See Amid the Winter’s Snow: Memories of a LDS Christmas Eve Service

St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church was built in Elora in 1842. However, I was oblivious to its existence until 1985. That year, my cousin was asked to be a candle boy in a Christmas Eve service, due to his new school’s affiliation with the church. The family faced a dilemma – should we go? We never went to church. Not on Christmas, not at any other time during the year. And Christmas Eve was for talking, eating and watching Alistair Sim – not church. But we were a small group: one uncle, one aunt, one cousin, one grandmother, one great-aunt. The decision was made; we would go to church together and then return home for our usual festivities. [Read more…]

Mormons and Mental Illness: The Gender of Addiction

There are ghettos in Mormon discourse. There is the ghetto of pornography and addiction where men alone reside and there is the ghetto reserved for the women. Illustratively, talks about addiction are given in the Priesthood Session of General Conference. The women’s quarter is a discourse on self-esteem and depression. Perhaps, these districts are not as disparate as would be suggested by our rhetoric and we might better understand LDS women’s challenges through their relation to addictive behaviours. [Read more…]

Remembering The Weeping God of Mormonism;Or Why I Wear A Poppy

I live just outside the city where John McCrae was bornmccrae.  The week of Remembrance Day, I always try to take a few minutes to stop by the small house where he was born.  It now houses a museum that commemorates his life.  McCrae is probably best known for scribbling a thirteen line poem on a scrap of paper, following the horror he had seen at Ypres.

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Bloggernacle Soirée

Word on the street is that the Thurston-Evans family is relocating to the Left Coast soon, but want to have a final get-together with their East Coast friends before it’s too late.  So, please come to their Après-Thanksgiving Carnavale!  Rumour is that this will be the biggest and best bloggernacle party to date.  Karaoke may or may not be part of the festivities, along with Dance Dance Revolution.

Friday, November 25, from 7:30—-?  Email Steve at for directions.  It will be tryptophan-tastic!

“He Wouldn’t and I Couldn’t”: Tensions over Healing in the Household of Faith

In her essay, "Women as Healers in the Modern Church", Betina Lindsey relates the story of a Mormon couple who struggled to find common ground in regards to administering to their child.

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Written in Stone: Some Thoughts on Mormon Grave Symbology

When my husband and I were making up our living wills, we were faced with some hard questions about life and death as well as whom we would want to be the guardians of our children. Because we still like to think that we’re young and immortal, we didn’t get into making any funeral plans, but I did have one request for him — please don’t sing “God Be With You Till We Meet Again” at anytime during my funeral. It is just too sad.

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The Problem with “Know Them by Their Fruits” Parenting

While we are on the subject of stripling warriors …

One of my least favourite interpretations of scripture focuses upon the story of the army of Helaman. In Alma 56, the standard of good motherhood is set forth:

Now they never had fought yet they did not fear death; and they did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their own lives; yea, they had been trained by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them. And they rehearsed unto me the words of their mothers, saying We did not doubt our mothers knew it.

The simplistic conclusion that often seems to arise from any discussion of the army of Helaman is that these relatively unknown women were “good” mothers because their children did not doubt.

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Certified Sabbath Mode

Perhaps nothing has signaled my descent into middle-aged bourgeois womanhood more than my recent interest in new appliances.  We need to get a new stove and I will admit to being fascinated by all the new bells and whistles that one can purchase in the name of good cooking.  The choices seem endless.  There are wall ovens, and warming drawers, convection or standard ovens, smooth or coil cooktop surfaces, and self-cleaning options (yes, please!) to name but a few.  However, I think that the most interesting feature on my new range is something called "Certified Sabbath Mode".

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A Joy and A Treasure

Lately, around the Bloggernacle I have noticed several individuals sharing the struggle they experience in observing the Sabbath with children.  I have felt their pain.  Deeply.  When my husband was called to be the bishop, we had a four year old,  a two year old and I was 3 months pregnant with our third boy.  Before that he had been both a ward and a stake clerk, so he had never been home on Sunday mornings.  By the time he was released, we had a ten year old, an eight year old, a five year old and a three year old.  To say that he missed the hardest years of Sundays, is a major understatement and in retrospect I am not sure that I endured it all that well.

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The Faith of a Child: Missionary Work and the Army of Helaman

This morning, there was a small war in the Wright household.  Boy # 2 (aged 9), was  putting on his rubber boots, scriptures in hand.

"Are you taking your scriptures to school?", I enquired, wondering if he was going to have personal scripture study during his "reading time" and if this was O.K.

"No, I’m giving them to Nathan.  I’m hoping he will accept the gospel."

"Um, I’m not sure that is the best way of doing this.  Those are the special scriptures that you got for your birthday and maybe we should talk to his Mom and Dad before we give him a Book of Mormon."

Feet were stomped, tears were shed, I think a pass-along card was pocketed for more clandestine missionary work. 

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Sensory Impressions of Mormonism

I’ve just returned home from a lovely ten day southern holiday with my family.  As well as being a respite from this year’s unending Canadian snow, the vacation afforded some much appreciated time to catch up on some fiction reading.  My favourite book of the bunch was Yann Martel’s award winning novel, Life of Pi .

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America’s Choir?

Last week, I was leafing through the Deseret Book Catalogue, sifting through a slew of products all promising to strengthen me as a Latter-Day Saint.  However, the item that did catch my attention was the newish book/CD/DVD commemorating the seventy-fifth anniversary of continual broadcasting for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  The book’s title:  America’s Choir:  A Commemorative Portrait of the Mormon Tabernacle ChoirAmerica’s Choir?

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I Have a Question: Women and “Teachings for our Times”

Last week in Relief Society, our "Teachings for our Times" lesson schedule was re-distributed after being changed somewhat.  Looking at it, I noted that there was not a single woman’s name on that list.  When I got home from church, I got out my Conference Ensign to learn more about the program.

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“Get Big or Get Out”: Some Thoughts on Sustainable Blogging

I am not a big fan of the global economy.  In fact, I am a strong advocate of supporting local business.  I buy a share in a CSA to support a neighbouring biodynamic farm, I purchase Ontario apples instead of Chilean grapes and try hard to shop for clothes made in Canada.  Imagine my chagrin last week when I realized that perhaps I had sold my birthright for a mess of pottage by allowing myself to become a pawn in Steve Evans’ Microsoft-style machinations :)

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I Have Seen the Enemy and it is Me. Or is it?

Early on in my marriage, I claimed the last session of General Conference as my own.  After a busy weekend of tag-team parenting, the final session has always been a special time of reflection.  I go alone and I sit alone. I like to hear from speakers who are less known to me and enjoy the feeling of ritual completion.

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