Monday, March 30, 2015

10 Answers for 10 Questions

I came across this article today.  I read it, and when I finished reading it, I really wanted to answer the questions as best as I know how.  It wasn't addressed to me, but I still yearn to offer my two cents.  So here goes.

1.  Starting with question number one I will go ahead and give my disclaimer: I don't know.  I am giving my opinion.  That said, we see gender existing throughout eternity.  We have a Heavenly Father and we have a Heavenly Mother.  When we hear about the plan, we hear a lot about Heavenly Father and hardly hear anything about Heavenly Mother except that she is real.  That right there shows that they have two very different roles in the plan.  I'd bet you anything that Heavenly Mother was there at that council in Heaven.  Why don't we hear about her?  My understanding was always that Heavenly Father wanted to respect his wife.  "God", "Jesus Christ," and "Mother of God"(speaking of Mary) have all become swear words in our society.  He didn't want to see his wife's name disrespected.

Our bodies are physically different.  Physically, they complement each other.  Men have bodies meant for running and hard labor.  Women have bodies that are more delicate.  Yes, this isn't always the case, but in general it is.  Our natures are different as well. In both cases, it's more of a spectrum than a black and white deal.  Some men have "feminine" features.  Some women have "masculine" traits.  By in large, though, there are physical differences and innate differences between men and women.

2) I am a Relief Society President.  I have two counselors and a secretary.  We are all different.  We are also given different roles.  One of my counselors makes sure we always have a teacher on Sunday.  One counselor works on activities.  Now, if if my first counselor gets behind, of course the other counselor can step in and make sure we have a teacher.  However, if both counselors decide to take the same role, we'll end up with two teachers every Sunday and no activities throughout the month.  We work together.  Just because we have different roles doesn't mean our goals are separate or that we are obligated to stick to our roles and nothing else.  It's more of a guideline to help us move forward.

My counselors are different with different strengths that make them good at their assigned roles.  As mentioned above, men and women have different natures.  They have different strengths and different weaknesses that make them better at fulfilling different roles.  These complement each other.  Sometimes the wife will go to work and the husband will do the household chores.  That's not the end of the world. It's fine.  Both roles were fulfilled.  However, by definition, a woman can never be a "father" and a man can never be a "mother."  Both are needed in the family. 

3) You know the answer to this one, you simply disagree.  The family is under attack by media and by society.  The more we promote promiscuity and pornography, the more we hurt familial relationships.  The law of chastity is being ridiculed everywhere we look.  And yes, even the acceptance of homosexual marriages hurts the family.  That's part of the law of chastity.  Obamacare has nothing to do with it.

4) No, you don't need to go knocking on your transgender friends' doors and call them to repentance.  First and foremost, I think we need to defend the Family Proclamation in our hearts.  If you do not have a solid testimony of the Proclamation on the Family, than you won't do a very good job defending it methinks.  Along with that, if you are actively spreading thoughts that are contrary to the Family Proclamation, well, that wouldn't be defending it either.  There are many different ways to defend it.  You can post the Proclamation on social media.  You can speak up when you hear someone talking negative about it.  You can refuse to watch certain movies because they are vile and send the spirit away.  There are many other ways you can defend the Proclamation.

5)  I really don't want to answer this question, but I couldn't really name this post "9 Answers for 10 Questions."  The first definition webster gives is "to exercise guidance, direction, or control."  When we refer to someone who is presiding, it is usually the one over the meeting.  A Bishop presides over a Sacrament Meeting, unless the Stake President is there, or someone else with more authority.  A father presides over his family.  He is the head of the family.  I don't have the best answer for what that means.  I see it as an accountability measure.  The father is accountable over his family, and so he must oversee that it's running properly.  The Bishop is in charge of making sure that false doctrine is spoken over the pulpit. 

6) Google translates "doctrine" as "a belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a church." Yes, the Family Proclamation is doctrine.  Everything that it says is doctrine. It's what our church believes.

7) I have not read Chieko Okazaki's account.  I'll try to get around to it at some point.  What amazes me, though, is why does it matter to you so much that there wasn't a woman leader consulted about it.  Firstly, you seemed to indicate by question one that you didn't think gender mattered.  If gender doesn't matter, and we're all the same, then the men are just as capable of coming up with something as women.  It seems to me, then, that you really don't want people to be blind to gender.

That's not my answer though.  My answer is that the Proclamation didn't come from the male leaders of the church.  The Proclamation came from Heavenly Father.  There was no consulting necessary.  When Heavenly Father speaks, you listen.  I assure you, there was no disrespect for women intended.

8) A document can be doctrine.  It depends on where it comes from etc.  As for the Family Proclamation - you can treat it as doctrine.  It's not going to be dissolved any time soon.  We are told in Matthew 18:16 that "in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established."  The leaders of our church are repeating the same things every General Conference.  Even if the Family Proclamation is to be dissolved in a thousand years, that will not affect your lifetime and what you do here.  What affects you now is the doctrine that is presently before you.

9) This is the question that got to me.  This is the question that made me stop seeing you as someone stirring the pot, and started seeing you as someone earnestly looking for answers.  Heavenly Father loves you just as much as he loves me.  He wants you to return to him so badly.  Are you going to hell?  The honest answer is: I don't know.  The answer I want to give you is: of course not.  You say that it is out of love for others that you struggle with doctrine of the family as it has been explained previously.  Love is what this life is all about.  By loving others, we become more like God.  Love will not keep you out of the Celestial Kingdom.

Unfortunately, it sounds like you don't have as much love for your fellow members of the church.  Are they undeserving of your love?  Jesus himself said, "For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?" Matthew 5:46.  Wanting a lesser kingdom to not have to be around them sounds an awful lot like pride.  Don't worry though, we all have pride.  It can keep you out the Celestial Kingdom, but it doesn't have to.  That's what the Atonement is all about.

10) This question is hard for me to understand.  If the God you follow tells you not to follow the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, then are you speaking with the God of that church?  Quite honestly, I don't want you to go apostate.  I really don't.  I just don't understand how you can believe the church is true without believing that its teachings are true.  Just as the truth of the Book of Mormon proves that Joseph Smith was a prophet, the truthfulness of this church proves that the words that our leaders are saying come from Heavenly Father himself.

I do not understand how defending the family will ruin your family.  We are not telling you to cut yourself off from anyone who believes differently.  Our loving Heavenly Father still wants you to love those around you - family and friends.  But you cannot teach false doctrine in the home and hope that that will unite your family stronger.  King Lamoni said that he was willing to give all His sins to know God.  What are you willing to give up to stay right with God?

I am not above reproach.  I stumble and fall just as the next person.  I struggle at church.  I sometimes have doubts.  I complain.  I don't always like what my leaders tell me.  Golly, I probably tell people who I'm supposed to be leading to do things that are wrong. I am flawed. Despite all that, I know with all my heart that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints IS the true church on this earth.  It is guided by a prophet of God.  He speaks for God.  I know that Heavenly Father loves his children and that is why he presented this plan.  Earth wasn't meant to be easy; but if we hold on to the iron rod, if we read our scriptures and listen to our church leaders, we WILL make it safely home.  I don't know a lot of things, but this here is what I know.  I know that God gave us a prophet out of love for us.  He knew that it would be hard to tell truth from lies.  And through it all, he gave us a Savior to Atone for us when we fall.  This is his church.  I know it.  With all my heart I know this.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Crumbs in the Butter

I hate seeing crumbs in my butter.  I don't know why this is blog worthy.  It's not.  But now you all know.  I really don't like seeing crumbs in my butter.  I haven't shared food with anyone for the last ten years except on my mission.  I don't ever remember having butter on my mission, so it's not an issue. 

My current roommates are of the logic that if we all drink milk/eat eggs/ use butter, we might as well share instead of getting five different sets of each.  So, when I started seeing crumbs in my butter, my first thought was, "Aha! Someone else is using my butter.  I don't leave crumbs therein."  Yeah, I still take ownership of my butter even if it isn't really mine.  Anyway, my reaction when I saw it today was, "Aack!  Must get rid of crumbs!"  That's how I handle the situation - I use all the crumbly butter to butter my toast leaving my butter crumbless. 

Ahem, you might ask, "Well, if you're willing to use the crumbly butter on your toast, why do you need to get rid of the crumbs in the first place?"  I don't know.  It's just a thing.  Butter was meant to be smooth and yellow, without crumbs. 

The End

PS I LOVE my roommates.  They are soo great!  I wouldn't give them up for crumbless butter ever.