Madwoman Out of the Attic

a feminist trudging forward in a patriarchal world

Monday, November 06, 2006

Good Sunday

We started out as usual with Mike getting up before 7:00 so he could go to all his bishopric meetings. I took care of baby for a couple of hours and then took him to church. I was not feeling at all excited about going, as it was fast and testimony meeting, and I get tired of the usual choruses of "I know this church is true."

But lo and behold, sacrament meeting was great! Due primarily to the fact that J.W got up and gave a fantastic testimony about how Mormons have a great tradition of being involved in both political parties. He then talked about how a great family has left due to feeling that there wasn't much space for them to be pacifists in this church, and read a fantastic passage from Kimball about how Mormons need to repent for worshipping the gods of steel and war. So cool! I wonder what was going through the bishopric's mind when he was up there. They looked pretty stoic, but I get the feeling they were quite nervous about where J.W. was going with his testimony.

Then I ditched S.S. as usual and went to R.S., which was better than usual since J.A.T. was giving the lesson and quoted Chieko Okazaki. How refreshing to finally hear women being quoted in a lesson! And it was good since I got nearly 30 people to sign up for my humanitarian field gleaning service project. Whoohoo!

Then I went to J's to make my political "Calls for Change." I called 50 people in a district in Nevada to urge them to vote for the democratic congressional candidate. Most weren't home, and most of those that were hung up on me pretty quickly. But I did get one or two nice people so that was good.

Then I rushed home to clean up because this was the night of baby E's blessing. We went through a lot of drama to get there, but in the end I think it was pretty cool. Mike wrote a few things a couple of days ago, I changed and added to them, giving them an activist, be kind to earth, animals, marginalized, etc. slant. We held him together, the two of us, as Mike read from the blessing we had both composed. At the end I lifted baby up like that monkey does in the Lion King. And it was fun to have my liberal friends there to give me positive vibes, as I'm sure there were others there who were less thrilled at how we decided to do this blessing.


Blogger John said...

I'm happy that you had a good Sunday, and gladder still that we could be a part of it. I loved the baby blessing--the content was beautiful, but most poignant was that both you and Mike were up there holding your child.

11/06/2006 1:03 PM  
Blogger Brooke said...

I was very touched by the whole atmosphere and the blessing itself. It was an especially good Sunday for me too.

11/06/2006 11:21 PM  
Blogger Deborah said...

So glad it all worked out. Here's to creative comprimise!

11/07/2006 7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a beautiful baby blessing. It must have been a very special moment involving your whole family. Thanks for sharing.

11/07/2006 8:05 PM  
Anonymous April said...

Maybe Im wrong, but I didnt think Mormons wrote their own baby blessings. Is this new?

11/08/2006 1:27 PM  
Blogger Caroline said...

Thanks all. I'm so glad, John and Brooke, that you could make it.

April, Mormons generally tend to maybe think about what they want to say beforehand and then get up there and say what comes to mind. But since Mike and I wanted to do this together, we wrote down what we wanted and he read it.

11/08/2006 10:54 PM  
Anonymous April said...

Again, perhaps Im not understanding this, but isnt a blessing to be an "inspired" thing? Writing it down seems to be taking any kind of deity completely out of the picture. Why even do it then?

11/09/2006 7:52 AM  
Blogger Caroline said...

Yes, ideally. But I think the inspiration can just as easily come when we discussed and thought about it beforehand.

11/09/2006 8:49 AM  
Blogger amelia said...

i have to say, i'm with caroline on this one. just because something is contemplated and written in advance does not mean it is not inspired. there is no privilege attached to doing things spontaneously. rattling something off does not necessarily mean it's more likely to be inspired.

the blessing sounds like it was lovely. and i am still kicking myself that my feeble brain forgot about being there. i'm *so* sorry.

but i am glad your sabbath was so lovely. i love it when i am surprised in that way.

11/10/2006 9:52 AM  
Blogger John said...

April, some of the saints were critical of Joseph Smith for reading the Kirtland Temple dedicatory prayer (which is now enshrined as D&C 109). Prophets and apostles continue to follow his precedent. So some of the holiest prayers/blessings in Mormonism are written first and read aloud later.

11/10/2006 8:35 PM  
Anonymous Clay said...

"So some of the holiest prayers/blessings in Mormonism are written first and read aloud later."

This is true about dedications, but I do not know of one instance of a blessing given to a person being composed and then read.

Do you have any references?

11/13/2006 7:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Clay, I was illustrating a principle more than applying it specifically to baby blessings. There seems to be a notion that blessings need to flow straight from the lips to be inspired, but temple prayers, Joseph Smith's revelations, and patriarchal blessings demonstrate that writing can be inspired. (JS edited his revelations and patriarchs have the prerogative to do the same).

This is a separate issue from Church policy concerning blessings of course. But I was responding to April's question about inspiration.

At any rate, I felt that E's blessing was a tender, spiritual moment. And I'm grateful that Caroline was able to channel some of that inspiration. I can see why some might feel threatened by empowering the mother this way, however.

11/13/2006 10:31 AM  
Anonymous clay said...


Im sure the baby blessing was very nice.

I have no argument that writing can be inspired. I was just asking my question based on what you said.

I agree with what you said about dedications etc. but I still do not believe any blessing pronounced on an idividual (baby or not) has ever been written down first. I am just wondering if you know of any in church history.

11/13/2006 12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, Clay, if I was a bit defensive. I don't know of any precedents--perhaps this was a historic first?

11/13/2006 4:50 PM  
Blogger Caroline said...

John, thanks for your reference to the Kirtland Dedicatory Prayer. That is a good instance of a prayer being composed beforehand.

Clay, I know women in the early 1900's used to bless each other before childbirth, and they would often use a set pattern of statements when they blessed, that were written down. ( "We bless you that your womb will withstand the rigors of labor, that your breasts will fill with milk... etc.)

11/13/2006 9:09 PM  
Anonymous Outlooking said...

This is a wonderful Idea. I think I may do this when I give birth next time. What do you call this new religion?

11/15/2006 11:57 AM  

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