Feb 08

No, there have not been 30 talks about child abuse in General Conference since 1976

The Mormon Newsroom article on child abuse from 2010 that was recently published with a 2016 date (because of a “technical error”) includes the following claim, as evidence of how seriously the Church takes child abuse:

Since 1976, more than 50 articles have appeared in Church publications condemning child abuse or educating members about it. As wrenching as the topic is, Church leaders have given sermons about it more than 30 times at the Church’s worldwide conferences.

I spend a fair amount of time poking through old General Conference talks, and this latter number—30 sermons about child abuse—seemed high to me. So I thought I would check it.

I used the lds.org search tool to search for “child abuse” (without the quotation marks), and limited the results to General Conference talks. The search doesn’t require the words to appear together, so I was casting a pretty wide net, not just looking for talks that had the exact phrase “child abuse.” In fact, I ended up having to discard a bunch of talks in the results because they never discussed child abuse even though they included both words (frequently they talked about drug abuse and mentioned a child in another context).

Continue reading

Jun 06

Sometimes I Dream

Sometimes I dream that I’m watching a girl drown. The water is deep and dark, the current is strong yet gentle, almost caressing her. It seems to be a slow-motion drowning, lacking in drama and velocity. And I’m standing right there on the shore, waving my arms ineffectually as I look on in despair. I am useless. Sometimes it seems that she isn’t even trying to swim, and I become frustrated as she stops stroking and kicking, apparently consigned to letting the waves calmly wash over her and carry her out to sea. Continue reading

Jun 01

Lions and Tigers and Bears, Oh My!

My wife’s life changed forever on a hot summer evening when she was 12 years old. Up until then she had lived a fairly sheltered life in a predominantly Mormon community in a cookie-cutter suburb in the Mountain West. This was a typical suburb–sprinklers greening up the lawns, bicycles in the driveway, the occasional cat or stray dog–no other wildlife to speak of.

On this evening, behind closed doors in his office at the ward building, the mild-mannered, middle-aged, soon-to-be excommunciated-for-adultery bishop, asked innocent little Lilian if she practiced bestiality. Continue reading

Mar 01

Mothering

My husband and I are working on adopting, which is a large part of why I’ve been mostly absent here for the last year. I wrote this post last night on our adoption blog, but I thought it might generate some good discussion here, and go along nicely with some of the recent posts, so I’m cross-posting it.

Anyone who knows me know that I’m a pretty honest person, and I don’t sugarcoat things. Especially when it comes to my kids and mothering. In fact, this blog is probably about the least honest I’ve been, and even here I don’t feel like I’ve been at all dishonest, I just don’t have nearly enough whiny posts up for you to realize how whiny I can be in real life. That’s probably okay. A little less whining is good for me, and you probably appreciate not hearing so much of it. I know it grates on my nerves when my kids do it, so I really ought to be setting a better example.

But that’s not really why I’ve avoided my tendencies toward whininess here. (What do they mean, whininess isn’t a word? It totally is.) I’ve avoided it here because for the first time in a very long time people are judging me and I care what they think. Continue reading

Nov 07

The Fine Art of Spiritual Vaccines

I was recently called as my ward’s early-morning seminary teacher. I’ll pause to let you all wince.

There are many challenges to this calling, but, to my surprise, waking up at 5:15 AM is not the greatest challenge. (This isn’t to say it’s the smallest challenge, either; I’m not a morning person, at all, and I freely admit to having some very un-Christian feelings in my heart–and words in my mouth–when that alarm goes off.) Continue reading

Dec 09

A Day in My Life (a few years ago)

This is a repost of a post I did for FMH‘s A Day in the Life series. I’m resurrecting it now because my little sister recently had her second baby and is feeling overwhelmed. Hopefully this will help her realize that she’s at least doing better than I managed at the same time. Also, I hope to follow this up by finishing a post I started when the second was about a year old and things were much more under control, so look for that soon.

I’m a SAHM with a BA in anthropology and a minor in computer science. I have a 21-mo-old and a 3-mo-old (both boys). I write, and hope someday to publish a book, but not for a while at the rate I’m going.

Here’s my post… Continue reading