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I have the headache from HELL.
It's not the normal, not-enough-caffiene-headache. Not at all. It's right in the freaking back of my head... close to my neck. It's been there all day, and no dose of Advil or Tylenol has been good enough to tackle it. From 5:00 am on, I have been rubbing the back of my neck and silently swearing for the damn thing to go away. No luck so far. It's been 13 hours. It's not normal, not at all.
I had a couple run-ins with impatient people today, and I was doing my honest best to help them out. It's just really hard when all you hear in your head it "BOOM BOOM."
"Yes, maam... I do understand that you need this taken care of... yes... BOOM BOOM... huh? What was that? Oh, yes maam... I am paying attention, I am sorry... BOOM BOOM."
Gawd help me.
"Good Afternoon sir. How are you? Sure... I can do that for you... BOOM BOOM... what was I going to do for you again? Oh, yeah, thanks... Let me BOOM BOOM huh? Oh yeah..."
Then... oh, yeah... there is more... we had tons of call-ins at work. It's a holiday weekend, no one wants to work on the last official Saturday of summer! There just were not enough workers to help out. It was that simple. People were upset because they had to wait, and we were doing our best. People were lined up waiting for the crazy-weirdo-girl-with-the-neck-issue to help them. A fun time was had by all.
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I found this on PhotoShop Disasters. It's an ad for lasik surgery... take a look at those eyes, will ya?
Jeepers Dr.! You mean if I get this eye surgery, I will have strange bug-eyes like her? Uh... no thanks.
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The honor system? Really?
I was born and raised in Utah.
After my father passed away in 1998, I planned a big move to Orlando, Florida. I got there in 2000, and spent seven years there. I love both places, and they are extremely different.
It was somewhat easy for me to come back. I knew what to expect. Not so much for my never-Mormon roommate who is constantly asked what ward he attends or where he went on his mission... Every time he meets a woman who he finds interesting she has a hard time accepting his invitation for dinner because he isn't Mormon. That has to be hard, huh? I mean, there is nothing wrong with the man. He is kind, smart, good looking... he pays his bills and speaks with his parents all the time. Wouldn't a lot of women kill to be with a guy like that?
Oh, I know... almost everyone I know asks me why the two of us are not dating. I can tell you why. Because we are not a good match. We are friends, but we constantly bicker about things like dishes and who's turn it is to pay for cat food. We would end up killing each other in a Friskies-related incident involving cookie-dough covered cooking sheets. It would be a mess.
The arrangement works out because he goes in his room, and I go in mine. We have moments of true best-friend moments, like bonding over our mutual distaste of Bill O'Reilly and people with bad cell phone etiquette, and we truly accept each other for who we are even if it drives the other crazy, but throwing romance and possible children into the mix would create absolute chaos. Trust me. Most people don't.
Same goes for me... I am constantly judged by the standards of everyone else.
Why aren't you married Andee?
Gee, you would be such a good Mom! Why don't you have kids?
It gets old, and it gets old quick. Newsflash Utahns! There are other people in the world, and they are just as kind, sweet, smart and honest as you are. Ugh.
There are downsides and upsides to living in Logan. I love the scenery, especially with my new photography hobby. Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter are all beautiful and spectacular. There are trails, campgrounds... you name it. You certainly can't say the same thing about Orlando, can you? The only snow I saw in Orlando was during a Main Street Parade at DisneyWorld during Christmastime... and even then it was just soap suds...
My Mom is here. My brother is here. Those are the most important things. I love my family very much. You might not know that due to all the griping I do about the rest of my family, but my Mom, brother and I have learned to grow up and get along... especially right after my Dad passed away. We have all had our "times" of being selfish, me included. It's just nice to be back in their company again. They are good people and I missed out.
Roomie isn't really adjusting as well as I hoped he would. I tried to warn him about the culture here. I did my best to explain that Mormonism and Mormon rules are just "how it is" and he still can't understand why he can't buy a can of beer on Sunday. He doesn't understand why a Mormon can't go to the ward of their choice. He doesn't understand the whole "prophet" thing... obeying a man and doing everything he says even though they say and do things that are wrong and immoral.
I agree with him. I just never saw things in Utah from the other side. It was all I knew until I left the state. Do you know how weird it was walking into a supermarket in Orlando and seeing wine on the shelves? I couldn't get over it. That was the first time I really noticed how Mormonism effected everything in the state. Another good example would be the lottery. Most states use the lottery to help fund things for good... like education. Mormons assume that this type of gambling is bad, simply because some people become addicted to it... they don't really think about the good it could do for the Utah schools. On a side note, I am always shocked at how many Utahns drive to the Idaho border to buy lottery tickets. It's a shame that money couldn't be used to assist the kids in their own state instead of helping a child or teacher that they might never meet. Ever.
I get up on a soap box when I think about this... I mean, if you don't agree with lottery or gambling, then simply don't participate. Stay away from it. It's kind of simple. I certainly don't need a bunch of people telling me what I should find moral or immoral. I am a grown woman who can make that decision for herself.
Another thing that is different is that people are more honest here. At least, it seems that way. The photo above was taken in a hotel room in Utah... would you think they could put things in the snack area of hotel room and use the honor system in Orlando? No way. I am certainly not saying that you have to be Mormon to be honest. As someone mentioned to me earlier, the church doesn't make you a good person... you make you a good person... they just like to take credit for it.
I get tired of religion interfering with everyday life. You hear about people pitching fits because there isn't prayer in schools... why should there be prayer in a public school? Sorry, shouldn't happen. Moments of silence are fine, but don't teach my kids to follow your belief system!
The night I graduated high school, my fellow classmates and I (all seventeen of us... nope, not kidding) gathered in a room before we walked into the auditorium. Our class was about 80% Mormon, and the only reason that it wasn't 100% Mormon was because we lived on an Army base and people of all faiths moved there from time to time. I always loved learning how other people worshiped and what they thought... but that isn't the point. I rambled...
As we gathered in that room, a couple of my friends started gathering everyone for a prayer. I knew that I wasn't really interested in prayer at school. I have never been a fan of that kind of thing. There is a time and a place. School isn't it.
A person was chosen to give the prayer, and I don't even remember who it was. I wasn't even paying attention. Oh, I know... Yes, Mormons... you are right. This is because I had turned my back to the spirit and the whole reason behind my leaving the church. Joseph Smith and his 14 year old wives have nothing to do with it. It's just my cold dead heart. Gawd, I ramble today...
The prayer was given, and almost everyone said, "Amen."
Guess who didn't say it?
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Thank you to everyone who shared your thoughts and empathy with me yesterday as I was dealing with the emotions of learning what my Grandfather did.
I am taking a lot of the advice to heart.
I want to be the kind of person who can forgive and move on, but I am having trouble with that at the moment. Maybe someday I will be in that place. I certainly hope so.
Fear not my friends, this will not be the last of me... I just wanted to share a quick "thank you."
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Forgive me, I am more than a little angry right now. Maybe angry isn't the right word to choose... hurt, offended, and betrayed come to mind. Those fit.
For those who don't know a lot about my Mom's childhood, I am going to explain the way she grew up. Her father was a drinker... a heavy drinker. He went to the bars and wasted a lot of time and money chasing the buzz. The day my Mom was born, he stopped drinking cold turkey. You can imagine how much of a change that must have been for my grandmother. She had a newborn baby girl, and a husband who wasn't exactly the man she married.
I want to throw in that I only once caught a glimpse of grandpa's temper. He treated his grandkids like we were gifts from God. We got everything we asked for, and he never once touched a hair on our heads. Both of my grandparents spoiled us rotten. It was weird seeing one side of him, and then hearing, years and years later, how horrible he was to his family. I don't feel like I know him well at all... I only know what he decided to share with me. A cookie-cutter, white-washed version of the truth... sound familiar?
When he stopped drinking, he also took up the LDS Church and started telling everyone in the house that they had to attend church or be kicked out of the house. This included my grandmother who didn't care for the church at all. I was very close to her, and we had a tight bond. She knew the whole thing was ridiculous, without the information I have right now... she knew it.
Another little tidbit is that both of my Grandfathers were heavy drinkers that turned to the church when they decided to get clean. They both went from one extreme to the other... and quickly. It's strange.
Grandpa got more and more abusive as he became more and more active. I am not saying the church made him abusive. He did this on his own. I *am* saying that the church gave him reasons to be abusive. They never would have told him to throw his wife down the stairs if he caught her with a coffee pot, but they would have told him to deal with the coffee pot because he was a priesthood holder and the home and the family were under his rule. We all know this much to be true... especially in the 60's and 70's.
Grandpa learned about gender roles in the church and took it to the extreme. My Grandmother, Mom, and her sister did all the housework. ALL of it. They cooked, cleaned, prepared things for company, did the wash... you name it. They were also expected to help out with chores outside. They had horses, so there were lots of things that needed to be done.
One day, my Mom was excited about driving to see her friend in the next town. She had received her drivers license and grandpa finally gave her permission to borrow the car. She was halfway there and she noticed someone following her with lights flashing. She slowed down and stopped realizing it was Grandpa in his truck. He hopped in his truck and chased her down because there was dust on the piano. She had to turn around and dust and cancel her plans with her friend. When the school shopping would be done, he would go with the girls and he would physically make sure that their skirts were "modest" with a ruler. Did the boys have anything to worry about? No.
Grandpa would hit, beat, kick, and throw. He didn't care who was in his way. He threw my grandma down the stairs when she was pregnant, he beat one of his sons to a bloody pulp, he kicked out one of his sons when he stopped attending church. It was a constant fear of what he might do next, what mood was he in, what they could have possibly done wrong. I can't even come close to truly explaining how it really was. My Mom can't even bring herself to tell me most of it. It makes me angry that anyone could hurt the people I loved so much...
No one in the house was allowed to date anyone who wasn't LDS. That was the most important thing. That was the first question he would ask... "Are they LDS?"
Grandma never got any money for things for herself. If she needed tires for her car, she had to pay for it herself... grandpa wouldn't help her at all. If her kids needed money for things at school, she had to take care of it. Grandpa wouldn't help with that, either. Grandma took a job at a bar/restaurant to make ends meet (and lets face it... to take care of her kids...). Grandpa would give her hell because she was around cigarette smoke. He didn't want any wife of his around something that the church wouldn't approve of. She stuck to her guns, kept the job, and took care of her children.
What grandpa DID do with his money was pay tithing and show everyone how much he paid. He knew it was supposed to be confidential, but he wanted people to know how "worthy" he was. Again, it might seem like I am blaming the church for this... I am not. It just didn't help. That's all.
When the kids eventually left the home (some because they grew up, and some because they were kicked out.. physically...) grandma found other jobs to help herself and to basically get herself away from the house once in a while. She worked in grocery stores, and she was one of the first people hired at a new store called Wal-Mart when it came to Utah for the first time. Everyone knew her, everyone knew what an angel she was... everyone LOVED her.
My Aunt eventually married a non-LDS man and was told that she wasn't pleasing her heavenly father. Grandpa took every chance to tell her how much she was letting him down. She had two beautiful children, and a beautiful home. She took care of those kids and loved them dearly. They were playing musical instruments, they were running for class president. Yet to him, it wasn't good enough. Nothing would ever be good enough.
Sadly, my cousin died while ice skating on a lake when the ice broke through. The rescue teams did everything they could to save her, but nothing could be done. She was only eleven years old. I idolized her. I was only six when she died, but I will never forget sitting on my grandma's bed that night watching the news as they talked about my cousin and nodded in sadness. The newscasters got her name wrong. They called her Terry... her name was Tara.
You would think that Grandpa would take a breath and hug his daughter and console her... wouldn't you? It didn't happen. Tara's death tore my grandmother, mother, and my aunt (of course) apart... none of us got over it. What did grandpa do? He turned to his daughter and said, "If you ever want to see her again, you better go back to church. You are not good enough to be with her right now." Amazing, isn't it?
My aunt became depressed. Anyone would be. She started drinking and battled a drinking problem for many, many years. We were all hopeful when she re-married and started over in a new home, but unfortunately it was more of the same. Her husband (who I liked very much) had a drinking problem of his own, and ended up taking his own life in the garage of their condo. A few years later, my aunt would do the same thing.
I am not blaming my grandfather for what happened with my aunt, but I certainly can't give him any brownie points for actually being there for her. Maybe he wasn't emotionally available to be a good father, maybe he didn't have the necessary skills... but there is no excuse for what he did. He could have loved her instead of make her feel like she would never be good enough. He still thought he was good to go in the light of the Lord, because he had a temple recommend in his pocket and a tithing check in his checkbook.
My grandmother passed away in her sleep in October of 1997. Only three months before my Dad died of cancer. He was very sick, but he stood up as pallbearer at her funeral because he loved her so much. They had a fantastic relationship, and my Mom and Dad would even buy her cigarettes in secret when she needed one... they clicked. I like to think my grandma was there to meet my Dad when he passed away...
Grandpa did take her death hard. He was lost, he didn't know what to do... he didn't know how to do things like laundry and housecleaning. He didn't realize what he had until it was gone.
A few years ago, Grandpa started dating someone. Most of us thought it was a good thing. He needed to be around someone and share life. What bothered my Mom and I was that he was doing things with his girlfriend, like going out dancing, taking trips, socializing, that he never did with my Grandma.
Grandma deserved to be treated so much better. She was one of the nicest, sweetest souls I have ever had the pleasure of knowing... and my Mom is right up there, too. They wouldn't hurt a fly, and they deserve(d) good things.
My grandpa left a phone message for my Mom today. He got married. He moved to a new town, and that is that. She isn't LDS, she is never going to be LDS, and he is fine with it.
What the hell?
Grandma went through a living hell with this man for years and years because she wasn't the perfect LDS Stepford wife he wanted, and now he doesn't care? The rules he set for his wife and his children don't apply to him? He takes his new wife (that is weird to say) dancing, he takes her out to dinner... he does all the things with her that he should have done with my grandmother.
I feel like it's a slap in the face to everything she went through. I feel like I could physically throw up... and I would like to do it all over his hundred dollar cowboy boots!
I can't possibly explain on this blog how things really were... the only thing I can say, is that I am done. I am done going out of my way to have a relationship with a man who could look back and not think he did anything wrong. I can't do it.
I guess that makes me a bad person. I just have to distance myself from someone who can do that. I can't trust myself to be civil or respectful to a man who has been so disrespectful to some of the people I love the most.
P.S. You know what makes me even more mad? That TBM, true-blue-believing Mormons are going to read this and assume that my Grandfather offended me and that is why I left the church.
You know it's true.
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Adoption and the Unwed Mother
By LDS Family Services
In a letter dated 15 June, 1998, the First Presidency reiterated
instruction regarding unwed pregnancy given in earlier letters to bishops and
stake presidents. This most recent letter states:
"Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to
be reared by parents who provide love, support, and all the blessings of the
"Every effort should be made in in helping those who conceive out of
wedlock to establish an eternal family relationship. When the probability
of a successful marriage is unlikely, unwed parents should be encouraged to
place that child for adoption, preferably through LDS [Family] Services"
("Policies and Announcements," Ensign, Apr. 1999, 80).
When the decision is made to place an infant for adoption, the infant
is not the only one who benefits. Young women who choose adoption are more
likely to complete high school and go on to higher education. They are
more likely to be employed and less likely to live in poverty or receive public
assistance. They are also less likely to repeat out-of-wedlock pregnancy
(see Kristin A. Moore and others, Adolescent Sex, Contraception, and
Childbearing: A Review of Recent Research ; see also Steven D.
McLaughlin and others, "Do Adolescents Who Relinquish Their Children Fare Better or Worse Than Those Who Raise Them?" Family Planning Perspectives,
Jan.-Feb. 1988, 25-32).
In most cases, teenage unwed fathers are absent from the lives of their
children. One noted sociologist cites a number of studies that suggest
children who grow up without their fathers are three times more likely to drop
out of high school, and two to three times as likely to have emotional or
behavioral problems, and they often become the poorest of the poor (see David
Popenoe, Life without Father ).
Since the early 1920's the church has offered counseling and help with
adoptive placement to Latter-day Saint young women who become pregnant out of wedlock. Today there are 59 LDS Family Services offices throughout the
United States and Canada, two offices in Austrailia, and offices in England, New
Zealand, and Japan that provide these and a wide variety of other
LDS Family Services provides individual counseling to pregnant,
unmarried young women to help them restore their hopes and plans for the
future. Young women may also wish to participate in group meetings with
others in similar situations with family members. Some birth mothers
request assistance in arranging medical care and temporary housing during the
pregnancy. they may slao help select the adoptive couple for their
baby. All of these services are provided at no cost, and a bishop's
referral is not required.
LDS Family Services also sponsors an Internet site and free crisis
telephone service to women pregnant out of wedlock. Anyone may visit the
Web site at www.itsaboutlove.org or call 1-800-537-2229 for information or assistance. Volunteers are available by phone 24 hours a day year-round to answer questions and refer those who desire more information to the agency nearest them.
The decision to place an infant for adoption can be a wrenching one,
yet it is an act of selflessness and profound love. The First Presidency
letter affirms, "Placing the infant for adoption enables unwed parents to do
what is best for the child and enhances unwed parents to do what is best for the
child and enhances the prospect for the blessings of the gospel in the lives of
all concerned" (Ensign, Apr. 1999, 80).
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It all started the other night at work. I was helping people at
work and doing my best when a tall and handsome man walked up to me and asked me if my name was Andee. I pointed at my nametag and rolled my eyes and said, "Yeah... my name is Andee." It reminded me of the times when I worked at
theme parks. I would have to wear really outrageous outfits to fit into
the theme of the area, and people would constantly walk up to me and say,
"Excuse me miss... do you work here?" No lady, I just love wearing this
Instead of the gentleman getting upset at my attempt at dry humor, he
smiled and laughed. He told me his name was Roarke, and he spoke with a
thick English accent.
Roarke told me he was a fan of my blog, and I was shocked. First,
because I had no idea how the hell he tracked me down at work, and second
because he actually liked my blog. Lets face it, most of the comments here
are negative (at least the ones I receive in email).
He went on to tell me that he wanted to offer me a position in his
company. The money would be good, and the benefits even better.
After making sure I wasn't selling my soul to the devil, I agreed to join him
for dinner. We discussed everything, we gelled. We... we fell in
We hopped on his private jet and flew to Vegas. We were married
by Elvis (yes, the real Elvis!) and for our honeymoon we sat on the beaches of
Deleware. Talking, laughing, and just relaxing.
We made plans for the future. With his vast wealth I would be
able to go back to college, something I have been wanting to do for years.
He would help me with that, as well as photography... and to top it all off, he
promised he would help me open my own business. A bookstore... very
classy. Wood shelving, hard to find books, first editions, collectors
items... there would be comfortable chairs and internet access. On the
upper loft, a combination coffee shop and full service bakery. The
business would make millions alone with my Mom's recipe for butterscotch cookies and peanut butter bars... trust me.
As we sat on the beach planning our future, we realized how happy and
wonderful our lives were going to be because we had found each other. We
are planning on a family once I am finished with school, I can't wait to be a
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Ever know when someone is trying purposefully to piss you off, or start a negative conversation?
This happened to me on one of my breaks today. Maybe it was just me, but one person in my break room kept making comments about things I was doing. Making my every move subject for discussion... it's just weird.
I don't think this person wants to be my friend, as a matter of fact, I think this person knows exactly how I feel about them. It's not a secret at work that I am leaving the church, or that I wear a CTL ring almost every day (when I remember to!). This person is one of the most arrogant, republican, conservative, egotistical, true-blue Mormons I have ever met in my 29 years of life... and that is saying something... especially when I compare the person to my own family members.
This person has recently made some comments to me in the break room about comments I have made either on my blog or on PostMormon.org. I don't know for sure if the person is following my every online move, but it's just bizarre if the topics come up in conversation out of nowhere.
I never take the bait.
I am not going to be unprofessional, as a matter of fact... I have never mentioned my place of business on my blog, and I never will. I won't even give the gender or age of this person away. It's just something I think about every once in a while.
What do you guys think?
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Well, Mom moved to Logan yesterday, and her house is starting to come together.
The moving company who helped was amazing, and the guys who were assisting with the move were very nice and extremely helpful. They even offered to hook up her washer and dryer for her even though they were not supposed to. Unfortunately, they were unable to hook up the dryer because we need a 4 pronged cord instead of the 3 pronged cord she has now. Should be an easy fix with a quick trip to Lowe's.
There were a couple minor (okay, major) heart attack moments while putting her desk together. It's a huge thing, with bookcases and glass shelves... very nice and very expensive. We actually dropped the part with the glass shelves not just once... but twice. Luckily, the furniture is still in excellent condition with every little piece of glass still intact. Yep... God didn't punish us for leaving the church by a sad twist of fate... no sir. It was kind of funny because the first thing Mom said to me was (sarcastically), "This is what happens when people leave the church... everything just falls apart!" We had a much needed laugh about it.
Things are coming together, and I am glad to have her closer to me. We will have a lot more together-time, and I am excited about that.
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I couldn't help myself. This is pure sarcasm... okay, not PURE sarcasm, but you get the idea. Most of the things in this testimony really happened... not to me, but others. If you want to hear more funny stories or see the source for some of the chuckles, click here.
My Brothers and Sisters,
I would be remiss if I didn't take this opportunity to share what is in my heart this beautiful August morning. The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, and the spirit is is warm in my heart and soul. I would truly be ungrateful if I didn't share the blessings I have received since learning, without a shadow of a doubt, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is a heaping, steaming pile of horse-shit.
I promised myself I wouldn't cry...
My heart is full, my emotions pure.
I truly am a child of God, a Sunbeam, a Mia Maid, a Laurel... whatever the hell that means. I worked so hard to earn that pretty necklace with my young women friends, once I received it I knew that God accepted me. What better gift than jewelry? I am a girl, therefore I should like jewelry, right?
I wore it proudly to school, church, to remind myself that I was obedient enough to be worthy of His love. I attended girls camp, mutual, made cookies and fudge for the young men while they played basketball in the cultural hall. I listened attentively as my leaders taught me what I should and shouldn't want for my life. Screw true love, instead, focus on any worthy, temple-recommend holding return missionary. Any faithful man and woman can make it work. I testify that these leaders were brainwashed, stupid, morons, and wrong.
One day, while playing basketball, I noticed the chain of my necklace had broken and the pendent was missing. I knew it was my fault, I shouldn't have been playing sports... I should have been sewing or in the kitchen making homemade donuts. I immediately dropped to my knees for help in locating the prized piece of jewelry, as well as asking for forgiveness for any sins I had made to cause me to lose my precious jewels that I had worked so hard to earn, that represented God's love for me...
This was a test, a trial, a way for me to show how much I loved my religion and my leaders. I ran home in tears, knowing that God was angry with me for participating in a boy's activity.
Brothers and sisters, it was at this moment that I realized I didn't need that necklace, or any CTR ring to be loved by God. I didn't have to belong to a church that asked things of me that I found horrible and repulsive, like donating time and money to a cause that limits basic human rights instead of loving and treating each other like equals.
I have studied my scriptures, prayed to the Lord, and felt the witness that Joseph Smith was a con artist that claimed he was visited by God the Father, Jesus, and angels. Joseph Smith married two fourteen year old girls, and hid many of his polygamous marriages from his wife, Emma. I knew in my soul that God would never ask this of anyone. God wouldn't command someone to lie. It's so simple.
I stand before you as a changed person. I now know the truth about God's love, and his message for us... President Monson isn't a guide, nor is the Book of Mormon. It is a thrill to leave this organization that does nothing but limit women, and ask us to trust our husbands instead of ourselves.
I would like to extend my gratitude to those who have shared their testimony before me...
Sister Hansen, thank you for your testimony a few moments ago. It's nice that you take the time to berate your children in public like this. I am sure little Stewie will stop playing with his little factory, and that little Susie will stop stealing money from your wallet. It's a good mother who will chastise her children with a microphone.
Brother Stevens, you are right to ask our youth to help in service to the community. I especially enjoyed the idea of creating a community garden. Let me repeat some of your words so that they might truly sink in with our youth here today... "Every young man should have a ho(e). They come in very handy and are most useful. We have several for free. Just come and get them!" Please young men, go and get your free hoe... use that hoe to help the community.
Little Braden? Don't worry, I don't think everyone heard your fart over the microphone.
Sister Larsen, the Lord hears your praise for giving you hands so that you can "touch your husband all over."
Brother Kingston, good luck in your search for a wife, the Lord will bless you because you are a good man. I am sorry all the women in your last ward were lesbians.
Little Kimberly, you are a young woman now... it seems like yesterday I was helping your mother change your diapers. I dig the black dye job on your hair, the black nail polish, the black lipstick!! Please tell me more about how you met a demon while playing with a lighter. Sounds interesting!
Sister White, The pioneers truly did pave the way for our happiness. It's thanks to them we have hospitals. You have how many kids now? 9? I am sure I would be thankful for epidurals, too!
Please let me take the opportunity to apologize if I have offended any of you. Relief Society can get a little boring... I can only talk about family prayer time for so long. Will the following people please forgive me?
Sister Marshall, you are not a whore, sorry I said that.
Brother Brandson, your children are not Satan's spawn. Well, okay... they are. But that isn't you I am talking about. It's your wife. She is evil... I testify to you that she is. I have prayed about it.
Sister Smith, I apologize for calling you names and wishing that you would fall head first into a pool filled with razor blades. I didn't mean it. I shouldn't have wished that on you. Instead I should have wished something for you thats a little nicer... like food poisoning.
Bishop Green, I love you very much... really... I am madly in love with you. Divorce that old hag and marry me. She We would have beautiful babies together.
Brothers and sisters, I testify to the blessings we receive when we stop paying tithing... sorry... I just get so emotional when I think about it... *sniffle* I cannot put into words the warm and fuzzy feeling I felt as I paid for those expensive boots... I will thank God for them every day. What a blessing.
Friends, I pray that you will look and find the truth about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I pray that you will ask questions and demand answers that you deserve. I pray that you open your damn eyes and see these frauds for who they really are... but most of all, I pray that you are healthy and happy no matter what.
I am thankful for learning the truth, for my family, for my life, and most of all, I am grateful that I was given the opportunity to share my testimony with you today. I love you all, even though many of you believe I will burn in Hell. See you there.
Yes, brothers and sisters, God will come one day... and She ain't happy.
Re-reading the Book of Mormon won't turn wrong into right. It won't turn obvious lies into truth. It won't change history. Take these words with you. Remember them in your darkest times. There is life out there... go out and get it.
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I found an article on The Consumerist about a patron who ordered an $8 dessert in a minimalist restaurant in San Francisco.
I am not sure if they knew what they were getting... if the menu portrayed the dessert to be an actual dessert, but this is what they got...
An $8 nectarine? Really? Couldn't they at least washed and cut it up for you?
I would have been laughing my ass off if this happened to me. I would have assumed it was a joke.
It's not! Hahahahaha!
Off topic, but worth mentioning...
I have no idea what is wrong with the image on the left side of my page. It's weird. I hope it's just some glitch and it will correct itself... if not, I will do my best to fix it or find another template for the blog. You guys probably don't care, but it's driving me insane.
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Sometimes TBM family members look down on us as if we are to blame. All they see is that we disrupted the balance. But, I believe that their disapproval is misdirected. It is not our fault the Church isn't what it claims to be. Blame Joseph Smith and those who followed for the emotional turmoil and familial upheaval. We just discovered the "bad thing"; we didn't cause it. And there is nothing wrong, morally or otherwise, with discovering the truth even if it is bad news.
It is similar to discovering my sister's husband is having an affair, and the rest of the family hears that I don't believe he is being faithful to my sister. They are unwilling to ask about or really consider the reasons I feel that way and the evidence I have against him. Instead, they all stand up for him and bear their witness that he is a good and faithful husband, and then accuse me of being deceived and blame me for causing this disruption in the family.
"Look, it is not my fault he cheated on his wife and I have done nothing wrong by discovering his unfaithfulness. You could know it, too, if you'd look at the evidence, but you won't consider it. I am not the bad guy here, and you guys are being unreasonable. I'm being ostracized when he should be the one that is ostracized. I am not going to substitute your judgment for mine when I aware of more facts than you are. You can't fairly judge whether I am telling the truth or not until you at least examine the evidence I am more than happy to share with you, but I won't force upon you".
Similarly, it isn't our fault the Church isn't true. We didn't do anything wrong by discovering the truth. It is the Church and its founders that have done a lot of things wrong. Perhaps we could be rightfully faulted if we tried to force our disbelief on family members. But, we suffer disapproval and judgment and are ostacized just for simply no longer believing, if others know about our disbelief. I repeat, it is not our fault Joseph lied, and TBM's negativity is misdirected if aimed at us.
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I have never been a "girly-girl." I had my ears pierced in the 5th grade, and they have since grown in. I can't wear earrings personally, so this isn't something that has effected me personally. I just think it's weird.
A quote in a widely-distributed LDS pamphlet said this about piercings:
"Latter-day prophets strongly discourage the piercing of the body except for medical purposes. If girls or woman desire to have their ears pierced, they are encouraged to wear only one pair of modest earrings. Those who choose to disregard this counsel sow a lack of respect for themselves and for God. They will someday regret their decisions."
Wow. Am I the only one who is scratching my head right now? No piercings at all? Really? I remember hearing about no more than one piercing in the ear, but this is news to me. I guess I was taught what my local ward wanted to believe.
So, those who disregard the counsel of piercing their ears are flipping the bird to the prophet, the apostles, and God Himself. Ummm... what?
It's just jewelry, gentlemen.
Gordon B. Hinkley had this to say:
"I submit that it is an uncomely thing, and yet a common thing, to see young men with ears pierced for earrings, not for one pair only, but for several. They have no respect for their appearance. Do they think it clever or attractive to so adorn themselves?"This actually pisses me off.
"I submit it is not adornment. It is making ugly that which was attractive. Not only are ears pierced, but other parts of the body as well, even the tongue. It is absurd."
"We—the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve—have taken the position, and I quote, that “the Church discourages tattoos. It also discourages the piercing of the body for other than medical purposes, although it takes no position on the minimal piercing of the ears by women for one pair of earrings.”"
- Gordon B. Hinckley, “Your Greatest Challenge, Mother,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 97
Know what Gordo? Wanna know what I find absurd? A group of old white guys making decisions on what should and shouldn't make someone beautiful or pretty. That isn't a decision you should be making. Sorry.
If someone has more than one piercing, they have no respect for their appearance? Who the hell is this guy? It's strange statements like this that make the church stick out like a sore thumb to churches who actually THINK before they speak. He is also telling people that if they have more than one piercing they are making themselves ugly. Is no one else offended here?
It's the first time I have read these comments personally, so bear with me... it's just bizarre.
Of course, there are believing members who immediately took out their second pair of earrings when they heard him say these words. Obedience.
It's truly all about image. If you want to be labeled as a Mormon, you have to be clean-cut. You can't look like someone who has his/her own style. You have to fit the mold.
What would stop any prophet from mentioning what our hair should look like? Oh, only natural colors... right.
What kinds of clothes we should wear? Oh, wait... that one has already been done.
How do we know if this is revelation or just his personal feeling on the matter? Can we tell? Should we pray about it?
Does God really care if you have piercings? Tattoos? I don't have either, so it's not a personal thing.. it's just that there are so many other things we could be worrying about and fixing. There are people hungry, people who need vaccines, there are families living in the prophet's own county that survive by living in a tent and going to soup kitchens.
The whole thing drives me nuts. Who the hell cares?
P.S. I fell in love with the pair of earrings in the last photo. If you want know know more about them, click on the picture to the artist's blog!
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Rant time... don't say I didn't warn ya.
I have had it. HAD IT.
People need to stop telling me what is, and isn't a problem with the Mormon Church. Here are some examples of what I am talking about.
Yesterday I was chatting with someone about the translation of the Book of Mormon. I told her that I didn't like the fact that the church never told me Joseph Smith used a seer stone in a hat to translate. It was a problem on two levels. One being that Joseph Smith doesn't sound very credible, and two being that the church covered up and lied.
The woman chuckled as if my issues were crazy and stupid. She looked at me, smirked, and said, "What matters is that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, not how it came to be." She isn't the only one to tell me that. Mom's ex-bishop tried that one, too. It's not a problem, don't focus on that... here is what you should be focusing on.
It's so frustrating. Not to mention condescending. Who is anyone to tell me what should and shouldn't bother me? I am not an idiot or a bad person because I care about these things... and that is what these people seem to be implying.
I was also reading a note of PostMormon.org about the FAIR conference (Mormon Apologetics). The people there told members to focus on what was in the Book of Abraham instead of how the Book of Abraham came to be.
Why in the world should I focus on a book that is an obvious fraud? Telling me to ignore the problem and to focus and believe in the book is ridiculous.
Is it only me? Ignoring the issue and telling people what is and isn't important is so insulting. It's like someone walking up to you, putting their arms over your shoulders and saying, "Don't worry, little one. Your thinking has been done for you." What do they think I am going to say? "Ohh! Okay! If you say so!"
It's like poking at a container of green jello. You touch it, it shakes a little, but it doesn't loose its shape until something drastic happens.
Hey Uncle, what do you think about the Book of Abraham problems?
Glub Glub Glub *wiggle* *wiggle*
Too much more of this and my brain will turn to green jello.
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I have made no secret about my hatred for Wal-Mart. The stores are overcrowded in the aisles, there are usually only a couple checkout stands open and you are waiting in long lines to pay and get the hell out of there, there are stocking carts and stockers everywhere you turn blocking the aisles you want to go down, there are things in the stores that are just plain unsafe, and the employees (not all) don't really give a crap. I recently had to wait 20 minutes to speak with a manager to gain permission to purchase a display model of a chair. It was a good thing I wasn't in a hurry... oh, wait... I was.
I ran across a blog entry from Kelby Carr. She is a mother with a child getting ready for Kindergarten, and they went to Wal-Mart to buy the school supplies. When she got there, she found out that the store had back-to-school lists for the kids. They are not generic lists, they are specific. Each school, grade, class and teacher have a different list. The lists look very official, and even display a fax send line on the bottom of the page.
You would think it was really cool that Wal-Mart took the time to get these lists from the various schools, but you would be mistaken. Wal-Mart didn't get these lists from the schools at all. As a matter of fact, they made them up completely. They took the time to make each list (by teacher) different, but couldn't they have spent that time actually gaining access to the things these kids would actually need?
Another kicker is that some of the items on the lists are actually banned from certain schools. Why is Wal-Mart telling parents to purchase items they can't use?
Kelby Carr had another point... some people shop at Wal-Mart because of the low prices. Some of these parents are single parents barely making ends meet. They go to Wally World to stretch every penny! They do everything they can in order to make sure their kids have the stuff they need so they won't feel embarrassed on the first day of school!
It's really weird and messed up. Wal-Mart should disclose that these lists are not official lists but instead a guide for back to school shopping.
On top of that, this isn't an isolated incident. This isn't some over-zealous store manager trying to get better sales... oh, no! This has happened before, dating all the way back to 2006 in Anchorage! What the hell?
Thumbs down, Wal-Mart, Thumbs down.
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Yeah, so I am supposedly now a skeptic. I need proof to believe in things and trust in stories told to me by strangers. Why then, am I now getting goose-bumps and the "heebie-jeebies" by watching Paranormal State on A&E? I am spooked.
The show is basically following a group of students at Penn State University. The leader of the group, Ryan, claims to have had dealt with the paranormal as a child, and it scared him. This led to his investigations of paranormal claims as an adult.
The stories they follow vary from outright demons who possess people and kill animals, to hauntings from land owners of the past. It never fails that Ryan and his investigative team call upon a psychic or two (one of them actually helped with the real Amity horror house) to give them clues as to what is going on. The information usually matches what the family said in prior interviews, which leads me to wonder if the show isn't feeding these "psychics" the information they need to make the show a little more chilling...
Tonights episode shows a woman and her family who have been haunted in their own home since they moved in. She actually moved in the home when she was about 10, if I remember correctly, and she immediately noticed a lot of activity that scared her. She saw a man in "an Abraham Lincoln suit," and he looked to be solid. Not a see-through ghostie like most describe. She also had a dream about the man, and soon came to call him Edward. During the dream he was crying and telling her not to let her father on the roof... this will come to play later on in the story.
Ryan and the crew call in a psychic, this week the guy has an accent and has his own psychic partner. I think that is a sure sign that something is up, because people are more likely to believe their story if they back each other off and feed off each other. There I go being a skeptic again...
These psychics walk directly into the woman's childhood bedroom where she witnessed her closet door shake violently and slam open and shut as a child. They felt "drawn" to the room. Again, call me crazy, but it would be so easy to give this info to the psychics... just to make the show better. I dunno about that.
He also sends Elfie, the wiccan, to do research on the past owners of the home/land. Surprise surprise... she finds out the land was once owned by a man named Edward. Guess what else? He fell off the roof...
By the time Elfie is shown giving the news about the history search, the home owner has been told by the psychics that the owner has died by falling off the roof. This makes it look as if there is no possible way for the psychics to have already had this information. It's simply not the case... who knows what order these scenes were shot in, and who knows if the psychics did research on the home without the show's knowledge. Lets face it, getting tons of "hits" on a psychic reading on national television will throw tons of business your way, won't it?
The woman who owned the home met with a professional sketch artist, and described Edward to her. The sketch artist did her best, and when the owner saw the eyes on the sketch she was drawn to it. She knew the eyes were right. The rest was close...
Later that night, the research crew leaves for the day. They set up overnight cameras to try and catch any paranormal activity just in case... the video shows the home owner obsessively staring at the sketch and making small changes to the drawing. She felt like she was being told what to change... the whole thing is creepy! It still freaks me out a little. It's just weird.
Anyway, by the end of the show Ryan invites a Catholic priest to bless the home and rid it of evil spirits and everyone moves on...
The review of the show:
Very scary at times, maybe it's just because I am alone and watching it close to midnight and my cats are staring into corners of my apartment like they see something that I don't. It's enough to make me pull out the Bible I no longer believe in!
At times, it seems staged and over-produced. It's still good to watch and great story-telling. Not too bad.
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I have to admit that I thought stewbacca was being sarcastic. I couldn't believe that someone could really believe that I am leaving the church because of something *I* did. I think it's perfectly clear that I have nothing to hide, and I even post under my real name. My life is an open book.
Recently, I have been slammed by a couple people on the now infamous Mormon Temple article I wrote waaaay back in November. Here are some of the things people have said to me this week:
I thought I would reply sarcastically:
I thought it would be funny. Stewbacca didn't get it... at all. Check out the reply:
Amazing, isn't it?
This person really thinks they are God's gift, huh? Here is what I had to say:
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I just had a conversation with my Mom about women's issues and the church...
Let's start with polygamy. Women are nothing but desired objects that raise your status, property. They are automatically considered "less than" because of their gender. They can't fulfill callings like bishop, stake president, or prophet. Why? Just because they are women! Would we stand for this in the workplace? Hell no! We would be screaming and fighting like mad!
"Sorry lady, you can't be promoted to manager because your are a girl." Pretty much the same thing, isn't it?
It goes further.
Lets consider the meetings that women are not allowed into... priesthood classes/sessions. Sure, women have the relief society, but what is that really but a concession to appease us and keep us from claiming that the men have "everything."
How many relief society events were called "homemaking?" Millions. At least, that is the case in my ward. There is so much more to being a woman that being a wife, mother and maid. We have minds, hearts, souls... we deserve to be treated as equals. Why are we not standing up and screaming right now?
I suppose most LDS women say things like, "I wouldn't want the priesthood, it's too much responsibility!" or "I don't feel like I am unequal to my husband!" What could I say to that? Many things!
First of all, it's all in the mindset you want to be in.
If you want the church to be true, and desire to believe your church has all the answers, you will do the mental gymnastics to make these issues unimportant.
You are not allowed to be in the priesthood.
"I don't want the priesthood! I don't want the responsibility!"
You are not allowed to make decisions about the church's finances or courses of study.
"I am okay with that."
God wants you to be a wife and mother... it's your calling.
"Being a wife and mother will reward me in the next life."
Basically, you are convincing yourself that the problems don't exist at all. No problem means true church, right?
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So, after my rant last night about women and body image issues, I decided I would promote some of the best online chocolate and candy companies out there... something just for fun. Ladies, forget about fitting into the bikini and have a bar of dark chocolate with marshmallows. You look fine. Just saying.
Harry and David
Gourmet Brownies. We make them here in our kitchen, using the same ingredients you'd use at home. Three of each: White Chocolate Peach, Black Forest, White Chocolate Raspberry, Peanut Butter, and German Chocolate. Incredibly good with a glass of cold milk.
Semi sweet chocolate fudge layered with a rich buttery coconut and pecan frosting filling.
Amy's Candy Kitchen
These candy apples are to DIE for. There are 36 different flavors and combinations of apples to choose from, and the online store is amazing. Here are a few of my favorites...
Our 1 1/2 LB. Oreo(tm) explosion starts with only select premium granny smith apples (tart & firm). We hand dip each apple individually coating it with our kettle made buttery caramel. Our caramel does not contain any preservatives or hydrogenated oils to ensure that homemade savory flavor. After the apple has been coated we roll and enrobe the caramel with our crushed Oreo pieces. The last step is dipping and drizzling it in our gourmet Belgian chocolates.
Peanut Butter Pretzel Caramel Apple W/Belgian Chocolate
These pretzel toppers become drenched and engulfed by our luscious handmade caramel. After the topping coating, it takes an overwhelming bath in our gourmet Belgian chocolates. The chocolate is couveture chocolate which is directly imported from Brussels. You can't ask for any more flavorful chocolate! We take pride in understanding when you buy something you require quality in return.
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I have never been "skinny."
I am not fat, at least I wouldn't consider myself fat... just not skinny. Not a toothpick who carefully weighs the addition of calories or fat content of the things I eat. I am healthy... perfectly healthy. I exercise, and try my best to not over-indulge in the sugary sweets.
It's hard not to give yourself hell when you are constantly faced with photos of size zero actresses in magazines, and shows like America's Next Top Model. Normal women (what is normal really... but you get my drift...) don't look like that. We have curves. It's just how it is. I will never look like these women... and I have stopped beating myself up over it.
Recently, a woman who happens to be a size 4, was told she was too "obese."
Are you kidding me? I know tons of women who would kill to be a size 4... and these are women who take care of themselves. Eat right, and spend hours working out.
Body image is something women deal with every day. "Am I pretty enough? Do I look fat in these jeans?" Have you asked those questions? Sure you have!
There are now pre-teen girls having cosmetic surgery. On "The View" this morning a young girl told the story of her breast reduction surgery... that is helpful for her backaches and active lifestyle. She also had liposuction. Liposuction at 16?
Where do we draw the line? Surgeries like this go wrong all the time. Should we really be putting our teenage daughters through things like that in order to help their self-esteem? Is the risk worth it?
In my opinion, we should be discussing the issues behind the self-esteem problems. Shouldn't it be okay to be who you are? Why should people have to go to such drastic measures to be accepted?
It's just sad that we are constantly compared to the model on the magazine cover. Those models are airbrushed and photoshopped like you wouldn't believe. The models on those magazine covers don't exist.
Sorry... pointless rant.
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It's time yet again for an Ensign article. This one, a series of quotes collected from the late Gordon B. Hinkley, was printed in August of 2000, and starts on page 2...
For the record, I am not trying to talk trash about a man who is now dead. I am just making points from the things he said. It's not meant to be mean or spiteful, although most believing Mormons will damn me to hell for even disagreeing with this "great man."
Does a great man lie on national television about things we teach or do not teach in the church? Does a great man tell people to move on about the race issue because it was "all in the past"? I am sure he was a nice guy, he certainly seems like a friendly and lovable person... but he wasn't exactly honest. Just sayin'.
"We know that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior and the Redeemer of the world. His life was no idle dream of some writer. No! His life, His death, His Resurrection were realities. He appeared to the boy Joseph Smith. He talked with him as I speak with you tonight, as a person in a very real and individual and personal way. How grateful we ought to be for that knowledge. 'And this is the life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent' (John 17:3). That knowledge has come to this Church and blessed it, and there is nothing more important in all the world that to have in our hearts a testimony, a conviction, an absolute assurance of the reality of God the Eternal Father and His Son, the risen Lord, the Redeemer of the world" (meeting, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 31 July 1998).
Hmm... the whole thing with "knowing" is so important to Mormonism. That is certainly what kept me hooked for as long as it did. I didn't have to worry about what happened when we died because I had all the answers laid out before me. I didn't have to think, all I had to do was obey. It's amazing, isn't it?
Thing is, we don't know squat. We don't know that Jesus appeared to the boy Joseph Smith. We don't have that knowledge, and convincing yourself otherwise might just be playing pretend. Some people really enjoy that fantasy world, don't they? Ahh, ignorance is bliss.
"Brethren, let us, each of us, watch ourselves. Whenever we have within us a little temper, go outside, breathe some fresh air, and come in with a smile and throw your arms around your wife and tell her you love her. Look to your children and let them know that you love them. Live with them kindly and graciously, as Latter-Day Saints should do." (Salt Lake Holladay regional conference, priesthood leadership meeting, 7 Feb. 1998).
Yes, brethren. Breathing fresh air fixes everything.
"The Lord carries great expectations of you in taking care of your part of the burden of moving forward the work of the Lord, the payment of your tithes and offerings. We have money enough to run this church because of the faithfulness of the people. Marvelous is that faithfulness. We don't have a lot of rich people in the church. The money which operates the Church comes from the consecrations of such as you--wonderful, faithful people. Tithing isn't so much a matter of money as it is a matter of faith. The Lord can't bless those who aren't obedient." (meeting, Columbus, Ohio, 25 April, 1998).
Okay, the church has the money to spend 2 billion dollars on a shopping mall. Should I really need to say more? I will anyway...
When you pay your tithing, Gordon B. Hinkley loves you wonderful and faithful. When you don't pay your tithing, he warns you that the Lord won't bless you. Sounds like a scare tactic to me! Also, it is a matter of money. Just saying.
"I think of all the things of which I may be proudest, and I don't mean that in an evil sense, is the fact that ever since I went on a mission I've had a temple recommend in my pocket. I have one in their now. It is my credit card with the Lord, and I am grateful for it" (meeting, Lowell, Massachusetts, 15 Oct. 1998).
This one makes me chuckle.
A temple recommend is like a credit card with the Lord? What? Having a temple recommend doesn't make you a better person than someone who doesn't. It just means that you have successfully navigated the interview. Who gives the prophet of the church his temple recommend, anyway? Just curious... can't he just get a free pass? Do they need to check his recommend when he walks in the building? Funny...
Greatest Season of the Church
"We are living, my brothers and sisters, in the day of prophecy fulfilled. This is the greatest season in the history of the Church. There never before was a time like this. We are larger in numbers, a great family of 10 million people scattered over 160 nations. The media treat us honestly and right. We have a good reputation among most people... This is a wonderful time to be a member of this Church. I envy these young people who are here today. Their lives are ahead of them. They will see marvelous things in the years that lie ahead. I have no doubt of it whatever. The Church will grow and grow and grow, and no force under the heavens can stop it." (meeting, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 8 Aug. 1998).
Sorry, have to disagree here. Information is easier and easier to get. Most of the large growth of the church happens within families who are already in the church having tons of children, and converts in places that don't have immediate access to the internet. I have no proof of that, and I know it. It's just something I believe. I don't think for one second that the church will grow, and grow, and grow. As a matter of fact, I think it's only a matter of time before it starts to get smaller and smaller.
He mentioned that he envied the younger children in his attendance that day, because they had so many marvelous things to see ahead of them. It bothers me, because they do have so much opportunity, but all young men must go on missions, and all young girls are taught to marry and have children. Their lives are ahead of them, but their lives are already planned and charted. Sometimes, that isn't so marvelous.
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