Thursday, August 29, 2013

Women and The Priesthood in the LDS Church

Dear Friends, 

I have hesitated in sharing my thoughts on this sensitive issue because I decided, if you'll remember, to write about things that were not so significant. But also because it is so sacred to me and because it is not my intent to create ill will or cause argument on a topic which is difficult to many. I hope that my words may comfort any who sorrow.


Recently we went to see Fiddler on the Roof at the Centerpoint Theater. I think it might be my favorite musical ever. Even more favorite than Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat if that's possible. The actor who played Tevye was the finest I have seen. Remember the part where he is looking up to God, talking to him and he says, "I know, I know. We are your chosen people. But, once in a while... can't you choose someone else?"

That brings me to how I feel about holding the priesthood. You've heard the joke: "I hold the priesthood... every night when I go to bed." Ha ha. Very funny. And yet, hardly a Sunday goes by when I don't think, "Whew! I will never be called to be bishop (or stake president or... president of the church, hallelujah)!" It is true, however, that women do serve in the church in many callings that are both challenging and infinitely rewarding. If we needed to hold the priesthood to fulfill these callings, we would be given the priesthood. I'm also not promising that women won't be ordained to the priesthood in the future. I don't know because I'm not in charge, thank goodness.

I have also heard it said that the reason men hold the priesthood is because they need it in order to develop characteristics that women have naturally, such as compassion. That may or may not be true. It is an explanation some have used to explain the doctrine. Well, here is another idea along that vein: perhaps the reason women do not "hold" the priesthood is because there are traits that we need to develop which both men and women are entreated to have, such as meekness and humility.

The priesthood is defined as "The authority to act in the name of God." When I was baptized and confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, through the priesthood of God, I took upon myself the name of Christ. Likewise, all actions I take or words I say or write are done, said and written in the name of Jesus, the Son of the Living God--my Savior and my Redeemer. I may not have been given the assignment to lay my hands on heads and give "blessings" but I am able to bless and serve in the Kingdom of God in numberless ways. When I do, write or say things that he would not have me do, write or say, I have "taken his name in vain."

But if I accept the assignments I am invited to take and serve in the ways I am asked to serve, I will be blessed beyond my ability to comprehend. 

Perhaps we feel we need a particular blessing of the priesthood. Sometimes, as I'm sure you've learned, priesthood leaders cannot read our minds and we must ask for that blessing. 


God is not trying to withhold blessings from his daughters. He loves us--beyond measure.  

When the Savior(who is about his father's business) lived on the Earth, he sought to comfort and serve women. He was often surrounded by women. The women who loved him took great pains to provide for his temporal needs so that he could do his work. It was a great honor for them to serve him. It was the way they could show their love for him. 


The last thing Jesus did in his mortal life was to ask his friend to care for his Mother. 

Likewise, God has given the priesthood to his worthy and willing sons on this Earth specifically so that they would have additional ability to bless his daughters. And if those men are not worthy and willing, or if they do not do his will, they no longer have any power from him unless they repent and come unto him.

I do not write these words because they have been taught me by priesthood leaders in my church. I write these words because were given me through the Holy Spirit of God and I know in my heart and in my mind that they are true. I hope that you will ask for the spirit to help you be at peace with what is. That's what he does for his children. You are his child and he will give you this blessing.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Air We Breathe

Dear Friends,

Despite my political viewpoint that our government was created to provide for the common defense and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity,and very little else, and I generally despise government regulation, I feel strongly that this issue is very important so I have written the following a couple of the individuals working on this refinery expansion approval. It's a long letter. Sorry.

10/30/2012

Dear Mr. Bird,

My name is Lorinda LeFevre. I have lived in Bountiful for 19 years. We live just North East of the Holly Refinery. We live in a neighborhood where of the 12 or so homes I think at least 7 of the occupants have died of blood cancers. My first husband died due to complications of leukemia (AML). It was a very aggressive cancer and he lived nine months after diagnosis, despite the most potent chemotherapy his medical staff had ever used to treat his particular condition, a lifetime maximum of total body irradiation and a bone marrow transplant from his brother who was a perfect match. I was left with 2 young sons. I was 26.

I’m sure you can imagine how difficult that was and I was grateful to find the man that I am now married to because he loves my sons as if they were his own. In addition, we have had 3 daughters and another son. We still live in the same home and about 6 years ago, my new husband was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. He also underwent chemotherapy and radiation. His treatment was successful and he is now cancer-free (yay!). He was raised very near what I am calling my “neighborhood.”

I am becoming increasingly alarmed at our air quality. Because of the way the air gets trapped in our little valley, we cannot afford to have the pollution that we have, and we certainly cannot endorse any increase in output of emissions from the local refineries. I am concerned that you are obviously unaware of the danger that this reckless attitude is perpetuating. The State Implementation Plan that is being prepared to be submitted to the EPA is woefully inadequate in terms of beginning to remedy our situation.

Here are my main concerns:

1. The imminent expansion of the Tesoro refinery and the additional emissions related to the oil refining process as well as the additional fuel emissions that will be caused by drastically increasing the heavy truck traffic that already exists there.

2. We need to insist that all of the refineries’ emissions be measured and monitored in a more reliable way. And I am certain, given the many intelligent, highly paid oil company executives, that they can develop much better technology that would decrease dangerous pollution released into the air that we and our children and our parents breathe every day. If I understand correctly, more effective filtering of particulate matter will create additional waste product that will need to be disposed of at the expense of the oil companies, but I ask you: is our health worth it?

3. I would love to see mass transit become more used in our community. The way that I see this happening is to lower the cost. Make it more affordable than driving. The more people use mass transit, the more lucrative it will become. Whenever I am on the freeway at rush hour, I am appalled at the number of people who are alone in their cars.

I’m sure when the “Pollutions” arrived in this valley, they were not aware of the problem that their activities would cause to the inhabitants of this location and because of our unique geography we are seeing and suffering from the results of their irresponsible behavior. We need to stop trading our health for money. We need to raise our standards and insist that the oil refineries conform to them. If they become uncomfortable, or if it becomes too expensive to do business here, perhaps they will find a location with a more suitable landscape and we can develop that land to be used by other lucrative businesses. It is time to stand up and take control of this situation. You are in a position to help. Please take your responsibility seriously.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,

Lorinda Hopper Beadle LeFevre
lorindalefevre@gmail.com
801-298-9421


If you have a moment and the inclination to write a letter indicating your concern about our air quality (On Halloween, because I believe the SIP will be submitted on November 1, 2012) to your state representatives, senators or to these individuals, please take the time to do so. Thanks.

Their names, titles and email addresses:

Mark Berger, Administrative Office of Rules,
mberger@utah.gov

and

Bryce Bird, director, Division of Air Quality
bbird@utah.gov

Friday, June 15, 2012

Love

Did i tell you about my new vow to post about things that are less significant?  I take myself way too seriously and I don't write enough because I write in my head for way too long and I try too hard to make each post meaningful and perfect.  

And I'm not sure I'm really ready to hear it if you think my posts are not meaningful and perfect. 

So I've been attempting to just enjoy writing and not necessarily try to change the world.  

And I wanted to acknowledge my husband for making me feel loved.  That seems to be harder than usual, lately. 

Check out these gluten-fee waffles
It's just our regular waffle recipe, made with tapioca flour and rice flour and oatmeal instead of wheat flour

Oh, Boy! Waffles

2 1/2 C flour
3/4 t salt
4 t baking powder
1 1/2 T sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 1/4 c milk
3/4 c oil

Sift Dry ingredients.  Combine eggs, milk and oil in a separate bowl.  Add liquid ingredients to the dry and whisk together.  Cook in waffle iron.

Mr. LeFevre
the pirate looking guy in the photo
  
noticed that he had to cook them a little longer or they were doughy in the middle.  

They tasted great! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

buckeyes

Recently, i have realized that many of my troubling abdominal issues are related to... wheat!  

Really?  Wheat?  I went to the doctor.  He said my blood test showed negative for celiac (whew!) but that it isn't always accurate (90%) and that I still may have a wheat sensitivity.  I have pretty much stopped eating wheat and I feel so much better.  Still. No pizza?  No whole wheat toast or cracked wheat in the morning?  No pancakes?  No spaghetti?  No cookies?  


I know, I know. There are "gluten free" recipes.  But gluten free flour is so... chalky.  ick.
 
So, i got a recipe from a friend for a wheat-free peanut butter cookie.  Yum! right?  Well, yeah.  But... crumbly.  Of course, i didn't take any pictures, because who takes pictures of food that's not pretty?


But I do have that recipe if you want it.  Sharon gave it to me. She got it from this website.


So, last night, for Michaela's cookie social, I just decided to take an old standby: 
Ohio Buckeyes
 This is a picture of Jen's buckeyes.

Of course, i didn't take a picture of mine because they didn't turn out as cute as these.  And then when Jen emailed me this picture, i started getting all nostalgic about Ohio.  What's not to love about Ohio(I mean, besides the Winter)?  the leaves in the fall are so gorgeous and the Apple Butter Festival?  Mmmm. 

Or maybe just I'm just missing Jen.  It's been 10 years since we visited her in her Colorado Springs home, but if there is ever someone who epitomizes the gracious host, it's Jen.  I have just had to imagine her home in Centerville, but whenever we have visited, she has known all the places to take us and made all the best local recipes to share with us.  Her home is lovely and comfortable and now she is moving to Japan.  Waaa!  That's so far away and, oooh, wait!  Maybe I can visit her there. 

Ok, here's the recipe:

Ohio Buckeyes
(do they look like the eye of a male deer? or a chestnut?  does a chestnut look like the eye of a male deer?)

1/2 lb.  peanut butter
1/4 lb.  butter
3/4 lb.  powdered sugar
6 oz. semi-sweet choc. chips
3 oz. milk choc. chips
1/4 bar paraffin (this ingredient makes Jen oogey so she leaves it out and adds a dollop of shortening)

I don't weigh ingredients, so i just melted 1 cube of butter in the microwave and globbed out what was left in my peanut butter jar and mixed in the sugar until it was the right consistency... kinda like play dough.  Then i just dipped them in semi-sweet chips because that was what i had.  i didn't add either paraffin nor shortening.  they tasted great.  Again, not so cute. Yummy but not cute. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Wednesday Wars


I will never never never catch up with Megan.  She just reads faster than I do... and more than I can.  But she has gotten me to read a few books, including
 Michael Vey, the Prisoner of Cell 25,
the Percy Jackson series,
 
and Found, by Magaret Petersen Haddix. 


All of which I enjoyed, and nothing against Richard Paul Evans, nor Rick Riordan nor Margaret Haddix, but these are all... how do I say this? um... adventure series.  But this latest book she has brought home from school is a classic.  I'm talking right up there with A Long Way From Chicago...  and maybe even dare I say, 
To Kill a Mockingbird.  This book is The Wednesday Wars
It made me laugh out loud and cry (a lot) and feel every emotion in between.  It made me want to read Shakespeare and think maybe even I could understand it. It showed me a side of U.S. history that I had not seriously considered. 

But I'd love to hear from some of you who have actually read Shakespeare.  Or who were alive when Bobby Kennedy was shot.  Is The Wednesday Wars as good as I think it is?  Will kids read it?  Will it affect them like it did me?  Megan said she liked it, and she admits she laughed and she cried (a little).  She recommended it, but, "well, it was not as good as Percy Jackson." 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tender Mercies

Mr. Beadle's brother, David, donated bone marrow for the transplant ~ a very painful procedure for the donor.
During the last part of 1997 and the beginning of 1998, during Mr. Beadle’s treatment for leukemia (AML) which included preparing for a bone marrow transplant, he spent many weeks in the “bubble” room up at the University. No one with a hint of a runny nose (his 2 young sons) could visit him there. Fortunately, i was able to stay well enough to spend lots of time with him. And i had great support from my friends and family. They loved our boys and cared for them so that we could spend that time together. And then there were the blessed days that he was able to come home. At home, he didn’t have nurses to flush his lines and administer his meds and a dietitian to plan his meals and a cafeteria staff to prepare them and a custodial staff to keep everything sanitary. That would be me. And we could all be together. Yay!

I hate to admit that even though i was thrilled to have that time we could be together as a family, it was very difficult and overwhelming to care for all of Mr. Beadle’s physical needs and take care of the kids while trying to hold myself and my whole world together.

One icy January day, Mr. Beadle was home, in his Papa Bear chair in the front room. He was resting and reading (He read the New Testament again and the Old Testament and all of Cleon Skousen’s books. He told me later that he wanted to recognize the prophets when he met them). I had given him a little bell that he could ring if he needed me. I was trying to keep the boys occupied or at least keep their volume down to a minimum and I was supposed to plan lunch and in a few minutes i needed to flush Mr. Beadle’s PICC line (i think that’s what they called it — he had a permanent IV line that ran straight into his heart) and i don’t remember, probably a thousand other things were either on my to-do list or running through my mind. Anyway, i just lost it. I was completely overwhelmed and alone and sad and afraid.

I went into our spare room and knelt down by the bed and just threw it out there: “I can’t do this alone.” Immediately, i was enveloped in a huge hug. I felt warm. I felt peace. I felt love. I literally felt the arms of God around me. I remember thinking, “I want to stay in this cozy bubble forever.” And just at that exact moment, just as soon as that thought had wriggled loose o' the gray matter, the tinkling of that confounded little bell pierced my peace.
My bubble turned to glass—shattered. Cold. Sharp.

And angry.

Why did you leave me? I said i couldn’t do it alone! Didn’t you hear me? This is exactly like so many years ago. The emptiness. The way i can never get back the feeling of newborn Wesley on my chest. It’s not right. It isn’t fair!
We lost our first baby, Wesley in a car accident in 1992. He was 3 months old.
**********
Fast-forward 13 and a half years.

I have a lovely family and a marriage that gets stronger every day. Mr. LeFevre is a gem. Really. The best. Not that we haven’t struggled, but we have together on this earth, 6 beautiful children and a relatively warm home and none of our children have killed any of the others yet. And we have our health. Who can complain, right? Trust me, Lorinda can always find a reason and a way to complain.


I complain about my home (it's warmer now—thanks, Chad).
I complain about my marriage (even though it gets better and better, there are still hard days).
I complain about my children (yes, the beautiful ones).
I complain about my body (the reasonably attractive, relatively healthy, occasionally pain-free one).
I complain about the things I am “supposed to” do:
wipe noses,
wipe bums,
wipe counters, wash laundry, plan food, cook food, clean up food,
organize,
pay bills, read my scriptures, say my prayers, go to meetings.

I especially complained for many years about saying my prayers and reading my scriptures. And I didn’t do it very much. Praying felt like talking to the ceiling. I never once got “the hug” again.

And the scriptures? The scriptures just infuriated me. Are these people who pick up the Book of Mormon and can't put it down again even reading the same book? Are they? All I could find were contradictions and whenever I read I became angry and confused.

Still, I go to my meetings. You know, the 14th article of faith: "We believe in meetings, we have endured many meetings and hope to be able to endure all meetings. If there is any reason for a meeting, we seek after these things." I didn’t make that up, but neither did Joseph Smith, who wrote the first 13. It’s kinda true, though.

And whenever I think, “i don’t really need to go to Relief Society today, I could go home and take a nap” or “i should go home and fix dinner right now—no one will miss me” and then i end up staying, there is always something there for me. And I’m glad that I stayed. And I think it’s ok that some days I only went because I was “supposed to” go.

Here’s a little secret: did you know that the “extra” meetings are a bonus? I’m talking about Leadership meetings and Stake Relief Society Meetings and the Adult Saturday night sessions of Stake Conference. the ones where no one will know if you don’t go. Don't tell anyone, but these are the best meetings.

So... let’s skip back to last Fall (2011): i’m sitting in the meeting for the women of the church (on a Saturday night... who goes to church on Saturday night?) where President Uchtdorf is telling us via satellite transmission not to be too hard on ourselves and to remember that the Lord loves us and when he says (to me),
“Wherever you are, whatever your circumstances may be, you are not forgotten. No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. He loves you with an infinite love.You are known and remembered by the most majestic, powerful, and glorious Being in the universe! You are loved by the King of infinite space and everlasting time! He who created and knows the stars knows you and your name—you are a daughter of His kingdom. God loves you because you are His child. He loves you even though at times you may feel lonely or make mistakes. My dear sister, you are closer to heaven than you suppose. You are destined for more than you can possibly imagine.”

Or when i go with my new friends who have been called to serve
with me in the Young Women’s presidency of our ward to Young Women’s leadership training meeting and Elaine Dalton tells me (me!), “God knows you. He knows your strengths and your weaknesses. You were hand-picked to be in this place at this time.”
In these 2 moments, there could not have been a more powerful witness to me if my Savior, himself had been standing there talking to me. I knew it was true. I felt the warmth. I felt the love. I got another hug. And then I walked outside and I wasn’t “in” his arms. I didn’t feel it still. But I couldn’t deny that it had happened. I knew it and i knew that God knew it and I realized right then that those moment are gifts. My Heavenly Father hadn’t left me. I can feel that feeling again. I just have to go to “meetings.” And i mean the kind of meetings with just me and God: the super-extra meetings—when no one, no one knows you are there. I can read the scriptures over again as I would a letter from my mom(they might annoy me sometimes, but there is always something there for me). I can confide in him like i would a dear friend. I can remember the feeling and believe it or not, i may even be getting better at feeling it.
And it feels good.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

a little nail polish





When i was a young girl, i was always designing and making new couture for my Barbies. My Barbies always won the fashion contests (in my mind anyway).

I never thought twice about a naked Barbie. Naked Barbies were part of the landscape, right?

Then my friend with 4 boys had a daughter who turned 5 and started playing with Barbies. Now aside from all the other issues Barbies create, she's worried about it making her boys uncomfortable. So i started a little informal poll.

And boys (at least the ones i asked) are (wow) uncomfortable with Barbie nakedness. Plus, i guess, now that you mention it to me(a mom of teenage boys), teenage boys don't really need more, you know... stimulation.

So i got an idea.
A little nail polish (okay, a lot of nail polish) could do wonders!

some of my nail polish

I've always harbored a fear right down in the middle of myself
that i'm really not creative.

That i am just a copycat.
pre-dressed Barbies

Still, i am tickled with our results.




Thursday, June 9, 2011

Help!

For several months, I've known, deep down in some cavernous part of my being
that I needed to revamp my sheet music situation.
All of my children have inherited musical talent
from both sides of their family.
Add that to a mother who is determined that they will overcome
the general lack
of ambition they inherited from her
so she has enrolled them in every possible toddler music class available for the last 15 years.
Just ask me. I know which one is best.
Anyway, that, plus my tendency to gather all available
resources around me
has led to a ridiculous amount of
sheet music.

Two weeks ago, piano teacher says I need to buy the
John Thompson's First Grade Book.
I have this book. I know I do.
Somewhere.

Here Goes Nothin'.
Step 1 and 2:
Get all the music. Put it out on the floor.

Oops! I forgot a whole file drawer full!

I know, just get started, right?
Well, I was a little overwhelmed.
Luckily, Cherie
showed up
(Mr. LeFevre said I could hire her so that I have a small hope of getting it
all pulled together before my mom comes to visit next month).

Step 3: start sorting:
Christmas.
Vocal.
Religious.
Piano Perfomance.
Method.
Legend of Zelda (what???).

Step 4: go through the stacks and "de-junk"
the word makes my head pulse.
My breath quickens and I start to see spots of light.
Okay.
Breathe.
I can do this.

I gave a precious little to the
Deseret Industries.

Some got recycled (mostly practice copies).
Some even got thrown in the garbage.
Step 5: start filing.
I put the big books from all the categories on this shelf in my library:

In this armoire drawer in the piano room,
Guitar
Organ and...
harmonica music

And still... I have orphans.

More filing(seriously? only one drawer?):
Note the bag of flashcards in the back.

a stack for big boys to make heads or tails of:
and just
4 short hours after beginning,
Voila!
I have the floor in my front room back.

Someday, I hope to be Jenn's equal (ha!)
But for now...
at least I have my slightly used copy of John Thompson's First Book
(I guess I can take the one I just bought back and exchange it for Book the Second)
(oops, again).

Hooray for getting organized.
Did you know it can actually save you money?