Tag Archives: Faith

A Miracle Happened Today

wheat

A miracle happened today! …actually it happened on Saturday – sharing it today.

Saturday evening members of my family were reluctantly, disguised as eagerly, helping me get the house and food ready for a large gathering to be held the next day in our home following my youngest son and child’s mission farewell held at our church. (He has been called to serve a two-year mission for the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the New York New York North Mission Spanish speaking)

It was about 8:30pm I had two large pots of boiling water on the stove cooking pasta. My handyman husband Scott was under the kitchen sink taking apart the disposal to figure out why water was leaking out all over the floor. My grown married children were vacuuming, setting up tables and chairs out on the patio with a lot of laughing, talking and enjoying each other’s company.

Water from the pot on the back burner started boiling over onto the stove top which often happens when I cook with the colandar inside the pot.  I had a dumb idea that I began to execute – I lifted the colander to pour the pasta into the pan to continue cooking – next thing I knew the pot of boiling water was pouring down the front of me drenching my stomach and legs down to my knees… I immediately felt the intense heat and knew I was in trouble.  In a somewhat panicked voice, yet calm, I said, “I just burned myself”  as I grabbed hold of my pant legs to pull the hot fabric away from my skin.  I headed straight for the bathroom and into the shower fully clothed and turned on the cold water – immediately a very distinct voice said “your *garments saved you”.

I went upstairs to my bedroom to assess the damage to my throbbing stomach and legs – I looked like a pink lobster! I sat in the tub with cool water pouring onto my legs for about 30 seconds (yes only 30 seconds – too much to get done downstairs)  I then rubbed  DoTerra Lavender Essential Oil over the burnt area, dressed, knelt giving thanks to my Heavenly Father and resumed position in my kitchen.

My husband and children were very concerned, each voicing their strong opinion, how I should be treating my wound which did NOT include my personal choice of  picking up where I left off.  I assured them I was okay – I shared with them the voice I had heard in the shower and the peace that had come over me. I knew I had been protected and would be okay.  The slight burning sensation continued for about another hour on a small area of my stomach and upper right leg – I continued to apply the Lavender oil.  By 1:30 a.m.  I finished everything on my to-do list and retired to bed finding only two small burn marks on my stomach and a few marks on my leg – the only evidence of what had happened.

I’m feeling very blessed for how this event played out – very different than what it could have been.

P.S. My son’s talk was EXCEPTIONAL – he is very ready to serve the Lord and for all the right reasons. #proudmom

*Just as many observant people around the world wear religiously significant items of clothing to signify their relationship with God, Mormons too wear emblematic garments to remind them of covenants made in the temple. (mormons.org)

Dear Mom and Dad, I am gay.

dear-mom-and-dad

Once a month I blog for Northern Lights, an LDS blog site for Mormon conversations on Sexuality, Gender Identity and Faith. If you follow Becky’s Mack’s Blog of Mild Chaos, or follow me on Facebook or perhaps know me in real life, you know I am very passionate about my religion, faith and family. They are the foundation and core of who I am.  Today I once again speak from my heart sharing my latest Northern Lights blog post with my readers here…

dear-mom-and-dad

Dear mom and Dad,

I am gay…

This blog post is to all the mothers who are grateful none of their children are gay. And also, to the fathers who know all the gay jokes and don’t hold back letting their sons know how they feel about gays. “Can you imagine anyone choosing to be gay?” they gasp.  I’m embarrassed to admit, I once shared those same views.

I write to you parents because my inbox is filled with messages from young men describing all the reasons why they fear telling you – their own mom and dad.  They have gone over every possible scenario of coming out verses continuing to keep their same-gender attraction a secret. They have come to the conclusion that taking their life is the better option.  Then as a one last ditch effort to find answers, they stumble upon my video and feel a pull to reach out.

We talk. We cry. I do all I can to give them hope, sharing resources and reasons to live one more day, week, month  But unfortunately I can NOT promise them that their father will not beat them.  I can not promise them that they will not be kicked out onto the streets.  I can not promise they will be accepted and loved by their family.  Why? Because this is happening right here in our communities.

If people just simply lived the golden rule, my job would be so much easier. People often ask me, “What do you do?” I rattle off, “I’m a mom, grandmother, speaker, author, BUT do you REALLY want to know what do? I SAVE lives”  

AND…

It might be YOUR son, daughter, brother, sister, father, son-in-law that I am corresponding with – YOU don’t know and I will never tell, but I promise you if you REALLY knew them and you REALLY loved them you would see them as God sees them and you would LOVE them all the more, AND they would not be wondering if checking out of this life is a better option than telling you of their struggles.

They are some of the most spiritual, compassionate human beings I know.  If I had the means and the way, there would be no homeless teens living on the street, they would all live in my home, feel loved, needed and valued.

Our Savior Jesus Christ showed us the way – He forgave the repentant, healed the sick, and served without ceasing.

Above all, Jesus was the perfect example of love. “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you. …” (John 13:34.)

When was the last time you put your arm around someone you know is gay, and asked, “How are you doing?”

When was the last time you invited someone you know is gay and their boyfriend or girlfriend over for dinner?

They are NOT contagious, they are NOT pedophiles, they will not teach your children to be gay – they are people – Just like YOU! They fear you as much as you fear them – they don’t know how you are going to respond – will you react with kindness and Christlike love or hatred and fear?

One of the most asked question I get from same-gender attracted young men is, “Why did God make me Mormon and Gay?”  a seemingly no-win situation that they have contemplated, pleaded and prayed over.  When I don’t know the answer, I resort to what I do know, “I know God lives and I know He loves all of His children.  He did not send anyone to earth to fail or to carry an unbearable cross. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that Thomas S. Monson is a true and living Prophet today. I know that Christ bled from every pore for me, you and yes, even our gay brothers and sisters.”  God has not given us all the answers, and I’m okay with that, I trust Him.

An Eternal Perspective  As stated on the official church website mormonsandgays.org“We live in an imperfect world. Not all the pieces of the puzzle seem to fit. But having an eternal perspective and believing in a just and merciful God gives us hope that all will work out in the end.”     

Two of the most asked questions from parents with a gay son or daughter are, “How do I embrace both my gay child and my LDS faith?” and “Can members of the church support marriage equality and still hold a temple recommend?”  The first question for me is easy to answer, the second question not so much.

Elder Todd Christofferson of the quorum of the twelve apostles answered those questions and many others in an interview with KUTV, following the passing of the Utah Non-Discrimination Bill, March of 2015.

Parents, miracles happen when you emulate love and kindness – it heals hearts, reunites and strengthens families and truly saves lives…

Dear mom and dad,

I am gay. I love you.

Please walk with me.

 

 

*Visit LDS Voice(s) of Hope to hear our journey, along with many other Voices of Hope.

Restless Nights

Jeffery C. Olsen  Sunset

I’m a mom.  I’m a worrier.

Thus…

Restless Nights. 

Lately I have had a hard time sleeping, I stay up late, get up early and toss and turn in-between. After another restless night, I logged onto Facebook with the intent to share what was on my mind.  As I wiped the tears from my face, I let my feelings spew onto my Facebook wall…

“It is with great sadness that I write this. It’s been almost a year since my son and I did a video of what it was like growing up living in FEAR of telling your parents or telling anyone you are gay. FEAR of being rejected and contemplating suicide as the best and only answer so no one would know. Ever!

I have received hundreds of emails from gay young men from around the world who stumble upon our video and for the first time feel HOPE—hope that perhaps their parents would or could be as loving. 

AGAIN last night I received another long email from a young man pouring his heart out – his worries – his fears – his lack of feeling any self-worth and battling daily depression – fighting the hurtful things that are said in church and in his home, drilling the confusion and pain even deeper.

This young man is only 18 and feels taking his life would be best—he said his father made it CLEAR to him and his brothers a couple of years ago, when his cousin “came out”, that IF any of his sons were gay they would no longer be his son!  

He said, “I cried myself to sleep that night!”

This young man has chosen not to serve a mission, he is feeling the heat from his leaders and especially his mother. He is so fearful of telling them the REAL reason behind not wanting to serve a mission – so fearful that he just wants to end his life – feeling THAT would be the better option rather than have his parents know they have a gay son who is dying inside and has been battling depression most his life because of his inner battle.

His story mirrors TOO many young men I hear from—SERIOUSLY this has to STOP! CHILDREN deserve to feel loved especially from their parents. It broke my heart to know my husband and I had created a home where our own son lived in FEAR of telling us—fear of rejection. Our son was 24, THAT is what breaks my heart, NOT that he is gay.

One of the greatest desires of every child and human being is to feel LOVED, ACCEPTED and VALUED for who they are NOT “Tow the line OR be BOOTED out of the HOME” – THAT does NOT feel like love to anyone. God does not force us to keep His commandments—He lovingly guides us with LOVE unfeigned. Parents DO THE SAME!! 

I promise a GAY son (or daughter) is far BETTER than having a DEAD son (or daughter)! Any day.”

I really didn’t expect many people to read such a long Facebook post – It felt good  to get it off my chest.  I resumed responding to this young man’s plea,  praying he could not only feel my love, but  feel his Heavenly Father’s love.

The unexpected happened…

The response was positive, with over 90 shares.  This young man’s story had not only tugged at my heart, but was touching the heart of others including his own.  He told me he read every Facebook comment and was deeply touched by the love he felt from total strangers. It gave him HOPE to know people REALLY do care.

The yearning to feel his parents love and acceptance continues,  it’s a dream he unfortunately doesn’t anticipate happening for many years to come.  I pray he is wrong.

I continue to have restless nights worrying about “my boys”, the young men who reach out to me in desperation, who live in fear of rejection and  contemplating  suicide.

What can we do to help?

It’s simple,  love your children, your spouse, your co-workers, your peers, your neighbor your friends. Open your heart and mind to see people as people.  Everyone I meet desires to feel loved, safe, respected accepted and valued for who they are.  Create the space that feels safe to talk about feelings without feeling judged and rejected.   If they can feel your love, they can feel their Father in Heaven’s love.

This young man could be your son, your co-worker, your peer, your neighbor, your friend. Let people know YOU care.

Photo by Jeffery C. Olsen

On the Serious Side. by Scott Mackintosh

My husband Scott posted something serious as his Facebook status, it caught me by surprise, because he likes to keep things on the lighter side.  When I read it, I knew it needed to be my next blog post ….so HERE IT IS …

On The Serious Side.  by Scott Mackintosh

OK, I am weird, I admit that, but let me explain. I dread every funeral that comes my way. I dread them because of the obvious reasons of death and finality. I have been attending too many funerals as of late, and in nearly every instance it was someone that I considered too young.

Now let me explain why I might be different than most, because so far I am most likely on track with the norm. …

Funerals 

I feel that they are the BEST church meetings that one can attend. (Weird huh?) I have held on to every word that has been spoken. I have seen more love and compassion from loved ones than I could fathom. I have enjoyed these services beyond my dreams. Bottom line is that I have learned so much.

What I have learned …

First, is to never judge. Jesus Christ is the judge and my job is to love. I can never fully know what trials others are asked to bear.

Second, is that its not up to me to decide what is too young. My trust in God tells me that the presence of God and passed loved ones has to be better than the pains associated with mortal life, although there is MUCH joy in this life. I should be happy for those who pass the test and get to live with God again. My mortal mind tells me something different than that.

Third, I feel a closer presence of loved ones past whom I really get the impression that they send promptings to help me succeed. At funerals I stop my busy life long enough to feel those impressions while the veil of forgetfulness becomes somewhat thin.

Fourth, I become more vulnerable on those sacred days. I hug more. I say the words “I Love You” more and the best part is that I truly mean it.

Fifth, is that I appreciate life so much more and am reminded to not take loved ones for granted. I treasure the re-acquaintances of family and friends.

Sixth, is that its OK to CRY. Quit fighting it and let it go. It’s a great relief and others wont be able to see you through their own tears anyway.

Seventh, and final item, is that God teaches me on those sacred days.  Because of the words spoken and even the unspoken words, I ALWAYS walk away with a deeper desire and commitment to be a BETTER person.

I am sorry and ashamed that it takes those types of reminders to recommit, but that is what funerals do for me. I attended two yesterday, of beautiful people who did much good in this world, that is why I am a bit sensitive today. I am sorry if this is not my normal funny me, but dang it, this is my way to heal.

Now having said all this, I pray that it’s quite a while before the next one.