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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Cool Halloween Costumes

And, some silly ideas:

Got Milk?
Wear a sign that says "Got Milk?". Paint a milk mustache over your lip with make-up or other non-toxic white substance.

 Wear all gray or all blue. Make a shark fin out of cardboard and attach it to your back.

CD Burner
 Just tie a computer CD around your neck and carry a lighter. When someone asks what you are, hold the lighter up to the CD.

Golf Tee
Attach a golf ball to a headband and wear it on top of your head.
Magic 8 Ball
Wear all black. Cut a large 8 out of white cloth, cardboard or paper and pin or tape it to your back. When people ask you what you are, tell them "reply hazy, try again," or "cannot predict now." Or tell them to shake you and ask you a question.
Chia Pet
Wrap yourself in duct tape so the sticky part is facing out, then roll around on the lawn.
Tic Tac Toe
Attach a pack of Tic Tacs to the tip of your shoe.
Self Portrait
Put a picture frame around your neck and sign your shirt.

Piggy Bank
Wear pink clothes and put a piece of black electrical tape on your forehead (coin slot).

Web Pages
Glue pages from a book onto a black sweatshirt and sweatpants. Add spider webbing to your hair. Voila! Instant internet!  
  Black Mail
Wear all black, and attach a postage stamp to your chest.

Hotglue some quarters to hairclips, and place in your hair.

Spice Rack
Wear an extra-large bra over your clothes. Stuff it with jars of spices.

Man Walking Into a Bar
Get a piece of pipe and attach it to your forehead




Friday, October 8, 2010

The Ant and the Contact Lens

I remember my mom coming home from Relief Society when I was younger with a hand out that she put on the fridge with the image above on it. With it was the story that I have posted below. I really like this story because I feel it hits on one of the reasons we have trials in our life. 

In light of the recent division in opinions over Boyd K. Packer's Talk at this past General Conference, a lot of people have been questioning why God gives us trials. This little example story does not correlate to why everyone goes through every trial, but it does give some perspective.

Brenda was a young woman who was invited to go rock climbing. Although she was scared to death, she went with her group to a tremendous granite cliff.
In spite of her fear, she put on the gear, took a hold on the rope, and started up the face of that rock. Well, she got to a ledge where she could take a breather. As she was hanging on there, the safety rope snapped against Brenda's eye and knocked out her contact lens. Well, here she is on a rock ledge, with hundreds of feet below Her and hundreds of feet above her. Of course, she looked and looked and looked, hoping it had landed on the ledge, but it just wasn't there.
Here she was, far from home, her sight now blurry. She was desperate and began to get upset, so she prayed to the Lord to help her to find it. When she got to the top, a friend examined her eye and her clothing for the lens, but there was no contact lens to be found. She sat down, despondent, with the rest of the party, waiting for the rest of them to make it up the face of the cliff.
She looked out across range after range of mountains, thinking of that Bible verse that says, "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole Earth." She thought, "Lord, You can see all these mountains. You know every stone and leaf, and You know exactly where my contact lens is. Please help me."
Finally, they walked down the trail to the bottom. At the bottom there was a new party of climbers just starting up the face of the cliff. One of them shouted out, "Hey, you guys! Anybody lose a contact lens?"
Well, that would be startling enough, but you know why the climber saw it? An ant was moving slowly across the face of the rock, carrying it!
Brenda told me that her father is a cartoonist. When she told him the incredible story of the ant, the prayer, and the contact lens, he drew a picture of an ant lugging that contact lens with the words, "Lord, I don't know why you want me to carry this thing. I can't eat it, and it's awfully heavy. But if this is what you want me to do, I'll carry it for you."
I think it would probably do some of us good to occasionally say, "God, I don't know why you want me to carry this load. I can see no good in it and It's awfully heavy. But, if you want me to carry it, I will." God doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called.

Monday, October 4, 2010

An LDS Social Worker's View on Gay Marriage

I'm going to be changing gears a bit for this next post. I don't usually like to get involved in heated political debates, but I feel like I should say something.

I have several friends who have lost their faith because of the issue of Gay Marriage. It has been something I've struggled with myself. I have several friends and acquaintances who consider themselves to be gay/lesbian/bisexual, etc.

I am also working on my BSW (Bachelor of Social Work). There is kind of an unspoken expectation for social workers to support gay marriage and gay rights.

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. The LDS church has spoken out against gay marriage countless times.

What's a girl to do?

The following statements and analysis are purely my observations and feelings. I do not officially speak for  Social Workers or the LDS church. I do not mean to come off hateful or ignorant. I am not going to pretend that I don't understand the LDS church's stance a million times better than the GLBT community's. I am merely trying to share the information I have gathered and help others understand my position.

Please don't respond to this post hatefully. I welcome any comments that will help others understand the issues at hand, but any hateful comments will be deleted.

The first thing I want to address is Civil Unions. Below are snippets from several articles:

"Advocates for full marriage equality in Utah say they will focus on the fight for civil unions in the Mormon Church's home state of Utah, as they continue to press for full marital rights. The Mormon Church has said it won't block civil unions in Utah" (article)

" [The Church] does not object to rights for same-sex couples regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights or probate rights, so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches."(article)
"The Church opposes gay marriage but has said it does not oppose civil unions or non-marriage legal rights for same sex couples." (article)
 "LDS church leaders, however do not oppose civil unions or other limited rights for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, as long as those rights don't infringe on religious liberties. In the fall, the church backed a Salt Lake City ordinance that made it illegal to discriminate against LGBT individuals in housing and employment matters." (article)
Now, I know what everyone is thinking, "Separate by Equal" doesn't work and proved to be unequal during the civil rights struggles. 

BUT, I think it's important to understand why the LDS Church insists that Marriage is between a man and a woman. 

Let's say that Gay Marriage was universally passed as being legal. At first that would probably be enough.  But, say 10 or 20 years had passed and gay marriage was generally accepted as normal in a secular sense. Churches that did not offer Gay Marriage would be next to be addressed. 

If you don't think it will go that far, check out these articles:
"The Church of England warned last night that it is under pressure to accept gay marriage" (article)
 Gay Marriage was made legal in the UK in 2005 (source) and 5 years later churches are being targeted that don't allow gay marriages. 

Unfortunately, it doesn't stop at "being pressured."
"Church of England clergy will be sued for discrimination if they refuse to “marry” homosexuals under a proposed law, a bishop has warned. Other religious leaders fear that churches that refuse to bless civil partnerships might be forced to close." (article
Imagine if that happened in America; churches who don't conform to the morals voted on by the public being closed down. America is a country founded on the belief that churches should have freedom to operate.
If you go back and look at the statements above from the LDS church regarding civil unions, they usually include something like "as those rights don't infringe on religious liberties" or "so long as these do not infringe on the integrity of the traditional family or the constitutional rights of churches."
In my opinion, that is one of the big reasons the church is fighting so hard against Gay Marriage. 
In my opinion, (and again this isn't endorsed by anyone of authority from the LDS church), the solution would be to do away with "marriage" entirely as far as secular organizations are concerned.  From what I know about the history of "marriage," marriage has only become a secular concern fairly recently. It used to be a concern of churches. 
In my opinion, that's the best solution. Let the government give everyone a civil union individual churches give marriages based on their beliefs. That gives the GLBT community equal rights with straight people are far as the government is concerned and places a distinction for marriage to be religious sanction. 

I could go on about the churches stance on Homosexuality as a sin, but this post is very long as it is and I'll save that for another time.