Fan girls + Check in

Before the check-in, I want to share a couple of pictures from the AMCAP conference. I would have shared them in the post, but they didn’t get uploaded in time, but I promised I would so, BOOM. More awesome photos.

Here is my very first picture with fan girls:

These ladies came up and were like “Um, we’re your fangirls. Seriously.” Then we had a great conversation. Thanks guys!
(Stephanie Gomez and Christine Johnson)

Spencer Ficiur had to join in on the fun and became an honorary fangirl. 

It’s official: now I really know I’m gaymous. (Btw, my computer still always wants to change gaymous to haymows. WHAT THE CRAP ARE HAYMOWS?) Also, I know I’m really truly gaymous because I actually signed autographs for the first time at that conference. Except, turns out, I suck at signing autographs and completely forgot to personalize them in any way. Yeah. I’m rad like that. So, sorry if you got my stilted, awkward signature and no personalized message. I suck at life. And at being haymows. (see what i did there?)

All right: I should really just copy and paste the instructions so I don’t have to re-write them every time but I’m too lazy to do that, which seems weird because somehow I’m not too lazy to re-write it every time? I’m baffled by this as well. But whatever, here goes.
If you’re new here, on Wednesdays/Thursdays, we do check-ins. It’s just a way to connect with your emotions, set a goal for yourself, and share a little about your life. You check in with how you are doing physically, emotionally and spiritually. Then you share a small, reachable goal, and update us on how you did on the goal from the week before. This is not intended to supplement or replace actual contact with a mental health professional. It’s just for fun, y’all. Oh, and you’re not allowed to say “good” or “fine”.
Physically: I feel better than I have in a long time. I’m going to the gym regularly and I am in control of my eating thanks to a little app I like to call myfitnesspal, or theawesomestappevercreated. If you’re on it, you should totally friend me. I need all the support I can get, and I’ll cheer you along as well. Anyway, I love feeling in control of my eating, and I feel much better about myself when I’m going to the gym regularly. Doesn’t hurt that I’ve already lost five pounds since Thanksgiving, either. So, yes, physically I’m feeling very excited and hopeful about reaching my longstanding fitness goals, which basically boil down to getting totally fit for the first time in my life. I can do that, right? RIGHT?
Emotionally: I feel decent. I’ve felt frustration about a few things in recent days, but I had a good session with my therapist this morning (wait, therapists see therapists, you ask? Yes, if they’re good therapists they do…it’s actually recommended in grad school…) and so I’m feeling more in control of my thinking. I have been loving family time lately, and played with the girls for a good hour tonight which felt really nice. And Lolly and I have felt really connected, and we have been writing together at night and then watching TV, which has been really fun.
Spiritually: I’ve struggled spiritually the last few days. I’m not sure what the problem is. My spiritual thoughts have felt tinny and flat, and my connection feels dim. At the same time, I’ve had a couple of really important spiritual insights about some things that were perplexing me, so that was helpful. I’m still chewing on them… they were big ones. I’ll probably end up writing about them eventually, but right now I’m letting them rattle around in my mind and be assimilated into my thinking. 
Goal last time: write an hour a day. Achieved? I think? On average. I know I wrote daily, so that feels good enough.
Goal this time: 5,000 words by next Wednesday in the memoir. 
All right guys. Let me have it. I love seeing your check-ins and hearing about your lives. Thanks for sharing yours with me, and thanks for being a part of mine. Each one of you is awesome. All right, com’eer! *Cheesy group hug*


  1. You totally have straight girl groupies. Jealous. I told DH recently that I think I would enjoy being like a C or D level celebrity. Just a small following of people to praise my opinions and such. You have made it, Josh Weed.

    1. Confession . . . sometimes I enjoy your comments just as much as the post. Does that count as a fan?? 😉 I left the church about 18 mos ago after realizing that I had to get stoned or drunk in order to make it through the three hour sessions and not be angry for the rest of the week. Figured there was more going on that I needed to explore, stopped going through the motions and found a great therapist immediately. Your comments resonate with me. Thank you for taking the time to contribute.

    2. Thanks, Sheri. I'll take whatever following I can get. lol.
      Good luck on your journey. Navigating through the beginning part kind of sucks because it can feel like starting from scratch trying to define yourself and your values and whatnot. It takes a lot of thought and involves hard choices. But things are about to get really awesome if they haven't already. I'm glad you found a great therapist. I wish I would have found a support system sooner. I learned that there are also some really great support groups out there both online and in person. I'm not trying to open up a can of worms here but I just want you to know what's out there if you're interested. To those who aren't intrested, forget I said anything. 🙂

    3. Thanks for the info – it has been more painful than I could have imagined, but has brought peace at the same time. Hoping the loneliness gets better (My son and Hubby are still very active). I had looked for support groups online, but only found information that was more "anti" than anything – which really isn't my style. If you'd like to pass anything along that you've found helpful, you can reach me at sheri833 at msn . com

  2. I almost drove to provo to see you because I freakishly woke up early which NEVER happens and I am a person whose curiosity influences them to do things they might not normally consider. But then I made this bitchin' breakfast burrito with bacon AND sausage and guacamole instead. It was the most epic breakfast burrito ever. I wish I could have done both. I would have been your apostate fan girl.

    1. BQ, I'm seriously not sure very much could have made more excited than if you had come seen me in Provo. Fo realz. Except maybe if you had come to be my apostate fan girl withpart of that breakfast burrito which does, indeed, sound epic to share with me. But seriously, I would have loved it. It must happen at some point!

  3. Check in:
    Physically: Tired, about to get worse, but not like super sick or anything. so that's Bueno, I suppose. (I didn't say good. hehehe)
    Emotionally: Pretty happy, actually. I've been doing better than usual with my little problem, and so that is really helping my self-esteem. and my thanksgiving burst of jealousy faded as quickly as it came, leaving me once again happy for my best friends who are dating. (No more explanation than that; it reads like a soap opera.)
    Spiritually: I haven't slipped up in awhile, so that's really doing positive things. And I'm starting to see God in all the little things again, so big smiles there. :):):):):)

    1. Also, I'm bad with instructions, so once again I forgot to put a goal.
      My goal for this week: read scriptures and pray every night while still accomplishing ALL my homework and not suffering a mental breakdown. No matter how tempting that last one may be.

    2. I don't know if you meant to be funny, but I laughed when you mentioned a mental breakdown as being "tempting" because I remember a time when I thought for sure that was the direction I was headed. I asked my Dr. how a person could tell if they were probably going to have a mental breakdown, and what he said to me (whether it was right or wrong) changed my life and probably kept me sain through my many hardships, trials, and "downs"…..he said, "IF you are aware enough that you might be headed there, then, you are aware enough to stay away from there." So far it's worked for me! 😉

  4. Physically: Soft. My exercise buddy moved away a couple of months ago, and there's no one to fill the gap. Regular gyms intimidate me: I've never been. Running doesn't appeal and neither does yoga. Also I've eaten way too much takeout because my roommates leave the kitchen a mess and school/work is exhausting. I'm not fat, but I'm not super-skinny, and I'm losing all my muscle and my endorphins. But hey! My boobs are looking good.

    Emotionally: It changes from day to day. I'm finally admitting to myself that I might have some form of depression. Symptoms: I spend much of my free time in bed, I'm having a hard time making new friends, I don't really enjoy my longtime hobbies of cooking and gardening anymore, being productive is nearly impossible. Just making it to the shower is a major victory some days. Don't know that I'll go talk to anyone about it anytime soon, though. I'm poor and unmotivated and I don't like doing scary new things like that. Instead, I'll read up on it a little, and power through. Try to win little victories that power me up to accomplish more. I'm not really unhappy today–I actually finished a big assignment that had been hanging over my head for a while–but I'm not really happy, either.

    Spiritually: Broke my 4-month streak (tying my longest streak since I started, 6 years ago) and accessed some porn. I didn't stay long: probably less than a minute, and barely saw enough of the story to know it WAS porn, but any slip up counts. Back to square zero. Skipped church the next day. Didn't feel up to it. That happens more than I'd like to admit, but some weeks I know I'd turn into an emotional time-bomb at church, and I know I feel more more peaceful and happy when I have the chance to be the only one in the apartment for a few hours. I'd really love to take out my endowments someday, but I'm not feeling like it's likely, since I can't stay clean long enough to get even a limited recommend. Forget ever getting married: that's too far off to hope for. I'm doing better with the scripture reading than I've done in a long time: I actually do a little once or twice every week or so. At the same time, it's really hard for me to stay all the way through all three hours of church. I get feeling emotionally fragile and have to leave before I cause a scene. So I believe in the church and the atonement and so on, but apparently that's not enough to make me suddenly great at living the way I think I should. I have faith, but I wouldn't say I'm faithful.

    All in all, a downer. Sorry.

    Goal: get those last few overdue college assignments in so I can be certified to teach high school. Though a lifetime of grading papers doesn't sound thrilling even to me, teaching English is the one part of my life that does feel right. I do enjoy the kids, the subject matter, the feeling when a lesson plan just clicks. All I have to do is jump through the last few hoops.


    1. Hi Phenomynous,
      I read The Weed nearly every night and I happened upon your check in and I felt the strong impression to respond to you…even though I am not Josh himself. :]

      Your post reminds me so much of myself at age 19. I was in college, far away from home and really struggling with my self image. For the first time in my life, I also felt soft. I had had fleeting signs of depression for a very long time, but I was unaware of the significance of my depression. I remember sleeping in my spare time and celebrating showers. I remember never feeling good enough or thin enough or perfect enough. I also struggled with a pornography addiction. My father was addicted to porn and when I was young, he would view it while I was in the room. (He later left the church and my family). I would have days where I was consumed by my addiction and then I would have streaks where I was not tempted. I would start feeling good about myself and then I would sneak a peek and I would begin to unwind spiritually again. I'd skip church and I wouldn't say my prayers because I didn't feel worthy to be there. I wouldn't read my scriptures because I felt very hypocritical. In turn, my depression worsened and I became inactive. I felt soft and forgotten and unloved. I felt unworthy of love and very distant from God. I tried to commit suicide and spent a good deal of time in a behavioral health unit in a hospital. I felt safe and normal for the first time in a long time. I saw a psychiatrist and she helped me remember that I am good enough and that I would have good and bad days. By divine design, God allowed my caretaker to be actively LDS and he gave me a Book of Mormon. I read it for the first time in several months and asked God why I, of all people, had to struggle so much. I had always strived for perfection in every aspect of my life. I was Valedictorian of my high school and college and seminary counsel president. I had so many things going for me but I felt like I was drowning in a world where everyone else was breathing. And then, in the midst of prayer…I saw my future family, and I had the impression that someday, I would have the opportunity for marriage and to be a mother in Zion and that these experiences would strengthen my testimony if I would have faith.

      You would think that after such an experience, that everything would be easier. It was not. I struggled with depression heavily throughout the remainder of college. I struggled with church activity up until recently. I attended church, but I too had a hard time staying for the full three hours. I was tired and felt out of place. I was hurting and I wanted to be alone. I tried to read my scriptures but I felt lost. I did have a testimony of the Gospel, but I did not feel worthy of the Atonement or of worth. I can't tell you at what point that changed, but I remember attending church in August amidst the stresses of life, and I felt a glimmer of peace for the first time in months. And then I felt nudged to read my scriptures often and to ask my Father in Heaven real questions that concerned me and then listen for the answers. For the first time in years, I feel loved and valued and of worth. I think major depressive disorder is a lot like same-sex attraction. Many people in the church and in the world want to find a solution to our innate thought processes. I don't believe a resolution to my depression will come in this life but I do believe in faith. I believe that if you have a flicker of faith, that you are faithful. I know that God loves you more than you can possibly comprehend. He is aware of all of your inner struggles and loves you regardless of your slip ups and insecurities.

    2. Dang. I spent 30 minutes writing an awesome reply and lost it! Now I have to go to work! Ugh! I will try to reply later because I totally get you, Phenom. A girl with a porn prob feels super ultra alone since its always talked about as being a guy problem.

      I have it. My testimony has grown from it. And I'll share details later!

    3. Phenom, you're not alone. I've met so many people (male and female) with that same trial, and I want you to know it can be overcome. I actually struggle with a closely related problem, and I have started working with many people (girls and guys) who struggle with exactly what you're going through. So please, shoot me an email. I'd really like to talk with you. is where you'll find me.

    4. "i think major depressive disorder is a lot like same-sex attraction" – an interesting comparison but I don't think so.
      Being gay has nothing to do with thought processes – it is simply who a person is. Is opposite sex attraction a thought process?
      I won't belabor that point, I know you were saying that in an effort to be supportive.
      It DOES get better, Phenom, I promise you. Do seek help if you can – if money is an issue – I'm certain that your university has counsellors or there are therapists who have a sliding scale 'pay what you can' in most cities. I know that it is hard to seek it out when you are really depressed but you could make it like the one thing you will do in a day.
      As for the porn addiction – that's a tougher one because from my research, it seems that anyone watching any porn ever is considered an addiction in some religions. So in addition to your major depression, you are also having to deal with that burden. Not going to get into a debate here – but I really feel for you. Please know that a young healthy young woman watching some porn does not an addiction make. And frankly, if it provides you a modicum of relief from your emotional pain, it is not a terrible thing. Folks will undoubtedly jump on this comment because they, like you, have been taught that even watching one second of porn= an addiction. Just kno that there are other folks, like myself, who have a genuine relationship with God and think differently.
      One day at a time.

    5. Perhaps you could go just a little easier on yourself. Human sexuality is normal. Most people who try to curb their sexuality long term don't have a lot of success. This includes single people. It makes me sad to hear you use the terms "clean" or "unclean" in reference to yourself. I'm sure you're defined by more than you think. I understand we probably look at things differently but must it be an all or nothing proposition? One of the worst weeks of my life was when I was 19 and tried to make it through The Miracle Of Forgiveness. Not sure why. I was a virgin who had kissed one boy 4 years prior. But I had sexual thoughts occasionally. When I put the book down and stopped reading it, things got better. But focusing on some very minor (normal) "imperfections" was sending me into an obcessive tail spin. College is tough. Being single can be tough. I wouldn't go back to either. I do wish I had been less hard on myself back then. I think if we were all more honest and not so good at hiding our natural selves you would probably see how many people out there identify with your struggles. You would probably feel less flawed and more normal.
      I have tried very hard to stay away from stereotyping, but it needs to be said that your feelings of inadaquecy are a huge problem within the LDS community and it needs to stop. It is, at its core, spiritually abusive to the membership and it needs to stop. Some honesty and some more realistic expectations would be nice IMHO. This is not about the abandonment of so called "standards"; it's about forgiveness and acceptance and not making human "errors" an all or nothing proposition.
      I wish you wel. I hope you can find things in life that make you happy and do little things for yourself. I hope you can be more forgiving of yourself. If you need to believe in God, I hope you can come to see him as loving and forgiving and understanding. I was never able but I hope you can. Maybe that will help. Please be more kind and forgiving toward yourself. You don't need to be perfect. Just good. I'm sure you already are.

    6. Karen,
      I'm really glad that you brought up the subject of sexuality for women because I think this needs to be addressed.
      In the LDS church, if you're a man, it's expected that you will probably have a "problem" with masturbation or porn at some point. If you need further proof of this, read this article. To say it's troubling is an understatment.
      But at least for young men, with all the talk of "sexual purity" comes the acknowledgement that it must be common or they wouldn't talk about it so much.
      For women, however, it's assumed that we will be virtuous. It's assumed we won't have "problems" with pornography or masturbation and so there is very little discussion and all the discussion is not to do it at all. If a woman has a "lapse", it's often assumed that it was for the sake of making a man happy or that she was pressured into it by a man. This is based on MY experience. In my experience, it was rarely acknowledged that some women are quite sexual, have high drives, look forward to sex, etc. So what happens is that when a woman in the church feels an urge for sexual release (which might be something as harmless as reading an article in Cosmo) there's often a buttload of guilt because she doesn't only feel like a rule breaker, she feels like a complete freak of nature. This isn't something that women in the church are typically expected to experience and most of the "treatment" is geared toward men. I'm lucky I was raised in a home where there was a relatively liberal attitude about human sexuality, at least by LDS standards. Unlike many of my female peers, I didn't take with me to my marriage negative perceptions about female sexuality.
      So yes, it needs to be said that women are sexual too. A certain amount of need for sexual release or even a great deal of need for sexual release does not have to be considered "addiction". It is actually quite normal. It's not discussed, but that's not the same thing as being abnormal.

    7. Good points, BQ.
      I've been thinking about this quite a bit. In some ways, it seems that religion creates the problem – in this case around sexuality and defining what addiction is – and then has a whole bunch of followers who are then struggling with the problem created by the religion. For example, if the religion says that all porn watching is addiction, then it has created the problem of many people feeling guilty, less than and failures for once in a while watching porn. And yes, some people are indeed true addicts. I'm not talking about that.
      A religion might say that living a gay life is a sin. Followers scramble and come up with a MOR as a solution. Yup, this works for some as we have seen. But for many, the gay person – say the gay person is the man – will develop a 'problem' of watching gay porn because he has been told that healthy gay relationships are not healthy, but a problem. Instead of anyone saying, hey, maybe he is addicted to gay porn because he has been told that living a gay life is a problem so instead he married a woman or chose celibacy or whatever; they say that man is a porn addict.
      It's like religion created the problems by calling things that aren't problems, problems and then compounded it by heaping further shame on the people who are just trying to live within the constrains of what the religion dictates.
      And again, some people, like Josh, are able to make it work.
      But many are not.
      Thank you for letting me process my thoughts more clearly by writing them down here.
      It's similar really to when the Catholic pope says condoms are evil. So millions in Africa stop using condoms and AIDS spins out of control into an epidemic. Then those people are then judged for having acquired AIDS. That is abusive.

    8. Utah is the top state in the nation for actual porn useage. I believe that there is a correlation between stigmatization of porn (or just sexuality in general) and higher porn usage. I believe that the more we try to not be sexual, the more depressed we become and the more likely we are to use the aforementioned venues of porn, masturbation, etc. for sexual release. I know this because I'm in a downward spiral about food and have been for many years. I get depressed about the fact that I'm fat and don't control my eating better and then I use food to comfort myself. I live in a society that despises fat people and yet look around at how many people in our society are fat. I don't know what the answer is. By now, I know it's not simply "have more self control" "just eat less" or "want it more".

    9. I believe, as do many, that we as a people deal every day with an enemy who seeks to discourage us and drag us down to behavior that causes us to believe we are beneath hope and redemption. Our enemy, a powerful, insidious source of influence has a special interest in the latter day saints and does his best to subdue them the best way he knows how. With pornography, we allow ourselves to forfeit both the guidance and protection of God and his power and authority to act in his name. Hence, the enemy of our enemy is weaker, assuming we, the Saints in the Church are just that.
      It makes sense that we are plagued in Utah by problematic porn usage. No other population is tempted as badly with that.

    10. Oh, my. I don't believe I've ever had the privilege of hearing Utah's record leading porn usage rate spun in such a faith promoting way. Dude are you hearing yourself at all?
      I think that the notion of a bodiless being who spends all his time trying to foil a plan for truth and righteousness is not only unfounded but juvanile as well. I realize that my refusal to buy into such magical thinking makes me a minority not only amongst my peers but many of our nation's most influential leaders- even the democrats. Even our most beloved President Obama calls himself a christian with, presumably, all that entails. To say that this realization troubles me is like the understatement of the year. In a moment I'm going to watch that clip of The West Wing where Alan Alda speaks to the press about running as an open atheist. Maybe I'll find it surprisingly easy to masturbate to!
      But for now, let it just suffice for me to say that no, I don't believe that there is any adversary trying to get us all to do naughty things. If I do something naughty, that's on me.
      Satan has to focus more of his efforts on us and make us be bad 'cause we've got the truth?
      That's the most Utarded thing I've read on the interweb all week. Truly.

    11. BQ – Obama is, I believe, a more moderate Christian. He is – as he has stated – pro-gay marriage. There are millions of Christians who don't take the Bible literally and I have no certainty, but I think that he may fall into that camp. It is very possible to believe in God and Jesus just as deeply as any Mormon or fundy Christian and NOT think homosexuality is a sin. Unfortunately, in the U.S. (but not Canada!) the religious right makes so much noise that mainline Christians, those who aren't out supporting anti-gay marriage props and running support groups for those who masturbate – sometimes can't be heard.
      The Bible and Christianity is slowly being saved from literalists!

    12. hmmm, that is an unclear last sentence structure wise – I meant it to say that mainline Christians, unlike fundamentalists, don't support anti gay marriage props or have support groups for those who masturbate

    13. Well, I understand that many "mainline" Christians don't typically support anti gay marriage props or have support groups for those who masturbate. Actually a lot of people who are mainline Christian do support anti marriage props but that's not my main point.
      I guess I'm having a hard time understanding what a "mainline" christian believes. Or for that matter a self proclaimed progressive christian.
      Do they believe in Satan? Do they believe that Satan has made it a personal hobby of his to try to get people to be naughty? If they don't believe in Satan in the literal sense do they believe in Christ in the literal sense? If so, do they believe that Christ was a good guy who taught good things or do they believe that he atoned for their sins or just some guy who was treated unfairly and cricified?
      I'm having a hard time understanding. I don't understand believing in Satan and I don't understand deciding that Satan doesn't make sense but Christ does make sense or that Christ atoneing for our sins doesn't make sense but that Christ being a really great guy makes sense. And if you don't believe in Satan in a literal sense or Christ atoneing for all the sins of all mankind who has ever lived or will ever live, WHAT, pray, is the point of being a Christian? Because those are actually key tenets of Christianity. Do we all really believe this stuff or do we just believe that being a Christian is the "right thing to do" because our parents did it and their parents did it and honestly, nobody in this country admits to not being a Christian unless they just really enjoy being catagorically misunderstood. Do people who call themselves Christians actually understand what Christianity teaches? Or maybe I'm confusing Mormon doctrines with "mainstream" doctrines. Do mainstream Christians place an emphasis on God, the most omnipotent being in the universe (supposedly) being bound by laws that prohibit him from forgiving the flawed children he created as flawed unless SOMEBODY (Jesus) is willing to pay by proxy in a way so grusome our minds can't even begin to comprehend it? Is that the way most Americans believe the universe and the most diving sense of justice works? Or is that just something Mormons believe? Or is that something that not many of us actually believe but we still really like being able to identify as Christian?

      None for me, thanks. I'm stuffed.

    14. To clarify:

      While I'm not as chipper as I used to be, I'm nowhere near suicidal. I've got motivation issues and I know I'm not living up to my full potential, but I don't hate myself for it. I do, at some point, plan to talk to a professional and see if meds or therapy or both can help get my back to my old mindset. But I'm in the last month of my schooling, with end-of-semester cruchtime, and so a school counselor wouldn't be a practical solution. I can afford to wait until I’m more settled. I am not in any immediate danger of anything other than some self-pity.

      On a similar note, I don't feel like a bad person, and that's actually one of my difficulties with the porn issue. I know that my intentions are good, that I'm kind, smart, and supportive, that most people like me, that I am a great person. When I use "clean," I mean it in the same way a drug addict would: an easy way of saying "I haven't had any in a while." I know I'm not an addict, in a secular sense, because I wouldn't consider someone who had a glass of wine now and again to be an alcoholic.

      My problem is twofold. One, I want to stop completely, but I can't. This is an issue of self-control, not of expression of sexuality. Two, though in terms of spiritual character I am on a better path than many of my temple-worthy peers, the rules put them on the inside and me on the outside. I'm not interested in arguing the point: I made my bed, knowing that I would have to lie in it, and I'm willing to do so. But I yearn to go to the temple someday—I love and learn well from symbolism and ritual—but that "someday" seems a long way off, which is discouraging.

      And yes, I know that sexuality is healthy and Mormons have a history of dealing with it poorly, especially as it relates to women. But I know I'm not alone, even within the LDS church, as a woman with a rip-roaring sex drive. We're not there yet, but we're getting better and better at having the right conversations and abandoning some of the old mindsets. Some of those traditionally sexist lessons still sting, but it’s because I think they’re misguided, not because I feel like I’ve failed on a cosmic scale by having a libido.

      There are many schools of thought about porn, and the LDS church is definitely on the conservative end of things. Like many of you, I'm not sure the church's policies are always spot-on when it comes to this stuff, but I'm okay with being in a church that's evolving. I think that's part of the beauty of continuing revelation: we're only human, and we never get anything right on the first try, so we've got the lines open and we're gradually improving. For myself, I don't think porn is the end of the world (I'm still a great person, and so are my friends who also access porn) but I do think it's bad for me. I've noticed that my attitudes are changing in ways I don't like. I've come to expect that more demeaning sex acts are the norm, and I've become more selfish in what I want out of sex. I don’t want my sex life to be one-sided.

      I'm not a 19-year old girl who's never stopped to consider these issues for myself: I'm coming up on 30, and while I'm no expert, I have done some research and careful consideration. While I don't think that accessing porn is shocking or a symptom of a deranged mind, I don't like what it does to me. And while I don't think the church's policies and/or culture when it comes to sexuality are always the best approach, I'm willing to abide by the policies and work to change the culture. I didn't check in so that we could bear testimony of the truthfulness or harmfulness of the church, or so that we could debate the merits or dangers or pornography. I didn’t check in so I could get advice or be fixed. I checked in to acknowledge where I’m at now.


    15. Good questions, BQ. I'm still grappling with them myself. I am an extremely black and white thinker which is one of the reasos that fundamentalist Christianity was so appealing for awhile – that and the great community I had there. It really is so so much easier to just believe everything is black and white, heaven and hell, etc. But it's not of course. As there is a spectrum of sexual orientation, there is also a spectrum of Christianity – those on the extreme ends would be what fundamentalist Christians believe which is very similar to what Mormons believe except for the Book of Mormon and the modern day prophets. These are rather large differences. Anyway, you can be a Christian and not even believe in the literal existence of Christ – fundamentalist Christians would disagree but it doesn't make it not true. Me? I attend a bible study with a minister who is a Hebrew scholar and knows and has studied the original languages of the Bible and also the context of the times it was written. It's fascinating in a lot of ways. The Bible was never intended to be taken literally, that is a relatively new phenomenon. So when it is studied as it was intended – it's quite eye opening. But even after all of these years, it is hard for me to get over my black and white thinking – part of me just wants to chuck the whole thing out. And maybe I will one day but for me that would simply put me on the opposite pole of extremism.
      @Phenom – I think people were just concerned about you but fair enough you didn't ask for advice.

    16. I'm sorry Phenom. You didn't ask for advice. I just hope that you will go a little easier on yourself. That and a dollar will get you a cheeseburger at McDonalds (but only with one slice of cheese).

    17. I'm ok with that analogy Tammy. Just would like to add that, if you (the anyone "you") are so consumed with "back scratching" that it interferes with a "healthy balanced and productive" life, it's probably a problem, for you. Or, if your spouse feels you like the doorjam better than her/him.

      And, of course, I can't resist pointing out that, although a door jam will do, the best back scratching is always most fulfilling when done by another human being's personal touch, especially when it's someone you love. (A little more to the left, please) 😉

  5. ….I had to write this in two posts…
    I am also a high school teacher and an athletic trainer. It was not my plan to teach high school. However, in my time as a teacher, I have been put in situations where children have asked me questions related to depression and faith and I have been able to share my experiences. I hope you know you are completely of value. I don't know you…obviously, but I understand how you are feeling…at least to some extent. I felt very unsure and very hopeless and lost. Sometimes living is much harder than the alternative; but remember that this mortal experience will someday pass and if you keep trying every day, you will be blessed in the eternities.

    I started following this blog because my boyfriend is gay. I wanted to support him by doing all that I could to understand his struggles. As mentioned, I know nothing about you other than what you wrote in your post…but I totally recommend reading Voice(s) of Hope, and In Quiet Desperation. Even though I do not personally struggle with homosexuality, these books completely changed the way I look at my life and my depression. They gave me hope for a better tomorrow, strengthened my testimony of the Atonement, deepened my love for God and Jesus Christ and altogether changed my life. I wish you the best. You are not alone.

    1. Homosexuality does not have to be a struggle unless we choose to make it one. Homosexuality simply is. Some people are gay. Maybe the best way to support him is to help him to realize that his homosexuality does not have to be a struggle.

    2. Can I respectfully disagree a little bit, BQ?

      In our current culture, in our present day climate, especially among religious communities…. even if one is completely comfortable with their own homosexuality…. I think that being homosexual does indeed come with its own unique set of struggles.

    3. That's true but we don't need to see it as a struggle ourselves. Whenever I've heard somebody speak of "struggling" with homosexuality it has been with the implicaion that the homosexuality is a problem or a curse or something to be dealt with. I believe that homosexuality just is.

    4. @ Karen 1029am (: not sure this is going to reply in the right place 🙂

      I'm not the OC, but :

      I know loads of straight (or bi) people dating gay (or bi) folk. Mostly NOT in the lds community, but just at large. Mostly, they're dating for the same reasons anyone dates : Love, lust, lunacy, libations, loneliness, look-see, learning, laziness, left (rebound), love with love, politics, pragmatism, proximity, power, prestige, potential, pounds (£), principles, parents, predicaments, predillictions, promises, pregnancy, personality, presents, presence.

      and probably a few other non-LP reasons as well.

      ((And by 'loads' : several hundred over the years, several score married, and about a dozen or so at present.))

      – Grey

    5. MY LP(long play) thoughts on why people date each other…Brought to you by any number other than 50… For Tammy ((Id like to request that the above to be read in a 1970's Chicago Southside Bass Baritone smooooooth Radio Announcer Voice))

      Matrimony, masochism, mischief, mom-said-no, mood&mind-altering-drugs, morose, MmmmmMmmmm (yum ;), maliciousness, mine, make love, making babies, miracles, misery-loves-company, muscles, more muscles, massively magnificent muscles, magnanimousity, mastery, mate, mystery, Maab, Machiavellism, Maid of honor, macho, madness, music, must, MDMA, muse, meaninfulness, & many more!

      Yearning, yes, yes-yesyesyes-Yes! Yes!!! (Mmmmmhmm), Yummy!, yen, Yahweh, yenta, yield, yard (as in to buy a house w a yard), yay!, yours.

      I think 'Mine&Yours' are my personal favorites, though.

      And Yes. I did reference the queen of the fairies. It may not happen very often, but just to be thorough….


    6. MY LP(long play) thoughts on why people date each other…Brought to you by any number other than 50… For Tammy ((Id like to request that the above to be read in a 1970's Chicago Southside Bass Baritone smooooooth Radio Announcer Voice))

      Matrimony, masochism, mischief, mom-said-no, mood&mind-altering-drugs, morose, MmmmmMmmmm (yum ;), maliciousness, mine, make love, making babies, miracles, misery-loves-company, muscles, more muscles, massively magnificent muscles, magnanimousity, mastery, mate, mystery, Maab, Machiavellism, Maid of honor, macho, madness, music, must, MDMA, muse, meaninfulness, & many more!

      Yearning, yes, yes-yesyesyes-Yes! Yes!!! (Mmmmmhmm), Yummy!, yen, Yahweh, yenta, yield, yard (as in to buy a house w a yard), yay!, yours.

      I think 'Mine&Yours' are my personal favorites, though.

      And Yes. I did reference the queen of the fairies. It may not happen very often, but just to be thorough….


  6. Physically- I could be better. I started using myfitness pal a couple days ago. I have never counted calories in my life. So I never realized how terrible my eating habits are. I have gone over my calorie limit almost everyday. I just changed my weight loss goal, so it is a more realistic goal. hopefully that will help. ( how do you add people on that app?)
    emotionally- I am a bit angry with myself right now. I lost my patience with my daughter this morning over a lost back pack. I feel bad about it because I actually cussed while i was speaking to her. However you live and learn, now I know to wake up early enough to have at least one cup of coffee before I even get her out of bed lol. Over all though I am doing really well emotionally.
    spiritually- This one is kind of hard for me since I am not a very spiritual or religious person. I just haven't found a religion that really rings true with me. mostly because for me personally structured religions don't work. I am sure they are great for some people, but I find that when I make something routine for myself it isn't anywhere near as meaningful as it should be. sorry for the rant i'm just kinda trying to figure out where I stand on these things so my thoughts come out more as rambling than making sense.
    goal- to have more self control in every aspect of my life, but especially my diet and exercise.

    1. Maybe I need to look into that my fitness pal. I really need to make a change.
      I have a couple spare backpacks and I keep them around just in case. Used one today in fact.
      Sometimes I also have to remind myself that while it's important to teach kids good orginization and study habits, none of this really matters until the 9th grade. It's all kind of just practice. I have ADD and we have a child with ADD so life is never easy or organized. You're right that you live and you learn.

    2. she is only in kindergarten, so it wasnt anything i should have freaked out about. but her hw was in the lost one. ironically after we found it she told me it wasn't due til friday. the app is awesome! as long as you set a realistic goal 🙂

  7. Check in time!

    I have been 30-40 min running every day for the past week! My new goal is to touch my toes, but they are ALL the way down there. I decided that someday I want to run a really fast marathon.

    Spiritually: Not so good, but better than last week. This repentance stuff takes a lot of time to even start. But I was invited to go on a temple trip on saturday, so i am going to do some very serious thinking.

    Emotionally: Iffy. Monday night was the officially worst night of my entire 18 year life. I still am in emotional shock trying to comprehend it. Then Tuesday night was just a hair better, but not my much. I guess that I am here to write this, so it is all good now! my goal is to write in my blog every day so that way i can help others and keep myself on track!

  8. Josh,

    Thank you for your thoughts and insights at that conference. It was great to see a fellow Auburnian (totally just made that word up) and get a chance to meet you. I should have hopped in that picture with Spencer so I could join the club! Thanks for being a great example!


  9. Physically: Shit. This is the time of month when that jerk called "endometriosis" acts up and leaves me in pain from head to toe. If you need me, I will be wrapped up like a douche in ten blankets and carbo-loading on OTC painkillers for the next few days.

    Spiritually: Like someone up above isn't doing his job very well. Despite having gone through that super major "change your life" surgery a few months ago, the problem wasn't resolved. And I'm still unemployed. And still unable to get pregnant.

    Emotionally: Tired. Frustrated. Bummed.

    I need Bjorge Queen's burrito…

    1. I have endo and feel your pain. Hope you are feeling better. I get you on the unable to get pregnant too. I have had severe PCOS since I was 16. I was going through fertility treatments and unfortunately had a life threatening allergic reaction to the meds. I am 43 and unless by some miracle am pregnant right now then I will never have another baby.

      Feel better.

    2. Hi Margaret- Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Endo is such a devastating condition and it affects so many women, I wish more people were aware of it. Did you use fertility treatments to get pregnant with your son? Or did it end up happening naturally? Fingers crossed for us both getting pregnant. <3

    3. I got my positive with Robbie the day before my appointment to start fertility drugs. I went in to see my OB/GYN and he just grinned when I told him. I was actually 6 weeks pregnant at that point (my body does not seem to like hpts) and we had actually seen him on an ultrasound – told that Robbie was a cyst – pretty cute looking cyst, and he is now 7.5 years old.

    4. I have endo also. We figured it out when I was 19, which is SUPER lucky because I had all the scar tissue surgically removed at that time and start a very regimented birth control cycle that saved me much pain.

      I really HEAR you when you talk about the pain. My brothers used to say, "We can always tell when you are having your period because you lay on the floor in a ball and cry for 5 days." It is like menstrual cramp x 10,000.

      I remember being scared that nobody would want to marry because I would potentially not be able to have children. Now I'm getting close to 40 and I have 4 children. I needed fertility treatments for our second.

      Hang in there. I'm sorry

    5. I was 40 when I was diagnosed with endo, my OB said it was impossible for me to have endo start at that age but it could have been there for a long time and we just thought it was the PCOS causing the pain…

    6. It breaks my heart to hear about people who want children so badly for all the right reasons and yet cannot have them. I heard that if you have endo and you do get pregnant it will clear it up some and make it easier to get pregnant again. Is this true?

    7. Neurotic One & Margaret: The fact that you both got pregnant and now have a child/ children gives me hope. It's the IVF thing that bums me out because I have no insurance and financially IVF is not even close to being an option.

      Maquel: Thanks for checking out my blog! I try to keep things on the fun side, but every now and then I have to vent and a complainer-post sneaks in there. My surgery worked out great to remove the endo they were able to see, and to remove a large endometrioma mass that was growing off of the colon, and to perform a bowel resection to the area that was damaged. It significantly reduced the pain and overall difficulties I was having. However, some of the main symptoms were never resolved and they are already rearing their ugly heads (the surgery was just this past July). Another surgery is not an option due to the location of the previous one, and since we are trying to get pregnant, hormonal "fixes" like Lupron are out of the question too. So, for now we are just hoping a baby comes our way soon. The sooner that happens (if ever), the sooner I can get back on the pill and keep the endo at bay.

      To answer your question about pregnancy making endo clear up: I don't know firsthand, but it seems to be a common thing. Since the body is no longer going through its monthly cycle, there is no estrogen to feed the growth of endo. This results in the endo shrinking. I've heard that it can stay that way forever in some women. However, I've also heard that it can come back AND that it can even still grow while you are pregnant. It might just be the luck of the draw. Do you have endometriosis?

    8. You are very welcome. It wouldn't seem real if you didn't show the not so fun side now and again. Although you have a way of telling it that is actually quite funny despite the situation. Humor is awesome. Wow endo damaged your colon? I didn't even know that was possible. I am guessing you have a really bad case of it? Boo to surgery not working fully, especially after all the pain and recovery time you went through.

      I do not have it but have had friends who do, not fun stuff. If I am remembering correctly I think Lolly, Josh's wife, had it? Oh and Josh is my brother so I am not some random creepy person stalking him and his family:D

      Well hopefully you get preggers soon and the endo clears up! Will you have to have a C-section due to your surgery?

    9. Lolly had endo? If so, I would be interested in emailing with her to see what her experiences were like. And no, it is NOT fun. If I ever manage to get pregnant, I would actually welcome a C-section delivery! It's the "normal" way of delivering that scares the doodoo out of me.

    10. I honestly could be remembering wrong. So yeah… I will figure that one out and get back to ya:) Doodoo… no pun in intended right? Well when other woman are all like "Ohhh you had a C-SECTION", all holier than thou, you can be like "Dude I have to have one and have survived a hellish surgery so bite me." Then start going into the details of it until they faint.

      Wow, I got a little carried away there. Anyways I really hope it happens for ya and soon:D

  10. Physically- meh. I still haven't worked out. I am finding it very hard to find the time when I have an hour long commute, a lot of work to do, and a baby daughter. I'm not feeling particularly bad, but I know I could feel better. Also my stress has been causing my back to tense up, causing my costochindritis to flare up (chest wall pain).

    Emotionally- So-so. Last week was good. I was feeling very up about my job and just good in general. This week my depression is flaring up a bit. I think it's just hormonal, but still annoying.

    Spiritually- Very good. I have been reading my Bible a lot more (the Kindle makes it so much easier) and thinking a lot more about Jesus and God. Though I am working through some negativity about Jesus saying that he came for the "children" and not the "dogs" (Gentiles). Also, I got such a strong reminder from God this morning. I had wanted to buy new boots (nice, knee-high boots) but I'm a weird size and they were out of stock in the ones I wanted. I was actually a bit relieved, since I knew I didn't need to spend that money. But this morning I got an email saying they were back in stock. I hemmed and hawed and decided not to get them since I didn't need to, but I kept thinking about it. Then someone tweeted an article about an NYPD officer who stopped on his way home and bought new boots for a homeless man with no shoes. Message received! So I'm not buying the boots and I feel good about it, but I might buy some new snow boots to donate to the women's shelter.

  11. Good morning 🙂

    Physically – better in so many ways, but i'm coming off the Lexapro, since my gut issues have now been properly diagnosed as Celiac after years of misery (this past year was horrid) – now that we know my issues aren't stress related – I feel like its time to get off the medication that wasn't doing much anyway, but wow… i do finally understand a bit why people relapse into drugs or smoking issues because the side effects of coming off of this prescribed medication can be very distracting, i won't say painful, but for sure not fun, was tempted to take a 1/2 a pill to get through the evening last night -but don't want to go backwards… always forward. I'm hoping this ends soon! Looking forward to better days 🙂

    Emotionally: – still a bit tapped out (see above) but thrilled that I have a path and direction now on my health issues. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting much brighter!

    Spiritually: I've been better at handing my stresses to God, trusting that he will bear that load for me. I'm not playing tug of war with Him quite so much, casting my cares on Him and not reeling them back in.

    My family could use prayer. Husband has been out of work since March and our savings is going quickly, so if you could lift him up in prayer for a job opportunity, it would be appreciated!

    Have a great week everyone! I would like to say i'm a fan of weed, but that sounds bad… I fear if I said i'm a Weed Girl, it might also be misinterpreted… so i'll stick with Haymows fan!

    1. A few of my siblings and I have been diagnosed with Celiac's disease. It's amazing how getting the right diagnosis can make such a different. Good luck with the whole gluten free thing!

  12. I love your check ins.

    Physically—much better than last week. Was dragging through Thanksgiving, even skipped hanging out with my family because I couldn't get out of bed. I always get a little nervous when that happens, though, because I can't tease out what is genuinely feeling like crap because of a virus or depression. I have only recently in my life admitted I suffer from mild depression, and I am still trying to figure that out. But, I think not having to blow my nose every three seconds or being able to walk up the stairs without needing to rest means I was probably battling a virus, and not inner demons.

    Emotionally—speaking of inner demons, I made the mistake of going to church to teach my SS class while I was still under the weather. Got completely overwhelmed with everything I had going on (I have three callings), and still didn't have the physical strength to manage the emotional overload, and had a meltdown. Completely. Right there in the Relief Society room. Then while I was corralling my kids to go home, I ran into a member of the stake presidency, and I just couldn't pull it together. Embarrassing, to say the least, both that I didn't have the emotional or physical strength to keep it together, and that I couldn't do it in front of somebody I don't know very well who I have to work closely with in my calling. Now instead of thinking I'm all together, he thinks I'm a loon.

    Spiritually—Better than average. Again, feeling physically better makes everything better.

    Goal–I dunno–get through the week without crying again?

    1. I think that ALL members should have a complete meltdown in front of other people at least annually. You are awesome. And, imagine the luck of having a member of a Stake Presidency witness it. Gives the entire stake the opportunity to quit making feel that they have to be perfect AND have three church callings.

      I think it is wonderful to remind ourselves and the world that being imperfect is fantastic. And it gives the people who see us "permission" to be imperfect also.

    2. Upside!!!
      Now, just by being your normal self, you're going to shine.
      And when you're feeling especially perky, and on your A-game?
      There'll be no stopping you.

      In the USMC, there was a man (living legend of a man) named Chesty Puller. During the Korean War, he and his men (12,500) were cut off from supplies / reinforcements / medical… over 100 miles behind enemy lines. The tried everything they could to meet back up with our main forces, but they were cut off at every turn, and finally completely flanked in Chosin valley. The Army crossed off the division as lost, and stopped even trying to send aid.

      Vastly outnumbered by over 22 enemy divisions to their single division…
      Completely surrounded…
      he shouted to his men:

      "We've got 'em exactly where we want 'em, boys! We can shoot in any direction! They won't get away from us, now!"

      They not only survived the valley, but fought on the march all 100 miles back to our own lines, taking down 7 enemy divisions as they went. Part of the ethos of 'No man left behind' comes from this battle. Because every step of the way, they stopped to carry every dead and injured man back with them. Including others of ours from all branches who had been left behind in the wake of our retreating soldiers. No man was left behind. And they rejoined our forces, turning certain defeat into one of the highest casualty ratios in the history of warfare.

      This story, and the Stripling Warriors, share similar geography in my heart.


      You've got the Stake Presidency exactly where you want 'em.

      Grey also = Silver Linings

  13. Good Afternoon,

    Physically: Tired, sick, and in a small amount of pain. The pain comes from tripping over a rock on the way down from some ruins, ripping a small (but thick) layer of flesh from my big toe, slightly smaller than a shirt button, stings though. Sick because something I ate (or in some way ingested) has left me with a lovely case of diarrhea… which made the hike up the hill in search of huacas (Inca ruins, or rather holy sites that were typically natural worshiped in the Andes, not just Inca… sorry) for a class project that I'm going to fail, all the more exciting. Tired for the above reasons and because of my liver. We never get along these days, but if it angers me too much, I might just take up drinking to kill it once and for all! That'll show it!

    Emotionally: Despite how things have been going, and ignoring the constant numb that accompanies being tired all the time, I'm in an exceptionally good mood. It could have been the walk up into the hills, being out of the city pollution for a short time, or it could be that I tend to be happiest when everything is going wrong… oh well.

    Spiritually: Somewhere I shouldn't be, and not looking forward to the long hike back.

    Goal of week past: Success, I didn't attack or kill anyone during Thanksgiving and managed to make three acceptable desserts (most of which went to waste after, but I am not going to complain).

    New Goals: Get over the diarrhea before Saturday so I can go on a rafting trip, buy a bunch of tourist junk for Christmas presents (socks and hats for everyone!), ask for letters of recommendation from teachers for Grad School, find a way to feel more at ease with my sexuality so I can overcome my problems with pornography, start putting on some weight (don't want my family to be overly concerned when I get home, plus it is nice to have a little extra for when I get sick again), and finish the reading (in Spanish) for Sunday school so the profesora no va a me matar porque no estoy prestando atencion en su clase… vichi, always giving me a hard time for lack of understanding.

    As a completely irrelevant note, the meat on my lunch plate bears a striking resemblance to the Korean Peninsula… thought I'd share that before eating it… and like all things it is now gone.

    1. another mormon man with a porn problem. I could do a research study just from this blog's comments.
      if you dont get over he diarrhea: Immodium! has saved me many a time.

    2. We'll see if answering works, last time I tried to reply it put it on the bottom of the page… bah!
      You should do a study on in, use this blog as a resource, but given your opinions on the matter I feel the need to mention that porn is a problem because it is an unhealthy coping mechanism, preventing real progress to happen…
      As for the Immodium, I avoid the stuff like the plague. I personally believe it is better to be free of the contaminated contents of my bowels instead of plugging things up. I think I may have had too much experience with this in my life, but Inflammatory Bowel Disease will do that (now I just need the GI doctors to decide what type I have.) I'd go on, but I figure your comments were more on the passing and not an invitation for my life story…

  14. Physically: feel some stomach pain….largely from stress I'm pretty sure. The food I've been eating can't be helping

    Emotionally: panicky. I'm freaking out on the inside. I have so much to do and 3 days to do it! I keep going over and over them again and again and thinking, there's just no way. I'm going to need some major divine help. Am I insane??? What the crap is wrong with me??? Why couldn't I have gotten a clue a month ago? AAHHH!!. Something like that.

    Spiritually: I've kept up with the basics (read, pray, go to church) but I could be doing better in all of them. My prayers range from forced gratitude to whining up a storm. Reading is shorter and less deep than I'd like. And I only went to sacrament (albeit part of the reason was also some physical issues as well). I think it's mostly just the stress coloring my experience with something dismal. Next week I'll probably be better.

    Goal: Breath in, breath out, buckle down. Get to work. My goal last week is going OK I still have things I need to get done NOW. Not later.

  15. Physically–I am feeling FAT. I know I'm not. I know I do need to lose some weight. I'm working on healthier living, really. Tonight, I get to cook, so that will help a lot. I always feel more in control when I get to cook and see that everything is put together in the right way. Also, arthritis is coming to play, so I'm feeling a bit battered.

    Emotionally–It's been an emotional roller coaster this past week. Car accident aftermath, my brother getting engaged, my callings just completely falling to pieces, date, then no date, my favorite holiday, and all the in-betweens. But, at the end of it, I'm feeling like moving forward. I'm not going to wallow in the disappointments and the good things are still good when bad things appear. And that's a big deal, since I have a penchant for wallowing.

    Spiritually: I had one of those precious "ah hah" moments earlier this week that lead me to a better, more perfect understanding of the Atonement. Outside that, I'm working on finishing the Book of Mormon before January 1st. It's totally within reach if I stop going at such a full tilt that I collapse into bed unable to move, much less stay awake for some spiritual time. But, I have tonight totally free outside the cooking, so I think I'm going to spend some precious time with my Patriarchal Blessing and the scriptures to sort of recenter in ALL categories.

    Last week's goal: (Be more positive than negative, even if only marginally.)I think I managed it. I had several bad days there, but the desire to be positive makes it a LOT easier to get out of the funks.

    This week: Read my Patriarchal Blessing every day this week. I think I'm forgetting too easily my place in my Father's heart and that's part of why everything is so up and down right now. While this won't CURE the ups and downs, it will help me feel less alone in it.

  16. Physically: Ugh! Throwing up every morning for the last few days, better later on in the day. Exhausted through most of the day.

    Emotionally: It gets better right? One month after my mom's funeral I get a message that my biological mom (I was adopted) has lung cancer. Now as awful as it sounds I call this woman the "egg donor". There are reasons I was apprehended at birth. But on top of everything else I really did not need this. I did finally blog about my mom and her funeral, including a copy of my talk.

    Spiritually: I almost made it to church this week. I decided not to go because I was throwing up but I was going to go. My hubby is even ok with me going…

    Goal follow-up: Since my goals were pretty much about getting stuff done for my craft sale I have to say that I did a good job at following through.

    New Goal: make 10 dozen cookies for a cookie exchange, get everything ready for the craft sale (it's in 7 days), look for a new job and go to church this week.

    1. Why are you so sick!? Boo to that!

      I was wondering if you could post your email on here again, I forgot to jot it down like I thought I would and don't want to go hunting for it:D

      That is rough about the "egg donor"! One more thing to add to everything you are going through! Not fun. Hope this next week is a ton better and you get feeling well again.

  17. OK let's give this a whirl. It sounds therapeutic.

    Physically:Fat and bloated. I'm thinking I'm pregnant or have cancer, either way it's going to be expensive(that's my morbid humor right there). I lost weight and toned up for my wedding but I haven't had time to work on myself lately and I'm chubbing up again fast. I feel like crap. 🙁

    Emotionally: Tired, depressed (see why below)

    Spiritually: Confused, broken, scared.

  18. First off. I need to tell you, I love this blog & get so excited when I see it show up in my news feeds.
    Physically-bleh!. Over the summer I lost 22lbs! I was so happy. Then I fell off te band wagon, again. I knew I had gained some weight back because clothes were getting tight. But I excepted 5-10 pounds. I work at a salon with very pretty in shape girls, plus I feel like stylists are expected to look on point at all times (makes sense, it's our job to make others look good) well it's a lot of pressure. So after feeling particularly fat today, I weighed myself. I have gained 17 pounds. 17!!!!! It hurts to even say it..
    Emotionally- the semester ends in 2 weeks, I couldn't be more excited. My daughter turns 5 (where did that time?) and it's my favorite season!. So things are looking up. But, I'm 23 & have 2 kids. I work. I go to school. I have church callings, 3 in fact, that take up a lot of time. I don't have time for me, I feel selfish saying it, but I have no time to do the fun things I see my 23 year old- single- childless- in shape- none stretch marked- friends doing. When they call and say "what are you doing tomorrow? " I say "wake up at 7 get ready, wake up the kids & feed them, take my 5 year old to school, take my 2 hear old to a babysitter, go to class until 1030, pick up my baby, then 5 year old, lunch, laundry, dishes, dance/tumbling class, dinner, homework, bathes, kids bed times, me collapse half dead on the couch & then continue on with homework" then they say "oh… I was thinking of going to the mall". The mall! HA! I'm lucky to go to Walmart alone. Haha.
    Spiritually- finally back in check.. well almost. Get my temple recommend back in December & couldn't be more excited

  19. @cjriedel – your theory, such as it is, is an example of exceptionalism, similar to another term, terminal uniqueness.
    The way it works in individuals as someone may believe that while something may work for everyone else, it will not work for them. For example, an alcoholic may say that AA works for lots of people but not for them because they are unique and special. The same could go for an entire nation – for example, the U.S. has believed in the past they it can bomb whoever it wants, whenever it wants because it is unique and special.
    Your exceptionalism is LDS people because, I imagine, you believe they have the whole truth about God more than anyone else. And I have no doubt that millions of LDS believe this and probably most commenters on here. Large groups of people believing something does not proof its truth, by the way.
    I'm not clear how your comment is meant to help a 19 year old depressed girl or a gay man who might be in a straight marriage and watching gay porn because he has been told to never ever indulge his homosexuality. Rather, your comment reinforces the idea that those folks just have to work harder, be more spiritual, pray more, attend addiction groups, etc, to get over what is often not a problem in the first place.
    Again – terminal uniqueness. Exceptionalism.

  20. I actually have a tiny bit of time to sit here and write this today.

    Physically: Ugh, It's one of those weeks where I wake up every morning with a sinus headache because my sinuses are in overdrive, even though I saline wash them before I go to bed. I adjusted my side of the bed last night so I was practically sitting up and it helped a little. And my knees are rebelling because of the ever increasing workload. I need to lose weight, but chronic pain makes it hard to get motivated to exercise.

    Emotionally: We're coming up on Christmas again, which frequently sends me into seasonal depression. I have issues, stemming from some very bad Christmases in the past (heck, I have a whole subscription!) that often lead to me to dread December and end up in meltdown near the end of the month. Hopefully, the Cymbalta keeps that from happening and I can keep it together.

    Spiritually: Never as good as it should be, but I'm going to church and having spiritual moments while reading each week's Sunday School lesson. And we got called into the bishop's office and it wasn't nearly as anxiety causing as it has sometimes been for me. Maybe it's because we've been personal friends with him long before he was called to be bishop this year so even though he's wearing the bishop hat, I get warm feelings of love that haven't changed. And we are working on the issues that got us called in to talk to him.

    GOALS: I know I need goals, but I'm doing good just to get through each day right now.

  21. reply button still not working!
    @Grey – yes, there is the stigmatizing of any sex outside of straight married sex – the stimatizing and shaming of it. This has to be at least part of the reason that many Mormons marry so young.
    So anything that falls outside of straight married sex – masturbation, same sex sex, small amounts of porn watching, large amounts of porn watching, etc, would be viewed as an addiction and something to be ashamed of and to be if not fixed, at least controlled. The problem is, jamming a lid on a boiling pot doesn't stop the pot from boiling, that steam is getting out some way. And it is more likely to get out in actual unhealthy ways – which is why some gay Mormon men have gay sex on the down low which is emotionally and physically dangerous, for example. Label something that is healthy and normal as a sin and wrong, you are going to end up with a whole lot of depressed folks who feel that they can't possibly live up to what God is demanding. That's the thing though, that's the rub. God isn't demanding anything, leaders are.
    And now there's a mess. And are MOR's going to clean up that mess? Not likely. How many blogs of how many men have I read recently where they are gay, in a MOR and feel they are addicted to gay porn? I know, I know, not Josh, Josh is not. And Mr.IDM is not. I know. How many have I read of single young gay men who also feel they are addicted to masturbation and porn? It is illogical, unhealthy and quite frankly cruel to put this kind of shame on any form of sexuality that is outside of straight married sex.
    Instead of dealing with the symptoms of the problem – porn watching, etc, instead of making those individuals feel that they have to in whatever way live up to God's expectations or they are dissapointing him (and one said letting down the whole nation) deal with the root of the problem – the shaming of healthy and normal sexuality.

  22. I just started reading this wonderful site a few weeks ago and I absolutely love it. I have decided to share my check in for this week.
    Physically I am feeling amazing! I have started my running again for my training (get more into that in a few). And I am sore and loving it!
    Emotionally I am doing alright, going to see a therapist this next Monday and that should help a lot 🙂 pretty excited about that.
    Spiritually I am getting better and being able to reach my needs more than I was for a long time and I am doing great with my church attendance and reading my scripts.
    Now for my GOALS: I am going to run a half marathon in April. I have just decided that this week. So training begins 🙂 it is going to be a busy next few months with all of my running and cross training but it is going to be great being out in the morning when no one else is out and running like a mad woman. Ha! So my goal for the next week is 4 Miles every other day.
    Thankyou Josh and Lolly (such a cute name by the way) for what an inspiration you are to me and helping me grow.

  23. Check in

    Physically-My feet are sore and tired, I was worried I might need new workout shoes but realized I haven't had these one's for very long. So I get to avoid that hassle! I think it is because I have been running longer and farther and doing faster paces. I found a program on runkeeper I am really liking and it is kicking my trash. So hopefully that is it, and my feet will adjust soon. I went and got a massage the other day (thank you 50 percent off daily deals!)and she said there is a lot of work to be done. I still have not recovered fully from straining my lower lumbar last December. I'm tired of having back issues, it is getting old. Especially since I am working so hard to get rid of them and I am only 25. She gave me a super discounted deal to come back if I want since she could tell I really needed it. Still catching up sleep wise from Thanksgiving and vacation. Still doing well on medication, exercise, and eating. Today I had a "binge" moment due to tiredness, stress, anxiety. Which fortunately I have not had in a long long time, but it was still not fun. Wow, this is getting long so I am going to end this sections:D

    Emotionally-Drained. The baby at work is giving me a run for my money. I think having mom around for the holiday is making it hard for her to adjust to eating out of a bottle again instead of mom breastfeeding her. So hopefully she adjusts quickly and is her happy "eat all the foods" self again. I really just need more sleep and a weekend so thank goodness it is Friday
    Spiritually- Lacking. I am not doing my part to really feel the Holy Ghost in my life. I really need to get back to reading the scriptures and actually setting aside time to pray. I need to do better at prioritizing. Although I had a sweet moment today when I was reading books to the 3 year old at work. She picked out some religious kids books and usually I am not a fan of them but they were good. One of them was about prayers and I had a "Hey Maquel i've missed you and want to hear from you" moment and it was nice. The book reminded me of mom and I want to get it for her since it is really simple and basic and yet still has a sweet spiritual message.

    1. Say one focused prayer a day
    2. Read the scriptures once by next wed.

  24. First time doing this and hoping it will help with accountability!

    Physically – ok, could be better, could be worse. I am starting the lengthy journey of weight loss (20 pounds) and am trying desperately to come to terms with my dislike of water and exercise. I keep wishing that one day I will wake up with the motivation that I need, but …

    Emotionally – today has been one of those days. I have been on edge and irritable. Overall throughout the last week it hasn't been too bad, but today was just a little much. I think my youngest (who was woken up before he was ready to) was out to get me today, and I let it affect me more than it should have. I am also concerned for my son in kindergarten and his lack of confidence when it comes to learning – this scares me because I don't know what to do. Hoping I will receive some inspiration on how best to help him.

    Spiritually – Much further away than where I should be. I will be happy if I can even just take a few moments each day to say personal prayers, at least that is better than where I am right now.

    1. Prayers, twice a day
    2. Drink 3 bottles of water every day

    1. I ask out of real curiosity and not out of contention.

      Are there still American citizens that think gay people have made a choice and can change?

      Regardless of religious or legal opinions, don't most people (under the age of 70) realize that people can make choices about what they do, but NOT choices about their sexuality?

    2. There are still apparently American citizen who believe this.
      And it is also apparently the case that straight woman/gay man marriages have much better sex lives than straight marriages as is told repeatedly on this blog and in the comments, lest anyone ever forget.

    3. That part isn't hard for me to believe. The idea that MOR have better sex that "regular" marriages, I mean. For me, sex is hugely and dramatically more fulfilling and fun and intimate when I am feeling serious emotional connection.

      The emotionally connection is ALWAYS more important, to me, than the physical attraction.

      Also, the "healthier" MOR that I have read about do NOT believe that the gay individual will change. Only that the sexual orientation part is okay with them both and they enjoy being married to each other.

      My heart seriously breaks for individuals who enter a MOR without knowing. Or heaven-forbid, that they were going to "fix" their spouse.

    4. I agree with you about the emotional connection, Neurotic One. That is especially true for women. That said, some physical attraction is important and needs not be de-emphasized (I'm not saying you were doing that!)
      I guess what I'm saying is that there seems to be a strong strong need for some in a gay man/straight woman relationship to repeatedly explain that their sex lives are great and better than their straight friends. Since that cannot be empirically measured, we will never really know. My question is why that insistence that people know this? I have two male friends who are married and everytime one of them tells me what a great sex life they have, I'm like ok, la la la la la. Ha. I feel the same when my straight friends tell me about their sex lives.
      It does concern me that one of the commenters is choosing to have a gay boyfriend (somewhere above or below that was mentioned in this post). Is this idea of a straight woman dating a gay man being promoted? Again, I thought Josh's example was not to be considered an example. I've read other blogs of gay men who are dating women and I'm thinking, whoa, whoa – in some cases, the fellow is still drying to tamp down his sexuality and stop watching gay porn and he is dating a woman? I see it as so unfair to put straight women in this situation generally – yes, Josh is the exception. I've been reading another blog from a gay man whose wife, he says, enjoys watching her husband's crushes on other men. Is that fair to her? It's worrisome.

    5. I just watched the Dr Oz episode. I don't know what rock I have been living under, but I thought those types of therapies were rare and back-alley type things. From 2 generations ago.

      Eye opening. Thank you for the link.

    6. I think that I had better comment here since I'm sure I have made previous statements about my MOR sex being "better". I would like to clearify, for what it's worth, that I have said, and do continue to say this in two different contexts, and in different conversations.

      1. I DO believe that our MOR sexual experiences are often (definitely not always) "possibly" (certainly I cannot really know) better than some of my/our heterosexual friends/family as I hear them relate little tidbits about their sex lives and often lack of fulfillment therein. I'm comparing to people I know personally and hear about, and to some degree, I'm comparing to what I see on tv and in movies (which I assume should be portraying the VERY BEST, but usually falls short of representing what my husband and I experience together regularly). Hey, I'm just sayin -and I guess you'll never really know, I'm just tellin it like it is, but I don't expect or need anyone to believe me. 😉

      2. The other senario where I would have said something similar, is in comparison to MY personal history of sexual experiences (I've been with a few), and my husband's personal history of sexual experiences (he's been with a bunch). And, OUR personal history of sexual experiences together through 30 years of marriage. Compared to OUR combined 100+ years of sexual experiences, both with each other, with different partners, and even our own little personal "private parties with ourselves, our current Mixed Orientation Relationship sex is way more wonderful, absolutely more amazing, completely and totally more fulfilling, and unquestionably BETTER THAN EVER.

      Here is something that Mr. I Define Me said to me recently, and I recorded it (as I often do – because he has amazing and wonderful insights into sharing his feelings, experiences, and beliefs).

      He said, "if, when I was pursuing relationships and experiences with gay men, I would have seen or experienced even a glimmer of hope for an ongoing or “healthy” same sex relationship, I might have been compelled to embrace that, but I NEVER, EVER did. All my experiences and attempts at relationships with men only satisfied my “physical pleasure” (appetite of the flesh), but did nothing to satisfy my heart and soul. It clearly just wasn’t for me. I NEVER felt like I could, nor did I want to give my “heart” to any man.”

      He also said, "my sexual desire for my wife is absolutely increased. It is definitely a heart and soul thing. I love the newfound flirting, the anticipation, the teasing, and ultimately the amazing and indescribable experiences that we now share, that everytime feels like miracle to me. It's all about real love, it's about two souls connecting, it's a spiritual thing that transends the purely physical experiences I've had in the past, I never ever imagined that it could be like this, it's a blessing, it's super sexy and it's totally HOT".

      He told me just last week, as we were talking bout all this sharing of our personal lives and whether or not we even should share it, "I had no idea of the additional blessings of amazing and enhanced pleasure with my spouse that would come as a result of my decision to obstain from masterbation – I feel strongly compelled that I need to share what I've experienced and learned, and testify of what I know to be true."

    7. Anyway, we're not claiming that straight woman/gay man marriages (as a whole) have better sex lives than straight marriages (as a whole), we're just sharing some extremely private, intimate and genuine information about OUR sex lives because it's so amazing and wonderful, and, because we feel the need to share in hopes that the "myths" about our poor, pitiful, unfortunate and unfullfilled lives can be dispelled.

      And, we hope that all couples (straight, gay, bi, etc.) will not settle for something that's not working for them, and will stretch themselves, and do whatever it takes to establish amazingly fulfilling, honest, complete, and beautiful sexual experiences for themselves – as we have.

    8. Yeah, some folks are going to use your story to tell their sons/cousins/friends/acquaintances that even though they are gay, they can have transcendant sexual experiences with a woman. I realize that this is not your intention. But again, when people are clinging to ANYTHING other than their son/cousin/friend/acquaintance living a gay life.

    9. Sarcastic remarks have been removed for the sake of civility…

      I'm sorry, just about any story can be used to pressure relatives, and I for one appreciate the story for what it is, a lesson on love and how to develop an extraordinary intimate relation… I wish I could word things better… anyway, I hope to someday have what they have; to have a deep relationship (whether with a man or woman) with the person I will spend the rest of my life with. I'm sure I Define Me, both halves of this wonderful whole, are aware of the risks of sharing stories, but are you (karen) saying that they should just shut up? How would you go about sharing a love story that goes against what others believe to be appropriate because their story might be used on some poor son/cousin/friend/acquaintance?

    10. Neurotic one, you assume that for gays the sex is only physical. Just another sad stereotype. You might have a friend with whom you feel a great connection but that doesn't mean you would enjoy sex together. It's very much about gender. It's pretty hard wired for most people.

    11. That is often the accusation – that I am asking (telling,etc.) people to 'shut up.'
      Don't have that power, don't want that power.
      Mrs. IDM's story will be used probably be used that way, that's all I am saying.
      In the spirit of free speech, I would like to talk about the beautiful sex life that my gay married friends, Dale and Luke have. They've been married for awhile and yes, tell me about their sex lives! I've asked them for moe information and if I could share it and they said sure! They said that in addition to their sex life together being totally physically satisfying for both, that it brings them together emotionally in a deep, deep way. They are Christians and very much feel a huge spiritual connection to each other, partly due to their lovemaking. They have both been with many people, both men and women, and tell me that sex with each other is the best they have ever had. It's almost sickening, ha! I have rarely seen two people more in love!
      I asked it it satisfied their hearts and souls and they said, 'yes definitely.'

    12. what I just wrote above is true. I am willing to go out and talk to other gay couples I know and ask them if a) they find their sex life together satisfying b) if it brings them closer together emotionally and physically and spiritually c) if it the best sex they've ever had.
      And then I can report back.
      My point is, straight-straight couples can and do have transcendent sex, straight-gay can have transcendent sex and gay-gay can have transcendent sex. I'm sure that there are other configurations as well – bisexual with straight, bisexual with bisexual etc.
      Does all of this transcendent sex in all of these different configurations have anything at all to do with gay men marrying straight women because ANYTHING is better than living a gay life? If some (many?) could just admit how THRILLED they ae to hear that Mrs. IDM reports the best sex she has ever had is wth a gay man because that means their son/cousin, etc. etc. doesn't have to go down the gay road that leads to hell (or at least the 3rd and least level of heaven), wouldn't that be more honest? Do y'all ever wonder why there are hardly any 'practicing' gay folks commenting on ths blog? Why pussyfoot around the truth that most people on here are just thrilled that MOR represents a whole great world for them and/or their children because God ain't got no room in his top heaven for practicing homosexuals. That would be honest.
      I may be loud and I may be raising my already high blood pressure even higher, but at least I'm honest.

    13. Now we are getting somewhere, and sorry to have levied the same accusation against you, but you often sound (though that makes no sense with written words… perhaps "your tone and word choice?")… still, it often seems as though you are telling people to stop say things. You sure do get heated up about this, which makes me wonder why you are here.

      The assumption keeps being made about who the majority of people on here are, it would be interesting to find out once and for all. From what I've observed, it consists mostly of women (though that could be that they are the ones that feel most comfortable responding) with a few MOR families, some smattering of fine young gay men (poor deluded fools like myself). In fact, a fair number of women on this seem to be college students, this would be a great place to meet young women… such a shame really, most are married, that and the whole homosexual thing going on for me.

      Now I seem to have lost track of where I was going with this, oh well. Maybe we should do a poll to see what the audience is made of? I for one am not so convinced that God has no room for practicing homosexuals, but then again, I'm not convinced I can't pass through walls if I really try (it should be possible according to physics), so my opinion holds very little weight. At least I don't have to worry that my story will be used to convince anyone of anything… though now that I think of it, why do you (karen) never address the problem of the sons/cousins/friends/acquaintances using the story on themselves to convince themselves that they can live an incredibly difficult lifestyle?

    14. not clear what the incredibly difficult lifestyle is?
      Why am I here? Me? I'm just trying to reclaim the bible from fundamentalists. Not possible, I realize and especially not possible with Mormons. So really, what i'm doing is raising my blood pressure (and it is high, apparently! not that i'm obsessing)
      also – a bit o semantics – lifestyle – being a vegetarian is a lifestyle. being a fitness nut is a lifestyle. Being gay is not.
      And if you meant people would come on here to convince themselves to be gay – they would probably want to go to a website that doesn't think living a gay life is an abomination against god. But I mean there could be I guess.
      I do get frustrated when it seems like people are looking for any loophole or any way they can mold themselves – or their gay kids – into pretzels in order to avoid living a gay life. and that frustration is not good for me (did I mention I have high blood pressure? oh, the joys of aging). So I wlll leave this blog eventually which will mean that almost 100 per cent of people on here think, in essence, the same way. Is that a good thing? who knows.

    15. My opinion on Reparative Therapy:

      The fundamental problem with torture is twofold:

      1) Most people will (sooner or later) just tell you what you want to hear
      2) The rest just beg for death, being unable to give you what you want


      Everyone breaks. Period. How many people can recover from being broken is a whole 'nother matter. I find this kind of psychological torture vile, insidious, disgusting, and highly predictable.

    16. @ Karen

      I'm LDS and don't believe that being gay or living a gay life is an abomination against God. Promise. Pinky swear. And I'm not splitting hairs in any way, shape, or form.

      All over the country there have been marches for legalizing gay marriage with "Mormons for Marriage Equality" marching (with signs!). In fact, here's proof https :// (don't know if I'm allowed to post links? I broke the link, though, just in case), as well as all the folk who just march -or vote- as individuals. LDS, but not highlighting their faith. Also facebook groups, etc.

      I love my son. Period. I don't need a loophole to love him, or be proud of him, or happy for him. I don't believe that God needs loopholes, either. God is all knowing, all wise. Compassionate to all. Merciful to each. My Great and KIND Heavenly Father. My son's.


      ETA: I don't willingly suffer idiots. So if I'm debating with someone, it's not because I want them to go away or believe they're an idiot. It's because I believe they're worth learning from, fleshing out ideas/boundaries with, adding perspective, sharing experience, etc. Even (or even especially) if my own experience is 180. Or "exactly the same, but completely different" :p. My favorite self-selecting-groups self select for respectful diversity as their common element. Unless we're talking science. I get awfully persnickety about pseudoscience. Back on target, however, I hope this blog will continue in diverse and divergent (and respectful) voices!!!

    17. Yes Karen, I do believe you mentioned high blood pressure, and I'm glad you get to enjoy the wonders of aging. I'm sorry if I came off too rude, I won't make excuses for the behavior. It is nice to know your motivations. The "incredibly difficult lifestyle" I was referring to was a MOR, not a "gay lifestyle," and as such it is a choice and lifestyle. I do agree with you that many people try to force themselves into a mold in which they do not fit (or being forced by family, friends, etc.). Sort of a wonder, that in Western society's push for individuality, we seek to fit molds and be like everyone else.

      As I said before, I word things badly. Hope your blood pressure goes down.

      Grey!, I am sorry to have afflicted my idiocy on or around you. I, for one, love certain forms of pseudoscience. Also, I'm sorry for being anything less then respectful. Happy December!

    18. @ Esel

      Glibly ignoring pseudoscience comment (lalalala)…

      You haven't inflicted idiocy on me that I've noticed. LOL, I shall have to be more alert! I'll save up the apology for some future date, however, just in case.

      – Grey

    19. Tammy – missed you, glad you're back my friend.

      Beautifully put – thank you. Thank you for saying "I don't care what your sexual orientation is – if you find your soulmate, you find your soulmate. Let's celebrate that".

      This feels like the "acceptance" and understanding I (we) have been hoping for (not "needing", but hoping for).

      Our message is, and always has been this…

      "Yippee – we've found it!" – (and all of the decision, debate, and judgements on WHY we found it, or How we found it, or IF anyone believes that we really have found it, are irrelevant).

      And, the reason that we share it,….is because it is an amazing story, we realize that "it" (our story) is rare, but we believe and hope that someone might learn something from hearing it. Someone might be more tolerant, someone might accept a different paradigm, someone might be more forgiving, someone might be more patient, someone might be less narrow minded, someone might show more respect, and yes, someone might find hope when, for whatever reason, they had none.

  25. Josh, your comments about your spiritual feelings (or lack therof) was interesting. I get that way a lot because of some physical problems I have. I do still get ideas/insights, but they don't come with that warm brightness I like so much. Instead, I'm just sort of spiritually numb, like the part of my body that reacts to spiritual input just isn't functioning. Once it lasted for over three years, yech! Now it's more a weekly or daily thing. Like you, I still get what I consider inspiration, but it's very cool and sort of "oh, by the way" instead of tingly/teary-eyed. I don't like it much, but I've learned that God is still doing his part even if my body isn't; the messages still get through, I just don't get the emotional rush along with them. Part of the "mists of darkness" for me, I think.

    1. I also understand that lack of spiritual "brightness" at times. For me, music is the key. I listen to all kinds of spiritual music, from MoTab to Gaither Gospel Music. I love it all. 🙂 It touches me, it invigorates my spirit, it brings me closer to God, it almost always makes me cry. (But then, I'll cry at a tissue commercial – that's just me – lol)

    2. PS- I'm Mrs. IDM (somehow my google account set up turned out this way, so I'm just going to have to sign Mrs. when it's me and hubby will have to sign Mr. IDM when it's him cause we want to use the same acct.)

  26. Ok, so I'm a long-time lurker, and I finally decided maybe I'd dive in. O.o

    Physically: I can see the treadmill and the weight machine in the other room. As I sit here on my bed, not using them (pretty much sums it up, I think). Unfortunately I'm one of those genetically skinny people who can hide my pancake butt in a pair of loose fitting 2's. This does not help my motivation. However, the fact that my husband is running a half marathon and is signing me up for the associated 5k might just be the thing that pushes me back into a healthy routine.

    Emotionally: Still reeling a bit after turning in the giant stack of home study forms. Being an adoptive parent scares the daylights out of me and thrills me at the same time. It's a weird place to be emotionally.

    Spiritually: It's been years, so I don't understand why I still struggle to let this go. Most little girls planned their weddings, I glued little black construction paper name tags into my journal. I was so excited to serve. I have ADHD, so there were aspects of my service that were not as awesome as they could have been (there's some paperwork, phone calls, and detail-type stuff involved, and I really struggled there). As a driver, I got lost a lot, and we went over miles, etc., but I loved talking to people and I loved to teach. The last week of my service, one leader (not my Pres.) tells me in an interview that he felt I hadn't realized my potential as a missionary, and that I could have done more. I gave my 100% every day, volunteered 18 months of my life 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and it still wasn't enough. I know I wasn't perfect, but I struggle with the notion that my 100% (which admittedly looks a little wonky) will ever be enough. I am an active member of the LDS church and I really do try to understand what Jesus taught and live accordingly. In my heart, though, I still hear those words and see the disapproval on that leaders' face, and all the effort feels sort of like it won't matter in the end. Maybe because I'm worried that there's truth to the idea that it won't ever be enough, because I know I will never be able to give the shiniest 100%. If the best I've ever done was the mission that wasn't good enough, maybe I'm hosed.

    I've struggled to understand forgiveness in the past, but this experience left a nasty little spiritual dent that I'm still struggling to hammer out. Even though I know he didn't understand me, and even though I know I can't expect perfect kindness from any other person, my little ticker still feels quite sad about it.

    Goals: Keep hammering. 🙂 Oh! And get on that treadmill before Sunday.

    p.s. Josh, thank you for doing this. It helps me to remember that every person I meet could write a check-in full of hard things. It's helping me make more compassionate choices.

    1. Oh, dear. I considered going at 21 (mostly because I wasn't married and didn't know what to do with myself) but eventually decided not to. I'm glad I did. I've heard these types of stories too often. The MTC and the mission field are breeding grounds for abuse. It's really not unusual to heat of a mission president or visiting general authority lambast and berate poor missionaries who are doing their best.
      I'd tell you to join a church thay thanks and appreciates people who serve in volunteer positions instead of beating them down but I suspect that's not an option for you.
      I hope you realize that this guy was a pompous douche bag and no one to take seriously. Sometimes people think that this kind of approach "motivates" and they think the best way to lead is with intimidation. Probably wasn't ever hugged as a child.

    2. I'm sorry, Wildflower. That is horrible and unfair.

      I know you are not in my ward, but if you were….. I'd be the one sitting next to you reminding you that you are always enough, even during a 90% stretch.

      The more posts I read here, the more I think that my experience within the church is very different from other people's.

      Perhaps, eventually, you will be able to see that man with pity and compassion. He must have a painful or lonely background and a sense of self-righteousness that will not serve him well on earth. Or anywhere after.

    3. Wildflower – (Mrs. I Define Me here)- I can relate to your feelings that your 100% isn't "shiny" enough. I even used to have an email name of "gonnashine". I recall friends in school making me feel "less than", I recall past employers making me feel "less than", and I recall people in my church community making me feel "less than". But somewhere along the road that I call "my life" I realized that the common denominator was "me", and "my" personal belief that I was "less than". Since then, I have changed my way of thinking and I have learned a great lesson that I hope to share with you, "NO ONE can "MAKE ME" feel ANYTHING – I'm the boss of my brain, I establish, manage, and control my personal relationship with God, and I decide where and when I will SHINE (or not), I am the polisher – I DEFINE ME. 🙂 Love to you

    4. This reminds me of a recent experience I had. My husbands family and I went to Idaho for Thanksgiving and we drove back part of the way on Sunday. My in laws go to all if church when they are traveling which I think is crazy. Anyways I was having some serious anxiety from the trip and stayed out in the foyer and then went out to the car for the rest of church. My father in law was saying something behind balmy back, I am not sure what exactly because my husband stopped his brother from going into the details. I do know that he was judging me for not going to all of church and staying out in the foyer during sacrament. After I heard about it I balled my eyes out. I was being wrongly judged for something I have little control over (anxiety) and was already doing the best I could to manage it ( I ran on thanksgiving for heavens sake). It sucks being judged by someone who should instead be trying to understand you. It is easier said then done but try to let it go. Forgive and forget. You have given your all on your mission and Heavenly Father and those you served know it. Like my father in law he did not understand you and wrongly passed judgement.

    5. I, too, had a similar experience with my student teaching. I had felt like I was doing everything that was asked of me. I knew it could have been better, but I was learning, growing, and trying each day to be better than the last. I was making mistakes and learning from them. I was feeling pretty good.

      Then my cooperative teacher came down on me hard. Everything I was doing he said I shouldn't have been, and he named a lot of things that I wasn't doing that he wanted me to. I tried to make a come-back and prove that I could do it, but I no longer believed that I could. I bawled every night because I didn't want to make my lesson plans and I didn't want to go to school the next day. I have never had such anxiety in my entire life (and no, I don't have anxiety usually.)

      If that weren't bad enough, my supervisor came down on me even harder than my teacher did. My supervisor, who was supposed to be my advocate to my teacher, who was supposed to be on my side, who was hired by BYU-I, told me that not only was I not doing what I was supposed to, but I had "wasted everyone's time". He might as well have said that all those lessons I had taught were for naught, my students hadn't learned a thing, and it would have been better if I hadn't been there at all. That's how I took it anyway.

      How was I supposed to come back after that? My confidence had already been torn, but now it was shattered. I felt like I couldn't do anything right. So I quit. With 6 weeks left before graduation, I quit school and didn't go back. I don't regret it, mind you, and feel like I made the best choice for me, but I'm still overcoming the effects of that experience and gaining my confidence back, and it's been almost three years.

      Since then, I've become a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant and I've learned about "Praising people to success." Some people, like my supervisor, cooperative teacher, and your leader, believe that pointing out people's faults will motivate them to do better. And maybe men are motivated by that. Maybe a swift kick in the butt is all they need to get back on track and do better. But women are the complete opposite. If you point out a woman's faults, she'll most likely obsess over them and the fact that she's not enough (like you and I seem to have done) and make herself depressed and less confident in her abilities. But if you praise her for everything she does right, she'll concentrate on making those even better until eventually the things she's lacking in will work themselves out or they'll become so insignificant that they won't matter. Women need to be praised to success, not criticized or critiqued. My director and fellow consultants in Mary Kay follow this philosophy, and I'm finally beginning to feel of worth again. And my actions and mind have been much more productive and healthy.

      Sounds to me like you need some praise in your life, Wildflower. If no one else is going to give it to you, give it to yourself. Tell yourself you're awesome, because you are. You just need to believe it. Congratulate yourself on the things you do well. Concentrate on them and make them better and everything else will work themselves out.

      And pray for forgiveness for him. I know he didn't mean to have that affect on you. He's just a man, and men are stupid sometimes especially when it comes to understanding women.

    6. Wow Maquel your husband must be a keeper for you to marry ibto a family of people who attend a three hour block on vacation. 🙂
      Uptight much? Even growing up in a family that attended every week we still figured all bets were off one week out of the year.
      I am down with a lot of mormons but not the church on vacay type.

    7. BQ,

      Indeed he is! Yeah my family would just go to sacrament IF that while traveling. Oh and my FIL is one of those people who drive 65 in a 75 because "it's safer and saves gas". To which I want to say i do't care because tacking on 3 more hours to the trip is NOT WORTH IT. But you can't say anything because arguing or having a discussion with him is about as effective as talking to a rock. That man is VERY frustrating, don't even get me started:)

      Uptight much indeed:)

    8. I learned 13 years ago that there are some people with whom you want to take a road trip and vacation and others with whom you do not.
      8 hours of church and classical music in the car because it is Snday is a long time. And I like classical music and I liked church music at the time. But still…

    9. BQ,

      Amen! Yeah I honestly despise Christian music with a few exceptions. Like Switchfoot and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I can spot a Christian music station from a mile away. Anyways you mention classic not Christian so that was random from me I guess. Anywho, the mom tried playing her Christian music station at one point during the drive and my husband kindly asked her to turn it off, thank goodness she did.


      Try family road trips as a kid, aka about 16 hours in one day. Intense stuff.

    10. I was taking a class this pass semester on ethical dilemma (great class btw), and we talked about this sort of in a way. We talked about how strengths can turn into weaknesses and how we need to balance out things in our lives such that we don't overdue it even in church related things. Here is a great article that I totally love it. It talks about overdoing church callings, just overdoing things in general. And talks about moderation in all things. A must read.

  27. Physically–I'm exhausted and tired and not feeling real well. I have PTSD, and it's been a month now where I haven't gotten a single night of uninterrupted sleep because of horrible nightmares and feeling sick.

    Emotionally: I'm really feeling sort of resigned. And somewhat hopeless to ever find people I can fit in with, or a place to belong, or a place where I can be me–all of me. I recently told a lot of my friends that I reject stereotypical femininity, and that I'm fine with who I am. There's been some backlash. And I'm tired of having friends in my life who aren't real friends.

    Spiritually: I'm very discouraged by Christians who continue to wound me and others just because we don't fit their ideas of what God will approve of. Nothing I've done is against anything in the Bible, but these people read more into the Word than is actually there, so they feel free to criticize me. I hate it. It hurts. I know my Abba Father doesn't feel that way. I know He loves me just as I am, but I hate being condemned by people that are supposed to be family. It's been hard.

    All this combined definitely sucks…and I don't know how to reveal to people that I am bisexual. (I'm like you, though, Josh…I cannot go against the Word of God, but I'm tired of battling and hiding this part of me….it hurts too much).

    Goal: Tell my counselor the truth of my sexuality.

    1. Anon – between the black and white there are many shades of gray, and between the pink and blue, there's mauve. Please don't let other imperfect individuals discourage you. Maybe it could help you if you do what I've been doing for years, confidently repeat this mantra – "I Define Me". Love to you.

    2. Sincerely hope that speaking the words aloud to a counselor serving in an objective position, will help. He/she won't be emotionally attached.

      It has helped me 🙂

    3. Maybe you need a new counselor. The counselor's job is to help you find a way to deal with everyone else. So it you haven't felt safe to tell your counselor, that could be a problem.

    4. BQ,

      Totally Agree.


      Tell your counselor. After months of seeing mine I ffinally told mine about something very important that is key to understanding my past and present. It took a lot to share that, but I am so glad I did because it is making progress much more possible. If your counselor does not know core parts of you and your struggles in life then they can't really help you. Also don't worry about them being "shocked" if you are. Unless your some mass murderer or the like it won't phase them at all.

    5. Because of my trust issues, it's taken time to work towards talking to my counselor about it. Plus, I didn't really recognize this until like March, and then I denied it again until a week ago…so….it's not his fault. And when I have session limits due to no health insurance and using college counseling, I make do with what I can get. And I'm really glad to have been blessed with such a nice counselor. It's not that I haven't felt safe to tell my counselor; I haven't wanted to admit it to him.

    6. Anon,

      Baby steps right? Well I am glad that he is working out for ya, that is awesome. Take your time, I hope you did not feel like I was pressuring you to tell him above, just sharing that it helped me a lot when I did. Acceptance is the first step so your getting there:D

  28. What do you mean "totally in shape for the first time in your life"? Hello, you won a fitness competition with a monetary prize! So what if they had to sharpie your name over some other bloke's because they tried to pull a fast one over everyone and give it to someone else even though you totally blew the other guy out of the water? You still won. And got the money. So I'd say you were pretty well in shape at that point. And you look really good in your current pictures, too, so I don't think you're as bad off as you think. Just sayin'.

  29. checkin' in, yo.
    its like this, k?
    i got my goal half done.

    physically… i am shot. not gettin' enough sleep. at all. amen.
    emotionally… i am a wreck. i am on autopilot and just coast through each day never making it meaningful and wonderful.
    spiritually- i WAS doing good at first and now i am totally in some black hole of abyss.

    goal? i have no freakin' idea. obviously i am not doin' so hot so i gotta do SOMETHING. how about i finish last weeks goal and make my birthday goal list. yes. thats it.

  30. Physically: I am worn out, between my kids, the holidays, the house, the laundry, the holidays, the laundry, the driving to and from…. I just found out I have hypothyroidism, and I am slothy (made up word) lately. On the up side, I have been going to the gym 4-5 Xs a week for 4 months now and it has helped increase my energy a lot. I gained in ONE thanksgiving week almost what I’ve lost, but it will be slapped down as I kick it into high gear.

    Emotionally: WEEELLLLLL this could go on forever. I am happy, So happy in so many aspects. I am happy and excited about much in my life. I feel like I can see more clearly now than I have for a long time. I am discouraged by some things too. Like Laundry…… can’t we just go naked??

    I am more discouraged by some of the comments and voices I hear on some very important matters. VERY important. I feel that some people have an agenda that is extremely important, like trying to get the message out that it is ok to be gay. I agree it is ok to be gay. That it is ok to be out and gay. I agree it is ok to be out and gay. That you would be better off alive in a gay relationship then taking your own life. I AGREE.

    This agenda is good.

    Except when this agenda starts to sound more like, “The people (your family, or friends or neighbors or church) you love think you’re an abomination!”. Or it sounds more like “ Everyone who you know or love or care about is lying to you and thinks (according to their religion) you are going to hell if you live a gay lifestyle!”. This agenda is turned into a counterproductive, dangerous, bias filled assumption that REAL young people are reading RIGHT NOW and feeling like THEY HAVE NO WHERE TO TURN.

    These assumptions may be right in some situations (proven by a sickeningly high suicide rate), but I will say, to share the way some of you are on here, could as easily fill someone reading with MORE HOPELESSNESS and HURT and HELPLESSNESS.

    I also am frustrated with some who’s agenda is to use these few personal accounts of someone’s own journey through hardship and resolve and personal acceptance and progress, and push it on to someone else, thus placing more EXPECTATION on someone who only deserves LOVE and ACCEPTANCE and SUPPORT. I feel that will push some to more HOPELESSNESS and HURT and CONFUSION.

    I am optimistic in hoping SOMEONE will see something in these comment threads that will GIVE THEM HOPE, help them feel like they ARE NOT ALONE, and show them OPTIONS they have. OPTIONS that CAN include some of the MOST important parts of themselves, OPTIONS that tell them they are going to be OK . I HOPE they see people that can only SUPPORT them in their quest to DEFINE THEMSELVES how they feel is right for them. Whichever Shade of grey that may be, or shade of the rainbow, or shade of their heart and soul….

    Spiritually: I have not been attending church for AWHILE, my many young children, church being at 9am this year, and my husband’s CRAZY hours have made it more work then I feel is worth. I feel ok with it, and I feel my Father in Heaven is ok with it too 😉 We do turn on the Choir and a conference talk or two Every Sunday. We pray as a family and have the kids do personal prayer every night (almost) and we do our best to keep god a constant visitor in our household. I may feel some members judge me but I do not feel My Father in heaven does.
    I do get a lot of spirituality out of this blog though. It fills me with love and hope and gives me a full heart when I read some of the amazing and open dialog going on here. I literally cry often ( I am the daughter of a couple of criers). It is amazing to me when I here (read ) the spirit speaking though people and it strengthens my testimony every time.


    1. Jr – I was just in your home for several days over Thanksgiving and I didn't notice that you were in any way behind on the laundry – did you stuff it all in garage or something while I was there? 😉 I sure would have loved to help you with it while I was there, remember – I'm an EXPERT folder.

      Anyway, don't be down on yourself cause you're an amazing and wonderful mother and wife, but most important of all, you are an INCREDIBLE PERSON, and a beloved daughter of God. The housework/laundry does not DEFINE YOU (I know you know this, although I know it's nice to have it done -whenever that happens!!! maybe once a year for me?)

      I just wanted to bloggily (similar to publicly)tell you this. Your check-in was absolutely great. I am so proud to be your Mom, and I learn so much from you all the time. Love U lots

    2. Jr. I define me – I understand what you are saying (to me) The thing is any young Mormons reading this already know, far more than I do, about the 3 levels of heaven and who gets into the best one and who does not. They already know their religion's stance on their being gay. I've been reading a another Mormon blog and the writer says plainly being a young Mormon man who wants to go on a mission and who is gay, will feel like a complete failure because he is gay. So the young people who come here, they already know.
      I have seen very very few comments on here that will give young people hope that they can live a gay life and be ok. The one 'practicing gay' commenter on here hasn't commented in awhile. And no one else, other than BQ, has consistently been here and given hope that living a gay life is
      ok. Although, wait, you have hinted at it a few times. Some other commenters have been very loving – but the message is still, at its, core, if you are gay, be celibate or marry a straight woman. That message is not new to young Mormons – that is what they have been doing all along.
      It is not helpful to say, ok, you are gay. You can now be gay but for goodness sakes, marry a woman. That will work out well and you will have great sex. or hey, be celibate. But the great thing is that you can now say you are gay. That message, stripped of its niceties, is not more hopeful.
      What is a hopeful message? Live a gay life and it is okay, it is normal and in fact God blesses gay relationships as much as straight ones no matter what most other Mormons are telling you or what your leaders are saying. Living as a gay person i as joyful to God as living as a straight person.
      More Mormons may now be talking about homosexuality but from comments on here, the message doesn't seem to have changed – either marry a woman or be celibate.
      If I am wrong, and Mormons on the whole (not small pockets) do not beiieve that there is anything wrong with being gay and will not affect your heaven hierarchy, then I apologize.

    3. Karen and EVERYONE READING,
      I understand, and to a point agree with what you are saying. I believe that it is fine for not all people to always see eye to eye. Sometimes acceptance is not changing your position and adhering to the view in question. I do not expect you to understand the Gospel, or why so many people do believe in it. Faith is required not just in one large scale, Faith in God is just one form of faith. Karen you do not seem to have faith in some of the things I have faith in. That’s ok. I am sure you have faith in other things I do not .

      As far as I understand the Church, there is a standard of living. If you have faith in the blessings then you do your best to adhere to these standards.

      I wonder though, why do the PEOPLE in the church so easily forgive what some have done in using their free agency, or allowing a weakness to drive a choice. I had premarital sex and it was pretty easy for people to forgive me even though it was not their place. Only I can forgive myself and god can forgive me. What is the difference in my heterosexuality driving me to something that was not in line with the standards, vs a homosexual doing something that is not in line with the standards if he believes in them? I believe in them and still made the choice. I do not understand why PEOPLE in the church are so misunderstanding of these very same scenarios. It is something that needs to change.
      Why do the PEOPLE of the church accept and support many other religions and groups, but the PEOPLE find it hard to accept a loving relationship between two gay people? Not just the LDS do this, but many People have a hard time. I ask these questions along side you .

      You know what questions I DO NOT ask? I do not ask ANY ONE ,“ why do you have faith in something that is contrary to what I believe?” I feel if it helps them then good.

      I do not ask “Why do you choose to go against something that is obviously a huge part of your being?” This question can go either way, Go against your inherit gayness, or go against a gospel you seem to have faith in.

      I do not feel it is MY place to TELL people that because I don’t believe in what you believe, it is wrong.

      Some things are wrong for some people, and visa versa.

      Karen, I believe in the gospel of the LDS church, and I know personally some of the standards are hard to abide by, but I do have FREE AGENCY, we all do. I believe the gospel is created in a way to specifically help people like My DAD, who was unhappy, hopeless, and suicidal not BECAUSE of the gospel but WITHOUT the gospel. My dad is proof that not ALL gay people are only suicidal because of the church, he was not raised in it, he was suicidal without the Church. He was suicidal thinking GAY IS THE ONLY WAY. He is not alone in this thinking and the Gospel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is what SAVED HIS LIFE.

      This gospel may not be for everyone, and I do not think that god condemns when people use their FREE AGENCY within, or outside of the church, and the People inside the church should act accordingly.

      You may not agree that the church can help some desperate people, but Karen why would you want to take away that avenue for the ones that seek it.

      I am not gay, and I agree that if I chose a faith that expected me to live as a gay woman it would be hard, and I might not choose it. But if I felt so hopeless or helpless I would try anything, and then it WORKED and made my life more complete (according to me and my definition of myself) then why would you tell me I was wrong?

    4. Acceptance can be simply, “I see that this is not for me and I may never send someone your way, but I accept that it is an option for some and I hope the fear and intolerance in EVERY option would turn into LOVE and ACCEPTANCE and SUPPORT.“

      As Josh Weed so intelligently put it once, “I AM GAY, so any lifestyle I CHOOSE is a GAY lifestyle.”

      Why can you NOT accept that someone other then you, making a choice to be celibate or in an MOR because they feel happier, (not that it is a good choice for everyone) that that individuals choice is not wrong. Just as your choice to live however you live is not up to me, and I may not deem your lifestyle unholy or wrong, weather you are straight living with a boyfriend, or gay living with a girlfriend, or an alien living with a martian.

    5. Karen,
      You said I have "hinted" that being gay and living in a gay realtionship is ok. I am one of the few who have without hesitation, came right out and said I support equal rights, I will vote for gay marriage, I will support every gay person I know in the pursuit of happieness, including if my dad where to leave my mom for a man. If you havent seen that in my writing, I dont know what to say.

    6. You know who I worry about? Ty Mansfield's wife. I saw a picture of her at a recent conference and she has gained a lot of weight in a seemingly short amount of time. Now, as a woman with my own issues, I am NOT judging her. Women are judged way way too much for their weight and that is horrible. Gaining weight rapidly – and I know this from personal experience – can often be caused by stuffing down our feelings or trying to avoid them. And I've watched a few videos of Ty and his wife – he is so gay, so so obviously and effusively gay. And what can she do? She fought against people's warnings before she married him and then she had a child so quickly into the marriage – he is the great example of a gay man married to a straight woman. I'm just worried, that is all.
      And yes, I will judge a church that teaches that living a gay life makes you lesser in God''s eyes not just for now, but for eternity.
      And finally, today is World AIDS Day and I would like to remember my former colleague, Steve Brainard. We worked together for about a year in the late 80s.. His name is on the AIDS wall in my city.

    7. Karen – I just want to join you in remembering that it's World AIDS Day, and honoring your friend Steve Brainard. Mr. IDM and I watched a friend (very young man) as he slowly wasted away (back in the early 90's) with nothing that could save him, he was so young, it was heart breaking.

      Mr & Me are very lucky to have somehow avoided it, and we realize we are so blessed to be alive. Recently, I was reading the Weed blog comments, about Mr. IDM & I – and when I read the part where someone pointed out what a risk he had brought to me back then, he cried. He commented about what a one-track mind he had back then, and how foolish he was to assume that everyone he "knew" was SAFE. It is very real.

    8. Karen and everyone else,

      I wrote the comment below on another part of this blog and thought it was fitting to share with you.

      I have been following the comments for a while now on here and feel like I finally have formulated my thoughts on the matter so here goes nothing.

      I see two very different perspectives on here.

      1. One that being in a gay relationship is a sin and that the only relationship condoned by God is one man and one woman. This is information given by modern day Prophets who commune with God. So in that sense gay relationships has not become a moral issue but always were.

      2. That being in a gay relationship is in fact perfectly fine in the eyes of God. That the Mormon religion is lead by men who in fact do NOT receive personal revelation from God and their ideas and "revelation" are based on personal opinions and biases. Therefore gay marriage has indeed become a moral issue due to the misunderstandings of men.

      In my eyes both ideas and beliefs are perfectly valid. The fact of the matter is I can not prove to you that God only condones relationships between a man and a woman, and likewise you cannot prove that he doesn't.

      To me it is not so black and white. That if you are not living in accordance to God's laws but are living to the best that you know how and understand you doomed in the next life. That does not make sense to me. Yes the doctrine teaches that gay marriage will not be in the celestial kingdom but that does not mean that those who have gay relationships and are indeed good people and living good lives here on earth have zero change of getting in. That is just silly. That is why it is important to not judge others. We believe what we believe but that doesn't mean that someone else can believe something different from us and that automatically makes them a terrible person or a "bigot". I truly believe we are all doing the best we can and trying to live our lives to the best we can as a result of our beliefs and understanding.

      For example I have two really good friends who are in lesbian relationships and are great people. I admire and respect the heck out of them, I really do. They are great and to say that flat out "they will not be able to get into the highest degree of heaven because they had lesbian relationships despite them doing the best they can according to what they believe and understand" is silly to me. Yes the doctrine of the church is clear but to me it will be on a case by case basis.

      Another example of what I am trying to say is I know some great people who do not believe in God. Does that mean they are doomed and will not get the chance to accept the gospel in the next life? No. That to me is not a loving God. We are judged individually, there is no one size fits all.

      So to me I think instead of debating whether or not God indeed condones gay relationships or not we should be rallying together to find ways to help get the message across that we are all individuals with different beliefs. That is just fine, and the goal should be to learn from each other and to love one another. You can in fact love someone just the same even if they are doing things that according to YOUR INDIVIDUAL beliefs and knowledge are not right.

      Honestly I think that is Josh's message. That yes he believes a certain way but that doesn't make other people's beliefs invalid or unimportant. That we are all on our own personal journey and that is just fine, that is life. For someone to find peace in what they live and believe is of the up most importance and it doesn't matter if that is in agreement with everyone else around them.

      I believe we will all welcomed with open arms after we die by a loving father in heaven, heavenly mother, and brother. Who have missed us more than we can possibly comprehend. That again we will each be judged individually according to our knowledge/understanding and resulting actions of it. INDIVIDUALLY, not one size fits all.

      That is my take on it.

    9. Maquel, if more believed as you do, then there would be no need for blogs like this – people would just get it. You and I may think it is silly that gay people living gay lives can't get into the Celestial Kingdom, but there are many more out there who not only think it isn't silly, but will fight to their deaths (and sadly often their children's deaths) to maintain that belief.
      If more believed as you do, then gay Mormons could live gay lives without feeling shamed or being excommunicated, etc.
      Young people are smart – and when they are reading the comments on this blog, they will realize that the choices offered here are either a) marry a straight person of the opposite sex b) stay celibate. Yours is one of the first comments really from a practicing Mormon that says it may just be okay to be a gay Mormon living a gay life. (or one of the only ones to put your name to your comment)
      And in your comment, I think LGBTQ Mormons can find hope.
      Were it just individual beliefs, that would be one thing. But the Mormon Church has made it clear that living a gay life is wrong. Not saying it doesn't make it go away obviously.
      There needs to be voices that say to the LGBTQ youth that there is nothing wrong in their choosing to live a gay life.
      So people can keep arguing with me because I want to get to the root of the problem but it seems a waste of energy. If someone wants to really offer hope – it can't be repeated enough that there is nothing wrong with living a gay life. And I will keep writing that until my posts get deleted and then I'll stop, on here anyway. There is nothing wrong with living a gay life – that message would have to be repeated at least a million times to counteract what has been said before and is still being said.
      I also realize that some on here are probably shaking their heads in frustration thinking, 'she doesn't get it! Why doesn't she get it!" I get it.
      LGTBQ youth need real hope – hope that says you can live a gay life and God will love you just as much and your relationship with Him can and will be just as real and just as strong.

    10. BRAVO Maquel! – What wonderful comments. You have somehow managed to express almost exactly how I also feel. Thank you for your insight and wisdom and talent in expressing yourself. WOW! 😀

      HURRAY Karen! – (a little side note, I HAVE literally said to Mr. & Jr. IDM, "She just doesn't get it!" lol – but I see now that YOU DO 🙂 – group hug)

      Karen, I want you to know that I also "get" where you are coming from, it seems that mostly your "beef" is with the teachings/gospel of The Mormon Church, but you are not necessarily "down" on all individual members just because they belong to said church (is that basically correct?). So, we, Mr, Jr, & I all want you to know that, for what it's worth, we feel the same way Maquel does – we obviously have just not been effective in expressing that.

      We do, however, wish to respectfully ask one question of you,(please believe that there is no ulterior motive in asking this, we just desire to understand your position better. As you acknowledged (and I quote you)… "Were it just individual beliefs, that would be one thing"…so does that mean that you do acknowledge, accept, and respect an homosexual individual who intellectually, thoughtfully, and personally (for whatever their reason) chooses to define themself and/or mold themself and their life into whatever feels most authentic and peaceful for them? or, would that be stretching your statement tooo far. (Not being rude or snarky at all, just wondering if there's any acceptance for people like us in your world)

    11. PS – I forgot that I wanted to mention that, just as you said, "it can't be repeated enough that there is nothing wrong with living a gay life", so I will repeat it as well, (and elaborate on that statement a little more to hopefully help you see, if you are interested, what our message truly is.)

      I, Mrs. I Define Me, believe that there is nothing wrong with living a gay life, if that is what that gay individual wants for themself and finds that life to be authentic to them and the best life for them, that makes them the happiest, and most content. Furthermore, I do not judge them for living their authentic life – it's their life – and, I can and do completely love and support them.

      I sincerely believe that no person, family, friends, leaders, counselors, therapists, activists groups, etc. should pressure a living, breathing, intelligent individual into a life that makes them miserable – that's not living, and most importantly, such actions are condiscending, respectful, and dissmissive to that individual's ability to manage their own life.

      I also, personally believe and feel extremely attimate (sp?) that all individuals should be respected and supported in their efforts and decisions to define themselves and their lives intelligently, thoughtfully, and within their own feelings, beliefs, and desires for themselves and their lives.

      And finally, because you said, "it can't be repeated enough that there is nothing wrong with living a gay life" – I will say it again….

      There is nothing wrong with living a gay life…..
      and, there is nothing wrong with choosing NOT to live a "gay" life, IF that is what you desire to do, and find that it makes you most happy.

    12. Karen,

      I feel you misunderstood me to a certain extent.

      First of all when it comes to the doctrine of the church it is clear that living a homosexual lifestyle is a sin. So if one is not in agreement (as in they want to live a gay lifestyle) with this then the church isn't for them. It is a huge part of the doctrine, that marriage is between one man and woman. So you are not going to find those who are in gay relationships and still fully active members of the church who are taking the sacrament. The two do not go hand in hand.

      Does this mean that those members are any less of a person than those members who are “in good standing” with the church? NO. By no means, NO. People may say “well the church must think so, since they don't allow those in gay relationship to take the sacrament and such”. Well like I said before, you either believe the church is true or it isn't. Also that the brethren receive revelation from God or not. Both sides/opinions are equally valid and should be respected. As for those who are Excommunicated that is for those who have gone into the temple and made promises and covenants to God and have broken them.

      As for the parents in the church that disown their children or give them a ultimatum, that needs to stop now. This instant. Love should not be conditional and doing such things is making it so.

      Regardless of opinion and beliefs everyone should be loved and respected equally. I have wondered in the past what I would think/do if Josh instead was in a gay relationship. I would love him unconditionally, like I do now. God would love him unconditionally, like he does now.

      My belief still stands that we will all be welcomed home with open arms and love. That we will be judged individually. Remember the saying “Judge not that ye be not judge”? We all do or believe things that someone isn't going to agree with. It is inevitable. That is life and we need to learn to love and get along with others regardless of our differences.

      So I think instead of us trying to prove the other wrong we need to join together and spread the message of love and understanding. That no matter where you are, who you are, what you are doing that you are loved unconditionally by us and a Father, Mother, and brother in heaven. And for Atheists, Agnostics, and other religions that do not have God in them that the God we believe in feels that way and so do we.

      I have a feeling that my words are going to get twisted around and used against me. Hopefully not.

    13. Alright let me try and explain this better.

      If my daughter did decide to pursue a relationship with with another girl then I guess yes that is what would happen. She could still come to church but would not be able to partake of the sacrament each week (which is a renewal of the covenants you made when you were baptized). The same would happen if my daughter chose to have sex outside of marriage or anything else that is a serious sin within the church. Would it be easy? No but I believe I would love and support her just the same. I also know that God would love and support her too.

      But I would hope in the next life she would accept and understand the gospel. That it would all make sense for me and her. I would not believe that she was doomed or going to hell or a bad person. I would support her in her pursuit of what made her happy.

      The church believes in a time period after we die where we will all be taught the gospel and given the change to accept it and repent. We will be judged not in a lump group but individually based on our life including our understanding and knowledge.

      Maybe I am more clear now? To really understand all of what I am saying a knowledge of the church and it's teaching are required. I forget what all I need to explain otherwise.

      Basically those inside and outside of the church are all equally loved and important.

      To be honest I don't have all the answers, and know I don't. So it may seem like I am believing a bunch of hog wash and that is fine to believe so. Your opinion is just as valid as mine.

    14. Hi Define Me's. in regard to your question – "Were it just individual beliefs, that would be one thing"…so does that mean that you do acknowledge, accept, and respect an homosexual individual who intellectually, thoughtfully, and personally (for whatever their reason) chooses to define themself and/or mold themself and their life into whatever feels most authentic and peaceful for them? or, would that be stretching your statement tooo far" – that is a question that I can't answer on this blog and here is why. If I say no, then I will be accused of being closed minded and hypocritical. If I say yes, then that would be twisted around eventually (not by you!) to trying to show me that gay Mormons decide to live straight lives because they have intellectually, thoughtfully, etc, decided. So the only thing I will say is that if people who are gay choose to live straight lives because they believe that they need to in order to get to the highest tier of heaven or because thinks living a gay life is wrong, then there is a huge problem. But that is as much as I'll say about it. And Maquel, thank you for clarifying.

    15. Okay I'm glad it is clearer Karen and Tammy.


      You crack me up! Maybe Tammy as a middle name? Joanne has to interact with me first before she joins the potential middle names:D

    16. I left the LDS church in 2004 which was the same year Utah's amensment 3 passed by a whopping 70%. That was also the year I brought my first child into the workd and, according to the church, an "unsealed" family. For time only. Second class all the way.
      I remember my sweet mother telling me in all sincerity that she felt it was too early to assume that separate "kingdoms" and segregation from my family awaited me. And yet the doctrine is very clear. For homosexuals. For girls who choose not to "follow god's plan for" them.
      I finally had to decide between leaving or staying while trying to rewrite the doctrine in my own mind. And I chose to leave because it's not my place to rewrite the doctrine. It's only my place to WHOLEHEARTEDLY reject it.
      To those who want to have their cake and eat it too: Bless you for feeling it should be different. But I learned a thing or two attending church every Sunday for all those years and I know where they stand on certain issues and so do you. And while I am glad to see them softening somewhat regarding homosexuality, it's not nearly enough. And if they soften enough it will call into question the ability of the brethren to receive revelation. The church is pretty much in a no-win situation with me.

    17. Imma come out and say this with wxtreme uncomfortable bluntness because that's how I do.

      If you are for gay rights, great. If you have gay friends, great. If you lve and are kind to your gay family members, great.

      If you cut a check once a month foe 10% to the church and if you raise your hand during conference to sustain the brethren, especially BKP, you are jumping up and down on the weight that is crushing the spirits of so many gay people. They need you to stop. They need you to speak up for them with your checkbooks and they need you to take away the strength in numbers the LDS church enjoys. Solidarity. Not words.
      It's 2:00 am and I am too tired to care about mincing words.
      The battle is raging. Take a side.

    18. I am respectfully declining your request/demand to leave the church. Also I disagree with your views of me and my spirituality. The church is more than just do's and don'ts. It is about forgiveness, love, and so much more. So I do not feel I am redefining the doctrine but combining all aspects of it together.

      If you see me personally being rude to those who are gay then feel free to call me out on it. If you took the time to get to know me you would realize I am not and actually very respectful of others and their beliefs. We are not going to see eye to eye and I am fine with that. So please stop trying to convince me that your views are the only way to see things. I do feel progress needs to be made inside and outside the church to be more loving and accepting of others. In time I feel we will see that.

  31. I can answer worn down for them all. My goal is to decide if I am going to divorce my husband or if we can figure out how to fix this.

  32. Goals

    Physical~ Heal and take off the weight my medication put on me (aounrd 20 lbs in 14 days). It was suppose to help with my nightmares because of my PTSD. So we are back to the drawing board. I can't seem to shake bronchitis and with my asthmas it makes it worse. The stress doesn't help much.

    On that note emotionally it is rough. Being in counseling and working with a psychoogist and psych nurse, I know I am making progress. But Christmas time is always my hardest because I am completely alone. So it's hard having even more intense feelings of anxiety and depression.

    Which brings me to school. I am behind in all of my classes because of that crazy semester I had. I can pull 2 though, get a compassionate withdraw from another, and an incomplete from another. Just having panic that I will lose my desperately needed financial aid. It is a test of trusting in Father and in HIS way to supply our needs even when they don't quite look the way we think they should.I have to be on this week with school ending soon and not in the middle of the deep depression or anxiety like I have been in the past.

    For the next week I am going to focus on getting done with this semester, serving others if my health will allow, and just getting out more. I feel isolated and alone a lot.

    I am going to focus on counseling. Behind honest and authentic. I have great people I am working with. It's a hard process but I will walk it hand and hand with the Savior.

    Physically I will go to bed earlier, eat healthier and start walking. And really be mindful of eating.

    Thanks for this great idea Josh! You and Lolly are amazing and I keep you in my prayers!

  33. Physically – I have the coolest bruise on the back of my lap!!!

    It's really, really spectacular. Okay. Technically I've had it for 2 weeks. But last week was overshadowed by my libido and being gimpy / doing the Will Smith Old Person Walk to get around. (Hilarity. And yes, I DO know those two things in the same sentence create a bit of cognitive dissonance. They're unrelated. Moving on.) Back to my stellar bruise.

    It's red and purple and black, several inches wide, and stretches from "horizon to horizon" So. Totally. Awesome. Except that I can't show it off to people. Sniff. I acquired it getting an 8:10 for style in the spontaneous sport of stair-luging. Which anyone who has ever stepped on invisible moss on wooden steps in the rain should be familiar with. Also people from icy areas. Also anyone who battles sudden and inexplicable gravity storms on a regular basis. Aieeeee! thump, thump, thump! Landing in a puddle at the bottom of the steps and scraping off skin from one's ankle on the concrete; optional.

    (I should also note that the Will Smith Old Person Walk and the Spontaneous Sport are also unrelated. I'm an athlete and a clutz. So I'm frequently falling. That simple. I rarely bruise, though, so I'm particularly proud of this one.)

    In other news: I'm ALSO fat this week. I was probably fat last week, too… but I just happen to feel fat this week.

    It may be because there was an Eclair Emergency last night. (It may also just be because I'm fat). And then, today, that eclair had been such a transcendental -almost orgasmic- experience, I couldn't keep the story of it to myself. Which triggered an Eclair Emergency in the friend I was sharing my joygasmic experience with (any time one goes to the grocery store in one's PJs at 4am, the story must be told). At that point, I felt I owed him the moral support of not letting him eat an eclair all by himself.

    Mmmmm. Upon reread, that sort of sounds as if we split an eclair. We did no such horrid thing. Although he tried to steal the last 3 bites of mine, and I bravely fended him off with one hand while managing to consume MOST of the remaining 3 bites.

    Sometimes, feeling fat is a good thing.

    Mentally – I'm a bit vexed. I have a bit of a project (or six) that I'm working on, and I can't quite get my priorities in line enough to be working on them in a concentrated and fluid fashion.

    Emotionally – I'm feeling very Canadian. If the definition of Canadian is "Happy for no particular reason".

    Spiritually – Blocking God.

    What I'd prefer to be doing at present is really kicking around spiritual stuff 24/7. I can't, though, so I'm swinging to the other extreme of "la la la la la" -ing and the grown up version (ha! as if) of a toddler's "I do it MYSELF!"

    I'm sort of hoping that the powers that be take a rather liberal view of how ridiculous I'm being.

    Goal : Start (and complete) Operation Gingerbread

    1. Grey – I'm so in love with your amazing talent for writing and I so totally get your humor. What a joy to finally find someone who's as proud of their bruises as I am of mine. Although, I am sad for your terrible fall, and I don't mean to brag, but because of some health issues I bruise really easily, so I really can't take credit for most of mine as they just appear and I usually don't know where they come from. My legs are usually the worst, but they do serve a purpose as they detract attention away from all my "very close" veins. 🙂

      I appreciate your comments on here, your insight and wonderful ability to effectively share your perspective is refreshing.

  34. Physically- I need more sleep. And not those naps I sometimes take with my baby during the day. I need a ten hour sleep without somebody waking me to go with them to the bathroom, to calm the baby because she’s got the cold again, and without my husband’s computer buzzing next to my ear until 3am.

    Emotionally- I feel fulfilled. But I am constantly waiting for the Lord to put something else (besides my husband’s SSA) on my shoulder, for it is more than clear that it’s not a battle anymore. I also feel we as a couple should be a little louder on your blog, but it seems we just can’t get to it. Sorry.

    Spiritually- I don’t seem to focus on my church callings, which makes me a little insecure. I need to read more scriptures and I told myself I want to read ‘Eternal Marriage’ manual in a reasonable amount of time. But the Lord is here, with me, trying to teach me to rely on the Holy Ghost all the time, which is still a homework to be done.

    Goals I didn’t live up to- writing my diary. And then I feel like crap thinking how the conversation with my kids will look like in 20 years when they ask me about their childhood and what I was able to write about it. ‘Well, you know kids, I was way too busy cooking you lunches, helping you with homework, doing genealogy and indexing, taking care of the laundry…., to write a journal every day as well.’
    I guess they will be my living journals 🙂

    And now when I read all of this back I can see I'm a little overwhelmed as well, if not frustrated 🙂

    1. Tammy, it’s so good to hear from you.
      Yes, you’re right, I did mean that my battle is over, not his. I don’t know if it’s just him, or are the majority gay people like that, but this part of himself is always on his mind and I must admit I don’t quite understand it yet. Perhaps it’s because I’m straight and my sexual orientation is nothing special to me (I’m wondering if it should be?).
      And the question you’ve asked about his crushes is a really, really good one. First I want to say that his crushes are not the lasting ones. He doesn’t fall for men or develop that ‘in love’ feeling. It’s just a crush really, nothing else.
      The first time I realized I knew he had a crush, or that he likes someone ‘in that way’, I wanted to take advantage of that knowledge. Use it for my benefit in quarrels, arguments and such. Have it hidden up my sleeve. But then I realized this is his life and my reality. And my reality is that we’re sealed to each other eternally, that I’m the one he goes to bed every night with, that I’m the one he really choose to be with. It took me a long time to be able to absolutely believe him and all of his words, but I do. And I guess it all comes down to trusting each other. I trust him with everything. Don’t get me wrong, I still go back and check on things from time to time, but I am always satisfied with what I see. And besides, he's so darn cute when he gets into his ‘teenager crush zone’, that I cannot resist falling for him all over.

    2. Tammy, I haven’t taken any offense and I’m glad you wrote exactly what you think. First thing that popped to my mind when I read your answer was an idea that I should write on his blog as well. That people would be able to see my perspective and get to know my side of the story as well.
      Second thing was this deep feeling of love for you. We never met and as you said we only exchanged a couple of postings here, but I felt so much love for you! I am so thankful for people who want to stand by my side, who want to take care of me, who express deep concern for me and my well being. But I need to say that I am aware of all the facts that were there before I knew of his SSA and I just want to shout out to all of those who ‘want to take care of me’ that I am ok. That I’m over it. That the Lord has helped me understand why it was necessary for Him to guide my husband in that way.
      If I were dissatisfied with my marriage, if I didn’t get what I needed, if I felt not loved enough or loved less, I would have left long time ago. But I didn’t. Because I am loved, because I am his queen, because no matter of all the crushes he has, I am the one he chooses again and again and again

    3. Hey, Tammy, it seems the time has again come that my wife (Mrs FG Mormon) and I again take a wonderful opportunity to exchange thoughts on Josh Weed's blog. That opportunity has been a huge blessing for us and continue to be so for which I am eternally thankful to the Weeds.

      The other day, my wife and I discussed an issue of straight wives in mixed-orientation marriages, and particularly those who did not know about their spouse's same-sex attraction prior to their wedding.

      I believe that there will be more such revelations in homes of otherwise ordinary couples around the globe. If you have followed my comments on Josh's blog, you would know that I personally believe there are considerably more gays in mixed-orientation marriages and relationships than there are in gay relationships. I also strongly believe in one of the doctrines of the LDS church that in latter-days (towards the Second Coming of Jesus Christ) all the secrets will be revealed and "shouted from the roof tops", including those of closeted men and women around the world. This trend have already begun in many aspects of private and social life, and I'm pretty sure that it will continue and accelerate.

      So, I think that just as the story of gay (or same-sex attracted) people is breaking through and is becoming visible and relevant, so the stories of my wife and many tens if not hundreds of thousands of straight persons in mixed-orientation marriage will also become just as visible and relevant.

      That didn't occur yet, but I'm sure it's coming. I talked about it with my wife, and she realizes how almost non-existent are resources for and about straight spouses in mixed-orientation marriages, and how she genuinely needed them as I was coming out to her. We even came to the conclusion that we together as a couple might be called to create a resource of that kind.

      I have no doubt in my mind that women like Danielle Mansfield and Lolly Weed and my wife have an important message to share, things that are precious, unique and revealing to the issue of same-sex attraction. They have insights that even Ty, Josh and myself cannot formulate in the defense of our marriages and ourselves as same-sex attracted men.

      My blog may come across as a place where I let myself fantasize platonically about other men in a way that is appropriate and within boundaries that the Lord has set, while the relationship with my wife is somehow set aside as somehow "less important".

      [The text continues…]

    4. […Continued from the previous comment]

      I rarely take the opportunity to publish the link to my blog, but I find it appropriate to do it here:

      Faithful Gay Mormon (or FG Mormon)

      First, let me say that in my blog posts I often mention and commend my wife for all her goodness, grace and love. It's a tough call to love someone like me. I'm full of imperfections, like anyone else, and I always have an additional one, which is this crazy, glorious, awful, incredible, mind-boggling gift of same-sex attraction.

      You would rarely, if ever, hear from same-sex attracted people in mixed-orientation marriages the things I write in my blog. But that's not because they don't feel it the same or similar way as I do, but because they may not be as comfortable to share it. They might be ashamed or afraid of, fearing that if those feelings are brought to light, they might be shocking to their spouses, might be threatening to their mixed-orientation relationships etc.

      I have a luxury of having an incredibly understanding wife and also of living in a place where "Mormon culture" is non-existent. Being Mormon here where I live – as I like to say – is just slightly less usual and just slightly more acceptable than being gay. So, I do not bother to have scruples with the cultural norms so prevalent in places like Utah and elsewhere where Mormons are in majority or near majority. I also don't have scruples towards "gay culture", because, here it is just non existent as the Mormon culture.

      But, as the Second Coming gets nearer, I'm sure that you will hear more voices like mine (and my wife's). I believe it is a sign of times.

      I would hope that Josh and particularly Lolly would speak more about some of the aspects of the development of their relationship that I'm talking in my blog posts. I believe that they don't do that simply because they don't enough time. And perhaps those aspect have developed more slowly and imperceptibly than in the case of the FG Mormons.

      My wife and I had a very intensive couple of months, which my wife described as intensive as someone else's years or even decades. So, our experience is still fresh in our memory, and because it turned out to be so pleasant and proper, we are obviously inclined to share it more readily.

    5. Tammy, I'm little disappointed with your response. I have no intention nor desire to insult your or anyone else's relationship. I do not seek your or anyone else's approval (except, perhaps my wife's). I have a set of beliefs which I find true and proper, which guide my life. I do not hide them nor apologize for them.

      I am considerably less politically correct than Josh Weed.

      First, probably because he is a professional therapist, and he needs to accommodate all different kinds of clients, so he doesn't have a luxury of being utterly politically incorrect.

      Second, I'm a Libertarian and I hate any political activism around gay issue, because I believe politics isn't answer for anything, and particularly not for resolving same-sex attraction.

      I believe that anyone has right to live as they please. I also believe I have a right to discriminate against anyone. I like your attitude and the consideration, and I would personally never discriminate against you, but that could (not would!) change.

      I think you are not to judge about me "deceiving" my wife into a marriage just as I am not to judge you into "deceiving" your wife out of her marriage and into yours. You know nothing about my soul or my wife's, just as I don't know anything about yours and your wife's.

      My wife had been a grown up person when she got married with me. At that time, I approached our marriage in the most sincere fashion I could. I knew nothing better. And later, when I started to open up about my same-sex attraction, I made clear to her that she had every right to terminate our marriage if she wished, because she hadn't known about my same-sex attraction, and I'd not complain. One may say that you cannot put the toothpaste back into the tube, but that's only for my wife to say it and no one else. And she didn't.

      I reserve right for me to say what I please and when I please it, including most outrageous things that you might think could hurt or belittle my wife. And you have a right to your opinions about me as long as I'm public about mine, but don't be surprised if I turn out to be more thick skinned than you in the exchange.

      And I love you, I truly do. I think your contribution here is huge.

    6. Tammy, good point. My lack of care for political correctness stands. I actually *love* to make political insults. I believe that no living, breathing person deserves to be hated, but it is perfectly appropriate to hate abstract concepts like "politics" or "government".

      I try to be considerate towards my wife, thus she reads everything I publish on my blog and I make pretty much every change she suggests.

      If that's what you call "caring less for inspiring hope and more 'hearing' myself talk", so be it.

      Still, I cannot close these my remarks without restating that I enjoy this exchange with you immensely and I have no intention whatsoever to hurt you or belittle you.

    7. Tammy & FG's Mormon (?) – FG Mormons (?) – Mr&Mrs FGM 🙂

      Wonderful conversation, thank you all for your insights & feelings.

      What does it mean that I find myself totally understanding of both "views" (individuals' feelings & beliefs), and I basically agree (for myself personally) with alot of what each of you are saying?

      I guess it could be that I'm wishy/washy, but no, I think and feel that it's because I am very open minded, and also, that ultimately, IMHO, you are both right, because you are both entitled to your opinions, feelings, and beliefs.

      It actually appears to me, and I get the feeling, that each of you are willing, and do, accept the fact that your truth is just that, YOUR TRUTH, and, that you each seem to basically acknowledge that the other's TRUTH is THEIRS, and we're all good with that.

      This seems to be a very helpful, healthy, respectful exchange between some wonderful, intelligent, and loving individuals and I love it. Thanks

    8. Here! Here! Tammy – great comments. I love your perspective, appreciate your understanding, am educated and entertained by your soapbox, and usually find this "enlightenment soup" absolutely YUMMY, it's packed with healthy stuff that helps me grow. (occassionally I get a taste of something a little sour, but I just spit it out, pittooey, and keep on slurpin) 🙂

      What's for dessert? 😉

    9. FG Mormon,

      Please know I ask this out of curiosity and trying to understand you and your wife's story. I went and read your blog and have a question.

      I was wondering why you did not tell her about your SSA before you got married when your friends had all responded so well to it previously?

    10. a very good question. FG, you knew you were gay as you had already told your friends. Why didn't you tell your wife? That is a huge thing to keep from someone, yes?

    11. and did you tell her after you'd already had a child/children – you had to know that that would make it so much harder for her.

    12. Maquel & Anonymous, yes, that's a very good question. At the time of my conversion to the LDS church (age of 29) I had already made a decision some years prior not to date boys and try to date girls instead.

      The reason for that was that during my early 20s I kept having crushes on wrong guys. They would always and uniformly be straight males. And an interesting thing was that whenever I would come out to them, they would be flat out ridiculous nice to me. They would be kind, understanding and utterly non judgmental to the point of remaining excellent friends with me but, of course, would kindly decline my offer for a romantic relationship.

      All these things made me think. At that time, I had been a staunch atheist, but then my atheism gradually started to melt away and as I became more interested in all things spiritual, I kind of experienced change of my heart in regard to whom to date.

      Now the important part of all this is that after I joined the church, I kind of thought that I'm over and done with my gay feelings. For some time, I didn't have a crush on a guy (and that's because I made a thick protection on my emotional body that I was barely aware of). I still didn't have attraction to girls (including my future wife), but that was something I did not think about very highly. I kind of thought that was a perfectly normal place to be. When I look back, I think I had all the symptoms of autism.

      So, when I started to date my wife, I was convinced that some day my attraction would develop, and I'd be fine as long as she is attracted to me. When we discussed issues, I was expressing myself in a cryptic, autistic way which was giving my wife enough cues to actually ask me "Are you gay?", but she was obviously too infatuated for such a thought to cross her mind. Had she asked me the question, I would have honestly and without hesitation answered it. But she didn't.

      Only a decade later, when I ran into the Weed blog, I broke out in a cold sweat while realizing how utterly oblivious and wrong I had been in some of my notions & decisions. And that was the moment when I actually started to undo things I'd done by having my wife realize where I stand in regard my same-sex attraction.

      I hope this answers your question. If not, please, ask more.

    13. FG – you allowed your wife to fall in love and marry you, even though you knew that you weren't attracted to her. You were not honest with her and never told her that you weren't attracted to her but rather had the expectation that it was up to her to ask you.
      You're a smart guy, FG – you knew that if you waited until your wife was in love with you that she would be too invested to ask you if you were gay. It WASN'T her responsibility to ask, it was your responsibility to tell her. Wittingly or unwittingly, you trapped her.
      And now, now she is really trapped – three kids, in a church that tells her to support you no matter what. Further, she is still in love with you. So she has to make the best of the mess you, with your free agency, decided to create for her.
      I'm going to stop my end of the conversation with you here, FG, because it seems like you really enjoy hearing youself talk and get especially revved up whenever anyone challenges you.
      Bottom line – you CHOSE to trap your wife and now she has had to get her own 'thick protection' in order to be able to survive. Two months of all of your intense talking isn't going to take away the 10 years of deceit. Shame on you. I have no desire to continue this conversation with you and I am not going to.

    14. FG if you do actually have autism, that explains a lot and helps me feel a little sympathy for you. People with autism (like my son) will often assume that others know what they are thinking. I'm not saying that this completely alleviates you of responsibility for deceiving your wife. But I still hold the church largely accountable. Frankly I have a hard time seeing an adult man with autism decide to join a religion like lds in adulthood. I don't know if you were starved for community all your life and that's something the church had to offer or what.
      In any case, I hope people looking at yoyr situation will view it as a cautionary tale and not a good idea.

    15. I'm with BQ on the real accountability is on the teachings.

      We are all outsiders to the muslim biblical teachings but they truly believe that Allah would want them to strap bombs to themselves and blow people up. They will then be rewarded with 78 virgins in heaven (or something along those lines.) As outsiders we can see how ridiculous that is. But they just KNOW that is right. They just KNOW with every fiber of their being that is what God wants. They have had revelations and messages from God telling them they are on the right path! Yeah, I don't believe it. My God isn't like that.

      Being an outsider to Mormon teachings I am able to see that God saying that the union between a man and woman is the only proper union is just as ridiculous. That god would make me a lesbian then command me to not be a lesbian is ridiculous. That he would send me my perfect mate then command me to no love her is ridiculous. Not my God. Though Mormon believers will hold on to that as tightly as Muslim believers hold on to what they think is Gods wish. See a pattern here?

      So, MAN is interpreting what they think God wants and man is terribly, terribly wrong so much of the time. I do not believe the man that interpreted that 78 virgins will be yours when you blow yourself up, and I do not believe the man that interpreted that God is shaking his head at me for loving someone.

      This is what tortured gays and lesbians are being taught. This causes anguish. This causes suicides. This causes constant internal and external battles, excommunications, betrayal of families, abuse, neglect. No, not my God. God does not condone any of that and it's a damn shame that man is perpetuating it.

      We need to fix the source, not the "coping" of the struggle. To all of the struggling gays reading this, God does not want you to deny love as much as he does not want you strapping bombs to yourselves. You are who you are because he made you that way. Honor him by living the way he made you. You are not honoring him by living the way someone else has interpreted how he wants you to live. Someone else's interpretation of God will never be stronger than who you are and how you were made. Ever.

    16. I can see our presence on this blog has a tendency to spark some controversies. First I want to say is that we do not promote spouses not telling each other of their sexual orientation. That was never ever our goal. Second, it is interesting to read comments about my husband and our situation. Especially because most of those who tend to comment how deceiving he was, were never in this kind of situation. With this said I think that I, as his wife am the only one who can judge him on that.
      And what would you actually want me to do? Leave him and report him to ‘moral police’? Divorce him and never again let him see our children? No, that is not what one does to someone whom he loves.
      Some of you who are gay should be the first in line to know how difficult it is to admit this truths to others. He told his friends and not me? So what? That doesn’t mean he cared more for them than me. That only means that sixteen years have passed in between and that he thought it had changed, that he had changed. But it didn’t.
      And I want to let you know how I feel about all of this- I feel like (and I need to stress the words I feel) like you actually don’t want us to succeed. And that is exactly why I share my part of the story. I share it because there are honest men out there who haven’t told their wives because of many reasons. There are honest wives out there to whom I want to shout out that it can work, that there is someone who went through the same situation and still lives a happy life. So please stop trolling and just be happy someone actually made it.

      And Josh, after all of this said, you have my sincere permission to delete whatever I wrote.

    17. Mrs FG – I hope you're not deleted. I hope none of this is deleted. This is what happens when hard things are talked about. This is what happens when things are exposed and people who are passionate about all sides get involved and speak up.

      You are right in defending yourself and your husband and I apologize for things I may have said that felt attacking. I was defending my life as well and know where you are coming from.

      I can say for myself that I DO want to see your relationship succeed. My point is I want to see ALL relationships succeed. Relationships that people decide to have on their own. What I'd like to see stop is the torture and hurt and disrespect that people inflict on themselves and others for denying what is undeniable and hurting themselves and others in the process.

      I have an issue with trying to convince others or give others "hope" that they can overcome their gayness, that they can live a "true and righteous" life by denying their gayness. I know that isn't what you are saying. I'm glad that you clarified what you want to put out is hope for those already in the situation. And I truly hope your message also tells people that they do not have to get into it to begin with.

      And you are also right that you are the only one who can decide what to do with your new found knowledge, how to feel about your spouse and your marriage, and how to move forward with it. *Side note: though your post was serious I did have to giggle about the 'moral police' comment.

      Please know that most people's passion comes from a place of being hurt or feeling wronged at some point so people can be a bit touchy on these topics.

      Again, I apologize if I caused hurt feelings in you or the Mr. I will try to word my position with less "pointing fingers at others" and more highlighting how it effects me.

    18. First, let me say that I am greatly amused. You guys seem not to be living your own lives, but lives of others instead. And that's fine with me. It is better to live other people's lives than to have no life at all.

      I started to write under Josh's posts not just because I wanted to unload my soul, but also because I wanted to share my story so that others may benefit from it if they choose. And you seem to did choose to benefit from it by expressing your disdain and contempt that you nurture in abundance against people like myself and against the LDS church. And that is also perfectly okay, I don't find that disputable. Everyone chooses for themselves their options and opinions, either genuine or borrowed.

      Instead of defending myself and my relationship with my lovely wife, I will give you additional meat to attack me even more harshly and mercilessly. I don't care as I do not live your lives.

      Josh and Lolly Weed are hesitant to publicly state that for a gay person their way is a way to go, and I can perfectly understand their reasons.

      But the FG Mormons are not like the Weeds. Far from it that we are better and they are worse. We are just different. Each have our own idiosyncrasies.

      So, unlike Josh, I am willing to say that my way can very well be a way to go for a gay person. Or Josh's way. Or Ty's way. I'm willing to say that marrying a member of the opposite sex for a person with a strong same-sex attraction is a perfectly acceptable solution. And I'm not going to say a disclaimer as Josh does that the path of mixed-orientation marriage isn't for everyone. That doesn't mean that I think it is, I only think that such is disclaimer isn't to be said by me. There is enough of you guys who make it with pretty much every single sentence you utter.

      Before I close, let me say one more thing. In spite of you being incredibly harsh and judgmental, I love you. It is sometimes difficult to love people like you and me, as my wife can wonderfully testify, but unfortunately, there is no other solution for the betterment of one's soul.

    19. Tammy, since you brought it up, I have a question that has always perplexed me about the 78 virgins and I'm curious to know if you or anyone on here knows any more details about this belief because I'm bugged.

      IF "virgins" are such a "prize", then why only 78? Why not 80? or 103? or 781,432?. Certainly most people who believe in God, believe that He can do anything, so why only 78? Is there some signifigance to this number? I don't mean to be disrespectful to what some believe, but I've always wondered about this.

      And, for what it's worth, I also believe that the God I believe in would not encourage murder or suicide. 🙁


    20. And to put things in a little more perspective for you (my perspective)…

      This "controversy" is new for you. You guys just started exploring this in June. You took time out to dissect amongst yourself and now you are back (this week) mingling with others. You have been dealing with the potential backlash for…a week? I have been exposed to it and dealing with it for 20 years. That's a long time. That's a lot of voices. That's a lot of attacking. That's a lot of people wanting my relationship to fail. That's a lot of people wanting to make my life illegal. That's a lot of people telling me that I am wrong and will go to hell. That's a lot of people passing laws that it is ok to kill gay people.

      I hope that clarifies for you why I quickly jump to see the potential harm of (what I perceive to be) yet another voice to add to that mob of people who are against me. Forgive me because I certainly do not want to be a voice in the mob for others.

      I will not apologize for standing up for my life and my rights but I do apologize if I made you feel as others have made me feel. If this life is your choice – I support you. I do not support the message that it is the only choice.

    21. Tammy, thank you very much for your last post. It's nice to be understood and to be able to close this perfectly good exchange of thoughts with a peaceful heart and knowledge that I have you covering my back 🙂

    22. Mrs. FG – I hope that you will succeed in finding happiness which is just as important as your husband's, no matter what anyone may tell you.
      And what you are facing now, as Tammy noted, is what gay people have faced their whole lives – THEIR WHOLE LIVES.
      Do I want you to succeed? I think that you are trapped in an emotionally abusive marriage and if your husband is even half as condescending with you as he is with anyone on here who disagrees with him, that would be a lot to deal with. Women in emotionally abusive marriages often never leave or leave and return several times. They get worn down by their husbands and find it increasingly difficult to separate reality from what their husband tells them is reality. It is extremely typical – even expected – that your husband will respond to what I and others have said with condescension – that is his attempt to keep us in our places.
      I wish you luck and hope.

    23. IDM – I was wrong. It is 72. But men can barely handle 1! LOL


      The Qur'anic Paradise is sensual in nature,[4] promising Muslim men voluptuous[17] virgins[25] but does not specify their exact number. This cannot possibly be a mistranslation because raisins do not have large eyes[14] or cannot be wed to men.[1]
      The hadith literature compliment the Qur'anic text by specifying the exact number of virgins as 72 and providing us with detailed descriptions of their characteristics. These narrations are not weak but vary in strength from good to authentic.[6][30][52]
      We are also given details on the physical attributes given to men to sustain 72 virgins, namely, ever-erect penises that never soften[7][8] and the sexual strength to satisfy 100.[34][53]
      Although it does say they will receive a "great reward",[46] and there are also hasan hadith[30] which refer to 72 virgins as one of the "seven blessings from Allah" to the martyr,[29] the Qur'an does not specify these virgins are a reward for jihadists/martyrs, but rather for any Muslim male who gains admittance to Paradise.[25]

    24. That's interesting and odd. But i'm not sure that it is any more odd than believing that God had literal sex with a woman or that Lucifer is Jesus' literal brother. Or that women have spirit babies for eternity.
      It's all in what you consider odd.
      One woman's odd is another woman's faith.

    25. Wow. Funny how people can have such very different impressions of the same conversation. Since I don't read every comment on Josh's blog, I don't know if some things were carried over from previous conversations, but in this thread, at least, FG, it looks to me like you've responded to some deeply personal attacks and unwarranted assumptions with magnanimity and restraint, and I respect that.

      And Anon, FG is gay.

    26. @Shayla – FG has told us that he married his wife without telling her that he was gay. He chose to let her believe that he was straight and that he'd never been attracted to men. Finally a few years ago when she asked him, he admitted it. And now, when she thought it was all dealt with (naively I realize) he has brought it up again. And how trapped is she do you think? 3 kids, her church telling her that it is just fine that her husband is gay. And he has also told us on his blog that he has crushes on men – innocent of course – but crushes. Apparently after two months of intense dicussions, all is well and the whole his being gay is no longer an issue for them or so he tells us and she sometimes tells us, sounding an awful lot like a mouthpiece for him. So, he chose to lie to her when the got married – I don't respect that. And now she is trapped with three kids no less. And he's pontificating on here and on his own blog, so relieved to finally be able to talk about his gayness. Where is her outlet? Where does she get to share her fears,, her worries, etc.
      Is he a great and honorable man?
      Not sure about the restraint either- he gets darned condescending ahd the 'I love you' stuff – that's just condescension with a pretty face.

    27. If Mrs. FGM would like someone with whom to share her fears, I would be an understanding and willing outlet for her since I have been through alot of these similar situations. But, I kinda doubt she feels the need, I'm just guessing of course, but it seems that she feels she's got it under control.

      However, Mrs. FG – if you do need a compassionate and listening ear, I am definitely available to be your friend.

      And, I would just like to mention, for what it's worth, that Mr. IDM and I have talked extensively about "boundaries", (which I believe are necessary in any relationship, gay straight, or otherwise), and although I am really not a "jeolous" type person, (which is surprising after all we've been through) I do expect respect, and refuse to be ignored, mistreated, or neglected. We are getting really good at this, and these days Mr.IDM is a completely different man than he used to be.

      Years ago, at times, (not always), I was silently hurt and offended as I noticed him watching men. Sometimes, mind you,depending on the circumstances, I was completely fine it, we even observed and talked about some guys here and there together and the spirit of the situation could be completely healthy, honest and good. And, heck, I think it's pretty normal to notice good looking individuals, and I can appreciate that. But, there were times, when, for what ever reason, I did not feel fine, and I eventually learned to speak up (not get mad, just express how it made me feel) and let him know whenever I was hurt or offended. This only had to happen a few times until he had evolved from looking,.. to struggling to not look,… to absolutely and literally focusing all his attention on me when we're out and about together. I am confident that this is not because he is afraid of me or "pressured" by me, but because I know, believe, and feel that he genuinely loves me and wants nothing more than to develope his love and desires for me). I could "feel" when it wasn't right, and now I can "feel" when it truly is. I am grateful that my husband is committed to me, respects me, and honestly loves me in such a way.

      PS – Mr. FGM, I have much respect for you and your efforts, and I'm actually ok with your frankness – it's ok with me. I would like to point out something that I realize is just my opinion, but I would like to share it in case you might choose to take something from it to help your growing relationship with Mrs….

      I have always believed and took it for granted, I guess, that "crushes" are something juvenile or for adolescents. Maybe I am misunderstanding your use of the word "crush", but it seems to me that, although I do believe that some "normal" and "healthy" observing attractive people is ok, the idea of allowing that initial "interest" to develope into a full blown "crush" seems detrimental to what you and Mrs. are trying to establish together. I'm just sayin 🙂

    28. Ms. IDM, thank you for your observations. Yes, you are right when you say that crushes are something juvenile and for adolescents. I wrote about it in a blog post at the North Star's Northern Lights blog before I began writing my FG Mormon blog again.

      The title of the post is "There are two types of people when crushes are concerned: combustibles and non-combustibles"

      In essence, for a whole decade I haven't had crushes on men because I built a thick protection on my emotional body. But that protection had unintended consequences on the relationship with my wife.

      Then my wife requested that I remove that protection so that she can access my emotional body more readily, which was a perfectly legitimate request. The side effect of it was that I became more vulnerable to crushes on males.

      But I do believe that those crushes are an expression of my emotional immaturity. So, as I continue to develop my emotional relationship with my wife, they would become less frequent and of a shorter duration until they become things of the past.

      That's why I believe my wife is utterly unconcerned about them and perhaps even welcoming to them. First, she sees that I am processing them quickly and to the benefit of our relationship. Second, because she sees that those crushes do not weaken, but actually strengthen my commitment to her.

    29. Thank you FGM – your sharing that you understand this is a process of working towards LESS crushes, and to the ultimate goal of complete elimination makes me feel much better about it, (not that it matters how I feel about it anyway – lol ;). I appreciate that you acknowledge that "crushes" are an expression of emotional immaturity, and in that respect, I can totally relate to much of what you are saying.

      I see now that you are working on growning and improving and not just stubbornly hanging onto practices which are "fun" for you, but not necessarily for your wife.

      I do also now understand and see how watching this process of transformation in you is "endearing" to your wife, because she genuinely knows and experiences the positive results of your commitment to work through it all, which is ultimately a blessing to her as well.

      This conversation brings my own life into light as I am reminded that we, Mr. IDM & I, did actually go through a similar process as well years ago, and so I can totally relate and I am here to say that it is a real and wonderful thing. And, that as you continue to work on your relationship in honest and healthy ways, it gets better and BETTER. 🙂

    30. Precisely, Ms IDM. And the fact that those crushes are an expression of my emotional immaturity has nothing to do with my same-sex attraction. They would be the exact same expression even if I were having crushes on females, having been already married.

      Except, it might be more difficult for my wife to accept them as benevolently as she does with my crushes on males. 🙂

    31. A short reply for Anon 7:50 AM. I don't feel trapped in my marriage and I don't think there is no way I can leave my husband if I would want to. I have a business on my own with which I could surely survive without a man in my life, if that is what you thought by me not being able to leave him. I don't think my husband has lured me into this marriage and I certainly don't think the church tells me to stick with him. Do you know how many divorces are in LDS church. Not so few. And just to help you sleep a little better- I knew before we got married that he has problems with his attraction towards me, and yes, he was THAT honest.
      And talking about my outlets- what do you know about me and my life? This few sentences that I write on here and absolutely nothing else. So please don't act as my advocate, for I don't need one.
      And I don't think spending this amount of time trying to convince someone how happy I am is the best way of spending my time. But I would love to hook up with Mrs. I Define Me, for I can sense my time there would be appreciated. Email me! Love you all.

    32. Mrs. FGM – thank you for that. I would truly love to communicate with you further. Today, I am trying to buckle down to the housework, laundry, and some Relief Society stuff that HAS to be done today – so I will email you tonight. Have a great day! Love to you 😀

    33. Mrs. FGM – I'm having trouble with my new email set up. I wanted to connect with you tonight but I guess will have to wait until my daughter (my comp. tech) comes to figure it our for me. Hope all is well – maybe tomorrow. 🙂


      Basically what I am hearing here is all marriages are doomed which is so idiotic. Doomed if your gay and married to a straight person, doomed if you are heterosexual, doomed doomed doomed. Why do we have to be so hoping that peoples marriages fail instead of being happy that they don't. I have been reading through all these comments and I just am so glad I took a few weeks off from it. I just don't understand why everyone is still arguing about the same exact things.

      1) who cares if your gay!! I really could give a flying flip if you are. That just old news at this point. It no big deal if you are gay anymore. Really, most people could care less.
      2) Go marry who you want, who cares, it's you that have to deal with the consequences – good or bad, mind you 55% of marriages end in divorce anyways. Less in the mormon culture.
      3) In the end it's between you and God, YOU know one else will have to answer for you life individually, did you just read that INDIVIDUALLY. NO ONE can make or break your judgement by god but you. There no one to blame for anything but you. NO ONE.
      4) If FG wants to marry a women, why are you guys picking on him and his wife. Seriously people. You say poor Mrs. FG. BUT what about just worrying about your own salvation. Listen if we dumped everyone that hurt us or didn't tell us something we would all be dumping everyone and most people would be single. Why encourage a women to feel bad because of what you desire to be "right".
      5) I am going to see the hobbits tonight and I am glad for that! HA! Makes up for me feeling upset for all these comments
      6) FG and Mrs FG love all your comments and you have a voice to. To show people there are many ways, and not just what the gay community stays "has to be". so absurb to think the only way is a pure heterosexual or a homosexual way. If you wanna know, I am a straight women, but a think gay men are HOT. So good for you Mrs. FG. 🙂 (Ok I was not flirting, just saying ha).
      7) Lets all be nice to each other. Do what Jesus would do.

  35. MY LP(long play) thoughts on why people date each other…Brought to you by any number other than 50… For Tammy ((Id like to request that the above to be read in a 1970's Chicago Southside Bass Baritone smooooooth Radio Announcer Voice))

    Matrimony, masochism, mischief, mom-said-no, mood&mind-altering-drugs, morose, MmmmmMmmmm (yum ;), maliciousness, mine, make love, making babies, miracles, misery-loves-company, muscles, more muscles, massively magnificent muscles, magnanimousity, mastery, mate, mystery, Maab, Machiavellism, Maid of honor, macho, madness, music, must, MDMA, muse, meaninfulness, & many more!

    Yearning, yes, yes-yesyesyes-Yes! Yes!!! (Mmmmmhmm), Yummy!, yen, Yahweh, yenta, yield, yard (as in to buy a house w a yard), yay!, yours.

    I think 'Mine&Yours' are my personal favorites, though.

    And Yes. I did reference the queen of the fairies. It may not happen very often, but just to be thorough….



    1. Glitchy Mc Technical Difficulties on my end today.

      My iPhone & The "Interweb" appear to be at odds. Or maybe it has just been dropped one too many times.

      Tammy jokingly asked me something about 4 feet (and 150 comments) north of here, and I responded… but the reply button had a seizure. (Or my phone did). So my reply hit once down here, and twice up there. I'm hoping 2:3 can get wiped, but if not, I've been the person asleep on the couch leaping up and shouting nonsense into the middle of a conversation before, I guess.


  36. @ Tammy & IDM

    The Qur'an specifically forbids and condemns the actions (terrorism, murder, suicide, etc.) that you mention.

    Aggressors (self defense is allowed, but absolutely no aggression), sowers of discord, those who hurt women, children, the elderly, those 'under the protection of the god' (mentally & physically disabled). who use a child to hurt their parents, who exact retribution on the innocent, who pray to receive kindness and give no kindness to others. Those who incite anger, jealousy, grief. Those who attempt hasten Judgement / try to raise themselves up to the same height as God or Angels (aka bringing fire down upon people, destroying nations, etc.)… all of these things and much much more, I cannot express how STRONGLY the Qur'an forbids these things.

    A few twisted, sick, and disgusting groups have perverted Islam to their own ends. This is NOT how most Muslims believe, nor how most Muslims practice.

    Just as today (and in the past), most Christians do NOT (and did not) impale babies on wooden spikes (Cromwell impaled over 100,000 irish infants and children to 'subdue their parents'). Nor do most Muslims nor Christians believe that such vile actions are the Will of God, nor that the people who commit these atrocities will be 'rewarded' for them.

    Conversely (direct quotes from various suras, but there are hundreds such similar ones, and assuredly even more beautiful ones, but these few sprang to mind).

    "Virtue does not demand of you to turn your faces eastwards, or westwards. Virtue rather is:

    He who believes in God, the Last Day, the angels, the Book, and the prophets.
    Who dispences money, though dear, to kinsmen, orphans, the needy, the traveller, beggars, and for ransom.
    Who performs the prayer and pays the alms
    Who fulfill their contracts when they contract
    Who are steadfast in hardship, calamity, and danger
    These are the true believers
    These are truly pious."


    "God commands justice, virtue, and generosity to kin
    He forbids debauchery, abomination, and injustice
    He reminds you, perhaps you will remember?"


    "For every nation We established a ritual that they follow, so do not allow then disputes between you, and call to your Lord for you are on the path of right guidance. God shall judge between you on the Day of Resurrection concerning that which you used to dispute. Do you not know that God knows whatever is in the heavens and the earth? It is all in a Book; it is easy for God. "


    "Thus are you being inspired
    as were those before you
    God, Almighty, All-wise;
    To Him belongs what is in the heavens and on earth
    Exalted, All-Supreme
    The heavens above them are all but split asunder
    While the angles glorify the praises of their Lord
    and ask forgiveness for those on earth
    But God is assuredly All-Forgiving, Compassionate to each.
    As for those who adopted masters of than Him,
    God is their custodian,

    &, but of course….

    The Opening

    In the name of God
    Merciful to All
    Compassionate to Each!

    Praise be to God, Lord of the Worlds,
    Merciful to all
    Compassionate to each!
    Lord of the Day of Judgement
    It is You we worship, and upon You we call for help
    Guide us to the straight path
    The path of those upon whom your grace abounds
    Not those upon whom anger falls
    Nor those who are lost.

  37. Thank you so much Grey – for this information and these beautiful words. It has been helpful to me, and reminds me that, since my husband travels the globe, he has told me that when he was in a certain Muslim country he was treated absolutely wonderfully, and those with whom he associated with in his work were extremely kind and humble men.

  38. Hi, thanks for the check-in service 🙂

    I've been gearing up for a 5K, a goal I set for myself around Halloween to help pull me through the holidays. It's Saturday and I'm excited!

    Between the mental isolation I've been experiencing riding out this high after buying a domain and plunging into the world of code and the exercise getting ready for the 5K, I don't know if I've ever been better emotionally, and I'm using the gear up for the new year to get established with that fitnesspal app you suggested, looking for nirvana.

    Spiritually: today was neat because my testimony of my Heavenly Father's love for me and the power of the atonement were strengthened after a moment this afternoon in an excitement to try again tomorrow triumphed

    Goals: I still need smarthotmama (business) and am hoping to find balance between learning code (which I'm taking on as a hobby) and moving forward simultaneously. I want to know by next Wednesday what that looks like! Also, I'm ready for Christmas festivities with my girls, I want them to feel like they are celebrating Christmas at home. I know what that means.

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