Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Do Men Have a "Right" from God to Subjugate Women?

A Jewish friend commented on my last post about the place of women in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

"As far as the place of women in religious life, I know of no religion that doesn't have a bunch of excuses about why women are not allowed into the priesthood, etc.  Religion has an age old history of being male dominated."  She also explains how women are kept out of important positions in their Jewish Temple. 

This is my reply to her.
It truly is scary some of the things people do and then try and excuse their behavior by saying it is "religious". Men have often claimed a "right" from God to subjugate women. I believe that they will be held accountable for their unrighteous actions.

Monday, January 22, 2018

What Place Does the new Prophet Think Women Should Have?

People often wonder if the new Prophet, President Russell M. Nelson, will give the women in the Church more power. By that, I assume they want to know if the women will have the same responsibilities as the men have. The flip side of that thought is that the men would have the same responsibilities as the women. The premise is that men and women are both equally capable leaders, which is true, but aren't there some things that we each naturally do better? 

I think a lot of the concern is that the Church is organized in a Patriarchal order with men being called by God to assume general administrative responsibilities. This does not mean that they have some "divine right" to tell women what to do and women are to merely meekly obey the men's orders. No, men are given by God responsibilities in keeping with their most noble desires to love, protect, serve, and bless their families and those around them. Women, think about that; men who are encouraged to really be there instead of dumping all the responsibility for the family and everything else on your shoulders.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

How is a Prophet Chosen?

People wonder how the new Prophet is chosen. Some envision men who work their way up through the ranks, campaign for votes, and eventually triumph becoming the Prophet. True, this would be man's way of achieving something he wants, but it is not God's way. Throughout time, God has chosen the man He wants to be the Prophet at a particular time. He prepares that man, tests him, then at the right moment, that man becomes the Prophet. Think of Moses', and Samuel's years of preparation and testing before they were given the responsibility of leading the Lord's people. 

Saturday, January 20, 2018

What Do I Think of the New First Presidency?

I think the new leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are great men, and I look forward to their inspired leadership. Sure, some might dismiss my statement, claiming that I am just one of those "brainwashed Mormons", but I don't make this statement lightly. 

In 1985, my dad, asked me, "Your Church's General leaders are men who have retired, right?" I replied that most were at the peak of their very successful careers when they gave up their careers to serve as an Apostle of the Lord. I remember that I used President Nelson and President Oaks as examples. This is why I did.

President Russell M. Nelson, who has just become our new prophet, was an internationally distinguished heart surgeon and researcher, and at the peak of his career when he gave up his practice to become an Apostle of the Lord. He had helped to develop the first artificial heart-lung machine which made open heart surgery possible and in 1955 performed the first open heart surgery in Utah. President Nelson certainly didn't agree to accept the responsibility of becoming an Apostle because he thought he would get more acclaim or money. He already had those things and was certainly making far more money than the modest amount he would make as a General Authority of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 

Friday, January 12, 2018

You're Just Being a Pollyanna!

When someone angrily accuses me of being a "Pollyanna"*, I reply with a polite, "Thank you".  I know they are trying to make me admit that "life isn't just roses and lollipops". Being nearly seventy years old, I'm well aware that roses also have thorns and lollipops raise blood sugar. I've raised four children, had a painful restricting illness for 45 years, and known many sorrows and disappointments, and, yes, I'm proud to be a "Pollyanna". 

Why? The character, Pollyanna, shows amazing courage, strength of character, and optimism.  This little girl has lost her mother, never had much materially living on charity donations while her father served as a missionary, and then when he died, she is sent to live with a spinster aunt who gives her little love or attention. Instead of letting her life get her down, she looks for the good in every situation and in every person.  She looks for the good even when she is hit by a car and her legs are paralyzed. Through her determination to appreciate what she has and hope for a better future, she changes many lives, making the whole town a better place to live.

Yes, many people think such a reaction is unrealistic. It's true that many people dwell on the negative, giving up hope. They view this as "accepting reality". I've been in some pretty deep pits, and I can assure you that sulking over life's unjustness, grieving endlessly for what you do not have, and bitterly enduring your "thorn in the flesh", isn't going to make you feel better about what has, or has not, happened to you. It is well accepted that thoughts proceed actions and positive thoughts are more likely to result in positive outcomes. Being depressed makes any pain MUCH worse, I know! 

You will say that you can't go around smiling inanely at all the terrible things that happen in your life. No, you will not always be smiling in life. You will feel pain; the pain that comes with loving deeply. You will experience sorrow and grieve. But if you have a big picture of the purpose of life which is to grow toward our full potential, then you can see challenging situations as opportunities for growth - then you can continue to hope and love;  then you can follow Pollyanna's example, and even in tough times, uplift not only yourself, but others. This is why my goal for this next year is to be a "Pollyanna".

*Pollyanna is the main character in the novel Pollyanna by Eleanor Porter, published in 1913

Thursday, October 26, 2017

How are Mormons Trying to Make the World Better?

 A friend of mine commented that though the Mormons (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) are providing good emergency help, that is not enough to really solve the problems the people are experiencing. She gave the Caribbean area as an example. This is my response to her:

I agree that the Caribbean area is a shambles and it has been for a long, long time. The hurricanes have just made it worse. Yes, it is necessary to give emergency aide, but that is just a temporary band-aid approach. You need to do things that make long term changes in  peoples lives and hearts. Around the world, Mormons provide immunizations, wheelchairs, eyeglasses, educational loans, loans and training for small home businesses, dig wells and build houses, demonstrate how to grow crops, give sanitation and nutrition education, health and disease training, provide elementary and secondary schools in Mexico and the Pacific Islands and assistance for higher education, give self-reliance training (managing finances, preserving food, job training), maternal and newborn care, refugee help, job training, provide employment centers which not only help to find jobs but help in learning how to write resumes and interview, communication skills, education on family relationships and problem solving, teach English, family counseling, and more.

Friday, October 20, 2017

How Could I Believe in Prophets?

When I was in my mid-teens, I met a girl who was a "Mormon" (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints). There was something different about her and her family; a sense of strength, peace, and love. After asking her many questions about her faith, she suggested that I talk to the "Mormon" missionaries. I did and had many, many questions for them.

One thing that I believed was that God must speak with someone. I had always assumed that at least the Pope talked with God. I was very surprised and disappointed to learn that he doesn't even claim to receive direct revelation from God.