Why do we buy tickets to slide down the slippery slope?

When I was a kid we went to an amusement park to enjoy the rides and fun. One of the attractions was called The Record Player.

Now, we may have to take a moment and explain to those who didn’t come over in the Mayflower just what a record player is, which I know TOTALLY dates me as an old geezer.

Basically, the large round vinyl LPs, or records, had a small hole in the center which was used to attach the disc on the turntable. As the record was spun around and around, the needle would move through the grooves and, voila, music.record

Think of it as a melodic way to enjoy a merry-go-round without the ponies.

Anyway, on this attraction which was a gigantic replica of the small household version, you could go as long as you wanted – as long as you could hold on.

At first it was kind of fun to jump on and then be thrown off into the big soft pads on the sides. But then, normal determination kicked in and we had to figure out how to “beat” the ride itself and become the master.

Continue reading Why do we buy tickets to slide down the slippery slope?

But religion IS a choice, isn’t it?

I read the response from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints about a petition from the Human Rights Campaign regarding same-sex attraction. There were of course the accompanying articles of people with differing points of view. The one I read was very well written and without animosity, which I appreciated.

However, it very logically went through point by point how hypocritical the Church was in its position. One of the responses to this opposing view was “I would hope that the Church will listen” which was followed by another response of “Maybe God should listen.”

listeningYou know me, it made me think.

Perhaps it is these two quick responses to an article that sum up what is really the issue here.

Continue reading But religion IS a choice, isn’t it?

Being vigilant vs. being vindictive

(all images in this post are from the LDS Media Library)

A friend recently shared some frustrations regarding what it feels like to be considered a second-class member of society, or more painfully, a second-class member of a family.

I think I noticed it more in my personal life when I was younger. It was pretty easy to figure out who was “different.” The adults’ raised eyebrows and hurried whispers were seen by the youth and we were quick to imitate.

After all, there must be a good reason to see this person as not quite good enough, even if we didn’t understand what it was.

Savior6Gratefully, now as a middle-aged man I see it less and less in my personal life. Ann and I really do live in a pretty amazing place with pretty amazing people.

However, it seems that society at large has gotten worse.

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Being a suicide survivor

I was a pretty sheltered child. My earliest memories are running hard to explore the 10 acres our home sat in the middle of, complete with barn, wood shed, 100-tree orchard, hay fields, cattle, horses, and of course an amazing tree house.

I honestly can’t remember a time that I felt bored. Of course, you know we bipolar people – we have AMAZING imaginations.

I was loved. I was safe. I was free.

I never understood then just how much my mother gave up so that I could have that life; that I could just BE me. It is certainly bittersweet that my comprehension has now become clearer.

There are a few vague memories of overhearing frantic phone calls in the night, my sisters keeping me out of the way, the family doctor rushing through the back door and up to the master bedroom on the second floor.medication

I remember the doctor standing at the medicine cupboard in the kitchen, which consisted of a double stacked 4-foot shelf, and scooping bottle after bottle into a garbage sack.

All that registered to this little naïve youngster was that my Mom had been tired for a few days and we weren’t supposed to bother her, and also that the doctor must not understand the rule that we NEVER touch anything on that shelf.

Continue reading Being a suicide survivor