Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Things to Keep

Several things conspired to bring about this post. 

(1) I tend to think about how I'll raise my future children a lot.
(2) Most of my cousins and friends are LDS and have kids, so my Pinterest feed is regularly flooded with things related to children and the church (sacrament meeting quiet books, scripture-story coloring books, Mr. T Mormonads, and printables, my goodness, when did these things become so popular?).
(3) I'm trying to get back to where I can see good things about the church—just for myself, and because I don't know what my status is going to be with the church right now as far as family goes.

So I saw the Mormonad and I laughed, because... Mr. T. But then I rolled my eyes at "choose the right" and was about to move on. And then I had a minor epiphany. If my kids are going to be involved with the church, I'm going to need to figure out which Mormon things I'm okay with and which I'm not. Modesty doctrine (the way Mormons do it)—not okay. Attitudes about homosexuality—not okay. "Follow the prophet", no; attitude toward politics (especially things like Prop 8 and the ERA), no.

But CTR—that's one I think I can use. It's a Mormon thing, yes, but the meaning isn't Mormon. My aversion to it is only because of my problems with the church right now, and I will of course teach my children to choose to do the right thing. What I teach them the right thing is will be different from the typical CTR definitions, but that's okay. They can wear the rings if they want, and that will be at least one thing they can have in common with the other kids. It will be at least one Mormon thing I don't hate, and it's the first to surface in my quest to remember the good things about the church.

This is progress for me, I think. This is encouraging.


  1. I can't remember who said it... somewhere in the bloggernacle- something like, "I like to see the church with all its imperfections and malformations and still want to kiss it square on the face!" Yep. The more I study my religion (LDS church), the more I see imperfections and potential problems with the way we sometimes run things... and yet, I love this religion and the doctrine here has brought me close to God in so many ways- I can't deny the amazing good in my life because of the LDS doctrine despite all the imperfections in church dogma. Sometimes it seems like an upward battle to find all the good in this church- but I think it is a valiant ambition.
    PS stumbled upon your blog looking for references to Chieko's quote about diversity. :)

  2. I remember that! I can't remember who it was either. It's a really lovely sentiment and I think that's the perfect way to approach religion. I hope very much that I can feel that way about religion again at some point, whatever path I end up following. Right now I am still very close to my disaffection with the church (and with organized religion in general)—it was only six months ago, almost exactly, that I first realized I had serious problems with the church, and things have happened very fast since then because of how much time I've spent thinking about it. So I'm expecting that it'll get easier for me further down the road.

    Isn't that a lovely quote? I love Sister Chieko. :)

  3. http://www.dovesandserpents.org/wp/2012/05/on-immodest-angels/

    Thought you'd find this interesting...

  4. Hahaha... Yes, I do! I'm laughing now, but my first reaction was more along the lines of indignation, or maybe just anger. That's such a stupid thing to do. I think I'm going to post it on Facebook or my other blog today with a mention of how crappy I think it is to (1) censor beautiful art and (2) censor discriminatingly.

  5. I just spent forever typing something, and forgot to log in to my blogger account... I'll retype it all later tonight when I don't have a toddler punching my keyboard.

  6. Okay. Stating over.
    Chris and I discuss secular parenting often. (Check Amazon, there is a book called Secular Parenting)
    The same platform we always reach is that we want our children to learn why or how to do things because of the strength and knowledge within themselves, rather than that distributed by some figurehead of a corporation. There is no "right" way, because that implies in all circumstances, there is a wrong. Sometimes it's all gray. We prefer "choose wisely."
    For instance, J was climbing on the slide rather than the ladder to the slide.
    TO say "choose the right" would imply that what he was doing was wrong, and that he should go to the ladder, and do the same thing over and over again.
    "Choose wisely" allows him the chance to observe and examine the situation for himself.
    He decides to climb up the slide. He slips, falls down, and learns that its not a safe way to climb. Sometimes he tries again, sometimes he uses the ladder. But now he knows. It's not "choose the ladder because my mom said to" its "choose the safer one, that way hurts!"

    Teaching children to love one another, to do good deeds, to encourage healthy things and discourage the generally-accepted negative things can all be done without any church to tell you how to. Things like this should be a Human Kind thing, not a religion thing.
    I think more abstract things like heaven or God should be left up to the child, and I think the parents aught to encourage children to discover their own beliefs. My children believe in angels. I didn't teach them that. Church didn't tell them. They know it from hearing my sister survived a car crash she should have died in. "Angels were watching her," they tell me. Seeing their fervent faith in that, untainted by anyone's opinion or doctrine kind of makes me believe in angels too.

    Your future children will always be welcome to party with our nonreligious gaggle of kiddos!