Step 1: Be Mormon…and Male

Or, What The Media Doesn’t Mention About Mormons in Business

The Economist recently published an article about the prevalence of Mormons among successful businesspeople, and it’s certainly not the first publication to do so; there’s an entire book dedicated to the so-called “Mormon Way of Doing Business.” (Are we, as a people, really so prevalent in the top echelons of business? And here I thought Mormons were all lawyers, dentists, and podiatrists!) These articles have all noticed a peculiar correlation out there in the wild world of business, one that goes a little bit like this: Read More

Preside-Plus-Plus or Double-Plus-Glack?: Chicken patriarchy and language change

Any good descriptive linguist will tell you that words aren’t defined by the dictionary; they’re defined by the communities who use them. Consequently, a word like “preside” doesn’t necessarily mean, in the context of Mormonism, what a general-use dictionary says it means. While its secular/worldly/dictionary definition might be “to exercise authority or control”1 or some such, in Mormonism, it actually means “to be the seat of the authority while also being equal to everyone in a  non-hierarchical authority structure, and maybe also have veto power,” or some such.2


Read More

  1. preside, v. OED, 3rd edition, March 2007; <> []
  2. This is really my best attempt at defining “preside” according to the most apologetic, non-in-charge definition I can come up with. If you have a better one, have at it, but you’ll also have to have-at whether it changes the way I’m analyzing the term’s deployment, below. []


I wrote this two years ago and just happened to come across it today.  

My senior year at BYU was pretty darn lame.  But, you know, it was only lame because I made it lame with my panic.  You see, it was the first time I actually realized that I was going to be graduating…with a humanities degree…and I was still single…

The irony of the whole thing was that I was totally blindsided.  I was that girl who would shake her head sadly at those other girls in MFHD/ElementaryEd** who came to college to “get married.”

“You go to college to…GO TO COLLEGE,” I would intone philosophically at BBQ’s.

But, ya know what?  Come September 2005, I was in full scale panic. Read More

A Marsupial Heart

Today is a day when I wish to honor the crowning glory of God’s creation, that being which is supernal among God’s children, whose qualities mirror as no others’ do the supreme love, grace, and dignity of its creator; whose elegance, gentleness of soul, and unique reproductive capacities bespeak its divine origins.  I speak of course of Wombat, the shnuffliest and burrowingest of all Australian mammals, the most pudgy-nosed and adorable. God indeed has a special love for his wombats.

Read More


On the Friday before Easter, I went to a Tenebrae service at a Luthern church on the other side of town. We sang hymns in minor keys and read through the passion story, up to the Crucifixion and ending there, as the candles in the church were slowly extinguished, and the sun outside the high windows sank below the horizon. When the service ended with Christ still in the tomb, it was nearly dark inside the church, and the last of the light outside was the deep, heavy blue just before nighttime has entirely settled; the congregants walked back to their cars in near silence. I had rarely felt so still, like the weight of the words and darkness had sunk over me, the hand of God had come to quiet all the seething inside that I couldn’t calm on my own. Read More