Six Reason I'm Not Going Back to Church in Person Yet

I've seen a lot of posts from people who are very concerned about going back to church at this point because there's absolutely nothing substantial that will prevent the spread of contagion there. I not only support you, I'm here to add fuel to your fire. I wouldn't go back to church right now even if you paid me.

 Reason 1: My church building has not been cleaned in months. It probably won't be cleaned before services begin. And even if it is, the lackadaisical cleaning crews of volunteers will not maintain the sanitary conditions required to prevent contagion from spreading.

Reason 2: At 99 spots in sacrament meeting, those spots should be reserved for single women, widows, and the fatherless who have no other access to the sacrament in their homes. There's no reason for families who can bless and pass their own sacrament to take those spots.

Reason 3: There is no rule saying I cannot continue to do home church whenever I need to. Especially if it's better for my mental health or personal circumstances. Home church works better for me? Then I'm going to keep doing it, through the pandemic and beyond.

Reason 4: I don't need to justify my absence from a building to anyone. Go back and read Alma 32. God doesn't need a church building or a formal meeting to reach out and bless my life. I'm not going to make the mistake of believing otherwise.

Reason 5: The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. I don't come from a family who doesn't get that. I'm not filled with guilt and complexes any time I miss church for any reason, no matter how valid. There is no perfect attendance award for church.

Reason 6: I fundamentally disagree with church membership in states like Idaho, whose infection rates are allegedly "relatively low," being used as guinea pigs to test drive what reopening the Church could look like everywhere else.       

Laundry Stripping Temple Garments

To temple garment wearers, especially plus-sized garment wearers. I have discovered a thing I must share. And please note: if you don't wear garments, that doesn't make you a bad person. Please don't feel bad. You are worthy of love with or without garments.

It's getting warmer outside. I know what that means for some of you because I know what it means for me. Sweating from now until September without relief. Medicated body powder. Unpleasant smells. Changing your garments at least once a day.

If this is you, and your garments have lingering odors, sweat, and funk in them even after you wash them, I have something that might help. I saw laundry stripping on TikTok and tried it immediately.
  • 1/4 cup baking soda 
  • 1/4 cup Borax 
  • 1 cup powder laundry detergent 
Use that in a presoak with your garments for about 8 hours, stirring about once an hour. Then wash and dry like normal.
When I tell you my garments have never been cleaner, I'm not kidding. I'm going to start doing this every time I do whites. I did this in my bathtub yesterday as an experiment, but husband says I can do it in the washer too because we have a presoak option.

You can do this with any clothing. The water that left mine was a dingy gray, but just in the videos I've seen, everything from opaque black to brown water is not unusual. 
Give yourself the gift of the very cleanest skivvies without shame. You deserve it.

Removal of Youth Achievement and Mission Plaques from Church Foyers

In this announcement setting new standards for appropriate foyer art in chapels, it was also announced that display cases would also be removed. Since this is where many wards have chosen to display the youth achievement awards and mission plaques, it means those displays are either going to be relocated or removed altogether.

This change has rubbed some people the wrong way. I have something to add that may change the way some feel about the removal of the missionary plaques specifically.

Did you know the Church doesn't pay for those plaques in many areas? If your family doesn't buy one, you don't get one. That's why neither my husband nor I had one. Our stake was one where these were not provided.

My husband and I both were both on the hook to pay for our own missions because our families couldn't (his) or wouldn't (mine) help financially. When you're on the line to pay for it yourself, you quickly realize what matters and what doesn't. I sold everything I owned of any value whatsoever to pay for my mission. It wasn't enough, so my former branch president stepped up to offer to pay the remainder. No one buys you a plaque when you're serving on someone's else's dime.

So let me ask you: Are mission plaques really so important a tradition to continue when they are a needless financial burden that many members and families are already being excluded from? 

If so, tell your family to buy one anyway and hang it in their house.

I have long been of the opinion that missionary service is much more like a Mormon cotillion for some families, rather than a desire to give selfless service. Anything we can do to confront and change that is a good thing.

And let's be real here for a minute. Am I annoyed that our foyer artwork has been reduced to a lily white nonsense vision of Jesus? Sure. Would I be more upset if they were spending needless money on new artwork, rather than using what we already have—especially now? 

I want brown Jesus on a church wall in my lifetime. Why? Because Jesus was brown, is brown. I'm not here to say it doesn't matter. It does. 

I want food in brown bellies more. 

Can we do both? 


If I have to choose, which one am I choosing? Food in brown bellies. Every time.

Prioritizing the Elderly in our COVID-19 Precautions

Look y'all. I wasn't trying to have a repeat of when y'all told me I was overreacting when I said to get masks at the end of February because asymptomatic spread was the real threat. I had no intentions of coming back onto Twitter until after the election.

I'm here only because I have something to say that's important enough to me that I want it to be heard and remembered in this moment. And if you think it's an overreaction, realize I don't care because you are not at the heart of what I'm going to say.

If you have an elderly person in your life who lives in a senior community of any kind—nursing home, long term care, independent senior housing—now is the time to call them. Show them that you care, that you're thinking of them. Tell them you love them.

I realize you're probably busy with all the balls you have up in the air with your own life. Especially if you have other people you're already taking care of. Compassion fatigue is real. Believe me, I've had it. I understand it. Do what you can to take care of yourself. But if you're not already taking time to spend with the elderly members of your family in whatever way that is possible, you need to start now. Don't make excuses. Don't assume you have more time. Do it now.

I have a grandmother in her 70s living in a senior apartment community in the Baltimore suburbs. This woman means the world to me. She kept us alive after my mom left my father and had to raise two kids with no child support. She bought my Christmas presents more than once. She bought my school clothes. She was the one source of stability, normalcy, and unconditional love in my life when I was young. I love that woman more than I have the ability to put into words. She lives in my tenderest heart.

The political forces in this country, specifically within the Republican party and various conservative movements, are playing fast and loose with her life. They don't care if she lives or dies, as long as they can continue exploiting people around her to make money.

My cousins and I had a group video chat with her on Facebook last night. My grandmother isn't comfortable with that technology. She has four Facebook pages because she keeps losing her passwords. But she tries because she loves her grandchildren that much. Her smile at seeing us all together like that, the one thing that makes her truly happy, allowed me forget all of that for a moment. As she has laid aside so much for me, I tried to do the same for her. To do my part to give her a good experience.

The thought that any conversation with her could be my last is never far from my thoughts. The anguish that causes me is profound. There's nothing I can do to protect her. And because of her health issues, I have zero hope that she would recover if she became infected.

As much as it hurts me to say this, I am preparing to say goodbye if it comes to that. It cleaves my heart in two to say it, especially because I know I wouldn't be able to go to her funeral. One of the most important people in my life. My Mom Mom. A life without her in it.

Not everyone has that kind of relationship with their grandparents. I understand that. But to care is a choice, and it's a choice you can make at any time. Consider yourself. Should you care more than you do? Should you show that care more? Then start today.

And for the love of all that is good and sacred in this world, wear a mask when you're out in public. Correctly, please. Cover your nose. Tight seal around the edges. Wash your hands. Cover your mouth when you cough. 
I live in Idaho, a state that is loosening restrictions. I have been disgusted to see the number old people here who are not taking this seriously at all. No masks, or masks worn incorrectly. Not covering coughs or sneezes. Not keeping six feet of distance in crowded places.
I will continue wearing masks and talking all the same precautions I did before. I am treating this like nothing has changed, because it hasn't. I am proceeding like I have my grandmother's life, the lives of so many grandmother's, in my hands. Why? Because I do.
If you're not going through this situation like the life of someone you care about depends on you doing the right thing, you need to start. And if you're not taking the time to express that love to the people in your life, do it now before it may be too late 

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