29.6.15

I Don't Want to Sit Across the Table From You Wishing I Could Run

No, this blog post is not going to get into the fact that Cake songs currently seem to describe my life. Although they do.

Ever since the Supreme Court ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges came out last week the internet has been abuzz with debates and anger, and I have been called "such a libertarian" "so Mormon" at work more times than one. I don't want this post to be a rehash of everything that has already been said on the subject, there are plenty of other bloggers out there telling you what is right or wrong with the ruling according to them. I do, however, feel compelled to give you a history lesson. If you majored in history like I did, you just got excited. If you didn't, please read this anyway. Then you can tell me I am such a libertarian and so Mormon! It's fun!

I want to start by going back into some ancient American history. In the Book of Mormon we read about a king named Mosiah who was nearing the end of his life on this earth. He had four sons and the people wanted the kingdom conferred on the oldest son, as was fairly typical of most kingdoms throughout history. Aaron, the king's eldest son, refused. King Mosiah decided to encourage the people to enter into a different system of law. One wherein they would have more of a voice in the laws of the land, and in turn, would have more accountability for their own actions. A system with judges was created.

Why did King Mosiah do this? Thankfully, he tells us why, and we have it in the record as follows:

 And now if there should be another appointed in his stead, behold I fear there would rise contentions among you. And who knoweth but what my son, to whom the kingdom doth belong, should turn to be angry and draw away a part of this people after him, which would cause wars and contentions among you, which would be the cause of shedding much blood and perverting the way of the Lord, yea, and destroy the souls of many people.
 Now I say unto you let us be wise and consider these things, for we have no right to destroy my son, neither should we have any right to destroy another if he should be appointed in his stead...
Therefore, choose you by the voice of this people, judges, that ye may be judged according to the laws which have been given you by our fathers, which are correct, and which were given them by the hand of the Lord.
 Now it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right; but it is common for the lesser part of the people to desire that which is not right; therefore this shall ye observe and make it your law—to do your business by the voice of the people.
And if the time comes that the voice of the people doth choose iniquity, then is the time that the judgments of God will come upon you; yea, then is the time he will visit you with great destruction even as he has hitherto visited this land.
After King Mosiah finished his explanation to the people of why he thought judges would be better, and describing how the system of judges would work we read that the people "expressed a willingness to answer for (their) own sins." (see Mosiah chapter 29)

In other words, the people in King Mosiah's time want to to be accountable for their own lives and their own decisions. Throughout the rest of the course of history in the Book of Mormon we see that when the people appointed good men as judges that upheld the law the people were generally happy and prosperous, yet when the voice of the people was overwhelming in appointing those that would not uphold the law, chaos and trouble abounded, and secret combinations were able to take over the government, ultimately leading, as King Mosiah prophesied, to great destruction and the death of an entire nation.

If we skip ahead to a little over a thousand years after the last of the Nephites were destroyed we find ourselves at the beginning of the birth of a nation. The founding fathers of the United States wanted to build a system of government where the people had the power to make decisions, and government would not be so large and oppressive as to simply dismiss the majority's wishes forthwith.

In reading about the creation of the United States of America as we know it today we can see many similarities between Mosiah's thinking and the likes of George Washington, Ben Franklin, and others that took a very active role in the writing of the Constitution. At the base is the idea that the people govern themselves and take responsibility for their own actions.

How did the founding fathers see this playing out? They would limit the role of the Federal Government. While the Constitution would remain the supreme law of the land (there had been too many problems with lack of authority involved in the Articles of Confederation) most issues could, and should, be settled at a state level, where the smaller governments could better listen to the voice of the people in their state, and make policy decisions based upon that voice.

In the past 80 or so years (ever since the depression) the growth of our federal government has hit the tipping point of the roller coaster, ever accelerating into the overreaching, grotesque monster it has become today. It doesn't look like it is slowing down either.

Remember when I wrote this post? I still stand by it one hundred percent. What we give up each time we allow any branch of the federal government to overreach their bounds is a little bit more of our agency to act for ourselves. This means the Supreme Court should not legislate from the bench, and no branch of the federal government should be getting involved in states rights issues.

How is it that we have gotten to a point where people can say #lovewins as though we really want to be giving the federal government power to be legislating love? Granted, they have already done it in the past. I wasn't surprised by Justice Kennedy's ruling, given that he wrote the majority decision in Lawrence v. Texas, and the Supreme Court gave themselves precedent to be legislating how and who can receive marriage licenses in states with Loving v. Virgina. The problem is, they shouldn't be. The instances where I think the court should be getting involved in someone's love life are seldom, and anything they legislate will not really have anything to do with love.

So I suppose in the end this post is a warning about the tides turning as the voice of the people beg more and more often for the federal government to be meddling in things they should not be meddling in. We shouldn't be wishing to give up our agency. The carnage that faced the Nephites was so terrible that it cause the leader of their army, Mormon himself (yeah, that's the one), to cry out after viewing the death and destruction all around him:

 And my soul was rent with anguish, because of the slain of my people, and I cried:
 O ye fair ones, how could ye have departed from the ways of the Lord! O ye fair ones, how could ye have rejected that Jesus, who stood with open arms to receive you!
 Behold, if ye had not done this, ye would not have fallen. But behold, ye are fallen, and I mourn your loss.
 O ye fair sons and daughters, ye fathers and mothers, ye husbands and wives, ye fair ones, how is it that ye could have fallen!
 But behold, ye are gone, and my sorrows cannot bring your return.

Generally I try not to sound like some kind of doomsday conspiracy theorist on my blog, but here is the truth of the matter. We are in the last days that the prophets have spoken of since the beginning (you know, with that Adam guy). The world will become darker as more people call good evil and evil good. We are on this path until Christ returns to reign upon the earth. Until then you have to ask yourself, where do you fall?

That is all.

28.2.15

Another Suitcase in Another Hall: So What Happens Now?

It is the last day of February, and I promised I would blog at least once a month. I have a blog post I am working on, but it isn't quite ready yet. I think I probably care too much about it, mais bon. That is how I roll.

I have been crazy busy volunteering with Community Legal Services, teaching piano lessons, enjoying new babies in the family, and very anxiously waiting to hear back on a few job prospects. I hate not having a plan. I need a plan. If I have a plan and the plan changes that is okay, but I need a plan. That is probably a blog post for another day.

Tonight I thought I would write about something that has been on my mind lately for so many different reasons. I am going to start with this quote from Gerald N. Lund from a conference talk he gave in April 2008.

The heart is a tender place. It is sensitive to many influences, both positive and negative. It can be hurt by others. It can be deadened by sin. It can be softened by love. Early in our lives,we learn to guard our hearts. It is like we erect a fence around our hearts with a gate in it. No one can enter that gate unless we allow him or her to.

Elder Lund's talk is focusing on opening our hearts to the Holy Spirit. However, I remember when he gave this talk, in fact, I am pretty sure I blogged about it then. I remember being struck by not wanting to have my gate be a huge padlocked iron gate.

Well, my friends, here we are seven years later and I have recently discovered that I kind of failed at that. Not that it is an iron gate. Remember how in December I blogged about vulnerability and having the upper hand in relationships?

Yes, I think this is a problem. Good communication is so vital in any relationship. I have been evaluating my extreme inability to speak to people about the things that are in my head. I can't keep being Clarence Thomas guys. I have to get back to being good at communicating. I used to be good at it. I really love people, I want to be able to speak to them better than I have been lately. I don't want others to feel like I am distancing myself from them, or shutting them out for some reason. So I need to become a better communicator, even a great one.

What makes a great communicator? As I consider this question, and my own personal problem three vital components come to mind. (All biblical references are from the King James Version of the Bible.)

23.1.15

No One Needs to Save Me, I'm Already Saved

This is a post I have been ruminating on for some time now. I wrote it in my head a few times and now here I am committing it to blog. Finally.

So, here it is: I am not a feminist. In fact, I find it incredibly irritating when people tell me that I must a feminist because I am a woman. I already know what womanhood means to me, and it does not mean being a feminist. Feminism has been turned into a political party and I do not have to be part of it merely because of my gender. That is not empowering, in fact, it is the opposite.

 The fact that I received an education does not make me a feminist either. This isn't the 1800s. Girls can go to college and law school. They don't have to be a feminist to do it.

In this post I intend to create a definition of feminism, talk about what the role of women has been in history, and what the role of women ought to be, and describe what I see as a better approach to appreciating women and men. In all of this my ultimate goal is to explain the divine nature of womanhood, and hopefully get some people thinking about why it is more valuable to focus on that divinity, rather than focusing on feminism and the troubles it breeds.

So let's get started shall we?

4.1.15

Tell Me on a Sunday: Letting Go of the Upper Hand

Human nature is a funny thing isn't it? I have noticed in relationships that I lean towards the side of carefully guarding everything about myself in order to avoid seeming vulnerable in any way.

I am certain that I am not the only one who does this. Although The Main Ingredient explained to us clearly in the 70's that everybody plays the fool sometimes, we still try to be the exception to the rule.

Lately I have been evaluating myself and how closely I guard emotions, experiences, and fears in order to not end up as the fool. I find myself coming back to this question: when is it good to keep the upper hand, and when is it better to trust and let go?

23.12.14

Les Anges Dans Nos Compagnes

Il y a tant des choses que je peux dire. Mais surtout je veux vous dire desolee. Sorry I never write, sorry I am a slacker.

I am not avoiding you, je vous promis! Maybe I'll get one of those new fangled personal computers for Christmas and then I wouldn't be subject to the millions of other people that live in this home using this computer all the time. Sinon, j'aurai besoin de l'acheter (un ordinateur je veux dire.)

It is Christmas break. My older brother came into town about a week and a half ago. With him here my auntly duties to care for his children has diminished, I can get out of the house more all by myself. Which is nice. Don't get me wrong, I love those tiny people more than life itself, but, you know, sometimes I just want to be alone. Or be in my car NOT listening to Katy Perry. (Although hearing Jayda belt out Roar is adorable.)

Mais bon. It is almost Christmas day. That is exciting. In some ways this year I have had many moments where I have just felt like this year is kind of a wash for Christmas. I said that to my mom and broke her heart though. I am not feeling like a Scrooge or anything, it's hard to explain.