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About Meadowchik

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    Separates Water & Dry Land

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    Applied Mathematics, Travelling, People, Raising Children, Writing

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  1. I don't know. I did experience something akin to sleep paralysis when I was a seminary student: I'd come back home after early-morning seminary and try to catch a quick nap before school, and I'd feel this heavy, sinking, like I was moving, and I had to fight to wake up. When confronted with the concept of demons and evil spirits, I found it useful to claim the right to banish them from me. Now, although I like to maintain a space of uncertainty about the state of everything, I would also say that sometimes percieved demons or evil spirits can be our own fears. They might be a representation of our fear of our dual natures, but also of our confronting our own conditions of existence. In my opinion, the horror genre explores this extensively and some carefully-chosen works are very insightful.
  2. I agree that concepts themselves do not change, and if there is a God perhaps the essential nature of God does not change (although I'm not sure how that aligns with Joseph Smith's contruct of coeternality with God and progression). That said, part of us changing is our perception of God. We do create our own concepts of God in our minds, just like we have our own constructs of other people. And we do create the church in our relationship with it. So changing ourselves, becoming closer to consistent principles will in all likelihood mean that what we mean when we say church and God does change.
  3. I'm not sure that the good of a one-on-one, confidential conversation with a spiritual advisor can be replaced, though. Those type of relationships are throughout society, like with lawyers, doctors, therapists, spouses, and allowing a measure of privacy for such relationships--making some specifically-defined relationships sacrosanct--potentially gives them a unique function that is not replicated outside such types of relationships. So the ability to speak and be heard outside one's own head, where that experience is protected, might be an essential human good.
  4. I liked it too and the imagery of revelation-tooting horns continues to make me laugh. At least we can still see its splendiferousness in SMAC's post quoting it
  5. I would if I could. I don't think there is one near me, but interestingly, they have started up online services. I haven't looked into them, maybe even online communion (!) if I understood them correctly, and that is fascinating.
  6. For me, feminism can be straightforward in context. Unless otherwise specified, it simply refers to equitable treatment of females. So, just to be clear, you didn't hit a nerve with me by asking, and wasn't being defensive, just trying to clarify. The experience was complex and I am still unravelling its meaning. But this is perhaps the most powerful part of it: when I came home to my kids (I have a bunch of 'em, and the older ones including two young adults were watching over the younger ones in my absence) there were some major challenges. There was one of those moments that I might look back on, regarding the well-being of one of my children, where I will always be grateful that I was in the state of mind that I was, because I was able to respond well at a critical time for my child. And add to that lots of less significant things that can add up and wear a person down, those were there, but I feel strong. It's already Saturday, and I feel strength and peace. I don't necessarily think the Community of Christ *is the answer, and it has intentionally let go of the "one true church" claims that it shared with the LDS church in their common roots with Joseph Smith. I am thinking that, to me, the overarching important factor is that truth can be found anywhere, and is not special to one group, but is more in principles themselves, and then a sharing of them with others in ritual.
  7. I'll remember to let you know if that ever happens so you can enjoy the laugh
  8. I have a very close friend who is now. Several other friends who are rather outspoken, but I cannot know their church activity levels. My parents are relatively outspoken, or atleast they were when I was younger and my dad was bishop several times in the ensuing years. I get the impression that there tended to be more room for open disagreement at other times in history, be it personal or theoretical. Ezra Taft Benson had major disagreements with other apostles, I think, and still became prophet, but perhaps he had significantly softened his rhetoric by then. I can imagine a dinner table where a family talks about disagreements. Family members are heard, rules of engagement are respected, and individual conscientiousness is respected. I can also imagine this on a family chat, or even on someone's facebook page, in view of their friends. I have seen it with the family maintaining their close relationships. Where do you get anything about an "aversion to a woman speaking to a man"? And, who said anything about a woman choosing not to speak? To be clear, my argument assumes that the women follows Oaks counsel perfectly. It sounds to me like you are getting ahead of yourself by comparing Oaks counsel and the current structure to some remedy you imagine I am suggesting. In my opinion, the level of nastiness that can be seen in public criticisms of the church are, partially, symptoms of the constrictied nature of communication now. There are plenty of respectful writers out there, faithful believers and non-believers, who air dissenting opinions, too. So I think it can be done. Maybe, as history would appear to demonstrate, that just depends on the direction(s) in which leadership feels it must go.
  9. Right. I think that if I had not ever believed and took the sacrament as an investigator or visitor, it might have been different. But it means something more to me than to that hypothetical person.
  10. To be clear, by probably-atheist, I mean something like agnostic atheist. But, I would be communing with other people and perhaps Something Else, if it is. But in any case, the principles matter to me and are essential as part of the communing.
  11. Feminism didn't drive me out of the LDS Church, but it helped draw me toward this service. I'm sorry if any of my postings here have given the impression that I believe "Women good, Men bad." I realise that strong opinions about sexism can quickly sound abrasive like that, but I have tried to be careful differentiating between what I think are systemic problems and individual failings. Many a time I've averted sobs during the sacrament, sometimes I've failed. I think I have always wondered exactly where the boundaries are in forgiveness of abusers (like whether it implies access and a return to normal contact with an abuser) and what Christlike love means. This was the first time I could envision a cohesive framework incorporating all of it: forgiveness, love, responsible boundaries, the context in which contact is intended. Perhaps in asking "the questions for which the soul needs to strive" from another direction, I might arrive at the same spiritual place as you. "The Lord looketh upon the heart." I really appreciate your kind encouragement. Thank you very much.
  12. I can relate to this. I didn't think it could until it did.
  13. I ended with the most important principle, I think the others fall under it. Basically, your description was the way I also framed it during my belief. Yes, I am plenty aware of these Bible verses, thanks. I was given to understand that CoC welcomes atheists to Communion, so I felt like I could honestly participate. Thanks.
  14. It just doesn't feel right to go into someone's house and knowingly break their customs. It's not a conscious decision. I experience major anxiety around a certain person who was very scary. Even going to the same town where he lived, I would find myself going over self-defense moves in my mind. I realised that I was anxious because I might see him somewhere like I have in the past. He was in our last ward. So the thought of loving him is revolting to me and intellectually seems like an irresponsible thing to do, considering the way he treated me and those I protect. But these boundaries delineated by the CoC, and in this imagery of meeting at the table helped me imagine a context of loving that I could hope for. It's that place between personal comfort zone and the church's customs which is difficult. At the moment, there is not space for me. Yes, what's right can be unpopular. I can agree to that part. I think that kind of respect helps everyone. You basically referred to it a bit, but namely: the costs of making church the kind of place where I can both respect its customs and have an experience as edifying as the one I had this time. Its a YMMV situation. Of course I don't expect that, and like I said, I do not know if it's possible. Yes, they can. Thank you. Principles are what I have left at the moment. I'm open to that changing. But in any case, I also believe that if the Personality that I believed God was truly exists, God would be merciful and my adherence to principles might be acceptable. And I'd hope for the same from others.
  15. I know, I just caught that, LOL! I think my devout Mormon mom would love it, in part because we ate A LOT of beans growing up!
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