About Meg Stout

Meg Stout has been an active member of the LDS church for 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. Meg is the author of Reluctant Polygamist, laying out the possibility that Joseph taught the acceptability of plural marriage but may have privately defied the commandment for love of his wife, Emma.

Money v. Diamond (Nurture v. Nature): As Nature Made Him (2000)

Shortly after I was born, a Canadian doctor accidentally burned the penis of an identical twin, setting in motion a series of events that has had tragic consequences for innumerable individuals.

As Nature Made Him is my book group’s selection for August, hence why I am telling you in 2018 about a book published in 2000. But the book is germane to events occurring now.

I strongly recommend this book, if you have not yet read it. The rest of the review contains spoilers. Continue reading

Questions, Truth, Pineapples, and Poetry

It’s summer. I wander through life thinking thoughts and saying to myself, “That would make a great M* post!” And then someone in real life has an urgent need, and I put the thought on the back burner. So today, with all my IRL concerns sorted, I am going to that back burner and pulling off things that still feel fresh and relevant.


I enjoyed the 12 July interview the Mormon Channel (Amy) held with Steve Harper from the Church Historical department. There are no answers to specific questions (unless you still believe in Santa or didn’t know Mark Hofmann was a fraud and inept bomber). But Steve Harper talks about how he was taught to approach troublesome issues having to do with history. Specifically, he talks about how our expectations are the cause of our difficulties.

While Steve Harper didn’t say so, it’s a bit like expecting something so much that you are disappointed in the actual thing, even when the actual thing is amazing and wonderful.

Steve Harper makes the great point that questions are perfectly acceptable, even scriptural. I would quibble a bit, in that as a teacher at Church in the 1980s (give or take), there was a policy discouraging teachers from incorporating any extra-curricular material in lessons. So it isn’t just random cultural habits that have made people loath to look outside of official Church publications. However, the Church has migrated to a more open and transparent model, so we should remember that our culture is to go and do as directed, not bask in the comfortable ignorance of the past.


The gospel is true. When I say this, I mean that the gospel is aligned with God’s purposes. But so often people presume that “the gospel is true” means that every word and action of any individual associated with the Church must be entirely factual at all levels, else the Church/gospel is necessarily not true. Continue reading

Seeking Songs of the Heart

The Church is embarking on a global hymnal, in which all the songs will be published in each language. A similar effort will apparently take place for the Children’s songbook.

You can participate in the survey seeking information on what hymns should stay and which should gracefully exit, and which hymns not currently in the hymnal should be added.

And each individual can submit up to five new songs by July 1, 2019.

The effort to select the final collection and prepare the hymnal in dozens of languages will take years, so no one need mourn the imminent loss of our familiar green hymnal.

Now go to – make your voice heard!

Of Dads and Missionaries

Missionaries get to phone home on Mother’s Day and Christmas. But fathers don’t get a call.

But it’s still possible for fathers of missionaries to get something on their special day, with our help.

When my daughter first arrived in the airport, an LDS lady took a photo of the arriving missionaries and texted it to all the parents. And I’ve been blessed since then because people in my daughter’s mission will snap pictures and either text us or post them on the mission Facebook page.

I’ve also adopted this practice, of snapping pictures of missionaries and letting them type in the phone number of folks so I can text the picture.

I invite you to make a father’s day and text him a picture of his missionary. And while you’re at it, take the chance to let the fathers in your life know how much you love them as well.

Why God Chose Humans: Grandmothers

Most calories in modern hunter-gatherer societies come from the efforts of women gathering tubers.

If you’re like me and don’t spent much time listening to NPR, you might have missed yesterday’s story (Why Grandmothers May Hold The Key To Human Evolution).

Turns out the “neanderthal hunter-man bringing home the bacon” idea is debunked. The main reason humans evolved to live long (and prosper) was the role of the grandmothers.

Humans are the only primates where mothers let others help. The primary “other” helping raise the new generation is the mother’s mother (grandmother). This placed an evolutionary premium on women living long enough to nurture the child’s children. Men, being part of the same species, got to live longer as a side benefit. It’s interesting to note that women as a population enjoy longer lifespans than their male counterparts.

What does provider-grandmother look like in the nurture of our current generation? Continue reading