What exactly do Mormons mean when they say the word “priesthood”?

With the emergence of the Ordain Women movement, I’ve spent the last few weeks undertaking a personal study of what priesthood is and who holds it.  I’ve been most interested in how the term priesthood came to be used as a name under which spiritual and administrative offices are referred to men alone as a complement to the biological function of motherhood.

This understanding of priesthood seems to emerge in the middle decades of the twentieth century during the “Correlation” movement—an administrative and theological project undertaken by LDS Church leaders to standardize, modernize, and codify Mormon doctrine and practice for uniform administration in a growing and newly global church.

We see one document of this correlation movement and its consolidation of priesthood with the authority to administer the LDS Church in John Widtsoe’s Priesthood and Church Government (1939). Widtsoe culls from a range of Mormon source-texts (Journal of Discourses, for example) a number of statements that he organizes into a rationale for the alignment of priesthood powers, patriarchal authority in the family, and church administration.  This is not a logic originating with Joseph Smith, but one that emerges with the modernization and correlation of twentieth-century Mormonism.

The correlation movement also seems to have produced the first formally articulated “correlation” of priesthood with gender roles.  Historian Sonja Farnsworth locates the first mention in LDS history of motherhood as the female correlate to male priesthood in the 1954 revision of Widtsoe’s Priesthood and Church Government. This modern motherhood-priesthood dyad grew into a powerful element of Mormon identity, as the LDS Church established missionary and public relations campaigns in the 1960s and 1970s that mobilized a particular definition of family and especially in the Church’s formal opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment.

The way we understand priesthood today dates to this mid-twentieth century moment in Mormon history.  It is a product of correlation.  The correlation movement gives us a vocabulary for priesthood that we utilize today:

Offices:  This term is now used to refer to the ranks of priesthood ordination available to men: deacon, teacher, priest, elder, high priest, and so forth.

Keys:  This term is now used to refer to specific authorizations to administer LDS Church rites or “ordinances” as well as to the authority to function in specific callings.

Fullness / power:  There are several terms one finds in use to indicate access to priesthood power beyond offices and keys. The term “fullness”  appears in D&C 124:28 in reference to the temple, as the place where God will “restore” “the fullness of the priesthood.”  As introduced by Joseph Smith, the idea of the “fullness” of the priesthood originally referred to powers conveyed to men and women through the LDS temple rite known as the second anointing. (For more, read here.)  Today, however, it is increasingly common to hear the phrase “fullness of the priesthood” used by Mormons who want to gesture towards an equality of status shared by men and women who have received their temple endowments and / or entered into eternal marriage.  One also occasionally hears the term “power of the priesthood” used in this broadly inclusive sense, as Elder M. Russell Ballard taught in April General Conference:  the power of the priesthood is accessible to men and women, even if the “authority” of the priesthood is restricted to men. This understanding seems to be underscored by the language of D&C 121, which specifies both “rights” (authority) and “power” (fullness) of the priesthood.

Yet to study the ways these terms have been defined is also to find the limits of our current definitions.

For example, we find in Exodus 40:12 – 15 a description of rituals administered in the tabernacle erected by Moses.  Those familiar with LDS temple rites will recognize that in LDS temples these rites are now extended to men and women.  Exodus 40:13 states that Aaron by virtue of these rites “may minister unto me in the priest’s office”; Exodus 40:15 states that these rites “shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations.”  These scriptures raise the question of why LDS women who have also been through these rites today are not acknowledged in day-to-day Mormon life as priesthood holders, and even priesthood “office” holders. Why the euphemistic use of the motherhood-priesthood dyad in day-to-day Mormon life and teaching rather than an open acknowledgement of the implications of Exodus 40?

Those familiar with LDS temple rites also understand that by the Correlation-era definition of keys as authority pertaining to specific offices, women who administer LDS temple rites may also be understood to hold keys as they perform their duties. Again, why are these keys not acknowledged in day-to-day LDS life and in the way priesthood is taught in our manuals and over the pulpit? Rather than the priesthood-motherhood dyad?

It also seems that the way we use the term “keys” today does not map neatly onto the set of priesthood keys identified in scripture.  For example, in D&C 13, the keys of the Aaronic priesthood are identified as “the ministering of angels, and of the gospel of repentence, and of baptism by immersion;” D&C 84 adds the key of “the preparatory gospel.” D&C 84 describes the keys of the “greater” priesthood as the “key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God;” D&C 107 adds to it “the right of presidency, and power and authority over all the offices in the church in all ages of the world, to administer in spiritual things.”  (These sections of the D&C specify these keys as belonging to men, but this was in 1832 and 1835, long before Joseph Smith’s 1843 introduction of the endowment for women.)

These scripturally indicated keys are not co-extensive with the range of responsibilities now reserved to men in the LDS Church.  I am thinking particularly here of the Melchizedek priesthood keys to “administer in spiritual things.”  It is not indicated (in scripture at least) that these keys include the exclusive right to administer the temporal affairs of the Church, including curriculums, budgets, membership records, investments, personnel decisions, public prayers, and so forth. Nor are powers of healing by the laying on of hands indicated in these scriptures as keys to be restricted to Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthood holders.  Historians like Laurel Thatcher Ulrich remind us that Mormon women did in fact exercise a greater range of administrative authority until the middle decades of the twentieth century than they do now, and the history of Mormon women’s healing by the laying on of hands is well documented .

I’ll close with a quote from Elder Boyd K. Packer I came across while studying this week.  He has a very Widstoe-like article laying out principles of priesthood and church administration that was published in the 1993 February Ensign, an article entitled, “What Every Elder Should Know—And Every Sister as Well—A Primer on Principles of Priesthood Government.”  Here are his closing words:

“There are some things about the priesthood that every elder should know if he is to understand how the Church is governed to have things right before the Lord. There are principles and precepts and rules which are often overlooked and seldom taught. Some of these principles are found in the scriptures, others in the handbooks. Some of them are not found in either. They are found in the Church. You might call them traditions, but they are more than that. They are revelations which came when the Brethren of the past assembled themselves, agreed upon His word, and offered their prayers of faith. The Lord then showed them what to do. They received by revelation, ‘line upon line, precept upon precept,’ true principles which form the priesthood way of doing things. (See Isa. 28:13; 2 Ne. 28:30; D&C 98:12.)”

These words really struck me.  For Elder Packer acknowledges what historians of LDS priesthood and Church government have shown: that the way we do things now is not the way things have always been done.  Some understandings that now structure the practice of LDS priesthood are “not found in either” scripture or handbooks. They have emerged from the process of continuing revelation, which for me means God’s long dialogue with a people.  History does not support an understanding of our current priesthood structure as identical to that in the lifetime of Jesus Christ, or Joseph Smith.  The use of the term priesthood as an umbrella term for male-only authority to perform ordinances, administer all church affairs (temporal and spiritual), preside as patriarch in the home, and exclusively practice powers such as healing by laying on of hands, and as the dyadic correlate to motherhood, is a product of the middle decades of the twentieth century.  We already see movement away from this correlation-era understanding in directions from LDS Church leaders to use desegregated male-female councils in decision making.  And we see evidence of its internal contradictions and limitations when we try and reconcile it with LDS temple worship.

Seeking clarification at these pressure points may lead to better understanding of what priesthood is.  But I suspect that more pragmatic considerations—inefficiency, inability to staff all positions now segregated by gender—may be an impetus to further seeking.  Are there positions now segregated by gender that do not in fact require priesthood keys but that we have traditionally under our correlation-era understanding of priesthood assigned to men only?

Readers, I’ll leave it there for this week. Thank you for letting me share what I have been studying. As always, I look forward to learning from you in the comments below.

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28 Comments

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28 responses to “What exactly do Mormons mean when they say the word “priesthood”?

  1. mofembot

    Joanna, thank you for your explorations.

    When I was a missionary in France (long, long ago), I was struck by how few men there were to fill “priesthood-only” callings… and how many capable women there were who might have been viewed as contributors to service, rather than consumers of service — in some branches (most are now wards), the ratio of active women to men was 8:1!

    The marriage of most golden family, who ultimately got married in the temple, fell apart in direct and large measure because the husband ended up spending nearly all of his non-work time trying to handle more than one very demanding and time-consuming calling in their branch (notwithstanding all of the rhetoric about how important families are, etc.).

    More than 30 years on, I would have thought that Salt Lake might have figured out that outside of the Zion corridor (with its sometimes comical callings created simply to give as many active members something, anything! official to do in their wards), many units desperately struggle to implement the full church program with nowhere near the number of priesthood holders doing so requires. But the same situation is evident in France as elsewhere in “the mission field.”

    Perhaps President Uchtdorf’s experiences and insights in this regard will push things along in a saner and more inclusive direction… but honestly, I think a fair number of the Old Guard will have to shuffle off their mortal coils before any dramatic changes are possible, no matter how many good people and their families continue to shoulder such unfair and thoroughly unnecessary gender-based burdens.

  2. Calvinator101

    Very well thought out discussion of the topic. I liked it. Thanks.

  3. Robert Flynn

    I firmly believe that when we get to heaven we will see how vastly equal it is there. We will be amazed to find out how unfairly lopsided we have allowed ourselves to have lived. Just because life exists the way we experience it, does not mean that that is the way God desires us to have experience it.

    When 50 % of God’s genius is removed from the creative, the masterpiece we create will always be less than a masterpiece.

  4. Jeff

    I was particularly struck by this passage in the Dialogue article:” Bro Joseph turned to me (Prest B. Young) and said this is not arranged right but we have done the best we could under the circumstances in which we are placed, and I . . . wish you to take this matter in hand and organize and systematize all these ceremonies. … I did so and each time I got something more so that when we went through the Temple at Nauvoo I understood and Knew how to place them there, we had our ceremonies pretty correct.”

    I am of the opinion that Joseph Smith’s death happened long before he could flesh out in meticulous detail many important matters pertaining to theology and ritual (priesthood included). I am also of the opinion that no prophet since has had an experience anywhere near as profound as his and that most of our confusion both past and present is rooted in trying to interpret his incomplete ideas.

    While many people may view the splitting of hairs over the difference between a proclamation and a revelation, I view such distinctions as profoundly important. One of the important functions that a talk by Boyd K. Packer, Julie Beck, or Elaine Dalton serves is to define boundaries: boundaries that clearly establish who is comfortably in the community, who remains with a certain amount of discomfort, and for those who have left they serve as reminder that there was good reason to leave. I also find it rather astounding at what an outsized influence Elder Packer has had in nearly every aspect of these discussions. Someone like Sterling McMurrin who said the following during an interview is sorely needed now:

    Jack: There is a lot of talk right now about threats to the church, and as you know, Elder Packer gave a speech in May suggesting that the chief threats to the church on the so-called intellectuals, the homosexuals and the feminists. What would you say if you were to say what are the chief threats to the welfare of the LDS church in the future are?

    Sterling: Oh, I thought you were going to ask me to comment on Elder Packer.

    Jack: Oh, I wouldn’t restrain you from doing that.

    Sterling: I was kind of looking forward to the opportunity. Well, I will just make a very short statement. I think he is a total disaster to the LDS church. Now I think, and I mean this very seriously, I think the chief threat to the church, what you might call its intellectual and moral integrity and so on is that *this* sort of thing goes on and they don’t like it. Now I think *that* is the chief threat. (End quote)

    I am more than happy to give most people the benefit of the doubt and that like Brigham Young we find ourselves struggling to do the best we can under the circumstances in which we are placed. As it pertains to the priesthood, however, I do believe we can do much better.

  5. Cjor

    When I was called to be a bishop in 1996, the stake president said, “I want to make this clear. This is a joint calling with your wife.” He said, “In a very real sense that we don’t fully understand, she shares your priesthood.” During the setting apart blessing, he urged me to consult with my wife “on those matters that are appropriate” and to “seek her council on challenges facing the ward.”
    And, that’s just how it worked. While strictly keeping confidentialities, I was able to seek and receive and implement her inspired advice on many things. When the calling ended, so this that particular relationship.

    • Brit

      That’s very nice and better than the traditional view, but views of this sort are not institutionalized. You won’t find anything like this on the church website or in Handbook 1, and I suspect that most bishops (or even higher-level church leaders) don’t view their callings as joint with their spouse in this manner.

      But it also leaves open the question of, if it really is a joint calling, why is the husband set apart and not the wife? Why does the husband sit up on the stand, run meetings, and make executive decisions when the wife’s ‘joint’ effort is mere consultation?

  6. Why don’t women serve as Sunday School Presidents? Why are sister missionaries never zone leaders? Why is it a mission president and the mission president’s wife? Why not co-presidents? These are a couple of traditional gender roles I could think of that aren’t linked with specific offices and keys.

    I’m thoroughly enjoying the fruits of your labor. Please continue this study – I have been learning a lot. Thank you!

  7. Bethany

    Interesting. I’ve often wondered why auxiliaries and callings that serve both genders have such strict gender guidelines for their presidencies (e.g. Primary, Sunday School) especially when there are no such guidelines for others serving within those same auxiliaries (e.g. teachers, cub scout leaders, etc). Why couldn’t Sunday School have a female presidency at the ward level? Why couldn’t Primary have a male presidency? Is this based only on tradition? Seems possible.

    As your post alluded, I firmly believe there are more answers than we realize in the temple–there is no distinction in the promises surrounding the potential “priest-hood” of both men and women who keep temple covenants, and I know I personally need to be more passionate and active about understanding and reaching this divine potential. Thanks for sparking a much deeper interest in seeking more answers for myself around this term!

  8. I sympathize with women on the whole priesthood issue. I really do. but, I don’t aspire to be a leader in the church. I know a phew people who might, but most men that I know don’t aspire to be a bishop or Stake president, or Elders Quarum president. The value I see in the priesthood is in making men more Spiritual. Most men I know are not very spiritual. They are but they aren’t. There is this Mocho thing that can get in the way of spirituality. But as we try to put God in our lives we can become more spiritual and more nurturing.

    Some men may take the priesthood and claim it as their own authority, which is very unfortunate, because it really isn’t theirs to claim. Maybe if women held the priesthood, this wouldn’t happen as much. But really, There is a very limited amount the Priesthood gives authority for, that is to perform necessary ordinances, such as baptism and sealings, and to perform priesthood blessings. In my home, my wife is the spiritual leader. She also holds more leadership positions than I do.

    This is the way I see it.
    Motherhood > Fatherhood.
    Fatherhood + Priesthood = Motherhood.

    When a couple is sealed in the temple they become one, and one with God after this life through the Priesthood.

    • Nathan

      You are welcome to your opinions and experiences, but your words implicitly cheapen my experience of fatherhood. I mean that as an intellectual critique of your comments, and not because you have offended me. See, here’s the thing, my kids crave their mother AND their father. And I’m just as committed to parenting as my wife. I find the assertion that motherhood is more significant than fatherhood to be totally out of touch with my reality. Do my kids prefer mom when they are crying and both options are available to them? Yes, often. But who do they want to wrestle? Me. Is this some universal phenomenon? I don’t know. But the point is, in my family, we are both indispensable (which is refreshing in an age where everything and everyone is replacable.) We are so equally important to our kids. Are we redundant? In some respects, yes. But we are also able to bring our individuals talents and passions to bear in a way that makes the whole stronger than the parts. So what does my personal experience and capable intellect tell me about the priesthood issues that AMG has been discussing for the better part of 2 months? Well, if my wife were in an administrative postition within the church, she would be able to contribute handsomely, and in many cases uniquely. I’m sorry my children can’t benefit from her added strength and ability. And if she were serving, I would feel no less important. I don’t need the priesthood to fill out my fatherhood. Are fathers without the priesthood less important than their spouse?

      • I don’t mean to cheapen your experience as a father. Fatherhood is very important, especially in today’s day and age where the whole family unit is under attack by modern society through the media, gangs and drugs, and other factors. Many today don’t take raising their children seriously enough. That is one of the wonderful things about the Church, It’s focus on the Family. It reminds people of the importance of spending quality time with your kids, and the importance of raising children and teaching them to choose the right. One of the responsibilities raising children is providing stability and security and safety. Providing a place to live, food to eat, protecting from the elements. This is an important responsibility, but it often takes time away from the family. It can limit the opportunities to spend quality time with kids. That responsibility has traditionally been the Fathers, but in today’s society these responsibilities of providing security and stability are often share, just like the responsibilities of raising and nurturing are shared and that is good, because both responsibilities can be daunting for one person, and Fathers can play a more fulfilling role in their families. But I think it is unfortunate that today if a woman is able to stay home to look after the kids while they are still too young for school, that it is often looked down upon by modern society. The responsibilities that have been traditionally the mothers responsibility are more important than the responsibilities that have traditionally been the fathers. The Family is the most important unit. not just on earth but for eternity. Even more important than church meetings and callings. That is what the Church teaches.

      • I can’t thank you enough for this reply. And even more that it was genuine. THANK YOU.

  9. But yeah, I think it would be good for women to hold more positions in the church, like Sunday School President.

  10. From Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:16) men have presided and held the priesthood. It seems, perhaps, God is more concerned about disorder (D&C 132:8) than unrighteous dominion (D&C 121:39), for surely He knew that due to the weaknesses of men and women, He could not have both. It may be that priesthood abuse is more tantalizing to those ineligible to receive it, than the priesthood itself, which can be exercised only “by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; by kindness, and pure knowledge.”

  11. Julie

    I was struck recently by D&C 25:7, from the revelation given to Emma Smith:
    “And thou shalt be ordained under his hand to expound scriptures, and to exhort the church, according as it shall be given thee by my Spirit.” The footnote next to “ordain” hastens to clarify “ordain” as meaning “set apart,” but I consider that to be a footnote with an agenda (and one hostile to the cause of equality). Ordination means priesthood, does it not? Or are we to assume that in 1830 Joseph Smith hadn’t yet figured out the difference? Note that Emma’s ordination was to include a teaching stewardship that included “the church,” and not just its women.

  12. DCKB

    I won’t pretend to be knowledgeable enough to comment on pre-correlation views, but in the modern era, the concept of priesthood keys is quite different than what is implied by the extended discussion in the article. Using the authority of the priesthood does not require the individual priesthood holder to have _any_ keys and most priesthood holders do not hold keys.

    I have found that a good way to explain priesthood keys to a general audience is by comparison with the concept of “faculties” in Catholicism: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faculty_(instrument)

    In the LDS Church, priesthood keys are _not_ equivalent to faculties, but are equivalent of the Catholic bishop’s right to control the faculties of priests. Thus, while every person upon whom is conferred the priesthood will have some faculties, very few have keys.

    • Brit

      This is a good insight about keys – they don’t seem to be as integral to the priesthood as sometimes the modern emphasis on them makes them. I’ve always seen them as a way as defining stewardships or demarcating responsibilities. Your typical father in Elder’s Quorum will have keys of the Priesthood authority to lead those in his immediate family. Also in his stewardship may be any families he hometeaches, though I’m not sure if keys will extend to them.

      Looking up on the church website to see how they define priesthood, it’s simply “the eternal power and authority of God.” The brief article goes on for a bit, and at the end states who the authority is given to: worthy male members.

      For the Israelites, this was further restricted by tribe. One or two generations ago, it was further restricted by race. Biblical women also seem to have had it. It seems like who the authority is given to is subject to change, and it seems illogical to think that it couldn’t at some point be extended to worthy male and female members.

      • DCKB

        The modern view is that keys are essential–although individual priesthood holders exercise the authority of the priesthood without holding keys, they are only permitted to do so because someone does hold keys and has the responsibility to direct the exercise of priesthood authority.

        Although it isn’t always clear in practice how various priesthood functions are carried out in relation to keys, a father does _not_ hold keys in his role as priesthood leader in the home, nor does a home teacher. These are stewardships, which is a very different concept.

        I make this point because the opening post implies that anyone who acts in areas controlled by keys, holds key, which is not true. No ordinance workers in the temple–male or female–hold keys related to the temple, only the temple president does. Thus, there is a logical fallacy underlying the discussion of the fact that priesthood keys are not co-extensive with priesthood roles.

      • Brit

        Perhaps I stand corrected (though I never did claim that keys are stewardships). Could you please provide some sources for what you’re stating, please? (GA statements/talks, manuals, etc… ‘official’ stuff only please.)

      • DCKB

        Brit,

        Two quotes from the Handbook:

        “Priesthood keys are bestowed on presidents of temples, missions, stakes, and districts; bishops; branch presidents; and quorum presidents.” The Handbook makes clear that (besides apostles and the presidency of the 70) no one beyond this list holds keys in the Church.

        “The exercise of priesthood authority is governed by those who hold its keys (see D&C 65:2; 81:2; 124:123).” Based on my experience in the Church, I understand this to mean that priesthood authority cannot be exercised absent priesthood keys, but I grant that it doesn’t say that explicitly.

        https://www.lds.org/handbook/handbook-2-administering-the-church/priesthood-principles?lang=eng#2.1.1

      • Brit

        Thank you for the references!

        From the handbook itself it states the relationship of keys to authority:

        “Priesthood keys are the authority God has given to priesthood leaders to direct, control, and govern the use of His priesthood on earth. The exercise of priesthood authority is governed by those who hold its keys.”

        Or, to paraphrase, keys are not the authority to exercise priesthood power/authority, but to administrate the use of said power/authority.

        If priesthood authority couldn’t be exercised without keys, than those who have authority but don’t have keys (such as fathers in the home) wouldn’t be able to give blessings, etc, right? So your final statement can’t possibly be correct.

      • DCKB

        Brit, I would disagree. Key holders, such as a stake president, have the authority to restrict a father’s exercise of the priesthood even in his own home (through formal or informal Church discipline). Thus, although the permission for a father to give a blessing is implicit, rather than explicit, because it can be taken away it is still there.

        I would still content that priesthood authority cannot be exercised without priesthood keys.

      • Brit

        I think we’re talking past each other here by using authority in two different ways: there’s the authority to use/exercise the priesthood and the authority to govern said usage of the priesthood. From the quotes we both posted, it’s clear that keys give the right to govern how the priesthood is used; not the right to use it – that comes when one’s been ordained.

        But all those who have been given the priesthood have been given the authority to use it in the appropriate circumstances. One doesn’t need keys to use the priesthood, only to govern (or administer) its usage. When any priesthood holder performs a blessing or ordinance under their stewardship, an integral part of the ordinance is that they state by what authority they act (e.g. by the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood). If the priesthood bearer didn’t have authority this would be meaningless.

        (Note that people often say “by the power of the Melchizedek/Aaronic Priesthood” but that’s actually incorrect. We’re supposed to state by what authority.)

  13. Thank you to everyone who contributes to these discussions. Thinking in new ways about the concept of Priesthood has given me a deeper appreciation for my religion and a firmer understanding of my experiences in the temple.

  14. Chris

    I find it disturbing how easily you divorce the concept of continuing revelation and replace it with “correlation movement”, which strongly suggests a misguided man-made agenda to maintain the status quo and simply explain “why things are the way they are.”

    In your post it is clear this stems from the suggestion that if Joseph Smith didn’t teach it then it is most likely a man-made folk doctrine. (please see last sentence of paragraph 3)

    Much of what you write with regards to this “correlation movement” can easily be set aside and instead be properly ascribed as continuing revelation by our Heavenly Father to His prophets and apostles.

    A quote from your post:

    “…the way we do things now is not the way things have always been done…”

    Also in no other dispensation upon the Earth’s history have Gospel truths been made so readily available and deeply understood. This dispensation is called the dispensation of the “fulness of times” so it makes sense that with our greater understanding of Gospel truths and knowledge, we are going to do things differently and have a greater understanding about the “why” of things.

  15. “What exactly do Mormons mean when they say the word “priesthood”?” You can’t come to consensus about this, but you can study the history and see that different Mormons living at different times mean different things. But so what? All religions have changing interpretations. Isn’t what is really important what God means by priesthood? The question then is to establish the evidence that indicates God’s position. Since we can see that Joseph Smith had varying interpretations, he isn’t reliable. Seriously, how do you study God’s intent? Can you define that in a concrete way? Can you apply rigorous standards, such as the way scientists or academics define how to study a natural or social phenomena? If not, isn’t this discussion of priesthood just pointless whistling in the wind?

  16. I found your research and viewpoint enlightening and refreshingly current. Real world discussions are sorely needed. Gender-based restrictions belie the brilliant contributions women can make in every aspect of life: home, family, religion, the work place, politics, everything under the sun. Curiosity and questioning are so basic to the progress of the human race to ignore 50% of the mind power available is shortsighted and downright silly. I congratulate you.
    (Ms.) Carter Dreyfuss
    I am new to your blog and will read on down!
    By the way, I lived in Park City and Salt Lake City for 14 years. My son was born there.

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