This URL will provide information about my faith journey. I apologize ahead of time, that information may be posted at inconvenient intervals.

This additional blogsite to Sappy Happy Tales,  will be singular to my personal ‘faith transition’ or ‘post Mormonism’ content. The sole purpose for adding the site is purely for self-centered reasons. My life is full of wonderful things, but driving and seeing a therapist has yet to enter my schedule. I would like to have this resource, but until then-there will be “Journaling to Discover and to Express Faith.” I do not intend and most likely will not publish all my written experiences- there is at least 7 years worth.

An Exit From Fundamentalism

Jake and I value our relationship with family and friends. We strive to live in honesty and honor, while rooting our family in the unconditional love God gives. Sometimes joining these concepts within these mediums isn’t always clear on how to do it smoothly. Our family has resigned our membership to our religion, but not in our faith. It is difficult to know how open we need to be and with whom. Many aspects about being open with our transition makes me(Heidi) uneasy. A part of uneasiness comes from defining ourselves, which doesn’t align with my value of, everybody is on equal playing grounds. Any type of seclusion or separation of our Self depletes humanity. It would be nice if we all tapped into feeling and perceiving our fluid connection with Life. A natural progression to  personal communication with this topic is ideal. While other times may require the authenticity for Self to speak up. We imagine this news may be heart-sinking for some who know us and view this post. If questions arise, we are willing to respond with simple answers if that is your desire. Because we value our relationships, we have no intentions of persuading others to change their course of direction. A common misconception when people leave their religion is that they have been offended, are unhappy or desire to ‘sin’. But in reality, it is because they have a tendency to ask questions, seek truth, and want understanding to their cognitive dissonance. This transition to a new chapter in our family’s journey is hard-earned. We persevered in pondering, praying, searching biblical scriptures and researched most all controversial topics about our religion. We are happy with our decision and feel at peace. We continue-on, heeding God’s Divine Power to navigate our family with ‘special needs’ children. The ideology is to raise our girls in the healthiest way we know how and/or have parental control over. Undergoing this awakening of truth, allows our faith and spirituality to develop directly under God, who isn’t limited by anything Earthly. We wish for a dual acceptance in each of our life- journeys. We hope you will trust us over time that we are making the best decision for our family.

Warm Wishes,
Heidi and Jake

Giving Peace and Comfort

Some are more inclined than others to focus on spirituality. Finding the best avenue may be like searching for the right doctor. For 10 years I was a massage therapist and if you came to me with sciatic nerve pain, on our protocol would be Piriformis muscle which is located inferior/ underneath the Gluteal muscles. However, if you went to a Neurologist, they would have an entirely different protocol. A while ago I was feeling spiritually stagnant. I methodically came to realize my beliefs and perception needed to be more inline with God’s. It takes time to understand His words and will. Progressing requires patience on my part and the ability to adapt. When I understand a new spiritual concept, my ability to input spiritual knowledge expands and allows room for more enlightenment. Occasionally the realignment is uncomfortable, like the last unexpected deluge.

It was just another adversarial verbal-combat through a meltdown, with a certain 3-year-old whose name shall remain anonymous. (wink-wink) During pre-season meltdown, the referee(myself) took a time-out to my bedroom.  I am grateful Jake was not traveling for work and was home to take on all the nightly rituals. My affliction held out to a ghastly length. The details of my foe are too tender to share, but certainly the enlightenment can be disclosed. The muttered complaints were mostly to myself, but I guess God took it personally because he sent the Holy Ghost to boldly comfort me with, “You have everything you asked Me for.” It was the nicest way anybody could have told me to “Shut the hell up.” God is right, and all that He’s given adds joy to life. Before His words of comfort came, my personal drama was like involuntarily shoving my own face into a hot-sloppy, muddy- reality and only in submersion could I make meaning out of His words, “Landmarks of success don’t bring peace!”  Past experiences with peace has always been a struggle. Therefore I can expect the same for the future.

A variety of sources lend peace and influence individuals differently.  I was diagnosed with Anxiety/Panic disorder at the age of 21 and what my internal voice has told me is, “If it improves an aspect of your life without harming another aspect, try it.” For the practice of grammar I’ll include a personal illustration: Somewhere imbedded into my sinews is the muscle-memory of running on Utah’s Wasatch BLVD. Animate alongside the Wasatch Mountains with cars whizzing by and my feet making contact with the asphalt; provided an intermittent space of peace throughout all four seasons of the year. ‘Running’ is retired because the function of my body morphed and the amount of its influence wouldn’t be as impactful. Today the Pacific Ocean is an undiluted source of outpouring peace and prevalent for my body. Even though I am an advocate of all organized religions, I don’t think these institutions are singular to knowing God. So yes, the ocean brings me closer to God and helps reset my beliefs to what is true.

God is a good, reliable source in giving peace. His words cannot be bound by earthly cares or effective my the Periodic Table of Elements. His way of providing peace adapts to each person’s unique needs. Like, when these scriptures below were in my studies the day after my ‘time-out.’ He knows I’m a typecast for a dark comedy movie, so the first scripture is enjoyably humorous. Then I’m reassured of not being the only one and to keep my chin up because I am progressing. Then He gives me a job to do so I feel needed.

“12  Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:

Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

10  But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle”

“5  For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.

6  And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation.

7  And our hope of you is steadfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.”

So, I guess my hope for the future is staying close to God and trusting He will lead me to more  resources contributing peace and my own false-landmarks will vanish. God gave me comfort and peace to pass on, so others may feel it as well.

 

 

 

New York City

Jake and I took a trip to New York with some friends, Amy and Reagan Clark. We were there a full 3 day with 2 days of travel. It’s a lot to absorb in such a short time. Being in New York made me feel like I was ‘somebody’, because anybody important in the media has been there. It’s a place that connects a person to the world and its temporary residents. New York is not only an attraction for the United States but globally as well. Islamic radicalisms crashed into the twin towers in hopes to achieve their dominance over the world and emit their hate for America. However, the tragedy only made people love New York and America more. Their efforts didn’t drive our nation apart, but brought us together. It’s easy to feel like ‘you’re somebody’ when you are in New York. In fact, I miss that feeling. It’s invigorating, energizing.

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I began each day asking Heavenly Father what lesson he wanted me to learn. These were the spiritual insights:

• How does feeling like a ‘somebody’ turn into pride? Or to put it scripturally, 1 John 2:16. Time square in particular, does a great job infiltrating pride. In the H&M store they have a place upstairs where anyone can dress up and pretend to walk the run-way with a live DJ. Outside, a huge billboard screen magnifies people down below on the walkways. They wait there until they see themselves blown-up in lights. Topless ladies walk the grounds with their chests painted red, white and blue. One lady rubbed her breasts on the person taking a picture with her, another lady was paid by a father to stand with his 4 year old son. The father took a picture of them while the lady bent over and dangled her breasts in the young child’s face. This father passed the perfect opportunity to teach his little-man the proper way of treating a lady and how to give them attention respectfully. There are great men and women, the world just needs more of them. An example would be, on the subway station a father was there with his young son who was playing a difficult piano piece on a keyboard.

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• When you look at the moon, is it the craterous planet seen with a telescope or a smooth surface smiling down at you while lying on the grass? Each bright light of goodness has its opposite dark adverseness. In New York there were people who were loud and rude as well as loud and gracious. Much of my experience depended on a duo perceptiveness; one was positive and the other negative. For example, am I eating breakfast in an untidy ally way outside my hotel or is it a patio revealing the infrastructure of an awesome city? We spent at least 12 hours each of the 3 days trying to see Manhattan. At certain times of the day it felt like being in crazy mayhem. Peace came from good food, and beautiful architecture, like St. Patrick’s Cathedral. However, the most success we found was in the Manhattan LDS temple. A serviced church is inside where Sunday meetings are held each week and the public is welcome. LDS temples and churches differ with one another. Anyone is welcome inside a church building as long as it is open., but the sacredness of the temple requires its occupants to live a life without worldly addictions. The inside of the church was similar to all the other ones around the United States in the way it felt, smelt, and looked. This was the only place in Manhattan I felt away from the city without actually leaving.

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• The third spiritual lesson was received by watching people’s choices on how and where they used their talent(s). On a street corner was a group of men in robes, standing side-by-side. The middle man shouted proclamations with vigorous energy. Large in stature and handsome, his voice reached many. He obviously had courage and leadership. However, what stood out was the anger and his offensive words of belittling people’s appearances as they walked by him. The energy this group created left us no better than when we arrived. In an opposite comparison, our last night in Manhattan I saw my first Broadway play, Finding Neverland starring Matthew Morrison. Fulfilling every measure of my expectations, I was filled with deep gratitude: for all the talent and energy each person put into making this production amazing. I was grateful their fruitful labors steered toward edifying the human spirit. Their performances moved me towards greater light and I was indeed blessed to share this experience with my husband and friends who appreciate uplifting activities. The previous day we visited a firefighter museum by RadioCity. A gentleman there was a retired firefighter and now devotes his time to teaching young children about the work they do. Each day we saw New York police out on the streets keeping their city safe. My experience here has made me a better person and hopefully more kind and gracious to those around me.

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These patches are from fire departments all over the world showing their appreciations for the FDNY. The first one came after 911 and now the store’s walls are covered in these! It’s amazing to see in person.

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NYPD were gracious enough to take a picture with us. Thank you for keeping us safe!

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Jake got Matthew Morrison’s signature on our playbill!

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This was taken after screams for Matthew Morrison and his appearance outside the theatre. (Huishes and Clark’s)

 

Maui Family Trip 2015: Cemeteries and Churches

Ka'ahumanu Church Maui, Hi

Ka’ahumanu Church
Maui, Hi

Makawoa Union Church

Makawoa Union Church

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Roman Catholic Church

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Roman Catholic Church Maui, HI

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Wailuku Church Maui, HI

Wailuku Union Church
Maui, HI

Japanese Cemetery Lahaina, HI

Japanese Cemetery across from Hanakaoo Beach Lahaina, HI

Japanese Cemetery Lahaina, HI

Japanese Cemetery
Lahaina, HI

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Makawoa Cemetery

Makawoa Cemetery This was the most unique one we have been to. When comparing how peaceful it is, Jake ranks it the best.

Makawoa Cemetery
This was the most unique one we have been to. When comparing how peaceful it is, Jake ranks it the best.

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Maui Veteran Cemetery

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Boiled Eggs and Poopy Diapers: A Life Lesson in Jokes, Religion and War.

It’s Sunday morning, the day of our church primary program. Our family and many others are excited and anticipating how our children will do. There is a wonderful feeling children bring when they sing about Jesus. On the car drive over Ivy poops her diaper. There isn’t a clean one because I’m planning to leave early due to a head cold. Brainstorming synapsis fire away. I can make it work! Go to the bathroom inside the church, clean out the poop, fold lots of toilet paper inside the diaper. We are good-to-go, problem solved!

Directly turning into the crowded church parking lot, a car is parked in a non-designated stall; along a curb where everyone who enters can see! The trunk is opened. Just below, on the freshly tarred lot, are at least 10 white manikin limbs, each having a section of bloody red dye at the base! I’m not Ann Rice or Tom Clancy, but try to imagine in your own words a disturbing scene. Completely caught-off-guard lightly palpitates what my heart feels. Thoughts occur: this is supposed to be a place of refuge, a place to heal my spirit, a place to enjoy my child’s primary program-where they sing about Jesus and feel His love. Wow! That’s one way to kill the spirit of the Holy Ghost. Could this be a joke? No, it can’t be. It must have been an accident. Someone was trying to get something out of their car. Their career is giving seminars teaching First Aid and they have these props that coincidently fell out. Right? Fiction or Non Fiction, the initial reaction to the ‘stage’ has been felt and imprinted into the sinews of each person affected.

Luckily the awful scene leaves my mind during the few minutes of Ayzia and Eden’s parts. Eventually Ivy is too active during the program and people sitting nearby are trying to enjoy the performance so I leave. In the car, I exit the parking lot the same way I entered. Three men stand by the car of the incident. The trunk is still open, but no bloody limbs scatter the ground. I pull out onto the road without an episode, but my eggs are boiled and they need to be shelled! I turn around, back to the men. Our exchange goes something like, “Were your guys involved with the bloody limbs?” A man answers, “Yes, this is my car and my friend thought it would be a funny joke. We have thrown the parts away. In the service of the joke, my tire got popped.” To my calculations they are standing around, waiting for the tire to be repaired. I don’t know if it is him or I who spoke next, but an apology is made. My feelings are relayed, “I had kids in the car, it was a disturbing image and most likely the people walking out of the church with their kids were also disturbed.” He admits, “It was too graphic of a scene for young kids.” Then he turns to one of the men and says, “He shouldn’t have done that.” I can only assume this was the ‘friend’ who played the joke. The ‘friend’ hugs close to a tree, with his arms folded and head down. His body language portrays his remorse, but his snickering face says he enjoys my complaint because it fits perfectly along with his joke.

I love to laugh. Years ago, I was the one to play the April Fool’s joke too far! I have since then learned my lesson. This man was older than me. One would think being wise in years gives the knowledge as to where and when these kinds of jokes are played. I say to the group, “I’m all about playing jokes and having a good laugh, but this was the wrong place at the wrong time.” Driving away, more thoughts come to mind. The bloody limbs aren’t just obscene for young kids. Real crime scenes look like this that afflict trauma on family members and friends. What about the people who fight in war and come home struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder. Many of the members in our church congregation serve our country. Recently I was in possession of a graphic picture of a family member with an infection in their leg from a surgery. I am able to look subjectively at these kinds of medical photos. Unfortunately I tried showing a friend this picture, who incidentally fought in the war on terror. Shamefully I remembered his service too late. As I replay the scene over in my mind, I see on their face the trauma of war and will for the rest of their life. Of course, my phone-photo of an infected leg is real and the manikin legs aren’t. But it doesn’t matter whether it is fake or real, each person is affected differently with or without past trauma.

Reasons over shadow each other as to why this post is necessary. To the reader it is based upon their interpretation. Personally, some would be: repenting for what I did to my friend, to keep my kids innocent as long as possible, to be aware of my actions, respect people’s life story that isn’t similar to my own, to check myself before I think a joke ‘would be’ funny. One thing is certain, the reasons for war, an act of crime, and PTSD cannot be resolved simply by stuffing a diaper with toilet paper. When we share or re-share a video, a picture, a news clipping, a joke or display a dreadful scene; let’s ask ourselves, “Who’s hard boiled eggs do you really want to crack open?”

Understanding Trangender I-VIII

 

Understanding Transgender I: Black Hairy Limbs

Reading and writing is entertaining when funny stories lead to the main topic. But this time you will be brought to the subject of Transgender. Also mentioned, are helpful ideas about how to respond to a family/friend/co-worker who is LGBT.  Most people dislike reading lengthy posts, or at least want a quick pick-me-up when blog- scrolling. Time on this plateau will NOT be quick, more like a meander, trying hard to stay on the path and not trample on delicate flowers. This documentation is divided into 8 parts. I will post this as one complete body of work, for those who want to read it all at once. Then I will post each section separately for those who need/want a shorter read.

Learning about the LGBT community is a process for me. My feelings and findings may evolve during the next decade. Most people know what it means to be homosexual, heterosexual and bisexual. Lately the word queer hasn’t been used in the familiar context of being attracted to the same sex. In recent years the word has evolved, in Ann Dohrendwend’s book, Coming Around, she explains queer thinking: “Queer has been reclaimed by today’s generation…Those who refer to their sexual orientations as queer reject traditional labels of heterosexual, homosexual and bisexual. They see such labels as limited and limiting, because they are majority conceptions shaped by majority biases and mores.” (8) Growing up the words, ‘Gay’, ‘Lesbian’, and ‘queer’ were used for taunting. In my 36 years of living, I have never personally used it to taunt. However, to write about LGBT is still a bit daunting for me. By worldly standards, I am conservative. Within my LDS religion, I am liberal.

The dial on the iron is turned to cotton-press. Quickly the iron slides over the yellow polka-dot sleeveless blouse. Slash-like holes are burned through the side of the back. Clearly the blouse is not cotton. A thought occurred, necessary precautions were taken so this wouldn’t happen again. All well, if a cardigan is worn, the blouse will provide its function; to match the color scheme for our family photos. Family and ironing prompt the pondering question- what are roles of masculine and feminine? Ironing is not my strong skill-set nor is being a delicious cook; I fancy performing neither of the two. Since my skills of such lack the luster and shine, does this make me an incompetent female or house wife? A pale part of me says yes, at least to the latter.

In grade school, mother let me dress myself. She took me shopping and spent a great deal of money. Disagreements over which clothes to wear or buy, never occurred. Mother has my honor for leasing the right to self-govern my image. However, my style never seemed to be the same as my classmates. Occasionally she offered that I make more an effort on my short-haired perm; to not let it flop flat and wet. Up until High School I was the odd boy… oops, girl. The word ‘odd’ is used because my teeth said it all: crooked, too big, and a major over bite. Lucky Me had such a huge mouth my teeth hadn’t a chance to hide, so I got braces. I desperately wanted glasses, so in 7th grade, dear mother bought me a non-prescription pair. I loved having braces and glasses. Looking back, my mom was probably thinking, “Whatever keeps the kissing and hand-holding at bay.” The word ‘boy’ is used because I was flat chested with black hairy limbs. In church once, my older sister leaned over and instructed that I shave my mustache before coming to church. One morning in 8th grade I used a Nair-type product. Time was limited. So half my upper lip was complete and consequently it burned the skin. So imagine in a classroom setting, a half-burned, half-haired lipped girl engaging in shallow conversation with a hairless boy nicknamed Egg. Somehow he got her on the topic of mustaches. Hmmm, wonder why? She couldn’t help thinking that the joke was on her.

 

Understanding Transgender II: Society is to Blame

Dad is a perfectly-pressed ironer. He enjoys a good conversation in person and on the phone. A curse word has never been muttered by him in my presence, nor has he raised his voice in an argument. Maybe an eyebrow, but never a tyrant vocal. Does this make him a feminine man? My father’s roles around the house are: mowing and edging the lawn, taking care of the car, doing the dishes, and paying the bills. Do these characteristics make him a masculine man? Mom does most of the renovations to our home: tiling, painting, wood working, and cabinet resurfacing. I view her as self-reliant and an autodidactic champ at accomplishing hard things. Do these characteristics suggest her a masculine woman? Mother’s roles around the house are: cooking, knitting, sewing, and decorating the yard with birds and flowers. Do these traits make her a feminine woman?

I find myself wanting to blame society or institutions where people are put into one of the two traditional gender roles. Well guess what? Forcing one to fit within the modern societal role of a particular gender is going to create irregularity, because gender doesn’t come in just pink or blue. Growing up the color purple made me kind of sick and I didn’t quite know why. As an adult it’s in my top three favorable colors and that’s due because I like its rays of diversity. The book, Why Gender Matters by Leonard Sax, M.D., Ph.D. helped me understand how the brain works in males and females. The author accredits everything he says with scientific research. I’m a little skeptical with statistics because most times the tests have a rooted agenda. However, this doctor’s results has helped me understand why institutions stereotype genders.

At first I had written the next paragraph about my distaste for institutions segregating males and females with certain activities such as: physical education in schools and in my three hour block at church there is an hour class time where they separate males and females who are older than 12 years. However, Dr Sax teaches that having separate learning activities for each gender is a good idea. Raising children pro gender neutral has its setbacks. Dr Sax points out that one of the reasons why children today have more anxiety than children in the 1950-60’s is because they are less rooted in their gender. (236) Boys need to have activities where they learn from men and girls need activities where they learn from women. When I think back at times I felt most feminine, was when I went out to lunch with my mom and her sisters, or being with girls my age where women were in charge of us. But if I could add, to not limit a gender specific learning environment to their stereotypical interests.

 

Understanding Transgender III: Dress or Tie?

I want to understand why is it so weird to see a man in a dress, or a woman in tie? Personally I love Diane Keaton’s look when she dresses in a suite and a tie. She wears masculinity and femininity beautifully. Steven Tyler is another person who seductively incorporates masculine and feminine into his style. I love his long hair, feathery- fringed jackets and tight pants. To my knowledge however, these two examples are comfortable with their gender identity. But I can’t help to think, if a dress is related to women and a man wants to wear a dress, then it would make sense for him to think he is a woman.

Why do American bathroom signs say pants are for boys and skirts are for girls, when Kilts and loins are being worn by men elsewhere? When were these earthly temporal boundaries established? Styles have changed so dramatically over time. Why has our fashion ended with where it is now? Is it possible to make the change again? If so, let’s make it happen sooner rather than later!

Department stores should have an open floor plan that together showcase male and female clothing. I’ve purchased boy clothes and haven’t felt weird about it. But I imagine it’s a different experience when a man wants to buy women’s clothing. Wouldn’t it be nicer to not have the Sesame Street lyrics playing in the back of our minds, “One of these things are not like the other?”

Song on Sesame Street Television Program-

Steve Tyler!

Diane Keaton on Jimmy Fallon!

 

Understanding Transgender IV: Pliable Perception

What is my role in and around Transgender? For each of us, the answer will be different. “With greater self-awareness, you will be less likely to make statements that may inadvertently hurt your child. With insight, you will be more likely to offer sound, empathic advice.” (Dohrenwend,xiii) For me, educating myself will help give support to a family member and/or friend. Imagining my child identifying as LGBT has visually motivated my understanding. My LGBT family member or friend and I don’t need to agree on religious beliefs to be sympathetically connected. It’s perfectly obtainable for my spiritual views to honor and respect beliefs that differ. “You need not change your religious affiliation nor reject deeply held beliefs.” (Dohrenwend, xiii) To those of us who are Christian or at least respect Jesus as a great leader; what did He say? “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (Matthew 22:37-39). The final product of motherhood for me will never be obtained in this life. It’s a fluid, workable goal that’s always reaching for higher grounds. I need to allow my perception to be pliable. My family and friends have helped me understand how to have unconditional love. In my younger years, people’s decisions and lifestyles went into one of my strict black or white categories. Thankfully time and people have broadened my perception. If my girl(s) are Transgender, I want to see them for their entirety. Even though my eyes cannot see their spirit, I want spiritual connection with them to not be set off-course by their earthly tabernacle.

The Whittington’s story of how they helped their child transition-

 

Understanding Transgender V: Fitting Into the Box

The difficulty with knowledge about Transgender or LGB will be fitting it into a shapely, decorative box that looks nicely in all the institutions I’ve associated myself with. The secret card folded into my sleeve is: I have never fit into any sort of shapely box. So if I don’t find one, that’s fine by me. The book, Coming Around has given me helpful tools if my child were to ‘come out’. Here are bullet points I’ve taken to heart:

  • Don’t confront or tell your child they are Gay, Lesbian or Transgender. (13)
  • Listen and understand their language and words. (8)
  • Guilt serves one purpose- to change course. After that it’s destructive. (13)
  • Get beyond stereotypes. Find time to evaluate perceptions. (15)
  • It’s important that their self-esteem remains intact. Discussing sexuality/gender with a parent exposes the child’s vulnerability. (16)
  • When your child comes out to you, saying these three words are essential. 1- I love you. 2- I’m proud of you. 3-I’m glad you told me. (23)
  • If you are baffled, focus on their feelings until you can get a hold of yours. (27)
  • Hold, hug and kiss them while they are coming out. (29)
  • It’s okay if a parent doesn’t always say the right thing. But it’s best if we are prepared to apologize when we are wrong. (29)

I’ve often wondered why the need to ‘come out’. This quote resonated with me, “Disclosure is an important aspect of intimacy and connection. If we are to be authentic and truly present in a relationship then it is necessary to disclose who we are and what matters to us.” (20) It is of my opinion that living an honest life is benevolent. Also, everyone deserves respect on what they want to keep private and to whom they choose to share certain information.

Music- I Stand All Amazed

 

Anything Box Living in Oblivion

 

Understanding Transgender VI: The Most Important Institution is Family

Non Fictional literature has always taken more energy for me to read. To further my research I feel some grounding needs to take place. This section is intended to put oil in my lamp, and hopefully it will do the same for the readers. My religious views are deep seeded and have 36 years of growing. In regards to LGBT, my beliefs and opinions sometimes conflict with one another. It can be difficult and heart breaking. Keep in mind, I am definitely okay with readers not agreeing with me. Also, even though I link the LDS website in my blog, the LDS faith isn’t responsible for anything I write.

Opinon: When referring to male and female roles, the word ‘role’ feels like a negative concept. It suggests I dress, act and like certain things. However, roles are meant to be empowering not confining. Once we understand our roles, we feel empowered. Once we view roles as empowering, then we are to understand how they apply to us. Responsibility and duty are some synonyms for the word ‘role’. When I think of fulfilling our roles, I also relate this to fulfilling the measure of our creation; which then reverses the implication from negative to positive. I struggle with the right perspective, and maybe there isn’t one. Do we teach our child who sees themselves as the opposite gender that their spirit is the gender they were born with? Or do we help our children transition? I think with either of these options it is best to really meditate on what is best for each person.

Beliefs: A Parent’s Guide is an interesting article found on the LDS website that helps us learn and teach our children about families and our roles. In chapter 1, Intimacy and the Purposes of Earthly Families teaches us the eternal roles of men and women. There is much I loved about this article. I suggest taking the time to read its entirety with a humble heart and open mind. In short, here are bullet points from the article: https://www.lds.org/manual/a-parents-guide/chapter-1-intimacy-and-the-purposes-of-earthly-families?lang=eng

  • In the pre-existence we were all brothers and sister, having one heavenly mother (I added her in) and father. It’s important to help each other to attain immortality and eternal life with our Heavenly parents.
  • Everything we do must bring the blessings of righteousness into the lives of our children.
  • Prayer is the source of communication to our Heavenly Father.
  • When we receive the Holy Ghost and seek gifts of the Spirit, we become Christ-like in his nature –kind, pure in heart, meek and charitable.
  • The Priesthood helps the Lord’s sons receive revelations, inspiration and understanding for their family. A father’s responsibility is to provide for their family’s needs: Shelter, food, clothing, compassion, counsel, comfort and direction. A father willingly accepts responsibility and is responsible for the outcome.
  • The Lord gives equal amount of responsibilities to his daughters. Women give mortal tabernacles to the spirit children of God and then nurtures them to return to live with Heavenly Father.
  • Women receive inspiration and understanding for their family. During pregnancy, she nurtures the child with her own body. “The child is literally flesh of her flesh, and the natural affection that exists between a creator and his creation exists in its strongest earthly form between a mother and child.”

Family is part of Heavenly Father’s Plan of Happiness and therefore shouldn’t be sacrificed. We live here as families and will continue to when we return to heaven. (A Parent’s Guide Chapter 1) Jesus Christ is the light and savior of the world. Opposite of this light is darkness, or Lucifer. At different points in my life, I have felt the works of Lucifer and therefore cannot dismiss he exists. I believe Lucifer knows God’s plan of happiness. Lucifer doesn’t want anyone to obtain it. If Satan destroys the family unit here on earth, then he destroys God’s plan. By destroying God’s plan, Lucifer wins the great battle. Satan makes the good look bad, and the bad look good. He reverses lies into truths. I feel, if we have a close relationship with God it will be easier to see His truth. When someone is Transgender, lets defeat Satan and do all we can to keep our family unit strong.

Music- Families Can Be Together Forever

A Child’s Prayer by Janice Kapp Perry

 

Understanding Transgender VII: Feeling ‘At Home’ Within Our Earthly Tabernacle

Having a female body feels comfortable to me and my spirit enjoys caverning here. But what about those spirits who feel a guest inside their body; how come they don’t feel ‘at home’ in their tabernacle?

God made us in His image. Our spirits match ( or in likeness) that of our earthly bodies as do our bodies match our spirits, as said in D&C section 77 verse 2. We were made spiritually before naturally placed here on earth, as said in Moses chapter 3 verses 5 and 7. It feels to me like we are mocking God when we say He made a mistake when he sent His spirit child into the wrong body. God making a mistake doesn’t fit His position of perfect, omnipotent and omniscient.

If one is in the belief that there are only two genders and also believes in a Christian view of resurrection, Transgender can be confusing. After being resurrected, the Spirit goes back into the same body it was born with, but is healed from all its imperfections. Well, what exactly counts as imperfections and does that include any that our Spirit might have? This is where my information and all my pondering will not fit into a nicely, decorative box. I simply don’t know; and need to exercise faith.

Dr Sax quotes Dr. Gaya about how the brain is a sexual organ and gender of the brain is a huge part of determining the human gender identity. (11) Dr Sax also mentions a study done in the Netherlands that may or may not be accurate, but states the brain of a transsexual man resembles the brain of woman without receiving any feminizing hormonal treatments. (213) Is it fair to ask our child, even though their body is female, and possibly their spirit; to live a life that conflicts with the functioning of their brain? If a born female thinks and feels male, wouldn’t they be more effective and productive by transitioning their bodies to match the way they mentally see themselves? This is a very personal decision. Respect and integrity should be given to either choice of transitioning or not. Free Agency was given to everyone.

I have used the source of prayer to help discover who I am. Heavenly Father is better equipped to guide me than man or society. I feel He wants us to know about our sexuality and gender. He is the one who created our bodies, therefore He knows best on how they function. He knows the effects earth life has on the mortal body and the reactions spirits may have dwelling inside His tabernacles. Using our faith in God will help us not be confused and will help us feel peace with our choices, even if that means we won’t receive our answers.

Scripture Verses-  https://www.lds.org/scriptures/dc-testament/dc/77?lang=eng  https://www.lds.org/scriptures/pgp/moses/3?lang=eng

Music- The Lord Gave Me a Temple

 

Understanding Transgender VIII: Coming Together

It would be nice if all my religious beliefs and political views came together in harmonious watermelon crunch. There is much more information about LGBT that needs discussing. My research barely skims the surface. LGBT rights are progressing and thankfully is no longer a hush-hush topic. The web links provided in this document show that religious institutions are becoming more aware and sensitive to the diversities of their congregations.

Why would I care about the LGBT community? Because their rates of suicide, victims of bullying and depression are high. LGBT children who are accepted by their parents are less likely to be self-destructive (Dohrenwend,141). They are my brothers and sisters. I care for them and their happiness. They have their journey and I am but yet a personage who will either help them or hinder them in their happiness. America is supposed to be a place where all people are allowed freedoms. Many people have sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom. When Joseph Smith was Prophet of the LDS church, Mormons struggled to find a place they could live their beliefs. Joseph’s life was taken because he was a seeker of truth. I give back the same generosity that has been bestowed upon us (me) and allow whomever the right to, or not to believe what they choose.

Why do we need to learn about Transgender? Recently I spoke briefly with a religious leader about this topic. His demeanor was respectful, but yet at the same time he seemed aloof to my interest. Maybe his detachment was because of his generations above me. But age aside, I’m guessing the number of people who do feel connected towards Transgender is less than the ones who don’t. I felt like telling this person, Haven’t you even let your mind ponder the idea? What if all this ‘gender’ business is because our eyes are not yet opened…and they need to be. Compassion has widened the walls of my heart. Having more knowledge about gender helps me know myself better. Knowing more about the masculine brain helps me better understand my husband and males in general. I am glad to have allowed my mind to go through this process and will allow it to continue…

Inspiring non-religious devotional-

Russell Brand-Awakened Man

 

Here are the resources that helped me with Coming to Understand Transgender