Author: Kaimi Wenger

Rainy Day Panels # 12 & 35

Oh, they’ll stone you when you speak about the blogs They’ll stone you over feminists and God They’ll stone you when you say “September Seven” Or if you talk about Mother in Heaven But, I would not feel so all alone Everybody must Sun Stone. Which panels are you looking forward to at Sunstone next month?


Questions without solid answers, from teaching Elders’ Quorum today: 1. Did Jesus get His endowments during life? If so, how and where? If not, why not (and what does that say)?

Misguided faith?

There was a lot that I liked about this month’s Ensign; but one of the short articles bothered me.  It was the tithing article where the writer, a single mother of six, compared utility and mortgage bills to tithing, and then stated that: I would rather lose the water source to my house than lose the living water offered by the Savior. I would rather have no food on our table than be without the Bread of Life. I would prefer to endure the darkness and discomfort of no electricity than to forfeit the Light of Christ in my life. I would rather abide with my children in a tent than relinquish my privilege of entering the house of the Lord. Is anyone else uncomfortable with the idea that it’s more important to pay tithing than to put a roof over one’s children’s heads?  

Edits have never been so cool

This month’s Ensign features a ground-breaking discussion of the nuances in the Doctrine and Covenants creation process — and it’s all about edits, like you’ve never seen them before.  Elder Marlin K. Jensen of the Seventy, who is the current church historian, writes at some length about the general process, including the fact that there were later changes and edits made to earlier manuscripts:

The participatory nature of salvation for the dead

Last Sunday, I taught the EQ lesson on salvation for the dead.  We covered all of the usual ground:  Joseph Smith’s personal sadness at Alvin’s funeral where the preacher informs the family that Alvin is going to Hell; the various statements critical of the then-popular idea among New England Protestants that the unbaptized would be condemned en masse (Jack, I believe that many modern Protestant faiths give much more flexibility on this concept — is that correct?); the shoemaker story designed to highlight the artificial line between the two groups; and so on.  I’ve heard all of this a dozen times in Sunday school or EQ. But from there, I nudged the class in a different direction, an idea that I had been wondering about.  Given that church members (1) reject the idea of damnation for the untaught, and (2) believe that baptism is necessary for salvation, it is clear that some form of work-around is necessary.  But is there…

Mormon Studies on a Budget?

A few years ago, Armand Mauss advised our readers that an essential texts list for Mormon studies probably included a dozen books (including Shipps, Bushman, Arrington, and Givens) as well as regular reading of four major periodicals. That remains a very good recommendation; however, for many Mormon studies newbies, that level of depth may not be an option. This post addresses the question, how should someone on a limited budget begin to explore Mormon studies?


The New York Times has a recent article about Koogle, a search engine designed for Orthodox Jews, which allows them to avoid religiously objectionable content (such as pictures of women which are deemed not sufficiently modest).

Prop 8 Update

From the court’s own website: The California Supreme Court has announced that it will issue an opinion in three cases challenging the constitutionality of Proposition 8 at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 26, 2009. I’ve previously blogged some analysis of the case. Like most other observers, I expect that the court will reject both the revision/amendment challenge and the fundamental rights challenge, but will not retroactively nullify the 18,000 marriages that took place before November (thus grandfathering in those marriages). That would be, in effect, a partial victory for both sides. I guess we’ll find out one way or another this Tuesday.

Mother’s Day: My talk

It’s hard to strike the right balance, between affirming Moms who really need to be told that they made a good decision; and letting others (especially women) know that they’re okay, too. Last year, I gave this talk. It worked well in my ward, I think. It shows one way of trying to navigate the tension.

Mother’s Day: The Sea all Water

“Motherhood rose around me like a tide in the weeks after my daughter’s birth,” begins Rosalynde’s 2005 post The Sea All Water. “Each night advanced toward me, implacable as a wave, my panic and dread rising like froth up a beach until the moment of submersion, when, wondrously, I found I could float. Few things in life have come to me as arduously as motherhood came, and nothing else has revealed itself as suddenly.” (more…)

Week of Mother’s Day

For the week leading to Mothers Day, I’m going to post a variety of links, talks, and other related materials. We welcome your comments as we try to highlight some discussions about mothers, motherhood, and Mother’s Day.

Bye-bye, Bybee?

A week ago, the New York Times joined the growing chorus of commenters calling for Judge Jay Bybee’s impeachment. Is impeachment really going to happen? And what should we think about the issue?

Sacrament Hymns

There are 28 designated sacrament hymns in the current hymnal within the page range of 169 to 197. Given that we sing one per week, for 52 weeks, basic math tells us that sacrament hymns will be repeated almost twice per year — more than six times the average frequency of other hymns. Two of the 28 Sacrament hymns are duplicate texts with different music. And others (such as 178, O Lord of Hosts, or 189, O Thou Before the World Began) are rarely sung. That leaves an awful lot of weeks each year for I Stand All Amazed, There is a Green Hill, and Jesus, Once of Humble Birth.  With so much repetition, there is a risk that Sacrament becomes auto-pilot.  Part of the music director’s job is arranging hymns to help the congregation reflect on the meeting.   Are there other options for Sacrament hymns?

Same-Sex Marriage in the News (but not the Newsroom)

Lots of movement on the SSM front today (and this week in general).  Today, Vermont’s legislature passed a bill allowing same-sex marriage.  Also, Washington D.C.’s city council passed a bill recognizing out-of-state same-sex marriages.   Meanwhile, last week the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled that same-sex couples had a right to marry under the state constitution.  And the California court will rule on the Prop 8 appeal in the next two months.  (I don’t think the appeal will succeed.) There is no official statement that I’m aware of about these recent developments (the Newsroom is silent so far; the most recent releases on Prop 8 or SSM are two month old discussions of Prop 8 filings).  Will the church weigh in on these new  developments with official statements or California-like campaigns?  One thing is for certain — the last word on the topic is not yet in, and there will probably be lots of news in this area within the next few years.

Unsubstantiated Rumor #2

Over at MAD-Board, there is rumor about a policy change, to the effect that women may now be sealed to more than one (deceased) husband (just as men may now be sealed to more than one deceased wife). Can anyone confirm or un-confirm this one?