Light So Shine (part one)
an elders quorum lesson


[This is the email I sent out to the folks I would be teaching before the lesson. Next week I'll share the thoughts I sliced and handed out.]


As you know if you ever turn your AM dial to http://www.familyradio.com, the Rapture will be held May 21, 2011. I don't know if I qualify for the Rapture, what with being Mormon and everything, so I don't know if I should count on being taking into Heaven or just left behind. And, if left behind, I don't know what will be left with me. Will everything be normal less a few evangelicals? Will we have electricity? Zombies? So I figure I better just count on the world ending in May and planning this week's lesson accordingly.

Coincidentally (or not?) I've had a prophecy of Spencer W. Kimball's on my mind of late:

Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world . . . will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world. . . . Thus it will be that female exemplars of the Church will be a significant force in both the numerical and the spiritual growth of the Church in the last days.

I don't know where you spend your time online, but, arguably, this prophecy may be right now. This is what put the idea in my head and the evidence to be marshaled is pretty impressive. Some of the web's biggest blogs are run by Mormon women, and they've been showing up in the so-called mainstream media as well --- Oprah's couch and so forth. Folk of all stripes are spying on the Mormon ladies online.

One thing the infamous Salon article claimed was that all the Mormon mommy blogs reveal "shiny, happy domestic lives". Yet, of the blogs cited, two were started by women working through infertility. One is written by a woman with scars over 80% of her body and a lifetime of surgery to look forward to. Others openly struggle with depression, body image. One chronicled her divorce online.

Shiny and happy indeed.

Yet that's the impression left. And I think it's fair to say that for all the disaster we collect in our lives, living from a position of faith does make the net shiny and happy.

With the end up the world only a couple months away, I think we should discuss what it means to accentuate the positive in a messy world. When we should when we shouldn't and, most of all, what our accentuation can mean to the rest of the world.

(Note to self: no more doomsaying.)


  1. .

    The official emailed wrapup of the lesson (written by EQ 2nd counselor):

    Lesson summary:

    Instruction this week was based on Brother Jepson's obsession with Mormon women and their blogs. Brother Thteed's structure free, judgment free forum invited wide spread class participation into meaningful topics like; laser beam awareness when we can share the gospel, the importance of being ready to lead, and that as members we should be online. We also learned the saints in general are behind the Jewish faith in representing mainstream art. Hopefully Brother Thteed will one day turn the tide with novel after novel of bestsellers.

    A quote from Spencer W. Kimball:

    To be a righteous woman during the winding up scenes on this earth, before the second coming of our Savior, is an especially noble calling. The righteous woman’s strength and influence today can be tenfold what it might be in more tranquil times. She has been placed here to help to enrich, to protect, and to guard the home—which is society’s basic and most noble institution.

    Thanks to all who participated.


  2. Instruction this week was based on Brother Jepson's obsession with Mormon women and their blogs.

    Hahahahaha priceless! I love you more and more each day.

  3. "laser beam awareness when we can share the gospel, the importance of being ready to lead..."

    I would have probably enjoyed being there in EQ and participating. Of course, it is always more enjoyable when you have a chance to prepare for what is going to be discussed. I need to look at what can be accomplished toward this end in my own ward.

    I'm reminded of something we uncovered when sorting through my father's things a few weeks ago... Among those things my father brought home after his mother died was a plate. My grandmother collected kitchy things so that in itself was not so very unusual. The statement printed on the plate, however, offered a little insight into her sense of humor. It read, "Behind every successful man stands a woman telling him he is wrong." We laughed when we read it and I've pondered how important those moments have been in my life when my dearest has insisted I was wrong.