O Come, O Come Emmanuel

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O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel.

Who needs to be ransomed? Until recently, I had always thought this “ransom” essentially meant “bail” like in the famous Boyd K. Packer analogy of the Atonement. 

But a ransom is a price that, in a just world, never would have been set to end a suffering that, in a just world, never would have been borne. 

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The Two Great Commandments for Modern Samaritans

Adapted from a RS lesson taught in the Sacramento, CA metro area on 11/13/22

Luke 10:25-28

And behold, a certain lawyer stood up…saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
And he answering said, what is written in the law? What readest thou?
And he answering said, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself
And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

Good morning, sisters. Today’s lesson might be a little tough, so if you need to leave and get a drink of water, check on something that just came up outside the room, etc., it’s okay. No judgment.

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What would ‘doing it well’ look like?

“How did you get this number?”

“I found it online. I was amazed that the church would have a helpline like this for–“

“This line is only for bishops or sometimes other priesthood leaders. We can’t talk with survivors.”

“Is there a church hotline for survivors?”

“No. Please contact your bishop for support. Goodbye.”

I’d been “in the field” — if you can even call it that (fn1) — for about two months when I made this phone call in spring 2009. I was poring over every written work, talk, or resource ever published by the church or its leaders on family violence and stumbled across the helpline in an online chat forum. I was delighted — at least until I saw a few people commenting that it didn’t do survivors much good because it was only for bishops and priesthood leaders.

No way, I thought. You can’t support the survivor if you don’t support the survivor — like, you can’t address abuse if your services exclude the people who have been abused. This can’t be right. There’s no way the church missed something that basic.…right?

So I made this call. And found out that the people I thought must be misrepresenting the church’s position were telling the truth. The church had invested huge resources and effort into addressing abuse, and then had excluded abuse survivors from accessing them.

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Fast and Testimony Meeting

I’d like to bear my testimony that I know God answers prayers, because I was late for [insert here] and I couldn’t find my keys. But I prayed, and then I found them.

At least one person per testimony meeting, always.

I never found my keys, and I would like to bear my testimony, too.

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Mormon Boy

I get completely random songs stuck in my head all the time. Yesterday, my subconscious decided to serenade me –ad nauseum– with this gem from Girls’ Camp:

I know a Mormon boy, he is my pride and joy,
He knows most everything from Alma on down (woo!)
Someday I’ll be his wife! We’ll have eternal life!
Oh how I love that Mormon boy!

M – O – R – E – M – E – N
More men! More men! Sing it again!

We are the Mormon girls, we wear our hair in curls,
We love to sing and dance and have lots of fun (woo!)
We are the biggest flirts! We don’t wear mini skirts!
Oh, how I love my Mormon boy!

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