Good News Minute


This last week has been a hard one for many people, and I for one would love to hear some good news.

The best of my news is that I was recently accepted to speak at an International conference honoring the 200th birthday of my favorite philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard. The second best of my news may be that a good friend has spent time this week teaching me how to sew. And the third best of my news is that I am a few weeks away from finishing my PhD coursework, to which I can only say, “Hallelujah!”

What is your good news? (Please, please share in the comments! I am serious when I say I need to hear it.)

Does your Relief Society have Good News Minute?*

If so, what type of news is usually shared?


*This question was asked recently by Exponent’s Spunky, and I think that it is a good one.



Rachel is a PhD student in Philosophy of Religion and Theology at Claremont Graduate University. She co-edited _Mormon Feminism: Essential Writings_ with Joanna Brooks and Hannah Wheelwright. She is also a lover of all things books and bikes.

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43 Responses

  1. liz johnson says:

    My cousin was killed eight years ago, and her husband goes on trial this week for committing the murder. It might not sound like good news, but after eight long years of waiting and hoping, it’ll be nice to have some sense of closure, one way or another!

    • Rachel says:

      Thank you, Liz, for this reminder that “good news” (or really all news) is often mixed. That eight years ago news really is tragic, but a sort of end sounds very nice indeed. I am sincerely happy for your family.

  2. Em says:

    My good news is usually quite modest and involves my garden and new plants coming up. The poppies started blooming, my bleeding hearts are thriving and I had really really amazing tulips this year. I planted a new variety that is orange with shots of purple and they were gorgeous.

    I bought a piano last week, something I have been waiting and saving 10 years to do and as it turned out I found a used one from the 1920s that had been refurbished and it is amazing. I could have afforded it years ago. Oh well.

    I can see a humming bird from my window. This all seems like silly good news, but its what I have.

    I don’t know if our RS does good news minutes, since I’m not in it. They didn’t last time I was there. As I recall opening exercises invariably went on and on so they had to trim everything they could.

    • Rachel says:

      Gardens and new plants are wonderful things to be happy about! One of my favorite devotionals at BYU was given by Elder Wirthlin before he passed away. He spoke on gratitude, and said something about how when we pray it is okay to express gratitude for simple things like “the scent of rain, the sound of a loved one’s voice, or our favorite macaroni and cheese recipe.” It may or may not have gotten a good laugh from college students living in part on macaroni and cheese, but it has stayed with me for many a years. It IS good to be grateful for the small things.

      I have seen a picture of your piano, so know that it is beautiful.

      My ward right now doesn’t do Good News Minute, which is mostly okay. I still would love to see some sort of map based on what type of good news is shared where. Wedding announcements? Births? News about others? News about the sharer? Jobs? Grad school successes? I think it would be fascinating.

  3. Melanie says:

    Congrats on finishing coursework! Now the real or, begins!

    In the PhD vein, I unexpectedly stumbled onto an amazing story this weekend. It brings together so many themes in my field that I can’t imagine it being anything less than a great article or anchor chapter in my dissertation. After feeling apathy toward research and so much intellectual exhaustion from teaching this semester, I am suddenly energized to do the work I need to do.

    My dachshund plays with toys all of the sudden, which makes me happy because I worried he was bored. Watching him do laps across my downstairs with a pink rooster in his mouth is a delight.

    • Rachel says:

      Oh, I haven’t finished coursework yet, but in approximately three weeks ( and 60+ written pages later), I will!

      That IS good (dissertation) news. And happy dogs are always nice. 🙂

  4. Deborah says:

    My garden: the peas are coming up, I released 2000 ladybugs, the black-eyed susans are getting ready to bloom, and a rogue pumpkin plant just announced itself!

  5. Shelley says:

    My husband isn’t taking classes this summer but we’re still getting his monthly student stipend. I recently quit my job, so basically we’re going to spend all summer hanging out and doing whatever and being totally lazy. We’ll be pretty poor (living on about $1200 a month) but we’ve found a lot of free/discounted things to do in our city. I’m really excited about it. 🙂

  6. CS Eric says:

    I have spent the last six months going through boxes as I have moved from the city and state where my wife died, consolidating a six-bedroom house into a three-bedroom one. Saturday, I finally found the recipe for the ribs that she always made me for my birthday. Of course, it was in a box labeled “Toys and Decorations.” I made them that night, and they were every bit as good as I remembered.

    • Rachel says:

      CS Eric, thank you for sharing your very sweet “good news.” I am so glad you found the recipe. (It really is remarkable the way traditions and tastes can tie us to our loved ones. I have experienced it many times myself.)

  7. Kelly Ann says:

    My good news is I bought some new clothes at Ross this weekend for my concert. In particular, I found a dress I really liked for $10 but it was a size smaller than I normally wear. I tried it on anyway and it fit.

  8. Caroline says:

    My good news: This is a month old, but my book came out! Mormon Women Have Their Say. Totally excited to see it in print.

    Other good news is that, like you, I’m three weeks away from being done with my semester. And with only two classes left, the end of coursework is in sight.

    And more good news — I’ve discovered I like zumba. I suck at it, certainly. But it’s fun and it forces me to move for an hour.

    My RS does good news minutes maybe once a month or so — when the conducting person remembers, which isn’t often. I like it, but often women don’t seem to have much to say when they are asked to share.

  9. Heather Sather says:

    I make a habit of daily writing something I’m grateful for. Some days (and weeks) it’s easier than others. My good news: This afternoon I watched my 10 year old grandson do a superb job of catching at a baseball game, and batting 500. He’s now in “kid pitch” and was badly frightened and hurt by a wild pitch last season. It left him shaky and lacking in confidence. He was brave enough to try again this year at the urging of his coach (who isn’t his dad, as so frequently happens at that age. His dad was trying to stay neutral and let Isaac decide for himself). I’m proud of him for having the courage to try to conquer his fear. His little sister, who has genetic weight problems, has decided to play softball next year (too late for this year) and want to “practice real hard now so that I can be really good at it.” Their resiliency and grace take my breath away. Good news 2: I was able to buy 12 Wicked tickets for family. Shallow news but good. Good news 3: My daughter-in-law is 22 weeks pregnant with a little boy we call Blueberry. So far, all is going well. She and her wife are ecstatic as are the rest of the family. So, my good new ranges from comparatively sublime to ridiculous, and sublime. I am truly blessed!

    • Rachel says:

      It all sounds quite sublime to me. Including the Wicked tickets.

      Once upon a time I waited in New York City cold to try to get tickets to Wicked with my best friend, but we were out of luck. And then just a few months later my mom took her with my sisters to watch it in Salt Lake while I was still on the East Coast. I still have not seen it to this day.

      I think that gratitude habit is a great one. I made a conscious effort last August to think of five things I was grateful for each day, inspired by Jana Riess’s book, Flunking Sainthood. It made a very hard month significantly better.

  10. spunky says:

    Yay! I haven’t been in a RS that does a “good news minute” in years- hence why I wasn’t sure if they still did it or not (maybe an Australian cultural thing to not talk about things we do well?) Anyway, I had some good news on a legal front, and like Caroline, and super happy about the Mormon Women book wherein I was a contributer– yay!! And- I was happily surprised to hear about the marriage vote in New Zealand.

    • Rachel says:

      So much good news, Spunky! As mentioned to Caroline, I’ve started reading that wonderful book, and very much look forward to the day when I can read the rest of it (including your contributions!) without feeling guilty for neglecting homework. Soon. Very soon. 🙂

      And thanks again for inspiring me to think about my own good news.

  11. EmilyCC says:

    I am now only cleaning up toddler or puppy poop twice a day!

    And, my ward doesn’t do a Good News minute right now, but they have in the past. When my husband was EQP, he began the “Manly Minute,” which is just like the Good News minute, but you know, more manly 🙂

  12. Emily U says:

    My RS has a “joys and concerns” moment, but that’s been fading with a new presidency. Sadly.

    My recent good news is that I lost my wallet in a hotel parking lot and some good soul turned it in to the lost & found, totally intact. They saved me from figuring out what to do if you need to take a flight but have no ID. Getting my wallet back was a grace-filled moment.

    • Ziff says:

      God bless the honest people! Good to hear you got your wallet all back. It’s such a stress to lose such important things.

    • Rachel says:

      I love the idea of a “joys and concerns” moment, because most weeks (and days and hours) have both. In Sunday School class when I was 15 or so, my teacher would start the class by having us say one good thing from our week and one not-so-good thing. I really loved it, and I think it did help my friends and I be more willing to contribute during the lesson.

      That kind of loss can feel very scary–or at least anxiety-making–from personal experience. With Ziff, I say bless that honest soul.

  13. Olea says:

    I have had a hard time the last couple of months with my nannying job, feeling un-needed (they don’t need me – there are often four adults in the house, I have no authority over the child, and she has no interest in having a nanny), but I leave on Friday to meet up with my sisters in London and then take a bus from Brussels, through Prague and Vienna, to Italy with the youngest (19). And! My employers offered for me to have this last week off to travel the local region – I visited Cannes yesterday and Marseille tomorrow. (They’ll be just fine without me). Leaving a bad work/living situation lets me appreciate properly my wonderful opportunity to travel. And I managed to repack my suitcase all by myself!

    • Rachel says:

      I spent six months living in Vienna a year or so ago. It is lovely. As are many of the other places you will be visiting. I’m happy you get to see your sisters for a bit, and take a break from a less than ideal situation.

  14. Lulu says:

    My good news is that I get to teach RS this week, which I am proud to say I am very good at and absolutely love doing, but haven’t been doing very much of anymore. (I freaked out the RS Pres when she was fairly new to the ward with my progressive views, but she has finally figured out I’m not a heathen.) Thankfully we have a painfully shy 1st counselor who asks me to cover for her every quarter and I get to choose the topic. So the best news of all is that I was looking for inspiration and came across this post and it has inspired a lesson that I hope will be very inclusive and uplifting.
    Thank you Rachel.

  15. Naismith says:

    Hmmn. Never been in a RS that did this. Never heard of it before.

  16. DefyGravity says:

    My RS used to do a good news minute. It was my favorite part, but we were told to stop, because it took too much time. (Heaven forbid we hear what is going on with the sisters in our ward and create a system of support.) But at our last RS weekday activity, we did a good news minute, and I hope we keep that going.

    My good news is that I have three job interviews in the next week, and my husband graduates from college this week.

    • Rachel says:

      I’m glad you mentioned Good News Minutes in venues apart from Sunday Relief Society, because it reminded me that the few times I’ve been able to go to my RS’s monthly lunches, they do share good news there. And, even better: everyone shares. They go around in a circle and everyone has the opportunity to say something, which I love. If something particularly hard happened, women share that too, which I think is equally important.

      It potentially could take a lot of time, but I think you are spot on on the support it can offer to sisters, which to me is the gospel in action, rather than the lesson, which is the gospel in words.

  17. Brem says:

    My little girl learned to clap this week. It was such a treat to see her just so genuinely thrilled with her new skill after a very dull day at work. All evening long, she would clap her hands together a few times and then grin and see if we were watching. Her 7-month-old enthusiasm was contagious.

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