Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thank you.

Thank you, all, for the comments and support and well wishes.

I am doing well, a lot of adjusting, but overall I feel good. Still no internet at home, and I think I kinda like it that way. There's a peacefulness about it. The downside is, I haven't been keeping up with anyone's blogs! I miss you all!

I've been a week in my own place now. I'm feeling my way through finding a new rhythm and routine, helping my kids get used to having two homes. We're sharing custody evenly and will still be parenting together. They're doing just fine.

The blog isn't real high on my priority list at the moment, but it's in my peripheral vision. I do have ideas for future directions and means of negotiating decreased internet access. Rest assured, I will survive!


If you enjoyed this post, I hope you'll check out my new blog.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Big Changes

Some of you might remember this worrisome post from back in January. I've tried to keep personal details to a minimum, but here's what's been going on: I'm getting divorced. Certain aspects of our marriage have been off for quite a while, but everything came to a head in January, and now I can't stay.

My husband has a different perspective, but my analysis of the situation is that we just got married too young. I'd had the importance of marriage drilled into me since birth, so when we met and it was going well, I figured we should get married. It never occurred to me to just have a boyfriend. A few years in, I realized it was not turning out to be what I wanted, but I was raised with the mentality that marriage is marriage and it's for life and unless he's hitting you, you stay and make it work! I figured I'd just have to make the best of it, and he is a really good guy. But I'm at a point where I don't want to spend the rest of my life "making the best of it."

So I've been reading lots of books about divorce over the last few months since I certainly never got any education about it growing up, except that it's bad, bad, bad. One book said that 90% of people who get divorced still love each other, and that is certainly the case with us. I have no regrets. Looking back, I don't know what else I could have done under the circumstances. He gave me a safe and loving place to grow up where I'd had none before, but I was too young to know who I was and what I wanted when I got married. Now I do, and this isn't it. I can't stay. There will be nothing left of me if I do.

I'm moving this weekend. I don't know when or if I'll get internet at my new place, so blog post frequency and comment response time will likely take a dive.

I apologize for letting the "Great Posts" thing slide. I think over-committed myself there. I've read about half of the submissions so far. I really appreciate everyone who sent me a link. I don't know how long it will take me to get through the rest of them. Just know that it's on my list.

Also, as of yet, I don't have a job, though I'm planning to break into freelance copywriting once I get settled and my kids are little more used to all the changes, so if any of you know someone who needs such services, it would be great if you could point them my way.

Sing us to break, Sarah.


If you enjoyed this post, I hope you'll check out my new blog.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

What BYU's Daily Universe had to say for itself

Remember Cary Crall's refreshingly sane letter that appeared briefly in The Daily Universe before being pulled?  Here's their explanation:
The Daily Universe made an independent decision to remove the student viewpoint titled “Defending Proposition 8” after being alerted by various readers that the content of the editorial was offensive.  The publication of this viewpoint was not intended to offend, but after further review we recognized that it contained offensive content. 
This is consistent with policy that The Daily Universe has, on rare occasions, exercised in the past.
I think my friend Carla put it best: "The only possible offense is that people who are anti-gay are not doing it for logical reasons. And they're not, so just admit it already."

Or Lisa wittily asked, "Can't they choose not to be offended?"

But even beyond that, the editorial staff is essentially saying that they are incapable on their own of determining what's too offensive until some helpful readers point it out to them, and that they are unwilling to represent viewpoints that might upset people.

The real hat tip goes to Craig though for finding a truly offensive letter printed the same day as Crall's, this one from a horny and self-righteous student who feels it his duty to police the modesty of his slutty coeds. This letter was apparently A-OK. 

I think a little NonStampCollector is in order.


If you enjoyed this post, I hope you'll check out my new blog.

Giving a damn about gay suicide


If you enjoyed this post, I hope you'll check out my new blog.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

BYU's newspaper publishes letter critical of Prop 8's legality, then pulls it

Yesterday, a letter to the editor appeared in BYU's Daily Universe, laying bare the "indefensible" legal case for Prop 8. The writer, Cary Crall, suggested that Mormons who supported the proposition own up to their real reason for doing so.

I was very impressed, both with the letter, and with BYU for publishing it. Then I was disappointed when a few hours later, the link was no longer available.

Fortunately, Jon Adams was able to get Crall's permission to post the letter in its entirety on USU SHAFT's blog.

As Jon says, hopefully no disciplinary action comes against Crall for his honesty (or the editor who was brave enough to publish the letter), but should action be taken, I'm behind Crall.


If you enjoyed this post, I hope you'll check out my new blog.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Fact versus Symbol, and are Mormons weirdos?

My de-conversion story has been getting several comments recently that I want to respond to. This one from Martin sums up the sentiments of several believing Mormons I've heard from:
Leah, I enjoyed your write-up, and I happy for you if you feel you can breathe again. As a believing Mormon who has struggled with some of the things you've mentioned (plus a whole lot more -- there's a lot of tough stuff to deal with), your story makes me feel sad, even though that makes no sense if you're happy. Some of the tough stuff does have explanations that I find adequate. Some of it doesn't -- yet. When it comes right down to it though, I've found I'm happier believing. My belief is a little more nuanced than some, but I'm absolutely convinced God exists, loves me, and is involved in my life.

Best wishes to you on your journey.
Thank you, Martin, for your comment. I appreciate the reasonable tone and the willingness to accept the validity of another person's experience. And I'm glad that you are at peace in your own life.

Martin mentions his belief being more nuanced than some. My mother was my main religious influence growing up, and she takes a very literal, fundamentalist approach. It's actually been somewhat of a surprise since I've left the Church to learn that not all Mormons believe everything as literally as she does. I've had the task of sorting out what was actually official doctrine and what was just my mother's opinion that she taught with such conviction that I had the impression that it was unquestionable. I do think that approach is actually fairly widespread within Mormonism though.

Another comment from Retief:
You have my sympathy for what sounds like a difficult journey. I hope you won't be distressed by a couple of thoughts.

First, the Adam and Eve from the endowment are almost entirely allegorical.

Second, it isn't a requirement of LDS doctrine that anyone be a wierdo [sic].
No, I'm not distressed, but I do disagree. First, I was a super seminary nerd, and I never got any memo about Adam and Eve being allegorical. In fact, when I took Institute, this is what got handed out:

Yes, there's a little footnote saying that dates are approximate, and maybe I'm completely off base here, but when I think "approximate," I think "give or take 50 to 100 years." Or what about this talk from Neal A. Maxwell, where he delineates the chronology of the lineage of Adam, forthcoming in the highly anticipated Book of Enoch (release date undetermined; I wonder if it will be available for pre-order from Amazon) and then says, "Let others, if they choose, make jokes about our first parents, Adam and Eve, or regard them as mere myths." I take that to mean that Mr. Maxwell did not regard them as mere myths. 

When that's what we hear from the pulpits and what gets taught in CES classes, how is the average Mormon supposed to know that you're not s'posed to take it literally? Don't get me wrong; I think it's very healthy that more members are taking a less literal approach. I think a symbolic, nuanced approach is the best way to approach any religion, but the majority of Mormons that I've known didn't take that approach (or if they did, they were real quiet about it). I would also venture that Joseph Smith, et. al. intended a literal interpretation, in which case I personally can't accept them as inspired mouthpieces of God, because the story of Adam and Eve can't possibly be factual. I'm sorry, it just can't. If literalism wasn't the Church founders' intent, I don't think they did a very good job of communicating that.

Which brings me to how I view Mormonism now. I recognize its theology (notice I said "theology," not "doctrine") as a legitimate way to be religious and spiritual. I do not recognize it as the One True Church and the gateway to the Kingdom of God that it claims to be. It certainly is not a good fit for me, my temperament, my personal beliefs and the desires of my heart. I'm much happier without it than I ever was within it. I simply cannot be true to myself and be a Mormon.

I know a lot of Mormons who are wonderful people, who are very happy and who affirm that their religion is the source of their happiness. I don't deny their experience, but it wasn't one that I shared. I am convinced that the LDS Church is not what it claims to be, but I have no desire for anyone who is happy as a Mormon to leave the Church. I do have a desire for those who are unhappy to know that they are not alone, that the problem isn't because of something wrong with them, and that other than some disappointed friends and family, nothing bad will happen to them for walking away.

As far as LDS doctrine not requiring anyone to be a weirdo, maybe they don't use the word "weirdo" (and neither did I, actually), but Mormons do have a bit of an obsession with being a peculiar people. When your church dictates what you can and can't drink, watch, wear and say, even what you should and shouldn't find amusing, that sets one apart from one's more secular peers. I personally felt liberated once I no longer had the pressure of shepherding everyone I met into the Gospel through my spotless example. I'm still a weirdo in my own way, but now it's because of my own personal preferences and idiosyncrasies, not because of rules that a group of gentleman in Salt Lake decided I should follow.


If you enjoyed this post, I hope you'll check out my new blog.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Funny: I'm going to do amazing things this summer!

Hearkening back to this post...

Funny Graphs - But...But...The Internet IS Amazing
see more Funny Graphs

Hat tip to Jon Adams from USU Shaft.


If you enjoyed this post, I hope you'll check out my new blog.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Have a big goal? Mum's the word!

I know I usually post TED Talks on Tuesday, but this one was too intriguing to wait, plus it's only three minutes long. Apparently, we're more likely to achieve our big goals if we don't tell people about them. studies have found that excessive words lead to less action. So if you really want to accomplish something, be quiet and do it!


If you enjoyed this post, I hope you'll check out my new blog.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Last Day to submit your Best Blog Posts!

Today is the last day to submit your favorite posts for my "Great Posts by Other Bloggers" section of my sidebar. See here and here for details and guidelines.

I'm not going to say that the deadline is midnight, because I don't check my email at midnight. If you get your link(s) in my inbox by the time I get to my computer tomorrow morning, it will be read and considered.

I imagine it will take me at least a week to get through all the submissions. I want to make sure I give everyone's posts a thorough reading and fair consideration. I will leave a comment once I've read your post to let you know I read it.

I really appreciate the response I've received with this. It's been great fun! Might have to make it an annual thing.  :-)


If you enjoyed this post, I hope you'll check out my new blog.