So I watched Twilight last night…

Introduction/disclaimer: I haven’t read the books and had no desire to, so I thought I’d check out the movie once came out on DVD, just to see what the big fuss is about. I threw it in my Netflix queue, couldn’t have had lower expectations. Here’s my first reaction: UPDATE: here’s a video “summary” of Twilight for those who haven’t seen it. Heh.

First off, I can definitely, definitely understand Natalie’s reaction in calling it porn for women. The women-porn force is strong in Twilight. Except for the -ahem- very rare moments when I got a little sucked in by it, I was just laughing and marveling at the absurd levels to which the blatancy of its women-porniness rose.
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Conflict over Baby Names

Once my sister gathered all of us siblings around a table and pronounced that we were going to decide on the spot who gets dibs on various names for our upcoming babies. By “upcoming,” I mean possibly/hypothetically/hopefully upcoming, not yet expected, in the biological sense. As I understand it, one of the names I’d chosen was one she’d had on her short list of possibilities, and she wanted to prevent any future name-nappings. The rest of us balked at this idea. First come, first serve, we said.
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General Conference: Full text of talks now online

I’ve been refreshing the link all day, and now find that the full text of all the talks of the April 2009 General Conference is now available on lds.org. Pull up a chair and feast at the table, everyone.

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General Conference: Saturday between-session media

Family PSA, Wirthlin memorial, new Spanish language Bible, and other news.

Discuss.

Good News for vegans

In his latest column, Robert Kirby lists numerous parties who have (or should have) grievances with the church. He’s looking for someone to replace gays who, despite email rumors to the contrary, won’t be protesting outside General Conference next weekend. Among the aggrieved parties are vegans [emphasis mine]:

Vegans should have a real bone to pick — oh, sorry — with the LDS church. Mormons are serious carnivores. The church owns huge welfare farms including some with cows. The bread we use in our Sacrament is made with real dairy products.

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Pride in Our Husbands’ Callings

It is my sense that women in the church feel our identities defined in part by the callings that our husbands hold. What are the emotional implications for LDS women of their husbands’ callings?

In reacting to a new calling for my husband, I have felt gratitude for having a righteous and service-oriented individual by my side for life’s journey, and pleased (not proud!) in his ability to serve the church so well. It is also my experience that there can be more muddled feelings [Read more...]

Mormon YouTube Progress Report #3b (Elders & Misc.)

Elder Ballard told the December 2007 graduates of BYU-Hawaii to use new media to spread the gospel, and the exhortation was repeated to all church members in a cover story in the July 2008 Ensign. Among other things, members were encouraged to “create videos that illustrate aspects of your membership in the Church and post them on video sharing sites like YouTube.” I’ve taken it upon myself to compile a preliminary progress report for Elder Ballard. Humbly submitted: more good, bad, and ugly of Mormons on Youtube. [Read more...]

Mormon YouTube Progress Report #3 (Prop 8)

Elder Ballard told the December 2007 graduates of BYU-Hawaii to use new media to spread the gospel, and the exhortation was repeated to all church members in a cover story in the July 2008 Ensign. Among other things, members were encouraged to “create videos that illustrate aspects of your membership in the Church and post them on video sharing sites like YouTube.” I’ve taken it upon myself to compile a preliminary progress report for Elder Ballard. Humbly submitted: more good, bad, and ugly of Mormons on Youtube. [Read more...]

Benediction

God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, thou who has brought us thus far along the way, thou who has by thy might led us into the light, keep us forever in the path, we pray, lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee, lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget thee. Shadowed beneath thy hand may we forever stand — true to thee, O God, and true to our native land.
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Evangelicals write their own Proclamation on the Family

A document entitled the “True Woman Manifesto” made its debut in mid-October at a conference for Christian women (promotional video, h/t). Its audience is Evangelical women, but its ultimate aim is to spark a revolution to undo much of the sexual and feminist revolutions since the 1960s/70s.

Starting with the fact that it was debuted at a women’s conference, there are some striking similarities between the True Woman Manifesto and the LDS document, “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” What follows is a side-by-side comparison of some key passages.
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Protecting Marriage with Firearms

As a California resident, I’ve spent the last several weeks never more than a few yards from a cheerful yellow and blue “Protect Marriage” campaign sign. Our seaside state was awash in them; my life online and off, at church, at home and at school, was awash in the pro and con arguments for Prop 8. It was in the midst of this marriage-protecting fervor that I came to the conclusion that I had a personal and urgent calling to preserve my marriage by taking up arms. Yes, firearms.
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Thoughts on the anniversary of SoCal wildfires

This past week has marked the 1-year anniversary of having to flee our home due to the SoCal wildfires.

Our house is on the left edge of one of the clusters of red dots in this photo. The following are quotes from status update emails I sent to my family at the time, and some memories and reflections.
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RateMyGospelDoctrineTeacher.com?

I just got back another round of student evaluations of my teaching. To imagine the feeling I get when opening a fresh packet of evaluations, mix together the dread induced by the phrase “[your boss] needs to speak with you,” and the anxiety-ridden adrenaline rush of Ralphie racing to translate Orphan Annie’s super-secret message with his decoder ring. I’ve done well in all my ratings, but that doesn’t mitigate the panic preceding each. [Read more...]

Mormon YouTube Progress Report #2

[This is the second in a series, first one here.] Last year Elder Ballard told graduates of BYU-Hawaii to use new media to spread the gospel, and the exhortation was repeated to all church members in a cover story in last month’s Ensign. Among other things, members were encouraged to “create videos that illustrate aspects of your membership in the Church and post them on video sharing sites like YouTube.” I’ve taken it upon myself to compile a preliminary progress report for Elder Ballard. Humbly submitted: more good, bad, and ugly of Mormons on Youtube. [Read more...]

Dear Elder Ballard: Mormon YouTube Progress Report

Last year Elder Ballard told graduates of BYU-Hawaii to use new media to spread the gospel, and the exhortation was repeated to all church members in a cover story in last month’s Ensign. Among other things, members were encouraged to "create videos that illustrate aspects of your membership in the Church and post them on video sharing sites like YouTube."

In the grand tradition of Bloggernacle presumptuousness, I’ve presumed to take it upon myself to compile a preliminary progress report for Elder Ballard. Humbly submitted: the good, the bad, and the ugly of Mormons on Youtube. [Read more...]

More Purpose in Prayer

On NPR the other day, a reporter was interviewing a monk from a monastery in Austria who makes Youtube videos of himself and the other monks doing Gregorian chants. The monk said that these beautiful songs are just their routine morning prayers. So the reporter asked, “What are you praying for?” [Read more...]

Griswold Par-tay (Family Vacation edition)

I received some complaints, in comment and email, about my previous Griswold post. Evidently the title raised hopes of something related to a certain movie franchise, and readers were disappointed to learn it was boring lawyer stuff instead. So I’d like to use the last post of my stint as a BCC guest blogger to make amends. This is a meaningless post about Family Vacations.

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A Dozen Midwives

Often when pondering the joy it is to have my two beautiful children, I think of the cast of characters who were responsible for bringing them into the world. I’m sharing the list here because I think it says a lot about LDS communities–how they are structured, how they function, roles, responsibilities, formal and informal authority, stewardships, power, gender roles, balance, reciprocity in relationships, dependence and interdependence, status, family vs ward family vs global family. I don’t want to overshadow the events with too much analysis in this post itself, but those are some of the ideas I have in mind while I write this. I am interested in hearing your thoughts about these themes and discussing it in the comments.
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Stuff I Learned from My First Trip to the Temple

I’ve heard many a tale of negative first experiences in the temple. They range from surprise or confusion to outright horror. I can very much sympathize with these stories, and want to emphasize that I believe attributing them to any fault of the individual is wrong. And I think it is important for us to continue to revisit the issue of first temple experiences from time to time and think about how we can ease the transition for newcomers. So I offer up my story as a data point in the discussion.
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Griswold Anniversary Par-tay!

Cynthia L. — a.k.a. Sister Blah 2, will be guest posting with us for the next little while.

June 7 marks the 43rd anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut, the SCOTUS decision holding that contraceptive use by married couples is protected by a constitutional right to privacy. So, is anyone planning on holding a big party today to celebrate? My guess (feel free to correct me) is that the answer is no. [Read more...]

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