Thursday, June 26, 2014

If I change one thing about the LDS church..

Since it's hyper popular right now to talk about changing the LDS church- I feel  the urgency to weigh in on an incredibly important element being left out of the conversation.  Affecting every member weekly, it's insensitive to families with young children, over worked leaders and teachers, and detracts from the family. If we were to change this one element of the LDS church- we could redirect millions of dollars, no exaggeration- millions of dollars to humanitarian aid and increase church attendance and participation dramatically.   Further more there is absolutely NO SCRIPTURAL SUPPORT for this insensitive practice.

Every General Conference I hope and I tweet that this is the conference we will set things right.  I watch the twitter feed during Priesthood session praying that there they will make this life changing announcement.

The 3 hour block.  When the LDS church changes to the 2.5 hour block (for I know someday they will switch to the 2.5 hour block- because I know the 2.5 hour block is true) it will permit the standard LDS meeting hall to accommodate 4 congregations instead of the traditional 3.  In case of exponential unplanned growth in an area it could even accommodate 5 congregations.

Increase the number of congregations in a building = decrease the number of buildings needed and utility bills on those buildings = more money for humanitarian aid.  It is fairly clear that the church cares more about those extra 15 minutes of class than feeding the poor and clothing the naked. 

Decrease each meeting by 10 minutes- give a 5 minute transition period and you'll get:

1- More visitors- easier to stomach 2.5 hours than 3
2- Happier parents of young children- In what world is getting a 18 month old to sit still and be quiet and listen to someone just talk for 60 minutes reasonable?
3- Less talks off topic- your talking time is condensed so you get to the point
4- Happier Primary Leaders and Primary Kids-  the last 10 minutes is again the hardest.
5- Less Off Topic Comments in Class- "That's a great question/ comment and I'd love to discuss that further but due to time we're going to need to focus on the topic at hand"
6- More time with your family on Sundays for church leaders- would an extra half an hour make a difference in a bishop, executive secretary, or primary president's life each Sunday?  You bet.

Because I believe so strongly in the 2.5 hour block I'm going to orchestrate a 2.5 hour block walk out. On the 1st Sunday of every month (because it's fast Sunday and dude, we're hungry)  Once your ward hits the 2.5 hour mark everyone walk out of church.

I'm also going to start a group called 150 NOW!  We'll be at General Conference with posters. We will get our message to Salt Lake City! We will be heard!  Down with the tyranny and selfishness of the 3 hour block!!!!!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Mothers Devaluing Motherhood

"Back when we were in MBA school"

First thought: "I didn't know you had your MBA"
Next thoughts: "That seems like something she would have casually mentioned- I mean getting your MBA while your husband is getting his and having 3 kids is quite the feat. Why would she wait so long to causally mention that?"

I realized she meant- while her HUSBAND was in MBA school.

I've heard this before: While we were in dental school, while we were in med school.. we were in law school etc.  It's in the same vein of 'we're pregnant'.  No dude- you're not pregnant- your wife is, don't try to take ownership of her pain. You can say 'we're expecting a baby' but you most certainly are not pregnant. Believe me you'll get sympathy enough by just mentioning you have a pregnant wife.

The same goes for women that feel compelled to attach themselves to their husband's academic or career achievements.  That's 100% his. Raising 3 kids while your husband is in MBA school is an achievement.  Own that achievement.  Your husband's degree though is no more yours than it is your husband's parents. Your achievements are yours. Yes, a couple is a team- however when LeBron makes a shot- the Heat all benefit- but it's still LeBron's shot- it's his record.

Women, your role is impressive, valuable and own it. By attaching yourselves to your husbands achievements it shows insecurity and not only that- it devalues what you do.

I have a good friend who's husband is an anesthesiologist.  The woman raised 5 young boys while her husband was deployed in Iraq.  I don't think it's ever crossed her mind to say "when we were in medical school" because she knows that what she has accomplished and does each day has so much more value than medical school, there's no need to lay claim to her spouse's achievements.

The first step to society fully appreciating the value of stay at home moms is for women to fully know that value themselves.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

What to Expect at a Mormon Wedding Reception

It's wedding season HOORAY- and You just received an invitation to an wedding reception for two people
getting married in a temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. (Mormons)  Unless you are also Mormon, once you opened the envelope you had the proceeding thoughts:

1. Why did they send me a picture of themselves?

2. What am I suppose to do with this picture?

3. Why am I not invited to the wedding too?

4. What is a Mormon reception like? Do I need to wear special socks or something?

5. Wait, can you even have a wedding reception without alcohol?  

6. Why did they tell me where they're registered at on the invitation?

I will answer all the above and a bit more for you as I am an LDS wedding PRO. The longer you are LDS and single the more weddings you will go to. I was single a REALLY long time in Mormon years.

1- Why did they send me a picture of themselves?

So when you show up you'll know who the bride and groom are. Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) have  large and wide religious community, to prevent accidentally offending  anyone they invite a lot of people.  A good number in attendance will just know the parents- or last saw the bride when she was six. The tradition of sending photos of the bride and groom with the invite started pre-facebook. 

Now that facebook is around this really serves as a way for the bride and groom to show people who have blocked their status updates how good they look. 
Yep- that's our announcement photo. 
2- What am I suppose to do with this picture? 

Here are things you are not suppose to do with the picture: 
1- Do not attach it to the present
2- Do not use it to create a custom pillow or plate with their faces on it. 

What I do with the pictures and every invitation I receive- I put them in an photo album that also doubles as a coffee table book- so when visitors are over they flip through and then we end up playing the "oh you know so and so" game.  This only works if you are also Mormon- if you are not Mormon, go ahead and recycle it. 
"Oh my gosh! I grew up with Jennifer! Ooh this invite's fabulous! He clearly married up!"  

3- Why am I not invited to the wedding?

Most people attending the reception will not have attended the wedding- and it's not just because you're not Mormon- most likely if you were Mormon- you still wouldn't have been invited.  Don't take it personally. That's all I'm going to tell you because this is a great question to ask some LDS person at the reception when you're trying to make small talk. 
Not all these people saw the wedding- they just hung outside to take pictures. 

4.  What is a Mormon reception like? varies.  For the most part picture a real estate open house, but add some more people...some harp music... those cream puffs from Costco with some chocolate fudge drizzled over the top.   Don't get me wrong, the absolute most phenomenal dare I say epic (and I don't use that word lightly) party I have ever attended was an LDS wedding.  My philosophy is, keep your expectations low- and that way they can be exceeded.  (Side note- best to go a little hungry, don't plan on them serving dinner- they may, but most likely not, go hungry, have plans to eat afterwards and if you get dinner- bonus!) 

5. Can you even have a wedding reception without alcohol?

Not the kind most are accustomed to.  I've been to a number that had dancing and most Mormons have moves like Kevin Bacon having to figure out how to dance without alcohol in our systems- so the wedding reception can be a lot a fun, but again- plan on a real estate open house and then be pleasantly surprised. 

No alcohol required!

6. Why did they tell me where to buy their presents on the invitation?

I'm guessing it reads "Bed Bath and Beyond and Target" 

Yeah- I don't know- especially since all Mormons register at Bed Bath and Beyond and Target. It's probably not the best idea to invite someone to come to a party and then in the next breath conveying where a gift should be purchased but just chalk it up to a mistake someone once made and continues to be duplicated.  I'd say 80% of LDS invitations come with that line imprinted at the bottom. 

All in all- it's a very normal experience- people are nice and most importantly two people decided that they really want to spend the rest of their lives together- and no matter what faith you are- that's something to celebrate.