Category Archives: Monday School Blogpost

Warning: Keeping My Portals Shut

I remember as a child singing a beloved Christmas song, the lyrics went something like this: “Open ye portals, I pray for the love of heaven, open ye doors for a poor woman waits outside…”

The song was about the birth of Christ. As a child, I loved hearing this song.  Afterwards we would take turns with relatives reenacting the first Christmas hoping to play the part of Mary and Joseph.  Then, we’d listen to early Mormon stories about pioneer ancestors.  I never imagined that some day I would be pioneering a new way for my children to view mortality.

Although I don’t know the title of this song, it still comes to mind because of the story behind it.  Motherhood, mother’s helpmeet, the portal of life; a symbol of love and salvation (“preservation or deliverance from harm, ruin, or loss”).  Life is meaningful.

 

 

 

 

 

Today the miracle and innocence of a naked baby contrasted with a trail of religions and temples

I do not know if there is a portal to heaven, or if there is a god who hears my prayers. Even if there was, I imagine that my prayers are unnecessary because God knows everything about me including what is best for me before I pray.  As a mother whose children often pleaded for something they wanted, I doubt God wants to hear another pestering prayer.  It just doesn’t make sense to me. Worse is the thought of deserving children whose prayers are not answered. My prayer would be that God answers their prayers first.

I am more than happy to let go of a real or made-up portal to heaven.

Life should be esteemed as sacred as a portal to heaven

This year, I am going to take more control over the time and energy I exert, and the time and energy used by those objects or individuals trying to side-track me, and make their way into my life.

This blogpost is about controlling what or who I allow to enter my portal.  I define portal as a doorway into my personal space, which space should be considered my heaven on earth. My peace and happiness.  I may not be able to control certain aspects of my life, but I can take more control over intruders, and potential intruders.

Recent intruders have been trying to finagle their way into my personal space through open portals.

I Do Not Know Why I am being Routed Through Utah

I recently noticed my computer was acting odd.  I accessed a program that showed each DNS address coming from SLC, Utah, to my IP address. The number of queries coming from Utah were 972, 1032, 836, 1013 782, 925.

This means that someone from Utah may be trying to gain access into my information. I have security set up, yet it will never be enough for a good hacker.

If a computer is not protected an unscrupulous person from anywhere can turn on a camera or microphone without the victim’s knowledge, besides gathering all their personal files, including passwords (e.g. Putin’s cyber-army).

There is no reason that I know of that my DNS is being routed to Salt Lake City, instead of Fresno (where it should be coming from).

I have double checked my computer portals for security.

Fake Anonymous

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fake Anonymous needs me

Last night I decided to shut all portals to anyone contacting me about my ex-spiritual polygamist husband CMN, unless there is (what I believe) a legitimate reason.  Not a legitimate excuse.

I received another e-mail this morning.

Due to my former experiences helping victims of polygamy-abuse, I do want to extend myself to others who may need assistance.  If you need help, please contact me privately.

Here are a few suggestions:

  • If you are suicidal contact a confidential suicide hotline. You can also message me on Facebook. I may be able to connect you to specialized services.
  • If you are being threatened, bullied, intimidated, isolated, or exploited get help from a domestic abuse hotline.
  • If your Messenger tries to play the divide and conquer game “Us” against “You” – get help. This is a common strategy used by an abuser.  Find help “outside” his support group.  Contact a victim’s advocate.
  • If he has publicly or privately humiliated or shamed you, in any way, it is a form of abuse.
  • If he uses fear tactics such as making you feel guilty for going along with something illegal or unethical he has done, or lured you into, do not let him make you feel guilty through association. It is a way to pull you in closer, or test your loyalty. Get out it will only get worse.
  • If he uses anything in your past, anything you have done to intimidate you, or if he spreads rumors or falsehoods about you it means he is angry and losing control. Do not be intimidated.  Get help immediately. Do not be sucked into his vortex.
  • If you have been a witness to illegal activities report it to law enforcement.  Ask for a victim’s advocate.
  • If you have seen your messenger do any of these things to others in the group take note, it is a sign of his true character. You are empowering him and supporting abuse.
  • Prepare for your escape and protection by getting help.

(The above may or may not apply).

I believe in freedom of religion. I do not believe in freedom to abuse others.  Deception and fraud are not protected under “religious freedom”.

I was a victim of CMN – so I am speaking from personal experience.  (I am familiar with many of the tactics above).

I do not believe CMN is a “Messenger” any more than I am, nor do I believe that the Humanity Party is the answer to solve our world’s poverty problems.  I will explain more in later posts about what I believe could be one of the answers to poverty.

I certainly hope no one would take someone like CMN seriously.  A leader? A humanitarian? Feed the hungry and take care of the orphans? CMN still owes back child-support to me.  He has never made amends.

I will open my portal for those individuals who message me on my Facebook, or Vickie’s Grin who need help.  I have already received anonymous messages, and will help whenever possible. Otherwise, I am closing my portal to those who are harassing me.

If you are a believer and happy, this message is not intended for you.

Coach Tricia      

“Tricia, Tricia, Tricia –

Do you really need to keep texting me to join your new fit challenge?  Besides the recent e-mails, I received two texts in one week. I was the woman who joined your fitness challenge last year and then quit before the challenge ended. Besides being a terrible challenger, I would have NEVER thrown money into the pot for your top weight losers had I known you would constantly be promoting Herbalife after joining.

Chanting for a Herbalife chaser is hitting rock bottom.  The only positive was my sister winning a pot of money without buying your Herbalife.  Please be more honest.

I am shutting my fitness portal to Coach Tricia, and all other promoters, by blocking unwanted numbers and email addresses.

Mormon Missionaries

This Christmas season while I was at work, the Mormon missionaries came to our door while I was gone.  Unbeknownst to me, they were invited back and shared a movie with my daughter.  The sisters also invited my daughter to a live nativity with a reminder: “World-wide day of service is December 1st”.

I would not have minded my daughter getting some education about, or from, the LDS Church with my knowledge.

I have shut that portal.

Billboards and False Advertising 

When I drive home from work I pass one of those “Come visit Moab” billboards.  I pass both the Moab billboard and the Scientology billboards.  Several billboards.

The reason why the Moab sign negatively affects me is because of unresolved issues when I was living in Utah, including Moab where I was groomed for polygamy. The geographical beauty doesn’t take those memories away.  It is my former connection with cults, and knowing that innocent people in Utah are being deceived by the appearance of something that looks wholesome and inviting, and yet, is harmful.

The billboard and signs on buses advertising Utah symbolize the machination of something attractive on the outside and rotten in the inside.

Recently one of my nieces was being sneakily recruited by her own boss into Scientology. She had no idea the professional business was also a lure until after being invited to Florida (Scientology headquarters). The communication teaching, and Scientology photographs posted on the wall is easy to miss when you aren’t looking. Luckily my darling niece figured it out.

I wasn’t so lucky before being recruited into Mormon Fundamentalism.

Since it is an impossibility to control pesky signs, and because I want others to have their freedom of speech, I am closing the portal to these uncomfortable messages.  Instead I stick in a CD to the musical “La La Land” and lala those billboards away.

I am now attracted to “cities of light”.

Intruders

This blogpost was intended to give examples of some recent intruders, something my daughter would say – “first world problems, Mom.”  Partly as a written and visual reminder to myself.

There are many more important problems in the world than learning time management and how to control my day. Unfortunately, without religion, and someone leading me this is my life – learning to take accountability and control of my day.

Fortunately, I got this handled!

Intruders are not only people they are material items, emails, paperwork, phone calls, re-runs on television, too many of the same cute animal videos, and other distractions. THINGS that often do not give back. They are not only intruders they are feeders who suck the life and energy out of me.

I am shutting my portal to these costly interferences and creating a situation where I am naturally drawn towards something of value, instead of something less valuable.

It really does take a plan

Religion and religious leaders have used similar strategies to control people.  The problem is that the religion dictates the plan of action instead of the individual. If a person doesn’t fit into the mold of that religion or dictator, it is harmful to stay.

This reasoning, each person being unique and not always able to fit into a pre-prescribed role, is why I know the Mormon Church is false.  For example, should a woman who suffers from mental health issues be forced to give her husband more wives and told she will be destroyed if she doesn’t live polygamy? Of course not.

My great-grandmother, raised in the Mormon Church, immensely faithful and active to her religion and husband, nearly died with her four children. The pressures were too much.  As I read through old letters, not only did she suffer from anxiety, she was a perfectionist.  I am so glad someone helped her and her children off a railroad track that ominous day.  Although she spent the rest of her life in a mental hospital in Provo, Utah the baby she held in arms that day, my Grandmother, was loved and well-cared for by relatives.

“Hey, Mormon God, how does that scenario fit into you plan of salvation?”

Could my great-grandmother have stood the test of polygamy, if she was Emma Smith?

Closing portal.

Working on my plan

Some people believe this life is destiny; foreordination or predestination or the perfect formula of what was and will be.  I believe this life is about choices, and the more educated we become the better our choices.  Better choices and action can lead a person to a healthier life.

I have been shutting the portals lately in my life, trying to prioritize.  For the next few days I am going to be working on an individual and family mission statement, and the portals I want to open.

 

 

Monday Morning Blogpost: Meltdown Monday! Mental Health Day!

No lesson this week.

It’s been a rough week.  It started out like this—“It’s nearly midnight and I am too angry to sleep.  I even cried today, which I rarely cry, especially in a public place.  I told my boyfriend, ‘I haven’t been so angry since I left Utah,’ and then I cried more.”

Women are often stigmatized for getting emotional.  I am finally learning to embrace everything about myself—yes, swear words, and all.

It’s easy for me to get angry and slip into a depression because I tend to keep my emotions, and what I am really thinking, inside.

Last week my daughter, who does comedy, called me up and said, “A man in a suit came up to me after my performance last night, and asked if he could make a suggestion. I told him ‘of course’ thinking that maybe he was a producer, or the microphone needed readjusting.  His advice was ‘You know you really don’t need to mention ‘Utah’ in your joke.’”

“Utah was the punchline,” she said.  “Without the punchline the joke would have gone nowhere.”

F-you! All the men who have tried to control me, and my daughters.

We live in California, and I have no idea if this man was a Mormon, or not.  Or, if he is from Utah. His comment  clearly came at the wrong time; due to earlier readings and conversations in the week, my emotions were triggered.

In order for me to stay true to myself, and these blogposts, I have decided to start with a social problem that is important to me as a woman– gender inequality.  I believe one tactic men use to control women is religion, and I believe this is occurring more in Utah than any other state in our nation.

I once believed that “anger” was evil, and a “natural enemy” to god —many women from the FLDS polygamous group have been told to “keep sweet” by their religious leaders.  I was told by my husband to never voice my opinion, if it was contrary to his, unless he asked.  Now I realize that anger is an emotion that is often caused by frustration—it helps protect us, kicks us in the butt, and motivates us to make changes in our life (if we don’t do anything about our situation, it can lead to anxiety and depression).

If there was a God would he care more about anger and using profanity, or allowing human rights to be violated?

After a dozen attempts at trying to suppress my emotions, I could not prepare for Monday School lesson. I was too angry.  Later in the morning, I went to my Facebook page to look at my posts, thinking that maybe if I read my personal Facebook page, and revisited some of the inspirational quotes, I would be more likely to follow my own advice.

It took awhile.

Eventually, after reading a quote from Hermann Hesse, and turning it around a bit, I was reminded that my anger is part of me.  In order to find that stillness, that sanctuary that we all deserve, it means accepting ourselves.

I have been able to let go of the recent anger (and I am certain it will come back again, and then I will let it go…).

As soon as I get home, I will try to write again.

hermann hesse

Hopefully, I will be more prepared for next week.

Monday School Blog: GPS to Heaven, please

Welcome to Monday School!  This is where you don’t have to dress up or get out of bed.

Besides being a self-ordained female teacher and believing that females can also lead, there are several other reasons I encourage Monday school.

My lessons will provide:

1) Reasons why you should never put your trust in a Sunday school lesson or any religion that purports to have all the answers—or anyone who says they have all the answers 2) Emphasis on the here and now with earthly rewards and 3) Free-thought.

If there is a heaven, I would like a GPS navigating me.  There are too many religions that believe they have the “true” “one and only” “perfect” map to heaven. I refuse to put my life on hold while I study every religion and set of scriptures out there.  Have you ever had a library of the Journal of Discourses? Read the entire Bible, Torah, Quran?  These scriptures are about men, men, men.  Where are the women?

lots_wife_pillar_of_salt

If I had not grown up in a Mormon family, I could have been a Catholic, Baptist, Jehovah Witness, Scientologist, Christian, Islamic, or a member of any number of religions. I could have spent my life worshipping a false God and bickering with other people because I thought my religion was best.  Or, I could have remained silent and smug.

Although religion is not for me—it is for some people.  The truth is I get anxious making certain I get to work on time, let alone trying to get to heaven on time or navigating the right path to get there.

As I go through life, I choose and pick teachings from various sources that work for me (last week I picked Weight Watchers). Much of my ethics and lifestyle comes from my Mormon background, and much of my wisdom comes from experience.  Mistakes and all.

I remember as a kid in Sunday school learning the importance of scriptures, and how following the word of God was supposed to guide me to heaven.

My Sunday school teacher compared the scriptures and modern day teachings to a roadmap and signs, and asked her class, “Can you imagine what would happen if we didn’t have a map or use stop lights?”

intersection2

All I could imagine was an intersection of colliding cars. I never considered that the stop signs and lights (hateful scriptures I was reading about minorities—including the subjugation of women) were old, and needed replacing.  I never considered that each driver was unique, and may have wanted to use a different route.

As a child, I never contemplated that individuals choose different places to visit and live, and it was perfectly okay to be different.

In early morning family scripture reading, I also remember reading about another journey using the Liahona. This story in the “Book of Mormon” was about Lehi’s family who traveled through the wilderness together with brass plates (important history), so they could reach the Promised Land. The Liahona was a compass given to Lehi from God, which if faithful and obedient guided his family. Some of the family members, the brothers Laman and Lemuel, often acted out and were disobedient. In this particular story, at least the part I remember, one bad apple or unfaithful family member spoiled the rest.  There were treacherous times at sea because when the brothers were rebellious the waters became thrashing waves, nearly drowning the family.  After being humbled and repenting, the sea became calm.  (Finally man was separated by skin color).

liahona

As a young child, the compass story helped reinforce family togetherness, and the importance of God’s chosen sticking together. At a tender age, I never considered that scripture stories could be made-up stories to produce a certain controlled behavior.  I never realized that someday many Mormons, including myself, would walk the plank for asking questions, and not sharing the same testimony.

I can understand—sometimes paths are not the same.  Sometimes forks are in the road, but the path you chose is the right path no matter how hard or difficult.  (I will write about free-agency later).  Regardless, we can still be kind and loving.

The straight and narrow path leading to the tree of life was another map story in the Book of Mormon.  As a child, I believed there was only one way to get to heaven.  I never thought about how my religious leaders, who were telling me how to get to heaven, had never been there themselves.  (Btw: Who hires a tour guide who hasn’t ever been to the spot they advertise?)

narrow path and tree of life

I had always trusted the person leading me. I never considered that the map my teachers were using, the scriptures, were older than a scene from the “Raiders of the Lost Ark”.  I never considered that my religious leaders, who were supposed to be an updated version of a map, were really caught between two worlds—the old and the new. Plus, they were men holding onto the same archaic ideologies they had been taught.

Though the world is filled with people committing horrific human rights violations—I believe we are not going backwards.  I believe we are continually evolving.

This week I watched this You Tube video from a father who composed a song for his daughters. I love this because it represents moving forwards—not only do we have technology to create music videos for the world to see, which can support cultural diversity and send positive messages to our children, it represents the power we each have to make a difference in this world.

Love Yourself

Youtube Video

Mormon Sunday school taught a message of loving your neighbor as yourself, yet the people we really need to love are often the non-neighbor – “those over there” (poor, homeless, needy,  people that are different, etc..).

There are many contradictions in life.

Last week I started Weight Watchers and I am not a fan of Oprah Winfrey.  In fact, I believe she has been very irresponsible when it involves educating the public about polygamy.  No biggie— I will still go to my WW meetings, and look at the Oprah poster on the wall.  (Self-talk) I will separate my personal biases because I don’t have to believe or love everything about Oprah to go to Weight Watchers.  I know the program works.

Likewise, although I am not a Christian, many individuals and families find inspiration from attending church. I went to church a couple weeks ago to listen to some jazz music.  I was grateful for the religious leaders hosting an important event for children, and providing a beautiful venue.  Next month, I am working alongside a church that helps the homeless because I believe in volunteerism and clergy-community action.

There are so many options and choices.

Interesting articles & images this week (topics of future blogposts):

War Criminal

 

 

 

 

Adolf Eichmann

Psychic      Expensive Psychic

Militia

 

Choices and Consequences…..

                                              

 

 

I believe that direction and guidance are very important; part of our human nature is following others.  Unlike many of our non-human friends, we are able to use our cognitive abilities. That is what Monday School is about—learning to control our own life, and not be controlled by others.

M-1441 - MAY 11, 2002 - WALTHAM : Blissfully unaware of traffic, a Canada goose and her young cross busy Winter Street at the intersection of Route 128 , Tuesday afternoon, May 7, 2002 in Waltham, Mass. The very young siblings followed their mother's every move to and from nearby Totten Pond. AP/PTI

Have a nice week!