Monday, March 30, 2009


So like I mentioned in my post with the Thai song, I have been pondering why the petty things hurt the most. Recently I got very upset about something that is seemingly so petty. I think the real reason I got upset though is the fact that it represents something has changed in my relationship with this particular friend. When I found out about this petty thing, all I could do was twiddle my thumbs and think about the fireside that I had later that night.

It hurt. A lot. Then again, life is very painful at times. To feel left out of something is a part of the human experience. To be left alone is also another part of the human experience. I guess I just have to learn that not everything works out the way we had hoped.

I think BYU, while it can be very fun and I will probably stay here, has exacerbated my pain at times. I feel so out of place sometimes as I fail to understand others motivations or other people's reactions to the religious beliefs of others. I find it to be an odd dynamic that I am still trying to figure out.

Though, I have a question for BYU alumnus who may be reading this blog: Why should I stay at BYU?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thursday Musings

So lately I have been so swamped I haven't known what to do with myself. Here are some happinesses and sadnesses. I like to look at both sides. First the sadnesses:

1. ASL 15 hour project still looming.
2. My BOM test- I am genuinely thinking there must have been a mistake. My score is too low compared to last time ( I seriously got above 95 last time). Also the number next to it made no sense whatsoever, I still can't figure that out. I think this is the deciding factor, though not the ultimate factor, that has made me realize that I don't really like Brother Parrish's class all that much. It feels like seminary rehashed, is spiritual at times, but often lacks depth and he goes off on bizarre tangets. I love him as a guy- he has a great personality but I would never recommend him as a teacher. I am also highly dissapointed that the Honors section is no different than the regular section. He would make an excellent seminary teacher but as a religion teacher I am giving him two thumbs down.
3. Other stressors are getting to me. I am so burnt out and ready to leave BYU for the summer. It's absurd.


1. Taco bell is delicious.
2. Thailand is incredible. I love it more everyday. Really.
3. School is over in less than a month!
4. I finished my 8 page Spanish Paper rough draft!
5. As of right now I have an A in Spanish linguistics- Professor Alvord is great.
6. Church history is fascinating.
7. ASL is pretty fun despite it being a major source of my frustration this semester.
8. American Humanities with Sederholm is a riot! I love him! He is hilarious!
9. Keele is still great.
10. Hotel Rwanda tomorrow.
11. Thai tomorrow!
12. Thailand!
13. Father in Israel
14. My family is great. I really am going to miss them a lot.
15. Did I already mention Thailand?

Friday, March 20, 2009

One Big Sigh


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Things I Don't Like

Here's a list of things I don't like

1. Superiority complexes. I need to avoid this one.
2. Spanish papers that are this hard.
3. ASL 15 hour projects that I procrastinate.
4. Mormon exit stories- I am going to talk about this one today.

I know I blog a lot about Mormonism. I am a fan ( just in case you couldn't guess) of my faith and the complex matters of theology that it presents. I love to see both sides of the matter. I love to hear the criticism because it's so interesting to hear what interesting ideas people have about Mormonism. I was recently reading a Mormon exit story and I realized why I don't like them.

They quote things like this as evidence that Mormonism causes you to rely wholly on feelings you feel in your heart.

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9)

"He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool, but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered." (Proverbs 28:26)

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5)

"He feedeth on ashes; a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?" (Isaiah 44:20)

And these bother me. Can you really ever prove any religious system? Evangelicals who dislike Mormonism often love to point out that Mormonism has problems with x, y, and z, while ignoring the problems of a-w of Christianity in general. Also, what's up with this talk of a different Jesus? What does that even mean? My Christ is lesser than yours? Your Christ is greater than mine? My Christ is greater than yours? No to all of the above. I love my religion, you love yours, can't we have an honest dialogue where you don't throw out things like the Book of Abraham and I won't throw things at you like seeming Bible contradictions. I love Evangelism because of its beauty. Can't you do the same with Mormonism? Can you see anything beautiful in it?

Now let me step back and say this: not all Evangelicals are out to get Mormons. In fact it is a small minority. But, I feel pain when my "christian" (and I mean lowercase) brothers attack the Christian saints. It makes me just as sad, however, when my "christian" saints attack my Christian brothers. I will leave you to figure out my distinction.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Yellow Fever and Tuesday Musings

Recently one of my friends told me that she thinks I may have yellow fever. Not the real yellow fever. But the one where missionaries come back and get married to someone who is from their mission to Asia. Or someone from that nationality. I hadn't really thought about seriously but I guess it is a possibility. The Thai people are a beautiful people. Very beautiful girls. But who knows? Marriage is so not on my mind at this point.

Here are a few things that are on mind instead: Church History Test, Spanish Paper (Pesadilla), BOM reading, ASL Hours (ME DIE WILL), and my American Humanities paper. Sadly, there is no way for me to be able to avoid any of these. So I will pray for strength and it will work out. I know it will somehow.

I have felt more tired lately. And while I am still working on my Lenten goal, it has been really difficult lately. Today I got up at 7:20. Sigh. But at least I am trying right? Today I am going to work really hard on my paper to get it done. It will happen. I know I can do it. Also on tap for today: MLK rushwrite, ASL, Devotional in ASL, Spanish 329, Work on Paper, Civ.

Let's hope I can get this all done.

Friday, March 13, 2009

My New Thai Obsession and Random Friday Musings

I don't know why but I really like this song. A lot. I can't understand it except a few scattered word like krai (who),raai (bad)and a few others. It's a soothing song.

Ost.ปิดเทอมใหญ่หัวใจว้าวุ่น - รอเธอหันมา - โฟกัส

In other news, I am hoping that I can get all my homework done for next week. I think it's doable, it's just a matter of being patient with myself. I have a sizeable to-do-list, but if I don't take a break this weekend, I am going to die from the sheer amount of stress. There is just too much to do. But a break will be good. And next week, I will study very hard. And do my ASL hours. 15 hours. Wow. But I know I can do it. I have been in bigger crisises before. Much bigger.

I have an obsession with stress. I thrive on stress. Some part of me really loves being stressed out despite what I say sometimes. I think it's because I feel like I have to prove something maybe? Or maybe it's something to do with a desire to be productive continually. Probably my Puritan stock (and my inordinate obsession with them).

So I totally did way better on my Spanish test than I thought I would. It was a great happiness in my life. I got an 88/100. Though this was one of the lower scores in the class, I did perfect on the syntax trees. I am obsessed with syntax. It is too fascinating for its own good. People say it's like math. Maybe I don't give math enough credit. But I am still not going to take it. Deal?

And I got up late this morning. Meh. Whatever. I have been dang good this week. I deserved a break.

I may add more to this post later. As of now, I am out of fresh material.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What I needed to realize today

I am going to post my (somewhat terrible) but interesting Parzival paper here. I needed this message today. And yes, it's only 9 AM. I need the true lover. Always.

Parzival and the True Lover
A Christological View of Parzival

In the Middle High German epic poem, Parzival, the theme of a true lover or a redeemer, prevails. It is only through the grace of this true lover, Jesus Christ, that mankind can be redeemed from the Fall of Adam and healed from the wounds associated with this Fall. In order to provide this healing, Christ himself is crucified, wounded and in this process that came to be known as the atonement, provides salvation for all mankind who take advantage of this atonement. As disciples of Jesus Christ, however, men must become disciples in imitatio Christi, becoming God’s servants to help others become redeemed through the true lover. Throughout the journey of the title character, Parzival, this redemption through Christ and his servants, disciples in imitation Christi, can be seen in the overall theme of the wounding of Abrahamic potential and in the specific example of the wounds of Amfortas being healed by the grail and Parzival’s question.

In Parzival, the Abrahamic covenant made manifest through the male reproductive organs plays a prominent role in the story of salvation through Jesus Christ. Before Parzival embarks on his journey, Wolfram tells of his birth. “He could not be other than fondled and cherished, for he was possessed of the organ of a man” (pg 63). A little later, when Parzival arrives at Gurnemanz’s castle, the women who bathe him would like to see “if something had happened to him down below” (pg 92), but they decide to leave the room in favor of modesty. These references to the male reproductive organs speak to an Abrahamic covenant of eternal posterity. With wounds in these organs, there is no possibility of eternal increase. Typically, this wounding results from sin, lack of care or simply the effects of the Fall of Adam. This covenant of eternal increase, first established with Abraham, cannot be fulfilled as long as the reproductive system is wounded. A kind of wound that cannot be healed by medicine alone, it must be healed by the wounding of another or the true lover, Jesus Christ. Thus, without someone to atone for this wounding, there is no way to overcome it.

The way the wounds are healed is seen through the story of Anfortas, a man wounded in the testicles, who seeks healing per the grail’s instructions. The grail requires that a question be asked in order for Anfortas to receive healing (pg. 130). Parzival, per the counsel of Gurnemanz (pg. 94), does not answer this question and thereby cannot offer healing to Anfortas. This speaks to the role of those who elect to follow God and their crucial role as God’s hands. Parzival, by refusing to ask the question of his fellow man, and offer an extension of help, retards the healing ability of the grail, the symbol of the true lover, to offer true healing to the wounded Anfortas. Parzival slacks his duty as a disciple in imitatio Christi. He takes the advice of Gurnemanz too far, refusing to ask any kind of question that could result in healing or comfort. In Parzival’s attempt to follow the societal rules, he fails to follow a higher, spiritual law. Gurnemanz’s rules about how to act as a knight seem to apply more to a “courteous” level of living rather than the ideal “templeous” (Keele). Those who desire to be redeemers of the men around them, must exhibit an understanding of the higher law of conduct and its implications for all of humanity.

In Parzival’s Christological story, Wolfram explores the implications of the wounding in the token of the Abrahamic covenant and the ultimate necessity for an atonement to be made. In addition to this atonement, however, there must be disciples of Jesus Christ who act as saviors in imitatio Christi in order to make this atonement more fully efficacious on behalf of the fallen race of Adam who desire to have the blessings promised to Abraham. Without these disciples in imitation Christi, the redemption is frustrated and the atonement of Christ cannot be extended as effectively.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Evangelicalism in Me?

Am I the only Mormon out there who does not like Mormonism's discussion of theosis (doctrine of becoming gods) at times? This Sunday, we talked about it in our Elder's Quorum. Whenever we talk about this particular doctrine, I get really uncomfortable. Let me give a few reasons as to why I think I get uncomfortable with this.

1. It's often presented in a manner that seems... well... almost irreverent. ( I really don't mean to judge, you can call me out if you feel I am absurd.) It seems almost like it's irreverent when we discuss it because it is something that we really don't actually know that much about. In fact, I don't know that we really know much of anything about it, besides the possibility of it.

2. It leads to a lot of folk doctrine. I heard someone asked where a scriptural reference was for "As man is God once was and as God is, man may become." Turns out, that's actually not scripture. Then I heard someone else say that it was said by a living prophet, so it might as well be scripture. This again, seems folk doctrine-y to me. We really don't take everything that prophets say as doctrine because to do such is a scary proposition. We only take statements that are evaluated and made canon. I am not saying I don't agree with Lorenzo Snow's couplet but I am saying we need to be very careful when we start throwing around doctrine when, in reality, it could just as well be folk doctrine.

3. As mentioned earlier, it gets at my Evangelical side when Mormons talk about it. Again, it's not that I don't believe it, it's just that I don't claim to understand it. I don't know how it works, when it will happen, and what it means exactly. Of course I believe in our divine potential, but there is still something about it that makes me really uncomfortable. Now I know we shouldn't cater to be popular, but I can't help but imagine what would happen if we had had a non-member in our midst. What would they have thought of our discussion? Are we keeping our discussions in harmony with Gospel teachings? Are we recognizing the role of grace in our salvation? Are we recognizing that we need grace? Again, my evangelism creeping in.

Granted, dear readers, please realize, I do believe in divine potential. I think it's a beautiful doctrine, but I just wish it were presented differently.

I hate to sound judgy. I am not trying to judge anyone in particular, I am just stating my opinions and questioning this theological undestanding. If I am in the wrong, I will back off, but could someone please help me to understand this?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

10 Happinesses

So this week I had two tests. I have yet to see how I did on them, but I don't think I did too hot. So, instead of moping about, I am making a list of 10 happinesses.

1. Books written by, not about, Paddington Bear.
2. Blueberries.
3. Chucking it up- With their scones.
4. Jacob's theological teachings in 2nd Nephi.
5. Sleep.
6. Alan Keele.
7. Thailand.
8. Thailand. Er... I mean family.
9. Disney music dubbed.
10. Board games.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Do I fit in?

BYU has a tendency to send around more surveys than are humanely possible to complete. I often get frustrated that my guilt often gets to me and forces me to do them. They often asks the same questions over and over again. One that I have been thinking about lately is this one: how well do you fit in at BYU?

One of my friends from High School recently decided to leave BYU after this semester. His reasoning? Everyone at BYU is too scared of differences. I can see his point to an extent. When I tell people my views on everything, I tend to see a lot of criticism. This is not a complaint, but rather a statement of fact. I have been called out as "apostate" (in "nicer" words) many times. I have been accused of raising my heel against the Lord's anointed. I have also been accused of "spiritually wounding" someone. I have been accused of being ridiculous for supporting legalized abortion and other platforms typically viewed as Democratic. And through all of this, I have felt my friend who decided to leave BYU's pain. BYU students do often desire other BYU students to be homogeneous. This is evident in everything from political beliefs (because everyone knows God is a Republican) and religious beliefs (Church History is exactly as it is presented in Sunday School).

So how well do I fit in at BYU? I would say I actually don't fit in at all most of the time. But then there are moments where I start to sing a hymn or talk about theology where I do fit in at BYU. So I guess the answer is, I fit in until people start to get uncomfortable with my beliefs. (So basically never.) People often assert that they are right (as in the case where I was told I don't have the Spirit of the Lord because I received revelation different from them) and often ignore the other side of the coin. I think this is more spiritually damaging than anything else in the world. To cast your brother in a light that is not correct and then tout yourself as correct is irresponsible.

Granted, I do the same thing, but I like to see myself as an open-minded, dialectical thinker. I will listen to your arguments, but I will point out holes in them and defend my own. When people, however, begin to attack my standing as a Mormon, I dig my heels in big time. I belong to a Church where people can be different. Mormons aren't all carbon-copies. That isn't God's plan and it never will be.

Furthermore, would I want to fit in? Nope. Why? Somehow I doubt that Paul or Thomas ever fit in.

God Help the Outcasts

I am infatuated with this song in any language. And now I am listening to it in Thai. I will probably blog more later today.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame - ขอพรให้คนจน (God Help The Outcasts) - ผุสชา โทนะวณิก

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Some Sunday Gems

So today was a good day at Church. I bore my testimony. I avoided the thankamony for the most part, but I did talk a little bit about Thailand. Then and again I can't get two sentences out without talking about Thailand. Here are some Sunday Gems (funny and serious) from today.

1. I would like to bear testimony of the cleared sidewalk.
2. The traditional testimony bearer who takes 10 minutes to tell stories. She has a testimony, so why not share it?
3. The excellent testimony about her symposium paper and the missionaries. She even mentioned my name! I felt so happy.
4. Mormons are feeble minded- My Sunday School teacher proposed that Mormons are feeble minded people who are "humble" enough to accept the Gospel. Does humble mean stupid? Please. Someone let me know.
5. Life is a beach, then you drown.