29 Jun Destroying the Family.
Last week, the United States approved the freedom to marry for same-sex couples nationwide, joining twenty other countries (including Britain, NZ, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Canada, South Africa, Ireland…) My Facebook feed exploded with reactions. Many positive and celebratory. Some not so happy. Others prophesying doom and destruction for us all as a result. I shared the news with my rainbow happy face, as a faraway ally here in Samoa. I have since received messages ‘gently’ reminding me of all the scriptures…the prophets…the doctrine…that tell us homosexuality is wickedness and marriage equality is an attack on the family.
Because I don’t have the time to reply to every ‘loving’ messenger, because I’m tired of diplomatically explaining myself, and in the interest of full disclosure – I’m blogging my thoughts on this issue, as a Mormon woman ie a member of the LDS Church.
I don’t know why some of us are born heterosexual and some of us are born lesbian or gay or transgender. Just like I don’t know why some of us get to be black. Or white. Or brown. Or whatever.
What I do know is that we are all children of Heavenly Parents and made in their image. I have dear friends and family who are LGBT, including a couple who have been together for 20+ yrs and are raising their precious children. Recently the law in their state was changed and these two strong and loving women were able to finally get married and legally formalize their family. It was incredibly humbling for me to be able to long-distance witness their joy and celebrate with them. As I looked through their beautiful marriage photos, I thought about me and the Hot Man and our wedding day a long time ago. Sure there was some opposition to our marriage because we were very young and my parents worried we hadn’t known each other long. ( They also worried I would end up ‘dropping out of university and be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen…) But those minor speed bumps in our road to marriage were nothing compared to what my friends have endured, and many other couples like them. The harassment, the venom, the discrimination, the hate. I cannot begin to fathom the hurt and heartache that many LGBT individuals experience from a young age as they try to find a place in a world that so often tells them they can’t belong. That there’s something wrong with them.
The Hot Man and I have been married for 20+ yrs and we have five children. The love that my friends have for each other and for their children is NO different, no LESS than the love my husband and I share for each other and for our kids. We believe that families can be together forever and that the definition of ‘heaven’ – is of course, being able to live eternally with those we love. I know our Heavenly Parents want that kind of celestial forever family and forever love for all their children, not just the heterosexual ones.
In our church we revere the family and treasure it. For my friends, being able to marry and have all the legal rights that go with it – is a way for them to further strengthen their family. I know God smiles with love on that. This is a church of on-going revelation and I’m hopeful and prayerful that current doctrine/policy will soon change on this.
Amen from me.
P.S Everyone is of course entitled to their opinions and the passion and commitment to their beliefs. I always welcome comments on this blog, even if they don’t agree with me. Please keep it respectful and courteous. Also, if you’re Mormon, then you should be aware of the following BEFORE you comment (because I’ve already been fielding enough Mormon messages to anticipate certain things.) –
1. While I’m no religious scholar, I have read all four standard works and I’m currently the Gospel Doctrine teacher in our ward. You don’t need to tell me what scriptures to read, or suggest that my views are because I must ‘lack knowledge’ of the Bible/church history. Or because I must have missed that talk in General Conference…
2. I’ve been to the temple. Many times. So you can hold back on the condescending messages regarding ‘when you go to the House of the Lord, you will learn blah blah and understand fully blah blah.’
3. I’m not a recent convert. I’ve been a member all my life. Not always a very good one, but I’m trying. I’ve served in just about every capacity that a woman can serve in this church. Everything from Nursery Leader to Stake Relief Society President to the Public Relations Committee and more. So cancel the messages about milk and meat and whatnot.