Friday, August 28, 2015

Beautiful Poison

I noticed this plant earlier this year, and as I usually do, let it grow until I could know what it was. Yesterday, when I was weeding in my garden, I started to pull out the vines which have beautiful, tiny purple and yellow flowers, and wide, heart-shaped leaves.

I stopped, thinking about how beautiful a vine it could be if I just let it grow on my fence. I decided to get an ID before ripping it all out. It turns out it is woody nightshade, a close relative of deadly nightshade or belladonna. While not as deadly as the more familiar belladonna, it is also toxic to humans and animals. When broken, it weeps a sticky, smelly sap. It has medicinal properties which have grown out of use.

As long as it is not eaten, it is safe. For a brief moment of insanity I considered leaving it, even knowing that it has the habit of overtaking gardens, simply because it is so pretty.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Pride of Faith

Last night during a long drive home, a girl told me that she was thinking of leaving the Church because of how women are treated. And she is right. In many ways, women are afterthoughts at best. Especially among the midsingle men of the Church, women are a mystery who don't perform according to plan, a challenge to surmount, a problem to solve. Whether it is the men who are baffled by women and want to learn the rules so they can push all the right buttons to get what they want, or the ones who think they know the right buttons to push boundaries as far as they can, we women are objectified. Benignly and not-so-benignly.

I supported one of the teenagers in my Sunday School class in teaching a lesson on how we can teach of the importance of marriage and family. It is not an easy lesson for me, so I was mightily glad he chose it. But as I studied, I realized how strongly I feel about the importance of marriage between a man and a woman, in part BECAUSE my husband did not, as my daughter phrased it "treat me well."

When I asked the teens why marriage is important, their first answer was "to make it to the celestial kingdom." And that isn't wrong, exactly. But it's not the important part of the answer, either. "Making it" to the celestial kingdom by checking items off your list, a wife only being one item of many, is nothing but an illusion. A lie...or, at least, an embarrassingly dramatic oversimplification.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Seeing Through A Stone

To me, the Church's release of photographs of one of Joseph's seer stones falls under the category of only "mildly interesting." But thinking about that and hearing others' thoughts about it has coalesced some rather unrelated thoughts.

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