Author: Julie M. Smith

My Conversion Story

The reason that I don’t like to tell my conversion story is that it is boring. If I were to appropriate the famous Joseph Smith line, I would have to modify it thusly: “No man knows my history. . . . I don’t blame any one for not staying awake through my history. If I had not experienced what I have, I could not have stayed awake through it myself.” So don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Genesis 38

“Puzzling.” “Sordid.” “Audacious, provocative, and titillating.” Those descriptors might very well apply to this week’s box office sensation, but that’s not what this post is about. All of these terms (“Sordid” comes from the Institute Manual) were used to describe the tale told in Genesis 38.

Health Care: What to Do?

This from a new report by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research Educational Trust: “The average cost of health insurance for a family of four has soared past $10,800 — exceeding the annual income of a minimum-wage earner, according to a survey released Wednesday.”

Thinking With Katrina

While my brother and his family are safe in Texas, it appears that all of their possessions and their home in New Orleans will be under water soon. What I am hearing now is that about half of ‘well-contructed homes’ will be destroyed and the city will not be habitable for weeks. One million may be left homeless.

A Letter to Emma Ray

While David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism is nearly perfect in every way, one thing it doesn’t do is provide an intimate portrait of President McKay. That lacuna is partially filled by Heart Petals: The Personal Correspondence of David Oman McKay to Emma Ray McKay.

Thank You, Kirsten

It’s time to say goodbye to Kirsten and thank her for being an oustanding guest blogger. I appreciate the way that she formulated potentially-explosive and oft-discussed topics in a fresh, creative way that led to great discussions. Thanks, Kirsten, and we hope you’ll continue to stop by and comment.

Blood on the Doorposts

Let’s call her Sister Jones. We both taught seminary in Northern California a few years ago. I liked her from day one: faithful, funny, and willing to lend out anything from her complete collection of Sunstone back issues. (This was in the days before full Internet access, you see.)

Flannel Board Lust

Who knew when I started reading salon.com’s new column ‘Object Lust’ that I would fall victim to this deadly sin? Who could have predicted that the object of my attraction would be a flannel board?

Guest Blogger: Kirsten M. Christensen

I’m pleased to introduce Kirsten M. Christensen as our newest guest blogger. Kirsten has a PhD in Germanic Studies from UT-Austin and has taught at Mount Holyoke College and Notre Dame and is now at Pacific Lutheran University. She’s married to Ted Warren (who may have the most interesting job of anyone I know) and she has two adorable, smart, precious boys, Grayson and Hal.

HFPE

Griping about endless crafts at Home, Family, and Personal Enrichment Meeting is a Bloggernacle staple. I’d like to try something different.

Family Fun: Temples

This Sunday is the dedication of the San Antonio Temple. My husband and I will get to participate in the dedication from our stake center, but it’s going to be one loooong day for my boys, who struggle with the Sabbath even when four hours of it is eaten up with Church meetings. So I’ve come up with a lengthy list of things they can do, with the hope of keeping them from eating the curtains and, oh yes, making the Temple dedication meaningful for them. I thought I’d go ahead and post the list for anyone looking for FHE or other ideas.

Book Review: David O. McKay: Beloved Prophet

I have mixed feelings about the very presence of Woodger’s David O. McKay: Beloved Prophet. On the one hand, as someone who wants to read biographies of all of the prophets of this dispensation, I’m always happy to see a new addition to the fold. While there are other biographies of President McKay, the pickings are pretty slim–and expensive (but see post below).

Book Review: David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism

Yes, I’m reviewing two books on David O. McKay. My original intention was to review them together (and explore the larger issue of writing faith-promoting as opposed to warts-and-all history), but I decided that wouldn’t be fair. It didn’t seem fair because David O. McKay: Beloved Prophet is a credible entry in the well-established subgenre of LDS biography. It does exactly what it is supposed to do. But David O. McKay and the Rise of Modern Mormonism is a category killer.