Hearts, Feathers, Flowers, and Sin ...

I have a mental picture of my brain as six or seven hamsters on wheels, lined up in a row from one ear to the other. Don't laugh -- I'm serious! Each hamster has projects of it's own, thoughts of it's own, a speed of it's own, and a book or two it's assigned to read and remember our place in, when I put it down for two weeks to read another. I try not to overwork any particular hamster, but I also try never to let too many of them take a break at once. The main reason for that is that when given too much free time, they will wax philosophical in a pack (never a good thing!).

Why do I tell you all this? Because last night before going to bed I woke up my computer to check on a download of gigantic proportion (it was done, thankfully), I surfed on over to mi amiga's blog, La Yen, where I caught site of her post about Stalled Divinity. As usual, it was interesting, meaningful, funny, deep, and thought provoking.

And so, ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to torture you with some of the thoughts it's provoked in me. Hang on to your hats folks, my hamsters have been thinking in a pack since last night! Which doesn't mean this will be good, but does indicate tremendous length! LOL

I suppose I should preface this by explaining a bit about my relationship with the LDS faith. When my parents got married my mother was Episcopalian and my father was Presbyterian. They got married in my mother's church because my father liked the stained glass windows (I kid you not). They apparently never even discussed religion until I became a bun in the oven. My dad, like almost everyone else in the family, was working at The Register (now called the Orange County Register, but then known as The Santa Ana Register). Somehow, my parents met someone who worked at the Register who was LDS. She invited them to come to church with her family on a Fast Sunday (why people insist on bring investigators to Fast and Testimony meeting is beyond me!). It nearly scared my mother off entirely because it seemed very "holy-roller" to her (it was a serious culture shock compared to her Anglican roots) with all the people crying and testifying about the power of God in their lives, and the truthfulness of the church. But my dad loved it.

Over time, somehow, my father basically talked my mother into having an open mind about the Church, and then, eventually, she believed in it enough to join. My parents were baptized when I was 3 months old -- so for all intents and purposes I was raised LDS. But then again, I sort of wasn't. My dad, being the person he is, decided he didn't really believe in the church almost as quickly as he'd decided he did. I honestly don't ever remember him coming to church with my mom and I. And my mom and I didn't go very much either since she worked as a nurse and that meant a lot of evenings, weekends, and holidays. But regardless of how often we went to church, being LDS was somehow a part of my self-identification. That's what I was, a Mormon.

It was made an even stronger identifier by the fact that part of my family became extremely anti-Mormon. Somehow, my staunchly Church of England grandmother started listening to "Christian" radio shows, sent her youngest two children to a private Christian High School, watched Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, would utter the phrase "Praise The Lord" at the drop of a hat, and even drank her coffee from a mug with "PTL" emblazoned on it.

Then my favorite aunt (my mother's only sister), married a Minister (and I'll add this link just because it's funny: Obnoxious - BTW, his middle name is David), an ordained Baptist Minister no less (they still run a "Mission to the Mormons" in Utah every summer). And that was the beginning of my grandmother, chest feathers fully extended, becoming a player on the So Cal Evangelical stage. She hosted such Xtian notables as Dr. Walter Martin (a man more convinced of his own greatness than any other I've ever known). I still recall meeting him for the first time when I was 7, and him telling me that I was going to hell for believing in the wrong Jesus. This made no sense to me -- how many Jesus' are there, I wondered -- I only knew of the one. So I did what seemed logical to a 7 year old -- the religious equivalent of "I know you are, but what am I?" I told him I was not going to hell, but he would for saying such a mean thing to a child. That got me thrown out of the room! LOL:)

I was always like that -- things either made sense to me, or they didn't. And what didn't make sense needed to be questioned. And as long as I live I will never forget the first time I "won" a religious argument with my grandmother. I was about 7 or 8 and she was very upset that I didn't believe in the concept of the oneness of the Trinity, but rather in that "strange Mormon voodoo" teaching of a Godhead made of three separate entities. I brought up the thing that sort of sealed the deal in my mind, Jesus in Gethsemane. What was he doing, I asked her, who was he talking to in the garden if there was no one home because he was God the Father in the flesh? He was setting an example, she said. "He went off by himself, and prayed, to no one at all, so hard that he sweat blood, all as an example?" I asked her. She looked flustered, called me a brat, and told me to go to my room. I knew it was a question she had never asked herself, and didn't like her own answer to -- and it was something she never brought up again. I didn't believe in the LDS teaching of the Godhead because it was what I was told -- I believed it because I couldn't for the life of me figure out who Jesus would have been talking to in Gethsemane, or on the cross for that matter, if it wasn't his father. It just made sense to me that they were separate.

Defending doctrine, however, always came easier to me than actually going to church. Church was something fundamentally isolating. I was the only only. The only only child, the only one whose parents were divorced, the only girl with no daddy to sing to on Father's day, and seemingly the only one with my strange thoughts rattling around. So I hated going to church, and was glad for every time I could get out of it, until I was about 14. I had quit conventional school and was slightly lonely from the lack of social interaction provided by home schooling. So, I got the bright idea to look for friends at church. From about 14 to 18 I was fairly active (I went to church most weeks, but missed a lot of the Wednesday night activities). It helped that I was allowed to go to Sunday School with my friends who were a year or two older than me, though I did go to Young Women's with my own age group. And when my older friends all left and went off to BYU, and I was now supposed to go to Sunday School with people my own age, it doubly helped that I was allowed to go volunteer in the Nursery (something I kept doing once I turned 18 and had no sense of belonging in Relief Society, despite my love of Gospel Doctrine class).

I got a reputation for 4 things in that time. One was being quiet/shy. Another was giving "amazing" talks (that's what I was told anyway). The third was being a Levite (when I got my patriarchal blessing at 15, that was the pronouncement, and it didn't take very long for word to spread). And the fourth was asking strange questions.

I remember being at a Fireside one time where we were basically just sitting around asking the missionaries questions. I asked them something I'd always wondered about (not quite realizing that these were just boys a couple of years older than me). I asked them, If Heavenly Father was once like us, and if we can be like Him, and if everything is just a constant wheel of eternal progression, how did it start? They looked at each other, and then at me, and one of them said, "You don't say much, but when you do ... you really do.", and everybody laughed. I didn't mean to be strange, I just thought maybe it was something they covered at the MTC.

For the decade of my life between 18 and 28, I think I only went to church once. I felt that LDS theology just didn't answer my questions, didn't provide comfort, and most of all -- didn't make room for me. I had tremendous discomfort with certain aspects of the Church's past (Plural marriage, Lack of the Preisthood for African-Americans), and it's present (Lack of the Preisthood for Women, the great political leaning to the right). And I really was certain I didn't see myself as part of it's future.

I am liberal, I am female, I am single and childless, and I believe God loves me just as much as those who aren't. I believe God loves a Mormon as much as Jew, a Hindu, a Buddhist, a Muslim, or a Catholic. I believe God loves his gay, straight, and transgendered children equally, and completely. I believe God is unknowable except by recognizing his/her/it's love -- and that my vision of what God looks like is only mine and possibly wrong (not that it matters in the end). I believe no one has a corner on the truth market.

I went through every religious tenant of every faith over the course of the last decade. I have considered other forms of Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism, Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Paganism, Wicca, Gnosticism, and even Atheism. I have found myself enthralled by the Catholic teaching that we are born sinners, cannot escape it, are not really expected to, but that God loves us anyway. I was extremely drawn to the Jewish teaching that God is unknowable, indefinable, and intangible to mere mortals -- and that knowing him externally is not as important as knowing him internally. I loved learning that one of the Hebrew names for God (Elohim) means simply "The Great Power" -- no gender, no identity, no definition. God is, what God is -- and I can live well, and die peacefully, without knowing what that is.

I love the Buddhist teaching on purity -- the symbol of which is the Lotus. That it's roots are in mud, it travels through the waters of experience, to appear on the water's surface -- beautifully in bloom -- enlightened by the warmth of the sun. As though it is a process of spiritual development, not an act of self-denial. I also love what Salman Rushdie says about purity -- that every heinous act ever committed between human beings, has been done in the name of either the preservation of, or the attaining of, purity. That blew my mind when I heard it. And it's disturbingly true.

I love the Taoist teaching of balance. That the yin and the yang cannot exist without one another. I believe deeply in the symbiosis of all polar opposites. And not really just the symbiosis, but more, the oneness. That in the space between any juxtaposition you have the entire universe. And that separation is an illusion we agree to, or do not -- and I do not.

I love the guiding truth of Atheism that if there is no God pulling strings and holding the balance, then we must be that God. We ourselves must pull the strings and keep the balance of joy and sorrow, responsibility and freedom, good and evil, justice and mercy. It's like Gandhi saying we must be the change we wish to see in the world. A 'believing atheist' cannot afford to sit back and let the world spin because there is no one he can rely on to save him.

I enjoy the Pagan and Wiccan beliefs that there is something sacred in the natural. That all of nature is, in fact, worthy of worship. I share that belief completely. To the extent that I hate killing bugs and will try to find ways to set them free rather than squish them (although some things like certain scary looking spiders, earwigs, and mosquitoes just deserve to die, lol).

Joseph Campbell instructed that one should always read the mythology of other cultures because that's the only way to see the truth clearly -- you cannot see your own mythology out of the context of your culture. And I think that's true, to an extent. But I think once you have read the mythology of other cultures, you can see your own culture's mythology within the only context that matters, the universal one. I think, in the wierdest of ways, I leanred more about being a Christian, and more about being a Mormon, by reading the religious and mythological texts of other cultures and other times.

And why do I write all of this? Because while I don't drink coffee (it gives me palpitations), I don't smoke (I did for four years, until I got asthma), I don't drink alcohol (I have been drunk once in my life, and that's enough), while I do like reading the scriptures, and I do pray everyday. I'm not exactly a stereotypical "Molly" -- and I don't feel bad about it.

Most Sundays I'd rather be anywhere other than church for 3 hours (but it's good for me). I swear (a lot), I watch 'R' rated movies with such abandon that I don't even pay attention to the ratings of the movies I watch, I laugh at rude jokes, double entendre, and snarky comments. I dislike certain people, and don't feel bad about it. I believe everything is open for questioning, and everything is fodder for a joke. I read Sunstone a lot more avidly than the Ensign. I sometimes completely disagree with the Prophet, and am certain the poor man just got his wires crossed a bit and will straighten it out in time. I vote Democratic, unless I'm voting Green, or Peace and Freedom (though on some things, like drugs being legal, I'm a Libertarian). I like watching Jon Stewart and Bill Mahr, even when they swear. I am not offended by the 'F' word in any context -- I'm not offended by much. I liked watching Sex And the City on HBO (with all the naughty bits left in). I am not a virgin, and I'm ok with that, because I just think God is way more offended by war, famine, and intolerance, than by the fact that I have sex (during blue moons, LOL) within the confines of relationships, for purposes other than procreation, without being technically married. And if I'm wrong -- I'm wrong -- but that's between me, myself, and God.

I'm not even sure I'm adherent enough to be labeled a Liahona Mormon (though I wear one around my neck), but if I must chose a label for myself, that's the only one that fits. I go where my conscience leads me, and I don't apologize for that. When that agrees with the movements of the church, Hallelujah! And when it doesn't, so be it -- I'll go my own way. If the Prophet tells me the end of the world is nye and all faithful members must load-up their food storage and head for Adam-ondi-amon -- I'm there (if they'll let me in)! If he tells me I have to protest gay marriage -- I'm not so much there.

But I am LDS because I haven't found anything better, and I doubt I ever will. That doesn't mean I think it's perfect -- though it's a lot more perfect than I originally understood (Heavenly Father and I have had some seriously long, obtuse, existential conversations over my prodigal years, but when I shut up long enough to hear the answers, in true Zen fashion, I begin to understand that I didn't understand) -- but, there isn't anywhere else I belong, so here I am. I don't fit perfectly into the provided niche, but I refuse to lob off the extraneous bits. I am LDS because I chose it, and it does not have to chose me in return for me to stay, though that would sure make it easier, LOL.

I simply do not feel bad about half the things I'm supposed to feel bad about, and if that means I don't get into any level of Heaven, or if that means I do get into Heaven, but I have denied myself exaltation, then that's what it means. There are so many things here in this life that are so much more important to me than what will become of my soul when I'm dead. I am not here to win a prize. And I'm sure that will sound blasphemous to some, but the things is -- I believe what I believe, but I simultaneously know that I could be entirely wrong. All I can know for sure is this life, and this world. All I can be certain of is what I do here. I'm a lot more concerned that I give money to every panhandler that asks (and some that don't) because I believe so strongly in Brother Brigham's teaching that it's better to give something to 9 people who don't need it, in order that the one who does need it, receives it, than to deny everyone. I'm much more concerned with that, then I am with whether or not the Holy Spirit departs from me while I watch an 'R' rated movie (and I'm not convinced it does). And if because of that, I must spend eternity serving as some other exalted person's minion angel, I will. So long as I did what I could to make this life and this world better, I will be satisfied by however it plays out.

This is not to say I don't feel guilt. I feel tremendous guilt -- just not over the things I've mentioned. In Ancient Egyptian theology they speak of the heart of the deceased being weighed against a feather. After passing through panels of judges, after offering the confession of negatives, and after correctly naming the various gatekeepers, the heart of the dead is weighed against the feather of Ma'at (truth, justice, righteousness, balance). If your heart is weighed down by sin, you cannot pass into the chamber of Osiris and you are cast into Oblivion. Spell 30 from the Book of the Dead reads: "O my heart which I had from my mother, O my heart which I had upon earth, do not rise up against me as a witness in the presence of the Lord of Things; do not speak against me concerning what I have done, do not bring up anything against me in the presence of the Great God."

I have never understood that, and I think I never will. How can anyone's heart not be weighed down by sin? Who could imagine themselves without it? My favorite line from the confession of negatives is: I have not shut my ears to the words of truth. And yet the spell asks the heart not to speak against him concerning what he has done. I have not shut my ears to truth, but I hope my heart doesn't speak it?

I know my heart will weigh more than the feather (if there is one), I know there will be a lot of stuff written next to my name in the book of life (if there is one), and I'm ok with that. My name is Kathryn, which is Greek in origin; meaning pure. When I think of purity, I think it is dangerous when seen as something other than a spiritual process, a refiner's fire, a lotus flower rising from the mud to the sun. I would like to die with a pure heart, but to do that I think I must first live with one. And to do that -- I imagine I must own my sin. But what is sin? Is it swearing, drinking, watching, 'R' rated movies, or is it the parts of you, and the parts of life, that are defined by greed, fear, anger, and indifference? Is it really watching Southpark that cuts you off from the Spirit, or is it not solving world hunger that will, in the end, keep us all out of paradise? I kinda think it's the hunger thing, myself.

I kinda think God is more likely to laugh at Southpark and cry at the things we do to each other on this planet, especially the stuff we do in his name. I kinda think the brutal rapes in the Congo, the unchecked genocide in Darfur, the Columbian refugees ignored and abandoned in Ecuador, the trafficking in children that occurs daily in every corner of this world, and the indifference with which we pass judgment on each other, rate higher than tv shows as examples of what causes the withdrawal of the Spirit.

I think Southpark (which I never really watch), 'R' rated movies, swearing, drinking, premarital sex, etc., etc. (all the ills pointed to by church leaders of every faith), are the universal equivalent of white noise. We use them to keep from going mad, and to fault those who preserve their sanity by any means necessary, is too cruel for the God I imagine.

But then why listen to me? I'm a nutjob, with rabid hamsters for brains, who comes from a tribe known to be the cradle of heresy!

Maybe Walter Martin was right about me. Maybe I don't worship the "right" Jesus.

My Jesus was a liberal, a radical, a peacemonger, and a lover of all his fellow men. That was certainly not Dr. Martin's Jesus, and I suspect it isn't the Jesus of many people who identify themselves as Christians, but that's the only Jesus I know -- and he couldn't have come from such a vengeful, old testament style God as some say.

My Jesus watches Southpark, and 'R' rated movies, eats corndogs and apple pie -- but also tabouleh and strong curries. My Jesus rides a bike, or the bus (or walks on water), listens to the Greatful Dead, Tori Amos, Gwen Stefani, Bobby Darin, and Metallica (before they sold out). My Jesus wears dreads, is unemployed, and has no health insurance. My Jesus loves everyone, even people I hate. And my Jesus laughs -- loud and often -- at everything.

Peace out, LOL ;P

ps: la yen if you read this -- this post is not meant as an argument against anything you wrote, this is just my hamsters gone wild. You've seen those degrading commercials for Girls Gone Wild, right? Same thing -- just less nudity and more annoying existentialism, LOL:)

8 comments:

La Yen said...

I don't think Jesus listens to Gwen Stefani when she does Electronia disco. And maybe He listened to Tori Amos in the 90's when she was relevant, but not now that she is a wailing banshee of old-crochety-ness.

I see what you are saying...


And you are WRONG!

Just kidding. I think that a lot of what you said is true--just with more words than I know to say it. The Church has never told people to blindly follow, but to pray about the teachings--you can't have a testimony of a gospel principle if you don't pray about it kind of thing.

One thing that I have been thinking about since Easter, when I had a great conversation with blogger LVC is the whole idea or the rated R thing. I don't watch them because the prophet said not to. She and her husband are filmmakers and actors, and do. And they are worthy to go to the temple, too. Then there are others who say that the ratings system is totally corrupt, and it makes no sense. I came to the decision that the "fluffy" rules like that are like the Word of Wisdom. Made for the majority of the people. There are some people who can drink a single glass of wine at dinner, never get drunk, and never get out of control, but they are not the majority. When governing a civilization, you have to govern for the masses. So, for me, it is really hard to get horrifying things out of my mind--I will remember them for 20 years. Much easier to not watch rated R stuff. Other things, like the premarital sex and WOW and stuff, that is just clean living. Life is so much easier with it. I don't know. Check out CJane's post on polygamy, if you can find it--same discussion, but lots of outrage.
And if your hamsters weren't so busy powering the tubes that run the internets, maybe they would let you sleep!

celluloidZEN said...

Kayt, I really liked this post. I'm actually writing a post on my blog about it, and I'll link it when I get there.

I just had to respond to Jen's comment. Jen, I don't know if you'll remember me, we went to school together forever-and a-fucking-day ago. Glad to see you're doing well. Incidentally, you and Christa Boeke were totally right: I'm a big ol' homo. But I digress.

Before I continue, I’d like to say that I have many, many friends who are LDS. I have dated several LDS men (we’ll get to that later). They all live full lives, and seem like genuinely happy people. I have never had a problem with anyone of them accepting me for who I am, or how I live (the whole gay thing included). I myself am not Mormon, but have always followed the WOW. This has come naturally to me, as these things (cigarettes, alcohol, etc.) have never appealed to me. I do have pre-marital sex, but generally not out of a relationship. Unfortunately, this country does not allow me to get married, so I have to settle for true Love in the eyes of God alone.

And I do believe in God. I don’t necessarily accept that God is a sentient being, but I am open to it. I definitely believe we are all connected, and that the life force in each of us binds us to God, sentient or no. I know that many people cannot fathom a God that is not sentient, watching over them. And I know these people pray to God, asking him for assistance in a variety of ways, everything from helping them financially to finding love.

What never ceases to amaze me is that these people think God cares about these little things. Assuming God is sentient, I find it very hard to accept that God cares what kind of job you have, or how much money you make, or if you can afford that new BMW 7 series you keep telling him you need that promotion for. And as a further extension of this little belief of mine, I have a hard time accepting that God cares if you watch a man-made movie, with a man-made designation from a man-made rating system that says, “This is bad.”

I won’t claim to know anything about your personal relationship with God; if you feel that the Holy Spirit abandons you when you watch Southpark, then maybe that’s what’s happening. But if so, I’d bet this year’s salary that it’s not because you’re watching Southpark. Maybe the Holy Spirit just has other things to do.

I looked up the CJane post you referenced in your comment, and I read through most of the page, including your comments there.

1. I am glad that you have found strength in your spirituality, and that these examples you reference have lent strength to your beliefs and bolstered your conviction.

2. You wrote, “We never hear that people leave Christianity because Isaac almost got sacrificed—in fact, it is a testament to the faith of his father, and we hold that example up as an object lesson. In many ways, polygamy is similar—except an angel didn't come and stop it right away.” While I respect your opinion, I couldn’t disagree with it more. I think we would see more people leaving Christianity if they were being asked to commit a human sacrifice. You are comparing a story CENTURIES old with a thing that still occurs today, and only stopped occurring because the American government intervened. Please don’t misunderstand: I, myself, have no ill-issue with Polygamy. I think people should be able to do what they want with who they want. While that lifestyle would most certainly not agree with me, I would not bar someone from living it for himself or herself. My issue is with your argument. You will most likely reply that the Isaac story is old, and Polygamy is also outdated, etc. There is a difference, though, between ancient, and outdated. And when something that is “outdated” still happens, even when it’s frowned upon by a governing body, people will capitalize on that regardless of the publicly stated view. That’s just human nature these days.

3. You also wrote:

'But we sure hear about the LDS apoligists, don't we--"I'm sorry tht the prophet said this, so I can't drink at your party." "I'm sorry that you can't be a bishop. It sure is a calling that everybody wants to have." "I'm sorry that you can't dress like a hooker, what a drag." How about saying to the Dooces of this world "I'm sorry that you just don't get it, but I am proud to be who I am, with the heritage that I have, and I am proud to have both feet firmly planted on the Lord's side. I don't understand everything. But I understand the Atonement, the Great Plan of Happiness, and that God lives and loves me. Everything else will fall into place later." So what if we don't understand it? So what if it makes us feel a little icky? So what if it makes us question things? So what? Is the Gosepl of Jesus Christ still true? Then suck it up and focus on returning to live with God, and then you can get your questions answered. You know what is ineffectual? Taking your ball and bat and going home, because you think things are not easy and fair, or because you can't get out of the theoretical realm and into the physical, living-your-actual-life realm.'

I myself haven’t heard people apologize for these things. I guess I’m just used to surrounding myself with people who are completely at ease with who they are and, as such, do not feel the need to apologize for being different or “odd.” But, perhaps more relevant to your point, is your tacit solicitation that you shouldn’t have to explain these things to people. The sad truth is that being different in today’s world sucks. Being the minority sucks. Whether you like it or not, Mormon beliefs and practices are conservative. When you live in a society that is freewheeling with the alcohol and drugs, and you go to a party where these things are present, and you turn them down someone is going to ask you, “Why?” I myself have had to explain this to a great number of people over the years. To be honest, “I’m Mormon,” would have been a much more acceptable answer to most of them. The fact that I simply don’t have an interest in alcohol, the fact that I’m 30 years old and have never had a beer, seems to strike most people as just damn “odd.” I’ve never felt the need to apologize for it, it’s just part of who I am. Just like I like Depeche Mode, and raspberry mochas, and men in Levi’s. This same principle applies to just about everything. If you have conservative—dare I say Amish—customs, and you interact with people who are more progressive, then you’re the one who’s going to have to deal with the explanations. But do think of them as explanations, and not apologies. I don’t think anyone expects an apology for such things, and if they do they’re not worth your time, anyway.

As for your argument about questioning things, I think that is part of getting into the physical, living-your-actual-life realm. We live, we observe, we question, we seek truth. If you’re comfortable with the answers you’ve found through God or the Mormon Church, I think that’s great. I think it’s unfair of you, however, to criticize others who are still searching, or who find certain things that may be the answer for you to not be the answer for them. As I’m sure you’ll agree, one’s relationship with God is personal and we all discover the ins and outs of that relationship over time on His schedule.

4. I’m not even going to go there.

Glad to see life has blessed you with many gifts, and good to hear that you are well.

La Yen said...

Um, I am sorry if you think I am criticizing anything other than the Dooce post about why she is no longer a Mormon and the list of people griping and griping about something that is a huge part of my heritage. (I would not be here but for polygamy.)I did not mean this to be an argument over my beliefs. And I am sorry I was mean to you in 5th grade.

And isn't it a little off to be telling me God's relationships with us are personal, and that everyone is entitled to find their own way out of whatever box they are in, except for me and my personal arguments to myself as I figure out how I want to live the next 30 years, and my personal beliefs? Not nice. So we are even.

Pbbth.

celluloidZEN said...

Judging from your response, I can only assume you didn't read my comment at all.

To put it simply (I do tend to be wordy):

1. Never apologize for who you are, or where you came from. You're a person worthy of acceptance regarldess of how others perceive these things.

2. Never tell someone they are unworthy of acceptance—from you, from God, from anything—based on their difference of custom or belief from yours.

3. A person's lack of ability to have blind faith (which I admire in people like you, really) does not indicate a weakness or character flaw, as stated in your comment on CJane.

If you took anything else from my comment, you should really re-read it. If you were offended, you should re-read it, and try not to take anything written personally, certainly do not take anything as a personal attack against you.

With regards to your apology, I guess thank you? To be honest, I really don't remember that much about you. I remember that you were goofy, blonde, funny, sarcastic, you wore glasses (I think they were clear framed, but with a pink tinge to them), and I remember you occassionaly helping me with my math before recess. As for being "even," I wasn't aware that we were at odds with one another.

The sad thing is that, when Kayt told me you were here, I almost emailed you, just to say, "Hi, how are you?" Perhaps, if I had, you would not have read my comment with a defensive attitude. :-(

Perhaps you remember something different about Fifth grade than I do. Clearly you remember something that led you to feel the need to apologize. And that something must have been pretty bad for me to completley block it out and you to remember it twenty years later.

Kayt, I still really enjoyed your post, and I've finally gotten around to writing about it on my blog. Check it out.

Azúcar said...

I guess that I've never understood why so many of the things you've listed as being against "our" version of Jesus are construed to be that way. God loves all of us, no matter what. Period. Doesn't matter what you look like, your orientation, gender, whatever. Any Mormon who tells you differently hasn't read their BofMs lately.

I'm a liberal, I vote Democrat, I attend the Temple and go to Mormon church every week--there are many of us. None of these are mutually exclusive.

I understand what La Yen is saying, all of this is HER PERSONAL journey, none of us really have a right to attach any judgement on that. The very fact that she is so self-examining is a real inspiration to me on my own journey. No matter what she decides, it is right for her and her loved ones.

Kayt is on her own journey, one that is hers and hers alone. I loved this entry, it really got me thinking. I would quibble with the generalization that Mormons are "conservative." Not all of us, and not with a broad general brush.
If all our questions were resolved early in our lives, what would there be left to live for?

LuckyRedHen said...

Nothing to say - there's been so much already. I LOVE witnessing thought - whether I agree or not. Thanks for the read! :o)

Nicole said...

Really well said and written.

I was raised Catholic and went to University at Southern Utah University which was really not easy at times.

I lost my faith when I stopped believing in the Devil. :)

I remember once one of my Mormon housemates came to Mass with me and the priest (who was Polish- he really didn't understand young American Catholics- especially Young American Catholics going to uni in small town Utah) and he said in his sermen that he "knew the end of the world was not near because the entire world wasn't Catholic."

I was so embarrased.

Good for you for making your releigion work for you. Ultimately that's what it should be about isn't it? You living your life in the best way you can with everyone else?

I'm more Wicca now if I were to say I'm anything. . . Do what thou wilt but harm none. It kinda covers everything.

There is one part in the Catholic Mass that is G-d for me. . . You turn to your neighbour, shake their hand and say, "Peace be with you."

Afterwards you are high from the good energy buzz.

Peace be with you. . .

c jane said...

As a Mormon, I believe it is my first and most important mission in this life to seek and embrace truth no matter where it is or when it was discovered.
Thanks Lulu for writing about all the truth that you have found. I loved reading it. Life is more beautiful when our minds are well-fed.

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