Friday, April 15, 2011

Episode 1: The Promises of the Checklist

Right click here to download the mp3.



This first podcast is part of my story as a Daughter of Mormonism. I give some of the reasoning behind why I started this podcast and as well as my own background. In particular, I discuss my efforts to live the Mormon Checklist and "do everything right" so that I could "qualify for blessings" which never seemed to come, despite all my zeal.

I reference the article "A Gift Given, A Gift Taken" about early Mormon women giving blessings.

27 comments:

  1. This was great. I have only listened to a couple of the Mormon Stories podcast, but I also wished that they talked more about women's issues in the church. I would love to hear more about your personal story such as the experience in graduate school that changed your approach to truth and your current religious feelings

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  2. Katie,

    Thank you so much for your comment. I'm glad to hear from you. I'm planning to tell more of my story as the podcast progresses, but for now here's one of the big pieces from graduate school.

    I was taking a theory class, and we were discussing New Historicism. When we were talking about the idea that it is impossible to declare something as historically true because it cannot possibly encompass the full moment and what happened, and because it will inevitably carry with it the filter and bias of the person recording it ... well, this was said is just such a perfect way that the "TRUTH" of the First Vision and the Book of Mormon suddenly slid onto a new plane of existence where nothing fit the same way any longer.

    That was the first major step on the journey.

    I look forward to hearing more from you!

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  3. Thank you for this! I'm a fan already. There is so much material to cover, viewed through a Mormon woman's eyes. I'm looking forward to the next podcasts.

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  4. Thank you, Lotus! If you have any episode ideas, I'd love to hear them. Thanks for listening.

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  5. That was great. I could really relate to a lot of what you said. The more podcasts out there the better imo. I'm really excited about this podcast. I think you pretty much summed up my experience. I look forward to more.

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  6. Polly Anna, thank you! It's validating to hear that you resonate with what I'm trying to do here. Thank you for your comment!

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  7. Way to go Sybil! Are you on iTunes?

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  8. This does look like a great start to your podcast!

    Now you have me wondering about New Historicism...couldn't that be used as an apologetic response as why it's not important to look at the details of the history of the church. Historical truth is relative...I admit I don't know a lot about it, but that's what a lot of Holocaust deniers put forth...how can we know anything truly happened when we weren't actually there, etc. Anyway, excited to hear more about this and other topics!

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  9. Jessica, I'm working to get things set up with iTunes, but I've hit a pile of snags. I'm getting a computer expert to work on it with me tonight, so hopefully it will be up soon!

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  10. Kaylanamars, thanks for the comment. New Historicism has links with Deconstructionism, which means that it is a two-edged sword for sure. It can cut either way, and it can also be spun to bolster or diminish any point, just because of how it is set up.

    For me, I see New Historicism as offering us the chance to be more personally responsible for what we believe and why because it takes away the capital "T" truth stamp that encourages us to let someone else decide what truth is.

    As far as Holocaust deniers are concerned, I don't think they are using New Historicism in their take on it. They are just denying. And there are many evidences that show that something did indeed happen. Yes, different accounts will represent the concentration camps of WWII differently, but that it happened seems, in my view, undeniable. I'm not sure if I'm being clear here ...

    Thanks for bringing up this angle. It got my brain looking over the ideas again. Thanks for your comment!

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  11. Thanks for more info on it. I see the holocaust deniers as cherry-picking the evidence that fits their view and look for ways to dismiss the actual evidence that shows the Holocaust happened.

    I can how that would've affected me back in my believing days. IT would've given me a different look since the church proclaims that capital T truth with correlated and white-washed history.

    I just get a little ornery when so many religions take so many truth claims at face value...and if everyone believed that everyone was entitled to their own take on truth or beliefs, etc then great. It's just troubling when those in power dictate what that truth is and anyone else either doesn't fit in, needs to change, or is ostracized.

    OK, now I get what you mean with it! Sorry for going on so long. I'm just excited about the opportunity to discuss like this!

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  12. Every once in a while I come across a piece of art or literature that resonates with me instantly and I know I'm going to love it--even before I get to the end. This is one of those times. Thank you for this podcast.

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  13. Kaylanamars, great comments! I really like this: "It's just troubling when those in power dictate what that truth is and anyone else either doesn't fit in, needs to change, or is ostracized." In my view, people ought to take responsibility what they believe and not give that part of their souls to an organization or other person.

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  14. Randi, thank you so much for your comment! I'm so glad to hear that it really worked for you.

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  15. I found a link to you today on FB, and joined up to follow here and on the FB page, and shared your link with a few more folks... I love what you're doing. :) I've only listened to this first podcast thus far, but I see that you have linked to Dance of the Dissident Daughter in two of your four posts, and I just read that a few months ago and loved it. So I have a feeling I'll be enjoying where this podcast goes. :)

    I wanted to make a couple of topic suggestions, since you asked. I realized that there are some mormon women who do not want to do the wife/mother thing, but there are many of us who do want it, and are happy when we get it. However, there are a lot of things that can go wrong in the pursuit of motherhood, and when those things happen I think it hits LDS woman extra hard because of all the church pressure about it. I think that it would be excellent to have podcasts about: infertility, miscarriage, postpartum depression, and PTSD from traumatic birth experiences. I'll refer you to a couple of links about some of these things too.
    The Amethyst Network http://theamethystnetwork.org is a nonprofit that I'm a co-founder of, which is focused on miscarriage support (3 of the 5 founders are LDS).
    Solace for Mothers (for PPD, PTSD and other birth trauma) (at least one of the founders there is also LDS, and a friend of mine) http://www.solaceformothers.org/

    Here is another topic that I think should be addressed: mormon women and sexuality, specifically, good girl syndrome. My experience with GGS nearly ruined my marriage.

    And modesty--all the things we're told about how we have to be modest (because boys can't control themselves? How insulting to them! And us!) and how that carries into good girl syndrome, and also into things like breastfeeding in public (I know someone who organized an underground campaign for writing letters to the church about better support for breastfeeding mothers...betcha she would LOVE to come on for a podcast!)

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  16. Jenni, these are great ideas and match up with many that are on the list already. This is great! I'll be getting in contact with you.

    Thank you for sharing these ideas.

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  17. Sybil, I am so excited to see you doing this. THANK YOU.

    I'm the friend that Jenni referenced with Solace for Mothers. I am also one of the organizers of LDS WAVE. I'm happy to participate with you whenever you want or need. I'll also volunteer my sisters at WAVE.

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  18. Thanks for your comment, Descent. I've been looking through your blogs, and I would love to have you participate. Will you email me?

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  19. This is just wonderful. I identify so closely to parts of what you mention in the beginning here, and this is is such an important format for sharing these ideas. Thank you for starting this!

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  20. cc, thank you so much! I've really been amazed at how much response the podcast has received already. I think many of us were waiting for a voice. A woman's voice.

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  21. Gail KnickerbockerMay 20, 2011 at 6:41 PM

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I did the checklist for some 20 yrs or more and after I had my 10th child I realized that I did NOT believe any of it anymore. I was worn out and wasted. I now have 11 children am doing OK but not terrific. Still have 4 children at home. You expressed having gotten that there was a problem so much sooner than I did. I am so happy for you. I appreciate you stepping out and taking a stand for women to agitate for some kind of equality in the LDS church. This is important to me not for myself as I am NOT interested anymore to be active but for my children. They are nearly all believing and I have 4 daughters. thanks again for this site and these podcasts.

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  22. 11 children. Gail, you really went the extra mile with the checklist. I'm glad you've let go of the checklist and are doing okay. I can see why you would be worn out. I'm glad the podcast is helpful for you. Hang in there.

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  23. Sorry I'm late to be commenting, but I've just started listening, and I love that you're doing this. From this first episode, my favorite point you made was that women were treated as being "somehow developmentally arrested." I think this seems to describe so much of how women are treated in the Church. Well said!

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  24. I've listened to all of the podcasts and am now re-listening them more carefully!! Thank you for sharing your story with us!! I sometimes feel blessed that I wasn't raised in the church....I was never subjected to this "checklist" and so my own focus in the church has been gospel focused and not in "fitting in". I knew getting into the church that I would never EVER fit it, but I joined because I believed the scriptures were true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet and I believe Prophets are on this Earth (however I don't believe they are infallible....they are human, you know!) I don't voice what my feelings about the Church and its direction in certain things IN CHURCH because I am afraid of confrontation, but I definitely have some "different" ideas that I love expressing in avenues that feel safer!! Before I converted I was a Wiccan/Buddhist and instead of changing religions, I simply integrated Mormonism into my other practices and I know many mainstream LDS would be surprised to find that it was an EASY integration! One of the things that drew me to the church was the belief in a Heavenly Mother.....As I became a more seasoned member I was sad to see we never talk about her in the mainstream church, but I am so glad that I am finding others like me out here!

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  25. Ziff, thank you so much for your comment! It's such a pity that women are treated as the "other" children, in a way.

    Tiffany, I'm so glad you're here! There's a couple of pieces that are coming up soon that I think you'll really enjoy that have to do with integrating paganism and Mormonism. Stay tuned!

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  26. Sybil, I am finally listening to these, and I just want to say that I had a smile on my face this morning as I listened to episodes 1-3. Thank you for doing this work! I'm going to listen to all your podcasts first and then email you about any topics or ideas I might have. I LOVE this. :)

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  27. k, thank you so much for your comment! I'm looking forward to hearing more from you.

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