Sunday, April 24, 2011

What I Wish I Heard: April 24th Happy Resurrection Day!

Sacrament Meeting:
What I heard: youth speaker defining faith as belief, not knowing. We can express our belief as in " I have faith in...."
What I wish I heard: that's all our testimonies need to be. We don't need to know. It's a cultural and not doctrinal proactive that comp ells us to say we know in testimony.

What I heard: faith is not knowing much about something but still believing anyway.
What I wish I heard: the trial of faith that comes is when learning a little more that can lead to questioning and thinking we know enough to reject our belief. But verily, faith is not having a perfect knowledge, which knowing can only come from having all information, the knowledge that only god possesses. Faith means that even in the light of new knowledge, we still believe and have hope that at some future point we will receive all knowledge, the kind that comes with all information, and the skill to see how it all works together.

What I heard: The resurrection is the most important day in the history of the world
What I wish I heard: without the atonement, the resurrection would be the saddest ebent in the history of the world. The atonement, then, is the most important even in the history of the world. Though like birthies argue, you could say that the creation of people was most important, or the fall from innocence in the garden of Eden. Or, let's just admit that hyperbole does a disservice in a church where people take things SO literally. 

What I heard: Gnosticism mentioned and the Gospel of Thomas quoted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
what I wish I heard: choirs of angels singing pointing to everyone present that we can be more scholarly and broad in our studies. 

What I heard: BYU has an apocryphal literature class. I wish I had known about it when I was at BYU, even though I wasn't ready for it. Now that I am, BYU looks like a good place for Peter to work so can take the religion classes I would enjoy.

What I heard: parable of two paths. Choosing the right is the right choice.
What I wish I heard: doing a heart of darkness inversion in using the left as the right choice

Sunday school
What I heard: ah-men at the end of a prayer, rather than A-men

What I heard: a covenant is a non- negotiable contract ( from my husband) example is homeowner associations

What I heard: Abrahams father attempted to sacrifice him, then later Abraham was commanded to sacrifice his son.
What I wish I heard: how would that experience Abrahams view of his father? Could be find respect their for other religious views, find the good in his fathers commitment to his religious belief?

Relief Society:
What I heard: fundamentals of following the prophet
What I wish I heard: benson was an apostle at the time, it was originally given at a BYU devotional, and the people who quoted him were seventies. The fundamentals are not words of prophets, past or present.

What I heard: stories of people following the prophet in the scriptures, church history
What I wish I heard: stories of when the prophet was wrong; Elijah, Jonah, Joseph Smith

What I heard: the apostles are prophets too
What I wish I heard: but benson, who gave the fundamentals, defines prophet differently. He does not include the apostles in his definition of prophet. Now. 13 and 14 only include the president and his counselors.

What I wish i never heard: the prophet will never lead the church astray
What I wish I heard: kimball define what we meant by that statement. Will the prophet never make a mistake? Say the wrong thing? Speak without the Spirit? Never reject the gospel? Never break a commandment?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My Profile

Perhaps the highlight of my week, maybe month is that my profile was published complete with unorthodox and controversial content that I have been chastised for by some Mormons. Can I say that I'm feeling a little vindicated?

If was willing to publish it, and it was censored for being "false doctrine" then the Mormon doctrine police can quiet down, right?

Its not all controversy, though. I start out with a summary of my conversion story and answer questions about Why I'm Mormon and tell some personal stories. However the answers I'm most proud of and glad to see published on my profile are the following (These are the complete answers, so you'll have to click through to read my complete responses).

Why don't women hold the priesthood in the Mormon Church? How do women lead in the Mormon Church?

One of the reasons why women do not hold the priesthood in the Mormon Church is because, as President Hinckley said in an interview with an Australian reporter is that "there is no agitation for that." He seems to imply that if the members of the church were interested in women being ordained to the priesthood that a number of them ought to approach the leaders of the church expressing their interest. One faithful Mormon created a website where Mormons and non-Mormons can express their interest in women of the Mormon Church receiving the priesthood. The URL for that site is
If the leaders take the communication seriously, they have the opportunity to show the world that the Mormon church continues to receive revelation and that the church can change its practices as it better learns the mind and will of God. It would be up to the prophet and apostles of the church to counsel and pray together on the topic of women receiving the priesthood. If they can all agree that God is telling them to extend the priesthood to women, they will share that revelation with the church and the world. 
It may be that God does have a reason for women not to receive that priesthood and Mormons do believe that God can reveal his reasons through the prophet. Certainly Mormons care to learn as much as they can through revelation and they care deeply about what truly is God's will. They want to know that it really is from God and not the popular response caused by the whim of the people. Until that time, Mormon women have many opportunities to serve within the church.

What do Mormons believe about the nature of God?

Mormons believe that God's nature is that of the perfect parent. One of the greatest doctrines taught by the LDS church is that we believe we are loved by a Father and Mother in Heaven. Together, they love us with perfect knowledge of what we need to lead us to truth. They are patient, gentle, kind but firm and fair. Heavenly Father is attentive to our prayers and sends the Spirit to guide and comfort us. He also sends his Spirit to others who will be guided to help and give us comfort in our struggles.

In knowing about the existence of a Heavenly Mother and a Heavenly Father, I have a better understanding of who I am as a daughter of God. Though not much is taught about Heavenly Mother, I envision a womanly goddess who is capable, strong, intelligent and all-knowing, creative, hardworking and infinitely loving: the perfect woman and mother and equal to power and ability to God the Father. The vision I have of Heavenly Father is gentle, loving, compassionate, all-knowing, patient and sensitive: the perfect man and father. In both, I find the parents I need to feel loved, comforted, guided and supported. I am able to learn how to be a better parent and partner to my husband because of the example I envision my heavenly parents set for me.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

What I wish I heard at church April 17

What I heard: there is only one person in the world we know we can trust completely, that is God proverbs 3:4,
What I heard: cannot trust advertising, parents and prophets can be trusted
So glad I heard this message
What I wish I heard: that parents and prophets are fallible people, we can turn to god to know when to trust them

What I heard: no other god before me
What I wish I heard: a father who says, you shall have no other parent before me. Obviously that doesn't work. Heavenly mother and the father are one, both can be worshipped equally. When we pray to one, It is known to both. They love us and support each other in their role as parents. Quote the proclamation

Sunday School
What I heard: the tradition of baptism among the Jews is not known ( prior to John the baptist)
What I wish I heard; some Jewish scholar in the ward who knows and can expound on it. Where's Jared Anderson or Kevin Barney when I need him?

What I heard: revelation on how the church should operate cannot come from others who do not have the keys of the office whose duty it is to conduct church operations
What I wish I heard: non hierarchical revelation and how people of the church should feel welcome to make proposals and suggestions. When a priesthood holder is humble and loving, they will listen. Example: Joseph listened to Emma and we got the word of wisdom

Relief Society
What I heard: not judging the cause of a persons poverty and not judging what they do with charity given "what they do with the money is between them and god, what you do with the money is between you and god."
What I wish I heard: examples of this and a discussion of helping address causes of poverty and seeing true need rather than not looking for cause, difference between judging cause and addressing cause

What I Wish I Heard April 10 Testimony Meeting

What I wish I heard: someone bare testimony of heavenly mother. I felt prompted to bare testimony of heavenly mother, but time ran out. The feeling was so strong that I feel in order to act on it, I need to remember and act on it in the month of May. It was clear to me that the spirit was telling me that's what I am supposed to do.

Sunday school:
What I heard: a lesson on the priesthood
What I wish I heard: how women are affected when they are completely excluded from a lesson on the priesthood no mention in the manual at all.

What I heard: In the past the priesthood hasn't be extended to all the people it is currently extended to (used to be the tribe of Levi, then every worthy white male, now every worthy male). The Lord's requirements change over time. Left open the possibility that the requirements may change in the future.
What I wish I heard: mention that the priesthood is not currently extended to women but may be in the future. The priesthood has the responsibility to seek the will of god and make it happen. Would we know that god does not want women to have the priesthood if we never ask?

What I heard: a womans voice saying that the priesthood is the power of God to create
What I wish I heard her say: she believes womanhood receivers authority from God to create and bear young. That somehow women are or should be granted recognition that they too have the authority to act in Gods name.

What I heard: it hadn't always been that every worthy male receives the priesthood that's just how it is now.
What I wish I heard: that may be how it is now, and it can change in the future. Someday it may be conferred on women

<-------- and I said it. Later in the lesson
What I wish I had said: you can sign agitating faithfully to state you would like to see revelation sought on the matter

What I heard: it takes a sister to point out what the priesthood does
What I wish I heard: a discussion on why is that

What I heard: it's kind of a big thing to a young man to pass the sacrament
What I wish I heard: it's kind of a big thing that young women aren't allowed to pass the sacrament

What I heard: women do hold the priesthood when they marry a priesthood holder in the temple
What I wish I heard: some one point out that is false doctrine
What I wish I heard: women in some way participate in the priesthood before the sealing rite, they are participating in the priesthood in the endowment ( and initiatory as well ) it is not understood how that occurs since they are not ever ordained to the priesthood by priesthood holders ( and I said it)

What I heard: women are more spiritual and do not need the priesthood
What I wish I heard: men and women are not all that different, both can benefit from the duties of the priesthood and both can benefit from developing the qualities of perfect parenting

I like this lesson much more when it's a mixed group of male and females. This lesson sucks when it is just women in relief society.

Relief society:
What I heard: right off in a lesson on self-reliance: no one should feel bad that they need help during some times of their lives. Accepting church welfare is not shameful.

What I heard: self reliance should keep us from being dependent of others
What I wish I heard: interdependence among communities and self reliance fosters independence in communities

What I heard: emergency preparedness supplies can include birthing kits, diapers(save cloth) pamphlets on elimination communication, little potties, diva cups

What I heard: quote on emotional self reliance. Members should seek solutions for their emotional needs. Go to the church after our resources have been extinguished

What I heard: we are more capable than we think we are because we are children of god. We receive godlike power because we share traits of god.

What I heard: expecting help from others
What I wish I heard: sometimes the help doesn't come because it can't (I said it)

What I heard: you are wrong for saying that people aren't helping when you need
What I wish I heard: I'm sorry that was your experience

Sunday, April 3, 2011

What I wish I heard: Conference edition

Its Conference weekend and good news! There is less that I wish I heard in Conference than in a regular church meeting. That's a good sign, right?

Saturday April 2

Morning Session:
What I heard: Primary President describes children in the terms of the scriptures, meek, submissive. Adults should follow their example
What I wish I heard: acknowledgment that children are not inherently submissive. Most (if not all) children do not fit that description most of the time. We don't really want to follow the example of our children because then we would be completely egotistical and protecting of what we believe is ours.

What I heard: a Latin American speaker's accented English
What I wish I heard: the Latin American's home language, translated into English for English speakers like the English is translated into so many languages throughout the world.

What I heard: Quentin L. Cook said do not judge women who work
What I wish I heard: it is good for women who want to work outside of the home to do so and then praise them for their and their husband’s ability to provide and nurture their children. At this point in time, our society is not structured to support this equal sharing of child care and work responsibilities. Families are working to find solutions that work for them, provide for their family's needs and do not marginalize the talents and abilities of either mother or father.

Statistical report:
What I heard: humanitarian report
What I wish I heard: the total amount given in fast offerings to local communities throughout the world in the last year. Last year, the Ensign reported that the church has given $1 billion in humanitarian relief in the last 2 decades but they did not report any estimates of fast offerings that did not go to world wide efforts but stayed in local units. That amount will likely be staggering.

Sunday morning:
What I heard: Presiding Bishop described the origins of the Welfare program and prophet's statements of prioritizing humanitarian efforts in front of temples, etc if needed.
What I wish I heard: The church is trying to find new ways to increase the amount of aid that goes out to the world. All the profits from the Salt Lake downtown revitalization project will go to humanitarian efforts throughout the world.

What I loved hearing! It is our duty to do what we can to make the world a better place.

What I heard: President Monson said If you have a temple nearby, go to the temple more often.
What I wish I heard: It can be hard for parents of young children to go to the temple frequently. Grandparents, help your adult children go by babysitting. Ward members, young men and women, help young families go.

Sunday afternoon:
What I loved hearing! Elder Christoffersen counseling us to take criticism/ feedback in a positive way. If we do not, the person who loves us enough to correct us will stop offering that feedback and progression is halted. Begin to self-correct.

What I heard: A Seventy said pay tithing even when there is a concern about having enough and your lack will be made up to you.
What I wish I heard: Sometimes the lack in not made up and...this is a good case where inspired wisdom from the Lord's anointed.
Also what I wish I heard: Mormons don't have the monopoly on tithing. Moral secularism is riding the tithing train now too, encouraging every person throughout the world to give a portion of their income to alleviating poverty and making the world a better place ( The church will soon begin having to defend itself that they aren't giving enough to humanitarian efforts.

What I heard: C. Scott Grow
What I thought: teeheehee

What I loved hearing: Seventy said to do identify a child's behavior as a characteristic of that child's identity.

What I loved hearing : Holland saying "little bedlamites." The littles are a new name.

What I heard: A very slow, soothing, sleep inducing rendition of "More Holiness Give Me."
What I wish I heard: something stirring and that doesn't take up more time than the prophet was given to speak. Most people I know don't do too well after sitting for hours, so close to the end listening to something so long. As least they're not running over time. This time.