We did not expect a Road to Jericho as we grasped the iron rod,
Yet you have named us Latter-day Lamanites.
And in this othering, this “fairness for all,” you have made us a “those people.”
We are your people!
We are you! We are born into the covenant and adopted children into the house of the Lord!
Yet still we experience something more as we pass the great and spacious building.
Policy and words, homophobic and transphobic,
Rain down upon us like arrows
As we humbly press forward.
We continue to struggle
In holy places while shielding
Our bodies with outstretched arms.
We nurture the tender flame of testimony
While the air of fellowship is drawn out around us
We are made servants, to tend to the comfort and sensibilities of the privileged
And told to hide in plain sight.
It is unclear if we are given or driven to the margins of faith
But this much is clear:
We are your children and we asked for bread.
When you gave us a stone, we didn’t expect it would be cast at us.
We will always be with you, see us!
We continually wash upon your shores as waves,
Born to our families to bless you
When you did not realize you were in need of blessing.
And the blessing of waves shapes shorelines
And tides bring life
To the everlasting lands
Of the kingdom of God.
Beyond Laniakea, the immense heavens,
Galaxies cluster by the billions.
Each a steward
Of one hundred thousand million stars.
Today I am posting the remarks I gave at the 6th annual ALL Arizona conference on April 28th, 2018. The conference had some remarkable speakers, singers, and presenters who together wove a picture of love and community.
With much sadness Out of Obscurity mourns the passing of one of our bloggers, Megan Howarth. Megan lived a purpose driven life, touching those she came in contact with in profound ways. Megan never turned down an opportunity to advocate for the many causes important to her.
One of her friends writes, “The only thing we can do now with our broken hearts is to help support the family and continue on with the causes most important to us.”
May we all work to leave this world a better place than we found it.
Please click here to learn more about Megan and how you may support her family in this difficult time.
To honor our fellow LGBTQIA+ and commemorate her life, we leave you with her Out of Obscurity bio, which she wrote to introduce us all to her life.
‘Til we meet again Megan ❤️
Megan H (she/her/hers) is a quiet, introverted Hufflepuff who nevertheless has gotten involved in feminist, LGBTQ+ and other types of activism, showing that you don’t need to be loud and flashy to work for social justice. She writes for the blog with an A (asexual and aromantic) perspective. She has also lived with multiple autoimmune diseases for close to a decade, giving her a unique perspective on invisible illness and ableism. Megan is a lifelong Mormon with pioneer heritage and served a service mission in Family History as a less-physically-taxing alternative to a proselyting mission; while she is now investigating Community of Christ (formerly known as RLDS), a part of her will always be Mormon. Megan recently bought a little house in Logan, where she lives with her cat Noel, is learning how to be a homeowner through trial and error, and works in tech support.
On August the third, 1908, the brothers Jean and Amédée Bouyssonie entered a lonely cave in the Sourdoire Valley of France. For three years they had carefully excavated over 1000 Neanderthal artifacts, however on this day the brothers uncovered a nearly complete 50,000 year old Neanderthal skeleton which they described as being carefully buried in a sleeping position, legs bent with head tilted over the chest and surrounded by flint tools and animal bones.
It was shocking at the time to think that a species other than our own would have the capacity to ritualize death through intentional burial. Continue reading
When we summarize the story of Alma at the Waters of Mormon we think of the community of Saints who were desirous to bear one another’s burdens, willing to mourn with those that mourn, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort. They desired to be called the people of God.
This was a radically supportive community considering the political atmosphere that surrounded them during the time of Alma.
This band of souls who gathered at the Waters of Mormon lived in an enclave nation surrounded by a people who desired to harm and enslave them. They lived in continual tension with their neighbors. Their King, King Noah, had pillaged the poor to fund the government’s laziness, idolatry, and whoredoms. Additionally, King Noah’s example “did cause his people to commit sin, and do that which was abominable in the sight of the Lord.” Mosiah 11:2
These were refugees, and considering the tensions and fears of their homeland, it is no wonder that they “clapped their hands for joy, and exclaimed: This is the desire of our hearts” upon being invited to join this new supportive community at the Waters of Mormon.