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I remember telling my new husband that love is not a pie. I told him this because there is always a worry with a widow that her heart is never wholy yours.
Love is not a finite resource that is doled out and diminished, like a cherry pie. It is an infinite resource that actually grows when given/used. You discover this when you have your second child… or your next husband.
There is no one who understands this concept more than God, our Heavenly Father. And I have never seen a scripture that says “love God more than your wife.” In fact, one could argue, “as Christ loved the church,” is an argument for loving your wife as much as God.
I think where people get confused is the phrase “Putting God First.” This was not meant to put God before your wife in your heart. While God is a jealous God, if you think of the logical gospel context (God is nothing if not logical) he would never object to you having as much love for a person as he has for you, and let’s face it, you’ll not ever get to that point in mortality. Even Christ shrunk from that responsibility.
When you “see” the scriptures or talks from modern day seers and revelators in ASL (American sign language ), you can see it is directional. It is simple. It is clear in a language that values clarity about e all else.
Putting God First is directional, not emotional. God is your navigator. Only he knows where you want to end up. Your spouse is as clueless about the final destination as you are. To follow your spouse or even ask them to lead you if you were not positive they were following the map of the only navigator available to you would be folly. It would be as senseless in real life as it is spiritually. That is, in fact, how you can testify of the truth of it. There is always a real world parallel to spiritual concepts. This is why parables are so effective.
I admit that I cringe a little when people say they put God first in their lives. The way I feel about it is my earth father would never expect me to put him before my husband, but in matters of life experience, he would necessarily expect me to defer to his earthly knowledge over my husbands.
In my opinion the gospel is not hypocritical. Concepts and precepts are applicable universally. If you wouldn’t put your earthly father before your spouse on earth, then God could not expect you to do it while heaven bound.
The phrase “I put God first in my marriage ” is too confusing to laymen, and leads communication problems in marriage itself between genders already prone to miscommunication. I think we need to defer to the deaf on this matter. “God above others. ” And it makes sense this way. It is simple, clear and does not put your spouse below you in order of importance, in fact it puts you with them, following God in the direction you should both be ne nessarily be headed if following God: upward and onward.
I don’t think you can appreciate how obvious Sam’s feelings were because he not only would grumble, not knowing who was around or in ear shot, but he would type out his grumbles when he was at the computer and just not hit enter. It didn’t matter, however, because his screen was so huge everyone in the room could read it. I had to force myself to not read or to try to pretend as if I hadn’t seen. Sam and his thoughts were literally public almost always. He was always really interested in truth and honesty, but he knew that it was important to not take everything people said at face value. Sam was a scary guy sometimes. He had that wandering eye that wasn’t quite able to focus on you when he looked at you, besides him being blind. Being deaf just made it harder because he would grumble so much louder than he realized. Everyone knew what he thought. It was hard then at first to accept him at his word when he said things that did not agree with his grumbles. It became easier because his actions were so clear that they started to speak louder than his grumbles. In the end, it was clear that what goes on inside our heads, those negative thoughts, all came out with Sam. That was only clear because Sam’s actions: the little gifts of donuts for the kids, candies, flowers for me, going to church with us, going to scouts and young women-sitting in the foyer just to be with us, just for us to be family (as normal as we could be), being cheerful even when he was so tired of his disabilities… All those actions and many more made Sam’s Grumbles something we just ignored as an external version of what normally happens inside. We still love him for all the little things he used to do for us. Now we try to do things we think he would have volunteered for: Feeding families in need, working at the church, helping friends that helped us.
Feel incredibly depressed today, but I also feel like I don’t have a right to be depressed.
A good friend passed away this week. I knew there was trouble because I hadn’t heard from his wife in a while (with a personal contact). His wife was essentially my mentor in ASL. She is a professional interpreter who corrected me, taught me and helped me through my trials in the Deaf Community and with the problems of having a deaf spouse brings into a family. I generally know enough now that I have been on my own in most cases regarding ASL, but when it came to family problems, she and her husband, who just passed, were always there to help us through them.
Before this friend passed away, he had been through a coma/stroke that affected his brain. He almost died. It was remarkable that he pulled through it. The Deaf Branch prayed and fasted for him, and he recovered. He was remarkably recovered, but there were still obvious new quirks that reminded us that he had not got back everything he had lost. His wife spent a lot of time with him, helping in his recovery, the therapy, and just enduring the times when he wasn’t quite himself. This is where we became more similar as a couple than we had before. She had frustrations when her husband wasn’t quite himself like I did, and frustrations when her husband thought he could do things that he used to do before when she would have to remind him that it just wasn’t possible now, like I do sometimes too. In this way we commiserated and supported each other.
Then her husband got cancer. It must have been quite a blow to have recovered from one near death experience only to face another.
Her husband was one of My Hobbit’s dearest friends. They traded hats like some kids trade CCG’s.
I asked My Hobbit how he was doing, because I could tell he was feeling low after the Memorial for this dear friend, and he said: “I am doing ok. I didn’t cry.” And I said: “I cried for you.” And I think I did.
I am very sober this evening. I am glad that the challenges we have at our house have given us an opportunity to be so close and spend so much time together, even if it presents other challenges (like financial challenges) that are difficult to navigate. I am glad to have My Hobbit, for as long as I have him, and now I am even glad for the challenges that have brought us so low financially. I get to be with him, my eternal companion, much more often than I would be if I worked. I think, after the Memorial today, that I appreciate that much more than I ever have before.
The prophet Joseph Smith said that he felt worn and shaped like a rough stone rolling, with all the rough edges knocked off of him. I feel like that a lot – like a rock in a tumbler, with no control over who/what I hit in the process or where I will rebound. How strange and funny that we feel worn smooth or thin (like butter spread over too much bread), when the world sees us as harder and more solid. Though we feel worn smooth, we also feel less like the child full of wonder who actually found smooth stones quite remarkable…
My Hobbit: i just wonder if there’s more ‘science’ than we think in scripture
Me: well, I’m pretty sure that scriptures/prophets weren’t all that concerned with science. That’s like asking an astronomer what he thinks about rotating crops: you know? It’s really not fair to expect them to be an expert in both fields, especially when that option really wasn’t available to them. They knew about sheep. They could tell you how to breed a good ewe. That’s about all the science they knew, but for their time, that was pretty damned important and yet, people always expect prophets to know more about science than scientists know about faith (or sheep).
About the case of the deaf blind twins that had themselves put to death because they didn’t want to live with being both deaf and blind. They were deaf and going blind at the time they decided that life just isn’t good enough if you can’t hear and see (and you thought AUDISM was bad? What do you call it when the deaf think it’s so horrible not to be able to SEE that you should just DIE?):
I wanted to tell you why this was an evil thing these brothers did.
My husband has Ushers Syndrome and has been deaf since he was six and living with a deteriorating vision for most of his life. He still tells tales about ‘blind camp.’ That was when he could still actually see. Now, we have a blog that chronicles our life together, the adventures of the deaf-blind and we try to focus on the positive: https://withclosedcaptions.wordpress.com.
There is no cure for Ushers Syndrome. Sam is rapidly losing the little vision he has. He is having a lot of problems accepting the fact–despite everything we tell him–that he still has value. There is not a job he can do that is more valuable to us than working at home raising the kids, but he does other things for me, like help me edit my work and research, besides being my emotional recharge, my spiritual rock and my best friend. Society doesn’t value a stay at home dad very much, and obviously, from the above story, it doesn’t even really value a deaf-blind person.
This double suicide didn’t just affect these two brothers. No. This affected my husband. If the deaf people didn’t think they had a value if they went blind, how can anyone expect society to think they do?
Katherine Sebilius’ said “Some people live, some people die” as if there were no value to a life that didn’t fit in a box on a chart in some census file. This is exactly the mindset that these deaf brothers understood.
Every time my husband goes through a bout of depression, we struggle to show him how much he means to us. You know who we have to fight? That influence from the government, the media, and now these two deafblind brothers who think being deaf and blind is too much to bear. They even use the excuse that they don’t want to be a burden to their family. What did their family say? They waved goodbye and had a ‘rich conversation?’ Are you freaking kidding me??!!
F*** you for not fighting this tooth and nail so I and all of my friends who are deaf and might one day go blind didn’t have to fight it. Screw you for going down silently to that last sleep. I hope those deafblind brothers spend as much time in hell as we spend struggling to keep my husband uplifted and positive. (even though I don’t really believe in “hell”)
You think these sorts of decisions don’t affect other people? You think they only impact the disabled, or the chronically ill? Think again. It may cost me the best man I’ve ever known. Friends and family say these two brothers were good men. Take a look around you. Do you really think society can afford to lose a lot more good men?
As for me and my house… We will fight tooth and nail to continue to support and uplift the sanctity of each life, no matter the disability.
The Valley Of The Sham
I saw The Great and Secret Show
Lost in the Valley of the Damned
Got past the shame and saw the Sham
I loved the Demons, I loved the Whores
The Light of God shone through the Doors
Caught in a rabbit Trap I never made
My Soul transmuted beneath the shade
The Fire burns, it burns so well
I never knew your Heaven was my Hell.
In ASL, the sign for miracle is “wonderful happening.” The ASL sign manages to be much less problematic than the English word.
So Jesus rose from the dead? That’s a wonderful happening. Jesus walked on the water? That’s a wonderful happening too. You just got a job? Wonderful happening. Your wife had a baby? Wonderful happening! Your cat had kittens? Well that’s wonderful too, but I’m not sure that’s actually a happening. You got a cochlear implant? Hmmm… well, that’s your choice.
Okay, I guess sometimes the concept is problematic even in ASL.
–by Sam Campbell, aka Noelle’s Hobbit 🙂