Today brings to an end Jana’s stint as a guest blogger. Thank you, Jana, for sharing a slice of your very interesting life and for your thoughtful posts. We wish you well in your writing projects.
I sometimes have a beef with religious art because of the assumptions that the artist must make about the scriptures in order to complete her/his work. This is an interesting corrective. I have a poster-size version of it, framed, and I like it.
BMS: Alma’s Mission MBM: Alma’s Mission
We’re excited to have Jana onboard for the next few weeks. Here’s her bio: Jana Riess is the Religion Book Review Editor for Publishers Weekly magazine, and is also the author of The Spiritual Traveler: Boston and New England and What Would Buffy Do?: The Vampire Slayer as Spiritual Guide. She is currently co-writing Mormonism for Dummies, forthcoming in February 2005. A convert to the LDS Church, she holds degrees in religion from Wellesley College, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Columbia University. She has been interviewed by the Associated Press, Time, Newsweek, People, the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times, and Newsday, among other publications, and was recently a featured guest on NPRâ€™s â€œTalk of the Nationâ€? on trends in religious fiction. She lives in rural Kentucky with her husband Phil and their daughter Jerusha, who just lost her first tooth. Welcome, Jana.
I’m a little behind here because we took a break from our regularly scheduled Book of Mormon FHEs to have one on using kind words. (Care to imagine why?)
I have a unique opportunity and I need some help taking full advantage of it.
Here’s Luke 11:27-28: And it came to pass, as [Jesus] spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.
I’ve been trying not to post much since I have entered the Mentally Incoherent state of pregnancy (as evidenced by the fact that I somehow deleted this post after writing 80% of it–this is take two), but the comments from Ashleigh and others about women in the scriptures have tempted me beyond that which I can bear. I am hoping that this will be the first in an occasional series about overlooked women in the scriptures. The title is from Mark 15:41, where we find out, at the crucifixion, that women have been with Jesus all along (“Oh, gee, did I forget to mention that for the last fifteen chapters?”). Do notice the exceptionally well-placed emoticon immediately before this phrase.
I followed Adam’s link in the sidebar to an article in Meridian Magazine, by their film critic Kieth no I did not spell that wrong Merrill.
MBM: Alma BMS: Alma Teaches and Baptizes
We’re going to the Temple tomorrow, three hours away, and I was sitting here pondering where we might eat lunch (I’m extremely pregnant and pretty much living from one feeding to the next.) in a city I don’t know that well. So, I went to Yahoo! maps, typed in the address of the Temple, clicked on ‘show restaurants’ and ‘all cuisines’ and there you have it. Every restaurant in a five mile radius, location shown on map, and no panicked u-turns because you passed a place that looked good or settling for fast food because you don’t know if there will be a better option in another block. I love the Internet. You could never do something like this without the net. So. What are your favorite Internet tricks?
The thing is: we don’t eat the kinds of foods that one can store. A large chunk of our grocery purchases consist of fresh fruit, frozen vegetables (not the square carrots!), and cheese. Whenever I feel all penitent and motivated to store more food, I always hit a wall due to the discrepency between what we eat and what can be stored.
I have found that my children behave much better in Wal-Mart if we review the rules before we go into the store (no running, use inside voices, no pointing at morbidly obese people and saying, â€œLook, Mommy, that guy sure is fat!â€?). So, brief review: at Times and Seasons, we are polite, we avoid ad hominem attacks, we do not call into question each otherâ€™s righteousness, and we do not make comments about girth. (I will exercise no restraint in deleting comments that I feel violate our posting guidelines.)
There is a great conversation over at that other blog about that classically difficult story, Abraham’s near-sacrifice of Isaac. Among the many excellent comments, this one from danithew stood out to me: “In my Quranic Studies course today the professor talked about how one of the first things Islamic scholars used to do was look at a test and identify the problems/challenges/dilemmas that were imposed on the reader by the text.” This concept seems as if it would be more at home among the reader-response-flavored lit critics than it would among Islamic scholars, but I am nonetheless intrigued by the idea and I can’t recall it being applied in an LDS setting. I think it has a lot of potential for expanding the (sometimes stale and shallow) practice of likening the scriptures unto ourselves. I think it might be a less-threatening way to introduce a subject to a class that might otherwise be controversial: BAD: “I can’t buy the idea…
(Completely unreleted to everything but I just had to mention: my three-year-old noticed that the skin on the bottom of my foot is peeling and asked, “Mommy, are you molting?”) BMS: Abinadi and King Noah MBM: Abinadi Theme: We should be witnesses of Jesus Christ. Scripture: Mosiah 16:8-9 Resources: (1) Can’t take credit for this one but the kids liked it: as we read from the story (also available in the Friend), we cheered every time Abinadi was mentioned and boo’ed every time Noah was mentioned. (2) GAPK #308 (3) CS #118 verse 4 (4) If you didn’t use the prophets activity from the May 2003 Friend, you could do it now. (5) We had an interesting discussion about why God didn’t prevent Abinadi from dying.
(This is last week’s; I’ll have today’s later today. Sorry to get behind; I was out of town.) BMS: King Benjamin MBM: King Benjamin Scripture: Mosiah 5:7 Theme: We can follow Jesus Christ. Resources: 1. The June 1992 Friend has a flannel board for King Benjamin. 2. GAPK #307 3. Children’s Songbook #276 “Do As I’m Doing” 4. The June 2000 Friend has a nice, short story called “King Benjamin’s Words.” 5. We played a little game with the poster article called “Prophets” from the May 2003 Friend. 6. The kids’ favorite part was when we took turns pretending to be King Benjamin standing on his tower (i.e., kitchen chair) and telling the people assembled in their tents (blankets) what they could do to follow Jesus.
The only place online (besides T & S, of course) where I hang out is a message board for homeschoolers. The place is fascinating to me because it overcomes one of the biggest (in my opinion) disadvantages of Internet life: people with widely varying viewpoints are talking to each other over there. We all school the same way, but in addition to your evangelical Christians, we have every other flavor of Christians, non-religious types, Jews, Muslims, pagans, etc.
MBM: There is a Christ BMS: Jacob and Sherem
BMS: A New Home in the Promised Land MBM: The Promised Land–The Nephites
Over at Sons of Mosiah, Bob Caswell shares Bob Millet’s theory on why some members of the Church get so darn hyper about little things: “Millett had another story of a relatively new member coming to him and asking if it was normal for a bishop to require no facial hair in order for a person to be worthy to receive a calling. Millett suggested that the person meet with his stake president. Well, this person did so only to find out that is was his stake president who instigated it! Millett posed the question: What does a person do in that situation? How do you tell a stake president he is wrong? It’s not that easy, especially not in Utah County. Millett gave more examples of Utah County issues he’s dealt with and continued to explain that when a population in a certain area is more than 80 percent Mormon, hyper-righteousness tends to occur, which eventually translates into self-righteousness…
So we checked out a retelling of The Little Red Hen from the library. For those of you not up on your kiddie lit, the aforementioned hen asks her friends to help with every step of the process of breadmaking (planting the seeds, tending the wheat, cutting and grinding the wheat, and baking the bread) but they always refuse to help. At the end, she refuses to share the bread with them.
My main hope with this lesson is that Children’s Protective Services doesn’t knock on the door while the three-year-old is tied to the chair.
Elder David B. Haight passed away. (Link here.)
I think there is an unexamined assumption that polygamy in general is misogynistic, as if there were an equation in our minds and three or four or five women were needed to be ‘equal’ to one man in a polygamous worldview. I am wondering if we might explore that assumption.
BMS: Lehi’s Dream MBM: (not included)
BMS: The Brass Plates MBM: Nephi’s Faith (Actual thing that happened during this lesson: Me: “So why did they need to get the brass plates?” Nathan, two years old: “Because they didn’t have anything to eat dinner off of!”)
(Note to Kaimi–I hope I am allowed to do this without starting a turf war.)