Virtual Oases, May 18

These two links provide more information about the Relief Society exhibit at the church history Museum — the final hurrah for curator extraordinaire Marjorie Conder. Click here and here. The second article has quotes from new Relief Society President Julie Beck.

My favorite post this week: “No Deodorant Miracle, Just a Lot of Sweat and Tears”

Most days, I am ok with it all. I know that even if we never find that quick cure, Noe will still find his niche in life and be happy and productive. Most days I feel lucky to have Noe in our family. He is a sweet, affectionate, beautiful child who does a lot of normal 4-year old stuff: He rides his bike like a maniac, loves to swim and hang from the monkey bars, he whines about eating his fruits and vegetables and fights with his younger brother. Most days I say to myself that if this is our family’s cross to bear, I consider myself blessed. And then there are the other days.

The church sometimes takes flack for “inflating” its membership numbers — since the membership on the roles does not reflect activity rates. Thus I was intrigued by this article in the June Ensign. Is it just me, or has their been a distinct shift in church public relations in the last few of months?

Church membership growth numbers are often interpreted inaccurately, which can lead to misconceptions in the media, Brother Buckner said. Therefore, it is important to clearly understand what these numbers signify. They represent the number of Church members, but they do not represent activity rates. The Church does not remove an individual’s name from its membership rolls based on inactivity.

Like other faiths, the Church has varying degrees of growth among its members throughout the world. For example, the Church has relatively slow growth in Northern Europe, where many other churches are declining. It has steady and manageable growth in the United States, and is expanding rapidly in Africa, the Philippines, and South America.

For decades the Church has identified growth as its single greatest challenge. The Church has a lay ministry, and experience has shown that new members are more likely to slide into inactivity when they are not offered opportunities to serve or when they feel inadequate to accept a position.

Just because: A great speech by Barack Obama on “growing up”:

Not only that – we live in a culture that discourages empathy. A culture that too often tells us our principle goal in life is to be rich, thin, young, famous, safe, and entertained. . . I hope you don’t listen to this. I hope you choose to broaden, and not contract, your ambit of concern. Not because you have an obligation to those who are less fortunate, although you do have that obligation. Not because you have a debt to all of those who helped you get to where you are, although you do have that debt.

It’s because you have an obligation to yourself. Because our individual salvation depends on collective salvation. And because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you will realize your true potential – and become full-grown.


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

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  1. amelia says:

    thanks for linking the speech by obama. i thought it was beautiful and it needs to be read.

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