Mar 28

Blessed Are They That Mourn

Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall have comfort. They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. Who goeth forth and weepeth, and beareth precious seed, shall doubtless return with rejoicing, and bring his sheaves with him. –Brahms Requiem, 1st movement

As I lay curled in a ball on my bed late Friday night, trying to quiet the sobs that shook my body and had the mascara pooling in dark circles under my eyes, it was difficult to remember the words from a few hours earlier: “blessed are they that mourn…” When the emotional pain envelops you and leaves little room for rational thought, the blessedness of mourning is merely an attractive idea. And comfort is very far away. Continue reading

Mar 23

The Summons that Abides

He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust:
His truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night;
Nor for the arrow that flieth by day;
Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness;
Nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

–Psalm 91:4-6

The last couple of years have been a hard time for my life in the Church; the last several months, particularly hard. A few weeks ago, to my own surprise, I came to the edge of my ability to go on. I broke with certain of my conceptions about the relationship between the norms of the human community and the will of God, telephoned my stake president, and asked to be released from my calling. Continue reading

Mar 16

History and Faith

A couple of recent discussions have gotten me thinking about the relationship between history and faith. Not every person takes the same approach to navigating the challenges posed by historical problems, of course, and I respect that there are a variety of ways of conceptualizing the interplay betwen the two. What I can’t quite make sense of, however, is the idea that they can be completely separated, that one can talk about faith without reference to history or dismiss history as being irrelevant to faith. (In other words, the “if you have a testimony, then history doesn’t matter” line of thought.) Continue reading

Mar 14

a visit from my mother-in-law

My mother-in-law and I are very different people. Almost polar opposites, in fact. (The only reason I don’t say complete polar opposites is because that’s probably her and Seraphine, and I’m just most of the way to the Seraphine end of the spectrum). Nevertheless, we have come to understand, appreciate, or at least tolerate each other better over the past few years. She tries not to rearrange my stuff when she comes to visit (but she does anyway), and I try not to mind when she rearranges my stuff (though I still do sometimes). Continue reading

Mar 12

The Psychosexual Development of a Mormon Girl

(1) In my CTR class is a quiet, serious, black-haired boy named Timmy who has advanced through Primary and junior Sunday school with me since we were both three or four. When my mother takes Ziff and me over to his house to play, Timmy lets me ride his bike with training wheels for as long as I want while our younger brothers entertain themselves doing something in the garage that involves a lot of shrieking laughter.

I am smitten. And none too happy when my on-again, off-again best friend claims that Timmy let her ride the bike as well when she went over to visit. I want Timmy’s kindnesses to be mine alone. Continue reading

Mar 11

Running from God

I’m rather fond of the story of Jonah. Partly this is just because it’s so funny, what with the cattle of Ninevah repenting in sackcloth and ashes, and Jonah melodramatically announcing that he would be better off dead after God kills his shade plant. But I also like Jonah because there are ways in which I see myself in him. In particular, I’m quite sympathetic to his decision to flee in the opposite direction when God calls him. That’s frequently my reaction to God, too. Continue reading

Mar 03

A Random Survey

Seeing as how our blog has been a bit quiet lately, I thought it would be fun to take a break from our usual discussion of topics like angel mothers and soteriology, and do a completely random survey. All are invited to participate and share their answers to the following deeply profound questions: Continue reading