Saturday, November 7, 2015
Why would these blessings be denied?
The blessings of baptism are so great. And lets be honest what eight year old really fully understands what they are getting into when they go though the motions of being baptized? Now that's not to say that there aren't eight year old's who fully understand their baptismal covenants. But under that same argument does it matter what eight year old child, regardless of family setting, has the ability and capacity to deny and fully understand their families disapproval or acceptance when they are or aren't baptized? For me I would not have been baptized when I was eight. Similarly there are people who prepare to go on a mission regardless of there spiritual worthiness often do so because its what they are supposed to do and again go through the motions. Outside of the church, when you get into converting people who are Muslim or a Polygamist or even in a polyamorous relationship for that matter, a same sex cohabitant relationship or marriage children who wish to be converted must wait till they are eighteen in the US and have special permission from a member of the quorum of the twelve apostles. This rule means that one must wait till they are the legal age of their country so they may denounce their family's way of life safely. I don't know about you but that would suck being an eighteen year old, especially being eight. The mental destruction that can happen is so detrimental to an individual and therefore disrupts a family. In my opinion, the church has decided to include children in this category for this purpose. The church puts a huge emphasis on the family functioning at its best. The LDS church has expressed on several occasions that the Family is central to the plan of happiness. I believe that a family regardless of religion or sexual orientation should function for the benefit of all involved and while I do believe that all people are entitled to these blessings, I cant help but agree that a child who is baptized in one of these situations, I believe, can cause detrimental consequences to the family as a unit and the child's mental well being.
What did Jesus say?
One of my most favorite scriptures is John 13:34, 35. "A new commandment I give unto you. That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35) By this small all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." Obviously this meas that we all need to love one another as Christ him self loves us. In Matthew 8, 8-13, Matthew tells the story of how Christ healed a Centurions servant. For those who don't know a Centurion can be compared to a modern day Lieutenant in the military. The Centurion came to Christ and said (8)"Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak they word only, and my servant shall be healed." One of the things that I marvel about this Centurion is that he was considered a Gentile and was not eligible for baptism during Christs mortal ministry. However Christ him self said to the man and the men that followed him, (10) "Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel." Christ him self said that this man was extremely faithful for only wanting the lord and knowing that by Christ saying so his beloved servant would be healed. Christ went on to say (11) "And I say unto you, that many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven." In this scripture I think he is speaking of a latter day, in which men and woman from all over the world shall come to know the blessings Abraham, or in other words our day and age. He then goes on to say (12) But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be a weeping and gnashing of teeth." But wait... didn't he also say in Luke 18:16 "But Jesus called them unto him, and said, suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God." if we keep reading after the parable of the rich man in Luke 18:29,30 "And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, there is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God's sake, (30) Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting." Christ loved all men during his life on earth and continues to love all people in his everlasting life. He also reserved the right to baptize people who he felt would not be able to, for what ever reason, live up to in mind body and spirit, their covenants and obviously continues to do so. However he never ever ever ever ever excludes someone from the blessings of his gospel. The Centurion had to wait till Peter's ministry to be baptized so he could fulfill his covenants not because of anything he did or what he believed but because the lord set a standard. So to must people in out day painfully and woefully wait to fulfill the lords modern day standard and like the scripture in Luke they too shall obtain the kingdom of god.
How do I feel and What do I think?
I believe that in 1820 a boy named Joseph Smith saw God our eternal father and his son our savior and redeemer Jesus Christ. My testimony is not one that came from my parents, a church leader, or any of my close friends. While there council was listened to and more often than not, not followed my belief in Joseph Smith Jr.s testimony and prophetic restoration of Christs mortal ministerial church, was formed at the end of the stinging whip of sacrifice, and through the Refiners fire did I emerge wanting to believe in a God that could and does answer my prayers specifically for me and knows and loves me specifically. Because I believe in Joseph and the love that I have for my church, and the sustaining vote that I offer up every six months in General Conference for all of the local and general authorities of the church, I stand by their decision. God loves all his children and wants them all to receive the blessings of eternal life. But this does not mean that I do not ask WHY these things happen. I think that the placement of same-sex marriage under apostasy does not mean that the leaders of the church think that same-sex couples are murderers or rapists. It means that the lords standard has not been met. And to me that is sad. It is sad there the lord doesn't allow all people to partake in the blessings equally. The lord does things in his own time and in his own way, based upon eternal principles. One of these principals is known as free agency or in other words our ability to do and believe what we want, however it does not mean that we dictate our consequences for our actions. The lord also does that based on eternal principals.
In my time as a Morman I have been called a sheep without the ability to build my own opinion. I have been called so many things that differ from what I truly am. A man who believes in a loving god who has formed his own beliefs through thorns and thistles, through tears and trials. I have suffered through losing close friends and making enemies along the way. The only thing that has ever remained constant is that I know with a surety that this church is lead by men called of god, who respond to his words and teachings. They do what he asks. They are always ready to be spit on and scourged by the modern day opinions that dictate popular positions because they believe in what they are fighting for. Joseph was tared, feathered, hunted and murdered, for what we believe. What ever your beliefs are I hope you have the same conviction that he did and stand up for what you believe in. Because at the end of the day all that matters is what is between you and God.
(PS Sarah wasn't awake to edit this so sorry if the grammar stinks)
Sunday, June 15, 2014
Friday, December 20, 2013
This blog post has taken me a while to rough out the edges. Simply because I want to express my beliefs wich might be ofencive to others. Tday my restless mind comes from the controversial subject of homosexuality. Before you continue reading I want you to know that this post is one hundred percent my opinion. I do not base this blog to promote or degrade any person, group, or party. My intention is to simply express what I belive to be true.
I have lived what some would call an eventfull life. During my many adventures of youthful indiscretion I've learned a great deal of what it means to have your heart broken and stepped on. I know how awful it is to look a loved one in the eye and only recieve the hollow stare of disappointment. I know how it feels to be treated like a broken member of society. I have walked through fire to know what it means to be happy. And still through all of my experience with the world nothing has troubled me quite like this. No subject has ever taken so much thought and careful expression of my opinion.
Many if you who will read this are close friends and relatives. And many of you know that I am a meber of the LDS church. So to begin I want to get this elephant out if the way. Here is a statement that the LDS church gave on Homosexuality "The Church’s doctrinal position is clear: Sexual activity should only occur between a man and a woman who are married. However, that should never be used as justification for unkindness. Jesus Christ, whom we follow, was clear in His condemnation of sexual immorality, but never cruel. His interest was always to lift the individual, never to tear down." This is the clearest and most plain statement that I could find about how the church feels. Those of you who know me, know that I am a loving person. Many times I have expressed in tears the amount of love that I have for freinds who are gay. While I do not agree with his/her life choices I do know that they are happy. Who am I to judge a peraons happiness or their capacity to love?
At this point in my life I am extremely happy. I have been married to the woman of my dreams for two years now. I am a firm beliver that family is the key to happiness. I know this because my family is one of the most unconventional families on the face of the planet and we still all love eachother and always find happiness in each other's company. Many prominent gay couples have the same joy, love and happiness that I enjoy in my marriage. I also believe that love is an eternal quality. I belive that love lives on after death. I belive that family's will be togther in the eternitys through their faithfulness on earth. "Because the Church believes that the sacred powers of procreation are “to be exercised only between a man and a woman lawfully wedded as husband and wife … any other sexual relations, including those between persons of the same gender, undermine the divinely created institution of the family.” Accordingly, the Church favors measures that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. However, “protecting marriage between a man and a woman does not remove Church members’ Christian obligations of love, kindness and humanity toward all people." For the past few weeks now I have been struggling on where to plant my feet on this issue. I have to be clear. I firmly belive that the joy we receive from satisfying the desires of our body is only a brief happiness that can only exist on earth.
Do I belive that there is inequality in the legality of marriage? Yes. If two people, who are gay want to be joined by law, let them do so and enjoy the benefits the state and federal governments offer. I belive that to refuse somebody service because of their sexual orientation is the peime example of discrimination. I belive gay men and women should be afforded the same privileges straight couples do when it comes to adoption and other medical or social programs.
In the end if it all I believe that the way to hapoiness on this earth is through a loving family. A family that is based on positive values and one where expressions of individual passions can be cultivated. I believe that all people are free to choose for them selfs who they are in this world. I would hope that you do not confuse my tolerance with acceptance toward homosexuality. I belive that the way to eternal happiness is through the faithfulness of each individual to the teachings and commandments of the almighty. He will be the one to decide our fate.
John 13: 34, 35
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
Well its been quite some time since my last post. But tonight I find my self restless again. Im a recovering addict. Many of my friends and family know that during high school I was addicted to smoking weed and drinking. Its funny to think that iv been sober from illicit substances and alcohol for the last five years but iv only been legally able to drink for two. However tonight I want to blame my sleeplessness on a much different addiction, Pornography.
Yes its true. Me, im a recovering addict of the new drug. I was first exposed when I was twelve by my brothers friend and almost eleven years later I still fight the urge. I've been clean for almost three years now. But still every day and every night I fight. My addiction is so bad and my brain so warped that at random points in the day I begin to crave it. I begin to reason with my self about why its not a bad thing. My brain has been rewired to expect the endorphins and pleasures. I fight day in and day out.
There is a saying "everybodys got a dark side", while im not sure where this quote comes from I do know that my dark passenger is who ever tries to tell me porn is ok. This new drug is so poisonous that it, for a time altered my own perception of love. Like a smoker, my taste had become dull and the only way it could be repaired was to quit. So I did. And I can say that my wife Sarah is the best thing to ever happen to me. She is my foundation for life. I love her more now than I ever have. After quitting porn my love grew to new hightes and had no boundries for anybody.
Life is to short to be wasted on our own personal pleasures. Love and devotion belong to people who we can see and touch. Not to digital people on a screen who are the apitomy of a lie. Our love should be shared where it can be reciprocated and not cut short due to our own desire.
After two years of nothing, my restless night has brought me back to again share a part of me that not a lot of people know. My intention is not to flash the error of my ways, but to again let others know, you are not alone.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Change is a funny thing. Everybody involved in an individuals life are effected by the change in a small or large way. And because people are effected they deserve to know why things happen. This reason is mainly why I started this blog. It was because I felt people deserved a right to know why I had come home from my mission. Before I left I didn't care at all about what people thought about me or what I did. But for some reason when I came home that is all I cared about. Was the simple approval of people whom I love. But now I see that none of that matters. I know that the people I love, love me and want what is best for me. But what they want for me, is drifting farther and farther from what I want. They tell me to make the right choice because it was the right choice for them. And it brought them happiness, a choice that they didn't regret. They want me to be happy and to make similar choices that they made because it made them happy. The only person that knows what will make me happy is me. I know what choices I will regret and what ones I wont. I have always been able to accept responsibility for my choices.
By now if you haven figured it out, I'm choosing to stay home. Not because I no longer have faith. In fact it is just the opposite. Never before in my life have I been closer to my God. Before I answer your question of why, I want to ask a few questions of my own. Do you believe that before we came to earth, we all made individual plans with our father in heaven? Do you believe that we had a plan A, but if failed we would be given several alterations to that plan so that we could be as happy as possible? Do you believe that although we had alterations it is still plan A? That because we are imperfect people trying to follow a perfect plan, we fall short of our Fathers expectations, and he still tries his hardest to make us happy? Do you believe that no matter what our choices are, as long as we have the lord on our side we have made the right choice? I believe that the choice that I am making is right for me. I know for a fact that I will not regret doing this. I will not regret staying home. I know the blessings that come from serving, I know the ins and outs of a mission. I just need people who love me to understand.
Im choosing to stay home because I know that this is where I'm supposed to be. Here with my family, my friends, this ward and its members. I know that I need to stay because I feel the lords plan for me has been altered. Although you may feel otherwise, please remember that this decision is mine to make. This is what I want and I know that this will make me happy. There is something here that I need to learn. I am at another stage in my life and a mission is not apart of it. Im sorry if I am disappointing you in this decision. But please understand that this is what will make me happy. Please understand.
Monday, April 25, 2011
When I was a kid, I always wanted to be a night like Sir. Lancelot. I wanted to hunt evil witches and creatures. When I got a little older I wanted to be like Batman. Fighting off the Joker, and the Riddler. My mom would often tell me that my imagination was so big it would one day be apart of my carrier. I took this to heart. I wanted to make movies. I wanted to be apart of a world where my imagination could come to life. I wanted to write several books about my adventures as a kid. Sometimes when I'm driving in the car with Sar, I normally spit out one of my move or book ideas. Being the wonderful person she is, she always listens and tells me that it would be a good movie, or that it has already been done before. I still have a long way to go before I get to the silver screen, but it is a dream I intend to fulfill. No limitations that I have placed on me now will prevent me from achieving this.
Rising to meet our own expectations is one of the hardest things we can do. For me it usually always seems like an unachievable goal. I always feel like I can improve and do better, even when I have given it my all. Greatness is not handed out, or found. It is achieved through struggle and pain. We do not achieve our dreams by expecting them to come true. We must have a need for them to come true, and only we can develop that need. Many people in my life have taken the discouraging, harmful words of others to heart, and believed them. Believed that God doesn't speak to his children, or that they will never find love, or they are worthless, or finding education is worthless. They have believed and fallen into the ocean and have begun to drift away from shore. Some are so far out to sea, that they may never come back. One in particular has followed their heart and decided to better their life. The hard part is to watch this person struggle through this painful trial to regain what they once could have had. To many throw everything away for the deadly, falsely relaxing puff of a cigarette, or the bitter taste of alcohol.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
I have always grown up with many role models. But where mine are different from others, mine were role models that had shown me what not to be. Of course, I did have those who were fantastic and I want to model parts of my life after what they had taught me. The fact still remains, I have modeled my self after no one. I have shaped my personality by seeing where the faults in others are. I am human, so I too have my rough edges. Believe me some of them are razor sharp. One in particular is my inability to let things go. I dwell on what has already been solved. I search for reasons to destroy what progress I have already made, in forgiving others. Perhaps this is my way of full proofing my resolve.
Sar and I love each other. No doubt about that. I only wish I could tell just how much I really do. Leaving her behind was so hard for me. But I'm sure getting left behind was even harder. Its funny how we as humans go through our lives counting on something or someone to always be there, but when it is gone, we are surprised. We are surprised at how much we need that one thing that will get us through out day. A simple swig of a coffee, or a simple "good morning." This may sound like an addiction to you, but to me, knowing that I can wake up in the morning and hear from the one person who means more to me than anything in this life. Its an 'ah ha' moment. When we honestly know that we need it. Not to survive by any means. But to live.
Moving through life we find our selfs in situations that test our faith, love, compassion, relationships, and trust. These things get shaken, or as my dad prefers stirred. We are tested to our breaking point. We get stretched so far and so thin we tend to give up right before the test ends. Life sucks. We all want to go back to a better day. Well maybe you do. I just want to move on. I want to move forward with my life. I'm sick of being in this preparing to go on a mission phase. To be honest I want to be with Sar right now. But due to religious and social expectations I can't be.
Forward motion is essential to life. We need it. Change, we need it. This is how we become better. Its how we become new. To answer my question, I will be in love. I now know I will. I will not be settling. I am and forever will be in love. I don't care what you think about that. I'm twenty years old. I'm young and stupid. I make lots of stupid, immature, irrational decisions. I know with out a doubt in my mind that allowing the change in me to happen, for me to be able to fall in love with Sar, was and still is the best decision I have ever made, and will ever make. I'm choosing to move forward with my life. For those of you wanting to go back to a better day, save a glass for me. Ill be back to get it. Only for the pure satisfaction that I have tasted better that what I had.