"The practice of women wearing veils is found repeatedly throughout the scriptures, and for a good portion of human history it has been common for women (and sometimes men) to veil their heads and faces. Today, in many religions around the world (not just Islam) women still cover their heads and their faces when they are in the presence of people not of their family and/or during religious ceremonies and practices. It is a tradition seeped in powerful religious symbolism and one which Satan has done a good job of misconstruing.
Today many people see a veil as an indicator that what ever is being veiled needs to be protected from outside influences because it is weak, unimportant, or should be controlled. For example there are people in the world who argue that women need to be veiled in order to protect them from men and their lusts. Or in a similar vein, there are people who see veils as a way to keep something secret, hidden, and untouched. Yet the truth is that such interpretations of veils are exactly opposite from what they really symbolize. " Read the rest
Woman with an Issue of Blood
"I have been thinking about this woman a lot over the last several months. Her story has always intrigued me, but after the little miracle that happened after Abraham's birth this story means something much more to me. As I’ve related before, after Abraham was born I had some complications with my placenta detaching. We were about to head to the hospital to have a somewhat serious procedure done when my midwife asked if Jon would give me a Priesthood blessing. I remember as he laid his hands on my head feeling at peace about things, but also feeling a little doubtful that a priesthood blessing would be able to fix everything. So it was an incredible feeling to feel my body, not even a minute after Jon finished his blessing, give a strong contraction. I felt all the membranes release and felt an amazing flow of placenta come out of me. It was truly a miracle and as soon as it happened I started to cry, not out of pain or relief, but out of gratitude and amazement. I knew that God had just performed a miracle for me and my heart was overwhelmed. I hadn’t thought I had enough faith to have something so miraculous happen to me, but as I’ve pondered on this experience the last several months I’ve come to see that God doesn’t require us to have unshakable, unwavering, moving mountains kind of faith in order to work miracles in our lives. Sometimes, just like the woman with the issue of blood all we need to do is have enough faith to just barely touch the hem of Christ’s garment. If we can do that, then He can use His miraculous power on our behalf." Read the rest
Acclimated and Desensitized
"...when we first moved to the city we live in now I was horrified by the taste of the tap water. I have never been picky about how my water tastes (and have secretly mocked those who are) but the tap water here is awful-- it is always warm, tastes like chlorine, and leaves a slimy film in your mouth. I couldn't even gag it down for the first few months we lived here and coming from me... that is saying something.
Yet we have lived here for less than four months and already I hardly notice how bad the water is. I can drink a glass and, while it is still warm and not very good, it doesn't make me want to spit it out or vomit like it did before.
I have been thinking a lot about these two experiences and how very easy it is to become acclimated and desensitized to things that you forget how awful and harmful they are.
Ever since the Colorado theater shooting several months ago I have been thinking about how scary it is that, as a society, we have tolerated and embraced violence to a point where we use it as entertainment. And even though we are starting to feel the widespread consequences of that mindset, we still tolerate and embrace the very things that hurt us.
For example, my freshman year of college I got in a heated discussion with one of my male friends (who I had a crush on at the time) about the ethics of playing violent video games. If I remember right our conversation went something like this..." Read the rest
"Several months ago we were at small public swimming and since there were no changing rooms in the women's locker room, and I didn't want to try to manage a crawling baby in a bathroom, I used some of my discreet disrobing techniques to change into my swimming suit. As I was changing I noticed a girl, about 10 or 11, watching me but trying hard to make it look like she wasn't. It didn't bother me because I got the impression from her that she hadn't ever seen an adult woman naked before (which I really wasn't) and that she was just curious.
As I thought about this later it really hit me hard; here was a young girl, on the verge of becoming a woman herself, who probably had no real idea about what her body should look like. In our pornography ridden culture it is very likely that by this time in her life she had seen at least one or two pictures or videos of naked, or mostly naked, women. (In fact, I know that all she has to do is drive down the interstate and she'd see at least three). How sad it was to think that most of the examples this young girl may have gotten about what her budding female body should look like (and behave like) came from women whose bodies had been photo-shopped and used to sell cars.
This experience really got me thinking about the shame and the embarrassment that surrounds women's bodies. Is the reason that so few of us feel comfortable in our own skin is because all we have to compare ourselves to is the media's unrealistic portrayls of women? In a culture where little value or respect is given to women's bodies-- using them to sell everything from milk to houses-- have we inherited and internalized more shame then we realize?" Read the rest...
A New Way to Study Women in the Scriptures
"I got a new set of scriptures for Christmas and, even though it has been hard letting go of my old ones, I am loving the adventure of marking up a new set. It is almost like reading the scriptures for the first time again. I am discovering things that I never saw before, and it is really fun.
I decided when I got this new set that I wanted to mark every story about women and all the references to women in the scriptures. I chose a blue colored pencil and as I've been studying my scriptures I take the time to mark and highlight every time that a woman or women are mentioned. It is a little like re-taking my "Women in the Scriptures Challenge" except that this time I am not keeping a journal of the women listed I am just highlighting them... Read the Rest
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