Saturday, September 23, 2006

Musical Medicene

I spend a lot of time on looking for a new musical fix. "Naive" by The Kooks is my latest intoxicant. Pretty much I just love the accent.

You can hear it with the player at this link:
The Kooks on

My favorite from last week was "Take What's Mine" by Baumer. You can actually download this one for free. "Denouement" is another nice track. Cool 80s retro sound.

Here's the link for that one:
Baumer on

The best discovery of the summer was Hellogoodbye. It took me one or two listens to warm up to the powerpop sound and now I'm an addict. Check out the rockoutable "Here in Your Arms" and "Call n' Return" and the softer "Baby, It's a Fact" and "Dear Jamie...Sincerely Me." It's all so good.

The link:
Hellogoodbye on

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Office is back

The season premier of The Office is this Thursday at 7:30 pm on NBC.

This week's episode is called "Gay Witch Hunt."

Work and gay stuff are two things I really need to laugh at sometimes.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

This is my life

In the Q&A mentioned in the previous post, Elder Wickman used the example of his handicapped daughter Courtney to illustrate that God does not always act in ways that man views as fair.

"I happen to have a handicapped daughter. She's a beautiful girl. She'll be 27 next week. Her name is Courtney. Courtney will never marry in this life, yet she looks wistfully upon those who do. She will stand at the window of my office which overlooks the Salt Lake Temple and look at the brides and their new husbands as they're having their pictures taken. She's at once captivated by it and saddened because Courtney understands that will not be her experience here. Courtney didn't ask for the circumstances into which she was born in this life, any more than somebody with same-gender attraction did. So there are lots of kinds of anguish people can have, even associated with just this matter of marriage. What we look forward to, and the great promise of the gospel, is that whatever our inclinations are here, whatever our shortcomings are here, whatever the hindrances to our enjoying a fullness of joy here, we have the Lord's assurance for every one of us that those in due course will be removed. We just need to remain faithful." - Elder Wickman

That story made me remember this, which I wrote in an e-mail back in May:
"I had a sweet Sunday today. A member of the stake presidency taught a great lesson about... hmm I don't know what it was about... life basically, like how we have trials and joys and everything and it's all life and as long as we have the Lord there with us it's all good. He talked about his wife having a premature baby and all the complications and this girl was there, this 11 year old girl, she was sitting on her mom's lap and she had all kinds of health problems and mental handicaps and seeing her totally affected me. Why did God let that happen to her? I don't know. The thing is, the dad and the mom are ok with it. They don't curse God and question why. They just trust the Lord. And the girl has all kinds of issues but she was smiling the whole time. The dad said that when the baby was a couple months old her lungs collapsed and she was lifeflighted to LDS hospital and everyone there thought she was going to die. When the dad heard about it, he rushed home from work but then he just waited at his house for an hour or so to pray and decide what to do and when he finally went to the hospital he said he had made up his mind to release the little girl's spirit and let her die. But when he got there and put his hands on her head he felt like those weren't the words to say. Instead, he said that it was her choice. That if she wanted to stay in that body and live then she could, if not, she had already done what she needed to do on earth and could go. Right when he said that all of her vital functions came back and she was released soon from the hospital. Apparently her spirit wanted to stay on Earth. That story really moved me because there's something in my Patriarchal Blessing that says that I chose the situation of my birth. When I think about it that way, I suddenly realize that there is this valient spirit inside of me who knew exactly what this life was going to entail. Maybe I even knew that I would struggle with this whole gay thing, but I want to be here and I want to live. It makes it easier to accept and to not just curse God when you think that maybe we had a choice in the matter."

Have a great Sunday everybody.

Q & A

The church posted the following link on it's website earlier this month. It's an interview with Elder Oaks and Elder Lance B. Wickman of the seventy. It's definitely worth reading the whole thing.

Here is the link:
LDS Newsroom: Same-Gender Attraction

This is probably the most comprehensive and clear description I've ever seen from the church concerning same-sex attraction and how we should deal with it. I honestly felt the spirit while reading it. I know it's true.
There are a couple of things I still have questions about and have to just go on faith on. First, I don't understand the fear of adverse effects to traditional marriages from a change in the legal definition of marriage. I support the Church's doctrine on marriage but the disintegration of traditional marriage prophecied in the political debate has not happened in places where marriage has been redefined--like Canada. Second, I still choke with the statement that controlling homosexual feelings is the same as controlling heterosexual feelings before marriage. To me, there is a huge difference. Straight guys can love girls, kiss girls, hope for girls before marriage--I can not do that with guys. Answers are provided to both these questions but I'm still left hanging a little. Hopefully I don't sound like an apostate. Like I said, I trust God and I trust that God is inspiring Elder Oaks and Elder Wickman. I'm glad to have a couple more answers in this Q&A but there are still those two things I think I'd go over one more time if I could talk to a GA.

These were some of my favorite quotes from the piece. They all refer to agency and responsibility, which to me has become the key in making my life happy:

"I think I would say to your son or anyone that was so afflicted to strive to expand your horizons beyond simply gender orientation. Find fulfillment in the many other facets of your character and your personality and your nature that extend beyond that. There's no denial that one's gender orientation is certainly a core characteristic of any person, but it's not the only one." - Elder Wickman

"We have the agency to choose which characteristics will define us; those choices are not thrust upon us.The ultimate defining fact for all of us is that we are children of Heavenly Parents, born on this earth for a purpose, and born with a divine destiny." - Elder Oaks

"Ultimately, the wisest course for anybody who's afflicted with same-gender attraction is to strive to extend one's horizon beyond just one's sexual orientation, one's gender orientation, and to try to see the whole person. If I'm one that's afflicted with same-gender attraction, I should strive to see myself in a much broader context-- seeing myself as a child of God with whatever my talents may be, whether intellect, or music, or athletics, or somebody that has a compassion to help people, to see myself in a larger setting and thus to see my life in that setting. The more a person can look beyond gender orientation, the happier and more fulfilling life is likely to be. The worst possible thing for any of us-- no matter what our temptations, no matter what our mortal inclinations may be-- is to become fixated with them, to dwell on them. When we do that, not only do we deny the other things that comprise us, but experience teaches that there will be an increased likelihood that eventually we will simply succumb to the inclination." - Elder Wickman