Friday, December 30, 2011

Not Good for Men

As I'm being told for the hundredth time, "Why are you so emotional, why can't you be less emotional?" When I ask him why he doesn't show any emotion, he tells me that I show enough for both of us.   I decide to try an experiment. Since I want the husband to be more emotional (why can't he express any love toward me? Why can't he show sadness, or excitement, or even happiness when he watches the kids have fun? Anything except anger at me for always being the wrong type person--like now for being too emotional?) I am going to show as little emotion as possible for a year to see if me being less emotional will make him be more emotional.

For a year, I don't get excited, I don't get angry, I don't get sad--nothing.  Literally nothing; not from me or from him. My experiment failed, it didn't make him more emotional by me being less emotional. Why?

The roles people are assigned:

I have written a number of blogs about why the church is not good for women.  The church is also not good for men. The church has assigned women the role of being nurturers.  The women are assigned the role of loving and caring for the family and society.  They are given permission to be emotional; they are allowed to love, to care, to be sad, happy, to cry. I can play with my children, hold them, cuddle with them. I can laugh with the husband, hug him, and love him with my whole being.

The husband has been assigned the role of provider.  He is allowed to work, provide shelter and be an authority figure. By being assigned this role and denied the role of caretaker, he is not allowed to love or show emotion. Why? This would be beneath him. He is not allowed to partake in this role as a man.

This is how it is in a patriarchal hierarchy.  God/church is above man. Man is above women.  Man is to preside over women just as God/church presides over man. Man is to preside and lead and provide.  Women are to submit and nurture.  If men nurture, they are not fulfilling their role, as that role has been assigned to women. It is beneath them.  Men are just as much devalued in this system as women are.

Men are not given permission to emotionally attach to women.  They are not given permission to emotionally attach to their children.  They are not allowed to love, to cry, to care, to show compassion.

When the marriage was in utter chaos, I insisted he see a counselor. He chose a mormon counselor.  After the first session with him, the counselor asked to meet with me. He said, "You women send your men to me to fix them. What is it you want me to fix?" I told him right then that the marriage would end in divorce.  He didn't get it because he was raised in the very system that messed up the husband.  The husband was doing exactly what he was assigned to do, after all; he was providing and presiding. What more did I expect out of him?

I expected him to love me, to care for me, at have an emotional connection with me.  The counselor didn't get this because that was not his role to do those things. I was unhappy not being loved and cared for. I needed  these in the marriage.

Men are repressed. They, too can break out of the mold.








Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Reality or delusion

I had someone tell me all the time, 'My perception is my reality'.  I can't even  begin to tell you how much I hate this; and on so many levels:
1. Perception does not change reality
2. Reality is fixed, accept it or live in your delusion, but don't try and make the rest of us think the two are the same
3. Perception for you does not change reality for me
4. You can live in your delusion, but don't for a minute think I will follow you there
5. I do not have to accept your perception as my reality
6. You can repeat this statement over and over and it still won't make it my reality
7. Telling me that your perception is my reality does not make it so
8. I used to believe that you living in your delusion didn't change reality. I now understand that your perception can indeed change how you perceive reality, thus it can change how you deal with events in your life and effect and even change your life.

In the book, Unbroken, three men are lost at sea in a raft. Terrible things happen to them.  From the start, two of the men optimistic, work for the good of the group, and maintain hope that they will be rescued.  The third man is pessimistic, looks out for his own good and eventually looses hope. Because of each man's perception, their reality is formed and fate is eventually set. The third man does not make it out alive.

Did the men's perception change reality? Not really. They were still lost at sea.  They still had terrible things happen to them.  The two men accepted their fate and thought and worked to survive it. Did their perception of reality help the two survive while leading to the one's death? I now have to admit that is a possibility. Yet, the one who was negative could not change the other two's perception that their situation was hopeless and that they should all give up.

I knew a married couple.  He had the perception that she should stay at home and not work and just take care of him. This was boring, unfulfilling for her and as hard as she tried, she could not accept his perception that this should make her happy and fulfilled.  He refused to engage her in any conversation about what would fulfill her or make her happy.  She eventually divorced him and found happiness and fulfillment.  His perceptions about what should be reality were vastly different than hers.  He could not bend her will to fit his.

Another person had the perception that they could manipulate the people around them to get what they wanted by bullying them, yelling at them, calling them names.  The people around them only became more stubborn in not giving in, began to alienate themselves from this person grew frustrated with this person.  This person's perception that they could get their way through making others accept their idea of reality didn't work for them.

Accepting reality for what it is and embracing it and adapting to it and learning to survive and cope and thrive....or live in denial, in hopelessness in despair, in pain.

I choose reality.  What do you choose?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Not Good for Women ~ Part VI

The Blame Game
My house was recently broken into.  The sad part is that my daughter left for school that morning and forgot to lock the front door.  The teens had easy access, they just turned the handle and wahla, there goes my camera, the Wii, my computer and a few other things.

Who is to blame for this violation? My daughter for leaving the door unlocked or the teens for violating my rights to own and keep my property safe from intrusion?

What about a woman who is raped? Is she to blame? My other daughter participated in the Slut Walk this summer. The purpose of this is to bring awareness to what causes rape.  She carried a sign that said, "Sluts don't cause rape, rapists do".  The women who participated are hoping to change people's attitudes and bring awareness to this age-old problem, that it is the perpetrator and not the victim who is to blame.

I was raped many years ago.  I was taught that it was the woman's responsibility for the rape.  She either dressed provocatively, didn't protest loud enough or somehow enticed the guy. Here is a quote from the book, Miracle of Forgiveness, “Also far-reaching is the effect of loss of chastity. Once given or taken or stolen it can never be regained. Even in a forced contact such as rape or incest, the injured one is greatly outraged. If she has not cooperated and contributed to the foul deed, she is of course in a more favorable position. There is no condemnation when there is no voluntary participation. It is better to die in defending one’s virtue than to live having lost it without a struggle.”

-    Prophet Spencer W. Kimball, LDS Prophet, The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 196

And this quote from David O. McKay,  “President David O. McKay has pleaded:
    Your virtue is worth more than your life. Please, young folk, preserve your virtue even if you lose your lives.” 

Or this:  “I know what my mother expects. I know what she’s saying in her prayers. She’d rather have me come home dead than unclean.”

-    Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, Conference Report, April 1969, pp. 52-53 

Do I wish I were dead? How stupid is that to even ask. I love life, I love my life, I'm so happy to be alive.

I am over the rape. I am over blaming myself for it.
Men are responsible for their own thoughts; women are not responsible for what men think.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Not Good for Women ~ Part V

One Box Fits All
In 1987, president benson talked to the members of the mormon church and said these words:

    In the eternal family, God established that fathers are to preside in the home. Fathers are to provide, to love, to teach, and to direct.
    But a mother's role is also God-ordained. Mothers are to conceive, to nourish, to love, and to train. So declare the revelations....
    opportunity and responsibility of wives is "to multiply and replenish the earth...and to fulfill the promise which was given by my Father before the foundation of the world, and for their exaltation in the eternal worlds.
    Young mothers and fathers, with all my heart I counsel you not to postpone having your children....The Lord clearly defined the roles of mothers and fathers in providing for and rearing a righteous posterity....Women have claim on their husbands for their maintenance.... This is the divine right of a wife and mother. She cares for and nourishes her children at home. Her husband earns the living for the family.... the counsel of the Church has always been for mothers to spend their full time in the home in rearing and caring for their children.  http://fc.byu.edu/jpages/ee/w_etb87.htm
Has this dated, 1950's view of the family changed? Let's look at the counsel given in 2008: 
By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness
and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. http://lds.org/Static%20Files/PDF/Manuals/TheFamily_AProclamationToTheWorld_35538_eng.pdf

What if this one-size-fits-all-mold doesn't fit everyone? What about these scenarios:
1. A woman has the need, desire and drive to have a career
2. The family finances dictate two incomes
3. The father desires to stay home and the mother is capable of making more income
4. A woman, who has never had the opportunity to get married, desires to have a child
5. Gays
6. A couple, who are traumatized by divorced parents, desire to be in a relationship, but to not sign on the legal paperwork and make it legal (marriage)
7. A couple who does not desire children; who wants to postpone children until they are firmly established in a career or education or feel emotionally ready and prepared

Of course, these scenarios are out of the round holes the church insists everyone fit into, thus they do not allow any varying for those of us who are the square pegs. Here is a quote from the church's hand book for women who would desire a child, but are not married:

Artificial Insemination

The Church strongly discourages artificial insemination using semen from anyone but the husband. However, this is a personal matter that ultimately must be left to the judgment of the husband and wife. Responsibility for the decision rests solely upon them.

Artificial insemination of single sisters is not approved. Single sisters who deliberately refuse to follow the counsel of Church leaders in this matter are subject to Church discipline

There is no varying, no flexibility, no kindness, no compassion for people who do not fit the mold the church has designed and said all people must fit into. Even when research shows there is more than one way, that it is good for women to work; they are not flexible and will not accommodate any other view.

There are some people within who are able to be cafeteria mormons (they can pick and choose those doctrines they want to conform to and follow, much like a person would pick and choose what to eat in a buffet line).  They are the ones who seem to be able to look at these things say, 'eh, whatever; I'm going to church and doing my own thing.' Then there are people like me who are all in or all out.  We aren't black and white thinkers, but we are very ethical.  If we are going to live certain principles, we are going to do it all the way.  

We feel we are violating our own ethical codes; if we say we are going to follow an ethical code we will follow it, but we aren't only going to follow it when it suits us. We are the ones who have left the church because the church is not willing to accommodate our free thinking.

The box did not fit, so we broke out of the box.




Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Not Good for Women ~ Part IV

Discrimination vs Equality
We can learn a lot from the civil rights movement. Any group of people who have money, power, or privileges withheld from them are being discriminated against. During the civil rights movement, many people tried to state that separate was the same as equal.  No, its not.

I hear women say all the time that they are just fine with not holding the priesthood and they don't have to have it to be considered equal with men.  That may be so, but just because they are not give the title of having priesthood authority, does not mean they are equal in all other ways.

Let's take money.  Do the women in the church receive the same and equal access to money that the men do?  Any budget I ever saw and worked with in the young women's organization never even came close to the young men's budget.  The boys scout's budget also superseded that of the teenage girl's.  The teen boys were also allowed to solicit for money.  If the teen girls were allowed to solicit, their abilities in this area were severely restricted. I was in many wards were they asked for money for the boys scouts directly over the pulpit, called each member of the ward for money (regardless of whether you had a son in the program or not) and they held several fun raisers throughout the year. The girls were allowed only one fundraiser for girls camp--that was all.

Let's take power.  The church tells people and especially the women that they are in charge of their own organizations (Relief Society, Young Women's and Primary for the children). The church calls these organizations- 'auxiliaries'.  By the churches own definition of an auxiliary, 'is not essential and not truly independent of male oversight, it only spells out that women are not to be trusted with any real authority themselves.' http://facsimilogos.blogspot.com/2011/12/10-reasons-to-leave-lds-church.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auxiliary_organization_(LDS_Church)

Women must have a man present at their activities, must report their activities to male leadership, must have male approval for their activities and must get approval for any funding for them.  There is no such thing as female power.  Women who speak in general conference, primarily speak to the children, female youth, are given short speaking assignments, and rarely are given time on Sundays-- the highest watched times.

Let's take privileges.  Many years ago, I worked in the young women's program. We were trying to motivate the teen girls to read the book of mormon.  We came up with the idea to take all the girls who read it in a certain time period on a trip to Salt Lake to visit church history sites.  The girls were to have fund raisers to raise all the money by themselves, thus not being a financial burden on their families or the church.  We were denied our request by the bishop.  We appealed to the stake president.  We were denied again.  That same summer, the teen boys took a trip to Lagoon for fun and enjoyment.  Although they said it was for boys scouts, no merit badges were earned.  All the money for the trip came out of the ward budget.

Boys are allowed to go water skiing, camping, skiing, hiking,swimming, site seeing in other states, etc.  All these privileges are denied the girls.  All these privileges are put under the umbrella of boy scouts, yet few merit badges are earned on all these privileges and equal access for something similar is not granted to the teen girls.

Girls are required to learn to sew, learn how to cook, be a good mom and stay a virgin until married.

Does this meet the level of discrimination? Good thing the church isn't the government; they'd likely be sued.  Why do women tolerate such discrimination? Because they are told they are special.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Not good for Women ~ Part III

Not Good Enough

Have you ever had someone in your life, that no matter how hard you tried, you were never good enough  for them?  You clean the kitchen, but they will find that one crumb you left behind.  You pay the bills, but they will notice that you didn't balance the last week's worth of bills.  You mow the lawn, but they point out you forgot to weed the flower bed. No matter how good you are, they will always point out the one thing you miss, the one error you made. You always feel like a failure around them.

This is how many people, including myself, always felt in the mormon church.  We felt like we could never measure up.  If we did our visiting teaching, we weren't doing it good enough because we waited till the last day to do it.  If we did our church calling, we didn't put enough time into it.  We didn't wear the right dress to church, we let our kids cry in church. We complained when our husbands were gone all day on Sunday instead of spending time with us. It was always something we were failing at. Square peg in a round hole.

How would it be, then to be a gay teenager in the mormon church?  To be told that the feelings you are having are wrong, sinful, going to keep you out of heaven?  Always trying to suppress, but never really being able to?

How would it be, to be molested by a priesthood holder and then be told by the bishop that you need to forgive him because he is the man-priesthood and not seek legal redress?  Always trying to suppress, but never really being able to?

How would it be, to feel you want to not have children or get married, but feeling the need to, because you are told that the only way to be happy is to have children and be married?  Always trying to suppress, buy never really being able to?

How would it be, to feel your only way out, is to commit suicide?
I don't think I can take any more of my friends trying to kill themselves because they are rejected, because they have been told their entire lives they are not good enough just the way they are.

Can we please just love each other the way we are?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Not Good for Women ~ Part II

Control vs Self Determination

Do you trust yourself to decide what to eat in the morning for breakfast?
Do you trust yourself to decide what to wear to work each day?
Do you trust yourself to decide what career to choose for yourself and your future?
Do you trust yourself to make daily decisions that are as small as what time you are going to go to bed to as large as what house you are going to buy?

If you think you are capable to make these decisions, then why does the mormon church feel compelled to micromanage each woman's life? They determine weather she can have only one pair of earrings. They determine that she cannot have tattoos.  They determine that she cannot wear flip flops, pants or casual clothes to church. They determine how many hours she should attend church, what volunteer hours she will serve, in what capacity, how much money she will donate to that church.  They determine what underwear you will wear. Even when you're entire body is covered, they still have a say, and will tell you those clothes are too tight!

http://thestudentreview.org/2011/12/06/byu-idaho-bans-skinny-jeans/
http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/blogsfaithblog/53068768-180/skinny-byu-jeans-clothing.html.csp
http://www.byuicomm.net/blog/2011/12/07/testing-center-reminds-students-of-dress-and-grooming-standards/

Are you a child? Why can't women make these decisions for themselves? Why do women need men to make all these decisions for them?  Women are told all the time that they are equal to men, that they don't need the priesthood to be considered equal to men.

Its been interesting watching all the women at BYU-I freak out because one man on a power trip put up a sign at the testing center banning women from taking tests at the testing center for a week, because he took it upon himself to interpret the honor code how he wanted; to ban skinny jeans. Who gave him the authority to ban skinny jeans? 

Why did he decide that all women on campus must now conform to what he decided was a moral way of dressing? Have any of these questions been asked? Why not? Why have none of the mormon women asked why one guy who is hired to run the testing center given the power to decide for all the women what they can buy, what they can wear, what is a moral way of dressing? Why is this not being asked? Any man with the priesthood has more determination over what a woman wears than she does. That is sad.

Because they are so used to being told what to think, how to dress, what is moral-- by men, that this very question, the essence of the root the problem; has not even been asked.

I can hardly wait for him to become a bishop! I can see the power trip already!

I want the women in the mormon religion who believe they are considered equal with men to accept a challenge. I want them to set their own standards of dress. I want them to stand up and say they will no longer have men set their standards of dress for them. Men will no longer say how tight their jeans will be, what underwear they will wear, how many pair of earrings they will have, what types of footwear they will wear to church.

Women, when you have the freedom to set your own standards of dress, then I will begin to believe that the male leadership regard you as equals.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Not Good for Women ~ Part I

Perfection or Unhappiness?


I have said many times that the morg is just not good for women.  I am going to write posts and give specifics as to why I think this way.

Perfection.  Who knows anyone who is perfect? What is perfection?  One person's idea of ideal is different than another person's.  My idea of what is perfect is to spend the day with people who love me, we are laughing and talking. My idea of perfection is the ocean and the beach.

 It is 80 degrees outside, just enough shade to be comfortable.  The waves are lapping in. We can hear the waves and see whales in the distance. There are mountains in the background.  The blue of the water is so intense that the deep blue color of eyes don't even compare.

I can feel the sand between my toes. I squish my feet down into the sand as far as I can.  There is food; Italian, Mexican, hamburgers and french fries. I'm drinking Long Islands, Mai Tai's, and others I can't even name. We are laughing at something that my daughter said.  This moment is perfect. It can last forever and I will be in the essence of happiness. The moment is perfect, the people are not.

Does this fit everyone's idea of perfection? I doubt it; but I'm okay with that. The mormon's idea of perfect is not for perfect moments, but for perfect people. Their idea is for women to have babies for eternity and for men to have many wives and to never laugh too loud.  None of this sounds appealing to me at all. To live a perfect day and to be a perfect person is not the same thing, however. What does it mean to be a perfect person?

For the mormon woman,  it is to not commit any sin; to be married; to have lots of children; to conform to the churches rules-many, many rules; for the women to submit to their husband's decisions; to be the primary caretakers of the children; to attend all your church meetings; to hold a current temple recommend and all that entails; to be a visiting teacher and visit certain families each month and at the beginning of the month; to hold a church calling and do your very best in that calling; to not question any of the church leaders or doctrines.

If a mormon woman does not succeed in any of these areas, she is considered a failure.  It is not okay to acknowledge weakness or failure for a mormon woman.  When mormon women talk, they often criticize the organization and how demanding it is, but they rarely will admit how they feel like they are not meeting up to the expectations demanded of them or how trying to meet these expectations makes them unhappy. Instead, they put on a persona. They pretend they have a perfect marriage, perfect children. They pretend they love the church calling they are serving in, or love all the women they are visiting.  They pretend they are happy conforming and fitting in, even when they are not.  Only occasionally do you see the cracks. When they let down their barriers and show they are indeed human, they will quickly recover and hide again.

This often leads women to hide who they really are. After years of hiding, they lose the essence of who they really are. After years of serving others and putting their needs, wants and desires at the the expense of taking care of everyone else: the husband, the children, the church callings; they lose their own identity. They lose who they are. They don't know what they want in life anymore. They don't know what makes them happy. They don't know how to even allow others to serve them or love them.

They are taught that if they even consider themselves, they are being selfish.  This isn't selfish. This is life. It is okay and even necessary to love yourself; to consider yourself; to have a pedicure or manicure each month. It is okay to work and make money and even spend some of that money on yourself. Some men even like having the burden of making money shared. In this way, female children are taught that all things are equal.  Male children are taught that women are to be respected and are not door mats.  Everyone will be expected to help with the household chores.  It isn't the women's work, it is the families' work.

What I found is that by trying to be something that everyone is not: perfect; it only leads to fakeness, loneliness, unhappiness, isolation and a loss in identity.

No, Virginia, there is no such thing as perfect people.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

My Words of Wisdom

Almost one year ago, I resigned my membership in the mormon church.  I placed a lot of thought into that decision.  I knew there would be repercussions. I knew how very disappointed my family would be in me, that they would worry for my eternal soul, that they would think I am a very unhappy person. (The one thing that didn't occur to me is that they would interpret everything I do as being angry, odd.) I don't really blame them, they are taught by their church leaders from the time they are born that there is only one path to happiness, one path to heaven and that is through following their rules. If a person diverges even a little bit, they are considered bitter, unhappy, in hell.  It is very controlling and it kept me in line for years; even when I wasn't happy following those rules. Fear and guilt are very controlling, I have discovered.

When I turned my resignation letter into the bishop, he tried to turn our talk into an interview of *worthiness*.  He asked me if I was keeping the word of wisdom. I was taken back at first. I paused then asked him why would I keep something that I didn't believe in?  He didn't know how to answer that.  I wish now that I had more time to spend with him. (We were standing on his porch in zero degree weather). I wish that I could have asked him why, when it says right there in the mormon scriptures that the word of wisdom is not given as a commandment, but as advice, his church has turned it into a requirement to get a temple recommend (in order to get into the mormon heaven, a person must answer 9 questions to gain a temple recommend and attend their temple to be worthy to enter heaven. One of those questions is if they abstain from coffee, tea, tobacco and alcohol as listed in the word of wisdom).  What started out as advice is now a requirement for them to get into heaven. How did that happen? I bet he couldn't tell me.

When blinders fall off and you are able to see things clearly, it is amazing how obvious things are.  Even when I would study the word of wisdom, so much didn't make sense. Why does it say to eat meat sparingly, yet it isn't enforced within the church? Why is it okay to be obese in the church and not eat in moderation?  Why does it say to eat food in season, yet this isn't followed and is out of date since we have transportation that provides for fruits and vegetables to be provided year round?  Where does it say cola drinks are part of the word of wisdom yet so many are forbidden from drinking them?

None of this makes sense because it is nonsensical.  As most things mormon, it evolved over time, not because of inspiration, but because of the dictates of man (IMO). Too bad they don't listen to the scientific research on wine and tea and coffee.

http://www.mormonthink.com/wow.htm

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Don't know everything

I don't know everything.

 I learned this a long time ago, this is why I make lots and lots of links to my blog, because other people are able to say things better than I do.  Because other people think differently than I do.

I learned a long time ago that I can learn a lot from other people.

I support gays to have the same rights I do. Why? This is why:http://www.buzzfeed.com/donnad/how-gay-rights-is-nothing-like-legalizing-beastali


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sunday, October 30, 2011

If Only


If only one could find peace in the mormon religion.
If only one could do all that was asked of one to reach the mormon heaven.
If only one could find happiness in the mormon church.

If only:
http://www.afterallwecando.com/

Monday, October 24, 2011

Gas lighting

I have been told recently that I must be full of anger and not a happy person because I write this blog. I write this blog, not because I live in the past and dwell on past hurts, but because I want to reach out to other women who may be in the same situation I was in. If I can help them find a way out and find the happiness I have found, I feel a duty to reach out to them.

I had been writing this blog for a while when I was sent a private message by someone who told me how much my blog had helped them.  If there is even one person I can reach, it is enough motivation to keep writing.

When I was married, I wanted the husband to call me once a day. He refused; when I tried to talk to him about it, he marginalized me, saying I was too emotional, too sensitive, too demanding of him.  When I asked him why he was an hour late coming home and hadn't called, he told me I was too emotional to discuss it with me.

It was always me being crazy and not his poor behavior that needed to change. I love, love, love this article; mostly because it is written by a man calling men on their bad behavior; Gas lighting.

http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/why-women-arent-crazy/

It is time that women be treated the same and fairly with men. When I write, I do not write because I am emotional or angry or unhappy. I write to educate and help people evolve into better human beings.

Buck it up, people.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Struggle

STRUGGLE... that is what my marriage was; a daily struggle.

I wanted to be alive; to live each day with joy, meaning and activity.  He wanted to stay in a dream world, a world that was not real, a subconscious state, not reality.  The world I wanted consisted of adventure and fun and living each day to its fullest.  His day consisted of creating computers and sitting and dreaming.

He even said to me when we were at the end. He said, 'My perception is my reality'. No, your perception is where you choose to stay and delude yourself, but it doesn't change reality.  I choose to live in reality and love life.

We struggled against each other each day for 20 years; me, to live a full, rich life; him, to live in a dream state.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Offense

Is leaving an organization because a person has been offended a logical, reasonable reason for leaving?

Is it a good enough reason to leave?  According to this article put out by the church, it is not:  http://lds.org/general-conference/2006/10/and-nothing-shall-offend-them?lang=eng

When I handed in my resignation, I was sent a pamphlet by the church, asking me to return if the reason I left was because I was offended. Well, I am offended by many things inside that organization. I am offended that women do not have equal access to money, power and privilege inside the mormon church. I am offended that women cannot hold a meeting on their own without a man being present.  I am offended that gays are committing suicide at high rates because they are not accepted as legitimate equals. I am offended that blacks could not hold the priesthood until 1976. Many things offend me, but I didn't leave because I was offended.

What happens, however, when the shoe is on the other foot?  I was asked to take down this very blog because some mormons find it offensive.  Are they *allowed* by Bednars own words, to take offense?  What about mormons who are confronted by what they term anti-mormon literature and are offended? Do they then have a right to be offended?  What about the people who protest outside the temple and at conference time? Do mormon's have the right to be offended?

According to Bednar's own words, they should not take offense.

Friday, September 9, 2011

What is the fact?

The entire time I was a mormon, the leaders would warn us to not listen to opponents of the church. They warned us that they were evil, they were sinners, they were tools of the devil.

We were warned that although people who opposed the church would say things such as, 'there are significant changes to the BoM' the leaders in the church would tell us that only minor spelling errors had been made.

You have to see this, then decide for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1foCKuxjTA&feature=share

How can you still believe in your leaders, who are not honest with you?

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Is there good in divorce?

I have been divorced a number of years. I am over the pain and anger. When I read articles like the one I just read, I do not get angry, but I worry about people who believe it and decide to stay rather than find sanctuary in divorce, like I did.

Leaving an abusive marriage is the single best decision I made.  I would occasionally tell a friend how unhappy I was in my marriage. I would not tell everything, just enough to let it be known my marriage was failing.  Inevitably the advice I received back then was that I needed to submit more, love more, sacrifice more for my man.

I would take this advice to heart, only to be more miserable, more unhappy, more unfulfilled.  I would forgive, I would love, I would turn the other cheek. None of the common advice works when the spouse is determined to abuse. This I have learned by sad experience: often the best choice is to leave; sooner than later.

This is some of the worst advice EVER! Please, people before you give lame advice, make sure you know all the circumstances.  Make sure you know if the person is being abused. Please avoid judging and condemning.

Sometimes, it is better to leave than to stay.

Worst ever:  http://lds.org/general-conference/2007/04/divorce?lang=eng
 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Not Good for Females

I have repeatedly said that one of the main reasons I left the morg is because it is not a good place for women.

I have given my personal story of how I have been harmed by misogynistic leadership.  I have heard so many women who have shared similar storied to mine.  The pat answer I get back is that *the church is perfect, the leadership is not*. This is so completely lame, it doesn't deem a response. However, since I hear it so often, I will respond.

If the church were indeed receiving guidance from god, then it would not be making poor choices, repeatedly, that harm a large group of people over a long period of time.

If the church were indeed receiving guidance from god, then its leadership would be making choices that were god-like, not human-like.

If the church were indeed receiving guidance from god, then its choices would reflect equality, love and acceptance, not judgement, condemnation and subjugation.

People would not be leaving in droves due to pain and disillusion.

http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/52448399-78/moon-church-abuse-report.html.csp

Saturday, August 20, 2011

The trouble with Polygamy

As Warren Jeffs is in the news of late, I can't help but wonder the uncomfortable feelings that are being felt by so many of my former friends who are mormon.  I remember so many discussions we had, that often got heated and ended in arguments and hurt feelings as polygamy is still a difficult topic for most mormon people, especially the women.

As it ought to be.  Although the church has banned the practice, it is still written as doctrine in their approved scripture in

 D&C 321:  Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many awivesand bconcubinesTherefore, aprepare thy heart to receive and bobey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same. For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlastingacovenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye bdamned; for no one can creject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory.




Even though the church claims to believe in marriage only between one man and one woman, it is written into their doctrine that no one can enter their version of the highest heaven, the celestial kingdom, unless they practice plural marriage.
http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/52371806-78/smith-says-women-wives.html.csp?page=1
This article in the Salt Lake Tribune does an excellent job comparing Joseph Smith to Warren Jeffs.  I hope my mormon family and friends will have an open mind enough to read it.
As I have left the church, I am of course, no longer conflicted about polygamy, since I do not believe I will be forced to practice it.  We were always told we would accept it. But how could we, when our kind, loving hearts rejected the thoughts of our husbands having sex with multiple women now?  Leaving us and being emotionally tied to many other women? Physically and emotionally abandoning us to be with others?  If we can't accept it here and now, it isn't going to be possible to accept it in another realm.  This is reality, cognitive dissonance.


http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/52412444-78/polygamy-mormon-hudson-lds.html.csp?page=1

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Choose for Yourself

Tonight, I sit in the shade, listening to the music, people watching in downtown Boise.  It is Wednesday and Alive After Five. People are eating, mulling around, drinking beer and wine. Children are splashing in the water ponds.  I hear laughter and see friends getting reacquainted.

As I watch this scene, I marvel that ten years ago, I was taught that this scene was sinful, that to associate in this environment would be considered 'the appearance of evil' and therefore should be avoided. As I take in the scene, I wonder why. Why is this sinful?  No one is being murdered.  No children are being abused.  No grand theft is taking place. So, what is the sin? People are drinking alcohol, including myself.  I have a glass of wine sitting in front of me.

Is the very nature of drinking the alcohol sinful?  Not that I can tell.  Everyone seems to be drinking responsibly.  I see no one drinking in excess.  I see no one acting irresponsibly.  I see no crimes being committed due to drinking.  This isn't to say that these things don't happen, but it is clear by the scene in front of me that the vast majority of people are able to drink in moderation and responsibly.

I believe people for the most part are able to make wise choices for themselves, including drinking alcohol, tea and coffee.  These should be personal choices and not imposed from a church.

http://mormonthink.com/wow.htm


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Can good people do bad?

I took my first psychology class in ninth grade. It transformed my life.  I was beyond shy; I was introverted. I learned that I could metaphorically step outside my body and observe my actions--see what I was doing that wasn't working for me, put an action plan together and change my behavior.

I had decided to step outside my comfort zone, to try something that made me uncomfortable. As I did this, I developed a new comfort zone. My comfort zone expanded and my self esteem grew.  I began to like myself, even love myself.

I took another psychology class in college. I became fascinated with how the human mind worked; with the studies done on how thoughts influenced behavior. I took courses in behavior modification. My career now in fact is about changing behavior based on motivating the individual.

As I embraced science, I also left behind magical thinking. I could no longer believe my thoughts were the cause of magical beings, but because of chemical reactions in our brains.  Chemical imbalances could be fixed and therapies such as cognitive therapy can help change thought processes.

 I had been raised in a religion that believed that evil thoughts and actions are caused by an invisible entity.  What we learn from science, however, is that group peer pressure and group think can cause good people to conform to do things they normally would not do. It has nothing to do with an invisible spirit.

http://drphil.com/slideshows/slideshow/6019/?id=6019&showID=1529

http://www.drphil.com/shows/show/1529/

http://www.lucifereffect.com/

Friday, July 29, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Spiritual Experiences Explained

When I was in my late teens, I had a few experiences where I saw and felt a presence that was ghost-like. I am not going to go into details. They happened in the same location.  They were frightening. I had a terrible feeling associated with this experience.

Many years later, my children and I also had similar experiences, but always in the same environment.  Once we moved, these experiences went away.

I placed these experiences in the realm of being spiritual in nature, as this was my background. I was told that I was being visited by evil spirits because I needed to repent.  I didn't necessarily believe this explanation because I couldn't think of a sin large enough to associate with this experience.  I was also told that satan wanted to have my soul and was trying to gain access to me.  This was a horrifying explanation to me.

As I left a dogmatic/black and white religion behind, this was the last vestige of the religion I could not put behind me, as I did not have a logical, reasonable explanation for.  I searched for one, but could not find one.  I finally put my mind at ease with the thought that someday science would find an explanation but had not as of yet.

I believe science has found that explantion: The link I had is unavailable.  This link is just as good:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eid6fiAj8WY

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Finding Peace

My blog has been my safe place over the last few years to express myself.

I am putting a warning on it because some of the information here may be too difficult for some people to ingest. I am trying to be sensitive to those who are having a difficult time with what I post.

Leaving a religion is one of the most difficult things a person can do in their life time. As I put in one of my other posts, it's like stepping off a cliff and not knowing what is below. Are you going to crash and burn or land softly? I landed softly.

It has taken several years and a roller coaster ride, however, to get happy and find peace.

I hope those who read can be happy for me.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Marriage and Sex

In my mormon marriage, the intimacy between us was lacking, to say the least. The husband stopped holding my hand, caressing me, looking into my eyes when he spoke to me, kissing me, snuggling with me, spooning with me, giving me back rubs, fondling my hair, pulling me into him to hug me, nothing. All of this started waning by the 5th year of marriage.  It was completely gone by the 10th year of marriage. The sex was gone by the 15th year.

This link explains part of the problem: http://www.i4m.com/think/sexuality/mormon-depression.htm

Monday, July 4, 2011

Boundaries

I was raised in a church where, at the age of 12  and every year after that until we were married, we were pulled into a room, alone, with a middle-age man who asked very personal, invasive, private  and even voyeuristic questions.  These questions, if asked by a stranger on the street (and these men were often strangers to us) would be considered sexual harassment.  If these questions were asked by a teacher at school, the teacher would likely be suspended from their job.
*Have you ever allowed a boy to touch your breasts?
*Have you ever allowed a boy to touch your vagina?
*Have you ever allowed a boy to touch your breasts on top of your clothes?
*Have you ever allowed a boy to touch you between your legs on top of your clothes?
*Have you ever french kissed?
*Have you ever masturbated?
*Have you ever allowed a boy to penetrate you?
*With his fingers?
*With his penis?
*Have you ever had anal sex?
*Have you ever had oral sex? Have you done it on your partner or been the recipient?

These are all questions I have been asked or my children have been asked.

There are other ways the church has assisted in breaking down boundaries.  It allows the visiting teachers to ask its members personal questions about their family life, their marriages and their children.  They allow the home teachers to ask personal questions about their church attendance, weather they are reading the scriptures, having prayer, doing their church callings properly, etc.  These are all a violation of privacy and personal automony.

Then there are the tithing settlement and the temple recommend interviews each year. In other christian churches, making tithing donations is anonymous and how much is paid is between the individual person and their god.  In the mormon church, they are held accountable to the bishop yearly.  If they are not paying 10% of their income, they are not allowed to enter the temple, and it is only by their doctrine, if you do not enter the temple, you cannot make it to the mormon heaven.  You are also asked by the bishop about your underwear, if you wear the mormon underwear both day and night and having sex with only your spouse.

There are no boundaries in this church.

Exhausting

Open up
       Hope
           Fun
            Laugh

            A Come on
          Rude

     Pull back
   Isolate

 Run away
Hide

Saturday, July 2, 2011

"Some Truths..."

How much did the gold plates weigh?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CsxWnGt96Xk&feature=youtu.be

This is what Boyd K. Packer has to say about it:

http://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon329.htm

If the mormon church contains all truth, then why are they afraid of the truth?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Change

"You can't change what you don't acknowledge"-- Dr. Phil

As I often heard him say this and as I have thought on this over the last few weeks of my life; I have new found meaning for this.  I was dating someone, someone who lied to me; someone who cheated on me.  This person also cheated on his first wife, married the person he was having an affair with within 6 months of getting a divorce. Of course, that second marriage didn't last, as it was not built on trust or mutual respect.

This person has never acknowledged cheating on his first wife. He is not acknowledging that he cheated on me.  You can't change a behavior that you don't acknowledge. He will likely repeat this behavior in the future.

Can people change?  Are people bound to repeat past behaviors?  I believe people can change. I have changed many things about me, but it requires taking simple steps.

*Be insightful into your own behaviors and motives behind those behaviors
*Acknowledge that your behavior has harmed you and others
*Apologize to those you have harmed
*Put an action plan together to change your behavior (this may take seeking professional help)
*Put boundaries in place to never repeat the behavior

On another one of my blog posts, I put a link to an article about why men cheat.  The main conclusion of this article was that men cheat because they have low self esteem. They feel better about themselves when they have many women telling them they are great, or many women to have sex with.  This is a false sense of self, since it is external, and fades, diminishes as the women go away, get bored or disillusioned.

A true sense of self worth comes from within, or is internal.  When a person loves themself, accepts themself, then they stop looking for the false identity that comes from the external gratifications.  When a person can completely love themself, faults and all, then they will be content in a monogamous relationship.  They no longer need to feel gratified from having several women lusting after them.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Lies Men Say

What Asshole men say to pretend they want a relationship with you but they are really lying:
*I want to meet your parents
*Let's go to Europe together
*I want to take  you and your daughter to _______________
*I want you to meet my children
*I want to support you while you get your masters
*At sometime in the future, when we are _____________
*I want you to go to _____________ with me to spend time with my brother

Nothing like pretending there is a future there when they know there won't be.  Asshole.
Be honest. If all you want is sex, be honest. Give us the opportunity tell you to F@#k off!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Bike in the Box

I went to a memorial service tonight for a woman who committed suicide.  It was one of the most beautiful services I have ever been to.  For one thing, the minister didn't try to avoid the fact that she killed herself. She acknowledged the fact that she did this out of courage and that she loved her family and friends and she felt she had no other alternative.  She acknowledged the fact that she considered the impact her actions would have on everyone left behind. I have had many people say that suicide is an act of selfishness or cowardly.

 I disagree.  People who get to that point know their actions will impact many lives.  Their pain is so deep and severe, they see no other way out, no other way to end the pain.  People who suffer from depression are often very sensitive, caring, and are very in tune with how other people feel, more so than the average person.  They are empathetic and deeply concerned with others.  They feel, not only their own pain deeply, but other's pain, as well. It is often knowing how much this action will impact others that keeps them from making this choice for a very long time.  They think about suicide, they wish for it, they ruminate on it, they long for it.  But the impact it will have on others keeps them from making the final decision for months or often years.

I know depression.  Depression and I are old friends.  We go way back.  Depression is an old family friend who comes to visit on occasion.  I have tried to break the bond depression and I have with each other with varying degrees of success.  It does take courage to face depression.  People who are intimate with depression are well aware how their friend-- depression, is impacting their lives and the lives of those around them.


At the memorial service, one of the family members told the story of a bicycle that she won.  It was unassembled in a box.  She had asked her brother for help putting it together.  He postponed his trip to help her.  The bike sat in the box for many, many months, waiting for him to come and help her.  He never made the trip.

After her death, the bike was found, still in the box, unassembled.

Are there bikes in your garage that are not assembled?
Are there people in your life that you have not reached out to but keep meaning to?
Are there words unspoken?
Is there someone you love but can't bring yourself to tell them?

What unfinished business do you have in your life?
Who do you need to apologize to?
Who needs to die before you realize it?
Is it going to be too late for you, too?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Alone

Anticipating
Hugging and kissing
Talking till the moon goes in
Understanding, longing for more

Dressed in white
Expectations being set
Learning to share a bed
Separating into loneliness

Children later
Cooking, cleaning
Waiting, longing for interaction
Going to bed alone, again and again

Alone again
Looking, anticipating
Kissing, hugging, flirting
Lies, deceit and manipulate

Alone again

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Time to Leave

When will the regular mormon begin to question the honesty  of their church?
Will they question it when the leaders begin to leave?
http://www.exmormon.org/mormon/mormon641.htm

Maybe now some will take seriously their doubts.
Maybe now some will begin to question the ethics of the leadership.
Maybe now some will have the courage to walk away.
Maybe now it is time to leave.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tithes

I have written several blog posts about tithing. I am writing another one. In the mormon church, it is a requirement to give 10% of one's income to the church.  In order to make to the mormon's highest heaven, a person must meet with their church leader (a bishop) every two years where he asks if they are giving this ten percent to the church (among other questions of worthiness) if they are not, they cannot enter into the mormon temple.  If they are not allowed access into the temple, they will not be allowed access into heaven, according to mormon theology.  Therefore, paying tithing is a requirement to get into heaven.

The only scripture in the Bible on tithing comes from the book of Malachi. However, Christians believe that the new law in the new testament did away with the old law in the old testament and therefore, they should no longer be under the requirement to pay tithing.  The new testament says nothing about paying tithing.http://www.cultwatch.com/
http://www.tithingdebate.com/bobgassrebuttal.html

Yes, yes, the mormon's have their own scripture sources, but are they compatible with the christian scriptures?

Friday, March 18, 2011

What Women Want

I have many men friends. I listen to men. Men complain a LOT about women. I believe some of their complaints are legitimate. One common complaint, I believe, is not.

Men say women are complicated, that they do not understand women.  Here goes men, women are not complicated.  What women want from a relationship is simple. As I have explained this to men, some men have commented that giving this isn't easy.  That may be, but what we want is simple.  Here is the recipe men:

*We do not want to be put on a pedestal, but we do want to be wooed, valued and desired
*We want our independence, we do not want to be controlled
*We want; no, need-- trust
*We want to be treated as an equal, not a doormat, not a princess
*We want you to listen to us, really listen; when we vent, it isn't so you will solve our problems, its so you will just listen to us
*We want to make an emotional connection
*We want you to be into us; call us, pick us up, come over, stay the night, engage with us, kiss us, hold our hand, caress our back or hand or arm; ask us how we are, cook with us, clean the house with us, remember what we tell you, allow us to have a different opinion than yours, remember our favorite color or flower or food, send us a romantic text message, tell us you are thinking about us. It makes us feel wooed, valued, desired and emotionally connected when you do these things.

Some women may take advantage, act like a bitch, treat you like a doormat.  I suggest you run far, far away and find a woman who is simple and treat her like I suggest. You won't be sorry.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Stand up or Stand down

When I was a child, I watched a film on archeology on the book of mormon.  It was so fascinating.  It said that the book of mormon would be proved true through science.  I wanted to be an archeologist to help that cause.  I didn't grow up to be an archeologist, but I never forgot that film, since it had such a profound effect on me. Today, we have lots of science that can prove or disprove the claims made by the mormon church.  Does science back up the claims made, as I was told as child it would or does science disprove it?

You be the judge:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTtq62XQ4jw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hcyzkd_m6KE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svfxSscxh8o

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Tithing Dollars

For all you mormon's out there who blindly believe in your church and do not believe it should publicly disclose how it is spending your money-- the money you donate as tithing, then please watch this video.

You may change your mind:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWCum9yQhTg

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Heroes

Why do we have this need in our society to turn religious and political figures into heroes?  They are average men at best, mentally ill at worst.

I was having a discussion with a friend last night who pointed out that the people of the old testament turned Moses into a larger-than-life hero; a man with no imperfections.  The modern day mormon church has done this to Joseph Smith.

History writers have done this with the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  I am seeing it with even more recently with the followers/worshipers of Ronald Reagan.  Here is an article detailing some of the myths perpetuated about Ronald Reagan:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/04/AR2011020403104.html?sid=ST2011020403674

Friday, January 21, 2011

Insider's Edition

Always wanted to know the inner workings of the morg but were afraid to ask? Find out what official church principles are here:

http://ldsmormonhandbookofinstructions.wordpress.com/

Being Offended

A talk by Bednar states that people leave the mormon church because they are offended.  I didn't leave because I was offended.  I left because I stopped believing in their shit.

After leaving, however I have decided to be offended.  I am offended that they expressed racist attitudes and beliefs and discriminated against blacks and even during the civil rights movement, refused to extend the priesthood blessings and temple blessings to blacks.http://www.utlm.org/newsletters/no36.htm#COVER
http://www.realmormonhistory.com/god&skin.htm#Blacks are Inferior

I have decided to be offended that the mormon church continues to maintain women as inferior to men:  http://www.signaturebookslibrary.org/women/chapter17.htm

I have decided to be offended that the mormon church continues its history of discrimination by discriminating against gays:  http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/50404210-78/church-lds-sex-packer.html.csp

I have decided to be offended that they lied to me about the true history of the mormon church and instead fed me and others a revisionist history:
http://www.realmormonhistory.com/polygamy.htm#Heber C. Kimball, second councilor to Brigham Young, on how monogamy can make a man wither and dry up:
http://www.realmormonhistory.com/smoking,.htm#"Brigham Young, on his whisky distillery
http://www.realmormonhistory.com/newpage13.htm#In an 1873 account, published in Frasers Magazine, Joseph was
http://www.mormonthink.com/firstvisionweb.htm

I have decided to be offended about your secrecy on how you spend the tithing money that is donated, how much money is donated, and how the money is eventually moved to the corporate side of the church and that they encourage its members to pay tithing before they buy food or pay bills:
http://www.mormonthink.com/tithing.htm
http://www.mormonthink.com/tithing.htm#mall
http://www.mormonthink.com/tithing.htm#blessings

Mr. Bednar of the leadership of the church is asking its members to reach out to those of us who are emotionally immature and choose to be offended.  I choose to be offended by its practices, Mr. Bednar, not because I am emotionally immature.

I choose to stay away from an organization that practices deception and discrimination.  Asking its members to ask me back will not help me back as I choose to not live a life of discrimination and deception.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Speaking out

Why? Why does talking about things in the past matter so much to me? Why can't I just say live and let live and stop writing my blog?

*The morg harmed me in ways I haven't even begun to mention.  I know there are many, many, more out there, stuck, like I was stuck; feeling as if there is no way out of the morg for them.  I write to let them know, there is not only a way out, but happiness and peace are waiting on the other side.

*The morg played a role in the destruction of my marriage. How is this possible? When the husband's abuse was brought to their attention, they did nothing to stop the abuse.  They enabled the abuse by telling me to stay in the abusive marriage while not telling him he must stop.  The morg teaches men to be dominant and women to be submissive in marriages. Although not all mormon men take this to the extreme that the husband did, it enables those who have a penchant for abuse to flourish.

*I was lied to by the morg.  They lied about their true history, they lied about being the only true church of god, they lied about revelations/changing revelations, they lied about the temple ceremony coming from god.  This was not only on a grand scale, but on a smaller scale; I was told by bishops and stake presidents that they give church callings by the inspiration of the holy ghost.  I find out that they make callings based on need, desperation, popularity.  I want these lies exposed.

*Many people would say we owe our ancestors (who made great sacrifices to bring the mormon church to Utah) the dedication to stay in.  I say we owe our descendants the gift of truth, of freedom to choose a religion for themselves and not one imposed upon them by birth.

*It is still holding my family hostage. How? It requires 10% of their income to make it into their heaven.  It says families can be together forever--IF they are mormon, pay tithing, attend all their church meetings, do extra church callings, sacrifice family time to spend time at the church, they support their church leaders with complete devotion, are married (no singles, sorry), have many children, etc, etc.
http://www.mormoninformation.com/zoramite.htm

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Raped

I was raped. This was many years ago. I do not carry the pain or the stigma attached to it anymore.  I am speaking out now for a number of reasons.  One reason is because I have resigned my membership in the mormon church.

When I was raped I went to my bishop for healing and help and understanding.  What I got instead was punishment.  I was disfellowshipped from the mormon church.  Why?  Because of a book by spencer w. kimball called, 'the miracle of forgiveness'.  (I refuse to capitalize his name, the name of the church, or the name of the book because I refuse to give any respectability to any of them.)  I have a first addition of this book.  It was used by bishops as a reference in disciplining members of the church who had committed sin. This is a quote from page 63, '...Your virtue is worth more than your life.  Please, young folk, preserve your virtue even if you lose your lives.  do not tamper with sin... do not permit yourselves to be led into temptation....Realizing that chastity is of more value than anything else in all the world.'

Because I did not fight back to the losing of my life, I was held responsible for my rape.  This is misogynistic and reprehensible.  To expect a woman to lose her life in the commission of a crime is outrageous.  If my house was on fire and I survived, would I be held responsible for my house burning down because I didn't burn with it? If I was burglarized and didn't fight for the loss of my purse, would I be held accountable for the loss of my belongings?  This is backward thinking.  Yet this is the thought processes of the leadership of the mormon church.

I am speaking out now to save others the pain that I have suffered.
I am speaking out now because I have a voice.
I am speaking out now because I can.
It is better to survive rape that to be killed by it.
I am a survivor of rape and happy to be alive.
I am alive and proud of it.
I will not be silenced!