Back in November I wanted to use it as the practice song when Scott bore his testimony in Sacrament meeting about being gay. I called the R.S. president, and gave her a general idea of what I wanted to say prior to singing the song as an explanation (that Carol Lynn Pearson had written it with gay people somewhat in mind). She said she needed to talk to the bishop. I asked her to wait until after Scott had talked to the bishop that morning (about bearing his testimony) and that I would call her back. But she didn't wait--the bishop mentioned it to Scott as he left that morning and told him that I did not have his approval.
The next week I gave the RS Pres. a copy of the following, and told her to run it past the bishop again with the exact wording I wanted to use:
Early in August 1987, ... I received a call from the General Board of the Primary, the Church's organization for children. She said, "Sister Pearson, we have a problem, and we wondered if you could help us solve it. We're preparing a new songbook for the Primary and it's ready to go to press, but there's one more song we need and we don't have it. We're asking you to write it for us. There are so many children in the Church who have special needs, so many who are handicapped or are different in one way or another. We want so much to include them, to encourage the other children to be kind and loving to them. We need the song immediately. Can you do this for us?"
I said, of course, I would try.
"I'll Walk with You" is found on page 140 of the Children's Songbook, music by Reid N. Nibley. It has an illustration of one girl in a wheelchair being pushed by another, both of them smiling. Sometimes when we sing it in Relief Society, I am asked to lead the singing. It pleases me so much to know it is sung in LDS congregations all over the world, by children and often by adults. As they sing, they have in mind children like ... the little girl in the illustration, but as I wrote it I also had in mind the little children who, as they grow up, will find themselves of a sexual orientation sure to present a challenge for them in our church and our society. (No More Goodbyes, page 112-113.)
So, I haven't talked to anyone about it since I gave the paper to her in mid-November. Two days ago, I sent her an email telling her I wanted to use it on Sunday and wondering what she and the bishop had decided. I just received a phone call from one of her counselors, the one over the lessons and music, letting me know that we could not sing the song I had chosen for Sunday.
Me: Can't sing the song? I questioned. It is in the children's songbook. Maybe they don't want me to say what I was going to say, but not even letting us sing the song is ridiculous. It is "I'll Walk with You."
Her: Oh, I love that song, and if it is in the children's songbook, I'm sure it is fine. I don't know. Do you want me to call her again and make sure?
Me: No (then I start crying and rambling about how I want to be released and out of Relief Society and if only people would let Scott and I talk about this incredible mission we are on and the difference we are making and the friends and family we have online that are not real family at all, etc, etc.)
I feel bad that I unloaded on her. I've had a stomach bug for two days now, and I really must go to work tomorrow, and I am getting rather grumpy about it. This was the last straw today. The last homophobic, stupid straw.
I want to just do it anyway, with their disapproval and all.
Thanks for letting me vent. Is it the flu-bug crazziness talking, or a streak of "revengeful" genetics that I get from my mom making me want to go against the adamant council? Our bishop had surgery this week, so I really don't need to add to his stress. And I ought to respect my RS president who has been pretty respectful and non-judgemental of me through all of this, starting with the anonymous letter I wrote to her last August. Bother, here comes the submissive "do what you know is right" side of me. I'm sorry, but I am not in the mood to be Molly Mormon any more. Argh!