A lot of my thoughts in this post are things I have blogged about before, but today's lesson brought some of my past thoughts about truth and melded them together with the idea of integrity.
Integrity is the quality or condition of being whole, complete, unbroken, and undivided. The word integrity is related to other words with the same root such as entire and integrate. These expressions share the notion of being intact, sound, uncorrupted, and perfect. (Elder Bednar, New Era, October 2005)
My changed view on gay marriage has divided or broken my soul between what I feel in my heart and what the leaders and "righteous" members of the church are saying. My spiritual integrity has been broken.
I have therefore sought to know the truth in the hopes of finding peace. The first time I finally felt some sort of peace on the issue was last October when I was particularly struggling (prior to the election) and words from my patriarchal blessing came distinctly to my mind, "You have been blessed with the ability to believe and accept truth." Clarity came to my mind and heart. If I have the "gift" of accepting truth, and my heart won't let me accept a ban on gay marriage, then I felt like God was telling me directly that gay marriage could possibly, someday, be a true principal.
The 9th Article of Faith says that we believe God continues to reveal truths to us. Those truths come when the time is right. Sometimes we have to have patience for years to hold out for those truths we feel in our hearts to be revealed through leaders of the church (like blacks and the priesthood, for example.) Many argue against gay marriage with the proclamation on the family (including my sister during this past week):
"Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God."
My sister has been amazing through all of this. She patiently listens and takes it all in. We share with each other our day-to-day struggles and triumphs, and most of mine seem to be gay-related, and she has not seemed uncomfortable at all with me sharing them with her, usually listening without comment. But this week as I told her of the some of the plans we have in the works to help gay Mormons (or ex-Mormons) on more of a spiritual level, something I said helped her realize that I not only agree with gay marriage as an equal right, I actually embrace the idea that God might not disapprove of it. So she then interjected a "but" with the above quote. I'm not sure what she thought of my subsequent interpretation.
Most Mormons (myself included, a year or more ago) feel that there is no way there could ever be an additional revelation to the proclamation that "marriage between two people of the same gender is also ordained of God," but I think it is possible, since the word "only" does not appear in the above quote. I shared this thought with my sister, that the proclamation is open to interpretation in this way and that the Lord continues to reveal truths, so who are we to say that it is impossible?
Anyway, back to integrity. Part of today's lesson about integrity is that it also means being true to ones self, being true to what we each know individually is true and right.
For me, then, if I am to be a woman of integrity right now, true to myself and what I feel in my heart is right, then I must stay on this path, speaking out in favor of gay marriage, in favor of love and tolerance and Christ-like acceptance of all of God's children.