Freedom

Listen

May 4, 2016

Listen.  I mean really listen. Turn off the music.  Just sit and listen for a few moments.  What do you hear?  Water dripping.  Children playing?  The whisper of an overhead fan?  Distant traffic?  The wind in the trees?  A weed trimmer next door?  What were you thinking just now?  When you focused on the silence, […]

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Posted in Agency, Culture, Education, Freedom, LDS, LGBT, Religion, scriptures | 12 Comments »

The Mirror & The Window

May 3, 2016
The Mirror & The Window

At the April Women’s Conference, Cheryl Esplin used the imagery of a mirror and a window to talk about reaching out to others. ‘Be someone who reaches out to know and serve others—throw away the mirrors and look through the window.’. Business people will know very well the imagery of the mirror and the window, […]

Posted in Agency, Apostasy, Charity, Christian, Church Policy, Criticism, Culture, Doctrine, doubt, emotions, Empathy, Faith, faith crisis, Feminism, Freedom, LDS, leadership, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, Patriarchy, Politics, Pride, Spirituality, Women | 24 Comments »

To Be Honest

May 2, 2016
To Be Honest

Mormons consider honesty to be an important virtue, and who doesn’t?  I learned pretty quick that my mom would punish me for lying → could read my mind → so I might as well tell the truth When I told a whopper, my mom made me suck on a bar of Ivory™, perhaps in the […]

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Posted in Agency, Culture, doubt, emotions, Empathy, Faith, Freedom, Morality, Mormon, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion | 53 Comments »

Emotional Labor

April 26, 2016
Emotional Labor

“Women are just better at that stuff.”  This is a phrase often used to wash one’s hands of an unpleasant task.  It reminds me of something I hear sometimes from customers:  “Hispanics just clean houses better than other people.”  If so, why is that?  Not because there’s a house cleaning gene that they are passing […]

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Posted in Agency, Criticism, Culture, emotions, Empathy, Faith, faith crisis, Feminism, Freedom, gender equity, Gratitude, LDS, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, Patriarchy, Priesthood, Temple, theology, Women, workplace | 29 Comments »

Refugees of Our Own Making

April 12, 2016
Refugees of Our Own Making

Today we are honored to hear from guest blogger, Bryce Cook. Two of the most moving talks at this month’s General Conference were Sister Linda Burton’s “I Was a Stranger” and Elder Patrick Kearon’s “Refuge from the Storm,” which were about administering relief to the world’s refugees. The Church has even set up a special website to educate people […]

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Posted in Agency, America, Charity, Christian, Church Policy, Criticism, Culture, Doctrine, Empathy, Freedom, gender equity, LDS, LGBT, Mental Health, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion | 33 Comments »

Church as a Gated Community

March 28, 2016
Church as a Gated Community

At the end of the book Planted, Patrick Mason makes the analogy of church being like living in a gated community, but one with open gates that welcomes others to come in. In the meantime, we live in houses in a gated community that paradoxically swings open its gate for all to enter.  Yet like […]

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Posted in Agency, America, Criticism, Culture, Faith, faith crisis, Freedom, LDS, leadership, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, Religion | 40 Comments »

TW: Trigger Warnings

March 22, 2016
TW:  Trigger Warnings

For those who participate in online discussion forums, you have doubtless encountered what are termed “trigger warnings.”  There seem to be two schools of thought about them.  One school says they are necessary to protect individuals in discussions from the emotional distress of reliving past traumatic events.  Another school says that everything’s becoming a trigger […]

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Posted in Agency, Criticism, Culture, faith crisis, Feminism, Freedom, gender equity, LDS, Mental Health, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, Patriarchy, Politics, Race Relations, Violence, Women, workplace | 24 Comments »

Does God Agree With Your Politics?

March 16, 2016
Does God Agree With Your Politics?

My opinion is not a popular one, especially among Mormons. It’s based on one of my foundational beliefs that I still maintain from my days as a centrist: both sides of our political divide are founded on sound principles that are imperfectly applied – because we’re humans. (Just like I believe our Church organization is […]

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Posted in Agency, Alternative Sunday School Lessons, America, economics, Freedom, History, money, Mormon Discussion, Politics | 20 Comments »

Gender Soup with Roles

March 8, 2016
Gender Soup with Roles

According to the Proclamation on the Family, gender is an eternal characteristic.  The proclamation goes on to describe certain traits within marriage as male and others as female.  The problem is twofold:  diction and science.  On the diction side, words used to describe gender are often unclear, imprecise, outdated or simply not the right word.  Saying […]

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Posted in Agency, Charity, Criticism, Culture, emotions, Feminism, Freedom, gender equity, LDS, leadership, LGBT, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, Women, workplace | 44 Comments »

Blasphemy: What Is It?

February 25, 2016
Blasphemy: What Is It?

Having seen blasphemy raised as an issue on blog posts over the last week, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the topic, and our varying attitudes towards it. Reported in the news today, Coptic Christian teens in Egypt have been sentenced to 5 years in prison for insulting Islam, the […]

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Posted in Culture, Freedom, Uncategorized | 43 Comments »

Families vs. Dynasties

February 9, 2016
Families vs. Dynasties

A recent disturbing trend surfaced in Mormon internet groups in which parents wrote letters to their young adult children explaining that if they did not stay active in the church, they would be cut from the inheritance.  At roughly the same time, LDS Philanthropies published a video featuring a father who said that if his […]

Posted in Agency, Apostasy, Atheism, Blind Obedience, Charity, Christian, Church Policy, Criticism, Culture, debt, doubt, Empathy, Faith, faith crisis, Freedom | 21 Comments »

The Government vs. The West

January 7, 2016
The Government vs. The West

Today’s guest post is from long-time blog favorite Mary Ann. You can read other posts from Mary Ann here and here. Mormon anti-government sentiment is typically chalked up to a psychological complex from government-sanctioned persecution in the 19th century, but it doesn’t adequately explain the anger against the federal government currently festering in the American […]

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Posted in Agency, America, Criticism, Culture, economics, Education, emotions, Empathy, Freedom, Mormon Culture, Politics, Technology | 26 Comments »

God Is Love

January 5, 2016
God Is Love

The last time I substitute taught Gospel Doctrine, I got to teach John’s epistles that he wrote to the believers in his soon-to-disband Johannine community while he was living in Ephesus.  His community was divided, something we are also experiencing within our Mormon congregations in the wake of the policy change toward homosexuals and their […]

Posted in Agency, Alternative Sunday School Lessons, Anti-Mormon, Apostasy, Buddhism, Charity, Christian, Church Policy, Criticism, Culture, doubt, emotions, Faith, Freedom, Jesus, LDS, leadership, LGBT, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, New Testament Sunday School Lessons, Religion | 9 Comments »

A New Year, A New Start

December 31, 2015
A New Year, A New Start

The fun musical pieces I enjoyed listening to with my children growing up include John Rutter’s musical fables, particularly “The Reluctant Dragon”, and “The Wind in the Willows”, sung by the renowned King’s Singers, and based on children’s stories written by Kenneth Grahame. The closing songs of each are particularly poignant, and the closing song […]

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Posted in Church Policy, emotions, Empathy, Freedom, Grace, LDS, Mormon Culture, Music, Uncategorized, understanding | 4 Comments »

Prophets < Apostles?

December 29, 2015
Prophets < Apostles?

Which is a bigger deal?  Being a prophet or being an apostle?  If you’re like me, you would probably assume that the title “prophet” is higher than “apostle,” but I recently read some interesting information on the history. I was curious to know when we started to call the quorum of the twelve “prophets, seers, […]

Posted in Agency, Alternative Sunday School Lessons, Anti-Mormon, Apostasy, Blind Obedience, Christian, Church Policy, Criticism, Culture, Doctrine, doubt, Excommunication, Faith, faith crisis, Freedom, History, LDS, leadership, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, Prophet, theology | 67 Comments »

What Isn’t Church Abuse?

December 15, 2015
What Isn’t Church Abuse?

A recent study was circulated that shows the psychological markers of “church abuse,” or an environment in a religious atmosphere that can lead to exploitation or abuse of individuals who join.  In the study, participants rated their religion in light of the following 28 organizational behaviors, as either exerting a lot of pressure and control or […]

Posted in Agency, Anti-Mormon, Apostasy, Atheism, Blind Obedience, Christian, Church Policy, Criticism, Culture, Education, Freedom, LDS, leadership, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, Patriarchy, Politics, Prophet, Religion, Roman Catholic Church, Truth. Lying, Women | 22 Comments »

Defending the Family vs. No Paid Leave

December 8, 2015
Defending the Family vs. No Paid Leave

A recent article in the Washington Post highlighted that despite pro-family rhetoric, many religions do not offer paid family leave to employees.  Mormonism was highlighted as providing no paid family leave to either men or women [1], although they were consistent with a few other conservative religious groups.  Given our focus on families, why doesn’t the […]

Posted in Agency, Charity, Christian, Church Policy, Criticism, Culture, debt, economics, Education, Empathy, Feminism, Freedom, gender equity, General Conference, LDS, leadership, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, Patriarchy, Politics, Religion, understanding, Women, workplace | 21 Comments »

Two Hour Block? Hallelujah! Oh Wait, Nevermind.

December 1, 2015
Two Hour Block?  Hallelujah!  Oh Wait, Nevermind.

Rumor was that a stake in Boston announced they would begin piloting a new two-hour block schedule in the coming year.  Throw in coffee & donuts, and allow for shorts, and we might be able to compete with all the surrounding megachurches in my community! There will be an “elimination of all but essential Sunday meetings, i.e. […]

Posted in Agency, Alternative Sunday School Lessons, Church Policy, Culture, Doctrine, Freedom, LDS, leadership, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, New Testament Sunday School Lessons | 47 Comments »

One Step Forward

November 14, 2015
One Step Forward

Today’s guest post is by friend of the blog, mom3. The events of the past week have rattled me like the unexpected death of a loved one. At times I barely breathe. Even when I try to go about life, it is sitting there on my chest like the proverbial elephant, only I am the […]

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Posted in Agency, Apostasy, Blind Obedience, Charity, Christian, Church Policy, Criticism, Culture, doubt, emotions, Empathy, Excommunication, Faith, faith crisis, Freedom, LGBT, Mental Health, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, Patriarchy, Politics, Religion | 3 Comments »

Tom Christofferson Interview from Rational Faiths

November 7, 2015
Tom Christofferson Interview from Rational Faiths

Many have been wondering, after watching Elder D. Todd Christofferson’s video statement explaining the handbook policy change, how his brother Tom (who is gay) feels about this.  Brian Dillman and Jerilyn Pool posted a podcast today at Rational Faiths that included an interview with Tom.  The whole podcast is great, please click over to hear the words […]

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Posted in Agency, Apostasy, Blind Obedience, Christian, Church Policy, Criticism, Culture, Doctrine, doubt, emotions, Empathy, Faith, faith crisis, Freedom, LDS, leadership, LGBT, Mental Health, Morality, Mormon, Mormon Belief, Mormon Culture, Mormon Discussion, Politics, Pride, Prophet, Religion, Uncategorized | 57 Comments »

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