17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Plug in the Iron ; )

After the barrage of posts across the bloggernacle about Sister Beck's recent talks in both the relief society and general conference, including our blog here, I find this upcoming weekend in Queens to be quite... interesting.

Sister Beck is coming to the birthplace of Tales. Yes. She will be speaking to us this upcoming weekend. When I heard that announcement, my first reaction was: Oh, SNAP! It will be really fun to see her and hear her in-the-flesh. It is going to be a really great opportunity for me to actually see, listen and feel what she has to say.

I am especially excited about the fact that our audience happens to be in the most diverse zip code in the US of A. It will be fascinating to see what the spirit moves her to say in the moment...but I guess that might not happen if she has a pre-written talk.

To further the situation, I was asked just today to provide a special musical number for the fireside. Those of you who know me well know that I do not appreciate the, what I consider to be, last-minute notice, but of course I said yes.

And immediately my mind went to that phrase: "clean and ironed dresses with hair brushed to perfection". I do own a few dresses. Will it be ok, however, if I wear separates? It IS a fireside after all, and not Sacrament Meeting (which was the context in which she used the phrase in her talk). And I decided that yes, it's ok. And I will wear them, probably without ironing them first.

I am bringing this up only to say that after reading over Mothers Who Know once again, and finding that I fall quite short of her expectations, especially in the "Mothers Who Know Do Less" requirement of her talk, that I am still going to attend her fireside with an open heart, and try to put myself in her shoes, try to see her perspective.

Also, I see this musical number as an opportunity to speak directly to her my testimony, my needs, my soul. I bear my testimony best when I am singing, and maybe my voice will communicate to her that I don't fit the exact bill of what she thinks I should be, and that's ok. I will be singing my favorite hymn, Where Can I Turn for Peace? I'll let you know how it goes.


  • I'm not really sure that general conference talks are meant to articulate expectations (in a "any good Mormon will be exactly like this" way) as much as they're meant to set standards for us to aspire to (in a "maybe in an ideal world your house will always be clean" way). Regardless of how much time you (didn't) spend ironing, I have a feeling that President Beck's purpose probably isn't to pass judgment.

    I hope the fireside is good.
    posted by Anonymous mhuff at 11/07/2007 07:04:00 PM  

  • Kage, I'm sure the only thing Sister Beck will be thinking while you are singing is "Wow, her voice is so beautiful!" and/or "I'm glad she chose this song; her singing really invites the Spirit into the room."

    I guarantee she won't care about your skirt. :)
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 11/07/2007 07:22:00 PM  

  • Kage, you do have a beautiful voice and I hope it goes well. I'll be interested to hear what she speaks about... Good luck! ;)
    posted by Blogger LJ at 11/07/2007 07:24:00 PM  

  • Kage,

    Maybe I'm the only one, but I saw the tongue-in-cheek humor in your post. It's not really about ironing. Anyway, you know I wish I could be there, but I know you will take copious notes for me.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 11/07/2007 07:30:00 PM  

  • Oh, and what a perfect song choice. Wish I could be there to hear it. I know your voice will bring a litle bit of peace to all that come to the fireside.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 11/07/2007 07:33:00 PM  

  • Wait! We're not supposed to wear separates to church now? Oh Crap.

    Can't wait for the lowdown- break a leg singing your song.
    posted by Blogger tracy m at 11/07/2007 09:04:00 PM  

  • Kage, I am very VERY interested to know how Julie Beck comes across in the wards, and what kinds of things she will choose to speak on. I'll be looking forward to your report.

    And...just being me...I double dog dare you to wear pants to the fireside!!
    posted by Blogger BiV at 11/08/2007 01:22:00 AM  

  • carrie, yes tongue-in-cheek...that's why I put a little wink face in the title....and biv, yes the little devil on my shoulder did mention wearing designer jeans to the fireside.
    posted by Blogger Kage at 11/08/2007 04:35:00 AM  

  • First of all, Kage, good luck and from what I have heard of your voice I am sure you won't need it to be brilliant!

    I know this is kinda off topic, but with the mention of pants...could someone please post on why it is wrong to wear nice dress pants to church? I have some fantastically nice pant suits that just sit in my closet with no where to go..I have had this convo with many girlfirends, but I have never come to a conclusion on it... I'd LOVE to hear more opinions on it!!
    posted by Blogger Rachel H at 11/08/2007 07:43:00 AM  

  • Rachel H.-

    Tradition. Period. I have also looked into this and there really is no other answer available. I think part of the 'tradition' also stems from the fact that skirts set apart men and women, and in our religion gender differences are important.
    posted by Anonymous Tally Girl at 11/08/2007 09:18:00 AM  

  • I got the tongue-in-cheek in your post (love the title)...but I DO hope that people come to the fireside in what they would normally wear to a church fireside...acting the way they would normally act....not dressing and acting in a way to impress Sister Beck.

    Queens is such a unique place to live the gospel and I hope she falls in love with the people and the uniqueness of our Astoria ward like I did. And if she doesn't already (don't know her well enough to make this judgment), realize that there are other effective ways besides the "intermountain west model" of running a ward.

    I am sorry to miss this fireside, and most sorry to miss the opportunity to hear you sing, Kage!
    posted by Blogger Jen at 11/08/2007 09:36:00 AM  

  • Kage-
    I'm sorry I didn't see the humor in your post like I should have. I re-read it, and now it's obvious. :)

    Rachel H-
    I think it's tradition (like tally girl said), too. Fwiw, I act differently in a skirt than in pants, though. Just as I know my husband acts differently in a nice shirt and tie. But one of our nursery leaders where's stretch pants to church every week and nobody complains or is offended. If you want to wear your pantsuit, then go for it! But on the other hand, it begs the question: What about the Temple? Should we wear pants there, too?

    I feel sorry for Sister Beck. I can't imagine what it would feel like to have the entire world not only judging me based on my calling, but also on every word that comes out of my mouth. Everyone waiting to pounce on what I do or do not say, implying that I don't understand what other women are going through. Seriously, that would really suck.
    posted by Blogger Cheryl at 11/08/2007 11:53:00 AM  

  • I, too, apologize for taking it too seriously. Yesterday was not my best day. Sorry.
    posted by Anonymous mhuff at 11/08/2007 01:40:00 PM  

  • Hopefully you will all walk away from the fireside feeling BETTER about yourselves (as mothers, homemakers, etc.) and not WORSE. Maybe Sister Beck needed to be blunt in her recent talk for a reason. Maybe there are some women in the church who are completely opposite of what they should be (worldliness) and she wanted to set the standard of "best" to point them in the right direction. It seems as if perfection is expected by her, but I'm sure she understands that every mother does the best they can- considering their circumstances.

    I don't think people didn't understand the humor, I think they just may not have known how to respond. It was funny though and completely understandable to feel that way.
    posted by Anonymous Utah Mommy at 11/08/2007 03:01:00 PM  

  • I hope that singing at the Fireside will give you the opportunity to meet her and feel of her spirit and love for the women in the Church. She is an amazing woman and has a great sense of humor. You will probably be buds with her by the end of the night.

    Good luck with your song. No better way to start a meeting. Can't wait for the report!
    posted by Blogger Melissa at 11/09/2007 12:17:00 AM  

  • melissa,

    I think all women I have heard talk about their experience with listening to Pres. Beck speak, really liked her personality (whether they had a problem with her content or not). I don't think anyone here is hoping that she says something "controversial" so they can "pounce on her" like Cheryl puts it. I think everyone here anticipates this meeting because it provides a chance for further understanding and clarification of her past comments and an opportunity for Pres. Beck to give a talk that might not be totally directed towards the mothers of the church (like her GC talk) - especially since so many of the women in the woodside stake don't fall into the "traditional mother" category. The more she is out there and speaking to the women of the church, the more well rounded of an idea we have about her vision for the RS as a whole and that is an exciting prospect.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 11/09/2007 07:20:00 AM  

  • I hope that Sister Beck left all of you with her loving testimony and a desire to be your "best" to be an example of our Church, especially since we seem to be in the lime light so much lately. We need to live our lives like we preach, or we are just hypocrits.

    I've been "listening in" on your Tales blogs and discover that all of you are very talented in so many ways and have testimonies of the Church. President Hinckley has stated so many times in his book of Bees that we should strive to be our best. The perception of family today in the world is a little perverted and we need to be our best in our faith, families, and relief, as stated by Sis. Beck in her GC talk. I took no offense, because I need that pep talk occassionaly. It's too easy to lose sight of that when we are in the world day after day, and our defenses are lowered a little.

    From an older perspective, I hope that bright, young mothers like you all stand tall and are strengths in your families, wards, neighborhoods, cities, etc. I'm very impressed by your thoughts, and hope that you can stay tuned without questioning the messages from our prophet through his auxillary leaders. I would hope that those people are on their knees praying for inspiraton to guide the thoughts expressed in their talks. Don't be misled, Sis. Beck would probably not have spoken so strongly if our world was not in the state it is in, and President Hinckley requested she address these needs to the women of the Church.

    Also, I'm sure Kage, that you sang from your heart, and it was beautiful and fitting for the meeting.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 11/11/2007 08:19:00 PM  

  • I'd love to hear how the meeting went (and I'm sure others would, too) whenever you get a chance!
    posted by Anonymous Vada at 11/12/2007 11:47:00 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home