When Rebuilding The Church Looks Like Destroying It*

When Rebuilding The Church Looks Like Destroying It *

I have been accused of believing that the heavens are closed and that God does not speak through his servants today, but that is simply not true.

I believe in the promise and idea of what the church is supposed to be, but that it has been bogged down with policies and cultural preferences that do not reflect the love of our savior Jesus Christ or his mission.  I believe that the church can be what it says it is and I want to help make it better.  If you have no problems or issues at church, I envy you.  I’m not sure whoever said “When the prophet speaks the debate is over”, but they obviously are comfortable with a lot of things I’m not.

Brigham Young said:

“What a pity it would be, if we were led by one man to utter destruction! Are you afraid of this? I am more afraid that this people have so much confidence in their leaders that they will not inquire for themselves of God whether they are led by him. I am fearful they settle down in a state of blink self-security, trusting their eternal destiny in the hands of their leaders with a reckless confidence that in itself would thwart the purposes of God in their salvation, and weaken the influence they could give to their leaders, did they know for themselves, by the revelations of Jesus, that they are led in the right way. Let every man and woman know, themselves, whether their leaders are walking in the path the Lord dictates, or not. This has been my exhortation continually.”

For me personally I feel that past and present LDS leaders (local and at HQ) have continually dismissed, covered up, and outright lied about things in the history of the church; and this is in no way acceptable to me as representatives of the Lord.  I am left to wonder what words are theirs, and which are from the God.

I believe these men are godly.  They love the Lord and they love us.  I do not fault them for their imperfections.  I know the Lord works with what he’s got.  But when the people in charge refuse to humble themselves and instead power forward with statements like “We do not apologize” and ignore the damage they’ve done; I no longer trust every word out of their mouth to be from the Lord.

I am no longer content to go through life accepting stones instead of bread.  I am far from perfect in my quest to live a life that is pleasing to my creator.  I believe that he is my judge, and regardless of whether I ticked off all the boxes on a list of rules set forth by imperfect men leading through a glass darkly or not, he will judge me fairly.  I accept that I do not have all the answers.  I hope that if my words or deeds are hurtful or harmful to you that we can have a conversation about it to understand each other better and make changes where necessary.

I struggle now to find the words to end this statement of belief, so I leave you with this:

Merry Christmas, my dear friends.  My words fail me just now as I try to thank you for all you do and all you are to me.  I wish peace and contentment for you all your days.  It is my prayer that when we wake each morning we remember that “Kindness Begins With Me”.  I pray that more suffering will end than begin, and that I can have the strength to do my part in making that a reality.

Xoxo, Sallygirl

*Click and read the link, please.  It’s relevant and germane to my thoughts here.

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Ok2talk.org

I’ve been hearing and seeing commercials for www.ok2talk.org.  It’s a website that is trying to get young people to open up and talk about their feelings.  Incredibly, in this day and age mental health issues still carry shame and a stigma that make it hard for people with these issues to come forward.  Ok2talk is a safe place you can go to make a tumblr expressing your feelings, and has a helpline number for those in need of immediate help.  1-800-273-TALK (8255).  This is the one I created:

 

“I have felt ugly.  Alone.  Afraid.  FAT.  Helpless.  Depressed.  Worthless.  Sad for a reason.  Sad for NO reason.  Abandoned.  Scared.  Hopeless.  Embarrassed.  Screwed up.  Overwhelmed.  Exhausted.  Insecure.  Neurotic.  Emotional.  Out of control.  Lost.  Confused.  Angry.  Bitter.  Jaded.  Terrified.  Wanted to run away.  Wanted everything to stop hurting.

I wanted to die.

But I’m doing better.

I reached out for help.

It’s SO hard.  You don’t know how to do it.  It’s embarrassing to admit.  You just want someone to know how you feel and rescue you, but YOU have to save yourself.

And you can do it!  You are worth it!

Just ask.

And keep asking.  Don’t stop.

Dying is permanent.  It’s not like the cartoons, you don’t come back after 5 minutes.

If you need that break that you think dying will give you, go to the hospital.  They’ll take care of you there.

People care.  People that know you.  People you don’t.  Strangers.  Doctors.  Teachers.  Family.  Friends.  Police.  Counselors.

You have to believe them when they say you have worth.  When they say you are friendly, or funny, or smart, or talented, or whatever it is that you are that’s GOOD.  Because it’s true.

I know it’s uncomfortable.  To be complimented.  To receive positive attention.

It’s scary to make the choice to save yourself.  Maybe you’ve tried before.  I did several times.  It’s exhausting.  It is overwhelming to keep trying.  But I promise, eventually it will stick.

“But what if it doesn’t last?”

It’s ok.  You did it once.

You can do it again.”

If you know someone who suffers or needs help, please encourage them to come forward and share their voice.  The more there are of us to stand together, the stronger we are.  I’m so grateful to my many friends who have stood by me through my journey.  You have reached out and let me grab hold when I was in despair.  I know that God has placed each of you in my life.  If you feel you have not done anything special, you are wrong.  It was special to me.  Thank you. ❤

 

Life Lessons Learned From The Boob Tube

A friend shared an episode of the show “World’s Strictest Parents – Tooele, UT”.  It’s about two teens from Great Britain that go to live with a Mormon family living in Tooele, Utah.  After watching the entire 57 minutes, I understood something that I never have before:

We have ideals not because we are supposed to become some proscribed version of perfect, but to help ourselves seek and find the best parts of us, our families, our relationships; and work to become those things.

When we do that, we find our own perfect.  That is what we should strive for.

Also, I never understood the “becoming your own master” thing.  But I think I do now.

Understanding these things isn’t going to cure me of all my faults & weaknesses, but for now I’m finding great comfort in them, and I think just the spark of motivation I need to move forward.  I’m human.  I’m never not going to have faults, weaknesses, temptations, feelings!  But I want to hold tight to these thoughts and use them as best I can.

It Feels Like One Of Those Nights

“I don’t know ’bout you, but I”m feeling 22…”  Or 17 as the case may be.

Tonight was the Third “Annual” (and by Annual I mean whenever I happen to roll thru town be it annually or longer) Lady Eagles gathering at the Training Table restaurant where they make THE BEST cheese fries and Ultimate Dipping Sauce; and if you act kindly to the pimply teenage manager they will let you stay until well after closing time, and even then they will let you gather on their front doorstep until 1:28 a.m. so you can have a trip down memory lane with some of the people who have known you longest in your life.

I can’t find the words to say how blessed I feel to know these women.  We meet and we eat, we laugh and we cry (some of us laugh so hard we wish we had worn a Poise pad), we talk about our lives and share what’s going on about those who couldn’t make it, we ask bus boys to snap Charlie’s Angels photos of us; and although I can only speak for myself I think we all come away feeling like we have our own personal cheerleading squad out there.  We come away knowing these truths:

  • We are beautiful!
  • We are strong
  • We matter to others
  • We are talented
  • We are smart

and most importantly…

  • We are not alone

Thanks for the great evening, Lady Eagles.  I’ll see you soon!

Clover Club

That’s one of the things I miss about Utah.  These trips are always so bittersweet for me because I really love Utah!  There’s SO much I miss about living here!  I wish I could explain why I continue to live in California if I love Utah so much, but I’d have to understand it myself and I just don’t.  And I don’t feel like living in California is bad or torturous, I love California too!  Just as much as I love Utah.  Hence, the bittersweet.  Damn that Nevada, why does it have to be so big and between my two loves?  Plus, it smells like ass.  😉

In honor of my great love of Utah, I give to you my list of things I love and miss about Utah the most:

  • Shaved ice/snow cone shacks.  Have not seen these in CA, if they have them they must be few and far between.
  • Friendly neighbors!  Not that my neighbors aren’t friendly, it’s just people pretty much keep to themselves in Cali.
  • Speaking of neighbors… You don’t have to live in a rich neighborhood to live in a safe and friendly neighborhood.
  • Driving across the valley takes 20 minutes at most.
  • Wasatch Drive
  • My friends!  I have great friends in California, but they’re scattered all over and with husbands that have colossal commutes, it’s hard to have girl time.  Also, I’m pretty sure none of them would organize a pole dancing class for fun like my good friend D did.
  • Grandma Sycamore’s Bread – YUMMERS!!
  • My cute nieces and nephews – Seriously, my sisters (blood and in-law) are going to be fighting boys off with a baseball bat!  And my nephew T?  He’s going to go pro with hockey.  The kid has mad skillz.  High schools all over the valley want him for their team.  Bless his heart, he wants to play for the Utes, too!
  • Speaking of the Utes…. UTAH FOOTBALL!!!
  • Dating culture – It’s totally normal to go on group dates, the bigger the better!  And they’re so creative, too.
  • Sconecutters!  Totally not real scones, but yummy just the same.
  • Arctic Circle, because, FRY SAUCE!
  • The plethora of inexpensive (and free!) activities for people of all ages.  There’s too many to list!
  • Stake Lagoon Day – Why can’t we have Stake Disneyland Day?  I totally vote for it!
  • Dollar movie theaters – I’m pretty happy with the price structure at our local AMC theater, even though we rarely can go to a movie on the weekends; but there are SO many movies I’d rather see in the theater than have to wait for DVD!
  • Deseret Industries – Yes, we have some pretty great Goodwill stores, but DI has better prices and is organized so much more efficiently!
  • Trader Joe’s, In-N-Out Burger, and IKEA are here!
  • Scouting in Utah wards is much more adventurous.
  • Utah Mormons are… different than members “in the field”, but there are some things they just do better here and I’m jealous of that.
  • My family – I’ll say it again, I really miss my family.  I enjoy visiting them SO very much, but living here would be different.  I imagine how great it would be for our kids to grow up together like my brother & sister’s kids are, but the reality is it just wouldn’t be what I want it to be and I don’t know that I could handle it.  I love my sister, but her family is the busiest family I know (and good for them!), and time for get togethers is scarce.  I love my brother, too; but his family is so much younger than mine and until now all girls (baby boy is due soon!).  How fun is it for them to get together with mine?  Probably not enough to hang out much more than we already do.  And that’s once a year or less.  Why can’t my dreams be reality?  How hard is that for the world to revolve around me???  I don’t ask for much, just all your free time! 😉
  • Undergraduate options – Not too many where I live.  There are two JC’s in my area, and they are cut down to bare bones.  To take any interesting classes I’d have to head up to Sacramento and that’s just not an option right now.
  • Summertime – Sure, it has similar temperatures to the Central Valley, but it’s a dry heat (lol) and so much less oppressive than the humidity we’re plagued with!  Plus, summer thunderstorms!!

I could keep going but the day is starting to get away from me and I’m going to take advantage of the empty house to get all showered up.  Today is pedicure day!