Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Blog Therapy cont...
my comment:
I have a question. How come the church is not helping this stake with its nutritional needs?

I thought this is one the the reasons we have bishops and stake presidents, to assess the local needs. Especially those life saving needs that are food/shelter/water.

If these are fellow saints you are raising money for, why do I feel like I am being cheated with my tithing and fast offering funds?

I would love to donate but if these are members, I feel like I am being deceived out of Salt Lake. Are they picking and choosing who to take care of? Do bishops not have access to funds and resources? Is Salt Lake aware of fellow suffering members in basic life sustenance of nutrition? Is this the church I below to?

I remember when my husband was in school, our income was $300 month, and we had 3 kids. I would get my loans and grants and pay my house payments, utilities in advance, and then the $300 was for food and gas (time-11-15 years ago). My mother-in-law took me shopping when she could and bought my kids clothes and even gave me cash regularly, and this made the difference. I remember one Christmas, without even requesting, they brought us a bishop storehouse order (obviously our tithing was minimal at that income and we were full tithe payers).

Where is the disconnect with church local leadership and Salt Lake leadership/funds? You should be sending money for the ward to help their neighbors with nutritional needs- not fellow member. Am I missing some information about how the church is suppose to operate? Does it only operate well in affluent areas? Please help me understand.

I am a nurse and I have seen suffering. There is no illness that does not have a ripple affect. Love and compassion are so important to all suffering. I have learned that those who dismiss other's suffering are only doing so because they are externally dismissing their own inward suffering - a coping mechanism of the ego.

Then I will be giving you my next fast offering. It seems that until Salt Lake figures this out, I would rather give to the small guy, where I know my money is going.
How are you administering the money? Are you using the local leadership? Has the stake leadership notified Salt Lake of their needs? Is there a way we can encourage that avenue as well? Give them all the access to resources that they would not otherwise have access to. Is there a knowledge deficit on the part of leadership in the area of how to get help from the church? (nursing diagnosis from my nursing school days) What is their access to medical care? Saying goes...squeaky wheel gets the grease.
additional comment:
Howard, I agree that the church encourages silence and living a lie. It was my life for the last 38 years until..."came to [her]self". The church talks the talk but does not walk the walk (so to speak).

My new thoughts on a second coming is figurative. We are all authentically lamb and lion. The lion can be both harm and non-harm (i.e. self-preservation against someone who may harm, or protection a child,etc) and the lamb is both harm and non-harm (i.e. submit to harm of superiors, blind follower, teachable, compassionate to all). They key is for the second coming to happen in the now. The present moment. The lamb and the lion to lie, that exist in each of us at the same time, must down together is the creation of the "authentic" self in my opinion. The navigation of this lying down is not easy (from much experience) and is only possible by "and he came to himself" (or self-awareness/self-knowledge), as in the story of what I call the "non-prodigal son".

my comment:
Jonathon, be open to what Steve is saying. I understand your reasoning and your faith. It is simple and beautiful. It was my faith for 38 years until my world came crashing down. I dipped 7 times in Jordan to be healed as I desperately felt that I did not know how to live or how to die. The way to healing was not by what I was taught by bishops, stake presidents, general conference, in prayer, scripture study or church meetings.
I did not have a Satan sitting on my shoulder telling me all the shaming "not good enough" thoughts that we love to put upon each other at church. It is philosophies of men mingled with scripture.
There is a more peaceful and a greater path to happiness. Study mythology by Joseph Campbell (lectures free on spotify) to see why we have lived and been taught as we do. It helps understand why we become so close minded and intolerant of others with our "one truth" narrative. We are like a childish church and many are seeking greater depth and some are just content being told what to do (that is ok as well) but be mindful that those who have trials like Naaman who seek inspiration to find healing and surprised at what they find are just as valid. (yes, I don't see that story as a "follow the prophet" story but a path to healing and revelation from God story - never the path I would have taken if I did not need healing desperately from a crippling condition made worse by the church's narrative).

In therapy the first thing I learned was "that is black/white thinking or all/nothing thinking". Cognitive distortions that prevent adult behavior. It is not so simple to just obey, follow the prophet, or only use revelation. I believe if we pray, we can receive any answer we want to get and feel good about it but to actually travel into the wilderness of doubt and suffering to find healing, the answers are not so simple. I will use a strong word and say I hate commandments. They are for children under 8. They are for the Israelite's who didn't want to grow up after being told what to do their whole life. That is not what God wants, but we do get that in our "modern day" revelation. Growing up is about inner dept and inner transformation and not outward doing and observances. The path to heaven is not a to-do list of ordinances and covenants to check off. They are only symbols that we have lost as the only way to salvation.
I also know Jonathon how it is to believe as you do. That was me. I understand but don't argue with Steve over something you know nothing about. He (I don't even know who he is) understands depth that your brain can't process as mine couldn't without someone helping me see what I didn't have "eyes to see or ears to hear". Please be open and also we all must meet others where they are - and so I accept your simple path as well. I have found I am not able to talk to most of my friends at church anymore about my beliefs because they just think I am__________(fill in the blank) apostate, gone astray, faithless, etc...if they only knew the path. I still would not trade my grown-up faith for their simple faith. It is much more beautiful to see the oneness we all share without any rules but only love.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

More blog therapy
Comment from me:
I was just thinking on the subject of understanding other's diversity and suffering. I believe we create externally what is first created within. External violence is only internal violence manifested (i.e. riots in news). So MLK said riots are harmful (I agree and should not be encouraged) but I feel there is a message or a call for help. A voice that needs to be heard by those rioting.
Tools and resources for improving their mental health to live happy and productive lives through empowerment and great teachers who see a higher way of living. A leader each must be empowered to become in their communities. These people who are rioting obviously are using a harmful means to find their voice. They are using their ego and really the "situation" is a small dot to what they want heard. It is just a reason to find someone to listen.

I just was so closed for so many years and I am not sure I would say these before in any sense of the word. I see the oneness of all people and religions and races and cultures and genders and...

I feel only that I don't know how to end suffering but if each person seeks personal enlightenment to find the Kingdom of God within, we will find the lamb and lion lie down in each of us in the now. We are all lamb and we are all lion. How can I judge the lion that is in someone else because it looks a little different than my lion. The key is that they lie down together and are transformed through a second coming. I just feel so deep now the suffering of even the enemy, the bad guy, the rebel as we are all that person as well.
my comment:

Brenlee “I don’t believe it is the one true church or that there is one true church.”
I feel the voice you speak. I sat in therapy yesterday voicing my “one true church” grief. I have a testimony that religion is how man has interpreted God, science/nature, culture, and politics over the centuries. I value the depth of Jesus’s teachings but feel church is so childlike it its teachings- I need depth and not to-do lists.
I have talked to a few converts who have a much more liberal interpretation of this but i am pioneer stock and feel a “fundamentalist trauma” associated with my religious life and family dynamics.
I have told my mother-in-law who is visiting this week about my decision that it has become to painful for me to go to church and I will not be going for a while. I am not sure the end of my path but feel peace with the decision. Today, we even bore our testimonies to each other. Her testimony was simple and correlated and mine was complicated and deep (at least for me). I respect hers and after some pain (she said “You have hurt me”), today she told me I can respect your new beliefs. I didn’t sleep for 2 days before she came and I worried about being able to “be fake”.
I am grateful my 15 year old told her his mom’s beliefs had changed. It opened a door for me to be authentic. I see how it has blossomed my relationship with my children as well (fear is tough stuff).
It is a much more peaceful way to live and it can be done in non-harming ways. Harming others is not authentic either, that is why I go to therapy (sometimes I can’t see my own harmful ways or where I still need healing). I don’t want to unload my burdens on people who are not ready to bare burdens that are life transforming. Some are ok with simple and some need more depth to life. We must always meet others at their level authentically. So grateful I learned that these last few days.

 hawkgrrrl, "In essence, self-knowledge and self-awareness is often an illusion." 

I am not sure I agree with this. This is how one puts off the masks we get externally. Awareness of self (knowledge of self) has been key for me to shed the masks. If one looks at a flower and puts words to the description based on books, teachers, or posters, I don't really know the flower. That is the mask. The sitting down and practicing self-awareness (as if I were a flower), would be the only way to get to know the indescribable nature of the flower. 

I may not understand what your definition of these terms are either. Mine are based on eastern philosophy.
my comment:
Wow!!! There seems to bee proof to justify both theories of think for yourself and don't think for yourself but obey. I grew up in the camp of "obey" because they "have lunch with Jesus" (as I have heard people explain it). I think a good dose of "no" is just what every priesthood leader needs. (sarcasm intended). 

I just am having a hard time in my faith crisis. My therapist thinks as I face my trauma, it will lead me to testimony and faith but I see my faith changing in a way away from organized religion. I currently feel like I having panic attacks when I go to church. My bishop said over the pulpit on Sunday, "If someone came to me with 100% irrefutable evidence that the church was not true, I would not deny my testimony." I call this blind faith. My ward split and my stake president spoke about leadership in ways that I am no longer comfortable with. I had to leave after sacrament meeting and go home. To hard for me right now. I am taking a break from church for a while. Not sure the end, but ok with the journey. 

A comment on this post by Alison Moore Smith: 

  1. Alison Moore Smith on November 25, 2014 at 2:08 pm
    Just to clarify, the “law of obedience” as stated above has changed just in my lifetime (in the temple ceremony). Perhaps it will change more to bring further equity.
    I think there is a bit of semantic gaming in trying to distinguish between “sustaining” and “obeying” as they are generally used. The George Albert Smith manual has a chapter titled, “Sustaining Those Whom the Lord Sustains.”
    The title’s equivocation may be part of the problem. Obviously there is no suggestion that God obeys anyone on earth. But there is every implication (and direct expression) in the lesson that “sustaining” a leader includes obedience to his counsel.
    “When we sustain our leaders, we commit to follow their counsel and magnify our own callings.”
    “The obligation that we make when we raise our hands under such circumstances, is a most sacred one. It does not mean that we will go quietly on our way and be willing that the prophet of the Lord shall direct this work, but it means,—if I understand the obligation I assumed when I raised my hand—that we will stand behind him; we will pray for him; we will defend his good name, and we will strive to carry out his instructions as the Lord shall direct him to offer them to us while he remains in that position.”
    “Our leaders are chosen by the Lord, and He expects us to sustain them in word and action.”
    “There is no other organization like this in the world. There are no other people [who are] led as this people are led.”
    “He will not permit the men who preside over his Church to lead the people into error, but he will sustain them with his almighty power.”
    “Those who oppose and find fault will not find joy in their opposition.”
    “Those who criticize and seek to destroy the influence of the leaders of the Church will suffer the result of their wrong-doing.”
    “If you will follow the leadership of the Lord, and those whom the Lord sustains, you will not fall away into darkness, lose the light, transgress the laws of God, and forfeit your privileges that he is so anxious that all of us should enjoy.”
    “There is only one pathway of safety for me in this day and that is to follow those whom the Lord has appointed to lead. I may have my own ideas and opinions, I may set up my own judgment with reference to things, but I know that when my judgment conflicts with the teachings of those that the Lord has given to us to point the way, I should change my course. If I desire salvation I will follow the leaders that our Heavenly Father has given to us, as long as he sustains them.”
    “[They] have prayed for and sustained their leaders … , and during my experience in the Church I have yet to know of one person who has been observing the commandments of the Lord who has raised his or her voice against those who were called to preside over this Church.”
    “When we criticize our leaders or disregard their counsel, we allow the adversary to lead us astray.”
    Jonathan Cavender:
    So Steve and others, how do you think that you can judge whether the Elder’s Quorum President received his instruction from God to assign you to your task, when you cannot receive inspiration for him in his stewardship? You might think he is wrong, you might reason he is wrong, but you cannot know that he is wrong. At best, you might receive revelation that his counsel does not apply to you. Save that, you have no capacity — however intelligent or well-versed in the Gospel — to second guess him in his stewardship.
    And there’s the rub.
    Church leaders have long conflated obedience to God with obedience to leaders, even local leaders. I can’t think of a time when that obedience was referencing a woman in leadership, but often to bishops and stake presidents and on up the “food chain.”
    Marion G. Romney:
    Always keep your eye on the President of the church, and if he ever tells you to do anything, even if it is wrong, and you do it, the lord will bless you for it but you don’t need to worry. The lord will never let his mouthpiece lead the people astray.
    Improvement Era, 1945:
    When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose a plan–it is God’s Plan. When they point the way, there is no other which is safe. When they give directions, it should mark the end of controversy, God works in no other way. To think otherwise, without immediate repentance, may cost one his faith, may destroy his testimony, and leave him a stranger to the kingdom of God.
    Elder Robert C. Oaks:
    Unquestioning obedience to the Lord indicates that a person has developed faith and trust in Him to the point where he or she considers all inspired instruction — whether it be recorded scripture or the words of modern prophets, or direct inspiration through the Holy Ghost — to be worthy of obedience.
    Reasoning doesn’t matter. God wants you to do as your are told. Right or wrong, obedience is the ultimate criterion.
    When the Relief Society has become the defacto Ward Activities Committee — and is dumped with the ward Christmas dinner for the umpteenth year in a row (because, of course, who else could possibly plan/prepare a meal) — it is inspired of God. Complaining about it or suggesting an alternative is seen as “evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed.” Do not ask me how I know this.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Blogging for Support

I have taken comfort in the blogging world lately. Feeling so many feelings that are painful right now. Pain in my heart over feeling betrayed by a church who was suppose to have truth. Now I see I was treated like a child and kept as a child so I would obey. Obedience when taught is so superficial and crazy. Crazy to think we should obey what one or a group of men think we should obey. When you dive into the history of that list of things to obey, it makes no sense. 
My mom called  me yesterday. I have not talked to her for over a month. She felt like she should marry someone after a day of knowing him because she had a revelation she should. I knew nothing and didn't want her to be happy. She had a blessing that said she had someone worthy to be with. I hoped she played the lottery well and won the jackpot. 
We talked the "how are the kids dialogue" and she asked what my son was doing. I said he was going to go to BYU. She asked about his mission. I said, "I don't know and I don't care. I just want him to be happy at this point. I don't was him to do anything cause everyone else wants him to do it." 
She agree but said, "As long as he stays close to the gospel."
I cringed inside. "Mom, unltimately I just want him to be happy and stop beating himself up that he is not good enough." 
"Yes, but he needs to stay close to the gospel." 
Oh, Mom if you only knew...wait...doen't gospel mean "good news". Oh,, yes mom lets have good news. It is just not how you are going to see it and that will be the hard part. All the family will be shocked. They will not be able to understand or even ask. They will see us as fallen, apostate, and lost for eternity. Oh, but if they only could see the beauty of all God is to me now and for all mankind. 

Thanks. i turned my temple recommend over to my bishop a week ago when he said, “I don’t see how you can go to the temple feeling as you do”. So I handed it over with no regrets. As my husband sat next to me surprised. I never read or heard about OW, as I was on a different faith crisis (better said as a faith growing-up) path (not until last few months did I know about OW).
I was screaming in my head that we all already have access to the priesthood power. No one needs to be ordained or have authority to use it. We all already have it. After these thoughts, as I sat in the Celestial room every other week for almost 2 years seeking answers to many of my life’s challenges. I would be the last to leave and it became my meditation spot (I did have issue with the endowment as my journey progress because I felt and saw that all of mankind already has access to God’s power without any laying on of hands, but that is just how I feel). I just saw I was my own creator with my own mind. My thinking and beliefs were how I exercised that power…called faith. The flood gates opened and the beauty of all religions and the simple truths that are really available to all are not found in any box. Shock, pain, grief, anger, betrayal, and frustration have been the result but I hope to feel and hopefully find a new way in the end. I really see only good from my path in the end. For the present just being where I am.
When I finally learned about OW, I was not sure what to think. I was just a baby with “thinking” for myself. Think! Think! Think! It is hard to use use parts of your brain for the first time after growing up so correlated. What do I think about OW???
Time has passed now and I to have grown and done lots of thinking. I don’t see my recommend coming back or a calling. My 5 kids are going to probably be surprised one day (or maybe not) as there will be a “coming out” of sorts that I can’t be correlated any longer. My temple is now on my Yoga Mat and in my heart. My mind is open and power is mine to hold. It is a lonely path right now and each day I feel a grieving process right now.
Thanks for reminding me that the temple was my first place I found answer and peace in the Celestial room. So grateful I discovered the temple within.
Sorry for your loss and continue to fight for all that you believe in. We must be a thinking, questioning, and discovering people…Joseph Smith would have wanted it that way (I hope).

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Distortions are harmful

Why is it so hard to feel like life is not as black and white? Growing-up is hard in your late 30's. I don't think it is healthy to see life as black and white/right or wrong/good and bad/ etc as I was taught. These are called cognitive distortions. In the world of therapy, these are considered harmful.

Why are we teaching children to believe distortions are absolute truth? Probably because the teachers are the perpetrators of distortions. If you don't, you get released from your calling as a teacher as I have been. Not that I taught one thing against the church. I just didn't teach so black and white. No complaints from kids or parents but only a bishop who feels my beliefs are not accurate. From my therapist,. I was always taught to not speak using distortions and be accurate when I did. It is definitely more complex than I thought.

Garment's Lies and Videotapes blog post at blog Rational Faiths reply:

What you say makes sense...unfortunately it is also what makes it so hard. i went to original sources with my questions and the truth was hard. I thought posts like yours would have been to deceive the very elect at one point in my life. Now it is all just muddy water and posts like this feel less deceptive than the topic essays as you mention. Just more rabbit holes for members who finally question to discover.

How to navigate these waters is hard for me. I see shame from family at even thinking or saying that the church could have practiced deception. This last week I have seen what expressing my beliefs have resulted in with my calling release and no temple recommend (not from any sin as per questions but from historicity and prophet beliefs). I can't go back to my nice correlated box when the wold is so much more beautiful than I ever imagined (not talking about slothfulness but the beauty of all people, races, religions, cultures, etc.)

My comfort recently is in blogs that see things not so black/white helps, my husband who has also began questioning, and....guess that is it right now. Oh, I also take comfort in my inner, not something I found at church as I did search for 20 years there. So I have been going to church but now I have no calling and neither does my husband (he said if you are releasing my wife, release me to....he says he is just questioning, which is ok to do and keep calling but he finds himself falling out of the box too).

Not sure how to stay and not sure how to leave....kind of a limbo state. 5 Kids and extended family make it more challenging. Just me I would....good question...not sure...

Wow, Sue.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

It can be very hard having questions and then being honest enough with ourselves to finally stop suppressing them, and then be honest enough with others to tell them how we feel.

A Church that puts such a high value on “truth” should not penalize its members for seeking after it, nor for expressing it.

Unfortunately, it seems the LDS Church has a definition of “truth” that means whatever the correlated Mormon doctrine of the moment may happen to be.

In some weird Orwellian way, the Church has managed to equate “truth” with “obedience.”

And “obedience” means not only what you do, but what you believe.

In fact, I think a case can be made for the proposition that the most important thing in the modern LDS Church is not so much what you do but what you believe.

Thoughtcrime is the cardinal sin.

That is what you are being punished for, I think.

And good for your husband for standing up for you that way! It sounds like his way of saying that you are more important to him than the Church.

Which is another of the cardinal sins.

Nothing should be more important to the member than the Church. Not money, not time, not sacrifice, not family, not spouse.

The members exist for the Church, not the Church for the members.

Which is why I think the apocryphal Thomas Marsh milk-strippings story gets so much play.

Just know you are not alone. There are many in the Church who share your sentiments.

And maybe, just maybe, as our numbers approach critical mass, we can make a change for the good.

And for truth.


I did bring up to the bishop that what Joseph Smith was famous for was questions and seeking answers. Yes, I was a by the book girl. FEAR – false evidence appearing real was my guiding light. I have history of seeeing answers to birth control, caffeine soda drinks (bad I was taught), and then decided if it came out of salt lake it was important cause they knew stuff I couldn’t find and would follow their words and never look else where for help. That is when the depression peaked and I started therapy as a last ditch effort. Even my lds therapist can see the damage. We need more competent training for our leaders. This is crazy how we are discouraged from growing-up in the church. The depth of our doctrine is very childlike and mostly taught in obedience or else thinking. Tough to have your best friends in the church see you as an apostate in many ways. I just see greater love and hope and faith in a loving God, who I am not sure looks like, but feel in my heart and gives me peace.


You are right that in the LDS Church, we never really graduate from Primary.

Growing up should be encouraged.

More and more the Church is being confronted with “adolescents” who are tired of being treated like children.

Adolescents who are questioning and challenging.

It is all part of growing up.

It is a good thing.

It should be encouraged.

But the Church’s response seems to be to tell the ones who want to grow up that they need to remain as a child.

Wholly dependent on the Church, by which they tend to mean priesthood leaders.

“I Am a Child of God” takes on an eerie cast when considered in this light.


Thanks for the validation. Needed it!!!
“Teach me all that I must BE.” original version. God is all about the Kingdom of God within us as taught by Jesus. That is my God that encourages inner growth and not outward performances. Thanks again!


Teens and Sex

My response to the following 

Sexting & the Law of Chastity

blog post at:

As a mother of 2 teen sons and a 12y girl (plus 2 more trailing behind), I have been through a lot of teen anxiety. I see a healthier way but I definitely don’t have many answers. Each child is just so different. I have seen the girls pull my son into the sexting world. Some are so desperate for love that they will do anything and even my son was desperate at times for love (as he was not getting the love he needed at home due to my business and my fear)
A crazy example of what some girls will do. I even got a call last week from a girl saying she was pregnant with my son’s baby, she was willing to get an abortion but she just wanted him back. I then texted my son at school and he calls me. Hard to see that when I am a virgin, he says. Never was able to find out who she was but I had to first show my son I trusted him. I loved him. This is not how I would have been 5 years ago. I would have panicked (not that my heart didn’t skip a beat with the call…lol). There just has to be love and a safe place for teens with an adult who can guide and empower them.
Now I am not so afraid of sexuality of a teen. I was afraid of my own sexuality as a teen. We have addressed his sexting with a girl up north previously- never easy as a parent. Now we have talked about how some girls he has known are really aggressive sexually to get love and he is not attracted to that any longer. We have talked about how really it is just a sign that they have needs not being met or are suffering inside, etc…(not his job to save or rescue)
As I have allowed my son to learn and not be afraid of his mom (dad has always been better at that) because I might panic, it has allowed more open dialogue about girls, relationships, mental health, sex, girl drama (yes, this can be a real problem I have seen). I think boys are just as vulnerable to love through sexting. They are just better at holding stuff in. I see they are just as confused as most of the girls by how to proceed in a healthy relationship.
I think due to brain science, prefrontal lobe development, it is just not possible to have all the judgement, impulse control, and focus needed to make healthy choices as a teen (or an adult for many). I think the focus needs to be on greater body awareness, attention exercises, and mindfulness practices to promote greater healthy prefrontal lobe formation for a life time of happiness and not about control of appetites, shame tactics to prevent, guilt over teen sexuality but empowerment of the child to have an internal guide, self-compassion, and love of self first (as the scriptures state – neighbor was never meant to be next to God…a whole other rant for another time…lol)
Teens are wonderful and their sexuality is important for them to not fear. My husband says, “I was taught ‘don’t look, cause you are barely able to keep from objectifying girls.” His point is that boys are taught to objectify by the language being used to keep them from objectifying. He then spent 30 years objectifying women. You can’t teach a teen this way.
You give them hope and vision of who women are. At our last stake standards night, one of the bishop’s counsel to each of the questions asked anonymously by the youth was to not do it cause of what it would look like as a member of the church. Uhhh…my husband was so upset by this. The shame language is what is keeping the objectification a secret. My husband on the way home said to my son that he didn’t want him to do or not do anything cause of how it might LOOK as a member of the church. He said I want you to have your own internal guide that is honoring yourself, not the church.
Why don’t we bring in specialists to teach healthy sexuality? Do we really know what is healthy sexuality even as adults? I know I don’t. After 20 years of self shame, spouse sexual addiction, and never good enough sexually self-talk. I am just beginning, after 1 1/2 Years of therapy to say to myself, “What is healthy sexuality?…FOR ME!” Tough questions that I want to explore without shame. I would love any resources that promote healthy sexuality through connection and intimacy for adults and teens.
My husband has only recently also discovered the shame he was taught in the church to avoid sexual sins but only drove him to objectification and addiction as a form of self-medication (just as all forms of addiction are a way to escape). He says a woman’s body does not have to be taught as an object but she should be taught to be seen as a person- a human being.
(disclaimer- obviously these are gender stereotypes and can go both ways in but are just the patterns typically seen in each gender…especially my home…lol)

Monday, October 27, 2014


I talked with my son for over 3 hours on the phone last night. It was so wonderful to talk to him. He seemed depressed at first but eventually he opened up and a flood gate opened. Wow it was so wonderful to him him talk about living with grandparent challenges and girlfriend stuff. His worries about his job. I am in such a good place right now that I didn't have to be afraid. It was awesome. 

The hardest part is letting myself feel my feelings about gaining a testimony that Joseph Smith is a mystic and nothing else. No corner on truth or spirituality. I have even felt lied to. It is hard for me to even say this after my entire life part of a church that is not what it claims to be. If my ward or bishop knew how my husband and I feel we would be classified as lost sheep but I feel like I am free in my head now of the shame and guilt that living a "commandment" life brings. If we do enough we are good enough. I would love to scream from the pulpit but it is not that simple. I see the ramifications of "coming out" with the community and family. It is not so easy as it seems. 

So I am trying to just slowly help my children see the light and that maybe due to their youth they may not go through the grief process. 

One example: I asked my son last night about the creation. No comment. I believe we evolved over millions of years and humans have been in existence for a few hundred thousand...

Yes, we came from apes. 
If you study science, it has been even shown with DNA. 
What about the scriptures?
Do you think the scriptures are history?
There is something important to understand. You need to see the scriptures within the context of the culture and time period. Also many of the stories are written down hundreds of years after the supposed event. 
(We then discussed the example of the telephone game)
If you understand that scripture as stories that people wrote down to help them understand the world according to their understanding then it opens up so much clarity. 
I figured we would cover one scriptural example: 
Why was Cain given a dark skin? 
He was cursed. (Actually, I explained to him, that is not the curse. The curse was he was to be a vagabond)
Why were the Lamanites given a dark skin? 
What events were occurring in history that would encourage discrimination according to Joseph Smith? Think of his culture (not ours) and what was acceptable. 
Yes. Isn't it understandable that they are racist. According to "their time" it was not "racist" as a culture. It was shifting but still look as second class humans that are cursed. Where do most colored groups live? 
Africa (also covered supposed history of coloring of Lamanites in Book of Mormon....I can't rock his entire boat with the historicity of the Book of Mormon in one night...I have taught him
Yes, If you are living along the equator, what color of skin would it be good to have? 
What is the temperature like? 
Hot and sunny. 
If you think from evolution, What color of skin would be best to have if you live in hot and sunny areas. 
Darker skin
What would happen to me (super white, burn easily girl) if I lived for thousands of years along the equator? 
Get cancer of skin.
Possibly...It makes little sense for me to survive along the equator. There is just no reason I would survive well with the heat and extra hair that many "white" people have. Skin color is only a natural selection process.
( I then told him about the white mouse and black mouse on the sand and rocks)

Well, I really had a hard time with the fact that I have been raised and taught to be a "racist, non-racist" as taught at church and in the scriptures. So crazy in the thinking that people got different colors of skin by a curse from God. Such craziness!!! ....but according to the culture and how they saw colored races through history it makes sense why stories are made as to why people have different colored skins. Stories were created for all current understanding.


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

My comments on this post: Seattle LDS to Gays: Come Back, But to What?

Below are my comments to this blog post:

It has been interesting for me this last 1 1/2 years as a female in her 30's with 5 children, and married in the temple to find her "precious" paradigm change. 

I was your typical conservative member because I was afraid of what was out there. I was afraid to ask a question in my heart because I may be one of non-elite to fall. Then I would be doomed to some "lower kingdom" for eternity because I didn't hold to the rod. So I spent all my time pouring over the conference talks and wondering why I was still suffering. Why was I still suffering from depression and anxiety for 20 years. Why? Why? I just needed to do more, do better, serve more, pray more, etc (the typical answers) and so I would try and try and try with lots of shame and guilt to go with my trying to perfect myself. Yes I know grace is there but I needed to practice more (i.e. do more). 

Well as a last ditch effort I went to therapy and I learned that it was really "neural brain paths" that were the cause of suffering. 

As I healed my brain, I had space in my head and then the questions came with great speed. My whole belief system came crashing down when I realized it was NOT some man (i.e satan) on my left shoulder putting negative self-talk into my was ME!!! 

So how does one look at her husband who has also suffered with shame from the same self-loathing that led to self-medication through pornography and prostitution. This domino affect also resulted in a level of betrayal trauma in me that I was not sure it was possible to recover from. Our marriage was so full of lies, deceit,and suffering but on the outside we were your "typical" LDS happy couple at church with their 5 children. 

Then the spiritual experience started happening. I became a certified yoga teacher and began a meditation practice that led to even greater healing. This lead to me questioning and learning that has took me on a path that has led to greater spirituality and a new way of looking at the church. 

Joseph Smith was an amazing prophet but a complex human with many so-called flaws (he was really affected by his culture/science of his time as we are). The future church he organized was always within the culture of the times and actually behind through-out the history of the time but would have to (an continues to) play catch up 20-30 years later. 

Yes, I have change my views regarding LGBT. My heart is so changed it has been scary to go to church at times. I go because I love the good it offers but I don't believe we have a corner on spirituality, truth, ability to save, or prophecy. 

For example, when I questioned my conservative teachings on evolution (i.e the creation story as taught in genesis and other places)and since my last biology class was in high school, I realized the craziness of my beliefs regarding evolution. This led me to see scripture differently and then to question so-called "modern-day" scripture. 

It has been very painful but my heart now goes out to those who have suffered by our culture in the church. I was fearful my soul would be sent to hell to go against the culture but that is how our teachings keeps most of us from searching greater understanding. 

If I would not have had my yoga training (now I am in Mindfulness training), I would not have seen other truths that are not "fear-based". Now I see that Jesus was all about love and most great teachers through-out history have done much good but when we keep our views that "history" as in the scriptures is "true"...we miss the beauty of the scriptures and all good books that contain truth mingled with their culture of the time or later periods that changed according to their culture. 

As I studied evolution in regard to man, I realized I probably evolved from an ape. I know I have a divine spirit, as I feel in my heart as human beings (rant- not human-doings), we are different from other species in our consciousness. I think scientifically we are showing, when one is willing to look and be open to new ideas, that LGBT are viable biological sexual identities. 

As I have studied more about eastern religions, I see a great need in the church and our society at large to take on greater self-compassion (love of self - neighbor was always 3rd in the scriptures), less doing (I call this effortless effort=less stress), less suffering, less striving, more living in the present moment without judgement, less of this past (depression)or future (anxiety) based living, less pain, greater mental health through brain science (not satan based fear), less judgement, more joy, more happiness, more love, more peace, and more acceptance with all our differences, personalities, and choices. 

I am now so grateful for the trauma that I sought healing from because it has resulted in waking up. I enjoy most days filled with happiness and joy even in the midst of my "mormon" faith paradigm shift (I don't think of it as a crisis anymore).