50 Conversations About One Thing, Part II

Part I of this conversation, including a brief introduction, is here.

17. There seems to be a generational shift at play. [Read more…]

50 Conversations About One Thing, Part I

A few of us had the pleasure of overhearing an internet conversation the other day. Here are 50 of the more interesting things we heard, which we have boiled down and made anonymous for presentation purposes. Note that this discussion is for mature audiences, and will appear in three parts. Certain words may appear a little funny as we attempt to keep the original wording intact but permit those with internet filters to enjoy the conversation — the post requires images and may not read well in RSS feeds. Comments are closed on these posts; we encourage you to talk about this conversation with your families and on your own websites and blogs. Please email us with any questions. [Read more…]

Nothing to fear (but a glass of water)

As someone who routinely pours 200-400ml of sterile salt water into people’s lungs without any significant side effects, I am often struck by how strange it is to be assured, with the insuperable certainty of folk wisdom, that I could drown on (or is it in?) a cup of water. [Read more…]

Who I’m voting for (and why)

If you’ve been waiting for someone at BCC to post an opinion of the current election, here it is. [Read more…]

Opening Day

Like Annie Savoy (played by Susan Sarandon in her best role) in the movie Bull Durham, I believe in the church of baseball.

[Read more…]

Why there wasn’t much kissing in polygamy

The Victorians (and their neo-heirs) on both sides of the Mormon divide have long fussed about the sensuality of Mormon polygamy. There is some evidence to support both views, and I suspect most people who have read a lot on the subject feel that there was some sensuality associated with a practice whose basis was far from simply sensual. I believe, though, that I have cracked the case, discovering irrefutable evidence that there wasn’t much kissing in polygamy. [Read more…]

Mormon Culture Tournament – Elite Eight

Our final winners from the Sweet Sixteen were:
1. Angel Moroni, 3. CTR Rings, 5. Large Families, and 11. Scripture Marking. Dan, NOW YOU KNOW MY PAIN!

Stiff upper lip, people! We must persevere:
[Read more…]

Honoring Parents in a Post-Therapeutic Age

Two old posts from the Feminacle, unrelated except in my mind, and a recent visit from my parents have got me thinking.

Over at FMH, Emily S. posted one of my favorite poems, about the austere and lonely “offices of love” which even the least skilled or emotionally savvy parents often perform for their children. Meanwhile, in the trenches of the mommy wars, a a guest poster and several commenters seem very certain of their superiority to their parents in terms of commitment to marriage and the ability to make it work. Naturally, I hope they are right. Divorce stinks, especially for kids, and we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t aspire to atone for the sins of the last generation and make a better world for our children. Still, perhaps because of my advancing age (:)), and my pained awareness of the thousand ways I fail my children despite my best efforts, I feel a great deal of sympathy for the parents whose children describe their failures so starkly.

It seems to me that we have lost something in our sophisticated understanding of our parents and our “dysfunctional families of origin.” [Read more…]

Mormons and Mental Illness: Demonic Possession

Many people believe that the demonic possessions described in the Bible were, in fact, mental illnesses. Eric Russell wonders whether, on occasion, what we call mental illnesses are, in fact, demonic possessions.

When people ask me what my greatest fear is, I tell them it’s Satan. People often chuckle, thinking it’s a cute answer. I usually let them think it is, but it’s not. My greatest fear in this world is encountering — perhaps not Satan himself — but a spirit enslaved to him, possessing the body of human being. Though the very idea is an archaic one in today’s enlightened world, I believe it happens. And I think it’s one possible cause of behavior we usually attribute to a mental illness. [Read more…]

Mormons and Mental Illness: The Pain of Depression

Hannah submitted this guest post on her struggle with depression. It illustrates the pain and desperation that seems to accompany mental illness, and reminds us of the dark cloud of misery many people live under. A poem by Sarebear follows. Again, please: anyone suffering out there need not suffer alone.

I am a woman in my early twenties and have been diagnosed with both major depression and general anxiety disorder. I have been on and off of medication and in and out of counseling. [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…]

Mormons and Mental Illness: Suicide

This guest post on suicide was submitted by Arlene. If anyone wants to talk to Arlene she is happy for me to give out her telephone number. Please email me at ronan at jhu dot edu. No-one need suffer alone.

This is a sensitive subject: the Encyclopedia of Mormonism entry on suicide represents the latest (compassionate) Mormon view on the subject. In short, suicide is a sin (in that mortality is part of God’s plan for us), but one for which some people may not be fully culpable. Only God can judge these matters, not us.

I’ve always been a suicidal person. I was the product of several generations of alcoholism, poverty, abuse, and depression and I passed it on. 1991 was a particularly hard year. [Read more…]

Mormons and Mental Illness: Spousal Support

This guest post, “Spousal Support for the Mentally Ill: What Not to Do,” was submitted by Tom.

I want to share some of the things that I’ve learned from my experience as the husband of somebody who suffers from mental illness. I’m not a model husband or a model anything, but I’ve made some mistakes that might be instructive. [Read more…]

Mormons and Mental Illness: Introduction

We here at BCC have decided to offer a series on Mormons and mental health. We will post our own perspectives and wish to solicit the experiences and insight of our readers. Please consider submitting a guest post on this topic to ronan at jhu dot edu (anonymity will, of course, be respected). At the end of the series, an LDS mental health professional will be invited to respond. [Read more…]

Hot Yoga, Mormons, and Exercise

One topic that doesn’t seem to come up in the Bloggernacle is the virtue of physical exercise. Is it that we are all desk-bound lardies who wouldn’t dream of consuming a coffee-cream chocolate, but imagine that our expanding girths are of no consequence to God? Or is it that we simply do not equate exercise and physical fitness with religion and thus not worthy of discussion?

[Read more…]