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Guest Haileyruso

Gender of a person's spirit

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I was raised Mormon which has made my life extremely difficult because I am transsexual (mtf). I haven't actually started transition, but plan to...yes I have a counselor and doctor on board. Anyway, yesterday was the big tell family and friends about my plans to transition. I didn't get yelled at, but got lectured about how my spirit is male and they know this because of priesthood blessings. However, I don't feel that way and never; I think those men who gave the blessings were in as much denial about it as the rest of my family are. To complicate matters, I got married per church tradition 16 years ago and am still married with two children. My wife and children believe the male spirit thing too. I am just so frustrated because they have completely closed their minds to the possibility that one of my challenges in life might be to be a female (in spirit and mind) having to deal with having a male body and finding a path to piece...which I believe, among other things, involves transition of my life and body to better match my female soul. I'm just looking for thoughts and suggestions on how to address the spirit gender with people who are so convinced that God would never allow a female spirit to come to a male bodied individual or vice versa.

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There have been some scientific studies supporting someone who has a mismatch of mind and body (one fairly recently from Australia I believe). No one can *tell* you what you feel and what your mind and spirit should feel.

I pose a few scenario example questions to those who tell *you* what your spirit and mind are:

• You say you have a stomach ache and are feeling nauseous. I say "Prove to me that you feel sick to your stomach."

• You say you hit your funny bone and it hurts. I say: "Prove to me that your elbow hurts."

• You say you are feeling depressed because you lost your pet. I say: "Prove to me that you are feeling the loss."

When it comes to internal things and feelings and thoughts and such, aside from Jesus, there has NEVER been another human who has EVER been able to know what a person was feeling, or their thoughts, yet these ones you mentioned seemed to have the same special power that Jesus did to do just that?

Just something to think about. :)

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Hi,

I was Mormon once. And surprise it was more apathy than transexuality that drove me away. I'm not sure if the religion has room for transexuals, but I do know a few loopholes in the logic. See I was told a similar thing, only I accepted it and went searching through myself for a different outcome. I didn't find it. I kept coming back to the whole I'm a girl and this body isn't right thing. From my understanding God doesn't make mistakes like placing the wrong gender in the wrong body, but what if it wasn't a mistake? As you know Mormons believe that God gives challenges to us so that we may overcome them and grow stronger. Having the wrong body is certainly a strengthening challenge. I don't know or want to know what your blessing says, but even if you weren't questioning yourself I'd tell you to consider the words therein very carefully, for God speaks in riddles. I mean how many times have you been told to refer to King Benjamin's speech for advice on life? How can one passage be applied to so much if it is plain and easy to understand? Does it actually say anywhere in your blessing that you are male gendered in spirit? When dealing with riddles wording is very particular. And perhaps it is also one of your challenges to bring understanding to your family. Good luck. I don't usually say this (especially not these days) but perhaps if you still truly believe in the Church you should talk to God about it. I once had a First Councilor who insisted that you could ask God for anything and he'd give it to you; including, he'd say with a wink, a girlfriend. If God's willing to help out our love life I'm sure he can help us find peace with ourselves and those around us.

It occurs to me though that there isn't a passage that says God would never place a girl's spirit in a male body, maybe because it never occurred to the writers and maybe because God didn't want to rule out the possibility. The first step in convincing people of something is convincing them there is no proof it isn't possible, then making them think it is, then making them know it is.

Good luck,

Heathy

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Hailey,

Ok, I'm no Mormon, but I'll take a stab at answering your question best I can...

I do have a bit of experience with, shall we say, a 'non-reality-based' belief system with members of my own immediate family that resulted in me being 'shunned' for life. No amount of logical reasoning could dissuade my kin from continuing to embrace what might easily be called superstitious beliefs and practices, especially when that same mythology assures them 'a seat at the Right Hand of GOD'.

For members of such organizations, group-think is their protection from the cunning lies of satan, or some other invisible evil force. The better I did at explaining the fallacy of the belief in question, the more certain they were that the devil was guiding my tongue. These particular belief systems are circular in nature, as every road chosen will always lead right back to the central false premise that the 'system' is based upon...

In short, unless a true miracle happens, you've got about the same chance as a snowball in hell of convincing them of anything contrary to what they WANT to believe. Explaining trans-ness to a non-belief-system-biased individual is difficult enough, and without a whole lot of time and personal investment in researching the modern understanding of transsexualism, you are sunk. Even well-educated, liberal thinkers have difficulty grasping our reality.

The difference is that one might get SUPPORT from a non-superstitious person, even if they cannot achieve a full understanding. The 'superstitious' mind demands an understanding FIRST, before any support will be given. Even worse, these people are programmed to OPPOSE you, regardless if you can 'prove' your case or not...

Sheesh, even most 'mainstream' belief systems will still summarily reject transfolk as sinful deviants, without pause. What chance does one have with, shall we say, less-than-reality-based belief systems...

I just re-read my reply and I can see that I did not answer your question at all...

I guess my best answer is this:

If they are truly devout 'believers', it is my opinion (and experience) that little good will come out of trying to change their minds. You will likely get to a point where either:

1) You give up and shut up...

2) You continue to plead your case until they are forced by church protocol to 'shun' you..

3) They recant their belief in Mormonism and actually embrace 21st century medical knowledge...

Sorry to not have an answer you will like. But the problem runs FAR deeper than the male-spirit priestly blessing notion..

We are here for you if/when it all comes crashing down with your family. Been there, done that!

Love and all my most positive thoughts to you, Svenna

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To JENTH, I have also considered the possibility that the position that I am in is exactly as I perceive it to be and is a challenge not a mistake. No, I was never told at any time that I am a male spirit, but they claim to have felt the spirit when I was married as a male in the temple, when I gave priesthood blessings, etc. and if I were really a female spirit acting in male positions that they wouldn't have felt the spirit because "God will not be mocked"!

To others, I really appreciate the responses...I'm kind of on a quest for information and various view points.

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They are the ones who have declared what constitutes a "mockery of God" but I have a sneaking suspicion that God does not agree with them, and considers human conceit on knowing the Mind Of God to be a greater mockery. The spirits of angels are neither male or female, but we humans despise those who have been touched by the spirits of angels without the consent of human authorities who know the mind of God. A deep and abiding conundrum.

We who are transgendered are very spiritual as a group. We may not be large on organized religion, but bring up ways of dealing with our spirits, and we are energized as a group. The belief that we are Two Spirited may account for one part your familie's discomfort, and may be a key to what the others felt around you. A male spirit is there, but if a female spirit were sought, it too would be found. The problem being that a "male spirit" is more valued and sought after and even those who felt the female would deny it in fear.

There may be no reconciliation and no change of belief for a long time, but then God has been around a bit too. Good Luck and God Bless.

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I will answer the question directly. Think of mind as an onion, each onion layer is layer of consciousness. The central most layer is pure spirit and does not differentiate between masculine and feminine, it's all of the above and will always remain so.

The next layer outward is involved in projecting incarnations into this physical realm. This layer can be and is often biased by all of the incarnations it has projected. Bias can come in many forms, gender is one of them. In my case, this bias is toward the feminine and that came as a huge surprise to me.

The next layer out, for all practical purposes, is the mind in the physical you, the here and now. That mind can also carry a bias, but it is usually biased by the body you are living in (obviously this doesn't always quite work out).

The real picture is even more complicated than this, there are several more layers of consciousness that make us up, some say seven layers, some say more. The important part to remember is that they are all us, and share the same core identity.

Gender is necessary device for this realm because we reproduce sexually and not asexually. To successfully reproduce, we must find and attract a mate, copulate and protect our offspring; two parents, different roles for each parent. Consider repeating this over and over again in many lifetimes. If balance is maintained, then the onion's gender identity can remain in balance and easily and properly swing with each incarnation as appropriate for that new incarnation physical body. However, some spirits favor one gender or the other and will sometimes wait too long to reestablish balance between the genders. That can cause gender identity issues like many of us have here. For instance, my internal identity is feminine, but I have a male body.

So to answer the OP’s question, it’s all of the above or “depends” on which layer you are talking about. The central core identity is always "all of the above", the layer projecting to this realm can be biased one way or another. For all practical purposes, this is the layer we can touch and internally identify with. Hence, you may have a bias at this level and this will impact how you view your internal gender. Just remember, it's a layer and not the core.

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Hi Hailey,

I was a convert member of the church awhile back and do believe in the basic premise of the church. Even though we were male or female spirits beforehand does not mean the body given to us matches the gender of the spirit. Believe this or not, I was only a Melchisedek Priest for one day before I faded from the church so don't know the power that laying of hands entails. I'm guessing your Patriarchal Blessing implied you were a male because it said you would be married and have children. That can still be true, but that doesn't mean that your spirit gender isn't female. I can see where this can be confusing to you.

I do we chose becoming a transsexual before birth because we concluded that being trans will allow us to grow where we need it most. Also maybe it isn't just meant for us, but for the growth of those who were chosen to be a part of our lives,

My best answer is you must pray and ask for guidance for yourself. And please don't base your decision out of fear or to please others. Only you know how you feel, and therefore you need to do what is necessary to bring internal peace. I don't believe God would want someone with him who conformed, but to do so would have to live a life of misery.

Do what you must,

With Love,

Jenny

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Jenny,

A good plan asking for guidance --- that's how I found out. In many ways, I was dragged kicking and screaming to the conclusion, my mind had a lot of trouble accepting it, but as soon as I did, all the suffering ended. The answers are always within and no one other than yourself is even remotely qualified to answer this for you!

-Meri

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I love this comment of yours, Vicky - this had slipped my mind that God created the Angels genderless:

The spirits of angels are neither male or female, but we humans despise those who have been touched by the spirits of angels without the consent of human authorities who know the mind of God. A deep and abiding conundrum.

Hmm...without getting into a rather heated discussion, I thought, regarding this comment (the laying on of hands):

Believe this or not, I was only a Melchisedek Priest for one day before I faded from the church so don't know the power that laying of hands entails.

stopped about 2,000 years ago when the last of Jesus' apostles died around 100 C.E.? (1 Cor. 13:8)

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I love this comment of yours, Vicky - this had slipped my mind that God created the Angels genderless:

The spirits of angels are neither male or female, but we humans despise those who have been touched by the spirits of angels without the consent of human authorities who know the mind of God. A deep and abiding conundrum.

Hmm...without getting into a rather heated discussion, I thought, regarding this comment (the laying on of hands):

Believe this or not, I was only a Melchisedek Priest for one day before I faded from the church so don't know the power that laying of hands entails.

stopped about 2,000 years ago when the last of Jesus' apostles died around 100 C.E.? (1 Cor. 13:8)

I'm actually surprised at someone who is transsexual quoting literally from the bible, and conclude that the snippet is fact. That has been the cause of a lot of misery for all of us.

There is obviously a lot you do not know about Mormons. Perhaps you should read up on their beliefs before making a blanket statement like this. There are reasons they do what they do. I was trying to help Hailey because I do have some knowledge of what Mormons believe, even though I have not been active for some time.

Since this is a forum dedicated to Mormons I would think it should be for members who at least know something about LDS beliefs, or at least be respectful to Mormons in this forum.

A little angry,

Jenny

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A little angry,

Oh dear, my sincerest apologies, Jenny. You are right, I obviously do not know a lot about the Mormons as I grew up part of a different religion. On top of it, I honestly did not even notice this was specifically posted in the Mormon forum.

Epic fail! :(

I would like to humbly and respectfully recant my comment that offended you and anyone else and formally apologize as well.

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A little angry,

Oh dear, my sincerest apologies, Jenny. You are right, I obviously do not know a lot about the Mormons as I grew up part of a different religion. On top of it, I honestly did not even notice this was specifically posted in the Mormon forum.

Epic fail! :(

I would like to humbly and respectfully recant my comment that offended you and anyone else and formally apologize as well.

Thanks Bette, you have a good heart. And I can see you never meant to hurt anyone. You weren't the worst offender here, but the one who quoted me specifically. Also I have offended others on Laura's in my own right, so it isn't just you. Plus I've responded to posts and not aware of the forum I responded in. Let that be a lesson to all of us.

BTW I miss Whitney Houston too.

Love,

Jenny

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Thanks Bette, you have a good heart. And I can see you never meant to hurt anyone.

...

Thank you, Jenny.

*hugs n smiles*

...

BTW I miss Whitney Houston too.

...

I cried all weekend, especially the Grammy's. :(

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Jen is my trusted source on anything Mormon, as is Lightsider. There are many present and past LDS people here, in various stages of self discovery, and more importantly, with different conclusions on how they can stay with their beliefs and still be happy in their life. So of course? Some can make it work and some cannot. I have seen many here decide to suppress their gender dysphoria, and to continue their lives as they are. On the other end, a few have received the disapproval of the LDS Church and have essentially gone against it.

I cry for you all. I am a very spiritual person and I understand how horrible it can be when others say what you are doing is against the Will of the Creator. Devastating. The LDS Church is especially complicated in its history and organization, and especially with the issues we transpeople raise. I only barely know the top of the iceberg of Mormonism as I have only been exposed to it through discussions with LDS Church friends and acquaintances. But I must tell you I am not Mormon, so you will know.

Like any religion we all have community. We associate with our peers and our best minds to try to gain the wisdom the Creator offers. We have wisdom of all who have come before us. But it does come down to one major weak point, human beings - just human beings. Is the wisdom of human beings truly reflective of the Will of the Creator? Maybe, with the proper GRACE, but how do we know?.

And I know this, as a personal experience? I have talked with the Creator. And that was huge in my life. What I was told certainly is the truth over ALL INTERPRETATIONS. I asked if my transsexuality as acceptable? The Creator revealed to me he made me this way and that I am perfectly okay as I am.

Therein is the Way... ask - you will be told. Ignore all else.

So my soul? It is genderless, really because I am a child of the universe, and not everything is like this earth. BUT I feel I have been female many times when there is a gender option and I prefer it over being male. So maybe that makes my soul female - maybe?. But my SPIRIT is 100% female, and I feel that very strongly. It has to be one of those things you just know, You just know.

Yes, I sired three children, so the Creator had that planned - and I am so thankful for them, for that honor... sigh... and my female nature helped me raise them well.

I don't know if I would have been seen as a male spirit in the LDS Church - maybe yes because my destiny to produce children seems to be a male thing because of the male body. But I don't identify as a male spirit - I am female. My body was not egg producing, so I used sperm. But that did NOT make me a man.

Perhaps the LDS leaders are not accustomed to seeing we who are male bodied but still female, because we are so rare.. And reverse that for our trans brothers. Maybe it is a new revelation that will come to them, and other religions soon.

Lizzy

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A mockery of God eh? Perhaps your blessings and your marriage weren't a mockery of God. Sometimes I think of this life as a class in Theatre. God gives us a stage and a scenario and then asks us to show him what we've got. We then think a moment and then begin to act out the scenario. In this case God has handed you Transexuality, but if that were your only scenario then you as the actor and God as the teacher would both grow bored very fast. So he gives you other scenarios like kids, a wife, a sick neighbor needing your help. As far as feeling the Spirit and not making a mockery of God, let's focus on the sick neighbor. You came in with another person, both of you granted the Priesthood in your male body and spiritual strength to heal this person. Is God overseeing this blessing because there are two males in the room or because people He's given the power to do so are helping a friend in need? The answer I think is obvious. As important as we make our gender I think it would be the least of God's concerns when giving a blessing. So why don't girls give blessings? Because they haven't been given the Priesthood, which yes was given to you because at the time you were male bodied. At the time God was still watching for how you were going to "solve your challenge." And so he wasn't denying you any options. See that's a catch 22 in the religion, God knows all including future but He gives us free will, so even though he knows at a later date you'll probably give the Priesthood back He still has to give it to you as denying it would force your hand. It's a tricky line knowing all but still having to give us all options, and God walks it well. Marriage is the same thing. How many times does one feel the Spirit in a Temple Marriage that later ends in divorce? Does that mean the Spirit wasn't there to begin with? I don't think it does. I think the Spirit was still there and that the marriage was still approved by God even though he knew it wouldn't last. This isn't making a mockery of God, it's proof to his wisdom that he can reward you for following commandments and for solving challenges without pushing you into a solution. After all in the Pre-life we did choose Jesus' plan of "Freewill" over Satan's plan of "Perfect Robots but Guaranteed to Make It Back." The Spirit was certainly there every time you felt it, and that is because at the time all the elements for whatever were also there. A laying on of hands requires 2 priests, a vial of blessed olive oil, God, and a blessee, these were certainly there everytime you gave a blessing. The elements for your wedding were there too, and perhaps that's why you've taken so long to succumb to your feelings of being a girl. So you could have the required male body to stand at your place in the ceremony. Just as you required the male body sperm to produce children with the person you produced children with. Now you've decided the male body is more pain than useful so you're attempting transition.

Like you I was born to a male body, as a challenge and as a tool to overcome challenges. I've given blessings with my Aaronic Priesthood, and I believe 100% that all of these blessings (despite my female spirit, despite my high interest in magick and other religions, despite my dislike of a few of the fellow priests giving the blessing with me) I know that every blessing I've given or been a part of has been sanctioned by God and have been real. I know this because I felt the Spirit, and because when I gave those blessings I wasn't there in the role of a learning witch, or a gender confused person, I was there as an Aaronic Priest and that's what was needed for the blessing. And if my experience is anything like yours then you're spiritual experiences were real and effective because you came as and when needed. I can testify to that.

Though I do have a question.I've noticed many posts talking about how if marriage and children are in the blessing it's because people thought Hayley was a male. Don't they put such things in girl's blessings?

Good Luck,

Heathy

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Hmmm After rereading and a little thought I'm not sure I said my point clearly. What I meant to say was that at the time you weren't "a female spirit acting in male positions" you were a male body acting in male positions. See the difference?

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I was raised Mormon which has made my life extremely difficult because I am transsexual (mtf). I haven't actually started transition, but plan to...yes I have a counselor and doctor on board. Anyway, yesterday was the big tell family and friends about my plans to transition. I didn't get yelled at, but got lectured about how my spirit is male and they know this because of priesthood blessings. However, I don't feel that way and never; I think those men who gave the blessings were in as much denial about it as the rest of my family are. To complicate matters, I got married per church tradition 16 years ago and am still married with two children. My wife and children believe the male spirit thing too. I am just so frustrated because they have completely closed their minds to the possibility that one of my challenges in life might be to be a female (in spirit and mind) having to deal with having a male body and finding a path to piece...which I believe, among other things, involves transition of my life and body to better match my female soul. I'm just looking for thoughts and suggestions on how to address the spirit gender with people who are so convinced that God would never allow a female spirit to come to a male bodied individual or vice versa.

I have found myself in some what the same position. The Male and Female spirit thing is a basic belief of the Mormon faith. It is hard to get around. Howerver....

1. People have been born with obvious gender defects. What spirit did God place in those bodies? Ponder that for a while.

2. People are born with out limbs or other impairments. It is part of life and nature. It happens.

While some say god is perfect and makes no mistakes, nature in fact does make "mistakes."

The only person who can tell you what gender you truly are is YOU, you after all can sense it...and feel it. The church says that children under age eight are not influenced or held accountable for sins. Well I knew from the time way before age 8 I was female. So the Satan made me argument is out the door.

3. Modern influences on gender through chemicals are a fact. Estrogen's are all over the place, in plastics, medication..etc.. Say a fetus is influenced by these chemicals because of environment, what spirit does God place in the baby? Male or female? Based on the genitals or the brain? To say you know across the board which would be placed in a physical body is to say you know the mind of God. Do we really know what his thoughts are?

The bottom line is only you can know what you are. Only you can make the tough decisions to be who you are...or live out the rest of your life as is because of family. Either path is going to be painful. It is something you have to be at peace with because no one else can live your life for you. I wish I could be of more help but I do in fact know the pain you face and I can not advise you on which path you should take.

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Good reply. Lightsider is very wise and has fought 'the good battle' within the Church.

Lizzie

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If there is a God...which of the two would get closer to him?

1. An angry confused soul?

or

2. A happy complete soul?

I answered that question and all that I have done as far as deciding what path to take was based on that question.

Thank you Lizzie. I truly feel that trans people who are Mormon face extra struggles and it really a bad boat to be in.

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Even though I do desire to go back to the LDS church, I won't because of how I would be treated. So I've taken a different route a go to a couple other places to help with my spirituality. At least for now. My beliefs haven't changed.

Jenny

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I never thought of my spirit as having a gender. To me gender is something us humans created in this world. I believe my soul transcends gender. I believe gender is something my soul has passed through in this world, it's part of my life experience and has been enriched seeing it from both perspectives.

I could no longer fit into any box the LDS church presented to me, I had to distance myself from the church, even though many of their teachings and values I hold dear. I found that spirituality is really a personal experience, and I feel I am closer to god on my own.

I do believe that in my next life or existence I will be female and not have to transition.

Cindy -

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Mormon belief is that we existed in spirit form before birth as literal children of God. Male and Female and were sent here to gain physical bodies. think of it like having a computer....it takes both the hardware and software to make it work. One with out the other is either limited or useless.

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I truly feel that trans people who are Mormon face extra struggles and it really a bad boat to be in.

This statement is sadly true. Having been raised in the church, I endured trying to "fit in" for something like 15 years. It just did not work for me and was extremely stressful, everyone kept trying to make you feel guilty for not living up to some standard, I was always never good enough and was constantly judged with my peers. You were always placed with the same group of guys, and at times it was mean spirited and competitive going through all these rituals over and over again, it was a total life program designed to make you fit into their "master plan". You were basically told how to interact with women, and they were kept seperate from the men, I was always curious about the relief society ;-) and I wanted to check it out and be with the women and girls. In retrospect I could never have mentioned my feelings back then to any church person I knew, especailly knowing what I know now and how they might approach someone with this condition that does come forward, makes me glad I never did. Can you imagine standing up in "Fast and Testimony" meeting and being passed the microphone, ummm folks I have something to say here, the dress I am wearing is real. Having said all that I really do like most LDS people I have met, they are some of the nicest people and do good things. They believe in hard work, family values, and Christ, those are all good things.

Cindy -

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I do know of an LDS ...well ex-LDS who stood up in Fast and Testimony and declared he/she was trans. The problem with this is that this person did it while wearing a dress and full beard with make up on. This person was arrested and expelled from the church.

My issue with that is...it is called Gender F'ing. It truly does mess with peoples heads and puts the rest of us in a bad light. That probably set our cause way back in at least that region of the church where this was done.

Personally I believe any group of people have a right to associate with who ever they choose...or not to associate with.

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