Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Baptism Planning Conclusion

Did anyone even care how this ended?  Sometimes I wonder if the small dramas that are my life will even matter to me in a few years from now or if they mean anything to anyone else, but for a few weeks this was in the forefront of my mind.  I talked with J several times before Gigi's bishop interview.  He basically told me that I was right, while it is possible for him to take a day off in an emergency situation the most dangerous time for patients is when the doctors first switch over because they are playing catch up and getting oriented.  Of course the steak baptismal days fall right in the middle of J's work week so to have him take off for that one day would bring a new doctor in and then he'd come back again and it would be like a new day for him, it just isn't great for continuity of care.  This of course just made me worry more and more.  Finally the day of Gigi's interview came.  J was actually home so he took G to the appointment while I took Captain E to scouts.  When I got home I asked J how it had gone and he said, "Oh it was no problem.  I just told him I wanted to baptize her at Thanksgiving when we go home to see our family and he said, no problem."  Guys I honestly wanted to scream.  I later talked with my mom about it and she told me that my talk with him before probably lead to the yes later because he thought about it and then decided to be a little more lenient but that isn't how it felt to me.  It felt to me like he didn't have any time to listen to me, especially since when he brushed me off he told me he'd talk to J about it and they could work it out, but that he just gave J what he wanted.  I've struggled with this for a few weeks now.  I want to be happy because I got what I wanted.  I mean in the end that is what matters right.  Gigi will get baptized before her year deadline.  We will get to do it around family when it is more convenient for everyone.  That's what matters.  I tell myself this over and over again but the fact that it couldn't be resolved for me and could so easily be resolved for my husband, well it just bugs me.

At the beginning of this month my church held it's biannual conference.  It was sort of a big deal.  Three of the quorum of the twelve had passed away during the previous three months so we were going to get three new general authorities.  I wish I could explain in a way that wouldn't offend anyone why I was so hopeful that at least one of them would be from another country or would be a person of color.  I have actually been praying about this since Elder Bednar and Elder Uchtdorf were called ten years ago, although I was thrilled that Elder Uchtdorf was from another country.  But then Elder Cook, Elder Christofferson, and Elder Andersen were called and I started to think it was never going to happen.  Then three apostles died in the same six months, which was really sad, but really upped the chances, or so I thought.  I laughingly told J before conference started, look I'm not even asking that they call a Hispanic, African, Asian, shoot anyone with an accent or from another country would suffice.  It sounds petty right, to want to see someone as one of the main leaders of your church who has similar skin and hair to yourself but maybe it just sounds petty if you've spent your whole life looking at people who looked just like you.  There is something about seeing someone who looks like you that helps you feel a little better, especially when you know a couple times a year you are going to choke back a little sob as you read your kids scriptures about dark people who were cursed during family scripture study or that you are going to have to explain to your children why blacks didn't get the priesthood until 1978 or sort of more shockingly were unable to marry in the temple and receive the blessing of an eternal family, a fact that even after the release of essays "explaining it all" you are pretty sure has more to do with racism than anything else.  I realize that in the US my church is 86% white and when you look at our wards here and our leadership you get a pretty strong feeling that this is a US western white church, but the facts are that actually more of the church membership now exist in the rest of the world than it does in the US and the countries where it has grown the most are Hispanic countries .  I actually read somewhere that by 2010 they estimated that Hispanics would make up the largest demographic in the LDS church.  I'm pretty sure that has happened but to look around here in the US you'd never guess.  There are tons of members from other countries, many not sharing anglo saxon backgrounds.  Almost half of Tonga is LDS as well as a third of Somao.  Mexico and Brazil alone each have over a million members, Chile 1/2 a million, the Philippines another 1/2 a million.  Guatemala has more members than the UK or Canada and some of the fastest growing LDS missions currently are in Africa.  Well it wasn't a Hispanic guy that was called or a guy from Africa or even a guy with an accent.  It was three more white guys from American, and you know they weren't even from different states, it was three more Utah guys.  Two went to the U of U.  One went to BYU.  One was a doctor (his wife is actually pretty awesome).  Two were businessmen.  They have all done a lot of service in the church.  They all seem like great guys.  They are all good speakers and I'm not denying any of that, but really, three more Utah born and raised White Guys.  It almost felt like after they were called if you complained at you got criticized for acting like you knew more than God, because "obviously God wouldn't call people just to be politically correct".  But you know sometimes it's not about being politically correct, sometime it is just that you want some proof for yourself that you and your people matter, that this truly is a global church.  That God actually cares and is aware of the global part of his church, that he realizes that there are plenty of people like me who just want to see a familiar face, and just want to know that the part about brown skin equaling sin or being a curse, well that is baloney.  Surly he can find a good guy who has done lots of service who looks like me right?  Surly that matters somewhere?  And you know what, differing opinions and outlooks can be amazing.  I know a lot of people in the US feel like the new Pope is a liberal pawn completely forgetting that he is actually a religious leader of a global church not predominantly in the US but guys he is seriously amazing.  What would Jesus Christ look like and what would his mission be like if he were to come to Earth now, well guys I'm not kidding, it would be Pope Francis.  Sometimes getting a little different spin on things can be awesome.

But I'm just some mom in some small western town and my opinion and hopes on this don't really matter, but let's get back to my family, a place where my opinion and hopes and dreams really do matter.  In this same conference there was this talk, "A Plea to My Sisters," by Russell M. Nelson.  There is a lot of this talk that is nice but there was a part when I rolled my eyes.  The quote was, "My dear sisters, whatever your calling, whatever your circumstances, we need your impressions, your insights, and your inspiration. We need you to speak up and speak out in ward and stake councils."  I wish instead of this that he would have said, "My dear Brothers, listen up."  I have never had a problem speaking up in my life, but I have definitely had a problem being heard, even when it is about something so personal as my own family.  If J weren't around to go to bat for our family I don't know that this would have been resolved in our favor, but then again I guess if J weren't around then I wouldn't have found it impossible to get her baptized on a Children of Record day...oh life.  


  1. I had wondered if you got a baptism date. Glad that worked out, but I understand your thinking if had to do with J asking and not you.

    Interesting thoughts about the LDS church leadership and the Utah white guys leading things. Yes, diversity would be nice, but dang those callings. Can't ignore God's wishes...

  2. Crystal, did you read this? Because it helped my disappointment over the same issue a bit as well. http://www.mormonobserver.com/2015/10/05/want-a-new-apostle-with-a-diverse-background-hes-already-there/

    Also, I just feel like there is SO MUCH everything-by-the-book all around me. At church, at work, in this state, in this country!! Hard for this Free Spirit to take, sometimes. And so...we wait. And have HOPE in tomorrow...

  3. Thanks for the update; I had been wondering what happened. Hang in there! I've been dealing with sexist white local church leaders (thank goodness they're not all that way) all my life and I STILL have my testimony--no matter what they've done or said. Keep speaking up and being the squeaky wheel, especially when they get tired of hearing from you. I had one bishop who I could almost see cringe whenever I wanted to talk to him--so funny!

  4. I said the same thing to Andrew during that talk. I turned to him and said, "Should he be telling the men to LISTEN?!" Because I feel like women DO try to speak up...and then are shushed. Like, for example, there are STILL no sanitary napkin disposal bins in the women's restroom and I know I brought that up with my priesthood leaders. I guess I'll just bring it up again and again. :) Squeaky wheels and all that.

    You should read "Religion of a Different Colour" by W. Paul Reeve. I haven't read it yet; Andrew just finished (and told me all about it). It's on my to-read list.

    There's definite racism problems in our church history—and currently. It's a difficult problem to root out, but I still think God does the best with what he has. :) Change is slow to come.

  5. Oh, so I guess I mostly knew this conclusion from fb. And it's still disappointing, even if your mom is right that you primed the discussion with your previous request. Frustrating. I feel so lucky to not have had these issues in my own wards. I have always felt so listened to and respected and valued. So my heart hurts for you.

    I love the idea of Nancy bringing up sanitary napkin disposal bins repeatedly. Just keeping saying it and maybe they'll get so uncomfortable, they'll do something about it! :)

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