Oh, England; I Love You So.

I can’t say precisely when I first loved England. Perhaps my raging anglophilia began with my mother’s choice of bedtime readings: Ten in the Bed, The Water-Babies, “Bessie’s Boil,” or James Herriot. Perhaps it began with television: The Chronicles of Narnia or The Scarlet Pimpernel or (my somewhat confused) late-night sneakings downstairs to catch Red Dwarf or Doctor Who -Oh! or Keeping Up Appearances!

Whether begun there or in some unknown infancy, I can admit to my affection’s growing through a guilty pleasure: BBC broadcasts. I remember paying rapt attention whenever they interrupted my listening to KBYU, the local LDS University’s classical music station.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

There was class! There was distinction! There was the most correct, proper way to pronounce …anything. I harbored a secret dream to one day be able to speak in as refined a manner as the BBC radio announcers.

I even practiced.

Erm… practised.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I read a lot as a child, my preferred genre being fantasy and adventure. My preferred period was the Any-time of Probably-England or its nearby Kingdoms. From Narnia I found Prydain; from thence, Cornwall; then the moors; Darrowby; Wonderland. England and its surrounds became synonymous with the romantic locales of magic and imagination.

My infatuation grew. Was it my heritage, being mostly of British descent? Was it my love of beef and potatoes? My odd sense of humo(u)r? My name?

Do I think I’m unique in this adoration? No. Look at the British Empire’s reach or at the popularity of The Beatles or Harry Potter.

I believe most of the world reserves a tender spot for that soggy land. Whether most of the world wishes to enter England’s sogginess through a magic wardrobe is another story -but the tenderness is there. Right?

©2022 Chel Owens

I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon, so I take the Sacrament each week at church -if I’m worthy to do so*.

LDS Media Library
(And it’s my favorite Sacrament picture, since this is clearly how a family of boys behaves at church.
)

A Latter-day Saint sacrament meeting follows exactly the same format no matter which building you’re attending anywhere in the world, as I noted when I talked about Sunday worship.

First, the service opens with a congregational hymn, followed by the invocation (opening prayer). A member of the bishopric welcomes everyone and outlines the program. He’ll invite the attendees to prepare for the Sacrament by singing a sacramental hymn.

During the singing, at least one man who holds the Aaronic Priesthood at the level of priest (or higher) will prepare little trays with little cups of water and little trays with bits of broken bread. At the conclusion of the hymn, one priest will say the prayer for bread; the deacons and/or teachers will then distribute a bread piece to the highest order of priesthood in attendance (usually the bishop) and then to everyone else. They repeat this process of prayer and distribution with the water.

The bread is a symbol of Jesus Christ’s body. The water is a symbol of His blood. He suffered for the sins of all mankind and sacrificed himself for us.

Taking the Sacrament is a reaffirming of a member’s covenants s/he made at baptism:

When you were baptized, you entered into a covenant with God. You promised to take upon yourself the name of Jesus Christ, keep His commandments, and serve Him to the end (see Mosiah 18:8–10D&C 20:37). You renew this covenant each time you partake of the sacrament (see 20:77, 79).

LDS Study Manual, True to the Faith, “Baptism

We LDS are encouraged to prepare for sacrament meeting leading up to Sunday, repent of any sins needing repentance, and pray for forgiveness as we take the bread and water. The end result will be the same as when we were baptized: fresh, clean, and ready for a new week!

After the Sacrament service follows a varied program that usually involves members talking from the pulpit about an assigned gospel topic. The meeting ends with another hymn and the benediction (closing prayer).

See Wikipedia for a fairly decent, somewhat-more-expounded version.

©2022 Chel Owens

*Worthiness to take the Sacrament comes into question when a member has been asked not to as part of his/her repentance process or if s/he does not feel worthy. If a person does not feel worthy, s/he is recommended to speak to a member of the bishopric.

……

We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many still run with the nickname of ‘Mormon,’ however, I will keep pace.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I ought to, but am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.

I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon, so I don’t have any tattoos or excessive body piercings.

Photo by Wilson Vitorino on Pexels.com

Our bodies -everyone’s- are created in the image of our heavenly father. Our bodies house the spirit that makes us a child of God. As such, we’ve been asked to keep ourselves clean in many ways: avoiding alcohol or recreational drugs, keeping to healthy habits, maintaining an appropriate sexual purity, and ensuring our bodies are free from permanent inking or extra piercings.

An appropriate number of body piercings has been defined as one pair of earrings, in the lobe of each ear, for females. Naturally, a person may have preexisting tattoos or holes; he or she is not expected to pay out to remove these. Everyone is expected to honor his or her covenants to Heavenly Father to keep him- or herself clean, as outlined, moving forward.

©2022 Chel Owens

……

We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many recognize the nickname of ‘Mormon’ and it works with the alliteration so well, however, I will use the term.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.

I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon, so I support families and family life.

LDS Media Library

Families are central to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We’re taught their importance from a very young age; the expectation is that everyone will try to marry (and be sealed in the temple) and raise his or her own children in a righteous environment. In the end, we have the chance to be together forever.

The Lord has designated the family to be the basic unit of the Church and of society. As used in the scriptures, a family consists of a husband and wife, children, and sometimes other relatives living in the same house or under one family head. A family can also be a single person living alone, a single parent with children, or a husband and wife without children.
…God organizes us into families so that we can experience happiness and learn patience and selflessness. These traits help us become more like God and prepare us to live happily as families throughout eternity.

LDS Gospel Topics, “Family”

This emphasis also sets up a pattern of patriarchy: the father is responsible for presiding over his family and providing for and protecting them. The mother is primarily a nurturer.

Marriage is between a man and a woman.

Children are only to be born to a married couple -as in, the couple needs to be married before making babies.

Permanent birth control measures are discouraged.

Connecting with one’s family is also tantamount, and will be discussed when I write about family history and temple work.

LDS Media Library

The way Kevin and I have been able to live this life is by his being the main breadwinner while I stay home and write blog posts. We have six boys so far, and are raising them with the expectation that they will marry and care for their own families one day.

©2022 Chel Owens

……

We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many still run with the nickname of ‘Mormon,’ however, I will keep pace.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I ought to, but am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.

I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon, so I believe in not masturbating, fornicating, or committing adultery. As mentioned before, no immorality.

Photo by Jeremy Wong on Pexels.com

This promise falls under the law of chastity.

Chastity is sexual purity. Those who are chaste are morally clean in their thoughts, words, and actions. Chastity means not having any sexual relations before marriage. It also means complete fidelity to husband or wife during marriage.

LDS Student Manual, “Chastity”

Sexual purity is very important. We’ve been given a physical body in the image of our Heavenly Father and have been told to keep it sacred.

So …why is sex okay for Mormons?

[Because] [p]hysical intimacy between husband and wife is beautiful and sacred. It is ordained of God for the creation of children and for the expression of love within marriage.
…Sometimes people try to convince themselves that sexual relations outside of marriage are acceptable if the participants love one another. This is not true. Breaking the law of chastity and encouraging someone else to do so is not an expression of love. People who love each other will never endanger one another’s happiness and safety in exchange for temporary personal pleasure.
When people care for one another enough to keep the law of chastity, their love, trust, and commitment increase, resulting in greater happiness and unity. In contrast, relationships built on sexual immorality sour quickly. Those who engage in sexual immorality often feel fear, guilt, and shame. Bitterness, jealousy, and hatred soon replace any positive feelings that once existed in their relationship.

LDS Student Manual, “Chastity”

Breaking the law of chastity happens. Since it’s a serious sin, one must talk to his or her bishop as part of the repentance process. Depending on the severity of the sin, the errant member may also need to attend a court; the court may then decide to disfellowship or excommunicate the member.

Don’t worry -a former member of the LDS church may reapply for membership after repentance and the recommendation of his or her bishop.

©2022 Chel Owens

……

We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many recognize the nickname of ‘Mormon’ and it works with the alliteration so well, however, I will use the term.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I ought to, but am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.

04/21/2022 of COVID-19 Life

I haven’t written about local COVID conditions since last October. Considering how compulsively I felt the need to describe life constricting around me when The Plague first came around, I should describe life releasing one again with as much compulsion.

Rather than label my error as ‘pessimism,’ I’ll optimistically posit that where things are heading now is what I am accustomed to; what is normal. Where things headed in spring of 2020 looked like the plot line for a dystopian novel.

Speaking of lines, things are flattening out once again…

Thanks, coronavirus.utah.gov. An important note is that this is one graph, no matter the variant tested for.

In Utah, the public atmosphere is mixed. Everyone behaves as if no pandemic existed, exists, or will exist again. …mostly. Public stores have lingering signs on the doors about masking or staying home if sick. I see a patron here or there, sporting the determined half-covered-face look.

We were not asked to mask at three sons’ pediatrician appointments; we were at a different pediatrician appointment for a different son.

I’ve visited a new dentist as a normal, everyday person; an old endodontist as a masked, must-be-healthy, sign-all-these-haven’t-had-a-cold-or-been-vacationing threat.

I faced a similar interrogation in taking Boy #6 to an appointment to look at his Sloth-like head shape:

©2022 Chel Owens

You know, Sloth-like in the back. His front is very smiley and social. As a side note: those baby helmet thingies are really, really expensive. They’re the orthodontics of infants with a similar price tag and aversion to insurance coverage.

On the plus side, the few times I hear of a person contracting Coronavirus I also hear words like “mild case,” “not bad,” and “feel fine now.” Encouragement to be boosted is seen on a billboard here, and a notice at the doctor’s office there -but I don’t feel hammered on the head about it. I am not in the workforce, however, so the environment might be different in that pool.

Inflation is finally accepted as happening. I guess the emperor couldn’t keep people looking at promotional ads for nudity any longer. Whatever; the prices are what they are. Maybe we can go back to an agrarian lifestyle …once the housing market settles down.

—–

©2022 Chel Owens

I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon, so I wear sacred temple garments underneath my clothing at all times*.

As young as eighteen**, we Latter-day Saints may answer worthiness questions posed by our local bishopric and then a member of our local stake presidency. We are then given a temple recommend and may enter the holy temple. Therein, we promise to wear these special underclothes as part of the covenants we make:

To Church members, the modest temple garment, worn under normal clothing, along with the symbolic vestments worn during temple worship, represent the sacred and personal aspect of their relationship with God and their commitment to live good, honorable lives.

Newsroom for the LDS Church

In our day the garment encourages modesty, but its significance is much deeper. For Church members who have received the endowment, the garment reminds them of their connection to God, their commitment to follow His will, and the blessings and protection God has promised the faithful. The First Presidency of the Church has stated that how the garment is worn “is an outward expression of an inward commitment to follow the Savior” (First Presidency letter, Oct. 10, 1988).

LDS Gospel Topics Manual, “Garments”

We’ve been asked to keep information about garments sacred. I can (respectfully) tell you that most garments are a simple, fitted top and bottom. They are white, although military personnel and police officers can get green and black garments to match their professional clothing requirements.

I have worn mine as promised since my first visit, with the exception of times I did not feel I was keeping my promises (specifically, during my period of atheism) -and, of course, in exceptions noted below.

©2022 Chel Owens

*I am not expected to wear garments when it’s not appropriate to do so; like in exercising, love-making, or swimming.

**Youth in their twelfth year up till their eighteenth year may also answer worthiness questions, receive a limited recommend, and attend the holy temple in order to participate in a few saving ordinances. Youth do not wear temple garments, although they are expected to dress modestly.

……

We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many still run with the nickname of ‘Mormon,’ however, I will keep pace.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I ought to, but am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.

I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon, so I do not lie.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Pexels.com

I don’t cheat, steal, or tell half-truths.

Every Latter-day Saint promises to be honest in his or her dealings with his or her fellow man or woman, when answering questions about worthiness to attend the temple (more on that, later). That promise is also part of the whole ‘be like Jesus’ thing from baptism.

Why worry about honesty?

When we are honest in every way, we are able to enjoy peace of mind and maintain self-respect. We build strength of character, which allows us to be of service to God and others. We are trustworthy in the eyes of God and those around us.

LDS Gospel Topics, “Honesty”

Logically, I must admit that I’ve lied, cheated, stolen, and half-truth’ed sometimes. I lied to a salesman last year when I said we’d moved out of state. I cheated in Civ 2 twice. I went through a stealing phase around age 12. And I half-truth to my toddler every time I tell him the cookies are all gone.

The point is the standard’s in place. The expectation is there -and I can (honestly) say, I’m one of the most honest people I know.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

©2022 Chel Owens

……

We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many recognize the nickname of ‘Mormon’ and it works with the alliteration so well, however, I will use the term.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I ought to, but am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.

I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon, so I attend church on Sunday every single week*. The format will be the same no matter what LDS meetinghouse I go to anywhere in the world, as will the general lesson plans and materials used.

Every Sunday*, we LDS attend two hours of church service, split into Sacrament Meeting (more on that, later) and either Sunday School or auxiliary classes.

To elaborate and clarify:
(1) There is always* one hour of Sacrament Meeting. Everyone attends, all together, and sits in family groups -unless they are helping with running the meeting.

(2) There is always* one hour of instruction.
(2A)The first and third Sunday are everyone together in classes by age. Children ages 18 months through eleven-ish years attend Nursery and Primary classes, a combination of a sharing time with a lesson and singing and class instruction by age group. Youth in their twelfth through seventeenth year attend youth Sunday school by age group. Women and men attend Sunday School together.

(2B) The second and fourth Sunday are everyone meeting together by age and sex. Young women recite their theme and discuss announcements; they then split to classes by age, where one of them teaches a lesson. Young men follow the same format.
Women, in a group called the Relief Society, discuss announcements and then learn a lesson together; they are taught by a teacher who is almost always a woman from Relief Society. Men, in a group called the Elders Quorum, follow the same format.

(2C) Yes, there is sometimes a fifth Sunday. Everyone meets together in the Sunday School format of first and third, although there is sometimes a special program planned.

Clear as mud? Anyone is welcome to attend and see what I’m talking about. 😉 We meet every Sunday*; if multiple wards (more on wards, later) need to use one building, the time that each ward’s church starts will be staggered across the day, at intervals like 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 1:00 p.m.

There is also an expected dress code of at least dress shirts and ties with slacks for males, dresses or skirts and nice tops for females. Everyone needs to be clean and modest. It’s not like you’ll get kicked out for showing up in ratty jeans, of course, but regular members are expected to dress nicely as outlined.

©2022 Chel Owens

*This block schedule is not followed: twice a year to instead allow members to watch General Conference (more on that, later), when it’s a ward’s Stake Conference or Regional Conference (wherein members attend two hours of speakers talking about gospel subjects); during initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic (we did at-home church); and whenever Christmas falls on or near to Sunday (when we only have Sacrament Meeting).

……

We Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many still run with the nickname of ‘Mormon,’ however, I will keep pace.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I ought to, but am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.

I’m a Mormon, So…

I’m a Mormon; so I do not watch, read, listen to, or participate in immoral things.

Believe me -this was the least raunchy one when I searched for ‘sexy.’
Photo by Rodolfo Clix on Pexels.com

It’s about virtue.

Virtue “is a pattern of thought and behavior based on high moral standards.” It encompasses chastity and moral purity. Virtue begins in the heart and in the mind. It is nurtured in the home. It is the accumulation of thousands of small decisions and actions. Virtue is a word we don’t hear often in today’s society, but the Latin root word virtus means strength. Virtuous women and men possess a quiet dignity and inner strength. They are confident because they are worthy to receive and be guided by the Holy Ghost.

LDS Gospel Topics, “Virtue”

As youth, we who belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are advised to avoid violent or immoral films, to not listen to risqué music, to never look at pornography, and to keep our thoughts and actions clean. As adults, we’re expected to live similar standards in order to answer questions of worthiness to attend LDS temples (more on that, later). Those questions involve being honest, having a testimony of key gospel points, and striving for moral cleanliness.

As such, I’m not likely to join a swingers group. I am careful about the movies I see. I’m rather prudish in my thinking. Really, it goes along with clean living regarding not drinking alcohol or coffee, not smoking, and trying not to curse. We want a thoroughly clean aspect.

©2022 Chel Owens

……

Technically, we Mormons are officially members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are to drop any name but that. Since many still run with the nickname of ‘Mormon,’ however, I will keep pace.

My other note is that I will keep to official doctrinal practices. I will add my own application of them, especially in response to comments.

My final note is that I LOVE discussing anything I write. Don’t be rude, obviously, but any and all queries or responses are welcome.

My final note beyond the final note is that I do not seek to convert anyone. I ought to, but am motivated by forming connections, answering curiosity, and straightening pictures. So, you’re safe.