One Kick-A Relief Society

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mom3
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One Kick-A Relief Society

Post by mom3 » 13 Sep 2015, 13:01

I experienced the most amazing Relief Society I have sat through in a while. It had only one glitch, but considering what happened beyond the glitch, this was one to be at.

Our ward is on the Pres. Benson Modesty lesson.

The teacher asked for comments because she said felt overwhelmed. Boy did she get what she asked for.

2 points before I go farther, the teacher did a great job, and second I have no animosity for the sisters whose point of view was different than mine.

Here goes the saga. Stick with it till the end.

The teacher began by reading or having someone read The White Dress/Smoke house story.
Quick recap - a girl is heading on a date, her parents want to teach modesty, they encourage her to wear her best dress, it just happens to be white. After she is ready and waiting for her date, her dad asks her to go to smoke house and bring a slab of bacon. She declines because the smoke house will soil, damage her dress. Then the parents explain that they want her to return home just as white as her dress.
A bit of discussion takes place, For Strength of Youth Pamphlet is brought up, etc. I can't sit any longer, up goes my hand. And I say
I will make it easy on everyone, I've been to the smoke house, I know people who have been to the smoke house, and I am okay with people who went to the smoke house, because as I have matured as an adult, I realize I have a Father in Heaven and a Savior who love me even when I go to the smoke house. They may even know I am heading that direction, but they still save a chair at the family table for me, no matter how long it takes me to not go to the smokehouse.
As my heart is calming down, and I am trying to read the Sermon on the Mount to keep calm, a former RS Pres of ours sneaks out, as she passes she whispers something to me about my comment. I don't hear what she says so I let it go. I am assuming she didn't agree with me. I was wrong, as she comes back in, she drops a note in my lap, it reads,
Your comment was perfect and I am so glad you shared it.
I nodded.

Then SSM came up. That's the one I let slide, I didn't want that war to break out. I figure you choose your battles.

But then modest dressing came up, and suddenly the ---- hit the fan. It wasn't the teacher, it was the group of commentors. One woman went into a holy diatribe about how modest her girls were even in 100 degree Arizona, even though the Bishops daughter wore booty shorts. I read my scriptures even more attentively. The lady ahead of me is a convert, single mom, hard working, her little girl wears sleeveless dresses. The mom turned her head toward me, and asked, "How are you doing?" I could see by her face she wasn't doing good. I shrugged, said okay, and started paying attention.

This is where it gets good.

Following the Amazing Arizona Mother, another sister explained that she had just watched the churches 12 step video and how relieved she was that she never had those types of problems, because she made good choices, and finally the RS secretary told a story of how her husband took it upon himself to shame some girl for her skimpy church attire. Of course she didn't call it shaming. But she hit a nerve.

I was one of 4 hands that went up, gently, respectfully, women began to explain that love is more important that what some one wears or what they do. People shared examples of not growing up in the church and doing the best they could. One woman talked about how judgmental we as a people come off when we hold people to our standards. And that if people wear pants to church or sleeveless dresses we should love them. I put in my 2 cents, by talking about my favorite grandparents who were not active in the church, who had WoW habits and watched sports all day on Sunday, yet they were the lights of my life. I wrapped my comment up by explaining that their hometeacher never did the shirt and tie thing, never did the sit down lesson thing. He was their friend.

The time was running out, but the other two members of the Presidency added in their thoughts. Both of them spoke about Agency and the gift we received in the council in heaven.

The teacher wrapped up by going back to my first comment, and reading a scripture to support it.

We did the song and prayer, I was planning on heading out, but I was barraged with hugs, thank you's, etc.

One particular woman stayed longer, she was a previous RS Pres., her husband a previous and loved Bishop. All of their kids are disconnected from the church. I had ached for her during the 5th Sunday Sabbath Day Elder Bednar quotes. Today she bear hugged me from the back and thanked me for being vocal. She loved that my favorite grandma was a Mormon failure. So I told her I was worried about her during the Bednar bit, tears sprung in her eyes, she said,
I've learned to tune that out, it's the only way I survive. Then she said, I want the church to be more loving like you suggested.
Today was a win with a big kick of heart ache behind it. Most of all I was thrilled with other sisters, women who I see as very TBM and I separate myself from, showing me a different view of themselves and the world as they imagine it.

I also hope Pres. Benson enjoyed it. I know I did.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

Curt Sunshine
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Re: One Kick-A Relief Society

Post by Curt Sunshine » 13 Sep 2015, 13:28

:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Our Priesthood lesson was about the Law of Chastity, and I was able to talk a bit about how we focus so much on the don'ts that it can be incredibly hard on newly married couples, especially wives, when, suddenly, they are expected to what has been called bad for so long. I also mentioned how we tend to shame women for how they look and blame them if we are tempted - and stressed that we are responsible for our thoughts and actions, not anyone else. I said if I am walking along South Beach in Florida, nobody else there is responsible for what I rhink and do - that we can't keep the Law of Chastity by making women wear burkas.

One person also mentioned how we tend to talk about extremes (the smokehouse example) - but we also see Jesus being criticized for interacting with people we sometimes say we should avoid. He reminded us to avoid situations and places where we can't be an influence for good but not avoid people.

There were nods around the table, and I had a good chance to talk further after the lesson with one of the stake leaders who was sitting next to me.

It could have been really rough, but it ended up going very well.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

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mom3
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Re: One Kick-A Relief Society

Post by mom3 » 13 Sep 2015, 14:10

I was able to talk a bit about how we focus so much on the don'ts that it can be incredibly hard on newly married couples, especially wives, when, suddenly, they are expected to what has been called bad for so long. I also mentioned how we tend to shame women for how they look and blame them if we are tempted - and stressed that we are responsible for our thoughts and actions, not anyone else. I said if I am walking along South Beach in Florida, nobody else there is responsible for what I think and do - that we can't keep the Law of Chastity by making women wear burkas.
A thousand thanks for that. I may not be able to change the present thinking but if we can fix it for the next group, that will be a victory worth celebrating.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

Ann
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Joined: 09 Sep 2012, 02:17

Re: One Kick-A Relief Society

Post by Ann » 13 Sep 2015, 14:21

mom3 wrote:Today was a win with a big kick of heart ache behind it. Most of all I was thrilled with other sisters, women who I see as very TBM and I separate myself from, showing me a different view of themselves and the world as they imagine it.
I'm impressed, mom. When we get up the courage to speak, the results can be surprising.
"Preachers err by trying to talk people into belief; better they reveal the radiance of their own discovery." - Joseph Campbell

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust

"Therefore they said unto him, How were thine eyes opened? He answered and said unto them, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed my eyes...." - John 9:10-11

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LookingHard
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Re: One Kick-A Relief Society

Post by LookingHard » 13 Sep 2015, 15:05

I so much need to hear of some (even small steps) forward.

amateurparent
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Re: One Kick-A Relief Society

Post by amateurparent » 13 Sep 2015, 16:33

This entire thread just made my day.

Thank you for sharing.
I have no advance degrees in parenting. No national credentials. I am an amateur parent. I read, study, and learn all I can to be the best parent possible. Every time I think I have reached expert status with one child for one stage in their life, something changes and I am back to amateur status again. Now when I really mess up, I just apologize to my child, and explain that I am indeed an amateur .. I'm still learning how to do this right.

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SunbeltRed
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Re: One Kick-A Relief Society

Post by SunbeltRed » 14 Sep 2015, 08:28

Awesome!!

Our HPG was the same lesson. It turned into a pornography discussion. I asked if we could be frank and so brought up some points that really bother me:

The church talks about this way too much in my opinion in that
The youth hear this message and I think for many it makes them feel ashamed and broken
In our house we plan on being open about everything, nothing will be taboo because it was in my house growing up and if it ever was discussed it was just you are supposed to act and feel a certain way because this book says so. No other feelings or consideratiosn were validated so I never discussed this stuff with my parents.
I don't know what addiction means, and the church throws it around without any context, they don't define it, so if a kid seems some stuff or looks at things a few times he probably thinks hes addicted because thats the message.

Our HPG leader has some sons that have struggled with pornography and he has a very open and kind approach. It's not about shaming his kids, its about dialogue and helping them process throug their feelings and helping where he can.

I got some pushback, but not a lot. OVerall went better than it could have...they probably all hate it when I attend class. Oh well.

Minyan Man
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Re: One Kick-A Relief Society

Post by Minyan Man » 14 Sep 2015, 09:08

mom3, Thank you for speaking up in RS. We need to do more of that. Not to be mean or hurtful but to show there are of view points.
You did it in a loving thoughful way. Good job!

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DarkJedi
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Re: One Kick-A Relief Society

Post by DarkJedi » 14 Sep 2015, 10:12

SunbeltRed wrote:Awesome!!

Our HPG was the same lesson. It turned into a pornography discussion. I asked if we could be frank and so brought up some points that really bother me:

The church talks about this way too much in my opinion in that
The youth hear this message and I think for many it makes them feel ashamed and broken
In our house we plan on being open about everything, nothing will be taboo because it was in my house growing up and if it ever was discussed it was just you are supposed to act and feel a certain way because this book says so. No other feelings or consideratiosn were validated so I never discussed this stuff with my parents.
I don't know what addiction means, and the church throws it around without any context, they don't define it, so if a kid seems some stuff or looks at things a few times he probably thinks hes addicted because thats the message.

Our HPG leader has some sons that have struggled with pornography and he has a very open and kind approach. It's not about shaming his kids, its about dialogue and helping them process throug their feelings and helping where he can.

I got some pushback, but not a lot. OVerall went better than it could have...they probably all hate it when I attend class. Oh well.
Ours turned into a porn discussion, too. Since the teacher was a new HP and has some of his own self esteem issues I just buried my head in my tablet. I appreciate that you huys spoke up and sometimes wish I were more open on subjects that bother me.

In opening exercises I did throw the bishop off a bit, though. He mentioned General Women's Meeting was coming up and then said the following weekend was General Conference. I suppose he thought he was doing great by reminding the PH about women's meeting - but I had to interject that women's meeting is the first session of GC. He stammered a bit then dismissed us to our quorums.
In the absence of knowledge or faith there is always hope.

Once there was a gentile...who came before Hillel. He said "Convert me on the condition that you teach me the whole Torah while I stand on one foot." Hillel converted him, saying: That which is despicable to you, do not do to your fellow, this is the whole Torah, and the rest is commentary, go and learn it."

My Introduction

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mom3
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Re: One Kick-A Relief Society

Post by mom3 » 14 Sep 2015, 10:45

but I had to interject that women's meeting is the first session of GC.
Thank you a ton DJ. I know some habits are hard to break, but the sooner we get started the better.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview

"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman

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