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Everything posted by BlueDreams

  1. When i think of this, i think of three experiences that have helped shape my picture of becoming zion over the years. The first was of a ward that truly felt like zion. It was a ward made of several (30+) ethnicities from varying walks of life and regions of the world. I felt like it was a calling just participating in the ward as a lay member. There you were valued for all the experiences that made you you. Cultural heritage and backgrounds were not just a nice perk during food activities but an asset that all could learn from. Needless to say, the ward had a very high baptism rate. The second was a comment from a person going through several chronic health problems. She mentioned to me that she had thought once she’d been in a zion-esque ward...until she became too ill to participate in a lot of activities and her friend base in the ward suddenly dried up. She realized it was wonderful for those who fit, but there were likely always people on the margins who did not feel that same welcoming and place. the last was of a temple cultural celebration in UT. I won’t mention a lot of specific details. But their district had a strong number of specialty wards (think groups like chinese, spanish, and native american wards). Several of these groups wanted to incorporate a dance or experience from their cultures to celebrate. But the person in charge was a white utahn who had decided previously what would be the main numbers and was not open to incorporating other things. So the history focused on white 1800’s pioneers and the numbers and dances were largely focused on local white and pop culture references/experiences. And the minority wards were placed and brought to celebrate based on that image of UT. I think it’ll one day be lovely to have a time where the content of character is the judgment block for all. BUT if it’s not done with their context and heritage as valued additions to the table of the gospel, it will be incomplete. It won’t be zion. We all like the image of MLK’s speech but the lines to get to that image were marked by themes of justice, visibility, and viable pathways to freedom and success. These lines in particular stand out to me: “As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied, as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "For Whites Only". We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream. .... I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecution and staggered by the winds of police brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.” We still have a ways to go as a general society...but we also have a ways to go as a church as well. Ignoring that there are still concerns today and being content with the progress we have made isn’t enough. We have steps to take. Some we can do individually, some which are institutional in nature. Many black american LDS members so this moment as one small step to that equitable and just future. One that is more truly zion in nature. With luv BD
  2. This feels a bit like making mountains out of molehills. I just read the article and found it pretty balanced for the most part. Couple of quick thoughts: Part of the reason for limited fanfare is that as a 70, it’s not as quickly recognized that he’s aftican american from just reading the names. Yes, they could have noticed by the pics later. And i’m sure there was excitement to some extent to those who did know him...but it’s not visible unless he’s called to speak at GC, like he was. Sitati and Martins were both from different countries and cultures...countries and cultures that were more contemporary in the history of our faith than say african americans, who have been here from the start and felt the brunt of the priesthood ban first hand as a people for the longest time (as well as other forms of racial stratification and oppression within the us church body tied to it). That doesnt mean black American members weren’t happy by these moments. They were. But there’s an added measure of joy hearing a sermon in a tone and religious intonation that is common in Genesis, familiar in many of their spiritual roots and being shared openly (and appreciated) with the general body of the church. African american forms of worship have often seen as incorrect, not bringing the spirit, or a little weird in one way or another. I’ve seen said reactions. More than once and in different venues. So...That is a sign of progress. And being “a sign” doesn’t mean there were “no signs” as you read into the quote. Just a greater indication that specific cultures and communities historically denigrated or kept separate and second class, truly have an equal place at the table with their own flavor to spirituality seen as an enhancement to the feast with luv, BD
  3. (Forewarning, likely typos. Doing this on a phone while rocking a baby) I’ve been pretty busy today and haven’t read the thread much past the first page. So some of this may likely be redundant. I’d likely fit the bolded thought. Definitely excited about the change and several of the recent ones. But still at least hesitant to assert priesthood ordination for women in the same way as men. I know i’ve mentioned before that I looked at a number of the reasoning and desires for with the question of could we get what they desire without ordination and would ordination be sufficient to meet several of the concerns. The answer for myself was yes and no. Beyond that and on this specific concern i’ve seen some assume these are the baby steps leading to eventual ordination. I’ve seen those who’ve taken it with a more pragmatic outlook for the changes (comfort of others, number of ordained priesthood leaders being limited, meeting gender concerns for members who that would be a stumbling block, etc). Personally, feel like they both focus on a part of the recent changes and not the whole in aggregate. Certain changes especially get highlighted that appear to bouy ones position. With the changes i’ve seen at large, i feel like it’s leading us somewhere definitely better than what i had as a child. I think it more tied to reaching the image in the scriptures in the beginning of Moses 5 with how their relationship and cooperation in their role and obligations from god as equal partners. And to better match Nelson’s focus of a family centered-church supported body of believers. Most of the changes i’ve seen reaffirm this emphasis by deconstructing the more male-centered and hierarchical oriented power to one of family centered parent led community oriented power. Some of the wording in the endowment, initiatory, sealings, and now this policy points me more toward this more collaborative power. I also think it giving space to see what the priesthood really is rather than what we’ve traditionally assumed it to be (ie. Male dominated and something the dudes do/possess). Instead it’s point out that the priesthood is the power of Christ to act on earth and all who partake in it receive said power and Authority. It’s strength isn’t seen fully when only men wield said power. It’s when we realize that all of us can and do and can do even more so if we just ask and seek. Which is why I think baptized children can now participate in witnessing...because they too have been given power through the ordinances they received the baptism and receiving the HG. I think there’s more to come. I hope for more to come as we implement these changes. But what i desire from the priesthood, can be done without ordination...though not without priesthood power. I want to be able to know god, receive revelation, more fully use the gifts i’ve been promised, lead my family and other when needed spiritually, and build up the Kingdom of god with greater knowledge and power. With luv, BD
  4. Okay, I finally have a minute to respond, though I have been thinking of what you mentioned. Smac can respond for himself, he likely would have a differing opinion to some extent. First off, I do empathize with several of the general themes you mention, being a minority myself (of a different sort, but still). When I was writing, I mentioned near the end that I wasn't 100% sure why I was writing. I would add, I'm not 100% sure why you were sharing the article since there wasn't your own analysis or explanation about it. So it was largely just my reaction to it from my concern. My biggest concern is my own community and how to develop it in such a way that people who may not fit the average "mormon mould" per se can feel they have a place. I also pictured myself and my large and usually very conservative family. Would this article actually help them be more understanding to those not like them or would it be more likely to entrench them in their world view because they felt attacked? For me the answer was the latter. I think of people who are still somewhere in the middle ground....whether that be coming out to their still very LDS family, deciding to stay in the church as an LGBT individual, or even coming to the church as one as well. They're the ones who have the most direct connection to the effects of the church and I wonder if this would really actually validate them or lead them to feel the strain of bridging two communities. I couldn't see how it would really be a source of validation beyond those already disaffected possibly or moving a community forward. I view the misrepresentations/inaccuracies in beliefs important considering they're used to support her main point that the church is gaslighting the LGBTQ+ community and have been abusing them collectively. That's a lofty claim and one that could come at a heavy cost for a community that, outside of UT, is a minority religious group. I get that the church leaders have been a work in progress, to say the least, on their dialogue and stance towards LGBT people and families. I don't think though it's helpful to give license to others to do likewise to pidgeon a wide group of people who make up the church body as a whole. as for your two questions: a) I have no Idea, but I think overall we would be a better world if we could work to understand and properly represent other groups of people...even if (or maybe especially) it's a group we tend to oppose. b.) Outside the community? Not much. Which is fine to me considering the initial address was for those inside it. On the last line I bolded, I feel that's definitely putting words in my mouth. I didn't say anything of that sort. I've definitely had my concerns with how the LDS church has described LGBT people in the past and I'm pleased when I see a good step forward to find a better ground and space for those who may describe themselves as LGBT or SSA or non-labeled altogether. I don't think it will ever look the way that would satisfy entirely those outside the community....but I hope it will make a better place inside. Anyways, I'll be paying tomorrow for not getting some rest soon. So I'll end here. With luv, BD
  5. Hi daniel, i just want to make sure i’m understandIng you. Is the entire post meant to respond to Smac, me, or both of us? Thanks, BD
  6. I get why people can see gas lighting. It’s a means of naming a pain or something they feel is wrong. It’s definitely understandable to me, I’ve seen people do it before on a variety of concerns or hurts (messy divorces especially come to mind), but it’s still incorrect to me. I would find that sort of label concerning from anyone because the labels can again create more harm than good. Though I don’t actively participate in LGBT related topics on this board much i also remember and read the same things you pointed out. I wasn’t opposed to the policy once it was clarified (the first week or so when it’s parameters were unclear, it was shocking, painful, and uncertain to me). i assumed the worst case scenarios were likely not what it meant. And the clarification, though hard, made sense to me. But around that time I made a different assumption that they were setting up a balance between care and boundaries with belief. And prior I never really believed our doctrine around marriage was headed for a radical shift. I think those assumptions likely shift my view of the same events you mention in such a way that I don’t see it as a reinterpretation. I also view “defend their authority” differently as well. In the vacuum of words, people have often put their own words and beliefs into what they must have thought or done. I also saw it cause a lot of confusion for members and a bit of either/or thinking. I see it as giving clarity to their side and perspective and experiences that led to what felt like radical quick shifts in policies. Honestly among other things, watching the experiences of people around this has been interesting to me. It points to me, at least, just how much our own stances and beliefs can effect how we view the exact same thing. I’m at peace in my engagement in the church. I know I don’t fit in to one or the other usual camp on this issue and i’m okay with that. I hope, whatever level of engagement you have in the church it come eventually with a sense of peace as well. with luv, BD
  7. I too haven't read the entire thread. I found time to listen to Nelson's talk but little else when it comes to this. Personally, I wasn't surprised by what was mentioned. It held similar conclusions that I held from what I was reading and hearing from them over the years plus our doctrinal beliefs around marriage in general. And what little interaction I've had with the apostles to me generally indicates having good intent or purpose to what they're trying to do. I trust your analysis that this is a good representation of what is being reported in LGBT circles, but I do find it problematic on a number of points. 1.) gaslighting to me, is definitely something that gets stretched in its use. And this is definitely one of those moments to me, though the person tried to frame it at least in its correct use...it still assumes intent on "the mormon church," the leaders, and specifically Pres. Nelson. Intent is kind of important for Gaslighting to stick. Are they actively trying to put up a smokescreen, mislead, or bold face lie through this in order to cause pain, create doubts in one's sanity, etc? If so, then I'd agree with the use. But I think that's a hard case to make. 2.) a number of the beliefs presented about the church aren't actually the beliefs it professes. Either they're more nuanced or simply incorrect. Which creates a bit of a strawman in the post and one that could inadevertently augment the pain they're talking about. Both in the families and for LDS LGBTQ+ people individually. 3.) in a similar line continually calling it "the mormon church" mixed with an extreme representation of its members isn't likely to create bridges or mend wounds. It's more likely to shut down conversation for people trying to reach some sort of middle ground with their family. 4.) The way it presents suicide in UT in general. And the assumptions about it, the LDS faith, and LGBTQ people in UT are way too broad-brushed and possibly even false/based off common belief, but not what the research and numbers are currently actually indicating. Personally, as a therapist in UT working heavily with LDS populations, I've dealt with many many people struggling with suicidal ideation and a few attempts (luckily so far no completed deaths). So far only 1 was LGBTQ. All of their reasons were more complex than one single issue or concern. It makes me uncomfortable to use a story of a woman to paint a picture about suicide when it's likely they (Kat) don't know exactly what occurred to trigger her death. Especially since I knew the family of the woman they're talking about who passed away (NOT one of my clients, to be clear). I do understand that the person is likely trying to humanize the pain....but that can be done in a way that may not actually be helpful. I'm not sure why I'm writing this. I think I've just been thinking about differences in belief and how we communicate them towards each other lately. How what we say and how we say it can continue wedges or further them, without us meaning to. I've seen that in my own family along a number of issues (Politics, race, religion, parenting, etc). It's interesting to me how presenting information in one way or another can shut down communication and entrench beliefs. With luv, BD
  8. 1. Faith - Leah - i love the passage of her coming to understand God’s real blessing and actions in her life even if it wasn’t what she expected 2. Leadership- the Lamanite queen - making decisions in a time of confusion and coming coversion of the people 3. Knowledge - Huldah - she expounded unknown scripture as a prophetess to the leaders of the israelites in her time 4.Wisdom - deborah - hor how she guided and taught her people 5. Action in a calling/mission - Abish for her work in sharing the gospel at the right time 6. Strength - Jael —> lady went against her husband’s betrayal of israel and assuring their protection and their tribes long-time kinship by killing Israel’s enemy/// also Adah and Zillah - for calling out the evil their husband was planning on 7. Testimony - Mary—> a number of the stories come from her remembering events from Jesus’s life and sharing them. 8. Diligence - Eve - for going through with the fall and moving forward 9. Obedience - esther - for doing what God desired even if it put herself in danger 10. Hope - hagar - for finding meaning in god in a dire moment this was a fun exercise with luv, BD
  9. He was so thoughtful and respectful in whatever he wrote. I wish his family peace With luv, BD
  10. I’m right there with you. Even as a trained therapist, i’ve been caught off guard as to who actually attempts suicide as clients, who’s had ideation, etc. It’s not always who you think it will be. By far yhe scariest cases for me entailed people with guns because i knew those were also the most lethal. I had an escalating fighting couple where the husband had a stock pile. And I had another who luckily kept the plan of giving their gun to a friend when ideation starting to kick in harder. Just recently my brother was threatened with gun from another brother with an open-carry permit. Yet i can only name one person that i know who was actively threatened by a gun from a person he didn’t know (my husband). And as he’s not from the US he’s not exactly jonesing for his own gun to protect himself. Which i’m glad, because I don’t want a gun in my house. For me, they don’t represent safety, but an added risk in an area i am extremely unlikely to be attacked by a gunman. Something i’ve found interesting too, is that those often wanting a gun for protection or defending gun rights are those least likely to be attacked by someone with a gun. Plus, to me, there’s a number of cultural assumptions around guns to maintain some of these arguments. For the record, i have shot a gun before. With luv, BD
  11. I've been following this thread off and on for several pages and debated whether I should jump in an respond after this many pages. But I figure it can't hurt and I want to try to answer the initial question to this thread. I think of two stories in this topic right now. One was from a church history conference at BYU that talked about women in LDS history. one of the lectures discussed about collecting church history in India and how the current state and handbooks of the church were very empowering for women in a culture that is deeply sexist. They would receive callings such as RS pres or YW leader and be told by their male bishopric that they weren't to do much with these and be able to push back, pointing out that the manuals stated they had xyz responsibilities in the ward. The structure of the church help facilitate a cultural shift for the people that led to more egalitarian practices and beliefs about the role and capacities of women. The other was from my recent stake conference that is still weighing in my mind. Our stake presidency was being released and they had both male and female speakers. The female speakers were all the wives of the men with said callings or the 70 that came. The women's talks were entirely about their husbands or state of their families with little personal references (if any). The men's were about this or that lesson they learned from their calling, the sacred nature of callings, or their personal journeys. It felt (to take a term used by I believe Rain) imbalanced. The women's talks felt like strange prelude introductions to the main course: their husbands. My own husband had a hard time finding the point to one of the sister's talks at all. I empathetically noted that she was likely pointing out aspects that she found spiritual in her life, but didn't know how to fully express it....like if I talked about my garden the entire time, with no explanation as to the spiritual lessons pertaining to it. I didn't feel spiritually enriched by their talks for the most part...and it felt scripted by culture more than gospel in general (both men and women). In this case structure has fallen short in healing our cultural short-comings in the roles and capacity of women. Personally, I am not satisfied with the status quo. When I hear talks in GC and even Ulrich's I feel this itchiness. I can feel something important is missing. Something often feels perpetually off. Sometimes I can name it. sometimes I can't. It's that feeling of having a word on the tip of the tongue. I know the word, but I don't know it right now. So my first response to those that are struggling with this is one of empathy and acknowlegdement that what they're seeing/feeling is valid. I'd also talk about structural and cultural changes. Structural/procedural changes can be very important to help meet the needs of people in the church....but it doesn't always lead to all the changes we desire. To me there have been a number of structural shifts recently to help in the church. Changes in the temple being among the biggest personally. But also in the way women leaders are presented and efforts to try and have more women be visible and heard. A lot of these aren't immediately in our hands to change....nor can we as individuals see exactly what is needed for all the church. It's not possible. I may have great ideas for what could help my area....but I have no clue what challenges or needs are found in other parts of the world and if my great ideas or desires here would translate well be helpful there. That takes other voices having equitable say for the structure of the church (I don't know if that's fully a thing yet...but I still believe they'd need to have influence and say for the movement of the church).....and acknowledgmeny that my views may not actually be the best method forward for the whole of the church body. It could even be a stumbling block for saints who are still working to change some of their cultural beliefs to align with the gospel more. Culturally though, we do have more say and influence and it can be just as important. Just as structure can influence our culture and our understanding of the Gospel. So can culture influence views and inevitably the structure of the church. That's can be worked on with one person talking, sharing, and expressing concerns. It can happen simply by doing something different....like not following expected narratives for when spouses talk in the same meeting. Or highlighting more women in lessons and scripture study. Or noting and naming what priesthood power and authority women already hold and can exert. And exploring the possibilities for what they could expand in doing that are in place because of culture that has cemented into tradition, expectations, and structure (such as giving blessings....or the other things people have mentioned here). In the end we are not a Zion society just yet....but a balm for me is to realize just how much I can be apart of helping to create that. To know my talents and capacities and then to actively share them and to shift the narrative for my daughter about her capacities that I didn't initially receive. That does't happen by ignoring our concerns...but leaning into them and patiently exploring them. With luv, BD
  12. Often times my clients. Here and there as cautionary tales, but also those who shine and become living examples of truth or goodness. I remember one lady after struggling through some traumas and coming to a better peace about them stated that she guessed she needed the pains to know the good and basically quoted a verse in 2 Nephi. Knowing that she was LDS I mentioned it, assuming she’d read it and was connecting it to her life. She hadn’t, but her life experience became its own testament of it. Beyond that, random books. A different client recommended i read this book called “how to be sick” which takes buddhist principles and applies it to chronic illness. I’m not chronically ill, but I ended up enjoying the audible read of it. One thing i’ve used currently when i’m getting overwhelmed in a moment is to take an observer approach and just name what’s actually happening. So instead of, say, getting flustered about a child who won’t be soothed. I say to myself “woman tending a crying child”...it strangely works in calming me. I also like the activity of 5 minutes of doing absolutely nothing. I try that particularly while breastfeeding to turn off the ever present distractions towards the present moment. Call the midwife also has sweet messages. And when in doubt, google. 😋 With luv, BD
  13. I’d agree. I also call it the fairy tale variety. And i do mean it in a more derogatory sense. Or at least the incredulous version. FWIW I never really subscribed to the experience of courtship and marriage that i ended up getting. I thought people who married basic strangers were foolish and that you can’t really be in love...you were really in lust or infatuation. I would have probably mostly agreed with your paradigm.... until God did a number on me. Now i think my paradigm is that of following God and letting that path unfold as it will. For some that may very well entail the method of love and revelation that you described. For others it may look entirely different. it may entail something altogether different. Tying back to using the spirit in manipulative fashion. I think part of that is assuming a one-size-fits-all paradigm. As in how one assumes the spirit must interact with people must be exactly the same and make sense to our understanding. I think in that assertion it’s far easier to try and insist our hopes and expectations on another With luv, BD
  14. Oh he wasn’t my boyfriend. Ever. He was just a friend that kept developing crushes on me over several years. No matter how much i would reassert that I wasn’t interested in him like that, it would happen again. The last one was the only one he interpreted his spiritual answer to stay friends with me to possibly mean we’d end up together. i personally don’t doubt that he received revelation to stay friends with me...i doubted his interpretation of what that meant for us long-term. I’m not sure what you mean by revealing our own truth. What does that look like to you? For me when I finally did meet my husband we had a very very short dating period...of which I wasn’t dating him exclusively and neither of us would consider ourselves bd/gf. I don’t think the opinion you gave fits my personal experience. The experience was inherently spiritually contrived and strongly confirmed. The short story is that our future daughter helped set us up. And in the temple when i went to confirm it i came away knowing that what i was receiving was a gift from God. And that i would need go treat it as such. I don’t know how marriage partners work with God...or even if it’s the same thing for each person. For me I didn’t describe him as a soul mate. But I definitely felt like i knew him for far longer than i did. I described him as my PB Did: my best friend...for longer than the 13 days we dated before getting unofficially engaged. with luv, Bd
  15. Yes. I still remember meeting the first person in therapy who was genuinely manipulative. He would find ways to turn whatever problems there were in his marriage back on his wife...including when he had an affair. I’ve met a few who were very obviously manipulating to try and get what they want. Often to try and avoid consequence or accountability for their actions. Or to control another. I think many in the moment don’t write themselves as the bad guy per se....though some do through moments of shame. Luckily they’re rare, IMO There are those who i’m sure definitely don’t mean to be manipulative of course. with luv, BD
  16. Funny enough, i had some version of number 1 happen to me. It was a friend at the time who liked me and i was oblivious to the fact up until a month before he told me himself. I had somewhat off handedly sought to know that he wasn’t it, not expecting much an answer because I wasn’t interested in him and had never felt anything past platonic affection towards him. Instead i felt very strong this “no” answer which surprised me that it was so clear and certain. It happened one more time when i was frustrated and down about a guy i was in love with at the time. When my friend finally told me his feelings i went through every rational reason on earth as to why this wouldn’t work. None of them mattered because he felt he’d had a prompting we were to be together. He then went with “have you ever prayed about it?” I could confidently answer that I had and God said nope! I soon decided it would be best to end the friendship, which he didn’t take well. Needless to say i never married him. Having one of those experiences and knowing a little background as to his answer from God. I do think he genuinely had a spiritual experience...but i think his hopes and desires led to a major misinterpretation. He wasn’t a bad guy, he just hopes beyond what God promised. On the other points, i think our tendency to get stuck in expectations tends toward these type of responses. Whether that be learning that only certain feelings are good or that the best form of spiritual expression is formal and silent. I dont know if most of them are trying to be manipulative. They’ve just gotten to the point of religious zealousness that is overbearing as we put our expectations onto another unnecessarily. As for the salesman, If i’d felt snarky, i may have said “i do want the spirit in my home...which is why I don’t want your priestcraft on my doorstep.” Then shut the door. Jerk doesn’t have an excuse beyond wanting some sales. The again, i also just don’t enjoy a ton of cliche LDS paraphernalia around my house With luv, BD
  17. Racism can definitely exist without hate...though it can increase the likelihood that one will vilify the “other.” I’ve seen people show racist or ethnocentric beliefs and perspectives but they may not hold outward anger towards said groups of people. In fact i would say most of the racism i’ve felt hasn’t been with a form of malice behinde it I don’t think there is ever a time when true racism is appropriate. i don’t think this story represents actual racism by Jesus. I’ve often thought of this story and the contrast it has from that of the centurion and the parable of the good samaritan. Both would have been considered outsiders to the jewish community. Yet with the centurion he immediately said he’d go to his house and heal his servant. When the centurion insists he just heal from afar, Jesus says: “10 When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel. 11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” In short he knew that the earthly separations of people on earth had no real baring or place in the kingdom of god. The good samaritan also points to a different way of looking at people beyond earth-bound labels of who to associate with And he knew this before calling this canaanite a dog. I think this was more preparatory learning for the disciples...and abrahamic test of the woman. The disciples would late be called to teach people that they wanted tk see go away from them without healing. I think he was mimicking the attitudes of the time to teach them how poor a judge assumptions based on ethnicity were in determining the faith and worth of a soul. It was also a test to her own degree of faith. Would she still see out Jesus even when she felt unwanted by the jews. (Excuse likely grammar errors...on cellphone) With luv BD
  18. I don't know if we could jump to the conclusion that assumed the deaths were condoned by God would mean we believe God's a monster. After all we also believe in a flood that annihilated all the people sans one extended family. I'm sure people could find a way to make it admissible while maintaining a pro-life stance. But I think the questions you ask are likely why I do not see myself as pro-life or pro-choice. Which would mean I somewhat disagree with your first statement as well. At some point the implication of both simplified beliefs become a problem. For example on the pro-choice issue....does this mean that people in India should be able to use ultrasounds to determine sex so they can abort female children? It may go against my or your personal beliefs, but it doesn't the people who are wanting these done. So by this logic, we should allow it despite some serious long-term problems this leads to as a whole. Should special needs children, who could live a full, though different life, be aborted and virtually disappear from our societies (as is happening in iceland with downs children)? Maybe this doesn't have as great of an immediate effect as aborting based on gender, but it's still something of a concern and the decision one way or another is often based in moral and value systems. And indeed allowing said practices would likely form and shape later value systems. For the record, when I say balancing pragmatism and compassion towards life, I don't mean that there should be no limitations to abortion. I do, particularly after the point viability (roughly 23 weeks). I think the amount of legislation should be limited ....but I still think it should be there. For example, allowance of abortion based on personal decision sans unwanted though generally harmless traits pre 20 weeks and abortions for medical reasons allowed post 20....while making it more feasible for mothers in difficult circumstances to feel like they actually have a choice in keeping and supporting their child through assistance programs. This would not be considered, in our current climate, pro-life or pro-choice, but somewhere in between. With luv, BD
  19. I definitely don’t hold holy envy on this note. I knew a catholic couple who struggled with fertility. Luckily for them, in vitro worked like a charm. But because they were staunch catholic, they believed they needed to give every last blastula a chance. They ended up with a plethora of children and a fried marriage as they went on survival mode for several years trying to care for a severely special needs child and raising multiples. Ascribing cold blooded killers to those who decide not to use every split-celled human organism in a freezer during their family planning seems excessive. But oddly we don’t even really talk about that as much in an abortion debate...because it’s not an abortion. It’s a frozen set of cells with minimal development that has a decreased odds of viability each month/year its frozen. Slowly killing or reducing a person’s ability to live often is considered torture. But again...not described that way. Because it’s not. Oversimplification doesn’t really help in most cases...it leaves us with a different mess when the complexity of life rudely comes in the way. Along those lines to the main post...that this thread has lasted 12 pages is evidence to me that when does life begin and when does a human life reach personhood have some biological but mostly moral/belief oriented answers. No one has an answer solid enough that another person is satisfied with it who believes differently. People can view and experience the exact same things and still have a different outlook on it. For example, a friend of mine assumed that having a baby would alter my perspectives on abortion (i’m neither pro life or pro choice...more pro pragmatism and balance in compassion). It didnt much...except that I realized that within pragmatic boundaries, i wouldn’t insist another woman to go through these experiences if they really didn’t want to. And that i dont think there’s one specific moment that my baby’s spirit entered her body. To me it felt like weaving a soul. Threads were placed together but a single thread does not make a tapestry, per se. It took time for her to be knit together. I couldn’t tell you exactly when that flipped (probably around the 2nd trimester) and there’s still a deep respect and honor for life in there. It’s that respect for life, bodies, and both the women and the small starts of bodies within them that guide to believe that only a nuanced decision can be had in our fallen world. Beyond that what also establishes my view is working with women in forms of mourning from miscarriage and deaths. It’s simply not the same no matter how short the life of the person that lived. The youngest they were mourning was well shy of a month. With that, they were mourning a person with traits. With miscarriages they were mourning ideas: hopes and desires lost, possibly fear about what this meant for future pregnancies. Still births (in-utero death post 20 weeks) are often a little bit of a mix of these. And this is only miscarriages of wanted pregnancies that were known. A large chunk of early miscarriages are believed to happen before a woman realizes she’s pregnant. In these cases there may not be any mourning at all. With luv, BD
  20. Had to break up my comment for some reason: I also find i can only take so much of the MA/R shows or movies. I can make a couple exceptions at a time, but after a while it starts to get to me a little and i feel “ehh...” like eating too much junk food but for the soul. These shows I especially have to take in chunks and may take long breaks from or only watch while somewhat distracted in another task. Or just stop watching all together. Ratings are fairly arbitrary and R rates are definitely US specific, which is probably why there’s not as much blanket statements and more, “be careful what type of media you take in” sort of message.
  21. Already part of that trend...I never have had cable as an adult. I do watch R’s and MA’s...IBut i’m picky as to which ones and have moments that i’m more sensitive to what’s going on or grow tired of tolerating the more questionable material. For example i’m planning one day to watch “When they see us,” but can’t right now because of postpartum hormones. I found myself really angry and in a funk from the first episode for about a day. I know it’s the subject, not the cussing that got to me. Usually i do my research, see why it’s rated what it is and decide from there. with luv, BD
  22. I remember talking to a guy i was dating a bit about this. He was coming back to church. He Wanted to be LDS, but not 100% sure what that looked like for him. He liked to drink a bit here and there and would often mention how BY had a distillery and that it wasn’t as strictly expected back then and such. I told him something along the lines that it didn’t matter to me what BY did. It was my covenant with God and what hHe asked of me. That i was at a point in my life that if God asked me to jump off a cliff i’d ask “which ons?” So obedience does play a factor in it, particularly with green tea (i’ve had it from time to time mixed in drinks without me knowing and i’ve like those..so i figure i’d like it). At the same time i believe and can see the reasons behind it. And that includes drinks like coffee. I don’t every part if the WoW directly effects my individual health. But that it’s there as a safeguard to others who might have an unexpected issue and probably groups of people as well with some of the practices and social issues surrounding production and distribution over the years. Beyond the don’t’s to the WOW, i do have a diet pretty close to what it proscribes and i feel best when i’m near to it. I’ve seen many of the blessings that are tied to it in my life. I don’t know if there’s a huge danger of doing it because you want a recommend or because it’s what’s expected of us or whatever else. Or at least any more dangerous than other parts of the gospel or church that people do the same thing for. I do think it’s better to truly believe or desire a practice in one’s life, though. With luv, BD
  23. Freeform locs are usually still washed....they’re just not brushed out or purposely patterned. The matting creates the locs over time. That’s on her for not washing. Most do, black or white. With luv, BD
  24. yeah, that reasoning never works for me. I'm too anti-authority in personality for that to roll well with me. I'd start asking to explain where God mentioned this as necessary and point out to the many many examples of bearded long haired men as spiritual leaders and often being commanded or expected to have long hair due to spiritual edicts. I'd also be pretty adament about wanting to know how hair length effects my spouse's ability to bring people to Christ. If I was really in a mood and knew the person well enough to crack a joke, I'd point out that my husband may do better in the being Christ-like, since he so often rocks His style seen in the art With luv, BD
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