Cathy Barker

Born and raised in Oregon, Cathy now lives in Southern Oregon with her husband and two girls. She works as a dental hygienist. She loves spending time with her family and enjoying the outdoors.


This is an email between my Father and me: Me: “Hey Dad, I have some great news! Jeff and I have decided to get married. We are engaged!” Father: “That’s wonderful news! Your mother and I are so happy for you!” Mother: “Please call me, honey. I’m excited to hear the details.” Me: “I just wanted to thank you, Dad, for all you’ve given me throughout these years. You’ve helped mold me into the woman I am today; you’ve been a great role model for me. I love you.” Father: “I love you too.” Me: “Dad, can I call you tomorrow to discuss the details of the wedding?” Father: “Sure, but don’t forget about your mom. You have a mother too, you know. Why don’t you call her? She would love to hear from you.” Me: “I know I have a mother, but I’m not supposed to communicate with her …” If this email seems strange to you, you’re right. It is ridiculous to think that if I had something to share, that I would only tell my Dad. It is ridiculous to think that if I was grateful for the things my parents have both given me, that I would only thank my Dad. It is ridiculous to think that if I loved my parents, I would only tell my Dad, “I love you.” Yet, the new Gospel Topics essay on Mother in Heaven, recently released by the Church, says this is how we are to treat our Mother in Heaven. Furthermore, it is “a divine pattern established for us as children of heavenly parents.” That is, it’s a divine pattern established for us to not communicate with our mothers. President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “The fact that we do not pray to our Mother in Heaven in no way belittles or denigrates her.” I know my mom would be pretty upset if I ignored her. Would yours? I look forward to the eternities where I am not belittled or denigrated by my...

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Sunstone Northwest 2014: A Photo Journal

Nov 18, 14 Sunstone Northwest 2014: A Photo Journal

Posted by in Featured

INCLUSION AND INFLUENCE IN THE BORDERLANDS On Saturday, November 15, Cathy and I went to the Sunstone Northwest Symposium.  This year it was held at the Ranier Valley Community of Christ Church in Seattle.  We were able to meet old and new friends.  The following are pictures of us with our friends.                                                                                                                                                                                      ...

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003: The REAL Female Relief Society of Nauvoo

Podcast: Play in new window | Download Subscribe: iTunes | Android | RSS Note: I am the 2nd counselor in the Relief Society Presidency in the Medford 4th Ward, Central Point, Oregon Stake.  One of our biggest and most attended activities of the year is the annual Relief Society “Birthday Dinner” in which we commemorate the anniversary of the founding of the Relief Society.  This year I was disappointed to find out that our ward would not be having it’s RS birthday dinner because a stake activity had been planned instead.  I suggested to my Relief Society President that we devote an entire sacrament meeting to the Relief Society; she loved the idea and got approval from the bishopric.  I offered to speak on the founding of the Relief Society.  This is the talk I gave in sacrament meeting.  I want to thank Rachel Steenblik for her excellent post in Exponent II, Daughters in My Kingdom: “Something Better”:  The Female Relief Society of Nauvoo, in which I relied heavily for information.  Rachel was also helpful in pointing out ways to present hers and other scholarly writings in a credible manner that would be appropriate for a sacrament meeing talk. To read Rachel’s post click here. If you are interested in listening to an audio version of my talk,  scroll all the way to the bottom and click the play button. The REAL Female Relief Society of Nauvoo On March 17th, 1842, twenty women gathered together in the upper room of the “red brick store” in Nauvoo, Illinois with Joseph Smith and two of his apostles, Elders John Taylor and Willard Richards. What transpired at that meeting has become a significant event in the history of our Church. As many of you may know, March 17th marked the 172nd anniversary of the organization of the women’s Relief Society. Today I would like to discuss the events that led up to the organization of the Relief Society, the details and teachings of that first meeting of women, and how...

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Why I Wore Pants on Sunday: OFF WITH THE PANTS!!!!

Dec 16, 12 Why I Wore Pants on Sunday:    OFF WITH THE PANTS!!!!

Posted by in Featured, Feminism, Modesty, News

As many of you may know, Sunday, December 14th was deemed “Wear Pants Sunday” by a group of Mormon Feminists.  It began as an invitation for women to wear pants, and men to wear purple, in support of gender equality within the church.  It was not meant as a protest or a publicity stunt, but simply a way to show awareness for gender discrimination and solidarity among those with similar views.  However, when word spread about this “movement” throughout Facebook and the bloggernacle,  a war ensued.  Many found it offensive that women planned to wear pants to church.  Some women were called  to repentance and their faithfulness questioned.  Others were called names like “idiots” and “stupid”.  Some were even asked, “Why don’t you just leave the church?”  It became a very hateful and un-Christlike attack on women and men who support gender equality. The strange part was, some didn’t even care about gender equality; they were more upset that women wanted to wear pants.  Really? When I originally heard about the “Wear Pants” movement, I wasn’t really planning on wearing pants.  While I do support gender equality,  I wasn’t really sure  how wearing pants would accomplish anything.  And, the thought of being at church, sitting in front of everyone in Relief Society (because I’m in the presidency), and being judged because I’m wearing pants terrified me!  That thought, however, is what changed my mind about wearing pants.  I know the movement wasn’t supposed to be about pants, but for me a big part of it was. In the LDS Church, the “cultural norm” is for women to wear dresses or skirts to church.  The Church PR department recently said, “generally, church members are encouraged to wear their best clothing as a sign of respect for the Savior, but we don’t counsel people beyond that.” ( So, it is not Church policy for women to wear dresses.  However, I find that when a women comes to church wearing something other than the “cultural norm”, whether...

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Abercrombie & What the FITCH?!?

Dear Friends, This past Saturday the LDS-owned Deseret News published a partial list of the retailers that will be in the controversial LDS-owned City Creek Mall.  Property Reserve, the LDS Church’s commercial real-estate arm, has funded the multi-billion dollar project. This company functions like the LDS Foundation, which gets its money from the profits of church associated companies like Bonneville Communications and Beneficial Life as well as dividends and interest from other investments. Although tithing money collected by the LDS Church is not funding the project, we believe the church still has the moral responsibility to its members to act in line with its teachings on modesty and chastity, which brings us back to the Deseret News article.  Today we read that the ever-offensive, abhorrent, blatantly over-sexualized teen clothing store, Abercrombie and Fitch, will be renting a space at the City Creek Mall ( This angered us  to no end. If you are not up to speed on the controversies that Abercrombie and Fitch occasionally finds itself in, read this 2002 CNN article about thong underwear for 7-year-old girls (  In a 2011 study on the sexualizing of girl’s clothing, the study found, ” ‘Tween’ stores like Abercrombie Kids had the highest proportion of sexualizing clothing” (  Are you upset yet? We do not believe the church is acting responsibly.  As active,”card-carrying”, tithing-paying members of the LDS Church, I have the responsibility to voice my concern.  If you too see the hypocrisy, go to the following link and voice your concern:  We also encourage you to send a letter to the editor of Deseret News.  We attempted to find an email address for the Corporation of the Presiding Bishop of the Church, but failed to find one. Feel free to copy and paste one of the following letters.  Cathy and I  will be sending out a letter everyday to City Creek for the next week.  If you feel the letters could be better written, please e-mail us your version. Thank you Mike and Cathy Barker   Here’s...

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