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 Post subject: LDS Women, Depression, and Comfort Foods
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:54 am 
Drifting brought up some interesting points in Darrick's thread on Mormon women being fat.

I thought it was a different enough topic that I would start a new thread.

Drifting wrote:
The explanation for the OP is fairly clear.

50% of Mormon women are permanently pregnant.
12.5% are depressed at not being pregnant and so they over eat.
12.5% are still carrying pregnancy weight.
12.5% are depressed at being less righteous than everyone else and so they over eat.
12.5% are depressed that they are inferior to men and so they over eat.


I am not going to get into statistics. I am just going to base my findings on other real Mormon women I associate with, and have spoken to regarding weight and depression.

As women, I think that we tend to be very hard on ourselves. We are normally the nurturing center of the family. It is Mom the kids normally come to when they are sick or hurt. Mom is usually the first to hear when accomplishments happen as well. We are the built-in taxi service, on-call doctor/nurse, nutritionist, and, particularly in the current economy, often the breadwinner, or co-breadwinner, as well.

There are certainly rewards to being at the family's center, but the responsibilities are often overwhelming as well, from both an emotional and physical standpoint.

Add to this the pressure to, at least appear to be, the "perfect Mormon family", and you have depression just waiting to happen. :wink:

Before BC and some of the other TBM's jump down my throat regarding my last statement, let me explain it a little further. Any TBM women who disagree with what I am about to say, please, by all means, I welcome your comments.

Both in general talks/lessons, and, particularly in Relief Society lessons, women are taught that we are the "heart of the home". Women are the nurturers, and, as such, the teaching of spirituality to the children, rests squarely on our shoulders. We are also taught to be a strength and support to our husbands, and that his spiritual growth also relies heavily on our attitude, and willingness to serve. There is nothing innately wrong with any of these teachings. However, it does place the woman in a situation of being judged, not only on what she does, individually, but on what her husband and children do. This is what can be daunting.

Example....My son is autistic, but also ADHD. When he was younger, he often climbed on me during Sacrament Meeting. By the end of the meeting, I felt like I had been through a war! :lol: Now that he is older, my iPad tends to keep him occupied so that he is quiet. However, I still get disapproving stares from other members who, I guess, feel that he should be sitting attentively, paying attention to the talks.

Compare that to the Nicholson family (name changed) with four little girls, sitting in the front row, matching dresses and matching bows in their hair...the younger ones quietly coloring in their "Book of Mormon" coloring book, while the older ones have their illustrated scriptures open.

In every ward, there is a Nicholson family..and in every ward, there is also a family like mine. :lol:

It is very easy, as a woman, to beat up on yourself, and chastise yourself for not measuring up to the Nicholsons.

I am in my 40's, and have long since decided that I can't worry about what others think. I can only guide my own ship.

However, it is not as easy for young mothers to do. And, all of the lessons on striving for perfection don't make that easier.

I can see how this can be a source for depression for well-meaning LDS women who are honestly trying to do everything right.

With depression, comes the temptation to self-medicate with food. Since we, as Latter-Day Saints, do try to follow the Word of Wisdom, a glass of wine in the evening to calm down a little is off-limits. However, a hot fudge sundae is not. :lol:

Mormons have traditionally used food to say "I love you" or "I care about you". Bringing cookies to families is common. There is the old joke, "How many Mormons does it take to replace a light bulb? 3. One to replace the light bulb. One to pray, and one to serve refreshments." :wink:

There is nothing wrong with cookies or sweets in moderation, but sugar addiction is just as real as an addiction to alcohol or nicotine, and sometimes even harder to overcome.

I would be interested in hearing additional thoughts on this from all sides.


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 Post subject: Re: LDS Women, Depression, and Comfort Foods
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:25 am 
God

Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 6:35 pm
Posts: 18169
Location: Shady Acres Status: MODERATOR
I agree on most accounts. One small thing: depression is a clinical term. It's not caused by the church and it's not healed by the church. It's a complex set of circumstances, some of them hereditary, some of them the chemistry of the brain, that often cannot be avoided and should be treated like any other physical malady. Feeling down, feeling the blues, feeling unworthy... that's not depression.

Okay... now back to what I agree with:

RS is both a source of great joy and immense emotional pain for me. Some of my memorable moments have occured with the women of the church. They are both my greatest friends and my greatest problems.

The thing I mourn most about the changes in the church in the last decade is the elmination of Homemaking Meeting. Men tend to think it was just a time for a bunch of women to get together and gossip. Not so. It was a monthly gathering for women to learn from each other, to teach each other, and not just the things they could get in RS meeting on Sunday... and to enjoy each other's company and adult conversation. One of the things I needed the most as a young mother was adult conversation. I was isolated on a farm in the middle of nowhere, and RS was one of the few things I could do that didn't involve driving hours and spending money. I enjoyed those monthly opportunities to gather with likeminded women (many women from the community came to Homemaking); I miss those gathering dreadfully. I don't need to be told repeatedly from the pulpit how to live my life to be worthy of the Kingdom of God; I KNOW how to live my life. I need what Homemaking Meeting provided me: the opportunity to commune with women, without men watching over our shoulders.

Specifically to the concept of fat LDS women: in the cooking classes (when I was in charge of Homemaking Meeting, we offered 4 -5 classes on different subjects per month), we had lessons on making nutritious meals from literally nothing, budgeting, grocery shopping, couponing, meal planning... and we had lessons on making fancy desserts for family occasions. Yeah, sometimes I went home a little down, because I knew I was never going to make bread with a Bosch (I made bread with a bowl and a spoon... and my own muscles kneaded it). That was kinda a downer, that making bread was so much harder for me, but my family let me know they appreciated my efforts just as much.

Young mothers now don't have those opportunities open to them, since the Brethren decided women don't need the companionship of other women, I guess. It bugs me that they think we are all cookie lookalikes... that urban women are the same as rural women with the same needs. I've asked my bishop if we could hold Homemaking Meetings again, monthly, with classes taught by the women themselves. The answer was 'no', because Salt Lake City said we didn't need them. That royally pissed me off; obviously Salt Lake City has no idea what the women in my ward and wards like mine need. They don't care that my daughters in law don't know how to make bread, or preserve vegetables, or grow a garden, or shop for food, or make a quilt, or knit.

The insensitivity was just profound.

_________________
(Nevo, Jan 23) And the Melchizedek Priesthood may not have been restored until the summer of 1830, several months after the organization of the Church.


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 Post subject: Re: LDS Women, Depression, and Comfort Foods
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:42 am 
Harmony wrote:
I've asked my bishop if we could hold Homemaking Meetings again, monthly, with classes taught by the women themselves. The answer was 'no', because Salt Lake City said we didn't need them. That royally pissed me off; obviously Salt Lake City has no idea what the women in my ward and wards like mine need. They don't care that my daughters in law don't know how to make bread, or preserve vegetables, or grow a garden, or shop for food, or make a quilt, or knit.

The insensitivity was just profound.


Wow, Harmony, this is concerning. I am not completely sure that your bishop is even correct on this. Our ward has impromptu women's gatherings. They are usually held at a sister's house, but they can be held at the Church if they need to be. We have a quilting class, a Mommy play date, and a coupon cutter "party" that several women in our ward have organized. Most of these activities happen during the day, so I really can't participate since I work. However, it is great for the stay at home Moms. One of my other friends has a book club as well, where they all get together and read a book and discuss it.

I don't see why your bishop would veto something like that. Although the activities I mentioned are not "official" Relief Society activities, they are announced in the Relief Society bulletin. I am not sure what the problem would be.

Harmony wrote:
I agree on most accounts. One small thing: depression is a clinical term. It's not caused by the church and it's not healed by the church. It's a complex set of circumstances, some of them hereditary, some of them the chemistry of the brain, that often cannot be avoided and should be treated like any other physical malady. Feeling down, feeling the blues, feeling unworthy... that's not depression.


You are absolutely right about this. Sorry to confuse the terms.


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 Post subject: Re: LDS Women, Depression, and Comfort Foods
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:43 am 
God

Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:52 am
Posts: 7306
I think the biggest problem, whether the Church admits it or not, is that women are still treated as second class citizens. The model Mormon women is one that gets married to a returning missionary in her early twenties or late teens; immediately starts producing children; gives up any sort of career or paying vocation in favour of child rearing full time; stays at home making; baking and cleaning and repairing; and who defers decision making to her Priesthood holding husband and Priesthood holding leaders.

Mormon women are still expected to behave like pioneer women.

Harmony, your biggest mistake was asking a Priesthood holder for his permission to do something that you don't need his permission for. If you want to get together with some female friends to learn something from either each other or a specialist why do you need a man (who isn't even your husband) to tell you that you can or can't?

It's nuts and women, to a large extent bring it on themselves by deferring almost every single decision about what you can or can't do to a Church Leader. You don't need a Church programme nor Church authority to do something you want to do with whomever you want to do it with.

For instance, If I wanted to get together with my male friends to go to a sporting event do I need my Bishops blessing? No I do not.

Stop restricting yourself to the confines of a Church authorised, Priesthood dictated programme that is specifically designed to keep you obedient and subservient.

Grow a pair!

_________________
“We look to not only the spiritual but also the temporal, and we believe that a person who is impoverished temporally cannot blossom spiritually.”
Keith McMullin - Counsellor in Presiding Bishopric

"One, two, three...let's go shopping!"
Thomas S Monson - Prophet, Seer, Revelator


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 Post subject: Re: LDS Women, Depression, and Comfort Foods
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:05 am 
Drifting wrote:
Harmony, your biggest mistake was asking a Priesthood holder for his permission to do something that you don't need his permission for. If you want to get together with some female friends to learn something from either each other or a specialist why do you need a man (who isn't even your husband) to tell you that you can or can't?

It's nuts and women, to a large extent bring it on themselves by deferring almost every single decision about what you can or can't do to a Church Leader. You don't need a Church programme nor Church authority to do something you want to do with whomever you want to do it with.

For instance, If I wanted to get together with my male friends to go to a sporting event do I need my Bishops blessing? No I do not.

Stop restricting yourself to the confines of a Church authorised, Priesthood dictated programme that is specifically designed to keep you obedient and subservient.

Grow a pair!


I don't think this is necessarily a fair assessment. If anyone has a pair...it's Harmony!!! :wink:

She is one of the strongest women I know.

It is true that you don't have to have the Bishop's permission to hold meetings at each other's homes, etc., but if you want to utilize the Church building, that does have to go through the bishop or someone in the bishopric. Not everyone has carte blanche access to the ward building. Like it or not, the bishop holds the literal keys to the building, and decides who else in the ward gets a copy. Sometimes, the Church is an easier central meeting place than someone's home. That is why permission would need to be asked for.


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 Post subject: Re: LDS Women, Depression, and Comfort Foods
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:09 am 
God
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Rent the 4-h building or talk to County Extension service. That is what they are for. Maybe resources like that are the reason why the LDS hierarchy no longer cares to get involved in homemaking skills.

_________________
Huckelberry said:
I see the order and harmony to be the very image of God which smiles upon us each morning as we awake.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/a ... cc_toc.htm


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 Post subject: Re: LDS Women, Depression, and Comfort Foods
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:14 am 
MCB wrote:
Rent the 4-h building or talk to County Extension service. That is what they are for. Maybe resources like that are the reason why the LDS hierarchy no longer cares to get involved in homemaking skills.


Harmony lives in a farming community. I don't know how rural her area is, but it may be a considerable drive for some of the ladies in her ward to find those types of buildings. My understanding is that the ward building is pretty central to most of them, which is probably why she asked the bishop, not expecting there to be any problem. The fact that our ward conducts some of these activities in the building says to me that there is some type of gap in communication regarding what is appropriate and what isn't.

My feeling is that the reason Homemaking Meeting was canceled by Salt Lake City is that there are more and more women now who work outside the home. Homemaking Meeting was probably not being well attended overall because of that.

That doesn't mean, however, that the women in the ward couldn't create their own gatherings based on their individual needs.


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 Post subject: Re: LDS Women, Depression, and Comfort Foods
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:16 am 
God
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harmony wrote:
...
Young mothers now don't have those opportunities open to them, since the Brethren decided women don't need the companionship of other women, I guess. It bugs me that they think we are all cookie lookalikes... that urban women are the same as rural women with the same needs. I've asked my bishop if we could hold Homemaking Meetings again, monthly, with classes taught by the women themselves. The answer was 'no', because Salt Lake City said we didn't need them. That royally pissed me off; obviously Salt Lake City has no idea what the women in my ward and wards like mine need. They don't care that my daughters in law don't know how to make bread, or preserve vegetables, or grow a garden, or shop for food, or make a quilt, or knit.

The insensitivity was just profound.

There may be another "reason" for saying no.

I have heard (and perhaps someone else can confirm) that members in some locations organized study groups outside of the regular "programming" of church meetings, and that they were firmly stomped upon. My recollection was that the groups were looking deeper into doctrines than the typical Sunday School/RS/Priesthood lesson goes. If I've got this wrong, someone please correct me.

It's possible that your bishop is worried that a non-official meeting of this sort may evolve into the same kind of study group, and would thus be against the unwritten rules.

In the end, though, it just suggests to me that there are control issues at some level.

_________________
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 Post subject: Re: LDS Women, Depression, and Comfort Foods
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:20 am 
malkie wrote:
harmony wrote:
...
Young mothers now don't have those opportunities open to them, since the Brethren decided women don't need the companionship of other women, I guess. It bugs me that they think we are all cookie lookalikes... that urban women are the same as rural women with the same needs. I've asked my bishop if we could hold Homemaking Meetings again, monthly, with classes taught by the women themselves. The answer was 'no', because Salt Lake City said we didn't need them. That royally pissed me off; obviously Salt Lake City has no idea what the women in my ward and wards like mine need. They don't care that my daughters in law don't know how to make bread, or preserve vegetables, or grow a garden, or shop for food, or make a quilt, or knit.

The insensitivity was just profound.

There may be another "reason" for saying no.

I have heard (and perhaps someone else can confirm) that members in some locations organized study groups outside of the regular "programming" of church meetings, and that they were firmly stomped upon. My recollection was that the groups were looking deeper into doctrines than the typical Sunday School/RS/Priesthood lesson goes. If I've got this wrong, someone please correct me.

It's possible that your bishop is worried that a non-official meeting of this sort may evolve into the same kind of study group, and would thus be against the unwritten rules.

In the end, though, it just suggests to me that there are control issues at some level.

I have heard about those types of study groups as well. However, this seems to be so unrelated that I think Harmony's bishop simply has control issues. I mean, really...what possible subversive harm could a quilting, knitting, or cooking class be? :rolleyes:


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 Post subject: Re: LDS Women, Depression, and Comfort Foods
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:28 am 
God
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Quote:
I have heard about those types of study groups as well. However, this seems to be so unrelated that I think Harmony's bishop simply has control issues. I mean, really...what possible subversive harm could a quilting, knitting, or cooking class be?
We probably know more about Harmony than her bishop knows. If the bishop has concerns, maybe they are legitimate. :biggrin:

_________________
Huckelberry said:
I see the order and harmony to be the very image of God which smiles upon us each morning as we awake.

http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/a ... cc_toc.htm


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 Post subject: Re: LDS Women, Depression, and Comfort Foods
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 9:31 am 
MCB wrote:
Quote:
I have heard about those types of study groups as well. However, this seems to be so unrelated that I think Harmony's bishop simply has control issues. I mean, really...what possible subversive harm could a quilting, knitting, or cooking class be?
We probably know more about Harmony than her bishop knows. If the bishop has concerns, maybe they are legitimate. :biggrin:


ROTFLMAO! True!!! :twisted: :mrgreen: :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: LDS Women, Depression, and Comfort Foods
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 5:14 pm 
God

Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 6:35 pm
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Location: Shady Acres Status: MODERATOR
liz3564 wrote:
I have heard about those types of study groups as well. However, this seems to be so unrelated that I think Harmony's bishop simply has control issues. I mean, really...what possible subversive harm could a quilting, knitting, or cooking class be? :rolleyes:


No, he's just being obedient. He won't allow the building to be used for a non-sanctioned activity, he won't allow the RS to hold meetings that Salt Lake City has not condoned.

What I want is Homemaking Meeting... not little classes at someone's home. Organized, planned, monthly meetings like we used to have, that we can invite our neighbors to, that have a structure and a purpose... that freakin' have a quilt set up every month that women can work on, if there isn't anything else they want to do. I am uncomfortable going to someone's home, or inviting neighbors to someone's home that the home owner may not know. And I think it's a shame that we all have to adhere to Salt Lake City's commands, as if we're all the same little sugar cookies decorated with multi colored sprinkles.

And while I'm complaining: bring back the Activities committee! We haven't had a decent ward party since it was disbanded.

_________________
(Nevo, Jan 23) And the Melchizedek Priesthood may not have been restored until the summer of 1830, several months after the organization of the Church.


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 Post subject: Re: LDS Women, Depression, and Comfort Foods
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:02 pm 
God
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This from Liz
Quote:
With depression, comes the temptation to self-medicate with food. Since we, as Latter-Day Saints, do try to follow the Word of Wisdom, a glass of wine in the evening to calm down a little is off-limits. However, a hot fudge sundae is not.


There is a reason that some folks self medicate with food, Liz. They really ARE self medicating. Sugar and carbs act on the brain to raise serotonin levels. It's not unlikely that a person with depression would turn to carbs/sugar. The foods that contain them perform the same function as some anti-depressant meds.

Don't ask me how I know. I just know.
:-)

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 Post subject: Re: LDS Women, Depression, and Comfort Foods
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 6:56 pm 
liz3564 wrote:
There is the old joke, "How many Mormons does it take to replace a light bulb? 3. One to replace the light bulb. One to pray, and one to serve refreshments." :wink:


lol.

Homemaking and Activities Committee gone? What a shame. Guess I'm really out of the "organisational" loop. (I was once Activities Committee Chair[person].)

Members certainly like their food, male or female, and particularly in the Southern Hemisphere, like the Hangi.


Last edited by RayAgostini on Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: LDS Women, Depression, and Comfort Foods
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 7:39 pm 
God
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Not all Mormon foods are for comfort. Jell-O Salad with carrots is like a hair shirt.

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 Post subject: Re: LDS Women, Depression, and Comfort Foods
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:19 pm 
God
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Quote:
I am not going to get into statistics


One has to as they can imply many things. What are the sources for these figures? Drifting?
:redface:

_________________
Machina Sublime
Satan's Plan Deconstructed.
Your Best Resource On Joseph Smith's Polygamy.
Conservatism is the Gospel of Christ and the Plan of Salvation in Action.
The Degeneracy Of Progressivism.
A lesson on 'Faggotry' for Kevin Graham; a legitimately descriptive and even positive term used by homosexuals themselves.


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 Post subject: Re: LDS Women, Depression, and Comfort Foods
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:50 pm 
God
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harmony wrote:

What I want is Homemaking Meeting... not little classes at someone's home. Organized, planned, monthly meetings like we used to have, that we can invite our neighbors to, that have a structure and a purpose... that freakin' have a quilt set up every month that women can work on, if there isn't anything else they want to do.


A-f'ing-men.

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From the Ernest L. Wilkinson Diaries: "ELW dreams he's spattered w/ grease. Hundreds steal his greasy pants."


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 Post subject: Re: LDS Women, Depression, and Comfort Foods
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:40 pm 
God

Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:52 am
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Well, officially, the Church does allow Relief Society to hold Homemaking meetings...


Quote:
Additional Relief Society Meetings

To supplement the instruction in Sunday meetings, Relief Society sisters may participate in additional meetings. These may include service, classes, projects, conferences, and workshops. In these meetings, sisters learn and accomplish the charitable and practical responsibilities of the Relief Society. They learn and practice skills that will help them increase their faith and personal righteousness, strengthen their families and make their homes centers of spiritual strength, and help those in need. They learn and apply principles of provident living and spiritual and temporal self-reliance. They also increase in sisterhood and unity as they teach one another and serve together.
_____

Homemaking: learning and improving skills for the care of the home and family, such as cleaning and organizing, home beautification, cooking, and sewing.


The quote is from the handbook of instruction (9.4.2) so it seems Harmony's Bishop is actually being disobedient in not allowing it.

http://www.lds.org/handbook/handbook-2- ... ang=eng#94

_________________
“We look to not only the spiritual but also the temporal, and we believe that a person who is impoverished temporally cannot blossom spiritually.”
Keith McMullin - Counsellor in Presiding Bishopric

"One, two, three...let's go shopping!"
Thomas S Monson - Prophet, Seer, Revelator


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 Post subject: Re: LDS Women, Depression, and Comfort Foods
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 10:45 pm 
God

Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:52 am
Posts: 7306
bcspace wrote:
Quote:
I am not going to get into statistics


One has to as they can imply many things. What are the sources for these figures? Drifting?
:redface:



Hi bc, aren't you needed back on the "Paid Ministry" thread...? :biggrin:

_________________
“We look to not only the spiritual but also the temporal, and we believe that a person who is impoverished temporally cannot blossom spiritually.”
Keith McMullin - Counsellor in Presiding Bishopric

"One, two, three...let's go shopping!"
Thomas S Monson - Prophet, Seer, Revelator


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 Post subject: Re: LDS Women, Depression, and Comfort Foods
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:58 pm 
God
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Quote:
Hi bc, aren't you needed back on the "Paid Ministry" thread...?


Nope. I knocked that one out of the park. Everything else is just wishful thinking and longing for old chestnuts.

_________________
Machina Sublime
Satan's Plan Deconstructed.
Your Best Resource On Joseph Smith's Polygamy.
Conservatism is the Gospel of Christ and the Plan of Salvation in Action.
The Degeneracy Of Progressivism.
A lesson on 'Faggotry' for Kevin Graham; a legitimately descriptive and even positive term used by homosexuals themselves.


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 Post subject: Re: LDS Women, Depression, and Comfort Foods
PostPosted: Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:09 am 
God

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I have read that religious women (all faiths) tend to be heavier than those who are not regular church goers. I think one reason is that in most religions people are taught not to have all that much pride in their bodies. In the LDS faith women are even chastised for wearing tight clothing or attire that shows skin. So one of the motivations for keeping fit (pride in appearance) is seen as a negative thing.


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