The Right and Left of Mormonism; or How Can You Think That Way?

Garran_LDS_Chapel_by_AEastNewsflash: I am a conservative Mormon … with an abundance of friends who are liberal Mormons, thanks largely to my connections in the Mormon literary and academic worlds. A few weeks back, a friend from my ward and I were enjoying an early not-quite-spring-yet afternoon in a north Texas park when I told her just that, that I have many practicing LDS friends who are liberal in their thinking. Hers palms landed on the picnic table. She leaned toward me, and, with her head shaking, said, “See … I don’t get that. How can anyone be faithful LDS and be a Democrat?” Continue reading “The Right and Left of Mormonism; or How Can You Think That Way?”

Perspective and the Ordain Women “Problem”

woman-reading-on-computer-231x300I decided that, once the public action taken by Ordain Women (OW) at the April 2014 Priesthood session of General Conference was accomplished, I’d stay silent about the event. I figured there would be enough people talking about them and probably not enough people listening to them. In the aftermath, I read some very moving posts written by the OW sisters and their male supporters. Surprisingly, during and immediately after General Conference, my Facebook feed was almost absent of OW bashing. I was pleased.

However, about a week after the Priesthood session, a guest post from The Millennial Star, titled “Ordain Women: thanks for nothing” (sic), began appearing in my feed. I looked away the first few times it appeared, but its recurrence demanded I pay it some attention. Everything about that post stood in stark contrast to the things I’d read by OW supporters. It was angry when OW posts were reflective, jubilant, and sad. It was rude when OW posts seemed to go out of their way to forgive. And it was illogical, making claims about OW that were not recognizable to me and assumptions that should have been put on the Naughty Bench rather than online. But I haven’t an interest in discussing, much less debunking, the guest post. Read it here if you haven’t. Instead, I’d like to don my fiction writer/editor’s cap and discuss the difference between point of view (POV) and perspective, why and how that knowledge can help us, and what perspective has to do with the Ordain Women “problem.” Continue reading “Perspective and the Ordain Women “Problem””

Doubt, Mormon Women Stand, and Traction

17I was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in early December of 1978, six months after the church lifted the ban prohibiting black men from ordination and one week before my 17th birthday. Oddly, two years earlier the ban was, in large measure, what led me to scrutinize the Church. As an eighth grader, I was so upset to learn that a church would blatantly discriminate that I spent several lunch periods boring my friend and fellow Catholic, the bespeckled and knock-kneed Maria Campagne, with my tirades. The ban put the “Mormon Church” on my radar screen and, shock of shocks, in no time I was trembling under the weight of a newly-found, but solid, testimony. Continue reading “Doubt, Mormon Women Stand, and Traction”

The Parable of Convict Lake

Laurel Mountain at Convict Lake

Lucky me, I spent my honeymoon trout fishing.

It was August of 1986, a miserably hot summer, even in the Sierras. My new husband and I had opted out of a Hawaiian honeymoon in favor of a cash gift, so we spent the post-nuptial week at my parents’ condo in Mammoth Lakes, California. Today, Mammoth Lakes hops with summer activity, but not so much then. Mostly we fished. My father, an avid angler, had advised us to hit the beautiful St. Mary’s Lake, but I confused its location with another and inadvertently directed my fledgling husband to one of the ugliest lakes known to man. Or so I thought at the time. Convict Lake. Continue reading “The Parable of Convict Lake”