Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Standup Layover: New York

So here's me this morning.

This is me after a Salt Lake-Denver flight, a Denver-Boston red-eye flight, and several hours of waiting for a Boston-New York flight. I actually slept a reasonable amount, for a three-flight night, and arrived in New York (somewhat) rarin' to go.

So after doing several loops around the (extremely large) airport, I managed to find the Bagbysitter, where I left my backpack and suitcase for the afternoon. And for the Zero of you out there who are interested, here's a shot of said bags:

I post this because I am absurdly, unreasonably proud of my ability to pack for trips. And there's nothing more satisfying than winning a game that nobody else knows they're playing.

"HA! I only checked ONE bag, and it only weighed 35.5 pounds! Beat that, losers!"

"I swear I put my boarding pass right here, in this pocket . . ."

"Bet you can't beat that. Bet you couldn't in a million years."

"Um, yeah . . . where is it? . . . Sorry, RoseE, did you see me put down my boarding pass anywhere?"

"You could find it if you'd packed better, like me."

"Did I leave it at the ticket counter?"

"It's super easy to pick up, too. Look. Easy to carry."

"No, I already checked under your suitcase, it wasn't there . . ."

It's all about life's simple joys.

So anyway, bereft of my bags, I took a stroll through the parking lot of the airport and over a creepy viaduct where Serena and I once had a near-death experience in the middle of the night.

I wouldn't call it non-creepy by day, but nothing, living or dead, tried to do me any harm as I hopped on the subway and headed for the Lower East Side.

Riding the subway in New York is always an adventure for me. It's so . . . real. So dirty. So old. Salt Lake has a public transportation network, of course, but it's all very shiny. It's very much like a network of Disneyland rides. MTA has the battered, retro, "bite-me" appearance of a real workhorse of a transit system, one that doesn't care if you're having fun on the ride or not, because people gotta get to work, so shut up and hang on.

It may be a bit creepy, and quite possibly haunted, but it's sure as heck easy to navigate. I made it to my destination and back again without any trouble at all. And what was my destination, you ask?

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum.

This turned out to be a pretty cool place. This one particular building just got blocked up and abandoned when it was no longer up to fire code, leaving the old, fragile building pretty much untouched after about 1930. The museum folks have left some rooms as they were, crumbling and peeling and full of creepy, and restored others to what they might have looked like when being lived in by various families. I toured the apartment of an 1890s Irish family, the Moores. In addition to the re-creation, the tour also had reproductions of the Moore family's relevant documents: their census records, immigration records, and the death certificate of their littlest girl. I loved how very specific everything was, and how neatly all that specificity was documented.

While I was waiting for my tour to start (it was a few hours; New York's kinda packed today. I don't know if they've got something going on later tonight, or what), I had a very nice stroll around the honest-to-goodness Chinese parts of Chinatown. I grabbed a panini for my lunch from a random grungy grocery-deli, thought about getting some squid at the fish market but decided not this time, and waved to the Empire State Building, which popped up to say hello whenever I crossed the street.

New York is so odd to me. It's kind of like living on an aircraft carrier. Everything's so tiny, so wedged and crammed and jostled in amongst everything else. Things that my brain just knows are supposed to  be free-standing, like grocery stores and museums, are suddenly in narrow slices of 1910-era row houses, because that's the space there is and so darn it, that's the space we'll use. I always flinch at how dirty New York is, and then I remember the sheer volume of the people here . . . to say nothing of their dogs and their cars and the semi-trucks bringing in their food along tiny one-way streets made even tinier by the cars parked all up and down both sides . . . and think to myself, "Yeah, there are some bits of litter lying around, but it's a miracle this city even functions, and another miracle that it functions so magnificently. What a crazy, fascinating place to live. Maybe someday."

But today is not that day, because right now I need to pack up this computer and get on yet another airplane. So here's one last shot of Chinatown on a biting gray New Year's Eve Afternoon.

You may have to print it out, tape it into a circle, and wrap it around your head to achieve the full effect.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Between Worlds

It's going to sound odd and melodramatic, but it's true, so here goes . . .

Traveling alone is kind of a mystical experience.

I first noticed this when I was about fifteen and started flying on my own. In an airport, after your ride has left, you . . . change. All the defining qualities that grow from your relationships subside, and you are one woman, alone with her thoughts in a sea of other people alone with theirs. You mean nothing. You are a tranquil, nameless entity drifting through the universe.

This transformation is more tangible when driving. My annual drive from Salt Lake to Bemidji really makes this clear to me, because I travel not only out of my home city, but out of my very name. I stop being RoseE when I veer off the I-15. When I arrive in Bemidji, I don a new name: Arianne. In between, in the wide-open silence of Wyoming, I am no one. I am the thing that holds the gas pedal down and hits 'Play' on the audiobook. And that's very peaceful.

I'm sitting on the floor in the Denver airport, waiting for my red-eye flight to take me to my next port of call: Boston. I don't need to communicate with anyone. I have a name, of course, but it's on my license which is tucked away in my purse. I sit beside it, disconnected from it, placidly enjoying the unbearable lightness of being, without being anything or anyone in particular. Just being, without all the baggage and stress of defining what kind of being I am or ought to be.

I am in the liminal space. The Wood between the Worlds. The non-story that exists in between the back cover of one book and the front cover of the book next to it on the shelf. King's Cross Station. Sleeping Beauty's dream. Like The Moment, I am unsure if the images in my head are products of my past or my future. When I reach my next story, all that will snap into place. It always does. And I'll be better able to face the new adventure for the timeless rest I've had here, in this mystical, unearthly nowhere-space that is The Airport.

Plan B

So, plan A (fly free out of Salt Lake) has turned out to be a bust, which is why I'm typing this from my parents' sofa and not from the A line in New York.

It was just one of those things that happen, particularly when you fly standby. However, I rather blamed myself and my mum rather blamed herself and we were both being guilty AT one another, which was uncomfortable. I wrote a whole blog post about it, but then the computer ate it, which actually made me feel better.

And all is well. It really is. I'll be leaving with my dad in a few hours to drive to Denver, where I'll catch a red-eye flight to New York via Boston. So my already elaborate Salt Lake-New York-Dublin-London trip has become an even more elaborate Salt Lake-Denver-Boston-New York-Dublin-London trip, but elaborate is by no means bad. Gives me a chance to see my Denver cousins, who are some of my favorite cousins (sorry, South Carolina cousins; you've been upstaged). And one of the things I was planning to do in New York (visit the UN) turned out to not be selling tickets today, so no loss.

So instead of whinging about the stress of unpredictable travel, I shall include for my first journey photos a picture of my sister and niece, as well as your first view of my spectacular traveling hat:

and one photo of how I slept last night, underneath 67% of my parents' household's cats, namely the Dowager Princess Soxie and the Honorable Miss Pangur Ban:

And you know, all things considered, it is no bad thing to go to sleep covered in cats. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

An Adventure

"Indeed for your old grandfather Took's sake, and for the sake of poor Belladonna, I will give you what you asked for."

"I beg your pardon, I haven't asked you for anything!"

"Yes, you have! Twice now. My pardon. I give it you. In fact I will go so far as to send you on this adventure. Very amusing for me, very good for you--and profitable too, very likely, if you ever get over it."

The Hobbit

I woke up this morning feeling kind of excited for the first time in a good long while.

It's been a rough semester. I took on too much, then had to find the time and energy and willpower to complete all of it. And I managed. I didn't always manage well, which makes me sad. There's nothing I dread more than disappointing people, and I think I managed to mildly disappoint a lot of people over the course of the semester. But I worked hard all four months. I accomplished a lot. I created a plan of attack and at least one paper of which I am very proud. And it's over.

The last official day of the semester was Friday. And here I am, on Monday morning, finally realizing that yes, I am free. I did it. It's over. And I can finally spare the time and energy to be excited about my next adventure.

I'm really, in the immediate future, going to London.

It's the day before Christmas Eve today . . . December sure does fly past when you've got deadlines looming. Christmas with my family is, in my opinion, the best thing in all the world. My parents never actually grew up. They fake it pretty well most of the time, but in late December the charade breaks down. (My mom claims that she misses the years when all us kids were small and cute, but I've observed her to be much happier and less stressed now that we're all old enough to not knock over the Christmas tree or throw fits in public or otherwise cause Christmas chaos.)

It's really Christmas. I can really breathe again.

So I have roughly a week to wallow in doing nothing but enjoying myself with my family and my friends. And then I'll take off on the first stage of my four-month saga: a standby flight to New York City, where I'll have some time (anywhere from one to three days, depending on when I actually fly) to kick around the Big Apple at its loveliest season.

Over the course of my adventures (which will include AT LEAST adventures in NYC, Dublin, London, Edinburgh, and Paris), I'm hoping to use this blog to allow all my dear friends and family the chance to live this vicariously. So expect lots of stories and pictures. Hold me accountable to my New Year's Resolution of working on my thesis for 15 min. every day. Give me recommendations and requests. And hang on, because this is gonna be CRAZY cool.


Thursday, December 19, 2013


So . . . I came into money yesterday.

Not much money, in the cosmic sense of things, but a startling amount of money for a poor grad student. The English department was under budget for the semester (good job, folks) and divvied the surplus up among the grad students as a tuition  benefit for next semester. (It honestly blows my mind that they think this is a good idea. They could remodel the professors' offices or have a giant party or send the entire staff on a ski vacation . . . but instead they decide to give it to the grad students. It's so goshawfully nice it makes my head explode.) Anyway, since I've already paid next semester's tuition, the funds just got dropped in my checking account. Bang.

When I saw the transaction in my online banking yesterday, I had a knee-jerk reaction of which, I now admit, I was not proud. The first thought that went through my head was "Wow! God has blessed me. I must have been really righteous this semester."

Really righteous. Like God works on the Santa Claus principle.

I think lots of people struggle with this idea of wealth=righteousness. It's logical. If you do good things, God will bless you. Ergo, anyone blessed with wealth has been righteous enough for God to bless them. It's a nice idea. Or it would be, in a perfect world that actually worked that way.

Because the truth is, I haven't been more righteous this semester. I've worked my butt off, true . . . but so have my housemates, and I didn't see any tuition reimbursement magically appear in their bank accounts. So have my sister and brother-in-law, and they're still fighting through the cost of higher education and small children and still managed to make me a beautiful little snow globe for my birthday, even though I'm kind of a jerk to them sometimes and probably didn't deserve that kind of effort.

It would be so easy . . . it would be so nice . . . to believe that this money is a reward for my goodness. But that's not how it works. I've been bad. I've been prideful, I've been snarky, I've been selfish. I've been lazy at times, and gluttonous at times. Just like every other semester, really. And I've had to return to God again and again, not with cheers of "Did you see how good I was? Good enough that I shouldn't have to pay my own tuition, right?", but more like "Dear Lord, I'm being a snark again. I know I shouldn't. I wish I were sorry enough to stop, but I don't know how to change that about myself. I'll try. I'm sorry. I'll try again."

This windfall is NOT a reward for my goodness. It is a thing that happened, the reasons for which God alone knows.

I think my friend and carpool buddy put it best. When I told her about this money, her response was, "Wow! It looks like going to London [where I'm studying abroad next semester] is what God wanted you to do, since he's helping those plans fall into place."

That I like. That I can accept. It's hard for me to believe that God would reward me for my flimsy and inconsistent goodness, but easy to believe that he would smooth my path in the way he needs me to go. And it's up to me to follow that path to the best of my ability, looking out for the reasons he needs me on it.

I'd love to say that, after this realization, I resolved to spend my new money in a completely selfless and Christian manner. I didn't. I paid off a chunk of my student loan (that I took to cover the cost of London) and went on a bender that involved filling up my car's gas tank, getting my hair trimmed, and splurging on five bucks' worth of Chinese food. I felt like a complete hedonist. (I'm not kidding. I really did. I was all like "Chinese food! Woooooot! Living the dream, right here!" and only later did it occur to me that this might be kind of pathetic.)

I may not be a saint, but at least I'm a very small-scale sinner. And that's something to start with, right?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Skin Deep

I don't think I'm very pretty.

Before you read any farther, let me clarify something: I'm not blogging today to talk about the shape of my nose or my waist-to-hip ratio. What I want to discuss is a pattern I've noticed when I express this thought out loud.

When I say "I don't think I'm very pretty," there is a 1.5 second delay. Then someone gets mad.

"Why would you say that?" they demand. "Don't ever say that! You're gorgeous!"

Every single time.

I don't get anything like this reaction when I say "I don't think I'm very good at football."

People stare in confusion. "Huh?" they ask. "Why would you care about football? This isn't high school."

I don't get it even when I talk about something that I know I'm good at.

"I'm just not cut out for this," I'll say, staring at 118 pages of editing work left to do.

"Oh, gosh, I know," say passers-by. "It's so hard, and you always miss something. Editing's a pain."

I have never had anyone cry in alarm, "Why would you say you're bad at calculus? Don't ever say that! You're amazing!" No one is upset that I think that I have trouble parallel parking. I've never heard a peep of protest over my insistence that I just can't swim the butterfly. But if I declare that I'm not pretty, everyone in earshot panics. And the conversation is not allowed to end until I'm beaten into submission on the issue.

Why do we do this?

I have a very dear friend. She is one of the smartest, quirkiest, most entertaining people I know. She throws great parties, always knows the best books I've never heard of, and has thousands of fascinating insights into the things in which we're both interested. I think I'd known her six months before I realized she wasn't pretty. She pointed it out to me.

As soon as she said it, I felt those same words rising in my throat. "You're super pretty!" I wanted to say. "You have great bone structure." (I still have no idea what this means; people just say it.) "You have fantastic eyes." Or maybe "Anyone who thinks you're not pretty just isn't bothering to look hard enough." And then I stopped myself. Because it felt wrong.

Why was it so important to me that my friend think herself pretty? Why, when she already knew herself to be smart and capable and hilarious and dedicated and brilliant?

We talk about 'inner beauty.' We tell girls and women that they are beautiful because they are kind, beautiful because they are creative, beautiful because they are welcoming, beautiful because they are confident. These qualities give them inner beauty. But . . . why? Why can't we just be kind and creative and welcoming and confident, straight up?

Because, at the backs of our brains, encoded into the binary of our thoughts, is still the conviction that beauty is the only important attribute a woman can have. We don't tell boys that their diligence or compassion or prudence make them handsome. Those qualities have intrinsic worth when we're talking about guys. But for girls . . .

So when I say "I don't think I'm very pretty," what my listeners hear is "I don't believe I'm worth anything." And they react immediately and instinctively to beat down this idea before it does me harm.

In the spirit of kindness and empowerment, we work as hard as we can to stretch the definition of beauty to include everyone. And that's fantastic. (In fact, if you'd like to see some awesome work in this department, google Beauty Redefined.) But can we even go farther than that? Can we get to the point, as a culture, where beauty becomes just one desirable quality among many, instead of the baseline of personal worth, the ultimate goal of all self-improvement?

I don't think I'm very pretty. I'm good at working with power tools. I'm not terribly good at electronics. I'm hilarious. I'm no good at Spanish. I'm a really good listener. I'm rubbish at video games. I'm an excellent writer. I have no skill whatsoever in the application of eyeliner. I'm a dang good teacher.

I'm a person, not a picture. I don't think I'm very pretty. And that isn't a problem.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

I'm Coming Out . . . as a Feminist.

My topic is 'Righteous Priesthood Service,' which puts me in the awkward position of hang to stand here, as a woman, and tell the brethren how to be good priesthood holders. However, I've heard a large number of talks over the years on righteous womanhood, given by priesthood holders, so I figure that turnabout is fair play.

I am, of course, speaking from a woman’s perspective, but I hope that my comments may be equally applicable to all priesthood service, whether given to men or to women. I’ve organized my thoughts into three categories of ways that I think that you brethren can be better priesthood holders:

1. O, be wise . . . but not just with your own wisdom;
2. Bridle all your passions; and

3. Get in touch with your feminine side. 

The brethren of the priesthood are extremely important to me as a Latter-day Saint woman. I need their permission to be baptized and confirmed, to attend the temple, to serve a mission. I need their assistance to partake of the sacrament, to do vicarious work for my ancestors, or to receive laying on of hands for healing or comfort. I need their nomination to serve in a calling. I am grateful for the good and righteous priesthood holders in my life who have judged me worthy of all these blessings and allowed me to make and keep the sacred covenants that bring me closer to my Father in Heaven. But I implore you brethren, before you become self-congratulatory over your own righteousness, to remember the great harm that one unwise priesthood holder may do. I don’t say ‘unrighteous’ . . . I only say ‘unwise.’

Towards the end of my mission, I developed an anxiety disorder. I’d be minding my own business when suddenly, like lightning out of a clear blue sky, I’d be back in the middle of a nightmare I didn’t remember ever dreaming. The episodes left me terrified and disoriented. I had no idea what was happening to me. I almost thought I was being possessed by demons . . . or else that I was going crazy. I knew I needed help.

Our mission shared with several others the services of a therapist who’d been called as  a mental health missionary to our area. Unfortunately, he was in Japan while I was in Korea. To speak to him, I needed the permission of my mission president. To speak to my president, I needed the permission of my zone leader, and to get to my zone leader, I had to go through my district leader. You RMs all know how this works. So I went to my district leader, a young Korean elder several years younger than myself, and explained to him in a language I didn’t speak that something I didn’t understand was seriously wrong with me.

There are many ways that Elder Jung could have served me in that moment. He could have told me that all missionaries get scared sometimes, and that he understood what I was feeling. He could have promised to pray for me. He could have suggested to me that I work harder, study more, and gain greater faith to overcome. If he had done any of these good things, I would not have been able to finish my mission. Instead, he gave me the greatest service of all: he was wise, but not with just his own wisdom. He trusted my judgment and provided the service that I knew I needed. At my request, he gave me a blessing, then called the zone leaders. They called President Jennings. Prez called Japan. Dr. Brown, in Japan, called me. And I got the help that I needed to get my anxiety disorder under control and finish my mission with honor.

You priesthood brethren will, all your lives, have some measure of power over the people that you serve. You certainly will wish only to help them, but to be a righteous priesthood holder, you must go beyond that. You must trust them and respect them. You must, in humility, allow their wisdom to compliment your own.

The prophet Joseph Smith observed, “We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion” (D&C 121: 37).

What does unrighteous dominion look like? Surely hardly any priesthood holder sets out to exercise unrighteous dominion or harm the people under his care. But in our church, we seek to be perfect, even as our Father in Heaven is perfect. We want to help others along their path to perfection. But what we sometimes fail to realize, to our cost, is that perfection does not mean uniformity. No one perfected, exalted being will be exactly the same as any other. In seeking to help others, we can sometimes impose upon them our own expectations of perfection. This is what unrighteous dominion looks like to me. We all feel the temptation to do it, but for the priesthood brethren, in their positions of authority, this imposition can be particularly damaging.
My sport of choice is middle eastern dance—belly dance. When I perform with my fellow dancers, I do so in stylistically appropriate costume. I’ve prayed about this personal decision to dance without a belly cover, and felt the Holy Ghost’s affirmation that this is a good decision for me and not disrespectful of my covenants or my body. However, if someday I move to a ward where the bishop disagrees with my choice, based on his own understanding of what constitutes appropriate dress and conduct, he could refuse to renew my temple recommend and cut me off from the house of the Lord. He has that power. You brethren, in your future callings as bishops and stake presidents, will have that power. You may be tempted to misuse it when someone else’s interpretation of a commandment or a scripture differs from your own. You may be tempted to misuse your authority now, when you disagree with a sister over the way she should speak, the clothes she should wear, or the activities in which she should participate. 

Elder Albert Choules, Jr., of the Seventy, informs us that "No man--
particularly one who bears the priesthood--
has the right to treat any woman unkindly, especially his wife, with whom he would hope to share eternal joy. Certainly unrighteous dominion cannot be excused on the mistaken notion that permission comes by being the husband, head of the family, and particularly under the umbrella or authority of the priesthood." Your priesthood office does not ever give you the right to treat any woman unkindly,
even if you are quite sure that you know better than she does how she should be seeking for perfection.
Please remember that her perfection may be very different from yours. Please respect her sacred right to make that choice for herself, based on her own counsel with our Heavenly Parents and her understanding of the Lord’s commandments. Allow her wisdom to broaden your own.

This brings me to my second point: bridle all your passions. When I was in the MTC, a companionship of sisters in my branch got the flu. During gym time, instead of exercising, they sat together in a quiet corner and rested. To pass the time, Sister Ogelvie took out a hairbrush and brushed out Sister Peterson’s hair while Sister Peterson quizzed her on Korean vocab words. Their extra study time was interrupted by an elder they didn’t know, who approached them and asked them to stop, because he found the sight of one woman brushing another’s hair to be uncomfortably provocative.

This elder thought he was being a righteous priesthood holder. He wished to keep his thoughts pure and virtuous. I can easily understand how he might have found these sisters distracting: they're both very pretty, and Sister Peterson has great hair. But instead of taking responsibility for his feelings and returning his focus to playing four-square, he tried to make these women control his thoughts for him.
e treated these two good sisters as distractions, or temptations, or walking-talking-sins-waiting-to-happen, rather than as fellow missionaries with the right to use their gym time as they saw fit. This conduct is unbecoming of a priesthood holder.

Elder M. Russell Ballard has observed that "Popular culture today often makes women look silly, inconsequential, mindless, and powerless. It objectifies them and disrespects them and then suggests that they are able to leave their mark on mankind only by seduction--
easily the most pervasively dangerous message the adversary sends to women about themselves." Brethren of the priesthood, when you judge a sister by her appearance, whether modest or immodest, you tell her the same thing: that her worth comes from her ability to appeal to YOU. The fact that you are better men than the cruel and selfish men of the world does not make this a better message.

The Lord instructed, “Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly” (121:45). A priesthood holder who lets virtue garnish his thoughts unceasingly still experiences distraction and temptation, as he should. But he can also see through that experience to a deeper truth.
He sees all people, male and female, beautiful and ugly, saint and sinner, for the beloved and powerful children of God that they are—no matter what they are wearing or whose hair they are brushing. Only then, when he sees them as the Savior would, can he serve them in a Christlike manner.

My third point may, perhaps, be the most uncomfortable, but bear with me: a righteous priesthood holder needs to get in touch with his feminine side. As Latter-Day Saints, we believe that the greatest joy and power comes from the synergy of masculine and feminine, not from the dominance of one over the other. We believe in Heavenly Parents, who love us in complementary ways. Our church is composed of both men and women, all of whom need the power of the priesthood in their lives. This power flows from Heavenly Parents of both genders to beloved children of both genders, but only you brethren are permitted to fully exercise it outside of the holy temple. To exercise that power fully and righteously, you must learn to be gentle as well as to be courageous.

“No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile . . .” (D&C 121: 41-42).

These traits . . . meekness, gentleness, kindness, innocence, and patience . . . are ones that our culture ascribes to women. But the brethren of the priesthood cannot afford to neglect these qualities. If you feel that women are better than you would be at being patient, kind, or loving, then look to them as your examples. You cannot delegate to them those parts of priesthood service that require feminine kindness; the responsibility is yours.

Someday, you may sit on a church disciplinary counsel, hearing the sin of some sister in your stake and deciding on appropriate consequences to help her to fully repent. There will be no other woman in the room, to comfort her, to commiserate with her, or to speak for her. That will be your job. You may not understand what she is going through or why she has made the choices that she has. In that moment, trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not unto your own understanding. You may not understand what it is like to be a woman struggling under the burden of sin, but Christ does. Ask him to teach you, so that you may understand this woman as another woman would, and judge righteous judgment without the limitations of your own mortality—the judgment and service that she needs to receive, rather than the kind you feel inclined or qualified to give.

That is the glory of the priesthood: it is a power of service, rather than of conquest. It is inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and can only be handled upon principles of righteousness. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ embodied these principles during his mortal ministry, in his conduct towards the woman taken in adultery, or the woman with an issue of blood, or Mary and Martha, or Mary Magdalene. I am constantly amazed and humbled by the good, priesthood-holding brethren in my life who courageously follow his example. They are wise, but not just through their own learning: they trust in and rely upon my wisdom, and they look to the Lord for a more complete understanding of how they may best serve his children. They bridle all their passions, and see me as a human being deserving of respect more than as an object of desire or temptation. And they are in touch with the feminine qualities of kindness, humility, and love that allow me, a woman, to feel safe under their stewardship. I know that the power of the priesthood is real, that it is divine, and that it is the power of God unto humanity for their protection and salvation. It was restored in our day through the prophet Joseph Smith and is even now going forth to bless all the human family. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.