Visiting Teaching March 2015: The Attributes of Jesus Christ: Long-suffering and Patient

hourglassFrom about the age of 18 and well into my 20’s, every single blessing I had—blessings for study, blessing for heath in illness, being set apart— you name it, the blessing told me to “be patient.” This includes the time I declared my patriarchal blessing was a mistake, so my grandmother made some calls that resulted in a “new” blessing. This “new” patriarchal blessing told me my “old” patriarchal blessing was fine and in force, but, among a few important and intensely private additions—primarily reminded me that I needed to be patient. I grew to dread hearing the word, and by my mid-20’s, I began avoiding blessings from anyone just in case the term patience came up.


So when I saw that this month’s visiting teaching message was focused of Christ’s attributes of long-suffering and patient …. I was well-familiar and versed in the included admonitions.


But guess what? I’m still terrible at being patient.

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Aspiring Mormon Women Event

Aspiring Mormon Women is hosting a Networking Event in Provo. We’re passing along the news because, like Emmaline B. Wells, we “believe in women, especially thinking women” who have personal, professional, and educational goals.


From the AMW press release:

Do you live in the Provo area? Then join us (and bring a friend or two or five) on February 25th from 7-9pm at Club Alison (1644 S. State St., Provo) and meet other like-minded LDS women pursuing educational and professional goals. Whether you are a seasoned networker or a shy and timid newbie, come for an evening of support, encouragement, and fearless networking.

Business casual dress | light refreshments

$10 or $5 with a current student ID (cash or check at the door) | limited to 200 people

RSVP on the event page. 

We can’t wait to meet you!

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Book Review: Moroni and the Swastika

Utah residents: Weller Book Works is hosting a book launch tonight at 7pm in Salt Lake’s Trolley Square for Moroni and the Swastika. David Conley Nelson will read a passage from, answer questions about, and sign copies of the book for attendees. 


Moroni and the Swastika: Mormons in Nazi Germany, written by David Conley Nelson, is a confronting historical look at Swastikathe relationship of the Mormon Church and Germany. The book itself is a result of Nelson’s 20-year project researching the German history of the church that culminated in his doctoral dissertation from whence this book is derived. Relating much more than only the Nazi regime, this is an account of the church and its German membership from the first missionaries sent to Germany in the 1850’s, well into the telling of the reactions of attendees of the Alaborg, Denmark Mormon History Association conference in 2000 where Nelson presented some of his research.


The breadth of the book is both positive and negative. It is positive in that it squarely positions readers to understand the historical relationship of the church with German Mormon pioneers, German church membership and Germany in general. Conversely, in undertaking such a broad report, the first section of the book felt long in anticipation of the upcoming analysis of the relationship of the church and the Nazis, which is not discussed until section 2. Nevertheless, Nelson’s writing style, a combination of narrative examples that engross the reader, peppered with analysis and context, make the book easy to read and engaging. Less academic in style than other comparative historical texts, it gives the reader a good foundational knowledge in regard to the position of the Mormon Church and its German members leading up to, following, and during World War II.


In reading the text, it was disconcerting to understand the admiration of the Mormons by the Nazis in genealogical research, and distressing to discover that such detailed genealogical records appeared to be equal, if not more important than actual living, surviving church members in the post-war rebuilding of Germany.

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February 2015 Visiting Teaching Message: The Attributes of Jesus Christ: Without Sin

Traduction en français/Click for French Translation

Let’s be real. Any discussion of sin makes me uncomfortable. Sure, we all sin. But because we all do it…. it can get weird when we are supposed to discuss it. Especially in such a personal setting such as Visiting Teaching. My sin is my business, and if I am visiting teaching you, or even if not, your sin is your business. So whilst I know that this month’s message is focused on Christ and His lack of sin… any discussion of sin, for me has a judgmental feeling when compared to spirit of healing that attends with discussion of atonement. In this, this month’s message made me feel a little like I was winding up to “cast the first stone.”


cafeNot wanting to do this, I pondered and how to teach it, with love. In this, I remembered a night. Long ago. I was a YSA, faithfully fulfilling callings at my ward, at Institute and even the stake. I never felt comfortable with the crowd I deemed to be “Unwelcoming Molly-ish” (the kind of folks I envision now write these messages). So although I served with many of those individuals in the cliques, I socialised more with church attending, but peripheral individuals. In this, I had become very close to one woman. I trusted her, which for me, was something uncommon. We served together in a presidency, sat together between LDS boyfriends in Sacrament meeting and sometimes shared transportation to church activities. Her background was as imperfect as mine… which in this case, meant some of her family attended church, some did not, neither of us were from Utah (or predominantly LDS communities) and her father was not an RM (neither was mine, a strange factor sometimes in church clique socialising for us). We weren’t fringe dissenters, but we weren’t “church culture clique,” either.


She asked me to go out with her to grab dinner, I think. It might have been dessert. She mainly wanted to talk. As she spoke, she told me that she had sex, “once by choice, once not.”

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Book Review: Turning the Hearts of the Children (Early Māori Leaders in the Mormon Church)

The timing of this book review is in recognition of New Zealand’s annual Waitangi Day on 6 February. Waitangi Day, in summarised and abridged terms, is in celebration of the signing of New Zealand’s Founding document, The Treaty of Waitangi. This document was written in both Māori and English, and was signed by over 500 Māori chiefs as well as British Government officials in 1840. It is a broad declaration of standards between the Māori and British to unitedly construct and a government in New Zealand. Because it was written in both languages, important and imperfectly translated nuances have been an ongoing source of debate. Though it is celebrated as the day the nation of New Zealand was born, The Waitangi Treaty continues to be a source of parliamentary debates in New Zealand Parliament from the time of its initial signing until today.


HeartsLikewise, church history is often viewed through the lens of the US church leaders and record keepers, turning the nuances of local conversion and cultural application into footnotes when not completely ignored or obliterated. Recent groups like International Mormon Studies have sought to encourage, develop and analyse local histories of the church in a manner that is interwoven with cultural and nationalistic perspective, celebrating Mormon thought, research and historiography through an international point of view. In this sense, Turning the Hearts of the Children is one of the most important contributions of nationalistic content within a Mormon context to date.


The book is an anthology edited by Selwyn Kātene. Kātene wrote the introduction, inclusive of a brief history of the development of the church in New Zealand, and positions the book in terms to illustrate and honour the testimony of the Māori within a Mormon context.

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