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Virtual Oases 1/30/07

  • Sister Missionaries in SLC: “Other church missions are largely composed of unmarried young men and women. The Temple Square Mission has 200 single women and about 20 senior-married couples. And because of the mission’s dearth of young men, or elders as they are called, the leadership roles normally given to males are filled by the sisters. That is unlike any other mission in the church. The current assistants to the mission president, for instance, are Sister Kara Logie of Connecticut and Sister Irina Weidmann, a third-generation member from Switzerland. District and zone leaders in the mission also are leadership positions assigned to the sisters.”
  • I finally read Twilight, the bestselling YA fiction novel that has garnered a lot of attention and accolades. The author, Stephenie Meyer, happens to be LDS (with an article in the December Ensign to prove it!). I found the book and its sequel utterly enchanting — and three of my 8th grade girls who have also devoured them in the last week would swooningly concur. A lyrical romance with fangs. Check out this article about Meyer and this interview in the LDS blog A Motley Vision.


Deborah is K-12 educator who nurtures a healthy interest in reading, writing, running, ethics, mystics, and interfaith dialogue.

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  1. AmyB says:

    The virtual oasis is always a treat. Thanks for the work you put into it, Deborah.

    I read the article on sister missionaries, and was left feeling vaguely uneasy. I think it’s great that there is at least one mission in which women hold leadership positions. I’m trying to put my finger on what troubled me when I read it. I think it’s this passage:

    The LeBarons, who previously presided over a more-traditional mission in California, say the young sister missionaries add a special element to the missionary work.

    “They are [college] graduates, lawyers, doctors,” LeBaron says. “They all come in with the same idea – to serve their Heavenly Father. We function with sisters, and they’re lovely and wonderful. They have all the wonderful opportunities of the mission, and the growing experiences of leadership.”
    Adds Sister LeBaron: “Sometimes they just stop by and say, ‘I need a hug.’ You know what love does for them they just need to be built up and know that they are loved here. It is easy for us to relate to them.”

    These women who are being described as college graduates, doctors, and lawyers (hmmm . . .not your typical missionary demographic) are also described as lovely, wonderful, special, and they just need love. How about sharp, intelligent, strong, thoughtful, good leaders, able . . .? Or even loving? Anything that implies action rather than just being? Sigh.

  2. Brooke says:

    I’m excited to read Twilight for my YA resources class. I’ve heard a lot about it lately–can’t wait!

  3. sarah says:

    Hey sis,

    The link to StarFoxy’s mailorder bride goes to a Times and Seasons blog about appropriate HT requests. I’d love to read the mailorder piece if you have the link.

    kisses, your big sis

  4. Deborah says:

    Amy: Yeah, I almost mentioned that. It’s almost reflective, I think, to use those phrases (with the best of intentions) to describe young women and sister missionaries. Still, it’s nice to see the write up on this unique mission . . .

    Brooke: I’d love to see a list of your favorite YA novels — especially from the last five years or so. A future post? Have you read “The Pretties” yet — it’s next on my list.

    Sarah: Thanks — fixed.

  5. AmyB says:

    Deborah, you’re right– it is nice to see a write up on an almost all sister mission. I’m glad you posted it. I didn’t mean to take away from it. I just wish I heard more empowering language when speaking about women in the church.

  6. Starfoxy says:

    I was slightly confused by the quote at the end of the article on sister missionaries about how they are disowned by their families. That just begs for further explanation, why is that a special problem for these sisters and not missionaries in general? I have a few guesses, but I’d rather have an answer from the source.

    Also, I sent you guys an email, and I’m not sure if you got it- the bloggerhacks link from the Recent Quotes add-on no longer points to bloggerhacks, and is rather unsavory. Someone pointed that out to me from the links that were on my site, and I thought I should pass it on.

  7. Deborah says:

    Yup, I’m with you, Amy . . .

    Starfoxy: I must have skimmed the ending the first time I read it, and went back based on your common — wow, that sounds like the beginning of a whole new article that the reporter left unwritten . . .

  8. tracy m says:

    Deborah, thanks so much for putting together the Virtual Oasis posts- I always look forward to seeing what wonderful things you’ve found that I may have missed.

    I appreciate your work.

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