The Snoozing Counselor and the Bishop (Cont.)

Posted by: Andee / Category: , , , ,


A continuation of what started yesterday. You might want to read that first...

Racism was an issue for me. A big one. It doesn't make any sense that God would want people to be kept from his one true church simply because of their skin color.

Bishie thought the racism thing was something we would never understand while we were on earth and that we simply had to trust in the Lord and his decisions. Blech. A loving God wouldn't do that. Sorry. Strike one.

Sexism is the next topic...

I told bishie about the time I was a teenager at girls camp and the millions of conversations I had about marrying a return missionary in the temple. The leaders never talked to us about following our dreams, or careers. They spent the most time telling us what our dreams should be. This gets interesting because the bishop has a young daughter. What would he do if she wanted to be an astronaut, or a doctor... or both?

He told me that his own wife worked as a teacher, and that he didn't think it was a horrible thing for a woman to have a career as long as the family life was peachy keen. But, what if she didn't want kids... or want to be married. He was at a loss. He wasn't sure what to say. He mentioned the word "sacrifice" and that all people should consider what is asked of them from the Lord.

Here we have a stand still, because I have never had a one on one visit with God. How would I know what he wants for me and my life? I am a good person, I study, I work hard, and I love the people around me even if they think I am scum. Isn't that more important than doing exactly what some old white guy claiming to be a prophet says?

So... we started on polygamy. Mom was really pissed about this because she has never understood the reasons behind polygamy. She tried. We both did. None of it ever made sense.

"Why would an angel come down from heaven and command Joseph Smith to practice polygamy? "

Bishop replied with, "These are women who were widows and needed help."

Ummm... no.

These were women who were already married to living men. These were GIRLS who were teenagers, two being only 14. What sense does that make?

Bishop kind of went off on a wild tangent for a little bit. He was talking about how men were not as good as women, and that is why polygamy was needed in the celestial kingdom. It really didn't answer my question, but that wasn't new. Excuses are not the same as answers.

Homophobia is rampant in the LDS culture. To the point that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is asking it's members to fight to ban gay marriage, including their time and money. Bishie was not a supporter of gay rights (no shocker there) and said that gay people are more than welcome to be in the church as long as they don't act on their sexual desires with the same sex.

I looked right at him. I had a pencil in my hand, and I pointed it at him for effect. I asked him if he "chose" to be straight. How would he feel if someone decided that was wrong, and that he could only remain in the church if he didn't act upon his desires? He didn't really get it. He went on and on about homosexuality being something that was a challenge from God, something like an addiction that could be overcome.

I couldn't believe it.

I talked about Peter and Mary Danzig, and what happened in their case. Peter simply wrote a letter to the editor of the Salt Lake Tribune expressing his compassion for those in the Gay and Lesbian community. He stated that he was a member of the Church, had served a mission, married in the temple, and was a member of the church's orchestra. He disagreed with the message being sent from the leaders of the church. His wife, Mary, stood by him and agreed with his thoughts and his right to share them.

He was soon excommunicated.

If people openly disagree with the church, they are out of there. I keep waiting to be "invited" to my own court of love. This blog certainly isn't in harmony with their gospel... I would actually enjoy that. Maybe I should scatter funeral potatoes and green jello on my front porch and say, "Here bishie bishie! Come and get me! Bring it on!"

We had to end the meeting because I had to get back to Logan. We could have easily debated all night long, and I doubt the sleeping counselor would have noticed or cared. R.S. Pres. bore her testimony one last time and hugged mom and myself, promising to pray for us. I am not sure why that offended me, but it did.

I looked at the bishop and I thanked him for his time. He could have been home with his family, having a dinner and being together. Instead, he was meeting with me at my request. I appreciated that even though it didn't help a whole lot. He tried.

Mom handed the bishop a huge packet of information that we had found from Mormon sources that we had never been told about. Inside that packet was a copy of her resignation letter... already on it's way to Salt Lake City. She was done. She didn't buy it. She was out. I would have loved to see the look of shock on the bishops face when he realized what he was reading...

I told him that I had a million more questions, and I would love to be able to email with him and continue the discussion. I wrote down my email address and handed it to him, and he shook my hand. I thought it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. I was wrong.

Instead of emailing me like I had asked, he contacted my bishop in Logan and sent him to me over and over for the next 3 weeks. So much for continuing the conversation with him... so much for his word. He just passed me off to the next guy. I was more than angry about it. Still am.

Anyway, there you have it. It took me this long to sit down and type it all out, but it's done.

Andee


2 comments:

  1. Joel McDonald Says:

    Like you wrote...so surprises here. This is exactly what I would have expected from a sit down like this...more of the same. Oh, to think so simply and actually believe I had all the answers again. Bliss. Ignorance. But bliss nonetheless.

  1. Andee Says:

    I agree Joel!

    He was convinced he was right, and that my questions were nothing but ways for me to make my exit from the church "okay."

    It also bugged the hell out of me that he contacted my bishop. I actually trusted the guy to continue our conversation, but that was misplaced.