Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Priesthood

I love life. I love the smell of rain, the feel of my daughter's hair on my face as she cuddles into my shoulder. I love the ability to create, to make things better than I found them. I love watching people struggle and move forward with faith. I love being there for people, being someone they can talk to and want hugs from. I love watching things grow, the changing colors of the mountains, the sting of cold air and languid exhaustion after a day of hard work.

But, at the same time, I don't handle life very well. And a fews weeks ago, I was struggling with something very deep and personal which I will not get into here. But as I prayed and struggled, I kept feeling this urge to get a priesthood blessing.

I have good home teachers, a great man. I have a father who lives not too far away. I work in a building stuffed full with men who hold the priesthood. But I realized I had no one I could ask for a blessing. I just couldn't bring myself to do it.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Fire of Faith

This post addresses my thoughts regarding, not only the recent policy clarifications in Handbook 1, but the overall nature of the doctrine of Christ, our place within it, and what we can expect as disciples of the Sacrificed God.

It is not meant to be kind, or empathetic, or consoling. It is an exploration of Christ's doctrine as I understand it. I hope it can help someone, even though I expect it will be harsh in places.

In watching (mostly) the discussions going on about the policy changes, one thing is clear. So very, very few of us understand doctrine. I'm not claiming to any special understanding, but I have studied the scriptures long and hard, pondered them, and applied them to times in my life that nearly broke me. So I do know a few things about struggling to reconcile my life with God's word and the policies of the Church. I'm going to get a bit personal here, in the hopes that my experiences can inspire someone to seek understanding, rather than justice.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Same-sex Marriage Policy

There is a flurry of opinions and thoughts flying around about the policy clarifications regarding same-sex marriage and the children of gay parents living in a same-sex relationship.

I will only say that I am sorry for all the hurt that it causes. I am also glad the clarifications were made, and support them. The Lord is a merciful God. He is the only source we can turn to for comfort and understanding.

In time, all the wounds of mortality will be healed.

Even mine.

Even yours.

Friday, October 30, 2015

A Version of Testimony

I wrote this testimony for a very close friend. I expected it to hit on several points of study and inspiration. But soon after the first three or four paragraphs, my words took an unexpected turn. I wrote it, asking myself, "When did I truly know?" The truth is that the answer is messy. There have been dozens, if not hundreds of times I "truly knew," where I felt God's presence unmistakably. My testimony is not one earth-shattering moment, it is many. It is a testimony of the Lord's patience as he has held the hand of a willful, rebellious, lonely child as she struggles through a life that has never been what she wanted it to be.

To me, testimony has not been a plant or a light as much as it has been a struggle to stand against the waves of the sea. My life has never been truly bad. I have been richly blessed, and kept safe by the hand of God. But to me, it has been difficult to stay true to what I have known to be true, and to learn that elusive charity for others...and for myself.

I have long acted on belief. I have not often been disappointed in the rewards for that trust in God. But I am learning that some rewards are long in coming, and some blessings look an awful lot like curses. Trust does not come easily for me, but I have learned to trust God and rely on Him for my salvation. I only hope that I can be an instrument for good in His hands.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Top 5 Reasons I'll Never Marry

I wrote a post that didn't quite fit into this blog, but I'd still appreciate any feedback or thoughts you have on it. Part of me really wants my developing paradigm to be blown out of the water, but I've not found evidence that I'm wrong yet. So:

Top Five Reasons I'll Never Marry

Fire away.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Having No Joy

I hate the word "trials." We talk about getting through our trials, enduring our trials, or suffering trials, as if they are something that stop. Our tolerance for helping other people "get through their trials" fades over time when those trials just don't go away. And for those of us whose "trials" are permanent, at some point we begin to wonder what we are doing wrong that we cannot find the peace and happiness promised in scripture if we follow the commandments.

When I was 17, I planned to focus on a career and eventually get married if the right man came along. I'd have few kids, no more than two, because I knew that my personality and temperament was not well-suited to child rearing. In my Patriarchal Blessing, I was told that the task the Lord set for me, among others, was to be a mother in Zion. The words of my Patriarchal Blessing rocked me to my knees, and I spent the next four years changing my paradigm. If the Lord wanted me to be a mother, I'd focus all my energy on learning to do it right.

I changed career plans, served a mission, and over the course of the next two or three years, became someone who not only submitted to the will of the Lord as spoken in my blessing, but actually craved it. Which is why, as I realized that I could not succeed in being a good wife to the man I had married, it cut so deeply. I sacrificed to be the kind of person who could be a good wife, and one simple decision—choosing a man who later decided to not choose God—meant that my sacrifices were pointless. It has done more than ended a marriage. It killed my confidence in myself, and broke my hope to become what the Lord wanted of me.

Friday, October 2, 2015

If It So Be That They Will Repent

Safety is something that many of us take for granted in a first-world country. Unlike our ancestors, even the poorest of us generally have access to food, water, and shelter. Most of us wake up in the morning, go to work, mow our lawns, go shopping, without ever once feeling unsafe. When something does happen to us, it's a shock.

A coworker of mine recently experienced a break-in. It was a kid who knew the family, and thought he could get away with ripping off a few cell phones. He confessed to his misdeeds, and the family now knows who it is and what led up to the break-in, but he still said that they couldn't sleep well at night, knowing how easily their safety could be shattered.

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