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 has a particular interest in events in the LDS community associated with "polygamy" between 1840 and 1845.

Handcart Trek: Corsets and Army Boots

corset-bootThis weekend our stake held their fourth “trek” youth conference, of which members of my family have participated in three. This is my second trek, accompanying my daughter who is autistic.

Eldest daughter, as passionate about fiber arts as I am about the history of polygamy, decided we would be greatly benefited by participating in authentic period costume, including corsets. Now that I know what it is to wear one and how it shapes the body, I can see the corsets on all the pioneer women in pictures from the 1800s. Speaking for myself, my reaction went from “You have got to be kidding!” to “Not bad.”

The handcart trek experience is becoming one of the experiential touch points of being a Mormon young person. In contrast to all the intellectual hand wringing I see on the internet, the trek experience is down to earth and visceral. This is no simple lecture about how hard life was for the early Saints. It is days of sleeping on the hard ground, pushing and pulling a cart carrying your few possessions, not knowing ahead of time what will happen, how long the road will be, or what natural delights and perils await on the path ahead. Continue reading

A Lenten Personal Progress – Days 39 – 46

value-faithThis is the final week of this lenten personal progress journey.

In the United States today we are celebrating Independence Day, the day when we declared to Britain that we were free, no longer under subjugation to her rule. This was a step that had been considered at length by educated and wealthy individuals, who knew that they risked the loss of all and death for this declaration of freedom.

As we embrace the gospel of Christ, there may be those who would claim we have no such power, to free ourselves from the habits and rule of those around us who don’t agree with Jesus Christ and those things He asks us to do.

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 |
Day 39 | Day 40 | Day 41 | Day 42 | Day 43 | Day 44 | Day 45 | Day 46 | Go to Top
Continue reading

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
Continue reading