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Marci on Ostler’s “Listen, Learn & Love” podcast!

July 5, 2023
My 62 minutes of fame – being interviewed on Richard Ostler‘s Listen, Learn & Love podcast! Here’s my life story in fast forward mode, told through four life lessons that you might relate to:
1) Do what God is calling you to do, no matter what anyone else says (the story of why I divorced – twice).
2) Take truth from wherever you find it (how I am healing).
3) Don’t be afraid of an unconventional career and lifepath (about my career in higher education).
4) Grab your courage and walk through the doors God opens (about my current writing/editing career).
Listen here. And here’s the backstory: I was on deadline for Richard’s third book. I paused working on the manuscript to google whether “full time” is hyphenated. While I was online I noticed I had a message from Richard inviting me to appear on his podcast. Totally blew my concentration on his manuscript while I wondered whether to say yes. (Obviously, I did.)

“As Editor of Steve Young’s New Book, a Life-long Dream is Realized for Local Writer”

August 29, 2022

As Editor of Steve Young’s New Book, a Life-long Dream is Realized for Local Writer

Announcing! Papa Ostler’s second book: “Listen, Learn and Love: Improving LDS Culture”

February 17, 2022

I’m delighted to have co-edited Richard (“Papa”) Ostler’s second book, Listen, Learn and Love: Improving LDS Culture. Read more about his book here!

Having listened to so many of Richard’s podcasts, it was an honor to “meet” him myself. I so enjoyed working with him to shape his extraordinary ideas and the stories he’s gathered from so many good folks.

What’s Papa Ostler like to work with? He’s every bit as good and kind as he seems.  And what he’s produced in this book is life-changing and church-changing. I don’t know a single solitary soul who hasn’t faced one of these situations (read more here). I hope you’ll give this book a chance to change you.


“So what do you write?”

October 10, 2020

Marci at Deseret Book with my books!








It never fails. Starter conversations go like this:

“So what do you do?”

“I’m a writer and editor.”

“What do you write?”

I finally have a good standing-on-one-foot answer that encapsulates all of my books. “My writing is about the intersection between the church and the real world.” That’s what my books have in common:

  • Listen, Learn and Love: Improving Latter-day Saint Culture, by Richard Ostler, co-edited by Marci McPhee. Many faithful children of our Heavenly Parents find it difficult to stay in the Church, not because of doctrine or a lack of desire to keep the commandments, but because of Latter-day Saint culture. The good news is that we need not wait to be more welcoming and inclusive. We can all be part of the solution.
  • Gay Latter-day Saint Crossroads: My Journey, Your Journey, and a Scripture-based Path Forward, by Evan Smith, edited by Marci McPhee. How can we connect God’s imperative to love everyone with church teachings about our LGBTQ siblings? Crossroads is by a former bishop and stake presidency counselor whose son is gay. With the mind of a lawyer, he examines scriptures and church teachings to look for a more hopeful path forward. Free navigable e-book or pdf at
  • Fifty-Five Days of Faith: The Remarkable Life of Dick and Marsha Lavin, by Marsha Lavin, edited by Marci McPhee. Would I join a church in which only half of my children could fully participate because of their African lineage? Dick and Marsha Lavin made that tough decision on April 14, 1978. After searching for years, their family, including their two biological children and their two adopted black children, felt right about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But at that time, the Church did not allow blacks to hold the priesthood. Fifty-five days after they joined the church, the revelation on priesthood was announced: all worthy male Church members age twelve and older were now eligible for priesthood ordination. Read more here.
  • Girls’ Camp: Ideas for Today’s Leaders, edited by Marci McPhee and Julia B. Blake. Divine nature is strengthened by being in nature. But how do you translate Mormonspeak for nonmember friends at girls’ camp? How do you hold to modesty standards while making every girl feel accepted? What about campers with special needs or diet restrictions? How do you break up cliques at camp? Read more here.
  • Sunday Lessons and Activities for Kids, edited by Marci McPhee. In these pages are memorable stories of the exuberant joy as well as the real-world challenges of working with children. For example, how do you deal with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day at church when not every child has one of each at home? And how do you teach children “honor thy father and mother” (the 4th commandment of the Tenth Commandments) when you know some children are being abused at home? Plus ready-to-use ideas for channeling boundless energy, staffing challenges, bullying, children’s music for a lifetime, kids with special needs, building a celestial nursery, pint-sized service projects, and behavior management. Read more here.

The real world/the church world. My writing seeks to be the connector. Join me on the journey.



free book: Gay LDS Crossroads

August 8, 2020

My next book is OUT! (a little gay humor there) I had the honor of editing Evan and Cheryl Smith’s book Gay Latter-day Saint Crossroads: My Journey, Your Journey, and a Scripture-based Path Forward. It’s a free PDF download and navigable e-book online at Evan is a former stake presidency counselor whose son is gay. With the mind of a lawyer, he examines scriptures and church teachings to look for a more hopeful doctrine.

For those who prefer to listen, here’s an interview with the author Evan Smith and his wife Cheryl on Richard Ostler’s “Listen, Learn and Love” podcast series (Evan gives me a nice shout out as a “great writer” (blush).

My short editor’s foreword is here. Want to start with the distilled version of the book? Here’s a 10-page overview and a 1-page chart. Or you can check out the table of contents and explore questions of interest to you.

To see what people have said about the Crossroads book, including Latter-day Saint authors Carol Lynn Pearson, Judy Dushku, Richard Ostler, Bryce Cook, David Ostler, and Clair Barrus, click here.

Check it OUT! (tee hee)

E-book and print book available: “Fifty-Five Days of Faith”!

October 26, 2018

THE BOOK IS FINISHED! The e-book and print book are on Amazon!

Fifty-Five Days of Faith tells about the multiracial Lavin family joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints less than two months before the 1978 revelation on priesthood was received. Read more about this new book here, including reviews from Cathy Stokes, Margaret Blair Young, Romane Armand, Paul Furse, Jacqueline Nagy and Marilyn Nelson.

The author is donating a portion of the proceeds from sales of this book to support Operation Underground Railroad, which rescues children in 17 countries from sex trafficking. Note: in Sept. 2023, allegations surfaced regarding Tim Ballard, the founder of OUR, who has since left the organization. 

Photos: Marsha (left) in North Carolina opening her box of books. Marci (right) in Texas opening her box of books.

Book Contributors Spotted at Girls’ Camp!

August 24, 2017

Left to right – Stacy Appleby (chilling in the hammock), co-editor Marci McPhee, and Abbey Whitcomb

What a treat to meet book contributor Abbey Whitcomb at Girls’ Camp! We corresponded back and forth about her wonderful waterfront contribution to the book “Girls’ Camp: Ideas for Today’s Leaders.” But we never met — until now!

And then there’s Stacy Appleby, chilling in the hammock, with whom I’ve been serving at camp on and off since 1995!

Here’s to Girls’ Camp, and the book that we created together.

(Thanks to Anna Fisk for the photo)

Hand-delivered to Brazil (but not India or Wisconsin): Congratulations, Goodreads winners!

March 11, 2017

You won’t believe this, but my Brazilian friend Sheila came for a visit to Boston just as Goodreads announced the winners of our book “Girls’ Camp: Ideas for Today’s Leaders.” The winners are from Wisconsin, India and. . . Brazil!

Sheila packed the winning book into her luggage and dropped it into the mail stream in Sao Paulo to go to Parana, Brazil. Much cheaper and more secure than an international mailing. Thanks, Sheila, and congratulations, Goodreads winners all over the world!

I wonder what Girls’ Camp is like in India and Brazil . . . .

Read what they’re saying about “Girls’ Camp: Ideas for Today’s Leaders”!

February 27, 2017

Kendra, blogger at

Read Kendra’s nuanced thoughts at “The Things I Love Most.”

Sydney gave it 5 stars on “Girls’ Camp is a fantastic resource for camp directors and leaders to use as they prepare for camp. This unique book has personal examples of different situations that take place at camp, both good and bad. It also has some easy recipes, tips for teaching, possible activities, ways to make every girl feel included and so forth. I would definitely recommend this book to LDS or other religious camp leaders in helping them prepare for a fun and safe Girls’ Camp.”


Read more reviews by

Hailey Smith, co-writer, co-producer, and actress in Once I Was a Beehive, and

Julie Berry, award-winning author of The Passion of Dolssa and All the Truth That’s in Me


We’re delighted that people are enjoying the book! Will you be next? Available on, and wherever LDS books are sold.

FREE Goodreads Giveaway – “Girls’ Camp: Ideas for Today’s Leaders”

January 15, 2017

FREE! Walnut Springs Press is giving away 3 signed copies of my book “Girls’ Camp: Ideas for Today’s Leaders!” Enter by Feb. 14 (Valentine’s Day) for a chance to win! Visit Goodreads: #giveaway #free #win #book #goodreads