Reason #133: Today’s Mormons Don’t Know The Church’s Past

I have read that a very high percentage of members of the LDS church today are first-generation. Recently I had the following experience with one of them: About two months ago I sat at a restaurant with a college student who had grown up Mormon as she recounted to me her growing doubts about Mormonism. I shared that when I was an LDS college student, I also had to make some decisions about Mormonism. But things were very different, because the Church’s doctrines had changed so much – what with the ban on black men in the priesthood, the fact that all American Indians were no longer considered Lamanites… Her face went completely blank. “What do you mean, about blacks and priesthood?” She had grown up her whole life a Mormon and never knew.  —...

Reason #132: New Archaeological Site for Manufacturing Weapons

A newly-excavated archaeological site in Mexico shows a sophisticated Mayan manufacturing center devoted to weapons and tools. No metal weapons at all. For more information, see The Mormon Mirage 3rd Edition:  A Former Member Looks at the Mormon Church Today(Zondervan, 2009). Also available as an audiobook and as an expanded-text E-book for Nook, Kindle and other reading...

Chiasmus in my Current Novel

For literary geeks only: This is a chapter from the novel I am currently writing.  It includes an ancient literary technique called chiasmus. The structure begins with, “I will tell you what helped me,” and the middle or turning point is “For a moment of charged clarity. . .” Once when I was a young girl I held an old wineskin under water to see the bubbles that floated up like a twisting necklace of air from the tiny crack on the flask’s surface. But as it became wetter, the skin became slippery and I could hardly hold onto it. The air inside it gained power as I lost the ability to grasp and it seemed something alive inside, mysterious and unmanageable as it shifted and eluded my fingers, beneath the slime of the skin. I know that...

Interview on Examiner

The Examiner recently interviewed me with the following questions: Q-How did you get started writing?A-Writing begins, I think, with the art of noticing. One of my earliest memories is this:I am standing at the end of a peach orchard in Farmington, New Mexico, in which my parents have cleared spaces to make a trailer park. Many of the trailers sit on blocks because their tires, along with the women’s wedding rings, sit in a hock shop until payday.The peach trees are at the end of bloom, filing the air with a stinging sweetness and the ground with pale, brown-edged petals that swirl around in the wind. Down the row of trailers are cars and trucks, and men’s legs sticking out from underneath them, this way and that. Above them, the automobiles’ hoods are open,...

No Silent Reading

There have been many ground-breaking events in the history of Christian literature and its readers. Perhaps one of the most shocking events came about in about 400 AD when the famous St. Augustine walked in on Ambrose, the bishop of Milan, and found him doing something so unusual that Augustine described it in detail. Ambrose was scanning the page of the book before him, Augustine said, and his heart was obviously deeply involved in the meaning of what he was reading, but “his voice was silent and his tongue was still.” So what was the extraordinary, even shocking behavior the bishop apparently practiced? He read to himself. All the time. That was. . . remarkably unusual. That’s because from antiquity, what was written was meant to be spoken. Books were...