Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Isn't it wonderful how the Gospel answers all our questions? Since getting reacquainted with some old friends of other faiths, I've been researching what other Christian denominations believe on certain doctrinal points and have found two very interesting facts from this research.
First, we are the only one who believes in a premortal existence. The fact that my computer wants me to spell-check "premortal" tells me that it's an unusual belief. Yet it solidifies everything we believe about our purpose on this Earth and who we are and where we came from. Without this doctrine, there would be no purpose to this life. No wonder so many others are confused about things like gender and why they are here. We are so fortunate to have this doctrine.
Secondly, none of our points of doctrine conflict with other points of doctrine. So many questions that others have regarding their faith (specifically Christianity) stem from not understanding why certain doctrinal points conflict with other points. We don't have that problem. Everything fits together nicely, like one giant puzzle.
I'm very glad that I'm fortunate to have the gospel in my life. I have something that so many other people don't have--the truth. I have a guide on how to raise a family (the Gospel). I have the knowledge of where I came from, who I am, what my purpose in this life is (to some degree, anyway), and what will happen to me and my loved ones after this life. These are things that many people question every day, yet I have always known since I was small. I feel very blessed.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Is it just me, or has customer service really gone downhill in the last fifteen years? I loathe calling a customer service number and getting a menu where I have to say a certain topic. Almost always, what I'm calling about doesn't really fit in one of their categories and they end up having to transfer me to a real live human being anyway (which is, of course, what I wanted), but sometimes it takes forever to get to that live person. It's so annoying.
I guess I'm just old-fashioned in that when I call a customer service number, I'd like a real live person to answer the phone in this fashion: "Thanks for calling (blank), this is (blank), how can I help you today?" And then to have them help me out politely and kindly (this is, on the assumption, of course, that I'm being polite and kind to them), whether it be to answer a simple question, or go through a long complex process to resolve an issue.
Wouldn't that be nice?
Monday, June 16, 2008
Okay, so DH's class has got me all riled up this morning. I was reading some of his textbook (I can't help myself, this stuff is interesting to me!), and came across this:
Contemporary models of intimacy stress gender equality in marriage and other types of partnerships. Egalitarianism is the trend among many couples making a serious commitment to each other. But if women continue to make less money for the work they do outside the home and if men continue to avoid child care and household labor, the fabric of intimate relationships is threatened. The fragile bonds of intimacy can easily be damaged when one spouse is subordinate to the other, has more power than the other, or receives less respect and dignity in society." (Marriage and Families: Intimacy, Diversity and Strengths, David H. Olson, John DeFrain, and Linda Skogrand, Chapter 7, p 188, italics added)
This suggests that work outside the home is more worthwhile and meaningful than work inside the home, and that if a husband works but the wife only cares for the children and the home that she somehow has less value than he does and is therefore "subordinate" to him. I'm not arguing that we shouldn't try to be equal partners. That is definitely what the Church teaches about marriage and families.
Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children. In these sacred responsibilities, fathers and mothers are obligated to help one another as equal partners. (The Family: A Proclamation to the World, by the First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, italics added)Doesn't that paint a different picture than what the textbook paints? The rest of the chapter that this segment is taken from discusses more about "gender inequalities" between men and women and their determined roles, which is influenced by the Feminist Framework, a family science framework that is based on the notion that women are exploited, devalued, and oppressed and that society should commit to empowering women and changing their oppressed condition.
Now, I'm also not here to argue that the feminist movement did not improve some things about women's lives. But I also know that the Church was opposed to the feminist movement of the 60's because of how it devalued motherhood! We went from devaluing women to devaluing mothers, and, in essence, destroyed the natural inclination most women have to bear and rear children by making it seem wrong.
When you evaluate a couple's marriage based on these principles (the ones mentioned in the textbook), it sounds that a marriage like mine, for example, where my husband is the breadwinner and I stay home to care for the children, is very un-egalitarian and that I'm the lesser of the two people. Just because I choose to stay home and fulfill my obligation as a mother.
I wish that the world could understand that men and women have equal but different roles in a marriage. Our purposes are united and we need to work together to raise our family, but I primarily care for the children while my husband goes off into the workforce to provide the "necessities of life". That doesn't make my contribution to the marriage less meaningful or important! The thing that these secular social scientists fail to notice, I think, is that you can have different roles but still have equality in marriage, if you are committed to helping and supporting each other in those roles! Yes, those gender roles that the world also views with such disregard (gender is, after all, according to this textbook, merely the stereotypes that the world places on men's and women's roles in society, not anything inherent and important to your "premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose," as the Family Proclamation explains).
We can have a whole other discussion on the world's view of gender roles versus the Gospel's understanding of the "eternal identity and purpose" of gender (more than just a stereotype imposed by backwards thinking).
Oh dear. I think I've rambled. These assigned chapters he's had to read this week about gender roles and sexual intimacy and even gay and lesbian lifestyles have me all churning inside. It's very scary what has become the acceptable norm for the world. Very scary indeed.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Last night we were watching a T.V. show where a character gave birth and they handed her the baby afterward. It reminded me of all the feelings that I've felt after having a baby and holding that newborn for the first time.
That is my favorite part of having a baby. The part when you've just finished delivering the baby and they wrap him or her in a blanket and give them to you to hold. Their eyes are closed, their faces are scrunched, often they are crying from being so abruptly torn from their warm, cozy home for the past nine months, and they are yours. Such an amazing feeling! There's nothing better than it, I think. I can't think of any other time I ever felt so much joy and peace and excitement all at once.
If my mind and body would allow, I would have dozens of babies just to experience that over and over again! But, those sweet babies are so needy and grow up to be kids who are needy and caring for that many kids would drive me out of my mind (four is already a LOT to handle!), plus having baby after baby definitely takes its toll on one's physical body. But that is my most favorite experience of all--the time just after birth when you get to hold that sweet baby for the first time! What a wonderful time!