Guest Post: Jean Keenan on “Keeping Faith during Struggles”

Segullah is delighted to share this wisdom from the down-to-earth and witty Jean Keenan of Naperville, IL. She recently presented these thoughts at the Joliet Illinois Stake Women’s Conference. Jean graciously agreed to let us publish it in our journal to let a broader audience benefit from her experience and perspective. Keeping Faith During Struggles …

Read More

Timshel and the Art of Creative Captivity

By Terresa Wellborn

If I could collect all of the hours I’ve spent waiting at appointments and lessons over the years, I would be rich with time. Here are a few of the regular visits and necessary errands I attend with my family: Dentist appointments Orthodontist appointments PTA meetings & misc school functions Church meetings Dermatologist appointments ENT …

Read More

Honorable Mention Poetry: Before

By Faith Kershisnik

                          Before materiality, they knew                           what it was like to be trapped inside matter.                                 …

Read More

On Age and Agency: musings on a pinterest quote

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

“You’re never to young to learn and never too old to change.” Russell M. Nelson


Pres. Russell M. Nelson famously said, “You’re never too young to learn and never too old to change.” This must be true because I found it on Pinterest in lovely lettering. As a quarterly blog theme, it’s a fun and challenging truism that gooses me out of my comfort zone.

What is one never too young to learn? Quantum physics? I would think so,

Read More

Friendly Fire

The author of today’s guest post has asked to remain anonymous.

Friendly fire: inadvertent firing towards one’s own or otherwise friendly forces.

The words were said so quickly and with such ease I was shocked. We quietly went about our work; busy with our hands in service for our children.  A young woman, with preschoolers, asked me about my work and told me she was, “fascinated by working women.”  I replied, “It’s really hard.  If you can stay home with your children do that. Go to school or learn a trade and go back to work later if you need to or want to.”  Then another young woman joined the conversation, while still busily working, and said, “Besides, the children really suffer.”  She immediately realized what she had said with little thought to the company she was in.  We made eye contact and then went back to our work.  I don’t remember where the conversation turned next; I only know where my heart has turned again and again since then; the “friendly fire” rhetoric against the working mom leveled by those who should be friendly forces and who often intend no harm.  This rhetoric knows no individual circumstances and only levels generalized judgment or “friendly fire” causing harm when there is no enemy in sight.

“Besides, the children suffer” were words heaped on the words of a co-worker who, just weeks before, on my first day back at work said, in reference to his wife’s ability to stay home with their child, “You can really tell the difference between the children of working mothers and stay-at-home mothers.”  I was stunned at his rudeness and the inappropriateness of his comment.

Read More

The Freedom to Choose Indulgence

By Brooke Benton

Maybe it’s because I’m so full. Because I just ate the entire pantry full of Trader Joe’s delicacy: chocolate covered almonds, chocolate covered pretzels, chocolate covered PEANUT BUTTER pretzels, and THEN, after all that, cut the chocolate with a few macaroons. So this food journal entry, I’m cataloging it because I think it might be the reason I’m about to say what I’m saying and my normal, hungry, full of denial, green eating self can’t be held culpable. Anyway, here goes.

But before I say that I have to tell you this: I was on a flight two months ago, from Oakland to Salt Lake City, and just as I was settling my toddler into the seeming empty seat beside me, a pretty blond woman rushed down the aisle, with her blown dry hair and carry-on baggage ribbons of wake behind her, and claimed the seat. She was really apologetic about taking up some of the space I obviously required for four children and all their various electronic accoutrement, and I was taken aback by her heartfelt kindness—I don’t usually get a lot of compassion on these types of flights. And so, this woman and I, we really started talking. It was the proverbial set-up that you think will happen to you on every flight into or out of Utah, when you suddenly find yourself knee-deep in a conversation with a really open-minded inquisitor of Mormonism.

Of course, I only tell you of this quick association and the accompanying candor of the conversation to display for you the gristle of it—the chewy part I choked on.

Read More

An Anniversary: This Pilgrim’s Progress

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

June 16 is the anniversary of my baptism, the day I became a Latter-day Saint. It was 1971, three days shy of my 19th birthday. (Do the math; the upcoming birthday is a big one about which I am in deep denial.) For 2 years before my baptism I was an active, participating dry member of my college ward in Massachusetts and my Illinois ward when I was home with my (Protestant but not particularly religious) family.

Read More

Answering the Call to Nurture and Heal

Photo by David Goehring via Creative Commons

Today’s guest post comes from Karen D. Austin, who lives in Wichita, Kansas with her husband Michael and their two children. 

In the spring of 1988, I was living in Washington, DC and enjoying the many opportunities    afforded by the city and its inhabitants. I was working as a technical writer, doing volunteer work, attending cultural events, and forging friendships with a variety of interesting people.

Unfortunately, I gave myself over to the energy of the city at the height of the Yuppie zeitgeist of the 1980s. I began to unravel from the stress. During the four years that I lived and worked in DC, I had changed jobs four times–doubling my salary in the process. I was driving a Saab Turbo and feeling pretty proud of my accomplishments. But I was gaining weight, snapping at people, and given to bouts of crying. 

Read More

choosing covenant

By Melissa Young

I wrote this a while ago when I was feeling conflicted about making covenants while too young to fully understand them. Both the poem and my feelings are still a work in progress, so we can talk about either. “the serpent” you have the power to choose, he hisses, wrapping around my discontent with soothing …

Read More

I’m so offended!

Today’s guest post comes courtesy of Laura Day Lewis. Raised in the land Bountiful, Utah she now resides on the Lewis “Farm” outside of Boston, MA. She is wife to one, and called “Mom” by 3 boys, 1 girl, and a dog. As the best hair stylist around, a visit to her chair is filled with highlights of laughter

My heart broke the day my 7th grader came home from school upset because a kid was teasing him. I was able to hug him and sympathize as he begged, “CAN WE PLEASE MOVE?!”

I broke the news to him that moving to a different state wouldn’t solve his problems. Regardless of where you live or how old you are, there will always be people you don’t see eye to eye with. There will be unkind words spoken, some intentional, some not. With that being said, regardless of where I live or how old I am, I face it constantly. It’s up to ME to decide how I will handle each situation.

My personal therapist, aka my Dad, often told me, “No one can MAKE YOU FEEL anything!”

Meaning, if someone “makes” you mad, YOU are making the choice to be mad.

If someone “makes” you feel inadequate, YOU are allowing it.

Or if someone “makes” you feel dumb, YOU doubt yourself.

Read More