Friday, November 9, 2012

My thoughts on the female mission age change (a month later)

I considered posting something about this subject earlier when it was first announced at general conference but I found so many other posts that expressed my feelings much more eloquently than I ever could. I thought that would suffice, but as I stand here on the subway trying to swallow the tears that just want to come, while I read President Monson's announcement, I realize I need to share.

Do I know if this revelation had come a decade before if I would serve? No. I don't know if that would have been my path, but my hear breaks a bit that I never got the chance to decide. At 19 I was full of life and a sincere desire to understand the gospel. It's not that I lack that desire now, but some of my life experiences have ruined my child like faith a bit.

I keep thinking what if.

What if I went on a mission at 19?

I know one of the worst things that ever happened to me would not be part of my past because I never would have been in Florida. On that note though, if I had never been in Florida my whole life would be different. If I hadn't experienced the trial I did in Florida I would not be as sensitive to some people's plights as I am now and I would have a much more shallow testimony of the atonement principle of Christ suffering all pains and afflictions so "he  may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.(Book of Mormon, Alma, Chapter 7)"

In a temporal sense my time in Florida was a blessing as well. It has opened many doors to me career wise that I never thought it would. It has truly blessed me. I would not have any of the jobs I do today without that internship. It opened the door to my job at Disney Online which has in turn opened many doors for me.

Anyway, I digress as usual. I don't know if I would have gone, but I do know that I was incredibly touched by this announcement. As most of you know I am a "3rd wave feminist" and since I was little I struggled a bit with some of the statements and policies the LDS church has made in regards to women and their role.

I still vividly remember wondering why I couldn't pass the sacrament when I was little, all my brothers (4!) got to! Or the conversation I had with my mom when I was 10 trying to understand why I should stay home and "pop out babies". I asked, "but what if all my husband does is bag groceries and I'm fancy commercial maker ( I was 10) with lots of money? Why does that makes sense? I would be able to support the family better." And then feeling a jealousy I couldn't describe when, my freshman year, my guy friends all were getting to spend 2 years devoted to the gospel and all I could do was be a "member missionary" (Which really isn't easy in Logan, UT) and keep working on my degree. I wanted to go!

I felt the call to serve, but my temporal age was stopping me. All my life I sought truths and a better understanding of the gospel- often I had a stronger grasp on doctrine and scriptures than many of my male peers, why was I being denied this blessing when I could stand my own feet because of my personal desire to seek?

Some of these things, (sacrament, priesthood etc.) through personal revelation and wise mentors I have received answers about and I am satisfied with it, my heart is at peace.

Some I have decided to be faithful and trust without understanding and modify it in a way that doesn't sacrifice my happiness or what I believe is part of God's plan for me which may be different from what we are taught is the ideal.

And now, the one thing that has always eaten away at me has been changed. I know it's easy to think, well if you really wanted to go on a mission why didn't you go when you were 21? Well, when I was 21 I was a semester away from graduating. I was signed up to do a full summer of EFY as a counselor, and then I needed to get started on figuring out my life past college and I had student loans that needed to be paid. Most importantly, it wasn't the right time anymore, I had changed and it was not my turn.

One thing that has hung on my soul for so long was expressing my desire to serve to my freshman year bishop and having him tell me he felt strongly that I wasn't going to go, that I will be married. Words like that can haunt a young girl. You feel like a failure when you're 21 and still very single. You then feel that pain again 18 months later when really nothing in your life has changed. You could have gone! You question every decision you've made. You question yourself. Was I not faithful? Did I make a wrong turn? Did I mess it up by not giving that one guy another chance? Did I miss my chance? Will I ever be loved?It weighed on me.

It's bitter-sweet for me. I am so happy for my younger friends they have a greater chance to go. They will feel more like peers to the young men they know. That more women will get to go and share their spirit with the world.

I also hope that the horrible stigma I had to endure won't be such a thing anymore. It really is a humbling and horrible experience to live in Utah and be 21 and not married and say you're not going on a mission. People act like there is something wrong with you. Why should I share my personal revelation with a stranger and let them know that a mission is not my path right now? Why do they think that I only have 2 options in my life? It is rough. It is why I rushed to leave Utah behind and why I felt so strongly that I would never move back.

My hope is that with a change like this the "marriage deadline" won't haunt others like it did me. That there will be fewer girls who question every choice or be made to feel like a failure because they aren't going down one of the two standard paths and will feel empowered, supported and strong enough to know that they can forge their own path.

Anyway, I'm going to do what one of my heroes, Joanna Brooks advised, to take heart that even though I struggled, it will be better for the next generation and isn't that what most people want to do? Leave a world behind that is better for the next group? I'm excited for all of you that are going to go now at a younger age, I know you'll do fantastic and I can't wait to see what happens now, because this changes everything!

Sorry for such a long post and kudos to you all who got to the end. Anyway, maybe I'll wait a month now to write about the election just to keep up with the old news theme....

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I see dead people!!

Tonight was a first for me! I am about 95% sure I saw a dead body tonight. Here's the story... I was walking to a grocery store today, the one that gives you 10% off on Wednesday nights and I passed a parked car. What was odd about this was that there was a lady in the passenger seat and she looked like she was passed out, but the car door was open. There was a bit of commotion around the car, but I didn't pay it much attention because I was on 125th, and if you have been to NYC you'll know that 125th is quite the commotion of a street. Lots of people, cars, loud noises, people milling around etc. So it didn't really register as anything to me.

THEN after I passed the car I started thinking about the woman and how remarkably still she was. I was very impressed that she could sleep so soundly with the noise of the street, then I started to wonder if she was okay. I briefly considered calling 911 and having the police check on her, but there were a lot of people walking around the car looking in so I figured they were on top of it.

So then I went to the store and paid it no mind. As I was leaving the store I saw a bunch of flashing lights and wondered what it was... then as I approached the ambulance and police car I remembered the woman in the front seat. When I got up there the ambulance closed their door and drove off, but not very quickly and the woman in the passenger seat was gone.

So that's the story... all because I wanted toilet paper and some chips...

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

It's Questionaire time again

1. Post these rules
2. Post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions provided by the one who tagged you
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag
5. Tag 11 people

11 Random Things About Me!

1.I get really upset if I get all dolled up for something and I don't think enough people have seen me.
2. I actually have pretty bad performance anxiety. RIGHT before I have to give a talk/ make a presentation/ start an interview (as interviewer or interviewee)/ star in a roadshow(once)/ meet with a large group of people I get so insanely nervous and my heart pounds and my ears turn HOT and I am frozen in terror. You would NEVER know it once I get started though. 
3. I will never be the sweet perfect mormon housewife. I am slowly coming to terms with that being okay
4. I have no idea who I want to be President right now, but I know who I definitely DON'T want
5. I HATE mushrooms, like HATE. I think they are the grossest things ever.
6. I wish I could eat sweets all day everyday all day long. I crave desserts I don't even know exist.
7. I am ADDICTED to "Draw Something"
8. I have recently discovered the reason I love ATMs, Self checkout etc. is because I spend most my day already interacting with the public and I'm over it by the time errands come
9. I don't think I will ever be a grown up
10. I like the idea of polkadot, but I can never find any polkadot clothing that looks good on me.
11. My job satisfaction is based on how busy I am and how much I like the people I work with

Questions I was asked:

1) Why do you blog? It's twofold really. 1. Sometimes I think the world and my friends actually care what I think and that my random thoughts are amusing. 2. because I need to get it out of my brain so it doesn't fester in there

2) What is one thing that comes easy to you, that doesn't come easy to others? I think it's the ability to talk to anyone... I have had a rivetting conversation with CEOs of major companies and a young man who grew up on a grass farm

3) What is your biggest regret? I really try to live regret free... but I think it would be the crazy credit card debt I got myself into while in college. I spent SO much money paying that off and nothing I got with the CC was anything of value, just dumb stuff and a lot of eating out

4) What is your one guilty purchase? Something you splurge on and justify splurging on? Food. I make good food, but I love being pampered in a sense. Also, gifts for good friends... if I think it's the most fantastic of presents for someone and just the most perfect gift I give it without thinking about the pricetag.

5) Where would you live, if you could live anywhere? I would probably live in SoCal or the Outer Banks North Carolina. Perfect weather, beaches, relax people... heaven

6) How do you feel about cats? Dislike. I am a dog person. My pet comes when I calls and give me love when I want

7) What is your favorite place in the whole world? Post pictures. I pretty much loved my family trip to Hawaii... and my honeymoon to the DR... basically if it's warm and sandy and beautiful it's my favorite place.

8) What, in your opinion, is the biggest problem our society faces? A lack of compassion. I think if we all just stopped for a second and considered what our words/ actions do to others and the impact they have the whole world would be a much better place.

9) What is one of your pet peeves? When people don't understand/ notice the line or proper order to enter things... for example... I was waiting for the subway, it pulled up and I was standing right to the side of a door. I then had a man push me aside to get into the subway before me even though I was clearly standing there waiting for people to exit.

10) What is one demographic that truly pisses you off, and why. Entitled people. Ugh it skews younger, but it can be anyone, the person who thinks that they're doing you a favor by working for you or the adult who thinks it's okay to yell at someone because their company paid for lunch isn't there at the exact moment they want it to be.

11) What's the first thing you think when you wake up in the morning? Why me? why is it so early?

My questions:
1. Who is a role model to you?
2. What celebrity would you wish to never exist?
3. What is your favorite candy bar?
4. 15 years into your marriage would you rather find out your spouse is cheating on you or is a closeted gay? Why?
5. What is the coolest place you've ever been?
6. Dog or Cat person?
7. What TV show can you not miss?
8. Most favorite book? Why?
9. If you had an unlimited amount of money but couldn't use it for anything charitable what would you do?
10. What did you want to be when you were 5?
11. Be honest... how often do you check Facebook?


Thursday, March 8, 2012

An awkward feminist

Man oh man have women been in the press lately. And of course I have opinions. I don't know why this blog has turned into my political sounding board, but it has. Sorry if you're apathetic.


I don't swear, so my blog doesn't swear...

I would never think I was a die hard feminist. Someday, I want to have kids and be a stay at home mom. I love that idea.  However, I don't think what I want is right for everyone and that everyone else should want that too. I think women should have just as much power as men when it comes to making their own decisions. I will tell you that the stay at home mom thing is COMPLETELY my decision. If I wanted to work full time, get a graduate degree, do anything I want, I know Chad would support me 100%. I am not oppressed. I made this decision. 

I think everyone has the right to decide. I think that is what is upsetting me the most. I feel like there has been a lot of craziness happening in the world of women's rights.

Roe vs. Wade:
Really? We are debating this again? I do not agree with abortion, I will never get an abortion, I would never tell a friend who has confided in me that they should get an abortion, but I do not think abortions should be illegal. Should there be restrictions? Yes. Would you like to know what happens when something is illegal? It still happens, but in a wholly unsafe way. It's back alleys and coat hangers and horribleness. Also, it leads to more unwanted children in the world. Unwanted children doesn't mean more children to adopt for families that can't have kids necessarily. It leads to kids who aren't raised with a parent or parents who love them unconditionally. It leads to abandoned children.. just take a look at Romania's history. When abortion was banned in Romania it led to 1 million plus children living in orphanages and not enough resources to care for them.
Also, Rick Santorum has said, basically, that you should make lemonade from lemons if you have been impregnated by a rapist. That you should treasure it. WOW. Rape is a horrific experience in general. I can't imagine after trying to recover from that, then finding out your pregnant, how that must feel. It just makes me so upset I don't even have words. He even claims if it happened to his daughter he would still be firmly pro-life. I'm throwing the BS flag on the field or diagnosing him as a sociopath. I just can't believe any dad would look into his daughters scared eyes and say, "what a blessing" after finding out that she was assaulted and now has even more additional baggage to deal with. Also, imagine that conversation that mother would have with the child. Either the "why did you give me up?" (because you remind me of the most traumatic event of my life) or the "who is my dad?" (this horrible man that forced himself upon me)

P.S. I HATE the terms pro-life and pro-choice. I am pro- life choice.

New Mexico:
I saw this story on the Huffington Post today and it made me so upset. Honestly, I would love to see every single teacher/ administrator at that school fired. To expel someone for being pregnant is ridiculous. To then have them come back and make them stand on the stage in front of their entire school and tell everyone they are pregnant is cruel. I cannot believe that adults would let this happen. Isn't there enough tormenting going on in schools already? Why add to it by putting her personal struggle on display like that. If this had happened to my (hypothetical) child... oh man there would be HELL. I would not rest until everyone was fired, my child's new private education and the cost to take her to/from was paid in full by the school district etc. 

Perhaps the school thought this was the best way to keep others from having sex/ getting pregnant. Which brings me to another issue I'm struggling with...

Utah has passed a bill that says schools can only teach abstinence based sex ed and that teachers aren't allowed to answer any questions a student has about sex, contraceptives or homosexuality. REALLY? They said that they had a different sex ed program in place and it didn't reduce the number of teenage pregnancies so they thought this was best. Also, they don't want outsiders telling children stuff they should be learning about in their home.

Let's poke some holes in this.... perhaps the reason teenage pregnancy is so high in Utah is less what they're taught (or not taught) in schools, and more because of Utah culture. Utah has a VERY large Mormon population. Mormons are very strict about their beliefs that sex should wait till marriage, and it is also, mostly, a lot of small towns. Teenagers are going to have sex, not all of them, but some will. No teenager wants their parents to find out they had/ are having sex. If the only way to get any sort of birth control in Utah is to have a store employee unlock the display case for you or go to your Dr. you're not going to do that.  Not to mention that store employee/ Dr. is a member of your religion/ congregation and now knows what you're up to and will most likely tell your parents... Those measures aren't sex deterrents, they're just going to cause teens to not have safe sex. That's why teenage pregnancy is high.
Second, the reason sex ed has shown up in schools is because society does a crap job of preparing their kids for it. Also, there is not a single teenager on earth that wants to have a conversation like that with their parents. Heck I got married at 27 and I was worried my mother was going to give me a sex talk. I was almost skittish around her during my entire engagement. If a kid isn't taught anything from his parents, which knowing Mormon culture VERY well I know a lot of Mormon parents won't talk to their children about it, and doesn't learn about it in school- where are they suppose to learn about this? They, most likely, can't even ask another trusted adult because their teacher isn't allowed to talk to them about it and they're not asking a religious adult they trust because they worry it will go back to their parents again. 

Birth Control/ Sandra Fluke:
 First why is Rush even on the air still. Gosh I feel like all he's doing is saying thing to enrage other people. Second, what I found most offensive about his rant is that he was incorrect and creepy. He was incorrect, the measure wasn't saying the federal government was to pay for contraceptives- it was that employers and health insurance companies would pay for it. And second he's creepy in that he thinks that anyone using contraceptive should post a video online of them having sex so he can get value for what he paid for. So he flat out says that he should get to watch all the porn he wants because some women don't want to get pregnant. I take personal offense at his statements. I'm on birth control and it's not so I can be a floosy and sleep around, it's so that my husband and I can enjoy the beginning of our marriage and not bring a child into the world when we are not at all able to provide the type of home we want for it. By type of home we want for it I don't mean I think I should wait till all our debt is gone and we have a nice house and a closet full of baby gap clothing, I mean until we are mature enough to care for it correctly. Until we are at a place where we have health insurance for a child, and resources to live on. Right now my job barely pays for the minimal bills Chad and I currently have. If we were to try to add a baby to this mix right now it just wouldn't work. 

I'm upset. 

I'm upset that we seem to lack compassion for those around us, but demand tolerance from those who lack compassion for us.  I am seriously blown away by the words of people today. I can't stand people who think that their values and views are so superior that they need to be forced on everyone else. I challenge everyone to just stop and take a look at the counter argument. What would you do if you were in their shoes? What about if it was your mother, daughter, wife, best friend etc.? 

P.S. Feel free to debate me... I enjoy counter arguments and learning more why people think what they do... just play nice and respect all.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

100% Opinion... but I want to share

I really want to emphasis that this is 100% my opinion and I do not represent anyone at all when I make this opinion, but as a student of history and an outspoken feminist Mormon I thought I would compile my opinion on the matter... do what you want with it.

It seems there has been a lot to do with the embarrassing history of black members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS for short). A lot of it has been kicked up by The Washington Post article about this topic. A lot of people were up in arms about what Bro. Bott said in this article. I'm not going to address his thoughts, I'm sure it's been addressed elsewhere. I'm going to address the sentiment of the time and perhaps put the whole controversy in context.

In 1830 the LDS church was established in upstate New York. In1804 all the Northern states (states north of the Mason-Dixon line) had passed laws to abolish slavery gradually. Congress in 1807 banned the international slave trade. Slavery faded in the border states and urban areas but expanded in highly profitable cotton states of the Deep South.

 So let's think about Joseph Smith's background (the founder of the LDS church). Study into his family will show that they are from the North and were pretty progressive in that day and age. Since slavery had been abolished where Smith lived since before his birth I think it's safe to assume he had a pretty progressive stance on the position of African American's as equal citizens. Those beliefs would explain why he was very comfortable with the idea African Americans having the same privileges in the early LDS church as any other person.

Let's now fast forward a few years. The LDS church has bounced around the United States quite a bit. New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Missouri. For those of you who slept through History class, Missouri wasn't exactly the best place to be... it was a frontier state, which are notoriously rough places to live, and a state caught up in constant and somewhat extreme turmoil. In 1820 the Missouri Compromise was passed. It said that slavery would not exist in any of the new territories except Missouri. So the LDS church went from free state to free state to free state to slave state. The slave state status of Missouri was tempestuous and caused a lot of concern for many people. So now imagine if you will, you are a slave owner living in Missouri and a lot of abolitionists (assumption here, since many LDS at this time are from the North, I think it's a safe one) are moving into your state in the 1830's. You would be very wary of the newcomers. They also have a weird new religion and are quickly bringing in many more people every day to live in the state. Wouldn't you assume they're doing this to overturn the slavery laws? Perhaps you think it's best to drive them out, using any means necessary. Now, imagine you're the leader of this new group. You and your followers have put down roots, you've built homes, stores, places of worship, you believe that Missouri is your promised land, wouldn't you want to do anything to you could to stop the persecution? This is the time frame and scenery when the LDS church stopped ordaining their black members to the Priesthood. Is it correct? No, but at a time where a black person was considered not even human by many, treating them as an equal was a very radical idea.

At this time the early LDS church also made a lot of policies during these times in regards to black people. One was that they would not preach to them. The reasoning for this was also founded in the time. When Mormon men went to preach around the US they encouraged members to join the other Saints in Missouri/ Illinois. How could you tell a slave in the south all about the LDS church doctrine and then ask them to join the saints without asking them to run away? That was illegal, so leaders informed the members to not preach to the black/ slave community in the south. 

So now let's fast forward again. Joseph Smith has been killed and Brigham Young is chosen to replace him and lead the LDS people during another time of upheaval. This is still a time where the LDS church is growing rapidly and struggling. A lot of people splinter from the LDS church for a variety of reasons, but the basic is that they feel someone else should led the LDS church. If you're a leader in that setting you want to provide leadership and answers for your flock. Brigham Young joined the LDS church right before it moved to Missouri so for most of his membership he didn't see any black men receive the Priesthood and he was a scriptorium. He knew his scriptures, so I'm sure at this time he made what he thought was a solid connection between the curse of Cain/ Ham, black people, and Priesthood rights. He was not alone in this assumption, it was a pretty common thought preached over many pulpits at the time by all denominations.

So then after a very long time the Civil rights movement occurred in the United States. Black people were finally told, separate wasn't equal (1954) and that segregation will not be allowed (1964). It took the United States a long time to get to this point in history. And change was slow. VERY SLOW. They were slow to understand that equality is for all, that the color of your skin doesn't mean you're any different.

The LDS church was also slow. LDS members are taught that anything the previous prophet has said is from God. The major hiccup here is that at the time of Brigham Young's presidency, pretty much anything he said, either as The President of the LDS church or just as Brigham Young, citizen of the US, was recorded and considered doctrine. So how does a church catch up to the times? It waits until its leader brings about new doctrine. I don't know why this doctrine did not come till 1978, but then I consider the LDS belief about how a person receives revelation. The idea being that members of the LDS church receive inspiration after they have studied it out, come to a decision and prayed to God about it. Now the belief at this time was that a Prophet of God said that black men will not receive the Priesthood in this life. It takes a very confident President of the LDS church to decide to go ponder, make a decision and ask God if you're correct that you should overturn something you have always learned was doctrine. I know I could never be that bold, I am very grateful that Spencer W. Kimball was; as "late" as he was.

I am not trying to defend the actions of the past, I am very happy I live in an equal rights slave free world, but I thought seeing everything through a historical perspective is important to understand why people did what they did. 

Many people argue that the LDS church should release a statement saying that Brigham Young was wrong. I truly believe that will never happen. I think it would shake many people. To say that something a President/ Prophet said was wrong is to call into question every single one of his other statements and the authority, most LDS people believe he had. LDS people believe he was the mouthpiece of God. So the LDS church will say that Bro. Bott was wrong, but it will never officially come out and say a prophet was.

So on behalf of me I would like to say sorry. I'm sorry people with different skin tones were (and still are) treated poorly. And I'm personally sorry that the church I belong to wasn't ahead of the curve when it comes to Equal Rights.

Feel free to comment and share differing opinions or insights...

My own extensive knowledge of LDS history
My own extensive knowledge of US history

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Why I am HATING the primaries this year

This will be a political RANT, feel free to ignore if you don't care what I think and what makes me angry, politics wise.

 I hate the primaires this year. Like more than any other year. It has been so annoying and here's why:

  • I have a bunch of facebook friends that are Ron Paul disciples. I say disciples because they aren't supporters. They are people who believe he is the savior of the American government. They truly believe that the US is right at the point of crumbling a la ancient greek and roman governments and that Ron Paul is going to be able to prevent that if he's president. They don't believe he can't win... which brings me to my next point.
  • A lot of people have been saying this year that electability doesn't matter. I don't know where they get that idea. If they all think Obama is the worst president ever (more on that) then their goal should be to present a candidate that the general population would feel good about, one that would be able to draw support from moderates, the moderate voters are the ones people should be concerned with. Also, the primaries show who is electable (not to mention the 2008 election) and when a candidate consistently comes in 3rd or 4th place, that doesn't mean "the establishment" is rigging elections, that means lots of voters don't think they would be a good choice for president.
  • I also HATE the people who tell me that if I'm Mormon I SHOULD vote for Ron Paul. Last I checked there is no official party for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Please don't take your interpretation of church doctrine and use it to try to guilt me into voting for you candidate. My personal religious beliefs are actually part of the reason why if he were to get the nomination (HA) I would volunteer for Obama's campaign. Neither of us are bad Mormons for those beliefs.
  • My next issue is with all the Obama hating. Why do so many people hate him? It doesn't make any sense. I understand the campaigning against him, that's fine. I understand why GOP candidates are saying he should be a one term President, they want his job. What I don't get is why so many people say he's a socialist (he's not) or they think that everything that is wrong with the country is his fault. Or that they're happy with "anyone but him". Do you really think that mindset is going to change anything if that's all you think?
  • Why Newt why? 

I am officially an independent voter, I am also undecided. I should be someone candidates are trying to appeal to. With all of this though, I'm leaning toward not voting. I'm disenfranchised with the system. What's worse is that I don't think I'm alone.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Pinterest and I are breaking up

I don't know if I'm okay with it. It was NOT mutual. And I don't think Pinterest is fully rejecting me either. It's a shaky break at best.

The other day I wanted to post something on Pinterest and I can't get into my account. :( I have sent 2 emails to them and have not heard back. It's quite devastating. So right now, I'm going to use my blog as my Pinterest till I get it back:

I think I could make these.... be awesome when I someday have a baby... unless it takes after it's Dad and is exceptionally hairy out of the womb

I just like this quote.

Infographic as a Holiday Card... such a cute idea
Visiting Morocco is on my bucket list

Himalayan Trek- yes please

Stay in a castle!
I want this bag.

I'm obsessed with Maldives- Anantara Dhigu
I still have Pinterest access on my phone, which is why I don't think it's completely over yet... I really do hope they take me back. It's a bit of an obsession, and I pin so many yummy treats, dream vacation spots and fabulous home improvement options that I really want it back. But until then I will visit THIS SITE... it's like an architecture/ interior design fake Pinterest. You can look at millions of homes/ rooms etc.