mormon-crying-lyfe

On Unity

had to walk out of the sunday school lesson about “being one” after the teacher started singing the praises of prop 8. had to mutter “ZION IS NOT FASCISM” to myself before that, to keep myself from grimacing too much. (also, he claimed that the Saints in Missouri were out-right abolitionists, which is a patented untruth).  

and see, the problem I had with it was that it was all built around this message to “stay inside the lines”–and that’s complete and utter garbage. Where would God’s mission be in this world if Abraham had stayed inside the lines of Ur? Or if Moses had stayed inside the lines of Egypt? What if Paul had stayed inside the lines of The Law, trusting on it alone for salvation? What if Martin Luther stayed inside the lines and kept peddling indulgences to pay for St. Peter’s? Or if Joseph Smith had kept swerving like a pinball from congregation to congregation, if Wilford Woodruff had dug in his heels for polygamy to stay, if Martin Luther King hadn’t organized boycotts and marches across the south, if Spencer Kimball hadn’t prayed until he was faint in the upper room of the temple? How would God’s radical message of love and peace, a message too strong for human words, ever fall upon our tongues? 

and creating us v. them battles, wars against “the world” or whatever we feel like decrying this week, is all well and good for creating a small burst of unity and allowing us all a nice pat-on-the-back. But it is worthless, completely and absolutely WORTHLESS, at achieving anything that matters; it is despicably USELESS if we’re talking about the kind of Unity that God wants us to create. 

We’ve been thinking far too small: God does not want a united city, or a united ward, or a united stake, or a united states, or a united church, or a united nations. God wants a United World and He wants the other things only insomuch as they help create a United Human Family. Because that is what we were, up in heaven, and that is what we must be again. 

(and Unity is not this kind of mindless, senseless conformity–the Devil is crafty at his counterfeits–but the building of a community, trying our hardest to find a common ground with others. and I guess I’m not doing this here, but, like I told my family, when I see this cancerous growth that’s inflicted the church, I feel like the native american shedding a single tear in the EPA commercial: just this profound and vast sadness and loss.)    

Brothers Joseph and Hyrum were at the landing to meet [the new English converts]…Brother Joseph came on the boat and into the cabin where our family were. After cordial greetings, he took a seat and taking the little boys, Parley and Nathan, upon his knees, seemed much affected, Brother Pratt remarking, ‘We took away three children and have brought back five.’ Then Brother Joseph said, 'Well, well, Brother Parley, you have returned bringing your sheaves with you,’ the tears streaming down his face. Brother Pratt, seeing the general emotion this caused, said, in a tender, jesting fashion, 'Why, Brother Joseph, if you feel so bad about our coming home, I guess we will have to go back again,’ tears of joy filling his own eyes. This broke the spell—smiles returned, and joy unbounded filled every heart.
— 

Mary Ann Stearns Winters


g2k mormon crying lyfe goes back to the very beginning

mormon crying lyfe: gay marriage edition

While I was in Florida for the writing workshop, the Church announced that we would all have to hear this letter read aloud after Sacrament meeting. I couldn’t figure out why I had such a strong reaction to it, but I cried for a long time and was afraid that people in the other rooms could hear me because the dorm walls were so thin. Today at church I went up to bear my testimony and broke down crying in the same way like there was this pain in my chest and I couldn’t control it. I said that I was happy to see everybody because I had been struggling with my testimony for a few weeks, since the Supreme Court ruling, and I knew that we had a letter from the First Presidency today about it. I said I am really happy for my gay friends and know that we need to show extra love to our gay brothers & sisters during this time because they have to go through something that we do not, which is to want to love and have a family but having no temple marriage, and I know the Church is a place for everybody (Uchtdorf October 2014) and that as we can become more loving and more compassionate we can make church a safe place for everybody, especially people who are gay and people who are struggling. One of the bishop’s counselors said “AMEN” really loud, and the other counselor later told me “Thank you for your testimony and your honesty, we really need that, for people to say what you said” but Bishop didn’t say “amen” and when I talked to him he couldn’t empathize.

Disclaimer: Bishop is amazing, so kind and smart, he has always been understanding and nurturing toward me, encouraging me to ask questions 4ever, and every time I have cried in his office he has handed me tissues and said, “I am grateful for you, and I am grateful that you feel things deeply.” But today my nose was running all over my face and he didn’t pass me any tissues and he was uncomfortable and I could feel him judging me. He couldn’t understand why I was upset by the letter and I couldn’t explain it to him in a way that would make sense to him.

In addition to Bishop, some people came up to me to try to give me a rationale, but they were speaking a totally different language, and I knew that they were trying to be helpful, but like the bishop’s, their ideas were harmful. Like sorry, but heterosexual members who have not yet had a temple marriage are not going through the same thing as gay members. Homosexuality and alcoholism are not analogous??! And gay people are not going to become the majority and prevent procreation from happening on this planet. Seriously WTF??

The problem with the letter is not that I refuse to accept the doctrine or the “Prophet’s warning.” The problem is that this letter is not loving. The fact is that this letter is like 8 times longer than the statement given to the non-Mormon public, and it simply reiterates what the Church has been saying since the Family Proclamation (a legal document drafted to support the Church’s fight against gay marriage in Hawai’i in the 90s) to a group of people who have been hit over the head with the Proc for the past 20 years and already know that the Church is not going to change its doctrine in response to a Supreme Court ruling and suddenly start performing gay marriages in the temple or in the hallowed church gym.

If we already know, why are you telling us?

The bishop and his secretary insisted that this letter was written for all the members who don’t realize and don’t know that the Church is not going to change its position, and if this is the case, then it is what it feels like: a letter written specifically to gay members of the Church (JUST IN CASE U THOUGHT THE LAW OF THE LAND WOULD GIVE U PERMISSION TO SIN, IT DOESN’T) (and secondarily to members who may or may not be gay who believe that doctrine should/will change). It feels like bullying, like some kind of passive aggressive public shaming?? I hate it.

Thinking about it today I wonder if the letter feels so terrible to me because I had once been on the receiving end of legal language that implicitly held me responsible for something that had happened to me. It treated me like a threat while it protected the wrongdoer, and I feel this way too about this letter, that it comes from authority and is so intent on protecting the institution and asserting the rights of the Church that it isn’t able to see that gay people are not a threat, that they are the truly innocent ones, and they are harmed by this systematic Church-wide rebuke that is unnecessary and humiliating. I can’t help but feel that this is a betrayal (ET TU, UCHTDORF?!) even as I already knew about the Proclamation, Elder Oaks, and Prop 8 from the past. In Gospel Principles we read these verses and I cried, it really feels like the Church is being this way toward gay members

He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.

– Isaiah 53:3-4

(Sorry @Mormons for the NIV, I am still too Protestant for King James ;( )

But today after Relief Society when I stayed to fill out a fast offerings slip (under “Other (please specify)” I put “halal canning” but later found out that the bishopric doesn’t get to decide whether leftover offerings go to the canning factories so now it’s just under general fast offerings) I overheard some sisters in the corner talking really quietly. They said how a lot of people at church can be harsh and judgmental and proud and that this is a sign of the end times because when we are harsh and judgmental we are building ourselves up in our own eyes and not caring for the least of these and sometimes it takes being close to or becoming one of the least of these to feel it, how the judgments of people at church are so harmful and wrong. Hearing this I knew they were feeling the same feels and I went over to say bye to them and we hugged. One of the sisters there had run over to me after my testimony and cried and held me for the rest of Sacrament meeting. Afterward she said, “My brother is gay. I feel your pain. Especially lately, with all the comments people have been making that are hurtful. It is so hard. But I know that Heavenly Father loves his gay children and that he will not punish them for being gay. Because he made them the way that they are” and so many nice things I started to cry again and the sister missionaries cried too and a few people came to say “Thank you for your testimony” and “I love you” and even tho having to hear the letter was terrible, we sisters could cry together, and Relief Society was awesome. As for Bishop and others, I know that they are family, and sometimes family hurts because they don’t know any better, so I am trying not to be sad, I know that the pain of gay members is so much greater, and I pray that instead of writing dumb hypocritical letters like this, the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles will have their hearts softened and pray for revelation, to sincerely want to know how LGBTQ people fit into the Plan of Salvation, because there is a place for them but they are currently excluded, and nice people can be mean, foreal if Joseph Smith came back from the dead he would be pissed, long live the gay Mormon commune, in the name of our emo brother Jesus Christ, amen.

Love,

bananena

A few weeks ago I’d watched Tyler Glenn’s Mormon Stories interview about losing his faith, but not even that prepared me for this (warning: temple endowment stuff). The song is interesting: It somehow manages to be both funky & angry, and it doesn’t actually sound Mormon at all (it sounds kind of Catholic??), but if you watch the video, that’s where there are pictures of Joseph Smith, and the most heartbreaking part for me now is when he goes into an elevator that’s designed like a temple and gives himself the sign/token/handshake that is only supposed to happen in the temple. The first time I saw it I was like “Oh that looks really cool, what is he doing, is this a dance move and how did he come up with it?” lol but now that I know it is from the temple ceremony I watch it and I feel how betrayed and angry he feels and u guise I have not been able to deal for like the past 24 hours. It is like, he broke his temple promise because the Church broke so many promises to him. I watched him on KUTV and FOX where he says he’s happy and free now, but he looks so sad in his eyes, and his voice sounds sad, like he’s going to cry. He talks about how painful it was to have his worldview fall apart and now, having to rebuild it. Hearing that made me cry because I mega know how he feels. It also made me feel confused because Mormonism has had such a major role in rebuilding my worldview after traumatic experience. I would not be where I am today if not for Mormonism and life in the church. So it was kind of a shock for me to see that Tyler’s journey is the opposite, and his particular experience in the Church has been traumatic. I know it is complicated though, and the bottom line is that the Church and Mormonism is no longer the right space for his spiritual health & growth, especially after the policy, which targeted him and his dream of married life in the church. He doesn’t believe anymore, so there’s nothing to keep him here, he needs a different spiritual home and I pray that he finds the right one that can help him best with building a worldview that is functional for him, that makes a better future possible for him. His experience drives home for me what I have felt for a long time which is that the Church is not for everyone, and Mormonism is not a thing that can make sense to everyone either. I just feel emo and I hope that Tyler and everyone who is going through a transition like his will be okay and healed and happy. Love, bananena

Tonight for Relief Society Enrichment Night they invited a Mormon therapist lady to talk to us about self-esteem and in the middle she said, “This is why I am against the patriarchy in the Church. MEN FEELING SYSTEMATICALLY SUPERIOR TO WOMEN IS NOT A GODLIKE MODEL IMO” and it was one of the best Mormon church events I have ever attended because it is not often that we get to hear specific feminist truth that shakes things up in our lives, I felt really challenged by what she said and am ready to apply it starting tomorrow!! Also when I came online to look up her podcasts I learned that the podcasts are on the blogs Rational Faiths (which I follow!) and Feminist Mormon Housewives (which I used to follow!) so that was really cool so if you need a Mormon lady self-esteem talk you should check out the FMH one because she was so good u guise!! Love, bananena

mormon crying lyfe: apostate edition (w/ pics)

One morning I woke up and looked at my phone and there was a video of one of my workshop friends playing the piano and singing the Bieber/Skrillex song. I thought, OMG she is so talented, I gotta get on her level!! But how when every day I have no energy? So I prayed and received spiritual confirmation that I must break the cycle of hypersomnia & sadness by going to Starbucks. There I ordered a venti caramel macchiato.

Sure enough I did not fall asleep for the rest of the day, not until 7am because they gave me a treat receipt so I drank one of these too

#hasta luego Word of Wisdom

At Starbucks I read scripture, prayed, and made significant progress on a new story but was so jittery from the 32 oz of coffee concoction, I could not sustain productivity beyond sundown. At 8:30pm the sister missionaries called and made me talk about my faith crisis for an hour i.e. an hour too long. I accidentally started to cry and told them I needed a break in my relationship with the Church. They were super sad though looking back I realize I should not have said “Community of Christ is my rebound” in my text.

The following Sunday I left Mormon church halfway through for Community of Christ (formerly Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) which was so liberal Protestant and a little Unitarian Universalist too! I loved it. They had a pastor (who goes by elder–and is a lady!), contemporary Christian worship music like Chris Tomlin, prayers read aloud (“Touch the hearts of political and business leaders around the world that they may hear the cries of their people for justice and peace”) and a sermon that kicked my butt. The central anecdote was about a church that needed to rebuild its community after feelings of distrust and betrayal. The speaker drew from Ephesians 4-5, saying that living in love is a choice, and working through impatience, anger, and bitterness to rebuild is something we can do when we decide This is important. I need to stay. When she read this from their scholarly NRSV (tho they also have an Inspired Version a.k.a. the Joseph Smith version with Book of Moses integrated into Genesis!)

Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

I almost fell to the earth because it reinforced the messages I had heard earlier that morning from various people at Mormon church: “We come to earth as children so that we can learn to love and serve one another” and “We become one through sacrifice.”

Then when I read this again in the CoC Doctrine & Covenants

“Be patient with one another, for creating sacred community is arduous and even painful. But it is to loving community such as this that each is called”

I knew what I had to do because Heavenly Parents were speaking to me.

A week later though, I am still struggling. It has been hard for me not to feel isolated and alone when most everyone around me is okay with the Church’s decisions but I am not. I feel like the Church is doing a great wrong that we are condoning, and it is making me CRAY. People talk as if I am imagining everything, that the wrong lies with my perception and not with the Church because can’t I see that the Church is simply reiterating doctrine–what’s so wrong with that? The Church can do no wrong and we must never question authority ever! Some sisters gave advice from experience: They encouraged me to pray my way into accepting the Church’s position. But without exception each sister stopped responding to me when I talked about the inconsistencies and/or the homophobia that exist independently of doctrine. I try not to be too emo about their silence, but sometimes it gets to my head.

The day after my date with CoC, one sister asked if I was going to join them. I told her that I knew beforehand that I couldn’t join, though I did wonder what it would be like.

I know that I would fit in better there. They definitely speak an ecumenical language that is more natural to me. I didn’t have to explain for half an hour before they began to understand my feels; they just got it right away. And that was such an amazing feeling. When a super nice polygamy-denier guy answered all of my questions and gave me their Book of Mormon and now-outdated 2007 D&C (‘cause they add to it all the time (why can’t we have nice things too ;( )), I wished so much that I could join.

ALAS, so much of the Mormon doctrine that is so important to me does not exist in the CoC tradition :( and I can’t go back to Protestantism. I can’t leave my ward family, I can’t leave my church, I am married to Mormonism for time & eternity. So rn I am like Dianna Agron in Sam Smith’s “I’m Not the Only One” video, crying every day especially reading about secret combinations like Elder Oaks’ PLAN SINCE BEFORE 1997 to concede select rights to gay people such as hospital visitation in order to have a better chance at blocking their right to marry WTF.

How can I pay a full tithe knowing that some of it could go to a secret creepy anti-gay cause??!?!?!?

This Sunday I didn’t want to go to church but I went anyway, and a weird thing happened: As soon as I put the Wonder Bread in my mouth, tears started streaming down my face and my nose became so runny I had to run out to get tissues and run back to make sure I didn’t miss the water part. When one of the talks referred to same-sex marriage as a metaphorical tarantula that attacks the family I almost had a heart attack, but I didn’t run out forever–I stayed all 3 hours, and in the end I was glad that I did. I felt this real warmth from everyone there and heard some good insights that are now in my journal. Afterward the missionaries (elders) went with me to the CoC picnic, so that was great too even though they were out of their comfort zone and bewildered by the cleavage, crosses, casual clothing, and gallons of iced tea. It was a beautiful interfaith learning experience. At night tho I became angsty again as I could not unsee all of the secret combo stuff.

In the morning, I convinced myself to get out of bed, eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and open the door for my visiting teachers. Good visiting teaching visits had been a constant for me, but this time something felt off, maybe I was just spacey-tired, but when Stephanie talked about how Satan is going to prevent us from getting endowed & sealed because he will do anything to tear apart the family, I felt insta-depressed. I just don’t get why we only see Satan working in these contexts but not in others and it is killin me. She brought these beautiful flowers from her garden

yet I could not escape from the eternal gulf of misery and woe. After they left I ate some pizza from the fridge and went back to bed. For the first time in life, all I did was lie in bed, stare into space, sleep, cry, and perform sad Google searches for an entire day.

Every day I have a fantasy of Joseph Smith coming back from the dead to make things better and every evening I repeat Tomorrow is a new day, but IS IT?? How will I break free from these chains?! Mitch Mayne says

the conservative rhetoric around marriage equality and the recent BSA announcement are good examples of how I strive to put this commandment (“Love thy neighbor as thyself”) into action.

There were a lot of hurtful comments both from Church leaders and from my conservative fellow Mormons on social media around both issues, and it was very easy to get triggered by those words and actions—but if I allowed myself to pause for a moment and try to look at what was really happening, I began to understand what I was hearing was fear. And I know that fear is the opposite of faith.

This enabled me to have empathy and compassion–because as a gay Mormon, I know what it’s like to live in fear…And I think it’s most important we show the love, compassion, and kindness we wish to have shown to us–even (and maybe especially) to those who seem unable to give those qualities in return.

and I will do my best to keep this in mind even as the evils of this Church are like overtaking my spirit with darkness. I guess I am just in shock and I have to accept that church is a refuge from the storm while also having part of the storm (a really big part of it :’( ). I made a mistake in believing that the Church is totally different from the world. I have to accept that church is not always a safe place. Right now, though, I wish that things were different, and I wish that we were better.

Today, I progressed: I went jogging, didn’t take a 4-hour sadness-nap, didn’t drink chai lattes at Starbucks, and didn’t eat anything trashy. In addition I read an article about gay Mormon historian Michael Quinn and excommunication timez that really helped me to put things into perspective. As Joseph once said, “We have learned by sad experience that it is the nature and disposition of almost all men, as soon as they get a little authority, as they suppose, they will immediately begin to exercise unrighteous dominion.” I just gotta press forward with faith in Christ and then

it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if (wo)men build they cannot fall

Helaman 5:12

all these lights, they can’t blind me
with ur love, nobody can drag me down

– One Direction, “Drag Me Down”

Love always,

bananena

Last night the sister missionaries visited and said,

“Do you have a boyfriend?” (“I don’t”)

“Have you ever had a boyfriend?” (“No”)

“Have you ever been on a date?” (“Just once”)

“Awww!”

We’ll find you a boyfriend, Bananena!”

“Yeah, we will!”

“Come to our 5K next weekend!”

“You can run, walk, or roller-blade even!”

“It’s gonna be near the Planetarium”

“All the YSA [Young Single Adult] wards in Chicago are coming!”

“So it’s gonna be a lot of people!”

“Bananena, we will find your boyfriend there!”

And I laughed because they were so excited and cute and of course I want to come to a huge Lake Michigan event with hundreds of Mormons but I hope they are not serious about the Mormon boyfriend except I think that they may be serious and all I can think of is

External image

Love,

bananena

Mormon commune, are you worried that you do not completely fit in at your singles ward?

Don’t worry just come join us in the crying ward where we can be united by crying activities such as reading emo scriptures, watching emotional films, and crying tears into jars while making various chutneys and we can also still sing apricots popping in the popcorn tree R U DOWN??

MISS YOU GUYS

I secretly visited your tumblogs on Friday morning and need to come back to give you hearts and reblog things and see what else I’ve missed

In the meantime I need to use all my willpower to resist more tumbling until after I finish this work

but here are some updates really fast from this end!

1) My dad showed us pictures that he took of himself with his longevity noodles on his birthday when my mom was in China and we kids were at school–his first-ever birthday alone. :’( He said, “Look, so emo.” Mom and I could not help but crack up.

2) The missionaries just called! We’re doing 1 Nephi 8 on Tuesday. I said happy Fast Sunday tomorrow and do they have the chastity and word of wisdom pamphlets? They said yes and that they would order Doctrine & Covenants and Pearl of Great Price for me!! :’)

3) WHAT KIND OF DWEEB THOUGHT IT WOULD BE FUN TO DO MARXIST AND HISTORICAL CRITICISM ON THE TEMPEST LIKE THIS DOOD FROM BERKELEY IS TRYING TO CONVINCE ME THAT THE TEMPEST IS SET IN THE NEW WORLD BUT THAT BOAT STARTED OUT IN ALGERIA OK?! HOWEVER THERE ARE 30 MORE PAGES OF THIS ESSAY SO WE WILL SEE

MAY THE SACRED ABS BE WITH YOU ALL

Love,

Bananena

why heavenly father but also thank u heavenly father? a story by bananena

Because my patriarchal blessing is kind of generic in its content I had not looked at it very much since I received it a year ago. But this morning when I read it I really felt Heavenly Parents’ love in the words and I teared up. The missionaries had recommended that I refer to it as I pray about my future because I have been confused by a lot of self-doubt & fear.

Later I chatted with a student in the rhetoric & composition program in Idaho and u guise he was super nice & helpful! I started to feel more certain that I could go there and teach and not get slayed by super intense graduate school.

But then…*PLOT TWIST* at 7:24pm I got an email letter from an MFA program saying that they want me to come?!?!?

Now I can’t sleep because I feel :O :O :O that there is a school who wants to be my patron of the arts like in the old times! Like they will give me $?? To write fiction (and teach)?? For 3 years! But also NOOOOOO WHY IS THIS HAPPENING because for a few hrs of life I thought maybe the future was straightforward, Heavenly Mother I know I said I wanted to become the next Stephenie Meyer and everything but ok I am not ready 4 this and P.S. I am not worthy!

Right now I still feel set on teaching rhet & comp because creative writing is the dream yet it is also the scary dream, writing research papers is totally unscary compared to writing fiction, in addition what kind of hipster does creative writing for 3 years and expects to be employed?

I know tho I gotta be a Mormon and pray about it, u guise this program is unique because there is mandatory study abroad and a translation project, but because there was like a 3% chance aka 0% chance of being admitted I only put my app out for yolo purposes. Now that I could actually honor the yolo I might not be ready u guise!

“MANY DREAM NOT TO FIND, NEITHER DESERVE, AND YET ARE STEEPED IN FAVORS; SO AM I, THAT HAVE THIS GOLDEN CHANCE AND KNOW NOT WHY”

– Posthumus from Shakespeare’s Cymbeline aka me on the ground!

Love always,

bananena

more about my weird relationships with mormon missionaries by bananena

6 weeks ago, Sister Pianist got transferred here. I saw her once at my baptism and never thought that I would get the chance to know her better like this, so it’s been really nice. I feel that she should be cast as Belle in a live-action Beauty and the Beast though I realize Emma Watson already has that role.

A couple Sundays ago we had this terrible lesson in Gospel Principles that accidentally made agency all about receiving rewards for not drinking coffee etc. and overall it just super trivialized moral action. Literally the worst moral decision that got discussed was “eating 12 brownies in a row” (which ngl is a sin I can identify with but ??). I don’t know why I had such a strong reaction, but it felt like everything was closing in on me, all the things that often felt wrong in church, like too much focus on doing stuff in order to receive blessings and a weird prosperity theology leaking in and not enough focus on things of actual moral consequence or actual cool radical stuff in Mormonism, q viva la revolución u kno? Sister Relief Society Pres says the Spirit was testifying to me of false doctrine because at the time I felt sick and weirdly heartbroken and I tried to go home right away but the sister missionaries made me stay.

They took me to sit on a sofa where we overheard part of priesthood session like secret listening ladies and I was crying when Sister Pianist in her soft musical voice said, “Bananena, do you know that you have really nice calves?”

“What?” I thought I didn’t hear her right. She repeated it and said, “They are so defined and toned. And when you wear heels…you can just see even more how toned and strong they are.” I didn’t know that anyone could be this enthusiastic about one of my body parts, it felt unreal. All I could say was “Really?” She said, “Yeah, they’re amazing,” which Sister Springtime affirmed and when I looked at them I saw that they were not even kidding. I said, “No one has ever said this to me before” and sat in complete confusion because that was so random and also all I ever do is jog/run so how could I even actually be toned especially because sometimes I get emo like today I ate 40 potato chips and a bunch of candy even tho I promised Jesus that I would try to quit emotional eating in 2015. But I think she was trying to make me feel better and lighter which was really sweet of her.

Another day we had lunch together and I started crying again. Sister Springtime told me they could see how close I am to the Spirit and I thought oh no is it because I am crying but they insisted and said my faith was great and they called in Elder Intense from the other ward to do a priesthood blessing for me. So we were waiting for him in the church building when Sister Pianist, on her way to the piano, wrote “I <3 JS” on the chalkboard. Then she asked, “Bananena, what’s your favorite hymn?” I told her “If You Could Hie to Kolob” and like half a second later she started playing it and it was so beautiful there were tears streaming down my face, it was like the most beautiful “If You Could Hie to Kolob” I had ever heard, I was so moved I almost fell to the earth like all those other people did in the Book of Mormon, but I didn’t, instead when she looked up and saw me crying she said “Oh bananena” very surprised at my tears and did her Sister Pianist smile. She said, “Come sit here next to me” and played the rest and I totally cried a waterfall that probably could’ve spiritually reached Kolob even though physically there is not even enough water in my body for that.

Then this past Sunday was Elder Metalhead’s last day before his transfer. I’d wanted to do Sacrament with him, but there was no room for us in the pews. Elder Ninja tried sitting in the pew in front of us so that Metalhead could sit with me, but then a dear sister said that the missionaries had to sit together as a rule, so I ended up moving up front with her while the elders sat behind us.

It was hard because every time I tried to say something to him, he would get really tense and look away. But after church was over, I wanted to make sure I said bye to him. So I said, “Elder Metalhead I’m not gonna see you for a little while,” and he struggled again to talk but looked at me this time and when I saw his eyes I knew it was because he was tearing up and trying not to cry, and I just felt so sad. Luckily I’d already cried in Relief Society where only all the other ladies could see (They sang “God Be with You Til We Meet Again” :’( ). I told him we could go to the temple together in spring or summer, and after a moment he managed to say “yeah.” Later when he was packing up his giraffe journal (the sister missionaries had just written messages in it) I said “WAIT” and gave him the card that I’d made for him based on an Atonement metaphor that he’d once described to me. It had pics of him and Jesus and broccoli that I superimposed on a Milky Way pic from NASA. You could see on his face that he was like For me?? and when he saw it he laughed, he kept looking at it and laughing and he threw his head back and laughed. I thought omg this dweeb :’). Then he reached out and held my hand and looked much happier. So that is how we did a goodbye without any crying. Now that he’s been transferred, I just gotta deal I guess.

Love always,

bananena

emo stake conference with elder larry lawrence

The letter asking the First Presidency for words of comfort and counsel addressed to members & children affected by the policies:

My stake president gave it to an area seventy last month, but I don’t think it ever went up to Elder Soares or beyond.

So today I brought another copy to give to Elder Larry “What Lack I Yet?” Lawrence.

Today at an 8am fireside he asked me (among other recent converts) to share my story, and he came up afterward to shake my hand and say thank you and encourage me. So I was feeling hopeful but then

during his talk he talked about how Satan uses counterfeits (e.g. self-righteousness as a counterfeit for righteousness) to lead people astray

and he channeled Elder Perry as he said

“Same-sex marriage is a counterfeit of marriage. It does not lead to eternal families; it does not lead to joy and exaltation!”

I started to cry and it was bad because I was in like the 5th row center so he could see me as could stake president, mission president, and the choir, but I could not stop crying and afterward I did not give him the letter.

In conclusion this church is going down the tubes and we must pray every day 4 Zion.

Love,

bananena

poser mormon lyfe: singles ward edition

While hurrying to meet my project partner a couple mornings ago, I decided to jaywalk and became confused when in my peripheral vision there were two girls several feet away who were also jaywalking and suddenly running toward me

3 secs later I realized that they were the sister missionaries

They said they had been driving when they saw me walking

and they wanted to say hi so bad, they found some street parking and ran over

CANNOT HANDLE THESE LADIES AND THEIR LOVE THAT IS TRULY STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART OF THE LAMB-LOVING MAN-GOD!!

That was when we planned to meet at church, and oh man guise, today was my first time attending all three church sessions (in the past I have left after sacrament meeting or Sunday school) and it definitely took some stamina

It was also my first time in a YSA (young single adults) ward

and my second time on a Fast Sunday

and these are the random things that I feel the need to record:

  • A really nice girl gave me a ride there and it turns out she just got a calling as the official linger longer coordinator

  • I was too nervous to ask somebody what a linger longer was but am asking bff thetrickbrain right now!

  • He says “it is one nickname for when they have food served after church”!

  • Church was held in an elementary school building in downtown Chicago

  • I was so lucky I sat next to a girl with a beautiful voice singing “Our Redeemer of Israel”

  • OMG SACRAMENT MEETING IS THE BEST EVEN THO I CAN ONLY DO PRETEND SACRAMENT

  • I wonder what happens to the little plastic cups

  • I LOVE SACRAMENT!!!!!!!!

  • “The Plan of Mortality” OMG

  • One guy had the most amazing moustache so I went over to compliment him and ask if it was hard to maintain and he was so happy, he said yes and he has been maintaining his moustache for 6 months now

  • There are 3 ladies in this ward who are flight attendants!!

  • ALL THE SINGLE LADIES, ALL THE SINGLE LADIES

  • DOOD MISSIONARY FROM TONGA

Gospel Principles class was about how the knowledge that we are all children of Heavenly Father should impact how we relate to others and interfaith came up as did the blind men & the elephant story so I got really excited lol, the first time I ever heard that story was in a Muslim context

And in Relief Society the activity was to list our goals for 2014 and then list what we would do if we knew we had only one month to live due to a terminal illness

When it was time to share the terminal illness goals, the first group said, “What we talked about is kind of inappropriate for church” and everybody giggled

(Unrelated blingee but I just really wanted to use it before ending this mega long post!)

Love,

bananena

OMG MY DAD:

He called and said to be careful and not to rush things

and in my head I thought, WHOA DAD DON’T WORRY I DON’T HAVE A SECRET BOYFRIEND OR ANYTHING

but then he said, “Attend the [Mormon] church activities when you can, but take it slowly, and if you join, that will be good, we will be happy”

Then tonight I went onto the family Amazon account to pre-order Peter Rollins’ book

and my dad had 5 lbs of raw honey in the cart.

Dad, when you read this:

Love,

Bananena