My Mother’s Day Talk About Not Being a Mom

As I’ve written about before, children did not come easily to our family. During those struggles, Mother’s Days at church were excruciating. Even after becoming the mother of two, I still struggle with Mother’s Day-–the sense of inadequacy as people wax poetic about their Supermoms, the echoes of painful Mother’s Days past. I’m happy to report that those echos are fading, and each year I better appreciate the beauty of a day when we celebrate the very real sacrifices of the mothers of every one of the 6 billion people on this planet, of mothers of past generations, and our Heavenly Mother.

Still, I have immense empathy for Mother’s Day angst. While (barely) enduring a Mother’s Day Sacrament Meeting during the infertile period, I fantasized about the talk I would have given if I’d been asked, an antidote to the typical Mother’s Day talk.
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Good News for vegans

In his latest column, Robert Kirby lists numerous parties who have (or should have) grievances with the church. He’s looking for someone to replace gays who, despite email rumors to the contrary, won’t be protesting outside General Conference next weekend. Among the aggrieved parties are vegans [emphasis mine]:

Vegans should have a real bone to pick — oh, sorry — with the LDS church. Mormons are serious carnivores. The church owns huge welfare farms including some with cows. The bread we use in our Sacrament is made with real dairy products.

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SCIENCE!

BCC Labs is always working on innovative ways of maximizing the upsides of your online Latter-day Saint information consumption, interaction, and generation experience. Studies have shown that the marginalization of insufficiently critical approaches to the theological exploration of appropriate ethical behavioral actualizations by means of negative sporting and humorous contumely are market desirable. Therefore it is with great excitement that BCC Labs presents to you its latest innovation: the Daily Universe Letter to the Editor, deconstructed by Science!

BCC Lab’s methods of examination are explained below:
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Stem Cell Research and BYU

by Emily Updegraff

Emily Updegraff is a BYU alum an holds a PhD in Biology. Emily submitted this wonderful post to us, which we are excited now to share with you.

Last week President Obama issued an executive order removing a lot of restrictions on embryonic stem cell research. Federal funds can now be used to support research using hundreds of stem cell lines, not just the 21 lines President Bush approved in 2001. Over the past eight years, embryonic stem cell research has been limited to private research institutions that have sufficient support to run without NIH grants, and a few academic labs that have carefully partitioned themselves into NIH funded and privately funded domains. Research at universities across the country will be significantly impacted by the executive order, both in the long and short term. I believe Obama’s executive order is the beginning of a new era of stem cell research, one that will likely require the Church to re-examine its position on stem cell research, and consequently its position on when life begins.
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Liveblogging Big Love

I’m watching the episode now. The bishop and SP just came to visit Barb at home. They mentioned that she and Bill haven’t paid tithing for seven years. She says yes, they’re “inactive now,” they went through a bad time, and she was very sick. So the bishop just comes right out and asks if she’s living in a polygamous relationship. She’s shocked by the question, but after a pause acknowledges that she is. She explains that Bill got a testimony of it. She didn’t at first, but she thinks she does now. They informed her that they were there to determine whether they needed to take action regarding her membership.

I’ll post this now and then in the comments describe the further developments as the episode unfolds.
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Mormon YouTube Progress Report #3b (Elders & Misc.)

Elder Ballard told the December 2007 graduates of BYU-Hawaii to use new media to spread the gospel, and the exhortation was repeated to all church members in a cover story in the July 2008 Ensign. Among other things, members were encouraged to “create videos that illustrate aspects of your membership in the Church and post them on video sharing sites like YouTube.” I’ve taken it upon myself to compile a preliminary progress report for Elder Ballard. Humbly submitted: more good, bad, and ugly of Mormons on Youtube. [Read more…]

Mormon YouTube Progress Report #3 (Prop 8)

Elder Ballard told the December 2007 graduates of BYU-Hawaii to use new media to spread the gospel, and the exhortation was repeated to all church members in a cover story in the July 2008 Ensign. Among other things, members were encouraged to “create videos that illustrate aspects of your membership in the Church and post them on video sharing sites like YouTube.” I’ve taken it upon myself to compile a preliminary progress report for Elder Ballard. Humbly submitted: more good, bad, and ugly of Mormons on Youtube. [Read more…]

Note on History’s Margins

Front and center today in Bolivia’s electoral decision on whether to accept a new constitution stands a Latter-day Saint, José Luís Exeni.

President of the National Electoral Court, Exeni was raised in the Church. His mother was a long time member and one of the central figures in what was called Rama Cuatro, or Fourth Branch, in La Paz, Bolivia. I vividly remember Exeni when he was a little boy and I served as a missionary in his Branch. I am told he is a returned missionary, although it has been decades since I spoke with him.

Nevertheless, for me, the importance of Exeni’s position in this question of a new constitution, Indian rights in a multinational state, and a new vision of the left is both his legal rulings and the fact that he represents how much Latter-day Saints have been woven into the fabric of Latin American society. In the US we can look to Harry Reid and a host of Latter-day Saints in Washington, but there are also Latter-day Saints in high positions of government in Bolivia, and probably in other Latin American Countries. The LDS Church has gone native.

Evangelicals write their own Proclamation on the Family

A document entitled the “True Woman Manifesto” made its debut in mid-October at a conference for Christian women (promotional video, h/t). Its audience is Evangelical women, but its ultimate aim is to spark a revolution to undo much of the sexual and feminist revolutions since the 1960s/70s.

Starting with the fact that it was debuted at a women’s conference, there are some striking similarities between the True Woman Manifesto and the LDS document, “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” What follows is a side-by-side comparison of some key passages.
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Protecting Marriage with Firearms

As a California resident, I’ve spent the last several weeks never more than a few yards from a cheerful yellow and blue “Protect Marriage” campaign sign. Our seaside state was awash in them; my life online and off, at church, at home and at school, was blanketed in the pro and con arguments for Prop 8. It was in the midst of this marriage-protecting fervor that I came to the conclusion that I had a personal and urgent calling to preserve my marriage by taking up arms. Yes, firearms.
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Thoughts on the anniversary of SoCal wildfires

This past week has marked the 1-year anniversary of having to flee our home due to the SoCal wildfires.

Our house is on the left edge of one of the clusters of red dots in this photo. The following are quotes from status update emails I sent to my family at the time, and some memories and reflections.
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Some things too sacred to share

Too sacred to share. I’ve been thinking about that for a few days as I readied a post on my faith-science blog that for a long time fell into the category for me. I changed my mind. There was some discomfort with it because we run across the words ‘too sacred to share”, but I’m not sure what they mean. Here are a couple of uses I pulled up on a search on the Church’s web site: [Read more…]

RateMyGospelDoctrineTeacher.com?

I just got back another round of student evaluations of my teaching. To imagine the feeling I get when opening a fresh packet of evaluations, mix together the dread induced by the phrase “[your boss] needs to speak with you,” and the anxiety-ridden adrenaline rush of Ralphie racing to translate Orphan Annie’s super-secret message with his decoder ring. I’ve done well in all my ratings, but that doesn’t mitigate the panic preceding each. [Read more…]

Mormon YouTube Progress Report #2

[This is the second in a series, first one here.] Last year Elder Ballard told graduates of BYU-Hawaii to use new media to spread the gospel, and the exhortation was repeated to all church members in a cover story in last month’s Ensign. Among other things, members were encouraged to “create videos that illustrate aspects of your membership in the Church and post them on video sharing sites like YouTube.” I’ve taken it upon myself to compile a preliminary progress report for Elder Ballard. Humbly submitted: more good, bad, and ugly of Mormons on Youtube. [Read more…]

Dear Elder Ballard: Mormon YouTube Progress Report

Last year Elder Ballard told graduates of BYU-Hawaii to use new media to spread the gospel, and the exhortation was repeated to all church members in a cover story in last month’s Ensign. Among other things, members were encouraged to "create videos that illustrate aspects of your membership in the Church and post them on video sharing sites like YouTube."

In the grand tradition of Bloggernacle presumptuousness, I’ve presumed to take it upon myself to compile a preliminary progress report for Elder Ballard. Humbly submitted: the good, the bad, and the ugly of Mormons on Youtube. [Read more…]

A Dozen Midwives

Often when pondering the joy it is to have my two beautiful children, I think of the cast of characters who were responsible for bringing them into the world. I’m sharing the list here because I think it says a lot about LDS communities–how they are structured, how they function, roles, responsibilities, formal and informal authority, stewardships, power, gender roles, balance, reciprocity in relationships, dependence and interdependence, status, family vs ward family vs global family. I don’t want to overshadow the events with too much analysis in this post itself, but those are some of the ideas I have in mind while I write this. I am interested in hearing your thoughts about these themes and discussing it in the comments.
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