Introducing Kathy P.

M* is pleased to welcome Kathy P. as our newest blogger.

Kathy is a mother to five beautiful children. She is married to her highschool sweetheart and living in beautiful Colorado. Kathy graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Family Sciences from Brigham Young University. In her free time, Kathy loves to write, sew, and dabble in photography.

Welcome to M*, Kathy!

The war between identity and behavior

This is a guest post by Stephen Measure, who is a Mormon indie author. Most of his writing so far could be considered a defense of the moral positions of the LDS church on the controversial topics of our day. He’d like to write about something else yet continues to find there is more he needs to say.

This post was cross-posted at Stephen Measure’s personal site:

There is a war being waged within our culture today, two opposing worldviews about sexuality, both of which offer different visions of right and wrong. One of these worldviews is compatible with the moral beliefs of my religion, the LDS Church, and other religions that share those moral beliefs. The other worldview fights against us.

The Identity View Continue reading

A helpful template for progressive Mormons to help them respond to the latest news

This is a guest post by Huston.

It’s tough out there for a progressive Mormon these days. Reacting with horrified indignation on the Internet to current events has nearly become a full-time job! It’s almost enough to make one re-examine one’s passionately believed liberal assumptions. Almost.

But before you do something drastic like that, here’s how to deal with the exhaustion of always needing to rant online. After all, there are only so many synonyms for “sad” that you can dredge up in the service of your public moral vanity.

Just use this easy, user-friendly template for your next angry tirade against the LDS Church. It’ll even work for those trendy new rants that poorly veil their murmuring under the guise of being diplomatically disappointed.

Here it is:

I am (outraged / shocked / depressed) by the recent event in the LDS Church that everyone’s talking about. It (sickens / offends / discourages) my sensitive and compassionate conscience. Once again our leaders have shown themselves to be (out of touch / tone deaf / afraid of change / consistently faithful to their calling).
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Standing for the family

This is a guest post from Michael Davidson.

Last week, I attended all four days of the World Congress of Families IX, held at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City. I’ve been letting the experience sink in and marinate prior to submitting a post on the topic. I didn’t want my post to be knee-jerk, as I was very much in an animated state of mind throughout this week. There was so much to comment on, that I was waiting for one theme or another to rise to the top, because otherwise I would have written a treatise. On the surface, it was energizing for a bunch of Mormons, Hindus, Catholics, Muslims, Evangelicals, Sihks, “mainline” protestants, and others to find common cause on issues related to the family. Continue reading

Shouldn’t they be called ‘Confer Women?’

This is a guest post by Michael Davidson.

On Friday, an essay entitled “Joseph Smith’s Teachings about Priesthood, Temple, and Women” was published on, and the reactions from some quarters of the internet were entirely predictable. One of the most common complaints I’ve seen is that the Church is claiming that the word “ordain” doesn’t mean “ordain.” The most cogent of these observations came courtesy of April Young Bennett, who argues:

The authors attempt to explain away the ordinations of female Relief Society officers in Nauvoo by stating that “Mormons sometimes used the term ordain in a broad sense, often interchangeably with set apart.” Maybe they did sometimes, but not in this case. In the minutes of the Nauvoo Relief Society, Joseph Smith explained that Emma Smith did not need to be ordained at that meeting as she had already been ordained previously, just like men who have already been ordained in the modern church do not need to be ordained again to take on new callings. Instead, Emma Smith received a blessing that is similar to the modern practice of “setting apart” while Sarah M. Cleveland and Elizabeth Ann Whitney received ordinations.

In support of her assertions, Ms. Bennett provides a link to the minutes of the Nauvoo Relief Society from the Joseph Smith Papers Project website. It is instructive to read exactly what was recorded about the ordinations of Sarah M. Cleveland and Elizabeth Ann Whitney.

Elder Taylor was then appointed to ordain the Counsellors— he laid his hands on the head of Mrs Cleveland and ordain’d her to be a Counsellor to the Elect Lady, even Mrs. Emma Smith, to counsel, and assist her in all things pertaining to her office &c.

Elder T. then laid his hands on the head of Mrs. Whitney and ordain’d her to be a Counsellor to Mrs. Smith, the Prest. of the Institutio[n]— with all the privileges pertaining to the office &c.

He then laid his hands on the head of Mrs. Smith and blessed her, and confirm’d upon her all the blessings which have been confer’d on her, that she might be a mother in Israel and look to the wants of the needy, and be a pattern of virtue; and possess all the qualifications necessary for her to stand and preside and dignify her Office, to teach the females those principles requisite for their future usefulness.

Each of Mrs. Cleveland and Mrs. Whitney were ordained to be counselors. No mention is made of priesthood office, nor was there any mention of the conferral of any priesthood to Emma Smith, Sarah Cleveland or Elizabeth Whitney. Which leads to the main point of this post: “ordain” has never meant conferral of either the Aaronic Priesthood or the Melchizedek Priesthood in the Church.

Continue reading