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/.

Squirrels in the Engine or Adventures of a Redneck Woman

The car technician called to tell me an “act of God” had been visited upon my vehicle. Apparently the “wrath of the Almighty” would not be covered by warranty.   He inquired as to whether  I had homeowners insurance? I sank against the wall with the phone frozen to my ear.

“What?” I squeaked at the technician.

“Ma’am, you got squirrels in your engine.”


“Ma’am. It’s the biggest darn squirrel’s nest the boys and I have ever seen. Buckets of acorns too. The company don’t cover squirrels Ma’am. Anything a squirrel does is an act of God.”

Continue reading

Temple Institute in Jerusalem- “Sons of Levi Prepare to Offer an Offering to the Lord”

The Temple Institute ( Hebrew translation: Machon HaMikdash) located in the Jewish quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City, was founded on the principle of action. Rabbi Yisreal Ariel, a distinguished Rabbi and founder and head of the institute since 1987 is paraphrased in the following from the website:

Every generation is obligated to do all within its power towards rebuilding the Holy Temple this, as opposed to those who believe that we must wait for the Messiah to arrive before it can be rebuilt.

Continue reading

Why Women Do Not Have the Priesthood

Over the Christmas break, the Bensons in true geek fashion, undertook a marathon of watching the entire Star Wars movies, including the cartoons. We did this in part,  because Tex, Piano Man, and Flash are big Star Wars Fans; also as a fun way to remember Mike, who was a Star Wars geek. Hong Mei loves to watch movies  or TV and she  identifies with either the villain or the dominant male hero.  Jie Jie and I hoped she would instead want to be  Princess Leia or Padme Amidala. Instead, in typical Hong Mei fashion, she became a big fan of  Darth Vader.

Hong Mei as Darth Vader and Flash as Unfortunate Rebel

Continue reading