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Nine Moons » Blog Archive : Insider Gospel Knowledge » Insider Gospel Knowledge

Insider Gospel Knowledge

Rusty - September 16, 2010

This recent thread at Feminist Mormon Housewives bugged me (shocker, I know). The post itself was fine, asking readers for questions that would be asked of a Seventy at an upcoming stake conference. Okay. But most of the submitted questions were one of two types:

1) Gotcha questions, which aren’t really questions at all, but rather attempts at humiliating the Seventy while making themselves appear enlightened.
2) Questions for which the Seventy has no authority to definitively answer.

The person who asks the first type of question has no intention of understanding, only in MAKING A POINT!! Someone even admitted her question would be picking a fight (and that it would be fun). Another suggested telling him to sit down. Nice.

But it’s the second type of question that I want to focus on. And not even really the type of question, but the implications for the existence of the question. There seems to be an assumption that a member of the Seventy (or the Twelve or your stake president) has some kind of insider access to gospel answers that the general membership doesn’t, and they’re keeping it from us. As if that Seventy were briefed on the real Mother-in-Heaven doctrine when he was set apart. Or in the weekly meetings with the Twelve, the Prophet huddles everyone around and whispers stuff like, “Women are given the Deborahn Priestesshood in the Celestial Kingdom. Don’t tell the Seventy, this is for your ears only.”

If my stake president knows more about the Gospel than me (which he assuredly does), it’s because he studies his scriptures, he prays, he seeks/obeys the Spirit, and he applies his education and years of church service experience. This is why we ask them questions, for their unique perspective, not for some insider doctrine. Look, how much of General Conference is new information? None. But how much spiritual insight can we gain from it? Depends on what questions we’re asking.

139 Comments »

  1. Wow, your assessment is right on. The only advantage general authorities have is they have learned how to learn from Father. The ironic thing is that some of those gotcha questions are good questions, but won’t be answered by the Lord without coming to Him in humility (which kinda takes the gotcha out of them).

    Comment by Thaddeus — September 16, 2010 @ 1:21 pm

  2. Look, how much of General Conference is new information? None.

    While the FMH thread is without question a steaming pile, General Conference is used as a platform to introduce new ideas or correct old ones. Elder Nelson’s talk on “Divine Love” comes to mind, for example. To the extent that GAs are privy to the current interpretation of doctrinal questions (which they most assuredly do discuss) it makes sense to look to them for an authoritative answer.

    Comment by Peter LLC — September 16, 2010 @ 2:04 pm

  3. The person who asks the first type of question has no intention of understanding, only in MAKING A POINT!! Someone even admitted her question would be picking a fight (and that it would be fun). Another suggested telling him to sit down. Nice.

    Touchdown!

    If my stake president knows more about the Gospel than me (which he assuredly does), it’s because he studies his scriptures, he prays, he seeks/obeys the Spirit, and he applies his education and years of church service experience.

    Extra point!

    I think that a failure to understand the second quoted paragraph is the source of a very significant portion of the frustration and disappointment and boredom we see described (sometimes by myself–I’m no different) on a regular basis in the Bloggernacle as it pertains to our general meetings and interactions with the leadership of the Church.

    Comment by Scott B. — September 16, 2010 @ 3:31 pm

  4. First, I love fmhLisa but I am starting to wonder if her site isn’t devolving into a DAMU rat hole. I wish they would moderate the Mormonism-haters better over there.

    Second, I agree with both of your points Rusty. In fact the realization that there is no such thing as “insider knowledge” in the church was one of my earliest and most important realizations after I started blogging about Mormon theology/doctrine. See here (March 2005).

    Comment by Geoff J — September 16, 2010 @ 4:19 pm

  5. It’s hard for me to fault someone for thinking that in a meeting billed as a Q & A that they can only ask certain types of questions. Who am I to decide the propriety of someone else’s questions or their motives?

    I mean, how often do you get the chance to ask a GA anything? Almost never. Is it so odd to think that someone might take that very rare opportunity to ask pressing and yes, even difficult questions? And perhaps some questions will have an element of confrontation or anger to them, so what? Those questioners might benefit the most from the exchange.

    I went to a fireside where Richard Bushman announced that anybody could ask anything they wanted and that no question was inappropriate. Wow, that was something. There were some questions he couldn’t answer but he just acknowledged it and moved on. And when he did know the answer, you felt he was giving it to you straight. It was quite extraordinary to feel like it was ok to hit him with anything you wanted. And yes, some of the questions were tinged with anger and egocentrism but Bushman just rolled with it.

    I know that Bushman is not a GA, but what is it about GAs that we feel like that type of exchange is off limits? I don’t think it is odd at all to expect a GA to have an informed opinion about pressing issues. I just think we have a culture where, unfortunately, it is considered disrespectful to expect a GA to express a candid and articulate view on most issues.

    Comment by Sanford — September 16, 2010 @ 4:20 pm

  6. Well, let’s hear what you would ask him then? I disagree with your “extra point” concept that a bishop, or a stake president, or a member of the 70, or the apostles know more about the gospel than other “regular” members of the church. I think that a failure to understand where the women and men who blog at Feminist Mormon Housewives are coming from and really taking the time to hear what their concerns are, is a major sin, for we miss out on the many varied gifts of the spirit that those women (and men) have.

    Comment by kevinr — September 16, 2010 @ 4:22 pm

  7. Rusty:

    Thanks for this. That’s all.

    Comment by PaulM — September 16, 2010 @ 4:23 pm

  8. kevinr,

    I don’t have any questions for GA’s. Anything juicy questions they could answer (like about internal debates among GA’s and whatnot) they wouldn’t answer in public. (With good reason).

    Comment by Geoff J — September 16, 2010 @ 4:55 pm

  9. Rusty: If my stake president knows more about the Gospel than me (which he assuredly does)

    I think you undermine your own point with this part Rusty. When it comes to unrevealed metaphysical truths your stake president most assuredly does not know any more than anyone else. That is because those things are unrevealed. If he has a compelling argument for one position or another fine. But these things are called mysteries for a reason. The point I think you are making, and the point I am agreeing with, is that nobody knows the answer to many of these questions — even GAs. That’s because God hasn’t told us yet.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 16, 2010 @ 5:02 pm

  10. I totally agree with this post. And yet, who hasn’t dreamed of having a “no questions barred” session with the President of the Church, where he leans over and says “now, you can’t let anyone else know this, but…”?

    Comment by larryco_ — September 16, 2010 @ 5:55 pm

  11. In fact the realization that there is no such thing as “insider knowledge” in the church was one of my earliest and most important realizations after I started blogging about Mormon theology/doctrine

    Though I have gotten interesting insights and knowledge from time to time from people above me in the Church.

    Excellent point though.

    Comment by Stephen M (Ethesis) — September 16, 2010 @ 6:30 pm

  12. Rusty,

    I think you misrepresent the balance of the discussion on the FMH thread. Yes there are people who are suggesting “gotcha” questions or mean spirited ones. Others are engaging in the wishful thinking categories of things they would love to ask and get a straight answer on, but wouldn’t ask in the meeting. However, the response to these type of posts is quite varied with many people arguing against using the precious opportunity to ask such questions. Many others are proposing alternatives that range from “how can I best approach scripture study” to a simple “Can you define what preside means in the PoF?” which I don’t think many people would take as a hostile question, a priori, but maybe be one lots of people would like to get a perspective on. I personally made your second point in my post which I think was generally well received. Its just quite a bit more multi-dimensional than you make it out to be.

    Comment by RAH — September 16, 2010 @ 6:52 pm

  13. One of the most enlightening questions that could be asked is something along the lines of: What deep insight into the scriptures/doctrine have you received recently and how did this come about?

    In my experience with church leaders, a spontaneous answer or discussion that touches on some of their personal revelation or deep understanding usually elicits a very meaningful and useful insight. They are looking for an opportunity to share some of these if the time and spirit is right.

    Comment by el oso — September 16, 2010 @ 8:10 pm

  14. General Conference is used as a platform to introduce new ideas or correct old ones.

    Peter LLC, this is true, though very rare. My point, though, was more about the overall purpose of GC, not what can happen at GC every 6 years.

    Scott,
    Agreed.

    Geoff,
    Yes, FMH is almost unreadable nowadays. What was the premise of the latest post? Tell us your biggest complaints about your spouse and be super open and honest! Really?

    And yes, it’s an important thing to realize. It kind of brings the whole Church and Gospel into a more manageable perspective.

    Sanford,
    I think you misunderstood what I am saying. I don’t think there is a problem with asking difficult or pressing questions, the GA wouldn’t set up the session if he didn’t expect tough questions. And he’s a big boy, he can take it. But this post isn’t about him, it’s about the questioner. My issue is with either the tone (first type of question) or the lack of understanding what a GA actually knows (second type of question). And yes, Bushman is different. I guarantee that if that post was about a Bushman fireside rather than a Seventy (someone who represents the Church in a certain leadership capacity), the questions would be totally different.

    KevinR,
    I never said that stake presidents (in general) know more about the gospel, only that mine knows more than me. My whole point was that we all gain our knowledge from the basic primary answers, not from an insiders handbook. And btw, I’ve been “taking the time to hear the concerns” of the bloggers at FMH for six years now. Trust me, it feels like a major sin every time I do it.

    Geoff #9,
    I agree with this 100%. See my response to KevinR.

    RAH,
    You may be right. I think I got about 50 comments in and couldn’t continue. Good on you for jumping in and making good points. What’s interesting is that about 8 months ago in a stake priesthood leadership meeting our stake president did the same Q&A and I asked that exact question (what does preside mean?). I blogged about it and how my stake president did a bunch of studying and came back with the best, most insightful ways of thinking about the term I’ve come across. We had a really great discussion and then my server crashed and now it’s gone forever. Too bad because it was really great and I don’t have the energy or inclination to re-write it.

    el oso,
    I love it.

    Comment by Rusty — September 16, 2010 @ 8:20 pm

  15. I have talked to a number of FMH permas about the comment style at FMH. It is chaotic and somethings total anarchy. It is a bit much sometimes. Of course, I also like that they are one of the few places that do not tell me to shut up and behave.

    When I was on the faculty in Rexburg. When Kim Clark, eventually a Area Authority, had Q and A’s, it was said to watch a bunch of well-educated folks act like such idiots.

    Now, that Bushman Q and A…I could go for that.

    Comment by Chris H. — September 16, 2010 @ 8:37 pm

  16. Chris: I have talked to a number of FMH permas about the comment style at FMH. It is chaotic and somethings total anarchy.

    That’s a nice way of putting it. As I see it, way too many Mormon-hating turdballs are given way too much leeway to spout their Mormon-bashing bile way too often over there. The moderators seem to be asleep at the wheel to me. Maybe the site is just too popular for them to stay on top of things, but as is often the case when discussions go un-moderated, the last couple of threads I have read over there have seemed like a complete disasters to me.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 16, 2010 @ 8:56 pm

  17. I think they pride themselves on not being BCC which moderates much more tightly. I admit, I often am turned off by it. I prefer the BCC-style, but I occasionally get burned by it. However, I also think that BCC is more academic and high brow. FMH likes that it is more gritty. I guess there is need for both.

    Comment by Chris H. — September 16, 2010 @ 9:03 pm

  18. We had a really great discussion and then my server crashed and now it’s gone forever. Too bad because it was really great and I don’t have the energy or inclination to re-write it.

    lol. I like to think the same thing happened to St. John for his record of the conversation that occurred between the first and second sentences of John 18:38.

    On topic, I think there is insider knowledge when it comes to upper level church policies. I’m not sure how much a seventy would know or to what degree he would be at liberty to speak, but I do think there are lots of things that high level church administrators know that most members don’t. For example, I learned recently that temple workers who are single men over the age of 30 can’t perform initiatories. You can if you’re 30, but not when you turn 31. And no one knows why.

    Comment by Eric Russell — September 16, 2010 @ 9:18 pm

  19. For example, I learned recently that temple workers who are single men over the age of 30 can’t perform initiatories. You can if you’re 30, but not when you turn 31. And no one knows why.

    I imagine that if you compared single LDS males aged 30 or younger with SLDSMs 31 and older, a higher percentage of the latter group would be homosexual (simply because straight men will marry at a higher rate). With the new form of initiatories, I don’t see why that would matter; but with the pre-2005 version, I imagine that idea might make some uncomfortable.

    Comment by Latter-day Guy — September 16, 2010 @ 9:29 pm

  20. Way to keep it classy LDG.

    Comment by MCQ — September 16, 2010 @ 10:56 pm

  21. Oh my brothers, my dear dear brothers, You should make an effort here to realize (because I’m telling you to) :-) that you are making feminist antenna quiver in consternation as you discuss those foolish scribbling women, whose popularity you are far too intelligent to understand and far too classy to enjoy.

    You may never really get it, in your gut, that the personal is political, that discussions of marriage, and emotions, of bitterness, of childbirth, and heartache, and poop are every bit as important as the ‘serious’ (manly) issues discussed on your fine blog. But it is true all the same, what we do is important, vitally so. Try to believe it, it’ll make you better men, I promise.

    Which isn’t to say everything we write is perfect (har) or that we don’t have annoying comments at times because yeah, I frequently want to beat my head on the wall. It’s also true that we erase very few comments because we’re busy nurturing the rising generation and we’re super popular! and also bleeding heart liberals like that.

    I’m also not saying that you should read fMh and love it, I know that 99.9% of people will never be into it, also totally to be expected.

    What I am saying is that with conversations like this one, in which you opine as to our frivolity, or uselessness, or dirtiness, our lack of refinement ‘n dignity ‘n proper standards ‘n stuff, what you are actually doing is actively participating in the ghettoization of the feminine voice and experience.

    Oh those feminists and those mommy blogs and those Oprah book club reading scrapbookers, they belong over there in that corner, the one marked silly and unimportant and frivolous and embarrassing and wonton and defiled. Why don’t they be quiet or talk about something important like football.

    And when it’s put out there that way, when the subtext is made explicit, I highly doubt many of you actually mean it. We absorb these attitudes from the culture, it’s pervasive this sexism (I too have turned my nose up at Oprah book club reading scrapbookers, labeled their pursuits as frivolous ‘n stuff).

    So I’m just asking you to be careful, not to turn your personal preferences into value judgments and smug sexist affirmations of your clear superiority.

    Comment by fmhLisa — September 16, 2010 @ 11:23 pm

  22. I think they pride themselves on not being BCC which moderates much more tightly.

    Not to suggest that I have “Insider Info” but my guess is that BCC is similarly proud, in the other direction.

    Comment by Scott B. — September 16, 2010 @ 11:29 pm

  23. I imagine that if you compared single LDS males aged 30 or younger with SLDSMs 31 and older, a higher percentage of the latter group would be homosexual (simply because straight men will marry at a higher rate). With the new form of initiatories, I don’t see why that would matter; but with the pre-2005 version, I imagine that idea might make some uncomfortable.

    I suppose it’s possible that the rule has it’s origins in something related to homosexuality; however, your statement about the proportion of single straights and single gays is almost certainly also true for practically any two ages above, say, 21. So, the interesting question is not only why such a rule exists, but also what is magical about the number 30.

    Comment by Scott B. — September 16, 2010 @ 11:40 pm

  24. Glad you stopped by Lisa.

    I’m not sure who you were responding to in most of your comment #22. Most of the criticisms you responded to aren’t found in this thread. Maybe you were just responding to criticisms you heard elsewhere?

    My personal criticism was pretty specific. That is that Mormon-bashers seem to be given pretty much free reign at FMH these days. You can call that being “liberal” if you want. But if moderators don’t insist that Mormonism be treated respectfully how is the site substantially different than a DAMU site? In my mind the primary difference between the DAMU and the Bloggernacle is that Bloggernacle sites are generally sympathetic to the Church, both in content and tenor; DAMU sites are not.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 16, 2010 @ 11:53 pm

  25. Scott, considering that 31 is the church’s official dividing line between Young Single Adult and Single Adult, it’s really not the age itself that’s strange. The increased possibility of homosexuality among male adult singles is actually the best guess of those I’ve talked to about it. Or maybe there really is something inherently sinful about being a male adult single!

    Comment by Eric Russell — September 16, 2010 @ 11:58 pm

  26. it’s because he studies his scriptures, he prays, he seeks/obeys the Spirit, and he applies his education and years of church service experience.

    I once heard Jeffrey R. Holland say something like ‘All I have to offer is increased spirituality’. Lest he been as arrogant I think his intent here was to express that he has lived a spiritual life consistently for many years and has the wisdom and insight that flows to him as a result of that life. This seems like a good approach to our Church leaders which I think fits in with Rusty OP.

    Comment by Aaron R. — September 17, 2010 @ 1:59 am

  27. Just to be perfectly clear.

    “…the FMH thread is without question a steaming pile..”
    “I am starting to wonder if her site isn’t devolving into a DAMU rat hole…”
    “FMH is almost unreadable nowadays. What was the premise of the latest post? Tell us your biggest complaints about your spouse and be super open and honest! Really?”
    “…way too many Mormon-hating turdballs are given way too much leeway to spout their Mormon-bashing bile way too often over there. The moderators seem to be asleep at the wheel to me. Maybe the site is just too popular for them to stay on top of things, but as is often the case when discussions go un-moderated, the last couple of threads I have read over there have seemed like a complete disasters to me…”
    And the general tone of some parts of the OP, including but not limited to dismissing Mother-in-Heaven and priestesshood questions as not deserving serious regard. (my interpretation)

    Ouch.

    On one hand you have a point. And a point of view. We all get it because it’s the standard operating point of view of the whole world. It’s perfectly expressed in the the even-handed reasoning of the last paragraph of the OP. And it makes perfect sense, you even have a reasonable point about that particular thread at FMH. I know this inside and out, so why am I feeling all negative and stuff?

    Because…
    on the other hand, you fellas are missing the point of what’s happening over at FMH, and why. At the risk of being labeled a shrew, (or a turdball, heh) I’d like to tell you a little of my point of view. I don’t comment much over there, but I like reading those threads and topics. And I tried to come up with something to help you see why, but I couldn’t frame it in enough of a guy-way; I keep deleting things, and it’s late, I’m tired, and I’ve had it up to here with trying to interpret my point of view in the guy way. I’ve done enough of that today.
    If you go over there and read with an open mind, and have compassion for the folks (mostly women, and actually very few turdballs) who are ranting off some steam you might have your outlook broadened beyond the guy-way of looking at the world. I’m gonna warn you, it’ll be uncomfortable, like stretching always is. You can get used to it though; if you do it often enough, it becomes second nature for you. That’s how tons of women go about their understanding of the guy-point-of-view. (aka the normal world-view) But there are tons of women who find such stretching hard, no matter how often they work at it, and a lot of them are expressing that over at FMH. No one is requiring you to agree with all of it it, or any of it, but there is something to be learned there that is worthwhile knowing.

    There is moderation in play at FMH, it’s just not the flavor you prefer. And it’s not a “DAMU rat hole”: it’s just not correlated — not even a little bit. That’s really fine by me, but if it’s too much for you, maybe it’s better that you don’t spend a lot of time reading there.

    Comment by Mommie Dearest — September 17, 2010 @ 2:19 am

  28. But if moderators don’t insist that Mormonism be treated respectfully how is the site substantially different than a DAMU site?

    Geoff, to be fair – we don’t always moderate disrespectful gobbligoo either (see LDG #19)

    Comment by CJ Douglass — September 17, 2010 @ 5:40 am

  29. Thanks for this post, Rusty. Spot on.

    Comment by WMP — September 17, 2010 @ 5:50 am

  30. Sad that the first time I ever hear about this blog is when you start to bash fMh because of one thread you disliked (great premise for an OP), and it makes its way to my inbox. Nice to meet you folks.

    Comment by nat kelly — September 17, 2010 @ 5:56 am

  31. FMH used to be really good. Ok, it used to be good. But I agree with Geoff J that it’s basically turned into a DAMU site. You can still criticize the Church and do so respectfully…

    http://timesandseasons.org/index.php/2010/09/correlation-is-killing-sunday-school/

    …but FMH has crossed the line on numerous occasions that past couple of years.

    I’ve long wondered how they’ve kept their placement on MoArch for so long as they no longer seem to fit the “brand”.

    Comment by Tim J — September 17, 2010 @ 6:07 am

  32. Excellent post Rusty!

    I agree with commenter that FMH seems to be turning into a DAMU kind of place, and I’ve quit perusing it regularly. It always seems so negative to me now (witness the recent bag-on-marriage post.) Mommie Dearest, it’s not just men I know that feel that way about FMH…

    I do think GA’s at a certain level have some insider knowledge. I’d like to ask, for example, about exactly how Correlation works and why it’s so non-transparent. (I take Daymon Smith’s work with a grain of salt for reasons known to myself.) Correlation seems to be the smoky back room of the Church.

    Comment by Ben — September 17, 2010 @ 6:24 am

  33. For those of us with less knowledge, please define “DAMU” and “MoArch”?

    Thanks.

    Comment by Michael — September 17, 2010 @ 6:49 am

  34. DAMU = Disaffected Mormon Underground

    MoArch = Mormon Archipelago (http://www.ldsblogs.org)

    Comment by Tim J — September 17, 2010 @ 6:54 am

  35. Thanks.

    Comment by Michael — September 17, 2010 @ 6:57 am

  36. I also find FMH Lisa’s defense to be totally off-the-mark, smug, and arrogant.

    1) You’re all jealous of our traffic.
    2) You’re men, so you couldn’t possibly understand.

    It’s like she hasn’t even read the comments, just cut-pasted an ideological put-down.

    Comment by Ben — September 17, 2010 @ 7:03 am

  37. I also found fmhLisa’s long comment to be short on substance.

    Comment by Michael — September 17, 2010 @ 7:05 am

  38. Eric,
    But you’re talking about policies, not insider doctrines. Naturally there will be policies that nobody knows about, that’s just the nature of any large organization. But it’s the doctrines that are available to all (which I think you agree with).

    FMHLisa,
    Sigh. You know I love you dearly but the reality is that not every complaint against FMH is a complaint against feminism or against women. And if all it takes to “ghettoize” the feminist voice is to criticize the tone with which some feminists talk about a non-feminist issue, then lemme tell ya, that’s the feminist’s fault, not the critic’s. If we’re not allowed to disagree with a feminist on a neutral topic then hells bells, feminism is a joke.

    What I think you would be surprised to know is that I agree with the vast majority of the feminist positions, many opinions of which have been formed reading FMH. And please don’t condescendingly tell me that I’m missing the point of what’s happening over there and all I need to do is read with an open mind. I’ve been doing exactly that for the last six years (more than most of your readers). I guarantee I’ve moved further into your camp than you’ve moved into my (former) camp. And I’m happy with my evolved outlook on the world (and women) around me. But everything isn’t about feminism.

    Lisa, my post is in reaction to the FMH post, but I’m talking about two specific Mormon issues, neither of which is specific to feminism. Gotcha questions are stupid whether they are about race or feminism or Mountain Meadows or Big Love. And lots and lots and lots of Mormons have the inane idea that our leaders have some insider doctrine they’re not revealing to the rest of us. I used feminist examples because they were the most relevant to that thread, but I could have used blood atonement or race or whatever. They were examples to make a point, they weren’t the point. The point was, and I know that you believe this, that we all have the same access to the doctrines of the Gospel regardless of whether we are ward missionaries or women or Seventies or homosexual or whatever.

    Nat Kelly,
    Yes, it’s sad that you think the OP’s premise was about bashing FMH. Very sad analysis indeed. But I invite you to read other posts, we’ve been around a long, long time (longer than FMH!) and there are a small minority of posts that don’t trash FMH, I think you’d like those. And Nat, I met you months ago when I emailed you about your husband. I hope everything is well.

    Comment by Rusty — September 17, 2010 @ 7:38 am

  39. That our smug assessment of a feminist blog comes across as a tad sexist is not surprising.

    mfranti informed me yesterday that I am now banned from FMH. How they figured out that I am part of the DAMU is beyond me.

    Comment by Chris H. — September 17, 2010 @ 7:46 am

  40. I hope it’s okay that I comment here, without putting myself into an enemy camp, but I’ve been reading both fMh and 9 Moons since early 2005, so I feel I have some perspective here. I agree with Rusty’s OP that those kinds of questions (the “gotcha” questions) for a visiting 70 are not exactly productive. I read the fMh thread when it came out and was thinking along similar lines. I love fMh dearly, DEARLY, and yet over the past year or so I have felt a little marginalized as a reader because I feel that the readership (and even the permas) has somewhat shifted from where it started out. This is probably all natural evolution, but still, it sometimes feels like what Geoff said, that it’s almost like reading a DAMU site sometimes, and that feels weird. The mission statement was a “safe place to be feminist and faithful” and to me it doesn’t always feel like a safe place to be that faithful anymore.

    Sorry for the sidetrip – I know this isn’t a post about fMh inherently, but it’s been a little bee in my bonnet for awhile. I still love the site so much, but I have to say that Rusty and Geoff and a few others have made valid points.

    More on topic, I think that GAs so have more insight to Gospel topics because of two things — they are living their lives more in tune to the spirit than I am as an average, albeit atypical, member, and 2) they have put in the hours of study and meditation in to truly understand difficult doctrines, that I haven’t. They may have additional insight due to some intense personal revelations, but I’m not sure they would share their personal feelings in a public q & a session.

    Comment by meems — September 17, 2010 @ 8:04 am

  41. My favorite part about the DAMU is that when I talk to my wife about my blogging, I get to refer to the “Damn you” out loud. She cringes whenever I say it. Good times.

    Comment by Chris H. — September 17, 2010 @ 8:13 am

  42. Regarding GA’s and knowledge, here’s an experience from one of my Mormon role-models, Carlfred Broderick.

    As a seventeen-year-old freshman at Harvard, I
    had the great privilege of get-ting to know my first General Authority on other than a conference-visitor basis. Elder S. Dilworth Young, one of the Presidents of the Seventy, was the mission president and would invite students over to his home for firesides once a month. I was delighted at the opportunity to get an informed opinion on many of the doctrinal imponderables that I and the little clutch of faithful LDS Harvard students debated in our weekly Sunday afternoon discussions. For starters, one evening I cornered him and asked how he had resolved the paradoxical issues around the nature of our spiritual birth as described in the early chapters of the Book of Moses. It took several minutes of confusing noncommunication before it dawned on me that this great man not only did not have an informed opinion on the matter, but he scarcely understood the issue and frankly had concerned himself very little with such obscure doctrinal points. Once more I had confirmed the lesson of my childhood—that spiritual maturity and inspirational power (which this man unquestionably had in abundance) need not be packaged together with advanced intellectual questing.

    Comment by Ben — September 17, 2010 @ 8:16 am

  43. Sad that the first time I ever hear about this blog is when you start to bash fMh because of one thread you disliked (great premise for an OP), and it makes its way to my inbox. Nice to meet you folks.

    I might be reading too much into this, but this seems to be something along the lines of “FMH is big and Nine Moons is small and unnoticeable so stop criticizing us, you insignificant jerks.” If so–and again I admit I may be reading too much into the comment–then it’s kind of sad to me. A perma at a “large group blog” in the bloggernacle putting down Nine Moons like it was some sort of upstart who needed to learn it’s place, in spite of the fact that Rusty and Nine Moons have been present in the bloggernacle since almost the beginning, and certainly long before Nat Kelly began blogging. I mean, I can remember a time when this was the sort of comment FMH would complain about getting from a Times and Seasons perma. Things have come full circle, I suppose.

    Comment by jimbob — September 17, 2010 @ 8:44 am

  44. Nat Kelly clearly needs to get out more.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 17, 2010 @ 8:47 am

  45. stop it! all of you’s.

    that goes for fmh fans, too.

    feelings are hurt, posts are misunderstood, and this is a public space so it makes it all worse.

    rusty, you make a valid point in your OP about gotcha questions. i think of comments asking question like that as a bit of daydreaming in in text.

    it’s not real.

    anyways, would one of you fmh critics email me. melanie dot franti at gmail dot com

    Comment by mfranti — September 17, 2010 @ 8:49 am

  46. Lay off Nat Kelly.

    Comment by Chris H. — September 17, 2010 @ 8:51 am

  47. Melanie,

    I haven’t had my feelings hurt or misunderstood posts. They all seem pretty straightforward and well-balanced to me.

    Comment by Michael — September 17, 2010 @ 8:54 am

  48. Michael: That might be because it doesn’t really involve you. Some of us take our blogging very personally because we put ourselves out there.

    Comment by Chris H. — September 17, 2010 @ 9:00 am

  49. “they are living their lives more in tune to the spirit than I am as an average, albeit atypical, member, and 2) they have put in the hours of study and meditation in to truly understand difficult doctrines”

    When I read first read this my strained eyes registered “medication” instead of “meditation” and I really perked up in my seat. I kind of daydream about taking drugs in order “to truly understand difficult doctrines.” I can imagine getting myself hopped on an opiate, something respectable and old-timey like laudanum, and settling in for an evening of reading the Gospel Principles manual with heightened state of awareness. Guarantee I would uncover scintillating doctrinal nuance to food storage. My only concern would be trying to relate my med-induced insight to others–(drug)trips and travelogues don’t recycle well. But meditation is cool too.

    Comment by oudenos — September 17, 2010 @ 9:03 am

  50. Deep breaths, everyone. That which unites us is greater…

    Comment by WMP — September 17, 2010 @ 9:57 am

  51. I wonder if there is a hierarchy wherein the bloggers are of one social class whereas regular commenters are of a lesser class? And could there be different neighborhoods also where certain bloggers refuse to visit?

    Comment by Michael — September 17, 2010 @ 10:15 am

  52. There are certainly neighborhoods where I don’t visit, but not because of social class, more out of an aversion to boredom and stupidity.

    I am a longtime fMh fan and a huge fan of Lisa and Melanie in particular, so I can say with love that the criticism of fMh in the post and thread is mostly on target, though some of it could have been stated better (looking at you Geoff).

    But really, the criticism applies almost exclusively to the comments at fMh, not the posts at fMh. That the comments are not strictly moderated (at least in terms of faithfulness) has been one of the obvious touchstones at fMh all along, and there are good and bad consequences of that policy. One of those consequences is that threads can become a bit of a free-for-all and some comments are going to be offensive or obnoxious. That’s ok, it’s a different culture there and it just means that you should read the comment threads with that understanding.

    fMh is not for everyone, but it’s a place we need in the nacle.

    Comment by MCQ — September 17, 2010 @ 10:51 am

  53. (looking at you Geoff)

    Hehe. What, you think saying “I am starting to wonder if her site isn’t devolving into a DAMU rat hole” was too much to lead with??

    (I agree. Sorry about that all.)

    Comment by Geoff J — September 17, 2010 @ 11:04 am

  54. Good post, Russ. Interesting this came up just after stake conference with a visiting 70 doing a Q & A at the adult session!

    For the record, I thought it went well and his answers were insightful to me. The only problem I had with the questions…well, not problem per se but more the pattern I saw and thought was kinda funny but interesting was that everyone was basically asking questions that pointed out their calling and how they and everyone else could do it and help out with it better (which is totally valid)

    Comment by Bret — September 17, 2010 @ 11:45 am

  55. Rusty and Geoff (in particular),
    First I didn’t necessarily disagree with the premise of the OP, I too was disappointed in the tone and tenner of a lot of the questions proposed to the Seventy. My response wasn’t so much about the OP (although a smidge) as the tone and substance of Your later comments. I agree that at the core, many of your concerns may have merit. I agree fMh should be open to criticism and feedback from gentlemen like yourselves. I know that can be done in a non-sexist and even constructive manner.

    However:
    Your comments on this thread didn’t live up to that at all. They were ghettoizing, patronizing, smug, and dismissive. They just were.

    And thanks, Geoff for the apology, you’re good people.

    Comment by fmhLisa — September 17, 2010 @ 11:55 am

  56. Lisa,

    Just a humble question – Do you think that the direction of FMH in the past year has continued to support its original mission of both “feminist and faithful”? I read regularly and post occasionally and it does seem to me that the “faithful” part of that mission is not as strong as it was previously.

    Comment by Michael — September 17, 2010 @ 12:27 pm

  57. Sorry for my massive threadjack, because really, the main intent of the OP was on target. I tried to recognize that, but I think I stirred up some trouble where I didn’t intend. I usually love lurking at 9 Moons, and not just for the cool mastheads either. The tone and comments stung a little and it was late enough at night that my usual filters weren’t working well. By light of day, however, I can see that I didn’t do FMH or 9 Moons any favors. Back to lurking.

    Comment by Mommie Dearest — September 17, 2010 @ 12:56 pm

  58. You know, I walk a tightrope. In the past few months I have been pretty viciously attacked for not being feminist enough, for cow towing to the patriarchy. We come here and get attacked for allowing feminists too much free reign to vent their frustrations.

    A part of me figures if both sides are pissed off at me, perhaps I’m right where I should be. Though truthfully, I’d rather everyone adored me, it hurts to be attacked.

    I don’t know where the exact right balance is, and I haven’t really felt the shift that people are discussing here, but I’m open to the idea that I could be a bit houseblind to it. You see, if people I respect and admire tell me there is a problem, I like to look at it seriously rather than just dismiss it outright as irrelevant whining.

    I don’t know the answers, I’m just doing the best I can.

    Comment by fmhLisa — September 17, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

  59. Well, I don’t really care if you engage in cow-tipping. But “cow towing”? I think I’ll call ASPCA.

    Comment by Mark B. — September 17, 2010 @ 1:47 pm

  60. Oh, and it’s “free rein.” It’s an old equestrian allusion. Nothing to do with ruling or reigning. Or raining, for that matter.

    Comment by Mark B. — September 17, 2010 @ 1:48 pm

  61. Mommie Dearest, the thread was already jacked before you got here, so don’t sweat it.

    And really, the discussion about fMh is not a threadjack here. It was a part of Rusty’s post, so it’s fair game. I think a discussion of the policies, practices posts and comments of other blogs if a good thing once in a while. People will get curious and check out the other blog, so it doesn’t hurt them to have the publicity, and it might help them to know what others are thinking and saying about them.

    Lisa, getting criticized is the nature of the beast, especially in the rather perilous perch that you have staked out for yourself on the thological and political continuum. I think you should feel vindicated when you get attacked from both sides, but please don’t think of us as the “other side” to the feminists. I don’t think that describes our outlook at all (at least, speaking for myself it doesn’t).

    From my perspective, (reading since early 2007) there has been a slide toward serious disrespect of the church in the comments on some threads lately. I think the site is better than that, so I have been a little worried about it.

    I guess, to me, those who say you aren’t feminist enough can go elsewhere. There are, and should be, places that are much more militantly feminist than fMh. Lots of them. There’s not many places to go to get faithful feminist viewpoints, though. I think that’s the niche you can and do fill. And if you don’t fill that niche, it’s a pretty empty space, so I hope you maintain that balance and keep fighting the good fight.

    Comment by MCQ — September 17, 2010 @ 2:07 pm

  62. FMH is not equivalent to femaleness or the female voice. It represents a particular set of points of view–those of its authors and commenters–and not a whole class of human beings. Therefore, one can question the value of FMH without questioning the value of femaleness or the female voice. There are women who do not find value in FMH and do not see it as a conduit for their voice in the least. Their voices are just as important and valid as the voices of the women at FMH.

    That a site is run by women does not make criticism of that site marginalizing or ghettoizing of women. That a person who questions the worth of a site run by women is a man does not mean that that criticism is sexist. That a person does not find FMH valuable does not mean that they are blind or closed-minded, whether that person be male or female. It just doesn’t (to use fmhLisa’s go-to formulation).

    I’m not interested here in debating the value of FMH. All I want to say is that it’s not necessarily sexist or marginalizing to question it or criticize it. It’s just not.

    In order to get from a person not liking FMH to concluding that the person is sexist or blinded by male privilege or whatever, you have to make a million assumptions and guesses about that person’s motivations, experiences, and character. Often, those missing details get filled in with stereotypes and spurious assumptions based on that person’s sex. And that is sexist.

    Comment by Tom — September 17, 2010 @ 2:23 pm

  63. Uh, ok. Defensive much, Tom?

    You seem a little hostile to fMh. Since you have made it so clear that you are not hostile because you are sexist, maybe you should explain the reason for the hostility. Since it’s so not sexism and everything.

    Comment by MCQ — September 17, 2010 @ 3:28 pm

  64. Great topic. My introduction to the bloggernacle was fMh, and I loved it. I learned an awful lot, both about women and feminism with respect to the church, and it definitely changed the way I talk and interact.

    One of the things I really liked about fMh was its (her?) acceptance of many different viewpoints. Shoot, I even guest-posted an article protesting aspects of feminism. People were outraged that such a thing would be posted “on a feminist site!” and I got roasted pretty well (and in some aspects deservedly so), but I was surprised they’d even entertain it. I don’t think I ever saw a single person get banned — I was frankly shocked at first by BCC’s approach when I found that site.

    That said, I don’t visit very often any more specifically because there’s so much antagonism towards the church. I find it taxing. The OPs are sometimes as hostile as the comments.

    By the way, if you’re a man, or write like a man (whatever that is, but apparently I do it) and have some criticism, you’ll often get the reaction fMhLisa gave in #21, and you get to scratch your head and wonder how you were being sexist.

    That said, there are some regular commenters there who have a lot of insight I’ve really appreciated, and they’re still participating.

    Comment by Martin — September 17, 2010 @ 3:42 pm

  65. MCQ, everything Tom said is perfectly reasonable. He didn’t say a single thing that is hostile to FMH. Your comment exemplifies the exact problem he is pointing out. Your implication that he must be a sexist strikes me as entirely unfair.

    Comment by Anson Call — September 17, 2010 @ 4:48 pm

  66. MCQ,
    You’re assuming way too much. I’m semi OK with FMH. I don’t like it or find it worthwhile anymore, but I don’t feel hostility. I’m not sure, but I think some of my beliefs have been influenced for the better by participating there back when I did. I’m no Rusty, but I’m sensitive to some of the concerns that the FMH crowd talks about. What does bother me is people making unfounded charges of sexism.

    And why should anyone have to rebut a charge of sexism when there is no valid reason to charge them in the first place? Does criticism of FMH create a prima facie conclusion of sexism? (Can you tell I’m a 1L? If my jargon doesn’t clue you in, my poor writing should.)

    Comment by Tom — September 17, 2010 @ 5:01 pm

  67. Lisa,
    I adore you. I don’t always agree with your positions, but I adore you. For hell’s sake, you helped me with my masters thesis all the way back in 2005, to me you’re an old pal. (and my BiL and SiL just moved to Boise and I hope they move into your ward so that when we visit them I can finally meet you…)

    But you know what, MCQ has a very good point about the space FMH occupies and its importance. Nobody would express disappointment if they didn’t care on some level, otherwise they’d just ignore it. And at least you’re doing the best you can. If you’ve followed Nine Moons for the past year you’d see that I’ve been doing the very least I can, seriously, ask my permabloggers.

    Comment by Rusty — September 17, 2010 @ 5:47 pm

  68. Woops, I created some wrong impressions. That’s what I get for trying to get caught up on Bloggernacle drama before a 6am shift.

    I was not intending to belittle 9 Moons or assert our bigness (hello, I’m the newbie over at fMh, I’m clearly no authority on the entire bloggernacle). It just seemed relevant that my first introduction to this blog would be because it’s unmoderated comments were going around calling my home a “rat hole”, wishing that we would moderate the haters. I know nothing about this blog or its aims or its writers (other than that Rusty did provide very friendly correspondence a few months back in response to a thread about my husband…. didn’t know you were the same “Rusty”… is there just one?). I was just struck by the irony a bit in the wee hours of the morning.

    The thing is, even in the thread in question at fMh, the level of debauchery is being exaggerated. I myself made the point there (comment 31) that all the antagonistic questions were pointless because “This poor guy is not going to know the answer to any of these questions. There are a lot of 70s out there. It’s not like they all have extensively researched church history or thought of the doctrine from alternative points of view…. We all have a lot of energy we want to expel, but I feel like directing it at him would be very unproductive.” The thread had some people fantasizing about how they could potentially avenge some of their grievances, sure. But I just skimmed again through the first half of the comments and most of them are really just honest questions. It’s evident that some of them come from a place of pain and confusion (AJ in 34, and Charlie in 54), but that doesn’t make them Mormon-bashing. I think the level of uproar over the questions is a bit out of proportion, and obscures some of the very valuable, even orthodox points that came up (doctrinal underpinnings of LEED-certified chapels?).

    Anyway, sure, we don’t censor unfaithful comments or those that are extremely critical of the church. But we certainly don’t censor comments that uphold and celebrate the church. If someone, Geoff J included, doesn’t like a comment someone made on a thread, that person is free to come and make a more faithful comment, which will be equally protected and uncensored.

    Comment by nat kelly — September 17, 2010 @ 5:49 pm

  69. Tom, I didn’t know that, and good luck in law school. I was semi-kidding in my last comment, but I felt as though your comment was the equivalent of a person who loudly proclaims he’s not a racist whenever anyone brings up the subject. It sounds defensive and yes, a little hostile, but maybe I misread you.

    Anson, see above. It wasn’t the content of Tom’s comment (of course, everything he says is perfectly true) but the tone and context I was taking issue with.

    Comment by MCQ — September 17, 2010 @ 5:50 pm

  70. If a semi-critical post about FMH is what it takes to get Lisa to pay us a visit, I say keep em coming. :)

    Comment by CJ Douglass — September 17, 2010 @ 6:49 pm

  71. MCQ,
    The internet sucks in general. One reason is that tone is hard to read.

    Thanks for the good wishes. Can I have a job? ;-)

    Comment by Tom — September 17, 2010 @ 7:11 pm

  72. CJ, totally agree.

    Tom, I would love to talk to you about it. Keep me in mind.

    Comment by MCQ — September 17, 2010 @ 7:28 pm

  73. Can I just say that reading this post and the ensuing comments has made me breathe a sigh of relief that it’s not just me? After 4-5 years of daily lurking at FMH, I stopped visiting a few months ago. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I’ve certainly felt the shift in tone others are referring to.

    I would classify myself as someone who’s really feminist,really faithful and more liberal as I age – but FHM no longer feels like a safe place to be really faithful to me. As a long time reader, I just want to weigh in and say that I think a lot of these criticisms are dead-on.

    Comment by Sarah — September 17, 2010 @ 7:39 pm

  74. Wow, MCQ.

    I read Tom’s comment(62), and was surprised by your condescending remarks(63). Obviously you don’t know Tom at all. It just amazes me that you actually chose to make a comment that was so belittling. Several months ago Tom had actually referred me to fmh. I was having a very difficult time with some issues, and he thought that the conversation going on in fmh might interest me and give me a connection to other people who were having similar feelings. So, please, try to be courteous and care-ful. It is true that I don’t know you, and there is no body language here. Maybe your comments weren’t as hostile as they seemed. Were they typed with a smile, a wink, and a friendly punch on the arm?
    I appreciated your comments in (61); also your support of Lisa, and the place that fmh fills.

    Thank you Anson for your comment(65). Well said.

    Comment by Kate — September 17, 2010 @ 8:20 pm

  75. Kate,
    Different Tom, I think. Unless you’re not really “Kate.” I think I might have referred someone to FMH (with some caveats, if I remember right) a few months ago, but she wasn’t named Kate. Unless I’m drawing a blank on a person I know named Kate, in which case I am embarrassing myself beyond belief here.

    Anyways, MCQ has a confrontational nature (on the internet, at least). Even when we’re just talking about how lame Third Eye Blind is, he gets his hackles up. So I know to just roll with it. But thanks for caring.

    Incidentally, it’s getting ridiculous how many Toms there are around the blogs now. I thought I would start differentiating myself by calling myself Tom O., but then one of those showed up somewhere. I thought for a second of going by “9M Tom” or something like that, but I figured that I’m such a poor permablogger that I’m not worthy of the 9M.

    Comment by Tom — September 17, 2010 @ 8:44 pm

  76. Wow, Kate.

    Oh nevermind.

    Tom I can’t believe you brought up 3EB. You’re dead to me.

    You know, honestly, just about everything I say on the internet that’s confrontational should be taken as at least partly a joke. I don’t use smileys (because I think they’re stupid) but when people get to know me they know not to take anything I say too seriously. I realize that I offend people at times, but I think people like Kate really have no business sticking their nose in until they know what’s up. And I say that with all the love in my heart, Kate.

    Comment by MCQ — September 17, 2010 @ 9:27 pm

  77. Hehe. The dreaded 3EB jab. Nice pull Tom.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 17, 2010 @ 10:16 pm

  78. I lurked at FMH for awhile and found it completely not to my taste. I wish there was a website for conservative Mormon women.

    Comment by Pausing Lurker — September 17, 2010 @ 10:18 pm

  79. Ok Tom(and everyone else). Obviously I haven’t spent much time blogging. This is the first time I have actually commented and I royally put my foot in my mouth! That’s ok. I really am somewhat used to it. I figure everyone has a purpose and mine is to make other people laugh! I’m so embarrassed, but everything I said stands as typed, right? I shouldn’t have assumed that you and he were the same, but he participates on many of these sites very often and mentioned that he had made comments on several today. Your writing style, and attitude(he warned me about fmh also), is very similar to his, and I say that with much admiration.

    I think I will be a spectator for a while before I make anymore posts!
    Oh, I found out that the Tom I know puts his full first and last names. Brave soul.

    Comment by Kate — September 17, 2010 @ 10:23 pm

  80. Nat Kelly,

    The problem with leaving threads “uncensored” is that it is a universal law that trolls will take over any and every uncensored bloggernacle space. This law is in no way unique to FMH. If NewCoolThang or 9Moons or T&S or MoMentality or BCC stopped moderating comment threads, Mormonism-bashing trolls would roll in immediately.

    The problem with that is that the faithful Mormons are smart enough to leave the places that have been infested with Mormon-bashing turds. So in short order an otherwise pleasant bloggernacle blog would be reduced to… hmmm, what’s a good way of putting it… oh, I think I have it: a DAMU rat hole.

    Now of course FMH hasn’t entirely left threads uncensored. For instance anyone coming in spouting ugly anti-feminist venom would be barked down and censored immediately. And with good reason — FMH is a feminist site after all. The problem I see is that FMH commentors (and to some degree permas) increasing been spouting variations on anti-Mormonism venom and those comments are treated with a much gentler hand by the FMH censors, even though FMH is also a Mormon blog. So while it is not fair to say that FMH has already become a DAMU rat hole that is overrun by Mormonism-bashing trolls, I think it is fair to say that the blog has been drifting in that direction for some time now. Thankfully you don’t have to take my word for that. We have comments from a few feminist Mormon women in this thread to corroborate that observation.

    Of course Lisa, who I and many other think the world of, is in a sticky spot. She is taking major heat from some hardcore feminists for being too Mormon-friendly (what with Mormonisms patriarchy and all), and now she is taking heat from the likes of me for not sticking up for her Mormonism enough. I think MCQ hit the nail on the head though in comment #61. There are innumerable sites where hardcore feminists can go and commiserate. There are hardly any places where faithful Mormon feminists can talk. If FMH fails to live up to its own stated mission to be a “safe place to be feminist and faithful” it would be a sad loss for the bloggernacle. Being a “safe place” absolutely requires some censorship by admins. Moderating the tone a content of comments and posts is the only thing that makes the site that kind of safe place.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 17, 2010 @ 10:41 pm

  81. The problem with that is that the faithful Mormons are smart enough to leave the places that have been infested with Mormon-bashing turds.

    Hey Geoff, I think I resent that remark…

    Comment by Seth R. — September 17, 2010 @ 10:55 pm

  82. Nah, Kate. You have nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s a totally easy mistake to make. I don’t comment around enough any more to put people on notice that there’s another Tom around. And don’t let MCQ’s negative reaction get to you. He’s not generally one to go out of his way to be genial (on the internet, at least). I think I speak for most bloggers when I say that your comments are welcomed. We usually are happy to see any evidence that people are actually reading and thinking about what we write (I use “we” loosely, since I’m a poor excuse for a blogger). Bottom line: don’t let this initial foray discourage you. The friendships and conversation are worth the anxiety of putting yourself out there a little bit.

    Comment by Tom — September 17, 2010 @ 11:00 pm

  83. Hehe. You are a turd battler by choice Seth.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 17, 2010 @ 11:06 pm

  84. Pausing Lurker,
    Check out segullah.org. They don’t have the vigorous community that FMH has, or at least they didn’t last I knew, but they are very conscientious of being supportive of the Church. And at least some of their writers are top-notch. For more fun stuff with some serious stuff mixed in, you could try mormonmommywars.com. Very cool ladies over there.

    I’m not sure I would characterize those sites as “conservative,” but I think many, if not most, self-described conservatives would be comfortable there.

    Comment by Tom — September 17, 2010 @ 11:10 pm

  85. Yeah, Kate. Welcome. Didn’t know you were so new around here or I would have kept my big mouth shut. Feel free to hang out here and tell us off all you want.

    Comment by MCQ — September 17, 2010 @ 11:36 pm

  86. Heck, why can’t conservative Mormon women hang out here? We don’t smell that bad, do we? [sniffing pits][passing out]

    Comment by MCQ — September 17, 2010 @ 11:39 pm

  87. I’ve been involved in discussions at fmh for years now. For me, being involved there has helped me understand more of the struggles some have, and that’s been good for me. I have tried to try to be more sensitive to those around me, assuming that there may be some in my real-life world who struggle but don’t feel they can talk about it. And it causes me to take a step back to try to be aware of times I may shut down others’ questions that may exist. These questions and struggles are real for some. And I think there are some who go to fmh and ‘finally’ don’t feel so alone in the struggles they have.

    BUT I have never really felt that fmh was a safe place to express ‘faithful’ perspectives. Honestly, I go there with fear and trepidation pretty much every time I comment and most Mormon women I know won’t touch the site with a ten-foot pole and there are only a select few I will even send there because discussion (and sometimes posts) are too often so negative toward the Church and sometimes even hostile toward those who express more more ‘mainstream’ perspectives.

    It’s not that there aren’t women who cherish their faith who participate there. (!!) And there are some posts there that have really knocked my socks off. But in general, I think it’s ultimately misleading to call it a place for ‘faithful’ Mormon discussion.

    Pausing Lurker,
    Another website you can check out is mormonwoman.org. It’s mission is a little different, primarily for missionary efforts, but it’s definitely on the conservative end of the spectrum.

    Comment by michelle — September 18, 2010 @ 12:23 am

  88. There seems to be an assumption that a member of the Seventy (or the Twelve or your stake president) has some kind of insider access to gospel answers that the general membership doesn’t, and they’re keeping it from us.

    I think there is a variation on this theme. I think there is often an assumption (and I’ve heard it said more times than I could count) that it’s simply that our leaders aren’t asking the right questions and simply aren’t aware that people have them. So the idea is that more activism, more public complaint, more letters and blog posts and protests will somehow then provide the impetus to get answers that will Solve All Problems. That it’s the leaders’ fault that they have questions or struggles.

    I think this is too often a misguided notion. I think it’s abdicating too much of our spiritual growth to expect that every answer we seek has to or will come across the pulpit or from an authorized source.

    Which I think goes back to a main point I’m hearing in the OP. More often than not, I think answers we seek will come using general teachings more as a springboard, a starting place, not an end point for our spiritual journeys and quests for truth. I think if we expect it all to come from the pulpit, we put way too much on our leaders and we risk abdicating our personal agency and responsibility to ask, seek, and knock by going directly to God with our questions and pain, and letting Him give us line upon line in His time and way — in a personal way that can help us come to know Him and understand the Atonement more in our lives.

    Comment by michelle — September 18, 2010 @ 12:52 am

  89. Yeah, well, I’m tired. Sorry that I repeated myself in that last comment.

    Comment by michelle — September 18, 2010 @ 12:52 am

  90. Michelle,
    If you are M&M, you are a hero for going through what you go through to make your voice be heard. I lost the energy to engage in the discussion long before you did. There have been a lot of times when I was glad you were offering a perspective that I thought needed to be part of the conversation but wasn’t up to offering myself. That’s not to say that you always said what I would have said, just that it was good to have a voice in the conversation coming from roughly the same direction as mine would. (If you’re not M&M, I’m sure you are also awesome.)

    I’ve felt the same way about Naismith, even though you and her are very different in a lot of ways. I’ve been glad to see someone willing to push back against the prevailing perspective of the community in the face of some serious hostility.

    I suppose I also have to grudgingly give FMHLisa her due. It takes courage to push back against the prevailing perspective of whatever community you find yourself in.

    Comment by Tom — September 18, 2010 @ 12:55 am

  91. Now I know that you are the commenter formerly known as M&M. The multiple posts followed by an apology for repetition and a comment about tiredness is an M&M trademark.

    Comment by Tom — September 18, 2010 @ 12:58 am

  92. Thanks for the welcome Tom and MCQ. I’ve been reading BCC, and fmh for hours now trying to educate myself on how this is all done. I do think I will wear my tastiest shoes though whenever I comment, just to make things more enjoyable for myself!

    Comment by Kate — September 18, 2010 @ 3:01 am

  93. What is the process for obtaining the Second Anointing? How are people chosen to obtain this ordinance? How do the authorities ensure that this doesn’t become “an old-boy’s club”?

    Comment by Old High Priest — September 18, 2010 @ 4:32 am

  94. I understand some commenters’ frustrations with the tone at fMh. But if Lisa is still reading I just wanted to say that your Mormon history post is one of my most favourite blog posts anywhere. Ever. Thanks.

    http://www.feministmormonhousewives.org/?p=222

    Comment by gomez — September 18, 2010 @ 6:26 am

  95. I have a question for the people here complaining about fMh.

    Did any one of you at any point prior to the launch of this thread attempt to contact fMhlisa or one of the other fMh-permas in private and express your concerns for the perceived lack of effort to reign in “Mormon-bashing” comments at fMh?

    I would like to bear my own testimony as someone who has commented on Mormon-themed blogs and discussion forums for almost twelve years now that while it may be the law of the Internet that uncensored discourse tends to become dominated by “anti” or critical voices, it is also the law of Mormon discussions on the Internet that when Mormons lose arguments in even moderated, neutral turf, they tend to abandon the land of neutrality for places that employ heavy-handed moderation in their favor. If you need evidence of this, please ask and I will regale you with the tale of the demise of Zion’s Lighthouse Message Board and the formation of the Mormon Apologetics & Discussion Board and MormonDiscussions.com.

    I bring this up because while fMh may aim to be a safe place for faithful members, it does not and never has aimed to be a safe place for bad arguments—and fMh occupies a tricky position because the official rhetoric used by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its members to justify the position of women in Mormonism is frequently and consistently terrible, flitting wildly between gilded cage arguments, misogyny, misandry, and all kinds of abortions of logic. I’ve seen a number of LDS thinkers who are brilliant and innovative on other issues prostrate themselves to these terrible, incoherent arguments when they venture into commenting on feminist issues. If fMh regulars call these terrible arguments for what they are, they’re seen as unfaithful because they are challenging the church’s official rhetoric on the matter. If they let these arguments stand in the interest of providing a safe haven for “faithful” members, they face the charge that they aren’t rigorously engaging in feminist self-critique. Trying to offer faithful critique of the church’s rhetoric on women is a very fine line to walk.

    One could very well reply to what I’ve written above that the issue here isn’t faithful self-critique of Mormonism, it’s the allowance of “Mormon-bashing,” but therein lies the problem: “Mormon-bashing” is an incredibly vague accusation, and this thread has been mighty shy on specific examples of fMh’s sins in this matter. I guarantee you that for some people, critiquing the church’s statements on women does constitute “Mormon-bashing.” What some people probably want is a place where they can say things like, “men have priesthood because women can have babies” without being challenged on the matter, and fMh is never going to be that place.

    If the issue really is “DAMU’ers” and “anti-Mormons” populating the site, I recommend gathering up some very specific examples of things you’d like to see moderated and e-mailing them to fMhlisa and/or the other permas so that they have a clear picture of what you’d like to see. I guess you could discuss them on this thread, but naming names in public is probably only going to result in even more hurt feelings and drama than what’s already occurred, and I imagine a much more fruitful dialogue if you have it in private.

    Personally, I’ve always been deeply grateful to Lisa and the other permas for making fMh an inclusive, welcoming place.

    Comment by Ms. Jack — September 18, 2010 @ 8:41 am

  96. Several BCC writers take the FMH line in regards to gender matters, and they don’t let arguments they disagree with go unchallenged, but I doubt most of the FMH critics here would characterize the BCC community as friendly to Mormon bashers. So I don’t think you’ve got the analysis right.

    True, “Mormon bashing” and “faithful” are vague, ill-defined standards. But that doesn’t mean that one can’t know them when one sees them. Different people can have different standards for what those terms mean. I think some people commenting here are saying that the overall tone, tenor, and atmosphere crosses their personal line. Some may also be saying that it crosses an objective line, and of course, that’s probably impossible to prove.

    Comment by Tom — September 18, 2010 @ 9:23 am

  97. Ms. Jack,

    I don’t know if anyone privately contacted Lisa before this thread was launched. You seem to be implying that people should have done so. But I think that is nonsense. FMH is a public site and none of us are under any obligation to run any of our thoughts on the site by the FHM permas there before posting them.

    If it makes you feel better I have been exchanging emails with mfranti and Lisa since this thread started.

    when Mormons lose arguments in even moderated, neutral turf, they tend to abandon the land of neutrality for places that employ heavy-handed moderation

    This is in no way unique to Mormons. Evangelicals, Catholics, Jews, Muslims, Conservatives, Liberals, and every other human does this. So your point is moot. If FMH wants to live up to its own mission statement of being a “safe place to be feminist and faithful” then the moderators must do more to be sure Mormonism isn’t being thrown under the bus at the site.

    I agree that bad arguments should be shot down. But that happens in places that still defend Mormonism. (See many of the sites in the bloggernacle as examples).

    Now perhaps your argument is that being feminist is fundamentally contrary to being a faithful Mormon. I know there are many people who believe this. But as I see things, FMH was founded on the idea/hope that such an assertion is false and that one can indeed be feminist and a faithful Mormon.

    As for criticizing various statements and policies of the Church, I agree that it is a fine line. Many criticisms can be not at all Mormon-bashing in my opinion. More often that not it is an issue of tone. If you want to see a large site that gets the tone of criticisms right look no further than BCC.

    What some people probably want is a place where they can say things like, “men have priesthood because women can have babies” without being challenged on the matter, and fMh is never going to be that place.

    This is a straw man argument. There is virtually nowhere in the bloggernacle where such a silly argument would go unchallenged.

    If the issue really is “DAMU’ers” and “anti-Mormons” populating the site, I recommend gathering up some very specific examples

    As I said I am exchanging emails with mfranti regarding these issues. If she and Lisa ask for help to do that I will happily call for wide bloggernacle help to do it. groupsourcing can do wonders with such projects.

    Last, are you a perma a FMH? Your comment sounded as if you were speaking in some quasi-official capacity for the site.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 18, 2010 @ 9:37 am

  98. Balderdash, Jack. You really have not the vaguest idea of what Mormons like me want (most definitely not a boring, tripey place to say the stupid things you put in our mouths), and you have no business pontificating about that. Defend your preferences if you must, but don’t presume to speak for Mormons like me. Gadzooks.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 18, 2010 @ 9:41 am

  99. Balderbash…I hate that game.

    Comment by Chris H. — September 18, 2010 @ 12:07 pm

  100. Yeah, but have you played Gadzooks?

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 18, 2010 @ 2:30 pm

  101. What some people probably want is a place where they can say things like, “men have priesthood because women can have babies” without being challenged on the matter, and fMh is never going to be that place.

    Not it at all. Have you ever met Kristine at BCC? She and countless others in the nacle would have you stuffed and mounted for saying anything remotely that stupid. for that matter so would we right here at this site.

    Comment by MCQ — September 18, 2010 @ 4:18 pm

  102. In fairness to Ms. Jack, I think we need to recognize that the idea that motherhood and priesthood are equivalent is not some nutty idea that only crazy people could possibly hold, but is instead quite mainstream in the church. See this thread at T&S, for instance. Frank M., Matt E., and Julie all appear to support that notion. I would not be surprised to learn that some of our current apostles also hold that belief. Ms. Jack isn’t trying to make us look stupid, she’s just repeating what she hears us say.

    Comment by Mark Brown — September 18, 2010 @ 4:48 pm

  103. Mark,

    You haven’t done much to defend Jack for her silly straw man argument. As I said, there is pretty much no place in the bloggernacle where such assertions would not be challenged. Jack implied that FMH is basically the only place that would happen.

    In context of the overall discussion about blog moderation and tone her point was a red herring anyway.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 18, 2010 @ 5:06 pm

  104. #96 Tom ~ I know of plenty of Mormons who would characterize the discussions at BCC as “anti-Mormon” and “Mormon-bashing” and “not faithful.” Mormons come in all types on this matter.

    I think some people commenting here are saying that the overall tone, tenor, and atmosphere crosses their personal line.

    I agree. They just aren’t providing any meaningful specifics as to what these terms mean to them or who the guilty commentators and fMh perma-bloggers are. I’m sincere when I say I have no idea what Mormons mean by those terms anymore. When I’ve got Bloggernacle regulars calling me an “albino anti-Mormon” and comparing my marriage to a Mormon to the story of Sampson & Delilah, I really have no idea where people draw the line.

    #97 & #103 Geoff J ~ Last I saw you at fMh, you were busy parading a horror show of bad arguments which were obviously not received well, resulting in you lambasting the participants there as “sourpusses” and “perma-whiners.” Now you’re here as the harshest critic of fMh on this thread. As far as you’re concerned, I can’t help but wonder if there isn’t a bit of causation to this correlation.

    I don’t know if anyone privately contacted Lisa before this thread was launched. You seem to be implying that people should have done so.

    I think people should have done so had they wanted a constructive and fruitful dialogue on the matter with the goal of what they see as needed rehabilitation to the environment at fMh. If what you wanted was an open range bitch-fest that’s only going to hurt feelings and alienate your sisters in Christ, congratulations, u r doin it right.

    This is in no way unique to Mormons.

    It most certainly isn’t, but that doesn’t make the point moot. Even if fMh eliminates the alleged anti-Mormon and DAMU vermin, there are still plenty of believing Mormons who will want nothing to do with it because of the nature of the subject matter. They can’t tow the line on the church’s views on womanhood without being aggressively called out on it. That is going to have an effect.

    You may get that kind of critique to a lesser extent on blogs like BCC and T&S, but feminist issues are the heartbeat of fMh, so of course they’re going to avoid the place altogether. At BCC and T&S, they can just avoid the occasional post that tips their sacred cows.

    This is a straw man argument. There is virtually nowhere in the bloggernacle where such a silly argument would go unchallenged.

    Oh come now Geoff. Do I really need to round up Bloggernacle regulars who accept the motherhood-priesthood argument? Hint: most of them never comment at fMh anymore.

    And we all know perfectly well that the idea is frequently articulated by LDS leaders. Hell, Valerie Hudson just presented a version of it at the FAIR Conference in August. It’s hardly the exclusive domain of pew bumpkins.

    Jack implied that FMH is basically the only place that would happen.

    Speaking of strawmen . . .

    I’m glad that you are now dialoguing in private with fMhlisa and mfranti. I sincerely hope you’re able to provide useful feedback on what could make the site more welcoming for people like you, Tom, MCQ, Rusty, Martin, and the other people who have expressed concern here. Like Lisa, I respect the people who have complained here and I hope their concern is taken seriously.

    Last, are you a perma a FMH? Your comment sounded as if you were speaking in some quasi-official capacity for the site.

    Nope, and speaking in a quasi-official capacity for fMh was not my intention.

    #98 Ardis ~ We haven’t spoken in months, and you made no comment on this thread prior to mine, so I’m not even sure what makes you think my comment had anything to do with “Mormons like [you].” I don’t even know what the phrase “Mormons like Ardis Parshall” would mean. As far as I’m concerned, you’re a unique snowflake.

    #102 Mark Brown ~ Appreciated.

    Comment by Ms. Jack — September 18, 2010 @ 7:22 pm

  105. I know of plenty of Mormons who would characterize the discussions at BCC as “anti-Mormon” and “Mormon-bashing” and “not faithful.”

    True.

    Comment by Mark Brown — September 18, 2010 @ 8:12 pm

  106. Jack! I can’t keep your handle straight, because you keep changing it. Are you Ms. Jack now? I had no idea that was you.

    Comment by MCQ — September 18, 2010 @ 8:32 pm

  107. Jack: Last I saw you at fMh, you were busy parading a horror show of bad arguments which were obviously not received well, resulting in you lambasting the participants there as “sourpusses” and “perma-whiners.”

    Har! As I remember it I made some really solid arguments there that were not well received by people who were angry at the church and didn’t want to see anyone defend it. And yes I did wonder aloud in that thread about the sourpusses and perma-whiners that seem to dominate conversations at FMH now. My opinion on the subject has not changed since then and thus my comments here are in harmony with that opinion. Is that somehow surprising to you?

    an open range bitch-fest

    Har again! Oh the irony that you would use such a description while trying to defend FMH in its present form! That is rich.

    there are still plenty of believing Mormons who will want nothing to do with it because of the nature of the subject matter

    True. But FMH was never targeted to all Mormons. It was targeted to feminist yet faithful Mormons. If FMH fails to live up to its own mission statement it will entirely lose that niche. That is largely my point.

    Hint: most [bloggernacle regulars] never comment at fMh anymore.

    Funny you should use that as evidence to support your point because I think that is evidence to support my point. If virtually no bloggernacle regulars are comfortable at FMH anymore what does that say? Tons of bloggernacle participants used to love it there. Is FMH drifting or is it all the rest of us?

    Nope, [I'm not] speaking in a quasi-official capacity for fMh

    Well alrighty then.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 18, 2010 @ 9:58 pm

  108. I know of plenty of Mormons who would characterize the discussions at BCC as “anti-Mormon” and “Mormon-bashing” and “not faithful.” Mormons come in all types on this matter.

    I know that. What I said was I doubt the people commenting here would characterize BCC as friendly to Mormon bashing. Several of the BCC writers cross my personal line as to what I consider appropriate criticism by Church members who claim to sustain the leadership, but I wouldn’t consider the site as welcoming to Mormon bashing, and I doubt many people criticizing FMH here would, either.

    Comment by Tom — September 18, 2010 @ 10:10 pm

  109. Several of the BCC writers cross my personal line as to what I consider appropriate criticism by Church members who claim to sustain the leadership

    Please let me know who they are, and I will send them to their rooms without dinner and dessert tonight.

    Comment by Scott B. — September 19, 2010 @ 4:08 pm

  110. They’re all pretty darn evil, but that Bosworth guy is the worst.

    Comment by Tom — September 19, 2010 @ 4:21 pm

  111. #106 MCQ ~ It was only “Ms. Jack Meyers” before. Who did you think this was? :P

    But I’m legally changing my last name, so I figured I’d drop the old one from my handle.

    #107 Geoff J. ~ As I remember it I made some really solid arguments

    Indeed. Arguing that the church is run by a bunch of crotchety old white men who shouldn’t be taken seriously when they give prophetic counsel was truly epic. They should invite you to speak at General Conference this year.

    My opinion on the subject has not changed since then and thus my comments here are in harmony with that opinion. Is that somehow surprising to you?

    Nope. I’ve long ceased to be surprised by your lack of self-awareness when it comes to the terrible arguments you marshal for responding to feminist issues.

    It was targeted to feminist yet faithful Mormons.

    I personally believe they succeed at both. They seem to discuss feminist issues pretty often, and this hardened, cynical non-member has heard more powerful LDS testimonies out of them than I have anywhere else on the Bloggernacle.* I can’t think of anywhere better to send a struggling Mormon who’s trying to decide how to be both feminist and faithful.

    Then again, I’m arguably neither “feminist” nor “faithful,” so perhaps I’m the wrong person to judge.

    (*Admittedly some of the BCC permas have been pretty awesome in this department as well.)

    If virtually no bloggernacle regulars are comfortable at FMH anymore what does that say?

    I didn’t say “virtually no bloggernacle regulars” visit fMh; I said virtually no Bloggernacle regulars who affirm that priesthood is the complement of motherhood visit fMh.

    #108 Tom ~ Fair enough.

    Then again, the thought occurs to me that there is no way BCC is just as open to discussing and critiquing feminist issues as fMh is. I was censored in January, threatened with banning and set to have my comments moderated in a thread where I was arguing that women in the Old Testament had more access to spiritual authority than women in the LDS church today. (My heated disagreement was with John C., and to his credit, he wasn’t the one who censored me and he immediately undid it all when he heard of it. We’re BFF again.) It would be a cold day in hell before fMh would ever do the same.

    I agree that BCC has perma-bloggers who take the same views on gender as fMh; I don’t agree that it fosters an environment for feminist critique as well as fMh does. And I think that one of the perils of engaging in the kind of critique that fMh does is attracting more DAMU-types.

    That doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for improvement though, and I hope you’re all able to work that out.

    Comment by Ms. Jack — September 19, 2010 @ 5:53 pm

  112. Jack, I was still thinking of your handle when you went by Bridget, so I guess I’m way behind. Sorry.

    You’ve got me curious now. If you don’t think of yourself as “feminist,” why is that? And I guess I would agree with you on FMH if the price for vigorous feminist dialogue is having some DAMU trolls around, then maybe it’s a price that’s worth paying. I’m not sure that’s true though, and the price of allowing the DAMU trolls to hang around is that you lose the faithful people, which is too high a price to pay, in my opinion.

    Comment by MCQ — September 19, 2010 @ 7:49 pm

  113. Jack,

    Hehe. Do you always get so vicious and desperate when you are losing an argument? (I am admittedly assuming malice in your egregious misstating of my arguments in that FMH thread because the only other explanation would be stupidity. And I don’t believe you are stupid.)

    the terrible arguments you marshal for responding to feminist issues

    FAIL. You will need to provide links if you want to make such ludicrous accusations because I think you are making things up.

    Then again, I’m arguably neither “feminist” nor “faithful,” so perhaps I’m the wrong person to judge.

    I believe you on both of these counts. Of course you can also add that you are not Mormon.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 19, 2010 @ 10:14 pm

  114. I think that’s what she meant by not “faithful” Geoff. Maybe you should chill. You’re acting like a complete jerk.

    Comment by MCQ — September 20, 2010 @ 2:35 am

  115. For once I agree with MCQ.

    Comment by Peter LLC — September 20, 2010 @ 3:32 am

  116. Hehe. Congratulations MCQ. You are now in the company of Peter LLC. I actually think the two of you have a lot in common when it comes to your online personas.

    But I do agree that it is probably time for me to tap out of this pissing contest with Jack. She and I simply disagree on the ok-ness of the drift in tone at FMH. That is not surprising. I don’t begrudge her having a different opinion than me on that subject.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 20, 2010 @ 8:40 am

  117. No need to get so insulting Geoff, you’re losing friends fast enough as it is. If it’s your goal to become a bloggernacle pariah, you’re doing well. Now that you’ve done a hatchet job on John Dehlin and fMh, who is on your calendar to hate on this week?

    Comment by MCQ — September 20, 2010 @ 10:07 am

  118. MCQ,

    First you are in no position to be telling people how to avoid becoming a bloggernacle pariah. As I said, you aren’t too far off from the Peter LLC territory half of the time in my opinion.

    Second, if you insist on trying to be the uninvited referee of an argument, do so fairly. As I see things Jack came after at me with unsupportable personal attacks (ramping up in her #104) and I was defending myself (while being snarky in return). Yet you come in and claim I am the only one being a jerk for doing so. If you can’t be even-handed then butt out.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 20, 2010 @ 10:18 am

  119. Geoff, I’m not intervening in any argument between you and Jack, I’m talking about the way you’ve been behaving generally on this thread and others lately, including the one about Dehlin over at BT. I don’t know what’s gotten into you lately but I don’t like it. I’m actually trying to do you a favor and tell you to change your act. If you want to respond to that by telling me i’m the pot calling the kettle black, that’s fine, but it doesn’t mean I’m wrong.

    Comment by MCQ — September 20, 2010 @ 10:29 am

  120. Ok MCQ. I agree that my first point in #118 doesn’t mean you are wrong about my bloggernacle popularity taking a hit.

    I think we can legitimately disagree on how much Dehlin should be coddled. And we can legitimately disagree on how much a bloggernacle site can drift toward DAMU territory before it crosses a line and inadvertently becomes a DAMU site.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 20, 2010 @ 10:36 am

  121. Sweet. I love legitimately disagreeing with you Geoff.

    Comment by MCQ — September 20, 2010 @ 10:53 am

  122. Geoff, I read up on NCT and I figured out what has got you in a bad mood: BYU losing! I bet that if the cougars were 3-0 you would be humming tunes and distributing sloppy wet kisses on everyone. But please, try not to take out your frustrations over your football team on us.

    Comment by MCQ — September 20, 2010 @ 12:43 pm

  123. hehe.

    Comment by Geoff J — September 20, 2010 @ 12:57 pm

  124. Dude, MCQ, what’s up with the unprovoked BYU smack? Man, this is just one more example of the unmoderated Nine Moons drift towards Utah-ness… that 3-0 business is such a straw man…

    Comment by Orwell — September 20, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

  125. Oh, just wait, you haven’t even read my latest post yet: The Redemption of Shaky Smithson. In other words, it’s not a drift, it’s a run for the goal line.

    Are you saying 3-0 is difficult?

    Comment by MCQ — September 20, 2010 @ 3:15 pm

  126. You know what? I can’t muster up the enthusiasm to continue this fake smack talk… it’s because I’m cranky that BYU’s only 1-2 (really).

    Comment by Orwell — September 20, 2010 @ 3:33 pm

  127. Totally understandable. My condolences (really).

    Comment by MCQ — September 20, 2010 @ 3:54 pm

  128. It’s going to be 1-3 unless they can tackle the wolfpack. What we need is some insider gospel knowledge, if you know what I mean.

    Comment by Eric Russell — September 20, 2010 @ 4:15 pm

  129. #114 MCQ ~ Much appreciated.

    Personally, I believe that I am feminist. However, I’m also pro-life, and there are many, many feminists out there who vehemently deny that one can be both feminist and pro-life. I see the debate on the matter as eerily similar to “Mormons aren’t Christians!” arguments.

    I think that a robust case can be made for pro-life feminism, but I’ve never been one to die on a hill over labels. I just don’t feel the need to kiss Gloria Steinem’s hand and ask for her blessing before I can advocate for equal treatment for women.

    All that said, I’m not saying fMh can’t make some improvements. In fact, I agree with most of Rusty’s OP on this thread. I’ve always hated “gotcha” questions and I really wouldn’t expect a GA to tell me something in public that I couldn’t read in a book somewhere. (I sort of figured the latter out for myself, corresponding with Sheri L. Dew when I was 17 and she was in the RS General Presidency . . . )

    I’m sorry for the confusion with my handle, MCQ. It’s been too long. And for the record, I ♥ Kristine.

    Comment by Ms. Jack — September 20, 2010 @ 5:44 pm

  130. Okay, to sum up: Everyone agrees with my OP. FMH is drifting into DAMU territory. Tom and Geoff are a jerks. Ms. Jack gets a complete pass on her jerkness. MCQ gets to decide who the jerks are. And BYU football sucks this year.

    Good show.

    Comment by Rusty — September 20, 2010 @ 7:26 pm

  131. @128

    I think the Patriots are in possession of all the seer stones — maybe they can loan an oracle or two.

    Comment by Orwell — September 20, 2010 @ 7:42 pm

  132. Rusty,
    You’re the first one to call me a jerk. I thought I was doing OK on the jerk front. Now I’m self-conscious. Jerk.

    Comment by Tom — September 20, 2010 @ 8:24 pm

  133. OK, I looked back and MCQ did kind of call me a jerk. He implied that I was sexist, which is a specific kind of jerk. So, you’re kind of off the hook, Rusty, and I take back my jerk comment.

    Comment by Tom — September 20, 2010 @ 8:28 pm

  134. “However, I’m also pro-life, and there are many, many feminists out there who vehemently deny that one can be both feminist and pro-life.”

    Jack and I have had fun with that one. I won. She is not a feminist.

    Comment by Chris H. — September 20, 2010 @ 8:45 pm

  135. I think this is one of my favorite threads ever.

    Comment by MCQ — September 20, 2010 @ 9:36 pm

  136. I just read through this entire thread. Didn’t read the FMH thread because I’ve been avoiding that blog, mostly, because some of the comments there are so anti.

    But my favorite part of this thread was when the guys started talking football.

    Comment by Susan M — September 22, 2010 @ 11:07 am

  137. We need more football threads here. I tried to write a post about Shaky, but it’s just that talking about him gets me so choked up [snif]. I would like to bear my testimony that I know the Utes are true, that Kyle Whittingham is a prophet, and that, through the atonement, all former BYU players can be redeemed and receive PAC-10 glory. [snif] Amen.

    Comment by MCQ — September 22, 2010 @ 12:50 pm

  138. [...] Ms. Jack: Personally, I’ve always been deeply grateful to Lisa and the other permas for making fMh an inclusive, welcoming place. [...]

    Pingback by Zelophehad’s Daughters | I’m thankful for Feminist Mormon Housewives — November 26, 2010 @ 1:58 pm

  139. [...] oudenos, commenting on Rusty’s post “Insider Gospel Knowledge” at Nine Moons (commenting on having read “meditation” as “medication” in another person’s comment): I kind of daydream about taking drugs in order “to truly understand difficult doctrines.” I can imagine getting myself hopped on an opiate, something respectable and old-timey like laudanum, and settling in for an evening of reading the Gospel Principles manual with heightened state of awareness. Guarantee I would uncover scintillating doctrinal nuance to food storage. [...]

    Pingback by Zelophehad’s Daughters | Nacle Notebook 2010: Funny Comments — March 23, 2011 @ 8:24 am

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