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Full text of "Exponent II"

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EXPONENT II 


ISSUES LEFT 


9999 


Non-profit Org. 


Post Office Box 128 


Dr David Whittaker, c 


urato 


U.S. Postage 


Arlington MA 


Harold B. Lee Library. 
Provo UT 84502 


BYU 


PAID 


02174-0002 




Boston MA 








Permit No. 59469 



Exponent II is 20 

Claudia L Bushman 
First Editor, Exponent II 






Exponent II is c 
L^i anniversary, t 

achieving its i 



celebrating its twentieth 
y; the periodical is close to 
ajority. I expect that most people 
nniversary with considerable 
. . - .. ., . nail II has come to a great age for 
a modest little publication. For a whole 
generation now, this little sheet has made its way 
into the homes of the faithful like a quiet stream, 
carrying with it beauty and refreshment, news 
and encouragement. 

What have been the achievements of 
/ i/"""'<" //'.' The first is certainly endurance, 



ws that might not find a home 
in other publications The twenty years of issues 
reflect the honest views of Mormons, mostly 
leniale, honesi mcwsuii hoinelv matters not 
necessarily welcomed elsewhere In the pages of 
Exponent II, we find a combination of the 
personal, the modest, the sisterly, the wise, the 
desperate, the indignant, the outrageous, the 
disappointed, and the heartbroken not met with 



from the sc 






/ith whom 

i shared so many experiences, among my dear 
friends. The network continues to grow and the 
connections between the people are increasingly 
strengthened with shared disclosures, decisions, 
and e\enls This network, fearful and awesome. 









■n today I 






Finally, the paper has created a 



■ nlhat 



veil as c 



ass and educational 
gender. I look at the dozen 
photographed with John 



lather than financial. 

The second has been providing a fomm 
for airing the opinions of a fairly broad spectrum 
of people. These views are heartfelt and justified, 



or so young matro 

Harvard so many years ago and think of the 
cxpciiences that we shared before we diverged in 
direction and destination. I think of the many 
years of meetings, retreats, dinners, and /: \.p,ment 
Day speakers and marvel that a group has been 
able to hang togethei so well so long without 
serious breaches l:\en though I am long gone 



it II won...... 

When I meet again people whom I knew in those 
old days who did not do Exponent II activities, 
they ask me why they were not involved. The 
shadow of the publication has so grown and 
lengthened that they wonder how they could have 
lived in Boston in those days and not been part of 

Exponent II began in a modest and 
simple fashion and has remained faithful to its 
original sty le and efforts. Perhaps I will still be 
around for the fiftieth birthday It seems just a 
lew days ago that 1 was commemorating the tenth 



Drawn into the Spotlight 



A suddenly have a highly visible but little 
known political candidate who shared our 
religious label running in one of the most 
publicized and contentious Senate races in the 
nation was a new kind ol experience For years, 
most of us had lived w ith beliefs and habits that 
were quite invisible to our neighbors. Efforts at 
missionary work were frustrated by the 
indifference that most people exhibited to what 
mattered to us. But when Mitt Romney began 
sharing the political spotlight with a man that 
everyone in the state knows everything about 
[Senator Ted Kennedy], those around us wanted 
to know everything about us . . as Mormons. 

"You are a Mormon like Romney, aren't 
you? Well, what do you think about mandatory 
death sentences'" "So what do you Mormons 
think about gays in the military '" "Because you 
are a Mormon, what would your — and 
presumably all Mormons' — position be on day 
care vouchers for poor women' 1 " "What about 
U.S. troops in Haiti?" We probably all thought 
we had opinions on these issues, around which 
debates have been raging for months or years, but 
when the questions came flying at us from all 
sides, it was a new kind of daily challenge to be 
cusp and prec ise and to articulate our beliefs 
accurately And, it was quite a responsibility to 
be clear about what beliefs have been shaped by 
the Mormonism that we share with Mitt and what 
beliefs have been molded b\ other experiences or 
influences. 

Naturally, in our very Catholic state the issue 
that has been for years the center of the greatest 
contention and fury and that has become the one 
that defines for most citizens just how a political 
person stands on "women's issues" is 
reproductive freedom. So, naturally our voting 
neighbors wanted to get clear where we 
Mormons stood on this tough one. We were 
asked, over and over, "So, what's your view . . . 

Mitt came out early in the campaign for 

"choice," but for months he was ambiguous on 
the subject ol public funding lor abortions. To 
Massachusetts voters, backing off from public 

o 



funding has long been the signal that one's 
commitment to choice was weak. So the public 

was kept guessing, and we Mormons often 
became the object of random polling. Mitt 
favored the distribution of the "morning after" 
pill, which people associated with his being in 
favor of empowering women to make their own 
choices about continuing a pregnancy. But, 
others described Mormons as being part of the 
"religious right" and that usually meant that they 
made some connection between Mormons and 
the right-to-life groups that blockade abortion 
clinics. "If you believe in the right to choose, 
which trimester do you favor for cutting off 
access to abortion?" "If you don't believe in 
abortion, what form of activism have you chosen 
to support your position on terminating 
pregnancies '" "Is abortion a criminal act'' If so, 
what do you believe should be done to those who 



this long-privately-debated issue, we felt more 
sharply the blow that came on December 30, 
1994, when two loving and nurturing women 

the foyers of women's health clinics in our own 
city of Boston Just last year, they may not havs 
felt so close to us because their daily battles wet 
more foreign to us. They might have felt more 
like outsiders, caring passionately about 
something most of us may not have felt part of. 
But over the months of the campaign, we had 
become part of this debate and part of the peoplt 
who cared deeply and had opinions. We could 

other people who worked at these cl 
went there as patients. 

The sharpness of the shock 






it these 



,nly oi 






n Bosk 



■ "right-!. 






across the street from the clinics with signs 
show nig hf.ody fetuses and maimed babies. 
Often, directly across the street from these folks, 
stand the protectors ol choice w ith their signs. 
"Were you there?" we were asked. "On which 
side'" ' 

Some of us loved the opportunity to 
■ l.uily. ych lie others pleaded for more time to 
shape oui positions Mills coming out openly 
for choice made some of us who had secretly 
held that position for decades feel emboldened 
and safe to speak up. others could only remeinbei 
those friends whom we know had been denied 
temple recommends for that same position, here 
and far away. Some asked themselves if they 
would feel so bold once this Massachusetts 
election was over, once there was no Mormon 
candidate "for choice." Others committed 
themselves to a life of activism, having come 
alive because of this time of having our opinions 
valued so much Some said that, as transplanted 
Westerners, they at last felt that they were part of 
the political fabric of ihe state where they had 
long made then homes and lives Some who 
hay. delended a non-choice position tell betiaved 
by a Mormon whom they had called "leader" and 
still feel confused that this issue has not yet been 
"decided." No matter what our point of view, we 
were all brought into the dialogue. 

But whether we felt heady and bold or 
fasc mated or frightened by the complexities of 



geographical neighbors but also our close 
associates in spirit and in the struggle for 
solutions and peace of mind around this difficult 

issue of managing mothering Many of us have 
visited the clinics to add our flowers or notes to 
the large collection Many of us have stood in 
silent vigil, wondering il those who happen to be 

slain or if they come, as we have, to share each 
other's burdens in the hour of fear and grief. 
No good person could have wanted these murdeis 
to happen, but I genuinely believe that they have 
piov icled an opportunity for us all to commit to a 
position on these questions and to feel powerfully 
that we have, just as much as the next person, a 
responsibility to involve ourselves in the 
solutions to this battle over women's bodies. If 
no other good can come of this horror, let it. at 
least, catapult us into deciding what is right and 
what is not right, what is intolerable and therefore 
will not be tolerated, and then committing to 

Since the day of the murders, every day 
has seemed like Mother's Day to me. My heart 
is with mothers, and I love them for their strength 
to make hard decisions in hard times. I want 
them to have more power, not less. I am appalled 
that they are so unprotected and disrespected. I 
feel tremendous solidarity with the women who 
died and who were injured and with the mothers 
whom they helped and supported. We must 
bear one another's burdens and keep one 
another safe. ♦ 



Women's War 



On Memorial Day, I unroll the 
paper and gaze al (he usual photo 
of war veterans marching in 
parade on a sunny southern 
California day. As I read on, it is 
not until I finish all twenty minutes of my small 
town newspaper that it hits me On this Memorial 
Day, the paper is not filled with reminiscences of 
traditional soldiers, but warriors of a different 

Next to the front page photo, a story 
reports that an ex-wife and her five-year-old 
daughter have been shot and killed by their ex- 
husband/father. Turning the page, I read of a 
bride, shot dead in her white gown on her 
wedding day by a jealous ex-lover. It came as no 
surprise that a restraining order against him 
proved useless. Next, I read of "Sweething 
Barnard," age eighteen. Since she was five, her 
father had molested her sexually. Running away 
from home at sixteen, she attempted suicide 
several times and used alcohol and mari|uana to 
numb the pain. The news release stated that she 
had finally checked herself into a mental 
institution and found seven other personalities 
residing within her. 

There is more. Another page tells of 
( 'harles Campbell who is awaiting eveculion lor 
three murders of revenge. The paper reports that 
he slashed the throats of Renae Wicklund, 
Barbara Hendrickson, and eight-year-old 
Shannah Wicklund, whom he nearly decapitated. 
He was mad at Wicklund about serving time for 
raping her and at Hendrickson for her testimony 
against him on that charge 

All in one paper, all in one day. Memorial 
Day. I sit and wonder, where are their memorials? 

All of this has hit hard because our small 
town of 28,000 is mourning the loss of our first 
police officer killed in the line of duty. In the 
early hours following Mother's Day, Officer Kent 
Hintergardt came into harm's way responding to 
neighbors' calls of a disturbance at an apartment 
building. Hintergardt arrived at the building and 
stopped a man in the parking lot. The man, Mark 
Kamaka, had his twelve-year-old son in the car. 
In front of his son. Kamaka shot the officer point 
blank in the head, killing Hintergardt, a young 
father whose wife was pregnant with their second 
child. 

During the resulting commotion, a 
neighbor saw a little girl wandering in her 
pajamas. He approached her and the breathless 
six-year-old told him that her mommy was 
upstairs and wasn't moving. The neighbor 
followed and found that Officer Hintergardt was 
Kamaka's second victim. On her bedroom floor 
lay Allison Jacobs, single mother to little 



Brittany, her struggle futile against her one-time 
boyfriend's strangling hands. 

There are more incidents, of course. We 
all know battle stories. Our neighbor down the 
street, our sister, ourselves. That is the point. I 
know a few veterans; I can think of two who saw 
combat; yet, in the same circle of my 
acquaintance, 1 know scores of women who have 
suffered violence at the hands of men. regular 
men who hold |obs and don't scr\e time unless 
then finally kill one of us. In my suburban, 
almost rural, setting, I know only two people who 
have been robbed and one whose car was stolen. 
yet. I have three women friends who have been 

As I read the paper that day, I thought 
back to another incident. After shopping at our 
local department store one day, I loaded three of 
im kids into out \un I noticed a couple parked 
directly in front of me. chatting, I thought. I saw 
nothing strange as 1 put my key into the ignition, 
although he was leaning in particularly close to 
her. We prepared to pull away when the woman 
opened her car door to get out. The man grabbed 
her belt and flung her back into the seat. As if in 
.low motion. 1 watched as the expression on her 
face turned from normal to surprise to oh-so- 
much humiliation. Stunned, I sat there. 
Eventually, both of them lit cigarettes and looked 
toward me. If nothing else, I was determined to 
remain a witness. They both mouthed, "It's okay; 

It's okay? What's going on? 

The bus stop where I and my neighboring 
liousew i\es bung our kmdergartners seems 
innocuous enough. In fact, it is lined with old 
soldiers. Four of the six suburban mothers 
waiting there are recovering from violence — 
physical, sexual \crhal — b\ talheis. stepfathers, 
uncles, teenage boys, fathers of friends, and a 
man whose children one of them babysat; all lour 
of those women are Mormon. Some days, long- 
hidden land mines explode as we walk through 
the minefields laid in our youth. 

At this daily gathering, we check on each 
other. If someone begins to cry or we realize that 
Bea is wearing the same thing she wore 
yesterday, and the day before, one of us goes over 
later with a flower or a poem. Chatting in the 
poignant dignity of survivors watching the parade 
pass on, like old soldiers in uniform, we wave to 
tiling five-year-olds as the bus lurches 



Where I live gangs have yet to make a 
dent. You can go for a walk at 9:00 P.M.. and 
ranchers, who never did, still don't lock their 
doors. Yet, it seems violence to women is 
inescapable Beside Allison Jacobs, our lively 
town hall receptionist, Sally Gilbert, was shot 
dead by her boyfriend who then turned the gun 
on himself. Her memorial service was the first 
public gathering held at our brand new 
eommuniiN recreation centei The same week, 
thirty-seven-year-old Sharon Maxwell was 
beaten to death with a hammer by a former 
boyfriend while her two small children slept in 
their nearby bedrooms. 

I want to stop listing story after story, 
but I am compelled to tell their names. 
determined that somewhere their deaths will be 
counted. Surel\ these women hu\e sacrificed 
their lives in as senseless a quagmire as any 
found on a battlefield. 

Don't think it won't touch you. Don't 

one in three women is sexuallj abused by the 
time she is eighteen. Think of three women you 
know: count down three women in the row in 
front of you at c hurc h. \our daughter and her 
two best friends; or three female co-workers, 
chances are. no matter how sheltered their 
circumstances, one ol them has fought this war. 
Maybe some day we'll build a memorial 
to the women whose lives were lost before we 
won the battle to make the world safe for our 
daughters to grow up in Last Memorial Day. the 
body count in m> local paper stood at six dead 
and Sweething Barnard, who just wishes she 



forw. 



Ofct 



, there are m i paradi 
uniforms for veterans of women's war 
a rally saying, "Give peace a chance." 




Shuri Siebers Crall 



-o 



The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper: Reflections in Fifteen Fragments 



Beginnings 

My earliest memories of the sacrament are not 
actual memories but feelings. Curled up in my 
mom's lap. I felt sale Looking up at my father on 
the stand, I felt important Carefully balancing 
the teeny cup of water without spilling. I felt 
grown up. Taking only one piece of bread when I 
wanted to sneak more, I felt obedient. And 
thinking about Jesus. I knew I had a secret 
advocate — someone who understood even when 
the kids in Sunday School made fun of me for 
knowing all the answers. I knew He had gathered 
the little children around Him. I knew He would 
has c- gathered me. 

1 didn't quite understand why He had a 
beard, when no one else at church did. Looking 
back. I believe this was my introduction into the 
not-so-comfortable world of ambiguity. 



The Sanctification of Jello 

Femand, a seventy -five-year-old priest in France, 
believed that any meal shared between friends is 
a replication of the Lord's Supper. And. for us. a 
meal was the only sacrament we could share as 
two Mormon missionaries and a Catholic prtest 
with separate rituals and lines of authority that 
refused to converge l-ernand insisted on sharing 

said. We figured he was just lonely. We fixed a 
truly American least hamburgers and lime jello 
left over from a Christmas care package. We 
taught him "1 am a Child of God." sang, blessed 
the food, and ate together as an unlikely trio in 
his studio apartment. He called it holy. The 
sacrament of friendship, he said. 



I grew up in a homemade bread family. Whole 
wheat, from flour ground in the mill sold by a 
couple in the ward. The rare occasions when we 
bought Wonder White were cause for celebration. 
Not only could I finally take a sandwich that 
looked like everyone else's to school, but I could 
sneak downstaus and play saciament. I would 
sing sacrament hymns, break the bread, and 
pronounce the prayei on I he hie, id. as best as I 
could from memory. Then I would eat it all. I 
rarely moved on to the water because the Dixie 
cups in the bathrooms were still far too big and 
also because it was the white bread that was such 
a novelty. 1 debated techniques. Was it best to 




What would I do if I blundered in front of the 
whole ward? Thankfully, I learned to snap 
my sell light back into reality when I remembered 
that those questions didn't matter for me. Not for 



Capernaum 

In the village of Capernaum, on the shores of the 
Sea of < lahlee. Christ rebuked the crowd for 
following Him. It was not enough to follow 
Christ, one had to lollow lor the right reasons. 
That day, His followers came because they had 
eaten the miraculously proy ided loayes and were 
"Med. 

Christ quickly moved from His rebuke— 
which was for putting the physical before the 
spiritual, the physical loayes before the bread of 
life— to a proclamation of who He was. He was 
and is the bread of life. His bread was not Sinai's 
sustaining manna; manna only offered the 

Christ's was the bread of a more enduring sort. 
Eternal life, eternal bread. 1 

But even in a ritual of salvation, Christ 
does not divorce the sacrament from the physical 
body. The bread is His flesh; it symbolizes 



Chrr 



atHis 

He was and is the bread of life. To 

ake is to enact an event so sacred that I ai 



vhen our ward changed from paper 
sacrament cups to plastic. My father was out- 
raged at the way these noisy new cups disrupted 



posed questi 



1 Was i 



: Was this decisi 



thet 



y I he I 



1 1 led li 



1 full to 



y. The he 



in the 



change in the handbook' 7 Who on Earth would 
have made such a thoughtless policy? 

Now. after many years of plastic cups. I 
would be lost without the soft symphony of those 
cups dropping into metal trays When concentra- 
tion is impossible, and the at 









lethe 



hypnosis ill. H comes horn Iodising on the sound 
of cups Every Sabbath offers a unique composi- 
tion of rhythm only, no change in pitch. The 

me. I hear no babies, no coughs, only the familiar 
sounds of ancient ritual translated into a modern, 
plastic world Christ in the upper room had no 

A child of my generation, I fear I would 

have been lost among the stark silences of the 
meridian of time. 



tray torment me. They speak of emptiness, of 
loss, of something not being w here it should be. I 
feel an unspeakable burden. Faced with the 
empty space in the tray. I know that I should be 
filled. That somewhere— because matter is not 
lost — the plenitude must have been transferred 
Am I filled after partaking'' Have I truly drunk 



Etymologies (I) 

Take (transitive verb). Partake (intransitive 

To take is to take directly: grammatically the 
verb take governs a direct object. I take a class, i 
break, a book off the shelf. To partake, on the 
other hand, requires the distancing of the object. 
Partake is intransitive. One partakes of. One 
does not partake directly. The grammar of 






; and th 



to i nd i y iduals pieces ' Or should 1 |usi do it piece 
by piece? Which method would I choose? Should 
I break it quickly, or slowly and deliberately? 
What if I encountered the absolute embarrass- 
ment of not being done before the end of the 
sacrament hymn? What if 1 got the prayer wrong? Frosty Orange. Triumph. 



jvenirs 




diary. Just as we do not partake the sacrament, 






but rather partake <>l the sacrament, we do not 


enled many . 


iti-boredom sacrament aames 


partake of redemption w ithout mediation Christ 


favorite in fot. 


rth grade was the lipstick 


is always positioned between us and the redemp- 


e. The rules v. 


ere simple; count the number 


tion that we crave. The grammar of existence 



of cups with lipstick marks in the bo 
tray. Penalties accrued if Mom ever < 
One glorious afternoon, I counted tv 



Etymologies (II) 

Sacrament. Eucharist. 

Mormons only celebrate one sacrament. The 
Roman Catholic church holds that there are sever 
sacraments; many Protestant groups recognize 
two: baptism and the Lord's Supper. The finglish 
word sacrament stems from the Latin 
wcramentiim. which defined a military oath of 
allegiance It carries great weight because of its 
root sacei; or sacred In other words, the sacra- 
ment is a sacred oath, some sort of holy confes- 



Eucharist, the term used in the Catholic- 
mass for the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, is 
Greek in origin. The word is derived from 
eiiclwristos. which means "grateful" or "thank- 
ful." It also carries a sense of grace, for charts is 
Greek for "grace." 

As Mormons, adopting the te 



He chose a symbol of transformation. As the 
flour, the yeast, the water undergo metamorpho- 
sis— from the inedible to the staff of life — so we 
can become new creatures as we move from the 




ingui- 



.-ally , 



rcol th 



sacredness of the ritual, but we miss what other The Offering 
worshippers might not: that the sacrament of the 
Lord's Supper is a moment of gratitude and 



Perhaps we can learn to increase the 
sacredness ol our •■acramentiim as our hearts 
remember eucharistos. Grace. Gratitude. Sacred 
grace and sacred gratitude, a wedding of the 
Latin and the Greek. 



Simone Weil envisioned the Eucharist as a 
moment where we contemplate absolute purity. : 
Because there is no direct relationship between a 
piece of bread and the divinity of God. the piece 
of bread is pure symbolism. In the act of consid- 
ering something entirely pure (the bread), we 
forget the evil that we sense within ourselves. 
Through this consideration, Weil writes, a part of 
that deep-down evil is destroyed. 

In other words, salvation dwells in the 
realm of metaphor as it eannot exist in the 
physical world We enter sacrament meeting with 
our whole selves, with our bodies that lust and sin 
and so often hetiav ihc pine longings of our 
spirits Then, in the act of pondering a symbol, 
we can attain a moment of cleansing and redemp- 

I do not believe the cleansing moment 
described by Simone Weil can endure more than 
a moment. We are always already brought back to 
our bodies. Because we are mortal, we cannot 
singlemindedly ponder the bread; the world of 
the metaphor cannot be sustained. Physical, 
mortal, hungering, we eat. We take the real bread 
into our real bodies m a sacred weaving of the 
spiritual and the physical, of the sacred and the 
profane. 



Kneading 

Several sears ago ni\ ward began asking the 
Relief Society to provide homemade bread for 
the sacrament I was the Saturday morning bread 
maker in our home of all boss, so I knew about 
bread, knew the feel of the dough as it responded 
to my small hands. As I thought of women in the 
w aid making Ihi bicad toi I he sacrament, I was 
filled with wonder. My eleven-year-old self 
marveled at the i ran simulation nt the quotidian 
into the sacred. The mixing, pounding, folding. 
pink lung, greasing, baking were sanctified as a 
community of believing women offered baked 

I don't think it is a coincidence that the 
seemingly arbitrary sy mbol ol Christ's body is 
something tli.it itsell undergoes transformation 
Jesus could have chosen a carrot, or a fig, or an 



the 



ifined, k 



life of disciples 



f bread in the impatient time table of an 
eleven-year-old. sometimes the process of rising 
takes a very, very long time. All Saturday morn- 
ing, and sometimes even longer 



Reluctant 

My mind wanders during the sacrament. Some- 
times this is simply evidence of my humanity. 
Other times, though, it is because the weight of 
what I am accepting in Christ's gift of atonement 
is too much I must consider some sobering 



1 . He was wounded for ou 


r trans- 


gressions. 






2. Hewasbru 


sed for our 


ntquities. 


3. With His str 


pes we are 


healed 


4. He poured c 


ut His soul 


unto death 


Wounded, b 


ruised, cruc 


fied all 



The sacrament tray passes from hand to hand. 
The deacons offer us the tray. We eat or drink and 
then pass the tray along. We feed each other in a 
chain ol giv mg and partaking. I hold the tray 
while yon lake, you continue the chain and offer 
it to your neighbor. My father often takes the tray 
w ith his left hand, holds the tray for himself, and 
then takes the sacrament with his right hand. This 
act, while innocent enough, erases part of the 
community ol communion It speaks of self- 
efficiency at the very moment when one should 
be aware of dependence. We are dependent on 
others to pass us the sacrament, just as we depend 
on Christ to offer us His saving grace. The 

isolation. We need to receive with gladness and 
then pass along what we have received. Hands, 
mouth, hungry, filled. We are never quite alone in 
the community of Christ. It cannot be otherwi 



merit to obey. I must be healed, but 
must the price be so high? Does it 
really require His stripes? How 
could I require that? How could I 

Are my unkind words, my unforgiving 
heart, my rebellious acts, my deliberate sins a 
worthy justification lor the suffering and death of 
one who knew nothing of rebellion and sin? It is 
this disparity that causes me such pain. Reluc- 
tantly, cautiously. I lake the healing bread and 
water, knowing that I will never fully understand 
the cost. And knowing that I will bring sins to the 
altar again and again. With His stripes I am 
healed; I am sorry to require so much. 



Sinners' Bench 

Sometimes I sit on a bench where we all tend to 
shyly pass the tray on without partaking, which 
invariably confuses those around us. How did all 
the sinners find each other' Do they save seats 
lor each other' Are they marked? 

I ask very different questions When will 
we still sit together but also partake together? 
When will we cease to stubbornly close our 
mouths to the nourishment that would heal us? 
How long will we cling to the frail fellowship of 
those who think themselves outside ol Christ's 
love? When will we finally know that the arms of 
Christ's mercy are extended all the day long? 

I do not know. I wish I did. + 



'John 6:26; 48-5 1. 

: Simone Weil, Wailmt; tor Gad Trans. Emma 
Craufurd (New York: Putnam, 1951). Transla- 
tion of Attente de Dieu. (Pans: La Colombe, 



Blessing the Sick and Afflicted 



My college friend, Michael, died 
recently of AIDS. Until now. 
A.DS victims have been 
statistics, cold numbers spit 
out by computers. Suddenly 
though, with the news of Michael's death, the 
numbers have faces. One is a familiar face with 
dark brown eyes, a goofy grin and stick-straight 
hair, the face of my friend, a \ ivacious young 
man with a whole life ahead of him. 

Michael and I, along with a close-knit 
group of college pals, discovered life together 
and revelled in the joy of youth. We shared our 
dreams and frustrations, discussing ad nauseam 
what we'd do with our lives and the part we'd 
play in saving the world. We toilet-papered 
houses together and laughed until dawn while 
eating cheesecake in all-night restaurants. Now 
he is dead at thirty-three, not long after those 
nights of silly college pranks and talking until the 

Besides being a first-class prankster, 
Michael was a member of the Church. He had 
served a mission and completed schooling at 
Ricks and BYU. At the time of his death, he was 
not active in an LDS congregation, but the 
imprint of Mormonism remained. Although he 
had chosen a litest) le thai was inconsistent with 
Church teachings, many Mormon values re- 
mained with him like knotted threads of acare- 
lullv stitched patchwork quilt He grew up in the 
Church, as did all the members of our college 
gang. 

We all feel sad about Michael's death. 
But I feel sadder about the last years of his life. 
Michael never told any of us — the group of 
friends who shared big chunks of life together — 
about his illness. 

We had suspicions, of course, and after 
Michael's funeral, a friend admitted he'd sus- 
pected the truth when he saw a carefully con- 
cealed bottle of AZTon Michael's counter. Still, 



Mid 






-. He 






ir-normal 



I Many Church members 
want to ignore AIDS, 
thinking it's a problem 
that won't touch 
their lives. 



Why did Michael deal with his terminal 
illness alone? Why couldn't we, his friends, help 
and support him' 7 The simple answer says we 
lived far apart geographically and were each 
involved in our own busy lues, relegating college 
iclationships to ( In isirnas cards and infrequent 
reunions. Maybe that's true; however, other 
college friends within the same group have 
sinned llicn pain despite these deterrents. We've 
commiserated over crises as disparate as failed 
marriages, depression, anil the loss of babies. 
Why couldn't Michael do the same? 



I wonder if Michael thought we'd sit in 
our comfortable homes, so far from AIDS 
hospital corridors, and smugly blame, judge, and 
condemn. As someone who strives to follow 
Christ, this thought troubles me. 

What bothers me even more is that 
perhaps Michael was right. I've been disturbed 
at the reaction from acquaintances when I've told 
them about Michael's death. Invariably, they 
have immediately asked, "How did he get it?" or 
"Was he gay?" as if they want to withhold 
compassion until they know how he acquired the 



I The victims of this cruel 
disease are not meaningless 
statistics but friends, sons, 
daughters, and ward 
members. 



My response is always the same: "Does it 
matter'.'" A young man has suffered through a 
brutal sickness and died prematurely. His 
mother and father grieve for their lost son and try 
to get back to normal life in their small Idaho 
low n. amidst ugly prejudice and a disease that 
they can only whisper about behind closed doors. 
Michael's li lends struggle to mend the jagged 
hole Ins passing has left These tacts are indis- 
putable, regardless of how the \ trus was transmu- 
ted. 

Many Church members want to ignore 
AIDS, thinking it's a problem that won't touch 
their lives. Many think AIDS victims are not 
worthy of sympathy because "they brought it on 
themselves." However, Church members are not 
isolated horn this disease. There are Michaels in 
wards everywhere. The victims of this cruel 
disease are not meaningless statistics hut Inends, 
sons, daughters, and ward members. Surely we, 
as Church members and Christians, can show our 
|o\e and shale in the grid of lives cut short. 

We can remember how Christ treated 
people, especially the lowly members of his 
society— sinners. Samaritans, and lepers. When 
the Pharisees brought a woman guilty of adultery 
to Jesus, he did not condemn, humiliate, or judge 
bul simplv said, "Go thy way and sin no more." 
(John 8:1-11) This kindness is particularly 
poignant when considering that the punishment 
for adultery at the time was stoning. When the 
unv unions woman washed the Savior's feet, the 
disciples criticized, aghast that an immoral 
woman would dare to wash Christ's feet. Jesus 
freely forgave the woman and accepted her 
contrite gesture. (Luke 7:36) 

Perhaps the most profound example of 
compassion is in Christ's treatment of the lepers. 
Leprosy was a vicious disease, disfiguring and 
incurable. Lepers were regarded with such 
abhorrence that they were required to dress in the 



slothing ol death and announce their condition by 
the cry. "I Unclean!" Nobody would go near a 
leper for fear of catching the dread disease. 
Thele 



literally ate its victims alive, leaving discolored 
skin and scabs, decayed gums and teeth, and raw 
fleshy sores. Eyes could be consumed and 
fingers and toes decayed until they were gone. It 
was a common notion that God gave leprosy as a 
punishment. 

To these most feared and scorned mem- 
bers of society. Christ showed empathy. He 
touched them freely. How good it must have felt 
for the lepers to feel the touch of another human 
being. He healed and cleansed them. He loved 
them. He never asked how they got leprosy or 
whether they were worthy of his chanty. It didn't 

Christ has given us a perfect example of 
how to treat AIDS patients and their families. We 
shouldn i ignore or walk around them, as the 
people did to the Samaritans in Christ's time. 
Nor should we make them outcasts like the 
Biblical lepers. 

Instead, we can welcome them into our 
circles of friendship and acknowledge their pain, 
as well as then joj S and llicn w ill to live. We 
can laugh with them, share their lives, and mourn 
with their families when they are gone. Mostly, 
we can treat them like everybody else. 



II never would have imagined 
that my healthy young friend 
would become a casualty of 
AIDS before his thirty-fifth 
birthday. 



While it's true that some of us will not 

come in contact w nil a Michael, many of us will. 
I never would have imagined that my healthy 
young friend would become a casualty of AIDS 
before his thirty-fifth birthday. The uncertainty 
of life is such that it's impossible to predict what 

Given this uncertainty. I hope the next 
time I know somebody with this disease. I'll be 
able to show I care. I hope I won't find a hidden 
bottle of AZT. I hope I won't blame or criticize. 
As Church members and followers of Christ, we 
can share these same hopes and, in doing so, 
bless not only ourselves but the Michaels of the 
world. ♦ 



I Give My Heart . 



( \imhriJm: Massat litis 



Several Xfiirs ago. in a class about the 

» history oj Christianity, the professor 

explained that tin- ward credo, winch 



in these words. Itw 
■It I could give my 



I give my whole heart to God: I think very 
seriously about what God expects of me and how 
I can live the way God would like me to 

I give my whole heart to my family: They are 

mv favorite people and some ol my best ex- 
amples. 1 also give my whole heart to living in 
ways that will help me to be a good part of 
another family some day I am learning to think 
of family as more than just the people w ith whon 
I am related by blood or marriage 



1 give my whole heart to being a Mormon: 

The people who know me best are probably 
surprised to hear me say this with all of the 
concerns I have about church issues, especially 
knowing that I am not very invested in or com- 
mitted to institutions in general, hut I think that 
lots of Mormon things can be separated from the 
institution and I look for these things. One 
example of this would be testimony meeting. I 
have always loved testimony meetings because, 
except for a few people who are unfortunately 
excluded, anyone can come up here and talk 
about what they are thinking, how they feel about 
God. and so forth. This forum allows us to build 
a real sense of community where we can learn to 
love, serve, and trust one another. 

I give my whole heart to following the example 
of Jesus: 1 love study mg about his life in the 
New Testament and trying to live and love like he 
did. 



I give my whole heart to the struggle: It's hard 
for me to explain exactly what I mean by this 
because so much of our discourse has been 
reduced to PC lingo — words are so politically 
and socially loaded now. The closest I can come 
to explaining, I guess, would be to say that I give 
my whole heart to seeing people and things that 



our society tries to hide or make invisible. Some 
examples I've been thinking about lately in- 
clude: people who don't have homes, hungry 
children, incarcerated women, men who are 
unable to help support their families because 
they have been disabled in a dangerous job or 
because they work lor less than a living wage, 
people who speak the wrong language or use the 
wrong words or live in a reality that is different 
from the one that most of us are familiar with. 
For me. part of being in the struggle means being 
very careful about the career I chose or the jobs I 
take, what products I buy, who I vote for, how I 
spend my money and my time, what assumptions 
1 make about other people and experiences. This 
approach is hard for me, and I don't usually 
succeed. I also don't plan to give up. 

I give my whole heart t" being .joyful: Some- 
limes in the face of horror and inequality in our 
own lives or the lives of others we cannot have 
joy or it seems w rong to have joy. I think that 
God wants us to be joyful. I am joyful when I see 
parts of the world thai aie still beautiful. I am 
joyful when I see good work that people do. I am 
joyful when I am able to make good cc 



The summer before I started college, I 
had a job in a factory picking the 
meat off chicken bones. My first 
day on the job I was determined to 
do my job well, to pick the meat in 
just the proper way. to flick the lights and darks 
off with finesse However, alter an hour trying 
my best on the job. I nearly fainted and had to 
spend a short spell on the nurse's cot recovering. 
"What went wrong?" I wondered. "Was this just a 
befouled case of What e'er thou art, act well thy 

This job needed to be done. The service 
provided was important, and the money wasn't 
even bad. 1 concluded, however, that it did not 
need to be done with the same part of my brain I 
used in every other facet of my life. After a 
certain point, excellence was not required to get 
the meat off chicken bones; excellence was 
required in approaching the work in a way that 
would keep me healthy, awake, and sane. I found 
ways to enjoy the hours at Polo Chicken. For 
example, some of my hair-netted colleagues and I 
made up songs to ease the boredom. Like little 



Chicken, chicken give me your body, do. 

I'm half greasy over the skin of you. 

It won't be a stylish plucking. 

I cannot stand your clucking. 

But you'll look sweet 

With your white meat 

On a chopper just built for you! 

This job taught me things besides how to 
adapt poultry themes to music. It taught me 
respect for people who do production work day 
after day. When I am about to eat a Lean Cuisine 
meal, I reallj mean il when I .e-k God to bless the 
hands that prepared it. I praise mothers who 
watch Bamey or Mighty Morphin Power Rangers 
five times a day. I thank God for long-distance 
truck drivers. And I raise my glass of milk in a 
toast to the diary farmers whose lives are sched- 
uled around unrelenting bovine bodily functions. 

All these jobs have a common element — 
tedium. But. tedium is not the only characteristic 
that can make an occupation trying. Depending 
on one's personality, any job can be a trial. Some 
people have not been able to choose their work 
situations and therefore feel trapped and resent- 
ful. Some have chosen their jobs and are still 
resentful. Some s 



contentment quite apart from whether they chose 
their work or had it forced on them. Although I 
respei.i people in each category, it is that last 
one — those with the inner core of contentment — 
from whom I have the most to learn. 

In the scriptures, Christ picked out 
people for us to leam from. When I look at whom 
He chose, I see something I have begun to 
expect: Jesus has set the world's definitions on 
their ear. Poor widows and outcast women are 
honored and held up by Jesus as holy examples to 
all. Children are set on Christ's lap: "Of such is 
the kingdom of heaven," we are told. How does 
it affect our understanding of truly valuable 
service when a simple young woman and an 
undistinguished carpenter become the guardians 
of the Son of God? When he calls fishermen 
instead of the politically powerful to be his 
leaders? Joy does not come from acclaim, nor 
success from wealth, fanfare, or the absence of 
conflict. 

Clearly, this is not how our American 
society operates. Money and prestige and status 
get attached to certain occupations in ways that I 
have never been able to figure out. Recently, I 
got a modest pay check for some work I did for a 
periodical. Why was the photograph that graced 
the cover (and that look less than a second to 
snapl valued at three times the amount of the 

(Continued on page H) 




Poultry, Prestige, and Power 

(Conmuieil from page 7) 

accompanying article thai I had slaved over for 
weeks? I don't understand it, but I was glad to 
get a check. 

I was asked recently, "What do you do?" 

Do I list academic accomplishments? Do I list 

relationships to children or husband or parents or 
grandparents-in-law? Do I trot out my writing 
samples or my drawings? Do I talk about my 
hobbies or heritage or allergies? Do I talk about 
my Church callings? No matter which I choose 
to highlight someone might feel attracted, where 
another is put off. 

I resist giving the expected answer: I'm a 
homemaker; I'm an artist; I'm a writer, or 
whatever. It is not just because I am perverse, 
although that may have something to do with it. 1 
am full of contradictions. Am I a feminist, a 
devotee of the men's movement, an intellectual, a 
glue-gun expert, a liberal, a conservative? All of 
the above? None of the above? Labels give me 
the heebie jeebies. I feel as if I will be yanked 
asunder by all the tugging camps. 

Still, answering like Popeye with "I am 
what I am and that's all what I am" doesn't 



1 It will n 



getrr 



job or ; 



I have tried to think of 

sonic hand) and .in urate titles to answer the 
question smoothly the next time it conies up — 
and inevitably it will. I could say I am doing field 
research in human development and child 
psychology. I am also the curator of a small 

do and how main things I have to do, I should 
just tell people I am a juggler. I covet a sweatshirt 
I saw advertised recently. It reads, "I am Woman. 
I am Invincible. I am Tired." 

A socially acceptable list of credentials 
would not show the most important things I did 
last week. I listened to my eight-year-old read me 
Mice at Bat. I sang the complete theme song to 
the Yogi Bear Show with a friend in my kitchen I 
wept over the recent loss ot m\ mother. Society 
has no monikers lor these connective accomplish- 
ments. But — 1 am coming more and more to 
understand although society demands some 
accommodation, I do not have to give it my soul. 
I will, in fact, be damned if I do. 

Does our Church society require accom- 
modation? My mother made me think hard about 
that question |iist ahei ni\ husband was called to 
be a bishop in May. My mother was not Mormon 
and didn't know much about the Church or its 
organizational structure. She had heard like the 
rest of the nation about President Benson's 
passing, and she knew that Chris was a new 
bishop She asked. "Does Chris's promotion at 
Church have anything to do with Ezra Benson's 
dying?" 

From her point of view, it was a perfectly 
natural question, but H made me chuckle. There 

far. More importantly, do we as Church members 
see calls as bishop. Relief Society president, 
mission leader, elders' quorum president, general 
authority as promotions' 1 As prestige posts? Do 
we offer congratulations to someone to whom 
these callings have been extended — or condo- 
lences? Do we do the same lor someone who has 



been called as a visiting teacher or a bulletin 
typist' Should we? Isn't one of our favorite 
Mormon pastimes speculating on who will be the 
next so-and-so in the ward or the stake 1 ' If we are 
thoroughly honest with ourselves— and God asks 
us to offer our whole selves, not just the good 
stuff — are we capable of letting go of this 
worldly reaction? What do we do with traces of 
ecclesiastical ambition? 

But if, as imperfect human beings, we are 
not completely able (or willing) to give up this 
kind of evaluation, where do we draw the line in 
our accommodation to it 1 This question is not 
easy to answer. For example, in a ward where 
there are many new black members, but no black 
faces on the stand conducting, what do we do 
with the honest human need for mentors and role 
models'' Where do the deaf go to see their 
language as the language of leaders 9 Do we 

from? If you have answers to these questions, 
please let me know. 

As a convert to the Church, one of its 
most appealing principles to me, at least in 
theory, is our commitment to lav leadership, to 
the fruit-basket-upset mode of Church organiza- 
tion. True, it can make lor some boring meetings, 
peculiar management of auxiliaries, and teeth- 
clenching stress But this system also provides 
the spiritual pctii dish loi something else. We can 
learn to love rather than just "deal with" one 
another. We can learn acceptance, tolerance, 
reconciliation, forgiveness, and patience. Hope- 
fully, through all of this, we will also learn that 
our religion is no substitute tor our individual 
relationship with deity For all the "foyer follies," 

Lord with all your heart, and work out your own 
salvation with fear and trembling before 
him." (Mormon 9:27) 

A ward can switch gears smoothly when 
changes happen or with squeals and groans, like a 



xibled tr 



.ilablv.s 



prefer the old mode, and some will prefer the 



ouble with details. Son 



withn, 



ie thin 









with 



Church service tl 
capable" person. We're not supposed to be 
operating by the world's rules here. In my ward 
last year, my husband and I became good friends 
with a couple who were in the area for a sabbati- 
cal. While Marge and I buoyed each other as 
counsellors in the Relief Society, Bill was my 
second grader's Primary teacher. Bill had never 
been a Primary teacher before. He had been 



mission president in Hong Kong and had served 
as a bishop and in slake presidencies tor years. I 
was very grateful that my son could be taught by 
a man who gave the same commitment to teach- 
ing second graders that he would have given to 
an executive calling In the world's eyes, was this 
a demotion? Did I care? 

When we lived in Illinois, I had the 
opportunity to be a temple worker. The kindly 
woman who trained me explained the simplest 
assignment first— to stand at various places in the 
temple to make sure people went the right 
direction. Someone had to stand at the door and 
greet people. Others had to stand farther back at 
stations in the building and gesture for the men to 
go one way and the women the other. These posts 
were only given in half-hour time slots because 
they were, of course, pretty boring jobs, and it 
was hard for some of the workers to stand up that 
long. The other assignments — the ones that 
required word for word accuracy and authority- 
were rotated with this assignment as "door 
keeper" as a matter of course. It was simply 
understood. It was just part of service in the 
temple. 

1 loved that! 1 was once again awash in 
the upside-dovvnediiess of gospel priorities. Do I 
lust for power'' 1 will never get it. Do I chose to 
II be doused with the power required 



for it. 



That first 



t the temple in Illinois. I 
remembered a beautiful song called "Keeper of 
the Door" by a Christian singer. Twila Paris. She 
based it on Psalms 84: 10: "...I had rather be a 
doorkeeper in the house of my God. than to dwell 
in the tents of wickedness." The singer begins by 
describing a dream where she is proclaiming 
God's Word for thousands of people to hear This 
seems like a holy ambition, similar to the "O that 
I were an angel" passage from Alma 29. It's a 
greal dream, people come from all over to hear 
her. and her name is up in lights But she sees the 



What- 



the Primary even il it is obvious io the person, the 
bishop, and the Lord that the person really has 
no rapport with children. The question with 
Church callings is not "Why me?" or "Why not 
me?" Perhaps the question is. "What is the lesson 
I'm supposed to be getting out of this?" "What 
kind of service is required of me here?" As my 
experience at the chicken factory taught me, 
some jobs really only need to be done. When I 
get a Church calling I can ask "Is this the kind of 
assignment where I bring my creativity to the job 



oal cannot he fully accomphsl 
Ie attitude She then prays to b 
kingdom. She prays to becom 



My daughter, the vegetarian, can't stand 
see me wrist deep in chicken parts. It's not my 
/orite thing to do either, but it is a great physi- 



between God's view and the worlds, that I will 

courage to accept Godly answers; that 1 will 
understand the approach to take to accomplish 
what is required oi me; that I will declare as 
Mary did, "Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be 
it unto me according to thy word.. ..My soul doth 
magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in 
God my Savior." (Luke 1:38,46-47) * 



Nurture and Admonition 



Ephesians 6:1-4 says. "Children, obey 
your parents in the Lord: for this is 
right. Honor thy father and mother; 
that it may be well with thee, and 
thou mayest live long on the earth. 
And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to 
wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and 
admonition of the Lord. I have some strong 
feeling-, about the responsibilities of parents. 
These ideas are shaped by my past experiences 
growing up poor and black and by Church 
teachings li is Church doctrine that in the family 
children should be cared for and taught eternal 
principles. The most important of the Lord's 
work will be that which we do within our own 

In our home, my husband and I try to 
teach our children about gospel principles. 
including being morally clean and the importance 
of loving one another. When I was young, I 
wished that both of my parents believed in these 
principles. 

My parents were divorced by the time 1 
was sis years old. My father, who was an alco- 
holic, did not share the responsibility of raising 
his family He felt that because he was drunk all 
the time, it would be easier lor him to lease 



My i 



rked \. 



also happy when mother sends her own Christ- 
mas cards out to her children. The cards never 
have return addresses on them so the postmen are 
forced to read and delivery them to us. We have 
never had a Christmas without a card from 

In our home, during family home 
evening, we discuss with our children the fact 
that grandmother was unable to read. We also 
discuss how much she missed out of life because 
of this problem. She has always told her own 
children that if she could read there would have 
been lots of things that she could have done and it 
would have b 

een easier for her to raise her children. I disagree 
with her With all the turmoil and racial problems 
that were occurring during the fifties these were 
the only jobs available for black women. I think 
that it i- true that if Mother had been able to read. 
she could have made her life a little more 
exciting through books, art and literature and 
maybe understood things a little better. 

It is also Church doctrine that we as 
parents should seek help first from family mem- 
bers and re 1. noes who mac he in a position to 
help. As a child. I have always lived in communi- 
ties that were all black and all poor. My mother 
didn't have anything 



very little of her. She made sure that we ate 
dinner with her or ate dinner while she was there. 
Most of the time, she did not eat dinner because 
there was not enough for her. As a child, I used to 
wake up in the middle of the night to find my 
mom on her knees crying and asking the Lord to 
help her feed her children another day. I learned 
something from this. I learned how to pray, what 
to ask for and that my mom loved us very much. I 
also learned an important lesson from my father 
and that was that I will never drink. 

It is Church doctrine that children should 
he encouraged and allowed to receive as much 
education as possible to make sure that they are 
prepared for their life's work \1> mom could 
neither read nor write and the only job she could 
ever get was that ot a maul oi a cook She taught 
us how important it was that we should get a 
good education She also stressed that what you 
learn or what you know should be shared with 
those who don't know. 

We practiced this idea in our home with 
mother. We taught her the basic knowledge of 
wokK and how to sound them out. I remember 
that when I was in the third grade, she would ask 
me to read to her while she patched my brothers' 
jeans. She was hoping that she might leam 
something new from this. She didn't have time to 
go to school as an adult because she had a family 

Years later, we taught mom how to read 
well enough to fill out a job application. She 
never had a desire to progress past this point She- 
obtained employment in a nursing home as a 
cook from the skills she had learned from her 
children. We were all so happy about that. We are 



hingtogivi 



mid have 



B. Her 



relalt\es lor something they didn' 
siblings talked about how sorry they felt for 
Mother struggling so hard. They wished that they 
could help her, but they were struggling too. My 
nioihei s favorite song during these times was 
"God Bless the Child Who Has His Own." We 
didn't quite have our "own," but we felt very 
blessed with the little that we did have. 

The way we lived made us strong. We 
didn 1 lia\c much, hut we had each other. I know 
now that it wasn't easy for us and deep down it 
made us leel a little bitter low aid society for the 
way we were treated, but we can't dwell on that 
because it will get in the way of our future and 
what we are trying to accomplish in this life. It is 
also Church doctrine that we teach our children 
good work habits and attitudes while (hey are 
coung These habits will likely slay with them 
later. This will make a difference between a 
useful, productive life and one that is idle and 
wasteful. 

As children, we were never on welfare. 
We always helped Mother by working small jobs. 
My brothers usually had paper routes oi dehcered 
groceries and my sisters and I had baby sitting 
jobs or we went to work with mother and helped 
her. The ones who were left at home would take 
care of the other little ones and keep the house 
clean We all pitched in I am not saying that we 
didn't need welfare, but Mom didn't believe in it. 
Years later, I asked Mother if she had ever 
considered welfare. She said that she had, but that 
when she prayed about it, something always 
made her abort the idea. She had a lot of pride in 



herself, and she felt that she could have managed 
by asking the Lord for what she needed. Her 
ideas were shared by most black people in the 
fifties and sixties in Memphis. In the communi- 
ties in which I lived, I had not heard of a family 
being on welfare. I was unaware that it existed 
until I moved to Chicago. 

Some parents feel that they worked too 
hard when they were growing up and that they 
don't want their children to do the same. This is 
not my problem. I do want my children to work 
and help keep the house clean. I haven't quite 
mastered the concept of work in my home, but I 
am working on it. I want to help my children 
develop positive attitudes about work. I want to 
teach the lessons that work teaches. I don't want 
to tell my children how hard I have had to work 
all my life. I want them to develop a good 
attitude toward work. Perhaps the best way to do 
this is to help them find joy in their work even if 
it is just sweeping the kitchen floor. 

I have included numerous black issues 
among these thoughts. I know that my children 
need to be aware of them and that they are as 
strong as 1 am. The hard times for them are 
ahead, and we have tried to teach them, in our 
family, how to cope with the problems that they 
will face as young black people. I do believe that 
they should remember one important lesson 
gained during mil many discussions: Do not 
judge people, let God do that. If they remember 
this, they will be one step ahead of society. 

None of us is perfect when it comes to 
raising our children. We were not bom parents; 
we have to leam how after having our children. 
My mom made mistakes in raising us, and my 
husband and 1 have made mistakes in raising our 
children; however, we feel good when we know 
we have done the best that we could by building 
on gospel principles as well as the lesson learned 




d^^^fc 



The Lord of the Dance 



I 



t is Hannah who fi 
into the old church 
together, she conct 



"Find your starting shape again dano 
Miss Debbie calls out as the music ends, and 
rewinds the tape. I recognize the tune as the 
Shaker hymn "Simple Gifts," but the words a 



)ance, then, wherever you may be, 
am the Lord of the Dance," said He. 
ind I'll lead you all, wherever you may be, 
ind I'll lead you all in the Dance said He. 

Hannah turns and skips to the music until 
reaches me at the gymnasium door, where her 
■.mates and her words tumble out together. 



r. They're going tc 
yet. Can we live in 



n the chu 



'Lets 



Debbie." Hannah begins to lead me back to her 
dance teacher. 

"I don't think Miss Debbie knows if we 
can live in the church or not." I pull Hannah and 
myself away from the listening huddle of mothers 
and children. "So. what did you learn in class 

"I already told you. They're going to 
wreck the church. We need a place to live. Why 
can't we live here?" 

"I bet you're thirsty after all that dancing. 
Would you like a drink from the fountain?" 

"Mommy, why can't we live in the 
church? No one will be here." 

It's not the worst suggestion I've heard. 
"Okay Hannah, I promise to think about it." 

We follow the crumbling sidewalk past 
the flower beds — now full of bright-faced 
pansies — as wc had almost ever) week this past 
year. Yet just last month seems like a world away. 

Four Sundays ago, our home burned to 
the ground Like always, our family and everyone 
else in our Mormon neighborhood were in church 
for three hours that morning. By the time the 
lirefighters were notified, the most they could do 
was prevent the blaze from spreading to nearby 

"Mommy, the wind goes through my 

dance skin right to my minim " Hannah skips 
ahead of me in the May breeze, a kite of peach 

It doesn't seem possible that I can't drive 
home to 1 072 Willow Way and find our brick 

colonial waiting for us Just inside would be the 
nuidroom lined with our coats, pickets, and 
sweaters of varying lengths and hulk, more or 
less hung on the two rows of Shaker pegs painted 
forest green. High on the walls would be the red 
berry vine I stenciled from a colonial pattern. 
Past the mudroom would be the family 
room, where George convinced me to install the 
ceiling fan. "It will circulate the air," he per- 
suaded, "and make the oh. in wanner in winter 



and cooler in summer." I knew that he had heard 
this pitch from our neighbors, both with ceiling 

fans, who had heard this from the salesperson, 
with hundreds of ceiling fans. I didn't want to 
clean it. fix it, referee fights over it. but finally, it 
seemed like a small thing to make my husband 
happy. Until it caused the fire. 

"Can we go out to eat, Mom? We can 
bring a com dog back to Aunt Christie." 

"Sure. Hannah. That's a great idea." I'm 
not in a hurry to get back to Christie's. Yes, I am 
very grateful she and her husband generously 
offered to share their home with us until the 
insurance claim is settled, but I don't know if any 
structure is large enough to happily house these 
four adults and ten children for that long. 

While putting clean clothes away yester- 
day in our make-shift drawers of cardboard 
boxes, I found a stash of rusty wire, tin cans, a 
metal spring iindei Lilian's (cans materials for 
his "makings," the last of which was a flat- 
bottomed boat that ended up as tinder when the 
fire reached the garage. And at least three times 
last night, I had to pull Stuart away from the TV. 
His cousins casually gazed at the murders on the 
screen while Stuart staled in horror Finally, h\ a 
and I found a quiet comer where we could read 
her favorite book, Children of the Forest by Elsa 
Beskow, that we had already replaced. The 
e lie han ting tale began as always "Deep in the 
forest, under the curling roots of an old pine tree, 
was a small house. Warm and dry in winter, cool 
and airy in summer, it was the home of one of the 
forest families." But instead of working its usual 
magic and transforming us into the elfin lamik in 
mushroom caps. Eva and I could not be com- 
forted. 

I reach down for the Kleenex box 
wedged between the gear shift and my seat, feel 
only air. and remember the "tissue dispenser" 
under the dash ol the new \ an, |ust one of the 
several "conveniences" in Package C that George 
was so keen on. Test drivers for Package C must 
have been pari gonlla. my stretched arm stops 
short of the tissue dispenser by six inches 1 miss 
"The Bee" — our old Suburban-with its comfort- 
ing chatter and endless complaints of squeaks and 
groans The kids and I loved how its cheery 
y i How I ict, 1 1. led our appro, k Ii lo all who knew us. 
It had served us well; it deserved better than 
being buined aloe in out garage Fven after the 
lirefighters sprayed both our cars to prevent a 
gasoline explosion. The Bee somehow managed 
to preserve a small patch of its yellow, showing 
through the black and grey mess of char and 

I park the van in a far corner of the mall 
parking lot beneath a lone tree that seems a 

mirage in the shimmering expanse of asphalt. 
"The Eatery," with its neon signs of world-wide 

euisine. is |usi inside llie ghsic g frontdoors. 

We slide ourselves into the glossy booth. Hannah 
bites carefully into the bright orange cheese 
pieces skewered between the pink hot dog slices 
of her shish-ka-dog. I nibble at my mozzarella 
stick and scan, h the house rental section of the 



e, of the 

t of the available dwellings ii 
the single women and single men that a univer- 
sity attracts, there isn't much room left for those 
of us trying to live happily ever after. Especially 
those of us trying to rent a place for two dazed 
adults, four unpredictable children, and two 
hound dogs suffering from copious smoke 
inhalation and emotional trauma. Of course, the 
landlords are all suitably polite and appropriately 
sympathetic, as would be expected in a commu- 
nity known as "Happy Valley." Still, we do not fit 
their picture of perfect renters. 

I think about the old church. Eva danced 
there before Hannah did, and that was the year I 
met Anne, Toni, and Kathryn. For one glorious 
hour every week, we'd talk in the foyer of the 
church: the unnameable red flowers that 
splashed the couch pulling us toward unknown 
rhythms and the serene green carpet rooting us in 
In hi 1 1. it patterns We lornot c\ci\ thing else until 
the other mothers, rushing back from their fifty- 
eight minutes of errands, puzzled over us, cau- 

Sure-hearted Kathryn would be saying 
loudly, "... and I also think everyone in this valley 
would be a lot happier — and healthier — if we'd 
stop pretending that we're something we're not." 
Anne slid her eyes in the direction of the waiting 
mothers. One of them was in her ward. 

"Don't worry about them, Anne," whis- 
pered Toni with her child-like grin. "They're just 
awed by the brilliance of our shining faces." 

Hannah slides off the upholstered bench 
and down under the table, then emerges like a 
llowci |ust burst mio bloom. "I'm done! Now 
what are we going to do?" I sweep the trash onto 
the orange tray and let Hannah dump it. 

Back in the van, Hannah sings a story: 



...so the little girl has 








Her pillow is gone, oh where 




oh where 




will she sleep?" 




This spontaneous song sounds a lot like 


it could 


be from "The Sound of Music." which w 




watched last Friday night. We roll up m 


iles of 


State Street and onto Christie's driveway 




Christie is supervising the planting of 


several yucca plants — all the neighbors 1 


lave 


them this year. "What is that face for'" s 


he asks 


me from behind the sweating, sho\elmg 


worker. 


"No reason to look so worried, is there?" 





The clouds from the Sunday afternoon showe 
are |ust beginning to drill apart as we walk aw 
from Christie and Allen's house. It's four bloc 
to the church, giving us some much needed tn 



before three hours of meetings. Ethan and Stuart 
spurt ahead. Hannah and Eva wander behind, 
and George and I talk. 

"So what about staying in the university 
dorms?" he asks. 

"They said there would be room," I 
explain, "as long as we don't mind moving each 
week to accommodate youth groups staying on 
campus through the summer. 

"But that would be hard on you and the 
kids, wouldn't it?" 

"You know, after spending seven hours 
trying to keep the Sabbath day holy in there," I 
glance hack at the now smaller house. "I'm ready 
to live anywhere if we could have our own four 
walls around us. Anywhere." 

George sings in mock desperation, 
"Some-wher-re over the rainbow..." 

Allen drives by in his executive gray 
Volvo wagon, and Christie rolls down the win- 
dow. Through the tinted glass. I can see Joshua 
shooting Nerf arrows at Jenny. "Is Janessa with 
you? We just realized she's not in the wagon." 

They quickly catch up with Stuart; I see 
Christie waving her arms and shaking her head 
wildly. Stuart's shoulders droop, and his hands 
slowly open at his sides. They drive on. and we 
reach him. 

"What's wrong Stu? Do you know where 
Janessa is?" 

He will not look at us. "I told her Janessa 
ran past me to the church." We wait. "Aunt 
Christie told me I couldn't pick up the worms 
anymore." I remember now his bending and 
straightening in front of us along the sidewalk "I 
was just moving them onto the grass so they 
wouldn't get squished and they could go back to 
their homes." 

1 put my arm around his slumped shoul- 
ders. "That's really kind of you, Stuart. I'm sure 
the worms really appreciate it. Just remember to 
wash your hands when we get to church But as 
I look down. I see a smear of mud already on the 
front of his white shirt; perhaps his tie w ill cover 
it. Stuart walks, then skips, up to his brother. 

"Meanwhile, back at the ranch," George 
continues, "there is no ranch. Except for the great 
little house in the "tree streets'. . . 

It was an older two-bedroom home on 
Oak Lane, and it was perfect; it even had a 
fenced-in backyard for the dogs. We had appre- 
hensiveh mentioned our pets to the rental agent, 
and he had promised to check with the owner 
about the dogs before finalizing the agreement. 
George and I planned out sleeping arrangements 
while the agent made the call; 

"Do you think Ethan and Hannah should 
sleep on the couch? Ethan stays up later than 
Hannah." 



Han 



"Hmmmm." 

"But Ethan might need m 



epnv 






Then the rental agent turned and relayed 
issage: the dogs were welcome, but the 
would not allow children in the home. We 
irily toyed with the idea of bringing the 
dogs inside and setting up a tent for the children 
in the back yard. 



I am made somen hat calmer bv sacrament 
meeting, with its welcoming prayer and song and 
soothing rhythms, until the closing hymn: 

There is beauty all around, when there's 

There is joy in ev'ry sound, 

when there's love at home. 
Peace and plenty here abide. 

Eva is still asking for water even after 
three trips to the drinking fountain; I grasp her 
hand and leave the chapel, suddenly also thirsty. I 
push the swinging door of the ladies room open 
but let it swing shut when I startle a group of 

". . . so I bought their best carpet, but you 
should see it after just one month 

Eva and I continue down the hall and out 
the smok\ glass doors into the hot afternoon 
made just right by a cool canyon breeze. I sniff 
loudly and wipe my checks with the back of one 
hand, while taking Eva's smaller hand in the 
other. She looks up at me and sighs. I have a 
feeling that she has considered running from the 
chapel into the sunlight several times before. So 

I turn and look at the new church build- 
ing with its pristine stucco, steel steeple and 
arched windows with plastic pane inserts, and I 
think of the old church. Its bricks are a warm 
blend of golds, pinks, and oranges — as if the 
church had been plastered with the sun-ripened 
skins of the apricots grown in the orchards that 
used to surround it. The wood around its many 
windows is painted the palest gold and looks like 
sunshine streaming out from inside the church. A 
small uipolu glows from the gable above the 
front doors, home for several families of spar- 
rows in brown tweed. 

"What's the matter?" George catches up 
with the runaways. I take a deep breath "It's just 
so hard. Too hard." I cannot continue, and what is 
there to say anyway ' "Life is hard, and then we 
die." Too many times this past month, I have 
recalled Sister Nelson's test from the Relief 
Society lesson that she gave that Sunday of the 

George picks up Eva and hugs us both to 
him. "I know. I know," he moans into my hair. 
The few remaining clouds bend and curtsey, then 
dance apart vv it h the spring breeze. 



After giving me the required four hugs and four 
kisses — "One for every year I am" — Hannah 
skips across the oak floor and finds a place in the 
dance circle I watch her a minute and then tip- 
toe down the stairs to the foyer of the church. I 
can still heal the restless African melody from 
the gym; I put the book I had intended to read on 
the red-flowered couch. I am led to the left, down 
a long hall that ends in a steamy glass door of 
muted whiteness. Several rooms line the hall; a 
large one with just-right leaf green benches for 
the children's church meetings, another with 
Jungle Book characters painted on the walls for 
the nursery. Every room has at least one long 
rectangular window of veined glass, set high in 
the wall and scattering handfuls of light on the 
earthbrown linoleum. What would Ethan make, 
Stuart feel, Eva see, and Hannah do in these 



Down the other hall is a large walk-in 
closet full of shapes I can't quite make out as I 
peel through the crack between the double doors. 
Beyond the closet is another door, which opens to 
more stairs, going down and daik I can't find a 
light switch; so. I go down the stairs with my left 
hand on the wall, expecting to feel fur or flesh at 
any moment I open the door at the bottom of the 
stairs and find a huge empty room with tall, tall 
ceilings ringed with wild light from the dimpled 
windows. Drumbeats from far away filter down 
through the room's vents to me. 

Back at the top of the steps, the hall turns 
and joins more stairs to the heart of the church 
where the chapel is. Its ceilings peak in the cooler 
air high above, but the chapel is warm with honey 
maple and stained glass sunlight and geranium- 
red upholstery. My cold fingertips warm as I 
outline the carved finial of a beehive on the end 
of the pew. There's even a cry room in the 
back — separated from the chapel only by glass — 
something I had w ished lor many times as I sat 
nursing on the toilet seat in our church's modem 
ladies' room or walking a baby in the halls, 
unable to hear the meeting. 

I climb the foyer steps again and pass the 
gymnasium A haunting Celtic melody seeps 
through its closed double doors as I follow the 
steps to the top floor. The wide hall glows with 
light from the frosted-glass balcony doors and the 
old radiator coils shimmer in burnished silver 

The first room off the upstairs hall is 
large with three pairs of almost perfectly square 
windows: a wonderful master bedroom. Next to 
it is another classroom with two pairs of win- 
dows — plenty of room for two beds and a dresser 
for the girls. Past this room the hall narrows and 
tries to hide a small room with one wide window; 
I can almost see Ethan bent over one of his secret 
projects here. Next to it is another door — 
locked — maybe another bedroom just right for 
Stuart. At the end of the hall is the ward library — 
now only shelves with remnants of teaching aids: 
papei triangles tom from the bent comers of 
pictures, broken crayons, and the lingering smell 
of Borden's paste. I wonder where the water 
pipes are' 1 This spot would be a nice one for a 
small bathroom. 

Back in the upstairs hall, the open double 
doors reveal steps down to what makes the 
gymnasium also a "cultural hall": the stage. I let 
my feet lift and touch to the Native American 
music as I silently cross on the stage, behind the 
closed black velvet drapes. A cotton backdrop 
curtain swells towards me then bows back into 
place; behind it, I find an open door to the 
kitchen. It's like stepping into the fifties, back 
into my childhood: the appliances are white and 
chrome with rounded edges, all whirling in aqua 
linoleum, counters, walls, and ceilings. I cross the 
floor — balancing on the turquoise squares only — 
to another door that goes back into the gymna- 
sium. I bend down to peek over the split Dutch 
door used for serving. Hannah and her dancing 
partners twirl and leap to the drumming from 
Miss Debbie's tape player. I look past the dancers 
up to the long row of windows — all-seeing 
sentinels — their light flows over the dancing 
children, over Miss Debbie, and over the half- 
door onto me still kneeling there. 

"Wonderful work, all of you Wonderful 
dancing! Now find your ending shape. ..." ♦ 



lume 1 9 Nu 



QR^ll GOD'S 

Critters Got a Place 

in the Choir 




Laurel Thatcher Ulrich 
Emma Lou Thayne 



The "East/West" in this issue mines in the form of 
Emma Lou 's introduction <</ Laurel on the 
occasion o) Laurel's receiving the Association of 
Mormon Letters Honoran Lifetime Members!,,,, 



appeared in Exponent II) AM God's Critters Got 
Place in the Choir by Aspen Books in Salt Lake 
City: It should he out />v Ma\ IW5 and mil he 



Introduction of 
Laurel Thatcher Ulrich 

Association of Mormon Letters 
Visiting Scholar Lecture 



Among our usual days, we find human 
beings who shine here and there. Such a 
one is this Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, like a 

prism, mulli-t'aceted— New Hampshire scholar, 
wife, mother, friend, teacher, speaker, writer 
feted in just the past two years with a Pulitzer, 
the Bancroft, a MacArthur (in the world of letters 
right up there with the Ty Detmer Heiseman in 
football!), dinner at the White House, and 
imitations to be part of esoteric presentations 
across the history and Inerary worlds She does 
everything the rest of us do — only better — even 
as she stays as natural as her Idaho beginnings 
and I 'tali education How does she manage all 
this? 



Hanging in a lighted corner of what used to be 
my mother's sitting room, in our home where 
she lived with us for fifteen years, is a sampler. 
On it are cross-stitched, meticulously, the alpha- 
bet, numbers to 14, and a verse: "When daily I 
kneel down to pray/ As I am taught to do/ God 
does not care for what I say/ Unless I feel it too." 
Most important is the cross-stitched signature, 
Emma Turner, axed seven years. September. 
1840. 

Emma Turner has been after me for 
weeks to find her. She's my great-grandmother, 
my namesake, and lately a presence in my 
dreams. Who was she? How did she live? When? 
Where? And why does she want me — a non- 
genealogist — to know? 

Two days ago, I paid a very green visit to 
the Genealogy (geen-e-alogy, my dictionary 
says') department— The Family History Center — 
to find her. A young sister missionary from Brazil 
fed me a keyboard, and lo, unto me were deliv- 
ered these fifteen pages identifying my Emma 
Turner. In the Ancestral File, backward and 
forward, run her lines — from four generations 
back to 1721 on a pedigree chart to her birth in 
1833 in Malvern, England, her marriage in 1857 
in Salt Lake City, and her death in 1 875 in 
Farmington. Utah through four generations on a 
Descendancy Chart — from her oldest child, my 
grandmother, Emma Louise Stayner, to my 
mother, Grace Richards, to me, Emma Lou 
Warner. Bonanza! I was thrilled. I had found her. 

But had I? I knew her years, her coming 
to Deseret. hei inumage. hoi ten children'- births. 
her death at 42, my genetic connections to her. 
But what did I know o/her? Not one thing. 
Never did I want so much to have my friend 
Laurel beside me. She could likely find it all — in 
the fabric of her sampler, in a sample of her 
writing, in a history of Farmington. or in a recipe 
hook handed down to my grandmother to my 
mother to me. She might even find a connection 
between her birthplace, Malvern, England, and 
Malvern Avenue thai leads into solid Tudor 
Highland Park Ward where I housed my first 
twenty-five years and where I am in the corner- 
stone as the first baby blessed there in 1924. Into 
the skeleton lines on these pages. Laurel could 
inieel blood and tears, passion and frustration, 
longing and hope. She could bring me into the 
picture know mg w In I am there. 

That is why this woman tonight can 

dark in her search lor significance in the ordinary. 
More even than a historian, she is that storyteller. 

In a moving new film, Shadow/lands, C.S. 
Lewis reiterates a student's conviction: "We read 
books so we know we are not alone." Laurel 
writes them to let that happen. 

How better not to feel alone than to be 
given a companion from the past to walk into our 
lives and remember what is yet to come by 
redefining oiu sensibilities today ' To feather our 
despairing* and hopes with a real person's 
managing of dailiness? 

Think what she could bring to my Emma 
Turner — and to me. 

First, her dogged and illuminating 
curiosity. Laurel would find Emma Turner — in 
records and cemeteries— yes, but more ... all 



that might erupt in the story. Laurel would spin as 
Emma might have the flax for the linen of her 
sampler. With Laurel's gifts— imagination flossed 
with surprise— that little girl would become a 
woman, her dailiness as visible as the dates on 
her headstone. My Emma Turner would have 
whatever tantrums or doldrums or fancies or 
frailties that went with her strengths and witti- 
cisms and loving kindnesses. She, like Laurel, 
like you and me, would be human. And graced 
with the divine of being unique . 

Second, Laurel would bring her selectiv- 
ity. Because Laurel has focus, all essential parts 
of the patchwork get pulled together. Even in 
their apparent haphazardness. she can discern 
pattern, feel feeling. I'd know a lot more than 
Emma's being a first wife of Arthur Stayner. I've 
heard, goodness knows, about him and his 
speaking seven languages and Brigham's urging 
him into an ill-fated sugai business and his dying 
at eight-two after marrying — can it be? — five 
wives? How did Emma feel about this, them? 
And about her ten children, two dying before 
they were two? Was my grandmother — Emma 
Louise, oldest child— elected or birthed into 
taking over the remaining 8 at 1 8, when her 
mother died? How I'd love to know. 

If to the neurotic all things are of equal 
importance. I aurel s far-from-neurotic gift of 
Incus would make Emma's story eminently sane 
to lead and follow. 

Third, she could let Emma Turner be 
herself. Laurel's honesty allows it. She has 
freedom of intent. She knows that to praise one 
thing is not to condemn another. In her candor. 
she lets he her capacity to appreciate difference 

15th Psalm, ". . . she walketh uprightly, and 
worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in 
her heart." She can afford to acknowledge anger 
as well as affection, amusement as well as 
deference. Her story makes room for it all. She 
can be a model because she does not try to be — 
and do the same foi the person she writes about. 

Real freedom is allegiance without 
a nihil ion Laurel's Emma Turner could be real, 
not defending a stance, hers or anyone else's, 
with no hidden agenda that might color the truth. 
Because, like Laurel's, hers would he her own 
voice. And in fresh continuity her being could 
pass on to me options w ithoui chains, thoughtful 
opportunities without strings. She could converse 
without needing to convert — and thereby invite 

She would retain her ability to question 

education, her church, her relationships. What did 
she feel'' Know' Being comfortable with not 
knowing is a great discovery Being comfortable 

Was my great-grandmother comfortable 
with herself As Laurel is? Was she like the 
\iiii, li. needing lo make no distinction between 
the sacred and the everyday ? For them. "Five 
minutes in the early morning and five minutes in 
the evening were devoted to prayer. The rest of 
the day was spent living their beliefs. Their life 
was all one piece. It was sacred— and all ordi- 
nary" [Simple Pleasures ) Did she also regard 



fife as sj 






mplex 



o- 



ity? Did attention to the ordinary make her 
extraordinary ? As it has Laurel ' With no deep. 
self-conscious search for self-expression— simply 
taking enjoyment in every step of the process ' 

Fourth, did she. like Laurel, grow as she- 
grew up — even to her only forty-two years'.' Did 
she grow from the prayer on her sampler at 
"aged seven sears" with God caring about her 
feeling it too' 1 How did she become a grown-up 
version of childness, the only word I could invent 
to describe my death experience seven years 
ago — what we were bom to, in whatever genera- 



whal w 



withoi 



(railing clouds of glory and regain on our return. 
At the end of experience, did she know (illness. 
the sum of our parts an J players and fields and 
convictions — what the best know how to be true 
to. Like Laurel? 

Finally, Laurel writes as a personisl. She 
represents an island - maybe a continent — of 
sanity and stability between extreme anything: 
male chauvinist on one end of the spectrum, 
radical feminist on the other. She is on the side of 
life — of finding it more abundantly, for both 
women and men through and with each other 
She finds it in the fabric of living. And in record- 
ing it. Like her Martha Ballard in A Midwife's 
Tale, by "mustering grease and ashes, shaking 
feather beds and pillows to attention, scrubbing 
floors and lines into subjection, she restore[s] a 
fragile order to a fallen world." (p. 219) 

As other historians are caught up in the 
flow of the proverbial river of battles and govern- 
ments, tyrants and tirades, peace and its evanes- 
cence. Laurel Thatcher Ulnch saunters among us 
citizens on the banks, noting and celebrating, 
understanding where we come from and what 

Of course Martha Ballard left a diary 

along with the bones ol genealogy lhat even I 
nii'jht dig up But it was not the diary alone that 
told her story. It was Laurel Thatcher Ulnch 
delecting and celebrating that story Historians 
before had judged the diary "filled with trivia 
about domestic chores and pastimes " Laurel's 
gilt ol appreciation ol what others might not see 
is w hat makes her the writer we honor today. 



Oh, yet 

o derive and c 






ind make me smile at just 
who in the world 1 come from and am. And oh, 
would my Emma Turner beg to come alive under 
the exquisitely tuned eve of a Laurel Thatcher 
Ulnch. 

I yeam for her kind of story — not ever to 
feel alone. And with Edna St. Vincent Millay's 
"Winter Night," 

The day has gone in hewing and felling, 

Sawing and drawing wood to the 

dwelling 

For the night of talk and story-telling. 

Here are question and reply. 

And the fire reflected in the thinking eye. 

So peace, and let the bob-cat cry. 

The peace of a story to let us understand 
any cry. Tonight, we travel with Laurel, Clio, and 
Elijah in the Family History Center. Another 
story. Emma and I can hardly wait. ♦ 



Clio Meets Elijah at the Family History Center 



l.uml II,,,:, he, Vlrich 




[ 'Vjjv ^', m the Family History 
™E| W l> enIwasaskedto 

i Letters gathering in Salt Lake City. 1 
decided to tray bringing my two lives together by 
imagining a meeting of Elijah and Clio. 

Every Latter-day Saint knows Elijah, the 
prophet who turned "the hearts of the fathers to 
the children and the children to the fathers" by 
restoring the key s of genealogy and temple work. 
But who is the mysterious Clio? 

When my husband heard the title of my 
lecture, he said, "Oh. yes, Clio Isn't she men- 
tioned in Paul's epistle to the Romans?" 






ncordance. To m 



■11 Clio 



In Greek mythology. Clio is one of the 
nine muses who sprang from a union of /.ens and 
Mnesmosnye, or Memory. Although we usually 
speak of the "muses" collectively, each has a 






i. Clio is the m 






Historians aren't the sort of people who 
usually admit to having muses. Poets have 
muses. Historians have only footnotes. Yet, in 

language and in oui institutional life, we ac- 
knowledge Clio playfully and with some affec- 
tion. She is to our clan what the Goddess of 
Liberty is to the U.S. Congress— an abstract 
representation who lias no immediate influence 
on our daily work. Clio is whatever we wish to 
make her We name awards after her and some- 
times invoke her name in the titles of books. 
When I was in graduate school in the 1970s, 
historians were heatedly debating the virtues of 
something they called Cliometrics — a marriage 
ol history and statistics Clio has surv ived many 
marriages since Hesiod first invoked her name. I 

appose she can survive a meeting with Elijah 
I chose the title to my talk impulsively. 
thinking it \v ould give me an opportunity to 
explore the relationship between my secular work 
as a historian and my Church calling at the 
family History Centci I expected to discuss the 
differences between history (Clio's territory i and 
genealogy i Lilian's realm). Yet. the more I 
thought about the actual work that goes on in a 
I ainily History Center, the less satisfied I was 
with that comparison. I wanted to use the two 

Injures more freely to symboli/e contrasting 
approaches to the past. Yes, history and geneal- 
ogy meet every clay at Family History Centers 
across the United States, but I am not at all 

certain that Clio is responsible for all the history 

and Elijah lor all the genealogy. 



Clio was a Greek, Elijah a Hebrew. 
Hence, the two figures can be seen to represent 
the ongoing and never totally resolved tension in 
Western culture between the Greek commitment 
to reason and the Hebrew tradition of faith— a 
tension resolved. I think, in the teachings of the 
Prophet Joseph Smith and in the concept of the 
Kirtland Temple as a house of both "learning" 
and "faith" (D&C 88:1 19). To me, it is one of the 
great paradoxes of Mormon history that a man 
capable of translating the Book of Mormon by 
the gift and power ol the Holy Ghost would take 
the trouble to study Hebrew so he could belter 
understand the Bible That's a little like what 
happens every day at our Family History Centers. 
Motivated by the spirit of Elijah, we sit in front 
of microfilm readers and do the works of Clio 

My contrast between Clio and Elijah is 
not, then, a contrast between good and evil, 
between the ways of the world and the ways of 
the Lord. It is a contrast between two very 
different ways ol approaching the past, both 
of which have something to teach us, and both 
ol which are perfectly evident in the Joseph 
Smith Memorial Building [the site of the AML 
meeting]. 

When I walked into the Joseph Smith 
Memorial Building, the remodeled and rededi- 
cated Hotel Utah, for the first time, I did a double 
take. The marble figure of Joseph Smith in his 
1840s frock coat seemed entirely out of plan in 
the late- Victorian lushness of the 191 1 building. 
Clio was leaning over my shoulder at that mo- 
ment. Clio doesn't like anachronisms. She wants 
us to know the distance— materially, culturally, 
intellectually, and perhaps even spiritually — 
between I N42 and 1900. 

Those things don't matter much to Elijah. 
He symbolizes the unity — not the distance — 
between present and past. As Doctrine and 
Covenants 128: 18 tells us: "For it is necessary in 
the ushering in of the dispensation of the fulness 
of time, which dispensation is now beginning to 
usher in. that a whole and complete and perfect 
union, and welding together of dispensations, and 
keys, and powers, and glories should take place, 
and be revealed from the days of Adam even to 
the present time." The spirit of Elijah not only 
melts away the distance between past and 
present, it pierces the veil between heaven and 
Earth. Clio allows us to encounter the dead only 
through the things that they leave behind. She 
is behind an old aphorism in my profession: 
No source, no history. Nothing is more sacred 
to Clio than sources. She teaches us that we 
can know only as much of the past 



ingle 






r dinner party at our house, the 
i turned to genealogy and temple 
work. One of oui guests told us about taking her 
(Continued on page 14) 



-o 



(Continued from page 13) 
mother to northern New Hampshire to find the 
birthplace of an elusive great-grandfather. 
"Mother has worked for years trying to find his 
records," our friend explained. "Of course, she's 
still not sure this is where he was horn, but when 
she saw the town, she just felt it was the right 
place." That's what's known in Latter-day Saint 
culture as the confirming evidence of the Spirit. 
Historians can't get away with that sort of 
evidence. But I'm not sure that my friend's 
mother can either. She will have to prove her 
great-grandfather's existence through finite and 
earthly sources— Clio's sources— before she can 
do his temple work. She would be delighted with 
the new computer cluster in the Joseph Smith 
Memorial. 

The Latter-day Saint interest in records is 
truly puzzling to outsiders. Last year at a histori- 
cal meeting, someone shared with me a conversa- 



>n that he overheard w 






research at a small archive in Pennsylv 
members of the staff there were discussing the 
impending visit of a team of technicians from the 
Family History Center in Salt Lake City. 

"They are coming to film our records," 
the first man explained. 

"Oh, we can't let them do that," said the 
other. "Don't you know what they do with those 
records? They'll turn all our ancestors into 
Mormons!" 

The first man responded dryly, "If you 
eally think they can do that, you'd better join 



rch." 
For m 



their 

t Latter-day Saints, the two 
enterprises — genealogy and temple work — seem 
perfectly compatible. We never stop to think 
about the paradox inherent in our system. To 

connect ourselves to other people, long dead. We 
achieve that connection not only through vicari- 
ous temple work but by library work, saving 
ourselves and saving our dead by concentrating 
on the most mundane and tedious of tasks — 
researching names and dates. The emphasis on 
records is right there in Doctrine Covenants 12. 
In verses 2-4, the prophet instructed the Nauvoo 
saints to establish recorders in each ward. "You 
may think this order of things to be very particu- 
lar," he continued in verse 5, "but let me tell you 
that it is only to answer the will of God, by 
conforming to the ordinance and preparation that 
the Lord ordained and prep.ued before the 
foundation of the world, for the salvation of the 
dead who would die vv uhout a knowledge of the 
gospel." There can be no mistake about the 
importance in Joseph Smith's mind of connecting 
the dead and the living through records. 

Verse 24 concludes: "Let us, therefore, 
as a church and a people, and as Latter-day 
Saints, offer unto the Lord an offering in righ- 
teousness; and let us present in lus holy temple, 
when it is finished, a hook containing the records 
of our dead, which shall be worthy of all accepta- 
tion." If God knows every sparrow, he surely 



Family History Center. I told him how people 
from every walk of life fill our little room three 
times a week. "People really do connect with the 
past," I said. "As professionals, we are some- 
times contemptuous of popular history and of 
genealogy, hut n is important." 

"Yes," he answered, "as long as those 
people are doing something more than filling in 
crossword puzzles." 

I suspect that some of the amateur 
genealogists who come to our center are engaged 
in a diversionary pastime, like doing crossword 
puzzles. I am sure that many Latter-day Saints 
also miss the larger significance of their work. 
My experience at the Family History Center tells 
me that most people who really get engaged in 
research are animated by something larger. 
however, that there is a spirit to genealogical 
research. Whether it comes from Elijah or Clio, I 
cannot say. All I know is that the amateur 
researchers, mostly non-members, who come to 
our center week after week, have a glow about 
them as they follow the thin threads that lead 
them through the pas 






'I hclic 



our help to identify the dead. All this effort must 
be for our sakes- -and for those other persons, 
once living, who remain connected to us. 

Not too long ago, 1 was telling a historian 
from New York University about my work at the 






-. thai hi 



search and genealogical research are very differ- 
ent. When I go into a county courthouse to look 
at probate records, the clerks, assuming that I am 
a genealogist, usually ask. "What name are you 
looking for' 1 " 



Vl Ik' Ill 



I. I a, 



dreds of probate inventories recorded in Hamp- 
shire County, Massachusetts, between 1690 and 
1760. My objective is to understand more about 
the hie ol a woman named Hannah Barnard, who 
left a marvelous oak cupboard with her birth 
name painted on it when she died in 1717. It is 
not enough for me to know who Hannah's parents 
were or that her husband listed her furniture when 
he made his will in 1725 or that Hannah's grand- 
daughter eventually inherited the cupboard. To 
fully understand Hannah's story, I need to 
understand the pattern of inheritance that made it 
difficult for early American women to transmit 
propertv I rom one generation to another. One 
name won't give me a pattern Only by knowing 
"allot them" can I fully understand one of them. 
My experience with Hannah's cupboard 
suggests ihe broader differences between Clio 
and Elijah 1 bee amc interested in the cupboard 
when I was asked to keynote a symposium on 
regional New England Furniture held in conjunc- 
tion with a set of exhibits at the Wadsworth 
Athenaeum in Hartford, Connecticut. One 
exhibit featured Hadlcy chests, a distinctive 
furniture form built in the Connecticut River 
Valley between 1 680 and 1720. Hannah's 
cupboard is a Hadlcy chest. When a reporter for 
the Hartford Courant saw the show, he saw a 
"protofenunist message'' in Hannah's cupboard. 
Why else would a woman paint her maiden name 
in bold letters across a piece of furniture that she 
took into marriage? A local furniture collector 
came to a very different conclusion Because 
men controlled property in this period, the 
cupboard must have been a gift from Hannah's 
future husband. It was "a Valentine in furniture." 
Each interpreter read twentieth-century experi- 
ences into an eighteenth-century cupboard. They 
wanted to connect present and past and draw 



i. They 
st have been inspired by Elijah. 

The furniture historians assembled at the 



high-minded to 



isider s, 



questions In their efforts to be objective, they 
focused on measurable attributes and broad but 
definable characteristics. While acknowledging 
that the woman's name on the cupboard "made a 
strong statement" about her role "as keeper of the 
household and a major portion of its assets: 
valued textiles and silver," the catalog of the 
exhibit concentrated on stv hstk analysis ("The 
Barnard cupboard was a stage for new Baroque 
concepts conveyed through traditional Hampshire 
County ornament") and on details that could be 
empirically affirmed (under polarized light 
microscopy the paint on the columns turned out 
to be a mixture of white lead and Prussian blue, 
an artificial pigment first synthesized in Berlin in 
1704). The furniture scholars were tuned in to 
Clio. 

Bringing Elijah's question to Clio's 
methods yields a very different result. Instead of 
backing away from contemporary questions, as 
the furniture scholars did. or collapsing present 
and past, as the new spaper reporter attempted to 
do, we can use our own deeply felt need to 
understand gender relations to motivate a broader 
search of the ev idcricc furniture was a form of 
property as well as a decorative object, and a 
close examination of early records demonstrates 
that males and leniales typically inherited very 

Wills and inventories not only distributed family 

resources across generations, hut also defined 
gender. "Real property," or land, was normally 
passed from father to son Women received most 
of their inheritance in "moveables "—pots, pans, 
featherbeds. cows, and such This division was 
hardly neutral As anthropologist Annette Werner 
has shown, the Western concept of "real prop- 
erty" (preserved in our use of the term real 
estate) is the Western European version of an 
ancient division between "alienable" and "in- 

give the owners the ability to transcend death, 
perpetuating their names and identities across 



"Move 



"Pioperty. 



n the ot 



Id be passed indiscriminately fi 
nother. In Western society, woi 






The n, 



..veable 



n Hannah Barnard's cupboard 



through the female line, carrying Hannah's 

maiden name and memory vv ith it While there is 
no other cupboard exactly like Hannah's there are 
hundieds ol othci household objects marked in a 

femmes couvert at marriage, their identities 
legally subsumed in those of their husbands, 
marked spoons, chests, sheets, towels, and 
embroideries perpetuated female lineages. 
Female property was not simply a 
parallel form of male property, however Tracing 
the provenance of household obieets allows us to 

sive sense of "family." preserving multiple 

allegiaiK es and multiple connections across time 
Of course, men did that, loo Patrilineal naming 



O- 



patterns, like formal property law, obscure the 
real nature of kinship in earls America. Follow- 
ing "male lines" from one generation to another 
misleads us into thinking that women were 
merely vehicales for perpetuating male lines of 
inheritance Unfortunately, some of us perpetuate 
that fiction in our own genealogical research. 
Hocusing on the lop lines on our charts, we mo\e 
the "moveables." As we redirect our attention 
toward all the lineages in our past, something 
m. melons happens. We are no longer part ot the 
"Ulrich family" or the "Thatcher family." We 
become brothers and sisters across time. 

I think that it is significant that the 
Church now emphasizes family history rather 
than genealogy. Genealogy gives us the opportu- 
nity to relate to the dead one by one. History 
asks us to consider the larger human family of 
which we are a part. There may be less of a 
contradiction between the two than at first 
appears. In a fascinating essay m The New 
Yorker some years ago, Alex Shoumatoff wrote 
about the relationship between human history and 
the "mountain of names" being gathered in Salt 
Lake City. While each ot oui pedigrees grows 
exponentially as we nunc backward in lime (two 
parents giving way to four grandparents, eight 
great-grandparents, sixteen great-great-grandpar- 
ents, and so on), at some point every pedigree 
collapses in on itself, as remote ancestors from 
one line begin to overlap with those from anothei 
Within fifty generations, we are all part of the 
same family tree. "History can be seen," 
Shoiimalotl s one I tides, "as a mosaa of billions ol 
overlapping pedigrees" (60) liomcally the nunc 
successful we are in tracing our own folks 
through time, the more we discover our relation- 
ship to others. 

In Shoumatoff's words: 



If all of us could be made aware 
of our multiple interrelatedness, 
if the same sort of altruism that 
usually exists among close kin 
could prevail through the entire 
human population, if this vision 
of ourselves could somehow 
catch on, then many of the 
differences that have polarized 
various subpopulations from the 
beginning of human history . . . 
would seem secondary. (60) 

Or, in the words of Malachi ( an Old 
World prophet) reinterpreted by Moroni (a New 
World messenger): 

Behold, I will reveal unto you 
the Priesthood, by the hand of 
Elijah the prophet. . . . And he 
shall plant in the hearts of the 
children the promises made to 
the fathers, and the hearts of the 
children shall turn to their 
fathers. If it were not so, the 
whole earth wold be utterly 
wasted at his coming. 



in broad terms, Elijah 
represents faith, Clio reason: Elijah unity be- 
tween present and past, Clio distance; Elijah a 



quest for personal connection, Clio a search for 
broad patterns. What then are we to make of the 
fact that Elijah is male and Clio female? Is this 
one more example of the absurdity of gender 
stereotypes' The irony is deeper. 

Elijah, unlike Clio, actually has a history. 
He is not only the white-robed messenger who 
appeared to Joseph Smith in the Kirtland Temple 
in 1836. He is the inhabitant of Gilead who 
confounded the priest of Baal, raised the widow's 
son, and lasted forty days and nights on Mount 
Horeb. Even in Greek mythology, Clio 
an abstraction. The muse of history has 
history. No place, no time, no defining : 
attached to her name. 

She is like the Statue of Liberty 
Elizabeth Howe's trenchant poem— hoi 

a book on her arm. In Susan's poem. Liberty 



, has her sax 

And the book, suggesting 
Than it will ever give, wei 
a ton. 1 want to put it down. 
Tell my visitors I know how 
Their lives go. I never will. 
I am huge, copper-weighted, 
Supporting the status of icon 



As a real person. Liberty might comfort 
her visitors, telling them she understands the 
vertigo of their stiff climb to the top. As a 
symbol, she can only stand there, holding up the 
torch, year after year. 



. . . Blood always draining 
From my arm, hand and wi 
Always going numb. 

n, her story 
is lost. She represents. Mien .ill that has been I" 
from history as well as all that survives. Some- 
one has estimated that "ninety percent of all the 
people who ever existed slipped into complete 
oblivion, without leaving eve 
behind" (Shoumatoff, 63). Although the Chi 
has collected the names of almost two billior 



people, it wil 


never t 




r 1 he- 




whose record 


were destroyed by 


fire or war or 


who lived in s 


ocieties 


witho 


ll w r 


ing. Here is 


where Joseph 


.Smith's 


vision 


of "a 


book contain- 


ing the record 


s of our 


dead" 


beco 


nes important. 


Tomorrow's 1 


istorv i 


built 


an toe 


ay's records. 


There is a les 


on here 


I think, for Latter-day 


Saint women 


Tohori 


or Eli 


ah, w 


s must turn our 


hearts to our mothers 


as we 


aso 


r fathers. To 


sue Clio a hi 
own. * 


story, w 


.- 


begin 


to keep our 



'The others are Calliope (epic poetry I, Erato (love 
poetry). Euterpe iluu puciiy i. Melpomene (tragedy) 
Thalia (comedy). Urania (astronomy). Terpsichore 
(dance), and Polyhymnia (sacred song). 

Howe, Susan Ehzabelh "1 iheiu l-iilighicning (he- 
World: The Statue Has Her Say." Weber Studi 
(Fall 1993): 81-82. 

Shoumatoff, Alex. "The Mountain of Names " 
New Yorker. May 13, 1985. 51-K 




«.l!l-!W^jW!.'J.i'fc 



Reflections on Meg Munk 
and Seasons of our Lives 



The author of Ecciesiastes (3:2) talks 
about a time for every season: "A 
time to be born, and a time to die; a 
time to plant, and a time to pluck up 
that which is planted." As I recently 
re-read Meg Munk's "Pillars of My Faith" in 
Exponent II [Volume 18, Number 3 (1994)], I 
thought about her time, my time, and about our 

Meg was my friend. She was a wonderful 
writer, poet, and human being. When she faced 
her terrible struggles — first with an armed 
attacker invading her home and then later with 
ovarian cancer invading her body — I, along with 
many others, felt compelled to offer love and 
support. But we did not know what to say to her 
or how to relieve her burdens. I felt frustrated and 
helpless — sitting on the sidelines, watching her 
battle against tremendous odds. 

We shared some wonderful moments 
together. Just after she had finished her first 
series of chemolhcrapv treat merits and her cancer 
was in remission, our families shared a beach 
house in North Carolina for a glorious week. She 
and we were full of hope and excitement. I have 
vivid memories of her bobbing in the waves, 
trying to keep the scarf, which covered her bald 
head, from being washed away in the surf. 

But the cancer returned, and she was 
soon back to greater uncertainty and more 
torturous treatments. I remember talking with one 
of Meg's friends, sharing our frustrations about 
what we could do for her. We decided that 
redecorating bet kitchen might cheer her up. 
Meg had torn out some tiles to start the process 
just before her life had fallen apart again. The 
half-tiled walls were a constant reminder of the 
disruption and chaos she was facing. We knew 
that Meg and her family were going to Cam- 
bridge for a few days for a Harvard class re- 
union — both she and Russ, her husband, had 
gone to school there. So as a surprise, we con- 
spired to re-do the kitchen during her absence. 

A few days later, I picked Meg up at the 
hns|nial and put her on the plane to fly to Boston 
to join the rest of her family who had traveled 
there earlier. Then I went directly to her house to 
start the work. Much to my surprise, word of this 
project had spread, and people came from 
everywhere with offers of help. It was obvious 
that I was not the only one who loved Meg and 
wanted desperately to do something for her. We 
had opened up a Pandora's box of love and 
frustration. 

Over the next three days, thirty or more 
people pitched in to re-do the Munk house, 
contributing countless hours to help our project 
succeed. It was not so much that the house 
needed the work, it was that we needed the 
opportunity to do something tangible to show 
Meg and her family how much we cared, how 
much we wanted to help in some way. 

What had started out as a project to 
remove the tile in the kitchen turned into a major 
o vet haul Kitchen walls were spackled, painted. 



©- 



and wallpapered; cabinets painted; curtains 
made; and a new floor installed. The people and 
the love kept pouring forth, and so the project 
grew larger. New comforters, sheets, and rugs 
were purchased for the master bedroom. The 
bedroom walls were painted. A new mattress 
appeared in one of the children's rooms. Win- 
dows were made to sparkle. The whole house 
was scrubbed from top to bottom. The lawn was 
manicured, trees trimmed, the garden tended, 
and the gutters cleaned. 

This labor of love brought people to- 
gether who did not even know each other. We 
worked together; we cried together. When we had 
done everything we could possibly imagine or 
had time for, we left a bouquet of fresh flowers 
on the dining room table and then — like the 
shoemaker's elves, who secretly made the shoes 
and then disappeared— we all left and locked the 
door behind us shortly before Meg's return. 

I do not know if what we did was helpful 
to Meg and her family, but I would like to 
believe it was. I do know that it was immensely 
therapeutic and important to her "elf " friends. 
We felt better for being able to give something to 
her — to show her that we cared. 

Just a few short months after the house 
transforming, I sat with Meg as she lay dying. 
She was beyond the point where she was awake 
or could even communicate. I realized that 
although we may have had some success in trying 
to renew her house, we could not renew her 
body. This temple was failing, and her spirit 
wanted desperately to escape it. I watched a moth 
inside the house, batting against the sliding glass 
door, trying to get out. I walked over to the door 
and opened it. giving it its freedom. It was not 
right to keep it trapped. As I returned to Meg's 
side, she stretched out both arms toward heaven 
and said, "Yes! Oh, yes!" — the only words she 
uttered while I was there. Her time to leave was 

I did not want her to pass through the 
door to her release, vet. I knew she had to. I 

Meg was gone just a few days later. It 
had been her time to be nurtured, and my time to 
nurture. That was eight years ago. and I still miss 
her. 

Now the times have changed. Now I find 
mv sell « here Meg was. In December of 1993, 1 
was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now it is my 
time to be nurtured. Now it is my bald head that 
I see in the mirror. Now it is my friends gathering 
around me, feeling frustrated because they want 
to help but do not know what to say or do — just 
as I was with Meg eight years before. 

I want to tell them that it is not all so bad. 
Yes, I cried a lot when I found out (and some- 
times still do when I am tired). Many of my 
reactions were as I would have expected after 
going through the experience with Meg. But there 
were some surprises also — some good, some 
bad. With every new challenge comes new 
understanding, new lessons to be learned. Most 
of the lessons I have learned have been very 
positive. But there are negative ones. too. 

I have learned that while medical knowl- 
edge about the treatment of cancer has pro- 
gressed in some ways since Meg's illness in 
1986, we still do not know nearly as much as we 
ought to know. People ask me if I am angry that I 
got cancer. The answer is that I am angry that 
anyone is still getting it. I am angry that there is 



no known prevention or cure. Furthermore, 
progress with research on some women's health 
issues appears to be lagging behind that on 
men's. While there is an early detection test for 
some forms of prostate cancer, there is no blood 
test for the early detection of any form of breast 

Yes, we have mammography, and I am 
grateful for that; however, in my case, it took far 
too long for the mammogram to detect my 
cancer. It had been there for years, and in spite of 
yearly gynecological exams and yearly 
mammograms, it was only last December that the 
mammogram showed up something that the 
physician had missed only the month before. 
Well, surely I've caught this early, I reasoned. 
Not so. The cancer had already spread to my 
lymph nodes. How can that be 9 Some cancers 
like mine do not have a lump and do not show up 
until they have advanced quite far. The recent 
discovery that a certain gene can signal breast 
cancer predisposition is a help, but since over 
85% of all breast cancers are not genetically 
linked (including mine), we still have a long way 
to go. Yes, we need to have more cancer re- 
search — particularly on breast cancer, which will 
afflict one in eight women during their lifetimes 

I also learned that medicine is more an 
art than an exact science. Not only the cause, but 
also the cure, for this cancer is not known, and 
experts do not have definite answers about how 
to deal with it. It was not a case of "physician, 
heal thyself," but it was a case of "patient, 
choose thy treatment." I literally had to "pick my 
own poison." Three highly recommended 
oncologists disagreed significantly about the 
treatment I should have. Their disagreement was 
not comforting. 

As for the positive lessons, I have been 
reminded of the wonderful family I have. They 
have always been there for me. But now, more 
than ever, I treasure all that they are to me. I 
could not have gotten through the pain of surgery 
and the sickness of chemotherapy without their 
support. My husband went with me to every 
doctors' visit, surgery, and chemotherapy and 
continues to give me incredible love and encour- 
agement Mv sons did out grocerv shopping for 
months (We've never had so many donuts and 
Pop Tarts in the house). My mother and sisters 
made trips from the west to see me and to help, 
even when it meant great sacrifice on their part. 
The list goes on and on. 

I have learned how many truly wonderful 
friends I have, and how good, generous, and 
loving people can be. The number of friends was 
a surprise tot me. because sol i.il lime had been 
squeezed out of my life as I had become incred- 
ibly busy just trying to keep afloat with my 
familv of three boys, a demanding job as Chief of 



Staff to 









;e that had be 



under renovation for eight months before the 
discovery of my cancer. Just previous to the 
diagnosis, I had commented to my husband that I 
was amazed that anyone ever sends us Christmas 
cards because we haven't had time to get cards 
out for years now. 

I have had to learn to receive graciously 
because I am on the receiving end now. It has 
always been much easier for me to give than to 
receive. But now I am the one who finds people 
anxious to do something tangible to show their 
love and concern for me. I have been amazed at 
the number of friends who have come forward 

Exponent if 



with flowers, books, food, and other gifts of 
everything imaginable. I see so much goodness 
and compassion that I never had the opportunity 
to fully appreciate before. Now I know from this 
side how wonderfully helpful and comforting it is 
when friends take the time to call, express 
concern, and extend gifts of love. 

1 am learning better how to accept and 
deal with situations I cannot control. 1 am the 
"victim" here. I was accustomed to having more 
control over my life. I have always felt more 
power to be able to do something to change 
things. This experience has made me focus more 
on the many things I can't change. When I look at 
that bald head in the mirror, I see a concentration 
camp victim, or someone at army boot camp or a 
militan academy, whose head has been shaved to 
humiliate. It is a constant reminder of the inva- 
sion of my body and how little I can really do to 
ensure my victory over this aggressor. I am 
reminded of it every time I see a beautiful model 
with gorgeous long, flowing hair in a shampoo 
commercial in a magazine or on television. I did 
not realize how many hair-care commercials 
there are! Having a "bad hair day" pales in 
comparison to a "no hair day." 

The process of actually losing my hair 
was more traumatic than the resulting baldness, 
which one gets used to surprisingly quickly. 
Every morning, after the first chemo treatment, I 
would tug at my hair to see if that would be the 
day that it would start to fall— like autumn 
leaves — slowly, but surely. Finally, after about 
three weeks, my ritual tug produced an entire 
handful of hair. It was as though my hair was 
dead and just sitting on my head. I only had to 
run my fingers gently through it to pull it out. I 
felt like Hansel and Gretel, dropping bread 
crumbs everywhere I went — except that I was 
dropping hair. So I wore a hair net and looked 
like a waitress in a cheap diner as I awaited the 
full loss. Maybe I should have just shaved it off 
and gotten it over with quickly — some women 
do — but I just couldn't. And what do you do with 
the hair? I had been so attached to it before! I 
couldn't just throw it into the garbage, uncer- 
emoniously. So I put it in a nice little bag and 
decided that after I got my new hair, I would 
return this old dead hair to nature somehow — 
perhaps by putting it out for the birds to help 
them make a nest. I'm told that some Eastern 
religions insist that the hair be saved to remain 
with the body after death. I understand that 



The feeling of victimization was particu- 
larly difficult to deal with when I was first 
diagnosed. I am told that my reaction to this 
invasion is very similar to that of a rape victim. 
My body had been attacked by an unseen enemy. 
I lost my self-confidence. Making decisions — 
even small, relatively unimportant ones — became 
almost impossible. I felt vulnerable, fragile. I had 
an identity crisis. But now I am learning to cope 
and to find ways to feel more in control of my 
life. 

Perhaps most important, I have learned 
the value of faith and prayer. I have never been 
in a situation where I needed the faith and prayers 
of others as much as I do now. I am deeply 
comforted to know that so many friends are 
praying for me. 

When my ward held a special fast in my 
behalf. I was lifted and overwhelmed. I looked at 
the beautiful flowers that were in my room, and I 

Volume 19 Number 1 



thought that each little petal was like a prayer. 
When you put them all together, they make an 
incredibly beautiful bouquet reaching up toward 
heaven. My faith is strong, and I believe these 
prayers are heard. I also believe that if God wants 
me to be healed, I will be. And surely all of these 
prayers on my behalf will help. Perhaps because 
1 have worked with Congress for so long, I feel 
there is great benefit in having large numbers of 
people (most far more worthy than I) lobbying 
with God on my behalf, seeking to convince God 
that I should stay on Earth a bit longer. 

I have learned how much the Savior 
loves me. Through the premonition I was given a 
month before the discovery of my cancer that my 
family was about to face a difficult time with a 
serious health problem and through the wonderful 
priesthood blessings and prayers that have 
sustained me, I have learned that I am loved and 
I will be fine, whatever happens. I have not been 
spared the fiery furnace, but just as Shadrach, 
Meshack and Abednego, I have not had to face 
the flames alone. 

Having a potentially terminal illness puts 
things into focus and helps you to define priori- 
ties very quickly. I have learned to look at the full 
half of the glass. It is so easy to focus on the 
negative. It is so easy to criticize and find things 
that can be done better. This is particularly true 
with human imperfections and the Church. But I 
have come to realize that even though some 
things are done that I think might be done 
differently, that is not important. Focusing on 
areas ol disagreement only damages m\ spiritual- 
ity and diverts my attention from important 
principles and the need to forge a spiritual 
relationship with the Savior. I am far from perfect 
myself. How can I expect the Savior to love and 
forgive my shortcomings if I am so quick to 
judge those around me, both in and outside of the 
Church? 

As Lehi explained to his son, "For it 
must needs be that there is an opposition in all 
things." (2 Nephi 2: 1 1 ) I do not know that God 
"sent" me this illness for my own good, but I do 
know that it is up to me to take this as a challenge 
and as an opportunity for growth. I just pray that 
in this "season," I will have the strength and 
insight to leam all I can and endure it well. ♦ 



Single . . . and Welcome? 



The last issue of Exponent II [Volume 
18, No. 4] was particularly sad for 
me. As a lifelong member of the 
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day 
Saints, my heart aches for the 
sisters who long for a husband but for any 
number of reasons have not found a male coun- 
terpart with whom they want to be sealed for time 
and all eternity. Sisters, your story also has its 
male side to tell. 

For twenty-three-and-a-half years, I was 
married in the temple to a woman I believed to 
be the epitome of Mormon womanhood: a 
returned missionary, attractive, industrious, and 
possessing all the other virtues that we LDS men 
have been taught to look for in a wife. One day, a 
little over six years ago, my wife came home 



from a business meeting in Coeur d'Alene, 
Idaho, to announce that she did not love me any 
more and that she wanted a divorce. I begged 
her to stay with me until our oldest son left on a 
mission and until alter the Thanksgiving and 
Christmas holidays were over. The ensuing 
divorce and pain could fill volumes, but as 
Howell Raines said so succinctly in his book. 
Fly Fishing Through the Midlife Crisis, "The 
winding down of any long marriage is a compli- 
cated story and a sad one, too, if the marriage 
has been a very good one for a very long time. I 
am not going to tell the entire history of that 
marriage because the story does not belong to 

After the separation and divorce, I was 
thrown to the wolves, naive about the rules and 
protocol of dating in and out of the Church. 
Rules had changed. It was no longer inappro- 
priate for a woman to call a man and invite him 
to dinner, the theater, or a Church social. For my 
non-Mormon women friends, AIDS and other 
sexualK transmitted diseases precluded inti- 
macy. I was comfortable with my non-dating 
status. My youngest son came to live with me 
and during the few years that we lived together I 
threw myself into a life that left little time for 
dating even if it had been available to me. 

Nonetheless, I still cried real tears over 
the loss of the woman I loved, and I mourned 
the life that she was leading. My family and my 
wife had been my entire purpose in life and to 
see that way of life destroyed in front of my 
eyes was so painful that even if a woman had 
seen my anguish and had tried to befriend me, I 
would not have recognized any overture of 
kindness. 

Time has a way of healing. I moved, to 
start my life new and fresh. I was determined 
not to wallow in my inner pain and to find a 
good LDS woman with whom I could have a 
loving and enduring life. 

Unfortunately, I found nothing. A 
single, middle-aged man in Mormondom is a 
pariah. I watched as newly widowed and 
divorced women were figuratively wrapped in 
the loving arms of the ward members. Time and 
time again, I got the message that women are 
always the victims and that men who are single 
must be the wrongdoers. Week after week and 
month after month, I attended church faithfully. 
The bishops of the various wards I attended 
never talked with me, my home teachers only 
wanted to tell me their stories and hardships. 
and I was excluded from Church social events. 
Going to church became a reminder of the 
unworthiness that I felt as a rejected husband 
and parent. 

I eventually stopped attending alto- 
gether. The weekly reminders of my status as a 
single, divorced male were too much to bear. I 
longed to talk with a Mormon woman with 
whom I could become the person I actually was: 
caring, compassionate, and sincere. 

Friends universally told me that I was a 
good person, that I was good-looking, and that 
any woman would be proud to go out with me 
and be seen with me. I could discuss literature 
intelligently, talk about politics, and discuss 
theology rationally, without being dogmatic. I 
cried for the chance to meet someone, but I 
believed myself to be damaged goods: If I am a 
good person, why was I tossed aside by my 

(Continued on page IS) 

o 



(Continued from page 17) 

eternal spouse, and why didn't anyone express 

I spent a lot of time on my knees by the 
side of my bed asking God those same questions. 
If He could not help me win the love of my wife 
back, could He please erase the pain in my 
heart? Please! I prayed that I could just make it 
through the day without tears welling up in my 
eyes and without the stabbing pain that pierced 
my heart. After months and months of this daily 
prayer, I had a moment of epiphany: I realized 
that I was never going to marry again, and I 
realized that I could make it without a woman by 
my side. The heavy burden was lifted from my 
heart, my thoughts, and my desires. I knew that I 
could make it alone. I remember that moment as 
clearly as if it were yesterday. The lightness in 
my soul gave me a whole new perspective on life. 

I changed careers and was offered the 
same job that 1 had had several years before. I 
threw myself into my work. I read, and I wrote. 
Life was looking good to me after years of pain 
I met a divorced. Mormon woman, and she 
wanted to get married immediately. She even 
called me and told me that if I did not marry her 
now, she was going to marry someone else. With 
that knife held to my throat, I declined, and 1 
wished her well. Ten months later, she divorced 
the man she had said "God had revealed to be the 
right man in my life." We began to date again, 
and I began to believe that despite the epiphany 
revealing that I would be single for the rest of 
my life, I had been granted a second chance at 
happiness. Then her manipulation began again. 
She had dreams that God was revealing to her 
how and when we would be getting married. 
There is apparently no argument when the other 
person claims that God has revealed certain plans 
to her. You can't trump God! Painfully, I parted 
company with this good LDS woman. Interest- 
ingly, she married hei I mirth husband just a few 
months after my departure. God must have 
revealed another perfect mate to her. 

I began to direct my anger toward 
Mormon women in general. Why had she pushed 
remarriage when I hadn't known her well 



enough? I gave up on ever seeing another good 
Mormon woman. 

I was transferred to the East where I was 
once again alienated from the Church. I had been 
encouraged by a childhood friend in the Washing- 
ton, D.C. area to attend a singles ward in Alexan- 
dria, Virginia. In great pain, I drove to the church 
an hour early to make sure that I would find my 
way in a new and unfamiliar setting. 

As I waited in the foyer for the meetings 
to begin, no one approached me or talked to me. 
Finally, the chapel cleared, and I sat down and 
waited for the meetings to begin. As the moment 
for church to begin approached, an attractive 
woman walked up to me and asked if I were a 
visitor. Flattered, I said that I was. Very embar- 
rassed, she told me that I was in the Relief 
Society opening exercises and that the priesthood 
holders were meeting in the Cultural Hall. I 
picked up my scriptures and exited the chapel. 
Unfortunately, the priesthood meeting was even 
worse. As the instructor stood up, he welcomed 
all the visitors. I was prepared to introduce 
myself, but I was not asked to do so. I watched 
the bishop jump up to welcome two Ethiopian 
investigators who came in and sat behind me He 
must have sensed that I was a member and that I 
did not need the welcoming. As I sat there in the 
singles ward listening to the instructor read the 
lesson from the manual, I was struck with the 
painful reminder that 1 was a single, divorced 
middle-aged male and that I was an anomaly. 

Six months prior to my relocation to 
Virginia, through an organization that encourages 
the art of writing letters to friends, a woman ten 
years my junior had started to write to me. She 
was an excellent writer, and I was impressed 
with her directness and no nonsense approach to 
becoming acclimated to the dating world. When 
business brought her to Virginia, we agreed to 
meet for a strictly platonic date in Roanoke. The 
rest is history. We both fell in love with each 
other almost at first sight. Nine months later, we 
were married in her church, St. Peter's Episcopal 
Church, in Charlotte, North Carolina. For 
someone who had such a strong epiphany of my 
fate to be single the rest of my life, I was little 



prepared for falling in love again, and with a 
nonmember of the Church as well. 

Do I regret not marrying a good Mormon 
woman with a strong testimony of the gospel of 
Jesus Christ? No. I've been there and have done 
that. I am a little bitter and disappointed that my 
brothers and my three sons would not or could 
not come to my wedding. Only my eighty-year- 
old mother and her sister came. It has been 
difficult to attempt to explain and excuse my own 
family's boycott of my wedding to my new wife 
and her family. Relatives of hers from as far 
away as British Columbia, Canada, and Houston, 
Texas made it a point to be at the wedding. I 
wonder if I had married an LDS woman if my 
family would have been there. Probably so. 

I have just one message to the single 
sisters m the Church. We are there. No, you may 
not have seen me at church, but when I was 
coming to the meetings I would have melted at a 
kind word from you or even eye contact and a 
smile. Sure, there are a lot of single fellows in 
the Church that aren't worthy of you. I knew 
them when I was a missionary in Switzerland. 
They were dorks then and they are still nurds 
now. Still, I can tell you that for six long lonely 
years I was out there praying for someone to 
love me just a little bit, maybe enough to even 
marry me one day. Where were you when I 
needed you? That's all a moot point now. I love 
my Episcopalian wife very much and enjoy the 
sermons delivered by a learned and intelligent 
priest. No, it isn't my church, but I do hope that 
one day I will be able to enjoy reinstatement and 
fellowship again with my fellow brothers and 
sisters in the gospel. 

I do have a testimony of the truthfulness 
of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I could never turn 
my back on the teachings of the Church, and I 
would never dream of joining another church, 
but I will wait until the day that I can be wel- 
comed back into the fold. President Hunter asked 
me to come back and I will. Will the member- 
ship welcome me back again? I hope so. ♦ 



Twelfth Annual Hillsboro Reunion Scheduled 


This year's retreat will be 




The Retreat— 


July 


1994 


held July 14-16. Send your 


*-%?- :■- ■ < 








requests for information and 


SiMfc'*^ t ,( i 


The water is cool; 




and make new friends, 




the trees are green. 




and greet old ones again. 






Canoes on the lake; 




They come each year. 




n.t jhi 


all is serene. 




the old and the new. 


Exponent II 


y»^ jKffiSP&i 


The women laugh 




They find acceptance 


-i'-'-sm^T- "'A-") 


and splash and scream. 




and lots of love, too. 


Arlington, MA 02174 




They gather to talk 
and share their dreams. 
They talk of children, 
church, and men, 
how to save the world, 
and become spiritual again. 
They share with each other 
their joys and pain, 




As women they gather, 
as strangers they meet. 
But friends they become 
at the retreat. 

Sylvia Russell 
Arlington, Massachusetts 



o- 



-^aa^BMB* 



Recovering From Modesty Lessons 

Judy Dushku 

Watertown, Massachusetts 

Four years ago. I gave a Relief Society lesson on 

•'modesty." I quickly covered the familiar points 

made In the manual about the speclalness of our 

bodies, how we make a statement with how we 

dress about who we are, and that we are good 

modest women who cover ourselves in a culture 

where covering is less the norm. 

Once I had made these points, however, I 
went on to describe perspectives from my own 
experience, perspectives not covered in the 
manual. I said that I and several other sisters in 
the Church had negative attitudes toward our 
bodies as a result of having been told so often to 
cover and hide them. I spoke about the need to be 
very careful not to be so zealous and excessive in 
teaching modest) that we suggest to women, 
including our vulnerable and sensitive daughters, 
that their wonderful bodies are somehow shameful 
and repulsive and unacceptable to the Lord. That 
was certamlj the message that I heard growing up 
in the Church, and I have spent years trying to 
undo the body-hating lessons that I was taught by 
well-meaning but misled teachers. 

So, as part of my Relief Society lesson, I 
urged moderation in the teaching of modesty, and 
restrain! when urging sisters to cover themselves 
Most of all, I urged being acutely sensitive to the 
impact of our words on adolescent ears, ears 
already hypertramed to hear words of criticism, 
mockery, derision, or amusement about their new 
and changing bodies. Do those of us raised in the 
Church. I asked, want our own daughters to 
dislike their own bodies as much as most of us 
were taught to dislike ours? What they need to 

Then I told some stones, and other sisters 
offered theirs, about damage done by too much 
la Ik of covering and too little talk of accepting and 
loving our bodies and those of the girls and 






Sadly, ii 



e love 

One woman told of an enthusiastic, 
testimony-bearing, new convert who had spent 
hard-eamed money on a special dress to wear to 
church on Ihe first Sunday after her baptism. 
There she sat in hei lovely sundress listening to a 
talk on the importance of covering our arms at all 
limes in order to prove that we were clean-minded 
and pure-hearted women. She shrank farther and 
farther down in her seat as the sermon continued; 
she left in tears. No one could (ell whether Ihey 
were tears of humiliation or indignation. She did 
not return. 

Then there were the string of girls' camp 
stories! Most began by describing a thirteen-year- 
old girl who was newly big of bust. In some 
eases, the ststet telling the storv was remembering 
with pain her own experience, maybe thirty years 
ago, still vividly. The girl had carefully packed 
her T-shirts for camp, knowing she would meet 
new girls and new leaders and would feel that she 
was being watched and judged on her taste and her 
good looks and her "coolness" and her nearness lo 
the standards set by the really "in" girls — or her 
failure to meet all ol these ternlying standards. 
Shy, insecure, afraid, self-conscious, cautious, and 
haling her unfamiliar body, the little girl acts 
flamboyant, carefree, cavalier and bold as she 
dons her choicest T-shirt for the introductory 
hike — or meal, or game, or skit — only to be 
laughed at — jeered, pointed to — for (of all horrible 
things) the tightness of her shirt, the T-shirt 
Volume 19 Number 1 



vealing the 

ve erown even more since she packed last night, 
i throw barbs and 
ven suggesting 
that the offensive girl take herself and her breasts 
and her shirt back to the cabin for an alternative. 
What an entry into life among the Mormon girls 
and leaders, who — after all — are there to monitor 
righteous behavior and looks. 

For others the story centered around 
bathing suits; for still others, if was shorts, shorts 
that they were absolutely certain were exactly the 
same length as those of other smaller, "less de- 
veloped" girls but that attracted attention because 
thev were on then own alreadj unacceptable — 
more developed — bodies. 

We all laughed and cried over these sto- 
ries and how deeply their memories were etched 
in our minds and hearts — and images of ourselves. 
One sister said that she thought about her girls 
camp story everv summer dav that she had to 
dress to be outdoors with people. What a load to 
carry! Another said that she had avoided camps 
and outdoor summer sports ever since going to 
girls' camp. What a price! 

In speaking of the high price of these 
lessons, a couple of women joked about what they 
had cost them in actual dollars spent in marriage 
counseling. We laughed sympathetically. Unspo- 
ken among us that day was the terrible loss that 
many of us have experienced in our relationships 
with the men in our lives because we, and they, 
wrongly learned lessons that our bodies were "not 
proper," that they were somehow "too much," or 
"too little." And worse was the further implica- 
tion that we could and we should "do something" 
to make our bodies over, make them better, so that 
they would signal our goodness, out desirability lo 
a righteous priesthood holder, our pureness of 

We talked about eating disorders that have 
their origin in young women trying to cover their 
unacceptable bodies with fat or frying to make 
then unacceptable bodies disappear with anorexia 
or excessive dieting It was clear from the discus- 
sion that we had touched on a raw nerve and that 
it was not just a few of us in our big healthy ward 
who had struggled with these lifelong feelings of 
badness ussoi i.ited with hav ing the body of a 
woman. During the next two weeks, I received two 
letters and three phone calls about my lesson. I 
expected the first letter to be critical of me for 
straying from the manual because I perceived the 
woman who wrote it to be narrow, inhibited, and 
inhibiting. It turned out that she saw herself in all 
of the same ways and resented and was sad that 
she did. She traced being ashamed of herself and 
her body to always lee ling thai because her 
womanly body made her so susceptible to sinning 
that she had to be on guard all the time, checking 
herself for impropei beliaviorlh.il might reveal 
her inner, wicked self. Hers was a powerful 
letter — crying out for some way to feel free, to 
live with herself in joy. 

The second letter was from a woman, 
whom I will call Jenny, who reiterated the validity 
of Ihe points from the lesson and added stories of 
her own that have led her to a life of hating her 
own lovely body, of always feeling compelled to 
hide and cover it because she feaied being thought 
immodest, bad, sinful and reprehensible to the 
Lord and. in turn, lo any righteous priesthood 
holder, like her husband How, she said, .lie had 
tried to be freer to enjoy herself as a sexual, adult, 
attractive woman, how she fought the messages 



that told her that because she was a Mormon girl 
she couldn't be that. Jenny thanked me for calling 
her attention to the problem because she had two 
daughters and hoped now to be able lo raise them 
differently. She also hoped that by focusing on 
these messages of body -haling as a problem, as an 
excess, she could fight ihem and modify them to 
her own benefit. 

The first phone call I received was from a 
friend who described the messages that her father 
had delivered to her and her sister about the dan- 
gers that they were lo themselves— one had long 
and beautiful legs and the other (my friend) had big 
breasts. His warnings, accusations, prohibitions, 
en I leal looks, and icniarks about their bodies 
accompanied these girls every time ihey went out 
the door and continued when they got home His 
constant warnings and negative comments about 
their legs and breasts left them feeling ashamed and 
self-const ious and hating those body parts that had 
imperiled their feelings of safety and well being, 
liven today, thev shy away from their father's 
glances and accusing looks and assume that others 
like him— that is. other Church leaders— have the 
same condemning attitudes towards their bodies. 
What a burden to have been born with such legs 
and breasts! 

The second caller spoke of how her self- 
consciousness in summer clothes had led to anxiety 
about summer even coming. "It has impaired even 
my ability to enjoy playing in the yard with my 
kids," she confessed with regret. The third caller 
said that she had been in therapy for problems 
related to sexual disfunction that she now believed 
were made worse by her carefully taught hostility 
to her own body and her fear of its parts being 
exposed. She had laughed and cried over the 
lesson, claiming that she identified with every story 
told. 

Four years have passed, and I am not a 
Relief Society teacher any more. Last fall, we had 
another lesson on modesty. The sweet teacher 
covered familiar points, and frankly, 1 had forgotten 
my lesson on the same topic. Bui as we all left the 
room, several sisters squeezed my hand and re- 
called that day when we had shared our regrets 
about hating our bodies. Somehow modesty 
lessons bring it all back with a vengeance. 

Jenny was there to say that she had made 
great strides in changing the way she looks at 
herself. She is not out of the woods, she says, and 
still has more self-consciousness and feelings of 
ugliness and wrongness and badness than she 
w rshes she did, but she is miprov nig She can look 
in the mirror and admire her body . . . sometimes. 
When her husband genuinely compliments her on 
her good looks, she can accept his comments with 
graciousness. "What a blessing," she says. And 
best of all, she thinks she is setting a healthier path 
for her three daughters, who are not yet old enough 
for girls' camp but who, with their mother's help, 
are preparing themselves by learning lo like 
themselves before that fateful thirteen-year-old's 
day appears. Good luck, Jenny. May we all be so 

Another sister reminded me that we had 
concluded that lesson four years ago with the 
mutual agreement that if you have to chose be- 
tween modesty and self-esteem, self-esteem is more 
important. When she had arrived home after that 
lesson, she had put that message on her mirror. She 
had then added, "If covering up your body makes 
you hate it, uncover it!" ♦ 
Note: Please respond to Judy's experience by 
May 30, 1995. 



^> 



Exponent 11 Readers in the 
Northwest To Hold Retreat 

Re: The Third Annual Willamette Valley 

Women's Retreat 
Date: April 21-23 (4:00 P.M., Friday to 2:00 

P.M., Sunday) 
Where: Camp Cascade on the North Fork of the 

Santiam River (approximately 40 miles 

east of Salem, Oregon) 
Cost: $65 (all meals and lodging in comfortable 

facilities) 
Purpose: To establish a place of peace and 

refuge for women, a place to explore 

ideas, share feelings, develop friendships. 

Theme: "Leaving Home" 
Special Guest: Susan Howe 

For information, call or write: Sue Phair ,510 
Winding Way S.E., Salem, OR 97302, (503)588- 
2284 or send $65.00 to Sue to reserve your spot. 
(Include your phone number and a self-addressed, 
stamped envelope.) Our first two years were 
wonderful, and number three promises to be just 
as great. Bring a friend and join us for a warm and 
wonderful weekend ot inicrcsting workshops, 
music, and friendship. 



Rocky Mountain Retreat 
Set for May 



Mormon Electronic Mail Optio 



Plans are underway for the 1995 Rocky Mountain 
Retreat (formerly the Southwestern Mormon 
Women's Retreat). Last years retreat was a huge 
success, and this year's promises to he as fun, 
interesting, and spiritually uplifting. 

So far, the speakers are: Cathy Stokes (an 
ambassador for the Church who helped establish 
relationships with the Kenyan government), 
Phyllis Barber (a widely published, award- 
winning author), Denise Volkman (a popular 
speaker who will discuss "Adversity. Who Needs 
It?"), Linda Trapped (a wonderful speaker, 
engineer, and single mom), and Jerrie Hurd (a 
well-known author who will continue her 
"Women in the Scriptures" series with her presen- 
tation "How To Read the Scriptures and Not Miss 
the Women." 

Snow Mountain Ranch is a YMCA camp 
located on 10,000 forested acres high in the 
Rockies about I 1/2 hours from Denver. Retreat 
participants can use the swimming pool, the 
skating rink, and the hiking trails. The cabins 
i have indoor plumbing and beds and are wheel- 
chair accessible. 

Registration will be limited to the first 50 
partic ipants. For more information or to reserve 
your space, contact: Linda Tyler, 14759 East 
Chenango Place, Aurora, CO 80015, (303) 680- 
8475; or telephone Lisa Turner at (303) 730-6410 
or Paula Goodfellow (303)460-7278. 

Sunstone Announces Annual 
Fiction Contest 

The Sunstone Foundation encourages all inter- 
ested writers — novice or professional — to enter 
its annual Brookie and D. K. Brown Memorial 
Fiction Contest. Entries must relate in some 
manner to the Latter-day Saint experience, 
theology, or world view. All entries must either 
be taken to the Sunstone office or postmarked by 
June 1, 1995. Cash prizes up to $400 per win- 
ning entry will be awarded by the Brown family 
for two categories short-short story — less than 
1 ,000 words; short story— less than 6,000 words. 
Stories will be judged by an independent 
board consisting of noted Mormon authors and 
professors of literature. Awards will be an- 
nounced August 12, 1995, at the Salt Lake City 
Sunstone symposium banquet. Winning stones 
will be published in Sunstone. 

For further information, call the Sunstone 
Foundation. 801/355-5926, or write, 331 Rio 

_ Grande Sj«teJ05,^IX,_UT_84iqi_. 

Toin us for the first time, renew your subscription, or give the gift of EXPONENT II and 
I participate with Mormon women as we share our lives, reflect on our common bonds, 
' expand our understanding, and celebrate our diversity. 

] □ One year - $1 5 □ Two years - $30 

| □ "Friend" Contribution: $30 (includes 1 year) 

I □ Outside USA: Add $8 postage per year 



Ifyouhaveacce 


ss to an c 


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you may want tc 


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Internet: 







GENERAL MAILING LISTS 
LDS-net: Contact David B. Anderson 
(anderson@merl.com); he can also provide a 
copy of his complete "List of Lists." 
Mormon-L: Contact Susan McMurray 
(catbyrd @ onramp.net ) 

WOMEN ONLY 
Sister-Share (an "on-line Relief Society"): 
Contact Lynn Anderson (lynnma@netcom.cor 
for information about discussing LDS femimsn 
and gender issues. 

MAGAZINE 
Saints-Best: Contact David B. Anderson 
(anderson@merl.com); there is no discussion 
just "best of the lists" and news items. 

There 



Eggjgmggg 



EDITORIAL BOARD 

EDITOR 

MANAGING EDITOR 
SENIOR EDITORS 



Sue Paxm 



ASSOCIATE EDITORS 



ART EDITOR 

BOOK REVIEWS 

EAST/WEST 

FICTION 

POETRY 

SISTERS SPEAK/HELP 



Barbara Streeper Taylor 
Nancy T. Dredge 

Laurel T. Ulrich 
Robin Zenger Baker 
Anne Wunderli 
Bret Wunderli 
Eileen Perry Lambert 
Linda Hoffman Kimball 
Melinda Smart Graves 
Susan Elizabeth Howe 
Laura Hamblin 
Judy Dushku 



PRODUCTION 

CIRCULATION Karen Call Haglund 

Melinda Smart Gr.ne 
WORD PROCESSING Ellen Patton 
BACK ISSUES Jenny Atkinson 

READERS COMMITTEE 

MEMBERS Lynn Matthews Andersor. 

Jenny Atkinson 
Robin Zenger Baker 
Nancy T. Dredge 
Knsten Graves 
Linda Hoffman kimh.i 
Sue Paxman 
Sylvia Russell 
Annie Bentley WauYleui 
Linda Andrews Whiting 
Stephanie Smith-Waterm. 
Anne Wunderli 



EXECUTIVE BOARD 



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HISTORIAN 

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Cheryl Howard 
Nancy T. Dredge 
Judy Dushku 
Knsten Graves 
Melinda Smart Graves , 
Eileen Perry Lambert 
Sue Paxman 
Sylvia Russell 
Carrel Hilton Sheldon 
Barbara Streeper Taylor 
Anne Wunderli 



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