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Book Review: Beyond the Mapped Stars by Rosalyn Eves

By Emily Milner

Beyond the Mapped Stars(Knopf, 2021), by emerita Segullah staffer Rosalyn Collings Eves, captures the paradoxes of being a contemporary Latter-day Saint woman and places them in a historical setting: 1878 Utah, Wyoming, and Denver. Seventeen-year-old Elizabeth Bertelsen dreams of becoming an astronomer, of leaving her rural polygamous home and her mother’s expectations in Monroe, Utah, to study science and learn about the stars. When her sister Rebekka needs help with her first pregnancy, Elizabeth travels to Wyoming, and from there to Denver to follow her dreams and see the 1878 eclipse. Beyond the Mapped Stars spoke in a healing way to issues I’ve wrestled with for my entire adult life.

The book is gorgeously written, and layered in a way that serves both its story and the contemporary audience reading it. Two favorite passages:

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Summer, I Love You: Deep Wishes Midlife

By Terresa Wellborn

Ah, summer, of homemade freshly-picked-strawberry ice cream churning on the back patio. Of long days with late dinners, later star gazing. Of tennis court roller skating, sweat running down the backs of our knees. My child-wish: that summer would last forever. “I can still remember one day very well. It was the day when my …

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Waving Wildly While Making a Joyful Noise

By Teresa Bruce

When the music paused, I swiveled around — not easy in jeans on the plush, cushioned seat — to see how many sisters filled the Relief Society room behind me. The Tuesday night turnout compared to summer Sundays when folks travel, a respectable, sociable showing. I smiled at teenage young women and not-so-young women and …

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Our New Book, Seasons of Change: Stories of Transition

By Sherilyn Stevenson

You’ve probably heard by now that we have a new book, and if you haven’t — well, let us fill you in! Here’s what you need to know: What We’re so proud of our third anthology, Seasons of Change: Stories of Transition, and know that you, our faithful readers, will relate to this collection of …

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Coming to You This October — A New Segullah Book

By Sherilyn Stevenson

The Announcement — It’s a Book! Segullah is ready to share our latest collection with the world, and we couldn’t be more proud. This gorgeous book published by Peculiar Pages will soon be available in both paperback and eBook formats at Amazon.com and bookstores throughout Utah. From our Co-Editors-In-Chief: We are thrilled to announce that …

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Semiannual Alignment

By Teresa Bruce

General Conference resumes this weekend. I would have said starts, but this 187th worldwide conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints began with last weekend’s Women’s Session. I think it’s significant that the Church officially marks the beginning of conference with messages to and from women. In the Garden, it was Eve …

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ARE MEN UNKIND?

By Lisa Meadows Garfield

At the adult session of Stake Conference last weekend, our Stake President suddenly and forcefully said, “Now brethren, I need to speak to you right now. This may sound harsh, but you need to hear this. I am hearing from too many of our faithful sisters about the way they are being treated by their …

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Welcome While Under Construction

By Teresa Bruce

I’ve been banned from entering my church building since June — I, and everyone else. Decades ago, my husband and I bought our house within a couple of miles of the stake center, anticipating countless drives to and from. Sunday services. Choir practices. Ward and stake councils and planning. Twelve planned years of weekday early-morning …

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Heavenly Mother’s Job

By Lisa Meadows Garfield

I didn’t actually write this essay. It was written by my friend, Tracey Snoyer, in an effort to capture the essence of what happened when some women got together for a few days of spiritual exploration in the tree-feathered foothills of Mt. Hood. I was part of the sacred circle. I invite you into the circle today, to seek with us greater light and knowledge about our Heavenly Mother.

Heavenly Mother’s Job

It started in a circle of women. Of bright, accomplished women, who held feminism as either an ideology or a manifestation. They were all empowered women: artists and business leaders and writers and thinkers. And all of them, spiritual savants in their own way. Two mothers and two never-mothers spending their days in inquiry and devotion with good food and long walks and quiet meditation. It took until the fifth day for the insight to grow deep enough for the question to be asked, and, in a spiral of light and magic, answered.

It began, as many inquiries of Heavenly Mother do, with an inquiry on Eve. Some believed that Eve knew exactly what she was doing when she took that fruit. Some believed she understood the plan in a way that inspired her to move the plan forward in the face of Adam’s solid obedience that, while beautiful, also brought stasis to the human family. It was Eve, some said, that had the insight and foresight and inspiration to make the choice that would start humanity. This idea seems to be gaining popularity: Eve as risk-taker, as knowing intercessor.

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Open

By Sandra Clark

imageWhen I lived in the city I was accustomed to the kaleidoscope of smashed glass caught in the cracks and rough patches of sidewalk and road. Beautiful, but terrifying trash. I’ve stepped on enough broken drinking glass shards to know to keep my feet covered when I stepped outside. The day I spied a man running down my Baltimore street without shoes I looked once to see him, again in unbelief, once more in disbelief and again because why would anyone in their right mind run down these glass glittered streets without proper footwear? But up the street he ran anyway, not stepping gingerly, but in stride and purpose. Open and free. I just thought he and anyone else reckless enough to attempt such a task was crazy. Then I met one.

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