Friday, July 18, 2014
Friday, June 13, 2014
If you've LDS and have never heard of John Dehlin, I envy you. This means you are probably very satisfied and happy in your faith. It means you probably have never googled "uncomfortable at LDS church" and landed on his website. It means you've probably never struggled with the agonizing decision to leave the religion you were raised in, and turned to his kind suggestions on how to stay involved.
If you're LDS, you might not know Kate Kelly by name, but you've probably heard of the movement she leads, Ordain Women. If you've brushed this off as crazy outspoken women who are out to cause problems, I question if you actually understand what the movement is about. And if you honestly believe all women are happy and equal at church, I wonder if you feel any empathy to the thousands who don't agree.
It's no secret to my family and friends that I have really struggled over the last few years with the church. What was supposed to be only a few month break stretched into a few years. I'm not going to lie, it's been a huge burden off my shoulders. I was really unhappy at church, mainly because I didn't feel valued as a woman. Combined with some serious doctrinal and historical issues, it's been a relief to not have an internal debate every Sunday with what I believed verses how I felt.
But over the past few months, I wondered if I was doing my son a serious disservice by not having that church community. It's one aspect I missed from the church. I've felt spiritually depleted as well. I've wondered if I should go back, and try to make it work.
John Dehlin and Kate Kelly have given me hope that there are like-minded people who feel as I do. They've been brave enough to provide a forum for people to discuss the issues, and try to enact change. I've learned a lot on Dehlin's site, and have met kindred spirits through the Ordain Women movement. I think the irony of this possible excommunication is that these two have been working to keep people with differing opinions in the church.
But with the news of their possible excommunications, I feel defeated. This sends a very strong message: If there's no room for them, there's no room for me.
I've been saddened by the many Facebook and other social media posts, where members say things like "Good riddance," "take the rest with you," or other hurtful comments. If non-members could see some of the terrible things I'm seeing, I seriously doubt they'd want to join a church that appears a) sexist, and b) hateful. There is a long history of changes that have happened because members spoke up. These movements are in existence because sometimes, it works.
This church is supposed to be full of "particular people". But what about the particular people within the particular people? Those who cannot fit in the mold, those who have questions, see the pain, and try to do something about it? It's easy for TBMs to brush them off and say go find another church. But it's not that simple. When we have families and history invested there, it's really difficult to just pick up and walk away. But that's probably what I will end up doing.
Is it too much to ask for women to have the same leadership roles men have? Is it too much to accept if GLBT members have an opportunity to live authentic lives? Is it too much to fathom that someday this church will focus less on stringent policies, endless meetings, and busy work, and more on Jesus and the community (the actual community, not just people in the ward/stake)?
I don't think so. And I know there's thousands who agree. They may appear happy and completely satisfied at church, but inside, they're hurting too. I've been shocked at the number of people who have reached out to me and said they felt the same way, I would have never guessed. It's clear that these are the reasons people want to leave. Not because they are lazy, not because they want to sin. It's because there is no room for them.
And what makes it even more heartbreaking is that those who want to stay, are just being forced out anyway.
John Dehlin's Mormon Stories:
Ordain Women (10 points if you find my profile):
Friday, January 3, 2014
2013 started off pretty great. I turned 26 (which is still mid-20's I swear!), and took over the FOX5 weekend show. I absolutely loved my new role at work, and was excited about working with such an amazing team.
Judd and I went to Portland where we considered turning into hipsters for 5 minutes, then decided it was too rainy and cold to actually want to live there. We're too used to being desert rats.
I finally came up with really awesome frisbee routine with Bindi, set to Dropkick Murphy's "Shipping Up to Boston".
In April, I discovered I was pregnant, finally. It took awhile to get to that point, but we were here, and no turning back!
A few weeks later, I had a miscarriage scare. My baby was fine, but it meant the pregnancy was going to be a bit tougher than normal. I had to be extra careful with pretty much everything.
I went up to Cape Cod for a few days with my favorite hocake ever, and we totally took over our favorite stomping grounds during the off-season.
Judd went to where dreams come true, Disneyland in China for a few weeks, to work on the castle. I thought I had a cool job, but that just sounds almost fake with awesomeness.
While Judd was rubbing elbows with Mickey Mouse, I took a trip of my own to California for a frisbee tournament with the Atomic dogs. A ton of fun, even if wrangling 2 crazy border collies while 4 months pregnant was a little challenging.
We also went camping with our team in Utah. A great few days of fishing, boating, and interesting cooking experiments!
Shortly after that trip, I started having horrible round ligament pains. My pregnancy got that much more difficult, I could barely move. I went from being able to exercise moderately, to not at all. This was really, really difficult for me to accept. I had only wanted to gain the bare minimum recommended weight, and it looked like that wasn't going to happen anymore.
We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary!
We decided to do a stay-cation instead of a major trip this year (originally we tossed around the idea of going to the Philippines) because of all the pain I was having. So we got massages and ate a lot of food in Mesquite, then stayed in a suite at Mandalay Bay and hung out by the pool all weekend. A great calm before the storm!
Judd went on his annual dirtbiking trip to Moab...and broke his leg, almost 2 months before delivery. Best timing ever.
The next weeks up until Kaden came were really, really tough. Judd had surgery, I was getting progressively worse with the pain, and neither one of us was very mobile. We were lucky to have some really great friends and family who helped us out a lot.
Kaden came early at the end of November. The highlight of the year!
Then it's a whirlwind of holidays and festivities.
Then a family tragedy. To protect our privacy, I'm not going into it, but let's just say 2013 did not end on a great note, and we have a lot of challenges coming up in 2014 because of it.
I'm still excited though, to see what 2014 brings to us. Our goals are to get back to our wedding day bodies, eat real food (with both of us basically on bedrest for 2 months, then taking care of a newborn, our diet choices have been terrible!), clean the garage, and keep the kid alive. Here's to a great new start!
Monday, March 11, 2013
So now I'm looking at my dogs and laughing, because I'm seeing the same thing with them and us!
Bindi is totally Judd in dog form. Both have this hyper focus when it comes to their passions and hobbies. Judd loves his projects and will often stay up all night until he's built something or figured out a program. Bindi is obsessed with her sports, and when she's in the race lanes or on a frisbee field, that's ALL she can think about. If you even say the words "Flyball" or "Frisbee", she will whine and whine for hours, because she can't put her mind on something else.
Both are very results-oriented. Judd will work and work at something, until he gets it just right. Bindi corrects herself if she drops a ball in a race. They are both fast learners, and excel at new things.
Plus, it's pretty obvious Bindi adores her Dad. She loves me, but she adores him! The two of them have a really tight bond, especially when it comes to Flyball. We can both be her Frisbee handler, but she plays Flyball better with Judd. Reason #254 I wanted another dog... I wanted a dog that liked me more!
I think Loki and I are alike, and not just because we now have the same hair color. We're both quirky, a little unorganized, trying to figure things out, but have a lot of love to give. We're both willing to learn new things, and if we don't get it right the first time, we'll work on it. Both of us like to be on the go, and both of us hate to be alone.
Plus, Loki is totally my dog! She's like my little shadow, just constantly wants to be where I am at all times. It can get obnoxious if I'm trying to get in the shower and she wants to come with me, but I don't mind overall.
Of course, we love both of our dogs so much. Our lives would be completely boring without them, and not just because we'd have no social life with our team and other dog friends. They bring a lot of love and laughter to our family. I don't think we could ever get another kind of dog after having Border Collies, since they're pretty much the best kind of dog ever.
Do you notice if your pets take after you?
Monday, January 21, 2013
A fair warning: this blog will not be spiritual or pleasant.
It's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day! A time to honor the man who made it his life mission to secure equal rights for all Americans. A time to remember the sacrifices so many people endured so we could live in a society where people shouldn't be judged by the color of their skin, their gender, or who they want to marry. A time to reflect on the privileges Americans have in this country to speak up if they don't agree with something, and lobby to make it better.
But there's one group, my friends, who is being told to NOT lobby for their rights.
I'm talking about the women of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, specifically the impressionable Young Women ages 12-18.
Consider this quote from Elaine S. Dalton, General Young Women's President, given just a few days ago at a BYU devotional:
"Young women you will be the ones who will provide the example of virtuous womanhood and motherhood. You will continue to be virtuous lovely praiseworthy and of good report. You will also be the ones to provide an example of family life in a time when families are under attack, being redefined and disintegrating. You will understand your roles and your responsibilities and thus will see no need to lobby for rights."
Elaine S. Dalton, YW General President, January 15, 2013.
At approximately the 32:28 mark
I can already hear the argument that perhaps this is just Sister Dalton's opinion, and doesn't represent the Church's stand.
But remember, this is the woman who is the head of the entire Young Women's program. And now, she's telling those girls to accept things as they are and keep quiet about it. The speech was given a week ago. If the Church disagreed with it, wouldn't they have said something by now?
Recently, there have been two social movements in the Church. One, Wear Pants To Church Day. This was an opportunity for women and girls to show support to those who have felt demeaned at church because of gender, simply by wearing pants.
The other is ongoing: an effort to finally have a woman pray in General Conference this year. It's never been done before. It may not sound like a big deal, but to the thousands of people signing the petitions, it is.
Fun fact: did you know women were banned from saying the opening or closing prayer in Sacrament meeting in 1967? The ban stayed in place until 1978, when the Brethren admitted there wasn't a scriptural reason for it in the first place.
Anyway, so these two big movements are getting a lot of attention, both from church members, and the media. Is it just a coincidence Sister Dalton told this audience there was no need to lobby for rights? I don't think so.
This speech has inspired a lot of LDS feminist response. I'm glad I'm not the only one shocked by this. The first link is an open letter I was touched by. The second, a moving essay about one of MANY LDS women who have lobbied for rights.
I will close with just a few more thoughts:
This blog is in no way attacking anyone who chooses to live the life prescribed by Sister Dalton. Having a strong and faithful family is great! And if a woman chooses to stay home to strengthen her family, more power to her. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I'm not against stay-at-home moms. I'm against the theory that all women must live this life because they are women.
Women have a long history of lobbying for rights. We've come so far. Now, we see a movement where women recognize they aren't being treated equally in the church. Obviously this isn't every woman. I've been told by numerous friends they feel just fine in the church, and that's good for them.
But at some point, we have to recognize there are enough frustrated women in the church, that two big movements were started within a few months of each other recently. We have to recognize our sisters are hurt, and find the problems behind it, instead of telling them there is nothing to worry about. Instead of getting so defensive of the church, we have to remember it ISN'T perfect. All one has to to is look at the very inconsistent history to figure that out. There are problems that need to be addressed, not ignored.
I'm sure I'm frustrating a lot of people with these blogs and thoughts. Thank you to those who continue to read and support me. This journey has not been easy. But if I could get one person to really think about, and talk about these issues, it will be worth it. I've had a lot of meaningful conversations with both women and men about how upset they are about this kind of stuff, but feel like their opinions aren't listened to.
I've also listened to members who really don't see the issues at all and don't feel like it is a problem. For those who I've been able to have a good conversation with that didn't turn into an attack, thank you. I recognize the church has done a lot of good for a lot of people. It can be hurtful to see someone angry at it. I've been on that side of the fence, I know.
I've had some people ask why I don't just leave. Clearly, I don't like the doctrine, the rules, or the culture. For personal reasons I don't want to get into on this blog, I'm kind of stuck where I'm at. It's incredibly frustrating to me at times, and it only gets worse when I see stuff like Sister Dalton's speech.
The only way I know to live my life now is by not lying to myself and others. I'm not going to pretend to be super LDS around some people because I'm afraid they'll shun me if I'm not. I'm just going to be the person I want to be, which is a strong, open-minded woman who isn't afraid to think outside the box. I just have to have faith at the end of the day, people still like me for ME, not because of my beliefs.
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
Judd and I spent a few days in Sunny San Diego this past December. I had free tickets to Disneyland I had to use up (perks of working in the media). But we needed to entertain ourselves for the other 3 days we were there. So we figured, why not the greatest zoo in America?
And of course, the San Diego Zoo has the best mode of transportation EVER. I love this sky ride. You can ride it as much as you like, and see the whole zoo from the air.
This zoo visit, combined with my recent discovery of how awesome Pinterest is, inspired me to give our living room an African makeover. I had to wait until Christmas was over to start on it, but it's coming along! I've been wanting some kind of scheme for that room for awhile now, because it was sort of blah. But now, my little wild animal accents are really bringing some character to it!