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Define yourself. Define me. Define God. Define spiritual. Define religious. Define… In some circles it seems like my very salvation is dependent on my ability to define some of these topics. I am tagged with labels from the moment I inhaled my first breath. Girl, healthy, white, infant.. As the years have rolled on, the labels attached to me, this one infant, born 50 years ago, have grown into an astoundingly long list. Athletic, cute, sarcastic, wife, mother, sister, Mormon, funny, student, volunteer (and vain considering I’m only listing the more positive ones from my list)… amongst the labels I have picked up along the way are the ones that wars have been fought over, such as Christian and American. Other labels have caused divisions in our government, our courts, and our houses of worship and in our homes. Labels like gay, lesbian.

The fact is, labels matter. We have to assign definition to things to make since of our world. It isn’t the label that is the problem it’s the definition that creates problems. Before vaccinations childhood diseases such as those labeled Small Pox or Polio were words that invoked fear. Images of quarantine and death were wrapped around these words and the child who possessed it. Today the label exists, but the definition the image creates at least in this country invokes thoughts of a crying child being vaccinated and not a lot more.

Lessons from the Liahona

It was little and amazing; someone in the ward had made it from a Styrofoam ball and gold spray-paint. Fake jewels decorated it, shiny stones made from deep blues and rich reds. I turned it over and over in my hands, wondering what the real Liahona had been like. Did Nephi, Sam, and Lehi gaze into it as they drifted aboard Nephi’s boat?

The lesson in Sharing Time that day was all about the Liahona, and the adventures Lehi’s family had crossing the sea guided by the little ball of curious workmanship. Reluctantly I passed the home made model to the child sitting next to me. But I watched it as it made its way around to the rest of the Primary. I wanted it back. I wondered how true to life it was.

I never wondered about the story, whether or not it was the truth. I adored the stories from the Book of Mormon. I even had a special edition Book of Mormon that looked like the golden plates on the cover. Reading the description of the ball in 1 Nephi 16, I would imagine a jeweled ball very much like the model I held in Primary, though I never could picture the spindles in my head.

Hippie Boy: A Girl's Story

Ingrid Ricks grew up in an LDS household that was anything but picture perfect. She tells of her experiences in her novel Hippie Boy: A Girl's Story. Ingrid instantly captures readers with her true-life narrative of growing up with an abusive LDS stepfather. Her story chronicles her own coming-of-age through her adventures with her own father, and perfectly illustrates finding her power.

Ingrid was recently interviewed on Mormon Expression by Tom Perry and Stephanie Durden Edwards. Listen to the interview here.

To read more about Hippie Boy, follow the link here. Learn more about Ingrid Ricks by visiting her website

Purpose of Life

This has been a week of amazing posts in the blog world. I promise to have an original Peacewriter piece up later in the week, but for today I had to share this amazing post by Juliane over on Molly Mormon's Evil Twin.

Juliane shares a video of an amazing man who serves his neighbors with the kind of selfless love that others merely write about. This man has figured out the purpose of his life. Watch the video and read Juliane's remarks.

If you need a dose of perspective today, here it is.

I have to say, this is better than any message I have ever heard from any pulpit anywhere in my entire life.

Feminist Mormon Housewives: Just One of the Many

I read this post over on Feminist Mormon Housewives today and I felt inspired to share it. It makes me sad that this young mother, a young woman with four small children, heard this message from the place that should provide her with the spiritual uplift she needs. I hope she continues to weave her own original and beautiful tapestry. I simply love the way she words her point without attacking her faith. Read on here...

Not Really Happy?

Happiness is not, cannot be measured according to one’s righteousness.
It just can’t be.

I overheard a faithful Latter-day Saint bemoan her own economic struggles, and openly question why an acquaintance that had left the fold was prospering. She wondered why her lot was so tough, and the other family was obviously prospering. Where were her blessings? Why were they getting all of the blessings?

I am one of those people according to Elder Glen L. Pace in his classic talk They’re Not Really Happy (Ensign Nov. 1987) who has traded “telestial pleasure for celestial happiness and joy.”

I have let the faith of my youth. I suppose I have changed my address to General Delivery, the Great And Spacious Building.

Is that really how God works?

who we are

Welcome to The Peacewriter.

We all want to belong somewhere, to someone. It is a basic human need.

If you have ever experienced a period of doubt or questioned your beliefs in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you know that this is not a minor thing. It is tantamount to a crisis, and one that can be life altering.

Lose your testimony, and you stand to lose everything that matters.

There are those who exist on the fringes of the Church, who feel disenfranchised, even unwanted. If you are single, gay or lesbian, feminist, atheist, or uncorrelated, it can be tough to feel like a part of the community. You may feel that you do not belong.

You belong here.

If you have ever loved someone who endured a faith crisis, you know that there are a lot of gray areas. Uncertainty is the dominant force; black and white become moot points.

Those who have walked the same path share a common bond, understood by few who have not traveled the same road.

This is the place to share common experiences, to find a voice, to be heard. This is the place to seek after peace, and to find it in the common ties we share.

This is The Peacewriter.

Please visit, and visit often. We intend to post new submissions regularly. If you want to contact us directly, click on the Contact Page or email us at

We welcome your feedback and submissions.