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Loss, or When There Is No Doctrine

“I just don’t want anyone else to tell me what to believe,” my friend said with firmness. We were discussing religion. She knows I identify as Mormon, and she has some faraway Mormon relatives. She knew them when she and they were teens, a good twenty years ago. Religion, time and physical distance added them …

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Clear vision, rose-colored glasses, and hate versus love

By Teresa Bruce

Fluorescent lights don’t impede my vision, but they impact my brain, so I gear up against them: Clear trifocals off, rose-tinted trifocals on. Dark UV sunglasses wrap around peripheral exposure. Sun visor, pulled low over glasses, covers the gap at my eyebrows. I’m vain enough to realize I look ridiculous putting these on to leave …

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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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Creation Appreciation

By Sherilyn Stevenson

I pause for art. (And if you’re visiting Segullah, chances are you do, too.)   More than once, I’ve happened upon a temporary visual arts display in the main lobby of my children’s high school. Attracted first by the colors and lines, ultimately the potential for discovering talent pulls me further into the exhibit. Pushing …

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LOVE

By Lisa Meadows Garfield

In a recent Fast and Testimony meeting, Karen came up from the back of the chapel to share her testimony. I’d never seen her at the pulpit before. I’d only seen her herding her rather ragged brood of seven down the church halls — quietly, faithfully. From the pulpit, she told a story of her cousin, who had called her recently for some compassionate counsel, as he dealt with serious depression. She related that she had counseled him to be selective about the music he listened to, to quit using drugs and alcohol, plus a number of other wise and useful suggestions. Then she said, “But I did not tell him the thing I wanted to tell him. I wanted to tell him he needed to come to church, that it would help him a lot. But I couldn’t bring myself to say it. See, my cousin is openly gay, and I could not be sure he would be welcomed and loved and accepted here at church. And I knew that the last thing he needed right now was to feel judged and rejected, even subtly.”

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Do You Strive?

By Lisa Meadows Garfield

I heard the word “strive” six times at church on Sunday. The idea of striving — of trying, of struggling — is a bulwark tradition of our faith. We are an industrious bunch, like bees in a beehive (except for those worthless drones.) Some of you will recognize one of the temple recommend questions in the words Do you strive . . .? I always cringe at the question. Because I know the “right” answer is Yes. But I can’t say Yes. I say, “No. I don’t really “strive”. It’s counterproductive for me. I simply nurture my divine desires and then I surrender to God the best I can.”

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The Power of No

By Lisa Meadows Garfield

finger-924109_640I learned this valuable lesson from my business mentor, Dean Graziosi. I was frustrated at my lack of progress in growing my business. When I shared this with him, he counseled me:

“You’ve gotten this far by saying Yes. Yes to new contacts, new opportunities, new ideas and strategies. Now you are at the point where saying No is more valuable than saying Yes. You need to focus your efforts. That means saying No to opportunities that do not further your goals. It means turning down invitations you don’t really want to accept. It requires you to develop the ability to stay clear about what you want and the courage to say No to people who would derail you, even unwittingly. Some people may feel slighted by your refusal to join in their projects and agendas, but in the end, they will respect your strength and clarity.”

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How To Be a Latter-Day Saint

By Lisa Meadows Garfield

There seems to be some uncharacteristic upheaval in the church lately, similar perhaps to some of those periods of strife in the Nephite church. It makes me wonder, as I and many others feel batted about by conflicts between conscience and conformity, compassion and consensus, what we’ll be facing in the near future as a …

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Stay in the Church

By Lisa Meadows Garfield

Twenty years ago, in an effort to evade an impending nervous breakdown, I left my four children in the care of their dad, and went to Florida for a month to simply be still and know God. It was perhaps the bravest and best thing I’ve ever done.

I referred to it here: https://segullah.org/daily-special/solitude/#more-18197 in a blogpost I wrote last year. But I didn’t (yet) tell you what God said to me that month.

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Avoiding Deception

By Lisa Meadows Garfield

I have long been concerned with avoiding deception. I am a Mormon convert because I am a seeker of Truth. I am not interested in dogma or the masks of God, except as they are useful to leading me deeper into eternal truth. I need to experience God, to know Them, not just learn about Them as conceptualized by any earthly organization. Don’t misunderstand: I am a faithful believer in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I believe the Church is the authorized vehicle to establish Zion on the earth. But, of course, the church is not the gospel.

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