Thursday, December 6, 2012

Breaking News + Check in

Did you hear the news?

The church just released a website about homosexuality. I've been hearing about this site for months (basically since Lolly and I exploded on the scene last summer and became a part of the "conversation") and I am really, really excited to see that the day has arrived. It's a really good website. I think it adds so very much to the shifts in perception that are happening around this issue.

First, here are some relevant links:

This is an article from the Deseret News.

And this is the press release made by the church.

And then... drumroll please...

The actual website:

Take a moment and look at that url. Notice anything interesting? Then do what I did: sigh in relief, nod your head and say "things are changing!"

Anyway, I've gotta say, I really, really love the things that are happening around this issue. I feel like there is such a culmination--so many voices converging saying the same things--that love is the most important message, and that understanding and empathy are so important. This may sound cheesy, but I'm so grateful to be a gay member of the church at this point in history. I feel like a small part of something really big. And I'm so glad.

And on that note, we need to do a check-in, don't we?

Rules: You cannot say "good" or "fine." Check in spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Set a goal and report on the previous week's goal. This is for fun, and is not meant to supplement or replace contact with a mental health professional.


Oh wait, don't go. One more change I'm going to make. I will try hard to enforce this, but please make it easy on me by trying hard to follow this rule. I recently realized I had forgotten an important thing. In groups where check-ins occur, there is no "cross-talk." In other words, check-in is a time to share how and where you are, without feedback (either positive or negative) from others. This allows the person checking in to feel safe sharing anything, knowing they are heard simply by having shared. Now, one of the things I've been touched by in past check-ins is some of the positive feedback people have gotten. However, feedback defeats, in some ways, the purpose of a check-in. It needs to be a place where people can say what they need to say, make their report, know they were "heard" and not worry about starting debates or lengthy discussions by sharing their personal stuff.

So, here's the deal. We need to function under the assumption that someone does not want feedback. Thus, please don't comment on other people's check-ins--even if the person sounds vulnerable or in need of help, and even if your feedback is incredibly positive (which in almost every case in the past it has been). If the person checking in leaves contact information or has a profile, feel free to find their profile and contact them directly. (That would be the equivalent to finding someone after group and being like "hey, I was really moved during your check-in. Did you want to talk about it?") But any comments in response to a check-in are "cross talk." They detract from that person's moment of sharing. The past feedback has been so incredibly positive, that it didn't even occur to me until recently that I had accidentally created this problem, but now that I have realized it, I am going to enforce this new rule.

So, no cross talk. Or in other words, no commenting on other people's check-ins. (If you are checking in and wanting feedback, feel free to leave an email address that people can contact you at for a private, post-check-in conversation.)

All right, here goes mine:

Physically: I feel very encouraged. Myfitnesspal really is my new best friend and I feel completely in control of my eating. I ran a lot this week which I really enjoy, and had a good weightlifting workout this morning, so I'm feeling very healthy. And motivated. And good content.

Emotionally: I feel much better today than I did last weekend. Last weekend I felt needy and isolated and crappy. I reached out to a couple of friends of mine (or, rather, they reached out to me) and I was able to do this really weird thing where I actually talked about how I'm feeling (this is novel, I know), and that has helped me feel much better about things. Vulnerability: so uncomfortable, yet so necessary. I'm learning this more and more.

Spiritually: Really, really energized. I had an incredible interview with my bishop the other night to renew my recommend. We talked for a couple of hours (bless his soul, and his family for letting him be away for that long). It was an incredibly good talk, and really helped me get my head on straight (no pun intended--seriously) about a few things. Our discussion was totally and completely inspired.

Goal from last week: 5,000 words. Achieved.

Goal for this week: 5,000 words. Again.

All right guys. Please check out that website. Then check in and let us all know how you're doing. Thank you guys for being such an awesome community of awesomeness. You are the best blog-readers on earth. No jokesies.

(PS--I am actually not really interested in having a discussion about the website because I don't want to ruin the warm fuzzies I feel about it. On this one, let's all just rejoice in the good things that are happening and call it good. ;-) Any divisive commentary about it will be removed. Because I'm tyrannical like that. Bwahahahahaha!!!!)


  1. PHYSICALLY: Tired back because I sit at a computer way too long. -Which is no one's fault but my own. Which reminds me, I need to walk the dog.

    EMOTIONALLY: Relief that I follow through on a medical procedure I'd been putting off. Happiness that my test results came back with a good prognosis.

    SPIRITUALLY: Open to God-type stuff since Christmas is right around the corner and I want to make sure I get good gifts. Wait... it's baby Jesus who puts gifts under the Christmas tree, right...?

  2. Love this paragraph!

    "The Church’s approach to this issue stands apart from society in many ways. And that’s alright. Reasonable people can and do differ. From a public relations perspective it would be easier for the Church to simply accept homosexual behavior. That we cannot
    do, for God’s law is not ours to change. There is no change in the Church’s position of what is morally right. But what is changing — and what needs to change — is to help Church members respond sensitively and thoughtfully when they encounter same-sex attraction in their own families, among other Church members, or elsewhere."

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I didn't mean to remove my above comment--- I really just wanted to edit it because I realize that this is the first time that I've EVER posted on the Weed blog since I started following after the Club Unicorn post and I didn't want to mess it up. Then I realized my full name was displayed and... well... I guess that's that. :P
      I really just wanted to agree with what Gemma posted about the new website the Church has created. (you're one of my favorite commenters, by the way...) I love that paragraph, too! Josh and his beautiful wife have completely changed my perspective on this topic and I think that they have been instrumental in the movement of the Church creating a page like this. There is so much left to learn and I honestly believe that the most important lesson has nothing to do with who we are attracted to, but how we treat one another in general. "But what is changing -- and what needs to change -- is to .. respond sensitively and thoughtfully..." ALWAYS! With ANYTHING!

    3. Shucks Angie. *blush* :o)

      Welcome to Weed's place.

    4. Could you clarify on what constitutes "divisive commentary"? I mean, divisiveness could go both ways. Or maybe not.
      Maybe it means divisive one way. Well I'm going to look at the site now and try to find sonething positive to say about how the mormon church is addressing homosexuality in the year 2013. (I keep typing pisitive on my phone. Lol. Maybe that's a sign? Maybe I've coined a new term. Maybe Santa will bring me a tablet this year and a keyboard to go with it.)

    5. This comment has been removed by the author.

    6. Uh, oh, Tammy. Bad sign. I'm being pisitive today. ;)

    7. You know what's really sad....I first read pisitive AS positive. No joke. I think I have mind reading powers

    8. I don't see the big deal. The church is saying the same thing they've been saying for quite some time: You can be gay, just don't BE gay. We aren't changing the rules here. Just as we haven't felt free to interpret scriptural writings against shrimp cocktails, slavery, sentencing people to death for violating the sabbath... wait... scratch that. Doing gay things is WRONG. It just is.
      It's great that they're telling families not to feel upset when somebody comes out as gay. But frankly, to me, that's a little like telling a child not to cry when they get a shot or when their pet hamster dies. The child has a reason to cry because shots hurt and because dead hampsters will be missed.
      The church's doctrine is clear that when somebody comes out as gay or apostate, they upset the balance that allows families to be together happily in the next life. Depending on how much somebody believes that doctrine, this is to be mourned. The church has been very clear on this and hasn't changed that stance. Telling a believer all of a sudden to just be cool with it and not be upset while maintaining the doctrine that gay acts are sinful enough to keep a person from God's presence is, frankly, not convincing. Mothers will continue to wring their hands and cry because they will not want their children to be cut off from God's presence. I suppose the caveat that celestial types will always be able to visit "down" is some sort of a consolation. And yet it hasn't been very effective in the past in alleviating fear that people feel when a loved one leaves. I wonder why that is.
      Anyway, "pisitively", I'm thinking that what the church COULD do is remove the doctrine that makes mothers wring their hands and cry instead of simply telling the mothers not to be sad when they know full well (according to doctrine) that a very bad thing is happening. Of course anybody who's seen The Karate Kid II knows that sometimes indoctrination is not easily undone. So many lessons to be learned from Karate...
      Of course, there are many parents (like my own) who manage, at least externally, to deal admirably and gracefully with the truth that some decisions are not theirs to make. I think people like my parents manage to do this in spite of what the LDS church teaches regarding the afterlife for apostates and not because of what the church teaches.
      I'm glad that the church is trying, but honestly, it's not enough. Sorry to say, but it's not. Russ Nelson had a wife he was sealed to and he couldn't even make it another 20 years to be with her again. He married because of a very real human need for love and companionship and now, according to doctrine, his deceased wife will have a sister wife to share in the next life. Ask most faithful LDS women what they feel about the prospect of being a polygamist in the next life and she will have a dang hard time convincing you that she's okay with it.
      So no. Frankly, I don't take these men who are allowed to have one or two or three eternal wives seriously when they say that they "get" that it's hard to be celebate but you get what you get and you don't get upset. Because that's dang easy to say when the hand you've been dealt doesn't require you to sacrifice companionship and love. Not even for a few years. A "a very, very bad experience in the second semester of the first grade" as Boyd K. Packer would phrase it. Josh, I get that you don't want anybody ruining the buzz you get over this revelation. But this is how I feel about the church's stance. You are free to delete this because it's your blog.

    9. Speaking of Sister Wives - I like that show. Not this season as much though because they've all become too whiny (even for them).

    10. Haven't seen that show in a while, Karen.

    11. "God's law is not ours to change" except for when it comes to slavery, shellfish, murder as punishment for working on the sabath, and anything else we feel is outdated. Christ's law isn't ours to change except for how he commanded people that they should give all their wealth to the poor.
      I would have an easier time respecting those who invoke God's law, Gemma, if they could at least be consistent.

    12. What about the thousand years in the next life where we will all be taught the gospel and given the chance to accept it? What would be the point of that if everyone was doomed to this or that because of how they lived on earth. What about the atonement and forgiveness and change? It is key to live your life the best you know how but not everyone is going to hear and truly understand the gospel. I have mentioned this before and I will say it again. The gospel is more than just do's and don'ts it is about forgiveness, love and so on. You honestly believe that in the next life according to the gospel you will not get a chance to accept it? That Heavenly Father is going to say "welp despite you living according to what you believed was right and being a great mother and wife your hosed because you left the church." That is just silly. We understand the doctrine differently, feel free to say I am interpreting it wrong again. But I am going to disagree with you in that one. Your not hosed in my book. From what I have read you are actively fighting for what you believe to be true, being a great mother, and living life according to what you believe to be true. That is admirable, that is good. Please do not read this as condescending like I am better than you or anything like that, because that is not what I feel or believe at all. You seem like a great lady and I believe you are not doomed in the next life. .

    13. I guess it's kind of a moot point. I'm refering to the doctrine as I understand it and not as I believe it. I guess that there is a chance for those who haven't had a chance. I'm pretty sure that as an apostate who has denied the existence of God, I wouldn't qualify but I could be wrong. That could be only if I knew it was true but seriously, who would do that? Seems like a paradoxical unforgivable sin. The sin nobody would realistically commit.
      Anyway, I don't stress it but I know that a mother who loved her child might. Some don't. I was never able to handle that kind of cog dis or I would LDS.
      Anyway thanks for your kind words Maquel. I do try my best as I think most of us do.

    14. Maquel, I completely agree with you about the gospel - well, the one in the Bible anyway! As always, I am looking to what the LDS Church says - because that is where the doctrine comes from. Individual members in their compassion may want to understand it differently. I am not saying your interpretation is wrong but rather I am looking at what the LDS Church itself says, which is, if you reject Jesus Christ as your saviour, you will not get into the CK and in fact will go to the outer darkness, wher only those who have rejected Christ and sons of perdition go. I also look to what the LDS church says about gay couples - it says that gay couples will not be in the CK. So, again, while individual Mormons might feel differently, I am looking right to what the LDS Church actually says. If it is all subject to progressive revelation, then I could never trust what the church is saying now to be true in a year or two or 10.
      Individual Mormons may try to soften the message or in their opinion feel that everyone gets into the CK, but that is not what the Mormon leadership is saying.

    15. So you are saying according to the doctrine if someone is in gay relationships on earth then there is no way for them to get into the CK, even if they accept the gospel in the next life which includes the doctrine of one man and one woman?

    16. Karen, i appreciate what you are trying to think and say. You seem to be missing pieces and parts. I cant always tell if you are trying to understand, or if you are just being cutting. You aren't always correct on the doctrine though. To state that someone who rejects jesus christ as their savior will IN FACT go to outer darkness is no correct. There are more facets and principles to the doctrine. You seem to be stuck on the CK, and other levels of heaven.. there is a lot of info out there, i would suggest going straight to the souce as well as anywhere else you have been going in your studdies or inquiries.

    17. @Maquel - I asked Tasha and Tasha said there would be no gay relationships in the CK. Is there official church doctrine on a gay person in a gay relationship accepting the gospel in the next life and going to the CK? And if so and if the emphasis is so much on the next life, wh is there so much stress on not living a gay life in this life? In other words, why can't people be free to love who they will (as consenting adults obviously) rather than having to either live a straight life or be celibate in this life?
      To Anon - I'm actually being serious. As for being stuck on te CK - I'm just trying to honestly find out what the Mormon obsession is for lack of a better word, with the CK. I'm not obsessed with the CK but it seems to me that Mormons and official Mormon doctrine are - why are gay men living straight lives? Is it not so they can spend eternity with their families in the CK? Is the CK not the ultimate hoped for destination? Is that not the reason, stripped down to its basic point?
      In all church doctrine, in all doctrine actually, there is a bottom line. There can be all kinds of facets and principles that are above that bottom line of course. But the bottom line is key.. I do see that part of the bottom line is that God loves us all. But also part of that bottom line, and since the focus here is on gay people I reference that, is that gay people in gay relationships will not get into the highest level of heaven. And THAT bottom line is why gay Mormon men marry straight women, why the thought of living a gay life is terrifying for Mormons and why Mormon parents are mortified that their children will be gay because they will then be separated from them for eternity. That's the doctrine. Individual Mormons can believe that it will all be fixed and all right in the next life and that it is all that much more nuanced - but that is not the doctrine.
      And I apologize, I was slightly mistaken about who goes to Outer Darkness - "These are they who had testimonies of Jesus through the Holy Ghost and knew the power of the Lord but allowed Satan to overcome them. They denied the truth and defied the power of the Lord. There is no forgiveness for them, for they denied the Holy Spirit after having received it. They will not have a kingdom of glory. They will live in eternal darkness, torment, and misery with Satan and his angels forever." This is from an LDS website.
      I'm not presenting new material here. I am trying to wrap my mind around what the LDS doctrine is - again, not what individuls feel or how they choose to interpret doctrine to make it palatable, but what the doctrine actually is.

    18. There will be no gay relationships, but as for people who lived a gay lifestyle I believe that will be a case by case situation like every other sin.. That is what I understand regarding the doctrine. I I honestly should brush up on the three kingdoms. If you want to know the doctrine go to the church websites. You can even chat with a missionary and ask questions. Or even find some to come into your home and ask questions. There are tools to get your answers, keep looking:) what doctrine are you pulling from that says anyone who was in a gay relationship on earth cannot get into the CK?

    19. There are technically 3 levels within the CK an only those who are sealed in the temple will be able to continue their married relationship in this highest degree. This can occur in this life or the next life, which is why Mormons perform sealing for our ancestors who passed away before being sealed together. But even a married man and woman cannot obtain this highest degree if they reject a temple sealing. Agency is key for Mormons and no one is forced to make these covenants.

    20. The individuals in the other 2 levels will not be married..but I don't think it means you won't be able to see each other. I think any parent wants what's best for their children...especially when it's something they hold very dear to their heart. And every person reacts differently to their children's decisions and actions so trying to lump all Mormon parents into reacting the same way to children who don't live according to our doctrine is silly. Some people react more out of fear, others cling to hope. Some are more patient than others. The point being we believe God made marriage a sacred relationship between man and a woman. And because we believe that, wouldn't it makes sense we would want that for our children too more than anything in the world. There is nothing more sacred or blessing so great from God. The problem seems to me is how parents should be reacting when a child chooses a different lifestyle, which is what this website is helping to address from my understanding. No one is perfect, we can all be more Christlike in how we respond to differing opinions but it doesn't mean we have to agree with them.

    21. Karen,

      I ask again, what doctrine that you have come across that says anyone who was in a gay relationship on earth cannot get into the Celestial Kingdom? You keep looking for blanket statements. Honestly we will each be judged case by case. With what we new to be true, and many other factors out into it. That is doctrine. So to lump everyone who is living a gay lifestyle and say that they all will not get into the celestial kingdom is like lumping everyone who has lived with someone outside of marriage into not being able to get in either. I would recommend once again that instead of looking for answers in a blog that you get a hold of the missionaries. Or if you do not want to do that use a combination of the book Preach My Gospel and the church websites.

  3. I'm excited for this website too, Josh! Thanks for being part of this incredible time in church history!

    Alright, I haven't done this before, but here goes:

    Physically: Sluggish after neglecting the gym this week, but encouraged by some positive comments on my weight loss.

    Emotionally: A little lonely being on my own with my husband on a business trip, but happy to be dealing positively with my agoraphobia and anxiety. Excited for an upcoming trip home. Cautiously positive about a future free from constant anxiety.

    Spiritually: Hoping that I can feel the Spirit at church this weekend. I've been feeling a disconnect from my spiritual side lately; I think because of my super-high anxiety levels. But I'm proud of myself for continuing to do what I know is right even though it feels like I can't hear God as well as I used to.

    Goal for this week: Hit the gym at least 3 times, keep up with my anxiety exposure goals, and listen to at least 1 General Conference talk after church.

    Thanks Josh! Catch ya next week!

  4. Having read about and done some research the last several months about Mormonism (not as much obviously as people who have lived their whole lives in Mormonism!) I do indeed see that the website is a HUGE step. Bravo.
    I watched a few of the videos - and while this is not a check-in, I wonder if people could refrain from jumping all over my comments here - I felt really badly for Suzanne. She seems to be a lovely, sincere woman. And while I do see that it is a HUGE step that she has been relieved of the burden of keeping her homosexuality a secret - she still has to accept that she can not have her own family. I'm sure some of the pain of that is relieved in that she can be a huge art of her sister's family - which the video takes pains to point out. Yet here is this obviously lovely and lovely gay woman who, in order to feel that she is doing God's will, cannot marry another woman, cannot have a family with another woman. I'm not talking about MOR's because MOR's are not a panacea. Her relief is palpable as is her deep and abiding sadness, like grief almost. I found it very touching and very sad. I grieve.
    But yes, I agree, a big step for the Mormon church.

    1. Having seen this pain personally, it is very sad, Karen. I totally get where you are coming from on this one.

  5. SO in awe right now. I love that open discussion is encouraged, and we need to acknowledge that. Of course, I was tweaked when I heard "the official stance will not change for God's law cannot be changed". But yes, I ACKNOWLEDGE that this one step is a huge leap for the church. Progress <3

  6. I appreciate that you make that point Josh, about cross-talk. I've never done a check-in here, but I could see myself trying to be clever and witty, or self-pitying in order to get validation through my check-in. No cross-talk strips away any manipulation or motivation to contrive some sort of response by well-meaning readers to my check-in.

    So without attempting to get words of affirmation, and giving myself to vulnerability, here is my check-in.

    Physically: Feeling refreshed after a great night's sleep, but not feeling so refreshed by a general lack of physical activity and poor self-discipline with holiday treats.

    Emotionally: Feeling lots of love and joy as part of the Christmas season.

    Spiritually: Feeling grateful to have had a connection to the divine this morning, thanks to Elder Holland's stellar conference talk from October.

  7. Waaaaaay too excited right now to type rationally

    Will try again later when the jazz hands thing stops interfering.

    Feel free to delete if you like! I'm sure my neighbors wish they could delete watching me do the happy dance across my living room. Ha! They should just be glad I'm dressed this time. And now, back to the happy dance!

  8. Physically: Exhausted, woke up too early and have been eating too much, but I'm also feeling my age, which is a pleasant change from the old I've been feeling of late.

    Emotionally: Sad, but a healthy sad, never fun to say good bye. I like it here in Peru. I'm also drained, but that has to do with finals. Last night is another story entirely. For the first time that I can remember, I felt good about myself and who I am. Normally I am overly critical and see all the things I could have done, but last night I was content to be me and overly pleased with it. Now I am lamenting the fact that I volunteered to take another students excess baggage home with me... oh well.

    Spiritually: Not sure, still a bit distant and tired... but I have been in worse places and I think I'm heading in the right direction.

    Last week's goals: Ummm.... perhaps I tried too much, but I have been eating more, did read the lesson, need more time to adjust my expectation with sexuality, failed utterly to ask for letters of recommendation, and I can't remember what the other was... oh right, tourist junk and Christmas shopping, I have managed to do that... which is going to cost me on the flight home.

    This week's goal: Survive the 15 or more hours of cumulative layovers... maybe closer to 20... without resorting to violence, and make it home for the holidays. See ya all next year, dial-up makes using the internet unfun at home. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, A Joyous Winter Solstice, what have you.

  9. Physically: exhausted, throwing up, and the rest of the fun of expecting a new baby on my 44th birthday in August...

    Emotionally: overwhelmed, terrified, hormonal, I don't think I could survive another miscarriage

    Spiritually: praying like anything that I don't kill either my husband or son who are both in the process of being diagnosed with Aspergers, also praying about this little one, wanted so much but so scared after my last miscarriage that just about destroyed me and my marriage...

    Goal Update: did not make it to church but got all that I can get done for my craft sale tomorrow

    New Goal: getting to church this Sunday even if just for Sacrament Meeting

  10. My check in is this:
    Physically: Fat. I need to stop washing down mint Oreos with Arbor Mist peach wine.
    Mentally: Unchallenged and feel like I'm not doing much. I am a SAHM. I want to reenter the workforce but I don't see that happening any time soon. I don't feel like a very interesting person sometimes. (Not trying to get a laugh out of anyone.). I hate to sound ungrateful for being a SAHM, but sometimes I guess I am.
    Spirirually I got nothing. Sometimes I feel jealous of spiritual people. Especially this time of year. I just think this is the way my brain works and my reality. I could no more turn religious than I could turn gay. But sometimes I think it would be nice.
    I am proud of myself today because I want to lie with my face to the back of the couch curled up but I have not. I consider this something.

    I don't particularly care if anybody comments on this but I'll defer to Josh's wishes on the subject.

  11. Physically: I've been in a lot of pain lately. My neck and old injuries are all acting up, reminding me that I am about to turn 30 and it's all downhill from here. I haven't been to the gym in over a month now and I'm seeing/feeling it. However I haven't lost complete hope, I do plan on completing a half-marathon in the later part of 2013 and for that I am grateful because I know it is a realistic goal. I will push through it even if my knee caps are flapping off and my neck degenerates as I'm running. I don't care... :D Headaches are also an everyday issue.

    Emotionally: Am I Bi-polar? Tri-polar? Quad-polar? See below...

    Spiritually: I am in my "Dark Night of the Soul" and I believe I am coming out of it. However I never expected to be led back to the church; which I officially left about 6 years ago, my name is off of the records and everything. I've been praying for truth, begging God to help me, to show me where He is at. And the Mormon church? You've got to be kidding me. Didn't I stop going like ten years ago because of all of those contradictions and whatnot. But yet, here I am, older and with more understanding. Oh God, I am horrified. Everybody tells me I'm going to hell. Oh Lord, I don't want to go to hell. But I pray everyday until it hurts, asking God to help me, to show me what is true.

    Last month I was sitting in an Irish Pub drinking (a lot) and that's when I decided to get the number for the missionaries. On my stumble home I called and started speaking to a Temple Square Sister missionary that has been trying to get a hold of the elders for me. We keep missing each other (the elders and I) because of scheduling conflicts. My friend Kori, one of the only people that knows what I'm going through, tells me Tuesday night that she has my name in 5 temples around the Salt Lake Valley, less than 24 hours later the missionaries were at my door after I had just come home from dinner. I'm seeing them tomorrow. Lord help me.

    Also, ever since I was little, I've been attracted to both males and females. Very few people know this about me. I was just married and beforehand part of me was wondering what would happen if I were marrying a woman. I knew that deep down inside it would not be the right thing even though the desire to be with one has been with me throughout my life. In other words, I've been open to being with either sex.

    So to find people that also acknowledge this and yet remain in the church has been amazing for me. I always felt so horrible, so disgusted, sometimes my feelings for women totally overran my feelings for men. I always felt so guilty and terrible even though I never acted out on them. It is powerful that the church says I'm OK, that this is just my burden to overcome, part of my trial. Which is funny because this was revealed to me earlier, which is why I was so happy to find your blog!

  12. Physically: For weeks I've been ramping up my fitness routines, feeling revamped and ALIVE as well as losing weight, but under deadline for a proposal last weekend, I renewed an ongoing romance between my palate and carbs, chocolate, carbs and more carbs. The proposal was submitted, now to get back on track -- optimistic, though :)

    Emotionally: Somewhat content, somewhat irked, and pretty moody. Usually a sure sign I need some contemplative alone time - a five hour drive tomorrow should do the trick.

    Spiritually: A surge of recent and overwhelming love and hope after some dark, sad, scary weeks of feeling at the end of my rope and quite hopeless. This new website is spiritually lifting as well as some of the incredible conversations I've had -- seriously, God bless my mother, she is a saint. Remembering who I am, what I care about, why my problems aren't a death sentence and how progress and love come, often, from the directions we aren't looking in. [Bjork, All is Full of Love - so appreciate that song.]

    Very grateful for you, Josh Weed. You & yours have all the love and support in my heart.

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  14. Physically: sleep deprived. kind of bleh. It's finals, so there ya go.

    Emotionally: Not as bad as I would have thought. I'm gonna be a basket case by the time finals are over, but that's to be expected.

    Spiritually: Actually not that bad. Wednesday morning I had my worst relapse ever, and I was being very harsh with myself. But I decided that I needed to tell my roommate, and she was so supportive. She didn't judge me, wasn't weirded out or angry or anything. In that moment, it was very much a type and shadow for me. It reminded me that God loves me, even when I'm not living right.

    Last goal: pretty poorly. I'm still working on the whole prayer thing.

    New goal: keep the spiritual high, don't let finals murder me, and keep working to refine myself.

  15. OK - my first time to do check-in. (No seriously, I have never done it, although I know I write a lot otherwise and all around it)

    Also, Josh - definitely a good idea to eliminate "feed back" and "cross talk" - I didn't know that was the rule, but I think it's a good one.

    BTW - This is Mrs. IDM here,

    Physically: Pretty good,... which is great for me under the circumstances of some health issues I live with. I've been walking and stretching and I got the Yoga tapes (that I got years ago at a yardsale) out of the back of the closet and dusted them off. ;)

    I've been eating extremely healthy (except a little slip up here & there - which literally means, a few bites of choc. chip cookie and more butter on my veggies than I should....oh yea, and then there was that burger and onion rings last week so slap me!) I've lost a few more lbs and I'm sleeping better.

    My only complaint is that my back pain is much worse and I know that it's from too much sitting at the computer, communicating on The Weed, and working on our blog (which is finally up as of this morning - YEAH!)

    Emotionally: Absolutely amazing! This opportunity of writing (which I truly love to do) and communicating so closely with my husband as we continue to read and comment on The Weed, and as we fine tune our posts for our blog, has been invigorating and therapeutic for me. THIS is what we've been preparing for, and we believe, what we've been prepared for. Which brings me to the next catagory...

    Spiritually: Ok, so the minute I typed the word "spiritually" I began to cry (doesn't mean I lied on the "emotional" part either, cause it is all just SOOOO GOOD) :D

    I am so extremely grateful for this time in my life. I am so in love with my wonderful husband and grateful to him for his amazing humility, love and commitment to me. But mostly for his commitment to God, which I constantly learn from and work towards. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ and I know that He is so real and so totally and absolutely IN MY LIFE DAILY. There is just no denying the power of God. I feel it, and testify that it is real.

    We have had alot of things get in the way of getting the blog going, but we know through lots of prayer that it is what we are supposed to do. We have seen and felt God's hand in our lives as we have pushed through to the ultimate goal, and it is NOT a coincidence that the very day I hit the "publish" button on our first blog post, that the church came out with the new website regarding same sex attraction. WOW! But then, I shouldn't be surprised because that's how it's been for us, through the years, just one amazing story (and even miracles) after another.

    I testify to the power of prayer, the blessings from daily scripture study, and the statement that "With God, Nothing is Impossible".

    Love to you all - MRS. IDM

    1. Opps! - I forgot MY GOAL... It is to remain calm and stress free as I prepare for Christmas, stick to my health and fitness goals, and push full speed ahead on our blog, all at the same time. YIKES! :/

  16. "I feel like a small part of something really big." Maybe in a global scene you've played a small part, but for me personally what you've shared is huge. I had tuned in for narratives about running and enlightenment about Bambi nuggets. Over time the dialog you've started has helped me see more clearly the issues and more importantly the people behind them. In my mind you've been willing to be the face of the issues and it has changed the way I think and act. You've played a huge part in there, so I just wanted to say thanks. So when it comes to today's check-in, I'm feeling thankful and appreciative. Thanks you!

  17. PHYSICALLY : Libido in overdrive
    EMOTIONALLY : Sex v Suicide
    SPIRITUALLY : Grateful

    Last Weeks Goal : Haven't started
    Goal : Get through the next few days as gracefully as possible.

    - grey

  18. I rarely comment, but I think I'll give it a go: first - I never thought I would see the church address these types of issues in my lifetime. I am a former mormon and so I have some pretty direct knowledge of the faith. I'm glad that the walls are starting to come down. The culture of "you're either with us, or against us" is what drove me away (that, and I happen to believe a little differently than what they teach). I'm so happy to see this website happen!! YAY.


    Physically: I'm down 4 pounds and have started a 14 week program to get ready for a 10k. I'm pretty excited about giving this a try. And I've very proud of myself for staying with my diet.

    Emotionally: I love this time of year, but the financial stress gets to be a burden. That, and my love is not here to help me celebrate. That makes me a touch sad... but overall I'm in a very good place.

    Spiritually: This is always a loaded question. I have tended to just "go my own way" when it comes to spirituality. My brother (who is not mormon, but is very into his own faith) has sent me a couple of sermons from a guy that he really likes. He's challenged me to listen to them so we can discuss over Christmas. ARG... it's very hard to keep and open mind but I am trying. I love my brother and we are always very respectful of one another and I'm sure it'll be a very interesting conversation. But the sermons do tend to get my hackles up. I'm trying to dissect why. That is never easy. (if you'd like to converse on this subject, you can email me at

    Last week's goal: Get back on the diet (success).
    This week's goal: Do all 3 work-outs.

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.

  20. Physically, feeling tired all the time and growing a gut.

    Emotionally, feeling bad about myself bc i saw a picture of Sarah Jessica Parker and her figure was outrageous after 3 kids. Yeah, I know she didn't birth them all...

    Spiritually, meh. Every night I say my thanks and then turn around and wonder if I'm just a sucker.

  21. Awesome stuff happening for us, lately. I listened to Elder Anderson's introduction to the new website, and I'm pleased.

  22. well, i WAS going to say how much i love the new website and am so excited that you shared it, but i wont say that because then you will remove my comment. instead i will just do my check in.

    physically: i feel really fat and ugly, but at the same time i feel a sense of hope for the year to come. i feel like i am learning a lot about my body and starting to change my thinking. i got some new clothes that fit me better and even though i hate that they are 8 sizes larger than i want to be, i am glad that i can look nice.

    spiritually: i reached a low on Sunday, and have been feeling really distant from my Savior most of the week. but last night i had a moment where i started to feel more hopeful. i know God loves me unconditionally and i am going to trust that He wants me to return to Him and just try to do better the coming week. i am starting to believe that it IS possible to repent and change.

    emotionally: its been a rollercoaster. but i feel a load lifted now that i caught up on my calendar and birthday goal list. now i can focus my emotions on more positive things. i am planning to call and set up an appointment with a therapist and give counseling another try. i feel like i have grown a lot in the past few months and i am more receptive to counseling. i think it will be a positive move.

    last weeks goal: finish birthday goal list. DONE AND DONE.
    new week goal: call and make appointment with counselor.

  23. same message, exact same message. just softer sounds. same old message. call me when the mormon church stops punishing gay people for wanting to be in gay relationships.

  24. Physically: Migraine caused by stress and hormones.

    Emotionally: Raw with my emotions right on the surface because of worry.

    Spiritually: Humbled

  25. Physically: a little worn out. I'm tired and my body is feeling it. I did some relaxation yoga this week and that helped relax some muscles. Overally though, I'm surprisingly healthy.

    Emotionally: Drained. To much thinking. I find it hard to rub two words together and make a sentence. I've been running on empty for a couple weeks now. But there is an end in sight. I'm also terribly nervous about sunday. I will most likely see someone that I need to talk to and figure some things out and I'm not sure how to do it and actually get it done.

    Spiritually: Better. I had a really profound scripture study last night. Part of my problem is that I'm doing a spiritual/emotional hamster wheel trick. I'm running around in a cycle of fear, impatience, and doubt about choices in my life. Fear has been my detriment for too long. I haven't been able to see as clearly as I could because of it. And I need to let it go. So I prayed for help and woke up today with that familiar sense of peace that I've been missing for a while. It was wonderful! I'm going to work to keep it.

    Goal last week: to chug through the GRE --> ACHIEVED. And I did pretty well, I believe

    Goal this week: Take my finals and have a Cocao and be brave enough to at least ask for a moment to talk with the person I need to have a serious conversation with.

    1. As for the website. It'll probably have to wait till saturday or sunday to get a good look around. Right now, I have an early morning planned, which means bedtime.

      But I'm excited about it!

  26. Physical: Time to refresh and renew
    Spiritual: Grateful and humble
    Emotional: Need to venture out of my comfort zone and keep a journal

  27. My wife and I are way excited for the new site as well. This is a wonderful time to be alive. So glad to be a part of it all.

    Physical: Really good. Been riding my bike to work consistently for a couple of months. Possibly in the best shape I've been in. Could use some more sleep, though. Hard to fit everything in to the day. Not sure if I need to do less or learn to let go more. Easy to say but hard to know what to let go of.

    Spiritual: Had some good talks with God lately and feeling really loved.

    Emotional: Crappy and I'm just going to accept that and let myself have a bad week. One of those slumps that you don't know where it came from and so it's hard to pull out of. Also feeling needy and vulnerable which makes me act selfishly, which makes me feel more needy. Vicious cycle. Also feeling down on myself.

    Goal: Get out of my own head by befriending a stranger.

  28. Physical: Still staring at the treadmill (bet you can guess how last weeks' goal went!). My winter arthritis has kicked in, and I'm way too young to have winter arthritis but there it is. As a result I have turned on all the heaters and will likely spend most of the day curled up in a pile of blankets while I work. :)

    Emotional: Struggling with the challenge to develop a healthy relationship with sacrifice (and seeing a little too much of myself in C.S. Lewis' Till We Have Faces). Hard to see family members struggle and not take that on, but it's an important lesson.

    Spiritual: Better (thanks for the TLC last week, tho I totally understand the no cross talk rule). I've reached out to people I love and have felt support. Need to make a mental note to do that more instead of trying to hide everything under a veil of "nothing to see here, move along, everything's peachy!"

    Last Week's goal: Hammer on spiritual issues, get on the treadmill. Hammer, check. Treadmill...not so much.

    This week's goal: Keeping the treadmill goal again for next time.

    (whispers) Really excited about the website! :)

  29. I've never checked in before but here goes:

    Physically: haven't been eating good or working out. But I am just getting over being sick so I'll use that excuse for my lack of caring about my body. I just started using MyFitnessPal and I like it. I need to track better though. And try to stay on goal.

    Emotionally: I've had a lot of ups and downs in the past week. I am proud of myself for completing a writing goal of mine. But have also felt really lonely lately. Although I did hang out w some friends last night and had a blast. It was so nice to see them again. I need more of that.

    Spiritually: this is a dept I have been seriously lacking in lately (or for a long time). But I am proud of a decision that I made this week that very drastically effects my spiritual side. And I am grateful for the help I received from HF on making that decision. It was tough. I feel like things are moving up for me. I can't complain about that.

    Goal for the next week: workout at least a few times. Try to eat better. Keep working on and finishing the projects sitting in limbo right now.

    This was fun! Thanks Josh!

  30. LATE check-in:

    Physically: I'm doing better. I still want to lose weight, but the best way to do that is to have a plan I can stick to. I've made some lifestyle changes in the past year that make it difficult to exercise comfortably, so what I really need to do is look at the eating habits, but also at a way to start exercising again.

    Emotionally: I'm staring down the barrel of a stress gun and I KNOW when it'll shoot and why it'll shoot and I am torn between just being DONE with it and with fearing it. Depends on the day. It'll get better once the gun shoots because then I won't be wondering what the reactions will be. They'll just be and I'll deal. However, I've been crafting a lot lately, mostly for others, and that's keeping me in the head-space I need to be.

    Spiritually: My little brother is on a mission. His once a week letters make for the most amazing spiritual bolsters. I'm doing better.

    Last week's goal: Read Patriarchal Blessing every day. Didn't make it. I read it for five days straight and then on day six I fell asleep in the middle of a phone call, eating a sandwich.

    This week's goal: Act with purpose. I think I've been floating too much.

  31. Physically: My tooth got pulled and my back stopped bothering me, so GREAT.

    Emotionally: Surprised and awed that I actually felt "happy" this week forthe first time in several years. I think this is either a plateau of menopause or maybe the end is in sight! (Ok, I'm not a fool so I'm not holding my breath).

    Spriitually: Uplifted, and not just because I got to feel "happy". I was just last night standing in my kitchen and going through bills. Making stacks, actually, and somehow I know you know that works (wink wink). I started to pray and then I felt so bad asking for anything that I just said "God, you know my needs. Thy will be done." and I flipped on the radio. The radio happened to be turned to AFR and I heard a deep voice with a twang say "...our next segment on WHEN TRYING TO HAVE COURAGE FACING THE FUTURE IS MAKING YOU DEPRESSED. Now, THAT'S what I call an answer, and a quick one at that! LOL

  32. My First Check in,
    Physically: I feel much better today. I thought last week I was going to die from the medication the Doc had prescribed for my bad eye. It was the worst thing ever!!

    Emotionally: What a day. The Church finally realizes that I did not make a conscious choice to be attracted to men. I came here this way; it has always been a part of me. I have felt so guilty for solo long when the Church Leaders told me this is a choice I made. Emotionally I feel like someone understands.

    Spiritually: I feel so great today, I was able to give my HP Group Leader a blessing before a surgery he had yesterday. It was a good experience for me to help him.

  33. Physically: Been going running three mornings a week over the past month, and surprisingly really enjoying it. Running has always been one of those things I think I 'should' do, though up until now its always felt like torture. I'll get worked up to try again, but after a couple of runs I hate it so much that it all goes out the window for another six months or more. But this time I've been going for just over a month and loving it. Not too sure what's changed, but I never thought I'd ever hear myself say that I enjoyed running. But I've been really excited and happy that I'm doing it!!!

    Emotionally: Although I'm not entirely sure the word 'unstable' is exactly right, its the best word I can think of to describe it. I seem to find myself fluctuating a lot between being happy with life and feeling down right pathetic. There are probably other things contributing to it too (like several relatively big things for me are going on behind the scenes), but I have noticed I tend to feel crud on the days I don't go running, and thinking maybe (finally - because people have told me my whole life that exercise makes you feel better and it never has, at least until now) its something to do with endorphins kicking in on my runs. I wonder, does this mean I'm becoming a bit of a druggie?

    Spiritually: Blah. Although I was doing pretty good for me on this front a month or so ago, the last couple of weeks its all just slowly fizzled. I feel fake. I feel a bit like its all just a waste of time. I have several internal battles that repeatedly come back to bite me, and this is one of them. I want to believe, not just go along with it on the outside like I've been doing a good chunk of my life, but actually genuinely believe it deep down in my heart. But even though I've tried and tried, I just can't seem to get there. Sometimes it doesn't bother me too much, and other times (like now) it does.

    Goals: Its been a while since I last checked in and I don't remember my last goal. But for this week, I want to go running at least three mornings. My newly found running buddies left this morning for a summer holiday of two months, but I want to keep up the running while they're gone. So the challenge for me will be to get out of bed and go running by myself, without them to keep me accountable. But they did say I can pick raspberries from their garden, so looking forward to the prospect of having a nice breakfast of raspberries after my runs :)

  34. Jon Heder (aka Napoleon Dynamite) is in one of the pictures in Ty's story. I wonder if he knows he is on the website?

  35. Hi Josh, I have just reviewed some of your posts and I have really enjoyed your writings. Thank you.

  36. Here is a link to an article about a gay male couple in England that foster severely disabled children:
    I wonder what God would say about that.

    1. Probably the same He'd say about most of his children. Filled with good and bad and other things.

    2. Wont give an inch, eh? Same song more softly song but still, you know, sung.

    3. "filled with good and bad and other things" ... come on, what kind of a father would say his child was "filled with bad?" Let alone God, our Perfect father? I don't think God would talk that way about ANY of His children.

      And, I didn't see anything that could possibly be seen as "bad" in the article, except for the reference to them being in a gay relationship. In this context, God might just gently remind you to be more respectful of those around you, ESPECIALLY people that you are tempted to judge because they have different beliefs than you. ESPECIALLY ESPECIALLY when a new website is launched specifically encouraging a shift in perspective that is positive for everyone involved.

      Cue the beam and the mote (Biblical parable)?

    4. I don't think Tasha meant "bad" in the context that you think it does, Kami. I think she means "bad" in that we are all human and have weaknesses and will inevitably make mistakes and in that way we aren't perfect or good or kind or honest all of the time. And I think that God would concede that. In fact, he wants us to be aware of how imperfect we are so that we can be freed from our pride, come unto Christ and use the atonement so we can live with Him again.

      Before you quote the beam and the mote parable and get in someone's face for what you think they meant, I think it would be important to think about what they are really trying to say even if they choose the wrong words. Or at least give them the benefit of the doubt because it seems that you are judging Tasha and her point of view based on her one comment which you may or may not have understood correctly. Electronic communication is difficult that way in that we can't always understand exactly what someone means.

    5. Kami,

      It wasn't a judgment call. I don't know them from Adam. But everybody, last time I checked, are human. It means that we do good things. We make poor decisions. Some thing we do are wrong. And still other things we do are neutral. Some of us have hearts better than others. I have no idea how mine would compare to theirs. I don't have any desire to compare. Honestly, I think you've jumped the gun. It was not all that controversial a statement. You're assuming more about me by those two sentences than can possibly be found in them.

      If you want I could list the many faults I've had and the many faults I still have. God knows I have them. He is a perfect Father. When I was ready to grow more he'd show me my weakness, even when they were painful and dark and seemingly insurmountable. He then taught me why these needed to go, I would ask for His help to do so, and He would. Again and again until my soul was at an astounding peace. And today. I'm still doing it. It's called repentance. The preface is that there's something that needs to change, usually entailing my attitude or behavior. So yes, God does indeed know when there is bad in His children.

      Again, I wasn't judging them. Quite the opposite: I was saying, they're basically like all His other children. I thought it was a bit silly to ask what God thought of them. What I like about my faith is that it recognizes the many shades of gray that we all are in its epistemology. We all vary. Most of His children, by the way, would include myself. The only one not on the list would be Jesus.

    6. "filled with good and bad and other things" ... come on, what kind of a father would say his child was "filled with bad?" Let alone God, our Perfect father? I don't think God would talk that way about ANY of His children.

      Kami, what religion do you belong to that says God believes humans are only filled with good? I'm an atheist, but I'm not completely ignorant about religion, and I can't think of a religion that preaches that (God thinks) humans are completely good. Or are you a theist who doesn't belong to any organized religion?

    7. There are a disproportionate number of gay couples who foster/adopt children that no one else will. There seems to be a strong push in Mormonism for its members to have their own biological children. Heck, some gay men are even marrying straight women so that they can have their own biological children in the traditional way (although I read on the new website that the Mormon Church neither encourages or promotes that). Meanwhile, there are thousands of foster kids who are considered basically 'unadoptable.' I think God, who is all about the marginalized, is rather cheering those gay men who adopt the 'unadoptable.' I'm sure that there are some straight couples who do this as well as well as some Mormon couples. The world is overpopulated. So much kudos to the gay men in that article. I'm finding it interesting how my question tangented out to whether or not God thinks humans are good or not. No one said, wow, those men are doing an amazing thing. And why is that that no one said that but were rather quick to point out that they are sinners like the rest of us? Is there something wrong with pointing out that this couple has chosen to care of the 'least of us'? Imagine if Mormons, en masse, started to adopt those that no one else will - imagine if they decided to stop contributing to an already overpopulated world and focus on adopting hard to place children. But they're not - I mean Marie Osmond has adopted children which is both surprising and great and I'm sure there are token examples of other Mormons doing this. But on the whole its have sex to have biological children. So, I for one, applaud this gay couple - their actions show me God far more than a religion that says they are an abomination to God.

    8. It wasn't exactly a hard tangent to reach. You asked/stated, I wonder what God would think of them. You didn't specifically ask what we personally thought of them. Personally, they look happy and they're doing a good thing that I personally probably couldn't do myself (though I wouldn't mind fostering one day, just a different cohort) and that is greatly needed in the community, and they sound very british. I doubt there would be many people who would say otherwise. But the discussing point left wasn't "geeze, aren't they great people" it was "what would God think."

      Furthermore, at no point did I even infer that they were an abomination to the Lord. There's more I have to say, but need to go for now

    9. Also on adoption:
      It’s fairly common among LDS members to adopt. Yes, many want their own biological children. But many can’t and adopt or have a few physically and then adopt or foster. In fact, the LDS church has its own adoption agency. Heck, I was almost adopted myself. (That’s a story for another day).
      Your inferences about adoption about gay couples or LDS couples and their adoption practices, are based entirely on your perception, not in actual stats. Frankly, especially on the LDS end, it shows. Not only that, but it comes off as a major judgment call on LDS families at the same time. What I read in that paragraph is: look at the great gay couple who do a great service to humanity by taking in unwanted children while the Mormons over here just keep adding to the detrimental figures called the human population….not even close to what they could be doing. It’s not an either/or, okay-good-better-best scenario. Not every couple SHOULD be fostering/adopting hard-to-place children (even the couple you’re extolling mentioned the same thing). They often have special needs that certain families may not be able to handle as well. This couple had background that means they would have welcome skills to make them good at doing this. Others may not, and it can be to the detriment of them and the child in question.

      On any form of judgment toward them (for both Karen and Kami):
      The problem I have and still have is this painting of flat characters. LDS theology does not state that this couple is an abomination to God simply because they don’t match up with LDS standards. It says they’re a mix of good, bad, and in-between, with infinite potential (being children of God), like every last human that lives on this earth. It states that their judgment will be His to give looking at all they are and where they were within THEIR own context, and He will decide fairly. In fact the LDS epistemology negates our ability to fully decide how someone is seen by God on earth, because, well we’re complicated. In an LDS talk a few years ago, and Apostle was careful not to cast judgment on Judas (the guy who betrayed Jesus for money, leading to his death) because it wasn’t our place to do so. And on a personal note, one of the things I needed to repent on that was one of the most freeing moments in my life that taught me much about God, was letting go of judgment of my grandfather, a child molester. I learned, quite clearly, that it wasn’t mine to judge. He was easily socially justifiable to write off and hold little forgiveness or kindness to. And yet I was asked by a young missionary that if I was to find him next to me in heaven, being welcomed in, would I be able to welcome him in too. I said no, and felt a strong impression that that was wrong. God taught me how to let go.
      So if I can do that to someone who actually harmed people that I love and let go of my judgment toward him to see his humanity and what it is that God loved so much in this man, then this random gay couple in England doesn’t hold a candle to him. I resent any ridiculous portrayal that I would disrespect them for some perceived judgment that I have not made and will not make. Judgment is not mine to have. That is what my faith teaches and has taught me.

    10. @Tasha - does the LDS church teach that of couples, only straight married couples will get in to the Celestial Kingdom and that gay couples will go to the third level of heaven only? I'm not looking for what you personally think, I just want a yes or no, does the LDS Church teach that gay people living gay lives cannot make it into the Celestial Kingdom? To be super clear: I am not asking what you personally think or how you have personally chosen to interpret what the LDS Churchis saying. It may seem annoying to bring it down to that level because it may seem that that takes away the 3 dimensionality of people. But what I am trying to get at is what the LDS Church leadership believes because it is from them that the official doctrine comes. You may individually feel differently and I have no doubt that you and other Mormons, like all humans, are not flat characters. I note that whenever I try to get to the crux of the issue some bring out the 'we are not caricatures' thing. So I say again that I don't think that you are. But yes or no?
      You said "What I read in that paragraph is: look at the great gay couple who do a great service to humanity by taking in unwanted children while the Mormons over here just keep adding to the detrimental figures called the human population" - yes that is a fairly accurate paraphrasing of what I was trying to say. Again, it is not individual Mormons I am talking about but what the LDS leaders teach - is it better to have biological children than adopt children -what is the offical line?
      And that random gay couple? they seem awesome!

    11. We r to have bio children if we can, and we can adopt if we want as well. I would take a child any way they came

    12. @Tasha

      Do you believe gay couples should be allowed to adopt? Correct me if I'm wrong but don't LDS adoption services not accept gay couples?

    13. oh boy. That is a whole can of worms there. I mean the LDS Church has just now set up a website telling their members to be nice to gay people (as in don't kicking them out of your house), Iimagine they are at least 50 years away from thinking gay couples should adopt.
      I realize you asked Tasha but I'm putting a couple of cents.

    14. To Karen's question. Officially: no. There will be more than married people in the celestial kingdom. And there is no official doctrine as to where gay couples will go. Saying with a completely straight face, believe it or not. Wherever they are they will be happy. It’s heaven and each degree is described as receiving a fullness according to its place. Again, Judgment, mercy, etc is His, not mine to figure out. He doesn’t give us a detailed map as to how each individual will go. There is law that those within the celestial kingdom will live by/accept. The family, for LDS, is a central and eternal principle. Christofferson mentioned so quite clearly in the video. But for individual judgment that is not ours to be had. There’s no set formula or sure-fire answer. I have no doctrinal idea where David or Daniel mentioned will go. That wasn’t a personal opinion that was a doctrinal fact.

      On adoption v birth and which is better in LDS terms: There isn’t some official line. Bringing children into your family is a decision that is between the couple and God. That's it officially

      LDS Services have very strict requirements for couples in general. It’s a service specifically giving children to active, stable, married and sealed LDS couples. A good number of LDS couples don’t meet their requirements for adoption as well.

      On gay adoption: Ideally, I’d like them to be a married couple with both male and female parents in the household who are emotionally and financially stable. Realistically, I would prefer the children to end up in homes period. Any stable home would be better than bouncing around in the system or with a parent who can't support their child. In the end I’m a pragmatist on this. If the couple/person and the birth parent(s) agree to the adoption terms then that’s enough for me.

      P.s. Your “crux” is often wrong. For example that paraphrasing issue so that it becomes an adoption v. birthing idea is a false dichotomy and a poor judgment call. Adoption has issues as well. By definition adoption working to make a not-so-stellar situation better. That’s a good thing. Biological families also have real viable and statistically distinct advantages that are beneficial for children. That’s a good thing. Adoption or biologically, it’s good as long as the children's needs are met.

    15. Okay, if there is no official doctrine as to which level of heaven gay people will go to and wherever they go, they will be happy, why all the emphasis on not living a gay life (and doing anything not to basically)? There must be a rather huge difference between the Celestial Kingdom and the other two lower levels? And the law that those in the Celestial Kingdom will have to accept - about the family as it is a central LDS principle - is part of that that marriage is only between a man and a woman? If so, then it makes sense that no gay couples will be in the Celestial Kingdom. And I know then those in the other two levels can't' visit up, so I'm extrapolating that the concern is that gay couples won't be able to visit their families but they will still be happy. My question is the same then - if gay couples are still going to be happy in one of the two lower levels of heaven, why all the stress and push against living a gay life?
      If those in the Celestial Kingdom can visit down,as it were, surely they will still be able to see their gay relatives?
      I am being serious here and not mocking.
      In regard to adoption - do you have links to studies that show that biological families have real and statistically distinct advantages? There seems to be a very subtle but real point that you are making - adoption is okay and will work but having your own biological children is much better. I don't see it as a false dichotomy.
      The commenter above said 'we are to have bio children if we can' - who is telling Mormons that 'we are to' - church leaders? God? Did they have adoption in Bible times.
      This is a long comment but I'm just trying to clarify.

    16. and I do try to get to the core of the issue - for example, why all the emphasis on gay relationships being wrong. I do this because while individual members can feel all sorts of different ways, it is what the LDS church says about issues that is important as that is what is being followed. Individual interpretations of the doctrine to perhaps make it seem more palatable (I am not saying this is what you are doing) to ourselves and others is irrelevant - it is what the church says that is what must be and is believed.

    17. No, there won't be gay partnerings in the CK. I was talking about the individuals, themselves. The emphasis of the Law of Chastity on it is about the sacred nature that is the relationship between husband and wife. It's viewed as one of the most fundamental and sacred unions to be cultivated. Yes, it makes sense, but its an inference, not an actual point of doctrine and, of what I've seen and known of God I'm sure to see more than my handful of surprises. Life, for LDS, is continually progressing and continues even after we die. So it isn't necessarily about what is seen right this instant, but about how much light and truth we accept in our open and humble we are to receive more. The law of the CK is, in short, divine perfection. All of us will need correction, change, and refining by God. All of us do not entirely match up with the laws that govern celestial law. So I cannot say who will or will not be there.

      And there is no subtle "having biological children is much better" message coming out of my fingers. Your reading things. What I mentioned was more a balancing to what I read as a blanket extolling of adoption while denigrating the goodness of families who are biologically based. My point was that is wrong. That one isn't better than another. They just are. Both will have their own sets of challenges and complications. Both can be messy. Both have their negatives and positives. That was my only point. If I thought adoption was ok while biological is better I wouldn't want to adopt or foster. And I do. I don't want to solely adopt, I want to have the experience of birthing a child. But if I can, I would like to adopt, especially a minority child that is often harder to place. I wouldn't do that if I thought my potential adoptive children were second-best to my potential biological children. They will be my children, period. Religiously they would all be sealed to you, so for an LDS, they are yours in the ways that matter most.

      The core of the issue that gay relationships are wrong is what we feel very strongly about what is right. I wouldn't say there's an added emphasis. There are far more emphases on other Law of Chastity issues than homosexuality. Of course, you'll have to take my perspective of growing up LDS on this...kinda hard to prove. The ones I see most emphasized are waiting till marriage, fidelity, and pornography. Anecdotal evidence could be seen in typing homosexuality or pornography in search. There's around 230 hits on the drive for homosexuality and almost 1000 for pornography. There's focus on the issue that have greater precedence in the lives of their members. There's probably been an increase in talking about it, because of the general increase on talking about it within the whole of the population.

    18. Oh it doesn't matter to me if it is emphasized or not - just wanted clarity about gay relationships in the CK. And if someone is gay, then it would be quite important to them. So even if it is never talked about or referred to(which didn't seem to work so well in the past, hence the excitement about he website opening up conversation)it would still be important if that makes sense.
      So what that would mean then is that a gay couple that has been together for years and years is either going to be separated with one in the CK and one in the lower or lowest level of heaven(although the one in the CK could visit down) or they can go together to the lowest level of heaven? Is that right? Well, there's the whole Sons of Perdition but that would only be for males. If I were gay and in a gay relationship I would choose I think to go to the lowest level of heaven with my partner, rather than be separated. of course that would depend on how often the partner at the highest level could visit and for how long. Seriously, I realize how reading this over could sound like mocking but it's not. I'm just honestly trying to figure out how this works. So for that website to be really open, perhaps it should note that there will be no gay couples in the CK. Okay. So on to straight couples. If one in the couple is a Mormon and the other isn't, how does that work? or if I'm a parent and my adult child is in a gay relationship - does that mean i won't see my child in eternity except when I visit down? The thing is, Tasha, in my father's house (God's) there ARE many mansions and they are all equal.
      Anyway, thank you, you have answered my question -no gay couples in the highest level of heaven unless God does something hugely surprising.
      And the concept of progressive revelation is interesting indeed although it seems that the LDS church is putting its foot down and saying there will be no progress,as it were, in term of there being gay couples in the highest level of heaven. So if a gay couple is enquiring about Mormonism, it would be fair to say to them that as a couple, they will not be getting into the CK.
      As for adoption - as I say, the world is hugely overpopulated already so the more people that choose to adopt over having biological children, the better. It's interesting to note that Conservative Jews (i.e. Hasidic Jews) have the belief that they need to have many many biological children in order to re-populate the number of Jewish people in the world. Is it the same idea for LDS- that they need to keep the number of Mormons up? Just figuring this out out loud here - but that wouldn't make sense because as you say they could adopt children and have them sealed for eternity as well.
      Again, I am just trying to wrap my head around these concepts which I think is important to do.
      And I think that if the LDS Church, not individual members, really weren't sure who would be in the CK and who wouldn't, then there would be no need to keep gay Mormons from living gay lives.

    19. I have absolutely NO problem writing off a child molester. I think

    20. I think the christian concept of glorifying forgiveness in all circumstancess is what perpetuates abuse and gives solace enabling abusers tof strike again and revictimizing victims and I think that anybody who demands forgiveness for a pedophile is one SICK puppy. SICK. If I knew a person was capable of this I would do everything I tcould to see that they NEVER had access to children again.

    21. Mealy mouthed arguments that we ought to consider the perp, his wife, his kids, his employment, etc. are what keep nasty cruddy dirty pedophiles able to desroy lives. Let the clergy handle it. We don't want to destroy uncle Bob.
      Retro sick.

    22. Huh? How'd we get to child molesters??

    23. Thank you for thr reference BQ. For what it is worth, I think that if a person can get to a place where they can forgive a molester is one thing (and good imo).. that being said, even if i have forgiven such said person, that in no way means i have to let my children around him/her. I would also "warn my neighbor". That is doctrine. If things were done in this manner, any further abuse would be hindered

    24. Don't have much time, it's finals season for me.

      My grandfather is dead. I didn't forgive him until he was dead. He died with dementia. I was on my mission at the time. It had nothing to do with going and giving him a big ole hug or anything. It had to do with letting go of hatred toward him. It was a spiritual blocker that I'd forgotten about until I got the news of his death. I believed before then, his death would effect me no more than hearing about a thunderstorm in kansas would effect me. Heck, it would be a relief on our family in general as well as myself. But it didn't.
      There was this weight in my heart that I couldn't explain and I wanted it gone. I won't go into the details of everything. But it came down to recognizing something important for myself: By holding on to my disgust and hatred for this man, I was consistently being affected by him. In my own words at the time, I was consistently holding onto emotions that were meant for hell. So I let them go (with divine assistance). Shortly after I remember the beautiful experience of looking in the mirror and realizing I was at complete peace with myself. He was a long list of family-related demons that I had been harboring some very poor emotions toward and the last that I let go. And I was beautifully free. I cannot describe to you in words the amazing feeling that was.
      I don't care what he deserves. Whatever he gets is between him and God. I trust in a fair, merciful, and perfect judgment. I'm just pleased to be free.

      That said, when my grandfather was found out he was not allowed to be left with children at any means. He was on the sex offenders list for his remaining years. I wish the culture had been different so that he wouldn't have been able to go unnoticed for decades about this. He was divorced and left largely alone. Parts of my family (including my g-ma) helped to maintain him financially because he had dementia that was getting progressively worse. He died and was taken in the back of a pick-up truck to his grave. A number of his children (including those harmed) were at his funeral. They found it cathartic. A lot of my family did. I was taught, in a painful way, that he was still human. I'm not reducing what he did. The last time I saw him alive was the only time I've looked into someone and felt evil. But i'm not losing tract of the whole picture. That was a needed lesson for forgiveness to occur. Forgiveness allowed me to better see the effects and the cultural/familial issues that allowed it to remain in place. Forgiveness means I can develop better tools to address such problems in the future.

      Forgiveness should not be equated to permissiveness. It's not the same. It means letting go of pain, hate, and anger and moving forward with your life. It's a beautiful change of perspective that leaves you less affected by the evils of the world. It's a freedom.

    25. Tasha ,
      Thank you for this story you shared. I felt very moved by your words, in sadness then in a very sweet and humbling way. I agree with your veiw of forgivness. It is not a form of denial, or permissive to actions. Its for the forgiver, its freeing the soul of ill thoughts and emotions. Only if the forgiven are truly humble, the freedom then transfers to them in their apology.

      True forgivness can free us from even repeat offenders and leave us in a light they will maybe never know. It helps us make better decisions in who and how we trust later.

    26. Tasha,
      I too would like to thank you for your beautiful story of forgiveness. You took your power back and chose your destiny and didn't let anybody else choose it for you. It is a beautiful thing when we recognize that we can choose this.

    27. Karen,
      I find it very ironic that we would have no need for adoption or foster care if we did not have a breakdown of the family, and the family being one of the fundamental units to a strong society, is what the LDS church is working so hard to save. So actually the root of this problem is the breakup of the family unit. I think God would prefer a child to be raised in a loving home with the father and mother who gave them life. However, this is not the case for many children because of the breakdown of the family unit.

    28. Tasha,

      That was very raw and real and I appreciate you telling your story. It's true, when we harbor hate for whatever reason it brings us down and makes us miserable. It is definitely a process and can take a long period of time to let it go, depending on the severity of what the person did. I just wanted to say thanks for sharing, it was inspiring.

    29. To everybody,
      Thank you for the warm words
      To Karen;
      I know you bowed out. Heaven knows I need to as well (not so much for the pointless thing, I’ve done pointless discussion aplenty, moreso for the fact that I should be studying, but I’m being lazy). 3 points of clarity
      - On your long list of hypotheticals the answer is still the same: Again, there is no set guarantee for anything. I’m not God. He’ll figure it all out and it will be the perfect balance between justice and mercy.
      - There are many mansions, yes. LDS have a very comprehensive view on that. But there are also scriptures like not everyone who calls out lord, lord will enter the in. There’s, again, a balance between Law and Grace. Both are there, both have place.
      - On adoption. I study international development for my minor. Asserting that the world is overpopulated is not a fact. The issue is far more complicated than just how many people are dotting the land. It goes into sustainability of populations, distribution of goods, and the likes. Plus various means of lowering the population have their own set of problems as well including stagnation in countries where the population is under replacement levels and the population is growing older. China’s 1 child policy has exacerbated a gender gap that is beginning to really show major social consequences. Various policies implemented have led to human rights violations/sketchy programs in various countries. Plus the growth rate in most countries is curbing. The doomsday overpopulation argument is looking weaker and weaker. Much of our problems that we attribute to overpopulation are really man-made in origin. I could rattle off plenty more, but that’s enough.
      - On family in general: For LDS family is important, children are a gift. I don’t think there’s necessarily a mission to keep Mormon numbers up. Conversion rates would do that fairly well. It’s more a belief that having children (whether biological/adoptive) and raising them well is a central purpose for being here and marrying. To give you an idea of how important they are, on the same search engine there are 32,000+ hits for children. Here’s a scripture as well: “ 16 Wherefore, it is lawful that he should have one awife, and they twain shall be bone flesh, and all this that the cearth might answer the end of its creation;” Marriage and family isn’t just important to LDS, it’s central and fundamental. Frankly, as someone who personally plans to be pregnant one day, just saying there’s too many people in the world and we should all just adopt ain’t flying. I want a baby, I want the experience of making love, getting pregnant, birthing a new creature into the world, and feeding if from my body. That’s a base and primal desire and I have no reason to suppress it. It is apart of me as a woman that I find sacred and beautiful. On the logic view, it makes no sense. The model you’re suggesting is non-sustainable. Beyond logic is strong spiritual impressions that I will a.) have children and b.) at least have a couple of those be biological in origin…so the only argument ya have going is a “too many babies, not enough resources to go around” argument. Weighing my options, It just doesn’t hold up. It’s a weak and holey argument. And in its current form it just looks like a judgmental attitude unnecessarily pitting adoption against biological families.

  37. Checking in anonymously, since I have some sensitive things to say and don't really want my name connected with them.

    Physically: So. Very. Sick. today. I have finished almost all of my work for school, including bringing off the publication of a stellar literary journal. And it's like my body knew. Ok. She's done with all the crazy work she's been doing. Time to crash! So, I woke up feeling like I wanted to die. Ick. Of course, I feel like this is partly my fault. My immune system has been a champ all semester and I think that's because I've been doing a great job with nutrition and yoga and walking and sleep and taking care of myself. But for the last few weeks I've gotten very little sleep, eaten lots and lots of junk food, and have been rather sedentary. So, not feeling great.

    Emotionally: I'm a mess. I feel so disconnected in my relationship with my husband. I want us to be friends. I want to feel close to him. But there just seems to be a wall there and I can't seem to connect to him the way I want to. I'm not feeling like either of us is providing the emotional nourishment and fulfillment that the other needs. Which leads to my next emotion. I feel so very guilty. I have several male friends that I just love and love being with. We don't hang out alone or go on dates or anything, just talk occasionally at school or events or online. Throughout my marriage I've felt like I'm more connected to other people than my husband, that we just don't have things in common that I'd like. And I'm not talking shared hobbies or anything. Just shared ways of looking at the world, shared values beyond religion. And so I feel such tenderness and vulnerability and closeness with my friends and I don't feel that with my husband even though I want to. Even though I try. But he doesn't tell me much about his inner world. And doesn't really care to listen much about mine. It's painful. It's hard. And I don't want to keep going outside my marriage for that kind of emotional connection with other men. And I'm not doing it with the intent of cheating, but at the same time it feels somewhat emotionally unfaithful. And at the same time I think that our cultural taboos against married people having any friendships with people of the opposite sex are frustrating and too strict and don't make sense. So, I don't know how to feel about all of that. Particularly because close friendships with women are just so hard for me. They just don't work out the way I want them to.

    Spiritual: Feeling very disconnected. I'm LDS and my feelings toward the church have been all over the place. For a while I was just ready to leave, because I was so frustrated with the contradictions and especially with the lack of compassion and charity I saw all around me. And this has been hard for me because I'm a lifetime member who has always had a solid, burning testimony. And now, not so much. And I've been trying to get it back, trying to feel close to God and to my Savior again, but it's just not happening the way I want it to. I pray and it feels like I'm getting a busy signal. I don't remember the last time I really, really felt the spirit. But I'm going to keep trying.

    Goal: Pray daily. Keep trying to find answers to all of this.

    1. I wanted to reply to you because your story sounds so much like mine. You mentioned yoga so I am hoping you know about chakras! It sounds like your 7th chakra is clogged, it is your connection to God. Just a thought for you! You might want to examine your feelings towards the Church verses your feelings towards the Gospel. I have found it essential for me to separate the two. There will always be contradictions, lack of compassion and charity by members of the church, but I do not find the lack of these in the Gospel. As far as your relationship with your husband, I am very sorry. I have felt the same way for a very long time. I felt like I married someone with a closed heart. As I began to really work on my issues I realized that I too had a closed heart. I am trying to open it. Good luck! I will pray for you even if I do not know your name :)

  38. Um.. this isn't a check-in, but I have been waiting for your Friday's Frequently Asked Questions because I have a question to ask. So please do one??

  39. Physical: content(something I would have never though possible for a woman to feel).

    Emotional: overwhelmed, floating face first in the water (job wise).

    Spiritual: connected to the above mentioned 'overwhelmed'. For me, I think I have discovered that when a situation that would normally 'blow you out of the water' and cause a great deal of self recrimination, self-doubt, and lots of other negative 'self' terms-DOESN'T leave me devastated-then that is indeed a gift from God. Its like He's framed an air pocket around me as an avalanche rolls over, which allows me to breathe and accept the help that has been designed for me by my employer. Gratitude

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  41. Physical: OK. work has been very difficult lately. Minor surgery on the 13th.

    Spiritually: Thankful for knowing there is a Heavenly Father who loves me. Grateful for the Atonement and the principle of Grace, through my Savior, Jesus Christ. Still having difficulty feeling the Holy Spirit in my life. Isolated. just can't relate well to The Church and my ward members. Lives are just so different.

    Emotionally: Happy the Church has new website. Sad, there is never any counsel or comments or "standards" or directions about heterosexual crossdressers. My marriage is so very challenged from THIS issue. Overwhelmed by my own depression issues and all the extra expectations I put on myself for the holidays and granddaughters.

  42. I love the new website, I think it is wonderful and optimistic :) Life is good!

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  45. Physically:Average. For me, that's healthy, relatively fit. Actually, I have what's either the beginning of a cold, or allergies.
    Emotionally: Stressed. New job, things are set up badly at this workplace, I'm not sure I, or anyone, could do waht my boss wants, with things set up the way they are, scared of gettign fired in the future, I'm trying to get through college finals while working full-time,and-let's just say stressed

    Spiritually: (I'm Catholic) Always growing in love of God's Will. Always growing closer to God.

  46. P.S. My site:

  47. I'm thinking that since Rivka mentioned his/her (?) blog, then maybe it would be ok for me to do the same. (Especially at this time when there's not alot happening right now on our favorite blog, The Weed) -so maybe some of you might be interested in checking us out at

    And, since my friend Tammy, and several other regular commenters here were the folks who suggested we (Mr. IDM & I) do a blog as well.

    THANKS to those of you who encouraged us to do a blog as it has been so therapeutic for me especially, and Mr. IDM is thrilled with it and excited to start sharing his/our story.

    Blog instead of book -is a perfect idea for us as we have been working on our book for years and I've been dragging my feet. It just seems overwhelming to organize all the "stuff" we've written and recorded, complete the book, and get it published ~~ whew :( .....the blog is just so great as we can just post bits and pieces from our notes as different subjects come up or we feel so inspired. And, we will have immediate and constant feed back from readers - you don't get that from "a book". Oh, but then I just realized, you all know this, alot of you are bloggers too, we're just sorta like the last ones arriving at the party. Well, it's a GREAT party... Whaaawhoo ~~~ party on! :)

  48. and then there's my blog that you can read but probably won't after the first time and i don't blame you but, you know, it will bring my numbers up!

  49. Wow Josh! This'll show you not to mix a check-in with a LDS. SSA website launch again! I'm not going to add anything to the website conversation other than that I found it very validating to seeing our gay brothers/sisters, sons/daughters, friends co-workers from a more wholistic point of view: physically, emotionally and spiritually. I appreciate that immensely. And so here goes my check in:
    Physically- I am thrilled that there is no hidden camera on my phone as I type (on my phone. Laborious, yes. I like the more intimate feel of it). For my physical state is way out of balance from outward appearances. I don't even remember having teenage acne as bad as my adult acne is this month. Emotional stress screws me up big time and my skin does not lie. I am detoxing from indulging in Nestlé Dark Chocolate Morsels, which seem to be on sale this month. (and I was doing SO well). My stress had been compounding ever since the day I briefly met Lolly and waved to you at the Provo Convention Center. My father-in-law was on his deathbed with stomach cancer in California and we were striving to get to him before he passed, pulling the kids out of school early before a thanksgiving break. A million details later (new tires, car registration etc) and we made it 13 hours in the car to reach him. I actually felt bad for making him "wait" for us. It was so bittersweet. He ended up passing Thankgiving morning. He was very close to us and his grandchildren and we are missing his earthly presence.

    Emotionally- I have been feeling very tender towards those I love, even if my raging pre-menstrual hormones beg to differ..( I don't say that to be flippant about female issues or overemphasize them. I am hugely affected by them.). But a calm has gracefully attended me since the funeral. Perhaps "soberness" is a good word to describe my mental and emotional state. I sang a solo at the funeral and managed to have this calm. Sobbed going back into my pew, but was able to get out the beautiful words to "Be Still My Soul.". Being back home felt wonderful after living out of a suitcase for almost 2 weeks

    Spiritually- it is interesting how death can be a sudden release and also a slow, burning trial for the one experiencing it. I wonder why we experience so many differences in the event. Who decides the right moment to leave one's physical body behind? And what factors go into the choice: excruciating discomfort, the experience of those caring for the dying, the body actually releasing the spirit, loved ones on the other side's gentle urging? .I feel that what Christ has done in "overcoming" spiritual and physical death is so much more real and powerful to me, even when I don't understand the whys, whos and what fors. I am so grateful for that knowledge.

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  52. Hey, Josh, just curious - you always seem to remove anything that has to do with Mormonism and racism. Why is that?

    1. If I were gay, and went to a blog for support in coming out and finding a network of support from people in my same situation, I would be offended if I saw ignorant generalizations in the comment section. I might even feel less likely to feel loved and accepted by the very place I was seeking acceptance.

      I am just speaking for myself, but a few muslims who will blow themselves up because of their beliefs, does not mean I must generalize the whole muslim religion. That's the same with mormonism, and any negative you maybe heard of or even seen first hand.

      I feel like the youngest person here sometimes and the most accepting or open minded.

      I will have no problem with Josh deleting this either. (warm smile) as its also breaking his rules.
      sorry Josh.

    2. Absolutely, Jr. Idefineme. And that is why I always want to kow what the doctrine is and not just what people feel or how they choose to interpret it. Nothing to do with generalizing. In fact, I'm trying to do the opposite - to find out what the doctrine actually says. I've never generalized about all Mormons - I have repeatedly said that individual Mormons believe individual things. But it is the doctrine of the LDS church that LDBTQ youth must abide by. I'm not clear why that message would be upsetting - unless Mormons don't agree with the doctrine.
      I hadn't understood the doctrine around gay people living gay lives but now I am beginning to and that is helpful. It''s not situational ethics - it's not - well, in this situation this person could do that but not in this other situation - Mormonism seems to be very clear on its doctrine about gay people. And if it is so that gay people living gay lives can't get into the CK, then I would think that Mormons would want that to be clear.
      I totally get that you feel that my comments will be scaring away LBGTQ Mormon youth who comes to this comments section. What I think will scare them is being told, however nicely, that there options are be celibate or to marry someone of the opposite sex.That's what they've always been told. The new website says it very very nicely but it still says it (although not the MOR part actually). What is new is that the website says, in essence, don't kick your child out of the house because they are gay. That's a good step but it surprises me that such a basic thing took such a long time to officially say.
      There are so few voices on here letting LGTBQ Mormon youth know that it is okay to be gay and in a gay relationship. Thatmight give them hope to hear that.


    3. Hope is something every one, Especially the LGBTQ youth need. I understand where you are coming from on this specific blog regarding the LDS doctrine Karen, (your personal blog seems to have a very different, discriminative and judgmental tone IMO).

      I personally believe this website is perfect for the church and its youth right now. I don’t know how old you are, and I don’t know where you grew up, (maybe I should read more of your blog to get to know you better ;-). I personally grew up in Utah, I grew up Mormon, and I grew up with a gay father.

      I am so relieved the church is making steps toward love and acceptance and understanding. Even for me, with a gay father, I cannot fully understand what he has gone through, no one but him can. As we (born straight) all hear more stories of real people(born gay) feeling secure and comfortable enough to come out and testify they are born gay, then, the more acceptance and understanding the ones who don’t have this trait, or inherent identity, become. This is progress, normal and good.

      Growing up I believe I had “gaydar”. Given by my father maybe, but I am old enough now to realize I was quite accurate with my instincts. Many of my classmates, male and female, have now come out and are living their life as they define it, some went on missions for the church, and some are now anti-mormon, and some indifferent. My facebook feed is very diverse. Many posts adhering, and inspired by the LDS church, and right after; some pics of some friends with their SS partner or friends, or flavor of the week ;-) just being real.

      I do not feel the Lord Judges me for keeping in contact and enjoying these posts from my FRIENDS and accepting and loving them. I feel that our upbringing, although greatly characterized by the LDS doctrine and even many discriminative, bias, and judgmental people (not even in reference to the church, just in general), had also been influenced by the Gay Pride movement.

      I do believe there are still members who are internally struggling with their SSA and their faith. It is not up to the church to convey Gay Pride, it IS up to the church to convey, love and acceptance of ALL. This web site does this. IF an LGBTQ youth feels compelled to choose their faith apart from their sexuality, and decides to seek out support, then here it is. IF they continue to feel the spirit in their lives, and find hope and comfort within the gospel, then THEY will seek out more options, and determine what the gospel means to them. Then THEY CAN make the informed decision on celibacy, or an MOR relationship, but within honest and prayerful boundaries, according to their hearts desires, like Josh and Lolly.
      What do you want the website to do Karen? I feel the church is recognizing the obvious inborn sexuality of many of its members, and allowing a place of learning, discovery, and options to take way with much love and acceptance.

      Hope for LGBT youth in Utah also comes from GLEE, and many other sources, you may have tunnel vision for where Mormon LGBTQ youth are being “indoctrinated”. Josh Weeds blog is not the one main point for support, although it has been a huge step for many people. The church is recognizing that they need to have an open discussion for those who are still struggling, because these youth need a safe place and the other FOLKS (Friends Of LGBTQ ) need to have understanding and acceptance and love for the youth and in their own learning as well.

      I hope that all made sense. I will clarify anything that didn’t.

      P.S. this is all my personal opinion and I am in no way dictating that any individual do anything but what they feel is right for them.

    4. Jr. - Good thoughts and insights.

      To those reading - I'm Jr. IDM's Mom, she's a wonderful daughter and person.

      I just wanted to point out that, as she mentioned, she has always had several gay friends, and so have each of our kids. Even when they had no idea about their Dad being gay.

      We raised our family in Utah, and were basically active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I don't know if most of my kids friends were as accepting and friendly with the known (and not necessarily known) gay youth in their school, but my kids definitely had an "instinct" to be kind, respectful, and friendly to these individuals. As Jr. said, maybe she had inherited some "gaydar" from her dad even though she didn't know about his "secret". Obviously we somehow fostered love and acceptance towards ALL in our home. So I'm proud of that.

      Since, our children have all ended up with gay friends, and, since we (my husband & I) have lots and lots of gay friends (some in MOR with lives similar to ours, some in gay relationships, and some all sorts of in between) we feel we have some genuine knowledge & understanding of a spectrum of individuals with unique feelings, beliefs, and lifestyles. We are NOT living in a bubble, uneducated, narrow minded, or judgemental. My husband, especially, has had lots and lots of association, some healthy relationships & some "unhealthy liaisons" with gay individuals, and he has told me that so many of the guys he knows and has known are similar to him, feel alot like he does about having no desire to pursue gay relationships, and believe in the "Christian" ideas, doctrines, and gospel of Jesus Christ. (And, to alot of different degrees of religious beliefs as well).

      The bottom line is that while some commenters on here seem to be the self appointed "experts" and "advocates" for the gay community. It is always surprising to us because we kinda think we might have more real associations and relationships with gay individuals than alot of the very vocal, (none-gay) commenters do. But our lifestyle, and my husbands choices to re-define himself, (his thoughts, and his actions), and our belief in and love for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, are constantly being "dismissed", "judged", "ridiculed", and "disrespected" by several of the commenters on here. And, they seem to think they know it all and that they have the truth, and they have all the answers, etc. Still it doesn't really matter to us, we are confident and calm in our committment to our life's choices, our beliefs, and out love for ALL.

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    6. Tammy - Hello....are you here ;) lol - I wanna talk. :)

      Actually, I just finished a little project that has taken most of my attention away from the blogging world for a couple of days. So, I have been reading up (alot of stuff to catch up on-whew~~) and I am trying to make sense of who's talkin to who about what.

      I see here that you have mentioned the IDM crew specifically, but I'm a little unsure as to exactly which of your comments are speaking directly to us, and which might be just regarding the last few days of "stuff" being shared here. So I felt like it would just be easiliest to see if we can go through your comments/feelings together to see if I can clearify whatever has been offensive or possibly misunderstood. Please reply soon if you can, (I'm sittin here ready to have civil communication)and tell me specifically what it was that I said or feelings I expressed that bothered you. Thanks - Remember, I'm a lover not a fighter. ;)

  53. Karen, it would be my assumption that Mormon LGTBG youth coming here are more than likely coming here because of their interest in and possibly their desire to mold their lives (or "define" themselves) more in line with the teachings of Christians (ie: similar to Josh Weed, Mr. IDM, etc.). I would also assume (and I know for sure, for some) that they have PLENTY of "voices" from the gay community & advocates, the media, etc., that it's ok to be in a gay relationship. And, IF such a young man is here looking for some hope for a life that fits more closely with his Christian beliefs, and is looking for some examples of guys who mirror his life and feelings, he will only be discouraged and further frustrated with the comments coming from you and others who are so against Christian (especially Mormon) beliefs and doctrine.

    As for a young person who is looking for voices to tell them it's ok to be in a gay relationship. Those individuals will probably NOT be here, and, if they are, they are STILL hearing more kind words and positive attitude coming from several Christian and/or Mormon commenters - other than you. Sorry - that's the way I see it.

    BTW - what you don't seem to be able to wrap you head around is that there really truly are young people out there (like my husband when he was young and still to this day) who have no interest or desire to be in a gay relationship or live a "gay lifestyle". My husband and I know alot of these people personally and have been friends with many who believe that, although they are clearly attracted to men, they DON'T WANT anyone telling them or pressuring them to pursue gay relationships. As a matter of fact, they are drivin to a state of hopelessness and helplessness when that is the only options they see.

    1. I guess in essense, Karen, I am saying that I am an advocate for those LGTBQ youth that are not comforted with the idea that it's ok to be in a gay relationship - for what ever reason.

      And, you - Karen, ad clearly an advocate for those who are comforted by that idea.

      We are BOTH advocates for a portion of LGTBQ youth. Aren't we?

    2. I would also like to add that, while I have made many comments in favor of gay marriage, support of gay relationships for those are happiest living a gay "lifestyle", and have shown compassion and understand, tolerance, support and love for ALL LGBTQ individuals -

      you, on the other hand, have NEVER said anything in support of, compassion for, or tolerance towards those LGBTQ youth who are looking for hope and answers that fit their feelings and Christian beliefs.

    3. opps - need to finish my thought.....

      other than to say that their "religion" is stupid and silly and all kinds of rude things, that their leaders are fools, and that their hopes and dreams to mold their lives into something "different" are sad, unfortunate, and hopeless.

  54. I think it's awesome that the Mormon Church has posted that website. I wish some denominations would do something like that so that there can be an open dialogue about it, rather than the subtle shame that's placed upon anyone who struggles with same-sex attraction.

    Check in:

    Physically: doing a lot better. I've been sleeping better, and having less nightmares than the last time I checked in. It's definitely helped, although this week is also finals, so it's a bit stressful.

    Emotionally: I'm struggling some. I'm exhausted in many ways, but I keep pushing foward. I really need rest.

    Spiritually: I grow closer to Abba Father more and more. Sometimes I feel like my bisexuality keeps me further from Him, though, yet I'm trying to remember that nothing will separate me from the love of the Father (Rom 8:38-39).

    Last week's goal: talk to counselor about bisexuality--partially achieved.

    This week's goal: Finish finals strong, and then clean house to get rid of the nasty mouse I saw running across my kitchen floor this morning!


  55. Josh - please accept my apology for going against your rule here on a "check-in" post. I hope that you will understand my reasoning and efforts.

    As we have, for months, been reading the comments on The Weed, we have been growing more and more frustrated with the attitude of some of your "regulars" who continue to speak (write) unacceptance towards people like us, who have choosen to define ourselves in OUR way, and the disrespect we hear from them towards our religious beliefs that we truly believe in and hold dear. The conversation often turns to the LGBTQ youth (especially their suicidal numbers) and so we wish to express our feelings on this through our own blog, not to take away from yours, of course, we love you guys, have met you personally, plan to get together with you eventually, and will continue to be right here reading on the edge of our seats as always.

    Since I, Mrs. IDM am so "b"long winded in most of my comments, I sometimes feel like I'm taking up too much of your space. lol Anyway, we have a new post this morning that is in response to the comments that have been taking place here today, last night, and for the past few days. Here is the first couple of paragraphs of our most recent post....

    "There seems to be a whole lot of controversy and conflict out there these days, and the debate usually turns to the issue of suicidal LGBTQ youth. Here's our perspective (for what it's worth).......

    Our wish is that all of us “FOLKS” (Friends Of LGBTQ Kids who are Suicidal)-(*I just made that up J*) can come together, with more open minds, in an joint effort to help save lives in any and all ways possible. This means that all of us FOLKS may not agree on exactly what is “helping”, and what is not “helping”, but, we will concede to at least consider all FOLKS ideas, and admit that none of us have all the answers.

    We feel a strong need to express a few thoughts that are possibly different than the “average” Gay Rights Advocate’s ideas and beliefs, but we hope and pray that all FOLKS (Friends Of LGBTQ Kids who are Suicidal) will open their minds to a possible PARADIGM SHIFT; a different way of thinking and attitude by ALL gay rights activists and advocates, that might make a world of difference for some (or even many), of our desperate, struggling, and suicidal youth."

    Our blog is

    1. IDMs - I am dropping out of the conversation not because of you telling me to 'back off' but because I realize that it is, quite simply, pointless. And it just gets more and more depressing.
      A few final thoughts -
      Do I support the idea that it is really the choice of LGBTQ Mormon youth to live straight or celibate when they have been taught their whole lives that living a gay life will keep them out of church and out of heaven? No.
      Do I think LGBTQ youth are killing themselves because people are telling them it is okay to live a gay life? No. And if you can, read an article in the latest issue of the New Yorker about homeless gay youth in New York. I'd post a link but the New Yorker has a pay wall. Here is a link to part of the article:
      Do I think it is wrong that any church teaches that Jesus has an issue with people living gay lives? Yes
      Do I think that we all (myself included, certainly) live in some denial in order to get through life? yes.
      I appreciated your remembering my friend on World AIDS Day. You were the only ones on here to do that.
      Did I ever say your life was hopeless? No.
      i wish y'all luck

    2. Karen,

      Living in sin will keep you out of heaven regardless of the sin. Although once again like I have said before we will each be judged individually so your blanket assumptions are incorrect. There will be a thousand years after the Second Coming were everyone will get the chance to hear the gospel, and for those who left the church for whatever reason to repent and accept it again. I am not condoning being in a gay relationship but it is not for me to judge. I don't know the person, I don't know what they understand/don't understand in regards to the truth of life/gospel. So instead of judging them I love them like any other person on this earth. We are all sinners, that is a fact. The important thing is we all try to live life the best we can in regards to what we know to be true. God is a just God, he will judge fairly and justly according to our knowledge of right and wrong. This is not me telling you what I believe. This is apart of the doctrine so please do not disregard what I have said like you have in the past. I understand you are bowing out of the conversation so feel free to not reply, I understand. I just want you to understand so you can stop making blanket statements.

    3. I agree with Maquel. Sin is sin, but the thing that we all miss here is God is a loving being who will allow us to judge us for what we did in our life. Repentance, forgiveness, and our own worthiness is individualized. There is always a way out of it, although in what I have read it is harder in the life after death. You leave this earth with the same problems you had in them to have to deal with more in the spirit world to try to lick them. Addicts will still have compelling addictions but without the addictive agent. Do you think people with porn issues will have loads of porn to watch in heaven? lol Nope I am sure not, it will be an instant having to withdrawal. It is going to be a brutal battle regardless. Think about it from a Heaven perspective. If you believe in a heaven you have to believe that good will not allow certain things to occur in heaven such as child abuse, addictions, etc etc. and you must see that being on this earth is way he has given us to be able to lick some of the things that ail us. We all have problems, none of us are perfect. Anyways.

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    6. Tammy Did I say that? Lol You made a leap from porn addict to being gay. What's that about lol.

    7. Josh - I just want to apologize to you as it seems that maybe I have been a little too vocal on your blog, since Karen has stated above that she is bowing out of conversations here and pretty much said that it is because of me and my husband and daughter. Mr. & Mrs. I Define Me, and Jr. I Define Me.

      By sharing our thoughts and views as we see it, we did not, in any way, wish/hope to chase any of your readers/commenters away. Sorry :(

      As for the comment she made claiming that we told her to "back off", we would like to clerify, for the record (this is a court of law - right? ;) ... that we did not say anything like that directly to her. There is, however, a sentence in our blog where we are talking about ALL folks who put pressures on LGBTQ individuals (all kinds of pressures from all sides of the issue), asking them ALL to "Back Off", and give their LGBTQ friend/family some space to manage their own life. It was not meant, at all, for anyone to back off from sharing their views, feelings, or beliefs on a blog... not our blog, and especially not yours.

      Here is a couple of paragraphs from our blog post that might be from where she has misunderstood....

      "We hope and pray that everyone who feels passionate about this issue will know and realize that we are ALL “FOLKS” (Friends Of LGBTQ Kids who are Suicidal), and, that we ALL have something to offer, and that ALL of our feelings, opinions, and beliefs should be respected, and, together….. we can put a stop to the debate, the hate, the suicides, and the pain; -and start trying to understand the real hearts and souls, feelings and beliefs of those who are struggling. Understanding ALL individuals’ feelings and beliefs is the key to helping, pushing OUR feelings and beliefs on them IS NOT. And especially anyone assuming they have the one and only answer is narrow minded and WRONG.

      Please people, let’s accept the truth that there are definitely those who are so extremely strong in their religious beliefs (for whatever reason – let’s don’t get into that – cause it is what it is), that they personally feel and know for themselves, that a same sex relationship lifestyle is not for them, even though they are obviously attracted to their same sex. Please, let’s do what we can to empower these individuals to figure things out for themselves. BACK OFF!. The only advice we should be giving them is to remind them that they are loved, they have options, and encourage them to take control of their lives and release “our” efforts to control their lives, – (even if their choices and decisions, which possibly make them happy, don’t make us happy)."

      Anyway - sorry Josh - LUV U :)

  56. Hi. So. Physically/Emotionally/Spiritually.
    I don't know. I kind of just want to talk about emotions. Because I'm in denial that Christmas break is coming closer. Because I'm essentially being blackmailed into seeing someone that I don't want to see so that she can tell me something that I apparently should know so that she can feel morally at peace. And she told me that if I told ANYONE about this secret meeting, she would see to it that all the important people in my life no about the shameful mistake I made. And so I'm scared about her threats, and I'm scared about whatever she might have to say. I'm scared that it will be something insignificant, so that I will have gone to meet with her and put myself through hell anticipating that meeting all for no reason. And I'm scared that what she say will be significant. And that it will prevent me from moving on and recovering my life in the way that I want to. I feel vulnerable.

  57. Great New website

    Ok so here's my check in


    I keep gaining more and more weight because I love my food, stop bitting my nails (they are long now yay) and schools been a long long process of no time. etc. I am ok other then that


    I just can't wait to get my school done!! I am done in a few short months!! Emotionally I am just tired of lazy kids, back talk and kids deciding that my debit card is there for the taking. So I am drained.


    Sometimes I think to myself, wouldn't it be nice not to be Mormon so that I can make excuses to do whatever I want all the time. I mean that pretty much how it is outside the church from what I see. People doing whatever they want all the time, with little thought to consequences. But then I come to reality and realized rules are everywhere, including traffic rules and we would be a chaotic society if there were no rules or guidelines to live by. I am one who needs laws, order to help me make sense of this world around me which seems to be cracking at the seams at each passing moment.
    Everyone, whether Mormon or not have their own value system even if it's not religious in nature. Look at the middle eastern culture, they believe child labor is ok, but us 1st world countries find it appalling. We are all culturally bound whether we like it or not. We live a 1st world view , unlike many cultures who live a 3rd world view of things which we will never understand. But thats ok. We have to be understanding of everyone's view point and keep in check our own biases to be able to see others for who they are.

    What I am going to do:

    Get this dumb weight off, but my mom is coming into town. Can I just say I am excited but not about that. I love her but she has lots of excuses (which I hate) for what she does and she drives me nuts!!

    Another thing i will do: Just accept my mother for who she is..... and just love her with thinking she drives me nut!! lol.

  58. I had an entirely different comment I had planned on posting today. But as I heard about the 20 innocent babies that were murdered today, I thought about everything I was going to say in my check in & thought how irrelevant it really was! Who cares that I am 20 pounds over weight. Who cares that I jammed my finger in my car door, and since I am
    A hair stylists, & had to get stitches I couldn't work for a few days. Who cares that Santa isn't bringing much this year. Who cares if someone is gay, straight, black , mexican or white. Does it really matter?. Does any of the things i worry about all day matter?. i cant keep up with laundry or dishes. No matter how many times i go to the store during the week, I always need something from there. I can't keep up with the mess my kids make. As I ponder all of these things, and like most moms, I am so overwhelmed with "keeping up" that I don't pay much attention to the fact that, it really doesn't matter! It really doesn't matter if my laundry is always done, put away &folded. I have 2 kids that are peacefully sleeping in their rooms tonight. They are safe. They are happy. There are here. I love them both. & I am so overwhelmed with sadness for the moms, dads & siblings who are missing a dear family member as they settle into bed tonight. That must be a permanently empty whole in their hearts that will forever be empty.