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Illustration by Krieg Barrie

Online Mormons

Lifestyle | LDS women turn to blogging as a means for religious outreach

Issue: "Finding their way," Oct. 8, 2011

As a hot Broadway musical and a presidential candidate bring attention to Mormons, some internet writers are winning admirers by producing enticing "Mormon mommy blogs."

Earlier this year Emily Matchar, a writer who calls herself a feminist atheist, confessed in Salon that she was addicted to reading Mormon mommy blogs. They seemed to offer a roadmap to domestic tranquility: "It is possible to be happy, they seem to whisper. We love our homes. We love our husbands."

Matchar described the image created by the blogs: "Their houses look like Anthropologie catalogs. Their kids look like Baby Gap models. Their husbands look like young graphic designers, all cute lumberjack shirts and square-framed glasses. They spend their days doing fun craft projects (vintage-y owl throw pillow! Recycled button earrings! Hand-stamped linen napkins!). They spend their weekends throwing big, whimsical dinner parties for their friends, all of whom have equally adorable kids and husbands."

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Another writer-on the culture site She Does the City-echoed Matchar: "They dress like French models, they craft like women's studies grads, they quote Sufjan Stevens and Band of Horses. ... They seem almost like a snapshot of a life modern society doesn't want to believe is possible: family life free of sarcastic self-deprecation and competition. Shameless celebration of all things blissfully domestic. I dare you to read and not swoon."

Some of the mommy bloggers overtly identify their Mormon affiliation by displaying Web buttons that show the Salt Lake tabernacle, or ads for Deseret Books. Others don't use those obvious symbols, but frequently refer to Utah, sisters, and non-caffeinated beverages.

The Mormon mommy bloggers are missional. One quoted a prophecy from former Mormon president Spencer Kimball, who wrote that the future growth of his religion depended on women: "This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different-in happy ways-from the women of the world."

Heidi Garvin, a blogger at Mormon Moms Who Blog, praised her fellow bloggers for working to "fill the internet with the truths and the good about the LDS/Mormon church, our beliefs, our lives, our families. You are all part of that same mission; to spread light and truth to all parts of the globe."

Emily Matchar in Salon said we are in a cultural moment when thrift shopping, do-it-yourselfing, and crafting are all in style-and Mormons have long been practicing those domestic arts. We can learn from them. But caution: We are fallen creatures who live in a fallen world. Christ is our hope, not our cute kids, happy husbands, good cooking, or clever craft projects.

Diaper rash recession

Getty Images

Need more evidence that the U.S. economy is still struggling? According to Advertising Age you can find it on the diaper aisle of the grocery store. Last year the number of babies aged 2 and younger declined by 3 percent, but the sale of disposable diapers declined by much more-9 percent. Meanwhile, unit sales of diaper rash cream increased 2.8 percent. The magazine's conclusion: Parents are saving money by making their babies wait longer between diaper changes, leading to an increase in diaper rash.

Ill effects

Image Source/Getty Images

Abortion increases the risk of mental health problems. That's the conclusion of a review of 22 studies that included 877,181 women from six countries, 163,831 of whom had undergone an abortion.

Bowling Green State University researcher Priscilla K. Coleman published her findings in The British Journal of Psychiatry. She found that women who had aborted had an 81 percent higher risk of mental health problems. She attributed 10 percent of that higher risk to the abortion. Her bottom line: "The results revealed a moderate to highly increased risk of mental health problems after abortion."

Susan Olasky
Susan Olasky

Susan pens book reviews and other articles for WORLD as a senior writer and has authored eight historical novels for children. Susan and her husband Marvin live in Asheville, N.C. Follow Susan on Twitter @susanolasky.

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