Sacred Music: She Is Wisdom

When I heard earlier this year that the Heavenly Mother art contest was not receiving as many submissions as it had hoped, I decided to try my hand at writing lyrics for a hymn.  Although I’m not very musical and have never written a lyrics or poetry before, I decided it would be a nice diversion on Sundays. In fact, my church attendance was often clouded by my thoughts of what troubled me about church attendance and doctrine, so the act of focusing on my love and understanding of God the Mother created a positive energy for my Sabbath.

Indeed, the act of pondering a Mother in Heaven and her divine attributes was wonderful worship.  My soul felt soothed and healed in ways I hadn’t felt in years.  As I moved through the song, patterning it after familiar hymn couplets, I found myself trying to merge both the divine feminine and Mormon sides of my spirit. While my family sat at church, I sat at home in front of my mother’s piano, the one I had played during my childhood.  I felt the love of both my mothers as I accessed both a natural and heavenly sense of creation. I struggled to represent my desire to know God the Mother, my pain and discouragement over her absence and hope that her existence is real.   In the midst of this creation, I felt love and joy.

And while my poem was not recognized by the Heavenly Mother contest, I found that this did not bother me at all.  The act of thinking, praying, and creating was more than enough reward for me.

My dear friend Christine, helped me write some music for the verse, but we have not yet finalized the tune, so in the meantime, I put the words to a hymn. I share it here only as an illustration of my point that the journey can be more valuable than the destination.

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From the Backlist: Work/Life/Family Balance

working momThis week I interviewed and was hired for my dream job. It’s still so new and I feel a little in shock. From my initial application, through each set of interviews, I shared the experience with my Exponent bloggers and I received amazing words of encouragement and support.  Now that I’m transitioning from over a decade of SAHMotherhood, I’ve turned to them for advice on how to balance my work, life, and family.  I’d also asked them about how important it is to live near your work. As I will be working from home but traveling a lot, we are considering potentially moving near my husband’s.

Here are some samples of suggestions from bloggers on how to make full-time employment easier for family life.

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Survey for Carol Lynn Pearson

temple

Dear Readers, 
I’ve been working with my friend and respected Mormon poet, author, and playwright, Carol Lynn Pearson on a survey to gauge how people really feel about the idea of polygamy in the next life based on today’s temple sealing practices. We are trying to get a sense of the salience of this issue among our friends and family. 
Please take 5 min to complete this survey and send it to anyone who is affiliated with Mormonism.
From Carol Lynn–
ETERNAL POLYGAMY AND SEALING INEQUALITY OF LDS WOMEN AND MEN—A SURVEY. Carol Lynn Pearsonwww.clpearson.com is sponsoring a survey to gather information on beliefs and opinions of Mormons (and former Mormons), male and female, on this important subject. Please take the survey at
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/sealingsurvey and please pass this request on to your friends and contacts. The survey closes on March 31, 2014. Thanks!
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Sacrament Meeting Talk on Faith . . . Crises

One of my local feminist friends was asked to speak on Faith in church a few weeks ago. She turned it into a talk about faith crises and used her own experiences as well as those of her friends to help illustrate the points. To support her, I attended the meeting and was so proud to see her deliver this talk to a group of fairly wealthy, white, suburban Mormons. While it seemed like some of them (particularly the man grumbling behind me) were not in agreement, Christine has since received much positive feedback, including having her talk quoted by someone else the next week! Our local AZ WAVE group met and discussed the impact of speaking our truth in church meetings and it was a really positive experience. We even thought about joining each other in wards to provide back up and support.  I’ve considered sending it to my bishop and telling him that I’d be willing to give a talk if I could give THIS talk. I hope you enjoy this talk as much as I do.  -JessawhyIMG_4337

Guest Post by Christine Leavitt

Our Journey for the Fruits of Faith – January 26, 2014

I was asked to speak about the topic of faith.  When contemplating this topic, the following three thoughts came to my mind concerning faith which I would like to discuss:

  1. Faith is a journey, and everyone has a unique faith journey in which their faith will change and develop throughout their lifetime

  2. Faith is a principle of action and loyalty to that which one chooses to have faith in

  3. Faith is hope, not knowledge

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Birth Series Intro- New Year’s Baby

New-Year-Baby-PicWhen I tell someone my birthday is January 1st, I get one of two responses.

A. “How exciting! You’re a New Year’s baby! Did you get money or gifts?”

B. “How sad for your parents! They just missed the tax break!”

The answer to A is, “No. I was the 23rd baby born in Provo, UT.”  and  my response to B is, “Yes, it was sad. They were so disappointed.” (With their firstborn child? Nope.)

I also get comments about how difficult it must be having a birthday near Christmas. It’s not actually that bad. My parents were dilligent about making sure I still got my party every other year and presents as much as the other kids.  In fact, I really love my birthday. The whole neighborhood, state, country, world is celebrating my birthday! And just because it marks a new start, a new year. That’s what birthdays are all about. Marking one year as passed and the next year as starting fresh.

In honor of a fresh start and the birth of a new year, we Exponent Perma-bloggers and guests are beginning a series on Birth and Rebirth.

Our lovely Spunky has organized a schedule of posts surrounding different aspects of this beautiful concept, including  childbirth, surrogacy, birth of the blog, and baptism as rebirth.

When I asked Spunky about  how the idea to start a Birth series began, she reminded me that our death series from a few years ago, required a balance.

So as you enjoy this series, remember that childbirth does not happen for every woman.  But stories about birth are important for us to hear and share. Think, too, about major events in your life that felt like a rebirth. These events may be a marriage, divorce, career change, illness, or other events that helped you see life through new eyes.  Enjoy the start of the new year and join with us as we consider the beginning of the cycle of life.

When I wondered what I could contribute to this series, Spunky asked me to write a bit about the birth of LDS WAVE.

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Birth of LDS WAVE

Last week I did a podcast with fMh Lisa where she asked me about the birth of WAVE. For me, creating WAVE was a natural progression of Mormon Feminists conversations about troubling LDS church policies and doctrine.  In March of 2010, I wrote a blog post here called, “Mormon Feminist Activism” where I asked questions about our duty as Mormon Feminists to move beyond sharing our stories and begin to work toward change.

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