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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Bowing Out - Revised

Well, venting is good, but what I wrote last night was probably not the best thing to share on a public forum. So, I've moved it to my personal journal (original post reattached below, 7/09). I still felt all that - it was very real and very raw - but because we are, as a religion, so much in the public eye right now, it's too easy for personal frustrations to be aired out and misconstrued as Church opinion. Our leaders have advised us over and over again to speak kindly, civilly, and with great respect. We have been admonished not to contend with one another. I have, as the very imperfect being that I am, crossed the line on both accounts. Last night I expressed my frustrations about certain people acting like a group of teenagers, but as I read through what I wrote, I realized I was having a teenage moment of my own. My frustrations had grown out of hurt pride and in my "poor me" moment I was stomping around having a rant of my own at the expense of someone else's struggles and tender feelings. There are good people on both sides of this issue. I'm not one of them yet, but I'm working on it. Please forgive me for being insensitive and rude. Thank you all for your comments. Today has been a MUCH better day...away from my computer (for the most part). :)

Original Post:

Well, I'm shutting down and bowing out of Prop 8 conversations...something I should have done long ago for my own sake. Having spent the last six days straight, sitting in front of my computer and debating the same Prop 8 issues over and over and over again, I'm done feeling anything other than resignation. A person can only take so much before the battering on her testimony becomes overwhelming. Don't get me wrong, my testimony is as strong as ever. I stand with the Lord and His Prophets. I always will. I am just done trying to convince the clearly unconvince-able that my opinion counts too. I am a good person. I know I am. I have never called a homosexual immoral, just the lifestyle they have chosen to live. And yes, they do choose. They are born with feelings and impulses, but they can choose whether or not to act on them. They have to be able to choose as free agency is central to the Lord's plan for us. And many have chosen to walk away from the homosexual lifestyle and have lived a happily-ever-after heterosexual lifestyle. This proves that people can choose. And I wouldn't dream, not for one millisecond, of claiming that it would be easy in any way. I love the quote that entreats, "I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it."

I need to go to the Temple. I need to feel Heavenly Father wrap His arms around me, literally. In the past month of my life I have been screamed at, flipped off, cussed at, ranted at, raved at, accused, abused (verbally), threatened, vilified, mocked, sneered at, jeered at, and disregarded as stupid. All this because I gave a measly donation (wish it could have been more) and waved signs for a couple of weeks; then exercised my right to vote and filled in the yes bubble with my dark ink. And all anyone on the "other side" can give me in return is a noncommittal and insensitive, "Well, now you know how it feels." As if, somehow, by some strange turn of events, certain people never actually got the memo about Jesus' higher law that replaced the Mosaic Law. People are still living "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." And I'm not even the one that poked them in the eye in the first place! Oh well, I'm sure this is just thickening my skin for what's to come in the persecution arena.

I don't know what ever possessed me to start that Facebook group but it has been a curse for me from the start. I can't seem to pull myself away from the multiple, simultaneous conversations because, well, I started it and, therefore, I feel an insane sense of responsibility to make sure that everyone is civil and respectful and no one is using the forum to disseminate anti-Mormon literature. I also feel an insane sense of responsibility to defend the truth...all the time. Me. All by myself. I have to take them all on. All the Mormon haters and misinformed purveyors of misinformation. Only problem is, there are 20 discussion topics and a "wall" that moves a mile a minute with all the comments being posted. Add to all this the fact that I have had to ban someone for claiming anti-Mormon literature as Church doctrine and policy, and that special someone has seen fit to rail me for it via messages in my Facebook inbox. Apparently I am a "sterilizer" and a bigot and intolerant (haven't heard those before) and....Well, in the end I just started deleting his messages without reading them. There was no point in subjecting myself to all that. Which leads me back to why Facebook is a curse. You see, with more people joining this group every day, conversations are constantly starting over...and over...and over....Emotions run raw when regulars (myself included) have to state their opinions repeatedly to new people and it's especially hard when respect is demanded but not offered. R-E-S-P-E-C-T is a difficult thing to keep a tight reign on because if I call someone out for disrespect, then I am censuring. If I don't, then I am bending over and taking one in the rear since their disrespect is usually aimed at me. There is something about a strong testimony and conviction that really seems to work people into a frenzy, even when I share it tactfully and respectfully. Call me crazy, but I think they envy that kind of conviction in a world overrun by entitlement and relativism.

But the worst, the absolute most degrading circumstance for me, is to be treated with condescension. Pat on the head and sent back to bed because my arguments aren't trendy and enlightened and intelligent. This makes my blood boil - a very un-Christlike response, I know. But my conviction is spurned in a world driven by MTV education, Hollywood testimonials, and popular (misleading) slogans. I have been told that I have no right to fear for my children, that schools should be teaching homosexuality to kids for the sake of engendering a feeling of love and apathy and understanding for homosexuals. They mock the slippery slope argument and they spurn my fear (as a mother of two very tender and precious little boys) that a teacher, in a position of authority and teaching with the secular stamp of approval, could send a very different message about homosexuality to my child than the one I am teaching him at home, thus undermining my faith-based teachings on this sensitive subject.

Circles, circles, circles. My brain is exhausted. I know what is right and I am getting a whelping for it. They think they know what is right and, like a bunch of spoiled teenagers, are demanding that they get it, threatening that they get it, or else.... I know that I am not speaking very kindly here and that my "they" is WAY overgeneralized, but if I can't speak my mind on my own dang blog, then where can I? A girl's gotta vent!

And my boys, my poor sweet boys. They are the true victims in all this since their mother is constantly drawn to her computer like a bee to pollen. Night and day, 24/7, I sit here and defend the truth. Sometimes I feel like I'm on autopilot as I write the same things I've written 37 times before and then just watch as they're shot to pieces in 37 different and vile ways.

I need to go to bed. I need a lifetime on a deserted island with just my family and a lifetime worth of food storage and reading material. I need a place where nothing bad can touch me - nothing sad, nothing evil, nothing twisted and made to look white when truly it's black, nothing. I'm talking grapes and unicorns, crystalline water and brilliant blue skies (no rainbows please), butterflies and downy soft grass, naked babies and innocent laughter. I need heaven. No, I need the Temple. I need to know that God still loves me even though I may not always say the right thing. I need to know that God appreciates my minuscule contribution to His work on earth. I need to know that my children will be safe, and my grandchildren, and my great-grandchildren.

Boy am I down right now. No one should write when they are depressed. And so, instead, I'll go to bed. I'll turn off my computer and go to bed and pray that I have enough self-control to leave the power button alone tomorrow. I'll pray that the other 4,000+ participants on "my" group will be willing to stand up and carry the day so that I can spend tomorrow in peace, loving and tending my children and home, knowing that my "garden" of truth isn't being overrun by weeds. In all honesty, my greatest missionary effort will be right here with my boys. How can I prepare them for the onslaught if I am ignoring them while trying to convert the onslaught? I am just one woman against a tidal wave. I need to focus on finding adequate footholds for my family to be able to weather the storm rather than spend all my energy trying to stop the wave.

Don't worry, I'll be fine tomorrow. Everything is always 100 times worse at night. I'm still laughing every day and reading books with the boys. I still somehow managed to pull off Soren's birthday. I don't want anyone to think I'm walking toward a cliff right now. I'm far from it. Truly - just venting. So, if you made it this far, thanks for listening.

11 comments:

bird said...

poor you liz! give yourself a break! it's awful to talk to those people who care so little for what you have to say. that's why i don't talk to them: they've already decided! so i admire you so much for wanting them to understand.

just remember: the good guys win.

Dan said...

I love you babe. And I am very proud of everyting you are doing. You are a wonderful mother and wife. I don't comment on here much because I usually give you my comments in person, but I wanted you to know that I think you are great.

Get a sitter and go to the Temple today. Seriously. You deserve it.

Brooklet said...

What you have done is amazing and has been above and beyond that call of duty! I get stressed out just watching it on the news, the things happening in far away places. so to be in the front lines has to be tough and exhausting. you have brought an awareness of the issue to a lot of us who don't live in those states, and have set a good example of how to act when the battle comes to our state. I am proud of you, too!

Tiffany said...

Liz,
I look up to you for how strong you are and how much you have done for Prop 8. The boys are always welcome to come here and play so you can go to the temple.
Thank you for being you!

Amber and The Boys said...

I was going to offer babysitting too for you to go to the temple if you want!

Nancy said...

Add me to the list of those willing to watch the boys so you can go to the Temple :)

Lemmons Family said...

Liz, I just wanted to tell you how much I admire you! You have done such a good job of defending whats right while remaining considerate of others views. I was just telling John this the other day (well, Sunday, the last day I read the wall. I couldn't take the circular discussions anymore and that was only the second or third day). I don't think I could've done all that you have. You're a strong woman. Thank you for being a voice for those of us who are to chicken.

Mike & Lauren said...

Liz, I just have to add that I appreciate what you have posted through this process. Like someone else said you have given me an awareness of the issue that I couldn't have had otherwise, not being there in person. Thanks for sharing your convictions, and for the record, I agree with you wholeheartedly!

Freckles said...

What a tough situation to be in, I don't envy you. You can't do this all by yourself, you do need a break! If it is that important to you you could still do the facebook thing on occasion, just remember to keep balance in your life so you don't go crazy! That's the hardest part of everything isn't it?! : )

B2 said...

Liz,

I have to say that I actually did love reading your venting last night. You expressed yourself very well. It is really scary - everything that has been going on. We definitely live in perilous times. I wish my children didn't have to grow up with all this going on!

Daniel said...

Lizzie, you can bring your boys to Utah anytime you want and I'll watch them while you go to the temple. :)