Raising Boys, Raising Men

By Kellie Purcill

Over a decade ago, I was sure I was pregnant with a little girl. When the ultrasound technician pointed out “the turtle coming out of its shell” and then explained that the turtle was “boy bits”, the first thought I had was “Better not call him Abby then”, closely followed by “ARRGH! A boy? Boys are WEIRD! With different bits! How do you look after boys?” Twelve years later, I’m still learning how to look after boys, now in the company of two sons who thankfully have been looking after their own bits (“AARGH! Get OUT Mum!”) for over ten and six years respectively.

Turns out that the boy bits part was the easiest problem to solve (“Wipe in a number 8 and you’re sorted” is my advice to all first time Mums of boys.) As my sons have hit the ages of eight and twelve, the most difficult truth to face is that I can’t be everything my sons need.

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Spiritual Mentors

By Kathryn Paul

spiritual mentor

Who are the most influential women in your world? I checked out  The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women; Forbes magazine claims their list “isn’t about celebrity or popularity; it’s about influence. Queen Rania of Jordan (No. 76), for instance, is perhaps the most listened-to woman in the Middle East; her Twitter feed has 600,000 followers.”   Powerful moguls and media queens may be changing the course of history; however, they are invisible in my little world.   Who influences you?   Let’s compare our lists.   Here’s a few powerful and influential women from my list:

 ONE: As I embraced the light after crawling out of the murky sewers of Babylon, I felt like a wobbly toddler, just learning to walk.   Desperate prayers were answered by a serene angel who helped steady me as I took a few tentative steps, focusing on the loving, outstretched arms of the Savior.  I knew Sister Brown was an angel because she glowed.  The Spirit would enfold me in an aura of love as I listened carefully to Sister Brown’s Relief Society lessons, analyzing how I needed to change to become just like her.  If she prayed and read the scriptures every day, then I would too.  If Sister Brown treated the Sabbath  like it was a precious and holy gift, then I would too.  If Sister Brown got spiritual power from attending the temple, then I would receive my endowments and go to the temple regularly, even if it required driving to Los Angeles on a freeway dotted with psycho drivers who didn’t value human life.    No sacrifice was too big if I could become like Sister Brown, who never even knew that she was my spiritual mentor. 

 TWO:   Growing up in a home of negative voices, I  have struggled with the lingering dregs of my childhood.  I wanted to be a positive and patient mother–and often I was–but other times I felt like Wanda the Witch Woman.   Discovering M. Catherine Thomas,  whose father was an alcoholic, helped me walk with a kinder cadence. She wrote in  Spiritual Lightening about her own  journey of healing:

 “To choose positive, affirming, tolerant, forgiving, Spirit-filled energy over negative energy is to choose godliness over evil.  I think it’s that simple.   There are finally only two forces at work on us, and they are continually at work; and until we learn to discern and reject most negative energy, we will be victimized by it. (142)


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