Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Update

Happy National Widows Day!

I didn't know there was such a day, but, seriously, you ladies and gentlemen all deserve pats on the back if this pertains to you.

For me, it's been a crazy few weeks.  You've probably read my initial reaction to Elder Holland's talk last week.

Let me start by saying that by the time he had arrived and gave his talk, I had reached a point of exhaustion that probably came close to doctor prescribed bed rest, if not hospitalization.

I had spent the day at a school covering for the computer lab assistant who needed to be out.  We normally don't do this, but they had the computerized NWEA testing, and the other people there who knew how to do it were doing DIBELs testing instead.

Don't make me go there about the over abundance of testing in schools.

So, after 9 hours of sitting on hard plastic chairs, I spend another 3-4 hours sitting on hard metal chairs at a Church building where we were packed like sardines.  They had the hallways going to where I parked in the parking lot, so after I changed out of my work clothes into something a little more presentable, I had to keep the bag of clothes, along with the bag with my food in it, with me along with my back pack.  People probably thought I was nuts, but I couldn't get to my car.

By the time Elder Holland actually spoke, every part of my body was hurting, my back was seizing up, and all I wanted was to get this over with and go home.

I've since heard the last 45 minutes of his talk (many thanks to the person who recorded it), and it was fantastic.

Thankfully, as luck would have it, I had already gotten approved to take the rest of the week off from work, as they needed me to get rid of the overtime that's been accumulating.  It turned out to be a much needed break, and some time to get my car serviced as well, without it impacting my work schedule.  The remainder of the 5 day weekend ended up just sleeping, eating, spending time with the cats and binge-watching Emergency on DVD.

I've also started to make more of an effort to get my vitamins in me on a regular basis, as well as drinking more of the Vitamin Water to keep my electrolytes up.

So, while I am going crazy, trying to keep up with everything, I am also trying to make sure I don't put myself into a situation that will not require hospitalization.

Life is busy, however life will still be around whether you are able to participate or not.  Be sure to take care of yourselves.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Marriage

Yes, I went and heard a General Authority (actually 2) speak this past Tuesday night.

The leading General Authority, who presided the meeting, gave a great talk, but there was something he said that bugged me.

What did he say?

I know I probably don't have this entirely correct.

"For those who have been married, your marriage is over, whether it be by divorce or death."

Divorce I get, but death?  To some degree, he is correct, but to some degree, he is very wrong.

The majority of marriages on this earth are deemed "till death do you part".

In the Temple, however, marriages are for time and eternity.

When death occurs, yes, the time part of the marriage is over.  The widow is declared by the Church to be single, as they are no longer part of a mortally living couple.

The problem is, many people take this to mean that the eternal part of the marriage is also over.  They are wrong.

The most amazing experiences for me, spiritually, have occurred since my husband's death.  This is because a sealed marriage has it's power through the Holy Priesthood.  This priesthood doesn't die.  It's not yet another earthly possession to discard after someone dies.  Because of this, the connection between the spouses still exists.  I have experienced this firsthand. My husband, who is very busy on the other side of the veil, does still connect with me, particularly during the quiet times of my days and nights, as well as in my dreams.

He is still very much my husband, my eternal companion, and the father who is watching over our children who are with him on the other side of the veil.

So, for my widow buddies who are being told their marriages are over, tell the brother or sister in the gospel who say this that they are suffering from near-sightedness.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Singles Activities

I felt really bad this morning for my Ward's leadership in hosting a Singles Waffle Brunch for the single sisters in the Ward, from what I heard counted 70, and there were only about 5-6 of us who showed up.

Then, during the delicious meal, the comment was made as to why the numbers were so small.  My response was to simply acknowledge that they were missing out on some really good waffles.  

What I wanted to say, though, I chose not to say for fear of sounding snarky, and I certainly didn't want to offend people I love so much.

These, however, were a few thoughts.

First, okay, there are 70 single sisters in the Ward, a portion are widowed like myself.  How many of them have to work on Saturdays and couldn't come?

Reason #2:  With the Bishop there, some of the sisters would refuse to come as they would not be permitted to gossip about others in the Ward.  Sad, yes, but true.

Reason #3:  This is probably the big reason.  There was no real compelling reason to be there.

What I mean by this was, what would the people showing up benefit from coming?

Take out the visiting, the message from the Bishop, the good food, there was no other reason to draw people in.

There were no classes on:  

1.  Surviving the grieving process and ways people can cope, taught by counsellors from LDS Family Services.

2.  A primer on financial basics geared for single sisters, taught by our resident CPA.

3.  Basics of job hunting and getting that resume ready, taught by someone from the LDS Employment Services.

4.  Gardening and Food Storage basics.

5.  Basics of using power tools for home maintenance.

I'm sure the list could go on, but this will give you an idea of what I mean.  There used to be (I don't know if there still are) Singles Conferences every six months, and none of these topics were ever covered, yet for many women, particularly ones who just recently suffered a loss of spouse or divorce, this is exactly what they need.  It's a way for people to grasp what they do have control over, in situations where they feel they have none.

I could be wrong, and there could have been other reasons, I don't know, but this was what was going through my mind.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Blog Post To Read - The Unexptected Miracle

If you haven't read this yet, it's really good.  Be sure to have the tissues ready, though.

http://aftertheyaregone.com/2016/01/28/unexpected-miracle/.com/2016/01/28/unexpected-miracle/

For those of us who are widowed, what book or books have helped you with your grieving?

For me, after coming home from the hospital without my husband, I found I couldn't sleep.  There seemed to be an aura or light beaming from a book on the bookshelf in our bedroom, it was the book, "Not My Will But Thine" from Elder Neal A. Maxwell.

That book helped me realize that I was not being punished and having my husband taken from me, but that the Lord had a plan for my husband, and that plan began that early morning.

The other item I read that helped me considerably was my husband's Patriarchal Blessing.  Through repeated reading and prayer to understand why my husband was taken, I was able to have a better understanding of the plan for my husband as well as his mission on the other side of the veil.

What books have helped you with your grieving?

Saturday, November 7, 2015

My Take

I posted this yesterday on my Gospel Doctrine blog, I wanted to repost it here as well.

It's been hard not to notice all of the media reports, not only of the status of members of The Church who are living homosexual lifestyles, but also the status of children being raised by couples living a homosexual lifestyle in the home.

I'll start by saying this:  These are just my opinions and not of anyone else, and not of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Those of you who know me know I had a very long and hard struggle with how the Church defines widows as singles.  After all, why would a religion whose basic tenants include eternal marriage suddenly ditch the recognition of a sealed marriage after one of the spouses dies?

It took a lot of years and a lot of heart to heart talks with the Lord to find out it doesn't define me, it doesn't define my eternal marriage. This change is made to protect the widowed who find someone else to marry from being considered guilty of adultery from the Church.  Sometimes the harsh rules are there to protect us.

My take is that this is the same.  For years the Church has already had rules regarding excommunication of people living alternative lifestyles.  Those who have been members of the Church for a while should know this.  The change, for me at least, was with the status of children who are being raised in a home where homosexuality is practiced.


Again, to me, these rules of making the child wait until they are 18 to determine how that child wishes to live their life is also a protection.

It's not about punishment, it's about covenants.  Not only to make them, but the ability to keep covenants that have been made.  It's about getting serious about taking the Lord's name upon us, not just in outward appearance, but in inward belief.

It was hard for me to wait three years and eight months to be baptised, as my parents were opposed to the Church.  I have some experience in knowing you are an outsider.  There are times, even though I've been baptised for over 35 years and married in the Temple, when I still feel like an outsider, mostly because my responsibilites are not the norm for most women in my faith.

The Church, the gospel in my life, the blessings, the peace, the loved ones whom I hope will be awaiting me on the other side of the veil, all of it has been worth the wait, worth the struggles, worth the tears, even worth the betrayal I have experienced from time to time in this Church.

To be able to fully live my religious beliefs without the disdain and temptations of family members who do not understand the covenants I have made with the Lord, it has been worth the wait.

Again, just my opinion.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Sacrifice

This message has been a long time coming.

I'll start off by saying I love the brethren dearly.

I loved Elder Holland's talk on the sacrifices of a mother.

What I would like to point out is that while there are widowed mothers out there making huge sacrifices to raise their kids on their own, there are also childless widows who have made a sacrifice no one ever mentions:

Motherhood.

Widows have been called upon by the Lord to sacrifice their marriages, putting them on hold for the remainder of their mortal lives, while their eternal companions do the Lord's work on the other side.

Some of these widows, like myself, have also been called upon by the Lord to set aside our righteous desires of having children and raising them.

At Church about a month ago, the ugliness of some of the sisters in Relief Society came out when the sacrifices of Motherhood was the basis of the lesson.

They started off by giving a quote from Sister Sherry Dew on how all women are "mothers in Zion".

When I mentioned the sacrifices childless women make, many of whom become the family caregivers for elderly family members, I was shot down by the sisters in the room, telling me I have no idea what sacrifice is, as I don't have children.

So much for "all women" being "mothers in Zion".

Apparently, they have forgotten that Jesus Christ didn't give birth to a child, does that mean He doesn't know what sacrifice is?

The sad part is that there are people out there who are seriously misguided in this.  Everyone has their Gethsemane.

For some, it's the challenges and sacrifices associated with raising children, and having them know they are loved and accepted, just the way they are.

For others, it appears, is a lack of tact.

Welcome To The Widowed Connection

Welcome to the Widowed Connection, where widowed members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can read and share in this blog.