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Honor All Who Serve

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

HONOR ALL WHO SERVE Veterans Day holiday – formerly known as Armistice Day (so designated after “The Great War” or World War 1 in 1918) – was signed into being on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. It was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 years after the conclusion …

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Honoring the “Certain Women Art Show” Segullah Winners

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

Honoring  the 2021 “Certain Women Art Show” Segullah Winners Brittany Soucy, Elizabeth Crowe, and Kirsten K. Campbell   Segullah is thrilled to announce the recipients of the 2021 Segullah honor awards to three artists whose work was displayed in this year’s “Certain Women Art Show.” As in 2019, Latter-day Saint women artists were invited to …

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Corona Sacrament

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

Yesterday my husband and I – like many of you – were under “house arrest” as far as Church goes. The notice from the Church came in time to tell us that because of efforts to quell the spread of the deadly corona virus/COVID 19, we should have “Home Church” until further notice. Apparently we’ll also have “Home General Conference,” too, where the Quorum of the 12 will be preaching to the choir (although the Tabbie Cats will have recorded their hymns beforehand.)

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At the Pulpit: Bless the hands that prepared it

By Linda Hoffman Kimball

At the Pulpit: 185 years of Discourses by Latter-day Saint Women edited by Jennifer Reeder and Kate Holbrook is a feast. It is good from beginning to end. Every bite is unique and something to savor.

In introducing At the Pulpit (the latest book from The Church Historian’s Press), editor Kate Holbrook tells former Young Women General President Elaine Cannon’s story of ingenuity and determination in Church service:

Sister Cannon said, “I am willing to go to the Lord and say, ‘Okay, I really care about this. If it’s something you’re interested in, then help me. Together we can go and do whatever we need to do.” When leading the Young Women she would tell the general board members, “If we can’t get to it this way, then we’ll just go like this to get there, around whomever or whatever obstacles.” She insisted the key to knowing when to persevere was to be alert to God’s will: “You have to be sure what you’re trying to do is also God’s will.”

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Sugar Consumption and Other Life Lessons

By Jennie LaFortune

A few years ago my friend made a goal to limit her sugar consumption to one dessert a day for 18 weeks. To some this may seem generous, but she thought it judicious.  Even strict. Decadent chocolates and assorted tarts from local bakeries were her love language. Not one to make a goal overt or …

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What We Leave On The Altar

By Kellie Purcill

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Repentance for me is a bloody process. I’m stalking 40 years of age, and my understanding of repentance is a much darker, more violent and powerful star than the “repentance is like a bar of soap” example given in the Primary cosmos.  Just as “milk before meat” is a component of the gospel, so is the real awareness of bringing “a contrite heart and broken spirit” to our personal altars before the Saviour.  The blood and profound change to His feet is as painful and fundamental as our own pivotal experiences are, leaving us marked and leaking on our way.

I’m searching for deeper examples of repentance, forgiveness, charity and patience not only because I’m parenting teens, but because my own heart and dedication wobble in the course of my days.  Soap’s useless when the issue at hand is internal, gory and nasty. Being washed clean as the first person in an entire family to join the church is a wonderful occasion, but the washing doesn’t rinse away generations of abuse, dysfunction and family habits.  Sometimes the repentance process involves not taking the sacrament, leaving deacons anxiously pressing trays to knees, encouraging to take the morsel, accept the love, unaware of the gnawing of bone going on inside, worrying our broken shards towards redemption somewhere further ahead.

Years ago, I cannonballed in love. 

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The Cost of Leisure

By Jessie Christensen

IMG_0300When I told people that I was taking my children to Hawaii for the week of Christmas, reactions ranged from admiration to disbelief to jealousy. I generally tried to temper things with the caveat that my children’s father grew up in Hawaii, so we would be visiting family and friends, and that trips to Hawaii have always been a somewhat regular part of our family life. We hadn’t been over there for three years, and a trip to Hawaii seemed like a better family Christmas gift than more physical objects that would just clutter up the house. I spent a year saving and planning, but still felt a bit of guilt at the extravagance of such a vacation up until the moment our plane landed in Honolulu and we walked out into the warm, tropical air.

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Sacrament Meeting with a Toddler

Jana Porter is still pinching herself over the fact that 3 1/2 years ago she married the best man in the whole world. She and her husband, James, have a very active and adorable 18-month-old son named Blake. She is just barely scratching the surface of this whole mom thing and finding out it is a lot deeper/harder/richer than she every imagined. Jana has a bachelors and masters degree in English from BYU and in her oh-so-precious spare time she loves family history, Zumba, and daydreaming.

A few Sundays ago I attended a class in my ward on the sacrament. The instructor began by asking what we thought of Brother Abo’s talk that day. Apparently, he had spoken on the Atonement and the Lord’s sacrifices for us.

There was a short silence as everyone tried to think back to the talk and formulate a response. Normally I would have joined them. But … I couldn’t.

You see, although I had been at church during Sacrament meeting, I hadn’t heard Brother Abo’s talk. I had been sitting in the foyer with my son, handing him cheerios and trying to keep him from stealing toys from the other kids who were also in the foyer being fed cheerios by their moms.

So instead of reflecting on what had apparently been a very moving talk, I sat there in silence, unable to participate. And cried.

I cried because I had not heard Brother Abo’s talk. I cried because I had not really heard more than a handful of talks, if that, in the past year since my son had been born. And I really like talks.

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Early Morning Seminary

By Angela Hallstrom

I’ve been teaching early morning seminary for a few months now, and so far I’ve learned a few things:

1-I truly believed before I started teaching that I could get all my prep work done if I gave myself an hour a day. I look back on those innocent days of summer, and I laugh and I laugh and I laugh.

2-No matter how good your kids are — and I have some really good kids — they will try to text during your lessons. I’ve tried to develop my kindly-but-also-disapproving face for such occasions (you know the one, with the raised eyebrows and the cocked head and the little half smile) and it kinda works. Temporarily.

3-The Old Testament is fascinating. Complicated prophets. Bold, sassy, decisive women. Incredible miracles. God’s exasperated scoldings. Intrigue, mayhem, redemption. Good times.

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A Missionary Mother

Today’s guest post is from Marcia Stanford. Marcia lives on a tree-lined street in California with her charming husband and delightful children, who are growing up much too quickly. She is a BYU English major currently completing the last few courses via Independent Study. Raised in Utah, she now savors the opportunity to pick fresh lemons year round and tend to her window boxes filled with red geraniums.

She’d always wanted to go on a mission. On Sundays she would organize the television programing, self-appointed as the oldest sibling, as they watched “Families are Forever,” “Labor of Love” and “Called to Serve.” She loved them all. So really, it was no surprise when shortly after turning twenty that she began the process. It didn’t matter that she was in college 700 miles away from home. I got calls, texts, and emails about health insurance, medical appointments, and interviews with a Bishop whose name I didn’t know. She was always an independent soul—a soul filled with faith.

When the call came she was volunteering at the Provo MTC. At the appointed hour we gathered around the speaker phone at home, while roommates, boyfriend, sister and grandma gathered in her apartment. This was drama. She started to read the letter. It sounded like the lines from “Called to Serve,” only this time it was real. My little girl was ready to fly.

“You are hereby called to serve in the El Salvador San Salvador East Mission,” her quavering voice read. Ah! At least I knew where that was. My brother served there in the 70’s—before they closed the mission to civil war unrest. Obviously it had been reopened in the decades since. I hadn’t paid attention. Now I prayed with earnest that such unrest had been resolved.

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