Tag Archives: love

We are Adopting, and We Could Use YOUR Help!

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A few years ago I wrote here about my love for adoption. Our family has been waiting to adopt for a very long time.  We haven’t been waiting to be chosen, we have been waiting until the time felt right.  I am so excited to announce that we are now beginning our adoption journey!  If you are interested in our story, please visit our fundraising site.  We would love any help you can give us, and prayers and sending love are the best thing you could offer.  If you feel inspired, please share our fundraiser with others.  I will be sharing more details about our journey and about “Lilly” as events transpire.

Pain, Pleasure and Childbirth

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Throughout all of my pregnancies I’ve spent the majority of the time processing fear.  I’ve come to know, all too well, the inevitable link between fear and pain in birthing.  So throughout this pregnancy I’ve been contemplating the opposing natures of fear and love.  If fear causes pain in childbirth, can love cast it out?  Or is pain just part of this rite of passage?

Tonight I’m contemplating something deeper… if fear causes pain in childbirth, can love cause pleasure?  Raise your hand if you’ve heard of “Ecstatic” or “Orgasmic” birth?  I had before, but I hadn’t given much thought to it.  I think during previous pregnancies the concept was just so far beyond where I was at the time that it wasn’t relevant to me.  Honestly, I was just trying to deal with fear well enough to go one night without a panic attack, or to maybe to not feel like I was going to throw up every time the thought of birth struck me… which was all of the time.  Thanks to Hypnobabies my last labor was quite healing.  The labor was painless and relaxing.  It really was beautiful.  Of course, that was the only time I’ve experienced 1st stage labor (my first two were the fast and “furious” type), maybe 1st stage is just not that difficult, but whatever… it was wonderful and I loved it.  Once the intensity began to climb and I came into active labor and transition I lost my focus and went into my typical mindset of suffering and wanting someone to save me.  When it came time to push and birth I was fighting and hanging on for dear life.  So with this birth I’ve wanted to take it a step further and have, not only a painless labor, but a painless birth as well.  Throughout the last labor I was very aware of the fact that I absolutely COULD be in pain.  I COULD choose to perceive what I was feeling as pain.  But that’s what it really came down to, altered perception.  Instead of fearing the contractions, I welcomed them.  Instead of interpreting them as painful, I labeled them for what they really are:  pressure, tightening and stretching.  Over and over and over I said to myself, “this is God bringing you your baby.”  And each time I said this I would envision the hand of God gently sweeping my baby lower and lower so that he could come into my arms.  When I envisioned God’s literal hand in my birth, and acknowledged that we were “in His hands” I felt safe.  When fear would try to creep in I would remind myself that God was giving me my healing birth, that whatever was happening was exactly what this baby and I needed to complete this journey.   Long story short, that labor made me believe that if it’s possible to alter my perception and have a painless labor, it ought to be possible to do the same for birth.  And so, this has been my journey throughout this pregnancy, to explore ways that that might be possible.

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out the love aspect.  I love my baby more than I can express, but I don’t necessarily feel like that alone will cast pain out of birthing him.  The sacrifice I’ve gone through to bring him into the world is one of love, but in past pregnancies and births that has not cast out fear.  Is it a matter of loving myself?  Is it in the loving and acceptance of the process of birth?  I don’t have all the answers on this, but one thing is for sure, I’ve learned A LOT about love during this time.  And that is probably the greatest gift I could have gotten from, or along with, this child.  He gets to be born into a much happier marriage and a more peaceful home.  Lucky boy!  And lucky me because my love for my husband has grown immeasurably during this time.

The second thing I’ve spent a lot of time pondering is how sex and birth are tied together, and how this might affect someone, such as myself, who still has a lot of issues from past sexual abuse.  Tonight I was pondering how when women learn to embrace their sexuality they open themselves to the possibility of having pleasurable births.  The same energy and the same organs that make a baby, birth a baby.  Birth is essentially an exaggerated sexual encounter.  There is such a fine line between pleasure and pain.  Have you ever had an orgasm so intense you thought you couldn’t handle it?  Have you ever had an orgasm that made you cry?  I have.  I would imagine an intense orgasm, occurring for an extended period of time would be incredibly overwhelming and could very easily been perceived as painful and causing suffering.  So my thoughts in relation to sexual abuse and birth are this:  I’ve always described birth as being “hard” pain, intense, violent and traumatizing.  If my first experiences with sex were, in fact, violent and traumatizing, it is by no means a stretch to see how I would perceive birth the same way.  Especially considering that during birth we are more “open” and therefor vulnerable than we are at any other time in our life.

The third thing I’m pondering, as of tonight, is the power, or the “intensity” of birth.  When you are studying “painless” childbirth, “ecstatic” birth and “orgasmic” birth you quickly learn that how women experience these are vastly unique.  But rarely is there ever a woman who claims to have a birth that is without intensity, and I’ve often said that it isn’t even so much the pain that is hard, it’s the intensity of it.  From my first birth I’ve described it as feeling like the greatest force in nature possible is moving through you… greater than a tornado or a tsunami, even.   It is nature’s GREATEST force and it comes into you and moves through you and there’s nothing you can do but hang on until it passes.  And in between these forces (or, contractions) there is this incredible calm, like the eye of a hurricane.   So painless birth does not mean birth without this power, or birth without incredible focus and hard work.   Well, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what is meant by the term being “in your power.”  I listen to a lot of talks by Natalia Rose and Amanda Dennis and this term comes up a lot.  It occurred to me tonight (and this is a HUGE light bulb moment for me) that maybe I am not a victim to the power of birth at all… maybe, just maybe, it is MY power.  Maybe I am so powerful, it is frightening.  Maybe I’m so powerful, I’ve refused to claim it because it is too much to wrap my mind around, or too great a gift to accept.  Maybe WOMEN are SO powerful, we’ve been led to view that power as pain, as something we are a victim to, to keep us down!   So, maybe when we are experiencing the intensity of labor, that is when we are most “in our power”.  And if this is true, are we not Goddesses?  Are we not tremendous?  Should we not embrace and claim that power with all the love that we possess and make THAT our birthing experience?  Quite a bite of food for thought, that’s for sure!

Some great resources to explore more:

Hypnobabies.com  (learn self-hypnosis and read positive birth stories)

Ecstatic-birth.com  (website of Sheila Kamara Hay, who inspired this post)

Inamay.com  (all of Ina May’s books are very empowering)

Joyinbirthing.com  (Giuditta Tornetta’s website, and her book Painless Childbirth)

debrapascalibonaro.com  (Debra Pascali-Bonaro, Director of the documentary Orgasmic Birth and co-author of Orgasmic Birth: Your Guide to a Safe, Satisfying and Pleasurable Birth)

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Thoughts on “Sssshhhh-ing”

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Just finished listening to an online call with Giuditta Tornetta, whose book, Painless Childbirth, I’ve been reading throughout my pregnancy.  Her book is very thought provoking.  Basically, she has made connections between the Chakras and the Basic Human Rites and each fits with a specific month of pregnancy.  Its truly fascinating and insightful.

Anyway, she was talking about how we treat our babies during the moments following birth.  This is a time of intimate communication between mother and child, each admiring the innate beauty of the other.   One of the main ways babies communicate is through crying, and most of us (due to societal conditioning) will respond to a crying baby by hushing them.  We may try to soothe them with a “sssshhhhh” or say something along the lines of, “Please don’t cry, its okay.”  And of course this is well meaning, but do we realize what we are doing?  Are we aware of the impact?  Our child is born and is attempting to communicate with us, to express to us what his/her journey into this world was like and the very first thing we’re saying to them is, “no.”  Do we want the first message we give to our child to be, “No, do not express yourself”?  After all, one of the basic human rites is the rite to have a voice and to be heard.

Perhaps this struck me so profoundly because I’ve known for several months EXACTLY what I want the first thing I say to my baby, Zain, to be.  I don’t know why this is, it isn’t something I ever thought about with my other babies.  It just came to me one night and I’ve rehearsed the moment over and over in my head ever since.  I pray that when that moment comes I will be physically able and have the courage to say it despite the spectators present.  I really would like for everyone to just disappear, except my husband and my children, for just a moment the second the baby is handed to me so that I can give him this powerful message.  Stay tuned for the birth story and you may get to hear what that message is!  ; )

I just wanted to encourage everyone to think about the messages we send our children and to open up more consciousness toward our words.  These are phenomenal spirits, set apart from any the world has yet seen.  May we give them messages of love, acceptance, and respect.

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First moments with our 3rd child, Coen.

Volumes of Love: Essay 1

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I’d like to initiate by talking about the standard ideas of what love is.  When I began this essay project last week I started by reading through countless quotes on love.  I expected a whole lot of poetic, romanticized jargon, and there was for sure plenty of that.  I found it interesting that I quickly began to see that perceptions of love seem to be able to be broken down into 3 basic categories, and I also began to see themes within those categories.

Today I want to talk about category #1:  Poetic Love

I’m referring to the kind of love most of us think of when we think of love.  The kind of love songs are written about.  The kind of love we are all “searching” for.  The kind of love that we “fall” into, that we cannot live without once we obtain, and that causes suffering when “lost”.  You know, love…right?

Well, as I’ve poured over words spoken about this kind of love the main theme I’ve noticed is that love is selfish.  That’s right, selfish.  And I can’t help but ask, is that love?  Elisabeth Rohm pretty much sums up my conclusion on the subject when she says, “When you fall head over heels for someone, you’re not falling in love with who they are as a person; you’re falling in love with your idea of love.”  And also, Alexander Smith, saying, “Love is but the discovery of ourselves in others, and the delight in the recognition.”

Background check: I have always been a sucker for love, have always been one to proclaim my love for falling in love.  All my favorite songs and movies are about finding love, and losing love, and the joys and pains that come along with love.  As I’ve mentioned before, I also very much tend to be afraid of love.  Or, well, not of love itself, but the pain that comes along with it.  I’ve had my heart broken many times, too many.  Several times ago I pretty much shut down, reinforced my heart’s fortress of stone, and went into hiding.  I am married… so that’s a problem.  But love just hurts too bad, doesn’t it?  I’ve felt like opening myself up to love and being hurt again would be like the fatal round, you know?  How many times can one heart break before it’s totally irreparable?

I realize now that these feelings are all incredibly selfish.  As is the common feeling of jealousy we experience in love.  An ex of mine used to like to quote someone who once said something to the effect of, “Every married man should be a jealous man.”  I totally bought into that, I think a lot of us do.  I mean, if we love this person and think so much of them of course we realize that others might be attracted to them as well, and because they’re so great if we were to lose them that would just be too much to bear.

“Jealousy contains more of self-love than of love.” ~Francois de La Rochefoucauld

I’m appreciating the truth in this.  I sat down with myself to ponder instances when I’ve felt jealously (which took some time, there have been many).  What was it that was really concerning me?  You’ll find I like to ask myself questions… and digress…  So, what is this jealousy?   I can’t help but feel like what it is for me is the fear of losing a person.  So now I ask myself, what does that have to do with love?  Ummm… actually, it has nothing at all to do with love.  All it really has to do with is my concern for myself (cue lightbulb).  What I’m really fighting for is to not be hurt.  In no way does that have anything to do with my love for the other person.  I’m afraid of facing rejection, of feeling like I wasn’t good enough, of feeling unattractive, of being alone.  There is absolutely not a hint of real love in this, not for the other person, and not even for myself.  If I loved myself, I would have no need to worry about these things.  Not only that, but I would see the destructiveness of it and not allow myself to accept such self-abuse.  If I really loved myself, that would be enough.  If he left me, I would be okay.  Loving myself would even open up the possibility of truly loving him.  If I loved him, wouldn’t I see him as independent from me and on his own journey through life?  Wouldn’t I realize he is not a possession?  I can’t “lose” him because I never owned him in the first place.  And really, if I truly, purely, completely loved him, wouldn’t I want what’s best for him, even if that isn’t me?

“He that is jealous is not in love.” ~Saint Augustine

I’ve come to realize these things and SO much more, which I will share in essays to come.  This enlightenment has come with so many emotions.  Mostly, I’m excited by it.  But it’s also not an easy thing to face the truth about myself.  The truth is I had no idea what love is, and I’m only just beginning to find out.  The truth is, I’ve been selfish and inwardly focused.  Perhaps the most painful truth is, that my selfishness and misunderstanding of love has inflicted an incredible amount of pain on the very people I proclaimed to love.  I’m sure to some extent this is merely part of the human experience.  We didn’t come here to be perfect, we came here to learn and to grow, and if we are doing that we are, is essence, perfect.  I doubt any of us will ever experience loving perfectly as a constant in our lives.  Sure, we can learn how to do it and get better and better at it, but I think we will always have times when we regress from our integrity, so to speak, and indulge in our humanness.  That’s totally okay, we learn each time.  We get back up and try and again and we increase in strength and in understanding.  That’s what it’s all about, and embracing this is probably the best start to self-love we can get, which is a prerequisite for loving anyone else.

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Volumes of Love: Introduction

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Most people can’t get enough of love romanticized, but few people are ever interested in what love really is.  Probably to those select who really know true love, it would seem a foolish thing to analyze.  Maybe love is best let be.  But see, I’ve been on this quest to discover why it is that I fear love, why it is that I can neither express it fully, nor feel it from others; why I have always felt unloved.  Essentially, I want more than anything to love better, and I quickly realized that not only do I not know how to do that, but that really I’m not sure I even know what love is.  And so began my journey to love, marked by study, prayer, pondering, and experimentation.  Recently I’ve begun to feel like what I’m learning is so fundamental and so neglected and long forgotten, that it would be criminal to keep it to myself.  So I decided to share it here, with all of you.  There’s no telling how long these essays will go on, as there’s no telling how long my journey will be.  As it stands I’m not sure a single person can really have all the right answers on this subject, but I will present my opinions here in hope that they will be thought provoking, and I hope you’ll share yours too.

Are we ready to change our hearts, and change the world?  Here we go…

“Cheesy” Life Lessons

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We have some pretty interesting conversations in our house.  Probably a result of a mixture of things… the fact that I’m a bit of a hippie, that we homeschool, and that my kids are wonderful little weirdos may be some of them… today we had several fantastic conversational moments.  One in particular my kids and I would like to share with the world, because its a great thing for us all to remember, and we accidentally came up with a fabulous saying that will make it stick in your mind like… well, cheese.  Because cheese is good, and anyway, that’s what our message is about.

We’ve got this great thing going where we get all cozy in my bedroom at bedtime and read from the children’s scriptures together, say our family prayer, and then read from another book.  This gives me wonderful opportunities to feed them literary genius they otherwise would be unlikely to seek out or sit through.  Its a sacred time, and they’re usually sleepy, so they’ll typically cuddle up and listen to whatever I happen to feel like reading.  Usually we read classic children’s stories or folk tales from various cultures.  Today I decided to take a chance and read from The Spiritual Experiences of Lorenzo Snow.  (You can get it for yourself here.)  So, we’re reading along in the first story and my kids ask what a Patriarch is, and of course, in my explanation we get onto the subject of Patriarchal blessings, which led me to share my own Blessing with them.  This is all foreshadowing, here is the point…  I’m reading along and the mention of “choice spirits” comes up.  We start talking about what it means to be a choice spirit.  I shared with them that they are SO special, they were sent to earth in this final dispensation, to prepare the world for the coming of the Savior.

Now, freeze there, and rewind back to the mention of cheese.  Stay with me here!  My kids LOVE cheese (who doesn’t?).  We eat a mostly vegan diet and are very careful about the animal products we do consume.  So, on occasion, we will eat some raw goat cheese.  We like to use it to make veggie pizzas on sprouted grain bagels or all veggie lasagna with eggplant and zucchini “noodles”, or we’ll grate it over veggies that have been tossed in pasta sauce or some such thing… Anyway, when cheese is offered up, my kids will strip it off the food and pile it up on the side.  When they’ve finished everything else, they will stuff all of the cheese into their mouths, delighting in the indulgence of that final, sensational, rich-salty-melty bite of goodness.

So I say to them, “God chose to save the best for last, he chose YOU.”  And my daughter says, “Like the pile of cheese at the end of the meal?”  “YES!  EXACTLY!  You are the pile of cheese!”

So to you, those living at this epic time, our message to you is this:  Your Father in Heaven LOVES you, immeasurably!  He has created you to become God’s and Goddesses.  He has given you the gifts of His own greatest attributes.  He has made you in His image.  And, he has saved you to come to earth at this specific time because you are the most choice of his spirits.  He has saved the best for last, YOU are the very best, YOU are the pile of cheese!

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What’s Meant to Be

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Tonight as I’m sitting in bed with my husband (watching The Voice, because that’s how he rolls), tapping on acupressure points in attempt to aleiviate morning sickness I say to him, “In case I ever get this crazy Idea again, please remind me I really, really, REALLY do not want to be pregnant EVER again.”

“Well, if its Heavenly Father’s plan…  think of all the things that happened to get this baby here.” He said.

“Like what things?”

“Like the vasectomy.”

Ahhh… yes.  The vasectomy.  How could I have forgotten?  The first of many things that made us realize we weren’t done with birth children.  See, we’ve always wanted to adopt.  But every time we move toward that plan we’re halted in our tracks.

We had decided we were done having birth children after the birth of our 3rd.  My husband went to see a doctor about getting a vasectomy.  All that happened during that appointment was that they had him sit in a room and at random intervals three different interns came in a said to him, “You understand this is permanent, right?”  No physical check up.  No instructions about whether or not he could eat before the surgery, or how long it would take, or if he’d be able to drive himself home.  Nothing.  Just reminders about the permanency of the procedure.  On the morning to the surgery he called the hospital, since he hadn’t heard from them to confirm his appointment.  What happened was the doctor never faxed the forms to the hospital that they would need to do the vasectomy.  They weren’t even expecting him.   He was irritated with the doctor but had no choice.  That was the only doctor covered by our medical.  If he wanted it done he’d have to go back to the same guy who didn’t even prepare him for the procedure and who couldn’t even get anyone in his office to fax a few papers.  So we dropped it.  Several weeks later Kolby learned in school about the increase of testicular cancer rates in men who have had vasectomies.  About a year later an updated handbook was put out by our church stating that a couple should not have surgery to avoid pregnancy unless medically necessary and only after counseling with their Bishop.  We take this as God looking out for us.

I get frustrated not able to understand why God won’t let us adopt.  Isn’t that a good, pure desire?  Kolby points out that there are specific spirits meant to come to our family.  I know this is true.  We very much believe that our family members chose each other before any of us came to this earth.  I guess I don’t understand why my body has to be the vessel for each of them to arrive here.  But then I think if I were looking down at Earth and I had the choice to come through a health conscious mother who will create a Space of Love for me, who will birth me and care for me in that space, surrounded by my family, who will hold me and nurse me anytime I feel the need, who understands the integration that comes along with being new in a body and in this world, who is passionate about family bonds and will keep me close and never send me away to be educated or raised by someone else, I’d jump down that chute without hesitation too.  And I love my babies.  I love them too deep for words, deeper than I often allow myself to be aware of.  Its scary, that kind of love.  I can’t hear the mention of a child passing away without breaking down in tears.  I can’t bear the thought of it.  The more children I have, the greater the risk that I will have to let one go.  And I don’t think I could do that.  I think I would die inside.  I have the greatest respect and admiration for anyone who has lost a child.  The more we love the more we stand to lose.  I’ve always been afraid of love, never quite able to open myself up all the way to let it in or to express it.  But its in me.  The only person I’ve ever met who seems to love in the way that I do is my daughter.  It isn’t easy to be her.  Her heart is broken constantly by the smallest things, but I can very much relate to her.  I’m not the best mom in the world, far from it.  I often wonder why these little beings want me as their guide in the first place.  My intentions are good, but rarely surface.  What my kids see is a tense, overwhelmed woman who is distant and nearly always disconnected.  Its a shield, really.  An attempt to not be hurt by love anymore.  And also often the result of my physical condition, which has been not good from my own birth and often causes me to be inwardly focused.

But, onward and upward is the only way to go.  I very much look forward to my journey with this new member of our family.  I’ve been preparing for him for over a year.  I know him and I love him as much as a mother can love her child.  I know that all too soon all these discomforts of pregnancy will be a distant and blurred memory and I’ll be gazing down at a pure and brilliant creation at my breast.  A creation who came here with a mission and who I will support in accomplishing that mission, because he is not mine, but God’s, and I am honored to be his earthly, and eternal, mother.

September’s Blogimony Sunday: The Divine Nature of Women

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9/2/12

Today as I was sitting in church I had a rush of elating thoughts I wanted to share, so I’ve decided to start a new habit I’m calling “Blogimony Sundays.”   Of course, it will likely not actually be posted on Sunday, since writing around kids is tricky business.  Before I get into what I’d like to relate, let me give those of you who aren’t familiar with my faith a mini run down to avoid any confusion.

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A typical LDS Meeting House, or Chapel. You’ve likely seen them around

I’m a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we are known by many as “Mormons.”  Once a month, on the first Sunday of the month, we have what we call “Fast and Testimony Meeting.”  Most of us fast for 24-hours on this day for various causes, and we take the money we would have spent on our food and donate it to the church as fast offerings.  This money goes to feeding and providing needs for struggling families and individuals.  These are not handouts, those who receive assistance work with their Bishops to improve their current situation so that they will not need assistance long-term.  We believe that by sacrificing for our chosen purpose (for example today we fasted as a family for my husband to pass his board exams) we will be blessed.  In our church we attend 3 meetings each Sunday, the first being Sacrament meeting.  We start by singing a hymn to invite the Spirit, then an invocation is offered by a member of the congregation, followed by the blessing and passing of the sacrament.  After that members of the congregation who have been asked in advance give talks on various subjects speak from the pulpit.  Following the talks we sing another hymn and a benediction is offered, again, by a member of the congregation.  We then go to Sunday school, and then divide into classes for males (Priesthood) and females (Relief Society).  The children have Sunday school together, separate from the adults, and then divide into smaller classes by age.  We spend 3 hours at church on Sunday.  Fast Sunday is a little different in that instead of assigned talks, people come to the pulpit at will to bear their testimonies.  This meeting is always a very powerful experience, and I hope to talk more about why that is at a later time.  Alright, now to get into it…

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The sign outside of every LDS Meetinghouse

The Spirit was intense for me today.  We walked in just as the opening hymn began.  I sat down, opened the hymn book, and began crying.  This continued the entire meeting.  I’m great at hiding it though, even my daughter who was cuddled up next to me didn’t notice.  I think that’s pretty typical for an LDS woman.  If you happen to know any of us you’re likely well acquainted with our weepy tendencies.  There was so much I wanted to comment on as I was sitting in church today, but one thing has stood out like a beacon in my mind, drowning out all else.  One of the brethren got up and opened his testimony by mentioning one of the recent television specials on the “Mormons.”  He said that they concluded that one thing was sure, the men and the women of our faith are not equals.

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This statement is… hmmm… alarming?  Infuriating?  Sad?  Maybe a mix of things, but inaccurate for certain.  When I was “investigating” the church (this is how we describe a person who is attending and learning about the church but is not yet a member) I was quite struck by the reverence the brethren had toward the sisters.  It was so apparent I noticed it immediately, as an energy in the room, during the first Sacrament meeting I attended.  As I got to know the teachings and the members better this impression only grew.  It’s something I’ve talked about with a handful of people over my 8 years as a member.  I’ve always said that it’s as though the men view the women as sacred beings.  They seem to acknowledge them as possessing something they themselves cannot.  The interesting thing is that the assumption that we are not treated as equals comes from the fact that in our religion the men can hold the Priesthood and the women cannot.  If you ask the women in our church (and I have) they will tell you exactly what I’m about to.  We don’t want the Priesthood.  We don’t need it.  Women have an innate connection to God that requires no outside conduit.  We are His Daughters, sacred beings, co-creators with him.  We are the vessels who willingly and with love sacrifice ourselves for the ultimate service: to bring spirits into bodies, the creation of souls.  We believe that it is only by obtaining bodies that we have any chance of proving ourselves and returning to live with our Father, receiving the Celestial Exaltation He has promised us.  If you were to attend any Relief Society meeting it would be undeniably evident that women hold up this church.  We keep the men on the right path.  We nurture our world.  There is nothing so powerful as the intuition and will of a woman, and this group of women are some of the most intuitive and willful in the world!  One thing I’ve always wanted to say to my sweet sisters, as I look around the room during Relief Society meeting is that never in the world is there a gathering of such beautiful women as when these gather together.  It isn’t because of outward appearance.  It isn’t because of intellect.  It isn’t because of congeniality.  It’s because of what we know, the sacred truths we hold at the deepest part of ourselves.  Any time women are gathered together with a common purpose, even the greatest powers cannot stop them from accomplishing their goal.  And in this church, that common purpose is to do good, and there is no greater purpose than that.

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My favorite picture of Mary and Jesus, I have this on my bedroom wall. It is a constant reminder of my purpose.

Please don’t feel sorry for us or assume we’re oppressed because our husbands are allowed a “privilege” we are not.  We’re thankful for that.  We have quite enough responsibility as it is!  The Priesthood blessed us.  It is always there when we need it.  We have unlimited access to it regardless of the fact that we cannot ourselves perform Priesthood blessings.  The Priesthood is something that is essential for men.  It’s a lifeline of sorts.  It not only helps them to connect with their Father to carry out His work, but it also keeps them on the good path and gives them something to strive for, as a man who is not living a life of purity cannot hold the power of the Priesthood.

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The very same Priesthood Christ had, men have today.

So here is what I know.  First of all, the Priesthood is all that it claims to be.   It is the power of God, passed down through a lineage that each man possessing it today can trace directly back to Christ himself.   The very first piece of my testimony that I gained was of the Priesthood, through a miracle I witnessed when receiving my first Priesthood blessing.  Perhaps I will share that story sometime.  Second, I know that the Relief Society of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is an organization provided by our Father to bless all of the inhabitants of the world.  It is an organization that utilizes the intuition, power, and talents of women to do the work of our Father on this earth.  It is an organization of love and of labor, and of love of labor.  It is not an organization I am proud to be a member of, it is an organization I am thankfulhumbled, and blessed to be a member of.  It is the very first place I have ever felt that I belong.  I know that I am right where God wants me to be.  I know that he is pleased with me.  I know that he recognizes me for all that I am and sees so many attributes that even I am not aware of.  I know that I am His Daughter.  That His love for me far surpasses anything even the most affectionate earthly father can fathom.  And what I also know, is that if this is true for me, it is also true for you.  No matter who you are, no matter where you are, no matter your faith or circumstance or social status, no matter what you have done or said or felt… you are remarkable.  There is immeasurable greatness in you.  I encourage you to continually strengthen your relationship with your Father, because as the knowledge of who you truly are grows, so does your power.  Women who know their own divine nature will save the world and all the souls who live in it.

May we raise up our daughters to know how they are!

A few quotes from Church Leaders:

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Our beloved Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, I miss this wonderful man!
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Our current Prophet Thomas S. Monson, I love this man!

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Current member of the First Presidency, Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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Our 13th and final Article of Faith, statements of our beliefs.
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Young Womens Values, this is what we teach our beautiful daughters.

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That We Might Have Joy!

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August 9, 2012

          I don’t often speak from the depths of my soul.  I think most of the world will not understand.  But maybe I’m not giving the world enough credit.  We are each, after all, the same.  And within each one of us is the gift to recognize truth, and good, and things that are of God, our creator. 

          So here is the secret of my soul.  Here is the unsheltered reality by which I live.  It is a painful thing to behold the world.  The depth of unnecessary misery is torture to witness.  I see a world of pain, where joy is meant to be.  I see us creating our own disharmony.  I see us intentionally manufacturing and attaching ourselves to dangerous distractions.  I see us allowing the forces of evil to penetrate our hearts.  I see us poisoning ourselves and our children.  I see an, ironically, barbaric civilization.  One that is so far distanced from its inhabitant’s pristine origins, it now sees them as barbaric, and shuns them.  If a person dares to attempt to live as the Creator intended, he is weird, crazy, a “hippy.”  A peaceful person who views the earth with wonder and gratitude, who treats others with love even when that love is harshly rejected, who nourishes himself from the earth and does not inflict violence on any living thing is so foreign to us we might actually fear him.  We wouldn’t know how to relate to such an individual.  But we are perfectly comfortable in our social circles, going on about which brand of crackers our children prefer, how to best clean our ovens, which fictional novel we are currently reading, what happened on last night’s episode of Bones… but none of this matters!  Stop feeding your kids death!  Stop poisoning your family with ovens and all that comes out of them!  Stop filling the space of your mind with these distracting and often scandalous inventions of unrealistic existence!  And, please, stop staring at flashing lights on a screen for hours a day, allowing your life to slip by while you live vicariously though someone else’s life, which may or may not even exist!  Why allow your life to be wasted away?  Because it’s all you’ve ever known?  Because you’re not aware of what is real?  Because it’s one of the few comforts you’re aware of?  Because the way you live your life is so unnatural and as a result the stress so high you feel the need to zone out?

          Steeping off the soap box now.  Please realize my irritation is with myself.  I am as guilty as anyone, and yet my consciousness is evolving.  And as it evolves I find myself questioning the activities I choose to include in my daily life.  I’m analyzing why I make the choices I do, what the payoff is, as well as the cost, and most importantly I’m asking myself if these things are serving greater good.  Do I need them?  Can I give them up?  What might I replace them with?

          The unfortunate truth is that we are natural beings living in a way that is completely unnatural to our species.  We tend to prefer not to see ourselves in such a way, as “animals” so to speak, as part of nature.  We surround ourselves with destruction.  Do you get what I’m saying?  We surround ourselves with DESTRUCTION.  Take a moment right now to look at what surrounds you.  How many things can you count that were created by the robbing of life?  How many things were created in a factory?  How many things were once living that are now dead?  How many of these things will decay with time? How many are capable of their own reproduction?  Are you surrounded by anything that is living in its pristine form?  Human beings are meant to be part of the natural world.  It is this world that was created for us.  All things within it are intricately linked.  All things work in harmony.  Every needful thing is provided for us there.  When we live true to our nature, we need not ask God for anything.  We need only rejoice and praise Him with gratitude for all that he has given us from the beginning.  Not because we ought to, not because He says, but because we would be so overflowing with the pure love available to us, that we would not be able to contain it! 

          What can we do, in our modern society, to tap into this joy?  Here are a few ideas for you to condsider.  Walk barefoot outdoors daily.  Grow a garden.  Eat food in the form in which it is offered from the earth.  Cleanse the toxins of the modern world from your body via colon hydrotherapy and eating as mentioned previously.  Make a habit of viewing your life with gratitude rather than despair.  Allow enough quiet into your life that you can hear the whisperings of truth all around you.  Choose to love others just as they currently are.  MOVE your body.  They are designed to be moving most of the day!  Detach yourself from electronics as much as possible.  Connect to the people, plants, and animals around you.  Don’t allow fear to be a part of your experience.  Where there is love and faith there is no fear.  Get to know yourself.  Find our callings in life.  What are you most passionate about?  What can you do to assist others?  Go to bed with the sun and rise with it.  Release the past, it is no longer happening.  It only exists in our lives if we choose to hold on to it by focusing on it.  Look for the growth opportunities in your suffering.  Allow what’s in your heart to have a voice.  Do not fear vulnerability.  Do not concern yourself with that others think of you, they see through their own set of filters, they cannot know your true heart.  But your Father knows it and loves it.  Women, you are DIVINE!  You are daughters of GOD!  YOU are His greatest creation, the absolute pinnacle of perfection!  You are equipped with gifts that enable you to take the world from its current state of destruction, back to its pristine origins.  Bond yourselves together, there is power in numbers!  Do not allow the forces of darkness to come between you and your sisters.  Turn away from pettiness, judgment, superiority, control.  Look at the people around you as people, not as objects.  Every person you interact with is just like yourself, in fact they are a part of you.  Treat them as such.  Do not destroy God’s creations.  Do not kill his animals.  They have been entrusted to you and are here to serve you. 

          My only hope as I write this is that someone will come away pondering.  Some spark will ignite in the depths of a soul which, as he focuses on it, will grow into a force for good in his life.  Each life on this earth is an essential part of the big picture, the Master’s Plan, and if I have said anything that might bring more power to the forces of light, I have done well in the sight of my Creator.  And ultimately, that is what matters.