Posts Tagged ‘Mormon Church’

Courage To Confess: Revolutionary ConTEXTing Haiku

March 15, 2015

As I again got/
the courage to say: “I know!”,/
others confessed, too.

Speedy Mormon Dilemma: Revolutionary ImproVerse Haiku

March 1, 2015

Mormon dilemma:/
I’ll break the speed limit to/
get to church on time.

Christ’s Atonement Works For The Repentant Sinner (Me)

February 18, 2015

Nearly a decade ago I was excommunicated from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for conduct unbecoming a Priesthood holder and member of the Church. Specifically, I broke the trust of my wife, my children, my family and friends. I hurt my wife, my children, and others, and I will for forever regret the pain I’ve caused them. Each of them know I’ve tried to make it better, as much as you can make restitution for something so terrible. (Note: There was NO excuse for what I did. I take full responsibility for it.)
I stayed “out” of the Church for several years (although I kept attending), because I had insecurities and other issues I needed to work through. HOWEVER, I NEVER DOUBTED THE TRUTHFULNESS OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST OR THAT THE CHURCH WAS HIS RESTORED CHURCH. I knew, someday, that I would return to full membership in the Church. People would ask me “Why”, to which I would respond: “It is true. I’ve never doubted the truthfulness of the Church. I’ve only doubted my ability to live it.”
During the time I was away from the Church, I dated a number of women, but did things which were not in keeping with the Lord’s teachings as revealed through His living prophets.
About 2 years ago, I had straightened out my life to the point that I felt like I could petition to return to the Church. I also felt like I had worked things out so that I felt confident that I could live the Principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Working with the appropriate local authorities (my Bishop and Stake President), I started down the path of returning to the Church, applying the principles of repentance and obtaining forgiveness through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Since that time, I’ve had a few occasions where women who knew me “before” have told me (and others) of what I did, and that they should avoid me because of who I was. This happened just the other day, again. When this person, who I’ve never met, told me that her friend (who evidently knew me) told her what I was like, and what I’d done, (and thus, she didn’t want to get to know me, as though I was still that way), I felt like I had to write to set the record straight.
This is the content of that email (with some edits to maintain privacy and to improve the flow/make sense) :

Thank you for at least letting me know your logic (of why you won’t contact me any more). It’s always better to write and remove all doubt than to just go silent. Normally I would accept your email, tell you “Thank you”, and move on. However, I feel there are a couple of points I need to make.

1) Who I was when your friend knew me is NOT who I am now. That is the point of repentance and applying the Savior’s Atonement to our sinful lives, isn’t it?
2) I have taken the appropriate steps I needed to, to get my life back in order, and to repent of the many sins I’d committed during the past decade or so.
a) I got divorced
b) Through working with my Bishop and Stake President, and through hours and hours on my knees, I’ve sought forgiveness.
c) Because, several years ago, I’d STOPPED my inappropriate behavior, early last year, through revelation from my Stake President and the Stake High Council (who I had to meet with as part of the process to be reinstated in the Church), I was judged worthy and ready to be re-baptized for the remission of sins and for membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
d) Last Memorial Day weekend, under the hands of my father (a High Priest in the LDS Church), in the waters of Lake Winneconne (where he lives), I was re-baptized.
e) Immediately afterwards, under the hands of my brother (also a High Priest in the LDS Church) and other Priesthood holders, I was confirmed a member of the Church AND given the gift of the Holy Ghost.
f) Since that time, I have been working with my Bishop and Stake President, (he being an authorized representative of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles) (and, thus, the Lord), to be ready and worthy to get my Priesthood and Temple blessings restored (it takes at least a year after a person is re-baptized).
g) My goal is to be deemed worthy, when the Payson Temple is dedicated in June, to be there, and to be able to attend as a member in good standing. In order to do so, the restoration of my Priesthood and my Temple blessings will have to be approved by the First Presidency of the Church, acting as inspired representatives of the Savior.

I tell you these things not to boast or brag, but to let you (and your friend) know that I have repented, that the man I was several years ago has been “put away”, and that through the Grace and Goodness and Atonement of Jesus Christ, I have been changed and been made a new man. That’s how repentance and the Atonement is supposed to work, isn’t it? It worked for Paul the Apostle. It worked for Alma the Younger and the Sons of Mosiah (in The Book of Mormon). We all have hope that it will work for us.
I wanted to contact people I’ve hurt and lied to, and apologize, as part of my repentance process, to make some sort of restitution. Some have accepted my apology. Some have requested that I not contact them, so I haven’t.
I have not only sought spiritual help and turned my life around that way, but I also (as some suggested) sought counseling. I’ve worked on, and continue to work on, fixing the things which messed up my life, which caused me to be insecure, which caused me to do the wrong things I did.
I hope that those I’ve hurt can some day find it in their hearts to not only forgive me, but — most importantly — also recognize that people can (and do) change, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Because of that Atonement, the statement “Once a cheater, always a cheater” is NOT true.
Again, I only tell you this so you can understand where I am, and the steps I’ve taken. There is a chance that we may meet some day, perhaps even in the Temple. In order for the Spirit of the Lord to be unrestrained there, I feel like you need to know that I will be there worthily, and approved by revelation from the Lord through His anointed servants. I have taken, and continue to take, honest steps to put my life in harmony with what Heavenly Father wants me to do.
I am not perfect, but I know that, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I can change. I have changed. And I will continue to change, to follow His will, to be the best person I can be.
Best regards: Dave


Verifying What I Heard Of My Worth: Revolutionary ImproVerse Haiku

October 4, 2014

“We need each of us/
to help.” That verifies what/
His servant told me.

Ask For Your Own Blessing: Revolutionary IMprov Prose

July 5, 2014

In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon or LDS Church), we believe that all people can ask worthy Melchizedek Priesthood holders to “Lay their hands on (our) head and give (us) a blessing”. Whether it’s a blessing of health, of comfort, of inspiration, of peace … we believe that God can bless us through our faith and the faith of others.
The other day, a divorced woman on Facebook made a very public complaint, saying: “I haven’t had a Priesthood blessing in more than a year.” I’ve heard this complaint a lot, especially from women, so I responded. I probably wasn’t very nice in my response … but I think there are some interesting questions raised.

Dear [woman who complained] and all you ladies — and there are a lot of you — who complain about “Not having a Priesthood blessing in a long time.” What are you waiting for? Why don’t you go out and ask? You have a responsibility to exhibit your faith. It’s as simple as asking your home teachers or a member of your bishopric or a worthy male relative or friend. If you haven’t had a blessing in over a year, it’s nobody’s fault but your own. I’m sorry for being so harsh, but that’s the way it is. You can complain about it, or you can do something about it.

The woman responded: “You remind me of my ex. Always had to ask for everything.
I’m fine with asking for a blessing, however after losing my Priesthood holder to divorce, it’s become painful to ask for one. Women are tender, sensitive and some battered.”

I responded: “I’m just trying to encourage women to ask for something that they have the power to get, instead of waiting and complaining. Take charge of your own lives. I have to ask for a blessing. Why shouldn’t you?”

A follow-up to my comments: Hidden in this woman’s complaint, I believe, is the not-so-subtle reprimanding of Priesthood holders who haven’t, evidently, been inspired enough that they’ve offered to give her a blessing. But, Sisters, lets look at the reality of how that would look in real life. Can you imagine if Priesthood holders went walking around, saying to people in their stewardship (or others): “I feel like you need me to give you a blessing.”? Especially if men started coming up to single sisters and doing that?
Don’t get me wrong. It does happen. I know many people have been blessed by Priesthood holders who were inspired to offer a blessing. My mother can witness to the power of her Home Teacher being inspired to give her a blessing just as her heart was starting to malfunction and race. Many of my friends, both male and female, have had similar experiences. My brother, in the midst of my life struggles, said “I feel like I need to give you a blessing.” I hadn’t thought of asking for one, but he was inspired. That blessing helped me get back on the right path, where I needed to be. So I do know that happens, and it should happen a lot.
BUT it is, sometimes, frightening to offer to give blessings. There are also many of us who have tried to follow those spiritual promptings in our own marriages and families, and with friends and people we have stewardships for (Home Teaching families, for example). Sometimes we have been chastised and told “No!” and “You are manipulating me” and “You are using your Priesthood unrighteously” and “You aren’t inspired; you just think you’re better than I am and are trying to prove your self-righteousness” and “You are just trying to get me to do what you think I should do”. Some of us have been told, after giving what we felt was an inspired blessing, “That wasn’t from God. Those were just your own opinions,” or even, from a Priesthood companion, “You can’t promise him that! You just told him he would be healed, even though doctors say he will die.”
People need to recognize that, for some Priesthood holders, it has become painful — or at least scary — to offer a blessing, even when they feel inspired, especially to someone they may not know that well. Priesthood holders can also be “tender, sensitive, and battered.” Thus, if you want a blessing at the hands of the Priesthood, it is a sign of your faith that you can and should ask.

Think of the woman who touched the Savior’s clothes. She had the faith to “ask”. I’m certain that the Son of God could have looked at the crowd and said “You, woman over there, come here. Let me give you a blessing and heal you.” But He waited for her to manifest her faith. It’s a good model.

July 15 morning comment, from a female friend of mine: If women are waiting for Priesthood holders to be inspired to offer them a blessing, “that is pretty much a cop out.”
July 15 afternoon comment, also from a female: “Women should not expect men to be mind readers. It is inappropriate to spontaneously offer blessings if you are not the husband, father, or home teacher, or in a position to be aware that there is a need. Even husbands are not mind readers.”

July 15, afternoon, male: My thoughts?
We have the opportunity to ask HF for the things we desire anytime. Just fall to your knees and ask away. Weary the Lord with your requests, and your gratitude. He is mindful of your needs, and will provide to you what He sees fit at that moment.

If you seek to have clarity and direction from a PH blessing, then of course, ask for them too.

July 15, Afternoon, Female: “We are told to seek blessings. We do this far too little as a people. ”

July 15, evening, Female: “We are all tender, sensitive and battered. Personally, I need to hear what a man’s experience can be like.
I know it’s my responsibility and right to ask for blessings and I will do it when I am ready or in desperate need. A blessing is not a casual thing to me. I have many from years ago that I feel are still active in my life, even when I can’t recall the exact words.”

July 15, evening, female: “I haven’t had a PH blessing in a while because I haven’t asked. I did ask when I felt I was coming unglued many months ago, and my Bishop was able to do so. I needed that blessing to wake me up from a path I was heading down that was going to only end badly. I remember this being spoken of on a different group site. I thought some of the responses were sad. Just sad. And I think we, in this Group, tend to me more silly and let off lots of steam here, but does not mean we aren’t also striving to be good, decent people.”

July 15, Evening, Female:I ask for blessings when I need them. I have two wonderful sons-in-law and great home teachers. (I am truly blessed.) I believe you are correct in your assertion that there needs to be a show of faith on the part of the person asking for a blessing. I think the tricky part comes when a man feels inspired to offer a blessing. There can be a great deal of difference between, “I feel I need to give you a blessing.” and “I can see you are hurting. Would you like a blessing?” The first statement may appear superior and perhaps manipulative, even demanding. The second, allows the person their agency and still allows them to show faith. The first just allows for compliance. Asking rather than telling also allows the woman to decline if she feels that they guy is not inspired or thinks he is manipulative without hurting his feelings. Then the responsibility becomes hers. He has fulfilled his responsibility simply by asking.

There Is No End: Revolutionary ConTEXTing Haiku

April 6, 2014

If eternal life/
exists, then there are no real /
endings. We go on.

Because eternal/
life exists, there are no real /
endings. We go on.

White Christmas Gospel Song: Revolutionary ConTEXTing Haiku

December 8, 2013

In a Caucasian /
congregation , her song makes /
me miss Mahalia

During The Priesthood Session of Conference: Revolutionary ImproVerse Haiku

October 5, 2013

The Mormon Church moved/
toward equality. I used/
the women’s restroom.