Showing posts with label self worth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label self worth. Show all posts

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Who is Grandma Beth?

      The week before we left for Oregon, I had gone to the school to pick up Jenna. I was reading a book from my own collection and not the library as the parking lot started to empty. I wondered if she was dawdling again before I realized it was Thursday and she has an after school program. So my choices were to go home and return or continue reading.  Or hey, I could just go to the library that was near her school.  I chose the latter.

       I looked through a few titles before picking up: “Girl’s Best Friend” from the Maggie Brooklyn Mystery series by Leslie Margolis.  It was interesting enough, but thought it might be fun for Jenna and I to read together.  And so I continued to look for another book before I settled on “A Million Ways Home” by Diana Dorisi Winget.  I ended up reading both at the same time and proceeded to mix up the characters and plots – at least in the beginning.

      Both involved girls in 6th or 7th grade.  Both involved dogs – though Maggie walked dogs in New York while Poppy assisted at a shelter in Washington.

Jenna and I took turns reading aloud from “Girl’s Best Friend” – I often laughed at the wording from story.  When I read “A Million Ways Home” it was to myself.  I often cried.  Not a good book for me personally to read out loud.  I really did enjoy it.  It was the book I was trying to finish up before we went to Oregon.

The story starts out with Priscilla Parker (who goes by Poppy) in a children’s shelter.  She’d been placed there when her grandma had taken ill.  She believed that her grandma would get better.  She believed that she would be able to care for her when she left the hospital.  Her grandma could not return home after the hospital, but was sent to a nursing home to recuperate.  Poppy believed she could care for her grandma every bit as good as the rest home.  There was so much about her current situation that she did not understand.

Her own parents had been killed before Poppy turned one.  She had been left in her grandma’s care for all that time.  She tried to make the best of the situation at the shelter, but that’s NOT where she wanted to be.

In searching for her grandmother, and losing her way, Poppy witnesses a crime and is placed in a protective custody with the detective’s mother.  Poppy visits her grandmother – sometimes without permission and does her best to continue in protective custody so she doesn’t have to return to the shelter.

I feel for the character.  I feel her love.  I feel her pain.  I understand her choices.  I really loved this book.

After we got to Oregon, Jenna asked me, “Who is Grandma Beth?”

The first thing that came to mind was the book “A Million Ways Home” – as the name of Poppy’s grandmother is Beth.  But how would Jenna know that?  It wasn’t the book that we were reading together.  And then it occurred to me that I had mentioned that we’d be visiting “Graham and Beth” and Jenna had heard “Grandma Beth”

We never finished “Girl’s Best Friend” as she seemed to have lost interest and I returned it back to the library two days before it was due.  Perhaps we'll check it out again some other time.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Women of Righteousness - Our Role in the Work of Salvation

         I’m not good at taking notes at conferences or Spiritual meetings.  I get so caught up in trying to get the exact quote or comment or whatever that I end up missing on so much more.

Last night there was a Relief Society stake activity called “Women of Righteousness” featuring artist Megan Rieker.  I didn’t think the event well advertised  - at least in our ward.  I honestly didn’t know what to expect.

Turned out to be a truly eventful night.  And I learned things – not just about the artist paintings but discoveries within the past as well as my own self.

I’d taken an art appreciation class several years ago in order to appreciate fine art more than I do.  It backfired.  I often rolled my eyes when learning about contrast and balance and was more unappreciative about the entire fine art world long before the class was over. I started looking at paintings and wore less-than-flattering expressions.  I didn’t have an eye for art before I took the class.  I still don’t.  I appreciate hearing about it almost as much as I love algebra – though I do understand the concept of art a lot better than any mathematical terms. 

The paintings themselves weren’t as appealing to me as the stories behind them or choosing the model or the prayer involved.

The first painting she showed us was of Ester.  While explaining it, she shared a quote from one of James E. Faust talks taken from the October 1995 priesthood session of conference. (Interesting that it was from Priesthood)

“The Lord has a great work for each of us to do. You may wonder how this can be. You may feel that there is nothing special or superior about you or your ability.”

As I was following along with her reading, I thought, “You’ve got that right.  Nothing special about my talents that I would be called to be the enrichment leader.  That is crazy.”

“The Lord can do remarkable miracles with a person of ordinary ability who is humble, faithful, and diligent in serving the Lord and seeks to improve himself.”

Well, I’ve got two out of three.   I’m definitely not humble.  Not even close.  Though I feel I may be closer than to where I was 10 – 25 years ago.  Is that why I’ve been called to this position?  So I can humble myself?  There’s an interesting thought.

         I hadn’t actually noticed too many sisters from my ward.  It was during the Ester painting when Joni came in and sat down next to me.  She had gone to the wrong building.  

         Our stake center is actually the smallest stake center I have ever seen – smaller than any of the ward houses.  It doesn’t have a font for baptisms.  That is in another building we refer to as “the south building” Most stake activities are held at the south building rather than the stake building – but that’s beside the point.

         Joni made a few comments throughout Megan’s discourse.  I really didn’t mind.  It’s usually me that is making remarks.  I did not share what thoughts were already in my head.

The next painting was the one that appeared on the card that was handed out to each sister as she walked through the door.  Megan kept referring to it as “The Five Wise” but the flip side of the card says, “The Hour Draws Nigh”

She talked about the work that went into this piece that had taken over two years to create.  She took photographic pictures to illustrate the steps that she took.

Meanwhile Sally DeFord (along with Valarie Olson) was creating a musical piece called “The Painter’s Hand” and was looking for illustrations to go along with it.   Megan then showed us this video

At the conclusion she expressed though the steps may have been important to the video, she didn’t feel like the entire painting itself actually related.  But I think it does. 

Five wise virgins waiting for the master who can make a masterpiece of all of them if they but will it.  The painting expresses that they do.  They are just five of his masterpieces.

          Megan then moved onto a painting which had the name of the pioneer woman, and she read from her journal (the women’s) but I for the life of me cannot find the name of the woman.  It started with a J.  You can read a passage of her journal entry at this site along with other illustrations of Megan’s beautiful work.

         No, I’m not trying to promote her work.  I never even heard of Megan Rieker until last night. There are more to view than what I saw last night, and if the reader would like to know what they look like, I've chosen a link option.

         I suppose the painting that touched me the most was the last one that she showed.  It wasn’t framed as she had just barely finished. (reader can find the steps on Megan Rieker's facebook page) It wasn’t even the painting itself as what I had learned or had been reminded of.

         The painting was/is of two girls on a rocky path.  One is holding onto the iron rod and reaching her hand out towards the other. 

         When someone mentions “Strait and Narrow” I always think of “straight”.  I supposed most of us do.  But Megan shared the definition of “being difficult” – which made sense. Why wouldn’t it be difficult?

          Her painting actually reminded me of the pioneers’ struggles as their path was most often difficult – climbing over rocks and boulders, enduring wintery snows and cold and such.  I had never thought of it that way before, but I suppose they had their own metaphorical iron rod.  And it wasn’t an easy grasp for many of them.
         I sat next to a sister from another ward that shares our building.  The geographical boundaries in this stake are NOT on a grid.  They are broken up and very weird in my opinion.  Some of their ward boundaries overlap into our ward boundaries.  Several of their ward members are sandwiched between our ward members.  Strange.  I personally think the stake boundaries ought to be redone.  But that is just my opinion.  I don’t have (nor will ever have) the authority to change them.

         I realize that changing the boundaries would upset the membership a little bit – but in time it would be worth the change and finding new friends.  Often Mormons are so caught up in going to meetings and such that they overlook social opportunities.  We get caught up in a routine and robotic moves that we often don’t notice “the forest for the trees”

I’d never met this particular sister before, but she actually lives closer to me than the few members I did see from my own ward.  I asked Sister Gustar if she would take me home. She has put herself in a position of playing chauffeur and nobody else seemed to mind. I actually live closer to her house than the other two from her ward that she dropped off at their homes. I have often walked by her house without even having known it.

         Overall, it was a really worthwhile night.  I not only saw "women of inspiration" through the paintings.  I have met many as well. 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

I Love to See the Temple . . . at least from a distance

I don’t know why I feel compelled to post my thoughts on the temple.  I certainly don’t want my opinions to seem like desecration to what many value so dear and sacred.  But I don’t have that sacred spiritualness.  For the most part entering the temple (to me) seems discriminatory and overall (more than any other emotion) I have felt lonely being there.  And I know I’m not alone with how I feel towards attending the temple.  I have at least two other family members who have also gone out of obligation but have walked away with less than satisfactory desire to return.

Recently I filled out this survey for LDS woman to get opinions mostly on plural marriage – which I actually don’t have a problem with in the hereafter.  The survey also asked for feedback  with the sealing process made in the temple.  I would have answered the survey questions a lot differently just two years ago than I did this week when I took this survey.  I do have a hang-up with so much that takes place in the temple – sealings being high on the list.

Roland and I were not allowed to marry in the temple at the time we were married civilly.  Though he and wife #2 had been divorced, they were still sealed to one another in “the eyes of the Lord”.  In order for Roland and I to get sealed in the temple, we needed a clearance from wife #2 – which she saw as leverage to control us – well, Roland in particular.  I don’t know why she continues with membership in the Church – or why she hasn’t been called to a disciplinary counsel.  She may not admit desire for following in Satan’s footsteps – and yet she does.  Almost as though she idolizes him.  And so it was as if our fate to be sealed in the temple was dependant on Satan herself.  That doesn’t seem fair.

Our civil marriage was thrown together after months of postponing and changing the date and hoping to be sealed.  It was what I’d been taught all of my life.  It’s what I was told to strive for.  And I was content with my civil marriage but somehow wouldn’t allow myself to feel complete.

Roland and I were able to do sealings for the dead.  I would cry each time we did them.  It didn’t seem fair that I could be sealed for others but not for myself.

In this earlier post I gave three reasons why I had given Jenna my maiden name, but I left one out.  When I was pregnant with her and Roland and I were still not sealed to one another, he was told by the bishop that Jenna was automatically sealed to him – and his first wife.  Oh, I get to carry the child for nine months but she can’t be sealed to me?  And yet Deborah (Roland’s first wife) was taken from earth while the boys were all young.  6, 4 and 3.  Plus the unborn twin boys that were taken when she was. 

One of the reasons I agreed to marry Roland is because he was already sealed to Deborah and so he could obtain Celestial glory with her while I may be destined to obtain “angelhood”  in another kingdom.

Roland and Deborah were sealed in the temple a week before she passed.  I raised boys – well from the time they were 11, 12 and 14 – so it seemed okay that she would get to raise my girl in the hereafter.  But she would still have my family name - at least while on earth.

How does that work anyway?  The entire sealing thing?  I mean, won’t the majority of us be adults in the hereafter?  It’s not as if we will be “raised” in the same way which we are on earth, does it?

Our knowledge of the hereafter is actually quite limited.  We don’t know how we’re going to feel or how it’s all going to “work out” or what we will be.  Based on my earth knowledge, the Celestial kingdom just doesn’t seem inviting to me personally.  Oh, I strive for a Celestial life because it’s been conditioned into me that that is what I want – but it really isn’t.  The very idea of creating worlds and living in spiritual and perfect glory honestly doesn’t appeal to me.  Too out of my comfort zone to maintain living in white clothing while playing harps (so to speak).  Although that’s just how heaven in perceived by some, doesn’t mean that is how we will spend all eternity.  At least I hope not.  But I certainly don’t want to be cast into hell either.

Growing up I had always heard:  “Any kingdom below Celestial Glory might as well be hell, because you’ll be all alone and you will always regret your decisions thinking ‘I could have made it’” Okay, I’m paraphrasing – and I had never actually heard that from leaders but rather cocky youth who’s minds worked like mine did because that's how we were conditioned to believe.  
 I don’t mean for it to sound like I resent the Church or Temple attendance.  I still have love and respect – but I also have hang-ups.  And though I had agreed with the un-Celestial/hell thing, I don’t anymore.

Jeanie and Biff have decided that they will be married civilly before they are sealed.  They were planning on being sealed.  They had set up a time and place from what I understand.  But guess what?  Jeanie’s first husband has a say.  They are still sealed.  The clearance presents all this red tape that is every bit as frustrating (perhaps even more so than) as it is with the government.   
I think that’s what bothers me the most – all of the politics that have crept into the Church – leading me to believe that the church and the temple are both run by the leadership of imperfect men and not always by inspiration.

My attitude now is a lot different than just a couple of years ago.  If Jeanie and Biff never get married in the temple, so be it.  It’s not as though they hadn’t tried.  And I expect their civil marriage will be far more beautiful than anything I’ve ever seen in the temple.  They are currently at the temple right now – just not as husband and wife.

I know that by the time Roland and I were finally sealed, it just seemed somewhat rushed and very impersonal.  And I was not alone in feeling that way – though there were several in attendance who thought it was the greatest thing ever.  Truthfully, I have only attended one sealing in which the officiator really seemed to know the couple – and provided a sense of comfort that I had not seen at any other.  The ceremony was very well attended.  For some it was standing room only.  Thus in that aspect it really wasn’t comfortable physically. 

There are some sealings I haven’t attended because of the high population of family being smooshed into even the largest of sealing rooms.  And there are many I was unable to attend before I was of age to have my own recommend.   
There is a waiting room for those who cannot go through the session with their loved ones.  Big whoop.  “Here’s a place to sit and wait for your loved one who is getting married which you can’t participate in witnessing because you are not worthy”

I don’t actually know if that’s how the lot of them feel, but that is sometimes how I felt.

I do understand the sacredness of not allowing those that would be spectators with limited understanding who may desecrate the sacredness whether intentional or not.  But still – excluding family seems a huge sacrifice that one may later regret in the future. And yet there are several couples whose sacrifice have made their marriage more complete and have provided a sense of peace and closeness.

And for every story of resentment there are just as many (if not more) experiences of the positive nature.  One example comes from my friends who had made arrangements to be sealed on a specific day.  He had cancer and was strongly advised by the doctor to schedule his surgery as soon as possible.  First available date happened to be the same date of the sealing.   

The surgery was put on the back burner against the doctor’s advice.  My friends said they return to the doctor’s the day after they were sealed.  When the returned, the doctor could not find any signs of cancer.  And so I know there is a greater power behind the temple experience.  I also know that there has been heartache involved in others.  Apparently I’m one of those “others”. 

There is the joke about St. Peter showing a Protestant couple around the kingdom of heaven.  As they pass a large door St. Peter motions for them to keep quiet.  After they pass the door (while wearing puzzled expressions) one of them asks what is behind the door. 
Peter replies that the room houses all the Mormon folk who believe they’re the only ones there. 

How sad it is that so many have been conditioned to believe that very thing, for there are many outside of the LDS faith who live wholesome and Christian lives better than many who are in the Church - as though the Mormons own the title "Church" to be spelled with a capital "C"

I once had a religion instructor explain kingdoms and the individuals’ capacity.  He compared these to vessels of water.  A Dixie cup can never hold the same amount of water as the Pacific ocean, and yet a Dixie cup is capable of being full.  I can be full to my own capacity and live happily in the kingdom in which many will share the same thoughts as I. 

  I will not be happy living in man’s idea of the Celestial “mold”  As I mentioned in this post, there were more of us who ended up in the Terrestrial kingdom than the other two combined.  Overall, those are the people I would like to hang out with for all eternity.

And as Corey and I may not be able to visit my dad (according to Mormon Doctrine – as we believe he will be obtaining the greatest of Heavenly rewards) we are hoping that dad will make the time to come and visit us according to where we are (or might be)  I would like to obtain meekness to be more like my dad.  I just don’t seem to have it in me right now – though I would like to obtain that quality.  Perhaps by becoming "meek" I would have a different perspective than what I have for myself right now.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mind Games: Educating Bullies

                  I believe it was 1996 when the freeway was in the process of a new makeover as Utah would be holding the winter Olympics in 2002 and the city needed to get ready for the mass transportation that would be involved.
            I was working downtown and had chosen to ride the bus to my destination.  Often I would catch a bus which ran along State Street, but every once in a while I managed to catch the one that went by way of the freeway.  Either way I had my nose in a book during the ride.

            I recall one day in particular I was reading the autobiography of a World War II survivor from Poland.  He was only a boy when the invasion started and described the horrific scenery – which to him was not so horrific - as he thought the dirt pits and piles and military transportation vehicles offered some sense of adventure – only he learned that the “adventure” was grotesque and inhumane and not at all what he had set out for.

            As I was reading the book, I happened to glance out the window.  My mouth dropped as I looked at the dirt piles and holes in the freeway – like the rubble that had been described in the book.  But instead of German vehicles, there were yellow caterpillars – no soldiers, (but no construction workers either).  It was actually kind of eerie.

            I hate Hitler.  I hate the very thought of all the tragedy, all the crime, all the needless punishment.  I have no Christ-like compassion for Adolph Hitler – perhaps a few of his followers.  There was so much brain washing and fear.  There are not enough words in my vocabulary to describe all the hatred and anger and remorse that I feel each time I read or watch or discuss anything related to all that senseless political crime.  So why do I continue?  I admire the strength of the survivors who stayed true to themselves – who pass on their stories and experiences.  I would hope that we may take into our hearts their pain and their experiences and learn and NEVER EVER repeat that piece of history. (But then perhaps we already are – or perhaps it already exists)

            There are so many accounts from children who were sent to live in the United Kingdom – a means of protecting them – or trying to.  Some were sent to good homes.  Others were not so fortunate.  Some became slaves to those that had been forced to or agreed to take them in.  Some were able to reunite with their real families – or at least some family members.  Many more were not.

            Currently I am reading a piece of historic fiction, “Someone Named Eva” by Joan M. Wolf.  She introduces a part of history I hadn’t learned before.  Girls with blonde hair and light colored-eyes were considered the “elite” and regardless of whether they had been born in Poland or Czechoslovakia, they were “stolen” and forced to take upon a new identity and become the Aryan – the best of the German girls. 

            I am horrified at the events that took place.  In 1942 the Nazis (or Gestapo) went into the homes and ordered al l family members to leave.  They were given only a few minutes to pack.  I have read so many accounts of being allowed to pack.  For what purpose?  Their possessions were confiscated almost immediately.  Almost everything they had was taken away.  Some were able to hang on to their identity.  Many others were not.  They were caught up in Hitler Youth or the Gestapo or the Brown House or whatever – saying “Heil Hitler” first out of fear and then out of habit.  Brainwashed.  Becoming numb. Saying but not feeling.

            Some were actually so caught up in it, they willingly accepted the harshness to be a part of their lifestyle (if you can indeed call it living) to become great bullies themselves.  To actually support the cause.  To praise evil.

            The girls in this story were “stolen”.  Two had been removed from Lidice along with their families.  And then they separated.  The men were taken in one direction and children with mothers and then separated again.  Milada and Ruzha were put on a bus that took them across the border into Poland.  They didn’t know why.  They didn’t speak German.

            Another bus carried twelve girls.  They didn’t speak Czech.  They didn’t speak German either.  Finally a pretty woman translated for all fourteen girls.  It was the one and only time that she would ever translate, for they were forbidden to speak in their native tongue.  German would be their new tongue.  They’d be accepted as German girls.

            Each morning they were expected to give the “Heil Hitler” salute to a poster.  Once they learned the German language they’d be introduced to German history and mathematics.  The youngest one (Heidi) was having too hard of a time keeping up.  She spoke in another tongue and was whipped for it.  Sometime later she disappeared.  When Heidi’s sister gave up on the German education, she too disappeared. 

            Whether or not their whereabouts had been explained to the other girls wouldn’t have made a difference.  They had fed them so many lies that it was hard to know what was truth.  Ruzha (whose name had been changed to Franziska) had hardened her heart.  She was a bully and worked hard at getting the approval of the adult bullies. 

            Milada worked just as hard to separate what she’d been taught from who she wanted to be – NOT a Nazi.  She was ashamed when people thought she was.  But that’s what the Aryan wanted.  And when the war was over, couples from all over Germany were called in to “adopt” the girls.

            So now Milada (who is called Eva) is in a fancy house with a new brother and sister and mom and dad.  All blonds.  All beautiful.  Her description of a horrible smell reminds me of the horrific smell described in “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” – a discovery that makes me cringe and cry and stirs up all these emotions of pain and dismay. How could so many people have let things get out of hand the way they did?

Milada remembers her own family.  And that is where I am in the book.  

Survivors allow emotion.  Bullies forget emotion. I must be a survivor. 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

No One Can Make You Feel Inferior Without Your Concent and yet . . .

fund raisers seem necessary
for raising money for
different causes
one may go from door to door
seeking collections
usually with product that
no one wants or
can afford  or
doesnt like     

parties at both ends
feel emotion   
the recipient fells bad that
he cant contribute     
or feels anger towards
the very idea of
having walked across
the room to open
the door to something he
may not even believe in         
or resentment because he
has purchased the product
when he knows it could
have been used more wisely              

the seller (or cause promoter)
either gives up because
she is discouraged that
no one wants to buy  
or else she continues
but with an attitude full
of regret and resentment and
eventually cries because
not being able to raise funds
has made her feel like a failure
Fund Raisers Should Not Stir
Up Emotion in Such a Negative Way

missionary work seems necessary
for the benefit of
saving souls 
one may go from
door to door preaching
the gospel and
sharing a message that
others may not know 

those individuals on
each side of the door
feel emotions  
the one inside
of the house
feels anger towards
the very idea of
having waked across
the room to open
the door to something he or
she may not believe in
or resentment because she
doesnt feel the need to
change and feels that she is
being told to
change her ways         

the missionary often feels
like giving up because
he is discouraged that
no one seems to want
to hear the gospel or
else the missionary may
continue with diligence and
prayer sometimes feeling
regret and may eventually
come to resent the church
Sacrifice and Service
Should Not Stir Such
Negative Emotion

we are told that
we must be sealed
in the temple and
we are taught that
families are forever and
we are taught to live a
certain way so that
we may enter into
the temple but sometimes
there are those who
enter by themselves
because the family members
dont always lead the same values
or maybe they do but
there is one part that
doesnt seem in
harmony with the gospel

Our loved ones stand
outside feeling emotions
of anger
or respect
or admiration
or exclusion
wondering why a church
that promotes families
dont allow the family members
see their loved ones get married

and those inside
wish that their
loved ones could share
in their happy moment
and may one day
resent having excluded
certain family members and
may one day be
outside the walls
We Should Never Feel
Discrimination.  God
Doesnt Discriminate.
Man Does.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Thin Coat of Paint

I wouldn’t say that I’m a “friend” of scouting

I think Hannah is the one who made the announcement that “you are not an acquaintance of scouting, but a “friend” of scouting” 

“No I’m not,” I thought.  I have truly never been a friend.  I’ve actually had regrets about it.

I think the scouting program is a great program for those who truly want to be involved.  I guess the thing that has always bothered me the most about scouting is all the hoopla and fuss that seems to go with it.  It would be fine if there was an equal amount of hoopla given to those not even associated with scouts – if that is what’s desired. (Some of us don’t like hoopla and fuss; my brother Patrick and his oldest son truly loved scouting and were heavily involved.  My brother Corey and nephew Brian appear to have reached a point where they almost loathed it)

The boy scout program was adaptedby the LDS church in 1913 and cub scouts were adopted as a part of the primary in 1952. None of the other Church organizations require a uniform or guidelines from outside of the Church.

My mom had been a den mother to the boys when Patrick was in scouts.  I was involved in many of their activities.  It didn’t seem to be a big deal for non-scout members to participate when their parents were the leaders.  I enjoyed hanging around with them and meeting with them once a week and I especially enjoyed activities such as climbing the trail to the Timpenogous Cave or visiting Pioneer Village (located in Sugarhouse at the time) and stopping off at Snelgroves for an afterward treat.  As a recall, the majority of the boys got double scoop cones with blue bubblegum and black licorice flavored ice creams. 

I don’t remember ever feeling envious that the focus on the boys seemed to outshine the focus on the girls.  I usually always had a better time with boys than girls anyhow.  I suppose I did feel left out at times when cub scouts would earn rewards and there was always a ceremony for their achievements – not that I felt the need for a badge or material satisfaction.  I just remember sometimes wondering why so many thought the boys were so great and allowed the girls to sit on the back burner or barely be mentioned.

We didn’t have activity days – which may have been created to run parallel to the scouting program.  I don’t know.  With the girls – be it Activity Days or Young Women – the leaders focus needs to be on the girls.  Leaders should be without children when serving the girls.  So why can the scouts include non-scouts in their activities but the girls cannot? So perhaps it’s okay that they hold scouts every week while the girls hold Activity Days only twice a week.

When we moved into our current ward, I would have Jenna with me while attending Relief Society.  The scout leader invited her to participate in the activities that were planned the same night as Relief Society.  And so Jenna happily believed she was a scout.

I tried enrolling Jenna into the girl scouts program as she was not of age to participate in Activity Days – but was not successful in finding a good fit.  Oh, she enjoyed the few activities we had gone to, but we have always done things as a Juliette.  I still haven’t been able to find a good troop for her. I don't believe it is ever something I had wanted for myself, but Jenna and I have our differences.

Jenna has since had the opportunity to attend activity days and would love to attend every week.  In her mind it isn’t fair that boys get to meet every week.

We had gone to the Church Museum the day before school started.  There were two exhibits featuring the boy scouts – both of which she refused to attend out of rebellion.  She’s nine years old.  She doesn’t understand that boys (in general) seem to need more structure and may be in scouting  their entire lives and still not “get it”  whereas there’s a compassion or understanding or structure that seem to come more naturally to most girls.  But still . . .

Fund Raisers with the boys scouts happen with or without the church.  The boys go from door to door trying to raise money for their organization.  And certainly the girls will have fund raisers when they get into Young Women, but it’s not going door to door collecting money with only a receipt that may or may not be a tax write-off. 

The girls work hard and may involve others to donate baked goods or other items.  They sell product.  

Recently I read a post in which permission was given to share a post from a closed blog.  The following was brought up:

• meeting frequency- scouts are advised to meet weekly, while activity day girls are directed to meet NO MORE than twice a month

• activity types- scouting is a structured program with a clear directive to have activities of many differing types, activity days has no directive whatsoever other than "work on Faith in God for girls." The boys also have this program, but just happen to have scouting as well.
• recognition and awards- cub scouting is famous for its intricate advancement and award system, AD has no such system
• budgeting- do these programs have equal budgets?
• leaders- would a couple ever be called to lead AD groups? Why do boys have access to leaders of both genders, while girls do not? Also, cub scouts have a much higher ratio of leaders to boys than AD girls do
• formal, parent-attended pack meetings- there is no similar equivalent in the AD program.
• the Church's website- there was tab after tab on the church's primary page devoted to explaining and promoting Cub Scouting, but barely a mention of the AD program. You have to click on 'leader resources' and if you scroll down to the bottom, there's a SINGLE LINK that takes you to the SINGLE PARAGRAPH from Handbook 2 that gives direction on AD programs for leaders, and there's not much in that paragraph either.

I know that boys and girls are different – and my interpretation was not that the opinions are to treat both genders as equals but allow equal time, equal budgeting, equality in organization – not in person.  We’re all individuals who hopefully support and lift one another.  “Scouting” does not “lift” me however – or at least the political aspect and blown out manner that might send the message to some girls that they are lower class and not as important.

It is said that no one can make you feel inferior without your consent, and yet there are some members of this church who feel discrimination because there seems to be a lack of equality. And not just with our attitude towards scouting. (I've actually mentioned the feelings of discrimination in several posts.)

These are just some of my thoughts.  I have more.  Lots more.  But I had to borrow somebody else’s words to get this post. The ideas I have (or had) are so disjointed still.  I apologize that this entry may not sound polished at all.