I Watched The General Women’s Meeting–It Was Great

Because of the turbulence within the church over women’s issues over the last year, my hope for the fall general conference was that someone would press the reset button. When I heard the General Women’s Meeting offered if not a reset, something of good report, I logged on to listen. [Read more…]

Official Loving The Body Of Christ Template Post

As part of an on-going effort to introduce more efficiency to the bloggernacle, below is a template for your next Kate Kelly blog post. Thank me by donating here. You’ll feel better–I promise.

I am a believing, faithful latter-day saint who takes seriously the teachings and doctrines of the church. When I first heard about OW, my initial reaction was one of [joy][disappointment]. I have been a member my entire life and have never thought women were treated as [equals][second-class citizens] within the church. There are [few][many] chances for women to act as leaders and provide meaningful input that is truly listened to. The recent addition of photographs of some of our female leaders in the conference center serves to underscore the [limited][important] leadership opportunities available to women in the church. [Read more…]

Agreeable, Vol. IV

Welcome to Agreeable, a bimonthly advice column in which I will tell you, dear Reader, as to whether your planned course of action is “agreeable” or “hmph”. Direct your questions (max 200 words, please!) to the admin address (see ‘About’, above) with the subject line “Agreeable”.   

My wife and I recently had a baby girl. She is going to be blessed in sacrament meeting and we plan to host a luncheon at our house afterwards. We expect seven couples made up of family and close friends along with their many children for a total of about 45 people. We originally planned to prepare a main dish and have our guests bring side dishes but after looking at the cost and prep time decided it would be easier to hire a local food truck to serve tacos.  [Read more…]

Agreeable, Vol. III

11Welcome to Agreeable, a bimonthly advice column in which I will tell you, dear Reader, as to whether your planned course of action is “agreeable” or “hmph”. Direct your questions (max 200 words, please!) to the admin address (see ‘About’, above) with the subject line “Agreeable”.

Consider the following example: A young woman–someone who is not deeply committed to the church, though she was raised in it, but who nonetheless respects it and wants to be part of this faith community–has just arrived as a new member in a typical YSA ward. She has just arrived because she has spent most of the past year living abroad, where among many other challenging and enlightening experiences, she became a devout fan of tea. [Read more…]

Agreeable, Vol. II

11Welcome to Agreeable, a bimonthly advice column in which I will tell you, dear Reader, as to whether your planned course of action is “agreeable” or “hmph”. Direct your questions (max 200 words, please!) to the admin address (see ‘About’, above) with the subject line “Agreeable”.

I stopped attending church more than five years ago because of concerns over some doctrines and policy. [Read more…]

Why Mormons Should Be Hopeful Gay Marriage Won’t Tear The Church Apart

December is traditionally the time for Oscar-bait dramas but this year they’ve been upstaged by a 43-year-old federal judge. Judge Shelby was confirmed to the United States District Court for the District of Utah on the recommendation of Senator Orrin Hatch. He enjoyed support of Tea Party favorite Senator Mike Lee who endorsed him as “pre-eminently qualified” and predicted he would be an “outstanding judge”.

On Friday, only a little more than a year and a few months after being confirmed to the bench, Shelby struck down Utah’s law banning same-sex marriage. Depending on your politics you might view Shelby’s opinion as one of the best heel turns ever executed–up there with the moment Andre the Giant challenged Hulk Hogan to the title in WrestleMania III. [1] If you lean left Shelby looks like the second coming of David Souter following Planned Parenthood v. Casey. [Read more…]

Agreeable, Vol I.

11Welcome to Agreeable, a bimonthly advice column in which I will tell you, dear Reader, as to whether your planned course of action is “agreeable” or “hmph”. Direct your questions (max 200 words, please!) to the admin address (see ‘About’, above) with the subject line “Agreeable”.

I work in an office where there are many LDS people, but also many (possibly a majority) who are not LDS. For the most part the non-Mormons are pretty cool and don’t take the LDS culture too seriously (for example, one guy has a big poster of Captain Moroni on his office door and people either ignore it or make fun of it). The guy in the office next door to mine, though, is pretty hard core about proselytizing. He frequently quotes scriptures in business meetings and will tell people that they should repent. It bugs me, not because I disagree with him but because there’s an office policy against evangelizing in the workplace and it’s also possibly against the law. I have mixed feelings, but I’d like to report him to the folks in H.R. — what do you think? [Read more…]

Saints, Such As We Are

In the play Other Desert Cities (Salt Lakers can see it now at Pioneer Memorial Theater!) Polly and Lyman Wyeth are respectively a successful writer and actor in Hollywood before turning to Republican politics later in life. Their son Trip and semi-estranged daughter Brooke come home to celebrate the holidays with their parents and an alcoholic aunt, Silda, who lives with and is dependent on the Wyeths. The drama centers around Brooke’s decision to publish a memoir about being raised by her famous parents and another brother Henry’s involvement in radical politics, a bombing and Henry’s suicide.

Brooke has poured her heart and soul into her book and believes it contains hard, difficult truths about her parents, their friends and their politics that led to Henry’s alienation and death. She is the uncompromising artist speaking truth to power who also, it turns out, wants her parents’ blessing before publishing. Not surprisingly they are unwilling to give it. Brooke’s parents have a different view of what transpired and beg her to not publish or at least delay until they are dead. Silda urges Brooke forward, sure she has captured the moral bankruptcy and hypocrisy of the Wyeth’s coterie. Trip doesn’t try to dissuade Brooke from publishing but says he doesn’t recognize the people in the book as the people who raised him.

At its heart the play is about a family’s fight to control the meaning of events that have impacted them all. Because Brooke’s claims are grounded in her personal experience, when an alternative meaning to the events is suggested she experiences it as an attack on herself. She feels accused of being an unreliable narrator of her own history. [Read more…]

Area Man Not Sure He Wants Holy Ghost Coming Around Anymore

Jason Nielson said he was uncomfortable inviting the Holy Ghost into his home after the Spirit commented on the swimsuit his six-year-old was wearing.[1] Nielson reported his daughter was getting ready to swim at her friends’ house when the third member of the Godhead told her the suit was provocative. “She was real excited about splashing around in the neighbor’s pool. Playing water tag with her friends. You know, normal innocent childhood stuff.  Next thing I know she comes out of her room crying and says the Comforter told her she wasn’t properly covered.”

It took several minutes of listening to his daughter between sobs before Nielson understood the Holy Spirit of God had whispered the swimsuit was riding a little high in the seat. “We’ve been worried about layoffs and Jane decided the kids could just wear their suits from last year. You know how kids are, give them some sunshine, a popsicle and a sprinkler to run through and they couldn’t be happier.” Nielson is now reevaluating whether he wants the Testifier around his kids. “We’ve taught our kids to listen to the Spirit but if It is going to say stuff like that I’m going to have to rethink things. Frankly it’s a little creepy.”

The Holy Ghost was unavailable for comment but local woman Cathy Peterson said immodesty was an on-going problem with area children.


[1] See “Anita’s” story found about halfway down in Primary 3, Lesson 26: The Holy Ghost Can Help Us. This manual is to be used to teach children ages four to seven.

Children Can’t Dress Immodestly

f062The Mormon Church teaches little girls are immodest if they expose their shoulders. That is a scandal. Children can’t dress immodestly for the same reasons seven-year-olds can’t sin and twelve-year-olds can’t enter into contracts. They don’t have the knowledge and understanding that would give them the capacity. So as a father of two young children being raised in the Mormon faith, I was disappointed to see the article titled The Orange Shirt in the May 2013 issue of The Friend. I wasn’t the only one. The article “based on a true story” involves a young girl thinking of trying on a shirt with spaghetti straps, which the author labels as immodest. The story explains that the girl felt uncomfortable when she picked the shirt up and attributed her feeling to the Holy Ghost warning her that trying the shirt on was wrong. To teach children that their access to the Holy Spirit is dependent on their clothing choices is perverse.

[Read more…]

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