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Everything posted by BlueDreams

  1. Our neighbors often assume we're not members, so something about us doesn't scream typical LDS....of course that could just be that we go to a spanish ward, so they're not seeing us in their usual 7 blocks of ward attendance . Still its entertaining and my husband especially likes "playing investigator" when he gets the chance. As for unique...my general background and perspective. I don't think that I'm the only member who may have similar traits as I do. But I'm aware that among LDS members in the US it's still not a common experience. uniqueness in and of itself isn't important to me. Rather that who i am and my experiences can be used to help is. With luv, BD
  2. I know i’ve mentioned this before. But that’s easier said than done and assumes the family members want these resources. My problem as a therapist who very much wants to work with the spouse as well when I have an addict in my office, is that the said spouse doesn’t want to come in. Often they see this as their partner’s issue, or they don’t want to deal with the problems it’s caused in themselves, or they don’t fully recognize that it has. Not all the time. Here and there i do meet a partner who is well differentiated from the other and doesn’t take a big effect from their partner’s compulsions. But that’s fairly uncommon. I, their bishop, friends, even their addict spouse may suggest seeking therapy or support groups for themselves. But we can’t exactly push them into it. Also something that is bothering me. You’ve used “addict” and “abuser” interchangeably. This isn’t the case. Most addicts are not abusing a spouse or child. And for that matter, many of the abusers i have had in my office aren’t addicts. There are people who are both, definitely. But one does not warrant the other is happening. Also some of the solutions i’m seeing (not just from you) are oversimplified. When working with either addicts or abuse situations, I don’t have a one-size-fits-all methodology. There are things that are generally needed. Such as boundaries if they’re enmeshed or codependent. Or safety plans if there’s abusive patterns. But sometimes ideals aren’t exactly ideal. For example if there’s a person being abused and I tell them to kick out their partner, it may feel empowering, but i may have inadvertently left them in a vulnerable state. Their partner knows where they live, how to reach them, and already shows a predisposition to breaking boundaries and social norms. At any time their abuser could return to their house and if this partner was physically violent, the other may be at serious risk of harm. Likewise if i tell the partner to think about leaving their abuser sooner than they’re ready to contemplate it, i may end up seeing them leave me or other healthy resources instead to block out the unwanted advice. When a crisis hits, they’re now more isolated and compromised than if I’d worked with them in their marriage as is. For the record: I don’t work usually with current physical abuse. Usually it’s working through the ramifications of previous abuse or concurrent emotional abuse patterns. With luv, BD
  3. Since abuse has been brought up here too. I’d point out that the church also has a site focused on that topic as well in a similar format as the pornography one: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/get-help/abuse/?lang=eng in the resources are the numbers and sites to several abuse crisis hotlines and places to start seeking professional help. With luv, BD
  4. Many of these look similar to the ones integrated in this site: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/addressing-pornography/?lang=eng I was given the site when it was being beta tested by a bishop i worked with. I was initially skeptical because of what i’d seen in the cultural concerns (several of which have already been mentioned)....but i was pleasantly surprised. I generally like the resource. The church is generally fighting concerns and issues that compromises member’s capacity to partake in the gospel. P*rn does that and is a very prevalent concern. So they’re going to fight it. With luv, BD
  5. Welp, that’s definitely not what the church teaches. It’s definitely not what the bishops said or indicated as i’ve worked with them to help their members with problems they know need more than what they can give. I think you are right in that sometimes therapy can lead to a focus or direction that isn’t the right one for a person. Often depression or anxiety or other dysfunctions are more like “common sense”...you won’t feel good in a life that is dissonant with what you believe. You shouldn’t feel good in situations that are in someway harmful. I’m glad that you found the answer that worked for you. But you are not all humanity. Your experiences do no ascribe an edict from God as to the value of what therapists do for everyone else. You are not the prophet... so your opinion - that run counter to official church stances and practices - means very little to me. With luv and a bit of a shrug, BD
  6. The context may help a little to get better why this was inappropriate. The person was obviously not interested in hearing our message. They were being polite in letting us talk but was giving several indications that they were content in their current beliefs and was not interested in our message. The “suspend the beliefs” was asking them to do something the person didn’t voluntarily want to do. That’s not okay. Also to me, voluntarily experimenting upon the word/teachings you’ve heard is different than insisting someone try ro suspend their beliefs. I also preferred to build from where the person was at, find common ground and beliefs and add to them or show how they tie into our message. When there were moments that beliefs diverged, i would share my perspective, why i believed it, etc. I would ask them to study that aspect for themselves. To me this is not “suspending” belief structures. That’s an artificial experience to me. This is helping to facilitate their own organic growth/change in beliefs. Something only they and God can really do. With luv, BD
  7. I generally agree. I would just say, that there are varying approaches to therapy. I'm of the type that thinks it's impossible to really be non-biased and that it's better to recognize one's biases in and outside of therapy to better facilitate therapy. I'm big into bringing myself, as appropriate, into therapy since I'm a big believer that relationships heal and it's easiest to have a relationship with a person rather than a name and title With luv, BD
  8. No, I don't. I'm curious what you even mean by "correct" in this question. My degree is in Marriage and Family Therapy. My bias is helping families stay together as much as I can and generally believe that most couples who enter my office have the capacity for a happy marriage IF they're willing to work through their current hurdles. You simplified my post in a way that I disagreed with because I view it as inadvertently expecting more from the believer than the non-believer. One was being asked to remember a couple positive things from their former religion....which could be as broad as service opportunities and noting a good youth program. The other was being asked to shift their belief structure. When I had a little over-zealous mission companion who told an atheist we tracked into to take a moment and just "suspend her beliefs," I immediately shut down the conversation, apologized to the atheist, and then chatted with my companion as to why that is inappropriate to ask of anyone. In your post, it wasn't an unbeliever being asked to do that, it's the believer....thus why I talked about the believer and what I would do for them specifically that is different from your summary. As to the non-believer, I'd first slow down the believer and help him/her explore the said comments, sighs, etc with both of them to make sure they're both interpretting what they mean in the same way. Often, they're not. It's actually not super common that I have a spouse who's making "comments, sighs, or continually pressures the non-believer." When I do, it's not just in religious matters that things have fallen apart. Usually there's some form of a breach in trust in their relationship as well. The most recent cases where I saw this entail the believing spouse being lied to (usually by omission) in one way or another often for years. I've never had a spouse actively pursue a "rescue mission." The closest to that is when the non-believer views the reach out by well-meaning members as such and the believing spouse feels a need to defend these well-meaning neighbors/ward members, which then makes the non-believing spouse feel as though the believing one cares more about religion than them. Which is almost never true (I can't currently think of a case where that was true....but I'm leaving it open due to a currently spotty memory). Usually the concern or subtle methods to try and push belief or activity is easily fixed by just overtly looking at the believing spouse and empathetically stating something along the lines of "I can't make your spouse believe again, that's not my job and I'm not that powerful" if there's space for a light joke and it's just the believing spouse there, I might also mention that was "satan's plan" anyways. They know this inside and if I have someone really pushing for some form of activity, even if it's superficial....it's usually trying to collect their old life and a form of grief for losing experiences and things they've very much wanted. It's pushing against the sorrow and acknowledging what path they're really on now from what they thought they'd have. My job isn't to fix the believer or non-believer to better "fit"...my job is to fix the marriage. When religion comes up as a problem in the marriage, I address it with them. When it doesn't overtly come up, I don't bother. And there are plenty of spouses that have a spouse in some form of faith crisis/transition/unbelief where it isn't directly affecting their marriage, minus the sadness and confusion that can naturally come from an unexpected change. No you don't. I will answer for myself as I have time (which is limited right now....I have a newborn), but I generally agree with Calm's explanation. She's known me on this board for quite a while (I joined when I was 14...I'm now 31) and I know would take correction if she read me wrong. But in this case she hasn't. Just because I disagree with your wording doesn't mean I "privilege belief." That is jumping to conclusions I never made. And yet several people interpreted my words drastically different from the assumption and direction you took it. My clients generally know my biases when a topic is brought up. I don't hide them and want them to be explicitly stated for them to judge the information I give them and my perspective. In these cases, they know I'm happily a believing member and they often know that I come from a very blended family that does not fit LDS norms and some aren't LDS. A number came to me because I don't fit the average UT mormon stereotype or they see me a little as "middle ground." I've had a few clients have concerns about my religious background at the beginning of therapy/before we've started therapy. We talk about them, I listen to their stories, and they generally end up enjoying therapy with me. I expect no one to "remain quiet" in my office unless someone is overtaking therapy and their partner cannot find space to talk in session. With all due respect, I'm really wondering how you even reached these conclusions from the 2 posts I've made. I used "problem" exactly once in between both posts. And it was a specific piece of advice towards members who may get focused on fixing their spouses faith concerns by answering this or that point of doctrinal concern...which generally doesn't work and adds to the frustration and distance in the marriage. I'm saying it would be unfair to expect either party to change their religious beliefs (or lack thereof) as the premise to their interactions. The counseling is to help them have a better relationship/marriage and to feel that they have tools and methods to talk more openly about these fundamental shifts currently affecting their marriage. Also I used the term faith crisis and faith transition because that was what was used in the OP article and most of the people on this thread (believer or not). Many people in faith crisis wouldn't immediately describe themselves as a non-believer or no longer LDS. My general rule is to mirror whatever terms they use to describe themselves and their current situation. With luv, BD
  9. No. This simplified message may feel comfortable to someone who has left the church and now subscribes to a viewpoint that's heavier into relativism or every religion/belief system is the same-ish. But for the believer it may be more off putting than helpful. For someone who's really struggled with a loved one's transition the wording could be its own form of triggering. Especially if they've felt or had their partner/friend/relative try to convince them they're wrong to hold their values or beliefs. What would be asked of them in this scenario would be inherently unequal (they're being asked to move their world view/paradigm while the non-believer is just being asked to remember the good things in mormon beliefs/practices). My points do not assume what you're describing. I'm saying help them learn how to communicate and hear the other person while also finding common truths and values to recement their relationship. When I have the believing spouse on their own, I'm not asking them to look at outside world views about their beliefs (especially if they don't want to) but helping them reframe their experience founded on their beliefs in such a way to foster (realistic) hope and a greater peace with their current experience....especially when the believing spouse is very obviously not entering their own faith crisis and note their faith as a main source for strength and solace. With luv, BD
  10. I've been meaning to post to this but have had difficulty to find the time. Even now as I type, my baby is sleeping on me, so excuse the many grammatical errors. I've read maybe around half of the posts on the thread and read the majority of the article in the OP. There are things I agreed with and things that I felt could be a little simplified in description. My personal perspective comes from having a number of family members leave the church to some degree or another (and for varying reasons) and also having this come up as a topic of concern for couples in therapy where one spouse is in faith crisis/transition or already left and the other spouse is still active and believing. A couple times it's come up with a person discussing about someone close to them that's not their spouse leaving. And a few times it's also come up as a topic as both have distanced to some extent from the church, but have taken very different approaches and perspectives about said distancing. I generally can agree with the outlook of the article in how it can effect or feel towards both parties. The acknowledgment is good on that. To me the article itself and its suggestions could be a little over-simplified in suggesting what members could/should do and their reactions to said situations. Based in part on what I've come to see as a bit of a simplified narrative of faith transition that works on online communities, but with a closer lens...tends to show more complexity and individual oriented patterns that increase the difficulties in feeling accepted. It also didn't really take a throw at what those reeling from a faith crisis of some sort could do as well. From what I've seen, there are things that both parties do/don't do that can make the relationship land well or become strained. The suggestions given aren't inherently bad or wrong...they just seem incomplete. That sense of incompleteness to me is epitomized in this question: "When people become disillusioned with church, how do we maintain and rebuild relationships of trust?" with her describing the people as individuals as the church. Without meaning to, this places the weight of rebuilding trust solely on the shoulders of the active members...on an issue or concern that often didn't start (nor will it end) with that individual church member. Relationships of trust are a two-way street and if it's only one side giving "love and inclusion" and the listening, openness, etc (and yes, I've seen that with people in faith crisis) it won't work....trust won't be rebuilt. Often the member just ends up feeling hurt in one way or another. I did like this "People are most likely to experience a crisis or transition of faith when there is a stark contrast between the black-and-white faith of their youth, and the more complex information and choices they now face as adults. Such jarring contrasts can make people feel as if they’ve been deceived, which deepens their distrust of the Church, its members, and—as Spencer Fluhman and Patrick Mason point out in this conversation—even the spiritual experiences that had formed the basis for their testimonies." That I have definitely seen and would add that the church is often not the only area that the black and white thinking occurs in these individual's lives. It also can be paired with generalization and the possibility that many people in their immediate circle likely had similar outlooks. If I could give advice to both active and faith-crisis member in a close relationship as to how to interact based on what I've seen, this is a bit of what I may say or recommend. Member: Take some time and grieve. It's okay to be frustrated, confused, or hurt by what's happening with your loved one. In fact you should feel and process these concerns. Try not to attack or blame them, but be honest with them about the hurt you feel. You do not have to answer all of their concerns all at once. You don't have to have the perfect answer. Often what works for you answer-wise, won't work for them. A specific bullet point of historical/social/spiritual concern is often NOT the problem in and of itself. Answering it right now, won't necessarily restore them to a place of faith. Encourage that they talk to you. Let them know that you won't give perfect answers, you'll likely have moments you don't understand or see where they're coming from....but that you do want to know what's going on and their concerns. Have love and inclusion...but boundaries and your own places of support are also important. Boundaries shouldn't be based on fear or trying to ignore the changes that happened in the relationship, but recognizing your limitations and personal need for balance. Often they may go from not sharing their concerns at all to word-vomiting every last concern they've ever had. They may make comments that are very critical of other members, religious practices, or thing that you still value. This is both overwhelming and exhausting over long periods of time. Recognize that limitation and help set when and how talking about these things can be done so both your needs are met. (for the black-and-white thinking spouse especially) It can be easy to feel betrayed, lost, and like your partner has lost themselves and all that was special in your relationship. Take some time to "time-out" church with your partner and remember other reasons that you enjoy their company. If that feels miniscule or very limited, it's likely time to work on building the relationship in general before grappling with big-ticket questions on religion. Find common beliefs and values that you still hold together. Maybe they've lost faith in prophets, but they still believe in Jesus. Maybe they don't believe in God, but they still value compassion, kindness, love, family, etc. Maybe they don't believe the historicity of the BoM but they still find the spiritual lessons from it as good Find those commonalities and use those to build a sense of spiritual connection. Faith-crisis individual: Open up to your partner/loved ones if you haven't already. It is not a favor to hide from them what you're experiencing and the longer it goes to more of a railroading it's going to feel like them. Note that opening up, doesn't mean they'll likely say or do exactly what you'd hope. And it may be in multiple conversations over time as opposed to one large sit-in. THat's okay. Take some time to step into their shoes. Empathize with them by recognizing that what you feel in a breach of trust with the church may be very similar to what they're experiencing and feelings with you right now, especially if this is the first time they've heard about your concerns or loss of faith . Do not assume that you can't talk to people from one or 2 poor experiences of from what you picture them saying (aside: I've seen a lot of projection, especially early on, about who will reject them and what their neighbor, friend, family, etc will say/do). It is likely not as bad as you think it will be, especially if you can do so while truly listening to them and assuming that even in their imperfect answers there's a good chance that their motivations are good. //// Hiding y Just as you likely didn't come to your conclusions overnight, give that same allowance to others as they grapple with your concerns. (especially for black-and-white thinkers) They may not have the same reaction to the same information that's hit you the hardest. You may have first kept the information from them in some for of protecting them from the hurt and disillusionment that you felt. As you've shared with them more about this, you may find that they seem strangely okay or find faith-oriented answers to these concerns. You may find yourself reasoning that their lack of harm to the issues that harmed you may be an indication of "blind faith" or not truly getting the gravity of an issue or even hiding themselves from "the truth." THese are judgment narratives of the same nature to members who assume the only reason you left the church is because of wanting to "sin." Hold back from that judging voice, take time to process what bothers you about them not seeing things as you do, and then work to hear and understand their perspective, even if it's not you own. tied with that, do not assume that you "get them" because you were "just like them" before a faith crisis. This can become inadvertently dismissive and hurtful and may increase a sense of isolation from each other. (especially if this is a spouse) Do not expect them to participate or welcome behaviors that go against their religious beliefs/covenants. It can be extremely disruptive, uncomfortable, and feel disrespectful to suddenly insist that they accept this or that behavior from you when for the majority of your guys' relationship that was a mutually agreed to no-no. Just because you now like coffee, for example, does not mean the other will be comfortable with your sudden purchase of a coffee machine and it being brewed each morning. Take time, talk about what you are wanting, and seek to understand their concerns. for both: take an observor/curiosity role to discussing concerns around faith and religious practice. Instead of immediately defending your position in reaction to what they're saying, take time to ask them questions about this or that concern. Check to see that you truly understand what they're trying to say. And take a moment to evaluate what you are feeling and telling them that AFTER you've sought to understand them. Take a moment and write a narrative in your head that does not put to the other in one way or another as the "bad guy" I could probably write more, but this is probably too long as is. In general, fostering trust, building relationships, helping a person feel loved cannot be done unless both parties are actively seeking these as goals. I've seen that most in spouses, but I can see that in bishop-member relationships, friendships, neighbors, etc. The active member can earnestly try and show love and care and it amount to hooey if the other person isn't also working to listen and try as well. With luv, BD
  11. This is a very delayed response to you. I'd written most of this and then got very busy with life. 1. I don't think it's that hard of a conclusion to reach. You didn't quote anyone directly, which makes it look more like you're only responding to the OP...especially so early in a thread. 2. If you noticed, I wrote a different post with other more general reasons that I give congratulations or some form of positive affirmations towards a calling. This one fits into the general "I know their talents would be good for their calling." 1. Okay, but it doesn't fit the vast majority of callings that people may give a congrats to. And again, the OP was general, so it would make sense to me that the posited reasons should be generalizable to most callings one may congratulate. 2 - by pessimistic, the only reasons you gave for people giving congratulations were all negative ones. Having a potential negative one wouldn't be pessimistic in and of itself. That it was the only potential reason or a mere congratulations is the main reason.....plus it only fits one specific calling: male leadership roles in the church. Nothing else. Which in the church often comes with a standing joke of feeling sorry for the person...or being relieved to be released/not getting the calling oneself. It's not seen, culturally (at least in the US wards I've been apart of) a calling one aspires to, even though it is generally a respected position. So to assume it must be the prestige seems a very pessimistic perspective to me. Just as if I assumed reverends were generally in it for the money. 3. The clarification does help understand where you're coming from. But again, the extrapolation just doesn't seem to fit what I've actually seen. I'm aware you didn't say "power trip," but the descriptor words you did use all are derivatives of pride/ego-rubs. I have seen that happen, most poignantly with this elder I worked with on my mission where becoming a minor leader went straight to his head for a bit and was an indication of his worthiness (to him....no one else)....but again, it's generally the exception. ******Although as an aside, paid ministers were also a common concern I saw mentioned by people we were teaching to (ie. Not members). They really really liked that we were largely lay-clergy, even if they didn't want to investigate further into our faith. Often airing their issues out to us about their local congregation and it's perceived monetary focus (I wasn't part of these congregations, so obviously I wasn't in a position to judge. I just found it interesting how often it came up as a concern). With luv, BD
  12. Curious: why do you assume that the only people being congratulated for calling are A) men and B) men called to be bishops or leadership positions? I would likely congratulate my husband if he was given a primary teacher calling because he loved subbing for the sunbeams class so much. I have never heard that described as a prestigious calling. The OP didn’t say anything about what callings are being congratulated and the assumptions following seem overly pessimistic. I’m sure there are leadership callings that end up feeling validated about their accomplishments or whatever else. But i’ve worked with several bishops due to the nature of my profession and not once had a bishop who I felt was going on a power trip in their head. Not that it can’t happen, but as a blanket statement/explanation for simple congratulations, this doesn’t appear to work from my perspective. with luv, BD
  13. I don’t remember congratulating a person recently on their calling. My last friend was called to primary president and my response was “ooohhhhhhh, i’m sure you can do it”.... mainly because she was staring at a pic of our good sized primary like someone told they needed to scale a cliff for the first time. The closest to a congrats for a calling is when I know the person well enough to know that the calling is likely a really good fit for their talents, I’m excited for the experiences they will have (usually temple worker calls because I absolutely loved being a temple worker), or that i knew they really enjoy that sort of calling. I’ve never thought of it as a prestige thing. With luv, BD
  14. It may be good to have an answer to the “why?” Just because it’s not the wanted response doesn’t mean it may be a genuine question based from her views and perspectives . And even if it weren’t answering it gently and honestly can help give another perspective that they haven’t fully thought of or integrated in how they view an event like this. It can place a personal touch to what has like been a very abstract experience for this person. So for example, if i answered her “why,” i would likely be mentioning supporting close loved ones that mean a great deal to me. I would want them to know that even though we may experience and see the world differently that i value them and all that they are. That i work with people who are LGBT and i know that one of the big changes that helped them move through some experiences of depression and anxiety or low self-worth was learning that those close to them truly would love them no matter what, even when their values diverged or that expression of love/concern wasn’t “perfect.” I know on our straight part, learning how to love others is a sincere part of the second great commandment...and by reaching out and earnestly hearing those around us is likely one of the only ways that we can do so. For the record I haven’t gone to a gay pride parade. But i’m not opposed to going either. I’m more of a quiet, behind the scenes, sort of ally. With luv, BD
  15. The liahona/iron rod distinction to me are a false dichotomy that's made more by our own cultural/spiritual feelings more than what's found in scripture. After all, there is a reason both of them are found in the story of Lehi and his family....and why Nephi, depending on how you look at it, could be seen as both "iron rod" or the "liahona" oriented. Pointing out the danger or issues with trains in the OP and your post seems a little odd to me. On a real-world note, there is no "perfect" means of travel where we can completely avoid pain, danger, cost, or accident. Traveling to CA to NY, you could take train, plane, or automobile....horse, bike or foot. All of them have a cost. All of them have risk. All of them may lead to making difficult decisions while staying on course. To pretend that there is an answer simply by changing the means of travel and that one day we'll find the perfect method to not need to confront risk or harm or crashes seems both unrealistic and counter to the point of God's plan in the first place. To me, what's being mentioned is trying to change the circumstance rather than confront it and learn how to move through it even if that means making difficult or painful decisions. It reminds me of the verse that talks about being a follower of this or that disciple/apostle/Christ with the inferred exclusion of the others. That isn't sustainable or functional. IF you are only an "iron Rod" follower, you're right...the inferred rigidity in that use could lead you to problems. If you are only a "liahona" follower, likewise the constant flexibility can also lead to issues. Here's an odd example that's happened in the last week of my life around the WoW. On sunday a friend came by and talked about her own disordered eating that led to severe rigid eating (likely orthorexia). After listening about her progress and wanting to encourage her healthy switched, I invited her to eat ice cream with me in the near future. No one would describe ice cream as something proscribed in the WoW. But a "liahona approach" would note that doing so was likely more in line with the "Spirit" of the law in this instant than following the "letter" or "iron Rod" approach. Also this same week I had a major health scare. Usually I'm a healthy eater, but my diet and life in general had gotten a little out of whack. And it showed fairly dramatically in my blood pressure. As a pregnant lady, I can't exactly afford high blood pressure for any length of time. So I did something drastic, rearranged my diet to one of exact and careful obedience of the WoW after carefully praying about it and having faith that if I listened the blessings it promised about health/destroying angels would follow. Forget not having ice cream, I'm not eating cheese or added sugar or non-plant based/low processed fats...I turned down a kind sister's offer of homemade bread, because I knew it likely contained white flour instead of whole grains. In essence I took the proverbial "iron rod" approach. If I had taken the exact same "liahona approach" that I did with my friend and shrugged off careful exactness, the drastic drop in my blood pressure in the following days may not have happened and the added revelation and guidance as to what to correct in my daily life to avoid further crashes may not have happened either. In short, I cannot say that one approach or the other was really the right way. Focusing on the means of transport and looking for the perfect uneventful/non-painful means to move misses the point that there is really only one destination and getting there is the imperative. To your last question about Jesus. I see Him as fully integrated into following the true direction that was needed. At times that meant questioning hyper-rigid beliefs that had become cumbersome to correct movement (like the corn you mentioned). At others it entailed following exactly prophecy and expectations set forth by God (like being baptized or being crucified). with luv, BD
  16. I've called myself TBM more than once on this board. Though to be fair, part of that was to point out that TBM's run the gambit since most people who do view it in the "iron rod mormon" sort of way would likely not be picturing me in their assumptions. I think whatever the way of describing it, there are those who kind of have a picture and definition that they have around those who are very faithful and active in the church. I've found that that picture often comes from a very specific type of active member and often their own experiences when they have been more active and believing than they currently are. Sometimes (not always or all obviously) people can assume that one way of person for the whole body of believers. Plus people really love labels and definitions to simplify constructs. Fortunately, people are not constructs. With luv, BD
  17. Prayer and positive well-wishing, proclamation for greater unity, etc are empty platitudes to me without actions that meet the words. I don’t fault the many likely good religious leaders who attended, including our own. When i was skimming through some of it, i heard one leader specifically talk about integrity and moral character. I pray that that can one day be better re-established. In this current national head of state, I do not hold hope for such a thing. I pray moreso that his shameful behavior will not permanently drive us into the immoral/unethical ground. I pray that one day this land can feel like a welcoming place for my internationally expanding family. I pray that my children will have a brighter future on a cleaner/fairer earth as we wake up to what we’ve done to it and ourselves in the pursuit of luxuries and wealthy. I pray that we can still change into something better than we currently are today. with luv, BD
  18. She’s still cooking, but we’re getting close. Should be sometime around early june
  19. Since I've worked at the temple on the same shift for a long time, I've worked most consistently with my Older ladies over 50. When I got married, they were so excited about it that one threw me an impromptu temple worker bridal shower at a local restaurant. It was so fun and so sweet! The good is definitely their company and sharing stories with them....sometimes unexpectedly validating. Such as when they saw that I was planning to do cloth diapering on my baby shower invites. Where I was used to somewhat defending the choice, a number of them would talk about their experiences with it, and how it'll be easier for me since I have a washer and dryer...or how they enjoyed watching the diapers air dry in the sun. They get excited with me and mention how they miss little babies. I've really enjoyed working beside them, hearing some of their life concerns as well, and from time to time helping them too. I'm really going to miss working beside them as I have. They've lived amazing lives and I was enriched by their sharing of them. Bad....Sometimes having my credentials questioned in my work cuz I'm young and look even younger than I am. Most don't and I've had some really great older folks in my office to work with. This also doesn't happen as much once they're scraping 60....I think they're more used to just about everybody being younger than them when entering an office at that point. But it can be a bit of an annoyance as they remind me that I'm about their daughter's age or I can see them wondering just how young I am and if that will be a barrier for me to really understanding their problems. Along side that, they're more likely to have some...uhh...uncomfortable opinions. About gender roles, youths, race, politics, the nation, etc. There can definitely be some generational divides in how we approach problems and discuss concerns. This isn't always bad, I can tell their way of thinking has had some benefit....but it can also come with assuming that their way is inherently better than the younger generation's method of thinking/doing things. That can be a definite problem. With luv, BD
  20. I was just watching a youtube video about the DNA tests and what they can and can't tell us about our lineage: DNA is interesting stuffs....and our understanding of how it all works can be limited and/or oversimplified to say the least. Taking the DNA tests would be fun to do one day. I figure my DNA would be pretty straight forward with my husband's more likely to throw in some genetic surprises. But neither of our stories, culture, and heritage would or really could be encapsulated in a little vial. That is base off of our own histories and feelings towards it. With luv, BD
  21. We can't measure our success as parents based on the activity of our children. My aunt and Uncle are wonderful parents who raised their children in the gospel....and only 1 of their 4 adult children are currently active. Meanwhile my parents - who have some serious faults and didn't do "all the activities" and not only "missed the spirit" but could also drag the spirit out of the home - have 5 adult children, 3 of which are still active. By these numbers, we should assume that a caustic spiritual home environment is the best at getting kids on the right track. Personally, I'd rather follow the example of my aunt and uncle. Talking of Come follow me, my husband and I were reading the part about Christ calling Peter's revelatory declaration of who Jesus was "the Rock." I was struck less by this and more by the fact that immediately after that, Christ tells them about his imminent death and the apostles start misinterpreting and questioning what he actually meant. It struck me that even with Christ physically before them they got things wrong...so how can we, who must generally rely on the Spirit to guide us in our revelation and direction, expect to not get things wrong or make error in interpreting what we need to do? God does not expect perfection in our parenting and our course. Our course with Him is the perfecting element. With luv, BD
  22. NOPE! I never broke what I'd consider were really really big ones....such as drug use or s*x or something. But if it entailed controlling people's decisions and actions or seemed too rigid to me, I was more likely to ignore it entirely. Especially once I was in off-campus housing I had a roommate that I think would have passively took the problems as well if I weren't her roommate. Our other roommate physically assaulted the passive one when she tried to insist she turn down her blaring music. When I came home and saw the goose-egg over her eyebrow, I worked with another roommate to figure out what needed to be done to get her evicted, including calling the cops for her to file a report, taking pictures, and talking to the landlord. No way in hades was I living with someone like that. I dont know how much the HC could have helped since the offending roommate wasn't a BYU student and this wasn't BYU dorms but byu-approved apartments. That was by far my worst roommate experience. But the second to last set were amazingly frustrating as well....and the HC wouldn't have done much for me on 2 counts. 1) they were UVU students and I wasn't a student either at the time 2.) their breaks were minor at best and most of their issues weren't even tied to the honor code to begin with. I ended up swapping places with one of their friends in the basement of the house-apartment to stop dealing with them. Roommate roulette was never my favorite thing. With luv, BD
  23. Yeah, definitely not what I was told either at BYU-P as well when it came to "Encouraging." I can appreciate the intentions in the first question, but I don't know if that fully came across through their methods and focus at the time I was there. With luv, BD
  24. The other post you had, didn't have the petition, but an article from common consent. So I assumed it was tied to that and couldn't see much of what you're talking about now with the petition. I don't know if you meant to post the petition the first time and mistakenly hyperlinked the other....or if the article mentioned the petition and I missed it while scan reading. But that's what I was looking at. I somewhat agree that to have it solely be self-reported could lead to its own issues. I don't know if that was really the primary thing that made BYU attractive to me as a member. It was the price tag honestly that made BYU attractive. And the price tag/the crippling debt I could have had if I wasn't attending BYU is what also makes me hesitate to say that the school shouldn't have any say or means to enforce the honor code. The voices that I've read in general that talk about HC reform I've generally found reasonable or with legitimate concerns. And there likely could be a healthy middle ground reached. With luv, BD
  25. A couple of problems with the parallels. For one, these were not police that I mentioned....they weren't even BYU police. And the questions asked were largely not to check for potential safety violations, but really to remind us of apartment curfews and to check in on sexual hanky-panky. It was fairly obvious from the questions....and one kid's surprise when he realized a car that he thought had a couple in it about to get warm and cozy was actually a well hidden trio (ie. me) crouched by my friends knees. I get that there are areas and times where it would be good for safety concerns....but that's not what was happening from what I experienced. And they didn't have any legal authority to do much of anything if there was anyways. Jane, the biggest problem I have with the parallel given is the age. These aren't teens. The area I was in was specifically generally non-freshmen and married folks. I'm sure they felt they had their reasons....but that balance between protection and intrusion/over-stepping seemed to have been crossed IMO. THanks for the clarification. I would assume that there would be a number of varying views or desires of reform. Taking out some of the teeth with the HCU wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing to me personally. Taking in reports of behavior should be done with a little more caution at the very least by the HCO....and at least a recognition of severity in concerns and answering reports based off of danger to self or others moreso than minor concerns. There's a big difference between your roommate keeps bringing illegal drugs home v. your roommate smelled of coffee and had a starbucks cup. On the bold, same. After a certain age people generally cared far less about these minor things that seemed asinine. My general rule was I didn't care unless I genuinely felt unsafe...especially once I was living in BYU approved housing but not necessarily with BYU students all the time. With luv, BD
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