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?
One of the last talks that Elder Wirthlin gave, Concern For the One is one of my favorites in recent memory. Elder Wirthlin focuses on reaching out to individuals. The talk includes this remarkable passage on individuality:
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)?
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?
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:
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…
We’re pleased to welcome Bridget Jack Meyers as a guest blogger.
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).
This month’s Ensign contains a talk by Elder Douglas L Callister of the Seventy (a slightly edited reprint of a prior talk, actually) titled, “Our Refined Heavenly Home.” Some thoughts on reading over the talk:
It’s been a good week for the gay rights movement.
The Sotomayor nomination has put the strangest ideas into circulation. The latest rallying cry is that — brace yourself — she is a judge who might have empathy. Oh, no! This is apparently a very bad thing.
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.
If you haven’t yet read Mother’s Day and The Cheerio Incident by T&S’s Julie Smith, you’re missing out, big time. Go! Read! Enjoy.
Two that come to mind are: “Daughters of God” by Elder Ballard, April 2008 Conference. “Because She Is a Mother” by Elder Holland, April 1997 Conference. Which talks are your favorites?
Julie Ward Howe’s classic Mother’s Day Proclamation is a beautiful and inspiring aspiration, and is today’s Mother’s Day link.
Read the sermon by the Reverend Canon Susan Harris, halfway down. And read Kristine’s thoughts about the value of motherhood, and how she (gasp) mostly agrees with Julie Beck.
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.
“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…)
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.
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?
Me: Have you practiced piano today? Son2: I just finished. Me: But you only did your exercises. You need to practice your songs, too.
Sunstone West included a panel titled This I Believe, where panelists presented short pieces (3-5 minutes) about their beliefs. My talk is here.
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?
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.
I challenge you — all of you, collectively — to match up your bracket against mine. (And, well, everyone else who is also matching up their bracket against mine.)
So, what is this scary Salamander Letter that the church is hiding from everybody?
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?
It comes up often enough, doesn’t it: People compare race to sexual orientation, when discussing questions of marriage, medical access, and so on. Is this comparison legitimate?