What Do You Think Our Country Deserves?

Trump or Hillary? That is the question that so many people are asking themselves and each other right now.

Pathological liar or criminal?

A man with horrifying financial skills or a woman whose finances take her above the law?

Horrifying racist or horrifying woman?

Evil or evil?

I hear so many people say, “I’m voting for Trump because, hey, at least he’s not Hillary, right?” “I’m voting for Trump because a vote for anyone else is a vote for Hillary.” “I’m voting for Trump because he’s probably the lesser of the two evils.”

I hear so many people say, “I’m voting for Hillary because, hey, at least she isn’t Trump, right?” “I’m voting for Hillary because it will be nice to see a woman in the Oval Office.” “I’m voting for Hillary because she deserves this after all Bill put her through.” “I’m voting for Hillary because she’s probably the lesser of the two evils.”

If you’re voting for either of them because you truly believe that they will do the best job in the White House and that they are the most qualified candidate, then by all means, vote how you believe. If we have differing opinions, great! I may not understand, but who am I to stop you? Remember that post where I wrote all about our differing opinions? It’s still true.

But if you fall into the other categories, here’s a newsflash: there is a third choice! Actually, there are lots of them. Third-party candidates often agree with you on more policies than either of the two main parties. And this election, we have a third party candidate on every ballot in the fifty states! The citizens of the USA don’t like the GOP and Democratic candidates. Many of us don’t understand how we even got into this position.

Losely attributed to Ezra Taft Benson, but there is no confirmation that he actually said this… Still true though.


But someone has told you that if you vote for anyone other than those two, you’re wasting your vote. *insert awful buzzer sound* WRONG! Actually, if you vote for someone else, your vote doesn’t go to Hillary or Trump. It goes to who you voted for. “But if the majority votes for Hillary, the electoral college votes still go to Hillary.” Yes, that is true. But how many people do you think are actually voting for them because they want to? As of 2014, 43% of voters are independent voters! That is more than Republicans (26%) or Democrats (30%). You can read a whole article about it here. That is the majority! If you’re voting third party, you’re not wasting your vote. If every registered independent voted for a third-party candidate (specifically the one man on every ballot), we wouldn’t have to deal with Trump or Hillary in the White House.

Even if Trump or Hillary wins in your state, you can walk free of the guilt of voting for the candidate that you support. That in itself is good enough reason for me. 

Why vote for the lesser of the two evils when you can vote for someone you actually agree with? Gary Johnson is a great choice, but there are plenty of other candidates to chose from. Do your research. Find the candidate who represents you. That’s what presidents are supposed to do. They were never meant to be rulers, just spokesmen for the people.

Please, I beg of you, don’t vote for the lesser of the two evils. Our country deserves better than that. 

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A Special Day at the Temple

Last weekend, we went to the temple. There’s no questions that that is one of my favorite places to be. The peace and love felt in the House of the Lord is unmatched. But that day was particularly extraordinary.

On Saturday, my husband’s great grandmother was sealed to her husband for time and all eternity. She passed away last year at ninety-seven years old. She had been a widow for thirty-eight years. I only knew her for the last year and a half of her life, but she was quite an amazing lady. And being there for that experience was beyond compare.

Homer and Isabelle were sealed for time and all eternity after being separated for thirty-eight years. It was also a special day for Alex’s grandma Rose. She was able to be sealed to her parents just after they were sealed to each other. The whole experience was beautiful, and amazing, and unbelievably perfect. The spirit was so strong in that room, and I could feel the joy from these family members as they received these ordinances and blessings.

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Photo Cred: Aaron Barker (aaronbarker.smugmug.com)

I started thinking as I was changing out of my temple clothes. I realized today that sealings are my favorite work to do in the temple. I love the visual of families on the other side embracing each other as they’re sealed. As I sit across the alter from my husband, looking into the mirrors, seeing us go on forever, I see another family as well. I feel their presence and their love as they hold each other and receive those blessings. There’s a very humbling atmosphere that takes over in the sealing room, and there’s so much love that it’s almost tangible.

I know that families are forever. I just can’t believe in a world where I would be separated from my family when I die. And I’m so glad that I have the ability to help other families be forever.

The Current State of Our Nation

This will be a relatively short post, but it’s something I feel passionate about and it’s something I feel I need to share.

I’ve often discussed controversial topics with friends and strangers in comments on Facebook. I always drop out when it becomes a fight, or when the personal insults start flying. I see no reason to fight, as I’d rather have a nice discussion. But there’s a problem with that.

Everyone is so stuck in their opinion that they aren’t willing to listen, or look at the topic from the other side, or, heaven forbid, change! I’m guilty of this, and I’m not saying I’m perfect by any means. But as many people talk about the brink of WWIII with the current presidential candidates, I’m worried about a second Civil War. Our population has become so polarized in our opinions. At this point, if you disagree on anything, it’s nearly impossible to remain friends. No one has respect for another’s opinions. No one has respect for other people in general. And on the Internet, no one seems to have respect for themselves.

We’ve come to a scary place in our nation where there is no happy medium. There can be no happy medium because your political beliefs are such a defining characteristic of your life, so if you’re unsure of something, you’re considered uneducated and ostracized until you pick a side.

But here’s the thing that no one seems to understand: We don’t have to agree on anything to get along.

If you are on my friends list, you are my friend. Even if you’re not on my friends list, I respect you, because you are a fellow human being, and you’re obviously a potential friend! We may not be close, but I respect you. We may life miles apart, but I will be there when you need me. We may argue, but I will remain your friend. We may not agree, but I will never think less of you for your beliefs.

I believe that we are all children of our loving Heavenly Father. I believe that we are all brothers and sisters. I believe that our Heavenly Father loves us all equally and individually. I believe that it causes great sorrow for our Heavenly Father when he sees all of the hate spread between his children. I believe that the hateful words and actions we throw at each other cause more sorrow to our Heavenly Father than the topics that are causing the contention. I believe that we can all get over our differences and love and respect and be civil with each other. I believe that we are capable of making this nation and this world so much better than it is. I believe that you and I can make the change.

You probably don’t agree with me on at least one account. But that’s okay. I promise, I’ll still be your friend.

An Open Letter to my Children

My dearest Lacey and Ben,

I love you both so much. Neither of you will understand the joy you’ve brought to my life until you’ve had your own children. I’m constantly amazed at how I ended up with the two most perfect children ever! You’ve both slept through the night at a month old, eaten like champs, been healthy as could be, and you’ve both loved me since the day you were born. You mean the world to me, and that’s why you need to understand.

Mommy is sick. It’s not a sick that makes me cough or gives me a fever. My brain is sick. It feels like I have two people’s thoughts in my head. I have my own thoughts of love and happiness. But I’m plagued with thoughts from somewhere else of anger and frustration and sadness. These thoughts make me want to leave. They tell me to leave my happy life with you and go somewhere else. They tell me to forget you and move on. They tell me to be a person that I am not. They tell me that you don’t need taken care of. They tell me to ignore your cries and requests. They tell me that my life is not a happy one.

I know these negative thoughts aren’t mine. I fight against them every day to try to be a good mom. Some days are better than others, but some days the thoughts are too much to fight. Some days we color and giggle and play together and have so much fun! Some days I struggle to get off of the couch while you binge watch Sofia the First on Netflix. Some days I can’t get enough of you! And some days I’d rather clean than be around you.

 
Even though you’re both so young, and probably won’t remember this, I want to tell you that I’m sorry. Since Ben was born, I have been under a lot of stress. And I, stupidly, decided to keep it all to myself as to not bother anyone. This factored greatly into my developing Postpartum Depression (PPD).

PPD is what causes these thoughts and makes it so hard to be happy. It’s what makes it so hard to be your mom. I wish you could understand how much I love you, and how guilty I feel for any negative thought I have about being your mom. I pray constantly for this to go away. I’ve plead with God to comfort my mind. It helps some. He’s helped give me strength to fight the thoughts that I can’t escape. He’s also helped me not become a danger to you.

I know I don’t feel like myself. And I know that life shouldn’t feel this hopeless and miserable. I promise that I will get better. It might not happen quickly, but it will happen. I don’t like feeling this way. And it takes a lot out of me to constantly fight it. But you both give me strength!

PPD is not something to be ashamed of. A lot of women deal with it. It is possible that you both will experience it, whether Lacey develops it or Ben’s future wife does. It is important to remember that life is not meant to be suffered through, no matter how hard our trials may seem. “Life is meant to be enjoyed, not just endured,” as President Hinkley counseled.

I love you so much. I’m so grateful for the love you’ve shown me even through these hard times. I’m so blessed to have each of you.

I love you.

Mom

New Years Resolutions

 
Crafting is a huge part of my life. Anyone who knows me knows of my vast collection of crafting excursions. You can probably imagine my pile of unfinished projects… I’m not proud of it.

This year, as people make vows to change their lives, to loose weight, to get rich, etc. my New Years resolution is to finish my projects. I’ve made my lists, and I’ve been working hard. I had already checked one project off by the 4th of this month!

Granny Cocoon Shawl: CHECK!

With a baby coming in 2 1/2 months, and a husband graduating from college in 5 months, and who knows what after that, it’ll be crazy. Hopefully the crafting craziness will keep me sane.

Little Victories

We’ve lived in our apartment for just over a year and a half now. It’s really quite a nice apartment, except for one big thing. Our bathtub is disgusting. It was nice and white when we moved in, but after the first week or so, the bottom of the tub started to turn black. I cleaned and scrubbed and bleached it so many times with no progress.

This is actually a before and after of an hour’s worth of hardcore scrubbing. I am actually sore from all the work I put into this.

 I have been constantly embarrassed for people to use my bathroom, for fear that they would see how dirty this tub is. I clean it weekly, because how can you get clean in a dirty bathtub?

I blame nesting (which is my favorite part of being pregnant; I get so much done so quickly). Tonight, I couldn’t handle it anymore. I scoured Pinterest for ways to clean a bathtub, and I tried half a dozen. Tonight, I feel like I’ve climbed my Everest. Okay, maybe not Everest, that’s going to be the day I finally get a dog. This was my Mount K2.

My Formula for Success:

  1. Search Pinterest for at least one hour.
  2. Spend closer to four hours on Pinterest because that recipe looked delicious, but the link was a dud so you have to find the real one. Then get distracted by wedding planning, baby planning, and more craft ideas to add to the list.
  3. Gather supplies.
  4. Execute Pinterest plan.
  5. Fail.
  6. Try again, actually reading the instructions this time.
  7. Text your mom about all of your Pinterest fail woes.
  8. Follow the instructions.
  9. Succeed!!!! (Hopefully)

The Tub Cleaning Formula:

  1. Warm 1/2 cup white vinegar in microwave for 90 seconds.
  2. Add 1/2 cup Dawn dish soap.
  3. Spray/pour over entire tub.
  4. Wait 2+ hours.
  5. Scrub if needed.
  6. Rinse and be wowed!

We left the mixture on the tub for about two and a half hours while we went to a movie.

I poured a huge glass of the concoction all over the bottom of the bathtub. That was probably more than I needed. I only had to scrub one spot, and it came up pretty easily. Using a squirt bottle and spraying it is probably good enough. But I’m amazed! The pregnancy hormones definitely kicked in when I saw the white, because this little victory made me tear up.

Thank heaven for little victories.

-Jorden

The New Policies on LDS Baptism

I know a lot of people are really upset with the new information released yesterday by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I was too. I was angry, and I didn’t understand how a church of Christ could say no to children. A million things ran through my mind. “This is a scam. It’s just Anti-Mormon propaganda. This is just someone misunderstanding and blowing it out of proportion.” I couldn’t believe that this was about my church.

But before I jumped to too many conclusions, I did what I’ve been taught to do. I prayed and I pondered. My prayer was quick. I didn’t even realize I was praying until I mentally said Amen. I begged the Lord to let this be a hoax that few people would see. I begged him to help me understand. And I did.

Whether or not you agree with the Church’s stance on gay marriage and relationships, you know they don’t support it. This isn’t new. What I believe people don’t understand, is why the children are being “punished.” One of the core doctrines of this church states, “We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam’s transgression.” The meaning is clear to me. We are accountable for our own actions, not for the actions of others.

What I, along with many others, have failed to see is the actions of children living with homosexual parents. I do not mean for this to sound as though I am condemning these families. I fully acknowledge the love these parents have for their children, as well as their legal right to be families. From the church’s standpoint, however, these children are not growing up in a spiritually enriching environment.

The point of the church officers issuing this statement, is not to exclude anyone from the gospel. It is merely a precaution being taken to protect these children from choices they may make and things they may be exposed to that are not in line with the commandments given to us. They are being protected from being accountable for these things. They are not being barred from attending church meetings and growing their testimony. It is not meant to exclude anyone, rather to help these children stay worthy for all they have been promised.

I also believe that this policy protects kids from stress. If an eight-year-old is baptized into a church that doesn’t support their parents lifestyle, the child is going to be tormented constantly with thoughts of “which way is right?” No child should be forced to deal with such mature, defining matters at that young of an age, as well as the possible ramifications they could face for choosing to be baptized. This is something the church as established before with children of polygamous households or children of Mulsim and communist countries. It is a decision based on their circumstances to rule out negative consequences.

I know many people reading this will not agree with this, and that many will argue against it. My point is not to create contempt, only to explain the revelation that I have received regarding this situation.