Saturday, June 27

List of Religious Businesses to Support

June 26, 2015.

The day the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a right to marry throughout the USA.

And the day I completely lost faith in the US government.

I read the opinions of the Supreme Court a few minutes after they went live online. And among the frustration voiced in the dissenting opinions and the unsubstantiated arguments by the majority, I had a realization:

There isn't anything I can do about this anymore. The political process is broken.

When it was an issue of the states, or even of the federal legislature, I could rally, vote, donate, debate, persuade, and do everything in my power to help people see my point of view on the legality of same-sex marriage. But that's not an option anymore. I mean, we could go for a constitutional amendment, but the last time that happened was before I was born, or at least conscious of reality. I think the age of federal amendments is honestly over - who would vote for something so overarching when one wordcould be so easily misinterpreted by the courts ten, twenty, or two years from now? I probably wouldn't.

And so my efforts need to go somewhere else. When I lost faith in the education system, I put my efforts into Church and business. So I decided to do the same thing again. I pulled up my web browser to look for religious-friendly businesses and Google had a thing that said they celebrated gay marriage. I closed Chrome and opened Firefox instead. But I soon realized that I didn't know which businesses had morals that aligned with mine. And searches weren't turning anything up. If I really want to support companies who spend their philanthropic dollars (all companies have them) supporting causes I agree with, instead of fighting against them, I need to know who to support.

The lists of pro-gay and anti-Christian companies are easy to find. The HRC publishes a list of companies that actively give money for and openly support the legalization of gay marriage. But it's hard to find companies on the other side.

So I'm making a list.

It will probably be a dangerous list. People have been sued for being faithfully religious in their business dealings; others have been slandered in media, threatened, or physically assaulted; and countless have been murdered for making their moral beliefs known.

But if I want to support businesses that worship God, I'm sure there are others who want the same. And whether the owners are Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or another faith, as long as they are actively trying to make the world a more faithful place, I'll choose them over the godless any day.

To be added to this list:
Send me an email (my address is listed here on the blog) with the following information from an official business email address:
Your name (will not be published)
Your title (will not be published)
Your phone number (will not be published)
The name of your business
Your county and state (for sorting on this list)
A few lines about what your business does
How you actively use money earned by your business to glorify God
Affirmation that you actively support traditional marriage, reject abortion, etc.

And I'll add you. There may be a delay, and I may have to contact you. 

You may nominate a business you don't own, but I will have to contact the owner - so please give me that information -unless they have been in the news, in which case I will add them if you send a link to the news article.

You may not nominate MLM's (multi-level-marketing companies, independent distributors, etc) or similar companies. Franchises may be added at the corporate level or locally only if corporate does not actively support gay marriage or other activities.

Here's the list.

List of Religious Businesses to Support:
Sorted by state and county

Utah County

Nature's Fusions Essential Oils
Premium Essential Oil company, brand is sold in health food stores globally.
This is my (Mormon Guy) company.

The Soap Factory
Make your own soap, lotion, scrubs, chocolate, and trail mix using premium ingredients.
This is my (Mormon Guy) company. 

Sunday, June 7


It's been a long time since I've written.

What was once a habit - a habit I began on my mission to write about my life at least weekly - disappeared almost overnight when I was called to be a ward mission leader.

At least that was my excuse.

Sundays went from being a quiet day of respite and peace, to suddenly jumping from one meeting to the next. I had meetings every Sunday beginning at 8:30, and didn't finish with meetings until 8:30 at night. There were a few short breaks here and there, just long enough to make a phone call or fall asleep dead on the floor, but by the time I actually had time to think and ponder, I was so tired I couldn't do it anymore.

And then I started a new business that took all my spare time from the rest of the week...

So yeah.

When I went to my mission reunion over General Conference, my mission president chastised me for not writing. He told me that I needed to write, and that it wasn't ok to just stop. That statement hit me really close to home. President Rhien didn't really give a ton of counsel during my mission. He was a very hands-off mission president, at least in my case, and only told me to do or not do things a couple times in personal interviews. I still remember all of them. So when he told me I needed to write, even though I'm sure that he meant it in the kindest, least commanding way, that counsel got linked to the pieces of counsel he'd given in the past. In the months since, I've honestly wanted to start writing again. To find the meaning that words gave me, as well as the ability to better manage my stress and work through my emotions on a page. And not just for him, but for me.

But the next Sunday I had meetings again.

Today I was released from my calling as a ward mission leader. And since I don't have meetings in half an hour, I have time to think.

And to write.

I was going to just write in a journal, because I'm too scared to just start sending emails to people out of the blue... after disappearing for so long. But even when I didn't send emails in the past, I still wrote here. (G)MG has been partially my journal, even if it only chronicled a part of my life. So I'm writing here.

Today I'm fasting for myself. It's been a while since I've fasted for me. Usually I try to find something outside of myself to fast for, when I remember to begin a fast at all. I work until 10 most Saturdays, and I have a bad habit of not taking food with me to work, even for an entire 10 or 12-hour shift. But I remembered yesterday, and I began a fast, and I made a fast offering today with the cash sitting on my desk. And I'm fasting because I need to improve my spirituality... and I need help in the physical world as well.

Physically, I have an inspection in my store tomorrow morning. It's with the Utah Department of Agriculture, and if the inspection goes well, the location will be registered as a food production facility. People will be able to make their own food on-site. I'll start with exclusively shelf-stable food, like make-your-own salted trail mixes, that doesn't require processing, heating, or cooling to specific temperatures, and then expand if I need to. If the inspection doesn't go well... then weeks of preparation and testing will be frustrated. But I'm committed to do whatever it takes to make it go well... and the inspector seems like a reasonable guy... so I'm hopeful that he won't just flat-out tell me no. I've honestly tried my best to prepare. I read the entire 2013 FDA Food Code last week, as well as all the Utah legislation on food production, and I feel like it will work. I spent hours on Saturday cleaning the store: scrubbing tables, counter tops, sinks, and floors while it poured rain outside. Then the rain cleared, and 30 people showed up all at once, with the last checkout long after closing time. Which means I'll be there tomorrow morning early to clean again. *sigh* But I'm hopeful.

Spiritually, I need to talk with God more. I need to be closer to Him. He gives me guidance constantly - I get ideas and feelings and thoughts that help me in every aspect of my life - but I'm realizing that I haven't been turning to Him as much as I should. And, when I do turn to Him, I feel a twinge of guilt, as if I don't deserve to even be talking with Him... let alone to get the blessings that I'm asking for. I realize that the feeling of guilt when talking with God is completely wrong, because no one is ever too far gone to merit the love and communication with God, but the reality is that I feel it. And so I need help being closer to Him.

I also fasted this week for help figuring out my life. Nothing in particular, since I have some goals already and things that I want to accomplish. I just... the reality is that I've gone too long without putting my feelings on paper and being able to work with them. So long that I couldn't identify the feeling of confusion, listlessness, and misdirection as the once-familiar feeling of "I need to write."

So I'm thankful that it's a Fast Sunday. And that I have a new calling wherein I attend roughly a quarter of the meetings as compared to my previous one.

Though, in reality, I'm sure it wasn't really my calling or the meetings or even food that kept me away. Part of it was probably fear of beginning again - when you go for long enough without writing, you feel like you have to have something meaningful to say if you're going to start again. Another part was feeling like it didn't really make a difference. Thankfully, today I realized that while I may write, or blog, for others, ultimately it makes me a better person. And when I have nothing valuable to say to someone else, my mission president's counsel still holds true. I need to write. It's not ok to just stop.

And so I feel hopeful about the spiritual part of my fast, too.