For with God, nothing shall be impossible
St Luke 1:37 (KJV)
Back around the first part of the year, I made a post and changed the name of this blog. I found a suitable name that I liked after having pondered it since last years announcement and I purchased the URL, SisterMaggie.com.
The part I failed to do due diligence with, was the Facebook page previously associated with Slightely Mormon, which I would now be attempting to change to some semblance of “Sister Maggie.” Facebook Pages were not having it. You see, I had created the Slightely Mormon Facebook page BEFORE Facebook had set up a certain setting for personal blogs, and on their side, they set it up as a business.
Here’s the thing: This website does NOT generate any money. I PAY out of my personal disability pension for the ability to share my testimony here with you. I receive NO money whatsoever. There is not any way that you can call this a business. If it was, it would be a failed one. As it is, what this site is, is a place to share my Testimony. This site SUCCESSFULLY reaches thousands of people every year in over 15 countries.
Regardless of the fact it is not a business and has never been one, Facebook would not back down: They refused to change the name of my page. They stated the name was not “Facebook official.” So I created a new page with a name I was trying to change Slightely Mormon to…and then attempted to merge the pages. Facebook insisted I was attempting to merge a personal blog with a business. Seriously?!
Why must there be so much opposition in the world? This is the question I began asking myself when dealing with this social media outlet that was not allowing me one inch. They would ONLY deal with me through robots, giving the same answer to all questions. All appeals were denied. There seemed no place to turn. What was the answer?
But really, does there have to be one? For now, there are two pages. I don’t want anyone who enjoys my writing to be left out in the cold if I delete the page Slightely Mormon. I will be sharing posts from this page on both social media pages, but as always the BEST way to make sure you don’t miss out on any is to subscribe to this blog . I appreciate greatly anyone already doing so.
This site url was changed from SlightelyMormon.org to SisterMaggie.com, although both will point here until the end of the year. Perhaps I will give it that much time for social media to catch up as well. Perhaps I will keep Slightely Mormon, we shall see.
Thank you to all who follow me here, I’m just doing my best to Testify of my relationship with my Heavenly Parents, Jesus Christ, the Holy Ghost and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
May God bless you always.
When my daughter and her husband bought me a DNA test for my birthday a few years ago, I was thrilled to confirm that I was almost as Irish as an old boyfriend had though (he said I looked a lot like one of his relatives, still in Ireland). That made me happy.
The combination of my (once) dark hair and blue eyes with red-headed glow-in-the-dark skin, are some of my most striking features. It was easy to fall into the “goth” fashion during my teenage years and young adulthood.
I have loved my “Irishness”ever since I first learned of my heritage, but I had no idea where in Ireland my family originated.
One of my paternal great-grandfather’s names is “Foley,” which seems like a simple link to my Irish blood, right? Not so much. I have been unable to find any records of the original Mr. Foley who immigrated to the United States. Family rumor says that I have him and his (wife?) to thank for my native blood. Mr. Foley reportedly married a woman of Aboriginal American descent, who belonged to the Cheyenne Nation.
My furthest ancestor on the Foley line who I am able to identify is Pleasant Foley, my second-great-grandfather on my father’s mother’s father’s side. If his father came from Ireland as rumored, he would be one of three of my third great-grandparents to come from the emerald isle.
Sarah Thornhill, my third great-grandmother, also on my father’s side, but this time on his father’s side, was born in Ireland in 1828. Many sources confirm that fact. I have been yet unable to find where in Ireland she was born, but her parents left Ireland after some of their children were born and settled in England. Her father, Henry Thornhill, was born in County Fermanagh in Ireland, but is laid to rest in Manchester, England (not too far from where a Facebook friend of mine lives!)
Although I’ve been unable to find a surname for Sarah Thornhill’s mother, “Rebecca Thornhill” was born in 1808 in Londonderry, Ireland. Again, she is laid to rest in their adopted Manchester.
Sarah Thornhill immigrated to Canada. Her death record indicates that she died at age 50, on 15 April 1878, six years after her husband, John Walsh passed away. I found her cause of death oddly familiar: “Constipation of the bowels.” Many things seem to have been inherited from my Irish ancestors…
John Walsh, Sarah’s husband, was born in Birr, County Offaly, Ireland in 1812. His father was possibly Tom Walsh (with names like “John” and “Tom” without personal accounts, it is difficult to discern if it is actually my ancestor), and John’s mother was most likely Ellin Muleahy, both who lived all of their lives in Ireland.
John and Sarah (Thornhill) Walsh made their home in York in Ontario Canada and both passed away in their 50s. Even though their deaths were over a century ago, as a 52-year-old woman, it causes me to reflect.
The other side of my father’s father’s Irish line are the Cullens. Yes, I was more than mildly amused when this ancestral surname was co-opted by Twilight’s writer as the vampire clan’s chosen surname.
Thomas Cullen, born between 1802-1805 in Strokestown, County Roscommon, Ireland was possibly the son of Patrick Cullen (1783-1865) and Bridgide Hill or McGinn. Again, some of the details have been difficult to nail down. But what seems clear is that County Roscommon can be added to the counties from which I descend. Thomas is my fourth great-grandfather.
My fourth great-grandmother, Thomas’s wife, was Jane Bentley (1805-1881) from County Longford. Her parents were Christopher Bentley and Frances Cox.
My mother’s line has been a part of the building up of the United States of America since the early 1600s, so attempting to find her Irish lines was a bit more difficult. However, I was able to find a few who were born in Ireland in the 1700s.
Here is an interesting fact: My father’s Irish lines emigrated to the American Continent in the 1800s, and my Irish lines on Ancestry seem (30%) stable, but those parts that have changed (both my estimate and my mother’s Ancestry DNA estimate changed after our tests), seem to be from the Irish lines that emigrated in the 1700s. Ancestry is now calling those lines “English,” but they are not.
Isaac Highley was (most likely) born to Thomas Highley and Margaret in Ireland in 1772. He is my 5th great-grandfather on my mother’s mother’s side. The Highleys married into the Parrs married into the Savage line on my mother’s line.
When Sara Christena Parr (my great-grandmother) married William Duncan Savage, she added more Irish into my mother’s line. William Duncan’s great-grandfather, William, my fourth great-grandfather, was born in Ireland in 1797.
William Savage and his wife Harriet Eisnaugle, married and raised their family with much of my Irish ancestors in the Ohio valley before the family moved to Wisconsin.
Although my mother’s Irish line has now been replaced by a generic term on Ancestry.com, this is one day that I would like to pick out those particular ancestors of hers that were born in Ireland and chose America to start over. William Savage and Isaac Highley chose a different life for their families and for generations to come.
As someone who has known that her heritage included Irish from the time she could look in a mirror, it is WONDERFUL to have County names to associate my heritage with. I now understand that I not only come from Ireland, but I come from County Roscommon, County Longford, County Fermanagh, County Londonderry and Birr in County Offaly.
Somehow, knowing all of this means a little more on this St. Patrick’s Day.
Note: This article was simultaneously published on MaggieSlighte.com by the author
When our Prophet talks about us “all being mothers,” what I feel him saying is that we are all creators.
In her book of poetry, Mother’s Milk, Rachel Hunt Steenblik opens up her heart and her yearning for a Mother in Heaven, a feeling many of us have felt. As a woman who has run home to her own earthly mother more times than I can count, the yearning for an acknowledgment of our Eternal Mother is something that I feel more intensely than I usually admit.
I have belonged to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for six years coming up next month. During this time, no matter what Ward or Branch I have attended, each and every year I have joined in the singing the one hymn in the hymnal that recognizes our Mother in Heaven every year on Mother’s Day.
In 1845, Eliza R. Snow (Relief Society President 1867-1887) wrote the hymn, “O My Father,” penning the most well-known reference to Mother God. Written only months after Prophet Jospeph Smith Jr.’s death, it has been speculated that the Prophet may have taught of a Mother in Heaven either implicitly or to limited audiences.
It doesn’t surprise me that the hymn we sing on Mother’s Day or the book of poetry worshiping our Almighty Mother were written by mothers. It also didn’t surprise me to listen to Sheri Dew say “Aren’t We All Mothers,” or President Nelson in his address to the October 2018 General Conference profess that he became a doctor, “Because I could not choose to be a mother.”
President Nelson went on to say last October, ” Every woman is a mother by virtue of her eternal divine destiny.”
When I listen to childless women and their frustration with some of these quotes and standpoints, I contemplate if they were to substitute the word creator for mother if there would still be offense taken?
Our society, and in particular some of our cultures, tend to pass judgment on what types of parents we are, how many children we produce and how we choose to raise them. How we judge one another trickles down into how we feel about ourselves. When we internalize external judgments, we diminish our own divinity.
Our role as creators is divine. Our Mother in Heaven is just as important as our Father in Heaven.
Elder Erastus Snow stated, “There can be no God except that he is composed of the man and woman united, and there is not in all the eternities that exist, or ever will be a God in any other way,” a statement, according to the Historical Teachings about Mother in Heaven, that has been reaffirmed by several General Authorities.
Are not we all mothers? We ARE all creators. Whether we choose to partner with our Heavenly Parents and create human bodies to be populated with souls to come to earth or we partner with them to create technology, books, music or other artwork or perhaps we create a cure for a previously incurable disease; we are ALL creators. We are ALL mothers.
Thank you, Mother and Father, for the gift of creation…for the gift of motherhood.
What the Mother Taught Me
It is snow, birds,
~Rachel Hunt Steenblik
I warned you! I tried to at least. I said last week that I will be writing MORE this year, and here I am!
Last year, when President Nelson made the announcement that members of our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, would no longer be willingly known as “Mormons,” I felt confused and frustrated. I liked the name of my testimony blog and I didn’t think I would change it.
Something didn’t feel right about keeping the name. I can only trace it to my desire to follow our Prophet.
After many many prayers, much consideration and even a post about a possible contest, I have decided to change the name of this blog to “Sister Maggie.” This site will be reachable by the URL “SlightelyMormon.org” through 2019, but the URL “SisterMaggie.com” has been purchased and they both redirect both to the same place.
Why “Sister Maggie?” The difficult alliteration of my last name “Slighte” in combination with the prefix “Sister” has frustrated me since my Baptism in 2013. I have longed for a return to the days of “Brother Joseph” and “Sister Emma,” so I decided to rename my site with that in mind.
I am “Sister Maggie” and this is my Testimony.
I am a faithful and devoted member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I love my Ward Family here in Olympia, Washington and it is my greatest privilege to be able to share my love of my Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit with all of you.
I hope the Love of Jesus Christ fills your life and your soul.
Since I started this blog, I’ve been guilty of something the leaders of my church warn against: I have only been showing the positive side. That is the simple reason that this blog has only published limited posts over the last five years. I do have another outlet for my writing online, but that outlet has also been quiet over the past six months. On MaggieSlighte.com in December I shared an essay about one of the challenges that has followed me all of my adult life, Major Depressive Disorder.
I remember when I first came to The Church. I had that intense “convert energy” and wanted to ascribe every feeling a Gospel reason or solution. My depression was no different. I prayed and prayed. I fasted. I had been Baptised, that meant my challenges with mental illness would be over if I just prayed and fasted and read enough scripture, right?
I couldn’t be more wrong. But I am far from alone. Six months after my Baptism, Elder Jeffery Holland was inspired by a Heavenly Father who heard my and many other’s prayers when he gave the address, “Like a Broken Vessel,” in which he shared his own struggles with depression and described Major Depressive Disorder (MDD): “an affliction so severe that it significantly restricts a person’s ability to function fully, a crater in the mind so deep that no one can responsibly suggest it would surely go away if those victims would just square their shoulders and think more positively,” while encouraging us all to continue to try to be positive.
Being positive can help. Prayers and reading my scripture does help. Doing my homework for my Master of Arts helps. But then, sometimes, everything gets to be too much and I am “losing it” in the Bishop’s office balling my eyes out. It happens to many of us.
I’m done pretending. This blog, in 2019, will have more posts. I will be sharing more of my Testimony. That side of my Testimony that has been earned through tears and struggles with Heavenly Father. Those prayers that didn’t get answered and how that felt. The healing that I have faith will happen, but for whatever reason, has been extended greatly in time. All of these elements of my Testimony are valid and important parts of the Faith that burns within my heart.
Faith does not grow without lessons. Testimonies do not flourish when everything goes as planned. Please continue to join me as I share more of the journey of my Testimony in the coming months and years.
I will be sharing the struggles that I experience and those tools of my faith that help me to cope. I am hoping that by doing this, perhaps I will also remind myself when those times get tough.
An additional change that I will be making will be the name of this blog. Since my church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints no longer uses the nickname “Mormon” officially, I will be searching for a new blog name! I am welcoming suggestions! Please comment and share!
I will be choosing a new name for this blog before March 31, 2019, please comment here with your suggestion soon! Thank you!
Have a wonderful week ahead!