Thursday, July 10, 2014

Unintended Consequences

I have thought a lot about my place in the church lately.  Ultimately I have decided that it is ok for me to be who I am and still a believer.  It is ok to look at things critically and still believe.  Not everything has to be literal and I don't know the whole truth yet.  The church has made mistakes in the past but am I a better person because of the church---YES!  I listened to part of Radio West today on NPR. I only caught the tail end but the guest talked about the recent essay from the church regarding the book of Abraham.  The part that I heard that I really liked is an example from the Jewish Faith.  We can look at things critically and still be believers.  We can have many interpretations and still believe.  We can still be one church but have different views.  It was exactly what I needed to hear.  I have been quite open with my beliefs about Kate Kelly and her excommunication on facebook.  Many people disagree with me including many of my friends.  I don't think they really understand where I am coming from.  I do not necessarily believe that everything Kate Kelly did was wrong, but not everything she did was right.  There is inequality in the church.  It is ok to ask questions and have open discussions about things.  I don't want to be a cookie cutter Mormon.  I don't want to be a blind follower.  It is also not ok to put other people down.  I feel like there has been way too much of that going on on facebook against everyone.  People are either coming across as apostate or self righteous to the people on the opposing view point.  What I have repeated in my posts is that this is something that we can use to help us become more loving and a stronger people together yet people have been mean. 

What are the unintended consequences?  I don't know but just because you didn't mean to do something doesn't mean there aren't consequences or that you are not responsible for them.  At school sometimes kids trip each other on accident.  Some of these kids refuse to apologize because it was an accident.  Just because it wasn't on purpose doesn't mean that it didn't hurt.  These events do hurt.  We do have inequality in the church that does need to be fixed.  I don't even mean that women should receive the priesthood because that is irrelevant to me.  I mean things like how women and men are treated and budgeting and callings etc. 

Now since most of my posts tie back to my dating or pseudo dating life here is the connection.  I recently posted about my blind date where I really appreciated my conversation with him.  I had a friend ask me about the date today.  I shrugged it off because I knew he wouldn't call me and that is ok.  I told her briefly that we had a great conversation and that I was very open about things and she jumped to were you scared by his political beliefs?  The answer is no--because most people don't.  I think far right or far left on the political spectrum would be the only places that would scare me.  I do believe that Moderate is the best place to be.  In the world that is where I lie. In Mormon culture in the United States and especially in Utah that makes me a liberal.  I did say that I do think he maybe was scared by what I did say.  If he truly was--that is a shame.  Ultimately all the points I was trying to make were for equality and love of each other.  Honestly that question stung.  As I age I honestly have become more and more concerned about getting married(I know that is blatantly obvious on my blog).  This is not only because of my age and lacking opportunities to meet men, it is also because i fear I am too liberal for a Mormon boy.  I don't want a cookie cutter Mormon and he wouldn't want me.  I am a believer but I ask questions.  I am not going to be a door mat for a  man.  I will not be less than him--but I don't want to be above him either.  Is there a man out there that shares similar beliefs?  I know many men I met in college were very much the guy that wanted their wife to be less than him because he held the priesthood.  I refuse to be that way. What are the unintended consequences in my own life?  How will this affect me?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Dodged a Bullet

I have returned to the family branch.  I will admit it isn't my favorite, but the Branch President is nice and so are many in the branch who knew me from before.  It is amazing...people talk to me.  That was not so much the case going to the GINORMOUS ward.  Ok so I know it isn't really a ward, but really a branch as well, just an 800+ people branch.  As I was leaving today I walked by the chapel.  I looked inside because I am glutton for punishment.  My former fiance attends that ward.  Seriously did he not realize that I could still live where I do and we would be in the same stake and attend church in the same building?  I guess not!  That was one of the reasons I went to the Mid-singles ward in the first place.  I honestly didn't want to run into him week after week.  So as I glanced inside the chapel he was there.  He was holding a small baby.  At this point I have a few thoughts running through my head:

1.  Why do I even care?  Why am I doing this to myself?
2.  I am proud of myself for not really freaking out.  I am stronger than I give myself credit for sometimes.
3.  I am happy for him.
4.  I am a little jealous because I want to be married and have children.
5.  I am so glad he didn't see me.
6.  What was that comment from the branch president about?  Would he really not call to primary?  Hmm who knows?  Do I really want to be called to primary? (Ok this one is simple--I just want a calling that helps me feel needed and helps me want to come to church)

Later on today I facebook stalked him--yes I am that person.  He posted something in June about wanting a job and asked fb for suggestions of how to find one.  He said he wanted to have a job in film or in guitar.  He has a bachelors in film form UVU and said he has played the guitar for years.  First of all I don't really know about the guitar.  He never played it for me and when I asked he would always try to push it off and say later.  Does he really know how to play?  And film is great and wonderful, my brother and sister-in-law do it, but they have master's degrees and live in L.A. and have a hard enough time making ends meet and finding jobs that are really sustainable.

I then looked up his wife.  There were no pics of the baby or should I say babies on facebook.  She had twins.  Great wonderful...but that made me a little upset because I have always wanted twins.  As I have posted before on this blog I have had dreams of multiple births.  It almost felt like they are living the life I was supposed to have...before I snapped back into reality.  I don't want him.  I don't want a guy who is just a dreamer and will have a hard time for years and most of his life finding a decent job.  Yes I want someone to have aspirations--but I also want a steady pay check.  I value consistency.  Sad to say it but I felt smarter than him. I never really liked it. I was willing to deal with it at the time, but that isn't what is best for me or what I want now.  I think he just wanted some little wife that was subservient to him as the man and head of the household.  I am not that woman.  If anything has come out of this Kate Kelly excommunication in my life it is that I will not play second fiddle to a man.  Some women seem to be ok with that in the church letting all decisions go to their husband.  (Let it be said here--for me Ordain Women isn't just about women getting the priesthood. It is about showing women they have a place in the gospel and it is equal to men.  I could also go either way on the priesthood for women. I don't feel less because I don't have it--but there are certainly inequalities in the organization of the church and in Mormon culture that I am not ok with.)  I don't want to be more than a man, or less than a man.  I want to be equal to him.  I don't want to have to rely on him to get into heaven or not to get into heaven.  I am still an individual even if I were married.  His choices are his own and my choices are mine.  We can make some together and help each other.  I want us to be help meets to each other.  I want us to use our strengths to make a great marriage--not just a so so one.  I want us to help each other with our weaknesses and want to make decisions together, but I will still be Rachel.  I am not willing to give up my identity for man.

While engaged, I said that I was kinda sad about loosing my last name. He acted defensive to that like I didn't want his name.  It wasn't that.  Even though I am independent and probably a true feminist, I do plan on taking my husband's last name.  I just felt like I was loosing part of me.  Part of my rich heritage.  I have early American colonial history from New Amsterdam--1623--that is pretty dang good.  I have Mormon pioneer stalk.  This is just from my last name.  There are also so many amazing things from my mom's side of my family.  My ancestors were cheated from money as pioneers in Sanpete county by LDS neighbors.  They lied to them and wouldn't ever repay the money.  What they did was admirable.  They chose to forgive and not let them determine if they should remain in the church or not.  I have grandparents who taught me to love others and show them that they are important.  I am still learning that one.  The list goes on and on...I don't want to loose that.  I will not give up who I am for someone else.

So I dodged a bullet by not marrying him.  I don't think I would be happy if I was.  I would feel stifled.  I won't say I am happy all the time being single or in any other relationship status in my life.  I cried this week about my lack of feeling part of the church, a romantic relationship, a family etc. this week. I have insecurities and I am working on them day by day but I am blessed because I didn't marry him.