Chicken change: A step forward or a sidestep?

How has the Church’s view on homosexuality changed over time? In a post at T&S last year, Kaimi gave an overview of some of the major changes, and summarized them as follows:

Over the course of the past three decades, the church’s stance has evolved from virulently anti-gay and homophobic, to its current soft-heterosexist approach of “love the gays, hate the gayness.” It is a limited sort of shift, as the changes have largely involved rhetoric and attitude, while many of the underlying church doctrines have remained relatively constant.

I haven’t systematically examined Church statements about women, but I think there may be a similar change going on in this area. My impression is that it used to be that women had their own roles and their own sphere and that’s just how it was, but now there are General Authorities reassuring women at every turn that they’re incredible and important. But like the change in views on homosexuality, like Kaimi said, it’s been mostly in rhetoric and not much in practice. Borrowing Kiskilili and Eve’s term, it could be called “chicken change.”

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Going Ex-Pat: One Year In, Part I

A little over a year ago, I wrote a post about my hopes and fears surrounding an upcoming move to Germany and how that would affect my general craving for more spiritual authenticity.

I was thinking a bit about that post today and realized that I had some things to say about what I’ve learned, different perspectives I’ve been given, and, perhaps most importantly, the new sense of empowerment I feel like I’m just beginning to grasp.

So, for what it’s worth, here’s a brief review of my ex-pat church experiences and mini-year-long faith journey, in parts.

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The Mormon Adolescent: Roles and Responsibilities

During my early years in Young Women’s, I was not given many leadership opportunities.  I don’t remember if I ever served as a councilor to a class president, but I do remember that I wasn’t called to be a class president until I was in Laurels.  This caused some anxiety for me, a shy and awkward girl who was really trying to do the right thing.  Why hadn’t I ever been called, when other girls had?  Had I done something wrong?  When I was called to be the Laurel’s class president, I really saw myself as a role model to the younger girls and tried hard to make them feel welcome and safe in Young Women’s.  I was able to focus on them, instead of my own shyness and awkwardness.  One of the best experiences I had was serving as a youth leader at girl’s camp.  It was my sixth year attending camp and the leaders put me and the other 6th year completely in charge of the 3rd year girls.  During camp, we planned all their activities and taught them everyday.  I slept next to my group of girls in our cabin and could see that they really looked up to me.  I felt proud of the responsibility I was given and while I didn’t consider myself and adult, I saw myself moving toward a more adult role.   Read More