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

Let’s Talk Trump

I’m reentering the conversation.

First of all, let me be clear about my church membership. I haven’t left. I guess you could say I’m working my way back, even though I never fully left in the first place. If you were under the impression that I had left, I apologize that I wasn’t fully clear in my previous blog post. It’s just with so many active members vocally celebrating the election of a man who fell under broad LDS condemnation over his misogyny, racism, and general moral inappropriateness during his candidacy, I seriously needed a lot of space.

I could not even be in the same room as anyone in Utah talking politics after November 8. From that time, until the inauguration, the amount of angst I was experiencing multiplied. It got to the point where I studiously avoided Facebook, and I could not even retreat to the relative safety of blogging. I did NOT want to deal with any thoughts or opinions on the man many call our president. I still can’t bring myself say the words president and Trump in the same sentence. (Looks like I just did it–and to be honest, I didn’t like it at all.)

I really struggled with acknowledging the actual validity of this election, when it was so obvious that there was interference, and given the man’s penchant for taking pecuniary advantage of people, I’m sure there was money involved. After all, money talks, and people were listening, especially old white men. And if you are an old white man who is offended by that remark, I have just one question; why are you reading my blog? Continue reading

I’m pro-choice, NOT pro-abortion. You heard me

I’m actually very much against abortion.

It’s interesting that I learned my progressive idealism from my father who considers himself a conservative.  Dad is pro-choice. When I learned his stance on it, I still hadn’t made up my own mind. In fact, as I do now, I felt that abortion was completely wrong and immoral. So I had to ask Dad why he felt that way.The first thing, Dad explained to me, is that morality should always be a choice, otherwise it is nothing more than forced obedience. To be able to choose is true freedom.

Not long before that, I complained to my mother, (who, to me, is ultra-conservative), that my ex-husband was always trying to constrain my choices despite the fact that we were no longer married (of course, the fact that he always tried, was one of the biggest reasons for leaving in the first place). She pointed out that part of the LDS belief system is that we were given our own agency with the intent that we, and no one else, would have control over our own salvation. In fact, she pointed out, it was Lucifer’s idea to take away the agency of humankind, resulting in what we know to be The Plan of Salvation:  “And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.” (2 Ne. 2:26–27)

Suddenly, as distasteful as the choice to abort a pregnancy was to me, I knew that it would be wrong to legislate against that choice. Continue reading

The Land of the Free, and the Home of the Oblivious

As I stand with my hand over my heart for the passing flag in tomorrow’s parade, I will be thinking of my freedom to choose whether or not to do so.

Latter Day Liberal

The Pledge of Allegiance and the 11th Article of Faith

One of the perks of living in the “land of the free” is that I get to write whatever I want in this blog, without fear of penalty.  Another perk is that I get to worship however I choose (or not) without fear of retribution. This means that I can join any religion, and practice any religion, or not, depending on my own personal convictions. With or without religion, there are many people out there who have made a place for God in their lives.  There are also many who have chosen not to make a place for God in their lives.  Having true freedom means that whatever choice is made, there will be no penalties. No retribution.

And my own religion supports these freedoms. When the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was still quite young, Joseph…

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