I’ve really been feeling the need to post my thoughts and views about all that has been going on with the new LDS Handbook Policies. But as much as I have wanted to share, I have not wanted to do it on Facebook. There are so many things being said on Facebook that make me sad, angry, upset and frustrated. So with my mixed emotions, I’ve decided my dormant blog is the safest place to share.
First, I would like to say that I have many wonderful gay friends, some of whom have children and are in a same-sex marriage. I love them, support them, celebrate their happiness and respect them. Because of that love and respect, I am most annoyed anytime I read someone comparing the children of a same-sex marriage to children of a serial killer, rapist, molester etc. Oh PLEASE! Every single same-sex couple I know loves their children and is raising them in a home filled with love, tolerance, respect and laughter – not darkness, hatred and anger. This new policy enforces the value of a loving, caring, and peaceful home and protects the children of a same-sex couple. Likewise, this policy discourages strife between parents and children within a home.
Next, a child of a same-sex couple can and is invited and welcome to attend church meetings, activities, participate in the programs designed to teach children and support children in their gospel learning. They can also receive blessings of healing and comfort. If anyone dares to think that they must now exclude these children, you are wrong! Love them, just as I hope you always have.
Also, I do not compare the children of a same-sex couple to a mother who had a child out of wedlock, nor do I compare them to a child of a divorced couple. That is another point of frustration I have had with this news and the many comments from people on Facebook. Single moms that are doing all they can to raise their children in a loving, caring, and respectful home and teaching their children about the gospel of Jesus Christ, I love you, pray for you and am constantly amazed by your strength. Your situation is different.
Over the years, my husband has given me many great words of advice. One that is hard for me, and for many of us is to “cross that bridge when we come to it.” (By the way, I have a very real fear of bridges). We know what has been stated in this much shared update, but we need to quit saying “what if…” and let each individual family and child cross this bridge as they come to it, knowing that they are loved and supported along the way.
I stand by the First Presidency and the brethren in this policy but I disagree with and am frustrated by the way that this news was released and handled. A friend of mine said that this will become a case study. She may be right. Elder Christofferson gave a very nice and calm interview about the policy change. Unfortunately, the damage, the anger, the confusion was far too wide spread by the time the clip was released. News of this magnitude should have been addressed with love and humility rather than in an attempt to fly under the radar (or at least, that’s how it seems). The quiet release resulted in headlines that stirred the pot more and ignited the issue in ways that could have been completely avoided – okay, maybe not completely.
I’ve served a mission where there was a woman we couldn’t teach because her husband threatened our lives and hers. She needed his okay to move forward with the discussions. Where I served my mission, there were dozens of young converts. They required permission from their parents, if they were under 18. Parents knew so little about the Mormons, they rarely forbid it. But even with the permission but without the support, we saw a large number fall into inactivity. Over the years, I have watched children struggle with wanting to attend church but having parents (not same-sex) that didn’t approve or simply didn’t participate and therefore made it difficult for the children to attend. Without parent approval, all children must wait until they are 18 years of age. The church values the family relationship and does not encourage contention within the home.
It is my prayer that we can remember that in the end, it is all about LOVE ONE ANOTHER and LOVE AT HOME.
Additional messaging from the First Presidency here.