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Daddys and Daughters

I had a conversation with my, well, my dad. I do not usually call him dad since he hasn't really been much of one in my life. I call him Chris. But even that doesn't feel right.
He is doing better each time I talk to him. The silly thing is how I do when I talk to him. I feel like I revert to a little girl again. You see Chris abandoned me at about the age of three or four. I don't remember it. I just remember one time he tried to come see me. He wasn't supposed to be seeing me. I think that was the time that the police had to be called and he took off over the back fence or something.
Anyway, he left and let my step father adopt me in order to avoid jail time for not paying child support. I think I was fairly content with this arrangement until I got to the pre-teen years. Thanks to his mother, my grandmother, I always got a pointed reminder that he was my "real" father and that he loved me, despite whatever my parents told me. Well, my parents didn't tell me anything. I was far too young to understand any of it. But I picked up on the drama and emotion of the situation. I always heard I had another "real dad" that "loved me" depiste never showing his face. Looking back now, I give my step father sainthood for taking these insults. You see he loved me for real. He worked for the food I ate, the clothing I wore, and the home I lived in. Chris never gave my mother a penny just like he promised her.
So I talked to my dad this week. I told him I was struggling. You see each time I have talked to him I see that he is getting more gentle, approachable and reasonable. This time he used a word that I have not been able to use. Abandoned. He said I had been abandoned at such a young age that it was no surprise that it had effected my emotions.
He was right. It has effected my emotions in so many ways. At 38 years old, I want to go back to being a little girl with an adoring daddy. I want to have a life with my daddy. I ask myself, why was it not enough that I had a great man step in to be my dad? Why do I need more? I don't know the answer. Maybe it was the age. Maybe it's natural. Maybe it's the way God wants me to feel. I often ask why I had to be born to these parents knowing that such hurt would come my way? It sounds silly. I'm sure I agreed to it before being born. I know many people have far worse upbringings. But now I know there are many reasons God put me there. It was my own personal trial. I have developed talents and understanding that others don't have.
Once as I was just beginning to understand this dance between daddy and daughter, I was visiting teaching and the woman confided that her daughter wanted to live with her father and how she struggled with this. I told her how I felt as a daughter just wanting my daddy and how the experience of living with my father had been good for me, although it didn't look positive on the surface. I felt like the Holy Ghost had used me for a tool and I had learned from the words given to me. We moved shortly after that. I got a card in the mail from her a few months later thanking me for sharing these comments and how it had helped her understand her daughter.
But there are other things that verify that this has been a learning experience for me. So is abandoning your daughter a good thing? Hell no! It caused more pain than I even yet can understand and not just for me. Like my dad said in our conversation, losing your family is the worst thing in the world. It hurts the mother, father, children, grandparents, siblings and, may I add, future spouses and families.
But I feel a childish wish. I wish that I could live near my dad and have a real living relationship with him. I want to share my life with him. I want him to see who I really am and be proud of me. But it will likely not happen in this life. The time for it is past now. But I have hope now. I feel strongly that in heaven we will get that chance now. Why now? Because he said that A word! Praise God, because he has repented!

Faith and Agency

I found this nugget in Bro Givens full comments cut for the PBS special on Mormons. The special was nothing special. It was dark, deceptive, and dissapointing. By the comments that were aired, I thought Bro Givens was an athiest -but now I find he is a faithful LDS historian and scholar. has a link to the full comments from all the commentators from the show.
I came to the conclusion, in large part through my study of the Book of Mormon, that for faith to operate, and for faith to have moral significance in our lives, then it has to at some level be a choice. It can't be urged upon us by an irresistible, overwhelming body of evidence, or what merit is there in the espousing of faith? And it can't be something that we embrace in spite of overwhelming logical rational evidence to the contrary, because I don't believe that God expects us to hold in disregard that faculty of reason that he gave us.
But I do believe that the materials are always there of which one can fashion a life of belief or a life of denial. I believe that faith is a revelation of what we love, what we choose to embrace, and therefore I think [it] is the purest reflection of the values that we hold dear and the kind of universe that we aspire to be a part of. And so it comes ultimately as no surprise to me that the evidence will never be conclusive on one way or the other. I think that there's a purpose behind the balance that one attains in the universe of belief. ...

Terryl Givens
I couldn't agree more....
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