Ko Aoraki toku maunga

Ko Opihi toku awa

Ko Takitimu toku waka

Ko Niu tereni toku marae

Ko Ngai Tahu toku iwi

Ko Ngati Huirapa toku hapu

Ko Jared toku papa

Ko Jo-Rose toku mama

Ko Kerrison toku whanau

Ko Olivia au

Kei Tamaki Makaurau au e noho ana




Mena he kaikarakia
E te kaikarakia tena koe

E nga atua o te rangi me te whenua, tena koutou

Te whare e tu nei, tena koe

Te marae e hora nei, tena koe

E nga mate, haere, haere, haere

E te kaupapa o te rangi nei, tena koe

E te kaiako, tena koe

E nga hoa, tena koutou

rejoice in the diversity of our sisterhood: a Samoan mormon feminist voice on ordain women

Young Mormon Feminists

by Lani Wendt Young



I was driving home from church one Sunday, when I saw a couple dressed in church clothes, having an altercation by the roadside. The man was shouting, dragging the woman ( his wife?) by the hair with one hand.  With the other he held his scriptures and was using them to beat her around the face and head as she cowered and struggled. Two small children stood to the side, crying.

It’s been a long time now, but that’s an image I have never forgotten. The symbolism brutally obvious. A man using the weight of scripture and religious authority to subdue a woman.


My name is…

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Why writing?

I must admit I did not have a slight interest what so ever in the effort I partook when it came to the art of writing throughout my time in high school. Interest was only portrayed when it came to the fortnightly hour long reading session within the compact sized library. That was as far as it went. I was not the twinkle to my English teacher’s eye who answered each and every question posed to the class. No. I was the quiet dumbstruck student who failed to open her mouth to any question offered in fear of my reply being incorrect. I soon discovered it was the correct answer each and every single time. This of course put me off class every time I attended, all because of my constant anxiety attacks which came forth once entering the English room filled with obnoxious, fearless students who automatically knew whatever oozed out of their mouths would be praised and acknowledged by our spontaneous yet free-willed educator. In addition you can understand why English may not have been my forte in high school as I saw it as an incredulous and somewhat extremely competitive subject to even consider showing interest in. 

However I have continuously shown a passion for the form of writing which from my thoughts has to show ones interest in order to simply render ones attention into what exactly a person may be constructing onto a piece of paper. You cannot expect a person to write about something they utterly know nothing about or something they clearly despise! A topic you may choose to write about has to be something you feel comes from within your own heart where you know what you are about to set on that blank piece of paper will not leave you feeling fatigued or disinterested in writing… It should reflect satisfaction and pride of what you have written leaving you to exhale what you have been dying to express to the entire world! Writing to me is a sense of creative expression. I am aware that my relationship with writing has merely begun which will most definitely reflect an unstable marriage with constant ups and downs as I curse at the screen before me due to the lack of words coming to mind, nonetheless it is one I look forward to seeing how it may progress.