Today we had the opportunity to attend a baby blessing in the family. I love early church, so it was nice to get the kids up, get ready, and get going. (I am looking forward to early church in our own ward starting next week.) It was a good morning and I was happy. It was good to see family. The baby was adorable. It was nice that Scott had been invited to participate in the priesthood circle. The ward was very friendly and Scott had 3 people ask him if we were new or visiting.
Then the kids started fighting over me. I swear I need 4 sides so that they can all sit by me and lie their heads on my lap at the same time. Their fighting started grating on my nerves.
Meanwhile, the high council speaker was talking about "wolves in sheep's clothing." He said vague things about recent politics, referring to words like equality, civil rights, tolerance, and even love that distract us from what is truly right in the eyes of God. If we are confused by what people try to tell us, we can pray, and God will help us understand what is right both in our minds AND in our hearts, not just one or the other.
Well, I thought to myself, I have definitely felt in both my mind and my heart that disagreeing with Prop 8 is the right thing for me to do, so it's all good.
I sent a text message to a moho friend complaining slightly about the meeting.
The talk ended (yay!), there was a nice musical number in which my sister-in-law took part. Then the next speaker got up. In our ward, the high council speakers have different topics. Not so in this stake. On comes another talk about "wolves in sheep's clothing", etc. I tried to ignore it. Scott was asleep with our 3 year old cradled in his arms, and I had the 8 year old asleep in my lap. There seemed to be nothing to distract me. I touched Scott's shoulder. He didn't flinch. Then, it happened. The speaker talked about politics in California and Arizona, and how members of the church did "Good works" by standing up for what is right. Even members within the church are against it and think they are doing good works, but they have been deceived by wolves in sheep's clothing. Then he started to talk about finding peace through the church and the Savior. I was feeling anything but peace at this point. Peace was having the joy of happy friends in my home, friends that can commit to someone of the same sex if they want to, and I will still love them and celebrate with them. I would much rather be in hell with them than in heaven with people like these high councilmen.
I squoze Scott's hand to wake him. He was starting to snore, anyway, so I needed to nip that in the bud. I fought back the tears, but he looked at me and asked me what was wrong. "F'n talk," I responded. I started to sob silently, but then my gasps between sobs became audible and his family started to turn and look at me. He said "Sing the hymn to distract yourself."
It started to help, but then the song ended after one verse because the meeting had run over. The person giving the closing prayer approached the microphone. I tried to keep my sobs quiet, but then my cell phone vibrated and I knew it would be a message of comfort from my friend. Scott looked at me with concern as I reached for my phone to read the message instead of closing my eyes for the prayer. The prayer ended, Scott's parents turned to ask me what what wrong and am I okay. I couldn't answer. To Scott I quietly sobbed, "Get me out of this damn church."
The children gathered their coats. I walked over to the speaker, who was just leaving the stand. I'm sure it was more than obvious that I had been crying. I said to him, "I want you to know that I do good works, and you can just keep your political opions to yourself." His smile instantly turned into shock and I immediately turned to leave the room with my family. My 11 year old grabbed my hand and squeezed it tight all the way to the car.
I composed myself during the ride to Scott's sister's house, texting back and forth with my supportive friend. At the house, nobody said anything to either of us about my episode. They spoke to us and treated us like they usually would. Scott was asked to help in the kitchen, extended family we hadn't seen for a while were marveling at how our kids have grown. Normal small-talk stuff about life.
Meanwhile, my thoughts could not completely forget what had been said.
It won't take many more days at church like that to make it easier to stay home than to go. What is the future going to bring for us? We are active Mormons, but we are definately sliding the other direction. We are tired of the preaching, calling evil good and good evil, etc, and church is starting to be the least-peaceful place in our lives. What a tough thing, what a major crossroads we are approaching and decisions to make. I'm afraid of what that decision might be...
5 weeks ago