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Treading in His Tracks

By Kimberly Sears

We have no mountain guide. Dad relies on a paperback trailbook and a topographical map of the Grand Teton, nothing more. Our packs are heavy with ropes and harnesses we’ll use to summit the jagged peak cutting into the sky like a shark’s tooth. The heady smell of pine takes me back to a childhood …

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Puffy-Eyed Perfection and the Nativity

By Kellie Purcill

Somewhere tangled in the tinsel and light of several Christmas Pasts, I saw a small picture of Brian Kershisnik’s ‘Nativity’ online. The screen colours were tired, but the exuberance and hinted detail of the painting shone through regardless. One day, I promised myself, that is going to be a present to myself. Fast forward years …

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Perfect People Not Allowed

By Angela Hallstrom

A few weeks before Christmas I drove past a cozy-looking Protestant church in my neighborhood. I noticed a colorful banner staked into the ground — “Perfect people not allowed!” it read — and I felt a yearning tug in my heart. It had been a tiring month, emotionally and physically, and the idea of walking into a church so cheerfully opposed to perfection seemed like just the ticket. I imagined padding in wearing tennis shoes, jeans and a sweatshirt. Soothing music would be playing. Perhaps someone would give me a mug of hot cocoa. I wouldn’t have to say anything, or do anything — just sit with all the other rumply, exhausted, not-perfect people and rest.

(I realize that people probably don’t often give you mugs of hot cocoa at Protestant church services, at least not until you’re done sitting in hard chairs and listening to the sermon. I also realize that what I’ve described above doesn’t approximate a church service of any kind, really, but more closely approaches going to a spa. But this is my fantasy, mmkay, so let’s go with it.)

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A Natural Woman

By Angela Hallstrom

I’m glad I’m a woman. I’m glad I’m a wife. I’m glad I’m a mother. I’m glad I’m a Mormon. In fact, my Mormon-woman-wife-and-motherness is the core of my personal identity, and I recognize it as the source of my greatest blessings and opportunities for growth in this life. I am not, however, a perfect Mormon-wife-and-mother (gasp!). And any Mormon-wives-and-mothers out there reading this post? Neither are you (double gasp!).

Seriously, we’ve got issues, don’t we? We’re lazy and whiny and angry and lustful and controlling and jealous and aggressive and mean and petty and occasionally even faithless. We yell at our kids. We choose going to the movies over going to the temple. We give our husbands the silent treatment. We walk out of the grocery store in the rain with three kinds clinging to the cart, and when we realize that we forgot to have the cashier scan the 12-pack of Diet Coke, we don’t go back inside and pay for it.

And these examples are just the small things.

I don’t mention all this because I want to revel in our faults or air our dirty laundry. I’m saying it because it’s true, and as the old saying goes, the truth will set you free.

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I’m Not Perfect. Can I Still Go to Heaven?–An Interview with Anthony Sweat

By Angela Hallstrom

Anthony Sweat is a full-time religious educator, currently teaching seminary at West High in Salt Lake City, and a regular speaker at Especially For Youth and Education Week conferences. He is the co-author of the bestselling book WHY? Powerful Answers and Practical Reasons for Living LDS Standards, and the author of the newly-released I’m Not Perfect. Can I Still Go to Heaven?. Both books are published by Deseret Book. He’s also an artist, a PhD student at Utah State, a father of five, an expert finisher of basements, a highly competitive SingStar participant, and my little brother. (And no, he’s not the same brother that some of you may know from his once-popular but now-defunct blog Normal Mormon Husbands. That brother lives in North Carolina and is freakishly tall. Tony lives in Utah and is merely respectably tall.)

The reason I wanted to talk to Tony about his book isn’t just because he’s my brother. It’s because I wish a book like this had been available when I was a teenager, and because I know I need to be reminded of the principles he explores even now. So, on to the interview!

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an unguest post

By Dalene Rowley

One of the things I love most about reading other people’s stories is getting a little inside their heads. It’s kind of easy to do this with someone who thinks just like you. But to me it’s even more interesting to get into someone’s head who has a completely different experience than mine. It kind of blows my mind.

Which is why, after a number of posts and comments here at Segullah addressing the subject of cosmetic surgery–particularly that of the enhancement type–I wanted to go out and solicit a guest post from someone who’s had it done. I wanted to understand why.

Unfortunately, I’m either really oblivious or I must live on the wrong side of town because I don’t know a whole lot of surgically enhanced women.

So I did the next best thing. I talked to the one person I know in all my circle of friends who has had breast augmentation surgery.

I told her about some of the rather heated conversations here at Segullah and I invited her to tell me about her own experience. It’s understood that her story is her own and her reasons may not be the same as those of others, but because this was a topic about which I myself have strong feelings, I wanted to try to understand…at least from her perspective. And, as is usually the case when you try to look at someone’s situation through their own eyes, I came away with a greater understanding and a little more compassion.

I never knew her before she had her surgery. In fact, had she not confided in me several years ago, I never would have guessed she’d had it done. She appears completely natural to me–so natural that it’s not uncommon for some of our mutual friends to discuss or even make fun of breast augmentation in her presence without having any clue. Perhaps that’s one more proof of the wisdom behind “moderation in all things.”

So we had a frank talk about her experience and this is what she said…

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