Posted by Heather , 11.11.2015 11:20 AM
This is my emotional response to the recent policy change. It's been a long hard week and I still feel like I'm reeling a little bit. I feel kind of like Inigo did at this point in the movie The Princess Bride. I have a hard time expressing myself logically when I'm in an emotional state, so I'm not even going to attempt to explain all the reasons why the policy doesn't make sense to me logically. Here's a blogpost by a friend that pretty much sums up what I think in my mind..if you're interested.
What I want to write about here is more of what I'm feeling in my heart, so it's not really up for debate.
My response to the recent policy change is complex. I have felt a whole gamut of emotions I never could have imagined feeling as a young idealistic twenty-something. There have been some rocky patches in my journey as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but this one is especially disturbing and unsettling.
A week ago Sunday we blessed our newest sweet baby, Lizzie. It was a idyllic fall day. We were surrounded by our closest family and friends. The sacrament meeting was very inspiring with heartfelt testimonies and strong spirit. I felt very planted and at peace with my understanding of the gospel and commitment to the Church. I felt excited and grateful to have our new baby officially named and blessed and recorded on the records of the Church.
Today I’m feeling very torn and unsettled. The new policy change and the way it was “leaked” to the general membership and public has stirred up so much dissonance in my heart. My heart goes out to the LDS LGBT community to the point that I feel guilty about the blessings that are so easily available to me as a heterosexual member. I can follow my heart and love those I am naturally attracted to, and enjoy the sweetest experiences of building a family that is recognized and supported by the church I love. I’m not sure, but if the policy change had happened a week ago, I may have made the decision to not have our baby blessed. How can I enjoy these blessings so effortlessly when they are being denied my brothers and sisters? Looking back, the experience of last week seems a little tainted for me now, and that makes me very very sad.
When we adopted Emma and Eli we were thrown into the world of interracial families. I was and still am very naive about race relations in this country, but I have really striven to learn more and understand the best I can how to support my children of color. A term that I have run into again and again is “white privilege.” I have come to realize that I have in fact been a benefactor of this privilege my entire life. As I’ve come to learn about how my children’s experiences will be different than mine because of their race I’ve come to really resent “white privilege,” and have even felt guilty for the easy road I have been given in life.
Now I’m finding that I’m also guilty of “straight privilege.” I will never be faced with the heart wrenching choices that my dear LDS LGBT brothers and sisters are faced with. This blog post articulates the dilemma so well.
The least I can do is seek for understanding and commit to being a supporter of those who find themselves in this difficult place. I understand the church’s commitment to defending traditional family. The greatest blessings of my life come from the relationships I share with my husband, children, and family. I get it. I don’t understand why the children of same-sex parents would be denied these blessings universally until they reach the age of 18. It feels very harsh to me, and it seems to be based on some pretty unfavorable assumptions about the families the policy will affect the most.
I appreciated Elder Christofferson's brother, Tom's reaction to the policy change.
I can understand logically how one could argue it protects children, but at the end of the day it just doesn’t make sense to me. A better approach seems to have local leaders work closely with the individual families involved to determine what would be the best course to take for their children. Children can handle complexity. I’ve seen it in my own adopted children. Being separated from their birth families is a difficult part of their story they will always have to deal with, but we can find a path together. I can’t help but think this is also the case for children being raised by same-sex parents.
I have been so thankful for and encouraged by the accepting and inviting tone the brethren have sought to portray recently, but it feels like empty rhetoric in light of this policy change and the way it was shared with the membership of the church. I wish that it would have been done over the pulpit at conference. I want to hear it directly from each of the twelve apostles that ratified it. I want to hear about the process and reasoning and revelation involved in making this decision. I want to be taught doctrine that will help us all see the path ahead more clearly.
At the end of the day I still have a testimony of Jesus Christ and His atonement. I know Heavenly Father and Mother live and love me. I know the Gospel has been restored. I will hold on to this knowledge and wait as patiently as I can for further knowledge and understanding. I feel very unsure about how to teach my children to understand all of this when I certainly don’t. I hate being in a position where I don’t feel safe trusting the leadership of the church. I will continue to follow the best I can but I honestly do feel betrayed and a little embarrassed by this new policy. And I feel REALLY guilty and uneasy about feeling this way. I feel comfort that it is just policy at this point. I don’t understand how this policy reflects true doctrine, but I can hold on and continue to search for understanding. I can reach out to those who are hurting. I can strive to follow the example of the Savior.
For some reason this clip from "The Princess Bride" keeps playing over and over in my mind. Only the first part where Inigo is talking about waiting for Vinzini just until Fezzik comes. The quality of the clip is not so great, sorry.
I guess I'm feeling a little drunk and lost and all I know is that if I go back to what I know and stay there the answers will come. I just hope it's sooner than later and we don't have to wait for generations for change.
The words of the civil rights song keep ringing in my mind, “We shall overcome, we shall overcome. We shall overcome someday. Deep in my heart, I do believe. We shall overcome someday…”
I know that through the atonement all can be made right someday for each of us, and our children.