***Warning—Do not read if you are queasy about bodily fluid descriptions***
Last week, I took my son-in-law and two young grandkids sailing. The weather was picture perfect. The sky was overcast, making for an uncommonly pleasant temperature. Low humidity. No rain. Manageable wind speed…that wouldn’t frighten the little ones…or the big ones.
My son-in-law, Marshall, is determined to master the fine art of sailing. Most of the day he was at the helm. Did a great job. As the captain, he managed everything. The jib, the tiller, the mainsail, the commands….and even the capsizing. That’s right, he tipped us over. Of course, we blamed it on….Benson, our intrepid three year old passenger. As we joked that it was all his fault, he quickly and proudly claimed the credit. Tipping a catamaran over can be traumatic to kids with no sailing experience. But, Benson was totally unfazed. Bright-eyed and smiling wide, he played in the swells as Dad and Granddad worked to upright the boat.
At one point, we were about an hour away from the beach. My little three year old grandson said to his dad, “I need to go potty.” Dad calmly replied in almost a whisper, “Let’s use the stealth method.” My six kids were all girls. So, I wasn’t sure what the stealth method was. I assumed it meant to go into the bushes. Well, in the middle of Galveston Bay, there are no bushes. Holding onto the windward shroud, little Benson stood up and started fumbling awkwardly with his clothes.
OK! Now it was time for the experienced sailor to jump to the rescue. From sad and comical experience, I know what happens when any fluid is flung into the wind. Moving air is merciless. It flings the fluid right back onto you and anyone else behind you. Marshall and I were both downwind.
Before any unfortunate accident could occur, I moved the little one to the back of the trampoline on the leeward side. Now, Benson could water the seawater without the captain and his coach being splattered.
Pissing Into the Wind
Yesterday, I met a good friend for lunch. He’s a member of my ward (Congregation). I really like this guy. Have a great deal of respect for him. He was my very first bishop when I moved to Houston 40 years ago.
We got talking about the state of my faith and my current activities. He was very complimentary about the Talkeria. He feels it is a great example of following Christ’s commandments to reach out in a spirit of love and charity. Coming from him, it meant the world to me.
But, he also had a caution. He said this, “Sam, what you are doing, by voting opposed, is just PISSING INTO THE WIND.” I’m not sure exactly what he meant. But, I’m a sailor. To me, “pissing into the wind,” brings a certain image to mind. Not a pleasant image. An image of bad stuff coming back at you.
It turns out that this vision of “pissing into the wind” was pretty apt yesterday. Two people, whom I love and know well, predicted that I’m going to be excommunicated. I’d heard comments like this before, but not from anyone close. It hit a little hard.
Now, I don’t think that I’m doing anything to warrant expulsion. I love Jesus. I love my church. I have great respect for its leaders. It saddens me that so many of my friends and family are leaving or have already left.
So, I may be “pissing into the wind.” Unfortunate things might come back and bite me. Never-the-less, my determination and commitment is to follow the teachings and example of Jesus Christ. If I were be excommunicated for seeking to obey the Savior’s commandments and to keep my temple covenants…so be it. After all, Jesus, Himself, was executed for his determination to follow the commandments of His father.
Pissing Into the Wind—The Next Steps
Saturday, October 1st, all members of the Church of Jesus Christ will have a sacred opportunity to serve the Lord and His church. Once again, He will publicly exhibit His trust in the general church membership. He has commanded the apostles to ask for our opinion….to ask for our approval or disapproval. In preparation for that pivotal event, here are four steps I plan to take in the next few days.
- Post on my blog a call to seriously consider what each of us is going to do when this holy vote is called for.
- Compose an e-mail which will explain to my Stake President and Bishop why I voted the way I did.
- Post that e-mail here, so others can access, modify, and use, if they so desire.
- Compose a petition of sorts. Not actually a petition, but, more like a register. If a person chooses to vote in disapproval, they could record it here. It’s likely that only one name will be recorded on the register…mine. And…that’s just peachy with me.
10 thoughts on “Whizzing in the Wind”
I’ll do all 4!! Count me in!
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Lemme see … howzagood way to express this …
What I see in you is a childlike innocence and exuberance that’s actually quite endearing. You have a good and compassionate heart, and you genuinely care about your fellow travelers on Planet Earth and want only for others what you would value and appreciate for yourself and for your own family.
Your innocence is evident by your expectation that everyone else around you, especially including The Brethren, should naturally also want what is best for everyone and for the greater good. In other words, you are a living embodiment of the Golden Rule in action, and you are presuming that those who own and control The Church of Jesus Christ must also be interested in practicing the fundamental teaching of Christ, which is to do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
What you are going to eventually discover, Sam, is that you are completely mistaken about The Brethren. For these suits-in-charge, the Golden Rule is nothing more than a convenient piece of propaganda to be given pulpit lip service, but then completely ignored when it comes to their actual behaviors.
Think of it this way, Sam. For The Brethren, the Teachings of Jesus are just propaganda in the same way that The Constitution is nothing more than propaganda for the Elite Political Establishment who run and control this country for their own benefit and agenda. As long as innocent Americans continue to believe that The Constitution is the Law of the Land, the Power Elite continue to ignore The Constitution with impunity and get away with the systemic, mass exploitation and destruction of Middle Class America.
Similarly, The Brethren mouth in public what Jesus said, and when the cameras turn off, they gleefully spend the hard-earned tithing donated by innocent members on a billion dollar mall built by no-bid crony contractors with connections, new temples by the hundreds, and on endless real estate and other money making investments. Plus, they get to enforce their own brand of racism, bigotry, homophobia and misogyny with an iron hand against members of the Church they do not like and judge to be totally unworthy and deserving of banishment from the polite society as defined by The Brethren.
Sam, you have applauded the “end of racism” in the Church, but you should realize that this was forced on The Brethren from the more progressive (and civilized) USA culture that had them literally surrounded. They only surrendered because they had no viable, alternative choice. In reality, the racism of The Brethren is still quite alive and well in their hearts. You can prove this to yourself, Sam. When three vacancies in the Q12 were recently filled, did The Brethren take advantage of this opportunity to broadcast their core values regarding race to the world? They certainly did, Sam. You know the rest of that story.
So …. stay your course! Continue to let your core values guide your behavior choices. That is precisely what The Brethren do as well. Sooner or later, The Brethren will tire of your public and vocal expressions of your core values, which are in diametric opposition of what The Brethren care about and what they will tolerate.
Think of it this way. The Brethren telegraph to the world what lives in their hearts by what they refuse to tolerate to exist within the Church they own and control. One of those things they will eventually eject from their presence is … you, Sam. And bless your heart for being someone and something The Brethren cannot tolerate. By being who you are, you literally force The Brethren to demonstrate who they are as well, and while the whole world is watching them.
I applaud you, Sam. You are a force for good within the Church, until that day when you will transition to a force for good outside of the Church. Well done!
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How in the heck did you learn to write so fast. Your comment is longer and better stated than my blog. It took me hours to compose it. When they add speed writing to the Olympics, you are going to get the gold medal.
In all you have said, you could be dead on. I’m not going into this naively. I recognize the possiblities and likelihoods. However, my entire life I’ve attempted to life by a set of principles that I was tutored in at church. Of course, I frequently fall short. Very frequently. Regardless of the church’s hidden history, doctrine and practices that I’ve discovered, I still cling to the principles and teachings of my youth and adulthood. The teachings and example of Jesus.
Gary, I really really appreciate your encouragement an well-wishing. All my best back to you, Sam
Gary writes so fast because he is an active anti-Mormon who has a perfectly worded reply to pull out of a file for every situation that comes up. I have never read anything by those who have known the Brethren for their entire lives, who would or have not suggested that they are not exactly who they come across as being lovers of Christ and his teachings. As to excommunication, I hope this doesn’t happen to you because I know you have a mega heart. I truly believe that their are local fallible leaders who will have a lot to answer for one day. As I have seen adulterous individuals, child molesters, and criminals who have never faced a church court. You are walking in a gray area IMHO when you suggest people do the same thing you do and when you hold meetings where people are allowed to bad mouth the Church without being able to prove what they are saying is true. Although the concept is a good one, there are enough online sites these people could go to. Love you Sam.
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Letting you know that your husband continues to be in our prayers.
You have mentioned a big concern of mine. “There are enough online sites that these people could go to.” That’s the problem. There are plenty of places where questioning members can go to. Unfortunately, the church is not one of them. Such irony. We are forbidden to discuss our own history, doctrine and current policies in our own church. Besides being forbidden and hidden, our current Mormon culture does not support full and open discussions of truth. As a result, many faithful seekers of truth gravitate to the locations where truth can be found and freely examined. I did that and continue to do it. I have attempted to explore our history an doctrine at church. I have been solidly smacked down. OK. I can take that. But, many of my friends and family are being driven away by it.
The purpose of my Talkerias are to provide that safe place for discussion that is totally absent in Christ’s church. In that forum, I can express love for the Savior, his gospel and the church. At the same time, another person can express his atheism. Another his anger at the harm the church is causing his family. All of us together, can reason together in safety and support of each other’s journey. So different from what the truth seeker encounters in the black and white wall of judgment often encountered church. And my Talkerias are different from the online communities that might only present one side.
As always, you provide great insight. Thanks, Sam
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A “file of perfectly worded rebuttals” sure sounds like a persecution complex to me.
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Oh, Thomas! You got me laughing on that one.
Thomas, I used the word reply which means to respond. The word rebuttal means to debate or argue. Gary is a debater. I am a responder. I do not feel persecuted, however I do feel tired of the constant anti Mormon rhetoric that has been going on for over a hundred years. Until the LGBTQIA agenda, it was the same old worn out words. I used to say to people that bad mouthed the church, ” isn’t it sad that instead of telling me the good that you do within your church, you spend all your time bad mouthing mine. That’s sad”. I am proud of all the Christlike serve my church gives to the world. We don’t ask those who have faced devastation, what religion they are. To me, that is how you judge Christ’s Church and his people. Sam is one of those people who epitomizes that Christ like service.
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Sam, I do think going back a few decades and your current course of action probably would have gotten you pulled into a church court just because you were not kissing the ring of those above you in the church hierarchy. I think the church is a bit more worried about coming off too punitive and controlling. But then again, it comes down to your stake president.
I think you logically have a really sound case, but I don’t know that your stake president will even care.
I hope it doesn’t happen and I applaud you standing up for what you feel is right. The world needs more caring people that DO something to make the world a better place.
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I still don’t see anything that I’m doing that would result in disciplinary action. At this point, several people have predicted my excommunication. In fact, John Dehlin texted this question to me tonight: “You haven’t been called to a court yet, right Sam? Just making sure.”
Today, I made a decision. If any threats are made towards me, even the loss of my temple recommend, I’m going to push back. This is MY church and Jesus’ church. I have poured blood, sweat, tears and tons of treasure into it. My blood (children and grandchildren) are still here. It’s wholly inappropriate and unacceptable to threaten anything, period. Especially, when my motivation is to obey Christ’s commandments, keep my temple covenants, and to make the church a better place.
Still looking forward to meeting. I’m probably going to move the Talkeria to Sunday afternoon, or at least alternate between Thursday and Sunday.
My Best and Fondest Wishes, Sam