Wednesday, May 31, 2006

An idea that worked for S'mee a long time ago...

Not that my kids were perfect, but here's a little something that worked for S'mee when the young'uns were tiny and I was beside myself trying to go it alone while Thor slay some beast in another state. 5 kids under 12 and not a husband around during the week and sometimes for weeks on end. I prayed for help; and this is what I got as an answer.

I made a chart on graph paper. Each child (all 5 of 'em!) was given a colour. Blue =#1, Red =#2, Pink =#3, Orange =#4, and Green = #5. It was easy, we just gave them their favorite colour.

On the chart I made 5 single columns that began at the top of the page for our bedtime (7:30) and went down the page in 5 minute increments until I got to the 3/4 mark on the page; somewhere around 2:00. Each column was coloured to match each child.

On the botton 1/4 of the page I drew a SIMPLE cartoon type picture of a mom with a smiling face and five kids with smiling faces, above their heads was a moon, a clock set to bedtime, and a plate of food - dinner. This picture was on the left side of the page. On the right side of the page was the same cartoon (I traced them) except this time all the faces were a bit red in the cheeks and had angry expressions. Above their heads was a sun, a clock set early, and a plate with a sandwich. These pictures symbolised "If we obey and get along -we get to go to bed at bed time and eat a nice dinner. - If not, we go to bed early and get a sandwich." (if you need to, copy pictures from a magazine or colouring book)

The paper was then laminated and hung with magnets on the lower part of the fridge so that the children could use a dry wipe marker to indicate when they choose to go to bed, by putting a marker dot over the time on the chart -in their column- each time they misbehaved. (They would also tell mom what they did to choose to go to bed early and say they were sorry. This was teaching them a simple form of repentance.) Each night the chart would be erased when the child was getting ready for bed. If there was a need for marking the chart again that day/night the marks counted against the following day. The second day my kids learned that it stinks to wake up knowing you are going to bed ten minutes early and the day just began! After a few days they got very obedient during bed time prep.

I decided I WOULD NOT argue any longer with anyone who was not my own age. I was THE Mom!!! Any arguments were answered by one more mark on the chart.

We had a family night such as the one described below. I introduced the chart and explained that each bad word, bickering, argueing, etc. would mean they were choosing to go to bed five minutes earlier. I explained it until they understood completely. The chart had pictures (above) so even though we had non readers they could "read" it. The main point was they were learning to make choices and be accountable for them. They were learning that they chose to go to bed on time or early by their actions.

Let me tell you that first day was a nightmare! My #1 went to bed at 3:30! But I held firm! At 3:00 I went outside and told him it was time for his bath and the bedtime routine began. Of course there were objections and by the time he finally fell asleep that night he had chosen to go to bed the following night an hour earlier. Not one of the five went to bed on time, in fact, all of them were in bed at least two hours early. BUT it only took about a week before that changed. Soon the bedtimes were on time or within a half an hour of normal. After a while the kids knew I meant what I said.

We also introduced a special "time jar" for when mommy and daddy misbehaved. If mom or dad said a bad word, were angry or broke the rules they had to put five minutes in the Time Jar. At the end of the week the kids got to decide how to spend that time with mom and dad.

It was a huge blessing not to have to argue with any one any more! It was not a dictatorship, however we began to discuss rather than argue. No more mean faces or funky noises when mom made a final decision. It was peaceful. And let me assure you that this set the ground rules for their teen years. Not too many parents can say their teens don't talk back, but mine didn't; they learned this habit when they were young and somehow it stuck. This also means that mom and dad are training themselves not to yell at their offspring and to control their moods as well. It worked for everyone.

If this sounds like it may work for your family you are welcome to copy the outline below.

Family Night Overview

Opening Song: Choose the Right Way CS 160

Opening Prayer:

Scripture: Mosiah 4:14-15

Ask each family member to tell of a time when they felt really happy.

Explain that Heavenly Father and Jesus want us to be happy all the time. When we look at the times when we are happy it is usually when we are obedient and following the commandments of Heavenly Father. Commandments are like Heavenly Father's rules.

Our home also has rules. What are some of our rules?

When we follow the home and family rules we are happy.

Satan does not want our family to be happy. He has come up with a plans to make us sad. One of his plans has a name: Contention. (see 3 Nephi 11:29) Contention means to argue or fight with each other, to use mean voices and angry words, and faces. When we disobey the family rules it makes Satan happy and Heavenly Father sad. It makes us sad too. We are Heavenly Father's children; we feel the same way Heavenly Father feels when we obey and when we do not obey. We do not want contention in our home; we want to feel happy inside.

Our bedtime rule is that the children go to bed at 7:30 so they can have a good night sleep and wake up happy and ready for a new day.

Let's talk about a new rule to help make us happy. It is a choosing rule. You will get to choose for yourself to obey or disobey.

Do you think it would help if we started to think carefully about our words and actions? Our words and actions need to be nice. We need to speak nicely to each other, not argue or fight, and to obey Mommy and Daddy without arguing.

Do you think we can choose correctly and make Heavenly Father and ourselves happy all the time?

Here is a special chart that will help all of us learn to choose the right and make changes so that we can be a happier family.

If we choose well all day long, we will get to eat dinner with the family and spend family time until our bedtime. Mommy and Daddy will spend the time right before bedtime helping you take a bath, brush your teeth, and get ready for bedtime. We will share a story, tell you the things you did right all day, say our prayers and sing a song before you go to sleep. That would make us all happy, right?

When we choose to disobey, or uses mean words, or argue, we will lose 5 minutes of the day. This means that we will need to go to bed five minutes earlier. If we who choose to disobey the family rules we will go to the chart with Mommy and cross off the bedtime by five minutes. We will also have to tell Mommy what we chose to do wrong and say we are sorry and try to do better.

It takes us a half hour to get ready for bed. So at the end of the day Mommy or Daddy will check the chart and when we are a half hour from the bedtime you have chosen, we will come and get you and help you get ready for bed. We will help you take your bath, brush your teeth, and get ready for bed. We will say prayers with you, tell you the things you did right, and tuck you in.

We will not get a story or a song if we choose to go to bed early. If we choose to go to bed before dinnertime, when it is dinnertime, Mommy will bring us a sandwich and a glass of milk. We will not be allowed to get out of bed without permission; if we choose to disobey then we will lose 5 minutes off of the next day. Even if it's sunny outside or we are not tired we will need to rest quietly in our bed. If we have to go potty, we will need to ask Mommy or Daddy to get out of bed. If we choose to pretend or be disobedient after we are in bed, then we will choose to lose another five minutes for the next day.

Prudence will be the red colour and Hortence will be the blue colour (and so on). Mommy and Daddy will help us to choose the right. If we argue with Mommy or Daddy we are choosing to lose five minutes.

If Mommy and Daddy use angry words or disobey the family rules they will choose to put 5 minutes in the special jar. At the end of the week, we will count up all the minutes. The children in the family can decide how to spend the time in the jar with Mommy and Daddy.

Do we think we can change for the better and make us all happy? Do we think that Heavenly Father will be happy with us?

I know that Heavenly Father will be very happy that our family is trying to be obedient and not allow Satan to make our choices.

Let's begin this tomorrow and see how much we more happy we can be by next week!

Closing Song: Quickly I'll Obey CS 197

Closing Prayer:

add to sk*rt

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Memorial Day.

There are a few reasons I have a difficult time writing something fitting for this day, I have tried several times to come up with a good post, however all I can muster is: "I miss you Mike." This is the anniversary of my big brother's passing several years ago (he was only 32); well actually my brother and his son Michael Jr. (just 71/2). The details are sad enough, but sometimes it is better to just say I had a really good guy for a brother, he was missed then and he is missed still. I could write the things that made his special to me, but I would never stop writing. His little boy was 16 hours older than my #1, they were both born in the same hospital. We were close to them both and we miss them more than words can describe at times.

To keep our minds off this tragedy, Chronicler, The Big Guy, Thor, and myself went out to Chronicler and Big Guy's property in AZ. This was the first time Thor and I had seen the land, and it sure was pretty. Some hills and a few 'gully washers' where the rain gathers to run down the slopes, just enough trees and large bushes to give it texture and beauty. Lots of petrified wood, tiny purple, blue and red rocks and pebbles, and at least one geode. Blooming catus, a couple of varieties, and surprisingly devoid of tumble weeds.

The sky is huge and clear, deep blue, and the clouds look painted on. We encountered one bug, a very small army of black ants, and one excitable bright neon green lizard who liked to show off by running upright and waving his little arms as he went by. The best encounter was a small herd of antelope who pranced by flashing their very white little tails. And then there was the discovery down the road of a fully grown black cow that had been decaying beside a Juniper bush for quite some time.

I took a few photos of bees as they jumped from flower to flower gathering nector and dusting themselves liberally with pollen. There were also photos of the land, the trees, hills, and even one particularly pretty one of Chronicler framed by the arms of one of her wild Junipers. Unfortunately neither blogger nor flickr! will allow me to post photos today. SAD FACE.

Thor and I had such a fun time. We walked the whole property and exchanged ideas on just where and how certain areas of the property should be developed. A honeymoon cabin here, a hunting lodge there, and the large front window of the house should be riiiiggghht here so it can see this view of the sunset every night. They took it pretty well considering we were 'spending' a lot of their hard earned dollars on retreat cottages for ourselves and a retirement home to boot. Everyone needs a rich relative to fall back on, right?

We also took in X-Men, which I thought had a lot of holes in it. (Thor tells me to get over's a cartoon!) This is the first time I have seen any X-Men movie, so in fairness, I wasn't the best critic. However, when the bad guy was standing in bright sunlight one minute and turned his head to another bad guy and the night sky had was a bit inconsistant for me. That and some other stuff made it kind of silly, but still it was a fun movie.

The only let down was the trip home with the holiday traffic swelling up near Palm Springs. Lucky for us, Chronicler was familiar with the area well enough to route us around the freeways and down little known "roads". We probably saved a good hour of freeway sitting!

All in all we had a great time. I just wish I had the photos to prove it!

add to sk*rt

Thursday, May 25, 2006

A little good news...

Tuesday, May 23 Washington Post staff writer, Hamil R. Harris wrote an interesting and positive article on Gladys Knight and her part in a conference held at a Maryland Stake Center.

Anyone interested in reading good news, including her testimony and others, and an urging to allow those missionaries on bikes into your home go to: Washington Post!

In other news I have learned that the entire videos for Special Witnesses of Christ and also The Restoration are also available for viewing on line. Special Witnesses ofChrist is one of my all time favorite videos and I am very excited that now, anyone with interest can just click and view it over and over again if they wish. Both movies are the full length versions and good quality.


add to sk*rt

Saturday, May 20, 2006

An open (gripe) letter to all Ward Slackers

For some time now the church has had limited janitorial services and expect the members of the wards to regularly attend to the cleaning of the building. In our area, each ward is assigned certain times and within the ward each auxiliary is designated a particular day. This seems like an easy idea; until you consider the following. Some folks don't respond to the call to clean, and others feel that whatever they leave wherever they leave it will magically disappear or "someone" will pick it up for them.

Three other folks, and myself, are tired of being your "someone".

Thor is a High Priest, he is also Young Men's President, and I am a sister in the Relief Society which means when it is our turn to clean the building, Thor and I are expected to be there bright and early three out of four Saturdays in a month. Fine, I have no problem doing my share. However I do have a problem with cleaning pink lipstick kissy lips off of the windows, gum wrappers off the floors, putting books back onto shelves or bench holders, and other seemingly needless chores that should have no need to be done in the first place.

I am a bit fed up with you folks who allow your family's food, toys, and papers to remain on the pews. You just drop the hymnals on the floor and leave them there to press open the pages and dog ear the corners. Hello! The holder is at your kneecap, use it!

Today I unwound the cords of two different mics from around the piano leg. WHY? There is no need for that. The same for having to empty small classroom trash cans filled to overflowing when a large 32 gallon trash can is available down the hall in another room. Did you somehow miss seeing that the can was spilling over to the carpet or do you just like to see how high you can balance trash?

It makes me nuts to see the windows and the doors, filled with not just tiny fingerprints, but those of large people who should know better than to push on the glass instead of the handles, or play on the windows and just walk away. And those kissy lips? Egads! Can't you see how filthy that outside window is, I mean really...there was bird poop right next to your lipstain. You make me gag. And BTW, your nose print is pretty gross as well, if you can't see as far out to the parking lot as you wish, GO OUT SIDE, it's lovely weather out there.

What about erasing a board after class? How hard is that? Or vacuuming up after that whatever you did in the cultural hall last night? Do you think your mom is coming in today to wash those dishes on the counter or wipe off the stove? How about taking home that stuff you left in the fridge, I mean really, no one is here to eat your leftovers.

Hey mom, ever wonder why the Mother's Room smells the way it does? 'Could have something to do with a pail full of poopy diapers left to ferment over 7 days in the desert heat. Now let's think, just for a minute, how one might solve that issue...

If the four of us who do show up to clean the building for you are willing to scrub the toilet, mop the floors, wash all the doors, foyer windows, and mirrors, vacuum the entire building, dust each room, empty the large trash cans, replace all the paper goods, and ready the place for Sunday worship... the least you can do is take home the dang trash you leave in the pew each week. C'mon, that program is not that heavy, and don't you need that book at home? And while we're at it, how long do you go between snacks at home, and who pick the crackers and candy wrappers up for you there?

Take this as my personal invitation to come help once in a while, the four of us would like to go some place on Saturday morning too. Contrary to popluar belief, you are not that special and yes, this is your job too. You know, maybe if it takes 4 of us 3 hours to clean each week, if you came, maybe we could get done in 1 hour?

In your honour I offer the following song to get you motivated:

Ere you left the church this morning,
Did you think to clean?
Place the book back in its' holder?,
Pick up all your books and folders,
As you left the scene?

No, your mother does not live there!
She will not clean up for you.
If you make a mess while you're there,
Clean it, get a clue.

Classroom trash can filled with garbage,
Did you empty it?
Did you take the program with you?
Leave no wrappers on the church pew,
Where you family sits?

Did you leave the sacrament cups,
Cheerios or tiny toys?
Did you make sure it was spotless?
What did you teach your girls and boys?

Did you use the glass or handles,
to enter through the doors?
Print on windows full of sorrow,
Spray of Windex did you borrow
How clean were the floors?

No, your Mother does not live there.
Janitors have gone away.
It your job now, please do your share,
Before you leave today!

We get to clean -AGAIN- next Saturday. Do us a favor and clean up after yourself today so if you don't show up, at least all we have to do is clean what is actually on the list of chores and not all the extra work you leave behind.


(Original Text: Mary A. Pepper Kidder, 1820–1905
Music: William O. Perkins, 1831–1902)

add to sk*rt

Friday, May 19, 2006


I just deleted a huge long detailed post about how I have just been released from my calling at church (Relief Society Education Counselor [sort of like being VP in the Ladies Group at church]) and how that has kept me busy the last few weeks. I rethought that post and deleted it.

Suffice it to say I am HAPPY about the release, although today I woke up to the knowledge that I actually do have a deep love for these sisters, literally crazy or not, the inactive ones and the ones who are mean and ornery. The one who speaks broken English but goes out of her way to give me a hug each week. The one who glares at me each time I go out of my way to say hello to her. The older gal who I just adore for no reason other than she rocks the Kasbah. I even love the one who caused me the most headaches and the ward the most trouble. I have tried to explain to others that if this woman were a broken clock, she would still be right twice a day.

I have a testimony of missionary work in the sense of finding the lost sheep and bringing them back into the fold, as it were. I never thought it would be as easy as writing a genuine letter, sending an invitation, or just asking someone to actually come to church. But it is. I know that not everyone who is needy wants to be helped, and that someone who has everything, who is generous and giving, also needs to be given to.

I am saddened that others do not share my enthusiasm at the work, nor my disappointment with our current failures. One of my biggest heartaches comes from what I term "Adult Apathy". I believe it will be the catalyst for the weeding out in the last days, however far off or soon one presumes those days are.

I am so glad for the two really good friendships I have made. One to a sister who never sees ill and another who always, always feels the Spirit and follows what she feels. They have taught me much.

Most of all I am even more grateful for Thor who seems to always give excellent advice, knows when to push me and when to help me refrain from "doing". I still manage to mess up on a regular basis, but he always finds a way to help me get through. He is wise and more patient than I when it comes to other people. He also knows when to stop and he is trying to teach me that timing as well.

So, for now and probably a tad bit longer i am without a calling. So I hope to use the extra time around the house and getting more things done. I have a commission from a young family to do a temple painting so I want to get that started soon as well. I am excited about having time to breathe, some alone time and some time, hopefully, to build on my talents.

But first, I need to tackle that bedroom! Did I tell you Thor finally put down the wood in the hall floor? WAHOO! The front of the house is filled to the brim with books and other "stuff" that was in the hall on book shelves, etc., so I have a lot of work cut out for me.... yikes!

add to sk*rt

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Brought to you by the letter "B"...

ms. Lisa invited me to play! Wohoo! She gave me the letter 'B'.

Uh Oh Bees
Originally uploaded by star-fangled-nut.

Here's how it works: If you wanna play too, let me know in the comments or send me an email and I'll assign you a letter. Then you write about 10 words that start with that letter that are important to you and explain why. Here it goes!

1. Blessings. I fell in love with Thor, who just happens to have a "B" in his name. So my #1 favorite important "B" thing is how it is attached to my Thor! Then the blessings began. We have had some pretty tough times like everyone and the blessings always come. If it is one thing I have learned and wish would always be in my forefront, it is that the blessings ALWAYS come.

2. Beauty mark. Well that 's what we call it. My Grampa had this gynormous mole just to the side of his nose. Well I inherited that mole; only mine is more like a freckle with an ego. Low and behold our first daughter also inherited it and hers has been admired by many a young fellow with remarks of how hers is way prettier than Julia Roberts.

3. Beach. Gimmie a beach cause I LOOOOOVE 'EM! I grew up near a beach most of my childhood. I knew how to swim before I could walk and I just get happy happy happy when I can smell that Briny Beach Breeze!

4. Babies, Bread, Beach, and Bad weather. My favorite scents in the whole world! Nothing smells more wonderful and works like aroma therapy on steroids for me than the smell of a new baby, baking bread, awesome beach air or the air when it rains...Baby them thars good smellin!

5. Birth mark. Thor and I have a "thing". There is a legend that says before you were born God pulled you apart into two pieces. He sent one half of you here and the other half of you there and if you were lucky someday you would find your other half and just feel it, know it. Thor and I know we are "pull aparts" because we both have birth marks on two places on each of our hands that, if we put our hands together the same way, the birth marks match up. We are pull aparts and these birth marks are our scars from God.

Yeah, it's cheesy, but it works for us.

6. Babies. All I wanted to be when I was little was a mom. My 5 babies made my dreams come true; and yeah, I am one happy mom.

7. Books. I have a ton of books and I have a very hard time throwing any of them out. I love the idea of a whole wall of nothing but books on shelves. A comfy chair and a good lamp, and some time to enjoy reading. wow, wouldn't that be nice? For right now they are everywhere... all over the house, in every room, a gazillion books!

8. Basics. I enjoy knowing the basics. Like when someone says, "Hey we're making grapevine wreaths..." I know they really mean they will decorate a premade wreath of vines. I like to know how to make the actual wreath from the actual vine. Take me back to the basic of whatever and I get pretty excited.

9. Browsing. I really enjoy browsing through bookstores, museums, cities, cemeteries, gardens, churches, and pretty much anywhere I can find something to look at and observe...even if it's only people.

10. Believing. I have been blessed with a believing heart in matters of God, the Church, stuff like that. I question some, but mostly I trust and believe. The things I do question I think the answers will come when I am Spiritually mature enough to handle them. I think it has been a blessing for me in the long run. I see the struggle others have with so many things in life that for me just "are" or they "are not".

add to sk*rt

Thursday, May 11, 2006

what's a meme 4?

I was waltzing through my blogs today and caught up with Ms. Jewel over at cryptic lady's couch. Seems she would like to tag me with a meme. Unfortunately I already did the weird things about s'mee, so I opted for an different meme she had on her blog. I think these ones are as interesting, so, for Jewel, here you go:

1. Name a trait you share with your parents or children. Parental traits, I would have to go with potty mouth, complaining constantly, and being able to make something from nothing. With the offspring the traits would be enjoying music, dancing like a nutcase, and humour in just about every situation. That and their amazing, almost spokesmodel good looks.

2. How would you describe your personal comfort zone? I like to be barefoot, I like to be surrounded by good chocolate, I like being relatively out of debt, and I don't like being alone. Other than that I am pretty comfy. Well, if you don't count scary stuff.

3. What's the best advice you've been given, but didn' t heed? In my P.B., It advises me to make my close friends "only those who have strong testimonies in the church". There is an awful lot in those few words of advice. And I have learned for me, the hard way, I should make my friends those who have strong testimonies of the church! That and buying oranges when I should have been buying Apples.

4. Do you like your handwriting? I do like my handwriting, although I admit to being able to match closely pretty much any handwriting if I can study it for a few minutes. It's more of an artsy thing than any other reason. There for a while I used calligraphy as a way to make my writing more "pretty". After a while I hated that idea. I LOVE the way both of my sisters write; and I find it almost eerie that one of my daughter's handwriting is a dead wringer for my dad's. Thor's handwriting is that of a brain surgeon, i.e. good luck reading it. That and the handwriting one the wall has always been pretty good.

So dear sister, if you ever get a minute, this would be a good meme for you. She always has something good to say.

add to sk*rt

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Birth Control and Micro Abortion "How does our birth control really accomplish the task?"

So we have learned that if one believes the fact that “life begins at conception” and that conception means when the egg and the sperm meet and begin to grow, then there is also an opportunity for pregnancy to happen -even though one has been using a birth control method other than abstinence.

We know that there are, what the medical field refers to as, “break through” fertilizations and that a pregnancy can and does happen in every form of “birth control”. The fertilized eggs that are able to attach and form a placenta are considered a viable pregnancy. But what about the other fertilized eggs, the other viable lives that are unable to attach? Those pregnancies are not counted because most women haven’t a clue they were pregnant. How does this happen? It happens because the way their birth controls are designed to work. It happens through abortion.

As in the post prior, I will high-light my own words in blue. All others will be from the articles listed at the end of the quote. I do take liberty at italics and bold.

“There are over 30 "contraceptive" pills on the market, each differing a little from the others. They prevent birth through three separate functions.

1. They thicken the mucous plug at the cervix. If this is the primary effect, then it truly is contraceptive because it prevents sperm from entering.

2. They prevent release of the ovum. If this is the primary effect, then the function is "temporary" sterilization.

3. They render the lining of the womb hostile to the implantation of the tiny new human at one week of life. This effect is abortifacient.

The earlier high-estrogen pills largely prevented ovulation. The newer low-estrogen pills allow "break-through" ovulation in up to 20% or more of the months used. Such a released ovum is fertilized 10% or more of the time. Most of these tiny new lives which result, do not survive. The reason is that at one week of life this tiny new boy or girl cannot implant in the womb lining (see number 3 above) and dies. These are micro-abortions.

The pill, then, can have a contraceptive or temporary sterilization effect (by far the most common), or it can be an abortifacient. "The Physiologic Function of Certain Birth Control Measures," National RTL News, Mar. 9, 1981

This means that if there is a break through fertilization, which the experts and manufacturers tell will happen from time to time, that the back up plan for these BIRTH controls is to provide an in home abortion, however early.

"The morphological changes observed in the endometrium of oral contraceptive users have functional significance and provide evidence that reduced endometrial receptivity does indeed contribute to the contraceptive efficacy of OCs." In other words, because the endometrial lining is not receptive to the human being, who must implant in order to continue living, the human being will die. Somkuti, et al., "The Effect of Oral Contraceptive Pills on Markers of Endometrial Receptivity," Fertility and Sterility, Vol. 65, #3, 3/96, p. 488

“What of Progesterone-Only pills?
These fall into the same category as the Progesterone- Only implant, Norplant, and the Progesterone-Only injection, Depo Provera.”

So... “What about Norplant and Depo Provera?

On Norplant: “This is an implant under the skin of her forearm that lasts five years. In the first half of that time it’s effect is to almost always suppress ovulation. In the last half of that time, break-through ovulation is the rule. However, very few pregnancies survive. Clearly, this second half is commonly effective through micro-abortions and prevention of implantation.”

On DepoProvera: “As with Norplant, there is some variance from woman to woman, but in a far higher percent of cases Depo Provera suppresses ovulation. Break-through ovulation, however, does occur as attested to by full-term pregnancies recorded with women who were receiving this shot every three months.”

Both of these use a form of continuing dose of progesterone. Part of the time they prevent ovulation. Part of the time they allow ovulation and fertilization, but prevent implantation. Therefore, they function both as a contraceptive, at times, and as an abortifacient at times

And then we have the facts on how an IUD really works:

“The intrauterine device, commonly referred to as an IUD or coil (in Europe), is a small plastic or metal device that is inserted through the vagina and into the cavity of the uterus. The purpose of this is to "prevent" pregnancy.

Is an IUD a contraceptive or an abortive agent?

...Almost all scientific papers had agreed that its effect was to prevent the implantation of the tiny new human being into the nutrient lining of the uterus; an abortive action. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration stated in an official report that its effectiveness is "in direct proportion to the quantity and quality of the inflammatory reaction to various types of IUDs"...and states that there "is one common thread . . . " They all "interfere in some manner with the implantation of the fertilized ovum in the uterine cavity." Second Report on IUDs, Dec. 1978, U.S. Dept. of HEW, Food & Drug Administration Document 017-012-00276-5
A detailed report in a Planned Parenthood publication in 1989 claimed that a high percentage of its action was the prevention of fertilization. IUDs are ontraceptives, not Abortifacients: A Comment on Research and Belief, I. Sivin, Studies in Family Planning, Vol. 20, No. 6, Dec. ’89My question is: what about the opposite side of that equation? What about the low percent? Aren't those still considered abortions?

So this leaves us with another question. Which birth control methods work also as an abortifacient?

“Which methods do this? In varying degree, the methods that prevent implantation, and therefore kill a baby at one week of life, include the intrauterine device (IUD), Norplant, Depo Provera, Progesterone Only pills, low-dose contraceptive combination pills, and the morning-after pills.”

If we, as women, consider ourselves edcucated about our rights, our bodies, and our ability to make correct decisions for ourselves, should we not be more conserned, more proactive about how we are treating our bodies and how the chemicals, drugs, etc., react inside each of us? Or do we allow our medical communities to make those decisions for us? Would we allow our doctor to do major surgery without studying all the facts and if that surgery were indeed our only option?

How many of us did more than read the package instructions? Do we read the small print and question why the "side effects" are what they are? Many of us trust our doctors, friends, even our unknowing mothers and went blindly into this practice feeling assured we were safe. Trusted that our furture children would be safe. We are living in a world where we need to know for ourselves.

A few more quotes from my church leaders:

"Scripture declares that the “life of the flesh is in the blood.” (Lev. 17:11.) Abortion sheds that innocent blood. …It is the belief of those who are members of this Church that human life is so hallowed and precious that there is an accountability to God on the part of those who invoke the sacred fountains of life." Russell M. Nelson, “Reverence for Life,” Ensign, May 1985, 11

"President Spencer W. Kimball has recently said, “This is one of the most despicable of all sins—to destroy an unborn child to save one from embarrassment or to save one’s face or comfort.” (Ensign, Nov. 1974, p. 7.)

“For the unborn, only two possibilities are open: It can become a live human being or a dead unborn child. ….Dietrich Bonhoeffer, referring to the unborn babe in the mother’s womb, said, “The simple fact is that God certainly intended to create a human being.” …Because she feels it, every mother knows there is sacred life in the body of her unborn babe. There is also life in the spirit, and some time before birth the body and the spirit are united. When they do come together, we have a human soul. For the Lord has said, “And the spirit and the body are the soul of man.” (D&C 88:15.)”

The destruction of such a treasure is so abhorrent that the First Presidency of the Church has clearly and repeatedly counseled the world—as did President Kimball this morning—against the taking of unborn life. I quote, “Abortion must be considered one of the most revolting and sinful practices in this day. … Members of the Church guilty of being parties to the sin of abortion must be subjected to the disciplinary action of the councils of the Church as circumstances warrant.”

Members are counseled neither “to submit to or perform an abortion except in the rare cases where” it is medically necessary, and, as the First Presidency has further counseled, “even then it should be done only after counseling with the local presiding priesthood authority and after receiving divine confirmation through prayer.” The First Presidency has advised that it will be amenable to the laws of repentance and forgiveness. (Ensign, March 1973, p. 64.) James E. Faust, “The Sanctity of Life,” Ensign, May 1975, 27

I urge all who may have dipped into the fountains of life to respect the divinity inherent in that life and to protect this sacred treasure and its transcending blessings. For the Savior of the world said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these … ye have done it unto me.” (Matt. 25:40.) James E. Faust, “The Sanctity of Life,” Ensign, May 1975, 27

Now, is there hope for those who have so sinned without full understanding, who now suffer heartbreak? Yes. So far as is known, the Lord does not regard this transgression as murder. And “as far as has been revealed, a person may repent and be forgiven for the sin of abortion.” 13 Gratefully, we know the Lord will help all who are truly repentant. 13. General Handbook of Instructions, 1983, p. 78. Russell M. Nelson, “Reverence for Life,” Ensign, May 1985, 11

My hope is that if any of us are in the practice of using these forms of birth control that we can study it out and make an informed decision on whether or not to continue, or choose an alternative method. I also have faith in what my church leaders have said; that if anyone feels they have "sinned without full understanding" they can and will be forgiven through the process of repentance.

add to sk*rt

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Sunday recess post

Last night we had the Little Man and his folks over for a visit and out to dinner. After dinner we came back to the house. Grampa Thor was teasing Little Man. We have an amazingly narrow family room. With gramma's chair on one side and grampa's chair just opposite, Grampa has the ability to block access in or out of the room by just raising his leg across to gramma's chair. After a few rounds of "let me in, let me out" Grampa raised the stakes.

Little Man: I want in.
Grampa Thor: What's the magic word?
Little Man: Pleeeeease.
Grampa Thor: Nope.
Little Man: Pleeeeeease Grampa Thor?
Grampa Thor: How 'bout 'abracadabra'?
Little Man: NO Thor! That's NOT the magic word.
Grampa Thor: Well, how 'bout 'Open Sesame!'
Little Man: (grousing face)
Grampa Thor: Can you say 'Open Sesame!'
Little Man: Open ssssss...
Grampa Thor: Open, Ses - a - me, ses-a-me, ses-a-me.
Little Man: OPEN SES - A - THOR!

he kills me.

add to sk*rt

Friday, May 05, 2006

Hey baby, let's go to Vegas! The odds of becoming *pregnant* while on *Birth* Control

After exhaustive research on the subject I found a government website that compiled all forms of birth control used within the U.S. and how they work. I have deleted information about STDs, AIDs, increase opportunity for various cancers, side effects, etc. as I am focusing primarily on the effects of the methodology of birth control; however I have added nothing to the text except what is written in blue font. I have inserted italics and bold type to emphasis my point.

From women's health .gov :"Bear in mind that NO method of birth control prevents pregnancy all of the time. Birth control methods can fail, but you can greatly increase a method’s success rate by using it correctly all of the time. The only way to be sure you never get pregnant is to not have sex (abstinence).

Continuous Abstinence – This means not having sexual intercourse (of any kind) at any time. It is the only sure way to prevent pregnancy. This method is 100% effective at preventing pregnancy. (0 chances for a fertile egg)

Periodic Abstinence or Fertility Awareness Methods – A woman who has a regular menstrual cycle has about seven or more fertile days or days when she is able to get pregnant, each month. Periodic abstinence means you do not have sex on the days that you may be fertile. These fertile days are approximately 5 days before ovulation, the day of ovulation, and one or more days after ovulation. Fertility awareness means that you can be abstinent or have sex but you use a “barrier” method of birth control to keep sperm from getting to the egg. Barrier methods include condoms, diaphragms, or cervical caps, used together with spermicides, which kill sperm. These methods are 75 to 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. (.1 to 25% chance of having a fertile egg)

Keep in mind that to practice these methods, you need to learn about your menstrual cycle (or how often you get your period). To learn about your cycle, keep a written record of when you get your period, what it is like (heavy or light blood flow), and how you feel (sore breasts, cramps). You also check your cervical mucus and take your basal body temperature daily, and record these in a chart. This is how you learn to predict, or tell, which days you are fertile or “unsafe.” You can ask your doctor or nurse for more information on how to record and understand this information.

The Male Condom – Condoms are called barrier methods of birth control because they put up a block, or barrier, which keeps the sperm from reaching the egg. Male condoms are 84 to 98% effective at preventing pregnancy. (2-16% chance for a fertile egg)

Oral Contraceptives – Also called “the pill,” contains the hormones estrogen and progestin and is available in different hormone dosages. A pill is taken daily to block the release of eggs from the ovaries. The pill is 95 to 99.9% effective at preventing pregnancy. Some antibiotics may reduce the effectiveness of the pill in some women. Talk to your doctor or nurse about a back-up method of birth control if she or he prescribes antibiotics. (.1 -5% chance for a fertile egg)

Most oral contraceptives are swallowed in a pill form. One brand, called Ovcon 35, can either be swallowed or chewed. If it is chewed, you must drink a full glass of liquid immediately after to make sure you get the full dose of medication. There are also extended cycle pills, brand name Seasonale, which have 12 weeks of pills that contain hormones (active) and 1 week of pills that don’t contain hormones (inactive). While taking Seasonale, women only have their period 4 times a year when they are taking the inactive pills. There are many different types of oral contraceptives available, and it is important to talk to your doctor or nurse about which one is best for you. You will need a prescription for oral contraceptives.

The Mini-Pill – Unlike the pill, the mini-pill only has one hormone, progestin, instead of both estrogen and progestin. Taken daily, the mini-pill thickens cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the egg. It also prevents a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus (womb). Mini-pills are 92 to 99.9% effective at preventing pregnancy if used correctly. The mini-pill needs to be taken at the same time each day. A back-up method of birth control is needed if you take the pill more than three hours late. Some antibiotics may reduce the effectiveness of the pill in some women. Talk to your doctor or nurse about a back-up method of birth control if she or he prescribes antibiotics. You will need to visit you doctor for a prescription and to make sure you are not having problems. (.1-8% chance for a fertile egg)

Copper T IUD (Intrauterine Device) – An IUD is a small device that is shaped in the form of a “T.” Your health care provider places it inside the uterus. The arms of the Copper T IUD contain some copper, which stops fertilization by preventing sperm from making their way up through the uterus into the fallopian tubes. If fertilization does occur, the IUD would prevent the fertilized egg from implanting in the lining of the uterus. The Copper T IUD can stay in your uterus for up to 12 years. This IUD is 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. You will need to visit your doctor to have it inserted and to make sure you are not having any problems. Not all doctors insert IUDs so check first before making your appointment. (1% chance for a fertile egg, and as a side note and purely antidotal side bar, I know personally of two children born who survived the IUD; i.e. 1% is greater than it seems.)

Progestasert IUD (Intrauterine Device) –This IUD is a small plastic T- shaped device that is placed inside the uterus by a doctor. It contains the hormone progesterone, the same hormone produced by a woman’s ovaries during the monthly menstrual cycle. The progesterone causes the cervical mucus to thicken so sperm cannot reach the egg, and it changes the lining of the uterus so that a fertilized egg cannot successfully implant. The Progestasert IUD can stay in your uterus for one year. This IUD is 98% effective at preventing pregnancy. You will need to visit your doctor to have it inserted and to make sure you are not having any problems. Not all doctors insert IUDs so check first before making your appointment. (2% chance for a fertile egg)

Intrauterine System or IUS (Mirena) – The IUS is a small T-shaped device like the IUD and is placed inside the uterus by a doctor. Each day, it releases a small amount of a hormone similar to progesterone called levonorgestrel that causes the cervical mucus to thicken so sperm cannot reach the egg. The IUS stays in your uterus for up to five years The IUS is 99% effective. The Food and Drug Administration approved this method in December 2000. You will need to visit your doctor to have it inserted and to make sure you are not having any problems. Not all doctors insert the IUS so check first before making your appointment. (1%chance of a fertile egg)

The Female Condom – Worn by the woman, this barrier method keeps sperm from getting into her body. Female condoms are 79 to 95% effective at preventing pregnancy. There is only one kind of female condom, called Reality, and it can be purchased at a drug store. (5-21% chance for a fertile egg)

Depo-Provera – With this method women get injections, or shots, of the hormone progestin in the buttocks or arm every 3 months. It is 97% effective at preventing pregnancy. You will need to visit your doctor for the shots and to make sure you are not having any problems. (3% chance for a fertile egg)

Diaphragm, Cervical Cap or Shield – These are barrier methods of birth control, where the sperm are blocked from entering the cervix and reaching the egg. The diaphragm is shaped like a shallow latex cup. The cervical cap is a thimble-shaped latex cup. The cervical shield is a silicone cup that has a one-way valve that creates suction and helps it fit against the cervix. The diaphragm and cervical cap come in different sizes and you need a doctor to “fit” you for one. The cervical shield comes in one size and you will not need a fitting. Before sexual intercourse, you use them with spermicide (to block or kill sperm) and place them up inside your vagina to cover your cervix (the opening to your womb). You can buy spermicide gel or foam at a drug store. Some women can be sensitive to an ingredient called nonoxynol-9 and need to use spermicides that do not contain it. The diaphragm is 84 to 94% effective at preventing pregnancy. The cervical cap is 84 to 91% effective at preventing pregnancy for women who have not had a child and 68 to 74% for women who have had a child. The cervical shield is 85% effective at preventing pregnancy. Barrier methods must be left in place for 6 to 8 hours after intercourse to prevent pregnancy and removed by 24 hours for the diaphragm and 48 for cap and shield. You will need to visit your doctor for a proper fitting for the diaphragm or cervical cap and a prescription for the cervical shield. (6-16%, 9-16%, 26-32%, 15% chance for a fertile egg, respective numbers)

Contraceptive Sponge - This is a barrier method of birth control that was re-approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2005. It is a soft, disk shaped device, with a loop for removal. It is made out of polyurethane foam and contains the spermicide nonoxynol-9. Before intercourse, you wet the sponge and place it, loop side down, up inside your vagina to cover the cervix. The sponge is 84 to 91% effective at preventing pregnancy in women who have not had a child and 68 to 80% for women who have had a child. The sponge is effective for more than one act of intercourse for up 24 hours. It needs to be left in for at least six hours after intercourse to prevent pregnancy and must be removed within 30 hours after it is inserted. Women who are sensitive to the spermicide nonoxynol-9 should not use this birth control method. (9-16%, 20-32% chance for a fertile egg, respective numbers)

The Patch (Ortho Evra) –This is a skin patch worn on the lower abdomen, buttocks, or upper body. It releases the hormones progestin and estrogen into the bloodstream. You put on a new patch once a week for three weeks, and then do not wear a patch during the fourth week in order to have a menstrual period. The patch is 98 to 99% effective at preventing pregnancy, but appears to be less effective in women who weigh more than 198 pounds. You will need to visit your doctor for a prescription and to make sure you are not having problems. (1-2% chance for a fertile egg)

The Hormonal Vaginal Contraceptive Ring (NuvaRing) – The NuvaRing is a ring that releases the hormones progestin and estrogen. You squeeze the ring between your thumb and index finger and insert it into your vagina. You wear the ring for three weeks, take it out for the week that you have your period, and then put in a new ring. The ring is 98 to 99% effective at preventing pregnancy. You will need to visit your doctor for a prescription and to make sure you are not having problems. This birth control method is not recommended while breastfeeding because the hormone estrogen may decrease breast milk production. (1-2% chance for a fertile egg)

Surgical Sterilization (Tubal Ligation or Vasectomy) – These surgical methods are meant for people who want a permanent method of birth control. In other words, they never want to have a child or they do not want more children. Tubal ligation or “tying tubes” is done on the woman to stop eggs from going down to her uterus where they can be fertilized. The man has a vasectomy to keep sperm from going to his penis, so his ejaculate never has any sperm in it. They are 99.9% effective at preventing pregnancy. ( .1% chance for a fertile egg)

Nonsurgical Sterilization (Essure Permanent Birth Control System) – This is the first non-surgical method of sterilizing women. A thin tube is used to thread a tiny spring-like device through the vagina and uterus into each fallopian tube. Flexible coils temporarily anchor it inside the fallopian tube. A Dacron-like mesh material embedded in the coils irritates the fallopian tubes’ lining to cause scar tissue to grow and eventually permanently plug the tubes. It can take about three months for the scar tissue to grow, so it is important to use another form of birth control during this time. Then you will have to return to your doctor for a test to see if scar tissue has fully blocked your tubes. - After 3 years of follow-up studies, Essure has been shown to be 99.8 % effective in preventing pregnancy. ( .2% chance for a fertile egg)

Emergency Contraception – This is NOT a regular method of birth control and should never be used as one. Emergency contraception, or emergency birth control, is used to keep a woman from getting pregnant when she has had unprotected vaginal intercourse. “Unprotected” can mean that no method of birth control was used. It can also mean that a birth control method was used but did not work – like a condom breaking. Or, a woman may have forgotten to take her birth control pills, or may have been abused or forced to have sex when she did not want to. Emergency contraception consists of taking two doses of hormonal pills taken 12 hours apart and started within three days after having unprotected sex. These are sometimes wrongly called the “morning after pill.” The pills are 75 to 89% effective at preventing pregnancy. Another type of emergency contraception is having the Copper T IUD put into your uterus within seven days of unprotected sex. This method is 99.9% effective at preventing pregnancy. You will need to visit your doctor for either a prescription for the pills or for the insertion of the IUD, and to make sure you are not having problems." (11-25%, .1% chance for a fertile egg, respective numbers)

With information, one can conclude that no method is guaranteed to prevent pregnancy, (form a fertile egg), except abstinance. All the other forms have some risk of pregnancy, however minute.

The things we need to ask ourselves are, when a fertile egg does occur while on these methods, what happens next? What happens to that egg? Does it make it to birth or is it aborted?

Also, these percentages are the numbers deducted from the fertile eggs that were eventually considered a viable pregnancy. There are some fertile eggs that, although alive, formed, growing, and headed towards a uterus to implant, never make it, and are therefore never counted as a fertile egg. These are "lost". How does a fertile egg -conceived in spite of contriceptives -become lost before it can be counted even as viable? Do women know they can be aborting these fertile eggs and not even know it?

In order to answer these questions we need to know how these birth controls even further detail. Something the drug companies used to inform us about, now we need to dig to find out. Next post we'll try to find some answers.

add to sk*rt

When two worlds begins.

Getting into differing viewpoints on birth control can become very edgy at best. I will preface my viewpoint with those of (LDS) church leaders and also opinions from the scientific, medical, and governmental fields. I will begin the post with the question, “What is life?” followed by “When does life begin?”

Life” – the general condition that distinguishes organisms from inorganic and dead organisms, is manifested by growth through metabolism, a means of reproduction, and internal regulation in response to the environment. (Webster's College Dictionary)

Life for a human is defined as, any individual of the genus Homo, especially a member of the species, Homo Sapiens; a person distinguished from other animals; such beings are unique from all other beings in that they have 46 human chromosomes in every cell. A Down’s syndrome (sometimes referred to as “Triple X" ) human has an extra chromosome. They are human, but humans with an abnormal number of chromosomes. Abnormalities occur within the human family, extra digits, blindness, etc.

When does life begin? “It is not a question of when “meaningful life” begins or when the spirit “quickens” the body. In the biological sciences, it is known that life begins when two germ cells unite to become one cell, bringing together twenty-three chromosomes from both the father and from the mother.” (Russell M. Nelson, “Reverence for Life,” Ensign, May 1985, 11)

“There is no longer serious doubt in my mind that human life exists within the womb from the very onset of pregnancy.” (Dr. Bernard N. Nathanson New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 291, no. 22, p. 1189.)

The more scientific knowledge of fetal development that has been learned, the more science has confirmed that the beginning of any one human individual’s life, biologically speaking, begins at the completion of the union of his father’s sperm and his mother’s ovum, a process called "conception," "fertilization" or "fecundation." This is so because this being, from fertilization, is alive, human, sexed, complete and growing.

In 1982, lengthy hearings in the U.S. Senate and the two-volume report of the Human Life Bill defined "conception" and used it exclusively to mean the time of union of sperm and ovum. "Human Life Bill," (U.S. Senate Common Judiciary, Subcommittee of Separation of Powers, 97th Congress, S-158, April-June 1982, Serial No. J-97-16)

Sperm enter the woman’s vagina, swim through the cavity of her uterus and out through her Fallopian tubes. This can take as brief a time as five minutes to pass through the uterus and reach the tubes, and as brief as another 15 minutes to pass through the tubes and reach the ovaries. The egg, breaking out of the shell of her ovary, is penetrated by the head of one spermatozoa. Immediately the ovum creates a chemical or electrical charge or fence preventing other sperm from entering.

The pronucleus of the sperm, containing its 23 chromosomes, in about 12 hours migrates to meet the ovum’s pronucleus with its 23 chromosomes. Their fusion takes about 2 hours.
Then in another 18 hours this 46 chromosome nucleus divides into two cells.Then into 3 cells at which time some new opinion believes the "decision" is made to stay single or pro-gram to divide into twins. Then to 4 cells, to 8, to 16 and on and on. (Jones and Schraeder, "The Process of Human Fertilization," Fertility and Sterility, vol. 48, no. 2, Aug. 1987, p. 191 Word Wars, E. Diamond, Physician, Nov. 1992, Pp. 14-15 Personal Communication, J. Lejeune 1994)

Most use the moment of sperm penetration as the "moment of conception." Others wait until their pronuclei fuse at 12-14 hours to say conception is a completed process. In either case this new human life is complete at the first cell stage.

After much research I have concluded that life begins at "conception", which means when the sperm and egg join each other and begin to divide and grow.

add to sk*rt

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Discourse on Marriage

I have been reading much recently on the factual decline of traditional families in the Nordic Countries due to the view their citizens and governments have on marriage and family. According to the research it took only 15 years to descend and adopt a culture where marriage is the exception, not the rule. It has me in a sad place.

I also have had a few discussions on line and within correspondence through my private e-mail concerning my views on birth control and pregnancy control. Over the next few posts I will try to write as distinctly and factually as I can to explain my viewpoints. I know I will offend some, for that I do not apologize, but rather hope to inform.

When I was much younger I heard all of the same talks by parents, teachers and church authorities, "Stay morally clean!" There was even a time in my life when I misunderstood an admonition that implied it was better for me to die than be unchaste. I thought it meant that if I were raped, somehow I was less than pure in the eyes of God and I should have allowed my "death before dishonour." As an adult I know now those well meaning folk were trying to tell me: "Death before you dishonour yourself." No one within the church blames the victim in a sexual crime, they never have, they never will. That being said, many still wonder what's the big deal? If I really love someone, why can't I have a sexual relationship? What if I never marry? Am I supposed to go to my grave a virgin? Well, yes. As unreasonable, unfair -and frankly- almost impossible to achieve as that sounds, yes.

Why the law of chastity; and why is it second only to murder and denying the Holy Ghost? Bruce C. Hafen explains it well.

"Sometimes we give as reasons for the law of chastity the risk of pregnancy or abortion, the possibility of an unwanted or embarrassing marriage, or the chance of a terrible venereal disease. With adultery, we talk about the damage of destroying an existing marriage or family. As serious as these things are, I’m not sure they are the fundamental reason for the Lord’s having placed this commandment ahead of armed robbery and fraud in the seriousness of sins.

Think of it—unchastity is second only to murder. Perhaps there is a common element in those two things—unchastity and murder. Both have to do with life, which touches upon the highest of divine powers. Murder involves the wrongful taking of life; sexual transgression may involve the wrongful giving of life, or the wrongful tampering with the sacred fountains of life-giving power. "(italics added)Bruce C. Hafen, The Gospel and Romantic Love," New Era, Feb. 2002, 10

As unfair and unrealistic as it seems, when we have sexual relationships outside of a legal marriage, no matter our age or ability to procreate, we play God. I decide to give life without God's permission (marriage requirement); I put myself above God and His power. It's the same as if I were a murderer, I decide to take life without God's permission (natural death).

On why marriage is between one man and one woman, those of us who are LDS need not go further than the The Family Proclamation. Not familiar with this proclamation? The following statement also sums it up nicely for me:
"Since becoming a parent is such a transcending blessing, and since each child is so precious and brings so much happiness, a cardinal purpose of marriage and of life itself is to bring forth new life within this partnership with God. Obligations inherent in the creation of precious human life are a sacred trust, which if faithfully kept, will keep us from degenerating into moral bankrupts and from becoming mere addicts of lust.

The responsibilities involved in the divine life-giving process, and the functions of our body, are so sacrosanct that they are to be exercised only within the marriage relationship. Those who do not accept and meet those responsibilities, for any reason, as well as those who do, should never depart from the law of chastity if they wish to be truly happy. All members of this Church seeking eternal joy and peace are expected to and will wish to come to the marriage altar free from sexual transgressions—chaste and pure. Any who fail to do so may find that they have cheated themselves of their own self-respect, dignity, and much of the great joy they seek in marriage. Because of the special inner peace, strength, and happiness it brings, chastity, as the law of God, is and always has been really “in,” and unchastity is and always has been really “out.” " (italics added) James E. Faust, “The Sanctity of Life,” Ensign, May 1975, 27

Above I linked to a (rather lengthly) article about the Scandinavian Countries and the decline of the family and marriage. Within that article are the following paragraphs:

"As Danish sociologists Wehner, Kambskard, and Abrahamson describe it, in the wake of the changes of the nineties, "Marriage is no longer a precondition for settling a family--neither legally nor normatively. . . . What defines and makes the foundation of the Danish family can be said to have moved from marriage to parenthood."
So the highly touted half-page of analysis from an unpublished paper that supposedly helps validate the "conservative case" for gay marriage--i.e., that it will encourage stable marriage for heterosexuals and homosexuals alike--does no such thing. Marriage in Scandinavia is in deep decline, with children shouldering the burden of rising rates of family dissolution. And the mainspring of the decline--an increasingly sharp separation between marriage and parenthood--can be linked to gay marriage. " (italics and bold added)

When sex is accepted outside of marriage; marriage itself is devalued. Marriage becomes a technicality for an outdated society, a tradition rather than a commandment (or necessary ordinance) and pretty soon heterosexual relationships throw marriage out, produce children without bound parents, and homosexual partnerships pick up the marriage slack, eventually adopting children into a household where both gender representations and role models are unavailable.

The article continues:

"In Sweden, as elsewhere, the sixties brought contraception, abortion, and growing individualism. Sex was separated from procreation, reducing the need for "shotgun weddings." These changes, along with the movement of women into the workforce, enabled and encouraged people to marry at later ages. With married couples putting off parenthood, early divorce had fewer consequences for children. That weakened the taboo against divorce. Since young couples were putting off children, the next step was to dispense with marriage and cohabit until children were desired. Americans have lived through this transformation. The Swedes have simply drawn the final conclusion: If we've come so far without marriage, why marry at all? Our love is what matters, not a piece of paper. Why should children change that?" (How many times do we hear that a piece of paper is not necessary if two people love each other?)

"Gay marriage is both an effect and a reinforcing cause of the separation of marriage and parenthood. In states like Sweden and Denmark, where out-of-wedlock birthrates were already very high, and the public favored gay marriage, gay unions were an effect of earlier changes. Once in place, gay marriage symbolically ratified the separation of marriage and parenthood. And once established, gay marriage became one of several factors contributing to further increases in cohabitation and out-of-wedlock birthrates, as well as to early divorce. But in Norway, where out-of-wedlock birthrates were lower, religion stronger, and the public opposed same-sex unions, gay marriage had an even greater role in precipitating marital decline." (italics and bold added)

I will end this first post with a repeat of the quote from James E. Faust:

"Since becoming a parent is such a transcending blessing, and since each child is so precious and brings so much happiness, a cardinal purpose of marriage and of life itself is to bring forth new life within this partnership with God. Obligations inherent in the creation of precious human life are a sacred trust, which if faithfully kept, will keep us from degenerating into moral bankrupts and from becoming mere addicts of lust."

add to sk*rt