Monday, June 24, 2013

Aunt Nana Passes Away

Until we meet again--I love You Aunt Nana
Friday night June 21st 5 pm--I was lying in a hospital bed waiting for a Doctor to visit with Eric and I.  Earlier in the day, I had lost feeling in my right side, slurred speech , numb tongue and roof of my mouth, and all food tasted like metal--I had a sudden migraine, dis-0rientation, confusion and sudden loss of some memory of the day, with all that being said Eric had me rushed to my PCP, who then told Blake to get me to the nearest hospital.
I received a phone call from my sister Sonya who was at girls camp, she told me my Aunt Nana, who has been struggling with double lung cancer was very incoherent and would probably not make it through the night--she passed away yesterday around 6 pm with her family surrounding her.
Aunt Nana was not just any Aunt, she was one of the most compassionate people I have ever met.  She was the sister of Colby my birth father, she was faithful to the gospel, served a mission for her church and gave countless hours of service not only to her family and loved ones but to everyone she met.
When I was a child she and uncle Darrell lived in Glendale and they would often come to pick up my sisters and I to "play" I remember being at her house a lot, she drove a VW Wagon, she sang "Lean On Me" and knew every word---through the years I learned so much about endurance, compassion and forgiveness from her, she truly was an Angel hear on earth and loved by so many.  She did silly things that made us laugh, life seemed so good when Nana was around.  Now I know Heaven is a better place because she is there--I need to step it up if I want to live with her forever, and I do.  Her example of the true love of Christ will forever be embedded in my heart.
I will truly miss her, my heart aches for this loss in our family, she was the oldest of all the children, and I know was greeted by her parents, my grandmother and grandfather who passed away with a stroke when I was child.  She, Colby, another sister Nadine, grandma and grandpa all reunited now ready to start the next part of the journey--this life here on earth is but a wink of an eye, I hope to be just a smidge of an example to others as Nana was to me.  Oh how I will miss her, she called me often while I was going through my chemo and radiation, I loved hearing her voice, she kept me connected to the Belshe family and I will forever be grateful to her for that.

Monday Mormon Myth's and Truths #8

Ok, so I finished up with all the questions that were emailed to me about the LDS women--I'm hoping all of your questions were answered, if  anything needs clarifying please email me and let me know.

I have been emailed by 3 different people asking me about the same question, each person has asked in a different way but the question is the same.

Do Mormons believe if a person is not sealed (married) in a Temple here on earth, they will not be permitted to live in the presence of God when they die?

ANSWER: NO -- remember there are a majority of women in the church who have never had the opportunity to be sealed (married) in the Temple

LDS members believe there are 3 degrees, or levels of Heaven.  The Celestial Kingdom is the highest degree-the terrestrial kingdom is the middle degree-and the telestial kingdom is the lowest.  I'm going to try and explain all of these degrees of Heaven.

In the Bible it speaks of 3 heavens in the resurrection: "There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another of the stars, for one star differeth from another star in glory.  So also is the resurrection of the dead" I Corinthians 15:41-42)  In 2 Corinthians 12:2  the Apostle Paul spoke of being "caught up to the third heaven" in a vision.  The Prophet Joseph Smith had a remarkable vision where he saw each heaven and the characteristics of each one of their inhabitants Doctrine and Covenants 76.

Please remember all of these levels are a part of heaven. Even the lowest kingdom--the telestial--is still a kingdom of glory.

LDS members believe that the mercy and grace of Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice will allow all people a place in one of these kingdoms.  We believe those who are in the outer darkness, will inherit a degree of heaven which is much better than anything we can relate to here on earth.  We believe this is God's plan of salvation.

The Celestial Kingdom:  This kingdom is the highest degree of heaven. It is truly where we, as LDS members want to inherit.  In the scriptures, it is compared to the brightness and glory of the sun (1Corinthians 15: 40-41) In the celestial kingdom, we live in the presence of God and Jesus Christ, we are eventually able to become like them, we can live together forever with those of our family who qualify, and we will receive a fullness of joy.  Anyone who has exercised faith in Jesus Christ, repented of their sins, received baptism and the Holy Ghost by those in proper authority (Priesthood) and continued in faithfulness in the gospel will attain celestial glory.

The Terrestial Kingdom:  This is the middle heaven. In the scriptures, is is compared with the brightness and glory of the moon. (1 Corinthians 76:97) Generally, the LDS people believe that those who live an honorable life on earth but who deliberately choose not to accept or fully live the gospel of Jesus Christ will go to the middle kingdom, the Terrestrial Kingdom.

The Telestial Kingdom: In the scriptures, this kingdom is likened tot he glory of the stars (1 Corinthians 15:40-41)  The people who never accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, in this this life or in the spirit world and who do not repent but continue in rebellion and major sin will receive this kingdom, which we believe is the lowest kingdom of Heaven.  We believe that the people who go here will have to wait in the spirit world for a thousand years after the 2nd coming of Christ before they will be resurrected and receive their telestial glory (Revelation 20:5)  This kingdom is basically for those who are not honorable people and who do not repent of their sins, these are the liars, adulterers, murderers, rapers, etc.  We believe that these people will still suffer sins and pay the price for their rebelliousness here on earth, they did not obey the laws of God, but had a knowledge of them. the difference is that we believe their suffering will eventually come to an end and they will receive a kingdom of glory, the lowest kingsom. They will not dwell in the prescence of the Lord. 


Answer:  We do not believe in the "common" thoughts of HELL, no eternal flames, and wailing or gnashing of teeth.

We believe more that the eternal suffering of the wicked is more of a figurative than literal HELL.  The actual suffering that people endure for rebellion and sins comes to an end once the penalty for their transgression has been paid and served it's purpose.  "Endless torment" and "eternal damnation" are more figurative than literal, but we used these words to help us change our hearts, I think that in the scriptures when these phrases are used it means 'God's punishment' that will one day come to an end after the person has paid for their sin before God.
Outer darkness is "hell" the LDS people believe that is where Satan and the lowest kingdom of Heaven is where these people will go and dwell.  These are people who commit the unforgivable sins against God and who are not saved in any kingdom of glory.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Mormon Myth's and Truths (Women) #7

Is the Relief Society one of the oldest and largest global women's organizations functioning in today's world? and what exactly is the LDS Relief Society?

Answer:  YES the LDS relief society was founded in 1842

As of today there are over 5.5 million women who belong to the Relief Society spread throughout 170 countries across the world.

Any woman who is a member of the LDS church and is 18 years of age is a part of the Relief Society Organization.  Women with or without children, married or not married, young (18) or old, employed or unemployed.  We meet together to learn from and strengthen each other, we serve each other.  The purpose of the Relief Society "is to build faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and to help those in need"

The Relief Society meets once a week in a class during Sunday meetings where we teach other the doctrines and principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  There are time we meet during the week for activities, usually at these activities we learn new skills or ways to help strengthen our faith, our families or do some type of compassionate service for an organization or family in need.

The Relief Society in each ward (I haven't been asked about wards or stakes yet) stake and the general Relief Society are all run by women, this is called the Relief Society Presidency--it consists of a President, 2 counselors and a secretary.  The RS president meets on a regular basis with the Bishop and the other ward leaders to discuss issues that may come up within their boundaries, ways they can help or serve someone who is in need of special attention.  Someone like me, when I was going through my chemo treatments, the RS brought meals to my home, offered to clean my house, do laundry and help in anyway that we needed until I could do it myself.

In addition to the service they give to one another and their neighbors who may not be members of the same faith, we as sisters of the LDS church watch over each other by visiting monthly in the homes with assigned partners, to help provide countless hours of service, sometimes just a listening ear, to a mother who is exhausted from the daily trials that life sometimes brings.  This Visiting Teaching calling is said to be the most important calling a woman can hold in the church, I know this to be true, when I was so sick from chemo the ladies from my ward and the stakes surrounding where I live brought food, they put up my Christmas tree and decorated it, and I know they did and still do pray for me daily, as I do for so many of them.

In a survey taken about 40% of LDS women surveyed said that the role and influence of women in the church was the "right amount"  The next closest faith measured was Evangelical Protestants, with only about 15% saying women had the "right amount" of leadership and influence in their church, followed by 10% of Anglo-Catholics and about 8% Jews.

In the LDS church women sit side by side and vote to sustain members and leaders in their church callings, (both men and women's callings)   They regularly pray and give talks or sermons in meetings.  Women teach adult gospel doctrine classes and other Sunday School classes.  The women of the church are fully involved in all aspects of the work of the LDS church, from full time missionary work to member missionary work, temple and family history work and to their serving the needy.

Are the women demanded to follow the rules of the husband? and is it a hidden secret that men rule their wives?


One time I was at work and was approached by a woman who said in a very whispered voice "hey, if you need help getting away from your husband, I can help you, we can get you to a shelter"  I remember looking at her and laughing, I thought she was joking, she wasn't.  To the LDS member,  FAMILY is the most important calling of all, and we serve as equals to our husbands in making decisions, spiritually, physically, financially,  educationally, actually if you want to know the truth about Eric and I ask him who makes most family decisions around here?  ha ha sadly he would probably say "go ask Monya"  He and I have always made decisions together, we don't always agree on the way a situation should be dealt with but we always come to an even ground together.  I have not once felt like I was threatened or looked down upon in my marriage, and in the LDS church this is how the Lord designed marriage to be, equal, not one gender is better than the other.  Many people may not know this but the LDS women were involved in, and in some ways led, the US women's suffrage movement.  In 1870, Utah was the second territory (behind Wyoming) to grant women the right to vote under law, and after gaining statehood, Utah became the third state in the Union to give women equality.
In Genesis 1:26 God said equally to both Adam and Eve "let them have dominion, over all the earth"
The 1st presidency of the LDS church has stated that that men and women are equal partners in a marriage and family relationship.  There is no where in LDS scripture or official doctrine of the LDS church that it indicates or teaches anything other than God seeing both genders as equal to each other.  The LDS church does not embrace any type of doctrine which suggests otherwise.

Do LDS members believe there is a Heavenly Mother?


The LDS theology holds women in very spiritual high regard.  We believe there is a Heavenly Father, so logically we believe there is a Heavenly Mother.  One of my favorite LDS Hymns asks:

In the heav'ns are parents single?
No, the thought makes reason stare
Truth is reason; truth eternal
Tells me I've a mother there

We believe we are all children of heavenly parents, and although we don't know much about our Heavenly Mother, she is evident in Mormon thought and theology.  One of the prophets of the church said this "You women, are daughters of God. You are precious.  You are made in the image of our Heavenly Mother"
LDS people theology is not saying that Eve was not the 1st mother of the earth but we praise her as the "glorious mother" of humanity and we celebrate her decision in the Garden of Eden. We believe that Eve chose to move God's plan of salvation forward by partaking of the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Eve along with Adam acted in a manner pleasing to God and did exactly what they were ordained to do.  The Mormon religion believes also that women can receive personal revelation and be filled with the spiritual knowledge that Jesus Christ wants them to have.
I believe, as most mormons do, of all the creations on earth, women are God's crowning creation, His signature stroke in the masterpiece of the universe.

Hopefully I have answered all the questions about women in the LDS church.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Curve Balls

Man life throws many curve balls, I was not expecting one that came flying at me last week.  I was Fired from my volunteer work.  Not quite an accomplishment I had expected, and it was devastating for me.  I loved that job, I loved the people I worked with and I especially loved all the patients who touched my life.   I violated HIPAA law, and took pictures of patients, 1st off I just want to say they all had my permission to take their picture and 2nd I would never post something about a patient without their consent.  However, I recently had my blog redesigned and all the  journal entires I had written and drafted, posted public without me knowing.  They were written a year or year and a half ago, when I was asked not to mention the facility that I was volunteering for or the patients, I immediately drafted all of them for my children to have, and for myself to look back and remember. For those of you who do not know about drafting, it is basically a journal you write and never post for all to see, but is kept secretly and I eventually want my blog to be made into a book for my children, so I did as I was asked and I took all the posts off of my blog immediately.  To be honest, I have a ton of drafts, things I don't want the world to see but have saved for my family to read, long after I'm dead and gone.

When I went to my "volunteer" job 2 weeks ago, I was called into a meeting where I was "let go" I was told if an employee had done this they would be "let go" so they felt it was time for me to be "let go" I asked them if I could delete the entries, and the answer was "you have 3 days to get them off your blog, or we will be forced to file a federal suit"  so sad, I took off my scrubs and handed in my badge out the door I went feeling like I had just been defeated by the world, I cried uncontrollably for hours, well actually the crying went on for days, I finally got it controlled to a slow tearful drip after a few days.  When I got home I asked our attorney if this could happen to me, he said NO, that the facility I was volunteering for cannot sue me for violating HIPAA laws the patient would have to be the one to sue me, --and since everyone of those patients or their caregivers still email me on a regular basis, (except for one) I contacted each person who I had ever posted about, got written permission from them or in a couple cases the patients had passed on and I got permission from their caregivers, who by the way also asked me for a copy of what I had written, by this time I had already deleted them.  However, I told them once I had their written permission I would send them a copy of what I had hand written.  Each were so grateful, I had journaled and each had already known about the experiences and the intimate talks I had with them, so it was not a surprise to any of them when I read the journaling to them.

 I'm not sure what this world is coming to, I do understand the HIPAA laws and I do understand the right to have privacy, I would never post something without 1st asking the patient.  There was only one post that I had written where I felt was imposing without permission, names were never mentioned and if this person had found it on the world wide web,(1 in a billion)  they could of guessed it was them I was talking about, but there were no pictures, or proof.

I learned a lot from this experience, and although I think "they" were being a bit dramatic in their decision, I know the Lord has something else planned for me.  It's important for me to be in a place where I am not only needed but appreciated for the service I love to give.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Mormon Women Monday Myth's and Truths # 6

Picture taken from mormonwomen
Some of my friends who are not LDS do not understand the devotion Mormon women give not only to their families, but to the church.  In today's world there is so much rage and negativity going on around us, so why is it that most mormon women are so happy?  It is thought by LDS women that we have a divine calling to be a mother, to raise children our Heavenly Father has sent to us and entrusted to our care.  Mormons believe the family is central to God's plan for the happiness of His children and family is the fundamental unit in society.  With that being said, I can say we believe no work can be nobler than that of a mother, those who rear and raise, nurse and nurture their families.  We also believe that all women, whether they have children or not, are mothers in the sense that the female gender has a divine, innate capacity to nurture and teach and care for others.

So, What about women who don't marry or have children but who would like to?
There are many women who do not have the opportunity to marry and bear or raise children but very much want to.  These women make up a large and significant portion of the LDS church, and they contribute an equally large and significant portion to the Church and all of its programs.
Latter Day Prophets have repeatedly taught that those "whose circumstances do not allow them to receive the blessings of eternal marriage and priesthood in this life will receive all promised blessings in the eternities."
This is so hard for many, many women who want so badly to have a child of their own, but I truly believe our Heavenly Father will provide motherhood to those who are obedient and continue to do good.  My sister in law and brother in law were unable to conceive their own children, so they adopted 4  children to complete their family, and to bless our entire extended family. My nieces and nephew were sent here to earth to be a part of the Williams family, they just used a different body to get those little spirits here, and how grateful we are their mother's were able to allow Doran and Shannon to raise them.



Latter Day Saint women across the world hold professional titals of CEO, VP's, doctor, professor, author, artist, teacher, athlete, and business owners.   It makes me laugh when I hear people say this, especially when I'm at work.  The idea that faithful mormon women can't, shouldn't or don't work outside the home with a career  or pursue schooling is absolutley not true, nor is it what the LDS leadership teaches.
We do place the family as our 1st priority and highest regard,  we believe that all decisions regarding a wife or mother's employment should be weighed carefully on how it will effect the family and the rearing of their children, husband and wife make these decisions together.
"The Family Proclamation to the World" teaches that although husband and wife are equal partners, each gender does have a principal role in the family. Mother's are primarily responsible for the nurturing of their children, and fathers are primarily responsible to provide the necessities of life, but so many times "life" is a disability, a death, or other circumstances that may require us to adapt.
However, the fact is an LDS woman working outside the home or pursuing a career is left to her to decide and is entirely dependent upon her individual, marital, family and social situation.  We as mormons are taught not to judge any mother who chooses to work outside the home, regardless of the situation.



Theologically we are encouraged to gain an education and develop our minds, talents and abilities.
Spencer W Kimball who was a prophet when I was growing up said "The emphasis on education for LDS women continues, we want our women to be well educated"
The modern day Prophet President Monson has given counsel to both male and female "God wants you to educate your mind and to develop your skills and talents, education will prepare you for greater service in the world and in the church.  It will help you better provide for yourself, your family, and those in need.  It will also help you be a wise counselor and companion to your future spouse and an informed and effective teacher of your future children"
In a 2010 study they found that women of all faiths "believe more fervently in God" than men, and that "by virtually every meassure they are more religious" than men.
This goes along with a quote from President James E Faust a leader of the LDS church when he said "Surely the secret citadel of women's inner strength is spirituality. In this, you equal and even surpass men, as you do in faith, morality, and commitment when truly converted to the gospel.  We believe that God planted within women something divine."

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Beautiful Boy, Perfect Love🚩

I simply adore this little boy.  Recker is such a special, special boy.  Sometimes I wonder what is going through his beautiful little head.  I watched him yesterday from a distance playing with some of the children in his neighborhood, he was off alone in the corner by himself, then at one point he heard one of the little girls talking to another little boy, Recker walked up and took the girl by the hand as if trying to get her to follow him, and she (like most children would do at her age) walked away from him.  For just a slight moment I could see this sadness in his face, I think he is starting to understand more and more what his limitations are and what he cannot do, soon he will realize what he CAN do, we try to emphasize the CAN'S, because there is a lot more he CAN do than he or we even realize yet.

  I want so desperately for the family to hear him just say something, mom or dad would be preferable.  He has now began to wave goodbye to us and once in awhile we can even get a little sound that we think is "bye bye"  and when Blake counts ... one...two...three...jump ...we can usually here him say when Blake gets to the two, Recker will say "twooey" it's so cute, we all jump for a joy and have him do it over and over until he is fed up with it all, shakes his no and off he goes to a new adventure much cooler than us.

He loves his daddy !!
Precious baby boy born 12-14-2009

really? another picture? I'm barely awake

I'm never getting out of the tub
bright eyes
just cuteness
fresh out of the tub

1st day of pre-school
helping bonbon get through a tough day

team bonbon--my biggest supporter



uncle blake gets home from his mission
being an outside boy

Christmas 2012
  This little boy's heart is bursting with LOVE to be shared--Although he keeps it bundled up and sealed for special people in his life--I know he loves, and feels love. Recker has helped me to understand that Heavenly Father has a plan, a plan for each and everyone of His children, we may not always understand THE PLAN but if we let the process happen and listen for the spirit to teach us, we can hear the Love, especially the beautiful love this boy has to offer.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Mormon Women Monday Mormon Myths and truths #5

I was asked by several different people over the past couple of weeks to discuss Mormon Women, with that being such a big interest with a lot of you, I have decided to break it up a little, and answer a couple a week until they are all answered--

There is a Pulitzer Prize winner by the name of Wallace Stegner who wrote a book in 1964 about the Mormon pioneers going westward in their migration to Utah and other western states. This is one of the things he said "I shall try to  present the Mormons' in their terms and judge them in mine.  That I do not accept the faith that possessed them does not mean I doubt their frequent devotion and heroism in its service. Especially their women, their women were incredible"
The LDS women today do not wear the pioneer dresses of the 1800's, but the women still lead remarkable lives and have a profound effect upon other people.  This coming from a self professed late 20's childless over educated atheist feminist "I confess that reading Mormon house wives blogs, I have learned they are uplifting" she  said that "their lives send out the message to the world, it is possible to be happy.....they love their homes, they love their husbands, family is their biggest priority, and life is meant to be enjoyed"
So who are LDS women, and what makes them so incredible? Where and how do they fit into the church, it's society and theology--I am going to answer all of the questions regarding women in the next few weeks.

  Mormon Myth: LDS women are more depressed than other women

Answer: NOT TRUE

I loved this question I have gotten a few emails about this--to be quite honest with you I had heard Utah had the highest usage of antidepressants in the nation and wondered about it myself--so this was great to study--thank you for the question--I guess I never thought about the fact that Utah with its 60%  LDS population would obviously be the reason why so many believe it has to be related to the lifestyle we live. 
There is a common myth that has been circulating that LDS women are more depressed than any other women in America due to the demands, expectations and religious lifestyle of Mormonism.  This rumor started when Scripts reported in 2001, and in 2007, that Utah with its population of 60% LDS people led the the nation in the use of antidepressant medicines.  Of course people jump to the conclusion that the high rate of depression were directly related to how the "mormons live."
There have been many studies conducted examining the relationship between religion and depression, and specifically Mormonism and depression.  The majority or the research indicates that LDS women are no more likely to experience depression than any other women in any other religious groups.
 There was a study done in 2010 that compared thousands of LDS men and women with thousands of non LDS men and women on twelve indicators of depression and found that, on average, LDS men who served missions (indicating their high religious activity in the church) reported less incidence of depression than any other.
And, you are now wondering about the women right? LDS women who served a mission (once agian, indicating high activity in the LDS church) had significantly less depression than the national sample, reporting an average score of 1.0 days per week where depression symptoms occurred, compared to 1.39 days per week by the women on the national sample (LDS women who did not serve a mission also reported a lower number than the national average of 1.11 days)
All of this research concluded that "this study found no evidence that members of the LDS church experienced more depression than others across the nation.  In fact, they discovered that, on the whole, LDS men and women with higher rated of religiosity had significantly lower levels of depression than that of the average American.  So Apparently, the religious LDS lifestyle acts as a buffer against depression rather than, what a lot of LDS and non LDS people have believed over the years.

  I have struggled with depression throughout my life and for over 20 years I have taken an anti-depressant to help balance the serotonin levels in by body. For many years I felt embarrassed and uncomfortable to discuss this with people, not only LDS members but non-members too.  The reason:

for me, it was because I felt if I told people then they would have a lower opinion of me and that I would be looked at as a failure, not having the ability to control my thoughts or feelings.  When I found out I had cancer I stopped taking all of my antidepressant medicine, I have no idea why I did that, except maybe I thought it might be adding to the problem, no doctor ever told me to stop taking it.  Within a few months, I became extremely depressed to the point of wanting to just die.  When I went to the Mayo phychiatrist he asked me why I stopped taking my medicine, my answer was "I don't know, I just was so consumed with the cancer I just stopped taking anything else, including vitamins" He then asked some questions about my childhood and we talked about why I was initially taking the drug, he explained it so simply to me, he said "If a person who is diabetic does not take their insulin, or a person who has heart problems does not take their medicine they could get very sick and die, YOU and people like you who suffer with this anxiety and depression are no different, society sees them different but medically you need to respect what your body is telling you and take the medicine that helps you"  I have never worried about it since, I take my medicine, I'm balanced and I feel better. This has nothing what so ever to do with my mormon lifestyle of living, it has to do with genetics, there is a history in my family of depression and chemical imbalances.

LDS Women and the Priesthood:

Latter Day Saint women are not ordained to priesthood offices in the LDS church, and we don't really know why.  President Gordon B Hinckley said "Women do not hold the priesthood because the Lord has put it that way.  It is part of HIS program" Although Mormon women do not hold the priesthood office, all the blessings and saving ordinances through the priesthood are made equally available to both men and women.
To make it easier to understand, Priesthood is not a prideful thing, or for power, position or prestige- it is strictly designed as a means to serve others.
Women are called to serve in organizational leadership positions of the church from the general Church level (In Salt Lake City) down to the congretional level, and they work hand-in hand side-by-side with the male Priesthood holders to serve all of God's children together.
There is no Priesthood "ladder" that is necessary to climb in the LDS church to reach heaven; only priesthood ordinances are necessary for salvation, and they are available to both male and females.