A Tree Is Recognized by its Fruit
(Matthew 17:15-23; Luke 6:43-45)

Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit

O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

A good man out of the treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment

For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.


I was thinking about the verses above and Facebook post in blue that I will quote beneath as our family drove across the Hi-Line of Montana yesterday. We were on our way to see Montana Shakespeare in the Parks perform Henry IV, Part I. As my husband drove, we enjoyed ourselves singing or just listening along to the soundtrack of 1962 classic movie version of The Music Man. If my life ever had a soundtrack, I would have to acknowledge that parts of it contain themes and variations upon this musical. I grew up with the LP.  I would watch as my older sister shooed us back possessively. Then, only when she was sure we were standing at a far enough distance away, she would carefully place the needle on that one precious, fragile record spinning there on the turntable. The soundtrack was place, a world that the six of us girls shared. Well, at least with our ears.

I will be turning 46 soon, and I guess I didn’t realize until now what an impact this absolutely wordpacked story-put-to-song has had on my life. I was amazed that all these years later, I could sing, by heart, both parts of such challenging verbal gymnastic numbers as the rejoinder-filled, Piano Lesson/If You Don’t Mind My Saying So. Indeed, I was amazed to realize that I really had “tak[en] things all too much to heart.” Bookish, non-conformist, idealist that I am, I have almost always found myself outside of the sphere of acceptability with my female peers. Inexplicably and often, I invariably find myself the object of the Clique of the Picking, Pecking Chicken Women. Land sakes, I am Marian the Librarian! I could sing with just as much vigor in the light of the mid-August Montana sunshine the words that I had sung many a day in the humid, fauna-soaked air of my home state of Michigan:


All I want is plain man!

All I want is an honest man!
A quiet man and a gentle man!
A straight-forward and honest man to sit with me!..

And I would like him to be more interested in me than he is in himself
And more interested in us than in me

And if occasionally he ponders what makes Shakespeare and Beethoven great
Him I could love ’til I die!


Despite my high ideals, my first marriage, like Marian’s, was to a con-man. I experienced my own version of the narcissist who pushily talks his way into your life, and, as always, it’s for his own selfish reasons. He repeatedly insisted that he was that “finally” and “just once!” Somebody Being In Love With Me.  Though I put up my resistance, the fact remains that it failed, and I eventually capitulated.

Yesterday, looking across the cab of our truck at the man now holding my hand, I had that moment that I have every day, of thanking God for helping me. He gave me the strength to free myself from my abuser when most people were against it, and then He blessed me further with the cleansing, comforting crown of a go’el kinsman-redeemer love story. My husband Jeff is everything that the heart of past versions of myself has ever dreamed of , sung for, and yearned after when I sang along with Shirley Jones to the words of Goodnight, My Someone. I sang it as a girl. I sang it as a teenager. I sang it as a lullaby to my children, by heart, as we laid there in the dark, in our transitional housing on the grounds of a domestic violence shelter in Michigan.

WordGirlNOTICE: The portion of this post in blue font was copied and pasted from a public Facebook status update originally made on August 7 at 2:56 pm by Angela Kelly. It came to my attention after my Facebook friend, Kristi Johnson shared it on her own Facebook page. As of this morning, the post has been removed or changed, so I brought it here in order to save it. I do not have the author’s official permission to repost, but feel that tacit permission was given, since it was shared publicly on social media.

There is a reason why my family teasingly calls their expressively loquacious writer wife and mother by the nickname Word Girl.

It’s because I have LONG known that WORDS MATTER.


August 7 at 2:56 PM

“Words can inspire. And words can destroy. Choose yours well.” – Robin Sharma

I have never posted something this controversial on my personal social media accounts. Regardless of what some extended family members think, I do not mean to attack anyone’s beliefs, when I lived this religion for over 40 years. This is not meant as an “attack.” and I believe intent matters.

I start this post by quoting from President Nelson in a recent Conference talk to give context for what I will say afterwards.

“Today I feel compelled to discuss with you a matter of great importance. Some weeks ago, I released a statement regarding a course correction for the name of the Church.1 I did this because the Lord impressed upon my mind the importance of the name He decreed for His Church, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.2

Let me explain why we care so deeply about this issue. But first let me state what this effort is not:
It is not a name change.
It is not rebranding.
It is not cosmetic
is not a whim
And it is not inconsequential.
Instead, it is a correction. It is the command of the Lord. Joseph Smith did not name the Church restored through him; neither did Mormon. It was the Savior Himself who said, “For thus shall my church be called in the last days, even The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

[Citing a second quote,]

What’s in a name or, in this case, a nickname? When it comes to nicknames of the Church, such as the “LDS Church,” the “Mormon Church,” or the “Church of the Latter-day Saints,” the most important thing in those names is the absence of the Savior’s name. To remove the Lord’s name from the Lord’s Church is a major victory for Satan. When we discard the Savior’s name, we are subtly disregarding all that Jesus Christ did for us—even His Atonement.

When we omit His name from His Church, we are inadvertently removing Him as the central focus of our lives.
Taking the Savior’s name upon us includes declaring and witnessing to others—through our actions and our words—that Jesus is the Christ. Have we been so afraid to offend someone who called us “Mormons” that we have failed to defend the Savior Himself, to stand up for Him even in the name by which His Church is called?”

It is with that pretext I submit the following .

After intense research it is clear that the words penned in D&C 132, and ascribed to God , don’t match the personality of God, or at least the God I was taught to believe in. This would be of Jesus Christ as defined in the New Testament. I’d like to back up my thoughts here.

A God of Love.

For those who don’t know I am the current Director of Sound Choices Coalition. We are a nonprofit in Utah dedicated to educating the public on the inherent harms of that practice. It is a practice that has been studied by anthropologists for centuries. The same conclusions are found across cultures and time. It is harmful. And actually it has been found to be more harmful if practiced within a religion. To be clear, I am not referring to mutually consenting adults who live in open polyamarous relationships. “Plural Marriage” “Celestial Marriage” this “New and Everlasting Covenant” as you will see is in stark contrast to that!

Part of my research entailed the early Christian marriage ceremonies and customs, to find out what exactly Brigham Young meant when he told the Saints they would need to forget everything they knew about marriage and embrace “plural marriage.”

My research into Christian marriage customs honestly made me feel really ripped off. From the engagement, to the wedding ceremony, vows and wedding feast, so much symbolism pointed to the love of each other and the love of God.

As I thought about this, I asked myself the question. Is the word LOVE even in this revelation? A revelation that was supposedly so amazing, a revelation that told the world that marriage could last forever and by extension families be forever too?

I copied and pasted the text of Doctrine and Covenants Section 132 into a word document This is the document that all current fundamentalist groups ascribe their “authority” or rather “ justification” to practice polygamy. It is the same used by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in their prior belief in “Plural Marriage.”

After copying the text into a google doc I hit “command f” ,
typed Love into the search box, and…. 0.
I was floored.

I glanced between my two documents, one labeled
“ Celestial Marriage Notes” the other “ Christian Marriage Notes.”

I once again hit “command f “,
typed Cherish into the search box, and … 0.

I went through the main words in the Christian Marriage Notes, and none of the following are found in the entire text of D&C 132.

The words as President Nelson would say, that are absent and in essence discarded are : LOVE, UNITY, HONOR, HOPE, COMMITMENT, RESPECT, COMFORT, EQUAL, CHERISH and TRUST.

In 3,507 WORDS on a doctrine that the church proclaims to be so amazing… No LOVE, No TRUST, No HOPE.

I was and still am a little shell shocked by it.

So then I wondered what the prominent words used were. I have studied these words for months now so that wasn’t a big surprise.


So if we go by what President Nelson said about words being absent and discarded, I think the message is pretty clear. And I think I can agree with President Nelson on one thing:


The word choice in D&C 132 points to a system of marriage that relies on manipulation and control. Why or how would you ever get women to agree to share their husbands any other way? Put the fear of God in them. Tell them they will lose their salvation and children. Then they will. Exert power over them. Not equality. Twist Old Testament scripture to fit the frame. and Voila!

I highly suggest they Discard D&C 132 and put back Section 101 from the 1835 Edition. It is more in alignment with what The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints currently teaches anyway.

Nate Carlisle


This post is dedicated to the love of my life, from his “Word Girl”.
Thank you for all the words of
that you have spoken to me, Jeff.



Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more.

For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.

For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God.

For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.

In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.

For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.

For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee.

From Isaiah 54.



Compare the words of the prophet Isaiah
to the words of Joseph Smith and his self-proclaimed successors.



Words, words, words

I’m so sick of words
I get words all day through
First from him, now from you
Is that all you blighters can do?

Show Me, from the musical My Fair Lady


“To attempt to train butchers, bakers, doctors, lawyers, accountants, farmers, etc. — all of whom can serve as a bishop — to be experts in dealing with the emotional, psychological and legal complexities that any instance of abuse presents would be an exercise in futility.” – from a legal brief written by lawyers for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and quoted in The Sins of Brother Curtis by Lisa Davis

“The church argued to the court that it could not consider Frank Curtis’ past sexual molestation of children after he’d been rebaptized. It would be a violation of the Mormon faith to consider his history of molesting children prior to rebaptism in any decision to call him to a position within the Church.

The church applied its clean-slate argument to nearly every issue in the case. Its lawyers even seemed to be arguing that Jeremiah Scott had somehow accepted the risk of encountering a pedophile in following the Mormon religion. In a motion asking the court to protect the church’s records, its lawyers wrote,

‘Plaintiff, having voluntarily agreed to abide by, and be governed by, church law cannot now challenge the procedure for, and effect of, a fellow member’s rebaptism into the church. Because church doctrine holds that a member’s past history is essentially wiped clean upon rebaptism, plaintiff should not be permitted to inquire into facts and events which occurred prior to Curtis’s rebaptism in October 1984.’

The church’s lawyers maintained that to examine whether or not its officials knew about Frank Curtis’s past would be to examine the Mormon religion itself, which would violate the Free Exercise Clause. The court, they argued, should not allow the Scott team to use any information on Frank Curtis prior to his rebaptism. It should abide by the Mormon belief that Frank Curtis’s history of molesting children no longer existed.”

The Sins of Brother Curtis, page 151


Quotes from “A Thoughtful Faith” podcast 258:

1.) “There is absolutely, positively no pattern. There’s absolutely, positively not one instance that I have ever found where a priesthood leader has been told or has otherwise come to a conclusion that he should cover up or not fully report… I’ve been doing this for twelve years and there are fewer than two dozen cases, a far cry from what the other churches have seen. We are not a perfect people. There have been blips on the radar screen where local leaders have not handled a situation perfectly. There have probably been a dozen or so of those over the ten years that I’ve been doing this. Certainly not a pattern.”

Source: Von Keetch, Attorney for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

2.) “If a priesthood leader recommends that a perpetrator report the abuse to civil authorities, he should also recommend to the perpetrator that he or she should consider obtaining legal counsel…[LDS] Abuse Help Line PERSONNEL SHOULD NEVER ADVISE A PRIESTHOOD LEADER TO REPORT ABUSE. COUNSEL OF THIS NATURE SHOULD COME ONLY FROM LEGAL COUNSEL.”

Source: Bishop and Stake President’s help line, which rings in to the offices of the Church’s attorney Kirton & McConkie. The above statement is excerpted from the form filled out on the receiving end:“Protocol for Abuse Help Line Calls” with the punctuation, IN CAPS, of the last sentence being original to the text.

See Also:
The legal brief, Brief Amicus Curiae of the Jewish Board of Advocates for Children, Inc., Et Al., Ramani V. Segelstein, No. 49341 (Nev. Dec. 11, 2009). The gist of the argument begins in the Introduction on page 1 of the brief, which begins, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (“LDS”) and the Roman Catholic Bishops of Las Vegas and Reno (“Bishops”) ask this Court to craft a rule of legal immunity for religious organizations involved with sexual assault and abuse. These are not new arguments for the Bishops and the LDS; they have been making them in courts across the country to avoid liability for abuse of children and adults.”







In Joseph Smith Sr‘s original dream of the Tree of Life, there were no mists of darkness. There were none who wandered off and were lost in them. There were none who ate of the fruit and became ashamed. There were no children who refused to partake. There was no iron rod, but a flexible rope. The fruit of the tree was more like a shell-encased nut, and it opened itself unto those interested in partaking.

I am convinced this dream was a warning which Joseph Smith Sr did not heed. I am convinced that the spacious building, generally speaking, symbolized organized religion or institutional power. I am further convinced that, specifically speaking, the religion created by the Smith family, along with it’s many splintered-off spawn, is the great and spacious building. (See Joseph Smith, Sr.: First Patriarch to the LDS Church, Appendix II, p228-229. See also 1 Nephi 11:35-36)

Compare what words were added and what two words are missing between LDS Article of Faith 13 and the originals, Philippians 4:8 and 1 Corinthians 13:7. For a man professing the purity of his rebranded adultery, Joseph’s Smith use of chastity and benevolence are no surprise additions, really. Why? Because these words are the quintessential timbre of his justifications. Plural marriage is chaste, right? (wink, wink) Furthermore, the word benevolence was a sort of buzzword of the time, (so much so that there was a great debate at the founding of Relief Society over why it shouldn’t be named the Benevolent Society.) However, I am even more sobered by the two words that Joseph Smith left out:  just and pure. Haven’t a great deal of my writings on this very blog been about the conundrum I faced amid the cognitive dissonance caused by the absence of justice and purity in my personal dealings with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?!

No justice and no purity. I couldn’t have described the truth of it better myself.

But I choose justice, and I choose purity, for the God I worship loves them too… and He has in no way whatsoever forgotten or omitted them from His Gospel of Peace.



And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 

And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.

And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

– Deuteronomy 6:5-8



…Ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ…
written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God;
not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.

2 Corinthians 3:3