Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Gratitude-a Healing Balm of Gilead

I've been thinking a lot about gratitude lately. And not just thinking about it. Also feeling it. Starting with gratitude that my oldest daughter has gone away to college. No, not because she is out of the house. We all miss her dearly. But I'm so grateful she has started her freshman year and loves it. Because her anxiety disorder had become so extreme, she was unable to attend high school. We did some homeschooling, what she could, but we weren't sure where she'd end up with it all. So her acceptance into and ability to attend college is a grand thing.

There are other things I'm grateful for, too. The Savior, the gospel, my husband, my temple recommend, the fact that our other daughter is doing better, that our son is progressing, that we still have food on the table and a roof over our heads, and other blessings I can stop and count. When I remember to.

I need to be more consistent with feelings of gratitude. I have found that it truly is a Balm of Gilead, and I can always use that. I can't feel gratitude and anxiety at the same time. Certainly gratitude is the better of the two. It also carries with it the Light of Christ, whereas anxiety includes doubt and fear. As Joseph Smith reminds us in Lectures on Faith, where doubt and fear are, there faith cannot be. And, as the Savior reminds us in D&C 6:36, "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not."

So, I'm practicing looking and feeling in a better direction. A more uplifting, fulfilling and enlightening direction.

It all seems to be fueled by gratitude.

I just need to remember to fill up.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Long Absence, Short Summer

Wow. I didn't realize just how long it has been since I made a blog entry.

And what has been the distraction? Summer vacation. All three kids home, with one going off to college next week. I'm crying about it already.

Many summers have seemed rather long. This one, however, has seemed short. We went on several vacations, including Swan Valley and Yellowstone, our parents' cabin in Beaver, Utah, a trip up the coast to Portland and Seattle, and, lastly, a trip to Mississippi and New Orleans.

Lest it sound like we've suddenly struck it rich, we drove up the coast and back (yes, all five of us). And, just my oldest and I went to Mississippi, with the flight paid and a home to stay in. That was because I spoke at an LDS single adult conference.

I did four workshops at the YSA conference in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. It was basically the same message, repeated for four different groups of attendees. My daughter attended three of my sessions and was a great support. I spoke about my life, my experiences with SSA, the LDS Church, addictions, judgmental people, etc.

I'm happy to report the message was well received. I am particularly grateful because two people, one man and one woman, with same-sex attractions came up to talk to me afterward. They had great questions and were so grateful to have had the topic addressed. Others commented on how I had helped them gain a greater understanding of themselves and others.

That made the whole trip worth it. Not to mention a great talk about conversion by ex-NBA/Utah Jazz player Thurl Bailey, and dinner with him and others at Leatha's, which had some of the best barbecue and cole slaw I've ever tasted. The Southern hospitality, and the Southern food, was great.

I just want to bear witness that somehow helping people, in some small way, makes everything worth it. I know this gospel is true and that it works miracles in people's lives. I certainly know it has in mine.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

God and Gays, Ex-Exodus, and Please Don't Forget Those of Us Who Experience Same-Sex Attraction

Lisa Ling hosted a very intimate show today entitled "God and Gays." It included an apology from Alan Chambers, Exodus President. It's definitely worth watching and can be seen at:

This is the comment I posted there:
"It's just too bad that Lisa Ling has yet to follow the lives of those Christians who have been attracted to the same sex yet have chosen not to act on the feelings and might even be in successful heterosexual marriages. That has been my experience. Twenty years down the road, our marriage is not dissolved, but strengthened. I realize part of the problem is that we are not as vocal. Most of us prefer to remain 'hidden' because we frequently are not accepted by any group. People from church often have a problem with us and our 'sexuality.' Those who are gay and lesbian have a problem because they think our message is one of, 'anyone can change if they just try hard enough.' That may have been the message of Exodus, but there are so many others of us who stress that everyone's experience with sexuality is different. We should be respectful of ALL people, whatever their story. I've been trying to tell mine through my blog at"

The timing is interesting, considering the fact that the Supreme Court is due to announce their decisions on Prop 8 and DOMA this week. I'm guessing that isn't by accident.

I've made several attempts to get on the news and represent a different view. Unfortunately, I've had no success. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.

Monday, May 20, 2013

I Used to be a Pervert. Now I'm a Bigot.

Gays and lesbians.


Upholders of traditional marriage.

Supporters of same-sex marriage.

Go ahead. Think of a label for some of the terms above. Many people do. That's partly why the other book I've had in the works is titled "I Used to be a Pervert. Now I'm a Bigot." It is an attempt to help people understand that there are problems on "both sides" of the marriage debate.

I believe the optimum situation in which to bring up children is with a mother and a father in the home. I do not think that women make very good fathers nor that men make very good mothers. I may be called a bigot by some, because of those views, but that certainly doesn't make me a bigot. Those beliefs do not come from hate, rather, concern for those not always considered--those yet to be born.

I know that people with same-sex attractions and those who identify as gay and lesbian are not necessarily perverts--no more, or less, than those who are heterosexually oriented. I may be called, or have been called, a pervert, especially back in the 70s and 80s when very few people dared to discuss homosexual attractions. However, because I've had those attractions, that does not make me a pervert.

One of my hopes with the book is that people will realize name-calling, and the assumption that someone can label another without even knowing them, is ridiculous. Also, I'm hoping to bring greater understanding concerning those accused of being "perverts" and those accused of being "bigots."

"Perverts" and "Bigots."

Sticks and stones may break my bones......and yes, words can hurt, too. Especially the ugly ones.

Thursday, May 9, 2013


I'm hoping the fact that I finally finished and actually printed my new book "Reborn That Way" is a half-decent excuse for being so remiss in my blog posting. Such is truly the case.

After having written "Born That Way" 20 years ago, I figured "Reborn That Way" would be the appropriate sequel, so to speak. If you're interested, click here.

And you'd think I'd just be resting from having finished that book. However, I'm busy trying to finish one for the general market titled "I Used to Be a Pervert. Now I'm a Bigot." I'm trying to get it out mid-June, in time for the Supreme Court announcements on same-sex marriage. I talk about having been lesbian, and knowing what the name-calling and harsh judgments were like with that. And now, being a Mormon who believes in the importance of traditional marriage, I know what the name-calling and harsh judgments are like. Just because I do not think that a woman makes a very good father and I do not think a man makes a very good mother, that doesn't make me a bigot.

Anyway, I'll let you know when THAT book is complete. Hopefully I'll manage to post again before then.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Stepping Stones or Stumbling Blocks?

I've been thinking a lot about trials lately and how to best handle them. One of our daughters has been going astray in a variety of ways, and our other two children have been struggling with totally different things. There is so much hurt and pain involved, for the whole family. It has been easy for me to be miserable and difficult for me to be happy.

However, I've been thinking that working toward happiness during trials is worth the effort. In the past, I've thought I'd be happy once the current trial was over, forgetting that there were more trials around the corner. That's how earth life is set up, after all. We are proving ourselves and we're being refined.

In his book, Spiritual Plateaus, Glen L. Pace talks about trials and how they can either be stepping stones or stumbling blocks. I have started thinking about the refinement that is happening for our family (whether we want it or not). I've also been trying to view our trials as stepping stones. The Lord must trust that we can handle this and I'm sure it's part of the divine plan, even with a daughter headed in the opposite direction.

So, when I start to feel the pain of our trials, I'm trying to remember that these things really will benefit us. Frankly, I used to be bugged by the scripture D&C 122:7 where it talks about all the severe trials Joseph Smith could face and then it says they're good for him. 

It says, in part, "if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good."

Usually sarcastically I'd say, "Oh yeah, this is going to be for my good. Right." Well, I suppose I'm having a change of heart with regard to this scripture because now I'm looking to it for comfort. I'm working hard to view trials that way. To make them stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks. To remember that these things really do give me experience and will be for my good.

We're going to have trials no matter what–even when we're obedient, just ask Joseph Smith. So, I can either face trials with more courage, faith and optimism or I can be miserable.

I know which one I'm choosing. Now I just have to figure out how to live it.

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Anchor

One of my funny childhood memories took place on our boat out on the lake. We had pulled into a cove with a beach that couldn't be accessed very well. So, my dad asked my brother to throw out the anchor. He did just that. However, he neglected to notice that the rope wasn't tied to it. So, we watched as the anchor sank deeper and deeper into the water until we couldn't see it anymore. There was a steep drop off near the beach and the water became deep rather quickly. Despite many dives down, the anchor was never found.

I thought about this story just the other day and, for the first time, I equated it with life here on earth. The Savior is our anchor. He is the anchor for all humankind. But there are many people who do not believe in Christ or do not follow him. They fail to attach themselves to the anchor so they don't have that sure and steady connection. Their lives can easily be affected by any wind of doctrine, especially the ever-growing popularity of the world which encourages people to do whatever feels good. The anchor falls deeper and deeper with nothing attached to it.

Even those of us who believe in Christ and choose to follow him, who hold onto the anchor, can be tossed around a bit through adversity and temptations. Sometimes that will weaken our connection to the anchor and our lives can get off course. We need to constantly check to make sure our connection is secure. If it isn't, we need to do whatever we can to strengthen it.

Sometimes I get so busy I forget to check. And when I forget to check, that in and of itself seems to weaken my connection to the Savior.

An anchor does us no good if we aren't securely connected to it.

I just like that analogy and thought I'd share it.