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

Notes:

  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.

Book Review: To Defend Them By Stratagem, by Michaela Stephens

Book Review: To Defend Them By Stratagem, Fortify Yourself with Book of Mormon War Tactics, by Michaela Stephens

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While there are deep scholarly looks at the battles in the Book of Mormon (e.g.; Warfare in the Book of Mormon, by Hamblin and Ricks), this is perhaps the first book I’ve read that examines the war chapters in order to assist us in our daily battle against sin and temptation.

The book contains about 40 short chapters, each looking at events involved in the various wars, including preparation for war, strategies for winning war, and reasons each side had for war.  Chapter headings include: King Benjamin’s Nearly Invisible Battles, Clash of the Worldviews, King Noah’s Paranoid Panic Mode, The Back-story to Captain Moroni’s Meteoric Rise, Hard Things First, A Type of Christ – Frees the Prisoners of Gid, Coriantumr’s Blitzkrieg, and too many more to mention here. Continue reading

Celebration of Expanding the Priesthood to All Worthy Men

In June 1978 excited Mormons told each other the great news: the priesthood could now be bestowed on all worthy men.

My husband remembers hearing the news from his mother, hearing it on the radio as well, then going to the MTC to teach and finding everyone absolutely excited by the news.

Part of the excitement was knowing that this was no mere policy change, but direction obtain by revelation. While those present in the room at the time of the revelation still lived, they were able to tell us of the manifestation of the spirit they had received. I recall hearing Elder David B. Haight describe the events of that day when he addressed a gathering in Annandale, VA.

Dennis Horne gives us Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s account of the June 1 meeting where the revelation was received in his book, I Know He Lives. From the excerpt posted at Kurt Manwaring’s site, Elder McConkie recorded the event as follows:

In recent years the counselors in the First Presidency and all members of the Council of the Twelve and Presidency have had an acute awareness of the desire of President Spencer W. Kimball to learn the mind and will of the Lord relative to conferring the Holy Priesthood upon worthy males of every race and color. In recent months one aspect or another of this matter has come up for informal discussion in various regular meetings of the First Presidency and the Twelve…. Continue reading