Friday, October 9, 2015

Sometimes Saints Swear


Hey! I'm posting again like the champion blogger that I was always destined to be. YAY!!!!!

I have a few things to post in response to my last entry, because apparently I can't blog about anything except blogging itself. That's how the professionals do it, you see... (false)

The truth is, this post gets really serious, and is all about who I am as a blogger and as a person and what you should expect from me. It's something of a refresher course for those who might not know me well. Buckle up, because I get a little passionate, but it's all stuff that needs to be said.

How to begin?

Okay, so remember the time I made a joke in the middle of the night three days ago about sending an inappropriate picture of my body to an advertising group and them confusing it for a deflated party balloon?  And then remember how the day I posted it I talked about seeing an actual picture of a deflated balloon on the WWW (translation: World Wide Web) but decided not to post it because I'm a respectable human being who doesn't post stuff like that on his blog?

Screw that. Here's the one I found.

I couldn't have taken a more perfect picture for that joke if I tried. Amiright???
Image source: here

The reason I suddenly feel it is imperative to post this picture is twofold.

First, the day I posted the joke, an awesome Weeder named Leisha Mareth delighted me by finding another picture than the one I found and posting it in the comments on Facebook, and it was so hilarious I decided then and there that I needed to share it. (I also concluded that the Internet is totally crazy, and you can find ANYTHING there.)

But before I shared hers, I felt it only fair that I share mine. Kind of an "I'll show mine if you show yours" type of thing, if you know what I'm saying...

You ready for this?

Yes. That just happened.
Dear Internet, I'm sorry I can't source this picture. It was posted to Facebook.

Somehow, she found a deflated balloon picture that was even better than mine. 

Which begs the question (except that it doesn't beg the question because "begging the question" is a philosophical fallacy referring to an attempt to prove a premise using another premise that itself requires proof and yes, I am a huge huge huge nerd why pray tell do you ask???)--ahem. As I was saying. It begs the question: just how many pictures of deflated balloons looking like human anatomy exist on the World Wide Web?

Your mission, should you choose to accept it--(yes you, with the nose)--is to find a deflated balloon anatomy pic that is more hilarious than either Liesha or me and post it in the comments here or on Facebook. 

Consider the gauntlet thrown down.  

Side note: My favorite part of challenges like this is the haunting possibility that nobody will take the challenge and I will experience the awkward shame one feels when he says something like "yeah, I'm sure I'm not the only one in this room who still wipes boogers on the carpet sometimes, right?" *chuckle chuckle* followed by complete silence while everyone looks around awkwardly leaving you hanging as the seconds tick by and you try to figure out how to recover and then you blurt out "Oh, yeah, me neither!" and it totally works. 

(No. It doesn't. It doesn't work at all.)

The second reason that I felt it very important to actually post the picture was a comment I received via email from a Weeder. Now, before I share this comment, I have to say that literally almost every response I received on my post the other day was positive, warm, beautiful and filled my heart with joy. No joke. It actually filled me with joy. I had felt scared to post after so long,  and I am so thankful for all you people for somehow still being here with me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for still reading. Thank you for being kind and generous, and for saying the exact right things to help me feel your love and support. 

This community is a blessing.

Also, I must say that I have no doubt whatsoever that the person who sent me a message is a sweet, wonderful, amazing human being, and I really appreciate the intentions behind what they were saying. Really, I do.

That being said, their comment made me want to douse myself in gasoline and set myself on fire with frustration. Their comment represents one of the things I hate most about blogging and humans and myself and my own sensitivities and religious culture.

I've decided not to share the actual email itself because it was sent to me privately, and I can truly see its good intentions. I don't want the sender (who I assume will be reading this) to feel embarrassed or ashamed--really don't feel bad, friend. I know your heart, and I'm not angry at you. But your message has made it clear that I need to clarify some things.

I will summarize its basic message (this is not an exaggeration, btw):

Your last blog post makes me concerned about you. It had gay jokes and swear words and it destroys the image that I have in my mind about you as being a righteous man. Seeing that post makes me question your church life and your marriage and your mental health. You are changing from when I started reading your blog--for the worse--and I am sad for you and very worried about you. Please seek help.

Getting feedback like this makes me feel two things. First, it makes me feel very grateful that people are concerned about me--it is touching to know that people want what's best for me. 

But secondly and more importantly, it makes me extremely extremely frustrated, and allows me to see that I need to make a few key concepts clear, because if I got this message from one person, he or she surely represents more people who feel the same way. 

Here is something that I wish I could effectively communicate with my life:

Human beings are complex, beautiful creatures. They cannot be put into boxes. And when you send me messages like that, it makes me feel like you want to put me in a box. 

You cannot.

I am many things. Things that might seem contradictory to you.

I am a gay man. Yet I am a Mormon man. Both of these things co-exist.

I am deeply religious. Yet sometimes I say "inappropriate" words. Both of these things co-exist.

I write passionately about incredibly deep subject matter of a highly spiritual nature some days. And other days I write silly, absurd posts about funny things and make crude jokes because they make me laugh (and I firmly believe that some days you just need to look at the absurdities and cruelties of life and choose to laugh.) Both of these things co-exist.

The theme goes on. I am deeply faithful, and I am crass. I am deeply empathetic, and yet sometimes painfully honest. I am kindhearted but sometimes brutal. I am tender, but sometimes bitingly sarcastic. I have a deep, meaningful inner spiritual life and am very much in touch with spiritual things but sometimes I watch rated R movies. *the crowd gasps in dismay* I read scripture and say prayers every single day of my life but I also research serial killers and depraved accounts of abuse in my spare time sometimes too. 

I drink Mountain Dew. A lot.

I am not ashamed of these things. These things make me a human being. These things, and more, make me unique. They make me who I am.

I am unconventional, and I had an experience last night (which I can't share) that showed me yet again that, at least with me, the Lord doesn't view my unconventional, "inappropriate," poorly mannered habits (that are a part of my personality) as a liability. He uses them to bless the lives of others, sometimes in very profound ways. God doesn't want me to fit into some cookie cutter picture of human perfection. He wants me to be me. That is a line from my patriarchal blessing even. I am told to "reach out in love" and to "be myself" as I interact with others.

The truth is, I come by these things naturally--perhaps even genetically. I come from a long line of amazing individuals with profound connection to God. And I also come from progenitors who are crude, blunt, funny people who are unconventional and uncouth. These things are a part of my heritage, and I am not only not ashamed of them, I am proud of them.

My dad has been a bishop and in a stake presidency and worked for the church education system his entire career ending it as the Institute Director at a university, and he is the person I learned how to have a sense of humor that pushes boundaries from. He is funny and crass and compassionate. He says things some judgmental people might deem "inappropriate" and does and/or watches things some judgmental people might deem "inappropriate." Yet, do you know what he has been doing for the last 9 years of his life? Can you even begin to comprehend the level of his devotion to God and other humans? Let me fill you in: he has been taking care of my mom as she dies of Early Onset Alzheimer's. He has been with her every single day, and he has cleaned her feces and has hand fed her her meals and has watched her body and mind deteriorate even though the stress of it is literally killing his body and now half his face is paralyzed and he started going blind in one eye. He just moved into a care facility with her (even though she's not even yet 60 years old), and is doing so because he found one of the only facilities in the West that will allow him to live in the same room as her in the memory unit. He left his entire support system and moved to a tiny town in Idaho so that he could keep the promise he made her that he will be by her side until the day she dies. He is a saint, and a man of God, and one of the best people I have ever known, and you are not going to look at me and tell me that because he has said a few swear words or told some unsavory jokes that his standing in the eyes of God is compromised because that is, if you'll pardon my french, complete and utter bullshit.

He is a whole, complete person--multifaceted and nuanced. And his crassness doesn't detract from anything. In fact, it complements his spirituality and makes him relatable and human. It is that very crassness that has allowed my dad to touch people's lives. It is that same sense of humor and crudeness that has allowed him to be human and relate to people, and touch thousands of students over his decades-long career in a way that, without his being himself, would have been unachievable.

And more importantly to my story, it is that same openness and realness and crassness that made my father relatable to me. It was what allowed a 13 year old boy to know that he could come out to his dad as a homosexual and not be judged. Do you think if my father was uptight and proper and well mannered and offended by crude words that I would have felt comfortable telling him that I was attracted to men at the age of 13? I'll answer for you: NO. It was this very openness and realness and crudeness that allowed me to be real with him, which in turn has allowed me to become the man I am today, writing these posts, saying these sometimes inspiring things that have touched you. 

Don't try to put people into boxes. Don't judge people for their choice of diction (words are just words, people!) or for the things they do that are on your own, personal, culturally derived "list of things that are inappropriate but that are found nowhere in scripture that I kinda judge people for." If you do that, you will miss the boat. You will miss what humanity is really about. You will miss the diversity of our populace, and you will miss out on knowing amazing people, and it will be your loss.  
In closing, I want to be very clear.  On this blog, I will often write spiritual, moving things. I will also make jokes about human anatomy, and I will be crass, and I will say things I find funny. I will do it in the tradition of the Weed heritage, and I will do it because it is who I am, and I am not ashamed of who I am. On this blog, I might post pictures of balloons that look like penises, and I might say words you don't choose to use in your personal life, and I might describe truths you find to be uncomfortable in ways that are honest and graphic. I might talk about sex. I might talk about flatulence. I might say things that you find offensive. This is what my blog has always been. Heck, during its first year (2010) I held a giveaway and the prize I gave away was a vibrator that I won in a white elephant gift exchange. This stuff is not new. THIS IS HOW I ROLL. And contrary to what this person's email insinuated, I am actually no different now than I have ever been on this blog.

The logo at the top of the page here says that I am "all kinds of real." I intend to live up to that motto. I always have, and I always will. This is what allows me to be a good therapist and a good writer and a good father and a good husband and a good friend. This is who I am, and how God made me, and I know that He is most proud of me when I am fearless and bold and open and authentic and vulnerable. In this space, I plan to share who I am. I am not ashamed of who I am.

I am going to be me. Crude, crass, deeply spiritual, empathetic, nerdy, funny, happy, real me.

And if you can't stomach this idea, I will not be offended. If it's too much, please, choose to read something else for both our sakes! Seriously, no hard feelings. I get it. To each his own.

You might feel pretty open minded and chill, but chances are that one of these days, I'm going to make the joke or say the thing that offends you. But if you're game, I invite you stay. If you're open, I invite you to sit with with me, and sit with your discomfort. I invite you to challenge your own notions of propriety and your assumptions about manners and what makes a good person. I invite you to continue to challenge your ideas of sexuality. I invite you to ask yourself what theses things really mean to you, and I invite you to sit with more complexity and ambiguity.  But most of all, I invite you--each one of you--to continue to be a part of this beautiful community of imperfect people living good, solid lives and sharing with each other because, though I've been absent for a few months, it is one of the most rewarding communities in my life.

Thanks for being there guys. 

(Oh, and PS, don't forget about the deflated balloon contest! *crickets chirp*)



65 comments:

  1. hehehe you said diction (inner 14 year old coming out)

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  2. I fell in deep like with your dad in just one paragraph. He tells raunchy jokes AND passionately loves?!? Woah.
    While I don't have the time to image search "phallic balloons" on my lunch break right now, I do want to take a moment to tell you that you and your family are back in my prayers. I hate that you're making memories of your parents in this awful physical & mental state. It's hard on the psyche so I pray for your comfort.
    I look forward to the time when we can be with God himself to figure out why things are the way they are...and then share an inappropriate joke or two with Him : )

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  3. Not sure how to post an image in comments, but here is a link to an image I found: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/content/dam/images/2/j/u/a/z/image.gallery.galleryLandscape.620x414.2jub0.png/1369004664590.jpg

    Not deflated, but definitely highly amusing.

    I'm rooting for you, Josh! Rooting for every part of your crude, crass, deeply spiritual, emapthetic, nerdy, funny, happy self. Stay strong and please keep writing. Your insight and perspective is too special and appreciated to not be shared.

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    1. OMG! That is awesome!! I wasn't sure what to expect. The link said landscape so I was wondering. Its hilarious!!

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  4. I didn't see the word balls in here! That is the ultimate funny word!

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    2. There is a children's book about balls. The pictures reflect children on the playground. But the words are one big huge double entendre. A friend of mine posted a video of it on Facebook. Just the book and the woman's hands turning the pages and her voice. I have no idea how she kept from laughing like an 8th grade boys locker room when someone farts.

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  5. Your dad is one of my favorite people on the planet and I appreciate everything about him. Seriously, one of my litmus tests in my brain is "well, Brother Weed said..." I've never met you, but I imagine we'd get along just fine. Keep on keeping on...

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  6. Your dad is one of my favorite people on the planet and I appreciate everything about him. Seriously, one of my litmus tests in my brain is "well, Brother Weed said..." I've never met you, but I imagine we'd get along just fine. Keep on keeping on...

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  7. Your dad is one of my favorite people on the planet and I appreciate everything about him. Seriously, one of my litmus tests in my brain is "well, Brother Weed said..." I've never met you, but I imagine we'd get along just fine. Keep on keeping on...

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  8. um. Anyone who sees the banner on this blog and doesn't know immediately that you are a hilarious and sometimes dangerously but awesomely facetious and risque....

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    1. I was leader over the 11-year olds Scouts in my area. One meeting we talked about online safety and drugs. Weird combo, but it worked.

      One boy raised his hand and asked, "Sister ____, is weed like the weeds in your yard?"

      Oh I almost laughed. His mom sputtered. But I'm proud of the fact that I didn't laugh at an honest question from a child!!

      I explained honestly that "weed" is a nickname for marijuana, shared the other nicknames for it, what it does to the body and mind. We then talked about it in the context of the Word of Wisdom, why clouding our minds with drugs is bad and prevents us from being able to keep in good communication with our Father.

      An all because of a question about pot. Ah, the joys of kids, lol!!

      I'm still waiting (since the unicorn post) for Josh to make a crack linking his name to the plant.

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    2. At the bottom of every post I've read on his site is a box inviting me to "share some weed with a friend." If that's not a weed joke... ;)

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  9. Love this post, love this message! I think we have a similar sense of humor. Wanna move to San Diego? It can feel a bit lonely as a Mormon getting to know other Mormons bc it seems so risky to crack even the mildest off-color joke. One of the best parts of getting married, I thought, was having someone to crack dirty jokes with and laugh at 'inappropriate' things! You and Lolly seem like our kind of people. I adore you both! I'm glad you're writing again!

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  10. Entry:
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-R0tibcfGqgU/UQGlupebT0I/AAAAAAAAMDI/hW4Vpa9KhfE/s1600/SockAnimal_FlatBalloon.JPG

    I'd challenge you to offend me with something... but I think we both know that won't happen... what ya gonna do.

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    1. Oh, another quick note, searching for "deflated balloon" long enough can get you to weird places...

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    2. Oh Steven, that was.... lovely? haha! I vote this as the winner, because it's highly disturbing and because I miss the Grawrocks something fierce. Oh, and love your blog and I think you hit the nail on the head. As Grawrock can attest, both my husband and I share a very similar dichotomy. Or maybe we're only crass without the good parts too? Oh well, we're happy! :)

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  11. I didn't find a deflated balloon picture that looks like body parts, but I did find an article about "Nicki Minaj butt implants deflate" would that count?

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  12. So happy to read this. Real cannot be part-of-real. It's all of it. Less curated narratives will do us all some good.

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  13. Great post. Thanks for being you.

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  14. Sometimes we use "salty" language. It's a simple fact. It's just too hard to be in a pious, holier-than-thou mode all the frickin' time. Makes my head hurt and there are times when it's just appropriate, well, to be inappropriate. Not ALL the time, but I think Mormons sometimes have this closed-eyes view that other Mormons are perfect and when they find out they aren't, it shakes them. We're people, dammit, not robots and not Stepford wives/husbands/brothers/sisters.

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  15. I am a pretty devout Mormon (I don't hold a recoomend because of WOW issues...I'm a huge coffee drinker, but no soda or energy drinks...go figure). A couple years ago I joined a burlesque class at 42 years old. Im overall pretty modest, but if I was asked to streak for a laugh, I would. Well, I performed a routine on stage. I stayed modest for burlesque standards (my outfit was no worse than Marie Osmonds on DWTS). I don't put this out there not because I may be judged, but so I don't have to put people who are judgmental in a position to judge me. I'm not ashamed of my routine. It was edgy (a housewife that sheds her good side to expose her naughty side). I have dropped the s-bomb during my testimony, I have given a talk about modesty and told the young men and women to keep their shirts on and their goodies covered. At the end of the day, more than anything, I hope I have been kind and non-judgmental. Of couse, finding the line between my personal opinion and judgment is very fine. I think the pics of balloons are funny. My opionion is if that's what your blog will be about from here on out, I probably won't read it anymore (I like variety). But I won't judge you on why you decided to make a blog about balloon penises. Try not to be offended when someone shows concern. Appreciate that they are concerned and love them.

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  16. You'received awesome Josh. And for the record, I think sometimes a good damn, damn, damn is just what the doctor ordered.

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  17. I haven't figured out my balance of salty and sweet yet, but I enjoy your blog immensely. I can't imagine your dad leaving his support system behind for such a difficult situation, he sounds like such a stand up guy. Idaho is awesome though, we'll take care of him. I'll send him good vibes.

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  18. I haven't figured out my balance of salty and sweet yet, but I enjoy your blog immensely. I can't imagine your dad leaving his support system behind for such a difficult situation, he sounds like such a stand up guy. Idaho is awesome though, we'll take care of him. I'll send him good vibes.

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  19. You'received awesome Josh. And for the record, I think sometimes a good damn, damn, damn is just what the doctor ordered.

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  20. You have said what has been on my mind for so long. Thank you so much. You can be spiritual and love the gospel and still have some edge.
    It's okay not to be perfect. Enjoy the little things and don't worry about little hiccups. I find great fun in dirty jokes and swearing sometimes. But my Heavenly Father still loves me. We all need to learn that. I love your blog. Way to go!

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  21. I just want to give your dad a hug. And then learn to be more like him. Thanks for sharing

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    1. I just want to give you a hug for saying that :)

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  22. ...aaaaand that is why you're real and cool and I like you. Because you are human. Sadly I think swears have the fantastic potential to be hilarious. I say sadly because yes, our shared mormon culture can be pretty judgy when it comes to swears. So... though I use swears around people who I know I won't offend, I try to not to around church people. Perhaps this makes me inauthentic, but I'm trying to be respectful to those it offends. But honestly, I cuss, and I really don't think it makes me a terrible person. like, at all. You can do far more damage with the meaning of the words you say than the exact words that you use. There are real evils in this world and really awful terrible heart wrenching trials, and swears and fart jokes and phallic humor are not among them. But sometimes it is how you deal with them. Or... because they are HILARIOUS!!

    Also, hugs to you and your family. That sucks. Your Dad sounds like an amazing guy.

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  23. Amen! Be the you now and the you, you become as you continue on your path back home. You are gifted with words.

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  24. I love that you said these things make you more relateable to other people. I couldn't agree more. I think my husband has been struggling with this lately. He is a convert and we were married in the temple just 13 months after his baptism. And he often feels like he doesn't fit in with the church because he isn't that cookie cutter Mormon. But one of his first times going home teaching, he visited with a inactive family and the dad was watching the Nascar race. Instead of asking him to turn it off, my hubby sat with him and talked about the race. He loves Nascar, too. So they ended having a great conversation because he was real with him. I don't think they even had a lesson, but that was probably the most meaningful visit that brother had had in a long time. Other people might say it was inappropriate. But it was just what he needed at that point in his life.

    I'm going to remind my hubby have that and share your words with him. The church needs him and all of his "inappropriatness". Thanks for sharing, Josh!

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  25. I've never been much of a blog reader and I haven't been here in a long long while, but I couldn't pass up a post about wrinkly balloon testicles! Love you brother.

    Oh and... I dunno... there's just so much going on here.
    http://thelaughingstork.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/animal-balloon-penis.jpg

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  26. Josh, I just want to thank you for a great post. It actually came at a great time for me (can you believe it--this post including balloon penises was actually helpful-bet you weren't planning that one). I have been conflicted lately about my own strength in character. Especially in the wake of General Conference, I've been thinking that my occasional swear word leakage or interest in some things that aren't necessarily viewed as proper have put me in a bad place with God and my spirituality. In reality, I believe that I am a very good person, spiritual, and highly dedicated to my religion. But then I listen to "perfect" people give talks and think to myself, "I bet she never swore at her kids when they were driving her nuts. Am I really a good person? What about that time I watched The Notebook and enjoyed it?" So thank you. Because I firmly believe that YOU are a good person. and you're right, your authenticity has made you so much more relatable, at least, to me. I'm not trying to give myself permission to swear MORE or do worse things, but being myself isn't something that I need to hide, as long as I'm trying to be my best self. Right? So to you, I say, As you were! I see nothing wrong here. Thanks for being you.
    P.S. Having gone through a heart-breaking divorce, it's so nice for me to hear about your dad. I would give anything to have a husband love me the way he loves his wife! Thanks for sharing.

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  27. This is so delightful, such a great post! And while I don't have a deflated balloon to post, I am happy to present you with a map of the Mormon Corridor that highly resembles a penis. Something I didn't realize until I was in the middle of a lecture for my middle school social studies class. But you can bet the 8th grade boys pointed it out real quick.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormon_Corridor#/media/File:Map_of_USA_highlighting_Jello_Belt.png

    Also, apparently Wikipedia has named it the Jello Belt? So that just makes it better.

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  28. Josh, don't you dare change anything about yourself or this blog. It is the essence of YOU that we love. And good for you're standing up to people who want to judge you. To the haters: go blow up your balloon!
    Never change!! Xoxo

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  29. Amen! Be the you now and the you, you become as you continue on your path back home. You are gifted with words.

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  30. Amen! Thank you for saying what needed to be said and for being so relatable - even to a heterosexual female. :)

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  31. Yes, yes, and yes. You said it much more nicely and with better words than I...but I feel so strongly about this that I'm going to repeat here in my own words: Why are there some of us (I'm speaking of fellow Mormons) that insist on putting us each into boxes - and they are all the same size, the same color, the same everything. WE AREN'T ALL THE SAME. And just because I don't fit in the box YOU think I should be in doesn't mean I am any less righteous, any less worthy, and any further from God than YOU are. Stop The JUDGING! "moves off pedestal". Stay true to who you are Josh - we all support you 100%, just as YOU are!

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  32. Aah! Total click bait! I get your blog in an rss feed and when you invited everyone to post pics I *had* to actually click through. Miss you both. :-)

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  33. I love you Josh Weed. Even more with cussing!

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  34. Carry on. I appreciate everything about you and your family. Thoughts and prayers for your family. Your dad is amazing. And so is your mother.

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  35. I appreciate your humor, your perspective and many of the insights you share and I approve of you claiming your prerogative to cuss, be crude, etc. as your own personal standard. The only thing to which I object is using someone else to try to justify your choices. If you want to swear and use crude humor, then swear and use crude humor, but please do not say "My dad swears and uses crude humor and he has served as such-and-such in the Church." I have nothing against your father, but I do take issue with the assertion that simply being called to or serving in a certain position in the Church makes that person's every behavior worthy of emulation -- I am sure your father would have been a great role-model regardless of what callings he fulfilled, but simply because someone has served as a Bishop or Stake President or worked for CES, this does not make them perfect, nor does it mean that their not living up to the standards set forth in For the Strength of Youth give the rest of us some sort of "pass" to not strive to become better. I am sure one could easily find men with a similar history of Church service (Bishop, Stake President, Seminary Teacher, etc.) who are currently serving prison sentences; I would hope we would not use that as an excuse to embezzle or otherwise emulate the behavior which resulted in their current situation. Thank you for being who you are and thank you for your honesty and your willingness to be vulnerable.

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  36. ***slow clap*** once again you've worded things perfectly. We're all human! We all. .... well most of us anyway, have the occasional (okay, okay all the time in my head) dirty jokes and swear words come out, we're human, nobody is that perfect. You've now had a coming out party for all dirty minded Mormons ;-) there are many of us!

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  37. ***slow clap*** once again you've worded things perfectly. We're all human! We all. .... well most of us anyway, have the occasional (okay, okay all the time in my head) dirty jokes and swear words come out, we're human, nobody is that perfect. You've now had a coming out party for all dirty minded Mormons ;-) there are many of us!

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  38. I am so glad you are blogging again! I check every once in awhile to see if there's anything new and you have made my day! 2 new posts to read?! Heck yes! I love you Josh Weed! You are my favorite blogger ever! Keep writing and I will keep reading.

    All the best,
    <3

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  39. You know there were those that thought Joseph Smith was not holy enough to be a prophet. Many who met the prophet wanted him to fit inside their tiny box too only to walk away in discussed I wonder how many members would follow him if he were here today jovial and playful. Josh I think you're in good company

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  40. I think when we see something (a swear word or an off-color joke or an opinion about feeding babies) that we find objectionable or even offensive, we need to remember that not everyone finds all those things in the same light we do. I might find it highly offensive to spank your children, or I might find it highly offensive to NOT spank your children. I might find it totally objectionable to watch TV on Sunday or I might find my family's weekly Sunday movie the best part of our week. I think picking one issue and declaring that anyone who falls on X side of Y issue is no longer a saint or no longer a valuable member of our gospel family can be incredibly short-sighted. You lose the good parts and valuable contributions of people if you declare one small, highly specific aspect of behavior to be the "Make or Break" aspect of "Good-Personhood".

    Keep at it, Weed. There are a lot more deeply flawed yet still trying people out there who need your good example of love and spiritual devotion. You do a damn fine job. ;)

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  41. You have written a lot of bulls eye posts, but this one is my favorite. So much love for your realness :)

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  42. So you Josh! Don't ever apologize for all the brilliant color nuance and texture that God has so lovingly crafted into you. Just bring it!! This world needs it!! Sending love to you and your fam in this heartbreaking time w your mom. I'm so sorry! xo

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  43. I think God cares about details, but He cares a lot more about where our hearts are. In “For the Strength of Youth,” the First Presidency counsels us to avoid "profane, vulgar, or crude language," and I believe we'll be blessed for trying to do that. However, no one is perfect, and what really determines our relationship with God and whether we'll ultimately be exalted is whether we're trying to follow Christ and love our fellowmen.

    Some swearers have shaky commitment to God, and others are solid as rocks. Some non-swearers are pure in heart, and others are just trying to impress other people. We can judge whether certain actions feel right for us, but we can't see another person's heart, so we can't judge them for making the choices they do.

    I don’t swear, I don’t tell crude jokes, and I don’t enjoy reading either of those things, but I also suspect that you love people much more completely and guilelessly than I do. We disagree on a few details of righteous living, but when it comes to the core virtues of discipleship I feel like I have a lot to learn from your example, which is one of several reasons I read your blog regularly.

    I think the key in all of this is to be our best selves, trust that others are trying to do the same, and love them whether they are or not.

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  44. I'm so glad you're blogging again! While I haven't read the majority of your previous posts, I'm excited to read your new stuff from here on out. In terms of advertising, have you thought about signing up with AdSense? I haven't had great success with A.S. because I don't have enough readers, but you probably would do well with it. :) Happy blogging to you!

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  45. Josh, I think your attitude and approach to life (and your blog) is totally fine. In order to have joy in life, we must have a sense of humor. Also, part of life is recognizing that there are bad things, gross things, uncomfortable things, and we all need to know about these things and how to deal with them, and often humor is a totally valid way of dealing with them. Even the apostles have a sense of humor. A few months ago I had the rare opportunity to have dinner with an apostle and his wife, and he started to tell us a story, but his wife stopped him and said that he couldn't tell that story because it was inappropriate. He consented to not tell the full story, but still told us a brief summary of the humorous message, which came down to a joke about the male anatomy. So if we can look to the apostles as examples for how to conduct our lives, I'd say you are doing just fine.

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  46. Another great post. This one really helped me see and appreciate my husband in a new light. And I need that. Thank you.

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  47. P.S. Your balloon picture is totally superior.

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  48. I'm still thinking about this post two days after reading it. Whether I agree with you on things or not (and I usually do!), you always get me thinking, and I thank you for that.

    Sorry to hear about the grief you're feeling about your dear mom. I'm praying for you, brother.

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  49. THANK YOU for your blog post. It came less than 48 hours after my husband expressed, with a swear word, how miserable my soon felt after attending a quorum activity to the boys of that quorum because of their treatment of our son. (Along with a few other thoughts) My husband is in the YM stake presidency and two families decided he should be chastised for his use of an expletive not expressing any concern for our son. By their fruits ye shall know them.The attitude in the quorum has totally changed now. Thank you again!

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  50. And then there's this.
    https://instagram.com/p/8_SpcxvRYO/

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  51. http://weheartit.com/entry/group/4880089 This post made me love you.....I mean I'm happily married and stuff but you know.....the plutonic love. You sounded so happy in your previous post. Don't loose that. My husband and I always say "We want to be rich, but you can keep the famous." Being Famous Sucks. You have to be strong to live through the junk. This post makes me want to actually get to know you and be real friends. I wish you well.

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  52. I try really hard to teach my children not to swear, or even use rude words or be crass, so I would disagree with how you use them. That said, I find that no reason to judge you as someone who is not a wonderful, spiritual, strong person. We are all on this road called life, and we all do and say things we don't mean(or sometimes do mean),that others wouldn't do or say.

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  53. Um, I just love you. In the most appropriate way for me to love a stranger who is happily married with children when I am also happily married with children...anyway--my point is that I freaking love the way you express yourself. Damn--sometimes you gotta swear. Three words: J. Golden Kimball :) Keep being hilarious. And real. And the best.

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  54. I appreciate your perspective.

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  55. Diet Coke for me. And do glaciers (http://bit.ly/GlacialWeed) count? Too overt?

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