Just Ask or the Most Important Thing I Learned During My Time as an Exponent II Editor

fmh coverI’ve learned much during the past 6 years working as an editor for Exponent II, but I wanted to share the skill that I felt has been most important for me.

I learned to just ask. Ask for help, ask for essays, ask for people to do permanent difficult positions for free, just ask because when they say, “no,” at least I knew I had done my best, and when they said “yes” wonderful things came about.

I believe that there is a part of Mormon culture, at least in the United States, that teaches women not to ask. Mormon women are taught to wait.

  • We wait for callings.
  • We wait for a man to call for a date…or to ask us to marry them.
  • We wait to see if we’ll need that career since stay-at-home motherhood is the ideal.

What happens if we’re not attracted to men? If we aren’t given the opportunity to serve in callings that help us grow and satisfy us? What if we want careers in addition to or instead of motherhood?

I don’t think that waiting is an explicit message we are being given at church. It’s insidious side effect of patriarchy in our institution, and it is something we need to push away.

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Easter 2015: a Look at Past Easter Posts on The Exponent

A Little Bit of Paradise by Jana RemyThis week, I was feeling sad that I don’t get to be with my ward on Easter Sunday. I’m sure General Conference will be lovely this weekend, but I’m always a little sad on those years when Easter and General Conference converge. Knowing that I wouldn’t get to hear an Easter talk from a member of the ward. I turned to my other beloved Mormon community here at The Exponent and came across so many pieces that have spiritually fed me during past Easter seasons.

Easter Posts
The Easter Basket by Mraynes: “I went home and pulled out my own Easter basket, the one I had picked all those years ago. It wasn’t the ornate basket of my daydreams, rather it is beautiful only for its simplicity. All of the magic that was lost the day my father revealed truth was captured for me in this basket. This, this, was the perfect basket for my little girl.”

Easter’s Promise by Heather: “Sometimes in winter, when my sweet flower beds are buried under 3 feet of packed, salty snow, I just know nothing can survive. But not too long ago, when it seemed winter would never end, I went out my front door and saw little purple crocuses poking their heads out of the ground.”

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The Parable of Mushrooms

posted on Flickr with Creative Commons license

posted on Flickr with Creative Commons license

I hated mushrooms…

When I was four and I wrote in my journal, “I lik all food excip mushroms.”

Family members would say, “But, they’re really good in this dish.” Or, “Maybe you’ll like them this year.”

Every year or so, I’d try them, and I’d gag, reaffirming my decision that I hated mushrooms.

But, then, about eight years ago, I decided to give mushrooms another try. My oldest kid had a lot of food allergies and after seeing all the foods that would make him sick, I decided it was silly that I was holding out on one food because of a decision I made when I was four.

And, I still hated them. Slimy, tasting of dirt, with a smell that just epitomized everything yucky.

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April Young Women Lesson: Why Do We Need the Book of Mormon?

EmilyCC as a Nephite Woman by Jett AtwoodThis lesson can be found here for Young Women and here for Young Men. I like to use both as I prepare my lessons because there are some great additional resources that can be found in the Young Men’s section.

Find other Young Women lessons for the month of April here.

You’ll have to scroll down a bit, but I believe the strongest part of this lesson begins at “Learning to Love the Book of Mormon.”

Why do we need the Book of Mormon?
I would begin by asking the class the title of the lesson (all questions to ask the class are italicized from here on out; bold indicates a shift in topic).

Why do you think we need the Book of Mormon?

As I prepared this lesson, I remember reading the Book of Mormon as a Young Woman. It was hard because there were so few women in the Book of Mormon. I clung to the stories of Mary and Martha; Ruth and Naomi; Esther, Mary and others. There are very few stories about women in the Book of Mormon and those that are there aren’t always flattering.

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