Tuesday, April 01, 2014

A letter, a contrast, and a coincidence

Well, we decided to send a letter to the bishopric about the talk on traditional marriage. I was somewhat apprehensive about this for a couple reasons. I didn't know if I could accurately express our feelings. I had many thoughts and emotions and was having a hard time composing the words in something that would accurately express our dismay but also be helpful in trying to get more compassion from the pulpit. I also didn't want to damage our relationship with the bishop and the counselor who gave the talk.

Much of what I said was already some of what I posted in the last blog entry, but went a little further in detail. I gave it to the bishop after church. He called me later that evening and we had a good conversation. I'm grateful for his phone call. I respect him and know he's trying. I know he's in a difficult position, as was the member of the bishopric that delivered the message. I wouldn't want to be in that position, but if I were I wouldn't deliver it in the manner that was chosen. No matter what is directed from the human beings holding higher callings than us, we still have the ability and duty as independent thinking members to determine if what is being asked of us is good and correct. I am trying to be understanding of leaders that are asked to address these kind of issues. I think my letter didn't address those who are responsible for the heavy dose of traditional marriage being driven like a huge sledgehammer to the membership, but hopefully helped our local leaders realize the damage some well intended messages have on LGBT youth and families. I know it's not your intention, but that's how it's received. And that's not entirely the problem of the messenger, it's the message. The policy of exclusion.

Having a child that is excluded from something has changed my perspective on many things. Since next week is general conference, we had fast and testimony meeting. The first individual following the bishop to share his testimony was an elderly gentleman that had lost his wife of 67 years one year ago. He talked about how lonely he feels, how painful it is to be alone, and how he looks forward to when he can be with her in the eternities thanks to temple marriage. The next man stood and shared similar sentiments about being alone after his wife's passing and temple marriage. Of course I'm sad they are alone and miss their spouses. Of course I think it's wonderful they had so many years with the one they love. Of course I feel happy for them to be able to have a temple marriage. I looked at my gay son and thought what a bizarre contrast to be sitting here in church where these men stand and testify about how painful it is to be alone and how grateful they are for temple marriage. Yet our church expects my gay son to live a painful life alone so he can attend the temple to be reminded he can't have a temple marriage to someone he loves. Wow. I really, really wanted to get up to draw this contrast for the congregation but couldn't bring myself to do it. I felt I might be diminishing this sweet man's pain. But I also felt it was the perfect contrast to what is a big problem.

So to top it off, yesterday Christy calls me and tells me Isaac has the prayer and scripture for the Sunday following conference. She asks me to guess what scripture. I racked my brain trying to think of what scripture in the Bible, Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, or Doctrine and Covenants would say something about being gay. No, nothing from the canonized scriptures. It's a quote from the proclamation, 'marriage between a man and woman is ordained of God.' So, now we're moving from sacrament meeting where we hear this from the pulpit to asking my youngest son to state from the primary pulpit how his brother  is an abomination to God. Good grief. Was this some kind of sick joke? Christy called the primary secretary and she was unaware of Zach apparently and Christy asked her to reassign the 'scripture' and prayer. So now the proclamation is scripture? When did I miss this document becoming canonized?

That's all for today folks. The sun is shining and grass has to be grown.

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