Author: Rebecca Smylie

Marriage and gender roles

I suppose we have Mark Sanford to thank for the recent frenzy of articles about marriage (or was it Jon and Kate?). There’s Caitlin Flanagan’s piece in Time, Aaron Traister at, the Women’s Day/AOL living survey, Amanda Fortini wondering “why would anyone submit to the doomed delusion that is marriage?” No surprise then that last week, the Church’s Mormon Message was Elder Oaks on divorce.

Worshipping a dead law

A couple of years ago I got really interested in the Law of Moses. It’s hard to read the scriptures and miss it—particularly the Book of Mormon or the Bible. I can’t help but feel like it was the issue of the day. The thing that, for one reason or another, many members of the ancient Church just couldn’t get their heads around. I can almost see Paul sitting up late at night, rubbing his temples, trying to think of another way to teach that the Law of Moses had been fulfilled, that salvation was—always was—in Christ, that if they couldn’t understand that critical doctrine they didn’t get any of it. I wondered why the ancient Saints had such a hard time understanding it.

Faith’s Fear Factor

I recently had a co-worker ask me how many wives my husband had. “Just one,” I answered. Red-faced, I hurried to explain that Mormons don’t practice polygamy. By the end of our conversation, he looked unconvinced and I felt uncomfortable because I belong to a church outside the mainstream. The innocuous encounter gave rise to one of my least favorite emotions—feeling guilty for feeling embarrassed about the most important thing in my life. Religiosity, I often worry, isn’t chic.