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My Response to Millennial Mormons Because You Won't Listen To Me Otherwise

Saturday, August 30, 2014
***Millennial Mormons is run by two 22-year-old members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and may not always represent the official views of the church. They do, however, try to maintain doctrinal integrity in their non-satirical posts, and fully sustain leaders of the church.***

I tried posting to your blog post directly (which is moderated, and therefore my comment was not accepted) and then when I posted it on your Facebook page and you deleted it, I decided to go this way. Because then I feel validated because these are my readers. And that's all I am asking for really.

It started with the viral post about Keli Byers and her Cosmo article (she was totally misrepresented) and was followed by this post by you folks. Here's my response, again not posted and also deleted (on Facebook). 
I’m surprised to see this kind of writing come from such a cool website! I was so excited about your guys and was just getting ready to hit the Share button for your page, on MY page. And then I saw this article.
Obviously you don’t agree with her, and she wouldn’t agree with you. But for you, Samantha, to say things like, “I can’t even fathom how you can think badly of anyone who doesn’t support sluttiness. No loving parent supports sluttiness, and neither should a school” is really sad coming from another woman. Also, I really feel like maybe that sentence could have been omitted if for no other reason than the pure lack of editorial classiness it contains.  Secondly, I totally didn’t take from her article that she was supporting “sluttiness” as you call it, but instead was rejecting the idea of slut-shaming which is defined as, “… a concept in human sexuality. It is a neologism used to describe the act of making a person, especially a woman, feel guilty or inferior for certain sexual behaviors or desires that deviate from traditional or orthodox gender expectations, or that which may be considered to be contrary to natural or religious law.” Way different than sluttiness.
I want to go through each and every one of your points and say something but I will refrain because everyone is entitled to their opinion. And I respect yours. I only wish you would have waited until maybe you were feeling a little less heated to post this. It did not come across well for you or this website. This whole piece is littered with emotional, unsupported facts and opinions which I totally understand this website is, but the expressive way in which it is written, doesn’t shed a positive light on members of our church.
You said, “… don’t publicly insult BYU and ultimately your Heavenly Father by using the inevitable flaws of mankind to prove some terrible point you’re trying to make.” And to you I say, “Don’t publicly insult Heavenly Father by using the inevitable flaws of mankind to prove some terrible point you’re trying to make.” 
I’m super disappointed at the lack of love and compassion you are showing to a fellow woman and member of the Church. Instead of fighting with anger and hurt, try showing love instead. It always works better. :-)
What does this mean for me? I'm in the midst of a mid life crisis. I've said that before (I tend to be dramatic sometimes) but never meant it as much as I do now. And this experience only confirmed/helped/gave a great example of, the nagging feeling I've had in my head and my heart for awhile now about something personal I'm not ready to share. If that's not vague, I don't know what is. lol. 

Further, on another post titled, "It's Okay to Judge Others" my dearest husband responded quite beautifully by saying this: 
Blake, let’s talk scripture: “For behold, my brethren, it is given unto you to judge, that ye may know good from evil,” says Mormon through his son Moroni, “and the way to judge is as plain…” He continues in chapter 7 verse 16 and 17 explaining that everything leading to light and Christ is good and that which “persuadeth to do evil” is of the devil. Then in verse 18: “…see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same judgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged.” We could go on with more, but I think Mormon is the most clear. Now let’s talk about the message of Christ.
Mark 2:16: “And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners.”
Luke 7:34: “The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!”
Further in the same chapter:
37 And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment,
38 And stood at his feet behind him weeping, and began to wash his feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed his feet, and anointed them with the ointment.
39 Now when the Pharisee which had bidden him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, This man, if he were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth him: for she is a sinner.
40 And Jesus answering said unto him, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee.”
The quoting of the rest of the chapter may be telling, but suffice it to say that the Lord forgave the ‘sinner’ and Pharisee was condemned. What does this have to do with your article? I’ve had this same controversial argument many times. Mormons are, sadly, divided on it. Obviously prophets are chosen to call people to repentance–also Bishops are called to be “judges in Israel.” Are we called to be judges then? It is given to us to judge light from darkens, that is made clear in Moroni. However, the idea that we ought to call others to repentance becomes very sticky for me. I think in certain circumstances it can be powerful–from brother to trusted brother–from parent to a child–from a good friend in a loving way. But the idea that we should call out another’s sins simply because WE see it as wrong is asinine.
Where I struggle with your article—where I find it most disturbing—is this line: “We can judge a sinner by their sin, but never the child of God behind the sin.” Who is the sinner but the child of God you refer to? Can you separate the two? Are there two separate entities of a sinful person and his other child of God self? I want to say to you that they are the same! I quoted the verses above to demonstrate the deep love Jesus had for all sinners. Of course he did not love the sin, and this can be separated from the person, but judging the sinner is no different than judging the child of God “behind the sin. My friend, they are one and the same.
Finally, your idea of correction is at best lazy and at worst destructive. It seems to me that you were so concerned about the perception of the new member that you forgot the old one. What about the child of God that has wondered and needs a strong arm to carry her through the desert of her adversity. Instead she was judged, cast aside. “Look what you have done,” your correction seems to say. This is the easy way, the lazy way. Instead, reaching out to those who falter, standing by them and lifting them up–loving them!!! Jesus was this way throughout his ministry. He loved and lifted, taught and saved. He did condemn the Pharisees. “Ye Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” His most fervent condemnation seems to be reserved for those who sat in judgment of the sinner.
As soon as you have the eyes of Christ to see “the way things really are” and the “truth of all things,” maybe you too can stand in judgment of the sinner. Until then, we are called to love, to lift, and to lead. Good luck brother. The world needs you to be better and sinners need you to love.
The response from the author? "The worlds need more people that aren't afraid to offend, and aren't afraid to call out people for making mistakes. Everyone else in our ward was too afraid of offending the woman drinking. Their desire to not stir the pot was paralyzing. The love you want more of is nothing more than painted up apathy. That’s not my style." 

I. JUST. CAN'T. This one TOTALLY got to me. Like deeply. I can absolutely respect you not posting my comment but this among several other negative responses/posts/comments is not a good message and not one I'm going to share with my friends. Ever. Except of course via this post here lol. Friends of mine, this is NOT the good news of Christ.  You Samantha and Blake are in a position to help change the perception of the gospel and possibly help people in their testimonies. This just doesn't do it. I realize it is not all unicorns and rainbows but its definitely not one of "painted up apathy".  

I read a talk the other day (quite by accident really) by Dieter F. Uchtdorf (he's German!) in which he said, "The gospel is the good news of Christ. It is the revelation that the Son of God came to earth, lived a perfect life, atoned for our sings, and conquered death. It is the path of salvation, the way of hope and joy, and the assurance that God has a plan of redemption and happiness for His children" (My own emphasis added). I'd urge you to read the whole talk

While I will never change your opinion I just thought you should know that I'm personally not feeling that message from your blog or your Facebook posts. I'd urge you to please think before you speak (publish/post?) and make sure what you're saying comes from a place of love and not condemnation. There are many of us out there who need the love that is clearly not your style. 

Leaving on a Humvee

Saturday, August 23, 2014

This morning I woke up sooooooooo early (7 a.m.) to take David to meet some people so they could leave to an undisclosed location. (Take that trolls of the internet looking for information!) Anyway, it was this weird moment I've never experienced before. Or if I have, I've totally forgotten it. We pulled up and parked where several other soliders and their friends/girlfriends/spouses were helping to unload the over 50 pound ruck sacks and backpacks and those green army bag things. I watched as they said their goodbyes. One couple looked as if this was no big deal. Others looked a little more longingly at their soldier as he walked away. I was the one who hurridly got into my van so I could be both of those: the one who looked like it didn't bother me but was actually hiding in my van to conceal the tears creeping into my eyes.  That and I didn't want to watch him walk away. Im kind of tired of that.

Im not out of my hating the army phase.  I got him back for exactly 60.5 hours before he left again. Love it.

Also, keeping in touch with my bff who happens to be at IBOLC where they've got him on a 20 minute sleep schedule. Army!

Don't you dare tell me I signed up for this! Cause I remember saying 1000 times how I wasn't naive to the fact that he would be deployed. So I knew. I knew about that. But I wasn't aware of everything else! There should definitely be a manual. Section 1: Army Spouses: what to expect from them and you and how to stay away from insanity (in your own life and theirs). Something like that. Who wants to help me write it? Because I feel crazier than I have in awhile and im SEEing crazier than I have in awhile.

The good news is I have a sister here who is helping to keep me grounded. As in, feet on the ground. Not, time out and taking my electronics away grounded. She made lettuce wraps tonight. Yum. I made cobbler. We are a team. Im thankful for her being my partner in the midst of my other one being gone. Hooah.

Wild Ones

Sunday, August 17, 2014
So I've been wanting to stop and smell the roses since they started blooming. But instead of roses they are wildflowers. Or Miscellaneouses. There's a little of everything. And instead of smelling them (for fear of bugs in my nose jk) i've wanted to take pics.

They sit right on the corner of our little neighborhood and I swear every time I saw them which has been every day for about a month, Ive thought about how I want to take pics.

Enter some thought provoking analogy about stopping and doing or living in the moment. 

While I was out this woman stopped and started speaking to me in German. "Sprechen sie English?" I asked. And she did! She too spoke of the beauty of the flowers and how she also had taken pictures. It was this beautiful, rare moment I wish I would have paid more attention to. Because number one, she stopped to talk to me. Germans aren't always as friendly and secondly, we are from two way different worlds and here we were sitting there enjoying the magnificence of these gorgeous creations. I shared my pictures with her and as we flipped through them,  there was a bit of silence. And it wasn't awkward. I've discovered I totally want to adopt this as a trait from the Germans. Silence everywhere. Quiet. No pressure.

Anyway, a moment to remember. These are unedited,  raw, and these are all the pics I took. Ive been working on that too. Taking more meaningful pictures and less of them in quantity. It causes me to stop and think more.

What to Tell the Crazy People

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
You know those difficult life experiences I've been complaining writing about? Maybe it's just my frens I've been telling. Well anyway, they're still happening at a much quicker AND slower pace. Great, now I'm getting my deep on.

My new favorite Instagram account: Unspirational

At this point, Army life is not for me. I'm pretty sure I've said that before and I'm pretty sure if I haven't, then I just made like 86453 new enemies. HOWEVER, I am TOTALLY giving it a chance. I mean, we've only been here like 3ish months. You've got to give anything at least 6 months before you decide you hate or love it. Right? A totally good rule of thumb right there.

Here's where i fill you in on all of the classified things David is doing. OPSEC.

I can tell you that he has jumped out of a Black Hawk and written some really cool articles and done some really cool things public relations wise. I think he/we should go in to that. I daydreamed last night that we were living an artists life where we were poor and happy and hippie. I'm totally craving that right now.

Speaking of artists. Some legit mountain biker guy used one of Davids songs and people seem to really like the music. The video is pretty cool too.

What did you think? Pretty cool huh?

Wow. It felt good to go off on a tangent like that for a minute. Because i forgot that I was gonna tell you about the crazies. I don't need to though. Let's leave this post on a good note. Get it? Get the pun? Okay.