How to Be a Good Executive Secretary

(Warning: I can’t imagine this would be interesting to anyone who’s not a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If you want to read it anyway, go for it. Nothing secret here. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.) For some reason, the word on the street is that I do a good job in my church calling as an executive secretary for the stake. I’m a bit stumped by this, honestly, because I feel like all I’m doing is . . . doing the job. My guess is that the typical expectation for an executive

Church Talk: Finding Personal Peace

Quick intro: This talk isn’t by me, this time. Denisa was asked to speak yesterday, and I thought it was great, so I got her permission to share it with you all. So here you go! I grew up in a family and culture that used language pretty directly and without many of what linguists call “hedges”. Hedges are words we use to soften the message we are trying to get through like when we want someone to do something. For example, instead of saying: Help me with this job. (5 words). Adding some hedges would sound like: When you

Activism and the Church

I often like to go into each General Conference (a twice-a-year church wide meeting where church leaders give talks on a variety of topics) with a specific question in mind. We believe these people are led by God. What’s the point of modern day revelation if it doesn’t answer the questions you have about the modern day? Honestly, I have yet to do this and not come away from the meetings with a better understanding or feeling about whatever it was I needed clarification about. This time, I had one real issue that’s been on my thoughts a lot. I’m

Sunday Talk: Spiritual Momentum

I gave a talk in church for the first time in over two years yesterday. (Quite a far cry from when I was giving them every month.) Topic? Spiritual momentum. Here’s the full text: There are two main approaches to getting into a pool or a lake. The first, of course, is to throw caution to the wind and jump in without thinking twice. It’s a sudden shock to the system, but after a few seconds the shock wears off, and you’re swimming in comfort without any concerns soon after. The second is to edge into the water inch by

Under the Banner of Heaven Episode 1 Review

I’ve already had a couple of friends ask me what I thought about Under the Banner of Heaven, the new mini-series that’s out, adapting Krakauer’s book of the same title. It’s focused on a murder investigation in 1984 in rural Utah, and it very much delves into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, portraying events both from the church’s history and its “present” (in 1984). As an active media review and active member of my religion, it makes sense people would ask for my take. I’d read a fair bit about the show before I watched the first