Monday, June 22, 2015

For I Am Not Ashamed

Meet "Oliver" and "Ken."
These people crack me up. 
Today is our 13th anniversary. Didn't get the chance to celebrate today -- spent about 20 waking minutes together -- very romantic! But we'll do something in the next couple days. How I love my Double B. He is the peanut butter to my jelly. Everything would be different without him. He is my own personal cup of hot cocoa. How I love him. Best of all, here's what we have to show for 13 happy years together:
We are a family. How amazing. 

And now, since this blog is basically for my children and grandchildren and all the other childrens, some thoughts. Seems like recently I've read or seen a lot of things that are angry. Angry at the church, the "brethren," God, religion, ethics, morals, pretty much anything you could think of. It's tragic to see wonderful people losing their faith in the good. Or giving up on years of beautiful faith and experience because they have questions. My dad always sang us a fun little song about the Bible that has a verse about Jacob and Esau that says he sold his inheritance "for a sandwich and a beer." That's what's actually happening right now, though. I love questions. Jeffrey R. Holland has said that if you haven't questioned your religion, you probably haven't thought about it hard enough. Questions are awesome! I love people who wrestle. Enos from the Book of Mormon is one of my heros -- his story of the "wrestle which he had before God" got me through my own 20 year-plus wrestle before God. But now, on the other side, I am so profoundly grateful for the wrestle! Because of that wrestle, my confidence as a woman in God's kingdom is unshakable. I don't need anyone else to tell me what God thinks of me, or my gender, or the power I hold directly because of my gender, because I KNOW. He patiently taught me. It was line upon line, precept on precept. But I don't need anyone or anything to tell me I'm more or I'm less, because I know. The Holy Ghost has made my faith unshakable in that thing. I don't have a ton of knowledge -- I have some! -- but what I do have is a ton of is faith. It is hard won through experience! Through testing the word. So when God speaks, through the Spirit or through a prophet, I seek personal confirmation and I act.  I know He will display His mighty hand. I have received too many witnesses -- sometimes big and sometimes small -- to ever deny it. I realize this is my path and I acknowledge others have their own path. I honestly respect that. I just realized last night while reading an angry article with angry comments -- none of this outside anger can change me. I've wrestled my great wrestle before God. Now it is my responsibility to continue rowing my way up the stream. Strong, solid, steady rows. And to encourage the amazing questioners and the wrestlers in my life to keep going -- keep seeking -- keep experimenting upon the word. It may take twenty slow years of here a little, there a little -- it may take longer -- but I have a perfect knowledge that you will be answered. And the answer is worth the wait. 

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