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Saturday, August 05, 2006


The Games People Play

Yesterday's Friday School lesson was about following the Prophets. (#29-If I was computer savvy, I could drop in a hot link to Ted Gibbons lesson at, but I can only recommend you look it up yourself, it's a great lesson) Once again, I feel like a giant hypocrite to be teaching such a lesson. I surely wasn't following the Prophet and his servants (my Bishop and my parents) 30 years ago when I married a Muslim. But there I stood yesterday, the poster girl for "Don't marry outside the Church/Covenant" trying to teach others the principles of following the prophet. I made some comment about not beating myself up over past mistakes and to keep my eyes focused on my present and future levels of obedience to try to cover for my discomfort.

Later that night I was playing computer games. I was listening and singing along to a great CD "Hymns of Faith", but my mind was still full of doubts about my ability to teach this class. What is it about computer solitary games and negative thoughts? I know when I play computer games, part of my mind plays the game and the other part becomes a playground for negative thoughts... Weird, huh. I can set there for hours (sadly) snowballing, mulling over my every flaw, feeling inadequate for everything. I'm not usually a negative person, but somehow, when my mind is blank and unoccupied, the negative thoughts have a field day in all that empty space. Even the great music wasn't enough to stop this damaging mind game I play.

Well, I guess, I know where this blog is going. I've got to be super careful to limit my computer game time. When I feel the blame and shame game starting to kick in, it's time to turn off the computer. I know thoughts of guilt or remorse should lead us to repentance, but that is all they are good for. I've repented for my mistake 30 years ago. (I plead temporary insanity in the court of God and threw myself at the mercy of the Judge.) Now, I need to stop the guilt and insecurity since feelings of despair and inadequacy serve no one but Satan. And that's one master I never want to have.

My good friend gave me some good advice which was once give to her by her Bishop. He said, "When you drive a car, you don't go around looking constantly in the rear vision. You look forward, checking what's behind you from time to time, but focused on what's ahead." That really helped me, and I remind myself of it whenever I start to dwell on things I shouldn't have done a million years ago....
Carol, we're thinking of moving to Sharjah next year, so I guess that would be in Dubai Ward. Can you tell me if it's big? Are there youth? Many? Do they have regular activities? Seminary? I hope you don't mind me asking. I am kind of excited about a desert change, and I'm glad to know that there are funny, intelligent lds women there in the UAE, that I look forward to laughing with next year:)
Carolyn (in Brisbane, Australia)

I just clicked on this link from "Lisa's Ramblings" blog and read your first entry. I want to follow your blog--you are in fascinating circumstances and are facing them with a firm and inspiring testimony.

I fight the "what ifs" kind of thinking all the time and realize the need to leave it behind. I married in the temple, but my marriage has been very challenging. I entered it knowing it would be, and I have lived through abuse and craziness that is unbelievable, and talking about it makes me look like the craziest person in the world for submitting myself to it.

Much of the problem has been based on my inadequacies. I raised my five children either with no money or with no contact due to my having several low-paying jobs.

I tried to live the gospel as best I could through it all. Present results: my husband is gentle, humble, and contributing. He is now on disability because a very smart counselor was able to pin point the problems always labeled as bad behaviors as brain damage. That knowledge, the right medications, and the lifting of the pressure to support has allowed him to work with what he does have.

Our children are in various stages of adjustment. I have to trust our Savior's power to heal to continue with them as He has done with me.

I still work two jobs, raise a garden, supervise my husband on the homefront, worship and service in the Church, and enjoy our two boys at home with what time I can spare.

The "what ifs" deal with memories that are healing, the wish that we owned a home, had a secure financial future, were not so different, etc. But I look at some who (I think) are rich and untried--and I do not really want to trade. My trials have taught me so much--and the humility (at times at least) and trust gained from trials are solid things. Because of Christ, I anticipate having an eternal future with my family in a far more balanced setting--with my husband and I finally being whole.

The living with consequences and the need for healing are a daily process, however.

Please excuse me for such a long entry this first time. You touched a chord.
Carolyn: great advice I'll try to follow.

Lorienne: I'm soooo sorry it took me forever to get back to this blog. It's a saddly neglected blog lately. Thank you for your comments and I hope and pray that we can encourage each other in our difficult and unique lives. I couldn't help but wonder if my Large Hulking Son has brain damage from his druggie days. His behavior even off drugs is eratic, abusive and hurtfull. I posed the question to him the other night and suggested for the thousandth time he get a good councelor.
I am so glad to find your blog as we have a little in common, but I am now kind of in the Mid west and my husband is from Central Asia. I noticed you haven't written in your blog for a long time so I hope you see my message. But my life is weird in that my husband converted from Islam to Evangelical Christianity. So oh well, I just keep working on my faith and hope for the best.
Carol, I am new here in Abu dhabi.I just arrived a month ago. I am an LDS from the Philippines and was absorbed to work in Manufacturing company. I am a returned missionary. I'd like to know the location of the church here in abu dhabi. If not, at least a meetinghouse where I can worship and meet LDS. Please help me. I need it so bad.


Carol - do you know if there's a ward/branch in Abu Dhabi? We're looking into a job there and the church website mentions a Dubai Ward and a number of "Desert Springs 1,2,3 etc." wards and branches but no mention of Abu Dhabi specifically.

thank you for the information.
Gail, William, if you're still looking, email and might be able to find out for you.
Hi everybody!
I am a LDS member from Italy.
My name is Lenny and I am 27 y/o.
My wife is not a member of the church and is from South Korea.
But even if is not a member of the Church she has strong values same as she were an LDS member.
She still miss a testimony that the Church is true.
I think that marrying someone who is not a member is not wrong if done for love and if that person has values.
It can be an opportunity and at the same time a challange for us to bring our beloved one to discover what we have.
I believe that as LDS member we have a lot of privileges on this Earth. And sharing these things with someone we love -even if not a member- is something great.
God always look at ppl heart and we should do the same.
And if we have faith everything will be possible. So let's make it possible. It's up to us and to uor faith.
God wants to bless us and we know that.
We just need to ask with all our heart and we can receive amazing blessings.

God bless you all!

I think that probably I will move to Dubai for work.

If so I hope to see you all at Chrch and to introduce you my wonderful wife. Hopefully as an LDS Sister.

Bye! Lenny
Hi Carol,

Just wanna share a scripture found on 1 Nephi 13:37 it says and i quote "And blessed are they who shall seek to bring forth my Zion at the day, for they shall have the gift and the power of the Holy Ghost; and if they endure unto the end they shall be lifted up at the last day, and shall be saved in the everlasting kingdom of the Lamb; and whoso shall publish peace, yea, tidings, of great joy, how beautiful upon the mountains shall they be. I know Sister that you can endure to the end and that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ loves you.. just hold on to the rod..

Oh, by the way, i am new too here in UAE in dubai specifically.. hope to meet you one day.. In God's perfect time..
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