The 6 Letter “S”-word

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

WOODBRIDGE, NEW JERSEY – October 13, 2018: A circa 1980s board game of Chutes and Ladders is shown.

As a convert, there are some unique words in LDS parlance that I have developed fondness for – like “ministering sister” and “funeral potatoes.” Some words are just different.  “Communion” is now “taking the Sacrament.” “Congregations” are now “wards” or “branches”. Some terms have apparently become obsolete. “M Men and Gleaners” were gone before I joined the fold. Phrases pop up and become mottos. “Catch a vision” was one. “Baring one’s testimony” (or is it “bearing?) is another. A current mantra focuses on “the Covenant Path”. I have heard that one so often in the last few months that I now can’t get the image of the board game “Chutes and Ladders” out of my head. One misstep and down ya go!

I didn’t grow up in the LDS tradition, but came to it as a committed Christian young adult.  I brought all the truths I knew before, and I’m grateful for the “added-upons.” Sometimes, however, I feel like I have to hang on to the truths I brought with me for dear life.

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Becoming One Through His Word

By Jessie Christensen

Did you know that the word atonement only appears once in the English version of the New Testament? And did you also know that it is a new word created by William Tyndale while he was preparing his English translation of the Bible during the fifteenth century? I learned both of these fascinating tidbits a …

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Toni Morrison’s Writing and Listening When Others Speak

By Karen Austin

Writing in the wake of Toni Morrison’s passing on Monday, August 5, 2019 is a daunting task. Her craft outshines my ability to describe it. Nevertheless, I want to gesture to her writing, which is powerful in both form and content. Be it grand or slender, burrowing, blasting, or refusing to sanctify; whether it laughs …

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By Amanda Hamilton Ross

One afternoon Berenice told me that we were going to visit a new mother. It seemed a little strange to take the gringa who speaks awkward Spanish on this errand, but I know that’s what Mormons do: we show up. So I agreed to go, thinking, well, I’m also the mom of a baby, so …

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Explaining Love

By Meghan Flinders

I can’t explain love to a dog. I come home to a fragmented couch, to yellowed and shredded upholstery. I sigh as the dog struts its win, sofa hanging damp from its jaw. I groan and let the dog stay. I can’t explain love to a child. I sang to my wailing babe whose snot …

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Favorite Words!

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

kumquatsAt a recent writer’s conference, the presenter asked us to write down five of our favorite words. This is a challenge best done quickly without a lot of overthinking. So quick, right now – what are five of YOUR favorite words? You’ve got one minute.

…Tick, tick, tick, tick… Time’s up!

Here are the five I came up with – and why.

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By Valerie Owens

I keep coming back to Russia; the way the white sky seemed to close in on itself after an endless stretch of sunless days, the spires of Russian Orthodox temples piercing through that white sky, and the feel of sunshine after too long without it. I have myself convinced that if I can somehow take …

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Twilight Zone Episode 2a, 1985

By Dayna Patterson

My girl says I look daily as I lean over the stove to heat up a pot of black beans. I don’t have to ask. She told me yesterday daily means pretty. The lay of the language shifts beneath our tongues. Words and meaning inch apart by syllables. On my way to work, the neighbor may mention his encyclopedia …

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Mi Testimonio en Espanol

IMG_0304-001  Today’s guest post comes from Emily Johnson, who is currently figuring out life in the Southern Hemisphere as an English teacher in northern Peru. She completed her graduate studies at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah with a Master of Professional Communication degree. Johnson also is a contributing writer for Deseret News and Mormon Times. Johnson also is an award-winning artist, photographer, and scrapbooker. Samples of her work can be found at http://goldstarcreative.weebly.com. Besides Johnson’s “Fumbles in Faith” blog, she maintains a humorous blog about her life in Peru at www.peruvianpony.blogspot.com.  Hailing originally from Arizona, this desert native is not missing the typical Utah winter this year.

If someone would have told me this time last year that I would be bearing my testimony in Spanish in a ward in Peru, I would laughed out loud like Sariah from the Old Testament. Yet, at approximately 9:45 am this morning, I was doing exactly that.

For the last four months, I have lived in Piura, Peru as a college English teacher and I have been attending the Los Angamos ward in the Miraflores stake. While I do not speak or understand Spanish fluently, I do understand the Spirit and am grateful for my church membership as I’ve lived in Peru.

I have always enjoyed testimony meetings as a chance to reflect on my own thoughts and I have enjoyed sharing my testimony when the Spirit directs me to do so. I had the opportunity to share my testimony at an investigator’s meeting here in Piura but never in church.

My first fast Sunday in the ward was in August. I prepared a lengthy testimony and planned to share my testimony then, after only being in Piura for about 2 weeks. However, when it came down to it, I was too nervous and scared.

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I have the very best, cutest, most brilliant children in the entire universe

By Shelah Miner

My five-year-old, Maren, has been obsessed with favorites lately. “Mommy, you are my very best mom in the whole world,” she’ll say to me. I know she’s angling for a reply. Preferably something along the lines of, “And you, my most precious, are my favorite child on the planet.” The problem is, I have four other children, all of whom would be peeved to know I said Maren was my favorite, and Maren would delight in reporting the news right back to them.

So instead I respond with something like, “And you are my favorite five-year-old in this family,” which feels pretty lame coming from the very best mom in the whole world. But at least it will prevent civil war from breaking out in our household, which is something we always seem to be on the verge of these days, with the temperatures over a hundred degrees, and all of the kids cranky from watching too many hours of Netflix. In fact, I think they’ve watched a billion hours of Neflix this summer. They’ve probably watched more Netflix than any other kids in America.

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