Sunday in Outer Blogness: Journeys Edition!
If you follow this series, you probably know that I usually put the personal stories near the end, but to keep from getting into a rut — and because the personal stories were more interesting than the news this week — let’s start with tales from our lives!
Ren’s life was suddenly changed eight years ago when a phone call from her husband in jail ultimately led to her own liberation. Cedric explained how he has changed since leaving religion (Jen’s change is similar), and Profet described what he believes now. Mike C recounted his friendship with a gay Mormon. And a Swearing Elder‘s exit story is available in the form of a podcast interview.
In non-church-related stories, the Overeducated Housewife told a tale of the consequences of using “whatever” in the restaurant industry. Monica photographed her family’s pumpkin extravaganza. Daniel presented interesting points about grammar. And Roger Hansen enjoyed a few minutes of fame when his younger brother won a Nobel Prize.
Kate Kelly’s quote “equality is not a feeling” seems to have become the unofficial slogan of the Ordain Women movement, with new discussions showing how equality can be measured. And speaking of applying engineering methods to the church, Mark Brown made a simple, key observation about the CoJCoL-dS’s problem with women:
Last week in conference, Elder Anderson said this:
â€œSincerely asking for and listening to the thoughts and concerns voiced by women is vital in life, in marriage, and in building the kingdom of God.
Twenty years ago in general conference, Elder M. Russell Ballard related a conversation he had with the general president of the Relief Society. There was a question raised about strengthening the worthiness of youth preparing to serve missions. Sister Elaine Jack said with a smile, â€œYou know, Elder Ballard, the [women] of the Church may have some good suggestions â€¦ if they [are] asked. After all, â€¦ we are their mothers!â€.
Apparently, we in the church still are, intentionally or unintentionally, excluding womenâ€™s voices, and this has been a recurring, predictable problem for at least the last 25 years.
Sounds like a systemic problem, and this Bloomberg article agrees. I also like Ziff’s analysis.
On the personal side of the women-and-the-priesthood question, this little story tells a lot:
When I was a toddler, in the late 1960s, my mother, an active Mormon who today is critical of Ordain Women, wrote personal blessings to me and my six siblings. She had cancer at the time and wasnâ€™t sure at the time she would survive. I have read the family blessing she gave me many times, and I believe she was inspired by God, as is my father when he gives priesthood blessings.
(Keep in mind the CoJCoL-dS is not the only source of sexism — I like this response and this one to this Slate article.)
Now for some church stuff and fun! Archaeologists Uncovered Joseph Smithâ€™s iPhone. One of my favorite religious paintings got a new review. Sadly, Denver Snuffer has decided not to start a church. (But he remains highly influential in an LDS movement that is not technically a church.)
I hope you all had a look at Mithryn’s Spaulding-Rigdon Timeline and conclusions! Daymon posted a preview of Volume 3 of his cultural history of the church. Also, please have a look at Andrew S’s question about the motivation for going to church — it seems simple at first, but it is a very difficult question, and, I think, an important one. And — if you are a student at BYU — beware: they really can evict (and expel) you for changing belief.
Happy reading — I’ve got to get myself a copy of this book!!