Sunday, June 19, 2011

The new Mormon Women healers

I am getting to know some LDS women in my area who sell essential oils through one of those pyramid schemes. I signed up too as a product consultant so I could benefit from the classes, wholesale discounts, and the possibility that I might be able to passively make some money through online marketing. So if you want to buy some essential oils from me, you can shop from my blog: Descent into Motherhood and click on the DoTerra logo on the right sidebar or use this link. I'll be posting at Descent about the cool things I learn.
The ladies I've met are so kind and loving. We have connected on that plane where we are all women trying to be  healers to our family and we are working together and supporting one another as we learn, trading tips, information etc.

I've been really concerned with my daughter's health due to a probable staph infection that is causing legions and sores on her skin. I'm waiting for the lab culture to come back from the doctor and in the meantime I have been treating at home with herbs and essential oils. I talked to the ladies by phone who were both willing to come to my house with their oils to administer to my daughter.

Its really cool to be learning about these essential oils because I feel like I am truly anointing my children with oils that do have the power to heal and bless them. To have LDS women willing to come over to do the same with oils that I don't possess really reminded me of the glory days when that was common practice. Even though it is a pyramid scheme, this is the beauty that is coming out of it. I feel blessed and hope that their vision of a "Healer in Every Home" can be realized.

The essential oils have been working really well too, so much that my husband has been impressed and encouraged me to continue using them. In a blessing that he gave our daughter tonight, he said something to the effect of "your mother is doing wonderfully taking care of you." That was just the bit of encouragement that I really appreciated hearing.
It has been through the use of essential oils and finally learning how to use them that I've been able to understand the ancient practice of anointing. I didn't know that oils for healing where used by anointing the feet though I was familiar with the passages in the New Testament where this was done (Mark 6:13, John 12:3). I just didn't know that it was connected to herbalism and healing. Call me ignorant but I'm so glad to have learned that anointing is not just a religious practice but also ties in with health and healing. Natural healers have continued these practices and LDS women in the early church were not only familar with the practice but incorporated it into their religious practices as well. 
I am wistful for those days and sad that there is no longer a stake or ward calling for a woman to be a midwife and visiting teachers do not offer special pregnancy blessings or these types of house calls for the healing of the sick and afflicted. I don't feel much hope that this will change through means of church policy which is in part why I am so gratified to see this sort of thing happening outside church channels but still within the LDS community. One effort that I can working on is to form a directory of LDS doulas, midwives and childbirth educators so that LDS women can find LDS birth workers in their area if they are so drawn to it. I have hopes that Mormon blessingways will become common, that prayer and priesthood will become a normal part of LDS births while at the same time protecting the sacred space of birth for mother and baby and ensuring healthier births that can help LDS women maximize their fertility since so many aim for large families. That will be hosted as a project at LDS WAVE and is coming soon. 
Maybe the day is coming where LDS women will reconnect with their Mormon legacy of women as healers and it will be through companies like DoTerra and the services of LDS women as birth workers. I hope so. I hope I can be apart of it. Already, I'm well on my way through being a product consultant and midwifery student. 

The ideal church meeting

On a discussion group the question was posed: Describe your ideal church meeting. My response was long enough to be its own post, so I'm copying and pasting here.

I'm a big fan of the laity but I want to see training in giving sermons and have those sermons go beyond the standard works and the Ensign. Give up to 1 month for lay members to prepare a sermon where they can research and find sources from across history and around the world. And then keep sacrament meeting to 45 minutes-ish since just the administration of the sacrament takes 20.

However, the administration of the sacrament can/should move to the jurisdiction of the family. Those who want to/need the church for the administration of it, can attend that portion of the meeting, but its ridiculousness to be that the church actively precludes people from taking the sacrament if they can't make church due to not-deigned-to-be-good enough reasons.

After sacrament, the children should be able to leave the chapel and go to their classes. The Unitarians in my home congregation do a cool thing where they sing the children to their classes.

Music in sacrament yes, forget the staid and move in with the joyful, exuberant arrangements. Dance and sing, move and clap. Musical instruments of all sorts performed by ward members.

Joint priesthood and Relief Society, ordain women, make this meeting after sacrament and keep it to 45 minutes. Sometimes have this meeting about action, or use it to brainstorm advocacy efforts and how their ward can put the gospel into action in their community. Knit during meetings, cut out file folder games, etc.

Sunday school last (and maybe not on Sundays), have it for those who want/need to attend. Maybe even give over the Sunday school to the Institutes, encourage each member to be attending one class at all times, call seminary enough for the YM/YW and build it into their programs to earn their achievements.

If not a potluck something like a "coffee hour" where drinks and maybe sometimes snacks are served. Church at this point is only 1 1/2-2 hrs so you shouldn't be having horribly hungry people. Obviously find a different name "fellowship hall" or "social hour." Give people a chance to visit, discuss and really get to know the goings-on of members of their ward. This is where the throughout the week fellowship is going to be strengthened.

I also think that if church on Sundays wasn't such a major investment, members would be more willing to do social/volunteer/nature stuff outside of church. I love the ideas of sometimes conducting worship services outside in nature. That would be a good use for the church owned recreational areas a few times a year.

My thoughts are pretty influenced by the Unitarian Universalist ways of doing things. For a few years now,  I have been missing a good, well-prepared, profound sermon. Not having the children in the meeting for the sermon is actually more conducive to worship and for mature reflection. After a coming of age, perhaps 12, the youth can be made apart of those sermons as well.  I miss those coffee hours where people visit and talk before leaving to go home.

So those are my ideas, anything here you know you wouldn't like? What is your ideal church meeting?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Oh no he didn't: Taking GA's literally

I really think that Orson F. Whitney is saying it is in God's plan for some people to not join the church is this life in the following quote:
"Perhaps the Lord needs such men on the outside of His Church to help it along,” said the late Elder Orson F. Whitney of the Quorum of the Twelve. “They are among its auxiliaries, and can do more good for the cause where the Lord has placed them, than anywhere else. … Hence, some are drawn into the fold and receive a testimony of the truth; while others remain unconverted … the beauties and glories of the gospel being veiled temporarily from their view, for a wise purpose. The Lord will open their eyes in His own due time. God is using more than one people for the accomplishment of His great and marvelous work. The Latter-day Saints cannot do it all. It is too vast, too arduous for any one people. … We have no quarrel with the Gentiles. They are our partners in a certain sense.” (Conference Report, April 1928, p. 59.)

I'm not arguing with this quote. In fact, I love it. It shows the depths of understanding that certain people through history have had regarding the gospel. This is evidence to me that the Mormon cultural hang-ups on conversion and ordinances need not be tied to life. The same blessings are available to those who die not having become a Mormon. Not just those who didn't ever hear of the gospel, but also to those who for some "wise purpose" do not feel convicted to be baptized into the church. What an Open Mormon concept. The whole exclusivity claims and some of the overt pressure, and judgement shown to many people is just unnecessary. This is another win for the universalist view of Mormonism, the one that says that Mormon theology provides for ordinance requirements of all people and the limited amount of time on earth is but a small factor that goes into how one is judged as either good or bad, righteous or unrighteous. Likely there will be more people in the celestial kingdom that perhaps your everyday Mormon believes.

Upon reading this quote, it occurred to me that this is just the type of quote that would have your conservative TBMs saying, "Oh well, you can't take everything said by a GA in Conference as scripture." (Even though this is the group that throws the same argument back in the faces of the unorthodox, questioning Mormons). That is precisely the arguments open Mormons when they encounter who are then denounced for their lack of obedience to the prophets. All I'm saying, there is plenty of content in the span of General Conference to make TBMs and OMs uncomfortable or that will lend support to their views.

The arguments are silly. Christ says love. The prophet of the restoration says "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience and allow men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." (Article of Faith 11). The prophet of today says be tolerant. Let's do that.