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.

  • Dolores Trujillo

    Well stated Lani! It is not up to us to judge the lifestyles of others, it is up to our Heavenly Father.

    June 29, 2015 at 12:30 am
  • Lily

    Great post Lani, and exactly.

    June 29, 2015 at 1:56 am
  • I’ve been following your blog now for quite sometime, and I can’t help but admire you more and more for the strength and courage you eminate while standing for what you truly believe to be true because you FEEL it to be true, not because you’ve been TOLD it to be true.

    It stings a bit to see a lot of the reactions of hate and nastiness towards the acceptance of greater love. Especially from the members of the church. It reminds me of all the stories of the Sadducees and Pharisees in Christ’s time who so stubbornly stuck to the “letter of the law,” quoting the written word and using it as a tool to criticize and condemn others, forfeiting their free agency to operate by the “spirit of the law” which Christ worked unceasingly to teach and be an example of, which was just to love.

    Anyway, thought I’d finally speak up and lend my support to you. Thanks for being a refreshing light in this world that tends to be full of ignorance and intolerance at times.

    You da bomb haha.
    Much love! 🙂

    “Any man or woman who neglects to maintain inward vigilance, and only makes an outward show of holiness in dress, speech, and behavior, is a wretched creature. For they watch the doings of other people and criticize their faults, imagining themselves to be something when in reality they are nothing. In this way they deceive themselves. Be careful to avoid this, and devote yourself inwardly to His likeness by humility, charity, and other spiritual virtues. In this way you will be truly converted to God.”
    – Walter Hilton

    June 29, 2015 at 5:51 am
  • vi

    I will never understand why some people so vehemently disagree with homosexuality.
    If you are going to put your powers of persuasion to work, then surely save it for something more disagreeable than two people in a loving, consenting, adult relationship?!

    June 29, 2015 at 8:38 am
  • Sandra

    kudos to you on this…no one should judge because we’re equal, therefore LOVE between a man and a woman is the same as LOVE between the same gender. And i’m glad for your friends and many more out there this new law has helped.

    June 29, 2015 at 3:46 pm
  • daniel

    When i saw the heading “destroying the family”, I thought you were going to be opposed to gay marriage. I thought you were going to be just another hater. I was ready to drop your blog and disassociate myself from you.
    When Jesus was here, he was no big fan of doctrine. You said it very well. The message of Jesus was love and forgiveness.
    Thank you for having the courage to speak out for what is right. Lani I have a new respect for your intellect. You have not allowed yourself to be sucked in by the doctrine of hate and division. joy happiness and laughter, daniel

    July 21, 2015 at 3:31 pm

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