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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Courage

This video showing women with courage, strengthened me and helped me face eye surgery. https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2013-03-004-courage?lang=eng

Facing surgery, I prayed for courage. For most people these surgeries would be only a minor inconvenience, but not for me. My adrenal glands had failed. For 15 years, I was completely dependent on adrenal medication to keep me alive. For the last two years, I no longer needed medicine, but how healed was I? Could my body handle the stress of surgery? Was my immune system strong enough to deal with all the medicines that would be used? Over and over in the past, I had passed out after just a whiff of a chemical. What would happen to me when I had surgery?

As I prayed and was given a Priesthood blessing (https://www.lds.org/topics/priesthood-blessing?lang=eng), I was assured that all would be well; and it was.

I have always felt inspired by the courage of Queen Esther ever since my husband read the story to our family. Here is a video which shows more of Esther's story. https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2011-03-30-for-such-a-time-as-this?lang=eng

You can read the rest of the story here. https://www.lds.org/scriptures/ot/esth?lang=eng
I love the justice of the ending.

Monday, October 9, 2017

"Dirty Windows"

As my eyesight dimmed, I thought of this funny video. It is about a woman who judges her neighbor, only to find that it was her own dirty window that was at fault.  I've felt as if I have been looking at life through "dirty windows".  After my eye surgery, I left my blurry, dull, yellow-gray existence behind me, waking the next morning to a world filled with stunning beauty. This emotional experience has reminded me to look for the good, to clean my own negative "dirty windows", so I that can not only see the the outer beauty, but the inner beauty in the people around me.

Looking through Windows - https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2012-01-004-looking-through-windows?lang=eng
 Read President Monson's full address"Charity Never Faileth".

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Could I leave the "Mormon" faith?

video
As my father was dying, he begged me to come back to our traditional family religion. He claimed that since all religions were about the same, it wouldn't make any difference. Though I knew it would mean so much to my dad, I didn't do it. Why?

To answer, I must go back to my college days. I lived just down the hill from the University of California at Berkeley. It was in the 1970's, the age of Hippies, and "Flower Power". Youth were questioning. They were tired to just being admonished to do as you are told. They didn't want to merely follow some traditional religion. They wanted answers. They wanted to know the meaning of life. Some sought "enlightenment" in Far Eastern religions and some in LSD drug highs. For most it was just a "fad", but for me it was not.

I studied the major world religions and found some truths there. I looked at Christian religions and found some truth there. But it was not enough for me. I wanted more than beliefs that some people had decided would make good guides for life. I was looking for more. I wanted truth; what was real. I was looking for something that felt right.

One day I began to study the "Mormon" faith (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). I found again the real God, a loving Heavenly Father, who I had known as a child until I became lost in all sorts of religious "mysteries". I learned that my life had purpose -- to learn, grow and become like my Heavenly Father, and that our Savior could help me reach my full potential. I had always felt that loving relationships could not just end and was thrilled to hear that we could continue in families after we left this life. It all felt right and true. It felt like I had rediscovered truths that I had always known.

It was like going from candlelight into the sun. After years of searching, I had found not some man-made set of beliefs, but the truth I was seeking and could never leave.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Should "Mormon" Church Members Question?

Of course!  Questioning is how we learn. The Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored in these latter days because a young man questioned the traditional Christian teachings. Joseph Smith prayed and asked God what church was right? Which church should I join?

But many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are very concerned that they are showing a lack of faith if they question their leaders. Though we are warned to follow our leaders to help us be safe in these perilous times, that does not mean that we are to blindly follow them like unthinking robots.  We each have a responsibility to carefully study the things our leaders say, then we must pray to know what they are saying is right.  It is only after own own effort that we can gain our own testimony, our own witness from God, of the truth of what our leaders are saying.  It is only when we act on what we have learned to be right,  that we will grow and progress.

Some members can feel OK about asking for a confirmation that what leaders are saying is right, but feel that they are doing something wrong if they question Church doctrine.  What confuses members and is causing their concern is that there are seeing two different things. One is the honest questioning of a person who is looking for answers. The other is people who are looking merely for a quick way to discount the Gospel teachings and live a less demanding life.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Am I a Suppressed Mormon Woman?

Yes, I'm a "Mormon" (The Church of Jesus Christ o Latter-day Saints) wife, but am I suppressed? Hardly! I think most of us Mormon women would find that funny. We are often overwhelmed by the load of leadership responsibility we carry.

I think where most people get confused and think that "Mormon" women are dominated by the "Mormon" men because they have heard that women are "not allowed to hold the Priesthood". Actually, the women are given the same priesthood power when we make covenants in the temple. When we promise to keep the Lord's commandments, He blesses us, both men and women, with some of His power that we might be able to grow and to accomplish the things He wants us to do.
Priesthood power is what enables women to guide their family, teach, and lead the children, young women, and women of the Church.

But you might say that the women are not allowed to hold leadership positions. It is true that men and women have been given different responsibilities.Men have the responsibility for general administration. Women have responsibility lead the children, young women, and the women of the Church under Priesthood guidance.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Boy Scouts and the Mormon church

Like me, you may have lots of questions about the change in Boy Scout program in the "Mormon" church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints).  I did, and I have been looking for answers. Here is what I've found.

As of January 1, 2018 The Church will replace the Venturing and Varsity Scouting programs in the United States and Canada for young men ages 14 to 18 with a new activities program. Here is a link to the new program https://www.lds.org/youth/ymactivities?lang=eng#resources . Pretty impressive! 
Not only do they have links to all the old Venturing and Varsity Scouting activities (except aviation), but there are loads of ideas to help Youth develop Spiritually, Socially, Physically, and Intellectually. Besides the opportunity for balanced growth and development, I like that it coordinates with the Young Women's Program. No longer will the Young Men have more activities and receive more funding than the Young Women do. They will be now be equal. 

By using the Church based activities program, the Church hopes to better meet the needs of the Young Men of the Church. The Boy Scouts has always struggled with keeping boys in Scouting after the age of 14 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Boy_Scouts_of_America). Though the Varsity and Venturing programs were developed to help keep the young men involved in Scouting, it has had limited success. An added problem in keeping "Mormon" young men progressing in scouts has been that most of them earn their Eagle Award by the age of 14 and feel "done".

Though there are plenty of fun activities and outdoor experiences in the program, I like that this new program will focus less on Scouting advancement and adventure and more on developing the skills and understanding that will help them enjoy their teen years more and better prepare them for their future roles. Young Men need more than hikes and awards to make it in today's world. I think this new Activity program will give the Young Men what they need. 

Here are places for more information.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Does Obeying the Commandments of God take away my Freedom?



Some people have had enough of the immature and prideful accusations from people who use religion as a club. Beating upon others, they declare,"You did that. You are bad!", and, "I keep every rule, so I am better than you!" I almost expect next to hear the childish taunt of, "Na, na, Na, na, na", ending with, "I'm going to tell Mommy on you!"  Fed up, some people, understandably, want nothing more to do with the commandments of God.

Being a parent and grandparent has given me an interesting perspective on rules, yes, even commandments. When a child is young you can try and reason with them and try and convince them of the wisdom of doing as you have told them, but it doesn't work.