Sigh…..I am going to conquer myself if it takes me the rest of my life. I hope my bishop’s nerves can take it.
Yesterday, unlike Ron’s ward, the woman gave the closing prayer. As has happened pretty much since that first two weeks when the news came out. I think twice women have given the opening prayer. I kept saying, “keep your mouth shut.” But I didn’t listen. So I mentioned it to our new bishop (three–no four? months in; young–he used to play with my son!) He was very cordial and acknowledged they just hadn’t paid attention, that usually they ask the couple and it just washes out that way.

Then a five minute meeting was called right after Sunday School. Well, they said it would be five minutes and basically it was. The first counselor in the bishop spoke for a minute on the benefits of scouting, then they handed out forms to donate to Friends of Scouting and said they wanted us all to donate and they’d be at either door to take the donations. I grabbed the form from Bill’s hand (he, looking confused; me with an “I’ll handle this” attitude) and took it with me into Relief Society (they said the would also be into Relief Society to pick up any donations they’d missed) where I wrote “I refuse” on the first line and signed my name. When aforementioned poor bishop walked by the door, I handed it to him and said I objected to what had gone down. I told him we always donated, but I wasn’t going to this year. (Well, we probably will, but I was in the heat of the moment.) He was very nice about it and said I didn’t need to turn it back in if I wasn’t going to donate; no big deal.

Then the lesson in Relief Society was on temple marriage and I braced myself again. I’ve been reading Cheiko Okazaki’s last book, which encourages us to speak out in meetings when others talk crap. Crap like “we’re perfect and anybody who’s not like us sucks.”

There’s one sister who makes that kind of comment every week and she and I are on the outs (I don’t think she knows it LOL) over her condemnation of blogging. Which I refuted, but I’m not perfect enough to have totally forgiven her yet. The teacher was a bit lost in introducing the temple marriage topic and asked the question “how does the world view marriage?” And there were the expected comments about gay marriage and how “man” has demeaned the institution of marriage. I couldn’t stop myself. I raised my hand and said, “everyone in this room is ‘man’—when we are talking about the mistakes ‘man’ makes, we must look to ourselves.”

Just ran off their backs. Later the teacher made sensitive comments about those whose marriage situation doesn’t meet the ideal. She’s a wonderful girl who I know would never intentionally steer a lesson in any kind of judgemental direction.

This morning, I read Klein’s Daughter’s defense of her father and thought “how the hell did I miss this wonderful post?” DKL is one smart son-of-a-gun. I read something I posted about how the stake presidency didn’t like me much (which is kind of true), but then I read this nugget by DKL: “Criticizing church leadership carries with it its own stigma, and fear of this stigma means that in practice the principle “Where more is given, more is required” usually applies only to those to whom little is given; e.g., to missionaries instead of to mission presidents, to members instead of to leaders.”

I wasn’t going to put this up. I’m trying to be a more humble and forgiving person, after all, having had my life changing experiences. I want to go to church and not stand out as the problem child. I have a testimony. I genuinely like most of my leaders one on one. But when they get together, they do things that chap my hide. And sometimes hurt others. So few of us speak up when these things happen. I guess it would be chaos if we all stood up. But what if? What if someone had said, “I’m not comfortable with this” during that five minute episode of emotional, Nazi-ish blackmail into supporting the scouting program. What if the leaders listened?

I have no pat answers. I wish I were a different person. But maybe God needs me to be who I am. Still a rebel.