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  1. I cannot tell you how much joy it brings to me to hear you say that. I'm glad to know people who may not be immediately effected by SSA or GD are benefiting from it. I have known many of the contributors for several years. Unfortunately, I pulled my own piece from it before publication because of difficulties I was having with my ward. I regret doing it now, but I worried I might leave the church and hated the idea of some person being inspired by my addition only to find out I left the church afterwards and getting demoralized. We are hoping to do another one in time and hope to include more GD entries in it.
  2. Once you join us at Northstar, I can share with you materials that our members have put together specifically to share with bishops to help educate them on our condition and remove any biases. Keep the Lord close in anything you do. Constantly seek revelation. Concerning GD, the only wrong answer is to do nothing at all, but it sounds like you are doing something. There are many though who would use this to tell you that you MUST be X or Y and then do A or B. Let the Lord guide you and do what you feel is best for you allowing yourself to be subject to a course correction if so directed by the Lord.
  3. No the church has no stance on hormones. They should be considered a standard treatment for individuals with GD. I would still include my bishop as I progress - not for his approval necessarily, but for his guidance for you as a transgendered person who is trying to live the Gospel with so much trying to pull you away.
  4. Well, it depends a lot on your perception. Hormones, regardless of how much or how long you take them will not change your sex. The physical changes are usually very subtle (softer skin, development of breast tissue, and redistribution of fat across the body, a change in sex drive). It seems you have no desire to transition, so you are probably most interested in the psychological effects. How to describe it... essentially, it takes all the confusion and anxiety you feel over your gender and quiets it. It makes you feel okay being you. For me personally, I felt "right" - an overwhelming feeling of rightness. Now perhaps "right" is what "normal" people feel, but after feeling "wrong" for so long, it is such a relief. I could get my life back, I wasn't so consumed with the depression and anxiety and confusion associated with being dysphoric all the time. That isn't to say I didn't struggle at times, but those struggles were much more manageable. Kate
  5. No problem. I may be of help having taken hormones myself. What questions do you have? Kate
  6. Transsexuals fall under the general umbrella term transgendered. The primary commonality is that both experience (suffer from) gender dysphoria - a powerful feeling of disconnect between one's primary sex characteristics and their internal gender identity. Hormones are merely one form of treatment for those with gender dysphoria (GD). They have proven to be especially effective and some, once having taken hormones find their GD manageable and seek no further treatment. For others, hormone therapy isn't enough and other measures must be taken to control their GD. Some hormone effects are reversible while others are not. For example, male bodied people who take estrogen tend to develop permanent breast tissue, though not nearly as pronounced as natal females. Female bodied people who take testosterone tend to develop permanent facial hair and a lowered voice. For some these changes are welcome, but not for others so each must decide what works best in treating their GD. I encourage any member of the church seeking hormone treatment to get the counsel of an endocrinologist and a therapist experienced in gender identity issues, then to report their progress to the bishop to keep him in the loop. We can talk more privately if you wish, or continue our conversation here. Kate
  7. Hello! I am a representative from the Transgender/Intersexed group from Northstar, an organization trying to help Latter-day Saints who struggle with same sex attraction or gender dysphoria live Gospel centered lives in harmony with the church. The Voices of Hope referenced above was a product of Northstar and the piece written about the transgendered person was written by a member of my group. If you'd like to find out more, we are here to help! My email is [email protected] I can answer your questions there if you'd like. We'd love to have you join us! Check out our general website at North Star International | A Resource for Individuals & Families Dealing with Same-Sex Attraction Follow this link to join our good groups discuss group with many active members. Rules and Obligations of Membership | North Star International Look forward to hearing from you! Kate
  8. I already addressed the world's inherent unfairness in my other post. The world's unfairness doesn't have a human at the head of it directing who gets a fair or unfair shake in this life based upon God's will. I assume God does all that on His own without using a human representative. Of course it is ludicrous to assume a human or prophet even could dictate when tragic events happen in the lives of the world's inhabitants. What makes this other unfairness (the gender based unfairness) so hard to understand or accept is that it occurs at the seat of God's government on this earth as dictated by a man who represents God's will on earth. My wife is incredibly non-religious and has professed strict agnosticism for as long as I've known her. Only recently has she really begun to come around and this due to the constant exposure to church doctrines and seeing the blessings that come from gospel living. So she can accept my explanation that bad things happen to people as part of the fallen nature of this world and are an essential part of this mortal probation. However the idea of a church headed up by a male who claims to speak for God and won't on principle allow a certain group of people to hold authority positions is too suspicious for her. So can you better see her point? I cannot explain it any better than that. Ultimately God can allow unfair things to happen in some cosmic way, but when he authorizes his servants to enforce that unfairness, it makes the whole plan seems suspect to her.
  9. Normally loudmouth has some excellent points and I really appreciate his insight, but you are correct wingnut, that statement was not consistent with the data I provided and seemed more like an emotional retort than a reasoned attempt to get someone who isn't a member of the church to understand why they should be. Still I would like to attempt to answer his question. To put it simply, the idea of a person not being able to have something a person can have, like an authority position, based upon sex seems in our limited earthly perspective to be unfair. The idea that God endorses such unfairness seems inconsistent. This of course doesn't make her question God, but rather the entity (church) that enforces the gender-based separation that purports that it is God's will. That is the hard pill for her to swallow. She wants to believe the church is true and that God is at the head of it calling the shots, but she cannot rationalize belief in a God that would do something she considers so arbitrarily unfair. Sure it can be stated there are plenty of other unfair things in the world (people starving, dying, horrid birth defects, etc.), but in each of those cases man is not enforcing that inequality under God's direction. But in this case with the gender based separation, this is a perceived unfairness that is being enforced by man. Is there anything else the church enforces that might be considered unfair to the world? There are a few, but most of those she can understand to some extent, but this one she cannot at all. I hope that better explains what her problem is with it (and mine).
  10. A female can never be the president of the church regardless of her spirituality or any other earthly or spiritual trait because of her sex. An unrighteous male cannot be the president of the church either. Obviously these two are not equivalent, but it feels unfair that a righteous woman can never be called to such. My wife honestly doesn't desire any authority, in fact she is more than happy with me fulfilling the "head of household" role in our home, but she resents the principled take that a female cannot, even if she desired it, hold the priesthood or any priesthood offices. I ultimately don't understand it and will try not to justify the church for it - I'll just try to focus on the things that do make sense to me and how to receive personal revelation. Maybe this stumbling block can be overcome but she feel so strongly about it it's going to take a lot of humility on her part - humility and truly blind faith, something neither of us are good at (the blind faith part).
  11. Hello all it has been a while. My wife is taking the missionary discussions for the first time since we met nearly 10 years ago. She actually seems interested in moving forward, but she has one hang up and it is a BIG on - in fact it is the same hang up I had (ok still have somewhat). When we go to church together ANY time the priesthood is mentioned with regard to it being only male, she gets irritated. If she hears it enough, she leaves in a blind fury. We often have talks later where she lets out all of her emotion on it then calms down. I think it is important to note that she doesn't find me contemptible or the members in this, but she feels this idea of men having the priesthood exclusively is fundamentally flawed. This wouldn't bother her so much except for the fact she WANTS to join the church now and WANTS to believe it, but is having a very difficult time rectifying affiliating herself with an entity (the church) who espouses a male-only priesthood. I too had a very difficult time with this when I was learning about the church. I still have a difficult time with it today. The only thing that made me leave it alone was the Spirit finally confirming to me the truth of the church despite my opposition to this one area. I went forward with joining the church hoping it would one day make sense. To date it hasn't completely to me, but I accept it and move on now. I wish I knew how to help her with this. She feels so strongly about it and I know it is only bothering her as much as it is because she wants to believe the church is true. Any ideas out there? Perhaps I'll see something I haven't tried or a perspective that might appeal to her.
  12. Actually I'm quite the opposite. I am reserved at church generally, but I'm rather extroverted everywhere else. My rational mind seems to be my greatest enemy at times - it certainly seems to be so when it comes to having faith. I think I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing, but I don't see anything specific happening. Maybe it is due to my lack of faith. I personally have never known anyone to do the kinds of miraculous works described in the scriptures - it doesn't mean they don't happen - only that I've never seen them.
  13. It is weird - I never really questioned it before. I have been the voice of blessings for years and years without actually "seeing" results - I just always assumed whatever HF wanted to happen would and that I did my part. I also received blessings - feeling nothing in particular, but always just assumed HF was acting in my behalf even if I wasn't aware of it. I felt my unawareness of the results of either giving blessings or receiving them was somehow my problem/fault. Well I feel like I've just been deluding myself with regard to it all and feel that maybe I am doing something wrong to start with - but I have no idea. I've taken it to the Lord with no specific answer - and to PH leaders and all I seem to get are platitudes. I'm not ready to give up or anything, I just want to find some answers.
  14. To be honest I have always struggled with the idea of being a Priesthoold holder. I have a hard time convincing myself I have any ability whatsoever to fulfill and perform many priesthood duties (performing blessings, etc). That said, I have faithfully taught in Priesthood nearly 7 years, have been a decent home teacher and am always working to improve in that area, and have even served in the presidency. I want to "bring the blessings of the Priesthood" to my home, but I have no idea how to do it. I know how to be and have been a faithful member, but I don't understand what distinguishes being a good priesthood holder from being a faithful member. I have always felt uncomfortable in priesthood meetings with other men. I feel as if I don't belong there. I try to bypass or give to others lessons on the priesthood (that I would normally be teaching) while in priesthood. I just don't believe I have the ability in me in any capacity to heal the sick, bless others, etc through the use of ordinances, though I have been able to use my influence and commitment to the Gospel to help others. I don't know - perhaps I just don't and have never had a good grasp on it all. Perhaps there was a question in there somewhere.