Having One Spouse Be In Charge

(Since this issue came up several times in the comments on the feminist concerns poll, it seemed worth opening it up for discussion on its own thread.)

Proud Daughter of Eve wrote:

I have no problem with a man presiding in the home because someone has to be the head and if the mom is staying at home with the kids then isn’t that enough responsibility? Why does she have to make ALL the decisions in the house?

Sue (and others) responded:

Why does someone have to be the head? In our marriage, we’ve seen no need for one person to be in charge, or to have the final say. I don’t understand why it would be necessary…

What advantages and/or disadvantages do people see to having one spouse take an “in charge” kind of role? If you’re married, is that how you would describe your relationship?

Augustine, Pelagius, and Questions of Grace

One of the theological conundrums in Christianity concerns the relationship between God’s grace and human freedom. What role does God play in the process of salvation, and what do humans contribute? Views ranges from one extreme in which everything is done by God, with humans only playing a passive role, and another extreme in which salvation is entirely merit-based, a reward for our works. Read More

Relief Society Lessons

ZD is teaming up with Exponent II to post thoughts and ideas for upcoming Relief Society lessons from the Spencer W. Kimball manual. To keep things simple, all of the posts will be on ExII’s site, but they will come from members of both blogs. The lessons will appear twice a month, on the second and third Tuesday. So if you’re an RS teacher, or if you’d just like to be involved in some discussion of the lessons, please come by and add your thoughts!

A Year of Blogging

Well, Christmas break is (sadly) over, and I believe all the ZD bloggers have made it back to their scattered homes. Perhaps this will mean that we’re going to be blogging a little more again– though I suppose the more ambitious among us might have other plans, such as (gasp!) studying.

As of this past Thursday, January 4, Zelophehad’s Daughters has been in existence for a year. I was going to post something to mark the occasion (because what’s the fun of blogging if you can’t indulge in occasional navel-gazing?), but I ended up spending the day driving multiple times through the snow to the Salt Lake airport to get various sisters to their planes, and then squeezing in a few last games of Settlers of Catan with the sisters who were still around before I left the next day. Read More

How the Grinch Found Christmas

I will be the first to admit it. In constrast to my five Christmas-maniac sisters, I’m a Scrooge. I find December by far the most stressful month of the year, thanks to papers, finals, grading, parties, overflowing malls, cards, baking, jammed airports, stressed-out travelers, delayed and cancelled flights, and the short, gray days that inevitably kick my chronic depression into overdrive. When the holidays begin at Thannksgiving, I’m always irritable and grumpy about them. I let my husband decorate the tree, hang the stockings, put the wreath on the door, and play the Christmas music and tell him not to bother me with any of it until the semester ends. I’m not much of a shopper or a socializer under the best of circumstances, and I always spend the first weeks of December feeling too exhausted even to think about Christmas as I pull all-nighters writing papers I no longer care about and memorize paradigms and fantasize about watching Infomercials and reading nothing more challenging than soup cans. Every year I threaten to buy myself a Bah, Humbug T-shirt. Read More

the last 5 Decembers

There hasn’t been much going on around here the past few days (I know, the end of the semester), so I decided to follow Bored in Vernal’s example and reflect on what I have been doing for the past [5] Decembers (yes, she did 10, but that would be a lot longer, and besides, my husband gets sad when I talk about old boyfriends in nostalgic ways). And unlike her, I’m going to go forward instead of backward. So here goes: Read More

Christmas Music

Dr. Seuss got at least one thing right: music is absolutely essential to any celebration of Christmas, perhaps even the most essential element; for me, the day the Christmas season begins is the day I bust out my collection of Christmas CDs (though I admit, I often cheat and start singing Christmas music in October or November, even though I refrain from listening to it that early). This year I recently compiled a list of about 80 most cherished Christmas songs, my favorite of which is actually not a Christmas song at all but an Advent song: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. Of course, my choices are guided chiefly by music, but this 12th- or 13th-century Gregorian chant is the setting for wonderfully gloomy, plaintive, moving lyrics, answered antiphonally in the refrain by the promise of deliverance–as one popular translation from the Latin original renders two of the verses:

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Changing the Words to Hymns

When I put my boys to bed at night, I often sing them hymns. One of their favorites is “There Is a Green Hill Far Away,” probably because it’s one of the few that I know all the verses to and can sing in the dark. But part of this hymn has always struck me as odd. In the first verse, it says that the green hill is “where the dear Lord was crucified.” The dear Lord? That sounds so impersonal. So taking a page from “Upon the Cross of Calvary,” I always sing this line as “where our dear Lord was crucified.”

So are there any hymns that you sing nonstandard words to, or any for which you would like to see the wording changed?

Sisters

I’m sitting in my bedroom, and thinking about the fact that all five of my sisters live hundreds (and in the case of Kiskilili, thousands) of miles away. Looking around, though, I can see traces of them everywhere. On my wall hangs a giant poster of Aragorn–a recent surprise gift from Amalthea (who personally prefers Frodo). Over my desk is a calendar of “Nuns Having Fun,” courtesy of Melyngoch. Read More

A Movie Review and Some Thoughts on Communities

About a week ago I went to see the recently released documentary on The Dixie Chicks, Shut up and Sing! The movie was quite enjoyable, and much of the reason I enjoyed it was because it had a lot of good music. However, I think what I appreciated about the movie the most was that its messages emotionally resonated with me on a number of levels. Read More

The Cranky Confessions of an Orthodox Mormon

It is high time I came clean. I am the wolf in sheep’s clothing among all you liberals (insert maniacal laughter). I just took a couple of orthodoxy tests on the Believe It or Not thread over at the friendly neighborhood Cultural Hall. As I’ve been every other time I took the test, I am 100% Mormon (and 98% Mainline to Liberal Protestant, if you really want to know). Read More

Authenticity in Relief Society

Sally raised this great question on Eve’s “Relief Society Goes Berserk” thread:

I am teaching RS tomorrow on unity and have been thinking alot about what creates unity. One post mentioned that we don’t have “authentic voices” in RS, we don’t share our struggles because we need to put on our happy faces at church to fit in with the rest of the happy faces.
How can we mourn with those that mourn, comfort those who stand in need of comfort if those needs are carefully kept hidden? I love the “good new minutes” in RS because I feel like I get to know the sisters better, hearning of their joys. But how can we share bad news? I wouldn’t want RS to turn into a session for complaining, especially about others in our lives. So how can we open up to each other so we can better see in each other’s hearts?

Solving the Mormon Man Shortage

There has been an interesting discussion at Feminist Mormon Housewives in response to a guest poster’s request for advice on how she, as a single Mormon woman, should deal with her strong sex drive. Tangentially, I was interested by a comment made by David on that thread:

Let me just state the obvious that no one seems to want to say:

There are more decent, inteligent, active, spiritual single women in the church than there are men.

I dont know how it all balances out in the end, but right now, thats just the way it is

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Finding Middle Ground

Jessawhy recently posed this excellent question:

I’m wondering if there is any middle ground between being 100% behind anything that any living prophet has ever spoken, and rationalizing myself out of the church.

How do you find the middle ground? How do you stay active without feeling like you’ve given your brain up to the Borg? Is there a middle ground? (In the scriptures it really seems black and white, maybe Satan tricks us into thinking there are shades of grey).

Relief Society Goes Berserk

OK, I lied. It is not December 14th, and my papers have not been written. But I am nearing the end of what I have to admit is a fairly short tether with my stake Relief Society calling. In the midst of writing final papers and translations, I’ve found myself in a losing battle to scale down the mammoth stake Relief Society enrichment day planned for next spring. In the past it’s been an all-day extravaganza, two meals, workshop after workshop, crafts and motivational speakers jumping out of cakes (well, I may be exaggerating a wee bit about the cakes 😉 ).

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“You must do what you feel is right, of course.”

The Gospel of Star Wars tells us repeatedly of the importance of trusting your feelings. (If you don’t recognize my title quote, it’s what Obi-Wan says to Luke in A New Hope, when Luke is deciding whether to come to Alderaan). Qui-Gon instructs Anakin at one point, “Feel. Don’t think.” Even those on the Dark Side of the Force recognize feelings as a way of discerning truth; Vader tells Luke that if he will “search his feelings,” he will recognize the truth of what Vader is telling him about his parentage. Read More

Mark IV’s Next Two Questions: Diversity within Feminism

In case people aren’t completely burned out on the topic of feminism, I thought we’d continue with Mark IV’s questions. Here are the next two.

4. It is assumed that feminists value diversity. Why, then, is feminism in America almost exclusively espoused by well educated white women? Is this a coincidence, or is that fact trying to tell us something important? Is our assumption false from the start?

5. Mormons in Utah vote in a pattern that is about 80% predictable. This fact is often viewed as evidence of a sort of narrow dogmatism and intolerance of diversity. Feminists vote in a pattern that is about 90% predictable. Do the same assumptions apply? Why or why not?

the thing I lose the most

I’ve been enjoying all the great, deep discussion that has been going on around here lately. Unfortunately, my brain has not been up to deep discussion much recently. So I decided I needed to add a nice, fluffy post for myself, and for others whose brain power might be a little lacking at the moment.

It occured to me today that the thing I lose the most is not your typical keys, wallet, phone, etc. No, the thing I lose the most is … Read More