Transcript of January 2015 Trib Talk with Elders Oaks and Christofferson

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Screenshot from interview

In the process of compiling a somewhat-comprehensive list of official LDS statements on LGBT issues, I have come across a few recordings for which I could not find full transcripts. One of those is the Trib Talk from 29 January 2015, between the Salt Lake Tribune’s Jennifer Napier-Pearce and Elders Oaks and Christofferson, discussing the Church’s “Fairness for All” news conference from two days prior. Here is my transcript of the interview. Continue reading

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Titles of Liberty

On loving glass women
Glass men
And glass gods

On welding your hands
To curved iron rods

On fruit made of sunlight
That burns when you eat
On wars that you fight
With shattered retreats

On grey trees
And grey neighbors
Grey houses
Grey time

On boundaries of smoke
And holograph lines

On the girl made of starstuff
And the boy forged in coal
On babies held hostage
On shards in your soul

On trauma that's bitter
And trauma that's sweet
On candy nails
And broken feet

The Message of Easter

Our ward newsletter has a “Testimony Corner” where a ward member briefly shares their personal feelings about the Gospel. I was selected to share my testimony in the Easter issue. I don’t always feel comfortable responding to such requests because I rarely use the word “testimony” to name my convictions, and I don’t believe many of the things that other Mormons believe. But I do care about many of the same things that other Mormons care about, and I appreciate the challenge of identifying those common things and celebrating them. I shared this: Continue reading

Jesus and My Feet

There's a space that begs for poems
But I have no blood to write in
And I'm too young to choke to death on broken dreams

And I'm drowning in these memories
But I have no blood to fight them
So I think that I should probably go to sleep

But I'll sit here in the space you've made
From poetry and rhythm
And I'll try not to feel the weight between these notes

And on Sunday they will talk about
How Jesus healed the broken
But they'll never stop to ask who crushed my feet

Local Decisions

True or false?  “The Mormon church has a policy that mandates the excommunication of any member of the church who enters into a same-sex marriage.”

False.

The church’s policy requires that members of the church who enter into same-sex marriages meet with their ecclesiastical leaders to discuss their standing in the church (a conversation known, unfortunately, as a “disciplinary council”). As Elder D. Todd Christofferson clarified, the policy “means the discipline is mandatory — [it] doesn’t dictate outcomes but it dictates that discipline is needed in those cases.” The only mandatory requirement is a conversation.

Period. Continue reading

A Prayer to Heavenly Mother

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Did you not possess me in the beginning;
before your works of old?
Did you not cover me in my mother’s womb?
You are compassionate and merciful;
You do not cast away your people which you foreknew.

Am I not the workmanship of thine own hands?
Did you not form me in your glory?
Have you not chosen me,
by sanctifying me as I came forth from the womb? Continue reading

Letters From the Sea

I got your letter in the mail today
Its corners dripping salt
And I wonder if you think of me
Where castle ceilings vault

I set it on my bookshelf
And I haven't broke the seal
I don't want to read of starscapes
That I don't believe are real

You wrote your address on the corner
With ink that smelled like space
But I don't want to read appeals
To my ancestors or grace

So your letter's on my bookshelf
Dripping salt and grains of sand
There's too much sea inside it
To be opened on the land