Sunday, February 21, 2010

Three weeks...

...and counting.

Scott wasn't sure how I would handle it, but it has been so nice--no panic attacks or three hours of misery and crying on Sundays.

The first week I chose songs for Relief Society and got a sub. The second week I picked songs and called the education counselor in the presidency to let her know. Today I didn't worry about it. As Scott says, I gave my 3 weeks notice to the bishop 4 weeks ago.

Meanwhile, the children continue to attend by their own choice. They haven't gone to sacrament meeting, but I take them over and pick them up from the other two hours. This morning they were more wishy-washy than usual. I told them they could go, or stay home and we could watch a church-produced movie. "Like Prince of Egypt?", the 12-year-old asked. No, like Legacy or Testaments.

When a half hour to Sunday school time came around, he still wouldn't decide. I gave another choice: decide to go (and get ready right now) or not go, and we will start a movie. But if you don't choose now, you will sit here and read your scriptures for two hours.

Within a few minutes, everyone was getting ready to go.

Scott and I made great use of the two hours with some much-needed conversation.

I've found some great apps for my new iPhone with scriptures and lesson manuals and audio of talks and Mo-tab musical programs. I am beginning to establish some personal gospel study habits.

We were with Scott's family tonight for a b-day dinner/get together. Toward the end, something came up about the day and I shared the choices I had given the children, and that they had all chosen church. Then I mentioned in passing how easy it has been for me to not go for 3 weeks, nice to not walk in the building and have a panic attack. (Especially today when it was ward conference and the stake president probably spoke.)

Scott commented later how his ultra-Mormon brother and his wife were eying us a little strangely the next few minutes while we were all gathering up things in preparation for heading home. I must have given them a bit of a shock.

Oh well, life is good for the most part. Here comes another week!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Confused, as usual

Where do we go from here?
This isn't where we intended to be
We had it all, you believed in me
I believed in you

Certainties disappear
What do we do for our dream to survive?
How do we keep all our passions alive,
As we used to do?


Deep in my heart I'm concealing
Things that I'm longing to say
Scared to confess what I'm feeling
Frightened you'll slip away


You must love me
You must love me

Why are you at my side?
How can I be any use to you now?
Give me a chance and I'll let you see how
Nothing has changed


You must love me
(From Evita)

I have no idea what I really feel or believe any more. I think I've got it figured out, that the give and take are worth it, I feel peace for the most part, and am happy that he is happy; and then someone tries to convince me otherwise, that I am deceived, and I start to doubt myself.  Then I say things I'm not sure I really mean, things someone has convinced me are the way I really feel, and he is not happy and I'm not happy.  And then the cycle starts all over again.

Damn blogs. I love our blogs, I hate our blogs. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Where do I go from here?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Amen, Judge Judy

To go with yesterday's blog post, here is Judge Judy on Larry King live.  Bravo! She says it perfectly! Come on world, get your head out of the sand!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Why Marriage Matters

Finally, an article in the Deseret News that I can agree with. Remove a couple of words and sentences, like “Traditional Marriage” and “National Organization for Marriage” and "especially those of us who believe marriage is and should remain in America the union of one man with one woman" and you have the perfect set of arguments for why gay marriage should be legal. Why those who write this stuff can’t see it is beyond me. They are so stuck in traditional interpretations of the bible, like the misunderstood story of Sodom and Gomorrah, that they refuse to look around at families with gay couples at the head of them that fit this article perfectly, families like Utah Cog.

Anyway, here it is! (

"Why Marriage Matters": Marriage leads to better overall health, scholar Linda Waite says

By Sara Israelsen-Hartley
Deseret News
Published: Monday, Feb. 15, 2010 10:02 p.m. MST

PROVO — There's a lot to be said for saying "I do."

And it goes beyond the romantic notions of happily ever after.

How about healthily, wealthily ever after?

Married people have higher levels of physical, emotional and cognitive health, along with greater earning potential, a sociologist told a group at BYU last week.

Linda Waite, a professor of sociology from the University of Chicago, provided hard data for the often emotionally fueled arguments in favor of traditional marriage at the sixth annual Marjorie Pay Hinckley Lecture.

"What I argue, and in my view, the research evidence supports, is that marriage itself changes people's choices," Waite said.

When their choices change, their behavior changes, which results in greater health.

"(Using the) most basic fundamental health indicator, it's very clear that married people are advantaged," she said, showing a graph with life-expectancy lines for men and women that were higher for married individuals than their single, widowed or divorced counterparts.

And this refers to traditional marriages, she said, not cohabitation, marriage-like arrangements or alternatives to marriage.

But being married doesn't just help you live longer. Other graphs showed higher levels of mental health and cognitive function for married couples than for single people living alone, with other adults or with their own children.

"It's clear that for both men and women, marriage improves mental health," Waite said. "And it declines when they lose a marriage."

In fact, divorce or widowhood is so stressful that "being divorced or widowed leaves a mark on physical health even years later," she said.

Although remarrying improves mental health, it can't make up for the damaging periods of poor sleep, nutrition and exercise during a stressful time, Waite said.

Marriage also benefits the parties financially, as women have someone to provide for them and their children, and men earn more money than they did when they were single, because of an improved work ethic.

Those findings are nothing new to BYU professors, who study social trends of marriage and family through the LDS lens.

"Obviously at BYU, there's a religious motivation behind the importance of marriage," said Renata Forste, a sociology professor who studied in Chicago, where she met Waite. "But there's also empirical evidence that shows that married people do better."

Lectures like Waite's build on the legacy of Sister Hinckley and her focus on the family through research and education, said Stephen Bahr, a professor of sociology at BYU who is on the Marjorie Pay Hinckley Advisory Committee responsible for arranging the lectures.

"Rather than simply advocating a position is to focus on the research," Bahr said. "As students learn to do good research, the research will speak for itself, as hers did."

And the more people who understand the scientifically proven benefits of marriage, not only for them, but for society in general, the more attitudes will hopefully shift to being protective and supportive of traditional marriage, Waite said.

"The most important thing is to speak up, in love, for the truth about marriage," said Maggie Gallagher, president of the National Organization for Marriage and co-author with Waite on the book, "The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially."

"Right now, it's less about which arguments are more or less effective than it is about the attempt to intimidate or embarrass marriage supporters into silence," Gallagher told the Deseret News, "especially those of us who believe marriage is and should remain in America the union of one man with one woman."

Gallagher said it's important to talk to children, siblings, friends and family members about why marriage matters so much.

"We tend to raise kids to be good workers and students," she said. "We need to raise them as well to be and to value being good husbands and wives, because children need moms and dads they can count on."

"Why Marriage Matters"

In 2002, a group of family scholars, including Linda Waite, produced a report, "Why Marriage Matters," sponsored by the Institute for American Values.

In the report, they summarized three fundamental conclusions about marriage:

Marriage is an important social good.

Marriage is an important public good.

The benefits of marriage extend to poor and minority communities.

To read more, visit or

This past weekend I received an email from parent at my school because after a few communications with her regarding her child and my student, I somehow got on her “read this cool story!” email list. :) Sometimes it is annoying, but after skimming this particular email, some statements toward the end intrigued me, and my mind has since put them together with the above article.

I have heard politicians and political groups use the arguments that special groups should not receive special freedoms just for them, specifically referring to the gay community. But the response I have heard from the other side is accurate: they are not looking for special treatment, just equal treatment. Then there is the response to that, that a gay man has just as much right to marry a woman as a straight man does. They really have no idea how far that is from being an equal freedom, which is so sad. They also say that as long as people are quiet about being gay, then there is no issue with job or housing security. They really have no idea what it is like to be in the closet.

Back to a small quote from this email, (I have no idea how true it is, but I like it) that comes from a Judge, William Young, who presided over the case involving Richard Reid, a man who got on a plane with a bomb built into his shoe.

He supposedly says to the terrorist (among a lot of other things):

“It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose…”

What I liked best, however, was the commentary after the Judge’s quote, from whomever got this email going in the first place:

“We need more judges like Judge Young.”

“But we are losing America and the Freedoms that Judge Young was speaking about because too many "Special Interest Groups" are exploiting the "ME" and forgetting about the "US" in America. Unless we stand together, it won’t take too much longer before they pull us part with the very ideals of Freedom that we hold so dear. I don't care if they pit Caucasian against Latinos, Straights against Gays, or Catholics against Protestant. They are succeeding in dividing us from "One Nation Under One Flag". Our forefathers built us as a nation "Under God", but God made us all brothers and sisters. Different, but Special. These special interest groups are using that difference against us to divide us and it’s working.”

“AND THEY KNOW IT. They are using our very Freedoms against us. Because we won’t stand up to them and they know it. We better fight these guys or be prepared to crawl when they destroy what our constitution was really intended to do.”

“It has been said over and over again that America will destroy itself from within and it looks like we are.”

Now, I am not sure which side this email-author is on when it comes to gay-rights issues, but I agree that our country has a problem. I’ve said this before, that there are people on both sides of the issue that are doing more harm than good. I know some people see the gay community as a “special interest group” that is causing problems. But I think it is much more the other way around. Basic freedoms are at stake, basic freedoms of employment and housing and hospital visitations and marrying who you love, of creating a family with those you are most connected to. The rights of parents to control what their kids do and don’t learn in school about the families of other children pales in comparison, in my opinion, to the rights of this minority group. And even more than that, I think children OUGHT to have the opportunity to learn about and embrace other family structures, thus fully accepting their peers and their individual situations.

Again, I am so glad that we have taught our children to love. Two weeks ago,  (the first week I officially stayed home from church) the 3 older children chose to go to their classes, but the youngest wanted to stay home with me. So he and I had our own primary lesson, the next one from his manual, and the topic was on family. I was talking to my son, following this instruction in the lesson itself: - Support Materials Chapter - We Have Special Families

“Explain that all families are different. Some families have two parents, and some families have only one. Some families have lots of children, and some families have only a few children or one child. Some families have children, parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles all living together. Some children live with adults who aren’t related to them but who still love them and care for them. Families do different things together and show love in different ways. The important thing about families is that the family members love and care for each other. Everyone needs to be part of a family.”

My son immediately jumped down from the couch and picked up a picture book that we have on a shelf under our coffee table, and insisted that I read it with him. Scott looked up from his personal reading/study time and smiled. We purchased the book a year or so ago, and it has a page that says “some families have 2 moms or two dads.” He and I read through the book together. We have read it many times, and he had his own commentary to go with it. To him it is all normal, that all families are different; he is going to grow up with that idea, and I love it!

After the book, we continued with the lesson. I did not teach him anything contrary to the lesson. It is true that some families have two moms or two dads, and there is no reason to hide the fact that they exist and love their children just as much as any other parents.

I agree wholeheartedly that “Marriage Matters”, freedom is most precious, and the best way to hold our country together is to support and strengthen marriage and families, all families, no matter what they look like.

From the proclamation on the family: ( - Family Chapter Detail - The Family:A Proclamation to the World)

“Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness, to provide for their physical and spiritual needs, and to teach them to love and serve one another, observe the commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live..."

"We warn that individuals who violate covenants of chastity, who abuse spouse or offspring, or who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God. Further, we warn that the disintegration of the family will bring upon individuals, communities, and nations the calamities foretold by ancient and modern prophets."

"We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.”

AMEN! Let’s legalize gay marriage, promote family, and strive to love and serve each other!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Getting used to disappointments

So, my husband is gay.


What? No temple recommend for no good reason whatsoever?


Oops, I'm having a baby. Four children was perfect. I guess someone upstairs doesn't agree. If I have to go through this pregnancy thing again, at least let it be a girl.


I'm not in the final cut of the movie after all? No 5 minutes of fame? Whew! (I guess)


Oh, another cute, adorable boy?


Now I just have to help my daughter come to terms with having four little brothers. Wish me luck. Actually, better yet, pray for us. Her face is red, her eyes puffy. Maybe it is time for a girl's night out. Anyone else want to come?

It is what it is, and we will love him. Any ideas of boy names starting with S, now that Savannah and Sophia and many others on my possibility list are probably all out of the question?


Sunday, February 7, 2010

Letting go

Over the past month, I have been trying to notice if I could feel my baby moving. I knew from experience it was time, and I have felt it a few times, but not very much.

Tuesday I felt it kicking me off and on all day. I wonder if it could have anything to do with letting go of my temple recommend and church for a while. I know the stress has not been good for me, so obviously it would not be good for my child.

It has been a typical week...morning sickness, headache off and on, needing to eat but nothing sounds good, and the normal running around at work, running kids around after school, etc. All of the same stuff to make me grumpy. But I haven't been (at least not as much, I think). My load feels lighter, my emotions less volatile (other when I was specifically relating my 30 seconds in the S.P. office Sunday to a friend at work), my attitude better overall. A week of church hasn't even passed yet, but just making the decision not to care any more has made a huge difference.

At lunch at work one day, my friends were sharing interesting experiences they and other family members have had in the temple. In the past a discussion like that has made me upset, reminding me of my lost recommend and leaving me in tears. This time I felt the spirit and shared one story of my own. Wow! I hadn't realized how much the stress over my recommend was affecting my ability to feel the spirit. It occurs to me that it has been a while since I have blogged about spiritual experiences, hasn't it? That's because there haven't really been any.

I think I have been working so hard at figuring out how to be worthy of my recommend, that my attitude has been heading the wrong way. I started believing comments of others, losing trust in my husband and in our future. I even suggested one night that maybe he was possessed by evil spirits that were trying to lead him and me carefully to Hell. But now that I've let go, I understand what Scott has been trying to tell me about his not being able to go to church any more, his inner conflict between hurting me by not going compared to his need to just let go!

Meanwhile, the rocky month of January is behind us, and Scott and I have been able to more easily talk again.  We went to a therapist on Friday, but I wasn't sure we needed it any more.  Scott thought it was good, and although I wanted him to say more, it opened the door for him to talk to me more later.  We still have things we need to discuss, and he is still afraid of hurting me or having me get defensive and turn into a pile of emotional mush, but maybe that will get easier.  I think I was good at listening Friday night, wasn't I? :)

My visit with the bishop last week was wonderful.  I wanted to him to know exactly what had transpired over the last 18 months to lead us to where we are now. I was in tears the whole time, which I expected to be.  He did not judge, he did not offer advice, he just listened like I needed him to. He was sad to hear of my panic attacks at church and my decision to take a break. He asked if there was anything he could do that would help Scott come back, or would keep me there. I told him that right now the pain and bitterness were too great. He asked if I could at least meet with him once a month, so he could keep up with how our family is doing. He gave me a blessing at my request. It was long, and I don't remember much of it. I remember him saying something about being able to forgive my leaders, but it was not said in a judgmental way, but as a request for help from our Heavenly Father. He spoke of the many people on both sides of the veil that love me and are supportive of me. I thought of all of our friends. I thought of Scott's mother and my grandmother that were undoubtedly watching over us. By the end of the blessing, the bishop was crying too, but I had already used all of his tissues!

When I got home, I was calm, and I knew that I had made the right decision. I knew the Bishop was hurting because of it, but that he understood. I noticed that one of my friends on Facebook had an amazing quote in her status.  I went to her profile page, and several of her recent status updates were awesome quotes:

"We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the life that is waiting for us". -- Joseph Campbell

"When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be." --Lao Tzu

"Some think it's holding on that makes one strong; sometimes it's letting go." -Sylvia Robinson

"All healing is first a healing of the heart." -- Carl Townsend

"Happiness is not a goal; it is a by-product." --Eleanor Roosevelt

“No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change.” --Barbara De Angelis

We had Chinese takeout for dinner one night this week, and my fortune was strangely appropriate: "The best investment you can make is in yourself."

I've been thinking about why letting go has been so hard for me, why I have been so determined to get my recommend that I have disregarded the horrible things it was doing to me.  I think it has to do with LDS culture, with the same things that made it take Scott so long to come to terms with the fact that he is actually gay. A young Mormon grows up in the church knowing that they should keep a specific goal in mind that will help them to live their life the right way and make good decision. That goal is to be temple-worthy, so that they can receive required ordinances, specifically the sealing ordinance, being sealed forever with a spouse and raising a family that will then be together forever if they keep themselves worthy of that recommend throughout their lives.

I have always done just that.  I have always had a recommend, since I was 12, and it is symbol of my worthiness, having my feet on the right path to get back to God and be a Goddess myself someday. It represents my worth.  I have always had a hard time not meeting up to my own expectations. In school, I insisted on getting "A"s in all of my classes, and if I didn't, I had failed. It was not my parents doing at all; my mom even tried to bribe me with money for B's and C's in an attempt to make me relax a bit, but it did not work. It was not until I got to college and received my first "B" in a class that I realized how crazy it had been to kill myself for "A"s.  As a teacher and mother, I try to help other students understand that it is just not as important as other things, like mental health.

But when it came to my recommend, I could not follow my own advice.

But now I feel peace.  I'm not changing the way I'm living or what I believe. I am not of any less worth in the eyes of my Heavenly Father.  I am just letting go of a tremendous amount of stress, and taking care of myself.