“Developing” a Relationship with Christ

…or Discipleship in a Darkroom

Exposure

The whole darkroom process starts with special materials—ordinary celluloid film coated in a particularly light-sensitive silver-haloid dust. It’s this unique property that makes photography possible.

We are also made of light-sensitive material. We react to it, resonate with it.

“That which is of God is light; and he that recieveth light and continueth in God recieveth more light and that light growth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.” (Doctrine & Covenants 50:24)

Knowing this, each of us have a simple, but fundamental choice to make: We can leave our ‘exposure’ to divine light to chance…OR…we can engage our agency and seek the light we need to create the images we want from our lives.

Great photographers use tools and tricks to use natural light to full advantage—and even create light. Monitors evaluate light levels from all angles. Reflectors focus and direct light where it’s needed most. Flashes create light to fill in dark spots. And a discerning eye can see beauty in shadow as well as in light.

Developer

Once an image has been captured on the film, it’s immersed in the developer  (emulsifier) where chemicals bind to the unexposed silver halides and strip them from the film.

That is, anything not exposed to the light is no longer part of the image.

“This mighty change is not simply the result of working harder or developing greater personal discipline. Rather it is the consequence of a fundamental change in our desires, our motives, and our natures.” –David A. Bednar

We read in scripture about Christ’s arms being “outstretched” toward the sinner and sometimes think the road back is longer than it is.

“Yea I would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer; for behold now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefor, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you.” (Alma 34:31)

It’s amazing to watch a strip of film slip below the surface of a developer tub and see images appear in the frames that weren’t there seconds before. Pain, darkness, despair and doubt can begin fading from our lives just as quickly.

Stop Bath

 “You cannot stay on the summit forever. You have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is beneath. What is below cannot know what is above. One climbs, one sees, one descends. One sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art to conducting oneself in the lower regions according to the memory of what one saw higher up. What one can no longer see, one can at least still know” -René Daumal

The third step is the Stop Bath, which halts all chemical processes and returns the film to a neutral state.

These times are hard for me!

But I’ve discovered over the years that even beloved and chosen people spend a lot of time in the wilderness. And we can gain a lot by studying what happens in those wildernesses—and what makes the difference. Because we can wander… or we can be lead. We can starve…or we can be fed. We can be lost…or we can be transformed.

Fixer

This final step makes the image permanent, binds it to the medium.

Richard Scott, a modern apostle, talk about the process of writing revelation (the impressions of divine light) on our hearts by writing it physically. He stresses that we record even those insights that seem minor at the time ‘faithfully’—believing in our potential to communicate with the heavens—and carefully, accurately; asking if we got it right; listening for confirmation…or correction; and then asking if there is more yet for us to learn.

The process isn’t easy. These are intense chemicals—not to mention it’s all happening in a darkroom. But if we can remember what we’re doing, what image it is we’re fixing, it will put light in our eyes, make us steadfast and immovable, and we will become the children of light.

For “Beloved, now are we the sons of God—and it doth not yet appear what we shall be.”  (1 John 3:2) “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray earnestly with all the energy of heart that ye may be filled with this love and receive his image in your countenances. That when he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is, that we may have this hope, that we may be purified even as he is pure.” (Moroni 7:48)

The Blessings of *Reading* the Book of Mormon

I was recently invited to give a sermon in my home congregation. (Mormons don’t have a professional clergy so members of the congregation take turns teaching each other in Sunday services)

I was asked to speak on “Reading and gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon.” Reading. And the very first thing I thought was why ‘reading’ and not ‘studying’? And when I finally chose to pay attention to that question, I learned some really sweet things.

I grew up with a scriptorian. Any who have had my siblings or me in religious classes know we have been taught how to study and love the scriptures. I have been so blessed by her example.

But I felt impressed to testify that you don’t have to be a scriptorian to be blessed by the Book of Mormon….you don’t even have to study it. I wanted to reaffirm to my congregation the blessings of simply reading the Book of Mormon.

Alma taught the Zoramites that their faith could grow into a perfect knowledge if they could “no more than desire to believe” and I have found over and over in my life that the enabling power of the Atonement reaches out to make “no more than” just reading enough.

In my childhood, it was enough to build the foundation for a testimony of the gospel. I think only the older 4 of us could read when my parents bought us each a copy of the Book of Mormon and we all marked the 25 seminary mastery scriptures in any color we wanted…then each morning, it was someone’s turn to find a colored scripture and read it aloud. It was one verse a day, but I remember learning that everything that “inviteth and enticeth to do good” was from God—and that I could be sure of that.

On my mission, just reading was enough to feel an undergirding gratitude that changed my perspective on trials. Between Canadian and American Thanksgiving every year our whole mission would read the Book of Mormon through, marking things we were grateful for, and giving the books away as we went. Now that’s a rather intense reading schedule, but the approach has helped me multiple times since when I found myself needing a bit of an attitude adjustment.

And more recently, just reading the Book of Mormon has been enough to learn or feel something every day.  After struggling with scripture study for a while, and feeling guiltier and guiltier and more and more stuck I finally just opened my scriptures, flipped through a bit, decided that Mormon needed more markings in it, and gave myself permission to stop reading every day once I’d felt the Spirit, learned something, or found something interesting enough to mark. No chapter a day, no time quotas, no “shoulds” about it. I would read until I felt like marking something and then I was good for the day, no questions asked. Some days, it was one stinkin’ verse, but I felt something. Some days, I didn’t gain any real spiritual insight per se, but marked something interesting, or even amusing (yes, the Book of Mormon is funny sometimes) and I stopped. And I was blessed.

Because the Lord has promised blessings for even just reading the Book of Mormon.

We encounter righteous examples, and not-so-righteous counter-examples that teach us how to live.  We have quiet time—even if it’s just 5 minutes—for our minds and spirits to rest and be open to love and light and guidance. We store up the words of life, things that the Spirit can bring back to our minds “preaching from the pulpit of memory” when we need them (and often least expect them). We learn how the Lord interacts with His children; patterns of revelation and chastisement, of guidance and succoring. We exercise faith and are obedient to simple commandments (and receive the blessings that ALWAYS come from that). And we prove to ourselves that we can do hard things.

Could Ye Not Watch With Me One Hour? [Part Two]

(continued from Part One)

So how do we engage our agency as we wait upon the Lord? How do we ACT instead of being acted upon in the times when we can’t, or don’t know how to, or just feel like we aren’t moving forward? Here are 4 ideas:

First, we can choose to LEARN.

Now this doesn’t mean obsessive redundant searches for the very answers and guidance that the Lord in His wisdom has us waiting for. This is learning as an attribute of godliness. Learning because, as President Hinckley said: “None of us knows enough. The learning process is an endless process. We must read, we must observe, we must assimilate, and we must ponder that to which we expose our minds. You cannot afford to stop. There is so much to learn.”

Throw yourself into study of a spiritual gift you want to develop. Take up the cello. Construct a historical timeline of Papua New Guinea. Read a biography. Increase your understanding of the Atonement. I have seen blessings flow into the lives of people I love who have chosen to seek learning in times when direction and other blessings just weren’t coming.

Choosing to learn can help us wait upon the Lord.

Second, we can choose to SERVE.

My mama is fond of saying that “a person all wrapped up in themselves makes a very small package.” And it’s easy to get wrapped up in ourselves in times of waiting; especially if we get caught up searching for a “why” to the waiting. President Monson said it this way: “Unless we lose ourselves in service to others, there is little purpose to our own lives. Those who live only for themselves eventually shrivel up and figuratively lose their lives, while those who lose themselves in service to others grow and flourish.”

So, give compliments. Do favors. Spend time. Share your talents. fulfill your callings, work in the temple, be an excellent home or visiting teacher. Even just turning our hearts outward enough to pray for the needs of another person before our own can help us learn to wait. We may even find that our own waiting deepens both our capacity and our inclination to “mourn with those that mourn.”

My favorite verse of “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief” says “stript, wounded, beaten nigh to death, I found him by the highwayside. I roused his pulse, brought back his breath, revived his spirit and supplied wine, oil, refreshment. He was healed. I had myself a wound concealed. But from that hour forgot the smart, and peace bound up my broken heart.”

Choosing to serve can help us wait upon the Lord.

Third, we can choose to REMEMBER.

This is another word that Satan has sort of co-opted in our modern language. Often when we say we remembered something, we say it like remembering is something that happens TO us, rather than an action we take. But we can choose to remember. And we can choose when we remember, and what we remember.

We can remember our blessings. We can remember His love. We can remember the moments of clarity and power that are the foundation of our testimonies, however distant they may seem.

Rene Daumal wrote: “You cannot stay on the summit forever. You have to come down. So why bother in the first place? Just this. What is above knows what is below. What is below cannot know what is above. One climbs. One sees. One descends. One sees no longer, but one HAS SEEN. There is an art to conducting oneself in the lower regions according to the memory of what one saw higher up. What one can no longer see, one can at least still know.”

In some way, at some time, all of us who are waiting now have seen. And choosing to remember can help us wait upon the Lord.

And finally, we can choose to REST.

I vividly remember the first time my yoga instructor referred to downward facing dog as a “resting pose”. With my hamstrings screaming and my hands slipping in the sweat that was literally dripping from my forehead, all I could think was “you have got to be kidding me.” Nothing about that pose felt restful. In fact, it was a LOT of work! But as I practiced, I came to understand the concept of “active rest”. Our bodies do this naturally with healthy sleep–chemicals balance out, energy stores are readied for use, damage is repaired. There’s a lot going on while we “rest”. In yoga, resting poses are a time to check in, correct your alignment, take note of tension or pain, gather energy, and make choices about your practice going forward.

Bearing little resemblance to the “veg in front of the tv with potato chips and Haagan Daaz” kind of rest, the rest of the Lord is an inner stillness and trusting confidence at the core of life regardless of what other motion is going on around it.

It’s okay that life goes slower than we’re capable of moving sometimes. Like the natural cycle of night and day, winter and spring, we can use those waiting times to center ourselves, evaluate our goals, gather strength and light and love, and take time to heal.

Choosing to rest can help us wait upon the Lord.

One of my favorite songs from Rob Gardner’s “Lamb of God” captures the essence of what I’ve learned about waiting upon the Lord. It’s sung by the apostle Thomas, and I’d like to quote the words:

“Not now, but in the coming years, (it may not be when we demand) we’ll read the meaning of our tears. And there, sometime we’ll understand; why what we long for most of all eludes our open, pleading hands. Why ever silence meets our calls, somewhere, sometime we’ll understand. Sometime we’ll fall on bended knee and feel there, graven on his hands. Sometime with tearless eyes we’ll see what here we could not understand. So trust in God through all thy days. Fear not, for he doth hold thy hand. Though dark thy way, still sing and praise. Sometime, sometime, we’ll understand.”

So whether you’re stuck in a job you hate but can’t quit and every door that seems to open closes before you can get through it, or it’s been two years of praying every day for the next step in your life and you still don’t know what it is, or you were strong and happy and knew where you were headed only to get sideswiped by an illness that completely flattens you, or you’re turning 31 and the only plan you ever really wanted had you married with 4 kids by now,

Wherever you are waiting (and at any given time, most of us are waiting) you can choose to learn, choose to serve, choose to remember, and choose to rest.

And I pray that you will. Because I know that “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor hath it entered into the heart of man, what God hath prepared for them that love him.” I promise you IT WILL BE WORTH THE ‘WAIT’.

 

Could Ye Not Watch With Me One Hour? [Part One]

I think it’s a safe assertion that our society isn’t fond of waiting. We hate traffic, eat way too much fast food, and can ship something between any two points on the globe in 24 hours or less. If a website takes more than 2 seconds to load, we refresh the page. And if our pizza isn’t prepped, baked, and driven across town to our doorstep in under 30 minutes, it’s free (because clearly something went wrong.)

In our world, if you have to wait, something is generally BROKEN. We see waiting as unnecessary at best, and more often problematic. And it makes us feel powerless and unproductive.

But this is a very modern conception of waiting, and I believe Satan wins an important battle when we buy into it. Because when waiting means something is broken to us, we miss what it means to God, and the role it plays in our eternal progression.

The word wait comes from the same root as “watch” or “guard.” (hardly passive inactivity, right?) And some of the archaic definitions include:

  • “to be in readiness to serve or execute orders”
  • “to be stationary in readiness or expectation”
  • and “to remain hopeful and trusting”

As a people, we believe that the course of our mortal life is critical to our development as children of an all knowing, all powerful and loving God with whom we can communicate through prayer. Sometimes, in answer to our prayers, we receive clear, specific and undeniable guidance from our Heavenly Father. The path may be challenging, but we are confident in our direction and we press forward with vision and purpose. Those times, for me, are pretty much bliss.

But, as President Hinckley said “anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to spend a lot of time running around screaming that he’s been robbed.”

Far more often in life, guidance, direction and answers to prayer come neither clearly nor quickly.

And so we wait.

  • Sometimes we wait somewhere in the middle of a road we’ve been on forever, can’t really remember how we got on, and can’t see where it’s going.
  • Sometimes we wait at the crossroads where the paths go off in opposite directions and we have no idea which one to choose.
  • Sometimes we wait at the giant rock slide that is the dead end of a path we were pretty sure He’d set us on in the first place.
  • And sometimes we wait dangling off a cliff at the end of our ropes, certain that any second we’re going to lose our grip and fall.

But as discouraging, bewildering, maddening or painful as this waiting may be, it is NOT an accident, not a mistake, not even a consequence much of the time. It does not mean God has forgotten you, that he never really loved you, or that you have done anything to lose his love or care.

Waiting is part of life, and it is part of the plan.

For evidence, we need look no further than the scriptures. Sometimes, though, I think the scriptures give us a warped sense of the timelines of our heroes’ lives. One verse presents the seemingly insurmountable problem, and in the next verse, there’s the solution! Sometimes years of waiting are encompassed in the simple phrase “and it came to pass.” But if we read carefully, we see that…

  • For Abraham, it was four agonizing days, with an altar built and a knife poised at the throat of his only son before “God provided himself a lamb.”
  • For Joseph Smith it was 5 months of the hell that was Liberty Jail between “Oh God, where art thou?” and “know thou, my son.”
  • For Nephi and his family it was 8 years of raw meat and wandering between “take thy family and depart into the wilderness” and “thou shalt construct a ship.” (to say nothing of the rest of the journey)
  • For the woman in Jerusalem, it was 12 years, dozens of doctors, and everything she owned between the start of the bleeding and “thy faith hath made thee whole.”
  • And for Elizabeth and Zachariah, is was a LIFETIME of “walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord, blameless” between their covenant of marriage and the birth of their first and only son.

These and many other beloved and faithful men and women throughout history have been challenged, refined and ultimately blessed by learning to wait upon the Lord. Would we truly want to be exempted from that?

Preach My Gospel says “Patience [and I see “waiting upon the lord” as a synonym here] is the capacity to endure disappointment, delay, trouble, opposition or suffering without becoming angry, frustrated or anxious.”

Notice, please, that it does NOT say waiting upon the Lord means enduring all those things without FEELING anger, frustration and anxiety.

Enduring the delay of answers, direction or blessings is HARD. And it was designed to be! The scriptures promise us that “they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” Generally, things don’t need to be renewed unless they have first been depleted or run out entirely. So, you’re not doing something wrong if waiting is draining…or if it hurts. Feeling and acknowledging the pain (or anger, frustration or anxiety) of waiting is not faithless.

But if we disengage our god-given agency; if we buy in to Satan’s counterfeit and believe that this waiting means something is broken–in ourselves, in the world, or in God; if we allow our waiting to be passive and powerless, then we risk BECOMING angry, frustrated and anxious.

So how do we engage our agency as we wait upon the Lord? How do we ACT instead of being acted upon in the times when we can’t, or don’t know how to, or just feel like we aren’t moving forward?

Here are 4 ideas

Pondering in My Heart

…or Gospel-Centered Meditation in the Real World

I used to think, somewhat less than consciously perhaps, that my body was really just holding my mind and spirit back, that “I” would be better off when I didn’t have to worry about “it” anymore. It’s never been particularly healthy—and it’s certainly never looked like I thought it should. It really didn’t seem to be contributing much to the equation. I mostly just endured having one.

I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that sentiment.

Likewise, some of us feel trapped by emotions we can’t seem to get out from under and betrayed by destructive thought processes we try and try but fail to conquer. In one way or another, many of us are in conflict with some part of ourselves.We fight with, indulge, punish, or ignore those parts we don’t get along with so well.

And it weakens us.  Makes us less than whole.

Meditation has helped me start to bridge that gap. It has provided a structure and practice around gospel principles that has made some of the doctrine about pondering a real part of my life.

Much like prayer, Meditation is work.

Fundamentally, that work is about creating space on multiple levels…

Physically, we find a space and make time to sit—to be in our bodies, with our thoughts and feelings and to invite the Spirit into that space. Even the literal physical space we create while we meditate (lengthening the spine, deepening the breath) makes a difference in how we feel.

Mentally and Emotionally the space we create in meditation is about engaging agency. I have a friend who told me a while back that he felt his main function as a parent was helping his kids learn to perceive space for choices. The 4-yr-old hits the 6-yr-old. When asked why, replies “she called me stupid.” To the child the violent reaction to insult was a logical IF:THEN proposition; almost a law of the universe. My friend had quite a task convincing his little one that between the two were actually a number of different options, and space to make a choice.

I’ve realized that even as adults we have a hard time seeing those spaces sometimes. But meditation has helped me tease apart stimulus and response and find the space for agency—studying and understanding why feelings come, giving them permission to be there and then deciding what to do in response.

The Spiritual work of meditation for me is mostly about being in a place to invite the Spirit in. In the scriptures meditation and pondering almost always show up hand in hand with some other covenant-keeping activity: prayer, scripture study, temple worship, the sacrament, service and even work. So it’s less about making space as I meditate and more about trying to always save a spot for that companion.

So what does all that work get you?

There is a Sanskrit word that ancient teachers used to describe what you might call the benefits of meditation.  The closest English translation is the word “savor” …which I find quite sweet in itself.

Embodiment

The first savor of meditation is EMBODIMENT. Elder Bednar has said, “Our physical bodies make possible a breadth, a depth, and an intensity of experience that simply could not be obtained in our premortal estate.” And whatever shape it is or isn’t, whatever might hurt or not work right, that intensity of experience is a blessing. Do we endure living in a world of crashing waves, towering canyons, and perfect blue forget-me-nots? Meditation has helped me see living as a physical being with some of the same gratitude and awe with which I see the rest of Creation.

Presence

The savor of PRESENCE is about mental focus and emotional availability. It’s about how we show up in the world–for the people we love, and people we don’t even know. There’s a beautiful concept in many meditative traditions called the “Return to the Marketplace.”  It holds that all the time on the mountaintop—and all the enlightenment you achieve there—are useless, wasted even, until they’re brought back down into the bustling marketplace of life. Meditation was never designed to be a consuming practice. It’s all about how these little concentrated periods of time where we focus on wholeness within ourselves and unity with God can change how we show up in the rest of our daily lives.  Can we really put all our focus on listening to a child’s playground story? Can we remain emotionally available through a hurtful exchange with a spouse? How are we showing up?

Equanimity

The third key savor of meditation is EQUANIMITY. Now, equanimity is a bit difficult to define…and really easy to misconstrue. When I first started trying to describe it to people it ended up coming across as; “whatever happens, whatever state things are in, it’s O.K. Be okay with it.” Super passive and over-simplified, right?

But that’s not what equanimity really is. That’s not what it tastes like.

It finally came to me this week—as I meditated, actually. Equanimity, for me, is the rooted feeling expressed so beautifully by Nephi “…nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.” Equanimity means I can ask this sister in for a visit even though I haven’t showered today and there are dirty dishes piled up in the sink. It means I can grieve when someone I love passes from this life knowing that in no way reflects some kind of weakness in my testimony of the resurrection. Equanimity means over and over my heart is somehow filled with sincere joy as my sisters and friends receive blessings I want with all my heart but don’t seem to be coming.

Because over and under and through all the little “nows” that make up this life is the truth that I KNOW in whom I have trusted. And meditation connects me to that.

On Revelation: “Continuous” Revelation

The LDS Bible Dictionary contains this nugget; “continuous revelation from god to his saints… makes possible daily guidance along true paths and leads the faithful soul to complete salvation in the celestial kingdom.”

When we hear “continuous” we often think on-going, unbroken from start to finish. We expect “continuous” revelation to be uninterrupted—a course laid out before us like the yellow brick road—and we believe we’ve done something wrong, fallen short in some way, if it doesn’t happen that way.

But the first definition of “continuous” (in my favorite massive dictionary) is not “unbroken.” The first definition is “recurring in steady and rapid succession, repeated at intervals with brief, often regular intermissions.” The breaks, the intermissions, are an integral part of what it means to be continuous. Incidentally, we also have to remember that the “brief” and “regular” aspects of these intermissions is on God’s terms, not ours.

Hymn #195 assures us that Christ “marked the path and lead the way, and every point defines to life and light and endless day where God’s full presence shines.” Sounds a lot like a yellow-brick road, right? The interesting thing is that in mathematics, architecture, and design, “points” only need to be defined when a line changes direction or trajectory.

Some of the most beautiful, amazing places I have visited—mountaintops, secluded lakes, and sun-drenched canyons—you can’t get to by following a yellow-brick road. The way to these places is often marked by small stacks of stones called cairns.  Cairns are placed at important places along the trail—to help hikers avoid danger, to protect vulnerable parts of the landscape, and to mark the proper path in areas where others have gone so many different ways that the true trail is hard to distinguish. Where the trail is clear and safe, there simply are no cairns. “Continuous” personal revelation works in much the same way. We’re given direction and continue along that path until danger, distraction or a crucial decision necessitate more guidance. Significantly, on these hikes, you can seldom see more than one cairn at a time.

Peter illustrates this principle as he responds to the intermission he and the other disciples experienced after Christ had appeared to them following the resurrection. Peter’s response seems remarkably simple; “I go a fishing.” But it was as he went forward doing what he had been doing up to that point that the further revelation, the great commission that sent him off to proclaim the gospel and lead Christ’s church for the rest of his life, came.

Following “continuous” revelation means faithfully continuing along the path the Lord has indicated until directed otherwise—even if those intermissions seem anything but brief to us.

On Revelation: Take it as it Comes…

I learned something today from the man the world has come to call “doubting Thomas.”

First, let’s get one thing clear; Thomas was not the slacker disciple. When Christ announced to the disciples that he would go back through Jerusalem to visit Lazarus’s sisters, all the disciples worried that he wouldn’t make it through alive. It was Thomas who said “let us go also, and die with him.” This was a man with a testimony.

On that first Easter morning, when Christ showed himself to the apostles, bearing witness of the resurrection and calling them to share the good news, “Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them…The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the prints of the nails and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe.” [John 20:24-25]

Thomas had in mind how it would go. He expected the revelation to come in a certain way and could not or would not accept it as it came. He eventually got exactly the witness he was expecting, but what did he miss in those eight days? What do we miss?

I believe we have a choice to accept revelation—that we can choose to see and to claim insights, light, love and assurance that come to us in many different ways; through the scriptures, through music, nature, even other people, for the revelations they really are.

On Revelation: Seek the Lord Early

One of the few details of the resurrection consistent across all the gospel accounts is that Mary and the other women came to the sepulcher “very early in the morning.” Mark and Luke go so far as to describe it as “at” or even “before the rising of the sun.” It may seem a bit simplistic to paint this as a seek the Lord early moment, but the first people to receive by personal revelation a testimony of the resurrection did just that.

Prophets, sages, and other wise thinkers encourage and bear witness to the blessings of early morning time with the Divine. Russell M Nelson says “I learned long ago that a period of uninterrupted scriptural study early in the morning brings enduring enrichment.”  Ghandi recommended communion with God about commitments for the day as “the first act of every morning.”

But seeking the Lord early can mean other things too. The Lord promises us in Proverbs that “those that seek me early shall find me.” We can seek the Lord early in life—gaining a testimony that will grow and sustain us throughout our lives. We can seek the Lord early when we face questions and decisions; when we find ourselves struggling, alone or frustrated; or when we have sinned or strayed from our path.

My Mom, the Blogger

This weekend, Mama came to visit and we set her up a blog. This is quite a step. Until this weekend, Mama’s internet usage was pretty much restricted to checking email every couple of days–the online purchase of a plane ticket required a step-by-step walkthrough over the phone (sorry, Mama.) She’s been a brave immigrant, but I wouldn’t have called her technologically adventurous…until now.

Continue reading

Yes on Proposition 8

Last night, the LDS church took a rare and striking step. Two apostles and a member of the quorum of the seventy addressed members across the state of California and at university and college campuses around the country in a satellite broadcast in support of a proposed amendment to the California state constitution.

Eight years ago, the voters of California [61%] defeated a bill that would have legalized same-sex marriage in the state. Last year, the California Supreme Court overturned that vote. Proposition 8 is an effort by an inter-faith coalition to reinstate the voice of the people and define “marriage” in California as between one man and one woman.

Continue reading