Friday, April 18, 2008

I feel better now...

So, after several days of being very disturbed by the events of the interview, I finally decided to get if off my chest and write a letter to the Stake Pres.
Here is the content of the letter I sent yesterday:

Dear President X,

I am writing this on my own behalf because I was greatly disturbed by the interview my husband and I had with you the other evening. Even now, several days later it is still painful, and I hope that in expressing my feelings to you I can let it go.

The only frame of reference I have to explain why we were asked to come in a meet with you so late on Tuesday evening was that DH was going to be asked to serve in the Elder’s Quorum (or something like that). Therefore the abrupt manner in which the interview was concluded (with no explanation as to it’s original purpose) after you found that I did not have a temple recommend was extremely hurtful to me. At best I am willing to believe that you were taken back at the fact that I did not have a temple recommend and after a long day you just didn’t have energy to deal with the situation tactfully. At worst, I have wondered if the interview wasn’t intentionally constructed as manipulative attempt to shame me by dismissing my husband on my account. It seemed that without any further information you judged my husband’s ability, testimony, sincerity and desire to serve. And that without any further information you judged my ability to support my husband in serving the church.

I understand the need to keep up appearances, so I am not surprised that a man married to a wife who displays concerns with aspects of the church would not be chosen for leadership positions. Likewise, I understand the perception that such a wife might have a negative effect upon her husband’s ability to serve. So on the one hand I am left to wonder why we were even invited in (unless you were ignorant as to my state) and on the other hand I am furious that such a judgment would be made with so little knowledge of the situation.

I am sure that many elders were in consideration, all qualified and able, and that the spirit guides the ultimate decision. What left such a bitter taste in my mouth as the interview was concluded was the strong sense that my husband was being dismissed for no other reason than that he is married to a ‘flawed’ wife.

Well, there you go. I just needed to get that off my chest.
Thank you for listening.


Whew. I must say, I feel much much better. A big weight lifted. Of course, we'll see what happens now. At best, he writes me back to say he is sorry my feelings were hurt, it was not his intention at all, it was a miss-understanding, or whatever... At worst, I get my ass hauled in for disciplinary action. And in between 'best' and 'worse' all manner of responses are possible, such as ignoring the letter altogether or reading the letter out-loud at the next Stake Conference as an example of someone who has lost the spirit and is easily offended.
We'll see.
But for the moment... life is happy again.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

cleaning the neglected room

Whew... it took having family come to visit, but I did it. Cleaned out the neglected room. So that there would be room for an inflatable mattress and clean flat surfaces to put luggage etc on. It actually shouldn't have taken nearly as long as it did, but in the clean process I began going through old art work, then began sorting it, throwing away the stuff that was absolute junk. On top of that I decided to photo-document all the stuff I was keeping that hadn't been recorded yet. So yes... I was supposed to be cleaning out the room, getting it ready to be a guest room, and instead spent almost a whole day making an even bigger mess. But it was good. Good to purge and clean and sort and revisit things I had forgotten. It was something that I had been needing to be do anyways and the room did eventually get cleaned (just in the nick of time!)
I haven't been in here to make any art work in several months now, currently I do most of my creative stuff with a camera or on the computer and that is okay for right now. I read somewhere an artist talking about her working process and she said something like "honor the down time". Well, this past year hasn't really felt like 'down time', it has felt very very busy with things other than being a studio artist. Housekeeping, childcare, reading books, blogging, learning digital designing software, etc... But I think it has been beneficial. I am feeling more artistically inspired lately and that is a good feeling.

just for kicks, a slide show of some of the paintings I have done over the past several years (one or two are 5+ years old, but most are within the past 3 years) that I just got around to taking pictures of. (Thanks to visiting family)

(WARNING- there is nudity scattered around in these paintings, as well as a few internal organs and perhaps a few little wounds. Viewer discretion advised. )

These can also be viewed on my flickr page along with more of my work.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

my fault...

I am so bone tired at the moment. Now to add to that I am heart sick as well. This afternoon I received a call from the executive stake secretary letting me know that the Stake President wanted to see me and my husband tonight. I spent the rest of the day slightly on edge, my mind running circles. They just split our ward, and I knew they were looking for a new Elder's Quorum president and was sure they were considering my love. A tiny part of me wondered if it had something to do with me (like a surprise church court, or something along those lines) but I really didn't believe that. It was going to be a calling for my lover, and a time intensive calling at that and dang that was going to be annoying, and if they asked me to bear my testimony what would I say that would be honest and acceptable. The time came for the interview, us dressed in sunday clothes waiting in the foyer of the SP's office, me with a little knot in my gut.

It was very simple and quick.
A few smiles, a couple of 'get-to-know-you questions'.
Then he asked my love if he had a current temple recommend.
Then he asked me if I had a current temple recommend.
Was I working towards getting one?
"No. But I support my husband in his having one."
Then he bore his testimony about his grandmother, a humble women who had kept her temple covenants her whole life, and when she died, he knew that she had passed the test. (..."in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen")
And then he said they were still working out how things would be organized in the new ward, and thank you very much for coming in to see him.

No calling was extended.

Because of me.
My husband was dismissed because of me.
It felt like I had gotten him fired, or at least passed over for a promotion. That it was all my fault, my 'flaws' had cancelled out all of his good attributes.

I cried all the way home.
I am much more conflicted about this than I was about his having a time-intensive, higher-profile calling.

This may sound odd, slightly schizophrenic, after all my posts about my disaffection's. But, you see, I still attend church. With my husband who has a desire to participate and be active and serve. I no longer have a temple recommend, or hold any callings (except visiting teacher), but I still feel an affinity towards the saints and am trying to cultivate the few friendships I have in the ward.

Anyways... this hurt. My lover doesn't hold it against me at all (perhaps he is grateful), but that doesn't change the fact that it was my fault.

Monday, April 7, 2008


Several years ago, when we were newlyweds, my lover and I attended a conference session at the newly built Conference Center. I took these pictures while we stood in line, waiting to get in.

Anti-mormon evangelical protesters outside the Conference Center. Waving bibles, shouting through bull horns, holding sign-boards that displayed, at best, aggressively condemnatory biblical verses, at worse, tacky hand-painted images of early church leaders burning in hell. And waving garments. They had fistfuls of old garments and they were waving them in the faces of the people lined up to attend conference.

Honestly, I am not sure why I took these pictures. I happened to have my camera on me and felt compelled to record the events of that day. We were their captive audience, maybe I was just making the most of it by making them my captive subjects. Frequently I have pulled out these pictures, looking at the faces, trying to re-read the signs and trying to remember the things that happened in between the instant of the photo; exactly what this person or that was saying, if any members were engaging with the protesters, the various different ways both members and protesters had of dealing with the charged close proximity.

I find myself almost as fascinated with these protesters as I am repelled by them. Even as one who no longer believes much in the claims of the church I find the accusations of anti-mormon Christians ludicrous and hypocritical. Do they really think that their clapboards and their shouting are going to bring someone to Jesus? I mean seriously, has any market research been done to determine the efficacy of these types of protests in de-converting someone from Mormonism to "Christianity"?

Mentally, I try to find where these anti-mormon protesters fit in amongst other various groups who protest other various government and corporate actions. Is there any similarity between a person protesting the American presence in Iraq and a person waving special underwear at a group of religious people?

anyways... just some of my thoughts coming out of this weekend's general conference. Wonder if it was any of the same people and signs cropped up this year.