Mother’s Day 2021

I was asked to speak in my ward on Sunday for Mother’s Day. I actually like pubic speaking and enjoy preparing talks. However, this talk was particularly hard to write. All week I felt the pressure to be perfect and to give a perfect talk or risk offending someone in the ward. Throw in some social media drama (not of my making) and I was on my way to a nervous breakdown by Saturday night. I prayed a lot to try and find some peace and I had a break through on what to talk about and how to say it. “Just testify of the gospel and share your testimony for the uplifting of the sisters in your ward who are struggling with heavy burdens.”

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Come Follow Me: D&C 49-50

My blog post on Come Follow Me: D&C 49-50

Excerpt: D&C 49

Joseph Smith’s time was a period of many new churches springing up. The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, or Quaking Shakers, as they are known because of the ecstatic behavior during worship, came from England to America in 1774. Their beliefs included: celibacy, revelation, communalism, equality of the sexes, and pacifism. They also believed the 2nd Coming had already occurred, with Jesus returning in the form of Mother Ann Lee, one of the founders of the religion. While in the mid-19th century they had 15 communities, due to celibacy practices and few converts, today they only have one community in Maine.

Leman Copley, a new convert who previously was a Shaker, was called to reject his old beliefs that were not in concert with the revealed truths of the Restored Church. This included the concept that Christ’s 2nd Coming would be one in power and glory, not another person born on the earth. Christ would bring a Millennium across the entire earth, which would last one thousand years; not create a few small congregations.

We see a major difference in the religions in this thing. The Shakers were a good people, but were not missionary-minded. As with the Amish today, they do not seek to convert and change the world, only develop and maintain their own little communities.
Meanwhile, the Lord was teaching Joseph Smith that the Restored Gospel was revolutionary. While beginning small, it would someday fill the earth. Revelations regarding Zion were already providing great insight into the small Church.

Green Flake

In a month, the award-winning movie about Church pioneer Green Flake will premiere for general audiences. Given the change in how films may be consumed in our new COVID-informed world, this premiere will occur via virtual watch parties, with each showing accompanied by live Q&A sessions with those involved in this film.

I obviously haven’t seen the film yet, but I am heartened by the reviews I am seeing from the Los Angeles International Film Festival and top honors from the Venice Film Awards and the London Independent Film Awards.

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Virginia’s Legacy

This past week we vacationed in Virginia, taking in Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown. Why mention this on a blog dedicated to celebration of the Church of Jesus Christ? It is because the Church’s history is inextricably related to the larger national setting in which the Church emerged.

At one time Virginia stretched from the Atlantic to the Pacific, including everything between 36° 32′ N and 39°43′ N, including additional northern areas east of the Illinois River.

I remember going to these sites as a kid, when it was not yet popular to talk about any but the heroic white men who had settled a new land and birthed a nation. As a person of mixed race, born when it was still illegal for my parents to marry in the state of their residence, I accepted this white-centric, male-centric narrative. But I did feel marginalized by this world where I was not the “right” gender or race.

Going to Jamestown and Williamsburg now, however, is very different. The tour guides and docents are open about the many different peoples involved in the founding of first a settlement, a colony, and then a nation. They explain how Virginia’s red clay soil wasn’t filled with the gold and silver the Virginia Company expected. Attempts to profit from the expedition failed time and time again.

Until they happened on tobacco.

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The cruel masking of children

See citations below.

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