About Meg Stout

Meg Stout has been an active member of the LDS church for over four decades. She lives in the DC area with her husband, Bryan, and several daughters. She is an engineer by vocation and a writer by avocation, and is working on a midrashic treatment of the events in Nauvoo associated with early polygamy.

Dealing With Hurt

Jesus Christ (German steel engraving) detail
The account below is a composite of the stories of two individuals, male & female, disfellowshipped & excommunicated, currently under discipline & long reconciled to the Church. They are known to the M* editors, but at least one has requested their name be withheld.

The authors hope that their response to the hurt they endured during their respective times of distance from the body of the Church might inform those who feel estranged from the Church over the matter of same gender marriage. Continue reading

To Repent

imageThe other day, as the missionaries visited us, we discussed repentance.

My daughter and I both thought of our foreign language experience and proposed that repent seemed to come from the Latin for “think.” Thus, re-pent would seem to mean re-think.

I happily looked up the etymology of the English term repentance, and was dismayed to find that my insight was not accurate. Yet the search also brought up articles discussing scholarly disagreement on this point.

At this point, inspired by Reid Litchfield’s exploration of the original Greek and Hebrew terms in the Bible (related to slavery), I dug further to see which Hebrew and Greek words have been translated as “repent.” I found the following at Bill Fallon’s Free Grace Resources, discussing the three words translated as a form of “repent”:

“Nacham” is used 108 times in the OT and is translated some form of “repent” 41 times. It is translated as “comfort” or “comforter” 66 times. Whereas “shuwb” means something similar to “turn” or “return,” “nacham” has a different meaning similar to being “eased” or “comforted.” Neither word seems to have the identical meaning as the most common New Testament Greek word for “repent” (metanoeo), which basically means ” a change of mind.”

If we consider a view that God is our Father, a beloved parent acknowledged by us as God before this life, then the idea of returning and being comforted make perfect sense for “repent.” Continue reading

A Lenten Personal Progress – Days 32 – 38

value-faithThis week a series of intense storms blew through the area where I live. The debris closed roads around the region, the intense rains caused flooding in other regions, and thousands lost power.

There are times in our own lives when it seems our lives are being blown about, when the troubles raining down on us dampen our spirits, and when it seems we are cut off from the power of God.

These times of trouble will pass. Like the sunny sky after an intense storm, we will see a time when our troubles have passed, and the now in which we live in that future will be bright and fresh.

To go directly to a particular day, click on one of the following links:
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 |
Day 11 | Day 12 | Day 13 | Day 14 | Day 15 | Day 16 | Day 17 |
Day 18 | Day 19 | Day 20 | Day 21 | Day 22 | Day 23 | Day 24 |
Day 25 | Day 26 | Day 27 | Day 28 | Day 29 | Day 30 | Day 31 |
Day 32 | Day 33 | Day 34 | Day 35 | Day 36 | Day 37 | Day 38 | Go to Top
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Enslaved to Saved: Conversation with Author W. Reid Litchfield

CoverThere are times when an insight causes serious alteration to previous thoughts. I found that Reid Litchfield’s recent book Enslaved to Saved prompts such insights.

Reid points out that Biblical Israel existed in a time when large percentages of the population were enslaved, when slavery was not restricted to any particular race. Thus the Bible text is full of references to this slavery. The language of slavery adds a rich layer of meaning to discussion of sin, repentance, and salvation.

However the King James version of the Bible altered words to hide references to slavery. Reid was kind enough to respond to a few questions about this insightful book.

Meg – So, Reid, what prompted you to focus on the underlying slavery which is translated as “servants” in the KJV?

Reid – This process was more accidental than deliberate. I was reading the epistles of Paul and noted a tendency for Paul to refer to himself as the servant of Jesus Christ. When I looked up servant in a Bible Concordance I was surprised to find that Paul was referring to himself as the slave of Jesus Christ. Continue reading

A Lenten Personal Progress – Days 25 – 31

value-faithDuring trek this year, my married daughter will do a demonstration of cleaning wool. This is germane to trek because of the scripture in Isaiah:

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1: 18

I am thinking that the image Isaiah had in mind might have been a sheep shearing where the sheep was cut in the process of removing the fleece. But even when the sheep shearer is able to remove the fleece without cutting the skin, the fleece is full of lanolin (sheep body oil), dirt, burrs, and all manner of corruption.

To clean the fiber in the fleece, one might imagine that it involves adding soap and water and agitating the mass. But this is only partly true.

It is true that you prepare a boiling-hot bath of mildly soapy water for the fleece, but then you simply immerse the fleece in the hot water. All the dirt and most of the foreign matter comes away from the wool fibers over time in the quiet immersion of the fleece in the water over time. The fleece is gently lifted from the mildly soapy water and immersed a second time in pure hot water. What remains is pure wool, as white as possible (given the sheep from which it came).

Once the wool is clean, it isn’t magically transformed into useful products. To be transformed into cloth, the clean wool must be combed and carded, spun and woven or knitted or nail-bound or crocheted.

In a similar manner, this is like baptism, cleaning us for the work ahead. And then our lives become drawn out in service, becoming a thing of utility and beauty in the hands of the Lord.

To go directly to a particular day, click on one of the following links:
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 |
Day 11 | Day 12 | Day 13 | Day 14 | Day 15 | Day 16 | Day 17 |
Day 18 | Day 19 | Day 20 | Day 21 | Day 22 | Day 23 | Day 24 |
Day 25 | Day 26 | Day 27 | Day 28 | Day 29 | Day 30 | Day 31 | Go to Top
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