Thursday, December 21, 2006

Ensign thoughts

I'm not sure if I've really mentioned this before, but I've been really into Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series lately. I found her books obsessing enough that I stayed up all through the night to read them. Both of them (although on different nights, about three weeks apart). Anyway, Margo recently mentioned to me that there was a story by Stephenie Meyer in the December 2006 issue of the Ensign (from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), called "Hero at the Grocery Store." I quite enjoyed the thing -- it reminded me in many ways of her fiction writing.

I also got looking today at the January issue of the Ensign (actually, I was thinking that it was the December issue and was looking for Stephenie Meyer), and I was amused and slightly dismayed to find an article in it entitled "Home Teaching the Single Sister." (Sorry, I can't find the HTML version to link to, but the pdf version of the whole issue is here.) I haven't actually read the thing yet, but a preliminary glance seems to indicate that it is mostly about single mother sisters (as opposed to just single, unwed sisters ... who probably warrant an article of their own ... see rest of post to appropriately gauge level of sarcasm intended). What amused and dismayed me is the idea that single sisters are apparently such a mystery to the general membership of the Church that we have to actually address separately the question of how to home teach them. I get frustrated by this kind of thing, since it seems to me that people should be able to just treat us like ... well, people. We're nothing other than that. Just people. We happen to be single, and we happen to not hold the priesthood (though I, personally, think there is a general lack of understanding of just how close a tie sisters have to the powers of heaven, but that's another post). But that's all. Just treat us like people, take an interest in us personally, and that's all we really need.

This reminds me of something I was talking to my brother-in-law about the other night. At the time we happened to be talking the pressure to marry that singles get in the church (in particular). I told him that I think the leadership, and just the older and/or married membership, of the church have a hard time understanding just how great the pressure is, because they have either been married so long that they've forgotten, or they got married so young in the first place that they never really experienced it. I think this is true about the marriage/single divide in the church in general. It frustrates me that the divide is so huge, and I have a hard time understanding why that is. I have several married friends who are able to still relate to me on a normal, human level, regardless of the number of children they have or the length of time they've been married. But I also have a large number of married friends who don't seem to be able to do that anymore. I understand that there is a huge shift in the focus and responsibilities in a person's life after they marry, but it seems silly to me that singles and marrieds shouldn't be able to relate better regardless. What's happened to the common denominators that bring us all to the same level? In the end we are all in basically the same position, trying to do basically the same things, just doing it under somewhat different circumstances. Why can't we focus on that?

I can’t tell you how to make it go
No matter what I do, how hard I try
I can’t seem to convince myself why
I’m stuck on the outside (30 pts)

The last quote was from "It's a Wonderful Life" -- congrats to Elliespen (as usual). And oh, for those of you who know him, AT (aka Thurbs) got his mission call. He's leaving for the MTC on May 9, 2007, to go to the Spain Malaga Mission, and he's way pumped!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Having been recently informed just how long it's been since I posted, I thought I'd better. First off, congratulations to C & P, who recently had a brand new baby. I'm so excited for them -- they'll be wonderful parents!

Next, Happy End-of-the-Semester to you all, even those who aren't in school. You want my semester to be over, believe me. It's been rough this year, and I'm thrilled to be able to sleep in these days. Right now I'm in northern Utah at my sister's place, and last night I was so pooped that I fell asleep on the couch, fully clothed, and didn't bother to change them even when I woke up at 4:30 in the morning (to the sound of my cell phone alarm, which I hadn't changed from the night before) and realized where I was. And I look like death warmed over today. The good news, though, is that I found out that the shirt I was wearing (recently acquired from my former roommate as she was cleaning out her closet before moving) doesn't really wrinkle, so that's nice.

I'm getting really excited for Christmas. My sister and I watched "It's a Wonderful Life" this afternoon and I wrapped the presents for her and her family, and I'm starting to want to listen to Christmas music. The past few weeks I've been ignoring Christmas, since I was wrapped up in the end of the semester junk I had to do, in all the new music I've recently discovered that I love, and in the fact that it was frequently still into the 70s in Texas.

Last night I went to my niece's orchestra concert. She plays with the intermediate youth group associated with the Utah Festival Opera. The beginning group really wasn't great -- they had a lot of tempo problems -- but the intermediate and advanced groups were great. The advanced group played the first two movements (the only ones, actually) of Schubert's unfinished symphony, and I'd forgotten how much I love that piece.

In the vast configuration of things, I'd say you're nothing but a scurvy little spider! (18 points)

(Oh, and the last quote, from before Elizabeth Bennet, was from the Gershwin song "How Long Has This Been Going On?")