I had a seminary teacher that talked about the blacks receiving the Priesthood, and how it could not have happened sooner because of the culture of the time. It came when God knew it was time to come, time that the members of the church could accept it, and the outside world could deal with the Mormons accepting it. Imagine how much worse the persecution of the Saints in the early days of the church would have been if blacks had been treated as equals.
But I'm sure there were members that knew in their hearts that it would come, even though leaders of the church had said otherwise, some even indicating that it never would, that blacks were born inferior because of their lineage back to Cain and their behavior in the pre-existence.
I believe that the situation with gay rights is much the same, that God knows right now is not the time. Many members of the church are not ready for such acceptance, and other Christian churches would hate the Mormons even more. But I believe the time will come. It will probably still be a long while yet. The apostles must all be in agreement, and there are some apostles that will never be ready for this, so time (and some apostles) must pass first. But it will happen, and then there will be members on the other side of the issue that will find themselves struggling to follow the Prophet, just as many of us are struggling with this right now.
And because it will take time, there will be more suicides. There will be more disowned gay children. There will be more mixed orientation "eternal" marriages that end in divorce, bringing pain to both adults and any children involved.
But I have to have faith that everything will be made clear when God knows it is the right time.
And so I face the struggle with knowing what is right in my heart and still having faith in my testimony of the LDS faith and in a living prophet.
My daughter faces the same struggle as she says, "Why would God require marriage as part of the plan of salvation AND allow people to be gay?" As she and I discuss this and question it, she comes up with the same conclusion on her own: there has to be something that God has not yet revealed. There has to be!
And so we have faith that the gospel is true, but that everything will be made right.
The proclamation on the family has room for such revelation. It does not use the word "only". If it is inspired, and if God knows all things that are to come, don't you think "ONLY between a man and a woman" would be in there?
And so it is that many will say I am a heretic, that I am deceived. So it is that I cannot have a current temple recommend. But just like Joan of Arc, I cannot deny how I feel. I cannot deny that I believe the spirit has whispered this to me. And so I stand up with courage, refusing to deny my religious and political beliefs on gay rights. At least I don't face being literally burned at the stake for it, but I have definitely chosen chastisement over the freedom to live as a "Molly Mormon" any more.
When I said on Facebook, jokingly, to one of my high school acquaintances that quoted Elder Holland in an effort to help me realize I am deceived, and I stated that I believe the leaders of the church are deceived instead, that is really not quite how I feel. Rather than deceived, I believe that they have simply yet to receive further light and knowledge on this issue. But I believe it will come, and then we will all know how our precious gay and lesbian brothers and sisters fit into the plan of happiness.
Until then, I believe God smiles on those who try to deny their feelings and live the gospel, on those who stick with mixed orientation marriages for the sake of their beliefs and spouse and children. I believe he weeps when it becomes too hard, and one of them takes their own life, but forgives them and receives them into his arms. I believe he cries with spouse and children when marriages break, but smiles on the parents and rejoices in their efforts to remain friends and keep the family together as much as possible, and smiles when they find happiness with other partners. I believe he smiles on and shares in the joy of two men or two women finding and loving each other, committing themselves to serving and caring for each other, even without "marriage" if they must, even without the promise of eternal life, according to what they are taught.
I believe God looks on our individual circumstances and blesses our efforts to do the best we can with the situations we are in.
And these beliefs bring me peace and hope as I face rough times, and as I recognize and rejoice in the baby steps being made with regards to gay rights, like Judge Walker's ruling on Proposition 8 in California this past week.
Take it or leave it. None of you will convince me otherwise at this point. And if I am totally wrong, I believe God will forgive me, for in my heart I simply have the best of intentions as I try my best to follow the commandment to love others and to live the gospel the best I can with the circumstances I am in, and as I teach my children to do the same.
4 weeks ago