Thursday, September 02, 2010

Let's Try This Again

I explained it better to my mom than I did in the post that I deleted (which you can still read in Google Reader, because you can't delete posts there, darn it!), so I'm going to try to explain it in a better way. I hope. Apparently, someone I know (because who else could it be?) got super offended by my post (don't really blame them, it was hastily written), and chose to blast me for it. Anonymously. Which ticked me off more than anything. So, guess what?? No more anonymous comments, dear reader. For the first time in nearly four/five years, I'm turning off anonymous comments. That's right! If you'd like to insult me and everything I believe in and all of my opinions and my hair and the way I raise my children, then you'll have to do it TO MY FACE.


So, here's the simple explanation. Sort of:

I know that the ideal family life the Church teaches us about is not always attainable. I know divorce, illegitimacy (illiteracy, too), infertility, abuse, death, lack of money, education, and opportunity exist. But the Gospel teaches the ideal because it's still what we're supposed to be striving for. It's still truth. It's still Gospel. It still works. That's why it's called the ideal.

Sometimes I am overwhelmed with gratitude at my life. I don't know why I got so lucky/blessed. I don't know why I live in a free country, have the Gospel, found an intelligent, kind, funny, good-lookin' man who actually loves me back and wanted to marry me. I don't know why I was blessed with fertility and five gorgeous, bright kids. I don't know why I was lucky enough to get to stay home with them to raise them. I feel like I've won the lottery. Depression, financial problems, falling-apart-house aside --my life rocks the freakin' world. I'm really, really, really blessed. And I know this!

But I'm tired of feeling like I have to apologize for it.

Marriage, children, and being able to raise the children at home are a part of the ideal. This is why, as I said in my last post, that I felt like I was living the ideal. I still feel that way. I can't apologize for that. I know this "ideal" isn't possible for everyone, and sometimes, not even wanted by everyone! But for me, I'm glad I have it. I'm glad my kids have it. Because I was raised in it, myself (you had summers off, mom!). It's awesome.

It's really easy for me to get distracted by the stuff that really doesn't matter. I'm betting it is for you, too. I think that sometimes I allow myself to get distracted by the voices of things that are trying to hurt me on purpose --as in, they want me to get distracted. That's the whole point. Thus my declaration in my last post. I am done taking orders from them. I don't want to focus on all the naysayers, the mudslingers, and the "intelligent" or "hip" members of society anymore. The strength that I pass onto my children will be founded in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It will be founded in the truth about strong marriages and families.

People will take from this that I'm judgemental and bigoted. But anybody who knows me --actually knows me personally --will know that it's not true. I have a deep love for people. I know life isn't easy. I know it's usually never ideal. But I'm through being nervous about and apologizing for my testimony of these things. I'm not going to pretend, for the sake of someone being offended, that my life isn't awesome. I'm done listening to that kind of garbage. Nobody can convince me that listening to, arguing with, or even discussing alternatives to what the Gospel teaches is the way to go. That's another reason why I shared that video (which I will share again). The world is so quick/loud/distracting. The only way to sift through the wheat/chaff is by heeding the whisperings of the Spirit. Elijah knew about it. As did the people in Bountiful. So do I.

So do you.


Grandma Rozla said...

You are awesome Cheryl. What a blessing to have the gospel in our lives and to know and strive for the ideal! I love you!

Christy said...

i think you should keep it posted. There are many who need the things you said...even if "anonymous" didn't need them or want to hear them.

I agree w/ you 100%! It is up to you...and only create your own ideal. If you want the ideal life - THEN LIVE IT! Everyone's ideal is different - that is the great thing about this wonderful world that we live in.

I love your honesty, i LOVE your ideal, and i love that you break it down raw for everyone to either love it - or hate it.

But - don't let annonymous win.

ohhh - and...i agree w/ Rozla - you are A - Freaking - MAZING!!

Cardalls said...

I didn't read it! I want to read it and seriously if someone doesn't have the courage to list their name...they aren't worth worrying about! I heard Elder Packer say once that we as the church don't teach about the "exception"...we teach the ideal because exactly as you said that's what we strive for. Doesn't mean bad things don't happen, doesn't mean we aren't compassionate and serve those who are having a hard time, but that is the TRUTH and we strive for that!

sariqd said...

Well, I don't know you personally but I've never had a negative opinion of you nor of your posts. Just let it go, keep standing tall and know that you're loved. :)

Amanda D said...

I'm curious what the objection to the post was. Any chance you want to share with me?

I'm living the ideal too. I'm so glad for that. I pray that I will get to keep living the ideal. I've seen it fall apart too often. I don't know why I've been so blessed either.

Kim said...

Dear Cheryl,
I read your blog all the time, and never once have a I felt as if you were out to get those that don't live the ideal life you speak of, me being someone who knows you and grew up with you, whom also at this time doesn't attend the same church as you, I have NEVER once felt attacked by your thoughts! They are your thoughts to have and to share! If annonymous doesn't like your thoughts, why are they reading! I am sorry they were unkind to you! NO ONE deserves that!
I love you!

Alison Wonderland said...

We do teach to the ideal and the fact of the matter is that often, although not always, the ideal is a choice.

I work full time, I'm going to school so that I can get a better job so that we can become even more dependent on my salary than we already are but the fact is that we could decide for me to quit, to be a full time stay at home mom and to live off Sean's salary. We could. And we would probably even continue to eat. We would almost certainly lose our house and we'd do all of our shopping at DI and we wouldn't have cable and... But we would be fine. In fact, we'd probably be better off.

The ideal is a mother and a father together and a mother staying home to focus on their kids and FHE and all those things and in reality with VERY FEW exceptions we all can have that. it's just not what a lot of us choose. And frankly we deserve to feel guilty for it occasionally.

So I say, sing it sister!

Head Nurse or Patient- you be the judge said...

generally when someone's nerve gets hit- there is a reason. Rather than striking out at the messenger, they should evalute why it is hitting them. Sister Beck "offended" a lot of people for many of the same teachings. She doesn't appologize. Truth is truth and sometimes truth hurts when we are not living it. Hugs and sorry someone chose the chicken way to deal with it. I don't know you, but wish I did.

Mother of the Wild Boys said...

I'm so sad to hear that someone attacked you for your earlier post. When I read the first post, I felt happiness for dear friend who is in a wonderful place of life right now. I loved that your passion and conviction for the gospel shined through. Was I a little jealous that I'm not in that wonderful spot right now? Yes...but instead of tearing you down I decided to focus on what I do have and follow your example of gratefulness. Your words make a difference in the world, and there will always be opposition to righteousness. Keep up the good work lady. :)

samantha said...

Here's the thing (and I'm not anon who commented before but I understand why they're offended).
Whenever you go someplace other than happy bubbly sheltered Utah, you rave about how you love diversity. Obviously, after reading the last post and this one, I can tell that you do not. You want everyone to be like you and your big Mormon family who doesn't drink or swear and dresses modestly and will love eachother forever. I am a conservative Christian woman and can say that I truly enjoy and appreciate diversity because I can look at someone who is (pick one) an alcoholic, homosexual, adulterer, drug addict, divorcee, etc and disagree with whatever choices they made that I don't agree with. BUT I never look at them and imagine that, if they were all garment wearing, temple going, tithe paying, babymaking people like me (or in this case, you), then the world would would be a better place. Because guess what? God loves all of the beer drinking, sex having, lying, stealing, immodest people as much as he loves you. And I think your religion has created this monster where humans now think that they can decide who is worthy to enjoy God's priveleges (in your case, going to the temple, being baptized, etc). Newsflash, God's love Is for everyone. You don't have to earn His grace. Maybe you should start lovig others like God loves you instead of judging and putting down. And i'm not picking on you because it's the Internet. I would tell my sister, friend, children, and husband this exact thing. You don't have to love or understand the choices others make but you might as well learn to love the person with a Godly love and accept their differences. Because guess what, the world will never be all Mormon or all straight people or all sober logical smart people with college degrees and kids headed that way.

Cheryl said...


Let's dissect this in a calm way.

1. If you don't mind my asking, who are you? Do you read my blog? You must if you know I like diversity. Because you are right. I do.

2. Holy crap. Utah is not sheltered and happy and bubbly! If you lived here, you would know that. If you do and you still feel that way, you must be living in American Fork (sorry Annette!! Just kidding!! :) :) ).

3. I do NOT want everyone to be like me (who wants Depression? Financial debt? I husband who is gone for work/school? FIVE kids!?), but I do want everyone to enjoy the blessings of exaltation. I'm not gonna lie, sam (can I call you that?) --I DO want everyone to have the blessings of eternal families and happy marriages and great kids and eternal life and all of that stuff. I do. I won't apologize for it. I want that type of eternal happiness for EVERYONE. Kind of like Paul (formerly Saul) did. And Alma the Younger.

4. God does love us all. But love doesn't change the law. People can justify their behavior and scream to the rooftops all day long that their own ideas of morality and truth are moral and true, but it doesn't make it so. Law is law is law. Love can transcend law (through the mercy of the Atonement of Jesus Christ), but not if the person refuses to change or try.

5. If you knew ANYTHING about me and my family, you would know that I love EVERYONE regardless of what they have. This post was about the IDEAL --something most people will never attain in this life. This post was also about ME. ME, ME, ME. Narcissistic? Probably. But this is MY blog, and MY post, and it was about MY gratitude for the plan of salvation and MY progress in it. If you knew my SIL and my MIL and my cousin (who was on Dr. Phil last week --Yay, Tad!), then you would know that I'm probably the least judgemental person you know. You would know how I feel about my gay friends, my atheistic in-laws, and my divorced/widowed/single neighbors.

6. You are right. Nephi prophesied that Mormons would be small in number, although spread out over all the world. I know everybody is different. I know we all have different trials, challenges, likes, dislikes, physical and mental problems --it's called MORTALITY. Nobody is the same. But that does not --and will not --change truth. That is what this post was about. The Gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us the way back to God. It teaches us why we do what we do and what we should be doing and how we can do it. Like I said --I'm not going to apologize for this, because it's not my Doctrine. It's His. I'm sorry that it's offended you so much. But I won't back down. It's too ingrained in my soul to ever deny it.

6. I still wonder who you are and if I even know you. And if not, you actually sound like someone I would like to meet. How's that for irony!

P.S. If you would like to discuss this in more depth, feel free to email me (happymeetscrazy at gmail dot com).

samantha said...

you do not know me. I've been reading your blog for awhile after finding it through Tales. I appreciate your point of view and further explanation and am glad to hear that you are indeed less judgemental than your post sounded. I guess the fundamental difference in our beliefs and faiths is that I believe that love ALWAYS trancends law. Before Jesus died for us, it did not- people had to make sacrifices to please God and earn their way to heaven. But that's the thing, after Christ died, it was earned for us. All we have to do is accept the love. That's what I believe. From my understanding, and I consider myself pretty knowledgable about Mormonism, you believe that people must continue to earn their entrance to God's kingdom, whether it's by getting married in the temple, wearing garments, having food storage, etc. You believe that these are all things that will get you to a higher level of heaven. I believe that if you have the love of Christ in your heart and you live your life loving others as he loves you, God will take care of the rest.
Although you may not intend to do so, saying that you are nearing living God's ideal makes it sound like he loves ideal you more than others. if Utah isn't as sheltered as I think it is, I guess you should be a little more careful about how you phrase such things when speaking to those of different faiths.
Like I said, I appreciate your perspective. Unfortunately, I am nowhere near nonsheltered Utah, but if I was, I'd propose getting together for a cup of coffee. Oh, wait.....;)
Sam (yes, you can call me that)

Cheryl said...

Well, hey, you could get coffee and I could get chocolate. Win-win! :)

Cardalls said...

Sam..just wanted to weigh in. We do believe God's love saves us through His Son Jesus Christ. Everyone will be saved and resurrected. Where we differ is we believe that exaltation is living with God and with our families through eternity and we believe that part is dependent on our choices in this life.