According to this woman, SSM hurts women and children

M* would like to bring to your attention the story of one woman, whose husband left her to form a same-sex partnership.

The woman concludes her article this way:

My children and I have suffered great losses because of my former husband’s decision to identify as a gay man and throw away his life with us. Time is revealing the depth of those wounds, but I will not allow them to destroy me and my children. I refuse to lose my faith and hope. I believe so much more passionately in the power of the marriage covenant between one man and one woman today than when I was married. There is another way for those with same-sex attractions. Destruction is not the only option—it cannot be. Our children deserve far better from us.

This type of devastation should never happen to another spouse or child. Please, I plead with you: defend marriage as being between one man and one woman. We must stand for marriage—and for the precious lives that marriage creates.

(M* would like to point out that divorces are extremely emotional for the people involved, and we are only hearing one side of the story in this article.)

The woman says she pleaded with her ex-husband to maintain their marriage for the good of the children.

Try as I might to save our marriage, there was no stopping my husband. Our divorce was not settled in mediation or with lawyers. No, it went all the way to trial. My husband wanted primary custody of our children. His entire case can be summed up in one sentence: “I am gay, and I deserve my rights.” It worked: the judge gave him practically everything he wanted. At one point, he even told my husband, “If you had asked for more, I would have given it to you.”

I truly believe that judge was legislating from the bench, disregarding the facts of our particular case and simply using us—using our children— to help influence future cases. In our society, LGBT citizens are seen as marginalized victims who must be protected at all costs, even if it means stripping rights from others. By ignoring the injustice committed against me and my children, the judge seemed to think that he was correcting a larger injustice.

Continue reading

Heeding the Muse (Feeling the Spirit)

Muse reading Louvre CA2220.jpg

Muse reading Louvre CA2220” by Klügmann Painter – Jastrow (2006). Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Writer’s block is possibly one of the few universal experiences for those schooled in the written word. Which of us has not sat at a keyboard or with pencil in hand, unable to compose a coherent sentence?

I finished my series on A Faithful Joseph this past summer, knowing that a next step would be writing up an article for peer review – review by peers who aren’t positively inclined towards my views of the topic, but who have indicated that they would not reject an article out of hand.

It’s a relatively high-pressure situation. And I’ve had significant competing priorities the past two months. Even so, I have attempted to write an article about Dr. John C. Bennett a couple of times now, without success. Continue reading

General Women’s Meeting: Covenants, Temples & Living the Gospel More Fully

Can you stand one more post about General Women’s Meeting? Ok, here we go. I promise I’m not going to re-summarize the meeting; Meg and Rameumptom have already done that. But I wanted to share some thoughts had about the talks and my over all impressions.

First, there was a nice and very welcome international element to the meeting. The opening prayer was given by Sister Dorah Mkhabela from South Africa. Her prayer was heartfelt, sincere and full of love for the women of the Church. The Young Women’s Board, the members of which come from all over the world, were on the stand as well. I cannot wait until the Relief Society and Primary Boards also have international members as well. I was reminded that the Church is worldwide and as such, is working to include and incorporate different people, cultures, and needs into the organization.

I know the inner and outer critics of the Church are quick to jump on the Church because it seemingly does not respond to needs of its members in a timely manner, or that is seen as a North American church, which only caters to the needs of Wasatch Front Utah. But a thought occurred to me, this Lord’s Church – and it is an international Church. We have to get it right. When policies and changes are being made, there is a very careful process that occurs, which checks and double checks that things turn out right, or as right as possible. It has to be this way, we’re God’s children and He does not want us to make mistakes with His children. Perhaps we need to be more patient with the people and the process.

Provo Temple night

The second thing which impressed me was the principle of covenants, which are made individually, point us to the temple, which, in turn, points us to Christ. That is where our power is. To endow means to freely give, and when we go to the temple and participate there, we are endowed with God’s power. The Lord, our Father in Heaven, FREELY gives us His power. Think about that for a minute. I hope we each take some time to reflect on our endowment a bit more, and what it really is. Continue reading

Crafting a Narrative

On Saturday, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf addressed the women of the Church. Apparently, how he did so was unprecedented: he referred to them as disciples. Here’s the headline at the Huffington Post: “Mormon Feminists Surprised By New Wording Referring To Women As ‘Blessed Disciples Of Jesus.'” Here’s a quote from the article:

Mormon feminists may have been surprised by some subtle changes in vocabulary and approach Saturday (Sept. 27) at the church’s general women’s meeting.

Dieter F. Uchtdorf addressed the audience — sitting in the giant Conference Center in downtown Salt Lake City or watching via satellite in chapels of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints across the globe — not just as “sisters” but also as “blessed disciples of Jesus Christ.”

In a speech about living out one’s faith joyfully, Uchtdorf, second counselor in the church’s governing First Presidency, referred twice to women as “daughters of heavenly parents,” alluding to the Mormon belief in male and female deities.

Apparently, it is unprecedented to mention “Heavenly Parents,” and unprecedented to refer to women as disciples of Christ. Except for the fact that the term “Heavenly Parents” is used in the Proclamation on the Family, and leaders of the Church have been including women as “disciples” for ages (the linked post lists just a few examples of what I’m sure is many).

But that’s how you craft a narrative: anytime the leaders of the Church talk about the divine role of women, act as if its something that’s never been done before. That’s how you spin the tale so that people — both within and outside of the Church — come to believe that, until now, the Church has been demeaning towards women. But now, due to the vocal efforts of Mormon feminists, things are changing, and women can be disciples too!

I’m with Kathryn Skaggs on this one: sometimes it feels like some people belong to a different Church. Not that I want them to. I want them to be a part of the Church I’ve been a member of all along: The Church I grew up in always treated women as fellow disciples of Christ, and there was never a doubt in my mind of that. I see that the leaders of the Church tried for decades to communicate to women how much God values them, how important and central they are to the Creator’s plan for His children. And now Mormon feminists are taking the credit, by pretending it’s only now happening (presumably due to their vocal efforts).

I don’t think the Church is perfect. There may be practices and traditions that need to change. But I’m going to make a bold claim: If a sister in the Church just now realizes that she’s valued as a disciple of Christ, it’s not because the Church hasn’t taught it, frequently and often. What President Uchtdorf said this past weekend is nothing new. It’s not a change of rhetoric. Rather, perhaps our ears are opening enough to hear for the first time what they’ve been saying all along?

I think it’s dishonest to claim that this is some unprecedented shift in rhetoric on the part of the Church, and I think this twisting of the facts is designed to ultimately make the Church look bad and feminist agitators look like the protagonists of the story. It’s also designed set up a false crisis later on: If the Church has always been true, why is it only now treating women as disciples of Christ?