Resurrection

Resurrection
GodIsLove.jpgLast Fast Sunday I bore my testimony of God’s love for ALL of His children, despite political affiliation, gender identity, or difference of experience. A handful of members  made concerted efforts to applaud my words and courage to speak out, but not surprisingly, I was blatantly ignored and kept at a distance by the large majority, including the missionaries.
In Relief Society, an attempt was made to correct my definition of feminism. When I pointed out that my definition was exactly the same as theirs, the Relief Society president replied, “Well, the definition has been hijacked.” As I was leaving the building, I was pulled aside by a man who tried to pull rank by telling me he was “a former member of the bishopric,” and that I had offended many by using words such as homosexual and gay in front of impressionable children. I was not asked, but told, to keep my opinions to myself.
I did not point out that I have been in the Primary and Young Women presidencies, that my conservative father was my bishop (and my hero), or that my ex-husband was also a member of the bishopric–twice. I figured it wouldn’t matter to him anyway, because I am just a woman who does not hold the priesthood. I also did not point out that my belief in God’s love is not my opinion; it is my testimony. But I did make him a promise–that I would not remain silent.
Other members were more encouraging. One grabbed me as I was walking out of sacrament to tell me of a very good friend who has not been attending church with his family due to the fact that their young daughter is struggling with gender identity issues and feels ostracized at church by both peers and leaders.  Another member expressed his admiration of my courage to open up about my political affiliation amidst so many staunch conservatives like himself. My former visiting teacher sat next to me in Relief Society and hugged my arm to reaffirm true charity.
Despite my rock-solid testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel, Joseph Smith, living prophets, andJesus Christ, and His deep love for each of us, I have been near to leaving the church over hate and intolerance for several years. But last week was the final straw.
My original plan was to check out a different church today; one that is much closer to home. It advertises open, loving, and inclusive worship. I really do feel that I’ll be much more comfortable in this new church. I console myself with the knowledge that I can still study the Book of Mormon and the words of latter-day prophets through LDS.org and The Mormon Channel on YouTube. I am not at all sure if I will ever return to full activity.
I originally wanted to stay away until next Fast Sunday when I could return with my written testimony and for one last time, reiterate my conviction that God does indeed love each and every one of his children. Instead, I took a break today, and while listening to the Mormon Channel, I began writing.  But I do have a promise to keep, and I feel that in leaving I am letting down people who need my love and support.
So begins the resurrection of this blog as an outlet for my frustration.  I will soon post the first written revision of the original testimony  I gave  last week. I hope that you will read and pray for the many oppressed individuals still in the church, and that you will share and respond to my message. We need your prayers, and I need your input.
Please.
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Called To Stand Against Racism — MORMON SOPRANO

On Sunday night The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued an official statement in response to the recent violence in Charlottesville – decrying racism. I blogged about it here. Beginning that same night, and spanning through Tuesday morning a very unanticipated thing happened. Mormon racists. I’m depressed to learn there are a bunch […]

via Called To Stand Against Racism — MORMON SOPRANO

I don’t know, and I don’t care

It’s headlined in national news this morning–the first thing I saw when I checked the news app on my phone.  I was shocked. Not because the news itself is shocking, but that the news media felt it was important enough to position the story first before the North Korean Threat, #45’s latest antics, or the recent attack on French soldiers in Paris. I wasn’t sure that my news app is actually smart enough to know that I’m Mormon, and therefore any news about church members would be that important to me, so I went to my PC and checked AOL, which I almost never use. It appeared third after #45’s latest antics in relation to North Korea and the attack in Paris. Maybe the media actually does think that this is super important news.

So here it is: Continue reading

Some Truths About God’s Love

I’m moving back to Utah soon, and as the move approaches, my anxiety increases.  I am seriously nervous about the way my people who call themselves Christian, seem to be seriously lacking in the pure love of Christ. I count myself among them.  I have been so frustrated lately by the amount of judgment I hear, and lack of tolerance I see, from members of my own faith. It’s hard to want to go back into that culture.

We place judgment on others and call them evil because they are different from us. We fear what we don’t understand. We forget that we are all children of the same Heavenly Father, and that he loves us all equally.

 

. . . If you love me keep my commandments

Keeping the first of the greatest commandments should come easy if you are truly a Christian, but the second of the two greatest commandments is not so easy for many (including myself). Continue reading

Are They Serious???

Image © Austin Cline, Licensed to About; Original Poster: National Archives

I ran across this poster while I was researching the public schools issue. While it is very obviously promoting a white male, Christian ideology, I am going to ignore the racist and sexist concerns, and go to the larger, more pervasive problem– the idea that this nation was founded for Christians by Christians. I grew up in this ideology, even though it was only subversively taught through the examples I saw around me, as those whom I was expected to look up to loudly lamented “what is this country coming to?” It happens all the time in highly conservative cultures, especially small-town America.

The very idea that a country, which values freedom from oppression above all, would be founded for the sake of Christianity is absurd. We have all been taught that the  first settlers came to the New World in an effort to escape religious oppression. Assuming that is true, why would those same people want to establish a new oppressive society when they just left one? This poster makes the assumption that this is exactly what the first settlers did. Have the authors of this poster read the constitution? Do they teach it?

The purpose of our constitution for the colonies was to provide a foundation for which individuals could remain free to make reasonable choices within an organizational structure providing for that freedom. The constitution is the work of 55 men, including Thomas Jefferson. Many of these men, including Jefferson, subscribed to Deism; which is not Christianity.

Deism is a religious and philosophical belief that a supreme being created the universe, and that this (and religious truth in general) can be determined using reason and observation of the natural world alone, without a need for either faith or organized religion. (Wikipedia)

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What Is a Christian?

Are Mormons Christian? comments on an article by Cooper Abrams
The subtitle is “The Bible and LDS Scriptures Prove Conclusively that Mormons Are not Biblical Christians”

This article is just one of many I have encountered in my journey to understand why people think that Mormons are not Christians.

I am hurt and confused by much of the rejection I see in the teachings of others. As I read just the first couple of paragraphs I saw so many untruths that I just gave up. I have done much the same with others of these, noting that most were written by men “educated” in the Christian way– in other words, they attended a seminary, received a degree, and now they are uniquely qualified as a “man of God” to preach Christ.

Despite the many untruths I see, such as “Historically, only until recently have Mormons wanted to be called Christians, preferring not to be included with Christian denominations” (see? untruth right from the VERY beginning), I DO know that there is no definition of what a Christian really is, anywhere in the Bible, Book of Mormon, or any other historical scripture that I am aware of. How can anyone argue that anyone is not a biblical Christian when there is no such classification anywhere in the bible?

Christian is not a title granted to us through the grace of Christ, it is a set of defining characteristics that we (God’s children) proclaimed upon ourselves. It is a way of being like Him, as we understand Him, which is why Latter Day Saints (originally nicknamed “Mormon” by their enemies) call themselves saints.

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