Posts in the TAM series have been written or compiled primarily by members of North Star’s Transgender, Intersex, and Gender Identity community, as well as the Spouses community.
A lifelong member of the Church, Justine (pseudonym) has experienced gender incongruity, on a personal level, for as long as she can remember. A rural upbringing, a Ricks College and BYU education, a full-time missionary experience, graduate school, and self-employment have been mileposts along the journey; with a temple marriage to her best friend, the crowning pinnacle. Many of her greatest lessons have come from her love of learning; particularly in areas of her interests, including: identities and roles, preferences and representations, image perceptions, and human potential.
Early in our marriage, a tradition that my wife and I had decided to adopt was that of watching the sessions of General Conference at one of our church’s Sunday meetinghouses. We had found this to be helpful, for us, for a number of reasons; the chief being that we were able to maintain closer attention and focus on the messages, rather than having our peripheral visions yanked at, with all our other clamoring, household obligations. In time, we had also discovered that our children also paid more attention to the talks when we physically took them to our church building, to view the conference proceedings; rather than staying home to watch the sessions on the Internet, television, or listen to them on a radio. (I only mention this, though, because it had proved helpful for us. Because, I’m sure one could find many, many examples of how others have also had spiritually fulfilling experiences, viewing conference proceedings over media in their homes or elsewhere.)
A few minutes after the morning stroke of the hour, we wheeled our van into our stake center parking lot and our children and us moseyed inside to take our biannually staked-out seats on the chapel’s back, padded pew. By the time the Tabernacle Choir’s opening hymn ended, all, of our oldest daughter’s specially-prepared, conference, note-taking journals and pens had been passed out, one to each member of our family. Inside the journals’ collated pages were photocopied photographs and interesting facts about each of the First Presidency members and individual members of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles. Our daughter had also inserted LDS-themed crossword puzzles, word searches, and more to keep her younger siblings attentive.
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