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.

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

Obey and Prosper?

A young Venetian woman, aged 23, depicted circa 1831 before contracting cholera and a quarter hour before her death. Coloured stipple engraving. Courtesy of Wellcome Library

In the early 1800s a new and terrifying ailment swept through large cities. It was first identified in India (1817), afflicted St. Petersburg in Russia (1828), then hit London and New York (1832).

For decades most people were satisfied with their certainty that this ailment was caused by sin. If you were sick, it was your fault. 1 We know better now, or so we tell ourselves. But do we still have a legacy of believing that anyone who is suffering must secretly be deserving of their pain?

A Current Situation

I have recently had the privilege of helping a few folks who are struggling to make ends meet. One of these individuals was wrongfully arrested 2 and became extremely ill because of the physical interactions that occurred while in custody. Then they became homeless.

In those first terrifying months, no hand of assistance was offered, even though help was requested. 3

Why Don’t We Help?

When I type in “obedience blessings” I find all manner of images promising that obedience will bring blessings, that exact obedience will bring forth miracles. Numerous scriptural passages are cited. And I do agree that obedience blesses us.

But do we look at those less fortunate that ourselves and presume that they must deserve to be poor or crippled? Continue reading


  1. Harning, Lisa N., Comparing and Contrasting Social, Political, and Medical Reactions to 19th Century Cholera Epidemics in London and New York City (2015). University of New Hampshire Honors Theses. Paper 229, pp. 3-4. Online 23 Mar 2016 at http://scholars.unh.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1232&context=honors.
  2. A lawsuit is being prepared. For now I am willing to assert the arrest was wrongful in advance of a court ruling.
  3. Since then this individual was assigned to a new Bishop.

Take a Break from Fake

If you haven’t yet read a summary of President Nelson’s comments, don’t read a mere summary.

Go watch it yourself. Experience it. Don’t get it filtered through whatever straw some other person will use to feed you a tiny portion of that message. Because it isn’t just the words. It’s the entire experience.

I’ll just say I’m glad I wasn’t the music conductor for that meeting. Because just as an old person watching it 24 hours later I was crying.