Being a 30-something Single in the Church: Part V, the Law of Chastity

I apologize for the delay in this series. First semester grades and comments were due this past month, and work takes priority over blogging. But here’s a new post, and there will be more to come…

I have been obedient to the law of chastity for my entire dating life. I’ve skirted the boundaries once or twice, but I’ve never done anything that necessitated a serious talk with my bishop. While this has not necessarily been easy, I can unreservedly say it’s been the right path for me to follow. Let me start by mentioning my personal reasons. Read More

Niblets Nominations

So, our blog is again on the quiet side (and I know that I’m not going to be putting up any more posts until I’m done with first semester grades and comments). Thus, I’m going to direct you all to the Niblets nominations thread over at Mormon Matters. You can look back through all the posts made in 2009 at your favorite blogs in the bloggernacle and nominate posts/bloggers/etc. that you loved. Here’s the link to the nomination thread:

Niblets nominations

Read More

Being a 30-something Single in the Church: Part III, Marriage

I was going to do my law of chastity post next, but my reflections on that topic haven’t quite coalesced, so I’m going to go off in a slightly different direction and come back to that topic at a later date.

I have never been married, so this post is not about being married. Instead, it’s about the fun and excitement you experience when most everyone around you (including younger siblings) gets married and you don’t. I want to start with a couple of personal stories which are difficult for me to tell, but I’m hoping they’ll prompt others to share their own stories. And I’m hoping they’ll help illustrate how difficult it can be to be single in the Mormon church. Read More

Being a 30-something Single in the Church: Part II, No Sex

Introductory note #1: I’ve changed the title of my series and taken out the word “woman.” While I’ll still be speaking from my personal experience as a woman in the church, I’m really hoping that single men will comment and share their experiences as well.

Introductory note #2: This is not my post on the law of chastity itself. Instead, this is a post on trying to figure out how to deal with your sexuality when you’ve made a commitment to live the law of chastity. So, I don’t want the comments on this post to end up in a debate on the merits of the law of chastity (I’ll give you a chance to have this discussion at a later date). Instead, I want to discuss a more complicated (and to me, pertinent) problem: how do you deal with your sexuality when you’re committed to living this law, especially when there’s no clear end in sight?

I have a healthy attitude about my sexuality, but I don’t have a healthy relationship with it. Read More

Masculinity Under Siege

Elaine Dalton’s recent comments about the meaning of pink in a recent edition of the Church News (currently being discussed on BCC), express a concern that girls will want to be like boys. “We want them to understand that they are soft, they are unique, they are feminine and that they don’t have to be like the boys,” says President Dalton. This is hardly a sentiment unique to her; one can find a number of General Conference talks which warn against the temptation for women to set aside their femininity and be like men. Femininity, it seems, is under siege. Read More

Being a 30-something Single Woman in the Church: Part I, Dating

I’ve been meaning to make a series of posts on being a 30-something single woman in the church, especially as regards the topics of dating, relationships, and sexuality. This past week I read Elna Baker’s The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance, and it (along with the conversation prompted by Kevin Barney’s response to the book) has finally jumpstarted me into making my first post (in what will be a series) on these subjects. This post isn’t going to be a review of the book–if you want, e-mail me, and I can send you my review–but instead, reflections about my own experience prompted by the book.

Let me also preface my comments by saying my experiences are not representative of the essence of Mormon female singledom Read More

Christmas Reflections

This year Christmas hasn’t really felt like Christmas. Even with my choir concerts, full of jubilant carols and beautifully done Messiah movements, I’ve had a difficult time getting into the spirit of things. Part of it is that I let my life get too busy the past few months. Teaching, grading, packing boxes, and running to rehearsal after rehearsal has left me little time to think and reflect and just feel. Even while the joyous Christmas music echoed through the concert hall, I was worrying about my diction, or about what I needed to accomplish before I left town for the holidays. Read More

A Defining Moment

In the summer of 2004, I was preparing for my Ph.D. exams and panicking. I was feeling completely unprepared, worried about my ability to perform well (or even pass), and uncertain about whether or not I should postpone the exams. Generally, I was feeling highly anxious about my ability to be a successful academic.

I asked my brother-in-law for a blessing, and the blessing I received gave me a huge amount of comfort. Read More

The Paradox of God: Thinking about the Story of Job

Throughout much of the Book of Job, Job and his friends try to impose a logical structure upon God. Job asserts that he is sinless yet suffering (and that the suffering must be coming from God), which causes him to assume that God is punishing him unfairly. His friends question his premise of sinlessness. They assume that God must be just; thus, Job must be mistaken about his own state. As we read further into the book, we discover that Job’s logic (minus his conclusion) is essentially correct, but when the Voice in the Whirlwind appears, it asks Job to hold on to a pardox: Read More

Advice Needed (I Think I Lost my Sense of Humor)

I was watching a movie yesterday that I’ve watched many times in the past and that typically makes me laugh out loud pretty much every time I watch it. I think I laughed once. I didn’t find it that funny. And I stopped and realized I don’t really remember finding much of anything funny in the past few years.

I think somehow in all the epic emotional drama of my life I lost my ability to have fun and just enjoy life. Except with my students because if you can’t laugh when you teach high school students then you’re too far gone to be saved. Read More

The Anxieties of Faith

I’ve been thinking a lot this past year about how faith is a risk. When you take a leap of faith, you hope that things will work out and that your faith will be confirmed, but this doesn’t necessarily happen. When you walk blindly into darkness, sometimes you find a path or a light, but sometimes you get lost. And sometimes you take a dive headfirst off a cliff you didn’t see. It can happen because your faith wasn’t strong enough; it can happen because what you had faith in wasn’t “true,” but sometimes there’s no clear reason for what happens after you exercise your faith. Read More

My Realization from Sunstone (or How Sunstone Strengthened My Testimony)

While I have recently found a renewed appreciation for the Mormon community, my worries about God were rolling around in the back of my mind as I went off to Sunstone this year. So, perhaps it was inevitable that the theme that jumped out at me while I attended multiple sessions was a teaching unique to Mormonism: our embodied God. Different speakers explored what this meant for gendered experience, for how God understands and interacts with us, etc.

While I found all the philosophical discussions on an embodied God fascinating, the discussions kept reminding me of my recent desires to remake God into a figure that was easier to deal with; Read More

“those durned librul activist judges” aka, Gay Marriage and Judicial Review in Action

I wanted to talk about this during the Prop 8 fervor, but didn’t quite have the energy. With the recent ruling in Iowa going into effect, I thought this was a good time to bring it up again. My friend John already wrote an awesome note stating my feelings on the matter better than I could, so (with his permission) I am reposting it here. Read More