I’M COMING OUT
IM COMING OUT!—This is my story of what it’s like to “come out” in my Mormon Faith. I’m finally purging! 7 years this October marks out the time that has passed since my father died. I’m just now finally finding AND having the courage to express in words what this mourning period has been like. At this point, I have nothing but love for my community—and those who truly know me, know that about me! If I didn’t have love, I wouldn’t still be here! I’m here, and I’m staying. It’s just time for me to “come out” so that I can move forward!
I apologize in advance for the length of this article. I apologize, also, for the length of all my other articles I wrote on my journey. I’m gonna pull an Eve here and say,—there’s just “no other way” to explain what I have been through without telling the “entire” story from “the beginning.” And so, I am grateful, so grateful, that as my heart has pressed me through the last several years to write about my journey—I am grateful that I actually recorded it! Had I not recorded it, and timestamped it with the “eternal internet,” I don’t know that anyone would have believed it. I don’t think I would have believed it myself. And so, here we go!!!
IN THE BEGINNING
Now, just to be clear—I need to say this up front! I’m not writing this article because I’m asking for permission, or because I feel the need to justify myself, or even to educate others because I think they are in the “wrong,”—because the truth is, I don’t really care what you believe. Everyone’s journey is their own, and I TRULY believe that statement. At the end of the day, we each have to answer to God for how we lived and what we believed, and I am comfortable doing that! We all need a little more grace—especially me, and because I know that I need that, it allows me the ability to be a bit more raw. In fact—being real is what has set me free!
TURN BACK NOW
I am also not writing this article for click and bate. I have never actually made a dime off my website—to date I am in the hole. I write because I love to. I also can see how many clicks I get—so, just to clarify, I don’t get much traffic—this wasn’t written for “all my fans” (and that’s not a criticism, it is more of an observance for me to ask myself WHY I have this desire). It’s a weird paradox for me to understand “why” I put so much energy into writing—all I know, is that the desire was put in my heart—and I follow my heart. Also, this article is just over 10,000 words, so if you want to back out, do so now, or forever hold peace! But if you’re ready to see what’s been hidden in that vault I call my heart–I’m about to unveil it.
CAGED HOUSEWIFE SYNDROME
Why am I writing this article? Honestly, I’m just trying to find my purpose. I’m a stay at home mom who has followed the rule book her whole life—now God is telling me, in this stage of my life, to follow my heart, so that’s all I can tell you. I don’t know how this all turns out, but for me, it’s a lot easier to write sometimes what’s inside than to speak it—it’s a lot easier for me to get all the details out when I put it on paper—I can look back and see whether or not I articulated my message well.
If you are fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to meet me in person, you know I love to chat! But sometimes, communicating my message in the moment—well, that can be challenging to find the language to do so—which is part of the reason I have this deep love for writing and then sharing it. If you want to know the “deeper” version of me, your’e going to have to read about it, because it’s too hard to explain in person. I am really glad I have this platform called, The Everything Housewife,— because gosh dang it, even housewives want to be heard!!!!
COMPLETE AND TOTAL BURNOUT
Most of you that have been on my site know that I recently wrote a series of articles on the nativity. (You can read them HERE). And because most people will not comprehend what an undertaking that was, I am going to explain it! Those articles were written in 12 days—an article a day! I didn’t write them in advance, and I had no idea how they were going to turn out, but I had a deep desire to express what was in my heart. Some of those articles are around 2000 words or more—what I wrote was equivalent to writing a chapter book on religious symbolism taking symbols from all books scripture that are part of my “LDS cannon.” It was a massive undertaking for that period of time! Most people don’t realize that that article series was a culmination of several years of daily, intense, deep study to know God on a deep and personal level. In fact, I experienced such emotional burnout after writing them that I didn’t write on my blog for a long time after that. It was like I had purged everything inside of me that I had come to understand. These Nativity Articles are reflections of what I now know about God.
Just to clarify, I have no formal training or education in religious studies, etc. I have no idea what “becoming” a biblical scholar looks like. I didn’t even graduate from my church high school seminary program, and because of me not obtaining that certificate, I even got rejected from BYU when I applied—and that’s okay with me, I am a Georgia Tech fan now. God had other plans for me, and everything has worked out just fine. I have no idea how other people gain their spiritual understanding of the scriptures—but for me, when I read them, I try to put myself in the shoes of the individuals of all passages of scripture—thats why I write the way I do. I feel comfortable doing that because of the spiritual experiences I have now had, as I have walked in The Way. The symbols and experiences feel very personal to me—especially the passages about women, because I can understand how they might have felt, and even how that woman might have suffered.
So that no one misunderstands me, I don’t regret writing those articles on the Nativity! But I think it is important for others to know WHY I wrote them. I had a “faith crisis,” and I was purging old understandings and replacing them with new, but probably a better description would be a “God Crisis,” because one thing God HAS shown me, is that I never lacked faith, even though people have told me very directly that I do—it was my faith AND action on His promptings through the spirit that has pulled me through this! I would not be here—happy and healthy if he had not been with me all along. So what was the trigger?
ALL MY UGLY COMING OUT RIGHT NOW
I don’t like sharing this part—this is the ugly part. I don’t like talking about it because there is no way to make it look pretty. It’s just bad! BUT there is no way for me to help you understand without being really detailed. So now I’m going to expose myself. I hate this part—it’s always terrifying for me because then I find out who really loves me and who will reject me. Props to my husband! He has been by my side the whole time, and so knowing that alone, sets me free! I feel free to put myself in a position so that I can be rejected, because I know he never will reject me. I’m sure this is how God feels ALL the time—I get why he veils and unveils his face. The symbolism is fascinating to me.
I AM CLAIMING TO “KNOW” SOMETHING YOU DON’T
There are a lot of people in my religious community struggling with the history of our church—and it’s not so much even the history, as it is the interpretation of the history. I was one of those people who struggled, but I don’t any more! That doesn’t mean I now agree with all the interpretations written in the church essays, or historical summaries—because I absolutely don’t. And that also doesn’t mean that I support all the choices of the early pioneers or Saints as they were trailblazing through the wild west Wilderness to build Zion—because I don’t.
However, I do claim to understand our church’s history and its parallels to patterns found in the Old and New Testament gospels, and I do value the sacrifices of the early Saints to live what they knew to be true AND THEN, record their journey and “expose” themselves to future generations. I KNOW that God was the one who lead me to this understanding, “by the arm of the teacher.” I have been lead, and it’s not a superficial understanding. It came at great cost. I paid a price that no one else that I know would have (but God knows I like to work—by the sweat of my brow, as did my ancestors). I love my ancestors! I love my church, and I mourn with my ancestors as I know that they have mourned with me through the veil. They have been watching me on my own journey through the wilderness to discover God.
THIS BOOK IS AN ABOMINATION
Before I get too far ahead, I need to share my first experiences as a teenager reading the Old Testament. I was in early morning seminary, but during my junior year of high school, I made a commitment to read the ENTIRE Old Testament during the 9 month school year, not the broken down version they give you to read to make it easier, but the entire King James Old Testament, which was a massive undertaking, not just for me, but for almost any early-morning seminary student who might have made the attempt. It meant that I would have to read the scriptures every night for 20-30 minutes, and that if I missed a day I would have to make it up the next night—so I tried really hard not to ever miss. School, activities, homework, the job I worked, early morning seminary—it was not an easy commitment.
THE WHOLE DRUNKEN SCANDAL
As I started to read and study each night, I first got to the place where it talked about Lot and his daughters, and the whole drunken scandal (ha!), and then I read where God calls the daughters righteous, and also the part about the that talking donkey, and I said to myself, “This book is an abomination and a fairytale! This is not from God.” In fact, I felt like what I was reading was the complete opposite of my Sunday- going experience. It was a terrifying opposite for me! In fact, in that moment I thought to myself, “thank goodness I am a Mormon where I have the true gospel restored!” (I hope people laugh, you know, because this part is funny).
Now pay attention to this moment, because during moments like these, God is constantly schooling me, and I’m constantly getting schooled—pun intended. In this moment, its important to ponder the paradox I am experiencing as I transition in my understanding of my faith paired with my religious ritual experience. Clearly I am reading the Word of God, but holy cow, I’m confident its all one big error (thank goodness I could reference Article of Faith Number 8 to back up my mental state, “as far as it is translated correctly.”
I WAS DISTURBED
I wanted to quit reading the Old Testament so many times that year during my studies, but I had already come so far. I couldn’t turn back. The stories disturbed me. But, because I set a goal, and I descend from pioneers who “pull carts like stubborn mules,” and of course, because I had article of faith number 8 to fall back on—I kept reading. Then I got to Song of Solomon— I just felt like I was reading porn at that point (remember, this was my teenage self). The whole thing was a complete and total paradox. I completely remember having these moments as I read. It’s very hilarious now to look back!
ITS NOT PORN
Now, if you have read my articles on the Nativity, you know I don’t think the Song of Solomon is anything at all like porn (my adult self speaking here). In my articles on the nativity, I speak about the “Song of Solomon” with fondness as it expresses the love between a man and a woman—apparently, I have changed in my understanding. I’m happy to say that I did complete my goal my junior year to read the entire Old Testament, however, I didn’t even remotely begin to understand these complex stories until I experienced my own “faith/God crisis.” In fact, my own faith crisis parallels the journey of what the saints of the New Testament gospel might have experienced as they “transitioned” into a New Covenant, from a works/ritual versus faith understanding—where Jesus The Christ was “unveiled” to them.
ME, AN APOSTATE?
I had a family member who had left the church after reading the church published historical essays. In my arrogance, I assumed she was reading “apostate” materials—because I had never heard of such things, and in all my “busyness,” I didn’t stop to even read or investigate where she had gotten her information from. But God stopped me, almost two years later! How long she mourned alone is unfair! I am so sorry for that! Recording what I know now is now part of my personal restitution that I choose to pay—because I love my family.
Most of you that know me personally know that I get really ill in my pregnancies, and that is the ONLY time I am still—I like to be busy, and I like to do stuff. It was during this time, while laying on the couch for months that I finally decided I was going to “help” my sister. What I didn’t realize was that God was about to help me—help me begin to “see” that is. This process of learning to “see” has been the most painful thing I have ever experienced in my life.
WHEN I FELL OUT OF INNOCENCE
So I begin reading The Church approved essays, where my sister also began her faith crisis, and I got half way through the essay on the interpretation of Polygamy, and I said, whoever wrote this is a “liar and a manipulator.” And in an instant, it was at this exact moment in time, that I experienced a “God Crisis.” I had so faithfully done what I was told to do my whole life, and now for the first time ever, I was asking God, “Have I been taught everything correctly, and have I understood everything I’ve been taught correctly?”
My next questions was, what does it mean if I no longer agree with the things I have been taught—when prior I had agreed with everything? Who’s gonna teach me? I have no idea how to know what is true versus what isn’t? Here I am trying to help my sister, and now I’m the one saying, “Is there anyone who can help me?” This is not a condemnation OR endorsement of my religious institution, rather, it’s a new understanding I have come to know about how revelation is obtained.
I CHOSE TO BE LOST
Just to clarify, sin is sin, and it will always be sin, and the moment we discover we have sinned is the moment we realize we stand at a crossroad where we choose what path we will go down. Was I supposed to go backward and keep doing the same thing I had been doing, trusting someone else’s discernment for me and for my family—and run the risk of my children and husband coming to me later and asking the same questions without an answer? Or do I venture off into the unknown and try to find my own answers! I truly saw myself, and still do see myself as someone who keeps her promises—imperfectly, but ALWAYS to the best of my ability! And because I had faithfully kept all my promises to the best of my ability up until that point in my life, including to my church, I KNEW I had to go searching—because I already knew no one else had answers in my sphere, because I was already the “sifter” in my sphere—I said to myself, if I can’t figure this out for my family and my children, then who else will?” And that was it, I ventured into the “unknown” and I became “lost.”
EXPOSING MY SIN THROUGH THE TYPED WORD
There is so much power in the imagery of the Shepherd who leaves the 99 to go after the 1! I know who found me! I know who carried me on his shoulders! I know who lead me through this dark, ugly mess! I know why my ancestors kept records, and I know why I have this burning desire to “expose” myself and all my errors—for the sake of my posterity.
That is why records are kept! That is why the good, the bad, and the ugly are recorded from generation to generation—not to justify sin, but to expose it. Fun fact, my Great Great Grandfather is the author of the largest pioneer journal ever recorded—and he absolutely kept his promise to me to keep records—I am the “seed” that they were written for. Now that you know what blood flows through my veins, you can understand why this article is so long. It’s because Great Great Grandaddy Charles didn’t own a keyboard, and I do. But sin is sin. Are we as a community justifying things? Have I been justifying things? A good look in the mirror at who you truly are— is the hardest look.
COMPLETE AND TOTAL BLINDNESS
Back to the moment where I realized I was lost! When I started looking for someone to help me, everything spiraled out of control. I started asking my friends questions, and then that exposed them to the essays, and then within a matter of months my friends were leaving the church, and I was afraid to ask for help from church leaders at that time because I quickly realized that the vast majority of members AND leaders had not even read the articles, and the ones that did read them didn’t have the ability to explain them—basically, everyone kept telling me to “walk blindly.”
And at the same time, I was to afraid to tell my church leaders how I felt because I was afraid they would accuse me of reading apostate materials, just like I “mentally” accused my sister before I had read the church essay for myself. And guess what? My fears were confirmed, when I eventually was accused and investigated for apostasy in my last ward. It didn’t help but confirm my mental fears to have that experience—but I also can’t blame members of my ward family for thinking that way about me. I had already thought that way when my family member first “exposed” her concerns to me.
I CAN’T EVEN BREATHE
None of this part of the story is pretty! And honestly, it was only because I started to “see the hand of God in the wilderness” that I even made it through this part. This is what I call the “narrow neck,” and oh man, it’s feels like the pain the woman AND the child go through as the baby enters the birth canal—to bring the baby through the narrow canal to cause it to crown. I like using the pain of child brith as an example, because it is the greatest physical pain I have ever experienced in the flesh—but it’s only a close second to the spiritual pain I have experienced. There is no way to make this part of my experience pretty. It’s just ugly!
CLEARED BUT BROKEN
I was eventually cleared from being an “apostate,” because I had a loving and supportive bishop, and friends in and outside of church leadership who came to my aide to defend my character, but not before my reputation and friendships were severely broken, and not without people trying to walk me back from revelation I claimed I had received along The Way—beginning with the claim that “I was saved by grace, not by works.”
I COULDN’T SPEAK
In defense of my accusers (and I know you might wonder why I might defend my own accusers). I confess, that at the time I made this claim, I expressed my newly received revelation in “broken spiritual English” for the lack of a better term. And the extent to which I believed that I was “saved by grace,”—I became an outward, open-expression in which I dropped many of the ritualistic types of worship that I had been taught were absolutely necessary to have an “exalted” relationship with God—which others viewed as “open, spiritual rebellion.” I declare boldly that I am no rebel!
KNOWLEDGE WON’T GET YOU ANYWHERE
I need to be clear here, I’m not dissing ritual worship. I still go to church on Sunday, and I still participate in ordinances (as I am permitted to by my church, without violating what I know has been revealed to me personally by God). I also don’t try to twist my language to hide what I believe so that I can be more culturally accepted or get a temple recommend. I also want to say that I love the symbols of the ordinances of my church—it is the language in which God speaks to me! How can I not love the ordinances! This ritualistic language is the only tool I have found to communicate with others of my faith about what I know. This balance, of growing up in such a ritualistic community, versus my knowledge of the “extent” of his grace, has been the most complicated balance for me, not because I don’t know what I believe, but because others can’t understand it. They haven’t “seen” or “heard” what I have.
FLEEING IN THE NIGHT
That lack of understanding is to me what the scriptures call the “enmity” between the seed of the man and the woman—and this enmity can, and will can bring generational curses if we don’t repent of it. In fact, my move to St. George was truly God giving me an “escape” just like Mary and Joseph when they fled to Egypt. I KNOW it was the divine hand of God that brought me to the place of my ancestors. I am living in my own personal Zion, right here, right now in the very place my ancestors named call Zion. My new community has not been anything but loving toward me, and I have still kept relationships with all those from my previous community who have continued to love me, without judgement, through the process. I can not express how grateful I feel to have been so warmly received in my new space. I will never be the same because of all of this, but at the same time, I don’t want to be. I am grateful for who I have become because of this experience!
I’M WILLING TO GO TO HELL
Joseph Smith was just a man—aren’t we all just people. He was just a person who decided to go directly to God and ask questions for himself. Why? What motivated him to venture into the wilderness to obtain knowledge? What happened to Joseph that made him seek out spiritual guidance in the first place? I personally identify heavily with the writings about Joseph Smith and the death of his brother Alvin. The religious teachers of his day taught that Alvin was going to hell because he had not been baptized into a church before Alvins untimely, young death. What a tragedy!
MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL TORTURE
I can imagine the emotional and mental torture that this placed on the mind of a young boy who had no language YET, to explain his relationship with God, and yet those who did have language were incorrectly interpreting and misrepresenting who God was! I can also identify with Joseph Smith’s, so called comment that “if he had to go to hell for her (Emma), he would.”
AM I UNGODLY?
People might find a statement like that to be completely ungodly, especially for a man that our church claims to be a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator, but for those of us who have had to wrestle with the knowledge (and it is a wrestle), that we might be parted with our dead on the other side—no matter what their so-called, sins may be—well, I have to admit, I have said the very same thing, I would rather go to hell. If that’s where my family is, that is where I will be—right there in hell with them. I would trade all the mansions and kingdoms of this world and the next to be with my family. Because I am a mother and a wife, no matter what they may do, my life is meaningless if I do NOT have my loved ones by my side—ALL my loved ones.
MY JOURNEY TO HELL
Now, if you’ve followed my blog at all—you might, now, understand why I had panic attacks (Click Here to Read about it) after praying and reading my scriptures for several days to understand the resurrection! Why was I on my own journey asking God questions about the resurrection when I had grown up in a church that had taught me about it my entire life? Well the answer to that is, I already knew that I had misunderstood what it meant to “receive” his grace (You Can Read About that Moment Here)—I thought I could earn it, and now I knew that I couldn’t—it was a gift! So, I feared that maybe, just maybe, I also misunderstood the Resurrection of the Dead. Maybe it wasn’t tangible, or maybe I was crazy, and maybe all these spiritual witnesses I had obtained on this journey through the wilderness were in my head—and to explain what I believed at the that time about the resurrection versus what I experienced when I had a full blown panic attack praying about it—well that is a whole other mess that I don’t have time to doctrinally write about right now. But it was the darkest moment I have ever experienced—ever!
DOES ANYONE HAVE A KEY? I’M TRYING TO GET IN
So, to the depths of hell I went, mentally that is, to find answers about the fate of my family on this side and that side of the veil—because I know that I am saved by grace, I said to myself, how do I know I won’t be separated from them on this side of the veil or the next? Because any kind of a separation would cause me the worst pain I could ever imagine. Because there is no heaven for me without ALL of my family by my side, on this side or that side of the veil! What I am trying to say, is that I am still just a girl who is discovering that I was still mourning the death of my father, long after I should have been!
MY DAD DIED UNDER TRAGIC CIRCUMSTANCES
My Dad died of AIDS—there, I said it! Everybody knew it, but nobody wanted to say it out loud when he passed. Why? Because he had never even said it out loud to us—his own kids! Leading up to my Dad’s death, he was a youthful, picture of health. Then suddenly, he checked himself into the hospital with Pneumonia, and at some point checked himself out to go home and die along, all by himself. I had no idea (I mean, my spirit knew something was coming, and that’s a whole other story), but wow, I didn’t see that day coming. It came so quickly! I got the phone call on my birthday that my Dad had passed, and it has been a process for me to mourn his passing. I miss him so much! The circumstances which my father died weren’t good either. My parents had recently gotten divorced, and my Dad “came out”, and he did not handle that situation well with any of us—he was angry about his whole life, and I don’t blame him. I can totally see WHY he was so angry, now that I can see he couldn’t figure all this religious stuff out, including the gospel promises of peace and an eternal family—because I couldn’t either, and it’s been a process for me to acknowledge my own “lack of understanding” in my experiences. In all my efforts, I didn’t have answers for him either.
DYING WITHOUT LOVED ONES AT YOUR SIDE
In the months before his passing, he had to have his gall bladder removed at the hospital. After his surgery he didn’t even call us, his own kids, to ask for a ride home. He didn’t call anyone—he just walked home all by himself. It has been devastating for me, as I have tried to process why my father felt like he couldn’t call on me or my siblings for support. I WOULD HAVE BEEN THERE. We all would have! My saddest thoughts have been that he knew he was dying, and that when he passed, he wasn’t surround by his family. And did he even have to pass so soon? Was he getting the help he needed to treat his condition? What was his last moment like? Was it like my moment?
AM I A REJECT?
As I have tried to further understand the experiences of my father through his lens, I have become more aware of feelings of guilt, shame, and doubt that keep me from wanting to tell my whole story. I don’t want to be rejected, even though I already have been. I don’t want to be accused of being lost, even though I already have been. I don’t want to be accused of needing help, even though I’ve already needed it. I don’t want to be accused of being crazy— even though I’ve asked myself that very same question. I don’t want to be accused of not having a relationship with God—even though I am just now claiming to have discovered one. I don’t want to be accused of not being good enough, or holy enough or righteous enough—even though I know that that is exactly what I have been trying to become this whole time, while always falling short. Writing this article is a big step for me—its another wrung on the ladder where I acknowledge to myself that I don’t need the world’s approval—I just need God’s, and he’s revealed enough to me to confirm to me that I am on my path.
LIVING AND DYING WITH AIDS–ALONE
People with AIDS/HIV live long, healthy lives with the right treatment now days. I can’t help but think that if my father had just reached out—that we as a family could have mobilized and got him the help he needed. I HOPE that I would have been there for my Dad if he had reached out, but I also realize, that my past self was, “Martha, troubled about with many things”, when only “one thing was needful.” ONLY ONE THING was needful, the whole freaking time! ONLY ONE THING, and “Mary hath chosen the better part.”
In my mind, I have heard myself saying to God, But “ Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother (Dad and kinsman) had not died.” These are the words that Martha and Mary both said to Jesus, at the death of their brother Lazarus—after he had laid in the tomb 4 days, long past the point of decay! Martha means “bitter.” I don’t want to be Martha, because Martha is so busy she can’t even “see” that her brother is not actually dead!
So now, “my eyes are opened” I am at a fork in the road, and I decide I’m going to go in the opposite direction. And on my journey “coming out” of this wilderness, I hear Him, instead say to me, “If thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?…I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:—and so I YELL FROM THE MOUNTAIN TOPS, “Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.”—and upon that confession, I Martha, call for my sister Mary Magdalene, and the stone is rolled away, and my dead are raised!
YOU HAVE LANGUAGE? PROVE IT
I’m trying to be Mary now. I want to worship at His feet—and live in a way outwardly, so that people can “see” that I do worship at his feet! He, my Lord and Redeemer, gave me the peace I needed to know about my father when no one else would or could, because they didn’t have the language to teach me. He taught me, and it has been a long haul to try to decode His language, but I’m finally beginning to be able to communicate using the language of the scriptures and ordinances what others already know in their hearts, and what I already know in mine.
TO BE NAKED
I’m not ungrateful for the experiences I have had. They have given me an opposite. I can finally “see.” I now realize the “exposure” we must go through to be able to stand in his presence— it’s the same exposure that my father wasn’t ready to completely express to his family. He was afraid of rejection. He was afraid that we would judge him. Guess what? I completely understand the way he felt, because I feel exactly the same way. But I don’t want to hide anymore—because the greatest pain for me has come from hiding myself. Every time I “come out”, and shed another layer, everything around me changes—ALWAYS for the good. This is uncomfortable for me to expose myself. It was uncomfortable for me to talk about my panic attacks. It was uncomfortable for me to not just confess that I was saved by his grace in my community, but also to ACT like I was. But every time I have “come out” of that dark house in Bethany, he has revealed more and more of his purposes to me. And so, here I am again! I am coming out!
I CAN ALREADY SEE WHAT YOU THINK WHEN YOU SPEAK
If you’re thinking this article is revealing anything more than this—well sorry to disappoint. I have lived what others would call a good life. I have been faithful to my church and the covenants that I made to my church in the temple that MY ancestors built with their own hands—and I can hear them saying to me beyond the veil, “DON’T LEAVE. All that we built, we built for you!” I have been a faithful wife and mother to my beautiful family. I kept my promises, and I am still keeping them—I’ve just changed who I’m keeping them to!
I DON’T WANT TO BE PERECT, I WANT TO BE WHOLE
I am imperfectly perfect, and in being so, I am completely whole—and I know who redeemed me. I know who provides my “covering”. And because I know who provides this covering—I understand what it means to make a New Covenant. If you can’t understand what that means, well, that’s because the gate is “narrow” and few there be that find it—but the gospel is spread by word of mouth! So, if you’re reading this—that is “good news!” And isn’t that what the word “gospel” means—good news!
YOU’RE GONNA HAVE TO GET LOST
It’s about the journey, and I hope that me sharing my journey will help you have courage, and serve as a guide for you! Because understanding His Word will require you to go on a journey—a journey for a pearl of great price! You will get lost on this journey, but don’t worry, He will find you and lead you home—and YOU WILL KNOW who led you by the hand. And when you return, YOU WILL CONFESS HIS NAME because you will know him!
WE CAN’T EVEN COMMUNICATE
I want to build a bridge—but I am confident I am not the one who builds it! He builds it! But, we can’t build bridges if we can’t communicate. I have watched exchange after exchange between so called “anti-Mormons” and “Mormons” who can’t communicate with one another. I have been accused of apostasy by my own church family, while also a (lesser know fact) being kicked off so called, Anti-Mormon forums for professing a belief in the patterns already found in scripture, because some people think that I have no idea that Joseph Smith was a Free Mason or a so-called, treasure hunter. They also think I am ignorant of church history, and that I have never studied the Journal of Discourses, or that I have never studied the Joseph Smith Papers, or studied the journals of my own ancestors. Pardon me while I clear my throat, and remind you that I am a direct descendent of the pioneer who wrote the largest diary ever recovered in our church History—and I love all his ugly too! We all have it.
MAYBE I HAVE A COMPREHENSION PROBLEM
Some people also think that I don’t comprehend what went down in church history. They also think that because I haven’t been to the temple in a while, that I don’t keep my covenants, or that I’m not well-versed on our ordinances, or that I don’t study the scriptures, or that I have never obtained revelation for myself, or that I must be ignorant of the all the many layers of scriptures and beautiful language we keep hidden away in our cannons that so clearly spell out this pattern, or that I don’t understand the pattern of how revelation is obtained, and finally, that because of how “I look” I must not have a personal relationship with Christ. I’ve “heard” it all!
MY REVELATION IS BETTER THAN YOUR REVELATION
I have spoken with people who have left the church, and in their process of “changing” who they were, they had full blown visions from heaven. However, I have also spoken with people who had full blown visions when they converted to our church! Can we stop with all the judging and the “I’m right and your wrong,” because my revelation is “ better and bigger” than your revelation. I’ve never had what I would call a vision? But then again, I now realize everyone is defining visions and revelation differently anyway—that’s right, I discovered that on my journey too. So let’s start cutting through all the bull, and start asking people to clarify their claims with God’s language.
BECAUSE ITS DESCRIBED AS SMALL, IT MUST BE LESS IMPORTANT
I’ve also witnessed people who have full understanding of the patterns contained in scripture, but don’t have the language to communicate it, and yet they clearly know God—and they don’t profess anything, but the still small voice. While everyone else is fighting about who is bigger and better? I’ve been asking God Why and in What circumstances? What’s the pattern? Because honestly, I’m sick of filtering through “other people’s” interpretations so that I can have a relationship with God—I’d rather just figure it out myself, at this point, if you can’t already tell. What I am just now realizing is that he’s been willing to speak directly to me the whole dang time! And THAT puts a whole news spin on the ordinances I learned in the very temple my ancestors built—thank you Joseph—I get it now! Isn’t that what you were trying to teach us how to do in the first place—how to obtain “that endowment.”
MISSING THE POINT—OR THE MARK, WHICHEVER LANGUAGE YOU PREFER
As a community we are missing the point. God reveals himself to us when we put on a “change.” These “revelations” are clearly recorded in scripture in the stories of the Saints as they walked in The Way. This “change” is that dirty word called, “repentance.” It’s actually not a dirty word though, but I didn’t realize that until I actually “applied” its pattern! In Hebrew it means that we turn in the opposite direction—it means that we turn and face Him. When we “face” Him, he promises to “unveil” his face to us! I didn’t learn about God through obedience to teachers and study alone—I learned about Him by repenting of what I had incorrectly learned as I had experiences that taught me an opposite. In fact the word “sin” actually means, “to miss the mark.” The “mark” was a target, just like an archer would shoot an arrow to hit—and the target was and always has been Christ. Are we missing the mark? This is a public confession—I absolutely was.
So who wants to throw the first stone? Huh? Anybody? Do we throw it at me, or do we throw it at my Dad? Do we throw it at the Church and its leaders who kept our church records preserved for us, or do we throw it at our ancestors who exposed theirs sins knowing they would one day be exposed to our judgement? Do we throw it at those so called Anti-Mormons, agnostics or atheist for telling the angry version? Or do we throw it at church head quarters for telling the sugar-coated one? Do we throw it at all those translators, scribes, and historians who erred when translating and recording scripture? Or Joseph Smith for attempting to provide a correct translation? Or what about those historians and record keepers who deliberately hid information throughout our Church history? Do we throw it at them for hiding things? And what about the LGBTQ community? Should we throw the stones at them—they’re sensitive, I bet we could get them to act crazy and take the attention off ourselves for not keeping our promise to provide the correct pattern and application for the gospel peace we were never able to provide them. I’m confident—so confident actually that if we as a community choose to condemn anybody—ANYONE at all—we will destroy our entire foundation and not only OUR FOUNDATION, but the entire foundation of the Christianity itself, and there goes God FOREVER.
YOU CAN TAKE YOUR BIG FAT MIRROR AND LOOK INTO IT
Now take the entire history of the Bible—beginning to end, and reflect what you see into a mirror, because what you we see will be the exact same history of our Mormon Pioneer heritage. Our church records are this “messed up” after only 200 years, can you imagine how messed up it might be to sort through 2000 plus years of records on the history of ALL of His Saints. Also, let me just say, from personal experience, you will end up looking for answers where I did—in the depths of mental hell! And you might even ask yourself if there is even a God by the time you are done, because people that believe in this stuff must be crazy because there is no way they could read all this stuff and understand it—but everyone claims some sort of revelation. How do I know if I’m not crazy? Even scarier, how do I know you’re not crazy—especially if you’re the one teaching me! I mean, have you looked through ALL the records to know? Have you even made the attempt to do so! It is a path straight to “mental hell.” So, now, let me be clear on what I can confirm— that if you can convince people WHO LOVE THEIR FAMILIES, that they have no family OR protection, on this side or that side of the veil—they will go crazy!
UNCOVERING THE DEVIL
Now that the blade of my sword has touched the tip of your tongue, you cunning sly devil you! Let’s talk about atheism. Mormonism has the highest rates of atheism— and that doesn’t down like The Good News to me! Did my fellow Mormons know that? It sounds like the spirit of Anti-Christ is already present—even now, and I’m NOT jabbing Mormonism with that comment! I’m trying to save it! Atheism and agnosticism is a problem, currently, throughout all of Christianity—every faith that is professing Christ is dying. So let me propose something, because I’ve already “seen” hell, and if that beast almost took me down—well, I refuse to lead my children “blindly” down that path without “eyes to see!” Can I please sow a new seed on fresh soil? Please!!! There is “no other way.”
A NEW COVENANT
I would like to propose a new way of understanding! But you will have to turn in the opposite direction you are going to apply this understanding! Are you ready for it? Here we go! Did we all sin? Yeah, I think we all did! Do we all need a Redeemer? Yeah, I think we all do. Maybe he just wants us to “acknowledge” we need Him to clean this mess up—and he promises he will show us EXACTLY how to do it! Can we at least do that? My personally, tried and tested belief (because I don’t believe in encouraging anyone to do anything that I haven’t already had to do myself)—is that the sooner we realize THAT, the sooner we end the curse. It’s time to sow new seeds on new soil—soil in which they can actually take root. So how? Let’s start with the woman taken in adultery.
THE WOMAN TAKEN IN ADULTERY–SHE LOOKS JUST LIKE ME
I’m fascinated by this passage of scripture. Why? Well first of all, because it was not included in the original translations of the New Testament Scriptures, but added later (READ HERE). Whenever someone tries to hide information, my first response now is, “Hey, can I see that? What does it say?” And then my next question is always, “WHY on earth did they try to hide it?” Well, them hiding it says a lot more about them than what me asking to see it says about me—so, what does it say about them, and what does it say about me? How about I just tell you.
MY INTERPRETATION—SINCE EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING IT
The scene of the Woman taken in adultery: When Jesus Christ kneels down in the dirt to write with his finger, he’s not goofing around in the sand. He’s actually preparing to write a “curse” that will be placed upon all future generations of the seed of this woman (that was a ritual). See, women who committed adultery in Old Testament rituals would have been brought before the elders and they would have had the ceremonial “covering” she wore removed from her head to reveal her hair (which was considered really provocative, because hair was seen as sexual). Heaven forbid that a women be perceived as sexy with her hair not covered—she obviously must be the one who can’t control herself around men, or at least that’s the way this passage has been interpreted for generations!
Now, pair this image with the ancient customs of a woman veiling her hair with ceremonial clothing before a marriage to her husband (this was also a ritual), only her husband was supposed to unveil her. What’s the deal with the “unveiling”? Well, I get it now!
DRINKING BITTER WATERS— MAN I BET THAT ALSO TASTES LIKE SOMEONE GIVING YOU A TASTE OF VINEGAR
Now this accused, adulteress would have been forced to drink from a bowl of “bitter waters” and if found guilty of adultery, a curse would be placed on her womb, so that her bowls would gush out—symbolically meaning, that that was the the end of her spiritual line of posterity, which also means that her posterity’s bloodline connection to the Messiah (who was meant to Redeem her seed) would be cut off! And if that were to happen, that would mean that ALL future AND past generations would be cursed and separated from the knowledge of God, and I’m confident, from the knowledge of each other—and that doesn’t sound like the Garden of Eden to me. So since I like to apply the scriptures to myself, just like I was taught to do—HERE I GO.
UH OH. I’VE BEEN THINKING AGAIN
I’ve been thinking about these passages a lot. Imagine this visual of Mary Magdalene washing the feet of Jesus, with her long, flowing hair as everyone looks on with disgust. The funny thing is, in this passage of scripture, when Jesus says, “He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.” He’s not speaking to the woman, he’s speaking to ALL of her accusers who have stones in their hands—ready to throw them at her. She absolutely is a sinner, because he tells her to stop doing it, but what kind?
CAUGHT RED HANDED
Caught in what kind of adultery???—Well haven’t all of us who have obtained revelation been caught in some kind of “spiritual adultery”—I mean isn’t that what the whole book of Malachi is referring to—those individuals who are receiving revelation who need a redeemer because THEY also sinned by committing “adultery”? Does anybody want to speculate out loud why Malachi Chapter 4 might be strategically placed in our Book of Mormon right after passages where Saints are becoming “eye witnesses” of him, and here comes Elijah with all those curses depending on what we choose? Anybody want to ask that question out loud? Wait, I just did. (And I know people are gonna run wild with that comment…but whatever!)
BEFORE YOU COMMIT MURDER
So as Jesus prepares to write curses in the sand, whose guilty? Are they prepared to cast judgement at the suspected “adulteress,”—were her accusers also guilty of something? And what might that be? I’m just using the language of scripture applied to my personal experiences, you know, like I always do with scripture, but after what I have personally experienced trying to “come out” as a woman who claims to be “saved by grace” in my own community—I’m just going to speculate, gently, about why Mary Magdelne was labeled as a “whore and prostitute” for centuries. So HERE IT GOES….. I don’t think she was that kind of adulteress—I think she was a free woman, because she had been redeemed, and she KNEW it, and she was just ACTING like a free woman does—removing that covering!
IM NOT CUTTING MY HAIR
I find these parallels to Mary Magdalene, with her loosened hair worshiping the feet of the Lord completely and totally fascinating. Forgive me for also paralleling them to my experiences—I just can’t help it. I know of “no other way” to communicate my feelings except using the language of the scriptures to build this bridge of communication—because people choose not to “hear” me when I use my own experiences.
NOBODY BELIEVES ME ANYWAY
I have been using my religious articles as a cover to express my own experiences using God’s words because nobody believes me anyway when I tell my own experiences, but I just can’t continue writing without sharing these experiences very directly and plainly anymore. Nothing will make sense that I write in the future if I don’t share this right now—and then all that I that I have written and all that I will write would be in vain. This is the key to understanding all of me—it’s my experiences. The question that everyone keeps asking me, is a question that I can’t answer in person because it takes 10,000 words to explain it.
SEEING THROUGH A DARK GLASS
In fact, I am confident you will now see ME more clearly, when I write my articles using the language of the scriptures. As everyone else is doing when they are “interpreting” the scriptures or spiritual experiences for themselves. We all see through our own lens of experiences, and we are all confessing our sins through our own interpretations of claims to know HIM. I can see you—can you see me? Because I don’t want to hide my experiences anymore.
MARTHA DIDN’T FEED ME, JESUS DID
I was hoping I would never feel the urge to share any of this! I like hiding, just like the next guy or gal! Jesus says of Mary Magdalene, as the people feasting at the table look on with horror while she anoints and washes the feet of the Lord with her hair—her long flowing, beautiful hair, “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.” And of course Martha’s over there in the corner serving everyone at the table. No thank you! I don’t want to be Martha—ever again! I’m more than happy to kneel at His feet and eat scraps from the table!
HE SAID I WAS CLEAN. ISN’T HE BOSS?
If acknowledging how much we have personally sinned and been forgiven by him is a reflection of our willingness to expose ourself to Him— Also, by the same token, is it possible that the more we repent, it is also a reflection of his willingness to unveil more and more of himself to us. If that is possible, that type of repentance leads to a pretty intimate relationship where we end up “knowing” the Lord. It’s kind of reminiscent of a journey back to the Garden! And guess what, the people that hang out there are naked! If we are ALL trying to get back to the Garden, then why do we treat people who he has declared clean—as “unclean,” with outward judgements? Now that I have tried to cleans myself by applying His standards to my own flesh, I can’t cast a stone. Can you? Do you dare try?
CAN SOMEBODY FIND ME A TRANSLATOR PLEASE—MY LANGUAGE IS CONFOUNDED
I think its a language barrier! In fact, I’m confident it is. To me, declaring myself a sinner, is a reflection of how much I have searched his Word to “course correct” myself and reveal how far I have fallen. To “see” and understand Him, we have to expose ourselves to “His words” on “our flesh”—and OUCH! It’s painful to discover that you don’t really “know” Him, when you were already claiming that you did. How far will we go to “know” Him? How much do we love him? Are we willing to be exposed? Are you willing to go to Hell? That’s why I am exposing myself—it’s a purge. I’m getting it all out so I can purge my self of the “blood and sins” of my own generation because I’m not “carrying” the responsibility of “saving” the world anymore—not on this side or that side of the veil! Because I know I can’t redeem my dead, not the way Martha’s does it anyway—I couldn’t even redeem myself. No thank you Martha—not anymore!
I CAUSED THE GENERATIONAL CURSE
Exposing ones self is a process that God has been preparing me for my whole life—like, seriously, my whole life has been a paradox, and maybe I’ll start revealing more about my past and childhood in my writings because I’m finally getting rid of this giant “elephant”—right here, right now!. Please Don’t mistake my words in this article. I’m not dismissing or excusing people from sin—I’m just defining it correctly so that you know that I understand what a “sin” actually is.
CAN I TRUST HIS WORD?
I would never condone the understanding that receiving grace gives people an excuse to sin—rather, I want people to know that I have turned away from the understandings that formerly caused me to sin. Though I know I am a sinner, I do not believe I dwell in it—I know who redeemed me, and I know that I was bought and paid for at great price—by entire generations beyond the veil to be exact. I don’t want to be alone, on this side or that side of the veil! I like to party—and parties suck without friends and family! Others claims to me about what it takes to have an eternal family—no longer have “weight” with me anymore—because I already tried them. This is my experience paired with the Word of God, and if I can’t trust that—then where will I go? I don’t want to start all over. Do you?
COMING AS THIEF WITH SWORDS AND STAVES IN THE NIGHT
Somebody has to call a truce! I will start with myself. It means I put down my sword and you put down yours! We can’t hold on to the past—it doesn’t serve us and neither does Martha. Instead, we must use it as a tool to learn, and, really, all we are learning to do is how to forgive, not only others, but also ourselves. I want to move forward! That’s what all of us want anyway, right? And to do that, we will have to make a choice. We will first have to choose which direction we are going to move in. THIS IS WHAT I CHOOSE! I choose forgiveness! I choose love! I choose family! I choose God! I choose Mary!
IN MEMORY OF MY DEAD
We don’t build the bridge. Jesus Christ builds it. But if we don’t learn how to “hear” and “see” Him—we won’t be able DO and ACT on the promptings He gives us, because HE is the only one who can see the beginning from the end. It takes sensitive people, with sensitive hearts to discern His words—and that is why my heart hurts to know that their are people—specifically our LGBTQ brothers and sisters AND their LDS families who are hurting, because I KNOW they have sensitive hearts—they’ve already come out!
CAN YOU FIND A PLACE FOR A HEART LIKE MINE?
Don’t leave the church! You think you aren’t needed—I promise you that you are needed! I need you! There is a void that will never be filled if you leave! I have already experienced it, and I will never go back to that place. But I think the question the real question that I am asking is—am I needed? Do my thoughts, emotions, and expression of my heart have a place within my community?
TEARING DOWN BABEL
Maybe you’re not asking for advice—maybe you are? Either way, I’m giving it, because I’ve already had to take it. While you are waiting during the “balancing period of opposites,” I challenge you to learn the language of God from the scriptures to confirm to others that you already KNOW him. Learn how to speak it— some of you have already “come out”, and we need you to teach us how to “come out.” Heaven knows, I’m still learning. I can hear the words of my father saying to me in my mind, “You go girl!—every time I “come out!” I have no doubt he is still with me—cheering me on, because he knows me, exactly what I now understand and know about him. He knows that the hardest thing we’ve both ever had to do is be ourselves.
“Putting on Christ”, is the only way that bridge will ever get built —people are waiting to “come out” so they can “cross over”—they don’t have the language yet to communicate it. But those of you with sensitive hearts can teach them because you can “hear.”
WEREN’T OUR FATHERS HEBERWS?
The word Hebrew means to “cross over.” I can’t close this article without saying how proud I am to be a member of my church, not because of its grandeur, but because of its imperfect heritage—it’s my heritage! And that is it’s grandeur! I love it, not because of outward perfections, but rather because of its inward imperfections. Everywhere I go around St. George, I see monuments that my ancestors built with their own hands. You can go to the tabernacle right now and see the time capsule my Great Great Grandfather hid in the walls because he was a builder of it, OR, look no further than my backyard—where you’ll find a beehive that my other Great Great grandfather cast, that came from the temple wall that used to surround the St. George Temple. Their monuments are the same expressions of devotions (and sufferings) as my writings and creations on my website.
UNVEILING MY OWN MIRROR
I’m notorious for mentally saying to myself, “Don’t look at me, but, hey look over here at my creation!” We all fear rejection! Just as I create with my hands the expressions that come from my heart, so did our ancestors, and so do we as a community, and so does God! Just because I’ve changed, doesn’t mean I don’t love where I came from. Ive just “crossed over” to ZION. “I’m a Hebrew!”—which, in my opinion, when translated correctly also means, “I’m a Mormon!” Which to me, also means when translated correctly, “I AM HIS!”
MY LIFE IS A PARADOX AND SO I ACT THAT WAY
Finally, I want to close with this article as the perfect segue to my next series on the history of Halloween, because without this article AND that series on the Nativity, you wouldn’t understand either series at all. I use the same language to communicate their meaning! It’s a paradox and a cross over at the same time—thats kind of my style. And on that note…
WHAT A TRUE SAINT LOOKS LIKE
This was sooooo long, and so if you read this whole article! You’re a true Saint, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart—because my heart truly has been emptied out on this page!