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Topics - dyany

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1
Mormon Life / Struggles with Church Leadership structure
« on: July 14, 2017, 04:14:00 pm »
My circle of online friends who are church members is growing, though I'm finding that a number of them are inactive.  Something that has come up more and more often with greater intensity is problems with local church leadership.  I have seen people for DECADES have problems with church members, and the occasional problem with a single misguided leader, but I am seeing more and more and the resulting cascade of evil is really disturbing to me.
Things like, children being denied baptism because of a leader's 'general dissatisfaction' with the family, women being told they have no right to inspiration except through their husband, leaders who also happen to be community leaders using their community power/influence to 'punish' people who tick them off in their congregations, leaders telling a child struggling with SSA that he didn't need to struggle because he was already going to hell, etc.  This doesn't even touch on the many leaders not responding properly to accounts of abuse, or even committing abuse themselves.  Any attempts to move up the chain to report the leader were met with anger and punishment. 
All of this is on top of the many honest mistakes made because the leaders do not have the expertise or full training to deal with some of the worst things that are brought before them. 
Add to all of that little to no real accountability of these leaders for their errors, and it becomes a huge, ongoing issue.
When these vulnerable members have these experiences, they also have some serious issues in how the Church as a whole has told them to deal with it.  First, they are told to never, ever try to tell the highest leaders about these issues.  So with issues at multiple layers of local leadership, there is no way their voices can be heard.  Second, there is a churchwide policy/tradition of brushing things that might make the church look bad under the rug.  So some assume the top leaders to be either naive and ignorant, or complicit. 
This leads to hurt members feeling more and more ostracized and seeking out any voice they can to represent them, and most of the loud voices are evil ones like John Dehlin and his ilk. 
I don't know how to support or help my friends who are struggling with this.  I am not there in those meetings to know if they might be seeing the words with tinted lenses, but I have heard too many tales from too many people, as well as things I've seen directly myself, to think it is not a problem.  What can we do?  What can I do?

2
Writers' Showcase / A parody of bad writing
« on: July 01, 2017, 01:30:18 am »
I happen to have fallen into a rather large crowd of unruly LDS writers in the last year.

Many of them are published and some work in the industry as editors, slushpile readers, etc.  As a sort of prank this week, one of them secretly got a bunch of us together to write the worst story ever, then got our friend Lisa (managing editor at Shadow Mountain) to send this to her brother (who is a slushpile reader at Deseret Book), requesting that he look it over quickly as a favor and convincing him it was a serious submission.  To our utter delight, he started telling us about how awful 'this submission he had received' was before he figured out it was a prank, so we got the added joy of seeing him figure it out. :) 
It was such a hit that an author page was created and the story is now published for free on Smashwords, and we hope from that we'll be able to publish it for free on Amazon soon. 
I invite any and all to go download it and enjoy!

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/733388

3
General Discussion / Scriptural lesson on letting things go
« on: June 18, 2017, 11:22:51 am »
I was reading Captain Moroni's epistle this morning, which is an interesting study in 'things that we say when we're really mad.'  One of the things that he says is that 'if you keep attacking us, we'll basically wipe you off the face of the planet, and go attack you to retrieve the land of our first inheritance.'  That makes me wonder, because it goes directly against the commandment the Lord gives elsewhere in the Book of Mormon, saying that you 'shouldn't go and attack them, just defend yourselves.'  I consider the 'defense' to include getting back the lands that are just barely forcibly taken from them, but no one living had any experience living in 'the land of their first inheritance' at all.  In fact, they weren't driven out by battle, they were led by God to leave for their own protection.  So why did they cling to it?
A clue comes from Jacob's last words in his section: "our lives passed away like as it were unto us a dream, we being a lonesome and a solemn people, wanderers, cast out from Jerusalem, born in tribulation, in a wilderness, and hated of our brethren, which caused wars and contentions; wherefore, we did mourn out our days."  Wherein Jacob is saying they are sad all the time, for a land that most of them, including himself, had never even seen.  Yes, they currently are fighting with their brethren, and that's bad.  But that doesn't seem to be his primary concern. 

So I have to ask myself, why do we so often choose to be unhappy, to cling to the things of the past, when the Lord has blessed us,
 but it has required change?

We know from the scriptures that the new land was not only the promised land, but a land "choice over all the earth."  They don't have nearly the trouble with pesky things like Babylon and Assyria like Jerusalem has had.  And yet, they choose to be sad over a perceived and taught loss.  The Lamanites did the same thing, obviously, for hundreds of years.  Never mind that they had the land of their first inheritance and a large kingdom.  No, they are still bitter about their brothers leaving and taking that one sword and the records they didn't read or listen to anyway, to the point that they go to battle and get manipulated by despots and DIE, generation after generation after generation.

And I thought about how often we do that in our own lives.  Usually not with land or kingdoms, but with the plans for our lives that don't work out.  Despite the blessings that the Lord gives us and promises us, so often we become blind to them because, like Lot's wife, our gaze is fixed on the things we wanted before, couldn't have, but won't let go of. 

And I also think about how much that probably frustrates and saddens God.  He wants us to be happy, and actually GIVES US things to help us be happy, yet we are CHOOSING to be unhappy because we wanted something else (even if it is or would have been worse) and we won't let go. 
I have a small taste of this, when I see the common complaints here in new Nauvoo about the old Nauvoo that was lost.  The url is different, yes, but that really makes no difference.  The look and a little functionality is different, and we lost a couple of emojis, but we gained so much more.  The people are mostly the same--the only people we 'lost' are those who didn't want to be with us.  Isn't that what matters?  Why the pining over what was?  Why choose to be unhappy when you really don't need to be? 

4
General Discussion / Hope and Inspiration
« on: June 07, 2017, 11:30:51 am »

5
Writing Questions/Discussion / writing networking
« on: February 17, 2017, 11:52:17 am »
Since I decided to treat my writing more seriously, I have increased my writing networking.  Conferences, local writing groups (critique and class), social media writing groups, etc.  This expanded to people from all groups becoming friends with me on Facebook, and it's been snowballing.  And I have to say that WRITERS ARE THE MOST AWESOME PEOPLE.  I don't know if it's having to write all that empathy, or being sensitive souls, or what, but they are some of the kindest, smartest, most understanding people I've met.
The biggest perk, though, is getting the daily Goodreads emails showing what my friends and relatives have reviewed, and seeing a non-writer friend give a high review to a book and thinking, I KNOW THE AUTHOR AND SHE'S ALSO A COOL PERSON.

6
General Discussion / asking a little favor
« on: February 05, 2017, 12:18:44 pm »
I posted this down in writing critiques, but I know a lot of you don't look there regularly, so I'm asking here.  I am entering the 1st chapter contest for LDStorymakers.  The deadline is tomorrow.  The chapter is quite polished and I've already trimmed well over 1,000 words, but I'm still 282 words over the limit, so I need some help.  The chapter is attached to my post in the critique section, so if anyone has time to look at it today (it's only about 10 pages so not too long) that would be AWESOME.

Thanks!

7
  • To attach a picture, just click The + button next to 'Attachments and other options' and upload your file.
  • We have found that the optimum width for an image is around 700 pixels.  If you're not sure of the best way to resize an image, then I suggest the image software called irfanview (http://www.irfanview.com/).  It's free and relatively easy to use.  Larger images can still be seen, but usually require scrolling, which can be problematic on some devices and can negatively impact the impression of your image.
  • Height is not as limited as width, but be aware that if it's very large, it will be more difficult to view the whole thing.

Hopefully this helps with any questions you may have.  Happy crafting!

8
Creative Corner / Knitting/Crochet
« on: January 20, 2017, 03:29:12 am »
I don't have good access to my current knitting pics (also, I am notorious for forgetting to take pics of my knitting once it's finished!) but this is the hat I made for our beloved Raro just a few weeks before she died.  I am told she loved it.  Which still makes my heart happy. 

9
Creative Corner / Embroidery
« on: January 20, 2017, 03:25:25 am »
My mom likes to make up words.  A few years back one of the things she started doing was adding 'noodles' to things.  If someone was being bad, they were a goofer noodle.  If something was bad, she said 'stinker noodles,' etc.  So for Christmas last month, I found a free little program that makes cross stitch patterns from images, and then made an image with a swirly font I liked and made the pattern.  Stitched it up on linen and made a fancy little pillow (which I forgot to take a pic of) with purple velvet fabric on the back.  I'm rather proud of myself. :)

10
Technical Talk / Group hug smiley
« on: December 13, 2016, 02:14:33 pm »
OK, so I added an image (it's kind of big, though) so if you put brackets (like []) around a smiley, you get a group hug image.  Let me know if you like it.  If you don't, I will try to find a different one.

11
General Discussion / What have you been doing to #LightTheWorld ?
« on: December 04, 2016, 12:16:34 pm »
I know we mentioned this in another thread, but I wanted a thread where we just list what we are doing.  Even if you can't do much, we can all do something.  And I think it lifts one another to see the good in the world. :)
Day 1: offered to make a hat for a friend when she posted on FB about some hats she was loving on Etsy.  Turns out she was having a horrible awful day, and this lifted her a ton.  I think it is amazing how in reaching out, we can be a tender mercy for someone else.
Day 2:  Another friend (more of an acquaintance) from HS has a dog who sensed the evil in their Elf on the Shelf and subsequently chewed the top of its head off.  While this is, in the end, a Good Thing, her little girl was very sad about it.  So they are replacing said elf with a Hulk, but he needed proper attire.  So I quickly knitted a little purple (to match his shorts), lacy scarf with flower-shaped sequin thread (because even Hulks on the Shelf need to feel pretty sometimes) and popped it into the mail.  It has to go all the way to Ohio, but hopefully it will get there soon!
Day 3: I finished up something I started over a year ago for a certain former janitor of ours (and it was so easy to finish that I am crazy ashamed that it took me so long).  It is currently blocking, and will be shipped in a package tomorrow.
I also got supplies for the Great Christmas Baking Project of 20161, some of which will likely make it into the aforementioned package (but not all, since it's going to take a few days to make everything).  This will help fuel service for a number of days.  :)

1 including - Blueberry lemon pie bars
- Salted Caramel Kentucky Butter Cake
- Carmelitas (chocolate, caramel, oats, sugar. Ya know, the basics.)
- Caramel Apple Pie Cookies
- Brown Butter Snickerdoodle Cookies
- Strawberry Lemonade Bars
- Orange cream bars
- Salted caramel peanut butter cookies
- Lemon honey cloud cookies
- Butter brickle cookies
- Key lime cookies
- Buttery pecan potato chip cookies
- sugar cream pie cookies
- pecan pie cookies
- lemon blueberry cream cookies
- chocolate covered potato chips

12
Mormon Life / Why are we so mean to each other?
« on: November 18, 2016, 01:06:52 am »
Tonight we were coming home from dinner and noticed flashing lights and smoke coming from our little neighborhood. When we drove into the neighborhood, we were relieved to see it wasn't our house, but sad to see a firetruck in front of a smoking manufactured home, and a man in a t-shirt, shorts, and socks outside, obviously moving around to try to keep from freezing to death (it's in the 30s out there). There were a few other neighbors out watching the spectacle as well.
Now, we're not the best about knowing our neighbors. I know the ones from the ward, and I wave at people as they drive through, but that's about it. All I knew about this particular guy was that he had a drinking problem. But we went home and went to the coat closet and dug out some jackets and brought them over. By this time, a cop was there and the guy was sitting in the back to keep warm. None of the other neighbors, who were all standing around gawking, had offered any assistance at all. So we gave the guy the jackets, which he seemed quite grateful for, then left. One of his immediate neighbors (whom I also don't know) commented as we left that she wished he had burned his trailer to the ground with him in it. Closer to home, we ran into a friend who is also the neighborhood president, who told us this man had attempted suicide multiple times over the last few months, and that he had had to break up some problems with this guy and the neighbor who had made the horrible comment.
And I thought, how can we do these things to each other? The guy has problems, obviously. He apparently used to do drugs, but got himself clean. Still does a lot of alcohol as far as I know. And that can cause all kinds of behaviors that would be unpleasant and probably even sometimes destructive for those around him. But how does hate and cruelty help people who struggle with decisions we consider basic? Do you really think he does it because he thinks he is better than you, or because he wants to cause you pain for no reason? No! Jeez, people! Everyone's life is full of pain and fear and self-loathing, and some people's lives have had so much of that, often from the very beginning, that they don't know any other way to be. And when we treat them like trash, it just solidifies their belief that they can never be anything better.
NO ONE EVER IMPROVES BY BEING RIDICULED, HATED, OR BELITTLED FOR THEIR BAD BEHAVIOR. It's only when we feel enough love to feel hope that we can do better, that we start to have the strength to improve. Sometimes that's still not enough. But for pity's sake. You don't have to sacrifice your boundaries, or make yourself unsafe. Just stop pouring hate out on people so readily.

More info: I posted the above on Facebook.  Our primary president then PMed me and asked for more details, after which I found that this guy is actually a member, in our ward, who has obviously been inactive for many, many years.  So I was able to get information to our bishop and RS president about what was going on, and hopefully he will be helped quickly.  While this may be a tragedy, it may end up being the impetus for him to start to know he's worthwhile, and God is watching out for him, and turn his life around.  I don't know.  But we can always hope.

13
Writing Questions/Discussion / writing retreats
« on: November 03, 2016, 01:47:07 pm »
I'm currently at the 3rd annual retreat for my critique group.  Basically, we just head off to an inexpensive off-season condo for a few days (condos are better than hotels because you have a kitchen and bedrooms so you can have privacy and don't have to leave to eat.  A house would work too.) and just write and talk about writing.  It is amazingly helpful for getting the creative juices flowing.  We typically have 4-5 people come every year, and get about 50,000 words done over 3-4 days between all of us.  I highly recommend it.

14
General Discussion / The Cubs are going to the World Series!
« on: October 22, 2016, 11:06:16 pm »
 how many of you have been paying attention to the major league playoffs this month? Specifically, to the Cubs vs. the Dodgers? the Cubs are going to the World Series. Do you know how momentous this is?
The last time they even went to the World series was 1945. NINETEEN FORTY FIVE, PEOPLE. The year WWII ended. Before either of my parents were born (and I am old enough to handily be a grandparent myself). Before television, before penicillin was available to average folk, before movies were generally available in color.
And the last time they actually WON a World Series?! 1908. One hundred and eight years ago. To put that into perspective, you know those really old Little Rascals shorts? The black and white ones that aired on TV in the 50s and in reruns for a few decades after that? That were actually filmed in the 20s and 30s (some were even SILENT)? Well, the last time the Chicago Cubs won a World Series, NONE of the kids from any of the Little Rascals had even been BORN yet!

o.O

There isn't a single person in that stadium that could remember the last time they won.

I'm not crying. YOU'RE crying.

15
General Conference / Conference Prep
« on: October 01, 2016, 11:31:25 am »
I thought it might be fun to post ideas, links, etc. to stuff to help prepare us and/or our kids for conference.

Here's one I love:
http://middleagedmormonman.com/home/2013/09/i-am-mormon-and-i-have-questions/

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