Nov 19

Secular Usage of “Preside”

In a discussion last year at T&S about what it means for a husband to preside, Jim F. argued that it doesn’t really matter what preside means outside the Church because the word just isn’t much used outside the Church (and perhaps court). Kiskilili disagreed, saying that she thought that secular usage was more common.

At the time, it occurred to me that this would be a relatively simple question to get data to answer, but I put the thought on the back burner, so I am just now getting around to trying to answer it. I chose to search newspapers to attempt to answer the question, given that they tend to have a very broad target audience and are fairly widely read (although I know they aren’t read as much as they used to be).

1. Is preside ever used in a secular context? Continue reading

Nov 14

Enrichment Activities

I woke up today and for the first time in my life I actually wanted an Enrichment calling. Weird, I know.

I think one of the things that spawned this desire was the comment someone made recently on another blog (sorry, I can’t remember who or where) that they had activities where the pastor/priest/rabbi/whatever of another religion would speak to them about that religion, and then they would go and visit that leader’s church. I think this would be fascinating. Continue reading

Nov 07

Why I Don’t Want to Believe in Heavenly Mother

It’s high time I confess a heresy that may put me at odds both with many Mormons and with many feminists: I’m not really all that enamored of the idea of the divine feminine, of the doctrine that we have a Heavenly Mother.

I don’t recall when I first encountered the teaching that we have a Heavenly Mother as well as a Father—though I can say that the idea that Heavenly Father had multiple wives was one that rather horrified me (it still does). But even beyond the potential polygamy problem, the notion of an Eternal Mother was one that left me feeling a bit icky. I projected the kinds of saccharine rhetoric about women that I heard about church onto her, imagining a Mother who was always soft-spoken and dripping with sentimentality. I figured that if such a divine personage did indeed exist, I didn’t want anything to do with her.

Continue reading

Nov 05

Does Learning More About Mormonism Make You Dislike It More?

In a discussion of Romney’s “Mormon Problem” on a recent Bloggingheads video, Amy Sullivan makes the following observation:

What really interests me about Mormonism is it’s very different from the situation Kennedy faced in that with anti-Catholicism, a lot of it was based on misinformation about Catholics and misunderstandings, and there, learning more about it, hearing Kennedy talk about his relationship to his faith and the lines that he drew actually did put some voters at ease. Whereas with anti-Mormonism, it’s practically the only bias where learning more about it actually makes people who were opposed more opposed—because they have kind of a vague sense that Mormonism might be a little weird to them, and that they might not agree with things—but they don’t really know the specifics of it. Continue reading