Search Results for: mother's day

Second Sunday in Lent



Mormon Lectionary Project

Second Sunday in Lent

Genesis 12:1-4 (KJV), Psalm 121 (KJV), Romans 4:1-17 (KJV), John 3:1-21 (KJV), Jacob 4:4-8, 3 Nephi 20:35

The Collect: Father, grant us through thy mercy a renewed desire to search the scriptures and a new appreciation of the spirit of prophecy, that our faith may be strengthened in this holy season! May our strengthened faith manifest itself in works that resonate with those who have gone astray, drawing them back into the fold, renewing their desire to seek the gifts of faith and repentance, that they might once again be sanctified by the Sacrament of Thy Son, Jesus Christ, who is one with Thee and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen. [Read more…]

Sunday Evenings with the Doctrine and Covenants. Section 132. Part 10: Ten Virgins. The Mechanics of Plurality (and Sex on Earth, and in Heaven). And Another Addendum: Excommunication.

This is part 10 of a series of posts on Doctrine and Covenants Section 132, Joseph Smith’s July 12, 1843 revelation on marriage. See Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9. The part following this entry is here.

Much of the July 12 revelation is simplistically divisible into two kinds of speech: 1) Joseph is in the right. 2) Emma is in the wrong. The last section of the revelation falls into both categories. Along with this, we also get some talk of “virgins.” Earlier text in the revelation treats issues of sexual transgression (see part 8 for example).
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Sunday Evenings with the Doctrine and Covenants. Section 132. Part 1: Introduction.

This begins a series of posts on Doctrine and Covenants Section 132, Joseph Smith’s July 12, 1843 revelation on marriage. (Part 2 is here.) A subsequent book expanded (and in some cases corrected) this series of posts. See, William Victor Smith, Textual Studies of the Doctrine and Covenants: The Plural Marriage Revelation (Salt Lake City: Greg Kofford Books, 2018).


Perhaps the most controversial revelation in the current Doctrine and Covenants is section 132. It’s (mainly external) controversy stems from its deification ideas and its (more broadly controversial) explicit promotion of plural marriage, polygamy. The revelation seems referenced in Joseph Smith’s sermons near its delivery and its appearance in 1843 divided church leaders and members who saw or heard its contents.
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Your Sunday Brunch Special, #15. Dear Jim.

Man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.

I grew up on the edge of a slowly expanding metropolis. Between the ages of 0 to 7 or so, I lived in an older home, along a street bordered by empty fields on one side and a row of homes on the other. I have vivid memories of this place, but I’m not always sure of their correspondence with reality. Prior to my 8th birthday, we moved from this more or less comatose area to one roughly a mile away. Our new street was short, caught between two “T” intersections at either end. Across the street lived two girls my age in the only two houses on that side. I later had some slight romantic involvement with both of them, but that’s another story. To our right was a long-time resident family, an overriding memory of them was their love of all things cowboy. They kept horses, until some years later when my mother rather gleefully announced that the city now forbade this practice. It took several citations before the horses finally disappeared as I recall. There was bad blood from that point.
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The Sunday Morning Where Have All the Flowers Gone Open Thread

The weather is gross, but inside the choir is resplendent in lavender and all’s swell. Numerous comments about the British bringing the bad weather, but it hasn’t rained at home in . . . months. So, on to conference, blogged/tweeted by Ronan, Kristine, and Jacob. Hi Becky!

Braving the rain

Peanut Gallery

N.B. Quotes from speakers are not necessarily precise. We’re having to type fast here! Check official transcripts later.

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Mother’s Heart, Father’s Heart

A few months ago I was googling around on the Internet and happened to find an interesting discussion which might  be familiar to many Mormons.  There were two factions participating in the discussion.  The first group asserted that you could predict what kind of  person a baby would  become on the day it was born.  Baby A would grow up to be independent, assertive, and to value getting things done.  Baby B would become an adult who was non-assertive and more of a follower than a leader, but who would excel at empathy, listening, caring for others, and building inter-personal relationships.  The second group in the discussion claimed that this was all a display of confirmation bias and presented evidence which contradicted the claims made by the first group.

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Thursday Morning Quickie #13

[Note: The following text was taken verbatim from the “M Men-Gleaner Manual, Love, Marriage, and You” used in 1956-1957. Previous entries in this series can be found here.]

Lesson 15

Relatives and You

Ted and Joan were married in their early twenties and both thought they would get along well together. They lived in the same city as did their folks on both sides. All the relatives were pleased with the match, the beautiful wedding which was consummated in the Salt Lake Temple and the attractive and pleasant reception which was held in the evening. The couple went on a short honeymoon trip to Sun Valley and returned with confidence and a happy outlook toward the future. And then trouble began. [Read more…]

Thursday Morning Quickie #8

[Note: The following text was taken verbatim from the “M Men-Gleaner Manual, Love, Marriage, and You” used in 1956-1957. Previous entries in this series can be found here.]

Lesson 6

Dating and Fun

Susie placed the receiver on the hook and exclaimed with joy, “Mother I have a date for the Gold and Green ball!” [Read more…]

An Enviable Palm Sunday

It happens sometimes that on Palm Sunday I am smitten with holy envy, longing for a few palm fronds, a nice 17th-century setting of “Hosanna to the Son of David,” and “All Glory Laud and Honor” with a procession and a trumpet descant.

Not today. [Read more…]

And on Sunday, Small Voices

My oldest has spent the last couple months wishing everyone a “happy mother’s day” because she remembers how much fun we all had. I think she considers it to mean the same thing as “happy birthday” but specific to parents (she wishes me happy mother’s day as well).

Today (although, not following the holiday or my calendar well, I accidentally ended up on a work trip this weekend), I am not interested so much in being honored as in honoring my fatherhood, which to me means two things: my children, and sharing those children with my wife. (This is specific to my situation; others will honor fatherhood in different settings and permutations, and I am glad to honor those as well.) [Read more…]

Sunday Morning Maternity Leave and the Church of the Lastborn

In The Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver writes:

A mother’s body remembers her babies — the folds of soft flesh, the softly furred scalp against her nose. Each child has its own entreaties to body and soul. It’s the last one, though, that overtakes you. … A first child is your own best foot forward, and how you do cheer those little feet as they strike out. You examine every turn of flesh for precocity, and crow it to the world.

But the last one: the baby who trails her scent like a flag of surrender through your life when there will be no more coming after — oh, that’s love by a different name. She is the babe you hold in your arms for an hour after she’s gone to sleep. If you put her down in the crib, she might wake up changed and fly away. So instead you rock by the window, drinking the light from her skin, breathing her exhaled dreams. Your heart bays to the double crescent moons of closed lashes on her cheeks. She is the one you can’t put down.

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The Only True and Living General Conference Thread (speaking of the thread collectively and not individually), Saturday edition

I have it on good authority (friend of a friend whose mother’s brother does landscaping for a Church employee) that this is the GC when they will ditch Sunday School.

International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day! One of my favorite holidays that no one in America celebrates…which is a shame.  I think that International Women’s Day has such potential–it’s a celebration of women without the guilt and angst associated with Mother’s day.  Plus, in my mind, because I discovered it while living in Russia, it has slightly vague socialist overtones…celebrate the women, heroes of our great progressive culture. 

So, BCC readers, as celebration of this great heroic day of progressivist good is basically a blank slate here in America, I solicit your suggestions.  How should we celebrate International Women’s Day?  (Can’t think of anything buy flowers for the women you love…Russia still does some things right…)

Poetry and the Feminine Divine: A BCC Press Spring Sale

It’s spring, and, as we all know, this is the time that Persephone is released from the underworld and returns to Demeter, who, in joy and gratitude, makes the flowers bloom and the weather fair. And nothing says Spring like poetry, and, at BCC Press, we are all about poetry. From now until Mother’s Day, you can get an amazing deal on some amazing poetry by and about women—strong women, lawless women, mothers, daughters, maidens and crones. So celebrate with Demeter and check out our amazing deals on poetry that matters.

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Notes on the history of missionary correspondence

I decided to look through some of the old missionary handbooks in my library to see if there were any antecedents to the no-phone-home policy that I experienced as a missionary. Beyond a few interesting bits that I had overlooked in the past (missionaries in the 1920s were required to have eight hours of missionary work a day, starting at 9:00 am), there was some material that is relevant, albeit far from comprehensive.
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Missionary Communication Rules: How Folk Theology Works (and Doesn’t Work).



The church announced today that effective immediately, missionaries can text, call, instant message, and video chat with their families at home on their preparation day, repealing the old rule that missionaries were only allowed to call home twice a year (Christmas and Mother’s Day), and were otherwise only allowed to email (and before sometime in the early 2000s, only write letters).

I imagine that this change is motivated at least in part by a concern for the emotional and mental health of missionaries. As long-distance communication has become cheaper and more ubiquitous, the world has become more and more interconnected. This is a double-edged sword: it makes long-distance and online friendships easier, but a side effect of that is that many people find it easier to primarily make friends with people online which means that IRL connection and friendship get harder. It can also be even more isolating when you grow up using online communication to make and maintain friendships, and then the ability to have online and log-distance connection is suddenly taken away. I’m no expert, but I suspect that this has a lot to do with the fact that many missionaries today find the mission experience, as rewarding and fulfilling as it is, to be seriously challenging to their emotional and mental health. And at some point, we have to ask ourselves whether that challenge is a necessary or worthwhile one. The church has now decided that it’s not. I think this is a very good thing. [Read more…]

2018 BCC Year in Review


In 2019, By Common Consent will enter its 15th year of Bloggernaccle existence.  The state of our imperfect union of informal bloggers is strong:  2018 clocked in as second only to 2015* in total traffic.  As the sun sets on 2018 , I thought I’d compile some highlights. [Read more…]

Nature, Wisdom, Spirit, Mother

[Cross-posted to In Medias Res]

This is an expanded and re-written version of a Mother’s Day sermon I gave in church last week, on May 13, 2018. PLEASE SEE THE NOTE AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS POST.

I’m pretty certain that ever since I became old enough to wonder about matters theological, I hadn’t been all that enthused by the Mormon idea of Mother in Heaven. The Christian message which consistently spoke (and still speaks) most strongly to me was Pauline, Augustinian, and Lutheran; I took (and still take) seriously the omniscience and omnipresence of God presented through the Biblical tradition, and saw His relationship with us as profoundly grace-centered and not at all humanist. This left little room in my thinking for the discourse about Heavenly Mother that I was most familiar with, which seemed rooted in deeply literal and humanist presumptions about God’s identity, sexuality, and relationships. “In the heav’ns are parents single?/ No, the thought makes reason stare! / Truth is reason; truth eternal / Tells me I’ve a mother there“–to a great many of my fellow Mormons, for many years, the claim made in this old hymn seems both persuasive and obvious. But it wasn’t for me.

I write all that in the past tense, though, because not too long ago I read an essay which made me realize that maybe, just maybe, I’ve actually been thinking about, and perhaps even worshiping, Mother in Heaven all along. But let me work around to that. [Read more…]

I am a child of Heavenly Mother

Lily Darais is a mother of four living in Orem, UT.  She earned a B.A. from Michigan State University, a Masters of Education from Harvard, and has earned a diploma in culinary arts.  She currently spends most of her time trying to keep her toddler and baby alive and begging her older kids to practice their instruments.  The following is the Mother’s Day talk she gave yesterday.

The Apricot Blossom

“I am a child of God” is such an obviously loving statement that even–and perhaps especially–children can sing “I am a child of God” with fervent, joyful understanding. While the words, “I am a child of God,” function as a holy affirmation for all of us, they are also more than an affirmation. We can read them as an invitation–to learn more about God, to develop our own divine potential, to consider our utter dependency and also our protected, beloved status. We can even read the words as a gentle rebuke, a reminder to, in the words of President Hinckley, “be a little better.”

Depending on how we read these words, we can be healed, shaped, or driven by our understanding of them.

As I wrote those last words, I happened to glance out of the window at a neighbor’s tree. I am not a tree expert, but the puffy clusters of white blossoms recalled to mind another primary song, this one a little less theologically packed: “Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree.” As I stared at the flowering clusters, I thought of the apricots that will follow in a few short months. I compared myself to an apricot in spring. [Read more…]

Lost Longing, Or, The Book You Didn’t Know You Needed

It’s almost Mother’s Day. I can tell from the little knot of confusion pushing itself towards the front of my consciousness. On Father’s Day, it’s easy to choose the hymns: “O My Father,” and “Our Father, By Whose Name”– Our Father, by whose name all fatherhood is known…Thy children bless in every place, that they may all behold thy face/and knowing thee, may grow in grace.

No more a stranger or a guest, but like a child at home…

There aren’t hymns for Mother’s Day, not really. Beyond affirming Her existence, we don’t know what to sing or say. So we argue–it’s easy enough to name the doctrinal and historical complications of naming Our Mother, and often, those complications are a comfort. The retreat into theory eases the ache of the simple questions.

Until someone writes a series of small, perfect poems asking simple questions, like the ones in Rachel Hunt Steenblik’s Mother’s Milk, forthcoming from BCC Press. [Read more…]


I am truly pleased to present to you one of the best kept secrets of the Mormon Instagram world.  Jon Bryner and Tallia Feltis are the mastermind couple behind the account @texturesofmormonism.   While very funny, they are equally thoughtful and deliberate.  They speak of both the humor and strange tenderness in this idea of shared nostalgia that Mormons literally all over the world can relate to.  My husband and I have spent more than one evening chuckling before bed as we scroll through the account.  Ah Mormons.  Something so strange and so funny about our collective aesthetic that somehow hasn’t changed in decades.

This is just a sampling of some of my favorites from the account.

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It’s Wednesday night! Hit like if you need a ride home from mutual. #foyerphone #texturesofmormonism

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God-talk and Mother in Heaven

The release of the recent Gospel Topics essay on Heavenly Mother has unleashed a flood of conversation. The questions that have come up are fascinating: what does it mean to assign gender to God? What’s at stake in believing God is embodied? If we do affirm the existence of a Heavenly Mother, why don’t we talk about Her more? Why don’t we see Her in the temple? Does the language of “Mother” and “Father” even seem adequate to a divine force that can somehow encompass and exceed the full range of human experience?

I’m going to admit that I have no idea what the answers to these questions are or ought to be. But I’m also going to admit that I don’t think I can find the answers on my own. [Read more…]

Book Review: Women At Church

Theric Jepson is a long-time friend of BCC, although it’s been some time since his last guest post. You can find out more about him here.

Neylan McBaine‘s name seems to be a bit like Joseph Smith’s—known for good and evil (though without the same kind of among-all-people reach). It’s fascinating how to some she is Moses come off the mountain and to others she’s Uncle Tom. I think she’s sensible enough to reject both those labels, but if those were the only two options, I would choose the former. But if she is Moses, she’s more of a Greek Moses, not with anything written in stone, but with a wandering series of questions and reasonable answers and followup questions that lead to a seemingly inevitable conclusion. [Read more…]

#BikeToChurch Week 3: PeterLLC in Vienna, Austria!


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Bike to Church Month continues at ByCommonConsent. Join the invigorating, meditative practice of biking to church, doing yourself and the environment a favor! Send us your pics at, or tweet @bycommonconsent #biketochurch. This week we visit BCC’s own Peter LLC in Vienna, Austria. Looking great after a 7km ride with daughter aboard. Bonus points awarded for getting the church’s standard welcome sign in the shot. Thanks, Peter!  [Read more…]

A Letter from My Mother

On this Mother’s Day I thought I would let mine speak for herself. She kept all personal correspondence addressed to her and copies of a lot of letters she wrote to others. I found this one while getting ready for her funeral last year and felt like it reflects a sense of what it was like for a Mormon mother to raise eight children in a rural setting nearly forty years ago. Of course, the more things change, the more they stay the same, and I suspect today’s readers will be able to relate.  [Read more…]

Mother Jesus

Although Julian of Norwich (c. 1342-c. 1417) was the greatest of the medieval English mystics, we know little of her life. At about age 30 she was cured of mortal illness through a vision she experienced while gazing at a cross brought by the priest who had come to administer last rites. By the 1390s she was a well-known anchorite (a person bound by vow to sacred confinement) at the Church of St. Julian in Norwich.

We know her primarily through her book of Showings, which makes her the first identifiable female author in English literature. This book exists in two forms: a shorter one recording what she called “the revelations of divine love” and a longer one that expands and meditates upon these experiences.

Although, as with many of our own spiritual experiences, Julian’s first vision seems to have come unbidden, she was exemplary in showing us what riches can come of meditating upon what the Lord has taught us. In this way she provokes us to love and good deeds, giving us confidence to enter (and re-enter) the sanctuaries of our own hearts. [Read more…]

Dame Julian of Norwich



Mormon Lectionary Project

Dame Julian of Norwich

Hebrews 10:19-24 (NRSV); John 4:23-26 (NRSV); Psalm 27:5-11 (1662 BCP); 1 Nephi 11:12-23; Alma 30:44; Moses 7:48-49

The Collect: Almighty God, who through thy servant Julian of Norwich showed us the Ground of our being, sustain us we pray with the sweet milk of thy Spirit through the everlasting nurture of thy Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

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The stories we tell

Aaron’s recent post about idiosyncratic mission rules was a fun look at the origins of the types of stories that every missionary hears, types of legends. I wonder if and how the stories of Aaron’s skateboard and window were told and retold. It was with these thoughts that I came across a paragraph from a 1898 Mississippi Conference circular in the recently digitized Southern Star: [Read more…]

Redefining Inner Beauty

Brother J: So, how was your special Mother’s Day Relief Society?

Sister J: It was good.

Brother J: What did you talk about?

Sister J: Loving ourselves.

Brother J: Is that allowed now?

Sister J: Yes. But only for the sisters. [Read more…]

Are We Not All Mothers?

This is a passage from a sermon delivered for Mother’s day by Susan Harriss, one of the first women ordained by the Episcopal church in the United States.

Happy Mother’s day, everyone! [Read more…]