Thursday, October 30, 2014

He is Science


Preston: Mom, why does ice float?

Me: Honey, eat your lunch, please. Floating is about buoyancy and density. I have a Bill Nye video about it if you want to watch it after lunch? But you have to eat your lunch, ok?

Preston: Yeah, let’s do that. (pause) Mom, where is God in the universe?

Me: You know, I really don’t know.

Preston: Does Bill Nye know? Does he have a video about where God is?

Me: No, buddy. He doesn’t have videos about God and religion. Just science.

Preston: But Mom, God is science. His mind is science.

Me: So if God is science, is that why you love science so much?

Preston: Yes, because God created everything. Even science, because He IS science. Well, they’re not congruent, but they are very, very similar. It’s because God exists that we exist. Nothing would exist without God, even anti-matter.

Me: But if God created everything how did he do it?

Preston: Well, I’m not exactly sure, but God created all the matter in the universe and the universe created us…so I guess that’s how he did it. Pure energy can make particles too so I think he did it that way also. (pause) Mom, what’s beyond the universe? Is that where God lives?

Me: Honestly, I don’t know, but I’d like to learn more about it.

Preston: Mom, what’s after the universe? You know, there’s our solar system, our galaxy and our universe…what’s after that?

Me: Well, maybe the cosmos just extend out to forever and never end.

Preston: That’s impossible in my mind.

Me: Yeah, trying to imagine infinity is a really tricky thing to do.

Preston: No. It’s impossible. You told me the universe is UNIMAGINABLY big. And if the cosmos go on forever then I can’t imagine it. It’s unimaginable in my mind. It’s impossible.

Me: I see what you mean. I didn’t mean “unimaginably” literally, I just meant it’s really, really big. Maybe after lunch would you and I could learn more about the universe together.

Preston: Maybe I could use some math to make an equation to figure out what’s beyond the cosmos…easy-peasy.

Me: Sounds good. Can you at least finish your lunch first?

Preston: Yep! I’m almost done.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

I Am a Feminist


I’m a feminist. And some may think it’s extremely, but when it comes down to it, gender equality isn’t such a crazy notion after all.

I think sometimes within our faith, particularly as women, we can mistake silence for peace—being submissive in order to be non-confrontational. I have been a victim of this mentality from time to time and thought that if I didn’t agree with everything that was said on Sunday then it was better to be quietly agreeable in my seat (or even worse, that something was wrong with me).

About two years ago, I came to the conclusion that a black &white, dogmatic approach to my religion would consume me. There were too many unanswered questions about my religion, its origins and temple practices that couldn’t be explained away as I sat there silently in a pew each Sunday. I was faithful, yet unsatisfied. I served, yet incomplete. After the birth of our daughter I was forever changed. I wanted something better for her—something I didn’t have—gender equality.

I decided to try something new. I spoke. I questioned. I engaged. I researched. I challenged. I prayed. I studied. The more I did the more I came to realize I was a woman whom God had given a voice, talents, and intelligence. God wanted me to speak and ask questions. God also gave me the gift of personal revelation, divine inspiration to guide me in my search for truth. Questions are the building blocks of a greater testimony, and the more questions I asked the more knowledge I attained.

Matthew 7:7 says, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek and y shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you”

So I knocked.

Have all my questions been answer? No. Am I satisfied with all the practices, policies, and doctrines of my religion? No. Do I feel completely satisfied with my role dictated by my gender as a woman? No.

But I am hopeful. I am progressing. And though my religion moves at a glacial pace toward gender equality, I am taking each day in faith believing that even at times when my religion fails me, God will not fail me.

As a fellow woman of the LDS faith I invite you to use your voice. Engage regularly in dialog, research, pray and meditation about your questions and ideas. Confront them with strength and transparency even though it may leave you vulnerable. Never be afraid to ask “WHY?” I know that your voice is equally important. Your opinions are warranted. Your needs should be addressed. Your ideas not only matter, THEY ARE ESSENTIAL!

This Church is founded, built and upheld upon the backs of strong, faithful, amazing women! I am one of them and so are you. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hello


Blaire Ostler is one of the leading voices on the intersections of Mormonism, feminism, and transhumanism. As CEO and board member of the Mormon Transhumanist Association, she presents and writes on many forums, and speaks at conferences promoting Mormon Transhumanist ideals. Blaire holds a BFA in Design from the International Academy of Design and Technology-Seattle. She is pursuing a second bachelor’s degree in philosophy with an emphasis in gender studies. She is passionate about esthetics, religion, human sexuality, queer theory, social philosophy, and art. She and husband Drew reside in Utah with their three children.