own The decline of marriage isn’t a problem It’s not the economic inequality, it’s the economic immobility In Silicon Valley, perks for some workers but struggles for parents Does your time as a parent make any difference?  Our anti-parenting bias No kids for me, thanks The Answer Is Never: Rewriting the false narrative of childlessness Sixteen writers defend their decision... Read more

January 11, 2014

Tom Stoppard’s play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead famously re-narrates the action of Hamlet from the point of view of two minor characters on the edge of the story. I sit down today to write something about gay marriage, and I am Rosencrantz. I feel acutely my position as a minor character far from the emotional and moral action of the story. My perspective as a married, heterosexual mother comes from extreme stage left: it doesn’t, and shouldn’t, matter nearly... Read more

November 4, 2013

This is one of those posts where the reader has to zag through a preliminary feint and counter-feint before arriving at the beginning. Last week a writer named Joni Hilton wrote an article for Meridian Magazine in which she criticized “liberal Mormons” for all manner of personal and theological errors, charging that, among other transgressions, liberals are “cafeteria Mormons” who observe only the convenient parts of Mormonism. This morning Patrick Mason wrote a thoughtful rebuttal to Hilton’s piece, arguing that... Read more

October 11, 2013

Elder Oaks’s General Conference address last week has predictably prompted a lot of discussion, much of it circling gay marriage. I want to pay attention to a different passage from the address, one that is admittedly secondary to the primary message but that caught my attention nevertheless. Providing evidence for his point that marriage and married childrearing are losing their significance as the primary social forms for reproduction, he cited the following: •The United States now has the lowest birthrate... Read more

October 10, 2013

Yet another article on the crowded intersection of motherhood and career is making the rounds this month. Elizabeth Corey, a professor at Baylor University, has written a reflective and erudite piece for First Things that is prompting discussion among my sisters and friends. She makes no policy recommendation, assumes no position in the culture wars, but explores the seemingly intractable dilemmas facing young adult women in a melancholy key. She argues cogently, if necessarily inconclusively, that “work and family evoke... Read more

October 8, 2013

I’ve written on this topic before, taking different approaches but generally coming down in favor of “modesty” — by which I mean the collection of social norms and teachings that regulate LDS dress and grooming. Sure, I sometimes object to the way it is taught or the emphasis it receives in our teachings, but overall I believe that LDS modesty standards can be constructive and humane elements of our gender culture. Even though I would prefer that we take a... Read more

October 7, 2013

It’s gender week on Salt & Seed! As a gimmick to motivate myself and to build readership, I’m going to put up a short post on a gender-related topic every day this week. Check back each day to see what’s new. By Friday I expect to have alienated almost everybody! A woman I really respect decided to go back to work last year. She had been home with her kids for years, but now, she felt, the time had come... Read more

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