Best of the Blogs – Week of July 3, 2017

Best of the Blogs – Week of 3 July 2017

Ben Park looks at not just the new clothing policy for those working in the Church Office Building, but doing what he does best – putting some historical context to things. His story? It’s the 1970s, you work in the Church History Department, you are a female, and you have your first child.
Dani Addante reviews “Diary of Two Mad Black Women,” written by Zandra Vranes and Tamu Smith of “Sistas in Zion” fame.
(Juvenile Instructor – J. Stapley)
I really love the Juvenile Instructor Book Club, and as I’ve been saying consistently on the This Month in Mormon Studies podcast, I really think “A House Full of Females: Plural Marriage and Women’s Rights in Early Mormonism, 1835-1870” by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich will run the table and be the best Mormon book of the year for 2017. The comment section is where the good stuff is at.
Melissa Wei-Tsing Inouye posts a letter to her teenage children on Peculiar People. It’s beautiful, and Melissa has a great way with words. Her essay in “A Book of Mormons” on the ritual of setting up and taking down folding chairs is one I think about every time I participate in the ritual.
Ardis Parshall with a very interesting look back at a 1920 Missionary Committee Meeting with mission presidents and general authorities over General Conference weekend.
Ashmae is one of my favorite writers to follow, and I’m glad she’s blogging more and more. ““All religions start with the cry, help.” I’ve looked for the original source of this quote since I heard it on a podcast and can’t locate it, but regardless, it is a line that spoke to me this week.”
“As I read lessons and talks from the Relief Society of the early 20th century, I often have an uncomfortable feeling that in that era, Relief Society was an organization for privileged women, not for more humble members of the community. Take for instance this lesson from 1914, which takes it for granted that the sisters will have not only their primary homes in city or town, but also a vacation cabin in the mountains in which to spend their summers. After discussing desirable features, every woman is asked to “design a mountain home for her own family”:
“It’s easy to look at someone’s best moment and think all the other experiences they live are like that very one. But they’re not. And even if they’re generally happy, I bet a lot of twisted paths and wondering hearts helped lead them to the destination that we, the onlooker, deem beautiful. And really, what makes that family or scene or hope of such beautiful is because of the shaded moments. Plus, Tolstoy is tricky and ambivalent, because who wants to be like everybody else to be happy?”
John C. on recognizing sources of inspiration: “Thank goodness for you, I’m here to offer a few definitive guidelines so that you need never ask yourself if a given inspiration is of God or of your stomach again. I don’t claim these guidelines are inspired (they violate guideline #1), but I do claim they are good enough to help you differentiate the celestial ideas from those which are telestial. If you feel inspired to add corollaries, examples, or to argue individual guidelines, please do so in the comments below.”
Angela C on one of my pet topics – the nature of Correlation within the LDS Church. A very good analysis of the current process and while she doesn’t offer solutions, the questions she poses for the commenters are very thought-provoking.
“The June 2017 visiting teaching message discusses “Priesthood Power through Keeping Covenants.” In this lesson, the women of the church are instructed that women (and men) are endowed with power—priesthood power—when going through the temple. Personal worthiness increases this power, regardless of the situation in our homes. Isn’t this a lovely message chosen to be shared with every woman in the church across the entire world?”
7/5/1852: 165 years ago this week, Brigham Young goes all Brigham Young on us. Warning: Brigham Young uses some Brigham Young language.
7/6/1902: 115 years ago this week, Pres. Winder describes how Pres. Wilford Woodruff wrote the Manifesto
7/6/1832: 185 years agod this week, Sidney Rigdon is disfellowshipped.
Wherein my co-host Brian Whitney and I discuss Brigham Young’s potty mouth, the new policies for LDS Church employees, and I go on a bit of a rant about a book coming out from Deseret Book based on a “hypothesis.”