Wonder of Wonders

Today is my mom’s 62nd birthday.

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Eyes to See

I admit. I am not humble. I have a nice body. [Read more…]

U2Charist

Episcopalians have started a new eucharist service, to raise money and resources to end global poverty.

It is called the U2Charist. While listening to the music of Bono and U2, the congregation sings, claps, stands, dances, takes Eucharist, thinks about Jesus,  listens to a sermon about “God’s call to rally around the Millennium Development Goals” and then donates money.

I support any group who recognizes there is poverty in the world and that we’re obligated as people and as Christians to do something about this. But I hate this.  Why? [Read more…]

Brutalized by Art

A couple nights ago, I went to see a showing of Boys Don’t Cry. The producer Christine Vachon was in town and had a Q&A after the show. I hadn’t seen the movie before and in fact didn’t even know what it was about. It came out during my no R movies days and when it got a lot of attention, I filed it away, remembered that if I ever did start watching R rated movies this was one to see. My piety/movie philosophy did not last so long and when I read about this screening I decided to go.

It deserved its R rating. It knocked the shi* out of me. [Read more…]

Ichiban Recant or

Why everyone is just as bad as we are. Or why I am in a quandry.

I recently moved to the capital region of New York state, an area known to be both crazy and dying. I also don’t have any friends, relatives or acquaintances here and the Mormon community is completely lacking in angst  so I decided to find some other churchy groups to make friends. I found a protestant non-evangelical discussion group that meets every Wednesday in a bar (I am not opposed) to discuss topics posted on The Thoughtful Christian.

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#1, Ichiban, Numero Uno

As part of our doctrine of restored priesthood keys and ordinances, a prophet who communes with God for the whole world, we believe that we are the one true and living Church, that Jesus Christ stands at the head and actively leads us, as the true Church.

You’d think that that would be enough but it seems that we have to use the Other to establish our place as number one. [Read more…]

Belief-O-Matic (registered trademark)

Recently I took a 20 question quiz on belief.net called the Belief-O-Matic. After taking the quiz, it spits out a list (with percentages) of religions that are well-matched for you and the beliefs you proclaimed in the quiz.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Mormons) was 4th on my list at 75%. That surprised me. [Read more…]

Pre-Resurrection Progression

My dad, may he rest in peace, was not a very good man. He was depressed, balding, severely bipolar, a very poor provider, diabetic, full of self-loathing, lazy, he liked puns, and he didn’t live long enough for me to understand what it even is that makes a person good.

My parents divorced when I was nine, because of his mishandling of his bipolar disorder, his unwillingness to take medication (he felt he needed to use his agency to overcome it), and his inability to help our family survive financially. That, mixed with his Type I diabetes, took him out of the game when he was 45 and I was 13.

I did not like him when he died. [Read more…]

Funeral Favors

Call me morbid, call me pale. I’ve spent 6 long years planning my funeral fare. [Read more…]

Word of Wisdom comes in at #63

We should never rank commandments. Though it is human nature to categorize by importance, nothing is gained from the argument of this commandment being more valuable or meaningful than that commandment or that a disciple of Christ should heed this one but not necessarily that one since that one ranks lower on the list of Important Commandments. As true disciples of Christ, we should be willing to give all commandments equal credence and mental exertion. We ought to be humble enough to do whatever He asks, whether we can see the meaning or not.

Which is to say, I believe the Word of Wisdom is ranked 63rd. [Read more…]

Top 10 Church History Sites

10. Brigham Young University, Provo UT. This may be a surprise but it was the first time in my life that I found myself surrounded by liberal Mormons who were not family members. These friends were students and professors and I learned a lot about thinking and feeling. And God. And, you know, other important things. It becomes a key Mormon history site because of its diversity. I was also told after being sustained as the RS 1st counselor that I would not have been chosen if the RS president knew I was a Democrat. “I’m not sure I trust your inspiration,” she said. [Read more…]

“The Beings I Love are Creatures”

Kate is married to my brother Sam and is moving with him to Salt Lake City. Kate is working on her PhD in religion and literature at Boston University and is raising two of the most smarty-pants, good looking girls I’ve ever met. Kate lets me cry over ex-boyfriends and then cooks me food that heals any ache. She is also the best person to watch TV with. This is her sacrament talk, her goodbye to Cambridge:

Lately, I have been thinking a lot about mortality–meetings and partings and human frailty. The poet Geoffrey Hill is retiring from teaching at Boston University this year, and a few weeks ago I heard of him saying that life gets easier when you accept the fact that you’re living in a fallen world. Jackson (a member of the bishopric) furthered the development of my thought on this topic during that wonderful fifth-Sunday April meeting when he reminded us that we’ve left Paradise. We’re not in Paradise, it’s gone, so we’re going to suffer, get sick, sin, and die. The important thing, Jackson reminded us, is to be on the right path so you can return to Paradise. [Read more…]

Olivia Alleviates Loneliness

It’s been raining heavily in Boston for three days now. The lilacs, dogwoods, and magnolias have lost their flowers and now I tread on them. That delicious smell of cement that is just wet by new rain is drowned by the extra foot of water. I sat through another Mother’s Day talk for Singles yesterday. The bishop told us that any blessing we weren’t getting now we would get, at some future, undisclosed time. 75 hours it’s been raining and I am lonely. Loneliness tastes to me like really burnt chocolate chip cookies.

I remember when I was 10 years old and it had been 22 hours since I had seen my dad. [Read more…]

Market, Most Holy

On Tuesday night while watching Veronica Mars, I saw a commercial for Mazda that had people looking in their rear-view mirrors and seeing an old fogey version of themselves. Their sedans made people believe these 30somethings were 70 and they must immediately buy a new car before something serious happened. On CarTalk, a 35-year-old woman asked for advice on hipster cars because she thought her current car was too old lady. I thought, these people are crazy or! Harvey Cox is right.

In the Atlantic Monthly, Harvey Cox published an article called “The Market as God”. He argues that there’s a new god in town. The Market. It didn’t kill God or fill up the hole left when He died rather we’ve converted whole-heartedly to a new religion and a new God.

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Agent Hormone

I’m a sucker for hormones. They get me every time. Cut back my estrogen levels and pound me with the progesterone and I’m gone. The world is suddenly ending, I’m the worst person in it, I’m hugely fat, I can’t sleep enough and my bowels, well, they go skeewampus. I have tracked my feelings and behavior for a solid 6 years and I am still powerless against them. Fully aware that I am in the midst of a temporary hormone shift, I still sigh, cry, want to die, and eat an extraordinary amount of carbohydrates. [Read more…]

My Children’s Children’s Children

There was a moment when I thought I might be gay. I think most people ask themselves at some time or another. Quietly, of course. In a closet, maybe. Most ask it in attempts to understand or define their sexuality but I was already certain I liked men, a lot, which makes it seem illogical and even a bit stupid for a Mormon girl to ask, but I did. [Read more…]

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