Monday, November 24, 2008

More Questions

There have been a few more questions in the comments regarding the LDS faith and a few of its doctrines or teachings. I am not at all offended by the questions. They seem to be asked in a spirit of curiosity. Because they have been asked in such a neutral way, I plan on doing my best to answer these questions for you. 

I would not answer if I felt they were asked to elicit debate on the subjects. In answering, I am not trying to "convince" or "convert" anyone to my view. My intent is only to help those whose faith is different from mine to see the issues from my eyes so that they can understand how I see them even if they don't agree with me.

I write this preface because I want those not of my faith to know that I respect other faiths. I encourage all of you, whatever your faith may be, to be active in your faith and seek out a relationship with God. I don't care what name you give Him or what form you think He has, I hope all of us will strive to grow closer to Him. All good comes from God. There are lots of churches doing lots of good in this world. I believe all the good any church does is inspired of God. 

For those of you seeking further light and knowledge that you are not finding in your current faith, I would offer the invitation to learn more about the LDS faith. Meet with your local missionaries. They will teach you the basics of our beliefs and invite you to pray about what they have taught. It is the Lord who tells us which faith is right for us. Missionaries give you information and invite you to find out for yourself if it is true or not.

I will try to answer or rather explain how I view some of these more "misunderstood" or "challenging" subjects in my faith. However, as one of the commenters said, "I really am just curious... nobody has been able to explain it in a way that I feel satisfied with the answer, you know?" The real TRUTH is that on any subject that you find challenging, only the Lord speaking directly to your spirit can give you answers to satisfy. And even then, in my experience, He does not give you answers about algebra until you know and believe all your basic math facts.  Does that make sense? 

We must first understand the priesthood and believe that the prophet really does receive revelation for the church from Christ before we can believe any specific doctrine taught. That is especially true for doctrines taught in different time periods under different circumstances. 

I do hope though that after I post my answers you will at least be able to see my reasoning. And because I do believe each prophet since Joseph Smith to Thomas Monson and all those prophets in the scriptures too are and always have been inspired of God, I hope my understanding will make sense to you even if you don't agree with it. 

54 comments:

Brimaca said...

Stephanie - I think you are doing an amazing job answering questions. I feel like you are my neighbor and friend and I'm inspired by you.

I also know you have reminded people of this before but I wanted to again. Readers: www.mormon.org is amazing for answering questions about our faith. I'm grateful you are looking to a member of our church for answers instead of going to other media which can be very misleading. If I were interested in someones faith, I would go to a pastor, teacher, or website of that faith...not to the pastor, teacher, or website of someone not of that faith. Many people jump to conlusions when they don't truly understand something - that is why religions are so branched off of one another these days and why doctrines can be so confusing.

As a member of the LDS faith there is very little doctrine I don't understand. I know where I came from, where I am going, and where I have been. I am grateful for the Holy Ghost and how God answers my questions and prayers. Because he answers mine, I know he will answer anyones.

Susy said...

I am grateful for your writings on this subject...my brother is taking the lessons and though I don't know if at all these lessons will advance him to baptism and help some of his personality problems (anger). Having the gospel and knowing that it does change lives I am praying and will begin fasting for him to find true faith in our beliefs! I will send him your blog info and maybe if he has some questions he that maybe he hasn't thought of asking me or the missionaries he might find it your blog!

Kathryn_m said...

Hi Stephanie:

I admire the platform you have laid out and look forward to further information.

Thnx,
kathryn_m
xoxo

Becca said...

Hi Stephanie -

I am not Mormon but I have loved your church for a long time. I find Mormons to be some of the most tolerant and accepting and LOVING people I've met. Thank you for sharing the answers to people's questions regarding your faith on your blog - I look forward to the latest answers!

Kara Jayne said...

You have prefaced this so well. I would hope that all people would know that sharing one's faith comes out of a love of giving something that is of great worth to others. I am NEVER offended when others want to share their faith with me. It enriches and elevates my life and relationship with God. I am proud to have you as a shining example of my faith.

chanel said...

well said. (as ususal) :)

Anonymous said...

I want to give you my 2 cents...

I have come to your blog from time to time, there have been times where I have been so saddened by reading your site. In the beginning it was understandable, and enlightening. Somehow further down the road you seem to be allowing yourself to remain in your loss, why? For the fan base?
I understand loss. I am no stranger to it. But my personal feelings are my feelings. I would not dream of diving into it so often and so deeply. I have shared my feelings, and healed, it allowed me to get through the darkness.
Back-reading a lot of your blog I have a few things to say. I am in no way trying to be mean spirited or rude. I want to give you some food for thought. I think you need to step back and look at your life a bit, you are missing things it seems.
You lost a daughter, but what about your other children? Do they not bring daily joy to your life? Are the things they do, and their daily adventures not merit blogging? Knowing you have these other children and reading a blog all about the death of your Camille, and not reading much about the life of the other daughters and the things they do, the joy you find in them, the life you lead as a family, the togetherness- seems to me there is a huge missing piece. There seemed to be a point where you tried to leave some of your grief behind and start looking ahead, for a moment I was so happy for you! But so often you still morn. Deeply morn it appears. I can't help but think that the "fame" you have found with the loss of your child, the support we have all added, might have something to do with it. By staying in that loss were you trying to retain your "fame"? Is that why you are writing a book? When it seems you could blog about other things you turned your blog into a church site. I am LDS and some of the posts I have enjoyed. Be careful though, what is doctrine and what is 'stephanie 101' should not be confused. And it would not be a bad thing to link some of your topics to the actual church site. To show where some of this information can be found for personal research? To allow the most correct doctrine to be found for the people looking for it. These curious people should know how to contact the right people also. Missionaries, Bishops in their area, and they can only do that if they know where to find that information.
My next topic is touchy, because you rarely mention it. You are pregnant! I would hope you would blog more of the joy for the the child inside you! Yet you barely mention it. A few posts and a single picture, and you are on to other things. I would hope you would begin now to see that infant as a special individual in your family. I hope you see this infant as his or her own. And allow this child to not live in Camille's shadow.
Start to see your life as it is now, look at the moments that are passing you by. The simple things you may not be seeing because you are focused on these other things. They are not important. The most important job we are givin as mothers is to love our children, allow them to grow into whomever they are supposed to be. start enjoying the daughters you have, the baby inside of you. Take life and live in this moment. For this moment may be all you have. This moment is the only thing you are sure to have.

I want to say that my opinion is strong and it comes based on what I see from your blog, I can't see if there is more. I do not intend to be overstepping my bounds but people blog for other people's advice, comments, and view of the situation, this is mine. I would hope that it would be taken as an 'outside looking in' perception and is only to be to help allow you to see what some of us might see.

Noorda Notebook said...

that was awesome steph. good job. i'm looking forward to hearing your future posts about stuff. you are such a good writer i know you'll do such an amazing job.

CJ said...

I enjoy your blog Stephanie. I can't imagine what it must be to lose a child. To anonymous above, I would think he/she has not lost a child either. It seems to me the epitome of selfishness and insensitivity to scold a mother who has lost a child,or to tell her she shouldn't mourn that loss the way her heart feels to, or that she needs to snap out of it and be normal. Wow. I personally am amazed with your ability to focus on other things. I have two children and feel like it would be the end of my world if I lost one. Surely 5 months would not be enough time to get over it. I am amazed you have taken a tragic situation and turned it into something positive- being candid, honest, and sharing your faith with so money. The prophets and apostles have encouraged the members even from the conference pulpit to use blogs for the purpose of sharing the gospel and bearing our testimony. Surely God is pleased that you have done this and reached out to others in a time when it would have been easier to focus entirely on yourself and your loss. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I too love your blog. You are awesome at writing and it is a pleasure to read. I appreciate your openess and willingness to let everyone have a chance to get a little view into your life and what you do wish to share.
Tina

Rhonda said...

Absolutely well put. As a member living in Connecticut I find so many great opportunities to share the gospel in subtle ways.

I visit your blog everyday and am uplifted in your words. You have inspired me to be a better mother, friend, and wife. I have to say that no words I can ever write will be enough to say I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Camille. It is through your words that I have learned so much on how to better treat those grieving.

THANK YOU!

Kate said...

To Anonymous -Read her Perfect Day post again and you can see how devoted and loving she is to her other 3 girls. This blog is one aspect of her life; the only aspect you see. You have absolutely no idea how she feels about her pregnancy or how she interacts with her daughters in daily life. Just because she doesn't post about it as often as you think she should doesn't mean she is ignoring her other children. To claim that someone would remain in the pain of losing a child simply for a fan base - are you kidding me? Stephanie has impacted so many lives, including mine, and to suggest that she is the kind of person that would use her baby girls tradgedy to gain some sort of "fame" is awful. If there is one aspect of Stephanie's life that is apparent from this blog, it's that she is a wonderful mother and Latter-day Saint. Of course she still deeply mourns, and it is her right to do so. This is her blog and the way she deals with her life and expresses her feelings. If you don't like it or don't agree with it, dont read it.

Stephanie-you are amazing and I can only pray that I will be as wonderful of a mother as you are.

Anonymous said...

Stephanie - What is your opinion or Your Church's opinion on miscarriage? You said once in a post that you have lost 2 babies due to miscarriage. I would think that many women have also struggled losing babies through miscarrige. Do you believe that the loss of a child/ infant is different in your eyes than a baby born stillborn or only lived a few hours? Do you believe that those babies that were carried in their mommy's bellies for months, will get to raise them...or does this only apply to your case of losing an infant?
Please help in clarifying this issue. I would love to know what you believe and also what Your Church says.

Also, how do you feel about forgiveness? After losing your child, do you feel like your heart has been moved to forgive and love more easily? My friend just lost a baby and she says this is true.

I hope, given the season, that we can all forgive and love one another...afterall, isn't that what counts?

Thank you Stephanie in clarifying the difference in loss between miscarriage, stillborn babies, and infants that have died. I know people that have lost children in all these ways, I would love to know how to help all of them.

Heather & Greg said...

Stephanie, I have to say as I have stated before you are an amazing very open and true, never once have I ever thought you don't absolutely enjoy your other children actually I would think you have dealt with your loss in an amazing way so that you can be a wonderful mother to your other daughters. You have more than the right to mourn and if people don't want to read about it than they shouldn't be intruding on any mother blog that has lost a child. As for your upcoming baby I feel as though you had a scare at first with your sickness and once you knew things were clear that is when you decided to share and you seem very excited to be welcoming a new bundle of joy. I can not see you being the type of person to compare this baby to Camille as you seem the type to see each child for their own individual worth. I think you have done an excellent job with describing aspects of the church and giving good references. Sometimes it is more understandable coming from another member I don't feel like you have ever over step your boundaries. We are instructed to share the gospel and our testimonies. I have been uplifted by you and your inspiring words many times in the past 5 months with some of the trials I have gone through. Thank you and keep up the good writing.

Julie said...

Stephanie, I know you know this but just to be completely clear: you do a WONDERFUL job of sharing your most deeply felt emotions. You are a HUGE support for me and many others who read your blog regularly. You are raw, unedited, non-judgmental and open-minded. Truly.

The thought that someone would come to some sort of judgement or conclusion on how you share, how long and in what manner you should grieve, how you express happiness about your pregnancy, or sadness about your precious baby and even how you witness your faith to your readers tells me one thing...

"Anonymous" sounds very very sad. Truly. I pass no judgement on this person whatsoever but I will be praying tonight for this "anonymous" that she may find peace in her life. It makes me sad to hear how hurt she must be.

Keep up the good, no, great, work. Stephanie, you are loved and cherished.

Julie

Susy said...

Stepahnie:
I came back to see if my writing was a jumble because I wrote so quickly and it was! However I read that comment after mine and was so appalled that anyone would anonymous or not, write their "2 cents". How dare another human being judge one and compare one unless you have walked in identical shoes.
We are emotionally different in so many ways and if your grief finds you writing about your precious Camille and not about the baby you are carrying, or your girls, so be it!
What is with people and how they are so quick to judge another ones spirit......
Shame on you Anonymous!

tammy said...

it's easy to spew ignorance when you're hiding behind your anonymity.

"i am in no way trying to be mean spirited or rude" followed by the accusation that she somehow doesn't love her other three girls as much as she loves camille because she doesn't write about them as often as you think she should. wow. i'm not often inspired to give my two cents, but i couldn't read that crap and not say something.

"take life and live in this moment, for this moment may be all that you have"....are you serious? i would say that stephanie knows better than anyone how easily something so precious can be taken.

shame on you for your lack of tact, lady. here's my opinion...the only "missing piece" is your obviously misplaced heart.

Katie Price said...

I believe that you are doing just what our leaders have asked you to do - and I appreciate you taking the time to do the research and share the church's stance on things, because I'm afraid I would not have the energy with all you are dealing with. If only one good thing could come out of losing your baby, it is so awesome that you are sharing the gospel. But I am sure you would trade anything to have her back. Please know that many members appreciate the light you shed on the gospel. I'm so sorry you have to deal with this, but thank you for making something positive out of it.

Kathryn_m said...

Dear Anonymous:

What a profound blessing it is to share, heal and emerge from the darkness after a devastating loss. I cannot imagine a deeper wound than that of losing a child -- a child who grew under your heart and resides forever therein.

The journey through grief is as deeply personal as it is individual. To somehow suggest that Stephanie is clinging to "fame" is simply untenable. Her past posts do not bear out your inferences.

Given the tenor of your message, I do wonder what issues remain unresolved within that you would think your words either appropriate or helpful for a young, grieving mother. Your thinly-veiled accusations indicate to me an on-going hurt. From my own experience, I do know that some things in life are just so acutely painful that we seek to cauterize rather than reconcile them. I am sorry for your loss(es) and I will pray for your continued healing. May God continue to bless & comfort you.

Stephanie, I love you and I pray for you and your family as you move forward with such grace, humility and unwavering faith. That so many of your readers are enriched by your words is surely testimony of the blessings you bring to bear through this blog and is proof postive that Camille's legacy continues to unfold as intended.

love,
kathryn_m

nancy said...

First of all, let's vote to delete anon. comments. It is just wrong to put that kind of hatefulness out there and not id yourself. Popularity for losing a child? Get out. These kind of comments are what shut down blogs that decide to "go private". If you have to be so virulent, take it somewhere else. My understanding of Stephanie's blog is that it is about her life, her family, her church, her feelings. Enough said. If you can't relate, move on. I have had two miscarriages. I was devastated at the losses. I had those children "grown" in my mind and saw their hopes and dreams in my hopes and dreams. However, almost losing my oldest son many times due to seizures w/a brain tumor, it is, indeed different. If Stephanie never "gets over it", amen. How do you think that works? I went to a memorial service tonight for a 3 month old. How long do you give that mom? Wow. Sorry, everybody. Anon. touched a raw nerve. Fight the fight, Stephanie. We are with you.

Sarah said...

Stephanie,
I have followed your story since the beginning but have never made a comment. I feal so strongly tonight to say what I've wanted to say for a long time but haven't. I have received SO much strength and inspiration from reading your blog. I have never gone through the death of a child but have many other struggles in my life. Each time I read you posts it gives me the strenght I need to keep going. You have shown us all through your spiritual strength what a wonderful person you are. I often talk to my sisters about your story and what a strength it's been for me to read.
As for the anonymous person giving her 2 cents, I will also be praying for her that she will be able to deal with whatever she has going on in her life in a more positive way than to be critical of others. I hope that she will find peace in a more healthy way.
I may be wrong but for me I see your blog as a way for you to honor and remember Camille and the sweet spirit she was. And through doing so you have blessed the lives of so many. I have no doubt that you are a wonderful mother to your other children and love them as deaply as you do Camille. I think it is wonderful that you are having another child and I know that you would not make that decision without praying about it and knowing that is what's right for you. I think you have done a wonderful job of expressing to all your readers the joys and blessings in your life and the things you have to be thankful for, this is what I love about your posts!

Stephanie said...

Dear Anonymous giving her 2 cents,
I appreciate your concern for me. I understand that you do realize your view of me is based only on what you read on the blog. And this blog is decidedly more focused on Camille than my other children. May I put your mind at ease?

I am healing VERY well from my loss. I am fairly certain that although you may be familiar with loss, you have not lost a child. I run another blog for moms who all have. I know that I am doing very well in my healing from this loss. I feel good. I am not depressed. I find joy in my other children all day everyday. I know you can't see this. But let me assure you this is the reality.

Losing a child is different from losing any other person. I feel that this blog is a vehicle for me to connect with my daughter Camille and the work she is doing. Sometimes that is helping me focus on the joys around me. Often it is helping others who have questions or need strength.

I spend all my time and energy each day enjoying my other children. Please know they do not feel the least bit slighted. If I blog more about Camille it is because this blog has been a good outlet for me to express the emotions I have encountered on my journey through grief. It is like a journal for me.

On your concerns for the life I am in the process of creating -- I am guessing you don't have lots of kids. If you do maybe you just feel really different from me. You have to realize 2 things. First this is my 7th pregnancy and will be my 5th kid. Somehow with each successive child you focus less on the pregnancy and the life growing within. Secondly, I am in that part of pregnancy where I don't feel pregnant. I don't feel the baby move. I am not sick anymore. My belly is tiny. I forget I am pregnant. This is a great part of pregnancy and I am totally enjoying it. But I don't spend lots of time dreaming about or thinking about this new child yet. Honestly, to give you some perspective, I spend about equal time focusing on my pregnancy as I do on Camille. And that is about 10% of my time for each. My kids take about 50% of my time and the other 30% goes to my hubby, church work, and a little to myself and my friends and extended family. Oh yeah = I guess I could through a .5% in there for house work. ;)

As for the church questions -- I stick closely to church doctrine. I haven't yet done any "gospel according to stephanie." I have given the website out before for the church site. I agree that it would be wonderful for people with questions to ask missionaries. But in reality people feel more comfortable asking a friend lots of times. And I know the answers well enough to inform them. You can read my next comment to the lady about miscarriages to see how I handle questions I don't have the answers to.

As for fame -- I don't think about fame or consider myself famous. I don't even think about this. Lastly, I don't write my blog to see what others think of me or to get their perspective on my life. I didn't know that was a purpose in blogging. I write my blog to record important events or stories in my family, to release inner emotions that I don't want to keep within, to share my perspective with others, and to practice my writing.

Last thing - the book - if I write a book, which I probably will, it will be for me to have a record of this period of my life for my children to have and read when they are older. I wouldn't care if no one bought it. I did the survey to see if I could afford to self publish and if there would be interest for others to have such a book. I am still not sure what I will do with the idea of selling it to the masses.

In any case, I hope you read this comment and that your mind is put to ease somewhat. If you knew me personally, you would see that my blog is not my whole life.

Love to you,
stephanie

Kathryn_m said...

I'm 100% with Nancy here. I second the motion to delete that hurtful post. As I read it, I felt like a knife cutting through me and I kept thinking how must Stephanie feel. I even wondered if there was a way to sheild Stephanie from it. So, it was with great effort and prayer, that I tempered my initial response.

I think the only true purpose of anonymous's post has been served in that many recognized her inner pain & strife and will pray for her. Her post is at best misguided and at worst ill-intended. In any event, it is very inappropriate and speaks volumes about the poster while saying really nothing about Stephanie.

It is my opinion that this blog -- a blog filled with such a pure, heartfelt testimony and Gospel truths -- has no room for such un-Christ-like accusations & judgements.

Stephanie: should you decide to delete her post, please feel free to delete any or all of this one as well so that reference to it is also gone.

I know I speak for others when I tell you that I feel a very personal connection to your blog. Over the past 5 months, I cannot enumerate the gifts you have kindly and freely given to me all the while mourning Camille. You are awesome! My faith and understanding of the Gospels have grown deeper and for that you have my profound thanks. Through your sharing, I feel I know Saby, Annie & Lauren's personalities and even Jon's quirky (read: drool) sense of humor. [smile]

This blog has not only kept me invested in my faith but also seeking a deeper understanding of God's plan for me as a woman, a wife and a mother - what more can I say?

love,
kathryn_m

Anonymous said...

As usual, Stephanie, beautifully said.

Love to you,

Jane

Stephanie said...

To Anonymous about miscarriage --

To answer your question - the church has no official position on what happens to babies who are lost due to miscarriage or still birth. Children born living, are on church records as a member of their family. Miscarriages are not. Still births I am not sure one way or the other.

This is not to say that children lost to miscarriage will for sure not be a part of that family in heaven. There just is no doctrine to say one way or the other.

I had two early miscarriages. I didn't feel super connected to either child. So I don't feel a NEED to know personally what the answer to that question is. I know many many mothers who have lost children in the womb who did feel very connected and who count that child as part of their family.

What I know for sure is that every loss we suffer here on earth will be made up to us in the here after. I don't know how that happens. But I know that all mothers who suffer the loss of children whether in the womb, just after birth, or years into their life, will have the loss made up to them. I am anxious to see how the Lord unfolds that promise.

Stephanie

2thfairy said...

Well put Stephanie (your answer to Anonymous with 2 cents). Isn't nice to know who you are! I love that you have this forum to express your feelings about your loss. It is very obvious that this special little blog has helped many! It is truly amazing how things work out when we put our trust in the Lord. And from the majority of the comments I have read hearts, spirits & lives have been deeply touched, including mine. Thank you.

Kathryn_m said...

WOW, Stephanie. Just awesome!

Your graceful response to anonymous seemed so effortless. I struggled to temper what I wrote. I actually did pray over it. Words can sooth and words can cut like a sword but words can never be unsaid.

You obviously picked up on the fact that they were her issues - you claimed no ownership -- and sought to ease her mind and her incorrect assumptions. In your doing so, I am hopeful she will see the need to seek remedy for her unresolved issues.

You are indeed as very thick-skinned as you said. I have little doubt that that post directed at me would have cut to the quick - not because I am "guilty" of anything she suggests but because, from the time I gave birth at 18 years old, I knew this would be my most important job ever and sought to fulfill it to the very best of my abilities. That some of my children face life-long support needs made me even more resolute.

God blessed your children with such wonderful parents. He's blessed mine with ones who are in for the long haul. Notwithstanding a miracle cure, we wouldn't have it any other way. Should I live to be 83, our youngest daughter will be 50 yet she will have the same needs to be filled as a 4 or 5 year old. Our son will be 62 and will still need someone to oversee, guide and counsel him. The burning question is "what happens after we're gone?" An on-going process for sure.

I was worried you'd bet upset - am delighted that you're not -- All is well; All is well.

love
kathryn_m

Stephanie said...

I know Stephanie personally and I can vouch that her blog is not her whole life. She absolutely enjoys ALL of her children and cherishes them ALL. In fact, because of her example on this blog, and in real life, I enjoy my children more everyday. I strive to live my life in a way that if I were to endure such a loss I might be as strong and faithful as she is.

I expect Stephanie to mourn the loss of Camille throughout her lifetime. I am sure the grief will take different forms and levels of intensity, but I can't imagine Camille not being a part of her life; and as such, she is sure to miss the physical presence of Camille, which I would expect to be a source of grief.

Steph, I continue to be amazed at how well you are dealing with this tremendous loss. I remember you saying that losing Camille has made you invested in heaven. It seems the memory of and grief for the loss of Camille is a motivator and incentive to carry on. In that sense, I hope we all can carry a piece of this grief, to help us invest in heaven as well. Thank you for so openly sharing your journey. I have certainly learned from it and knowing you has improved my life!

Kathryn_m said...

Re: miscarriages and still births .. is there any info as to precisely when the spirit enters the child? Do you feel your newest baby already has his/her spirit?

Kunz Family said...

Hey Steph, from one to another, I just wanted you to know I stopped in and while I don't usually read the comments I occasionally do.... got a good laugh, well at least a smile anyway.

Jonelle said...

Dear Stephanie- In the last few months as I read your blog daily, there are some things that are vividly apparent to me.

-You blog is a record of your experience, for you, not for fame, not for others, but you and your family. It has become a place for answers and knowledge, but that does not change your original intent. And what is a blog for? Just that.

-You have an innate gift for explaining the gospel and it's principles, clearly and concisely for those of many faiths as well as those of us who are LDS. I honor your ability to share the way you have. It lifts my spirit daily.

-You are still in the freshman phase of grief. Of course Camille is at he the forefront, I cannot expect that anyone would expect anything different.

- Your love for your girls is so apparent it inspires me. Your love for your husband is so touching. Your relationship and the strengths of joy and friendship is inspiring.

-Both of you still have and share humor! I think of Pres. Wirthlin's talk, "Come what may and love it." He talks about how important it is to laugh. I love that you are all still laughing. Camille would not want it any other way, and I know you have known that.

-Your pregnancy is just as viable and real to you as any other mother having her 5th child. Being pregnant with my fifth and not having experienced a loss such as yours, I can agree with what you said. Somedays, I will lie down and feel the baby kick, and think..Oh yeah.. there you are baby! I love you and am excited, but taking care of your 4 siblings makes me not pay so much attention sometimes! But, that does not mean we love these 5th babies any less, it is just different. I know their spirits know of our love and desire to have them. We do not have to publicly acknowledge it all the time.:)

-You are not "missing things." In fact I don't think you need another person's point of view from outside the window of your life to tell you that. I see it this way... your blog is only representative of a small snapshot of your life. Much like an edited version of Amazing Race. We only see a 10 min. view of a three day adventure. That is why I know you are not missing things, because that small view we see is so full of compassion, thought, valor and love, that I can only imagine what that wide angle would show.

Stephanie, these are things I know. I don't know you in person, but I know your heart because you have shared it here. I like to keep in mind also that you have not sought out fame. You are well known because people have been touched by you and your words and have created their own following. Much like any good author who has a story to tell. Your story is beautiful, and I love that you share it with all of us!

Stephanie said...

Kathryn M,
does my baby peanut already have a spirit in it? I don't know. Maybe? John the baptist leapt for joy within Elizabeth when Mary pregnant with Jesus came near. So maybe? But I don't know when the spirit enters the body for sure. I have lots of ideas that are possibilities but they are just possibilities and I don't have a real answer.

I look forward to taking that class in heaven. Till then I just trust in the Lord.
Stephanie

sarah s. said...

Dear Stephanie,
Having read every single one of your entries, and many of the comments, I can't let this anonymous comment pass without throwing in my 2 cents!

Your blog has done so much for so many. It inspires us to be better people, better mothers, and search for answers in our spiritual lives. Unfortunately, sometimes some readers feel it is okay to burden you with their issues. It is too bad that people don't understand that this blog is only a fraction of your life. It is too bad that they don't notice the sidebar where you have written that your blog is a tool for you to work through your grief. I hope that you continue to see the positive impact your blog has, and disregard these comments that seek to send you off track.

Stay strong Stephanie!

lovinglife said...

Stephanie,
I just wanted to to quickly comment and tell you how much inspiration your blog is to me. I have 5 children and completely understand how you love each completely in their own way. If I were ever to lose one I would do just as you have--stay connected to them by journaling. Your blog is such a blessing to me. Never stop sharing--even if you get "off" comments. How ignorant that mean-spirited comment was. They are obviously hurting. Thank you for sharing both the good and bad of your journey. I learn so much from you. Your blog makes me a better mother and wife. Thank you.
Darcy

Sue said...

When I read the comments of "Anonymous," I intended to write an answer of sorts to her after I was finished reading the rest of the comments people left for you. Having now read your own comment, I find that my response to "Anonymous" is completely unnecessary.

You are quite a woman!

Jonathan Waite said...

hey -- who invited the cranky, critical aunt to Thanksgiving dinner???

Jamie said...

After reading anonymous' comment, I immediately had the thought, "Oh no you didn't!" But, I had to let my boiling pot be put on simmer after reading everyone else's responses. :-)
The harsh reality is: People judge what they don't know. After I lost my little boy I had to continually remind myself of that. People sometimes will say hurtful things and I would just have to keep in mind that it was up to me whether or not I chose to be offended by it. I was either mourning too much or not enough. But like I said, they just don't know.
Thank you once again for your great example to all of us. I am contiually edified by reading your blog. Keep it up!

Shanan said...

Wow - this comment string has been quite a ride ...

I hope we can all realize now (including Anonymous - if you're reading responses to your comment) that if Stephanie was seeking anything that Anonymous wrote about or was anything like Anonymous described, her response would no doubt have had a 'how dare you' approach.

However - Steph's response was the exact opposite. It was full of understanding, acceptance, compasion, and love.

Steph - you're an example in so many ways. Thank you for doing what you do!

Maine Mom said...

Your blog is such a great missionary tool. You explain things so well and you write with the spirit. You are doing great work here through your experiences and knowledge. :-)

Larsen said...

Stephanie, There is a post for you on the Angel Blog.

Michelle Larsen
Gavin's Mom

Anonymous said...

Anonymous....what is the proper amount of time one should grieve the loss of a child? You must be an expert of the human psyche to be passing judgement.
John Walsh surely capitalized from his son's tragic death. What a money maker he's come up with....Americas's Most Wanted. What a sham right? I bet he is in for the fame and money too. Anon, I think you are on to something.

Anonymous said...

I must say TO STEPHANIE, I feel like you understand the meaning of my comment. I must now say I am so sorry if my comment was tactless, or came off as an attack, it was MY raw and uncensored feelings, some pure honesty. My comment (that everyone sees as rude and mean hearted) was my view. It was all I could see. I wanted to know the rest of the story. I wanted to know HOW life for you is continuing. I wanted to understand more. The place you are at now. And the things I mentioned (fame, children, gospel) were the things I needed more understanding on. I admit "fame" was not an accurate word, but for lack of a better one, it is what I used. Thank you Stephanie for allowing me a fuller view of where this has all taken YOU over the past months. Where you find yourself as a whole big picture. I was so pleased to read your answers. I do respect that through a blog, we must not see your whole life. That was the purpose of my comment. I have come to love you through your honesty, and the raw emotion. This was my raw question that most if they were thinking it, would be too scared to ask. I was needing you to fill in the blank spots. I loved to read your answer. My feelings were so hurt by some of the things that others said, but you seem to have understood my intent. And your message was what I wanted. Messaging like this is not my favorite, because you can not hear my intent, my phrasing of the questions I ask. I in no way meant to attack. To accuse. I could break down every segment in my comment so you ALL could fully understand what MY meaning is, but Stephanie, thank you for understanding. I am again sorry if my comment offended. It was not meant that way. As for when I said "Take life and live in this moment. For this moment may be all you have. This moment is the only thing you are sure to have." I know YOU understand that more than most people will ever understand it, I remind myself of it, and it is something that helps me live in the moment. It helps me enjoy my life more fully. I was just passing the sentiment on.
I commend you on the way you speak of church doctrine. I never meant (again) to accuse you, but to warn. I have had many times where people were confused with doctrine because they heard someones opinion on the gospel, not the doctrine. I feel you do better with Church topics than I could ever hope to do. I honestly am amazed. You do an incredible job.
I am happy to know how you 'divy out' your time. I couldn't see how much of your life and thoughts were focused on the here and now, the future, and the happiness. I am glad to know that Camille now holds very much hope and happiness for you, that is what I wanted to know. I do feel you are a strong and incredible woman, we are all blessed to get to see into your life through this means. I wanted a little bit of a bigger picture. I wanted to see more. You showed me. I appreciate your kindness, and understanding and I am so sorry that others misunderstood my questions.

Liz's Blog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Stephani,
If you have already answered this question, i apoligize, i have not read through all your posts yet...getting there though. I have seen on some comments that people refer you to your own blog about Camille and others that have lost babies...how do you find this? Is it limited to those that have only lost children, or do you include those moms, like me that have just suffered a multiple miscarriages? Coming from a Christian background, I am taught that grief is grief and loss is loss and Jesus does not turn anyone away, but when i clicked on your other blog that has over 30 members...it would not let me in...is it a secret? I would think that if would help many of us, moms that are grieving to hear what you talk about? Confused!
Also, in reading the comments left today...like me, now i feel horrible about leaving an annoymous comment but I am new to the blogging world! Please do not pass judgment on those that comment annoymously, some are new, some want to keep there thoughts and comments private, I agree that the 2 cents person's comment was rough, but maybe that was her way of expressing herself...Please let address this about your Private Blog and what are the qualifications to be invited, or to why that blog is PRIVATE but this one is PUBLIC...THANKS!

Anonymous said...

Stephanie,
I just wanted to say thank you. I try to read your blog everyday so I will be reminded that I don't know what tomorrow will bring and to savor the moments with my children. To hold them tight, just in case. Thank you. Kim Meechudhone

Anonymous said...

I am also new to the blogging world, but I must say it is interesting to see so many people up in arms about someone's opinnion or you could say concerns. Shame on everyone else for casting judgement, talking about praying for people you don't even know! Isn't that kindof hypocritcal of you to say! Talking harshly of someone you dont know, don't many of you claim to followers of Chris? You are so fast to act and not even think about what careless things you say! I think ananyomous had some valid concerns and everyone decided that his/her valid questions were viewed as attacks. I dont know Stephanie and I am sorry to hear about her daughter no parent should ever have to bury there child. I am sorry to hear about that, but when discussing loosing a child there are some hard issues to deal with especially if you are laying it out on the line on an internet "public" blog. Unfortunatley with public forums which this is! You are going to get all walks of life These are questions that probably many have had but have not had the guts to talk about or question. I can bet you that this will not be the last time that someone quesitons the motives of an individual who "journals" there life for all to see. I can see where "ananymous" comes from and this is a publice forum, if it were private that would be a whole other story. Some of you obviously will be offended or pray for me because of this post but it is the truth, so I think it is good of Stephanie to "squash" those things now versus waiting. Stephanie I just wanted to say sorry to hear about your daughter I hope that this can serve as inspiration to anyone who needs it. I am sorry to have expressed my opinnion so strongly on your blog but I feel that many of your followers claim to christians and I did not see that from them on this blog. Sorry

Robert H.

Anonymous said...

Sorry I meant to put follower of Christ? I accidently deleted the "t"

Dawn said...

Stephanie, I agree that you do awesome at answering these questions. You truly are a missionary! I'm a life-long active member, but reading your answers have helped me remember things that I have kind of forgotten. Thanks (o:

Also, for the person who was a bit opinionated on how you are grieving. It's only been 5 months! When we lost my sister-in-law to cancer 10 years ago, the grief counselor told our family that month 6 after a loss can be the hardest because people have all moved on and left you to grieve on your own. It's been 10 years and my in-laws and husband are still grieving. Just keep doing what you are doing. Whatever helps you through the process, no matter how long it takes, I say do it. You have a lot of people who love and support you...lots of us who you've never even met.

Amy Jensen said...

Does anyone else think that it is interesting how Anonymous changed her story after she read everyone else's comments and Stephanie's. Lucky for you anon. that Stephanie is a good and Christ-like person, because if it would have been me I might have not been so nice. For you and the other Anon. whether you are new to the blogging world or not what gives you the right to go on someone else's blog and tell THEM how their life is or should be! Especially since you have never gone through what she has or know what she is even feeling. That's the only reason every one was "all up in arms" about this. I also noticed that you said you are LDS well whether you are or not shame on you because I was raised that we should never judge anyone ever no matter what, so maybe you need to take a step back and read what you really wrote the first time!

Stephanie:
I can't say I get on your blog every day but I do from time to time. I just want to say that often times I do get on I am brought to tears when I have read some of your posts and I think you have such a sweet and amazing spirit. Thanks for uplifting us all and making me realize what I do have and to cherish it all and be more grateful. You truly are an example to us all! I also think it is amazing the response you get from people that are not members with all their questions and thoughts and the amazing job you do answering them I know your father in heaven is proud and I bet your daughter Camille is as well. You truly are a missionary and I think it is such a blessing that you have taken something so hard and made it to such a positive thing in your life not only for your self but others, you have such impeccable strength and courage. My sister lost a little baby boy almost 2 years ago in March she only got him for two days and we all still talk about him from time to time and wonder "oh what he would be doing now" or "wonder what he is doing up in heaven" and I am sure my sister thinks about him "ALL" the time. I remember after she lost him she told me that it helped that I always talked about him and what happened and how she was feeling. She said that sometimes she thinks that people think it might be to hard but she said it's what helps. So I can only imagine maybe that is what works for you as well, but just writing about it to get it out!(I am assuming anyway) I always tell her she is my hero because of what she had to go through and how strong she is, I feel that way about you as well. I know that she reads your blog everyday and you have inspired her. You moms that have had to go through this have a special place for each other and I think any mom can understand in a little way because we all are mothers and our children are our life! Anyway keep it up and thanks again for your testimony and example. I pray for you and your family always.

Familia Martinez said...

Stephanie and Jonathan,

We love you, we miss you and we pray for you. Thanks for your example and your faith. Have a Happy Thanksgiving...for we have so much to be thankful for.

Love Anthony, Angie, Araya, Ammon and as of 2 weeks ago Alivia

Angie said...

Stephanie- when I first read annon. comment I was horrified, I was apalled...I was ticked off! I immediately thought of everything I wanted to chew her out about. How dare she!? Whether she meant to be rude or not, she obviously crossed the line. But then I read your response and I didn't feel the need to respond to her anymore. That's the amazing thing about you, you handle things with grace and dignity and are a true example of turning the other cheek and having compassion. I felt so much better after reading your response.

And then Robert H. ruined it.

I'm sorry for people who cause you more pain than you have to deal with naturally. You have a talent with words and I'm grateful for the way you willingly share your heart and soul. I hope ignorant people won't cause you to turn your blog private because so many will be missing out. You lift others up daily. Thank you.

Plain Jame said...

Stephanie, thanks for another great post! (and responses.)

Have you considered not allowing "Anonymous" comments?

I am sure that you will continue on with your posts as you have said in the past. You seem to let a lot of things "roll off" so to speak, and seeing how you handle this (I would shut my blog down - I'm so over-emotional!!) you really are graceful. Thanks for being such a great example. You have a gift for writing.

Plain Jame said...

PS - I also love what you've said in the past about treating someone that has lost a child, along the lines of - THERE IS NO TIMETABLE FOR MOURNING.
Especially for a child - you will still long to hold her in 25 years, in 50 years, you will always miss Camille. For people that criticize a mother to move on and put on her happy face on her blog for the public, 5 months after a tragic loss is just ... I could list 10 adjectives here along the lines and it's unthinkable. I'd hate to read what that person will say 5 years from now, because you will still be missing your child (on a different level) and Camille will always be your Daughter.

Sorry, had to get that out. :)

Bethany said...

Anonymous:

You are only right about one thing:

YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND.

I'm going to throw out a pretty good "guess" that, that is because you have never lost a child. If you had, you would never have been able to utter any of those insensitive, thoughtless words.

And let me just say right now, as one who has lost a parent, a friend, and a pet...it is NOT the same. As one who has been through more trials in my short 25 years of life than most people their entire lives...it is NOT the same. There is NOTHING on this earth as terrible as losing a child. NOTHING.

If you ever took an hour to get to know and *really* understand a mother who has lost a child...really asked how she was doing and waited and WANTED to hear the truth, maybe you would have some semblance of an idea. Instead, you are probably the person who says "Oh HI, how are you?" as you walk to the other side of the room and start chatting to someone else. :/

I have spoken with more mothers who have lost a child in the last two months than I want to believe, and you NEVER stop truly mourning. There will always be a hole, no matter what else you have in life. Other children help distract you from the pain, help you to live life...but they do not fill that hole of the missing child.

I honestly cannot believe you are criticizing someone's else choice at deciding to have another child. You "visit her site every once in awhile" and now you claim to know what is best for her and her family, and oh, how she should be grieving after only 5 months of losing her little girl!

Lastly, I absolutely cannot BELIEVE that you HONESTLY think she is doing this for ATTENTION!!!!!!! I just have no words. No wait, I have one: pathetic.

Seriously? Its people like you that make grieving so much more the harder. "Mourn with those that mourn" its not "tell them to get a grip" in the name of "helping them".

As you eat your Thanksgiving dinner today with all your loved ones, why don't you give thanks that you are completely naive and clueless on this subject, and may you always stay that way. Because even with the horrid things you said ("no offense") a mother who has gone through this would NEVER wish it on their worst enemy.


*Stephanie,

You, above all others, have come across to me as dealing with this the "best" out of all us angel children moms. If that person even knew the HALF of it *shakes head*

*hugs*
~Bethany