Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Ann Marie & Co.

Here's an ad I made for my new store on etsy! (Not real, like on TV, just on YouTube) Enjoy!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

In Response to The Human Rights Campaign: Mormon Leader Gives Anti-Gay Sermon After Suicides

*Note: This post is not intended to be bashing on anyone, and/or said with hatred, anger, etc. This is simply me stating my own personal opinion on the matter along with thoughts and feelings of what I know to be true.*

A friend of mine on Facebook just posted a link to a Human Rights Campaign page. I was curious what the argument was about, seeing the word Mormon in it. Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints myself, it caught my eye and I wondered what was going on.

The article stated that recently, many homosexual teenagers have committed suicide due to terrible bullying at schools due to their sexual preferences. I find that very sad that anyone would bully someone so much to the point of them feeling so trapped that suicide is the only way out. I don't care if you are atheist, Catholic, LDS, whatever, no one should be harassing other students that way. I feel bad for the families and friends of those teenagers who took their own lives, and I feel bad that that teenager felt like they had no one and no where to turn to in their time of need.

However, the article then went on to say that it was wrong for Elder Boyd K. Packer to openly say in his talk just this last week in General Conference that homosexual conduct is morally wrong, "impure and unnatural," and "against God's law and nature." The article says that this only encourages intolerance and all of the bullying that has been occurring. Personally, I feel that this person perhaps misunderstood the intent and meaning behind the talk that Elder Packer gave.

First off, this person makes it sound like President Packer choose this time specifically to give this talk, as if he heard about the suicides and decided to talk about how their sexual orientation is morally wrong. But the talk was given during General Conference, a gathering of the saints at which they can listen to the words of God through the prophets and apostles, which is set at a certain time every year. Consequently, the conference happened to land at about the same time these suicides happened. Furthermore, there have been many talks given at previous General Conferences about same-sex marriage, homosexual behavior, etc. being morally wrong in the eyes of God. President Packer, along with all of the apostles, prophets, and leaders of the church, are always inspired in what they should talk about during General Conference. It is what the Lord wanted His people to hear.

Second, I disagree that this talk influences people to harass those who are homosexual, and if anyone takes it to mean that, and acts upon it in that way, then the sin is on them. President Packer's talk was merely conveying that 1. Homosexual behavior does not agree with God's laws. 2. Although some suppose that this is the way they were born and cannot overcome what they feel, it is not so. God loves each and every one of us. We are His sons and daughters. Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone if it is contrary to His law? 3. Paul promised in the scriptures that we will not be tempted above that which we are able. Those who do struggle with this have the potential to overcome it, if they truly desire to do so, and will come to the Lord for help. (I fully believe this to be true). 4. These feelings are not only against God's law, but against the law of nature. It is impossible to set a law against nature. "What good would voting a law against gravity do?"

If you look very carefully, President Packer's talk is not intended to bully or harass homosexuals or encourage such. It is merely stating a spiritual fact, and actually giving a message of hope for those who are like this that they are able to change. Now I know that some would argue that this is intolerance, and why should they change? First, I do not believe that my views and beliefs are intolerance. If this is the choice someone is to make, then that is their decision. I will not go out with a sign rallying others to do away with all homosexuals, or go to classes to bully someone who is. I will not shun my friend if they confide in me of their feelings, although I will have to tell them that I disagree, and let them know that I am here to help them out of it, if God's will is what they desire to follow. But the reason they should "change" is so they are not acting contrary to God's law and will. His will cannot be altered or changed by mankind. It is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Therefore, with what I have said, I believe that I am tolerating their decisions, although I do not agree with them. Tolerance does not mean agreeing or changing my views and beliefs, and with my tolerance, I expect those who are homosexuals and supporters of them to tolerate my views as well.

Near the end of the article, it asks for people to please sign their name to an open letter addressed to the leaders of the LDS church and post it to Facebook so that everyone may know that "these views are scientifically wrong and misguided." Well, here's some news for you. I am not a person of science. I am a person of faith. I follow God's laws and commandments before I follow anything that mankind has "proven." I find it interesting that people try so hard to defy Him, boasting in our technology, as if we know everything. Although mankind has come a long way scientifically, I know that there is so much more that we do not understand and cannot comprehend simply because we are mortal. God knows everything, and all things. I would much rather put my faith and trust in someone like that more than millions of people who have worked throughout the ages to uncover mysteries that God knew all along.

As for the letter addressed to Elder Packer, I have pasted it here:

Dear Elder Packer,

I'm appalled that you chose this moment to deliver a sermon saying same-sex attraction is unnatural and same-sex unions are immoral. You have risked further alienating LGBT youth and potentially contributing to suicides of even more vulnerable young people. You've told them that their very identities are "impure and unnatural" and you've incited the violence and bullying that often drives them to suicide by repeating lies disproven by both science and the experience of millions of Americans who know their LGBT neighbors and care about them.

I hope you will cease putting young people in real peril and acknowledge the scientific truth: sexual orientation cannot be changed, nor should it be.

1. As I stated earlier, Elder Packer did not choose this time. General Conference is always conducted at this time of year. Also, if you choose to argue that he could have chosen another topic, you are correct, but God specifically impresses upon the minds of those speaking what they should say and speak about.
2. If Elder Packer has risked more teens committing suicide due to what he has spoken (which are God's words, by the way [D&C 1:38]) then they have completely missed the critical spiritual information and message of the plain and simple truths he has stated. God does not mince words or sugar coat things. It is what it is.
3. Naturally, a girl's very identity is to be attracted to a boy, and a boy's very identity is to be attracted to a girl. They are to be united in marriage (which marriage, by the way, is not something set by law only, but is a holy union- but that's a different argument I won't go into right now) and have children so all of God's spirit children may have a chance to come to this earth. Producing babies can only be accomplished by a man and a woman.
4. Again, inciting the bullying is not what Elder Packer intends, nor is it what he says for people to do. If people do that, they are acting on their own accord.
5. Stated earlier: I am a person of faith, not science. I don't care what mankind has "proven."
6. Just because I don't agree with someone doesn't mean I don't care about them. I can like chocolate ice cream while my friend likes vanilla, but that doesn't mean we hate each other.
Perhaps we don't understand each other's views, but I won't hate her because her beliefs are different from mine. Nor will I encourage her desire for vanilla if I do not agree with it.
7. The real peril here is that so many people do not understand God's will or know about Him. In order for people to know, they must be told the truth. The real peril is in lack of spiritual knowledge.
8. The last statement in here is very contradicting. Perhaps I am misunderstanding what they mean or are saying (which is possible) but isn't saying that "sexual orientation cannot be changed nor should it be" is like saying (according to the dictionary) "your natural preference in sexual partners cannot be changed nor should it be?" Wouldn't natural selection mean men and women, women and men? And if that's right, then isn't that just what Elder Packer and so many others have been talking about? Just saying...

In conclusion, I just don't think that this is something that people should really be targeting The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for. Saying that stating our beliefs in what God has told us is true may cause people to commit suicide is ridiculous. People bullying and harassing those who are homosexual because they don't agree with them may cause people to commit suicide is a reasonable thing to say. But ultimately, even if these people get loads of people to sign this letter and send it to the LDS church leaders, it really doesn't matter. They aren't going to stop the laws that God is set on, and they won't stop Him from commanding His apostles and prophets to tell us that this is impure and unnatural, can be overcome, and against His law. So you may wonder why I took all this time to write this thing up. It is simply because I want to show that I stand faithfully beside the leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and beside my God. I know that He lives and loves all of us. I know that He has blessed us all with strengths that will assist us and weaknesses that will define and shape us into better people if we allow them to. I know that the words of the prophet Thomas S. Monson, his counselors, and the apostles are words straight from God our Father to us, His children. I stand this day forever beside Him, determined to follow Him until the end of my days.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Video Making

Hey everyone! I've had some fun lately with music video making, and I thought I'd share the results! :) Enjoy! (For full description of videos, please go to the actual video on YouTube.)



Sunday, March 7, 2010

Southern California Trip Part 3- Sea World!

Day three we went to Sea World! We loved the Dolphin show and we loved seeing Shamu and all the other water animals! We even got to pet the sting rays!

Here's the dolphin show. They are Melissa's favorite!



Here's Melissa with all the pink flamingos!

SHAMU!

"Baby Beluga in the deep blue sea...."


Here's a video of the Shark Tunnel. They have this small tunnel through the shark's tank and a moving walkway that you stand on to go through it. It's pretty cool!

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I want this car. :D
On our way home, we stopped by the beach real quick while the sun was setting. It was pretty. :)
Then we went to Medieval Times for dinner and JOUSTING!!! :D The place looked like a castle inside and out. Lame picture of the outside, but we were driving, so it was hard to get. :P

Everyone was assigned a specific knight to root for. We had the black and white night. Here he is! He didn't win (or come all that close to it either), but we thought he did great!

Here are all of the knights, ready to compete!

We got a picture with the "king's assistant" (we don't remember his exact title).
And here's us with the black and white knight!

Awesome day, awesome place! We'll have to go again sometime! :)

Southern California Trip Part 2- Disneyland!

The next day of our awesome trip, we headed down to Anaheim to go to DISNEYLAND! Melissa's favorite place! :) Here's a video of the Sleeping Beauty Castle!

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Melissa gets a quick pic with Bert from Mary Poppins and Alice and the Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland.


Here's Brandon in front of Splash Mountain, just before we got soaked...like, really soaked. Well, actually, just Brandon got really soaked. We were in the very front, and lucky for Melissa, she had a hoodie sweatshirt to cover her face and hair from getting wet. Melissa stayed mostly dry, while Brandon got a face-full of Splash Mountain!


Melissa with her Fairy Godmother! ;)

On our way over to Star Tours (LOVE that ride!) we stumbled upon a Jedi battle!

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Cute kids! Fighting Darth Vader is something they'll probably remember forever!

While we were there, we also noticed a ride neither of us had ever been on or bothered to really check out. The ride was Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, and we're sure glad we did try it! It's like Mr. Toad's Wild Ride and laser tag combined! You get to blast lasers at all of these targets and while riding it and help Buzz defeat the evil Zurg! Here's a fun video of the awesomeness of the Disneyland technology! I love these robots!

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Here's Small World all lit up and pretty! This ride is classic! It was also neat to see that they added some Disney characters into the ride, like Cinderella, Ariel, Lilo and Stitch, Nemo, Mulan and Mushu, Peter Pan, and a whole lot more!

Now, you can't go to Disneyland without seeing Mickey and Minnie, although we kinda did. BUT, we did get this fun video of them dancing in the parade that night! Check it out! Mickey has some pretty good moves too! :)

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After a long and awesome day at the Happiest Place on Earth, we went to dinner at Bubba Gumps! It was yumalicious and we ate lots of shrimp!


We had a great time, and loved going to Disneyland again! Maybe we'll have a few more people with up when we go next time. ;)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Southern California Trip Part 1

Brandon and I took a very needed vacation in January to Southern California with the money we won from the Honey Bunches of Oats vacation giveaway. :) Our first stop was Universal Studios Hollywood!


Here is Brandon at the entrance!

A Mitsubishi Eclipse Spyder car! Pretty cool, no? :)

Me and Jason hanging out by his cool car... ;)

The Simpsons ride. It was pretty fun and ended up being one of Brandon's favorites!

We got to take a tour of some of the sets around Hollywood. Here are a couple of pictures.

The Dolorian from Back to the Future!

The whole beach from Jaws. Crazy small, huh?


JAWS!!! AH, MY NIGHTMARES HAVE BECOME REAL!! I knew I shouldn't have watche dthat movie... ;)

Here's a scene from War of the Worlds. They had to take apart a whole 7-47 just to make it look like it crashed in a neighborhood! So cool!



Look what Brandon caught! ;)

I got to meet Spongebob! YAY!

We also got to meet Princess Fiona! We noticed afterward that she and I were doing the same pose. It just proves that I'm a princess even more! :)

Brandon would make a great astronaut, wouldn't you say so? :)

Dinosaur!

Donkey's Waffles!
Universal City Walk.
The Hard Rock Cafe! We went there for dinner after a long and awesome day at the theme park.

Monday, February 22, 2010

White Christmas

I was in yet another play this winter called White Christmas! It was a fun show to do. I had two parts: Cigarette Girl and Mrs. Snoring Man. Not the best character names ever, but I did have a few solos in one song as Mrs. Snoring Man, so it was a good deal, and it was a good show. :) I didn't get a whole lot of pictures, but here's what I took.

Here I am in my finale costume with my friends Hanna and Abby, who were awesome dancers! Cute costumes too! :)

Here is Hanna, Ty, and Woody all being exactly how they are every day... ;) lol!
This is me in my Cigarette Girl costume. Pink and black. Two colors that always go great together! :)

Halloween!

Okay, so up first on our list of things to put on here is Halloween! We went to the ward trunk or treat and had a great time! Then we had some friends over and watched Wait Until Dark starring Audrey Hepburn. It was a great movie, and we had a lot of fun!

I dressed up as Giselle from Disney's Enchanted! I made the dress my self, and it was A LOT of work, but the outcome was so worth it! :) Brandon borrowed a princes costume from my friend Rachelle, and together we made a great pair! :)


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"I AIN'T DONE NOTHING!!!"

We realized, just now, tonight, that we haven't posted anything...in forever...not even Halloween...sad...
When I (Melissa) realized this, I said, "Man, I ain't done nothin'!" which is from the comedian Brian Regan. So, until we get all caught up, enjoy watching Brian Regan. The line quoted above appears at the very end, but the whole video is hilarious!
Sorry we haven't updated for sooooooooo loooooooooooooong! We promise we'll get to it soon! In the meantime, just know that we are alive, happy, and well. Enjoy Brian! -Melissa and Brandon