Monday, October 11, 2010

Weighing on my soul

I'm still mulling over some things.

I was saddened that a friend of mine, who has since fallen away a bit from The Church, posted that she had signed an open letter to Elder Packer in regards to his conference address.

Yes, there have been a rash of suicides by teenagers who have faced terrible prejudice when these young men and women have come out as being attracted to members of their own gender.

My heart goes out to them, to their families and friends. I do not support suicide ... and I understand how it can feel hopeless at times ... but, even when ... ESPECIALLY WHEN ... it is hard, THAT is the time to hold on.

I have a testimony that Elder Packer is an inspired leader. Yes, he did say that homosexual activities are "impure and unnatural." Yes, those words are strong. But ... take a minute ... here is the quote:
We teach a standard of moral conduct that will protect us from Satan’s many substitutes or counterfeits for marriage. We must understand that any persuasion to enter into any relationship that is not in harmony with the principles of the gospel must be wrong. From the Book of Mormon we learn that “wickedness never was happiness.”13
Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn temptations toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Remember, God is our Heavenly Father.
He never said that these individuals are impure or unnatural ... just that the actions that they are tempted with are. (Just like some heterosexual people are tempted to cheat. Some are tempted by finding children sexually alluring. These are both examples of immoral actions.)

If you ever read through the Church's pamphlet about Same Sex Attraction, you would know that we do not judge people as impure or unnatural based on their sexual desires. We KNOW that every person, EVERY PERSON (Yes, I'm yelling that. Or at least really, really emphasizing it.) is precious to our Heavenly Father. He loves ALL his children.

We cannot condone sinful action. We cannot excuse it.
If a man or woman in the church has an affair -- he or she is not allowed to hold a calling. Nor would s/he be worthy to attend the temple. AND, if s/he is unrepentant, yes, that individual would be subject to church discipline.

The same would go for an individual involved in fornication. Or sexual abuse.

I, personally, know a few individuals who are not attracted to the opposite gender. They are still lovely people. They are my friends. I LIKE them. I don't have to like or approve of every decision they make. Just like I know that not everyone will approve of every choice that I have made. (Sadly enough, one of my aunts is still bitter that I chose to be married in the temple. She wanted to attend. She is not a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In fact, the only family member that I had at the temple, in the sealing room, when I got married was my mother. I also had a good number of members of my ward family. ^_^ ... But my aunt was hurt that I didn't have a ceremony that she could attend to see me get married. She was at our ring exchange, which we did to accommodate most of my family ... but ... yeah.)

I do not condone demanding that all people approve of same-sex marriage.
I, myself, am all for a legally-recognized civil union. I wholeheartedly approve of these couples being granted legal rights.

In fact, I believe that when these couples enter into a union, it should be recognized nationally ... it's not fair to only recognize it in one state. That makes it especially difficult if a couple should decide to divorce. THAT, I think, is most problematic.
On the one hand, yes, I would hope that these couples show that relationships can go the distance ... BUT, if one couple moves from the state in which their union is recognized, they have to move BACK to be granted a severance of that union.  It'd be like demanding that if you got your driver's license in Oregon ... then moved to New York, you'd have to MOVE BACK to Oregon just to renew your license. It doesn't make sense.

Now, I do support Prop 8 because it helps to separate church and state. Governments shouldn't be allowed to dictate how churches are to be run. And vice versa. That's my take on it. Because, once a government is allowed to run a church ... well, I'm not saying that all churches are perfectly ran here on earth ....
But, really ... you see how "well" the government runs ITSELF ... do we really want those officials in charge of everyone's spiritual sectors? *quirked brow*

Now, I do admit that I am not the most well-versed in political matters. You don't have to agree with how I vote. That's the joy of living in this country, isn't it? ^_^

But, I do have a testimony that the leaders of The Church are inspired by God. They are here for us, to lead us. We are all free to choose whether or not to follow their counsel. We all have our free agency.
In fact, President Monson has told us that we DON'T have to agree on the issue of same-sex marriage. He has told us that we are free to vote how we wish. And I love him for that.

I suppose that I am just sad that not everyone loves our leaders like I do. I'm sad that there are people out there that feel that life is so hopeless, that they feel so unloved and worthless, that they feel the best choice is to take their own life. Because that's REALLY SAD. (And that's an understatement.)

I'm sad that we live in a world where people don't realize how precious we all are.
I mean, if you KNEW that (1) you were a child of God and that (2) every person you met IS a child of God ... well, wouldn't everyone treat each other with more love, more respect, more compassion?
Regardless of age, race, gender, sexuality, religious affiliation (or lack thereof), body size/type, haircolor, etc.?

I just feel like I can never stress it enough.
You are special.
YOU. ARE. SPECIAL.
YOU. ARE. LOVED.
YOU. ARE. PRECIOUS.

Maybe this is the reason that I get all choked up when I watch videos like Free Hugs and things like that. Because those are people who are out there LIVING and DOING what is so needed.
They are offering love. They are being friendly. They are CARING.

I should do more things like that.
Right now, I just try and be a good friend. I try to be helpful and courteous. I try not to make snap judgments. I do my best to love people regardless of their choices, to think the better of people.

I falter. I fail. Often. I'm not perfect.
But I have potential. Wonderful potential.
And someday I'm going to reach that potential.

And I believe in you. Whoever you might be.
You are wonderful. You are special. You are unique.
You are loved.

5 comments:

Jennifer said...

Very well said. I saw the same petition and had no idea how to even react, other than being highly irritated of things being taken out of context, but I think you put it beautifully :)

Robin said...

I don't know what this petition is, can you expand on what THAT is about?

You never cease to amaze me with the things you write, this is wonderful wording on the subject. The church should have you writing public statements on delicate matters, b/c you really show what the gospel means. Heavenly Father loves us all, no matter what mistakes we make or temptations we deal with. you are amazing!

Allanna said...

Jenny - Thank you. ^_^

Robin - The petition is here: https://secure3.convio.net/hrc/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=949&utm_source=hrc.org&utm_medium=promobox&utm_campaign=mormon-leader-sermon
if you care to read it. They do have the video of Elder Packer's speech ... but they really seem to have just listened for that one part when they talk about what their open letter is about.

I'm saddened that they feel that Elder Packer is preaching intolerance of people, when it's really just talking of not condoning actions that go against the morals that we uphold.

They need more hugs. That's it.

Dedra said...

Interesting they would say Elder Packer in intolerant when aren't the Q of 12 and the 1st pres the MOST tolerant? I think so.

THE YOUNG-INS said...

Thanks for your thoughts Allanna! :)

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