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A Satirical Letter to a Stake President

Dear President XXXX,

I wanted to write and thank you for your much needed comments of correction to our ward. When 10% of the ward shows up after the Bishop has stood up to begin his welcome to the congregation clearly there is a problem. Sunshine really is the best disinfectant. Those who think they can sneak in the back after the meeting starts need to know that we see them and their lack of appreciation for the sacrament ordinance. They need to know that those of us in the soft seats don’t appreciate their intrusion on our spirituality. It's bad enough we have to put up with parents who don't discipline their children, which has been a problem ever since the church got rid of the cry rooms.

I am also grateful that you addressed the movie Hunger Games. Truly we are in the end times when a movie such as this becomes one of the largest movie franchises in the history of movies. We are a peculiar people and shouldn’t allow ourselves to become integrated within the popular culture. Satan is really good at using his deceptive tactics to entice our youth.

God’s plan of agency shouldn’t take effect until after kids leave their parents home. At some point the youth will venture out into Babylon without the protection of their parents helping them be obedient by forbidding them to see such horrible movies. So, It was great that you brought the topic up with both youth and adults present. The youth need to know that they were wrong for seeing it, but the youth also need to see that the parents were wrong for allowing them to see it. Teaching the youth that church doesn’t approve of everything their parents do is great preparation for them to use their agency. A child’s relationship with their parent should only be as strong as their parent’s relationship with god and children shouldn’t be afraid to let their parents know when they are out of harmony with the inspired words of their stake leaders. This is the only true church on the face of the earth and when parent’s views and the churches views collide, even over something as simple as whether a movie is worthy of seeing, children should make clear to their parents which side they are on.

There is another book that many people in our congregation (both adults and youth) are reading that I would like to bring to your attention. It starts off with one of the main hero’s decapitating a defenseless man and stealing from him. About half the book is about two groups that keep slaughtering each other in mass numbers. One of the groups was cursed with dark skin because they were so bad that god wanted everyone, even people thousands of years later, to know that they were bad people. Another one of the heroes kills a bunch of people and then cuts off their arms as a trophy to show the king. One of the bad guys is struck dumb and is forced to beg for food before being trampled to death by the good guys. Even those on the good guys side are killed if it is determined they weren’t true to the cause of freedom.

The climax of the book is when a 3rd group of millions of people have a civil war and fight until everyone is dead but two leaders. One of the leaders is resting on his sword and the other leader cuts off his head. Then that leader collapses and dies. This isn’t the end though. One of the other groups is performing virgin sacrifice and torturing men to death and then forces their wives and children to eat their husbands and fathers. But this still isn’t the end. Then they rape those women and children, kill them, and eat them. Those are clearly the bad guys. The book ends with the not quite so bad guys winning by committing genocide on the really bad guys.

This is just a very brief overview. There are far to many examples of people being killed to list including more decapitations, burning people while they are alive, scalping people while they are alive, and accepting surrender and then killing them anyway, but this brief summary should be more than enough to create an informed opinion and to ban it within the congregation. The book has much more violence and depravity than Hunger Games.
Also when you talk to the congregation, be sure to qualify your statement that you hope you don’t offend anyone. This way, if anyone has enough unrepentant pride to disagree with you or go read the book anyway everyone will know it is their fault for being offended and not the fault of your inspired words.

I would like to take a moment to share why I am so grateful you have brought up these issues. As a lifelong member I have done my very best to follow the commandments. I dropped out of BYU and didn’t pursue a career, so I could marry a returned missionary, stay home, and raise a large family. This is what our living prophets counseled us to do. Recently the “I am a Mormon” advertising campaign has been advertising non-traditional Mormons. Besides the hippy guys with their long hair and beards, they are showing professional women who have delayed their family wearing business suits and pants! When the church started allowing women to say the opening prayer in Sacrament meeting I was a little worried. But this ad campaign marginalizes my identity of what it means to be a Mormon.

I am so grateful there are inspired leaders like yourself who see through this big tent Mormonism gobbledygook for what it is. We are letting our standards slip. The church has had to distance ourselves from a BYU professor who was merely restating what great prophets of our day have said, even Brigham Young and Bruce R. McConkie. BYU Idaho has even stooped to allow these tight fitting so called “skinny jeans.” I am sure none of this is new to you. I am glad there are still people in the church like you who get it. They try to pass all this off as tolerance, but this is the same attitude that allows people to think they can show up late for church and watch movies like Hunger Games and still be considered part of the core faithful.

Your’s in the gospel,

A Woman's Place- Part 1

By Angela Felsted

In 1999, one year after I graduated from college, I agreed to marry someone I hardly knew. We had been dating less than three months and neither of us had reason to rush things. He wasn’t dying; I wasn’t pregnant; and we both had our US citizenship. My younger brother, who was serving a two-year Mormon mission, wanted me to delay the marriage until he got home. I refused, but in defense of my rash decision, there were two things pushing me toward the altar: romantic love, and a desire to hold onto my virginity until my nuptials.

Turmoil set in after our honeymoon. I slept on the couch a lot. (My in-laws and parents were unaware of my struggles since I put on a smile and said everything was fine.) It seemed like the man I lived with had changed overnight, and I wanted my fiancé back. He had been so thoughtful while we dated—bringing me daisies, holding my hand, snuggling with me on the couch. I had thought, when we married, that I’d wake up in his arms each morning, or fall asleep looking into his brown eyes. Instead my husband made the bed with separate blankets. He went stiff when I embraced him and took issue with my “clinginess.” When I worked to keep an optimistic outlook, I could accept his need for space. Other times I felt desperate and alone. Was I foolish to believe marriage would be blissful?

Twelve years later, I still ask myself this question. I am 35, with a husband who has learned to hug me when I cry, four kids finally old enough to dress themselves, and a new illusion shattered: that motherhood is a fulfilling and idyllic legacy.

With kids in elementary school, I thought I’d miss the infant stage—the rush of love I got from watching my newborn son in sleep, lashes spread out like half moons against his cheeks. Rather I feel like I’m leaving a dark tunnel, with tantrums, dirty diapers, and sleepless nights behind me. In the years before I had children, I didn’t fear parenting because I believed myself an expert. This wasn’t pride so much as ignorance; I put my younger sister to bed when I was 10, started babysitting at 12, worked at a daycare center at 19, and looked down my nose at parents who could not control their children.

There were a lot of things I failed to grasp as a young single woman. My choice to marry a man I’d dated for less than six months for emotional reasons (“romantic love”), can be attributed to the naïve storybook belief that everyone has a match. And my decision to place sexual morality above the modern notion of testing the waters (“a desire to hold onto my virginity until my nuptials”) is a principle modeled by my mother, who chose to stay home with her five children in the seventies and eighties, when second-wave feminism called rigid gender roles oppressive.

Growing up in a traditional Mormon home, I saw no problems with the patriarchal model my parents used. My father presided insofar as he chose which of his kids would say grace at the dinner table. He brought home a paycheck, gave the occasional priesthood blessing, and taught me how to ride a bike and throw a Frisbee. When my brothers turned twelve and were ordained Deacons, they passed the bread and water each Sunday and began to prepare for their missions through study and prayer. I was taught that a woman had no greater calling than to marry a worthy priesthood holder and rear a family. In high school, my female church leaders put together a fashion show where we wore our mother’s wedding dresses. I’d never kissed a boy, never been out on a date, and worried about placing so much value on something I could not control. At this point I had yet to hear anyone state that stay-at-home mothers were oppressed. My father was (and remains) a man who does dishes and vacuums floors. Even so, I refused to base my worth on men’s opinions, and chose instead to focus on my education.

My parents were proud when they dropped me off at Brigham Young University (owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) in September of 1994. I shared a kitchen with five other girls who could not have been more different. Two of them planned to pursue their degrees come hell or high water, one made it known she would put it on hold for the right man, and the two remaining had enrolled for the sole purpose of finding a husband. Apparently, they viewed forking out thousands of dollars to a college they had no intention of graduating from as an investment rather than a waste of money.

In fairness, if their church leaders had been anything like mine, these girls had been told in every meeting and activity that a woman had no greater calling than to marry a righteous priesthood holder and rear a family. They simply wanted their lives to start.

Last night as I lay in bed staring at the ceiling fan to the left of my bed, I tried to explain to my husband that the pressure he felt to go on a mission at 19 is exactly like the pressure Mormon girls feel to get married to a worthy man. My husband wisely mentioned how tiresome it is to hear women in their twenties label themselves old maids. I had one such roommate my junior year who asked me how I could stand my single status when she believed hers meant there was something wrong with her. I kept myself from laughing at the lunacy of her statement only because she was about to cry. What I should have done was ask her why she needed a man (or anyone else) to tell her she was lovable?

I mention this as a tangent, a piece of the bigger picture, but it is also a necessary part of the story. In 1972, when my 31-year-old mother, who worked in DC as a secretary for the FBI, married a musician seven years younger than herself, she’d taken a leap of faith not uncommon for a Mormon woman. By the time she was 45, she had four healthy children and a 6-year-old son newly diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. The church took care of her needs. Meals were brought in, childcare provided. How is it that the same patriarchal system which afforded her so much security had the power to chip away at my roommate’s self-esteem by defining her as a wife and mother before she had even married?

What my parents and youth leaders really wanted was for us girls to find love, raise a family and be productive citizens. I don’t think anyone intended to create a culture where single women and those who deal with infertility struggle with their worth as human beings.

With single parent households rising and half of new marriages failing in the United States, the Mormon patriarchy is clinging harder than ever to traditional marriage. Preparing young women for motherhood by holding up pictures of LDS temples like those of Cinderella’s castle, where prince charming will whisk them away and give them a blissful storybook ending. But what most of us find upon entering our fairy tale kingdom is that the servants have been dismissed, and that we must build our relationship without a personal maid to cover up the girth of our frustrations, or a laundress to wash out the stains of our emotional baggage.

Very Important Blog Post on Doves and Serpents

If you read nothing else today, please. Read this.

Read this and think about it.

Think about it and ask yourself, at what cost do we defend "truth."?

Truth with a capital T.

Brent Beal on Doves and Serpents, well said.

Be a Defender of Tolerance

(Based on Brittany Beattie’s Be a Defender of the Family)
You can fight intolerance by defending John Lennon’s vision of peace and unity.
Are you aware that you can promote peace as a teenager? You have the conviction and inner power to fight for ideals which are under attack by intolerance. But how? you ask. By telling everyone around you to “Imagine there's no heaven / It's easy if you try / No hell below us / Above us only sky / Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one / I hope someday you'll join us /And the world will be as one.” (John Lennon)

You can fight the vicious onslaught of intolerance by combating it at school, at home, and even on facebook. Here are a few basic ways you can work toward the extinction of intolerance.
  1. Be inclusive. Talk to your friends about the accomplishments and contributions of those in your family who live alternative lifestyles. You can go into detail about how your two aunts have adopted a child, or the PhD program your 17-year-old transgender brother just completed, but don’t ever criticize those in your family whose lifestyles differ from what is considered normal in our present society. It doesn’t matter if those criticisms are based in reality, if there is a form of abuse in the relationship, or if there is alcoholism or mental problems at work in the lives of your relatives and family. Always talk about the good things they do, whether online or in person.
Do everything you can to make your home comfortable, clean, and positive for the benefit of those who struggle with intolerance. Think about inviting friends over when your aunts, your nephew, and your brother are there so others can learn of the marvelous love and family values displayed in a tolerant and inclusive home.

  1. Defend inclusion in discussions with friends and others. When an ideology is pushed at home or school, at work or even in an online article, show your bravery by condemning intolerance. Those who claim to know the will of God, who read their Bible and hold Sunday services, are really spreading fear and hate. You have a special calling to speak out in defense of John Lennon’s vision for the world. Your conscience will tell you what to say.
  2. Beware of how religion defines our human relationships. Much of what is taught in churches and seen on FOX NEWS contradicts values of love and unity. Conservative news sources and religious organizations often venerate a one-size-fits-all version of family life that results in isolation and heartache for those who don’t fit the mold. John Lennon had the following to say about living as one: “Imagine there's no countries / It isn't hard to do/Nothing to kill or die for / And no religion too / Imagine all the people living life in peace. You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one / I hope some day you'll join us /And the world will be as one
Closed minded, intolerant people use patriotism and religion to fool you by making what is hateful and wrong look virtuous, righteous, or good. They try to mislead you into believing that tolerance goes both ways and that allowing intolerant people free speech has no harmful consequences…. You must be brave enough to avoid churches, shut the door on missionaries, turn off FOX NEWS and tune out friends and neighbors who are trying to strip you of your enlightenment in order to plunge you into the pit of black and white thinking.

When you shut out those who support only the traditional family and discriminate against others, it will be easier to ban intolerance from our society and also to build a more unified, peaceful world.

So yes, I firmly believe that this generation will be forced to battle with fear-based dogma on a grander scale than any which have come before, but when you are brave and work as a defender of tolerance, you can change the future of our society for the better. Even if others despise you for it, your behavior will help bring to pass John Lennon’s dream of living in a place where there is no creed, no war or hunger, and where “the world will live as one.”

Americanism 101: FAQ (From the Newsroom of the Christian Right)

Writer Angela Felsted has written a satirical response to Mormonism 101 in her quick-witted and entertaining style. As with her other pieces, Angela captures the art of understatement with seamless brilliance leaving the reader both entertained and challenged.

Her latest offering is Americanism 101. Read all about it...

Citizens of The United States of America can be located in different economical brackets and various business sectors — in farming and production, fine art and education, government contracting and law, the medical industry and in lobbying.

The United States of America is the richest country in the world. It has military bases all over the globe from Germany to South Korea. Yet, despite its growing wealth and presence, statistics continue to show that many people who live abroad do not appreciate or understand what it means to be an American.

As a country, the United States has the solemn duty to publicly clear up any misunderstandings about what it means to be an American. This way, reporters from around the world can help the international population dispel myths about the United States by being factual and non-biased in their reporting of US policies and culture. In doing so, of course, reporters ought to be warned of common misperceptions. For instance, journalists who are in a hurry often focus on irrelevant things about the United States and blow them out of proportion. Also, those with the best intentions often overstate what sets the United States apart instead of focusing on our common humanity. Regrettably, as citizens are aware, this sort of reporting creates a skewed image and causes unnecessary bad feelings.

Despite these miscommunications, we welcome honest questions from journalists and the general media. The politicians and citizens of the US, however, do expect reporters to be precise and to concentrate on the positive aspects of the American spirit.

Can homosexuals get married in most US states?

Yes. All men and women, regardless of sexual orientation, are valued as US citizens. Those who struggle with homosexuality are equal in the eyes of the law, and while many states in America have constitutions saying marriage is between “a man and a woman,” all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation, have a right to marry someone of the opposite gender.

The United States of America would not be the same without the vital role played by its LGBT citizens. These citizens have played an important part in keeping the US economy going. While families struggle to make ends meet, those in the LGBT community serve as customers, artists, musicians, actors, and in myriad capacities— they often have good jobs and serve in politics and other leadership positions. They are a benefit both to the country as a whole and in their neighborhoods. Their important and special contribution of buying goods and providing services is a vital and significant responsibility of unique privilege, equal in importance to the responsibility straight people feel in marrying and rearing children.

Are Americans obsessed with home ownership?

Citizens of the United States believe in the pursuit of property. But this ideal is often wrongly criticized by those who don’t understand the American dream. There are some who believe that to pursue property means to own land or a house. We assert, however, that the American dream is no different than what people dream about in other countries—that they can make enough money to put food on the table and rent an apartment.

Do US Citizens believe in self-made millionaires?

No. This idea cannot be found in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. This misunderstanding comes from speculation and is not representative of any US laws or policies. US Citizens believe that if they work hard, they will be able to provide adequately for themselves. The Government does not and has never claimed to know the meaning of the nickname, “Land of Opportunity.”

What is the US position on gender discrimination?

The United States of America is for everyone The Pledge of Allegiance states that we are “One Nation, Under God, Indivisible, for liberty and Justice for all.” This is what US Citizens believe.

People of both genders have been free to live and work in the United States since its inception in 1776. In fact, when John Adams helped construct the governing laws of this nation, he was quite partial to his wife, Abigail, who wanted women to vote. During this time, Mr. Adams wrote many letters to his wife wherein he sympathized with her, but at some point others who were working with Adams decided not to let women vote, although there were likely some who disagreed with this.

It is not known exactly how, when or why woman were restricted from casting their vote, but it is in the past and no good comes from either thinking about it or examining it. Government leaders and representatives sought guidance from lobbyists and activists about this issue three generations ago, and women have voted ever since.

Why does the US act as a policeman for the world?

The military industrial complex of The United States of America is in existence to defend our capitalistic society and help in the spread of democracy throughout the world. More than 2,000,000 soldiers, many of whom are married and have children, are serving in the military. US soldiers are volunteers. The draft has not been used for decades, and those who join the armed forces gladly give up time with their loved ones to serve their country. They receive their assignments from The Department of Defense and are only sent to places where they are needed. In many places in the world, soldiers are sent to keep the peace.

Being Still in the What Now

In the moment we recognize that change is imminent, that what once stood as the status quo in our lives no longer aids us but suffocates us, we are forced to take action. I’m not talking about the smaller day to day changes I’m talking about the big changes in our lives, the ones that take courage to confront our false beliefs, examine our relationships and get honest with ourselves about who we are and what is really important to us. I don’t know which is scarier; the moment we recognize change is imminent, or the moments that follow after the change has been made.

When all is said and done this deeply personal house cleaning we’ve just undertaken leaves us standing in a void of “What now?” There are plenty of unknowns in the “What now?” Vision is 20/20 when looking back at who we can no longer be, but what we will become is far less clear. We are left with very few answers and it’s tempting to rush out and find them as if having all knew answers will help us justify to others why we have made the choices we have. I don’t know if there is a right way or wrong way to deal with the “What now?” moments, but a lot can be gained if we will just allow ourselves time to stand still in the “What now?” Sometimes the right changes come about in the quiet waiting periods of our lives if we can just be patient.

Instinct drives a caterpillar into a chrysalis. Something tells it that it’s time for change and rather than just waking up one day and saying “I think today I will be butterfly.” it goes into a period of isolation and waiting. It really doesn’t have to do anything for changes to come about in its “What now?” phase, it just waits.

This waiting period is where I am at in my own transitions. I worry that I will just stay dangling in this self-woven chrysalis from one season to another; never growing, incapable of change, just isolated watching as the seasons pass by only to end up the same person I was when I wove this chrysalis. Right now I am neither caterpillar nor butterfly.

The caterpillar doesn’t have the capacity to contemplate the future, or failure, it just is. It hangs there, oblivious to the possibility of change never taking place. It’s completely in the moment. What didn’t exist in its form yesterday exists today; the past is gone. Today it has the nubs of what will be wings. It doesn’t think about what it will be tomorrow. It doesn’t worry how big it’s wings will be, what color will they be, what if it’s not strong enough to break out of the cocoon. What if a strong wind blows it off its limb down on to the sidewalk and someone steps on it? Maybe it should have spun its cocoon in a safer place. Isn’t it time yet? How much longer will it have to wait? What if it misses that window of opportunity? What if only a few hours after drying off it’s its wings a bird swoops down and eats it… what if… what if… what if?

Shhh-the caterpillar just is. It hangs quietly in the sun, wind and rain. It wants for nothing it struggles against nothing. It simply lets nature take its course.

This inability to dwell in the past or worry over the future is probably why butterflies don’t come out of the chrysalis completely neurotic, flying aimlessly about while worrying how much time they have left, is there a bigger flower out there somewhere than the one they are currently on… Instead they bask in the sun until their wings are dry. They gently exercise them opening and closing them to a slow rhythmic cadence. Once in flight they are quiet, gentile creatures with no worry of what’s next, they are just grace in its present moment. Tomorrow it may be a gross display of butterfly anatomy on your windshield. Today, it just is.

So far I have learned that the best I can do is wait out my time in this chrysalis. Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow is only what my imagination hopes and fears it will be. Today is the best thing I have going. There is a lot to be said for counting your blessings; it forces you to focus on today. If you find yourself in one of life’s major transitions, count your blessings, focus on what is good right now. While we are busy doing that rather trying to find quick answers in an attempt to avoid our discomfort, Spring will come.

When I finally transition out of the “What now?” phase of my life I won’t miss the waiting, the self-doubt, the uncertain future that surrounds me. But I would like to think I will look back on this period and see it as a necessity, as valuable to me as the chrysalis is to the butterfly, that without it flight would have been impossible.

Now about that windshield; I probably won’t see it coming. The only thing left after impact will be a pair of wings swirling in the airstream of the passing car until they fall unnoticed onto a hot Arizona highway in the middle of nowhere. But at least I didn’t die a caterpillar.

Fathers Who Know

In October 2007, Julie B. Beck, newly called General Relief Society President, gave a talk at General Conference that continues to live in infamy. Here author Angela Felsted offers up her answer to Beck's talk. In this thought provoking essay, she turns the tables placing fathers in the hot seat. What follows is perhaps controversial, but an important lesson in the power of words. If nothing else, Angela's words should make us all think about the power of the messages that come across the pulpit.

Fathers Who Know

In the Old Testament we read about an extraordinary woman who was exceptionally stunning and obedient. “This young woman, who was also known as Esther, had a lovely figure and was beautiful.” (Ester 2:7). This faithful woman paid tribute to Mordecai, her cousin who raised her like his daughter by “ . . . (keeping) secret her family background and nationality just as Mordecai had told her to do, for she continued to follow Mordecai’s instructions as she had done when he was bringing her up (Esther 2:20). Mordecai was not Esther’s father, but when it came to what was best for her, he knew. I would suppose that the fathers of Rebecca, Rachel, Miriam, and other great women also knew.

The duty fathers perform today has never necessitated more watchfulness. More than any other time in the history of the world, we need fathers who know. Precious spirits are coming into a world that will have to fight with the influence of Satan. Still, fathers can have courage. When fathers know what they can become, what God once was, and remember the covenants made with Him, they’ll have great power and authority over their children for righteousness sake.

Fathers Who Know Make Money

Fathers who know work hard to make money. Whereas in many places fathers are “letting their wives help” with bills, or going into risky fields they “enjoy,” in Latter-day Saint culture we still believe in fathers making money.

Valiant sons of God make good money. In the scriptures we read of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph of Egypt, who would do whatsoever was necessary to obtain land, sheep, birthrights, or riches for themselves and their families.

Some men are not capable of financial success in this life, but just as John the Baptist of the New Testament labored ardently without making ends meet, the worth men put on riches in this life and the time they spend laboring for it will bring them wealth when they rise in the resurrection. Men who work to achieve that blessing now are guaranteed to have it in the eternities, and the eternities last far, far longer than our life on earth. That is power; that is authority.

Fathers Who Know Honor Sacred Commitments

Fathers who know honor sacred commitments. I have attended church meetings in the most destitute cities and towns where devoted fathers have dressed carefully in their Sunday clothes and left their wives and children in the wee hours of the morning to walk on dirty, mud-caked roads to early morning meetings. After hours of deliberating, they sit behind the podium and watch their wives bring each of their sons to sacrament meeting in starched white shirts with their arms folded; their daughters in modest dresses with their eyes lowered to the floor. These fathers honor their commitment as servants of God. They know if they aren’t setting an example of leadership and sacrifice, they are not emphasizing obedience enough. These fathers have a righteous influence. That is power; that is authority.

Fathers Who Know Are Laborers

Fathers who know are laborers. This is their singular obligation and function under the plan of salvation. To labor means to work, toil, and make operational. Hence, fathers who know take extra shifts to cultivate a productive work environment. Another term for laboring is kissing up. Kissing up often includes taking the blame for others mistakes, working over holidays, and cleaning the coffee cups and crumbs left out by your coworkers. Work is where men can most influence people; therefore, Mormon men ought to be the best kiss ups in the world. Working beside non-members in a day to day job gives men an opportunity to model the kinds of behaviors their co-workers should emulate. Laboring fathers are smart, but all the learning men acquire will gain them nothing if they don’t know how to create a work environment that cultivates success for those around them. Productivity occurs most often when we serve others, and men should be willing to wash the feet of their co-workers like Jesus washed the feet of the disciples. Laboring require energy and humility. Making work environments productive through laboring is an important and special role granted to men. That is power; that is authority.

Fathers Who Know Are Firm

Fathers who know are firm. As they preside over their wives, they entrench their children in a vast and holy religious institution. These fathers work for the growth of their institution. They stress obedience, tithing, and temple marriage. They take charge of family prayer, give priesthood blessings, and aren’t afraid to take to task children who are disruptive during church. Fathers who know mold their daughters and sons into their own image. They won’t ever discard their hopes by reading secular parenting books and succumbing to popular models of discipline. These good fathers who know are selective about affection and sentiment in order to preserve their energy for the tough love that matters most. That is power; that is authority.

Fathers Who Know Are Judges

Fathers who know are judges. Since they are responsible for monitoring the home, they should never let things go. A friend of mine with an ultra-clean house mentioned to me that she did not gain anything from Sunday School that she hadn’t already been taught at home. Her father used bed time, meal time, homework time and family prayer time to make sure she’d cleaned her room, put away her shoes and socks, scrubbed the dishes, and complied to all his orders. Think of the sparkling homes future wives and mothers would have if fathers ran their households like a boot camp for homemakers. Then the obedience, work, and dedication needed to diaper children, scrub the floor, and listen without offense to their husband’s criticisms would be a blessing and not a burden. That is power; that is authority.

Fathers Who Know Build Protective Walls

Fathers who know build protective walls. They use these walls to shield their families from the world in order to foster eternal goals. They put up walls against their children’s internet use, friend’s phone calls, Sunday parties, and children playing in other people’s homes. Fathers who know are willing to be the bad guy, to keep heathen influences out of the home in order to better teach their children—about Bible reading, Book of Mormon scripture chasing, planning talks, studying the Ensign, listening to the prophet’s voice, sitting with reverence, and the value of isolation. These fathers choose carefully who’s allowed inside the wall. Their purpose is to keep the rising generation safe against the onslaught of the adversary. Their purpose is to set future fathers and mothers on the path to train up their own children. That is power; that is authority.

Fathers Who Know Stand Guard

Who will stand guard over this rising generation? Mormon men will—men who know, men who stand immovable when they’re so exhausted they want to collapse. We are led by prophets of God who have asked the men of the Church to stand tall. He has told us to guard our children. Mormon men should be the best in the world at making money, upholding their commitments, laboring, standing firm, and insulating their families. I have a strong belief that our men will do this and be known henceforth as fathers who know.

Angela Felsted is a musician, poet, and nature lover. Her work has appeared in issue fifteen of Drown in Your Own Fears, Chantarelle's Notebook, and Vine Leaves Literary Journal. You can download, SCARRED, her most recent poetry collection on Amazon Kindle or visit her blog at

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.