I had just completed the oral defense of my admission-to-PhD-candidacy exams, which emphasized the writings of medieval visionaries and mystics. My advisor extended his hand, and with his typical wry smile, said: “Congratulations. You passed. Now, go home and have a vision!” We all had a good laugh, but for different reasons. They all laughed because they don’t believe visions are possible. I laughed because I knew how much it would unsettle them to know that I do.
This post has two main parts — both involve being Mormon and engaging one’s brain. I think they’re still two distinct issues, but I’ll bring them up together, nonetheless, not least because my guest-blogging days are quickly drawing to a close. (Thank goodness — I feel as if I’ve been sucked into some fascinating and time-swallowing vortex that could be impossible to get out of if I didn’t soon…. How I admire [I think… :-)]all of you permanent bloggers.)
(Adam and Sara: you will recognize this topic from our lively late-night chat during your recent visit to Tacoma. I would love to have you both offer some of the insights here that you shared when we talked, if you’re so inclined.)
I’ve long been interested in achieving a greater understanding of the church’s teaching that “by divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness.” (Proclamation on the Family)
It is only after long consideration that I am finally writing this post. I was somewhat taken aback, perhaps naively so, by the discussion sparked by the brief statement in my intro post that I work full time and that my children are in daycare. Ensuing comments focused on working mothers, following the prophet, the Proclamation on the Family. My mention of my husband’s long commute to Chicago while we lived in Indiana led to a brief discussion of the joint sacrifices required to support a working spouse and how common such support might be among Mormon men for their working wives. I replied to these comments, and wondered if I should leave it at that, especially because these topics are clearly debated regularly, and in great detail, here and on other sites (notably Mormon Feminist Housewives).
“We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” This statement of our belief never troubled me until I lived in the German Democratic Republic, otherwise known as East Germany.
I’m honored by Julie’s invitation to blog on this venerable site, amid such esteemed company. I thought I’d begin my introduction by mentioning my connection to several more regular T&S-ers. Julie Smith and I were housemates for two years at UT-Austin. She witnessed my courtship to my husband and attended my wedding. I’ve been grateful to continue my friendship with her in the meantime. I admire her tremendously on many levels, not least because she is probably the most organized, disciplined scholar I know.