About JA Benson

Joanna entered the world as a BYU baby. Continuing family tradition, she graduated BYU with a degree in Elementary Education and taught for several years. Growing up in Salt Lake County, her favorite childhood hobbies were visiting cemeteries and eavesdropping on adult conversations. Her ancestral DNA is multi-ethnic and she is Mormon pioneer stock on every familial line. Joanna resides in the Southeastern USA with her five children ranging in age from 8 to 24. Her husband passed away in 2009. She is an avid reader and a student of history. Her current intellectual obsession is Sephardic Jewish history, influence and genealogy. She served as a board member for her local chapter of Families with Children from China. She is the author of “DNA Mormons?” Summer Sunstone 2007 http://www.bycommonconsent.com/2007/04/dna-mormons/ and “Becoming Hong Mei`s Mother” in the Winter Sunstone 2009 http://theredbrickstore.com/sunstone/becoming-hong-meis-mother/.

Temple Institute in Jerusalem “Sons of Aaron Prepare an Offering to the Lord”- The Dress Rehearsal

Animal sacrifice Temple Institute

Sons of Aaron being instructed on the ceremony of animal sacrifice

“…For  the sons of Moses and also the sons of Aaron shall offer an acceptable offering and sacrifice in the house of the Lord, which house shall be built unto the Lord in this generation, upon the consecrated spot as I have appointed”  D&C 84:31

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Every Child Deserves a Family

 

 

In 2007 on our adoption trip to the Peoples Republic of China, we toured our newly adopted 3-year-old daughter Hong Mei’s orphanage. We had considered Chinese adoption for many years and had seen many photos, a documentary, and videos of what we might encounter in a Chinese orphanage. Despite my preparation, I found myself completely overwhelmed by the experience.

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Nobody’s Perfect: Excellence Instead of Perfection

By Joanna Benson and Lara Jackson

Guest Blogger Lara Jackson

Lara Branscomb Jackson has her BA in psychology, her master’s in counseling and is completing her PhD in counseling. Lara has a private practice and works at a Wellness Center that focuses on eating disorders, addiction, diabetes, bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety.  She grew up in North Carolina in the LDS faith and is an active member in the  LDS church. An interesting aspect of Lara’s experience is that her parents were converts to the church from the Baptist faith. Her parents were the only converts to the LDS faith of her extensive family. Lara has been in numerous callings in the church including multiple opportunities with the Young Women’s program.

 

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If I had access to a time machine, I would go back 20 + years in my life and change a moment that took 5+ years out of my life. I was a young working wife and mother trying the best of my ability to live the gospel.  Having grown up in the Mormon culture, I was well acquainted with shaming perfectionistic standards.  While sitting in a lesson in Sunday school, a lengthy to-do list to obtain a place in the Celestial Kingdom was passed out to the class.

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Nobody’s Perfect: A Look at Toxic Perfectionism and Depression

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By Joanna Benson and Lara Jackson

Guest blogger:
Lara Branscomb Jackson has her BA in psychology, her master’s in counseling and is completing her PhD in counseling. Lara has a private practice and works at a Wellness Center that focuses on eating disorders, addiction, diabetes, bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety.  She grew up in North Carolina in the LDS faith and is an active member in the  LDS church. An interesting aspect of Lara’s experience is that her parents were converts to the church from the Baptist faith. Her parents were the only converts to the LDS faith of her extensive family. Lara has been in numerous callings in the church including multiple opportunities with the Young Women’s program.

Utah Valley University professor Kris Doty observed first hand how depression affected LDS women, when she worked as a crisis counselor in the emergency room at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. Doty saw increased activity of LDS women on Sunday evenings after church meetings suffering from feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, and guilt.

Doty concluded the LDS women’s depression was caused by genetics, abusive history, family relationships, and judgment by others. However she found that toxic perfectionism was the major cause of depression among LDS women.

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The People Desired a King Over Them -Ether 6:22

One of my more worldly indulgences is picking up a People Magazine every so often at the doctor’s offices where I enjoy a few frivolous empty-headed moments reading about the lives and loves of various celebrities. My rather harmless habit has been with me for the last (ahem) 30+ years, and I admit I am a British Royal Watcher. Occasionally a fleeting thought came to mind that the royals cost the people of Great Britain an enormous amount of money, and was it really worth it?

And A big Mazel Tov to Prince WIlliam and Duchess Kate on their blessed event! photo from Mirror News

What I was shocked to discover this week, was the cost numbering 16 or so individuals and in some cases their dependents, who earn a salary from the British government, is quite a big less compared to what the US government pays  President Obama and his 3 dependents.  According to this article in The Daily Caller, referencing author Robert Keith Gray in his new book “Presidential Perks Gone Royal” past presidents have enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, but the Obama presidency has especially taken advantage of the American people. Last year the Obama family of 4 cost the American taxpayers a whopping 1.4 billion! The British royal family of 16 or so individuals/families living in numerous drafty big old estates/castles cost the British taxpayers £36.million/$76.77million.  Considering the state of our economy, I am disappointed the Obamas have not set an example of frugality. Considering they expect wealthy Americans to sacrifice by paying higher taxes, the Obamas should follow suit and trim their budget.

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