How I Learned About Grace and Works from a DBT Group

For much of my life, I have been both intrigued and a little terrified by the idea of grace. Growing up in the church, I rarely heard the term, but I was drawn to the questions it posed. One day when I was an early adolescent, I stumbled across a standard evangelical pamphlet in a Reader’s Digest. I read it clandestinely, because I doubted it was okay for a good Mormon  to be reading such wild things. But I was fascinated by the idea that you could get yourself saved simply by saying a prayer. For someone who felt overwhelmed by the expectations of the church, that seemed way too good to be true. Read More

Blind spot: The assumption that all women can use their sexuality to influence others.

I was recently listening to the awesome feminist mormon housewives podcast episode in which Lisa Butterworth talks to Brad Kramer about what it means to be a male feminist.  I particularly liked his discussion about modesty and sexuality and how he wants to frame those issues for his children.  There are many, many parts of this discussion that I wholeheartedly agree with.  For example, I really like his discussion about how the current modesty rhetoric in the church reinforces the idea that girls and young women are primarily sexual instead of sexuality being only a part of who they are as a person overall.

That being said, there were a couple of statements within this discussion that brought me up short.  Read More

Washington, D.C. snacker May 29th

I’m going to be in Washington, D.C. next week, and frequent commenter Marta is generously hosting a bloggersnacker. It will be Wednesday, May 29th at 6pm. If you’re in the D.C. area and would be interested in joining us, please email me for directions: ziff at

You’re the meaning in my life, you’re the inspiration

This guest post comes to us from Mike C. See his previous guest posts here and here, and definitely don’t miss his most recent fMh post, “Why I Am Wrong & Why I Need You to Tell Me I’m Wrong.”

I had just popped open an ice-cold, 24-ounce Bud when my phone rang. It was the bishop. How did he know?! It was the first time in my life that I had opened a can of beer, and the bishop seemed to know. I wasn’t even in the same state—I was on vacation, 200 miles away. Surely he couldn’t hear the pop and hiss from that far away. Let me tell you, my testimony of leaders being guided by inspiration was reaching new levels.

“Hey, Mike, whatcha up to?” Hmmm, was I honest in my dealings with my fellow men? “Making dinner”, I replied (technically true). It sounded better than, “Just opening a cold brewski, Bishop.”

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Fallout from Mother’s Day: The Doggerel Challenge of 2013

This comes from a Facebook conversation primarily between me and Melyngoch, with some contributions from Ziff and Kiskilili thrown in for good measure. Read at your own risk. (Since my FB page isn’t public, I only included the verses composed by members of my family, but please feel free to contribute or re-contribute any additions of your own.)

A Mother’s Day Poem

“I love you, Mother,” said little Mao
And wiped the sweat from off his brow
“I’ve written all day, now have a look
You too can have your own red book!” Read More

Variations on a Creepy Theme by Anne Campbell

(with no apologies.)

You are the life I threw away,
The happiness I never had;
You’re everything I’ll never do—
But whatever you do, don’t feel bad!

You are the naps I never take,
the toilet where I flushed my dreams away
You’re all the hobbies I don’t have.
No need for guilt! It’s all okay!

You are my halted education,
Projects smothered before they began;
You are my withered sense of self;
You are my snuffed out hopes and plans.

You are the mortgage I can’t afford,
You are the car that actually drives.
You are the only thing I have left.
No problem. You are my whole life.

“I never noticed women weren’t praying in Conference”

In the discussion of the Let Women Pray movement, one of the comments I heard most frequently was something along the lines of “I never noticed women weren’t praying in Conference.” In a few cases, the context suggested that the statement was being made as a marker of being more righteous than thou, but in most cases, it came across to me as a genuine statement of surprise. Heck, I probably said something similar at one point. I don’t think I had ever really thought about the question until I read Cynthia L.’s post on the issue at BCC a couple of years ago.

Even for all of us who sincerely hadn’t noticed that women weren’t praying, though, I think a lot of people drew the wrong conclusion. Specifically, they concluded that because they hadn’t noticed, then it must not be a problem and must not need rectifying. I think this is completely backwards, though. The fact that so many of us hadn’t noticed this very public and constantly repeated instance of institutional sexism means that sexism in the Church is a huge problem.

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