Making Space for Myself as an Uncorrelated Mormon–Part 4: Learning to Say No

I’m going to share with you something important I’ve learned in therapy (said the blogger, both of his remaining readers scrambling for the exits). In order to have healthy relationships, we need to have healthy boundaries. And when constructing boundaries, we must be aware that they can be either too porous or too rigid.

First, the problem with too porous: Read More

Characteristics of a Mormon Feminism

As Eve alluded to in her most recent post, a conversation that we’ve been having lately has to do with the relationship between secular and Mormon feminism. I’ve noticed a tendency—and doubtless engaged in it myself—to take feminist theories from a variety of places and simply graft them on to Mormonism. Mormon feminism is then Mormon in the sense that it concerns itself with Mormon issues, but not Mormon in its roots. Read More

Don’t Be My Ally*

Several lifetimes ago I went through voluntary training to become a white ally to people of color. Although much of the information was instructive and eye-opening, I never shook the feeling that something about the entire proceeding was off. For one thing, the only admissible structure of oppression was race. All of the other familiar sea creatures that inevitably crawled out of the personal-encounter dragnet–class, gender, sexual orientation, and religion, among others–were declared, prima facie, irrelevant to the overwhelming problem of racism, a declaration that made race itself abstract, strangely disembodied, and reductively binary. But there were bigger problems. The biggest was that any dissent from the politically correct perspective, no matter how tentatively offered, was immediately, reflexively interpreted as evidence of the dissenter’s privilege. The ally induction, like the classical psychoanalysis and communism of old, was a realm in which there could be no legitimate critique. This is a tale we moderns know well.  Read More

General RS Presidencies Having Children and GAs Having Children

On my post last week about how many kids GAs have, Petra asked about what the numbers would look like for women in general Church leadership positions. To answer this question, I’ve looked up the number of children that women in the General Relief Society Presidency (hereafter, GRSP) have had. To match the dataset I have for the FP/Q12, I included only women called since 1920.

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Tuesday’s Twice-Baked ZD: Critique of “The Two Trees”

In this edition of Tuesday’s Twice-Baked ZD, we reprise Lynnette’s critique of Valerie Hudson’s talk, “The Two Trees”. Dig in!

(The original post and associated comments can be found here).

I would indeed be ungrateful if I didn’t acknowledge the contributions of my co-bloggers; Petra read an earlier draft and made a lot of great observations, many of which are included in the footnotes, and Kiskilili and Melyngoch kindly allowed me to quote them.

Many of you are probably familiar with Valerie Hudson’s talk, “The Two Trees.” (You can go read it here.) In this talk, Hudson explains that one of the things that she values about the church is its feminism. In her words, she seeks “to review the main points of LDS doctrine that make this a revolutionary religion from a feminine perspective.” I can see why people are drawn to the talk; it has some powerful imagery. I have to give her credit for arguing for an equality that in some respects goes well beyond standard Mormon apologetics about women’s roles. I like how she emphasizes roles for both Heavenly Parents, and is not shy about bringing Heavenly Mother into her scheme. I also like that both men and women are explicitly connected to spiritual power.

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The Problem of Women and Church Courts

CW: discussion of violence and sexual assault

Midway through my mission, I was transferred into an area and took over teaching the new member discussions to a recent convert, a young single mother with one child. The father of her baby was an immigrant who had married a local in order to get citizenship; he had never slept with the woman he married or even lived in the same house with her, but he had to maintain his “marriage” on paper in order to stay in the country. Because of this, he could not marry our recent convert, the mother of his child. This situation was, sadly, quite common.

Shortly after she was baptized, he came over to her apartment uninvited, drunk, and raving, and slapped her around. I do not know what he was angry about, but she showed me the bruises on her body. Later that night, they slept together. Read More

GAs Having Children and Talking about Having Children

In comments on Steve Evans’s recent post at BCC on how birth rates might be increased in accordance with GAs’ counsel to have more children, the question was briefly raised of how many children GAs themselves have. One commenter pointed to a post at By Study and Faith where Jared had found that younger members of the Quorum of the 12 have fewer children on average than do older members.

In this post, I will try to expand a little on Jared’s study by looking at FP/Q12 members over a longer period of time, as well as by trying to look at the link between GAs having lots of children and GAs encouraging Church members to have lots of children more explicit.

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Carefully! Carefully with the plates!

I like to think that if J.R.R. Tolkien had been Mormon, he might have written a book about the hassles of getting the Book of Mormon translated. Such a book might have included the following song:

Chip the peepstone and break the plates!
Melt the sealed portion down!
That’s what Joseph Jr. hates—
Wave the sword of Laban around!

Cut the top off of the hat!
Lose page one through 116!
Smash the Urim and Thummim flat!
Refuse to put your farm to lien!

That’s what Joseph Jr. hates—
So, carefully! carefully with the plates!

Tuesday’s Twice-Baked ZD: Ordaining Women

As Lynnette mentioned in her latest post, we are beginning a new feature: Tuesday’s Twice-Baked ZD, where you get to sample some real Bloggernacle comfort food. In this feature we’ll re-post classic postings from the first eight years of the blog. We hope you enjoy these delectable dishes as much as when they were first served up.

This first post is quite relevant to current events, and was written by Kiskilili. You can read the original post and associated comments here. Enjoy!

In his book Ordaining Women, sociologist Mark Chaves brings both quantitative and qualitative evidence to bear on his examination of women’s ordination as a general social phenomenon impacting the entire spectrum of Christian denominations. Mormonism receives no mention, perhaps because the issue takes on a different cast when applied to a lay ministry, but several of the issues he raises provide what strikes me as a useful framework for understanding our own church’s policy. Read More

Nacle Notebook 2013: Funny Comments

This post is a list of some of the funniest comments I read on the Bloggernacle in 2013. In case you haven’t already seen them, here are links to similar lists from previous years: 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008.

The comments are in roughly chronological order. Most of the original comments are longer, and I’ve only taken excerpts. Each commenter’s name is a link to the comment in its original context, in case you want to see where they came from.

Fair warning: This is kind of a long post, so you might not want to start it unless you have a little time to spare. I hope you enjoy it! Thanks to everyone who contributed to making me laugh so much as I read the Bloggernacle this past year, including both the comments I’ve listed here as well as all those I had to exclude to keep the post to a manageable size.

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ZD Hits Accountability (Maybe) and Goes Environmental

We formally started ZD on January 4, 2006, which means that today is our eighth birthday. I’m not sure what it means for a blog to reach the age of accountability, but here we are. Whether or not this will make us better behaved is anyone’s guess. And if eight years is only the average, rather than some absolute age of responsibility, we might actually have a few years to go.

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Mild Molly Mormon

(As told by Norman the Mormon, hat tip to Shel Silverstein)

Mild Molly Mormon, quoth her first cousin Norman,
Grew up as good Church members do.
She was always in meetings, exchanging hail greetings
Preparing for ol’ BYU.

And while in her youth, the Church teachings, forsooth,
Played sweetly upon her young heartstrings, their truth
Suffused with real beauty and goodness, indeed,
Met her soul’s greatest longing and spiritual need.

But our church is much more than just Jesus and verity,
King Benjamin’s sermon, Mormon’s faith, hope, and charity.
“And that is where Mild Molly’s problems they started
As you will soon see,” Norman sniffed, heavy-hearted. Read More