Is this a polyga-date?

tumblr_lfka2o9RrE1qdmtdzNot ALL of my dates have been bad ones. I’ve had some really good ones actually. This just wasn’t one of them.

I had met Mike somewhere, probably at church or something and I thought he was pretty cute. So when a friend of mine invited me to bring a date and double with him on a snow mobile ride I thought I would ask Mike. He graciously accepted and we headed up the canyon.

As we were getting the snowmobile’s off the truck and getting ready to take off. A ranger came through warning us about avalanche danger. He told us to make sure that we had flares and to be careful and stay on the paths. We didn’t have any flares but we weren’t about to let that ruin our trip. So off we went. Mike liked to drive fast which normally I would have loved but he was really jerky and I was finding it difficult to stay on the back. My legs were aching before very long from clinging to the machine.

MIke pulled ahead of the others and we were flying through the canyon. I had long since given up trying to see where we were going and was just hanging on for dear life. My mask had fogged up so completely that it was all just a blur. I hoped Mike could see better than I could.

Soon I felt snow up around my legs, much farther than it would have if we had been on the road. Then I landed in a pile of snow with Mike beside me. I laughed and pulled of my helmet. Then I stopped laughing. We were literally sitting on the edge of a cliff. And I’m not talking a little one, I’m talking an I can’t see the bottom, and there would be no chance of survival if we went over the edge kind of cliff. We had both fallen off the snowmobile just before it went over the edge.

Luckily neither of us were hurt. And in fact neither was the snowmobile. It was perched jauntily in the very tip-top branches of a large tree. We sat there a minute laughing about our near miss and wondering how we were going to get it out of the tree when I suddenly realized that our first course of action was to get back to the road and flag down the others before they passed us and went further on up the trail. I scrambled to my feet and raced up to the road only to see the snowmobile fly past. We were completely off the road, where no one passing would have noticed us. I wondered how long it would take before they realized we weren’t in front of them anymore and came back looking for us.

In the mean time Mike and I sat and waited. We were both trying to make the best of a bad situation. “Just think, he said, this will make a great story to tell our grandkids.” I choked for a second, did he mean OUR grandkids, or our respective, grandkids, that would be entirely two separate and distinct groups of children…

As I was pondering what he meant I heard a loud, voice of the universe kind of rumbling. Thunder…?

Mike and I looked at each other, our eyes wide, was it possible that we had been spared going off the edge of a cliff only to be buried alive in an avalanche?

I held my breath, waiting and watching to see what was going to happen. Nothing did. Turns out it was really thunder. After a bit of a wait and not a little frustration the rest of our group found us and we pulled the snowmobile back onto the road and headed home. Now I know what you are thinking, that’s not such a bad date, right. Well, see the bad date hadn’t started yet. A couple of days later, I was talking with Mike in the lobby, Maybe I’m a bad listener, maybe he is a long talker, we may never know but somewhere along the way I had spaced out a little during his monologue until suddenly Mike brought me back with, “well, what do you think, do you want to go?”

I scrambled, trying to guess what he might have been talking about, finally I decided to go out on a limb. “Yeah, that sounds fun,” I said,

“great I’ll pick you up at about 6 then.”

“So, um, which day is it again?” I asked sheepishly

“It’s Saturday, the concert starts at 7:30 but its going to be a bit of a drive. I thought we might get dinner afterward as well.”

Ohhh, sounds like he asked me out on a date and I totally missed it!

I went home and told my room-mate about it. She told me that there was a group of people going and that she was going with the boy she had been dating as well. She was able to fill me in on the fact that we were going to a symphony in Salt Lake.

Saturday night rolled around and I was ready when Mike showed up to get me. He came to the door and all was fine till we got back to the car and there was a girl sitting in the passenger seat of the car. I was confused to say the least.

I got in the back seat and we started to drive. Somehow I had missed something huge. This was not what I had in mind. Either Mike was a wannabe polygamist who had decided to save a little time by courting both of us at once, or this was no date at all.

We met up with the rest of the group and we were the only threesome, the rest were couples, obviously on a date. I felt so awkward. during the concert the other girl and I sat on opposite sides of Mike. I wished I could have sat in a different section. She had this annoying laugh, which I heard often. And when she did laugh she would open her large mouth really wide and her tongue and hangy man would do this weird little dance where one looked like it was trying to catch the other. I was both horrified, and mesmerized by the strangeness of it all. And I could not believe that this was the girl I was in competition with. I decided then and there that if this was my competition, I was out of the game. I was not going to play this game with her.

The concert finally ended and we proceeded to the second part of our awkward threesome. Dinner was fun, because I just ignored them completely and visited with the others. But on the way home, she offered to let me sit in front as though he were the prize and she wanted to give me my fair share of time sitting in the honored position next to him. I very graciously declined that honor and claimed the back seat.

I guess I will never know who was at fault for this strange mess. Maybe he had some explanation. Probably not. Whatever the case was, any charm that I had ever seen in him was lost and that was the last ahh hmmm, “date” I ever went on with him.

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The Tale of the Infamous Crik

This blog post is kind of random, mostly a bunch of random memories. But stories of the crik always come up when my siblings and I get together. And it always leaves us laughing till our sides hurt as we remember.

When I was growing up we lived right next to a crik. And yes that is right, it was a crik. A creek was a cute little stream whose crystal clear water flows laughingly over smooth round stones as it gurgles through the canyon. What we lived next to was a crik. It was about 3 feet deep and 3 feet wide it’s banks made of stones covered in chain link. It ran directly behind the fence in our backyard and we thought it was OUR crik.

I have so many memories of that crik, from as early as I can remember everything went in that crik. And I mean everything.

Leftover food that had gone bad

A favorite toy of a brother who had teased you one too many times

A racy romance novel that I was reading to my sister, until she became too afraid that one of the mothers was going to find it.

My brothers peed in it from a hole in the fence

I even remember one time in particular a cousin of mine was particularly getting on my nerves. I had been sick with chicken pox and he had come with his mother who taught my siblings to play the piano. I was sleeping curled up in a chair when he snuck up behind the chair and scared me.

In my 6 year old mind all I could think was that I was so angry I thought I might turn inside out I already had a particular dislike of that cousin because I had to sit on his lap one day when we were piling too many people in the car. I had been mortified and he had teased me. So I had decided that I would hate him to my dying day.

So when he scared me I reacted in a very typical way for me. I threatened to kill him and boy did I mean it in the very fiber of my being.

“How are you going to kill me…” he taunted,

“I’ll…I’ll throw you in the crik!” I threw out the first thing that came to mind.

“I’m too heavy and you are too little…you won’t be able to get me over the fence.”

“Then I’ll bury your head in the sand in the sand box and you’ll die!” I said.

I’m stronger than you what if I won’t let you bury my head, he said, pushing the limits of my fury.

But I digress, the point of this blog post was to just share a memory that I had about the crik. I only just recently realized how strange and inappropriate it was that we threw so much stuff in the crik. I kind of thought thats what it was for and I wondered how other households got by without one.

My brothers even threw a tv in the crik at one point. Unlike most of the other things we threw in there that one didn’t sink into oblivion or float out of sight. It sunk but remained visible from the bottom when the water level was low.

THe boys had found a TV repair shop  and found out they could easily break in. THey did and successfully stole a small TV. Then they got greedy and went back for something bigger. Also the little TV was only black and white and they wanted something with color.

So they went back and found a nice big TV. It was around midnight when they were crossing state street carrying their loot when they were stopped by a police officer.

“You boys taking your TV for a walk?” he asked them.

“Um…” no excuse came to mind fast enough, but the officer didn’t need one. He knew why they ewre running across the street carrying a TV.

He asked their ages, names and birth date. then he asked, where do you live?

The boys really didn’t want to answer that question. They didn’t want to be iin trouble with the parents.

Um we are here visiting from Oregon, they said.

Where

um…they looked at each other, we are staying with our grandparents and we don’t know the address.

You are brothers? He asked, understandably with a good deal of scepticism since the coloring between the two boys was pretty different.

Yes,

But you are both 13.

We are twins!

Twins… whose birthdays are 4 months apart?

The boys were caught and they knew it but they didn’t want to give up their address.

Come on I know where you live, the officer said, and he took them home.

Later after getting in trouble with the parents and lying about that being the only time they had stolen TV’s they threw the other one in the crik to avoid being caught.

Moral of the Story: If you can’t find it…its probably in the crik.

When a symbol is not a symbol

We live in a world full of symbols. Even without the word displayed on it we all knowt what the red octagon means.

We know what the stick figure wearing a dress means

and we know know what this sign and many others mean.

We know the difference between waving and beckoning which is a fairly subtle difference.

We know what this sign means.

So I am a little frustrated when something that i thought was supposed to mean something in some cases doesn’t.

You see in the culture I grew up in, men don’t wear wedding rings. But then they don’t really need to. As a symbol that you are married… well the ring doesn’t symbolize much in a polygamist community. At least for men, who for all intents and purposes are perpetually single.

Or at least available.

I never once even thought to perform a ring check. Until I joined the LDS church and started having to date…only single men.

For those few of you who may not know what I am referring to when I say that, You know, when you are talking to a guy and you start to think “Hey he’s kind of cute” so you try to very subtly get a look at that ring finger to see if he is single or not.

Your hard work pays off when you see that he isn’t wearing a wedding ring so you smile and proceed to do a little flirting.

Its usually just after you have opened up and made yourself a little vulnerable that he up and mentions….

that he was at the Gynocologists affice the other day with HIS WIFE when…..

and you zone out feeling entirely stupid and wishing there was some designated spot for idiots like yourself to go beat your head on the wall.

In my opinon he is the one who should feel dumb. After all he was the one who decided to not use the symbol that most of America uses to indicate that they are in fact already taken. I mean seriously if wearing one means you are taken its only natural to assume that not wearing one means you are available.

What would happen if I decided that since I wear pants I can go in the door with the little stick figure of the person in pants.

Boy I bet all those guys would feel stupid when I walked in that door…

And that police officer, he didnt like it too much when I decided that in my world a yellow light means go faster so you can make it through before the light turns red. Yeah, he didn’t even crack a smile.

Neither did the guy that was trying to pass me the other day when I suddenly changed lanes. I tryed to explain that I dont really like using my blinker… you know it makes that annoying little clicking sound… yeah he didn’t like that much either and I was left once again feeling like an idiot.

So why is it that when some guy decides to ignore a symbol that to the rest of the world means he’s taken, it’s the girl who finds herself flirting with him who ends up feeling stupid? I would love to know your opinions on this.

What’s in a name (part 2)

My last blog post was all about how and why there is conflict and confusion about Polygamy and Mormon’s and how so much of it is tied up in a name. I wanted to continue on with that and explain a little more about the Polygamists and names, to hopefully further clarify some of the confusion surrounding these reclusive groups of people.

To begin with let me explain that Polygamists technically can’t and shouldn’t be all lumped together. I can no more tell you what polygamists think and feel, do and believe, any more than you as say a male with brown hair can tell me what all males with brown hair think and feel. Ok maybe that’s taking it a little far but you get the point. I can tell you a few things that should be helpful though.

One final note. Lest there be confusion, as I write and try to explain the beliefs of various different groups of people and religions I am not saying that the information I am giving is either true or false. I am not saying at all what my opinion is on it. I am simply hoping to clarify about various beliefs that are out there.

First thing that it is important to understand is that many, if not all of the Mormon Polygamists ( these would be any polygamist who is living polygamy based on the early teachings of the LDS church) believe that there is one true church of Christ on the earth and that, that church is the LDS church. However, they believe that the LDS church has gone astray and given up the fullness of the gospel as restored by Joseph Smith.

The problem is that when he restored the gospel Joseph said that he was restoring Christs church and the fullness of the gospel to the earth for the last time. So since the LDS Church went astray and gave up certain principles, the Lord had to have a group of people who would keep those principles alive and on the earth in order for that prophesy to be fulfilled.

There is a prophesy common to many of the (for lack of a better word) FLDS people who says that ” One mighty and Strong” will come and set the church in order. Most believe that this person is going to be Joseph Smith returning to earth. So because, the “true church of Christ is here, there can not be another church organized. Therefore, rather than forming an official church the FLDS originally formed simply a group of people who were willing to continue to live plural marriage, (or polygamy) at the risk of being excommunicated from the  LDS church. In the beginning there was a small group who did and they got together to have “cottage meetings in each others homes. They felt that while they couldn’t form a church they could meet together as a group.

There were others who felt that they would continue to live plural marriage but didn’t feel that the thing to do was to start developing a group or leaders. They each kind of went their own way and became known as Independents. The others formed various groups and followed various leaders. Each group rather informally came to be called by the name of the leader of the group ie The Allred group, the Kingston group etc. Collectively they went by the name of fundamentalists or FLDS

With time leaders died, disputes happened and groups split. Today there are dozens of groups, each with various differing beliefs and ideas. One of the largest groups (the Jeff’s group) started getting a lot of media attention for some extra young marriages, and for some extreme behavior. the media in referring to them as FLDS pushed the other groups towards wanting to clarify the differences between them and they started to move away from that name. Now days most groups don’t want to be known as FLDS.

What’s in a name?

I’ve been reading a number of column’s, articles, and blogs lately that have to do with Polygamy. Since Mitt Romney is running for president there seem to be a lot of people interested in his religion and what exactly it is that he believes, and rightly so. It’s brought to mind for me several things that are rather a pet peeve of mine so I figured, what better place than here to put in my two cents worth and see if I can help clarify some really common misunderstandings that people seem to have about Mormons and Polygamists.

Probably the most common theme that I seem to see is people trying to figure out where the Mormon church ends and polygamy begins and just how they all fit together. It’s really common to read an article such as this one written by a non-mormon writer, who actually is pretty accurate in a lot of what he has to say. http://www.delsjourney.com/close-ups/us/travels_sw/mormons_and_polygamy.htm

He say’s this however

“There are several ultra-orthodox offshoots of the Mormon Church though, especially in rural parts of Utah, which quietly practice polygamy today basically under a “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.”

Which ia misleading because the literal definition of offshoot is

a branch or lateral shootfrom a main stem, as of a plant.

and if you look up branch it will say
“a division or subdivision of the stem or axis of a tree, shrub, or other plant.”
so when someone refers to polygamists as an “offshoot” or as I have seen in some cases, a “subgroup” it is easy to assume that the Mormon church consists of “Main stream” Mormons and then several “offshoots or branches who practice polygamy.”
Lets look at it this way.
In the 16th century Martin Luther led a reform group within the Roman Catholic church. Those who followed him were referred to as Lutherans. Today if you were to suggest that Lutherans were Catholic both parties would protest that, that is not the case. They are two separate and distinct religions. And yet the Lutheran church could be considered an “offshoot, a branch, or a sub group” of the Catholic church. So it is with the Mormon’s and the polygamists.
In the early days of the Mormon church, its leaders taught and encouraged the practice of polygamy. Later for various reasons (which could be an entire post of by itself) the church changed its position on polygamy and outlawed its practice, excommunicating any members who continued its practice.
So why, you ask, is there so much confusion in the case of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints and the polygamists? I’ll tell you why. It all has to do with the name.
You see the Lutherans and others like them were happy to separate from the catholic church and be called by a new name. The polygamists arent.
In the Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants which both the Polygamists and the Mormons view as scripture, Christ tells the only name that his church will be known by; The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Since both groups believe in those books and both groups claim to have the truth they both want access to that name.
The nickname that the LDS church has been given; “the Mormon’s” further adds to the confusion as since it is just a nickname it is easier for both groups to claim, especially since they both believe in the Book of Mormon the nick name in all fairness applies. This is why the leaders of the LDS church encourage that their members use the given name.
In fact recently one of the 12 apostles of the LDS church said the following,

“Our members have been called Mormons because we believe in the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Others may try to use the word Mormon more broadly to include and refer to those who have left the Church and formed various splinter groups. Such use only leads to confusion. We are grateful for the efforts of the media to refrain from using the word Mormon in a way that may cause the public to confuse the Church with polygamists or other fundamentalist groups. Let me state clearly that no polygamist group, including those calling themselves fundamentalist Mormons or other derivatives of our name, has any affiliation whatsoever with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2011/10/the-importance-of-a-name?lang=eng

Having come from one church and converted to the other, I feel that I have an understanding of this issue more than most. I have personally heard polygamists claim that they were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day saints. I have heard them insist that they are Mormons. I have heard them claim that the differences are cultural. The truth is…and even they would agree with me on this;
1.) They believe that the official leaders of the LDS church do not have authority from God, are not inspired and directed by him and they don’t listen to or respect their teachings.
2.) They believe that the LDS church has given up the fullness of the gospel and their beliefs about several of their teachings (more than just polygamy) are quite different.
3.) They attend totally different church meetings.
4.) Neither organization would accept the baptism of the other and both would require a denial of former beliefs in the case of conversion.
I don’t know about you but to me this sounds like more than cultural differences, more than a “branch or offshoot”. It sounds to me like a different religion.

Swept off my feet

So my second date was actually in my opinion the most interesting of all the awful dates I’ve been on. Read on and you will see why. When I was in second grade I went to a school for all the children in our group ( we refered to our community as a group instead of a church) I often saw my best friends older brother and I developed a little crush on him. I never really spoke to him just looked from afar. At any rate I moved away after second grade and didn’t see him again.

Then one day shortly after I had joined the LDS Church I got a phone call from a number I didn’t recognise. the voice on the other end informed me that it was this same boy. Lets call him Andy. Since I hadn’t even really known him or talked to him in second grade I was rather surprised to get a phone call from him almost twenty years later. I’m here to tell you it was a little weird. I asked him how he got my number and he said he had simply called my dad and asked him for it. Honestly even though I had left the group I was still rather surprised that my dad would give a guy my phone number. But he had and now I found myself actually on the phone with Andy. I wondered if he still looked as good as he did years ago.

He told me that he was in town and asked if I wanted to spend the day with him. Everything in my head was telling me not to go. The whole situation was weird, and he was a guy! It just felt wrong! I kept thinking I cant do this! Tell him no. But then another part of me would think. You are LDS now you can do this. Its ok…no its something you really need to learn how to do. If nothing else this will be good practice. Or at the very least it will be interesting…

And it was. I said yes and an hour later he showed up at the door to pick me up. He was looking as handsome as I had remembered in a black double-breasted suit and a dark blue shirt that accented the blue of his eyes. He had warned me that he wanted to take me someplace nice so this time wanting to look my best I had picked out my favorite dress and done my hair as best I knew how.

The day was surprisingly comfortable. We hung out, had some fun, talked about mutual friends that we hadn’t seen in some time and just generally had a good time. He took me to dinner at a nice restaurant, insisted on opening my doors for me and held my chair for me as we sat down to dinner. Honestly I was not quite sure how to handle such gentlemanly behavior. But I had a feeling I could get used to this kind of treatment.

After dinner we went dancing. He was a good dancer. I had taken some dance classes and was feeling a bit better about dancing these days. I had at least learned a basic waltz and a few other dances so that I could do a little ballroom couple dancing. I had been wearing heels all day so after several hours of dancing my feet were killing me. As we were leaving the dance we stopped outside the building and sat talking on the edge of a large fountain. I pulled my shoes off and rubbed my aching feet. “I don’t think I can walk another step in these shoes” I said, laughing.

He had been carrying his suit coat over his shoulder as we walked and he laid it over is arm and then in one swift movement swept me into his arms and carried me to the car. WOW! I didn’t know if I should be weirded out by that or swept off my feet. Literally. I decided to reserve the right take make an opinion on that later. In the mean time he still was rather attractive so I was going to just enjoy the rest of the evening.

When he dropped me off at the house I was relieved that he didn’t walk me to the door. He opened the car door for me, gave me a hug and then told me that he would love to see me again soon. I invited him to come to church with me the following day. He agreed and then left.

I went inside and called a friend to tell her how successful my date had been. Maybe this wouldn’t be so hard after all! I told her all about the date and she seemed excited for me. Then she asked a follow-up question. “Let me get this straight,” she said, “you knew him when you were in second grade?”

“Yep”

“And what grade was he in?”

“Oh I don’t know… 10th I think”

“Oh wow so he is a little bit older than you. I’m surprised he isn’t married” she said.

“Oh, he is.” I answered

“What! what are you thinking?” She yelled into my ear. “You cant date a married man!”

Honestly it wasnt until that very moment that the realization dawned on me that yes I was LDS and I should be dating but now there were rules about who was available and who was not. And now an already married man was definitely not on the list that was available.

During dinner we had talked about his wife and kids. He had even shown me pictures and somehow It hadn’t clicked. In that moment on the phone with my friend it clicked and I had to laugh a little at how ironic that in my limited experience dating I had already managed to go on a date with a married man. So much for leaving my background behind!

That was my first date with him and that was my last. My friend sat between us as church and made it more than clear that the best thing for him was to just go on his way and leave me be. I was grateful to not have to do more than just tell him that I didn’t think it was a good idea for us to keep in touch.

I hoped that at the very least I had learned some skills to take me into a more positive dating experience the next time.