Saturday, May 23, 2015

The World Is Changing...And So Should You

   Do you ever get the feeling like what you have to say doesn't matter? Like your opinions are irrelevant or unimportant?
   I have.
   And how is it that even though the Constitution clearly states that we have the freedom to express our own views and opinions and to worship as we would like, we still get "dumbed" down (in a sense) and our opinions get thrown out the window?
   In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, because it was the way God intended. Yet, no matter how often Church leaders express this to the media, we still get persecuted for not changing our stance on marriage, especially now with marriage equality being called into question. And it seems like it's becoming harder and harder for any religion, including members of the LDS faith, to express these beliefs without being called "hater" or "homophobe" or any other name.
   As the Young Women's Theme states, "We are daughters [or sons] of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him." We are children of God, and He really does love us.  No matter what struggle we go through, we have a Heavenly Father who will always encircle us with His loving arms and guide us back.  He wants us all to return to live with Him again.  What we go through here in mortality is insignificant in the eternal perspective.  But sometimes mortality is all we can see, and it can be hard to look beyond.
   For those of us who know someone who may be having same-sex attractions, we have been counseled by Church leaders to love them, no matter what.  When it comes down to it, that's all we really can do.  It doesn't do anybody good to "disown" those we love.  We need our family.  We need the support and love they give us.  Aside from all other things in the world, our relationships here in mortality are the only things we will keep in eternity. 

Now, these are just my own thoughts and feelings, and I don't mean for them to offend anyone, but if they do, I'm sorry in advance.

Until we meet again :)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Mamma Mia!

   Mamma Mia! Another week has gone by! And what a week it has been....Sunday was Mothers Day, and every day since has been crazy.  Hectic, even! Anyway, this week in my class we learned about the importance that culture has on families.  See, when I think of culture, I guess I think more along the lines of tradition, which is a part of culture, but not the defining aspect of it.  If that were the case, then American culture would not be what it is today.  Now, after learning different things in different classes, to me culture is the tradition, the clothing, the food, the mannerisms, etc. So how does culture affect the family?

   Well, that's simple, really.

   The way we grow up, what we learn, what we do as a family, what we eat, how we interact as a family and with other people; all these play a part into the family and culture.  For me, I've got two rather interesting heritages.  I'm both Italian and Scottish.  (Funny enough, those are both places I'd love to visit, but that's neither here nor there.) I love both those sides of my family.  Growing up, we didn't do much by way of surrounding ourselves with either culture.  I would've loved to have, but I think it was just based on where we lived.  Anyway, I'm rambling now.... :)
   Apart from the cultures we have within our own family (through ancestry), we become a part of a culture within our community.  For me, part of my growing up (and probably the most crucial part) happened in Utah.  So I've been surrounded by the Mormon Culture.  I've seen the good and the bad.  I've seen how it brings people closer to the Gospel, and how it can tear people away. A few months ago, I read an article titled, "4 Ways That We Can Fix Mormon Culture."  The author of that article brought up some really good points about what has happened with the culture and how those within the culture kind of have this "better than thou" attitude.  Which I've unfortunately seen.
   I want to end this post by sharing a quote by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, which says, "As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are united in our testimony of the restored gospel and our commitment to keep God’s commandments. But we are diverse in our cultural, social, and political preferences. The Church thrives when we take advantage of this diversity and encourage each other to develop and use our talents to lift and strengthen our fellow disciples."

Until next time :)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

It's Mothers Day!!

  In honor of the holiday, I decided to write a little bit about Mothers day and how special my mom is to me:) I absolutely love my mom!! Being the baby of the family, I have lived alone with my mom for many, many years.  Growing up with a single parent had it's hardships, but I honestly believe the Lord was watching over us and blessed us along the way. 
  Single parenting sucks.  I'm just gonna put that out there. And the unfortunate truth is that it is becoming a common part of society.
  Veering away from the single-parenting thing for a minute (don't worry! I'm coming back to that.)....There's a theory out there regarding the family, and that theory is called, family systems.  Kind of self-explanatory, right? You'd think so.  The idea behind this theory is that each person has a role they play.  In many cases, this "role" is being forgotten.  Mother or father, their role is to provide for and care for the children.  In The Family: A Proclamation to the World, it says, "Parents have a sacred duty to rear their children in love and righteousness...teach them to love and serve one another, observe commandments of God, and be law-abiding citizens wherever they live."  Whether you believe in God or not, I think we can all agree that parents are responsible for raising their children to be "law-abiding citizens" and to be respectful of one another.
  Coming back to the single-parent thing....There may be families who had a parent walk out on them--just up and leaving.  For whatever reason, the parents failed to fulfill their duty.  They didn't fulfill their "role."  They lost sight of what it was they were supposed to do in their family, whether it was to provide by earning the money, or to nurture by loving and caring for the children. 
  Before I head out, I want to share a quote from one of my favorite books growing up.  It's called Love You Forever by Robert Munsch: 
   "I'll love you forever,
    I'll like you for always,
    As long as I'm living,
    My Mommy you'll be."

Happy Mothers Day!!

Until next time:)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

So Why Families?

     By the title of this post, it might seem like I'm anti-families.  I'm not.  Just to make that clear.  In fact, I absolutely love families! Sure there are times where I just need to shut myself in my room to get away from my family, but I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who does that:)  This week, in my Family Relations class, we talked about many things that are tearing the family apart. Did you know that the average household size is 2.56 persons?  Did you know that people are putting children off to a later time in their lives, thus producing less children? Did you know that as of 2014, the employment rate of mothers with children under 6 was 64.2%? Did you know...did you know...DID. YOU. KNOW? But the fact of the matter is, whether you know or not, this is TRUE!!! And it's heartbreaking.  I'm not condemning anyone to an eternity of misery for living this way, if they do.  It's their choice how they want to live their lives. I just want to express the importance of families and what they mean to society.
     Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we are very family-oriented.  "Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy." (2 Nephi 2:25) The purpose of the fall was for Adam and Eve to have an eternal family.  The commandment we are given, starting with Adam and Eve, is to have families.  As part of The Family: A Proclamation to the World, it says, "family is central to the Creator's plan for the eternal destiny of His children." As the future generation, we take part in raising other future generations to become heirs to the Kingdom of God.  We want them to know the same happiness and joy we have felt in being a part of our own family.
   Whoever reads this, whether you are a Mormon or not, I encourage you to read The Family: A Proclamation to the World.  In it, you will find what the purpose of families should be, and I hope we will all take it and apply within our own homes!

Until we meet again:)