Thursday, October 31, 2013

Alright, back to business

Ok so I decided to do some writing to mission friends for this assignment! And then I tried journalling but this is more convenient right now! I've been just word vomiting this in 10 minute chunks for the past few days so I think it's time to wrap it up:

I'm in my Stats class and I'm bored, probably not because I understand things better than anyone else but more because I'm tired.

Today I thought I would write about the debate going on about women receiving the priesthood in the LDS church, more to make a record of my thoughts to look back on later than anything else.

When I first heard that this question was being raised I was extremely irritated. Not at the question but because the arguments I heard in favor of women with the priesthood were a little embarrassing. I came across a lot of false assumptions and putting words in God's mouth. For example, arguments such as "God wouldn't want me sitting in the back row while men were able to participate and make a difference" or "women need to be considered just as important as men and receiving the priesthood would be a big step" were statements that made me cringe. The priesthood is important but it is not the only important thing in the church.

But then I looked at some arguments against women being given the priesthood and felt equally embarrassed. "I think of the roles of men and women are not exactly the same but equally important in Heavenly Father's plan: women have the gift of bringing human spirits into this world, and men have the gift of bringing those spirits back to God." I agree that men and women are different and make different contributions to the world but defining these roles is extremely difficult. Referring to "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" a document written and released by the first presidency and apostles of the LDS church in 1995 there are certain roles that men and women tend to fill. I am NOT talking about the man in a business suit or the woman in the kitchen. I'm talking about how "fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families. Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children." 

Mothers are more commonly sensitive to their child's needs and fathers are more commonly able to provide protection and stability for the family. Is this always true? From someone who often visits the homes of broken (in many ways) families, no. Sometimes it's dad who is able to nurture a child through a stressful experience and sometimes mom has to provide for and protect her family. Whether it is attributed to societal norms or genetic disposition, mothers and father do fulfill different needs. HOWEVER, a mother's main contribution is not made at birth. It is made in every moment of the child's life for their entire life. Ideally, dad is also present for the birth and while he didn't carry the baby for nine months he is also expected to fulfill the role of a father, whether he has the priesthood or not. There is no comparison between the two roles because they were not designed to be compared. Comparing is something human beings made out of their insecurities, it is my belief that God is above that. God discerns instead of compares. 

Anyway, then my thoughts took me to the blessings of the priesthood. It is true that a worthy priesthood holder can give blessings of comfort, healing and administering of the sacrament. I got a little hung up here until I realized that I have had just as many women sit across from me and speak the word of God as I have had men lay their hands on my head and say what God would have them say. I have begun to personally define the priesthood, not to make it more convenient for my life but to apply it to my life.

This is not the end of my thoughts but I should probably post something so my professor can see that I am writing everyday.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Looking like a good week!

I just found out I got the job! YAY! Also, Ben and I are going to a Matt Nathanson concert tonight and he is performing with Josh Radin so it's going to be awesome! Also, a praying mantis almost flew into my head today after work... may not seem awesome... but it was a praying mantis so it was.

I feel so blessed right now! So many things are falling into place and that is nice. Now I just have to survive this semester and I'll be ok!

Other than that I caught part of conference but I had to work so I missed a lot of it. I will get caught up this week! The one that I did see that was most interesting was, of course, Elder Holland's talk about depression. I think it was very well articulated and necessarily straight forward.

Here are some pictures from the concert!

Joshua Radin. The nicest guy!

Matt Nathanson. The craziest guy!
They put on such a good show!


Thursday, October 3, 2013

This was a good day

Today has been funny, let me see if I can remember all the reasons why:

1) Went to the temple this morning and for initiatories the names were Hungarian! That was the first time that's happened to me! I had to catch my breath, I felt a little overwhelmed. I tried to articulate how I felt and I couldn't figure out if a part of my heart was still in Hungary or if it was that Hungary broke my heart when I got on a plane to come home and it stayed on the other side of the world. Either way, my heart was going through something crazy! The ladies appreciated the pronunciation help although it went a lot like this:

Name: Veres

Nice Temple Lady: How do you pronounce that?
Me: Ver-esh
NTL: Oh Verez?
Me: No, Ver-esh
NTL: Verez?
Me: Yeah... for sure...

2) On the way to the temple I got to talk to Maryn while I was in the car with Caitlan and it was crazy because Maryn is married while a baby, Caitlan is engaged and graduating and I am applying grad school right now. All of the sudden I was like- we're real people! It was crazy, I still feel like I'm a little girl but life is really picking up!

3) I had my job interview! It went really well (I think!) so he said I should find out in about a week and a half! We'll see what happens. The sad thing is that if I get that job then I have to quit my school district job. Visiting the kids is SO FUN!

4) At an appointment today me and this hilarious girl were working on her homework and we came to a word problem. I had to take a picture because I loved the name they used. Here in America we're trying to branch out from using names like "Bill" and "Joe" in our examples:

2013-10-03 15.24.33.jpg

Thank you LaTasha for letting us use you as an example. Best of luck with your golf endeavors.


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Wednesday

Today I did a lot of homework. That means I learned a lot of things about the Baroque, Rococo and Classical periods that I have already forgotten but that's ok! Another time humanities, I will actually learn you at another time.

I didn't get everything done that I wanted to but I did have a very nice conversation with my best friend about what we do in our lives and what it means. I will keep it short because it's past my bedtime but basically: it's ok to be impacted by the past and not be ready to move on from it. The past can provide some really scary things and trying to bulldoze (?) through it isn't the best way to cope. This is something I often struggle with.

Oh, speaking of struggling, I came across an article about children finding pornography and how it ruins their lives. I see this WAY too often at work and honestly, the hardest part isn't that the kids have acted on what they've seen (don't get me wrong, that brings a lot of heart ache) but it's more that they will now have to live the rest of their lives with it hanging over their heads. 

Here's the article:

Also here's an article about how to talk to your kids about pornography before they come across it:

Kids don't understand what they are seeing or doing. I blame the disgusting pigs who make it and push it on the internet. I don't have enough time or space to convey what portion of hell I think they belong in but suffice it to say they deserve to burn for a long time. 

Talk to your kids about sex and also about pornography  before they are under the impression that they are one and the same. Sex is something that brings two people who care about each other together and expresses something important. Pornography takes the idea of sex and makes it into something carnal, disgusting and offensive. Educate youth before the internet does.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

I will NOT slack!

But it's kind of hard when things get busy!

So on Thursday I have an interview for the full time slot at Slate Canyon! People have been very encouraging but I recognize that my chances are, in reality, very slim. I'm on a long list of people who would like the spot but just having the opportunity to do it means a lot. I actually shouldn't have been allowed to even interview but the people I work with are so great that they stuck their necks out on a limb so that I could at least interview!

School is half good, half incredibly annoying because I am taking 2 English classes that I just put off for forever and so I'm really rusty. Also, English classes are a lot of homework... that I don't want to do... ironically, writing on this blog every day is for one of those classes. Professor, if you're reading this, you're great, I just wish I had more time to give to your class.

But the Stats class is still going fine and research should pan out smoothly so I just need to buckle down and survive the semester.

So now that I've written for a sufficient amount of time I am going to add some things that i was working on yesterday for an assignment that i thought was due today but is actually due on Thursday. This was the last of a few prompts so I had been writing for a few hours and by the end of it my brain was pretty tripped out so I don't know if it will make a lot of sense but I want to put it on here to hear from other people about their ideas and so I can find it later:

What is the role of beauty in day-to-day life? What is its role in eternity? What is beauty?

            I believe that beauty, much like art, is in the eye of the beholder. I believe that beauty is to inspire. To the average human being, beauty is addicting, once we see it we wait for the next opportunity to find it again because it makes us feel something better than the ordinary. Beauty is a comparison. If we are surrounded by beautiful pink flowers we will start to take them for granted and forget that they are beautiful. We’ll start to desire blue flowers because we believe they are more beautiful. In reality, they may not be more beautiful but to our eye they are fresh and new.
            This can be seen in the way we think of beautiful people. I believe that we give someone the label of beautiful because they exhibit something that we don’t see often. A common example is how a woman in the United States desires to have darker skin because she sees her lighter skin every day. A woman from India often strives for lighter skin because she sees her dark skin every day. When watching television we desire the tiny figure of a tall, petite woman because as we look around we rarely actually see this figure in real life. The average model is 5’10” and weighs 115 pounds. The average American woman is 5’4” and 164 pounds. Our minds are often driven by what we see, a small body means a healthier person, which means a more desirable person. As is also shown in beauty pageants, more color in the face than is natural, a smaller figure and bigger hair than could ever be natural is seen as beautiful. Stepping away from the physical and into art this is also true. Life often gives us chaos, few things are naturally in order and so when our eye sees order, it is beautiful.
This is not to say that beauty is actually evil and misleading. On a day to day basis as we find order that is out of the ordinary, we find it beautiful and it inspires us to continue. When something is beautifully articulated it is a thought put in order and it inspires. When nature delivers a perfectly symmetrical flower in your garden it is beautiful and inspires us. Actions can also be beautiful. Kindness is restoring order to someone’s life. When someone drops a pencil or needs the door opened a kind person provides order and returns the pencil and holds the door. When we witness a moment like that we call it service and it is beautiful. So I guess service is people being beautiful toward one another.
This takes me to the next part of the prompt for this portion of the paper, what is the role of beauty in the eternities? If beauty is restoring order and inspiring progress then the role of beauty in eternity is that beauty must be eternal. I hope that our idea of beauty will evolve from what is rare to what is valuable. I think that as human beings we struggle to make the distinction but with time (eternity) I believe that we can sort through it. If we can let go of searching for what is rare then we can spend more time finding what is valuable and if we can understand how valuable service is then we can understand the importance of restoring order. If we can do this then we can further understand how God is a God of order, not because He is strict but because He values serving each other and progressing for eternity.