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Conference Sisters Speak

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

It’s October – that time when we think about pumpkins and goblins … and General Conference. In a different order perhaps? This month I decided to pull some treats out of the proverbial goodie bag of Conference addresses and see what gems our sisters at the podium had to say. In the Saturday morning session …

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Hurt People Hurt People

By Karen Austin

Sometime in the late 1990s, I was helping organize a Relief Society birthday dinner. Sylvia (not her real name), one of the members of the presidency took the helm. The rest of the committee members had some assignments, but no one was told when to arrive at the church to set up. We just made …

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It’s about Time for Father’s Day

By Karen Austin

The week before Father’s Day, I’m usually standing in the greeting card aisle for a long time, trying to pick out a card. “Thanks for teaching me how to change a tire.” “I miss the days we used to go camping.” And “To the Greatest Father in the World.” Where are the cards that say, …

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Patterns and “Up-cycling”

I noticed my eldest daughter struggling to choose something to wear to church on Sunday. Her most recent growth spurt, both in fashion sense and body, had outgrown what few “churchy” things remained in her closet. She was miserable. “Can I skip church, just today?”   But like my mother, and grandmother, I say, “God …

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Breaking the Silence: Surviving Incest

I am a sexual abuse and incest survivor. My abuser was my best friend. She was my sister. A few years ago when the #metoo movement began, I thought, So many women I know have suffered sexual abuse: sister-in-laws, neighbors, friends. My brain kept insisting, Not me. But then it all came back. The dam …

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Further Light and Ambiguity

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

For over a week now I have rejoiced and grieved/danced and wept/ felt free-at-last and still a tad bit bound. Sorry to be so oblique. I’m sorry, also, that I have been instructed that “oblique” is the best I can do. (That isn’t an apology; it’s a regret.) The other day, weighed with these joys …

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Book Review: How the Light Gets In

By Megan Wilcox Goates

Keira Shae references Cohen’s iconic lyrics in the title of her new memoir, How the Light Gets In, recently published through By Common Consent Press, which vividly details her unorthodox Utah upbringing. With a meth-addicted prostitute mother with bipolar disorder, little food and never enough money, and four younger siblings who depend on Keira to …

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Segullah interview with Cathy Stokes

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

Love at first sight

A search on Mormonwiki will tell you that Cathy Stokes is a retired deputy director in public health and a community volunteer. Born in Mississippi into stark poverty, she moved north as a young child with her great-aunt and her husband who raised her as their daughter.

In the north, she had the privilege of going to school. She earned a BS in nursing at DePaul University and had a long, successful career in the Illinois Public Health Department. At the time of her retirement, she was a deputy director for the Illinois Department of Health. She served as vice chairman of the board of trustees of the Chicago Inner City Youth Charitable Foundation for 16 years. She moved to Utah in 2006 after her retirement. In Salt Lake City, Cathy was a member of the Utah AIDS Foundation board of trustees. She was named as a member of the new Editorial Advisory Board for the Deseret News. She is a member of the Utah chapter of the African-American Genealogy and Historical Society. She greets and directs patients at the Huntsman Center Hospital one day a week. She serves on the board of the Salt Lake City Public Library.

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Greater Good

By Kathyrn Lynard

(Chiasmus) Prelude: Hymn #85, Verse 1 How firm a foundation, ye Saints of the Lord, Is laid for your faith in his excellent word! What more can he say than to you he hath said Who unto the Savior for refuge hath fled? I. A Token (2004) NEXT TO MY MIRROR hangs a small plaque: …

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What We Leave On The Altar

By Kellie Purcill

wood

Repentance for me is a bloody process. I’m stalking 40 years of age, and my understanding of repentance is a much darker, more violent and powerful star than the “repentance is like a bar of soap” example given in the Primary cosmos.  Just as “milk before meat” is a component of the gospel, so is the real awareness of bringing “a contrite heart and broken spirit” to our personal altars before the Saviour.  The blood and profound change to His feet is as painful and fundamental as our own pivotal experiences are, leaving us marked and leaking on our way.

I’m searching for deeper examples of repentance, forgiveness, charity and patience not only because I’m parenting teens, but because my own heart and dedication wobble in the course of my days.  Soap’s useless when the issue at hand is internal, gory and nasty. Being washed clean as the first person in an entire family to join the church is a wonderful occasion, but the washing doesn’t rinse away generations of abuse, dysfunction and family habits.  Sometimes the repentance process involves not taking the sacrament, leaving deacons anxiously pressing trays to knees, encouraging to take the morsel, accept the love, unaware of the gnawing of bone going on inside, worrying our broken shards towards redemption somewhere further ahead.

Years ago, I cannonballed in love. 

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