4 weeks ago
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Saturday we had the privilege of attending two lunches with loved ones. One lunch was at a family Christmas party with Scott's aunts and cousins that we see at most once a year. Then we attended a lunch at the Garden restaurant with some of our MoHo friends, some we have met before and one we hadn't. We had a beautiful view of the Salt Lake Temple, topped with fresh snow glistening in the afternoon sunlight (I took the above photo that day from where I sat at lunch!). I wondered briefly if I would feel out of place, being the only female (and I suppose also the only straight person) in the group. But I didn't! It was so easy to talk and listen and enjoy the company of friends, old and new.
As we drove away from our second lunch meeting, which we hated to leave, I commented to Scott that I enjoy being with our gay friends more than any other group of people, be they family, friends, co-workers, male, female, straight, etc. Anytime I have the opportunity to hang out with and/or visit with MoHos, I am uplifted and feel a joy within my heart that I do not feel anywhere else. I seem to instantly love them more deeply than I could imagine. I am beginning to think that I am what some call a "fruit fly." :)
Sunday in Relief Society the lesson was titled Leading in the Lord's Way. Toward the end of the lesson, the instructor put up a list of items (one at a time with some discussion) that have to do with leadership in the church. One of the items was "unconditional love". She spoke of how when someone holds a leadership position, they have an incredible unconditional love for those under their jurisdiction. I think I understood what she was saying, because I remember feeling a different kind of connection and stewardship for the children in the ward when I served as Primary President.
Something clicked in my head and heart when she expressed her thoughts. Ever since I started reading No More Goodbyes by Carol Lynn Pearson in July this year, I have felt like Scott and I have a calling from God to help gay members of the church. I have not been "called" by a leader over me, nor have I been set apart, but some of the characteristics and blessings that come when someone is called to a particular position seem to apply, things like understanding stuff quickly and deeply, like finding the strength within my shy and anxious personality to talk to people, like loving my new friends instantly and unconditionally. Chills pulsed through me as I realized that I have truly been called of God and have been given the things I need to fulfill this calling.
I hope that this will be a calling I will have for the rest of my life (and forever), because I never want the added strength and love that I feel for my gay brothers and sisters to leave my soul! I thank my Heavenly Father with all my heart for giving me this calling and opportunity!
And so, this year as I celebrate Christmas, I am grateful for the love that I have for my family and my friends. I feel that in some ways I am being allowed to feel the incredible love that our Savior, Jesus Christ has for each one of us. That is the gift that I treasure above all else this year, and that I desire for each of you as well. I wish you all a Merry Christmas, and I pray that the pure love of Christ may fill your hearts and homes this week.