Last April/May is when my life hit rock bottom: my ex and I permanently broke things off, and I was left facing not only an emotional mess, but a religious crisis of unprecedented proportions. Because yearly anniversaries tend to resonate with me, recently I’ve been pondering my life and revisiting where I was a year ago. Read More
Two years ago, observing the fact that the ZDs seem to struggle a bit with finishing posts, I put up a screenshot of our post queue. Since then, I fear the situation has only gotten worse. We currently have 795 drafts which have yet to see the light of day. So just for fun, here is a scarily long list of titles you would see were you to poke your head into the ZD queue.
A while ago I had a conversation with an utterly sincere and extremely orthodox Mormon–one who’s devoted his life to CES, one who believes that evolution is evil and Rough Stone Rolling a vicious slander on Joseph Smith’s good name, to name just a couple of his views –I revealed some of my own unorthodoxies. It’s been years since I’ve revealed such views to someone I knew would disagree with me, and although I’ve sometimes been frustrated by my own silences, the conversational fallout recalled me to my reasons for those silences. This good, kind man called me a few days after our conversation in a fairly transparent attempt to resolve my concerns, and it was evident he’d been thinking about them ever since we’d talked and was struggling to produce answers for me. He proposed a few justifications for practices I disagree with, people I should talk to to help me “work things out,” various actions I should take to increase my spirituality. I ended up feeling poised between gratitude at his sincerity and kindness and exasperation at the very premises of the conversation–I’m wrong, and I just don’t understand; he’s right, and he does. Suddenly I’ve become dubious, spiritually suspect. I need fixing. I’m a person of concern. Read More
In Steve Evans’s recent post “I Could Not Do It” at BCC, he mentioned the “serious aspect of fundamentalism at the heart of being a Mormon,” and then clarified,
I am using “fundamentalism” in a general sense, and not in reference to polygamist groups, although that is clearly an example of fundamentalism in action.
His comment got me to thinking that it’s too bad that, in the Mormon context, the word “fundamentalist” has come to be almost synonymous with “polygamous.” Read More
I spent the last few days at Utah Valley University, attending the annual conference of the Society for Mormon Philosophy and Theology. It was an intense couple of days; I feel like I’m in a kind of intellectual and social overload and the introvert in me would now like to go hide in the mountains for a couple of days and decompress. Read More
Recently, a reader of ZD (who would like to be known as “Jack”) sent me an e-mail, wondering if I was going to make the topic of divorce part of my series. I told him I hadn’t planned on it, not because I don’t think it’s an important topic, but because I’ve been grounding the series in my own personal experiences, and I don’t have any experience with divorce. I liked his idea, however, and I encouraged him to share some of his thoughts. So, here is Jack’s story. Read More
Check out Lynnette’s discussion of her experience as a woman in the academy as part of a very cool new series at the Juvenile Instructor on young female LDS scholars.
(And next up at ZD: Kiskilili on life as an Akkadian demonness and all-around heretic, followed by Ziff discussing life as a
statistic statistician and what it means to say that ZD is brought to you by the numbers 7, 12, and pi.)
One of my more memorable sacrament meeting talk experiences involved a talk for which I was assigned a somewhat theological topic. I confess that I couldn’t resist bringing in observations from some of my academic work. I did, however, make an effort to make sure it was a church talk, rather than an academic presentation. I don’t know if I completely succeeded, but I had fun thinking about the subject, and I felt more or less okay about how it ended up. Read More
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
Exponent II, we’re happy to see, is resuming publication this year. And they’re looking for submissions. So if you’ve been wanting to write something that has to do with the experience of Mormon women, here’s your chance:
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:
Since a lot of the discussion on my previous post focused on reasons singles feel alienated at church (as well as things that the church and members can do to make singles feel a bit less alienated), I thought I’d put up my first post directly on that topic–how to make singles feel more welcome in family wards.
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
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
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
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
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
Recently, in the course of making Christmas plans for our upcoming visit to Utah, my husband informed me that a member of his extended family considers it morally wrong to set foot in Starbucks, so if we go get the holiday raspberry brownies a couple of other family members enjoy, this first family member will not accompany us. Read More
In one of many recent conversations we’ve had about raising children, my mother recalled attending mother education classes once a month as part of the old weekday Relief Society curriculum (which existed before the block schedule was implemented in 1980). She said there were always two choices: a mother education class and an alternative, for those who weren’t currently raising children–and, I suppose, for anyone who simply didn’t want to be educated in motherhood that week, for whatever reason. Of course a mother education curriculum can be beyond awkward in many contexts. One of my first church callings was as the mother education instructor in my singles’ ward. Broad adaptation was required. Read More