Happiness and Religion

Over the weekend, I had a chance to watch General Conference again, the twice-a-year series of talks by leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It’s about 10 hours of talks in all, and we always make a weekend out of it with the fam. (Sessions go from 12-2pm, 4-6pm, and 8-10pm on Saturday, then 12-2pm and 4-6pm on Sunday.) You would think persuading your kids that they want to listen to 10 hours of church talks would be a difficult task. You would underestimate the persuasive powers of Oreos and Goldfish. It’s not all just about

Happiness and Religion Read More »

Sunday Talk: Weathering the Storms of Contention

Guess what! I talked in church again. So you lucky people get to read my talk today. Enjoy! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ There’s always that feeling right after I get assigned a topic for a talk in church. The “do I really have anything worthwhile to say about this?” twist in my gut. Add to this the fact that for a couple of years, I was speaking once a month in church as I went around the stake as a high councilor, and I also feel at times like surely I must have said everything I have to say on pretty much any

Sunday Talk: Weathering the Storms of Contention Read More »

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

How to Be a Good Executive Secretary Read More »

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

Church Talk: Finding Personal Peace Read More »

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

Activism and the Church Read More »