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  1. I planned the Branch Christmas dinner. Was a chili dinner. Went off great. Everyone I asked to bring stuff brought stuff, and then some. Kids decorated sugar cookies and loved it. We had like $100 budget and because everyone pitched in I don't think we went over $5-10. I opened with the Christmas story, which really got to me (in a good way.) They might be having me be the activity planner, which would be way less stressful than Mission Leader. Been going regularly, even though lately I get off work at 7 AM Sunday Morning, and by the time Church starts at 11 AM I'm dead exhausted. (Snowstorm canceled it for today, though.) Anyway, it's going better IRL now. But, I'm still not ready to be back on this board. I feel too much negativity and fear I still don't keep enough negativity out of my own posts. So, thanks for your help/suggestions. I did read, I did listen. Hope y'all had a great Christmas! (I was snowed in, pretty nice.) Bye.
  2. Also, I'm back to getting too frustrated by being here. Thanks for the replies, the information did help, but I'm leaving again.
  3. Hey, Vort, your answer would have been great and clarifying if it wasn't also so bent on subtly and sometimes not so subtly sniping me. It would be nice to be able to go to and LDS board, ask LDS question about things that I clearly do NOT know about and get the answers to them. Period. I don't need this veiled negativity in my answers. I thought I was very clear about me being confused, not understanding, and generally flaunting my lack of knowledge. I do get the feeling that if I had said "Hey, I'm paying a full tithe on my gross income, but I have these concerns..." that my replies might have been given to me in a different manner. Yes, anatess, I do feel I have some grievances. I can tithe on my gross income, or net income, whichever. Then when I don't have money for groceries I CAN get some groceries from the Church. However, I usually have to go hungry for awhile while I'm waiting for someone in RS to get the OK to buy some for me. But then, it turns out that the groceries aren't really for ME, they're for the entire household. So what would last me a month or more turns into one or two meals for me for a week. The blessings there aren't exactly running over, for me. I'd have more food for me if I took that tithe and spent it on groceries. It gets to be pretty frustrating. When I tithe I get employment, or better employment. Other people around me have been financially blessed, as well. If I weren't working and tithed on my last paycheck I KNOW I'd find a decent job before my money ran out. Yet for some reason I can't get that knowledge to transfer over now to: I KNOW if I paid my tithing I'd still have food to eat afterward. I don't know why that my testimony on tithing NOW isn't sufficient for me to believe I won't go hungry.
  4. ""Profit" is what you bring home in your paycheck." Oh? My paycheck is net, not gross. No one has a clear answer on that one. I don't understand why business expenses are counted against profit, when living expenses aren't. A business can say "I HAVE to pay my electricity, rent, wages, utilities, etc." So they get to subtract that from their income? So their $10,000 for a month doesn't get tithed, their remaining $5,000 does. A person can say "I HAVE to pay my electricity, rent, utilities, etc." So they DON'T get to subtract that from their income? Their $1,000 gets tithed, not their $500. The bible says a tenth of our interest, the money we make. But I don't make what my paycheck says. That money is already claimed, and in one case automatically taken from my bank account. If I didn't pay rent, or for my car, or for gas then the end result is me jobless and homeless and unable to take care of myself, let alone the family I'm planning. So why, then, do people say that I can't pay on my profit, like a business owner gets to do, but I have to tithe on well more than my profit? This statement: "the profit from the operation of a business" leaves me in confusion, and God is not the author of confusion. I don't understand why it would be different for and individual than for a business. A business might have more and/or higher expenses, but their expenses nonetheless (and business owners CHOOSE to accept those expenses by creating a business)
  5. This statement taken from an Ensign article: President Howard W. Hunter stated it this way: “The law is simply stated as ‘one-tenth of all their interest.’ Interest means profit, compensation, increase. It is the wage of one employed, the profit from the operation of a business, the increase of one who grows or produces, or the income to a person from any other source. The Lord said it is a standing law ‘forever’ as it has been in the past. Seems to contradict itself. Why is it the PROFIT of a business? A business pays rent, utilities, wages. Some businesses pay for food for their workers. But a worker pays on their wage? This says they pay it on their pre-expense income, whereas a business pays it on post-expense profit? Why am I different as a worker? Why am I not considered a 1 person business that hires myself out to another paying company for whatever they ask of me? I've been looking into Tithing because I really want to start paying again. 68%-70% of my net income goes to expenses that do not include food. Starting in the new year those will go up as I have to start paying Student Loans off again. If I paid tithing on my gross wages I'd have about $50/wk for groceries and any other bills or expenses that come up. They inevitably do. I don't like having less than $50 in my bank account. So some weeks I have to pick other bills and expenses over food. If I paid on my net wages I'd have about $10 more a wk. Not a whole lot. I don't feel comfortable having so little money on hand. I already don't go to the doctor. I don't have current medical prescriptions for meds I'm supposed to be on. There's a lot I can't afford to take care of. I have a testimony for tithing. It ALWAYS blesses me. But tithing on my pre-expense income doesn't seem feasible to me at this point. I can throw a few dollars out here and there, but not a set 10% of net or gross. But 10% of my actual profit. Yes. I can do that. Gonna pray on it, but not sure it'll help
  6. Wow. Okay. As a young guy with a younger girlfriend, I get to to think about this often enough. A good baseline: Doing anything that would be considered illegal for an adult and a minor to do together, or two minors, or two adults. (This covers genital/nipple contact, sexual stimulation, and plenty of other things all in one handy lump!) Any sort of passionate act that would typically be classified as "foreplay" (name such because it leads up to further acts) Hickey-giving activity (although, when I was 9 I used to give my self hickeys in my 'elbow pit' because I thought it was neat... So I don't think that counts!) Masturbation. (Definitely not a need. Even in males. I think males, to be frank, have a physical imperative to ejaculate. While awake this manifest as a desire for enough arousal for it to happen. However, if one lets things be, nature runs its course on its own, during sleep. This was addressed in the 2007 April Gen Con Priesthood session, I believe.) Doing any of these things after marriage with someone other than your spouse. Viewing pornography (which CAN be done without the directly above mentioned) or viewing non-spouse nude (IMO, CERTAIN art excluded.) (Also, this includes yourself not being nude in front of others, supposing you're old enough to know better.) Voyeurism. Talking about these things in a crude fashion (as in, not this conversation, or confessing such activities.) -------- I know to be baptized you can't be living in the same house as your non-spouse/opposite sex. However, right now I live with my girlfriend, her little sister, and her parents. My Branch President and leaders don't feel that I'm doing anything that violates that. As the only Priesthood holder in this house my Prez encourages me to give Priesthood blessings to the others. Obviously I'm in a bit of a different situation than if I were living with a female my own age, and I lived with only her. When I was in high school I was addicted to pornography. Shortly before I joined the Church I realized how negative my thoughts towards women were becoming (which was totally against my chivalrous self-image) that I quit. But that experience has taught me about Chastity. When you are not being chaste then your actions inevitably more life more difficult or unfulfilled. For instance, with my last girlfriend I really liked to make out as much as possible. When we had a chance, that seemed to be what we'd do. It was not good for the relationship. Rather than just being focused on spending time together, my thoughts were increasingly geared towards "When's the next time we can snog?" When I was still addicted to porn I would stay up ALL night looking at it, for the right "one." I would wait and think about the time when everyone else would be asleep and I could have the chance to surf the net. My freetime thoughts were not about things that could uplift me, strengthen my character or moral fiber, develop and nurture friendships and relationships. Non-chaste thoughts, words, and actions break down essential connections with other human beings. They make girlfriend/boyfriend relationships turbulent, and can break marriages. They lower respect for others, rather than raise it. Realizing that for yourself, IMO, is one of the steps needed in overcoming unchaste behavior. When you realize that you're disrespecting others, yourself and God, and that you would rather be the kind of person to respect all those persons instead, then you can truly begin to heal. (That's how I did it, anyway.)
  7. Well, went to Church last Sunday. After taking the Sacrament I finally felt the Spirit again, and forgiveness. Started sobbing, :/ . We had to leave early, though. (Ugh!) I do have this next Sunday off, too, and plan on attending. Elders have transfers soon. I am most definitely not the only one in the branch the is hoping the Elder I've had problems with is the one to get transferred. Glad to know it's not just me being overly bothered, but it's a general consensus.
  8. Azriel

    new phone...

    Nokia E75. If you want GSM look into phones that T-Mobile offers. Also try and search for GSM. Other major carriers, Verizon/Alltel, Sprint, etc. are CDMA.
  9. Just letting you know that I am reading the responses and taking them seriously. I'm feeling better today. I talked about everything with my girlfriend's mom (She's just Ma to me, too) Eventually I realized that, like usual, my anger was my armor against the hurt I was feeling. Throughout most of my life it's been the only reliable shield to cover up the inner pain. I'd use it until the pain was tolerable, something I could cope with. I have some abandonment issues. Everyone up to this point in my life that I've been attached to, whether friends, family, or staff and therapists, have in some way left my life and/or given up on me. This has all brought up all that pain again. I was able to let some of that out yesterday (not too long after the last post). Now that I know the source, it'll be easier to manage. I know I need to change the way I think about things. I'm a pessimistic person. I see everything that could go wrong, and plan as if it would. I'm naturally distrustful of others, and paranoid about their actions and thoughts towards me. I've adjusted to be used and hurt by others that I can't help but think about what they want of me when I'm around them. (I honestly can't conceive that someone would want me around just because I'm good company.) I don't know how to change this. Even when I read Scriptures my mind is invaded with thoughts about things that seem "off" (things too man-made or conceived, and things that add up too nicely, the way a sly salesman could make them, or things that just seem inconsistent). I don't find that I'm able to go to them for comfort, peace, or understanding on a consistent basis. I seem to recall a Gen Con talk about learning to see things "half full" instead of "half empty." Does any recall such a talk? It may have just been an Ensign article. I'd be grateful for a link. Anyway, I feel like going so I can get down on my knees. I know I need to put more effort into that. But, honestly, aside from taking the Sacrament, I don't see why I should go to church. Social environments can be hard enough for me, and after all this? Should I bother to work on going right now, or should I focus more on redeveloping more fundamental pieces of my relationship with God?
  10. But when I pray I don't feel His love. And since this last incident I've probably prayed more than the last few weeks combined. I DO talk to Him. I just can't hear Him right now, not like I used to for sure.
  11. Work improved, and I like my new job. I was even able to get the shift I wanted (overnight) which allows me to spend more time with family (sleep during normal school/work day, wake when they're home, work when they're asleep.) I'd been wanting the position for about a month. I'd started wanting it more and more. I knew I wouldn't get it unless I paid tithing. I didn't give a full tithe, but I gave $5 one Sunday, and the following Thur. I had the position I'd been wanting. And then I get missionaries accusing me of not keeping ANY of my covenants.
  12. Before I read more replies, I have an update. I've been aware that the current missionaries have been telling recent converts that they are "disappointed" in me. They've also been disrespectful, and tend to back out on commitments they make to my "family" (me, gf and her fam) One of the missionaries has a thing for one of my coworkers. He calls her to essentially chat at times after 10 PM. Will "hang out" with other recent converts and their friends if she's with them. Based on a cell phone call he had with this girl, my suspicions were further confirmed and I was further aggravated. (He didn't know he was on speakerphone.) He made rude comments, and was a general jerk to me and everyone who wasn't this girl. I finally confronted them Friday morning as they were leaving "for an appointment." At the time I was at a friend's. He's a recent convert. I was hanging out with him and my coworker. This appointment was actually MY appointment that I set up and scheduled, but they were intent on avoiding talking with me. (When they heard over the phone I was a block away they tried to high tail it.) I was very angry. I asked them what their problem with me was. Apparently it was my whole attitude. I asked them how'd they'd know considering they never talk to me. I yelled and swore at them, and the one returned in kind. The companion to the missionary I'm annoyed with decided to defend his buddy by coming up to me and saying that I was not keeping ANY of my covenants. He reiterated that, and said that I was just living in sin because I live with my girlfriend. Then, after this he asked me where my garments were. The look of confusion on his face when I told him I haven't been through the temple astounds me. They've been ready to make assumptions and accusations from Day 1, when we met and they knew I was the nearly inactive Branch Mission Leader. After I told them I had no plans for a mission, and I guess they "found out" that I'm living with my girlfriend and her family, that was that. After being so angry Friday, I crashed Saturday (luckily I didn't work) with panic attacks, and made it through with some Xanax. But I'm still so angry at the one missionary that I'd just as soon knock him out as look at him. Oh, and this same missionary later that day was telling my friends, the recent converts and all, that he could so "whoop my a**" I'm hurt about my car breaking down. About not being able to get some groceries when I'd been paying my tithing and I was out of money. (I still owe my girlfriend for what I had to borrow to not have a negative bank balance.) About the Branch President seeming to care about the Stake rep getting his missionary report rather than my well being. About not being able to feel the Spirit when I pray. Not being able to feel God's love, not being able to know who He is. About putting in my best, yet still inept and fruitless effort earlier in the year to get nothing from it. About feeling like my branch is more concerned about what I'm doing than how I'm doing. Every phone call that I don't get because they think just calling my girlfriend or her mom is enough. I'm not important enough on my own. Having dealt with frustrating sister missionaries before, then to have new elders be nothing but judge and jury. I've asked and prayed for answers, and solutions. And I get silence, or scorn, or comments about me behind my back. I'm sick of it. I don't think I want to be part of this church right now, at all. I feel abandoned and let down, and I've had that enough in my life that I don't need to add a whole extra realm of possible hurt. I feel like I've put more effort into the church than everyone I've dealt with combined has put into me. I know I sound selfish. But I'm broken. I needed more foundational work than I was given. It's only been three years. God and Christ are new to me. Faith. Not to mention everything else LDS. I was my own teacher for so long. I learned more about the Scriptures and the faith when I was a moderator here than I did from real life. And I'm convinced I failed myself as a teacher, because I've led me down the wrong path. My chest hurts thinking about all of this. I know I have a Heavenly Father, that Christ is Savior. I know the Book of Mormon is true, and that Joseph Smith Jr. was a prophet and Thomas S. Monson is a prophet. I miss my relationship with the Godhead. But I'm sick of the people. And I'm sick of being let down and hurt. I'm at a loss. Possibly having a phone meeting with branch president tonight.
  13. lol, anatess. I never got a copy of that book. I even taught the class, and never got my own copy!
  14. Maureen> Yes. Side note: I have not been on any medication, with the exception of maybe 10 Xanax, since Sept. of last year. I've discovered that real love and support from the girl I love has worked better than any medication I've ever been on. It's hard for me to immerse myself in the church at this point. We rarely have activities, and the times I do stay on Sunday for all three hours... I just can't focus. Our branch and stake boundaries are, geographically speaking, the largest in the USA. I can't afford the gas to visit others... I have a very in depth budget, and I only have so much for gas each week. I don't know anyone well enough to call them up for advice on my issues, instead of going in person. I feel selfish. I've told God that. I don't want to be. I've been offered a two Priesthood blessings, requested by my girlfriend and her mom, in the last couple months. I've declined... I'm just... Afraid, I think. I don't think I'd have enough faith in them right now. What if I get a blessing and nothing happens, if it doesn't help? What if it does? For some reason that worries me, too. Sometimes I wonder, do people pray for me? On my behalf? Does anyone not in this house care enough to do that? I think maybe most don't even realize I'm struggling. I know I don't talk about it, and probably don't outwardly show it. But sometimes I just hope someone outside the picture will notice, and care, because I really don't feel important or cared about.