Monday, November 8, 2010

quit playing games with my heart

I am surprised and troubled by how often people endorse the fact that God, in a way, plays games with us by giving us cryptic, confusing messages from the spirit. 

Before, I would get a "prompting" to do something which either was 1) stupidly useless 2) an alternative to a task I'd made my mind up to do.  When I questioned this prompting because it didn't seem to make sense, then I'd think (or get a "prompting") of Isaiah 55:  " For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord."   Since we're taught that often our will is contrary to God's, I'd assume that was the case and that I needed to be humble and listen to this prompting.


This prompting was not from the spirit.  I believed in it because I expected to receive promptings, promptings to do something contrary to what I wanted to do.  I received a prompting because I expected one, if that makes sense.  What I mean is, if someone tells me that if I chew bubblegum then I will get a headache (which is untrue), I may very well get one because I expect to; the body is tricky that way.

The anecdote that brought this subject up:
A fellow ward member brought up a story in Sunday School where, on his mission, he was prompted to hitchhike at a certain area.  It was a spot off of a highway, where cars where both going 70+ miles per hour and could not stop to pick him and his companion up.  He didn't think this made sense, since it seemed illogical and futile, but he did it anyway because it was a prompting.  After a half an hour standing there, a security card on the other side of the highway called them over and asked if they needed money for a bus.  They declined, but gave him a pass-along card!  Just then, I family walked by, and the missionaries started talking to them.  Two weeks later, that family was baptized; and if they hadn't stood out there and hitchhiked, that never would have happened!

That just doesn't make sense to me any more.  It seems like a roundabout way to make something happen.  If they hadn't hitchhiked there and picked a better spot, the person who picked them up could have eventually gotten baptized, or the person could have dropped them off in an area where they hadn't been where they would have found some golden investigators.  I just don't think that God would give such an illogical prompting and make them jump through hoops to accomplish what he wanted rather than just telling them to cross the street and wait for the family?  Stories like this just confirm the idea that we should obey wacky promptings that don't make sense, because somehow, they'll be for our good.

Friday, November 5, 2010


If you'd like to, please check out this news article about a peaceful protest in Salt Lake City.  I'm the subject of one of the pictures!  Hip hooray.  If I had to be in the newspaper, I'm glad I'm in it for something like this.

I wore my BYU sweatshirt to show that you can be a BYU student and still feel this way.

It was the first protest I've participated in, and it was a pro-gay one in Utah.  And afterward, my friends and I, all BYU students, went to a pub to eat dinner and none of us drank a drop of alcohol (Roy Rogerses are delicious).  It was a night full of contradictions.

We were all wearing black and sitting on the ground during the protest; a woman who was wearing a black sweat suit walked past, asked what we were protesting, then said grumpily, "I chose the wrong day to wear black."

A gay man who was protesting had a huge bolt of fabric that was tucked into the back of his pants and cascaded down like a train.  A woman with a stroller came very near to running over it, and he said quite dramatically, "Don't you dare put your baby on my chiffon!"  (He was joking).

intelligent, but not intellectual

I like to make collages out of pictures I find in books.  I wanted some photos of real people, so I checked out some issues of Newsweek from 1965.  At the same time, I'm both grateful for how the world has improved and appaled at how it used to be.

Two cases in point:

An article discussed a new higher demand for stewardesses because of the increase in international travel by plane and because so many of the current stewardesses were quitting because they were getting married.  Ads gave a height and weight range that potential employees had to conform to, and they had to pass rigorous tests, among them an IQ one (an IQ of 105 was required).  Stewardesses were important, because they brought that extra magic and hospitality that could make a man leave smiling even if his steak was cold and his margerita was in a paper cup.

Sure, these women are complimented for their manner and service, but they're important because they're serving the businessmen who fly on the plane.  Women may do a great job at what they do, but what they do is always subservient to men.  Also, the idea that bothers me to no end is that women work/go to school while they wait to find someone to marry, and then their life goes out the window.  Having a job is just a placeholder until you marry someone to support you.

The caption below a photo of a stewardess quoted in the article read "the best school for brides."  I am glad at least that the article acknowledged that this phrase, appearing on ads encouraging young ladies to apply for a job as a stewardess, was just too much.

An article that did profiles of college students interviewed one Matilda Gholson from the University of North Carolina.  Here is an excerpt:

Matilda, the 22-year-old daughter of a Henderson, N.C., attorney, is a "straight-B" student, a senior majoring in education who chose teaching because "I like children and it seemed important."  But Matilda sees her true career with "a husband and a family."  She has no steady now, dates mostly on weekends, more and more for quiet dinners instead of swinging fraternity "combo parties."  She knows what kind of wife she wants to be.  "A woman's role is secondary to her husband's."  While at college Matrilda looks to her parents for direction.  "I like to think I'm not a conformist," she says, "but I am."

Intelligent, but not intellectual, Matilda sounds like the belle ideal of Southern womanhood.

So many things.  The idea that teaching was an ideal job for women because they work with kids.  And I say this as a female studying to be a teacher!   Look, if you want to stay at home and make being a wife and mother a career, that's perfectly acceptable;women don't get enough recognition for their household roles that really can be considered careers (except you don't get paid and don't get vacations!)  However, it is disturbing to me that this young lady said with her own mouth that her role will be secondary to her husband's.  Not secondary, Tilly—equal.  She believes this because that's all she hears.  I just wonder how often she thinks about these tenets and if at any time something in her brain tells her that there's something wrong with these thoughts.

It's a similar feeling I have when I hear people talk in sacrament meeting or in a class about how gracious God is and how they're less than dirt, etc. and how they're so grateful for forgiveness.  It's so often in a way that really insults them themselves.  We should be grateful for forgiveness, but not in a I-should-be-damned-to-hell-for-eternity-for-this-mistake-but-instead-God-is-SO-merciful-and-does-this-when-I-don't-deserve-it-at-all way.  It bothers me so, so much when people think that to elevate God or some other important figure that they have to debase themselves.

That last sentence quoted—I love that not being an intellectual fits in with being a Southern belle.  And I'm not sure whether the author's comment about her intellect should be taken as a sexist remark.  I watched a video on youtube that's a news story from around 1964 about the new popularity of the Beatles.  The reporter, a man, mentioned that so many girls loved the band, and "some of them can write," referencing to the amount of fanmail the Beatles received.  Not "some of them write fanletters," or "some of them do also write to the band," but "some of them can write."  It didn't stand out tome when I watched it, but someone in the comments brought to my attention how awful that can sound (yes, there were intelligent comments on a youtube video!!!!1!).

Monday, November 1, 2010


I feel trapped.  The people who are less than close friends and who I know like me, and who enthusiastically and regularly tell me so, probably don't know what I would call the "real me."  They see the outside varied cheerfulness and don't expect the darkness within.

I'm sure this is a common problem.  "You don't know me!"  "If you only knew how I really was!"

I have a psychological need to confirm to them that I am like they think I am.  I plan ways to do emotional acrobatics to keep on a brave smiling face and not weasel out of social functions. 

What am I afraid of?  That they won't like me?  I'm trying to accept the thought that I'd rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not. 

I have to remind myself that their reaction will not necessarily be "she's got issues/she's an apostate/she needs some fellowshipping/she needs more attention than we're already giving her/she's wrong."  Maybe it's possible to be an example to them of a non-traditional Latter-day Saint whose opinions are just as valid.