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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

General Conference Talk Transcripts/My take on the Supreme Court's Decision/Latest Health Developments

Hello, all! I am posting again today for a couple of reasons. First of all, the transcripts of the General Conference talks are now available online. It's so thrilling that nowadays the Church gets them online within two days of General Conference ending. I remember in the past having to wait until the Thursday after Conference (sometimes longer) to get those. I post a link for all who are interested:

General Conference Talk Transcripts

I encourage all of us to review these talks often. We have been told in scripture that, as observes, "When holy men of God write or speak by the power of the Holy Ghost, their words 'shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be the voice of the Lord, and the power of God unto salvation' (D&C 68:4)." and that "whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." (D&C 1:38) General conference was wonderful. I hope we won't let the messages we heard die, but that they will become a part of who we are and how and why we do things.

In general conference, Elder Oaks reiterated the Church's stance on the issue of same-sex marriage, that the Church favors traditional marriage. He said, "Prominent among these today is the strong tide that is legalizing same-sex marriage in many states and provinces in the United States and Canada and many other countries in the world . . . we should teach the truth and the commandments plainly and thoroughly as we understand them . . .On the subject of public discourse, we should all follow the gospel teachings to love our neighbor and avoid contention. Followers of Christ should be examples of civility. We should love all people, be good listeners, and show concern for their sincere beliefs. Though we may disagree, we should not be disagreeable. Our stands and communications on controversial topics should not be contentious. We should be wise in explaining and pursuing our positions and in exercising our influence. In doing so, we ask that others not be offended by our sincere religious beliefs and the free exercise of our religion . . .When our positions do not prevail, we should accept unfavorable results graciously and practice civility with our adversaries. In any event, we should be persons of goodwill toward all, rejecting persecution of any kind, including persecution based on race, ethnicity, religious belief or nonbelief, and differences in sexual orientation."

His words were prophetic in a way in light of the Supreme Court's refusal on Monday to hear any cases about the legality of same sex marriage, effectively making such marriages legal in 30 states. Having appealed to "the court of last resort" and come away empty handed, those who favor traditional marriage, like me, were no doubt disappointed. I was very pleased to see the Church's official statement on the matter. I post a link to it below.

Church Statement on Supreme Court Announcement

I love belonging to a Church that holds firm on its position on moral issues. I agree with the Church statement wholeheartedly. While the outcome was contrary to what I and many others of my faith desired, we should be respectful towards those whose values differ. As with everything, I believe that diversity even on issues of morality provides for interesting public discourse and discussion. I also firmly believe what Elder Oaks said, that we can disagree without being disagreeable. I am now and always will be in favor only of marriage between a man and a woman, but I understand that not everyone else feels the same way. And since "we believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers and magistrates, in obeying, honoring and sustaining the law" (Twelfth Article of Faith), we recognize that this is the law now, even if we disagree with it for moral and ethical reasons. The Church will continue to hold firm in its position, which I am eternally grateful for.

In other news, I saw my neurosurgeon and neurologist yesterday (Tuesday). My neurosurgeon turned up my shunt setting after seeing that I was over draining, and I hope it helps. But he acted as if I should be honored that he would grace me, a lowly patient, with the honor of seeing him, an exalted neurosurgeon and behaved as if he were God's gift to the neurosurgery field. When I suggested that I should be scheduled for more regular visits if I had to move heaven and earth to get an appointment when I needed one and offered a word of criticism about how I had to get tough with his staff before they would schedule an appointment for me to see him, he abruptly and rudely reminded me that I had been on his nurse's schedule and he was only seeing me himself because she was sick today, and that he had to rearrange his schedule to accommodate a visit with me. He then mentioned that since my blood pressure had been very high the last several times I've had it taken, I should probably get it seen to, and he left. Amy was very angry about his attitude, and it bugged me too, but not to the same level. The result being I am now looking for a new neurosurgeon. I wouldn't go back to that guy if he paid me to do it. So we are checking into who is covered by my plan and what our options might be there. If any of you are aware of any good neurosurgeons not associated with the University of Utah that are covered under Medicaid Healthy U, please let me know.

On a much better note, I also saw my neurologist. She said that as far as my headaches and nausea were concerned, we will have to wait and see what the shunt pressure adjustment does before we adjust any medications. She also gave me the scoop on the new medication she wanted me to start. I was happy to hear that this medication would be a replacement for one of the ones I'm currently using. Ultimately the goal is to see if we can get me taking less medication possibly, but it all depends upon how well I do. She also shared with me some news I hadn't been aware of but Amy had. Apparently now because of federal regulations changing, I will have to get some of my prescriptions month-to-month, a fresh script each month, rather than one script with several refills. That's going to be a bit of a bother, but we can make it work.

Well, I've droned on long enough I've probably put some of you to sleep. That's the latest on us. I will keep you informed on developments as they happen. As always, thanks for reading, friends.