But they're good for you.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Find an answer for yourself: Proposition 8

I support the prophet and apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I support them because I feel in my heart that they are true leaders, called of God. I have listened to their words, read the scriptures, and prayed to gain these feelings. That is what God asks us to do-- to find out if the prophet is really a prophet, who is teaching the truth. We can't rely on what anyone else says-- we have to do the work and find out for ourselves.

So you can imagine my chagrin and utter bewilderment when I came across a website where members of our church are complaining that the church is forcing them to support Prop 8 in California.

First of all, that doesn't make any sense. If you don't believe what a church is teaching you, then stop going to that church. How does a church have the power to force you to do anything?

If you are a member of the church and you have a problem with what the prophet is teaching, that is your own personal business. But please don't post all over the internet about how the church is taking away your agency and forcing you to do anything. You have the freedom to do whatever you want, and believe whatever you want.

Second of all, the Proclamation on the Family has been around since 1995. It is not new. So if you are surprised at the church's adamant support of Prop 8, that doesn't make any sense either.

What the prophets teach has never been popular, since the beginning of time. There have always been grumblers when what the prophet said was not easy to hear, or when it went against the societal norms of the day. I am sure that many people were offended or angered by what Noah or Abraham or Peter or Paul had to say. That doesn't mean that what they said was any less true. In fact, it shows that they were willing to teach something unpopular, and that makes them even more credible.

So I would encourage anyone who has any doubt about the words of the prophet of our day to study them and pray about them. Find an answer for yourself.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Let us outnumber them.

A few weeks ago, I watched part of a televised speech a conservative Christian woman gave in Washington, D.C. As she spoke about some of the challenges facing our nation today, she encouraged her audience to be morally clean and to stay strong and steadfast. As she took a stand against those of our country who oppose traditional values, she gave an interesting suggestion.

Her proposal was to win by outnumbering the opposition. Namely, by having children!

She mentioned a friend of hers who has eleven kids. Think of the impact on society this friend could have if her many children grow up to be good, strong fighters for morality and truth.

I am not saying that we should all have eleven children. The size of a family is a very personal matter, and the size can and should vary, depending on each unique circumstance. But we can make a difference by marrying and having families if we are able to, and by teaching our children to do what is right.

And when those who scoff at family values and religion spend their money on luxury, and die without deigning to be parents, who will be left to live in this country? Who will be running for office?

In a world where so many fight to destroy the traditional family, let us raise children, and let us teach them to live lives of honesty, morality, chastity, and virtue. Let us teach them to speak up, and to make a difference. Let us instill in them the nature of absolute truths that never change, even if science, the media, and our neighbors are insisting that the earth is flat instead of round. In this way we can improve the world.

A recent article (link provided below) quotes some people who have decided not to have children in order to be eco-friendly and save the planet.

At age 25, one woman was horrified to find out that she was pregnant. She immediately had an abortion. She says, "I didn't like having a termination, but it would have been immoral to give birth to a child that I felt strongly would only be a burden to the world. I've never felt a twinge of guilt about what I did, and have honestly never wondered what might have been."

She continues, "A woman like me, who is not having children in order to save the planet, is considered barking mad....what I consider mad are those women who ferry their children short distances in gas-guzzling cars."

Another woman of a similar mindset states, "I realized...that a baby would pollute the planet - and that never having a child was the most environmentally friendly thing I could do."

Her boyfriend adds, "We recycle, use low-energy light bulbs and eat only organic, locally produced food. In short, we do everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint. But all this would be undone if we had a child. That's why I had a vasectomy. It would be morally wrong for me to add to climate change and the destruction of the Earth. [We]...don't need children to feel complete. What makes us happy is knowing that we are doing our bit to save our precious planet."

Luckily for the people just mentioned, their parents did not have the moral strength to live the lifestyle their children have chosen.

I wonder what would happen if everyone made the noble commitment to save the planet by not having children. I guess we'd all eventually die, and the animals would be free to finally live in peace, free from global warming, free from pollution. The trees would be able to grow. What a beautiful world that would be, but I guess we might not be around to enjoy it at that point.

Yes, we need to be respectful of the world around us; we need to reduce bad habits and do what we can to preserve this beautiful place God has given us to live. So if we are concerned about the earth's future, why not have children and teach them to care for it when we're gone?

Those who maintain that it is moral to terminate an innocent life but immoral to have a child who rides in a gas-guzzling car....let them die off without reproducing. I'm okay with that.

And let those who care about actually improving the world have as many children as we deem proper. Let us teach them what the word "moral" really means. Let us make a difference.

(article link) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/article.html?in_article_id=495495&in_page_id=1879

Sunday, June 03, 2007

An Essay About Love

June 21, 2006

English 311

Love, Love, Love

Paul McCartney sings: "You'd think that people would have had enough of silly love songs. I look around me and I see it isn't so!"

In a survey based on the top 100 most popular songs of all time, an analysis of themes concluded that 85% of them were love songs.1 After five minutes of watching a movie, it is obvious which two characters will hook up—although you can be sure that a terrible, insuperable conflict will prevent that from happening for at least the next half hour. The topic of love is equally prevalent in literature—yes, even the Bible begins with a love story.

You know, people spend so much time listening to romantic music, watching romantic movies, and reading romantic books that love is all they ever end up talking about. When you're on a date, it invariably comes up: "What do you look for in a guy? How many people have you dated? Who's the last girl you kissed?" When you go home for Christmas, it's the first thing they ask you: "Are you dating anyone?" Late at night with your roommates you talk about so-and-so being engaged to so-and-so and the chances that the love of your life will ask you out next week. In fact, I often find myself wondering what married people talk about, now that dating and real love aren't issues. I imagine that they lead rather dreary lives, resorting to chit-chat about the weather.

Luckily, the ever-prevalent love in songs, movies, and books gives us a good idea of what love in real life should be like. Steady and constant, growing little by little? Love after marriage? Boring! Give me love at first sight, the thrill of the chase, the girl who suddenly realizes she's in love with someone else on her wedding day and chases him down to express her true, undying devotion. We naturally assume that in a meaningful relationship, showing physical affection precedes knowing the guy's last name. How can you really get to know someone without kissing him first?

Okay, so, personally, I tend to consider myself above the ubiquitous topic of love that permeates our very lives. I observe its detrimental influence on society; I can see how it may encourage a few unrealistic expectations. I have principles, and because of said principles, I make it a point never to talk about love or romance. My conversation topics are always deep and thoughtful, such as global warming, the economic strategies of the ancient Incan people, or the fascinating history of the pork sausage. I like to think outside the box.

Nevertheless, I must confess that I, too, don't mind glancing at the screen as Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy slowly inch toward one another. Admittedly, I beg Wesley to forgive Princess Buttercup for getting engaged to someone else. To be quite honest, I've been known to curse the Jets and the Sharks for keeping Tony and Maria apart. Yes, even I can't help sighing a little as Padme tragically dies, abandoning Anikan forever.

Come on, let's face it. Everyone loves a good love story. As the Beatles so eloquently declare, "All you need is love."

Works Cited

Davis, Scheila. The Craft of Lyric Writing. Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books, 1985.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Awake, and arise from the dust, O Jerusalem

November 2, 2004

Yesterday was a holiday--the "day of the living" and there were so many drunk people I couldn't believe it. Including people we know. We found out yesterday that Brother Asencios was drinking Sunday. The news hit me really hard and we're not quite sure what to do--we can only visit them. The alcohol is such a huge problem here that it's amazing. How many times have we had to postpone a charla because the person is drunk; how many people have approached us and bothered us in the streets because they're drunk...How many families are destroyed...how many children hurt or neglected...how much money is spent--wasted. Yesterday at about 6:00 a.m. we felt and heard a huge crash outside our window--two drunk young men were in a car and crashed into a post. They weren't so badly injured--they got out of the car, and disappeared, leaving the car completely ruined.

February 20, 2005

Sister Tineo told us about how her life with her husband (they're not married) has been. He drank, did drugs, and beat her a whole lot. But says that things are a little more peaceful now--after leaving him twice, and finally throwing an iron at his head--he drinks but goes to sleep after. But she says she loves him SO MUCH.

March 15, 2005

In the afternoon we taught two young ladies in the ghetto (chancadora) -- Fiorela is 17 and lives with her boyfriend and has already lost a baby. We watched a video with her but she's a child in another world. After, we taught another young lady with a son--she was so bored but tried to make it look like she cared. She said that people with money are the only ones with time on their hands to go around talking about God. They live in such a filthy, poor, sin-filled place. Their eyes are glazed over and they don't see any other reality....

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Judge Ye

I approached the bus stop in my long skirt. I saw a boy sitting there with his girlfriend. They were both smoking.

"Do you want a smoke?" asked the boy, laughing with his eyes as he looked me up and down.

For a moment I raged inside, hating him for making fun of me in a way that only someone like him could. I felt self-righteous, uncomfortable, a little nervous. I hoped the bus would come soon.

"No, thanks," I said smiling. "I don't smoke." Which couldn't have been more obvious.

Then I sat down on the bench and picked up a newspaper. I was on my way to work to prepare missionaries to share the good news with the world. What did this young man know about my life?

What was his life like? Who was he? I remembered that people are people.

I looked up from my newspaper.

"Is that a longboard?" I asked him.

"Yes, it is," he said with a grin, admiring it.

I asked him about the difference between a longboard and a skateboard.

He told me all about it.

I told him I was afraid of falling off of one of those.

We chatted.

When the bus arrived, I went up the steps with a secret song in my heart. And although he boarded with his girlfriend and didn't look at me again, I knew I had won some kind of battle with myself.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

But they're good for you.

I hate vegetables.

When I was a little girl, my dad claimed he could determine the nutritional value of any food with a simple test. If I, his daughter, liked it, it was unhealthy.

For many years I wondered why this test worked. It always seemed unfair to me. Why wasn't I allowed to eat cookies all day? Why did ice cream taste so much better than brussel sprouts?

And then, how much longer does it take to clean the dishes than to get them dirty? Why is it easier to tell a lie than to confess the truth? Despite our greatest efforts, why do our bodies get older and weaker until they eventually collapse?

One day I found the answer in science class. (I've always hated science because it's hard to understand. I'd rather study something that comes easier to me.)

The second law of thermodynamics, also called the Law of Increasing Disorder: natural processes will spontaneously move in one direction, unless an outside influence interferes. They will move toward entropy; e.g. disorder.

It was a law of physical science, and I knew it was true. Not because the science people said it, but because I'd seen it every day of my life. Nature will take the simplest route requiring the least amount of effort. This path leads us down a road to destruction and chaos.

Naturally, spontaneously, and in keeping with the second law of thermodynamics, even humanity continues in the right direction.

In other words, the natural direction.

In other words, precisely the wrong direction. Toward increasing disorder.

Family units disintegrate, morals are more loosely defined, absolute truths are no longer considered absolute. Immediate gratification, sense stimulation, entertainment, and easily obtained prizes become our priorities; we want minimal effort to reap the greatest rewards.

But no matter how many "Get-rich-quick" and "Lose 20 pounds this week!" schemes we fall for, the true way to get somewhere is always uphill. Always. It's always the hard way that we reach our goal.

We will feel our biggest nostalgia, our greatest pride, and our deepest happiness after the long race we ran or the righteous fight we dedicated every ounce of our strength to. We will learn the most because of a struggle. We will find joy at the end of the strait and narrow. We will be saved because One Person faced every agony, every anguish, and every ache.

To achieve, we have to keep climbing. That's why life is a test. That's why life is hard. And that's why life is good.

Unfortunately, that's bad news for me. It means broccoli for dinner.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Important Announcement

I accidentally married the best husband in the world.

Okay, so I know what you're thinking--how could I just "accidentally" stumble upon him? And then once I found him, to snag the best husband in the world would take brains, money, and some serious good looks.

I know it's improbable, but it really was an accident. It just happened, and now there's nothing I can do about it. I mean, what would you do if you realized you were married to the best husband in the world?

I'm just trying to live my life one day at a time, now that I know. It's tough, but somehow I've made it so far.

It's hard though, because the best husband in the world outdoes even what you'd expect of a guy with that kind of a reputation. He stays up all night just to talk with me, even when he has to get up early the next day, work full time and go to school. He walks on eggshells to keep me from getting emotional, and then takes responsibility for it when I do anyway. He rubs my tummy when I have cramps. He rubs my head when I have a headache. He laughs at my jokes. He eats my cooking. He takes out the trash without saying a word. He tells me he loves me. He makes me soup when I'm sick. He teaches me things kindly, even when everyone else in the world already knows how to do them....

I'm really sorry if this news makes any of you other ladies feel indignant, bewildered, or just plain hopeless. I'm sorry he's already been taken. Truly I am. I apologize for the inconvenience this may cause.

But please believe me when I say that it really was an accident! A stroke of good luck.