Showing posts with label temples. Show all posts
Showing posts with label temples. Show all posts

Monday, April 21, 2014

There ARE MANY Perks to Eloping


A few of my posts have included dreams that I’ve had. Each of those posts concludes with how I don’t put much faith in dreams.  But there is one dream that I definitely interpreted to be quite meaningful.  I made a life changing decision as a result.

                  I met Roland for the first time on December 31, 2000.  He asked me out that night.  We would go downtown to celebrate the coming of the New Year.  I missed playing games with my family – a ritual I have enjoyed about New Years.

                  Roland was quite forward.  I had dismissed guys for being too forward – and none had ever been as forward as Roland had.  I didn’t understand why I felt so comfortable around him. By the end of our date we had set up a second. I don’t know if I knew then that we would be seeing the movie Castaway with Tom Hanks.




                  So during our second date, I cried and cried – not for Tom Hanks’ character, but because I thought of my dad.  Though he was never stranded on an island with a ball-turned-companion, I just remembered the frustration that dad must have felt in trying to communicate with anybody outside of his hospital bed. 

                  Roland was so gentle with me and seemed to understand.  He passed no judgment.  I was grateful for that. 

                  That night I had a dream that it was summer and my mom was trying to get all my sibs together for a family portrait.  In the dream Roland and I had been dating for six months.  He had not yet proposed, but I knew that he would be proposing.  I was wondering how to ask mom to allow Roland and the boys to be in our family picture, as I knew that we would be together by the end of the year.




                  In real life I shot out of bed.  I had met Roland only two days before.  We had only had our second date – a movie, at that. Why would I be dreaming that we would become an item?  I didn’t even know him!  I was less than thrilled about having this dream. 

                  The next day I went to work but returned home in less than four hours as I really didn’t feel well.  I told my brother that I’d be going back to bed and under any circumstances I was NOT to be disturbed.  But less than an hour later he knocked at my door to tell me that Roland was waiting for me.
                  For reals?  Or was I having another odd dream?  Roland was there to propose!  We had met just three days ago and he wanted to marry me!  Get real!  So of course my first thought was: “No, no, no, no, no . . . .”           actually the reaction was pretty much as it had been when I awoke from the dream.




               Was there a connection?  Had my dream been a personal revelation?  Was this a test?  “No – no – I can’t accept a proposal of marriage.  I don’t even know this guy.  This goes against EVERYTHING I had planned for myself.  I wasn’t even going to date a guy I had known less than a year.  And now I was getting this message to marry this complete stranger?”

                  Of course I prayed about my decision – realizing that just because I accepted his proposal did not mean I couldn’t break it off at some point.  Three days?? That’s outrageous!!

                  Since I was knee high my dad had tried to brainwash me into believing that I wanted to elope when I had the opportunity.  To be honest, I really had no idea what he meant. It wasn’t until I got much older than I realized the elopement thing was not a bad idea.  Only by the time Roland came along, dad was gone and mom didn’t want me to elope.  I think my mom saw Roland as the Big Bad Wolf and was afraid for me.

                  Roland and I had changed our wedding date several times.  As I had mentioned in this post, we had wanted to do the right thing and start our life together with a temple marriage.

                    We had the marriage certificate to present to our bishop for the following week, but he realized that he’d be out of town. And I was tired of it.  Tired of changing the date.  Tired of trying to appease everyone.  In fact, I had said to mom and brother, Corey, “why don’t you arrange a date that fits into both of your schedules and get back to us; You two make the arrangements and tell us when to show up.”
                 
                   After several tears and a talk with mom, I went into the bishop and asked if he could marry us that night or the next. Our civil marriage took place September 9, 2001. Everybody (including the groom) who came to the wedding received an eight hour notice or less.  So it wasn’t an elopement exactly, but it wasn’t planned in the way that you would think a wedding should be.

                  On September 11, terrorists attacked our nation.  If Roland and I hadn’t already been married, I would have had him drive me to Vegas upon my return home from work.  For I fully believed that the world had come to an end.  I suppose in many aspects it symbolically did.

                A month later we did an open house – mostly for the benefit of those who attended mom’s ward and made desires known that they wished I would have had a reception or something.  I purchased balloons, baskets and teddy bears for the decor and we’d gone to Sam’s Club for the hors-d'œuvre.  I think we spent 100 bucks tops.



So it wasn’t elaborate.  It worked.  I don’t ever look back on that day and say, “Oh, I wish I would have spent more money on more frivolous things.”
Okay, I’ll admit, I’ve never been overly enthusiastic about weddings.  If I have to be involved in a wedding, I have always enjoyed the simpler ones so much better than all that elaborate hoopla.  When I finally understood my dad’s wisdom, I had hoped that each of my boys would find girls who would want to elope. 

Actually, my first daughter-in-law and I have much in common as far as hoopla goes.  Her attitude pretty much matched my own.  Her family made the arrangements and she and Tony showed up.  Well, not entirely.  But I am under the impression that is how she felt.  It was important to her mom, and that is why she allowed it.  Rochelle’s mom passed away only two months after she and Tony were married.

I don’t know how much Carrie and I have in common.  She likes to visit, but Randy somehow always manages to steal her thunder.  His behavior resembles that of Captain Kirk or William Shatner where “I am important and therefore all attention should be on me”   

It was actually that behavior that Carrie found to be a turn off.  She could see right away that Randy is full of himself (which really most people don’t get because they are always awed by his charisma) I don’t recall why she agreed to go out with him, or why she allowed a second date (her description of their first date is less than flattering) but evidently had enough premonition to make a life with him.

Their wedding was expensive.  We did not contribute financially as we were on welfare when  both Randy and Tony were married to their wives. Perhaps that is part of why I have such a hang-up with the tremendous amount of money spent on weddings.  I have enough trouble  just staying afloat or trying to put food on the table.  Spending two paychecks for one-day event is OUTRAGEOUS.

Jeanie seemed all in favor of elopement initially.  But I think Biff wanted the hoopla – and what they had in mind initially seemed tasteful.  They would get married in the temple and have a luncheon with the family.  They wouldn’t send out announcements to friends until several weeks later to invite them to some kind of reception to pay a congratulations to the couple. At least that was my understanding.

But then it changed.  And changed again.  They couldn’t marry in the temple as they had planned and so they decided just to marry civilly.  They would include family members and have a luncheon afterward.  Later when they were granted temple marriage, they would have a reception to include all family and friends.

We received the announcement of their civil marriage and have been planning for that for over a month.  Two weeks ago Roland received a text from Biff to please escort him in the temple.  They are having their temple marriage on Friday and have changed their civil marriage to something else to accommodate those that are coming on Saturday. 

Two weeks is quite a healthy notice.  It’s not like Biff rushed into a proposal only three days after having met Jeanie.  And they have given us a lot more than just eight hours notice.  I can’t help but wonder what kind of example we set for them though. 

Still no scheduled reception – at least   that I know of.  I wonder if they are still planning on having more.  I think elopement would have been so much easier.  Definitely less expensive.  I can still plant the seeds for Jenna.  Let her know the pros and the cons.  I mean, it would be nice if we could afford something elaborate for her.  But gads, all that money for just one day?  Why not put the money towards a house or tuition or something that you will have with you with more than just a memory?


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.

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
charities 
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
themselves
We Should Never Feel
Discrimination.  God
Doesnt Discriminate.
Man Does.





Monday, February 11, 2013

To Be or Not To Be Beyond the Walls


       
This year the Church created a new format for teaching the youth.  Our theme for the month of February is on the Plan of Salvation.  The website and brochure give guidelines and suggestions, but it is up to the instructor of seminary, Young Men’s, Young Women’s or Sunday School to allow him or herself to be guided by the Spirit to come up with meaningful lessons that will make an impact on the youth.  It beats the same outline and manual that we shared with the adults last year (and I suppose every year prior)

Last week I introduced self worth and service as part of the plan and had a tremendous amount of examples – including relating the ideas that have been shared in the video “Man’s Search forHappiness” (Didn't the Church put out a more updated version?)

The lesson itself seemed to go okay but I also seemed to lose my train of thought rather early in the lesson. I ended quite early and asked for a closing prayer.  But as it was so early, I asked the class to remain seated and allowed my overly quiet class to talk about whatever was on their minds.

I’ve been putting more thought and preparation into my lesson for next week – which thus far seems to be taking me in the direction of the three kingdoms – though I haven’t really felt inspiration so much as incomplete thoughts.

I’m not discouraged particularly, but I feel myself delving deeper into places where I don’t necessarily want to be – or would like to share with the class rather.  For example, I have read some opinions given on object lessons discussed in this site  as well as some others. Actually, I have been somewhat intrigued by some of my searches, but it’s not where I want to take the class.

I remember a fireside that had been hyped up with advertisement of going to Hawaii or some other destination.  All the advertisements were geared to our moment of “travel” – only the fireside had been presented to the adults about a month or two before the youth were given the opportunity.

Mom had come home from the adult fireside.  She had enjoyed the presentation and had enthusiastically shared with me that which had taken place.  It sounded (to me) like a really good fireside. And I remember wishing I could have gone – not realizing that I would be at a future date.

When I had gone to the youth fireside one or two months later, I’d forgotten about the fireside mom had shared with me.
First the group was taken to the passageway that is nestled between the chapel and the cultural hall.   The chairs had been set up similar to how they appear in a commercial airline. We had been given plane tickets in small official looking folders. As we boarded the plane, we were given leis as I recall. I don’t recall there having been a specific flight number.  I just recall the destination.  I thought it would result in a luau.  But no . . .

The flight attendant demonstrated safety devises as the pilot made announcements over the intercom.  The flight was underway.  We listened to Hawaiian music.  And then our plane crashed.  It was then that I realized what was in store.  I don’t know if it would have developed a different impression if I hadn’t already known what was going to happen.  But I had already experienced this crashed flight and results through mom.

We were told that everybody aboard had died upon impact and that there were no survivors.  Our guide showed us around taking us from one kingdom to the next explaining why we were there and who the candidates were (are) for each kingdom.

We were taken to two other rooms before entering the chapel to see all of our leaders dressed in white and were told that we had made it to the highest kingdom.  I don’t remember how I felt right then.  But I did walk away from the object lesson almost as impressed as my mom had been.  I thought it well done. Well illustrated.  There were many of us who did.  It hadn’t occurred to me that there were some that had been freaked out by the object lesson or uncomfortable or turned off or other emotions that were quite opposite from the ones I had felt.

I was to attend at least two more similar firesides. Both in the mission field.  The first was after I had been in the field for a month.  I was part of a tripanionship (three sister missionaries serving a one unit) and we portrayed the flight attendance and arranged for participants to learn their parts.

Brother Croft did an outstanding job as the pilot.  Our flight number: 307.  There was no divider between the cultural hall and chapel.  We used the stage as our airplane.  We passed out hand-made tickets in homemade folders and passed out leis (I believe)

Bro. Croft recorded music and provided great sound effects for the crash.  He had also given us eerie sounds to be played while the participants were led passed a dark room representing outer darkness – which not all firesides provided. We were told who would be sent to outer darkness and fortunately nobody in the group qualified.

 A lot of non-Mormons had been invited to the fireside and attended.  Upon seeing the bishop and his family on the stand in the chapel – which represented the highest kingdom – many laughed.  Many said: “No way.”  Too many saw a flawed family and wouldn’t accept the symbolism. 

The last time I attended the fireside was later the following summer.  I had served in the area for only a month and only knew a handful of members. I was with a companion who had a hard time getting along with any of her former companions.  It was actually a tough area for me.

The ads that were created to hype up the fireside were not for a flight to Hawaii.  We would be taking a train to the Orients.  As soon as we were seated, I figured out that the train would crash. But before the train went underway, each table (yes, we were seated at tables that had been set in two rows) we were given board games to play.  And I was actually so wrapped up in the game that I forgot about what was about to take place – until the lights went out and we were pronounced dead.

When we entered the chapel which was supposed to represent the highest kingdom, I started to cry.  I didn’t know many that were on the stage.  I was with a companion I wasn’t getting along with.  None of my family was there.  Just a bunch of strangers.  It did not represent Celestial glory – or if it did, it was not where I wanted to be.


          As I have gone through my research, I have also come across thissite  We made a mistake – we offended someone – apparently lots of someones.  We created an irreverence when we were trying to illustrate something good and wholesome.  That is what we were trying to do?


          People make mistakes.  Members make mistakes.  Doctrines are misinterpreted.  Things get misconceived.  It’s not that we are trying to be deceptive or opinionated.  That’s why it is so important to pray.  We need to learn for ourselves if something is right or if it has been misrepresented – if it’s our own lack of understanding or if it is the instructors . . . God is never wrong.  It is best to ask him than to take word for it.  It is best that we communicate with God and learn for ourselves what he expects of us individually and receive our own personal revelations.

          There had been one more fireside/activity that I remember from college – although not in detail – nor can I find an activity suggestion that is similar.

          Back in 1981-1982, the ratio (at was then Ricks College) was approximately 3 ½ girls to every guy.  The ward and family home evening activities provided more drastic – being about 5-6 girls to every guy.  There were two Relief Societies, but only one priesthood.  The statistics were pretty much the same throughout my life.

          At this activity, each of us were given four yellow tickets (actually, I don’t remember the exact colors nor do I know if they’re symbolic in any way, but that’s not pertinent to how I personally felt by the end of the night)

          We were given a choice of activities in which to choose from.  We could purchase a healthy drink or a more worldly one (of course worldliness at Rick’s college couldn’t have been more powerful than extra sweetened lemonade or perhaps orange soda pop) I would guess to represent the word of wisdom. 
          There was a fortune teller or a scripture booth (I’m just guessing about the scripture booth; I forgot the fortune teller’s equivalent).  There was also a room which represented a chapel for civil marriages or a room which represented temple marriage.  I forget what two situations represented the last choice that we were given.

          I hadn’t connected the dots back then, but I suppose the tickets that each of us were given represented time – and the markers would tell the “angels at the gate” just how we spent that time.

          I couldn’t get a pretend recommend to marry in the pretend temple because of the ratio thing.  I had made two wise choices, but realizing I would not be able to use a yellow ticket for temple marriage, I made a poor choice (knowing full well that it was the wrong choice) and went to the fortune teller – because what the hey.  I wasn’t going to find a partner to get married either civilly or eternally.

          Besides, Lucy was playing the fortune teller.  She had dropped by our apartment earlier that week to see if any of us had a flashy skirt which she could use.  Lucy was talented and funny.  I knew she would make a great fortune teller.

          Each time we made a choice, we were to turn in a yellow ticket and were given another color. 
          When the activities were completed, we passed through a door and would give our four tickets to one who “stood at the gate” and were ushered to our destination.  I had one yellow ticket, one orange and two blue. 

I ended up in the “Terrestrial” section along with more than half the ward.  As I recall there were only two couples (only four people) that had made it to the Celestial glory (the highest kingdom within the LDS Church) and only a few loners had been led to the Telestial (the lowest kingdom) section.  And I remember thinking to myself (even then) “This isn’t fair.  It’s not my fault that I’m still single.  It isn’t most of our faults.  We just happen to outnumber the guys.”

          I understood the activity and understood the concept that was being taught, but it felt like discrimination.  I had tried to get into the temple, but was robbed of that privilege because I had no partner – no guy partner.  And it had to be a guy.  It didn’t seem to matter much if I loved him or not – just so long as I “had done the right thing”

          I felt discriminated because I was single.  I felt discriminated because it wasn’t my fault.  I felt like I had been judged unfairly.  I was not happy with the results.  And as I looked around, those I felt closest to had all ended up in the same kingdom as I.  And I thought, “If this experiment really is accurate of the results to come, I don’t even want the Celestial Kingdom.  It looks lonely” (as there were a number of empty chairs)

          It didn’t occur to me then that my baby brother would grow up and be asked to leave the Church – well, not him personally – but that his records would be removed.  It didn’t occur to me that one day the Church would discriminate against him and his partner and deny them the blessings that actually so many of us are denied – because of civil marriage or feminism or acting upon same sex attraction or even black members for many years or for exploring beyond the walls. It doesn't appeal to me to live in a kingdom that discriminates.

          I do have more thoughts on the subject of going beyond the walls, but will have to save it for another post as my thoughts are not really in a well written order.  Perhaps this is not either.  How great there is to have an editing tool.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Easing My Way Into Yet, Another Routine



          When Jenna was in the first grade, I would drop her off before school started.  Often I would park and walk around the adjoining neighborhoods.  Sometimes I would go to the temple and sometimes I would remain at the school and offer my assistance.  I made copies for Jenna’s teacher once a week.

Before school let out I would return for her – though she and her friend Isaac were always the last two across the field.  It didn’t bother me if she dawdled.  I would just assume NOT deal with school traffic.  When she was attending first grade I was usually the only car left by the time she arrived to the parking lot.
         
          I had a similar routine for the first six weeks of second grade.  And then she gave her name and number to a classmate who happens to live in our same zip code.  His mother and father both work a graveyard shift and don’t return to their house until after school has started.  So his grandma would take Don to school – if she was up.  Apparently grandma was not reliable.

          So when Don’s mom read our address, she called me to see if we could car pool.  If it was okay, I would drop them off and she would pick them up.  That would be great!  I was not an avid clock watcher and had actually missed a few days with picking Jenna up on time. 

Don’s mom was grateful to count on more reliable transportation for Don – and I was equally excited about not having to watch the clock.  And as we live further north of the school, I have always believed that I am getting the better end of the bargain.

          In October of 2011, we got our dog, Highness.  Two or three times a week I would allow Highness to ride in the car with us and after I dropped off the kids, Highness and I would take a walk. I would still go to the temple, put in volunteer work, help out at the school and visit my mom in addition to my household duties and spending time at the computer. 

          Even at the beginning of 2012 I remember walking the dog, attending the temple – though it wasn’t as often.  Nor were my services to the school.  I started spending more time with mom.  I stopped taking Highness with me when I dropped the kids off at school.  My routine was slowly changing.  When Corey went out of town, I was forced to put myself on a schedule. 

          My niece and her husband had moved into mom’s basement.  She teaches and he goes to school.  He created a site for each of us to know who would be with mom during what hours so that she would never be alone. Unfortuneatly there were a few gaps when she was by herself.

          So by the time third grade started, I was dropping off the kids and driving to moms – sometimes to the cannery.  I don’t think I had gone to the temple since one time in summer.  My routine had come to rallying around mom.  I had even stopped going to the cannery after a while.  On those days that I wasn’t with mom, I was looking into many different communities that offered assisted living.  And we needed one with memory care.

          Now we don’t have to be on a specific schedule about seeing mom – though it is nice that we still communicate and keep in touch about making plans.  For instance, Sunny had decided it would be good to take mom on an outing – away from her new home.  She contacted each of us to make sure it wouldn’t interfere with our own plans.

          I attempted to start another routine.  Last Tuesday I went to the temple for the first time in probably five months.  I hadn’t been to the Jordan River Temple since it had been remodeled. There somehow seemed to be more space and an ornate elegance that invited all that is sacred and holy. I felt like a stranger – almost as though I didn’t belong. 

          That was my only attempt – to start a routine.  Haven’t built myself a routine either last week or this week.  I haven’t even been out to see mom as regularly as I had planned. Mother Nature has interfered. But perhaps it’s best for her.  Perhaps she can make a better adjustment with being where she is.  I don’t know.