…the parched land shall become a pool, and the thirsty lands springs of water…(Isaiah 35:7)

Why Should We Mourn?

Or Think Our Lot Is Hard?

By Rex Goode


Categories: Acceptance,Faith,Family,Issues,Perseverance,Personal,Same-sex Attraction,Tolerance

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I’m not Mormon Pioneer stock like a lot of Latter-day Saints. My grandmother was the earliest convert, although one ancestor before her was married to a Mormon. Yet, as all Latter-day Saints, I owe gratitude to the pioneers who fled persecution in the east to settle in the Salt Lake valley and establish a refuge for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to allow it to gather strength and become the beacon of faith it now is.

Like most of my faith and generation, I grew up hearing and singing the great anthem of the Church, “Come, Come, Ye Saints.” Out here in Oregon, at least in my area, it doesn’t get sung that much, but I remember it very well.

Obviously, there is much that attracts me about the Mormon faith, else I wouldn’t have made such a great effort to remain faithful to it. Even though I am not the descendant of Mormon pioneers, I have a deep admiration and respect for pioneers. My wife is the descendant of Oregon pioneers and I have done a fair amount of reading about them.

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Copyright 2019, Inner Vessel Productions.


The Ghosts of Christmas Past

Memories

By Rex Goode


Categories: Abuse,Change,Inspiration,Personal

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ME6In the Charles Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge is show some of the Christmas times of his past in an effort to soften his curmudgeonly attitude towards Christmas. Depending on whether you read the story or watch the multitude of dramatizations of it, you begin to see how the old miser got the way he is. He suffered from neglect by his family, perhaps even abuse at the hands of a cruel father, and many setbacks related to his own poor choices.

I’ll say right up front that my childhood wasn’t all rosy. I suffered from abuse and emotional neglect. It was hard being in the Church back then, in the sixties. There were no doubt many broken homes and blended families in America, but there weren’t that many at church. Every child I knew at church came from a fully intact, no divorce involved, family. Naturally, I couldn’t know if they were being treated like I was, but they all seemed so secure and safe. (more…)

2 people like this post.

Copyright 2019, Inner Vessel Productions.


Sappy

The Beauty of Transformation

By Rex Goode


Categories: Change,Faith,Gratitude,Inspiration

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kleenexThe holiday season is when I watch a lot of highly sentimental stuff. I’m a sucker for movies that are meant to evoke a strong, emotional response. It runs in my family.

I was always amazed at my mom and her sisters. We all lived far apart, but whenever we would visit, which seemed fairly often, they would get a little snippy with each other. Yet, when it was time to go home, they all started crying. Actually, I was impressed.

It wasn’t really spoken of, but things had not always been wonderful between them all, especially my Aunt Jaquita, my grandmother, and my mom. There had been a falling out in the past but I only learned much later in life that it revolved around me. Still, when they forgave, it was an all-out forgiveness and that is an inspiration to me to this day. I think it is important for families to quickly forgive each other.

At these teary moments of parting, I would get teary too, though as a young boy I was quick to hide it. It wasn’t just the natural reluctance that almost all boys have to being seen crying. My stepfather used to say to me, “If you don’t stop crying, I’ll give you something to cry about.”

The abuser in my family warped that into, “I’m going to hit you until you stop crying.” I learned very quickly to put the brakes on my tears.

In my adulthood, I’ve only grown more prone to crying at emotional stuff. A talk in church, a television commercial or show, a movie, all can make me cry. It’s a little embarrassing, but I’m glad I’m that way.

As I do with so many things, I like to understand why I am the way I am and I’ve thought about this propensity for sappiness at movies. Why do some emotional movies trigger a dam burst and others just a sniffle or two? It seems so strange to me, as I wipe my eyes. I’ll think, “That was really hokey, but why am I crying?”

One Magic Christmas is the story of a woman who has lost the spirit of Christmas as hard times have come to her and her family. A Christmas angel named Gideon is sent to help her find Christmas spirit again. He does this through some encounters with the intervention of Santa Claus in some tragedies that happen.

I recently watched One Magic Christmas, a holiday favorite of mine. It’s Santa and his angel minion, Gideon (Harry Dean Stanton), to the rescue. They do an attitude adjustment on Ginny (Mary Steenburgen) through a series of tragedies and resolutions. At the end, I cry.

What puzzles me about it is that I don’t literally believe in Santa Claus in a direct sort of way. I believe in the possibility of a man translated into an immortal of sorts who lives on earth and does good. I believe that might include helping children have things at Christmas. I also believe in angels and their ministrations to us.

Yet, the story of the transformation of Ginny is far from plausible and highly sentimental, though very well-acted. It seemed funny to me that I would get sappy over it, until it came to me what kinds of things make me tear up.

I get the same way over all of the many versions of A Christmas Carol. What gets to my tear ducts and sinuses is transformation. That’s something I really believe in. When my mother would part tearfully from my grandmother and aunt after some disagreements, when Ebenezer Scrooge shows up to offer to pay for Tiny Tim to get better, when Ginny finally says “Merry Christmas” again, and when someone changes for the better, I find that deeply moving.

I believe it is because of my own transformation from a teenager on the road to death and hell to the confidence of one determined to dedicate his life to the Savior that reached into his heart and changed him. I relate very well to all stories of transformation from someone in the depths of pain to someone in the light of hope. It reaches me. It makes me cry.

My heart strings are tuned to the beauty of transformation, no matter how small or even seemingly trivial. I see it and I want to burst into tears of joy that to me represent the joy I remember at my own transformation.

2 people like this post.

Copyright 2019, Inner Vessel Productions.


My New Old Calling

And Other Idiosyncracies of the Mormon Dialect

By Rex Goode


Categories: Doctrinal,Service

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Confused?

Sometimes it seems like Mormons speak their own brand of English and indeed we do. Sometimes, the things we say can really confuse people who aren’t familiar with our practices. Something from my recent life is a good example. If you are not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and never have been, let’s see if you can decipher this.

Tonight I was set apart for my new calling, which is the same calling as the one I was just released from. I was sustained a few weeks ago during stake conference, but because of illness, they didn’t get around to setting me apart until tonight. My new old calling is as the first counselor to the Stake Sunday School President. The reason I got released and called again is because the former president was called to be on the High Council and the new president asked for me to be his first counselor. He used to be the second counselor. The new second counselor has been serving as the Sunday School President in his ward.

If you’re confused, I’m going to try to explain it to you. Ready? (more…)

2 people like this post.

Copyright 2019, Inner Vessel Productions.


Letting Go

Cleaning House

By Rex Goode


Categories: Acceptance,Issues

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messIt has been a very long time since I’ve posted anything. Things are very hectic around here. We are rearranging our house to make room for some family members that need a place to stay for awhile. I can’t believe how much stuff I have accumulated.

I have an office in the house and it was full of good intentions, things I’ve meant to work on and accomplish. I wouldn’t say that I’m a hoarder. I don’t like a mess. I really like space more than I like obstacles, but when you don’t have nearly as much money as you’d like, it’s hard to let go of something that is no longer a priority.

Even harder to accept is recognizing that there are some things I’d love to do but am just not going to get around to them, at least not in the foreseeable future. It’s strange to talk about the past and the future in the same thought, but most of the plans I’ve made, that are now represented by the stuff I’ve collected, are plans of the past that never made it into the present and may never be realized in the future.

Yet, if there is a theme of my life, it is accepting things that cannot be changed. I live it and I preach it. Not accepting things that can’t be changed leads to deep depression and regret. I see it so much in people I know who are stuck in their problems. They can’t accept that past abuses happened, that life is difficult by design, and that you can’t wish a bad past away.

I’m looking right now at a big bin full of junk. On top of it is a Frisbee-like toy I bought at a dollar store. I bought it because I thought it would be a good activity for clients, to go to the park and play Frisbee. Couldn’t get any of them interested in it. So, now I have to decide that it isn’t something I’m likely to use any time soon. Out it goes. If someday, I find I need one, I can always buy another.

So, I look at the things I’ve got to sort out and decide about. With each item, I have to make a decision about whether to keep it. More than that, I have to let go of the plan it represents.

I’m dividing things into four categories: keep, put in storage, throw away, and donate to Deseret Industries. No, I am not going to have a yard sale.

So, I look at the things I’ve got to sort out and decide about. With each item, I have to make a decision about whether to keep it. More than that, I have to let go of the plan it represents.

My life is like that. I have enough past to fill a warehouse, but some things just need to be tossed out and let go of.

 

4 people like this post.

Copyright 2019, Inner Vessel Productions.


My Cup Runneth Over

With Oatmeal?

By Rex Goode


Categories: Abuse,Acceptance,Faith,Gratitude,Inspiration,Perseverance,Personal,Same-sex Attraction,Support

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overoatmealThe other day, I went to McDonald’s for breakfast and ordered their oatmeal. I’ll say right now that I’m an oat fanatic. I love everything oat.

I am a big fellow, frankly, obese. Yet, I always annoyed my doctor with great cholesterol test results. He thought for sure he was going to get to prescribe me some medication for cholesterol. Sorry to disappoint him.

It can be a real problem ordering oatmeal from McDonald’s. The worker that you order it from prepares it right there by adding hot water and the toppings. The problem becomes when they don’t measure the water or the oatmeal very well. The results can be disappointing when you take the lid off. (more…)

7 people like this post.

Copyright 2019, Inner Vessel Productions.


Someone’s Ancestor

The Seed of Change

By Rex Goode


Categories: Change,Doctrinal,Family,Family History,Inspiration,Marriage,Same-sex Attraction

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Bertrice Bell Corbett Moore

Bertrice Bell Corbett Moore

On Sunday night, I attended a fireside locally about same-sex attraction and heard a lot about the reasons people like me might decide to stay faithful to the Church and its teachings despite same-sex attracted feelings. As I listened, I pondered my own reasons and have been remembering those days when I made the choice.

It came after years, as a boy, struggling not only with feelings but also behavior. Ever since I’ve been involved in organizations that are about being Mormon and gay, I’ve heard a lot of stories about that moment when people realized they were gay. For others, it was more about the time they revealed it to someone. For me, there wasn’t a real moment and I never revealed it to anyone until I was well into adulthood. (more…)

7 people like this post.

Copyright 2019, Inner Vessel Productions.


Imagine a Fireside

Then Don’t Go to It

By Rex Goode


Categories: Ideas,Same-sex Attraction

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Imagine this. You show up at church on Sunday and you see in the ward bulletin that there is going to be a fireside that evening. The fireside is titled, “Witnessing to Evangelicals.” You think it sounds interesting, so you show up.

The evening turns out to be a former Evangelical Christian who has joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and has put together a presentation on the doctrines, beliefs, and practices of Evangelical Christians. Though billed as merely informative, it’s tone is more like an exposé or headlines from a tabloid newspaper. Their doctrines are maligned, their motives questioned, and their status as Christians debunked. (more…)

2 people like this post.

Copyright 2019, Inner Vessel Productions.


Anchors and Pedals and Cleats, Oh My!

Some cycling experiences with applicable life lessons

By Eric Chaffey


Categories: Gratitude,Inspiration,Issues,Site General

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IMG_0369In the last year I’ve really gotten in to bicycling in a big way. As I’ve gotten more into it I’ve made adjustments to my bicycle and with the help of my sister’s family been able to upgrade some components. While out on a ride with my sister and nephew the other day, I had some difficulty with the pedals and realized there was something to be learned from this experience.  (more…)

3 people like this post.

Copyright 2019, Inner Vessel Productions.


Different Angles and Mendelssohn

Reflections on a Walk Around the Grounds of the Temple

By Eric Chaffey


Categories: Acceptance,Depression,Faith,Inspiration,Issues,Perseverance,Prayer,Same-sex Attraction

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I had an interesting experience the other day as I was taking a walk around the grounds of the Temple in Sacramento. As I paused for a moment in the shade of an oak tree, I looked up. (more…)

3 people like this post.

Copyright 2019, Inner Vessel Productions.


Don’t Panic

It Doesn’t Usually Help Matters

By Eric Chaffey


Categories: Acceptance,Faith,Issues,Perseverance

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I was out on a bike ride today with my sister and brother-in-law.For all intents and purposes it was a pretty uneventful ride.  However when a bee flies into your helmet it can make life very interesting.

European_honey_bee_extracts_nectar (more…)

3 people like this post.

Copyright 2019, Inner Vessel Productions.


Circles and Lines

Thoughts on Going in Circles or Moving in a Straight Line

By Eric Chaffey


Categories: Faith,Gratitude,Inspiration,Perseverance,Prayer

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globe_west_2048In many cases a circle is a good shape. The earth that Our Lord created is a circle.There’s a hymn that says “Improvement and Progression have one eternal round. ” (Hymns 1985 #284) And if you think about it, a circle has no beginning nor ending. Usually.  (more…)

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Copyright 2019, Inner Vessel Productions.


Working Through the Pain

Manly Ways

By Rex Goode


Categories: Pain,Perseverance,Respect

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jerry1

Jerry Kelley

I often deride myself for being a wimp about pain. I’ve had my share of it and I always want to let it shut me down. Sometimes, it is better to take a break from what you’re doing when pain strikes, but sometimes it is important to work through it. Some pain is good.

It is good inasmuch as it gives us information about something that is happening in our bodies…and souls. It also doesn’t always mean that we should stop doing things that we’re doing. It may mean we have to do them a different way, but not always.
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Copyright 2019, Inner Vessel Productions.


Let Me Not Forget, O Savior

The Blessings of Remembering

By Rex Goode


Categories: Faith,Inspiration,Personal

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jesusfaceI am always touched by the hymns we sing to prepare to receive the Sacrament in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have sung these songs weekly for all of my life while active in the Church. All of them are burned into my memory and it is a joy to think through them, even when driving in my car.

Despite knowing them so well, the never touch me so much as when being sung just prior to receiving the bread and water that represent he body and blood of the Savior. During that time, as I reflect on the meaning of that sacred ordinance and the loving act that we remember by it, sometimes certain phrases will trigger a sweet feeling. (more…)

3 people like this post.

Copyright 2019, Inner Vessel Productions.


If Things Were Different

How Would You React?

By Rex Goode


Categories: Support,Tolerance

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mouthshutOn June 30, 2013, my ward chose for its fifth Sunday combined Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society meeting the topic of same-sex attraction. As many probably know, it has been something I have hoped would happen for a long time. The meeting had not been announced, so I didn’t know to expect it, but was happy when it did.

Despite this and other blogs I’ve written for, I had never really spoken publicly about my own experience with same-sex attraction in my own ward. There are many reasons for that, not the least of which was that I didn’t feel it appropriate to make such a revelation when it wasn’t the topic of the discussion anyway. In other words, I wanted to wait for a moment when it fit naturally. (more…)

3 people like this post.

Copyright 2019, Inner Vessel Productions.