Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Comfort Zone

I remember it well. I was in the 9th grade. I was so shy, even introverted. I hated myself. I wanted change, I wanted to like myself, to be comfortable in my own skin.  But how? I was taking a class in psychology.  The teacher was telling us how we have an imaginary circle around us, our comfort zone.  If we want to change any aspect of who we are, we need to step out of the space that we feel comfortable in. 

I decided to pick one thing that made me feel uncomfortable and change that.  It took me several months, but I worked on that one thing.  It worked.  I had increased my comfort zone.  Then I chose another thing. I wanted to learn to water ski but didn't know how to swim.  I taught myself how to swim so I could feel comfortable in the water and learn to water ski.  I did.  Then a friend talked me into trying out for the drillteam.  I had thought that I would not make it (I had no dance experience), but it was stepping outside my comfort zone. To my surprise, I make the drillteam! I didn't think I was college material, but I applied, was accepted, and eventually graduated.

I have made a life time of stepping out of my comfort zone.  I am, by nature, a shy, introverted person who doesn't like to try new things, but people who know me today find this hard to believe.  It has become second nature to me to try things I find difficult, hard, uncomfortable.  Is it still hard for me? Extremely.  But it is this habit that I began in my early teens, that I believe gave me the courage to walk away from a dysfunctional marriage, an abusive church/organization. To begin a a career at the age of 40, to buy a home on my own for the first time at the age of 40ish.

I am often perplexed when I see others who are fearful of making these huge life decisions at this life stage.  I see that their life choices are not working for them and wonder why they would prefer to stay stuck rather than step out of their comfort zone.  I have to remind myself that they have not made a life of stepping out of their comfort zone, and even though I have made a life of it, I still have a difficult time stepping out, it is uncomfortable, unsettling, even painful.

My comfort zone has expanded, my confidence in my self has expanded over the years, and my self-esteem has expanded.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Happiness Discovery

What makes you happy?

I am happy when I am with my children, when I am successful at work, when I am excercising, when I am watching a sunrise or sunset or sitting on a beach and the tide is rolling in.  I am happy taking photos of nature.  There are so many things that make me happy.  Crawling into bed after a long day and the covers are just the right temperature.  Being up in the mountains and hiking a trail, or remembering being on a snowmobile, or racing my car really fast. Running early in the morning with my music blaring in my ears and no one is bothering me. Being so engrossed in a book that time doesn't exist. 

When I was in the mormon church, I was told there was only one way to be happy.  That one way for a woman consisted of being married, having lots of children, staying home, cleaning house and being submissive to her husband.  I did not desire these things, but since I was told this was the only way to be happy (even though I was not unhappy and quite liked my life and felt happy and fulfilled without these things) I did what I was told.  The more I embrassed these things, I discovered the more unhappy I became.  I thought I was doing something wrong.  I thought there was something wrong with me.

After 20 years of being very, very unhappy, I left this myth of happiness behind, left the mormon church, got a divorce, got a job... and discovered happiness.

I discovered that there are many roads to happiness, one organization does not hold a corner on happiness, they cannot tell everyone how to be happy.  This is a road that each individual must discover for themselves.

I am so happy I discovered happiness before I died.

Monday, December 20, 2010


I had a conversation with a man not too long ago where he claimed that women and men had sex for very different reasons.  He said that women have sex because they are in love.  I didn't disagree with him because that is certainly one reason women have sex.  Today, someone posted the following link on my facebook and an interesting discussion followed.  I won't post the discussion here, to protect people's privacy, but I am posting the link to the book.

 Women do have sex for many more reasons other than because they are in love, though that can be one of the reasons. I hope you find the book as fascinating as I did.


In my efforts to understand men, I have been on a search.  I have checked out a book from the library. I will blog about it when I am done reading it.  I have read the following articles on the net and am linking you to them.  The one I find the most fascinating is the one on why men cheat.  I absolutely believe it.  I also believe it is the same reason some single men cannot commit to one woman. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/2386392/men_and_cheating.html?cat=41

This next article explains how men express themselves emotionally:

In this last article, the author asked men what they wished women knew about men.  Men are candid about the fact that they do have emotions, they have just been conditioned to not express them, and after years of this conditioning, they are inept. It also goes on to say they do not want to spend endless time discussing emotions. Men want sex because it feels good. Men don't get our little hints, they want us to just come out and say what is on our minds. Also, they don't like being criticized in public and like feeling in charge or being king:  http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/90235/girls_can_we_talk_about_men_what_men.html?cat=41

There you have it, take it for what the articles say, leave a comment if you wish, I will post it if it is productive, thanks.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


I have known since childhood many of the secrets of the mormon church.  Many of these truths they try and hide from their current membership by telling them to avoid the internet, they suggest that if they avoid the internet they will avoid such evils as pornography, but  what the church is really afraid of is their members finding out its true history and leaving, just as the members are leaving in droves.  Yet, I have often wondered why, since knowing so many of these awful things about the mormon church, why did I stay so long?  I have pondered this question countless times and trying to find the answer to this is one of the reasons I maintain this blog.
I have known about its teaching of Kolob: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kolob
I knew about Joseph practicing polygamy and that Emma was not always on board with it, and in fact was in conflict with it and therefore in conflict with D&C 132 which states that she must give her constent: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBHo76tEb5c&feature=player_embedded
I knew about  the racist teaching of the leaders of the mormon church: http://www.realmormonhistory.com/god&skin.htm#The Mark of Cain
I knew that they taught a blood atonement:
I have asked myself, ‘Why did I stay?” I have addressed this in other blog posts. Yet, I have not been satisfied with my conclusions.  I was so unhappy in the mormon church. I questioned what I was taught. I taught gospel doctrine class and taught many things that were in contradiction to the official church stance.  I was even told at one point to stop teaching because I had strayed from the lesson material.  I had been in a state of cognitive dissonance for many years. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_dissonance
I had stopped attending church on a regular basis.  I openly questioned the leaders as to their ‘inspiration’ they received. Yet, I did not fully walk away.  Why? I had an epiphany this morning.  I was only able to fully walk away when everything I hold dear was threatened to be taken away from me.  My marriage was falling apart, I was losing my home, living out of a suitcase, sleeping on a mattress on a floor, my children were sleeping on the floor living out of their suitcases, we had no furniture, I hadn’t worked in 15 years.  I didn’t know how I was going to financially support myself and them.
Only when I was losing everything which I  valued; my marriage, my family, my spirituality, was I able to face the one thing I feared that I was not able to face before; that I could be wrong.
I could be wrong about everything that I was ever taught. I was taught that if women will only love their men enough that they will be loved back.  I was taught that If you submit in marriage you will be happy.  I was taught that the only place to find happiness was within the mormon church.  I was taught that the only place to have an eternal family was within the mormon church.  I was taught that the only place to find truth was within the mormon church. 
When I was able to face an opposing view, I could toss out my old belief system and learn many truths that contradicted what I had been taught my entire life that was not true.  Truth is not found in a small, insignificant church that makes up only .01% of the world’s population, that is diminishing with each year.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Life's Lessons

*Don't mistake my kindness for a doormat

*It is your responsibility to set boundaries around yourself. Love yourself enough, respect yourself enough to do this, no one else will

*Women want to be wooed; don't put us on a pedestal though, they tip over

*Love yourself, believe in yourself, even when you are rejected by others

*You are of worth simply because you exist, not because of your religion, your parentage, your bank account

*Keep friends who have your back, disengage with those who stab you in the back

*Life is a colorful box of crayons, not just black and white

*Love is a two way street, not a one way street

*Love DOES mean having to say you're sorry

*Everyone makes mistakes; take responsibility for yourself, stop blaming others

*Relationships should be win-win first, compromise second, anything less is a red flag

*You are a whole person, you don't need another person to complete you

*Listen first; ask questions second; make judgments to protect yourself not to criticize others

*Everyone has a hard luck story, stop feeling sorry for yourself

*The world is round because you are to bend around it, it is not to bend around you

*FOX news appeals to people's ignorance


Sunday, December 12, 2010


Maybe I have been single too long, I don't know, but it seems to me that it shouldn't be that difficult to find a man that isn't too clingy yet will also call and ask how I am.

Is that so much to ask?!

But I will take being alone to emotionally constipated men any day, thank you very much!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Capacity to Love

What determines a person's capacity to love? Is one's ability to love limited? What limits a person's ability to love others?  If a person is not fully loved by their family of origin, are they then destined to never learn to fully love others?  If a person desires to learn to develop their capacity to love others, is there an age at which they have a harder time learning to love?

Just as people get older, they have a harder time learning new technology like computer and texting, they seem to also have a difficult time learning social skills, like the ability to open themselves up to loving others.  I have met several people in their 40's and 50's who have parents that were emotionally distant. Although their parents did love them, it was a limited love, a love that was conditional, judgmental, reserved.  Some of the offspring of these parents have been able to go on and learn on their own how to develop a large capacity to love their spouses or significant others and children.

 I have found, however, that many of these offspring are emotionally distant from their spouses, are not able to connect with, or commit to an important relationship--even when they strongly desire to.  Their capacity to love and emotionally commit to others seems to be limited and even when they seek out counseling, few are able to learn how to love. They keep their loves, their children, their siblings at a distance.  They do often have a few close friends.

Can a person learn to love, or is a person's capacity to love limited?

Monday, December 6, 2010


I heard it said that the definition of intimacy is to be in the moment with the person you are with. I like this definition because it means more than being sexual. It means that you are not thinking about work, bills, or another person while you are with the person you are with. That said, intimacy combined with sexuality are the epitome of great satisfaction.

lips parting my mouth
skin touching my skin
hand caressing my back
eyes peering into my soul
head nestled on my chest
leg entwined around my leg
fingers running through my hair
breaking benjamin vibrating in my ear

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Polygamy: the Truth

I am posting a warning for those who do not want to know the unvarnished truth about polygamy and the beginnings of the mormon church, you do not want to watch these videos.  They are truthful and disturbing.  They are also enlightening and freeing for those who are not afraid of the truth, the truth you will not hear in any mormon Sunday school class.

Why was polygamy started? What is polyandry? Did god command polygamy?  Why does the book of mormon condemn polygamy and the D&C embrace it? What is the connection between Joseph Smith and Elizabeth Smart? You have questions, these videos have answers.


Jim Whitefield's "Will the Real Joseph Smith Please Stand Up" 

How to Change

Let's say a person wants to go about changing a fundamental part of themselves. Let's say they are perpetually late and their family and friends are upset with not being able to depend on them. How does one go about changing a character trait?

The first thing is to ask, is change necessary? You have likely heard the saying, 'the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result'.  You need to ask yourself, 'Can you be wrong? Is there something in your behavior that is not in harmony with your ideals? To ask oneself the question that you could possibly be wrong is a huge step. It takes insight, intuition and humility. Many people are not able to take this step.

Second, is this behavior harming yourself or others? If others are not able to depend on you, if you are lying to yourself or others, if you are not able to be intimate with others, you are likely harming yourself and others. A behavior that harms others needs to be looked at and changed.  Ask, how the behavior is harming yourself.  Do you keep others at a distance in order to protect yourself from potential pain? You are likely also keeping yourself experiencing true love and intimacy, also. Ask yourself what what great friendships and life experiences are you missing out of by pushing people away? Are you trading deep, meaningful relationships for shallow, short term ones?

Third, are you willing to step outside your comfort zone temporarily and risk greater happiness? Change is hard. Risking being vulnerable is hard. Admitting that your could be wrong is hard.  What are the possible gains by risking? What are the possible downsides?

I have been surprised and happy with most of the changes I have made in my life. Will you?

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Is change possible?  Can people change? Do you really change the essence of who you are?  If you are generally a happy person, can you become an unhappy and grumpy person in old age?  If you are an impatient person can you learn to be patient?  If you have never allowed another person to be intimate with your soul, can you learn to develop deep, meaningful relationships?

I have changed. I have changed important parts of who I am.  I have learned to be patient when in my twenties I was never patient.  I used to be a black and white thinker and now I think in color and do not see things as black and white.  I am more accepting of people and their situations where I used to be judgmental.  I used to keep people at a distance instead of letting them into my soul where they could hurt me and now I am more open to pain as well as deep and intimate relationships.

I recently watched the movie, "Shopgirl"  in which Mirabelle is pursued by two men.  One man Ray Porter, is not willing to change the essence of who he is and in fact keeps himself at a emotional distance in order to protect his heart from pain in the event of a break up.  The other man, Jeremy, embarks on a journey of self-awareness in order to make himself worthy of Mirabelle's affections and win her love.  One man is willing to change, the other is not.  The consequences are apparent in the last line of the movie as Ray states, " [I] feel a loss although [I] purposefully kept Mirabelle at arm's length so that when [I] broke up it would not hurt [me], which it invariably did." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shopgirl

Yet, as I experience my relationships with other people, I rarely see them as being open to change.  They seem to view their world as closed as opposed to an open view of how things are, or how they are in relationship to it.  They are not open to changing their political view given new information.  They are not open to change their view of seeing other people as good if they have in the past seen a group of people as bad.  If they tend to be pessimistic, they are not open to seeing the world through optimistic eyes.  If, in the past they have shut themselves down to being vulnerable to intimate relationships, they are not open to deep, meaningful, yet vulnerable and intimate relationships.

Is it possible to change the essence of who you are?

Saturday, November 27, 2010


We all have contradictions in our behavior.  We may say we value dependability yet we will be perpetually late to appointments, making people wait on us. Or we may say we desire fidelity and monogamy, yet we may seek out multiple sex partners.  We may say we love someone, yet not spend time with them, call them, emotionally connect with them.

Do we do these things because we are complete a@#holes, or because we truly want what we say, but we also desire the opposite, the proverbial, 'having their cake and eating it too'?

The phrase means that once you have eaten your cake, you cannot have it again.  http://www.ask.com/wiki/Have_one's_cake_and_eat_it_too

We all have choices in this life.  Often, we do not want to limit our choices for fear we will miss out on something else.  Sometimes we may want to be all things to all people.  We may want to fulfill all our desires.  We may fear being vulnerable, so withhold a part of ourselves and instead seek shallow relationships instead of intimate ones.

Are there consequences to having your cake and eating it too? Yes. Yet, it is up to the individual to decide if the consequences are worth the choices they are making. What are they missing out on by trying to have it both ways? What deep, meaningful relationships are they passing up? Are people pulling away from them because they are not dependable? Will they be alone?

We all have contradictions.  What are yours?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Conditional Love

To love a person, no matter how they may disappoint you, to love them in spite of their faults, to love them when they makes choices that aren't approved of, that is unconditional love. 

We all desire to be loved unconditionally. The mormon church teaches a different kind of love. It teaches a conditional love. If you don't do what god expects, he will withdraw his love.  If you leave the mormon church, you are labeled an apostate and your family members are then told they cannot associate with you and then be worthy to enter the mormon temple.

Here is a quote from one of the authorities in the mormon church:

While divine love can be called perfect, infinite, enduring, and universal, it cannot correctly be characterized as unconditional. The word does not appear in the scriptures. On the other hand, many verses affirm that the higher levels of love the Father and the Son feel for each of us—and certain divine blessings stemming from that love—are conditional

"The full flower of divine love and our greatest blessings from that love are conditional-predicated upon our obedience to eternal law. I pray that we may qualify for those blessings and rejoice forever." - Russell M. Nelson, "Divine Love," Ensign, Feb. 2003, page 20

I will take unconditional love over conditional love any day, mormon church.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Have you ever been loved? I mean truly loved? An all consuming love?
Have you ever loved? I mean truly loved? An all consuming love?
Is it possible to make yourself vulnerable enough to allow yourself to be consumed by passion and lust and love?
Have you known someone who has let you into the very reaches of their soul, the most vulnerable place, the deepest, darkest reaches of their heart and mind?
Have you opened yourself up to someone to reach into the very deepest parts of your soul?
Is it possible for two people to find each other on this great earth who are willing to find this place at the same time?

Is great, sustaining passion possible?

In Dreams

In Dreams

lying here in bed….alone
thoughts keep me awake…warm, sensuous kisses
your hand on my back…pressing gently then firmly, moving me  into you
the warmth of your leg next to mine…the heat rising into my skin
my hand caressing your neck…your arm, your chest
the weight of your body on mine…pressing into me
sweat rising…passion that cannot be contained
where are you…only in my dreams?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Desires of my Heart

The Desires of my Heart

Oh, to be in an emotionally committed relationship…
Where intimacy is shared
With someone who is into me
A caress, a touch, a kiss, a sigh…
Someone who is open to me returning their affection
Thinks of me and calls me…
Who works and plays as hard as I do
Someone who considers me…
And loves me for who I am
Here’s to not settling for less than the desires of my heart…

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Happiness; an internal pursuit

I had someone tell me that someone who is seeking happiness through external pursuits, when they attain what they are looking for, will find it lacking and look for the next external pursuit, thinking it will fulfill them, only to find it is lacking also.  For example, someone who thinks that the next big car will bring them happiness, when they get the car, will drive it for a while, then are bored and want the next car or a house or promotion, or whatever.  They go from pursuit to pursuit, always looking for happiness, only to be disappointed.  Happiness needs to be an internal pursuit, not external.

I cannot add anything to this article. It speaks to me:


Saturday, November 6, 2010

Standing Alone

I was a shy child. More than shy, introverted.  I was the 7th out of 10 children.  I was lost in a sea of dysfunction.  There was no possible way my Mother could give all these children the time we needed to have our emotional and social and mental needs met.  There was no way possible my Father could possibly make enough money to support such a large family.  Did they try? In their own way, I think they did. I am not faulting them.  This is not the point, the point is about me.  How did a shy, introverted child who was completely suppressed in every way; who was overtly told and covertly raised to submit and not think for herself, come to think for herself, to actually have some semblance of a backbone, to go against everything she was taught; to leave the confines of her upbringing to become the person she is today?

When I was about 13, I did something to make my Dad mad (don't remember what is was) he told me to lay down on the stairs as he started to take off his belt to whip me.  I fundamentally knew this was wrong. I had already gone through puberty, and this felt a violation to my body and to a teenage girl as well as an excessive punishment to whatever I had done. He was a very scary man. I stood up to him and told him to go ahead and hit me, but that I would go into child protective services and show them my welts and bruises and report him.  He stopped and put his belt back on and he never hit me again.  A few years later, there was a trip the Mormon church was putting together for the youth. As it was announced in church, I wanted to attend, but after the meeting, my Dad pulled me aside and told me I had to attend, I had no choice.  I told him at that point that I would not be going. I didn't go.  I finished college-- against my families support, with a degree that was looked down on. What gave me the strength to do all this?  To this day, I still do not know.  This video comes closets to explaining:

Years later, I was able to also leave an abusive marriage; leave an abusive church organization, go out and get a job when I hadn't had one in 15 years, start being responsible for my finances when I wasn't allowed access to my own checking account for 10 years, and pay all my bills for the first time in 20 years.  It was like walking off a cliff.  I cannot even begin to express how scary this all was.  All my Mormon friends abandoned me, the only religious life I ever knew I was walking away from. I had to redefine my relationship with god and who I was as an individual and not as a couple. I had no idea, when I walked off that cliff, what was at the bottom-- the ocean full of raging water and ragged rocks or a cushion of pillows and an air tramp.

I now have a job that pays my health insurance, a life insurance policy and a retirement benefit. I feel like an adult for the first time since I was self supportive in my early 20's.  I'm an adult! It only took me 20 years to get here.

Here is a list of how my individuality was eroded:
*Submit thoughts to parents
*Do not disobey or you will be whipped
*Girls clean up after the entire family each and every day (servant-like)
*Must be in a certain time, but time is not clarified
*Girls are not equal to boys in the family; boys get motorcycles, bikes; girls get clothes; boys get scouts and sports, girls get to watch
*cannot wear jeans
*Get married and have 10 kids
*College is for men. Women can only go to find a husband
*Feel lots of guilt for not being good enough

*Must wear certain clothes
*Must attend Wednesday meetings, Sunday meetings and Seminary, be busy
*Do not think or act on sex thoughts
*Must listen and submit to the male authority
*listen, to not express your own differing thoughts
*Do not drink or smoke, do not drink tea or coffee
*Do not eat out on Sundays, dress to the nines for church
*Do not wear more than one pair of earrings, flip flops, or have sleep overs for the kiddo's
*Bow your head and say 'yes' I will obey my husband
*Have a passive mind, do not think for yourself
*Do not work, stay at home, have lots of kids, even if it doesn't fit your personality
*Feel lots of guilt for not being good enough

*Stay home, even though you told me you didn't want to
*No access to finances, checking account
*Contradiction in  everything; I love you, I can't be with you; I want dinner on the table at six, I won't be home till 7; etc.
*One way street; no assistance in problem solving, no time spent with girls and wife after dinner (head in computer), no engaging in conversation during dinner; no time spent with family in family time, wait till wife is in bed before coming to bed, etc.
*Feel lots of guilt for not being good enough

Deep down in my soul, I knew I could think for myself, I could act for myself and have it not offend god. That this was having personal integrity.  I just knew this.

I believe because I knew this in the base of my soul, I was able to make decisions, ultimately for myself and walk away from an organization that was telling me differently, from a family or origin that was telling me differently, from a husband that was telling me differently. Self esteem must be based on the internal, not the external to have the strength to make the decisions necessary to stand alone.

Monday, November 1, 2010


There were two Mormon church buildings that were the victims of arson recently. The man arrested for the arson, it is reported, is a BYU student recently excommunicated from the Mormon church.  Since I know nothing about his story, I cannot speak to what happened that may have led to his possible/alleged desperation to commit such a terrible act of revenge (if convicted).

What I can talk about are the many, many stories where people are treated harshly by leaders of the Mormon church.  The Mormon church says it is a church of love.  The Mormon church excommunicates members who have committed fornication. The Mormon church excommunicates its members and then claims it is out of love. The Mormon church shuns its Members who have a crisis of faith. The Mormon church shuns Mormon women who are divorced.  The Mormon church shuns youth who are different, do not fit in, do not fit their mold or idea of what is acceptable.  I have seen this time and time again.  I have experienced this personally.  My children have experienced this.  My friends have experienced this.

In other Christian churches, if people are experiencing a crisis of faith, they are embraced, counseled, supported.  In other Christian churches, if they are struggling with a sin, they are embraced, counseled, supported.  In other Christian churches, if someone is an odd person out, they don't fit a particular mold, they are embraced, accepted and supported.

Harsh vs. Love

It leads people away.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

If I Were God

If I were God

If I were God would I...
Make one man suffer for all the wrongs and sins of others?
Create humans in my image then call them unnatural and an enemy to myself?
Create humans in a fallen state when I call them the pinnacle of my creations?
Give them emotions and then say half those emotions are evil?
Give them reason and logic and then tell them to blindly obey?
Kill my creations through floods, earthquakes and tsunami's?
Create disease, birth defects and life long pain and suffering?
Give commandments to only a portion of my people that
are a requirement to return to my presence
thus damming the rest of my creations
to hell for simply being born to the
wrong parents and wrong
country and wrong

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Research on being Gay

I recently stated an opinion that being gay was genetic. My brother took me task over that, stating that my opinion was over simplistic.  I agree, it may be, as nature and nurture are not so easily defined in any situation.

I'd like to give some more research for anyone who'd like to learn more.

BYU Professor Bill Bradshaw on a Biological Origin of Homosexuality" (ref. http://mormonstories.org/?p=1158)

hemaphrodite (male/female) creatures:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermaphrodite

 hemaphrodite Leopard slugs engaging in 'perverse' sex:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FhVi4Z6CjZk

What prompted my response was a comment made by the second highest leader in the LDS church who said that god would not make a person gay.  What is interesting is that he has made animals gay, animals and humans hemaphrodites, and many other things.  

Is there just one cause of sexuality, either straight or gay? I don't know, but if we question how a person is gay, we must also have to question how a person is straight.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

When I first became Disillusioned

I have often been asked when I became disillusioned with the Mormon church. I tell people it wasn't a one time event.  It was a process.  There were many things I found odd, many things I didn't believe in. I knew that Joseph Smith practiced polygamy. In my studies of Sunday School I even ran across the word, polyandry, the practice of marrying another man's wife while they are still married to them; which Joseph Smith did. I knew about the Danites, the Mountain Meadows Massacre. I knew about the failed Kirkland Bank that Joseph prophesied would be successful. I knew that Pres. Smith had prophesied that man would never land on the moon.  I knew Brigham Young to be less than honest in his business dealings, a racist, that he didn't treat his wives well.

Yet, I stayed. Why, people outside the Mormon church ask.  Because I was taught from the time I was born that it was the only true church of god and there was only one way to heaven, and it was through that church.  No matter how flawed it was, and I believed that.

Then there were the contradictions in receiving revelations and I began to be at a place where I could not believe any more.  Not only were we supposed to blindly follow what the profit said and we were told that when we followed him, even if what he said may lead us astray, we would not be held accountable (the leaders would say we were not required to have blind faith, but this is blind faith!).  But local leaders began claiming this same infallibility. I could not accept this.  The ward I was in was planning a Trek. The leaders decided to make the trip more authentic, they were going to withhold food and water. I and several others were opposed to this.We voiced our complaints. We were worried about health issues, possible liability, and that the trek was already a difficult experience, it didn't need to be added upon. We were told to be quiet, to implicitly trust our leaders, to not have a voice of dissent. We would not be quiet. I didn't want to have to pull my child out, but if it came to it, I would. We went to former bishops and stake presidents and voiced our concerns and asked them to plead our case. In the end, the pressure that was put on the trek leaders worked and they backed down on this terrible decision and reason won out--this time.

This was a trend. It happened over and over. Dissent was not allowed. If a voice of opposition was expressed, you were labeled as someone who was questioning the spirit. I was questioning policy and poor decision-making. I began questioning how decisions were made. Were all these decisions really being made by the spirit? Or were these men making decisions on their own and then claiming god-inspiration to squelch dissent? The more poor decisions were made, the more I questioned.  I even asked one bishop how he came to make church callings. This was his answer. 'Well, we (the bishopric) pray at the beginning of our meeting, we discuss who we want in each calling, come to a decision, then we pray at the end of our meeting.'  WTF?!   That's men making the decisions and hoping they got it right!

If a forger named Mark Hoffman can con the very top officials of the mormon church into buying fake documents over several years and he not be found out until he commits murder, then there is no spirit of discernment leading this church.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Wasted Life

I tried to be the Mormon that was expected of me. I just cleaned out a 4-drawer filing cabinet full of files from F.A.R.M.'s articles, lessons I taught from 20 years as a gospel doctrine teacher; ideas as an activities leader, and 100 family home evening lesson that I spent one year and several hundred dollars putting together.

I accepted every calling that was asked of me. I was a stay at home mother for 15 years despite the fact that it was against my personality and I resented being it. I was a square peg in a round hole. There was only one way to be a Mormon woman. It was okay for the husband to neglect me, to abuse me. It was not okay for me to walk away.  When I began to openly question if this was really God's plan for me, I realized that a loving God would not require me to suffer such abuse. That He would not require only one way to live. Why would a loving God make me have desires to serve people in the real world then say I can only serve by putting together an activity lesson? It was silly, trite, absurd to say that I could not do good in the world like I am now, working with children with disabilities. I feel fulfilled, content, happy. I never felt any of that serving in the church.

The church told women like me that we were selfish for desiring to work outside the home. I do not feel selfish. I could only clean my house so much. It was linear work- I never received pay, a promotion, or was told I had done a good job, let alone a pay raise. I never felt I was accomplishing anything. I could only change so many diapers, clean so much, do so many crafts. There are women who love it, enjoy it, are fulfilled by it--I just wasn't one of them.  Then, when the children were in school, I tried to have the talk with the husband about going back to work part time. No go. He would not even discuss it with me. He walked out of the room when I brought up the topic.

Each. And. Every. Time.             For five years.

I was only good for cooking his meals, cleaning his house, taking care of his needs. I had to beg for money. I had no access to the checking account balance, to the finances. I was a servant. I existed for his pleasure. He was having no change in his status.  This was going to be my future. This is Mormon heaven. Good for the men. Bad for the women.

A wasted life. That is what it is. I wasted my life trying to do what other's told me to do instead of what I wanted and desired. Sad.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Clinging to a belief system despite all evidence to the contrary

When I was in the Mormon church, I was told there is only one way to think. I was told that I could not have an opinion different that those held by the Mormon church.  I had lots of opinions that were different, some I shared openly, most I kept to myself. I was told that there was only one true church, one way to think one way, one, one, one.

Now that I am out, many of the ways I used to think have changed dramatically. One thing that I have learned is that my thought processes can change. Given new information, I am capable of changing my thoughts and opinions. Sometimes this is difficult, such as when I decided that my marriage would not work. It was as though a part of me died. I had to change my belief system and everything I knew. I had been told that if I just loved him enough or more, he would love me back; that was a fallacy and I had to change my belief system.  When I came to the realization that there was no such thing as a one and only true church of god and the Mormon church had lied to me about that, it was as though a part of me had died again. I had to once again change my belief system and change the way I viewed the world, viewed God and viewed myself.

I am capable of changing my beliefs, by thoughts and my views, given new information. This is why I am capable to accepting other people with differing view points and listen to them with an open mind. What I cannot tolerate is someone telling me I am wrong and must change to their way of thinking. This, I will not do.

I believe people should question everything, be skeptical, ask questions, not take anything on blind faith. If is seems off, sounds bad, smells bad, it needs more investigation.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

With the help of a friend

I have received a comment from my brother on one of my blog writings. After careful consideration, I have decided to allow his comment. I am not going to comment on each one of his arguments, although I disagree with him, I agree with his right to disagree with me. However, this is my blog and its existence is here for me to vent. If he wants to vent, he can begin his own blog.

I have a friend who is much smarter than me. With his permission, I am publishing part of a paper that he has researched. I hope that those who have an open mind find it fascinating, as I do:

by Reverend William E Wilson
Intricacies of Language
I have studied many languages over the years. These include Spanish, German,  Italian, Welsh, Navajo,
Greek and Hebrew. I speak and read these languages at varying degrees of competence. Currently I
translate 16th and 17th century Northern Italian fencing manuscripts. I can tell you with some surety that
the translator will always be biased in heir translation. Their cultural morays and personal biases will
affect the words they use in their translation. This has happened over the years with the New
Neil R. Lightfoot wrote a book called How We Got the Bible and in this book lays out where especially
the New Testament comes from, the dates of the various original manuscripts that are in existence and
in regards to translation said: “however, we should keep in mind that the version, because they are
translations, are necessarily secondary in rank as witnesses to the text. Something is always lost by way
of translation.” (p 65)
Specifically in regard to English translations he said “Eventually the Vulgate was made the official
Bible of the Roman Catholic Church, and so it remains today. The result is that the Roman Catholic
Bible in English is a translation of a translation and is not a translation from the original languages.” (p
Compounding the issue is the fact that Paul made up words in Greek that were not used by anyone else
which makes translation difficult. This will be discussed in more detail later.

The Scriptures in Question
I will address three scriptural references  from the New Testament that are used to condemn
homosexuality. I will treat each one separately. They include:
1 Tim 1:9-10
1 Cor 6:9-10
Romans 1:26-27
 For this study I will use the Greek-English Interlinear New Testament and also the King James
versions of the Bible.
Before addressing the writings of Paul, I should note that Jesus never addressed homosexuality. In a
number of places in the Gospels Jesus mentioned sins of the spirit but he rarely mentioned sins of the
body and he was completely silent on the topic of homosexuality. As Christians should we listen more
to the words of Jesus than Paul? And what did Paul really say or mean?
I believe the most telling scripture that we may examine to get to the core of the matter is found in 1st
1 Timothy 1:9-10
King James Translation
"Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the
ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for
manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars,
for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine."
“This means understanding that the law is laid down not for the innocent but for the lawless and
disobedient, for the godless and sinful, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their father or
mother, for murderers, fornicators, sodomites, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is
contrary to the sound teaching . . .”
In looking at these verses in context we are able to see that Paul is setting up classes of behaviors that
are contrary to the law. These classes are
godless and sinful
unholy and profane
murderers of parents or others
those taking part in sex sins involving slavery
liars and perjurers
The section on sex sins involving slavery is stated as “for whoremongers, for them that defile
themselves with mankind, for menstealers”.  Looking above at the translation offered after the Greek
passage we see that it is translated as fornicators, sodomites and slave traders. Depending on the
translator a different translation or even meaning may be intoned. When looking at the Scriptures, it is
important in my estimation, to not only look at the translation but also at the original. Without being
able to read and study the original it is very hard to understand what the author meant by what they
wrote. Since at least the time of Jesus, the Jews have maintained their scriptures in the original
language (Hebrew) and have maintained their commentary on the Tanakh and Torah since the early
rabbinical period that  dates to just after the time of Jesus. Just prior to the time of Jesus, Hillel, one of
the most famous of the rabbis, lived in Jerusalem and taught and expounded on the Torah. Jesus taught
in a similar vein to Hillel and would have heard not only the written Torah but also the Oral Torah
which later became the rabbinical writings. Being able to work in the original tongue allows us to delve
into the intricacies of the vocabulary used.

The Greek terms for the sex sins are pornois, arsenokoitais and andropodistais. The first word pornois
is based off of the word to sell. General consensus is that this refers to a male prostitute. The second
word, arsenokoitais is a word that was created by Paul. It consists of two words arsen and koitas. Arsen
means male and koitas means bed and the exact meaning of the word is not known. However, a
definition may be determined and most definitely is not homosexual. The last word is andropodistais
and means slave trader. If we take these in context, we may see that the section deals with those that
prostitute their bodies or who do the same with others.
Arsenokoitai should not be translated as homosexual. This is a 19th century and later term and shows
the bias of the translator. And the word is a joining of words in two different languages, Greek and
Latin. This term has been applied to not only males but also to females and the original Greek
specifically applies to males and not to females.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
King James translation
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither
fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor
thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."
9 ἢ οὐκ οἴδατε ὅτι ἄδικοι θεοῦ βασιλείαν οὐ κληρονοµήσουσιν; µὴ πλανᾶσθε· οὔτε πόρνοι οὔτε
εἰδωλολάτραι οὔτε µοιχοὶ οὔτε µαλακοὶ οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται 10 οὔτε κλέπται οὔτε πλεονέκται, οὐ
µέθυσοι, οὐ λοίδοροι, οὐχ ἅρπαγες βασιλείαν θεοῦ κληρονοµήσουσιν.
“Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived!
Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers,
robbers – none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.”
Like the quote from 1 Timothy, this scripture refers to “arsenokoitai”. Unlike 1 Timothy this scripture
is not set up in pairs or triplets of like behaviors. If Paul had meant to refer to homosexuals (or
specifically to male-male sexual liaisons) he would have used the standard term for the time –
paiderasste. This was the term for male same sex relationships.
So what did Paul mean? It is very difficult to say. But reading these scriptures in context and looking
carefully at the meanings of the words involved we may make a best guess and this is not homosexual.
Romans 1:26-27
“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use
into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman,
burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving
in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet."
“διὰ τοῦτο παρέδωκεν αὐτοὺς ὁ θεὸς εἰς πάθη τιµίας· αἵ τε γὰρ θήλειαι αὐτῶν µετήλλαξαν τὴν
φυσικὴν χρῆσιν εἰς τὴν παρὰ φύσιν, ὁµοίως τε καὶ οἱ ἄρσενες  φέντες τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν τῆς θηλείας
ἐξεκαύθησαν ἐν τῇ ὀρέξει αὐτῶν εἰς λλήλους, ἄρσενες ἐν ἄρσεσιν τὴν  σχηµοσύνην κατεργαζόµενοι
καὶ τὴν  ντιµισθίαν ἣν ἔδει τῆς πλάνης αὐτῶν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς πολαµβάνοντες.”
“For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse
for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were
consumed with passion for one another.”
As stated by Dr. R.S. Truluck, "Paul's writings have been taken out of context and twisted to punish and
oppress every identifiable minority in the world: Jews, children, women, blacks, slaves, politicians,
divorced people, convicts, pro choice people, lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transsexuals, religious
reformers, the mentally ill, and the list could go on and on.  Paul is often difficult and confusing to
understand.  A lot of Paul's writing is very difficult to translate.  Since most of his letters were written
in response to news from other people, reading Paul can be like listening to one side of a telephone
conversation.  We know, or think we know, what Paul is saying, but we have to guess what the other
side has said." "The six Bible passages used to condemn homosexuals," at:
Paul wrote this letter to the Romans who were immersed in Roman culture (see verse 7).  The whole of
chapter 1 is an exhortation against  idolatrous religious worship and rituals. Verses 26 and 27 are part of
this. Today many religious leaders take these verses on their own out of context.  If we take these
verses in context it is a diatribe against Christians who have reverted to pagan practices including
heterosexuals engaging in ritual homosexual behavior. This does not attack homosexuals who may be
in monogamous homosexual relationships.
Looking Back to the “Old Testament”
First I would state that the Old Testament is best studied and viewed within the context of the history of
Israel and the Jewish people. I personally believe that Christianity is removed far enough from Judaism
that the Jewish scripture (Torah and Tanakh) should be minimally used by Christian communities
especially if these communities believe that Jesus fulfilled the Law.
Leviticus 18:22:
"You shall not lie with a male as those who lie with a female; it is an abomination."
Leviticus 20:13:
"If a man lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed an
abomination and they shall surely be put to death."
These two passages are used by Christians to condemn homosexual behavior. However, these passages
when read in context cannot be taken out of the context that they were written in. Leviticus is the Law
as given to the Israelites. One portion of the Law may not be taken without the whole of the Law.
Leviticus 11 talks about food restrictions. If Christians condemn homosexuals they should also
condemn Red Lobster for serving shellfish. Leviticus 23 details the prohibition of doing any type of
work on the Sabbath. Leviticus 19 prohibits mixing breeds and also prohibits cutting specific types of
hair on a man's head. These are just a few examples. All the laws given in Leviticus are demanded
equally. None may be left out. It is either all or nothing.
The warning is given in Leviticus 26:14-16 that "If you do not obey me and do not carry out all of these
commandments, if instead, you reject my statutes, and if your soul abhors my ordinances so as not to
carry out all my commandments ...I, in turn, will do this to you: I will appoint over you a sudden terror,
consumption and fever that shall waste away the eyes and cause the soul to pine away; also, you shall
sow your seed uselessly, for your enemies shall eat it up." This is just a sample of the punishments that
the Lord would deliver if any of the Laws were broken.
Using Leviticus to condemn homosexuals is ludicrous and hypocritical.
What did Jesus say about homosexuality?
Outwardly no. He definitely did not condemn. But what many do not know, he did condone. But the
question that English speakers will ask is how?
We all know from Sunday School the story of the Centurion who comes to Jesus asking that his
"servant" be healed. The term this Centurion uses is translated typically as servant in English.
"Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering." (Matthew 8:6 NIV)
The word in Greek translated into English is pais. This term may mean son or boy, servant, or a special
type of servant - a male lover. At this time in history Men would often buy a male slave as a lover. This
may seem bad in our modern minds but at that time it was a respected practice. And Jesus would have
known of this practice.
When talking of other slaves the Centurion uses the standard term doulos. In Luke's account the servant
was the Centurion's entimos doulos or honored slave. So it was not a son. And in Matthew where the
Centurion directly talks to Jesus he uses the term pais in talking of his servant.
Can you imagine a Roman officer stooping to speaking with a Jewish Rabbi who he knew should
denounce gay relationships? And what did Jesus say? He said he would come and heal him. There was
no denouncing the "sin." Jesus did not discriminate. And if Jesus did not discriminate, why should we?
In conclusion I would state that it is crucial to look at the original language that scripture was written
in. It is also crucial to look at the social setting and most important to not take scripture out of context.
As was stated earlier the Bible has been used to persecute and condemn many types of people. Instead
of using the Bible to condemn it should be used to uplift. How the Bible is translated may also foment
this type of behavior. If we try and determine the actual intent of the authors and not take English
translations of the Tanakh and New Testament texts at “face value”, we may walk away from our
studies with a very different view on many topics.


Anger: I was told my entire life in the Mormon church that anger is an evil emotion.  When I began taking college courses I was told that no emotion is good or bad, they just exist.  I needed to reconcile this.  As I began to learn about my inner self, I decided for myself that no emotion is good or bad, it is how we deal with them that matters. Anger can be very motivational to change a particular situation that we may find ourselves in. If we find ourselves in an emotionally abusive marriage, the emotion of anger may be the only impetus to get us out. Anger can be bad if we take it out on others by yelling at them if we had a bad day at work.

I admit that I have been angry. I have been angry that I was told to stay in an emotionally abusive marriage.  I admit that I have been angry that women are treated as less than equal to men in the Mormon religion. I admit that I have had no voice on many other issues. Does this mean that I am less objective on the subject of Mormonism than someone who chooses to stay in the religion?

Absolutely not.  This is like saying that a Toyota salesman is more objective about how dependable his cars are than Consumer Reports (okay so I'm not Consumer Reports, but I have been a Mormon my entire life, and I have checked out objective, non-biased, well researched opinions) and it is important to look at all sides.  I have.

Anger does not make me more biased. My blog is my healthy outlet for my anger, my anger does not make me blind.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Cover your Ass

The Mormon church is already changing BKP's talk. I am publishing the original and the changes to hold them accountable:

The version spoken in conference can be found here :
We teach the standard of moral conduct that will protect us from Satan’s many substitutes and counterfeits for marriage. We must understand that any persuasion to enter into any relationship that is not in harmony with the principles of the gospel must be wrong. From The Book of Mormon we learn that wickedness never was happiness. Some suppose that they were preset  and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and unnatural. Not so. Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone? Remember, he is our Father.

The version now on the churches website: edited version   We teach a standard of moral conduct that will protect us from Satan’s many substitutes or counterfeits for marriage. We must understand that any persuasion to enter into any relationship that is not in harmony with the principles of the gospel must be wrong. From the Book of Mormon we learn that “wickedness never was happiness.”
Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn temptations toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone? (deleted) Remember, God is our Heavenly Father.

Since I am writing, I want to add this; think for yourselves, think reasonable, be rational, ask questions. If something smells bad, ask why.

*I asked why. This is what I came up with: BKP said that god would not do that to people. Well:

Here is some information on what god has done to people:

If this loving God  wouldn't make someone gay, why would he make someone have Angelman's, where they are non-verbal, they have joint problems, they are violent toward their loved ones, they have difficulty learning and have low IQ, they have difficulty eating and swallowing and sleeping. The cannot sweat well and sunburn easily. They will have to be taken care of their entire lives. They cannot dress themselves without help, brush their teeth without help, sit or sometimes walk without help.

*He says that being gay is unnatural. He goes on to say that the natural man is an enemy to god. You can't have it both ways. Is it unnatural or natural? Are we as humans natural or unnatural? Which way? Confusion and conflict. 

*He says you cannot vote against the law of gravity. Has he never heard of the 3 laws of motion that govern flight? There are higher laws that allow birds and planes to overcome gravity, Mr. Packer! Know your science! There are also gay animals in all species. When an animal species is facing extinction or other extreme conditions, there is an increase in homosexuality. Homosexuality is born, not a choice, science has shown that time and again. Here is a link:

I want to add my own personal story. When I was in college, one teacher had several students come into one of my classes. They gave their own personal stories of being gay. It was moving and emotional. After the class, I was confused, as I had been told my entire life that being gay was a choice but the stories just told where the opposite. I sought out my teacher. I told her I was having difficulty relating to the experiences just shared with the class. I told the teacher that I had never questioned my sexual identity. Her response, "exactly." That was an epiphany to me. If I never questioned my sexual identity, then how audacious was it for me to assume that people who are gay should have to question theirs.  

The Mormon church continues to say that being gay can be cured. This is their idea of trying to 'cure being gay' http://www.suite101.com/content/byu-electroshock-aversion-therapy-a33025
If God wants the Mormon church to cure being gay, then why hasn't he revealed to BKP how to do it? Electroshock treatments didn't work, behavior modification being used in an organization called Evergreen isn't working.

Where's your revelations, profits? Where?