Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Foodless in America

I have always engaged with and found friends in people who have led colorful lives.  They have way more interesting stories to tell of their "glory days" and have experiences the rest of us may not have enjoyed.  Especially in the area I live in.  Or people who have had world experience outside of their neighborhoods or families.  They have a widened view of what is real.

I live in Northern Utah County.  Sometimes the people here are myopic.  What is myopic?  It means shortsighted or nearsighted, lacking imagination or intellectual insight.  Or to put it plainly they sometimes can't see past their noses.

Sometimes Mormons who have grown up in our society have never stepped out of bounds and experienced things.  You know, we don't drink alcohol or coffee, we don't smoke or do illicit drugs.  But we sure do drink a lot of Coke and take a lot of anti-depressants.  We don't have sex outside of marriage  But we have the highest porn addiction stats in the US.  Now I'm not saying one has to drink alcohol or take drugs or have premarital sex to experience the "outside" world.  One of the best ways to experience these things is by watching how it affect those around us.  For some people this is enough.  For some, they wait until they have 4 or 5 kids then go off on some crazy midlife crisis and destroy their families, leave the Church, etc.  Or, of course, you can sow your wild oats as a teenager.  Not that I'd recommend it.

A lot of Mormons go around trying to outdo their neighbors.  Making sure everyone is dressed just so or has their happiest faces on at Church even though their lives at home behind closed doors are a nightmare.  I know men who hide major porn addictions from everyone and put on this "I'm such a great guy act" at Church then go home and treat their wives and family like utter shit. Or the mom who has to be everywhere and do everything for everybody but ingests 40-50 Lortab a day to be able to get it done.  I kid you not.  40-50 Lortab a day!  Let alone still being alive how does she poop?

There is this idea in our LDS society of being perfect or at least having the facade of perfection for everyone to see.  I call their bluff.  Luckily, in my congregation I see very little of that going on.  We are all struggling along with each other and helping each other when we can. I appreciate how open my congregation is with each other.  Sharing their stories of addiction, abuse, depression to help others better understand when it happens to them or a loved one.  Because I have friends in my congregation who have experienced teenagers who use their agency to it's fullest I have a little more compassion for my own situation.  Plus, I was a little shit until I grew up and had some "real life" experiences of my I'm more compassionate towards my friends' experiences.

Another thing that helps me be more empathetic and compassionate is because I'm married to a Marriage and Family Therapist.  Because he is a therapist people think, incorrectly, that I am equally qualified.  Psh!  I will listen and love you but I got nothin' when it comes to helping you the way he can.  I can only draw on my own experiences and the experiences of those around me to give you any "therapy".

Also, my experience as a school secretary really opened my eyes to some of the things that go on around me.  I loved those little kids.  Sometimes they would come into the office and my face was the first one they'd see and they'd just need someone to love them up and send them on their way.  I held several little ones on my lap at my desk and let them cry because that's what they needed.  Sometimes a band-aid made it all better.  Or the ubiquitous bag of ice.  We all need to feel love and have attention given and sometimes that stupid ice bag was it.

There were also the children who were in abusive homes. Or homes wherein there was illicit drug use.  There were children who came in of whom I am sure school lunch--they would receive free lunch--was their only meal of the day and I was glad that they had school breakfast, too.

Lately, I have seen on a popular social media site a northern Utah County woman's insistence that children in America do not go to bed hungry.  That the free lunch program that is federally funded does not need to be a part of our district because it is federal money.  This is also the type of person who doesn't believe in using federal dollars to fund special education program for the mentally disabled or classrooms for children who have autism. Also this is the type of person who does not believe in using federal dollars to fund Title 1 programs in lower income schools.  This woman stated that these kids who receive free lunches and breakfast through federally funded programs should just have their parents make them a sandwich and put an apple into a bag and there is lunch.  That's simple if you HAVE THE MONEY AND THE FOOD TO DO THAT KIND OF THING.

And yes, people do take advantage of the system.  I haven't dug a deep hole in the ground to put my head into it. Hell, we've been poor enough over the early years that my children could have qualified to receive free lunch and breakfast but we always had enough money to pay for lunches or make lunches to send with them.  But let's face it I am THAT lazy mom who doesn't care to get up and make lunches for her people.  Eat at school!

I've been in the lunchrooms and seen the kids who don't get food at home.  They eat everything that's on their plate then ask for their friends.  Then they take the leftover food and put it in their pockets for later.  Yes, even in the wealthier parts of this school district they do this.

Do we need federal monies to do this?  Why not? This district takes federal monies only for the special ed programs and for school lunch.  We do not take money for Common Core or any other programs.  Could we continue to fund special ed and free school meals if we lost the federal funds?  No.  It would be impossible. (And don't even get me started on what this woman thinks about special ed funding because she doesn't believe in that either.  Lucky her.  She has healthy children.  See what I mean about being myopic?) So suck it up, lady.  As long as I am around I will fight for my neighbors and friends who need these programs and are lucky enough to have federal monies around to fund them.  We won't all need a handout but isn't it nice to have around when or if you ever do?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Ordain Women

There are only a few times I have felt powerless in my life:  before I became medicated for my depression, before I forgave my mother for her abusive nature, when I was writing my other blog and got in trouble for it by my employer leading me to quit my job, a couple times while I was on my mission when things weren't going well for an investigator.  There are a more, I'm sure but none that stand out right now.

Not once in my life have I ever felt powerless because of a man--of course, I've never been raped or sexually abused, my father was and is loving and supportive as well as my husband, I grew up knowing because of my mother that I was just as good as any man and how to stand up to any man in any situation.  I learned how to interact with boys and then men in a way that makes them trust me as an equal and not a whiner.  I've ALWAYS liked men way more than I like women.  They don't pull punches, they don't play games, they're straightforward, they don't gossip like women do, etc.  I have few women friends that I totally trust.  I know that at any minute a woman will betray me.  It's happened too many times in my life and I have had many different friends from different backgrounds and cultures---they're all the same.

Maybe if I had been abused or had been brought up by an "abusive" man or a man that lorded his priesthood over our family I would feel more powerless.  Maybe if my mother hadn't have had a strong personality and didn't go head to head with a few bishops and bosses over her lifetime I would feel more powerless.

I remember a few times my mother got a little (read a lot) pissed off with some misogynistic priesthood holders in her lifetime and they got to feel her wrath.  Once we had this bishop--this is back in the early 70's--and he got up in Sunday School on Mother's Day and told the assembly that he had been able to get a general authority to admit that men were just a little bit better than women in the Church and in the realms of heaven.  This is back when we would go to Sunday School in the morning then go back in the evening for two hours of Sacrament Meeting (brutal).  Also, at the time my dad was in this guy's Bishopric.  Well, she had some time to ruminate on this before we went back for our evening meetings and she said, I remember her saying this, "I'm going to get that guy.  He's going to know that I am just as good as him if not better."  She waited until my dad left to go back to the church then went in and put on her polyester blue and white striped pants.  I remember thinking that we were all going to go to hell because you just didn't wear pants to church! We went to our building and she waited out in the foyer until the Bishop got up to the pulpit to start the meeting and then she marched me and my sister to the front row, right in front of the Bishop so he could see who exactly wore the pants in the family.  He was so pissed.  I lay across my mother's lap during church trying to hide her shame. 

Another time a couple of years before she died she was at church in sacrament meeting when a high councilman (who sometimes get a little full of themselves as do some women in stewardship roles) got up to speak and went on and on about what was and wasn't proper Sunday activity and dress.  He said that people should stay in their Sunday clothes all day long and stated that "I would like to come to some of your houses and see how YOU observe the Sabbath," of course, in an accusatory way.  Well!  She had some time to ruminate on this and as soon as the closing prayer was over she put her Jazzy in high gear and Jazzied her way up to the front of the chapel, right in this guy's way and said, "If you ever came to my house on a Sunday I'd throw you off of my porch!" Then she turned around and Jazzied her way out.  She then called the Stake President and told on him and that guy got released. I kid you not.

My mother was a Relief Society President, a Young Women's President, in a Stake Relief Society Presidency.  She was the Ward Activities Chairperson, a dynamic gospel doctrine teacher, the Stake Girl's Camp cook for over 20 years, and a bishop's wife.  She and my dad served two missions to Zimbabwe and then India.  She always had leadership positions because she was known to stand up for what she believed in, get what she wanted and get the job done in an efficient and well-done  manner. And about the time I turned 10 she went back to work full time.  She had several chronic and weird medical conditions during this time that never held her back.  The doctor told her she'd live no more than 5 years with her terminal disease.  She lived 10.  She was a woman and you should have heard her roar.  This is where I come from.

If a person feels defeated, put upon, unjustly dealt with, powerless--those are THEIR feelings.  Those are Satan's way of making a person question what is right.  Remember: the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith.  Meekness (which means spiritual strength, not weakness), and temperance (Galatians 5:22-23).  Satan doesn't help us have these feelings.  He wants us to have counterfeit feelings: pride, ego, jealousy, impatience, striving, powerless, being better than others, or being worse than others, insecurity, doubt, etc.

So, I don't get Ordain Women.  I just don't.  The word these women keep using to describes themselves is powerless.  "Powerless".  If they feel powerless then they have put themselves into that position.  Not the Church.  Not the Brethren.  Not the Priesthood.  They have.  They have bought into some of society's views on women and then projected it onto the Church.  There is nowhere in my reading, studying, and living the gospel that has ever led me to believe that I am powerless.

Some of the things Ordain Women want changed are ludicrous to me: the temple blessings. Uh, hello!! Women actually have the better part in the blessings of the temple they just don't know it. They need to study up on that a bit more.  Go sit down with a member of a Temple Presidency and ask them the differences between men and women in the blessings of the temple.  You will be astounded.  Ladies, you want to have harder work? Be my guest.  I prefer to skate along.

 They want the Priesthood. Why?! Because they think they can do a better job? So they can boss everyone around and then lord it over us because you know that's what they would do.  Plus, Jesus is a man.  Not a woMAN. And when you use the Priesthood to bless someone you are standing in for the Savior.  In the realms of the spirit world male spirits only administer to male spirits and female spirits only administer to female spirits. This is why it states in the Proclamation on the Family, "All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose." Here, we administer to each other in different ways but only a male (mortal) spirit can stand in for another male (Jesus' immortal) spirit.

And this supposed interview with President Gordon B Hinckley wherein he "admitted" that women should have the Priesthood but they hadn't "agitated" for it?  Taken entirely out of context.  Come on!

I could go on and on.....I really could.  I really, really could. But then I would just start swearing and bringing the Spirit I will end with this:

I was reading in 2 Timothy 4:3-4 which states:  

3. For the time will come when they will not aendure sound bdoctrine; but after their own clusts shall they heap to themselves dteachers, having itching ears;
 And they shall turn away their ears from the atruth, and shall be turned unto bfables.

This is what is happening now.  These women have turned their ears from the truth, they have itching ears that want to hear only what they want to hear, heaping to themselves false teachers and false teachings.

Also in 2 Timothy 3:5-7:

Having a aform of godliness, but bdenying the power thereof: from such turn away.
For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly awomen laden with sins, led away with divers blusts,
 Ever alearning, and never able to come to the bknowledge of the ctruth.

Ever learning (the philosophies of man mingled with scripture?) but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth because they deny the message and the messenger.

What will happen if, as these women have asked, the Prophet prays about it and has the answer given to him and he publishes it in a letter for all to read as has been asked and the answer is, "No." Will this pacify them?  Will they stop?  No.  They won't. They won't be satisfied.

I urge you sisters (and brothers) to really be careful what you allow yourselves to believe, what you allow yourselves to feel.  If you allow yourself to feel a certain way then you will eventually buy into the entire purchase part and parcel and you will be on the outside looking in.  

Be like the Apostle Paul when he states in his letter to Timothy:

I have fought a good afight, I have bfinished my course, I have kept the faith.

Keep the faith, my friends.  Keep the faith.

(Below are some articles and other sources you may want to read regarding this blogpost.)

 The following was found on a comment board from another blogpost by someone else.

Look into their claim about Joseph Smith a little more. The original quote states that he “said he wanted to make of them a kingdom of Priests as in Enoch’s day – as in Paul’s day” ( I don’t know a whole lot about Enoch’s organization of the city of Zion, but I DO know that Paul taught that women should not rule in church (1 Corinthians 14:38 JST). He also presented Sister Phebe as a great woman who was a servant of God, a director over many, and that she was working with authority under him. Paul was not a mysoginist in any sense of the word, yet he still stated that women should not direct the affairs of the church with priesthood keys as he had. Why, then, would Joseph Smith wish to emulate Paul’s day (and presumably Paul’s administration of priesthood keys) if he’d intended to give the sisters of the Nauvoo Relief Society the priesthood? It is also important to note that the 1828 Webster dictionary defines “ordain” as “to set apart”, so as time went on we began to associate ordination with the priesthood and less with setting apart for authority in callings. We can not use our modern definition/connotation when reading early church history texts regarding the sisters and ordinations.

This was found on
Gordon B. Hinckley, prior President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said:
“Women do not hold the priesthood because the Lord has put it that way. It is part of His program. Women have a very prominent place in this Church. Men hold the priesthood offices of the Church. But women have a tremendous place in this Church. They have their own organization. It was started in 1842 by the Prophet Joseph Smith, called the Relief Society, because its initial purpose was to administer help to those in need. It has grown to be, I think, the largest women’s organization in the world... They have their own offices, their own presidency, their own board. That reaches down to the smallest unit of the Church everywhere in the world...
“The men hold the priesthood, yes. But my wife is my companion. In this Church the man neither walks ahead of his wife nor behind his wife but at her side. They are co-equals in this life in a great enterprise.”

Gender Is an Essential Characteristic of Eternal Identity and Purpose. Check out this link for more information .

David a Bednar stated:

“By divine design, men and women are intended to progress together toward perfection and a fulness of glory. Because of their distinctive temperaments and capacities, males and females each bring to a marriage relationship unique perspectives and experiences. The man and the woman contribute differently but equally to a oneness and a unity that can be achieved in no other way. The man completes and perfects the woman and the woman completes and perfects the man as they learn from and mutually strengthen and bless each other. … (“Marriage Is Essential to His Eternal Plan,” Ensign, June 2006, 83–84; or Liahona, June 2006, 51–52).

Dallin H Oaks Priesthood talk April 2014

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


I have always been that person who waits too long to do something I should have done a long time ago.  Say, for instance, taking anti-depressants which you can read about here or shopping for Christmas or writing a report for school or whatever.  You get the gist.

When I was a little kid if I had even the slightest sniffle or cough my mother would run me to the doctor and demand an antibiotic which we know now wasn't necessary and probably made our immune systems worse off but whatever.  Even as an adult (before she died) if I had a cough for more than three days she'd try to get me to go to the doctor for an antibiotic.  Of course, by the time I was an adult I had learned that a virus takes 7 to 10 days to clear the body.  I was sick in January, really sick, with a virus that took 10 days until I felt a little bit better.  Then it took two weeks to get rid of the dry cough.  I could hear her in the back of my head saying, "You should go to the doctor and get an antibiotic."  To which I replied, to myself of course, "It'll go away!  It's not bacterial!" 

Maybe because my mom was a such pill pusher (not really, but it's funny to think so) and took something for everything that came down the pike that I don't like to take medications now.  I watched her try to control her headaches for years.  She had these horrible debilitating headaches all her life that she controlled with huge amounts of Excedrin and Coke.  Lots of caffeine and aspirin led to huge stomach ulcers which introduced a whole new set of problems.  So then she turned to Tylenol which, let's face it, does nothing for headaches.  After her ulcers cleared up she turned back to her favorite--Excedrin and Coke.  Especially at the end of her life which from the lack of oxygen caused her to have excruciating headaches but hell she was already dying.  She ended up having to take heavy doses of some kind of legal narcotic to control the pain.  At least she died pain free, relatively. (And yes, I know that caffeine and sugar create headaches and it's a cycle and we told her was her life.)

I mean, if I get a sinus infection I don't mind taking an antibiotic.  But I always know the difference between a virus and a sinus infection--my teeth will hurt.  But if my hip hurts because I've knocked it out of alignment from running I go to the chiropractor.  If my shoulders hurt because I've sat at my desk too long working on something I call the massage therapist. 

But if my head hurts----I will wait for HOURS to do something about it.  I will wait until I am so nauseated and light hurts my eyes and I'm lying in bed debilitated before I will take something.  And Tylenol doesn't help.  Neither does Motrin.  Only Excedrin will do the trick.  I only have to take one.  One Excedrin will get rid of my headaches (I know they are migraines--leave me alone) but I will wait and see if it will go away on it's own.  It doesn't until I take my medication.

Yesterday I started to get a headache at about 3pm.  I was working on a family history project all afternoon and into the evening.  I ignored the headache.  I got up, made dinner, had a little family home evening, then went back to my project until I couldn't bear it anymore.  Then instead of taking the one Excedrin I think to myself, "If I go to bed it will be gone in the morning."  That used to be the case but as I get older it's not.  I woke up with the same damned headache.

 Guess what I did first thing this morning......I took an Excedrin.  And 30 minutes later?  Headache gone. 

It goes back to me always thinking, "I CAN DO IT MYSELF!"  I'm a 3 year old in a 45 year old body/mind.