Friday, February 10, 2006

To those of you who do not care:

(and in response to the comments on the previous post)

This is ignorance, pure and simple. And, I emphatically add, UNChristlike. I cannot imagine a god who would not be weeping by witnessing the atrocities that happen daily around the world. They are His children, our brothers and sisters. It is not just the Middle East that is experiencing death, sorrow, and violence. It is the world, my friends. Are so few of you aware? Do none of you read the news, aside from what is broadcast from American television and printed in American papers? Alas, we are so egocentric!

Do none of you know that Russia has restricted oil supply to the Ukraine, and it is winter! It is cold! People die! They have no food!

Do none of you know that the US has cut down financial aid to Bolivia by 96%… because of some bullshit excuse that somehow doesn’t “apply” to five other countries in the same circumstances… and this is coming only weeks after the election of a new president that cut his salary in half because he doesn’t “need the money.” He now makes about the same amount as my husband does. And he’s a president. Of a country. That, friends, is integrity! And we punish him!

Do none of you know that the bird flu has now spread to Africa, a continent poorly equipped to battle such a threat? And if you think, “Who cares? It’s Africa.” I’d like to hear what you say after it has spread to the States and kills a friend.

Do none of you know that there are wonderful, loving, kind, Christlike, beautiful people everywhere? Yes, even in the Middle East. Even in Iran. Even in Nigeria. Even in the States. Who are we to decide who should die? Who are we that can afford to not care?

Why be apathetic? If it’s inevitable, it doesn’t mean I can’t be angry that we are the cause of it. I’m not going to kill myself because I know I’ll eventually die. And I’m not going to ruin a county because it already has problems, or I don’t my neighbors don’t agree with me, or because they have something I want. And I’m certainly not going to feign righteousness so I have an excuse not to do something about it, or because I’m afraid to feel pain.

Shame on you… those who do not feel, and who rationalize it by saying it is inevitable. God would never do that, and you use His gospel as an excuse for tolerating violence. I am sure He weeps for your apathy. That is not the way to salvation. Charity, love, and compassion are godly traits, not apathy.
Let me ask you: Who will pity YOU when YOU are a victim?
I have a selfish wish, a wrong wish: I hope someday you will feel just a fraction of the anguish, suffering, and abandonment that these innocent people suffer daily… and suffer for OUR mistakes, OUR greed.

We live in a great country. Most of us (and I dare say, anyone who is reading this) live comfortably. We're not worried about what we'll eat tomorrow, or about being cold, or if a suicide bomber will kill your husband or girlfriend tomorrow. We are lucky. There is a price we must pay for such luxury... since we can afford to care about others, we must. That is why we are so blessed.

Let me say that I have a testimony of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I live my life according to its principles, as best I can… and I feel peace in my heart. Anyone who cannot or will not feel for the suffering around you, I call you to repentance!


Many of you will be shocked by such gall, such sprite, such conviction. Let me tell you that I felt the Spirit as I wrote this. So, I thank you for reminding me of what I stand for, what I believe, and what I live my life for.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ryan said...

You're just going through a phase. These things overwhelmed me when I first gained knowledge about such thing many decades ago. My life has been at risk so many times and I say who cares if I die or how I die. Who cares if that's in Portland or some other place. I live my life the best I can and try and help where possible. If my help is not appreciated then who cares. I can't change any of what's going on in the middle east.


As a side note I owned some stocks that were working on a cure for the bird flu and I know everything about it. I believe this may end up killing 20 million people or more. Maybe even a million here, who cares. These things are going to happen and it will tear you apart if you let it get to you. It doesn't mean I don't have compassion or feel empathy towards these people. I just expect a lot of these things to happen. It's the last days and I have no control over it.

I also fully expect these types of things or worse to happen as well in the US, who cares. I know where I stand and I try to help others. I make charitable contributions and other things. I have even lived in these places. I witnessed many murders and other things. What I found was the best thing for these people is to share the gospel and it's the Lord who has power to bless each individual no matter what is going on around them. Sure they might be freezing in the Ukraine but some people followed the prohets teachings and were both spiritually and physically prepared.

Stargirl it's all part of the plan. Read Alma where the people who accepted the gospel were thrown into the fire to burn for the beliefs that were taught by Alma and Amulek. Amulek's heart was in pain because of what he was witnessing. He said to Alma we can stop this and Alma said no. Alma told Amulek that so there may be a righteous judgement against the wicked and they could not prevent this from happening. Those people suffered for but a little while and went on to receive their eternal reward. That's the important thing. Not the hour or whatever they were burning. Grant it I wouldn't want to burn to death, but if that was the situation that I was in then so be it.

In the Pearl of Great Price God said to Enoch that if he could number all the particles of earth and the millions of earth's like it, it wouldn't even be a beginning to the number of His creations. Then he said we are the worst and the only one that would crucify their God. He also wept. We live in the worst world at the worst time. I could talk about this for hours. I have studied this in great detail now for 20 years and it's the #1 passion I have.

The Second Coming is the answer to everything we are witnessing. It's the end of wickedness and the ushering in of righteousness. This is awesome, not bad. I do temple work, missionary work, service, pay tithing and a fast offering. It's not how they die or if they die, it's what's in a person's heart.

Anonymous said...

I'm so up to date on current events it's unreal. I could tell you everything wrong going on in Asia, Africa, the middle east, Europe, South and Central America and here in North America of course. Also the islands of the sea.

Do you know there's an island cracking in half in the atlantic and if it falls it would send a several hundred foot tidal wave across the atlantic to the Boston area? Do you also know that president Wilford Woodruff prophesied that Boston would be destroyed by a tidal wave, New York by an earth quake and Albany by fire? Did you know that a prophet testified that all Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Illinois will be swept clean and have no inhabitants? Did you know there's a disease coming that's supposed to kill a third of the earth? Did you know that armegeddon is supposed to kill a third of the earth? If that's not a third of the third killed by the disease then 2 thirds or 4 billion people will die in these 2 events alone. Did you know there's supposed to be a huge hail storm with hailstones weighing over 72 pounds that's going to hit the earth? I can go on and on. I'm aware of what's going to happen before it becomes news. I'm not aware of how, where or when, but when I see it I recognize it. It doesn't suprise or scare me. It makes me happy that we have had prophets who care about our eternal welfare and want us to be prepared and not overcome with the weight of the world.

One big sign things are about to get much worse is when the missionaries are called home. As long as we still have missionaries then we haven't seen anyhting yet. Imagine things like the asia tsunami almost everyday or several times a day. Again what's the real purpose of all this, it's to get people to repent, turn to God and worship Him.

I'm sure we celebrated the day we kicked satan and his followers out of heaven. It meant progression now we had the chance to go to a telestial world to be tried. Now's almost the end of this telestial world and all who are not up to par are outta here just like satan and then we move on to the millenium or terestial world. Then at the end of that a huge war, the battle of gog and magog. Then the celestial world which will be this earth.

I think it's absolutely awesome and I love Gods plan. I love the chance to progress and be actively involved in helping others progress. Remember we only progress forever if we attain the highest degree of the celestial kingdom. Everyone else will be damned to one degree or another.

Anonymous said...

One more thing. Stargirl, take care.

Anonymous said...

Looks to me like Ryan is using the second coming as an excuse to be apathetic...shame on you. The world needs you to stand up and stop injustice! The Lord needs you to stand up as well.

It is not okay to justify the horrible actions of some people as okay just because the Lord and his return will save you. It is your duty in this earth;y life to do something. To ammke the world a better place. To stand up for what you believe.

Anonymous said...

You obviously don't get it anonymous. I'm doing plenty. For me it's spiritual and not temporal. What will help everybody the most is to be spiritually worthy and prepared.

Who cares if you're rich, healthy, have a great family, husband, wife children and basically everything going for you and you're not worthy to return to live with God.

I would rather be someone living in a shack and almost starving to death like some people I knew in South Africa, who were also worthy then to be a king and not be spiritually ready. There's nothing physical here, it's worthless.

You tell me what you would do when you know millions of people suffering and you have some extra money. I fast and pay a fast offering and I serve spiritual needs.

Because they are sheltered or fed doesn't make it okay for them or us. See past your spiritual blindness. Trust me, feed them spiritaully and they will be fine. Feed them temporally and you will always have to feed them. Maybe you need to deal with these things first hand in order to understand and be able to judge properly. If anonymous is in Portland I can show you many pictures taken with my own camera of starving and pretty much homeless people. Millions living like this. Then I will show you have after accepting the gospel that the Lord blessed them and others far beyond what any human being could. Anonymous you obviously put your trust in the arm of flesh and not God. That's why I never ask you or any other living person for help because you're limited. There's no limit to what God can do. Strengthen your faith and then let's talk. Ryan

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but these things that make you angry are just news headlines to you. I saw it first hand. I personally knew the people. I was shot at, robbed and many other things. Also I had people who had almost nothing to give, give to us. Believe me I know. I could talk for hours on end. The answer is spiritual. Since when are we supposed to advertise what we do to help people. Give me your # or email and I will send you a notice everytime I do something. Wait a minute I don't want to do that because I only care what God thinks of me and not what you or anyone else thinks.

By the way Stargirl just said she was angry and didn't say she was doing anything about it. Ryan

Iron Chef Boyardee said...

I think there's too many people willing to talk big and pontificate, but lacking the fortitude to sign their name to it. Babe, turn off the 'anonymous' postings on here. If someone wants to be an ass, make them do it on their own name.

"We live in the worst world at the worst time." - Since you have studied this for over 20 years, I want to know: which worlds and times are better? Particularly worlds. I think we've got it all over Neptune.

"I'm sure we celebrated the day we kicked satan and his followers out of heaven." - I disagree. I think most of us were sad that we lost so many of our friends, brothers, and sisters.

"By the way Stargirl just said she was angry and didn't say she was doing anything about it. Ryan" - This is just asanine. You can't draw conclusions on what someone doesn't say. She also didn't say that she pays a full tithe or is a bell ringer at christmas or works a job centered around helping better humanity. She also didn't say that she could fly, or has magic leprechauns living in her closet.

A Total Stranger said...
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A Total Stranger said...
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Alundra said...

Who are you that you can tell someone that they should live their religion? Are you Jesus that you know that Iron guy's sins? I'm assuming you're Mormon, and if so, you're a poor ambassador for your religion.

A Total Stranger said...
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Kristin said...

If you want to post comments, don't get up in arms when people respond to your ideas or try to pass everything off as a misunderstanding. Most people here are capable of understanding sentences. If you want to leave, then leave. No one is making you participate. But don't try to make other people kick you off. That's passive and manipulative. Also, this is Audrey's personal blog and not the spiritual discussion group.

A Total Stranger said...
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A Total Stranger said...
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Stargirl said...

First: If you want off a blog, then just stop posting. It's not that hard.
Second: I agree with alundra. You are in no place to tell someone to live their religion. If you would take time to actually get to KNOW my husband, you would know that his life is dedicated to helping those in need. I myself have made that dedication, and I am preparing myself for a lifetime of service.
Third: "What will help everybody the most is to be spiritually worthy and prepared." If I'm spiritually worthy (which, I believe, I am, regardless of what some ignorant posters might believe), but I do NOTHING for the world around me, then how does that help others? Sure, it helps ME get into heaven, but I remember reading somewhere that "faith without works is dead." Am I mistaken? Are we not instructed to be our brother's keeper? Maybe instead of telling other people to live their religion, you should take a good look at what you yourself believe and examine if you are really living it yourself.
Fourth: I value and encourage free thinking and free speech. I am delighted that so many have taken interest in this post. In response to the comments that anyone is offended, I must say that the only offense I've felt is knowing that there are many out there who are quick to judge if someone else is living up to your standards, when you yourself are such a poor example of what it means to be Christlike. How dare you condescend me by trying to explain my own beliefs, and by supporting your assertations by claiming you have "decades" of study. How dare you assume you know more than I! How dare you tell me I know little--when you seem to "know" so much but not act upon it... at least, enough just to get YOURSELF into heaven. How selfish and wrong.
I apologize that this post has drifted so far from its original intent, but it seems like much needed to be said. I would like to reiterate that I have a testimony of the Church, I live it as best I can, and that I believe living entails showing compassion, mercy, and love toward others.

Tamara said...

I heart James and Audrey.

"I think we've got it all over Neptune."

How does he come up with this stuff?
I laughed OUT LOUD.

Good post Stargirl.

Iron Chef Boyardee said...

I had to go with Neptune.

Uranus would have been too obvious.

Blair said...

I'm not sure I want to poke my head into this, but here goes.
I'm a big believer in moderation and finding some middle ground, where appropriate. A lot of people talk about spiriitual improvement, a lot talk about humanitarian aid. The right answer is both. The Lord says in the Doctrine and Covenants that all temporal things are spiritual. James (the book in the NT, not the Iron Chef above) 1, vese 5: "Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless, and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world." Let's do both. Let's work on our own spiritual state (no matter who you are it needs work, or you wouldn't be here) and help those people out there too.
Love ya, Aud (and you too, Jame, by association) can't wait to see you Friday)

Stargirl said...

Very well put! Thank you Blair! (You're getting hitched in FOUR DAYS!!!)

Blair said...

You're welcome. Actually, I am getting married in 3 days, 21 hours, 38 minutes and 17 seconds.

I must admit, Aud, I do disagree with you on some points, but I don't like the idea that your religion dictates a political platform. Your testimony, however, should definitely affect your opinions, though. Too few people know the difference.

While I admire the President of Bolivia, I can't fault the US government for withdrawing financial aid from a country that is pushing the growing of coca plants. One of the reason the US gives the aid is to fight drug traffic. The US gives money to a lot of countries in need. It doesn't seem to help them like us any more than they do (many countries who receive aid rip on us a lot, and we keep giving it). I don't have a problem with restricting aid to countries working against our interests in fighting illegal cocaine production and smuggling. My heart goes out to people who are suffering, but it also goes out to keeping such drugs out of our country, or even from being produced in the first place.

Stargirl said...

That was my first thought as well, Blair. But a coworker's response made me do a little research. While cocaine is the most infamous use, coca is not just used to make cocaine. It is considered an holy plant in much of central and south America, and is used for lots of different reasons.
I believe that there are other ways to restrict drug trafficking. I also believe that our treatment to a country shouldn't be solely based upon what crops they decide to grow. Perhaps if the government makes its money trafficking drugs, and has no restrictions upon trafficking, THEN we can take action to prevent it. As it is, no such situation exists in Bolivia.
Props to the "religion shouldn't decide political agenda, but testimony should" comment. Amen!

Blair said...

The unfortunate fact of US relations with other countries, is that if their policies conflict with ours, we might not give them any, or as much, financial aid. We're not talking about refusing to help them when they are struck by a natural disaster, we're talking about giving them money on a regular basis, some of which is used to fight drug trafficking. The US says, hey, we'll give you more money if you restrict coca farming, and Bolivia says ok, then the US gives money. If Bolivia then stops restricting coca farming, then the US says, you can't have our money anymore. It's not like they live soley on coca plants. Yes, they use it for cultural reasons, but that is not what the US was trying to stop. Before this President, they were able to grow enough coca for their cultural needs. The US just doesn't want more grown to be made into cocaine.

I don't see a problem with it. Either they get money from the US, and don't grow as much coca, or they don't get any more money, and they can grow as much as they want and sell it. I'm not sure if the money balances out (it probably doesn't) but the US doesn't have any obligation to keep giving aid, and frankly, I don't think we should. The US gives out aid all over the place, and cuttting off Bolivia probably won't change the overall amount given in aid by that much. They are choosing to grow more coca, so they are choosing to go without US aid.
I guess when it comes right down to it, I don't consider a cultural need to be a humanitarian need.

Stargirl said...

You are right, we are under no obligation to give ANYONE aid if we don't want to. But the reason the US cut back 96% of its military aid to Bolivia is not due to the coca plant policy. The US claims that Bolivia didn't sign an agreement to not turn US citizens over to the international court. Five other countries approached also did not sign the pact, but the US is continuing to give them aid, claiming that they were "exempt". I think coca growing was just a convenient excuse for picking out Bolivia after a crucial election.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous poster again. I don't have a blog which is why it came up anonymous. I happened upon this blog and I also happen to have a testimony of the gospel. Ironic coincedence.
I don't know stargirl, but she sounds like the type of girl that IS doing something. Encouraging discussion is doing something.
Ryan, I appreciate your comments. You are right that people need to rely on God more. In fact I would be happy if more people believed in God at all! All I meant was that relying on God doesn't exempt from trying here on earth. You have to do both. Blair said it perfectly. Thank you Blair.
I do have to say that I am sorry you feel we can't talk about this more until YOU feel that I have reached a sufficiently "strong" relationship with the Lord. Thankfully it is the Lord who knows us best and knows how "strong" our relationship is.

I salute you stargirl. Thanks for posting this.
On a side note of frustration: did you know the US Military Marching Band spends more per year than the Peace Corp? I am shocked at some of the financial decisions made!

Thanks for letting me join your discussion.

Sarah from Florida

Stargirl said...

I didn't even KNOW the military HAD a marching band! Gah!
Thank you, Sarah, for contributing. I feel honored and blessed that this post has found others outside my circle of friends here in Portland, Oregon.

Anonymous said...

On a side note of frustration: did you know the US Military Marching Band spends more per year than the Peace Corp? I am shocked at some of the financial decisions made!

Actually , that's not true at all! Current annual spending for all the military service bands is about $100 million (www.arts.gov/pub/how.pdf -- look on page 12), compared to the 2006 appropriation of $325 million for the Peace Corps.

Anonymous said...

I don't know what you are talking about. I read your article and it is for the National Endowment for the Arts: How the United States Funds the Arts. I looked through the whole document....including page 12 and this is what page 12 said about anything related to $100 million:
"The Arts Endowment is dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts-both new and established, bringing the arts to all Americans and providing leadership in arts education. It awards more than $100 million annually-investing in every state and jurisdiction....."
Arts Endowment is not the military marching band....at least the last I checked it wasn't.
Sarah

Anonymous said...

I looked through the whole document....including page 12 and this is what page 12 said about anything related to $100 million:

Sorry, I gave you the wrong page #. It was page 12 of the report, but page 20 of the PDF document. Here's the applicable text (emphasis mine):
"Some of the largest government arts programs come through the military. The budget for the military bands alone exceeds $100 million dollars annually. The United States Armed Services, under the "morale, welfare, and recreation" initiative, presents regular cultural programs..."

And another thing: it's not just one "military marching band". The $100 millions supports the many, many different musical groups (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Service_bands) that entertain not only the "troops", but hold hundreds of concerts around the country each year.

Anyway, you're comparing apples to oranges. While I agree that far, far too much is spent on the military budget, I think stronger arguments can be made besides the arbitrary comparison between the Peace Corps and the service bands, especially when the example "more money is spent on the military marching band than the Peace Corps" is patently false. How about comparing the budget for military weapons systems ($84.2 billion) to the Department of Education ($54.4 billion)? Or the combined budgets of Education, Social Services, and foreign aid to the money spent thus far on Iraq?

Stargirl said...

Why are we arguing? This is a moot point. The bottom line is, the US has screwed-up priorities!

FireFly said...

I am reading this and thinking much.

I guess i fear voicing my thoughts on political issues for various selfish reasons.

but i am thinking

(ps. what was so bad that it was deleted?)