Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I believe in traditional marriage between a man and a woman. But don't flame me.

It's not that I am "ashamed of the gospel of Christ", it's that I fear internet fire-bombing. I don't like to be yelled at or ALL-CAPPED or have people not like me.  I (mistakenly) feel that if I keep my beliefs to myself, it will be ok because I hate conflict so much.   I have started feeling badly about keeping one particular belief to myself.

I feel fine talking about temples, the atonement, tithing, the Book of Mormon, prophets, personal revelation, etc.  I am scared to type out loud that I believe in traditional marriage, between a man and a woman.  I have seen the backlash others have suffered.  As public opinion shifts away from God and creates a divide between new "moral standards" and eternal (no beginning and no end) commandments from God that do not change, the dialogue has become less civilized and more threatening.  I do believe with all my heart that every person is a child of God and has the right to be treated with kindness and respect.  I do not go to the posts and pages of gay marriage supporters and write unkind or argumentative statements.  In fact, I don't go there at all.  I also believe that God gave us all the power to choose for ourselves.  However, these are commandments that when disobeyed, bring consequences.  You can choose to do the opposite of what He has commanded, but your ability to choose doesn't magically make your actions right.

The Savior loves every man and woman on earth.  He does not change the rules for each individual based on what they want.  The rules are the same and they are to help us return to Heavenly Father again.  So again, I believe that all people should be treated kindly.  Kindness does not mean I agree.  It means I am kind.

I wish that both sides of this could be kind.  The winner will not be the ones who are loudest. The winner will not be the one who persuades the most people to his or her side. There will not be a winner, in the traditional sense.  In the very very end, we will all receive the eternal reward we feel comfortable with.  I want the reward of being with my family and my Father in Heaven for eternity.   I want all the blessings He has for me.  I could be comfortable and happy with nothing less, knowing it was within my reach.

So now I get to the question, why bother defending traditional/eternal marriage? Those who argue against it wonder why we just can't let everyone do what they want?  As my husband pointed out, we are not haters--we are all about the love. Let me explain:  we existed as spirit beings before we came to earth.  We came to earth to get bodies and learn and eventually become like our Heavenly Father; Gods. We believe this is the only path to true and lasting happiness.  Because we love our fellow brothers and sisters, we stand by His definition of family because it will bring unimaginable joy in this life and the more in the next.  We want that for all.  See the end of the above paragraph; if we know more, we hope for more.

I also stand for traditional marriage because there are consequences, lots of them, and even ones we can't see yet.  Because I believe that children ideally need a mother and a father to help them be the best they can be.  I believe that children deserve this, even though they have no legal rights or ability to articulate that need.  Because I can see changes in our societal fabric coming.  Those in social science who say that studies show no problems with gay marriage and parenting are denying the rules of science--there simply is not enough data, collected over a long enough period of time, to really prove them right.  Because I don't think that shouting the loudest means you should get your way.  Because I see the fear-mongering that is growing; people feel that they have to say homosexuality is fine  to avoid censure, to avoid unpopularity, to get votes, to avoid being called a bad person.  That isn't fair. The giant elephant in the room irony is that some gay rights activists treat anyone who disagrees with them the same way they are protesting being treated.
By suing florists and photographers and ministers who object, they are denying others the right to choose.

I have been watching and waiting for the Supreme court, holding my breath, worrying about consequences of these decisions. In the midst of all this, my teenager chased away the darkness by declaring that our solution is to say, "I am going to be over here, living my church (centered) life, doing my thing." and pointing out that the church is growing and spreading to all nations, increasing the number of those "who be with us".   The saints are done fleeing, and we are making Zion where we are, he said, reminding me of Elder Holland's words (http://www.lds.org/broadcasts/article/ces-devotionals/2012/01/israel-israel-god-is-calling?lang=eng).

So now I feel better. Don't hate on me, because I am not hating on you.  I am standing up for what I believe in because I love. And yes, I do have the comments set on approval first.  And I love my kids. It's really cool when they make me feel better. And, be kind. But kind doesn't mean I agree.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Journals. wahoo. I mean, WAHOO!

First, let me say that in my last post, my plea for you to praise a woman was not meant for you to praise me. I know I am awesome. hahah. I just meant any woman. or anybody, for that matter.  Compliments are easy and cheap to give.

I must thank Middle-Aged Mormon Man for the idea for this post. It's not really what he meant, but this is where my mind went. Journals.

Journals. Bah. Another thing to feel guilty about, I have felt, from time to time. Other times, I think, I am so awesome because I am writing in my journal!  I have had cycles of regular writing in my life.  One of the longest was in college.  It has been cool when I've gone back to read those journals--I see very clearly how the Lord keeps His promises.  And how often I saw His hand in my life.  There are sporadic entries over the last 5-6 years, some detailing how unpleasant parenting can be, some lamenting the passage of time.  There are big chunks of time missing, big events missing.  I realized today what my biggest block is.

I feel deeply.  I am uncomfortable with the depth of my feelings.  I am also unable to adequately write about some of these things with the depth of feeling they seem to deserve.  It is easier to complain and make lists and make excuses than try to properly record important events and epiphanies. It is easier to be silly and sarcastic.  Also, you may have noticed that I am verbose. I don't know how to say things concisely. Isn't it more fun to read details? Not as much detail as Dickens, though. THAT is a lot of detail.

I am in activity girls.  This week we are making journals/pseudo smash books. Journaling has changed so much in the last 10 years.  We can blog, we can art journal, we can photo journal, we can 365 (a picture a day), we can smashbook ( journal/old school glue-in scrapbooking), etc. As fun as all of this is, it really is no substitute for recording in private the spiritual experiences and personal revelation we  receive.   Elder Scott is right about this. I just have to do it. It was easier when we wrote in journals together as a family on Sundays.  Now my kids keep their journals in their rooms and write when they feel like it and won't be compelled to write when I say to.  I pick my battles.

So I have a new goal for spring: write. in. my. journal. I am not going to try to catch up, I will just start from now. And if I want to throw in a few stick figures, I will. :)  Do you have things you are starting over this spring?