The Bishop’s Daughter

Cross-posted from

Back in 1969, my grandfather was the Bishop in the Monument Park Stake on the very exclusive, very Mormon, east bench of Salt Lake City, Utah. This was at a time where there were only, believe it or not, eight stakes in the Salt Lake valley. In other words, everybody knew the family. They were high-profile and well-respected. To this day, I often meet people whom I’ve never met who know my grandfather and refer to him as “Bishop”.

My mother was 19 at the time. My father, just a bit older. Of course, they weren’t my mom and dad then. They were just two crazy kids in love… in love with sex. As a result, late in 1969, my older brother was conceived. There was just one thing missing… the ring.

Yep, my brother is a bastard. Well, except that in February 1970, my parents were rushed into an ill-fated marriage in order to save face for my mother’s family among their friends, ward members, and colleagues. To this day, when my dad hears the word shotgun, he ducks.

I had no idea about any of this until, in the fifth grade, I was writing a report on my family for a school assignment.
Continue reading “The Bishop’s Daughter”

Six Characteristics for a Potential Mate

In the spirit of a recent article by Dennis Rainey about the characteristics you should seek in a Christian mate:

A young lady should seek a young man who:
1. Fears God. One of the ways you can tell if a young man fears God is whether he cowers, with his forearm raised defensively over his head, whenever he’s outdoors. Does he remember to use your pre-arranged code when you’re talking on the phone in case God has tapped your line? “The frost is on the pumpkin, Cleveland, and the harvest moon is waxing.” These are good signs of a healthy fear of the Almighty. He should also begin every prayer with “Dear God, Sir!” and will hopefully shake and quiver whenever you invoke the name of Deity. This is one of the many ways in which you’ll be able to control him. Continue reading “Six Characteristics for a Potential Mate”

“Always Listen to the Ravings of a Mad Woman: A Story of Sex, Porn and Postum in the land of Zion”

I grabbed this book by JulieAnn Henneman late yesterday afternoon. I had every intention of reading only a few chapters before Boston Legal (“Denny Crane!”) came on at 10 pm.
However, it didn’t work out that way…
At 1 am, I dragged my sorry and very tired butt to bed, having read the entire book in one sitting; stopping only for the occasional java refill in my Jack Mormon coffee mug, of course.

Gawd, I love a good read. I have the hardest time tearing myself away. Continue reading ““Always Listen to the Ravings of a Mad Woman: A Story of Sex, Porn and Postum in the land of Zion””

Boyd Packer About Sex, Gender and the Priesthood

I want to thank my friend Todd for inspiring this post.

After excommunicating the group of LDS historians and feminist theologians known as the September Six, LDS Apostle Boyd Packer explained why in his opinion women do not need the priesthood during the 1993 October General Conference.

Once a man received as his inheritance two keys. The first key, he was told, would open a vault which he must protect at all cost. The second key was to a safe within the vault which contained a priceless treasure. He was to open this safe and freely use the precious things which were stored therein. He was warned that many would seek to rob him of his inheritance. He was promised that if he used the treasure worthily, it would be replenished and never be diminished, not in all eternity. He would be tested. If he used it to benefit others, his own blessings and joy would increase. Continue reading “Boyd Packer About Sex, Gender and the Priesthood”

Fiction at Main Street Plaza

Coming soon to a browser near you, Main Street Plaza will be publishing fiction! Our first published piece will be “Love, Mormon Style,” by Bob Bringhurst. “Love, Mormon Style” was originally published in a short fiction anthology called In Our Lovely Deseret: Mormon Fictions. This is a humorous yet poignant story about a BYU student trying (and mostly not succeeding) to remain chaste, which we’re confident is a subject near and dear to the heart of each and every one of you.

Every Thursday (starting April 5) we’ll publish a new story for your reading pleasure. Pretty much the only rule for fiction on Main Street Plaza is that it must contain at least some aspect of or reference to Mormon culture, though Mormonism need not be central. Eventually, we’d like to work up to having a short story writing contest, so all you authors out there, get those creative juices flowing. In the mean time, we hope you enjoy reading a few different possible answers to the question of what constitutes Mormon art.

My Pilgrimage to Zion

Although my graduate work was in Medieval European history, I’ve also always had a fascination with my own family history, which, by extension, includes Mormon history. Since we got together ten years ago, my partner Mike and I have done a lot of research in Mormon history. We also do a lot of Mormon history tourism.

We’d been to Kirtland, to Nauvoo, to Salt Lake City and to more obscure locations like Voree (Strangite HQ), St. George and Manti, but we first visited Zion on April 6, 2003. And by “Zion,” I mean the real Zion: Jackson County, Missouri and the city of Independence. Continue reading “My Pilgrimage to Zion”

Jr High Polygamy

One of the more unfortunate periods of my life was the three years we lived in Utah. We moved to Orem, Utah, when I was just starting sixth grade. So I was what, nearly 12? An awkward time in life anyhow, but moving to Orem certainly made things worse in a major way. I was totally unprepared for the impact of Mormonism day in, day out, and for being surrounded by Mormon culture all the time. My parents, at that point, were converts of less than a decade, and had also never been around so many Mormons – and I think it is amazing that they stuck with the church during, and after, those three years. They both went through Mormon-related hell in many ways. Not that I noticed it that much at the time – I was a new teenager and was therefore appropriately self-absorbed. Continue reading “Jr High Polygamy”