Nursery Etiquette, or, What I Wish Others Knew About My Calling

As Mormons we are theologically committed to experiential, bodily knowledge. And we all know there are some things you never really understand until you’re actually in the trenches, dealing with a situation as it unfolds on the ground. Here are a few of the things I’ve learned in the several times I’ve served as a nursery worker. Read More

A Defining Moment

In the summer of 2004, I was preparing for my Ph.D. exams and panicking. I was feeling completely unprepared, worried about my ability to perform well (or even pass), and uncertain about whether or not I should postpone the exams. Generally, I was feeling highly anxious about my ability to be a successful academic.

I asked my brother-in-law for a blessing, and the blessing I received gave me a huge amount of comfort. Read More

The Paradox of God: Thinking about the Story of Job

Throughout much of the Book of Job, Job and his friends try to impose a logical structure upon God. Job asserts that he is sinless yet suffering (and that the suffering must be coming from God), which causes him to assume that God is punishing him unfairly. His friends question his premise of sinlessness. They assume that God must be just; thus, Job must be mistaken about his own state. As we read further into the book, we discover that Job’s logic (minus his conclusion) is essentially correct, but when the Voice in the Whirlwind appears, it asks Job to hold on to a pardox: Read More

Advice Needed (I Think I Lost my Sense of Humor)

I was watching a movie yesterday that I’ve watched many times in the past and that typically makes me laugh out loud pretty much every time I watch it. I think I laughed once. I didn’t find it that funny. And I stopped and realized I don’t really remember finding much of anything funny in the past few years.

I think somehow in all the epic emotional drama of my life I lost my ability to have fun and just enjoy life. Except with my students because if you can’t laugh when you teach high school students then you’re too far gone to be saved. Read More

The Anxieties of Faith

I’ve been thinking a lot this past year about how faith is a risk. When you take a leap of faith, you hope that things will work out and that your faith will be confirmed, but this doesn’t necessarily happen. When you walk blindly into darkness, sometimes you find a path or a light, but sometimes you get lost. And sometimes you take a dive headfirst off a cliff you didn’t see. It can happen because your faith wasn’t strong enough; it can happen because what you had faith in wasn’t “true,” but sometimes there’s no clear reason for what happens after you exercise your faith. Read More