January 23, 2016 9:40 pm

I want to be taking more pictures, so I got the camera out so that it's accessible instead of staying packed inside the travel case in my closet.  I spent some time taking snapshots of Heather and Corinne today; mostly Corinne, Heather wasn't interested.

Nothing special, but it's a slice of life around here.  And Corinne needed some more pictures anyway.  So we can pretend these are her 10-months-old pictures (just a few days late).


January 17, 2016 9:00 pm

Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.
But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. --Matthew 19:13-14


And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, ...
And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea. -- Matthew 18:2,5-6


A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may not receive a name and a blessing.

A natural or adopted child of a parent living in a same-gender relationship, whether the couple is married or cohabiting, may be baptized and confirmed, ordained, or recommended for missionary service only as follows: ....

The child is of legal age and does not live with a parent who has lived or currently lives in a same-gender cohabitation relationship or marriage.  -- LDS Handbook 1 16:13

The above quote was the leaked secret policy of the LDS Church as implemented Nov 3, 2015.  Last week, on Jan 10, 2016, Elder Nelson doubled-down on the policy by informing the world that the new policy was given to the Church as divine revelation.  The message given is clear that God does not want these children in his Church.

I cannot support such a policy.

In my mind this policy is irreconcilable with Christ's teachings in the New Testament.

My conscience will not allow me to condone this policy.

But I thought I'd at least give the Church's own teachings a final fair shake.  I prayed about whether the policy truly was God's will.  And I received nothing in response.  So I prayed as to whether I should continue participating in the Church.  And I received nothing in response.  So with the last fragments of whatever faith I may have held I prayed that if God exists he really needed to give me something.  I've participated in this church for 30 years and if that was going to continue I needed something--anything--to justify it.  And I received nothing in response.

Which is the exact response I've received every time I've ever prayed: Nothing.  So I'm forced to face two possibilities:  1. God doesn't exist. or 2. God exists but sees fit to deny acknowledging his presence to me.

Either way makes it clear that I can no longer continue my participation in the Church and stay true to my own conscience.  I cannot continue to participate in the Church and not feel like a hypocrite every night when I try to fall asleep.

I went against my own conscience when the First Presidency asked Church members to write letters to their government representatives opposing the legalization of gay marriage.  I felt it was wrong to deny the legal status granted to other people, but I was a BYU student and trying to be a good Church member.  So I wrote my letter and I mailed it.  And I have regretted it ever since.  It was wrong.  And I knew that I needed to be true to myself in the future.

Therefore I'm no longer participating in the Church.

Jess is continuing her participation in the Church, which is her right, of course.  She listened to me and heard my concerns and didn't try to tell me I was wrong.  I intend to give her that same respect.