I debated writing this post because I think the last thing we need as a community of saints, and especially a community like ours, is dissension, contention, and division. However, I also know that disagreement is not necessarily any of those things. I also think it’s important to learn how to love and support those with whom we disagree. So, in that spirit, I have this to say:
A couple of weeks ago a friend sent me a text asking what I thought about a post on the Millennial Mormons blog, which was subsequently posted here on Northern Lights as well. I sent her a small summary of my thoughts, but I’ll give you the extended version. Go ahead a read that post before you continue. It’s short, so it won’t take you long.
Got it? Great.
I mostly want to point out the following phrase: ” If I may be so presumptuous as to speak for…” because it is presumptuous. While I affirm the validity of the author’s feelings and support him in his journey to seek what he needs from the people he loves, I want to emphatically state that he does not speak for me. Here’s why:
1 – It seems to me that he’s saying one has to either support gay marriage or support LGBT members who are trying to live according to the teachings of the church. I reject that out of hand. I don’t see this as an either/or proposition. The people in my life – both in and out of the church – who support gay marriage also support me in my own decisions regarding my faith and sexuality.
2 – The church members in my life who support same-sex marriage do so not as a well-meaning, but somehow misguided show of support for me via the larger LGBT community, but because they have put time, thought, study, and prayer into the matter and feel that it is the right thing to do – regardless of how I may feel because of their actions. In fact, rather than feeling hurt, I celebrate that they are living their convictions – even if they go against the official stance of the church, or are in contrast to what the prophet has said. At the same time I applaud those in the church who – after thought, study, and prayer – choose to side with the brethren in the face of larger societal pressure not to. I believe we are all trying to live lives of faith, integrity, and love.
3 – Again, the author is seeking what he needs in his life to support his own journey, but for me, the last thing I want friends and family to do is flood my Facebook page, email inbox, and text threads with messages of marriage and family. I don’t feel encouraged when people are essentially telling me, “Don’t worry, someday you’ll fit in the box.” I want to know how to live a meaningful life where I’m at – which happens to be outside the box at the moment. Christ-like messages of love and encouragement are certainly welcome, but for me, make them about faith, repentance, charity, service, etc. Things that will help and encourage me to be a better person wherever I’m at in my journey, not just in the distant-future-possible-somedays of marriage and family.
I want to be clear that these thoughts pertain to my situation only. Everyone will have different needs as regards this issue in their life. That’s why personal conversations are so important. Talk to the people in your life who are affected by things like same-sex marriage and find out what you can best do to support them in their journey. Have a conversation about it. After all, we all know what they say about assuming.*
Just for the record, I support and celebrate the SCOTUS ruling, and find genuine joy for those in my life most positively affected by it. If you’d like to know why, drop me a line, and let’s have a discussion.
*It makes an “ass” out of “u” and “me”. Get it?