Terryl Givens writes a friend discussing what it means to sustain our leaders. Of note, he points out that the word “sustain” only appears once in scripture; in regards to earthly governments. (D&C 134:5) This indicates we can disagree, dissent, and work to change policy in the Church and still loyally sustain the brethren, just as these activities are appropriate when sustaining the secular government.
Neylan McBain, the author of Women at Church, wrote a moving piece shortly after the policy was announced. She searches for a way forward. The following statement still stabs home, for me, months later.
“I’ve always thought my broken heart would come as a result of my own sins, my own mistakes and imperfections. Or perhaps the mistakes of others wrought upon me, resulting in my personal loss. I don’t think I’ve ever fathomed that my broken heart would be the result of causing others’ pain, or my institutionally proscribed inability to say to brothers and sisters, “You are wanted here. There’s a place for you. We need you.” Because now my ability to say that is qualified. Period.”
A curt and powerful learning experience.
Two excellent discussions on policy vs. revelation vs. doctrine in the context of this policy
A moving testimony of a latter-day saint queer who is resolved to stay in the church
A gay couple with four adopted children discuss their experience of coming back to the church to raise their children in it, and ultimately why they are now leaving, because of the policy.
They clarified a few points in a short podcast. One, the electroshock therapy was not Paul’s parents ideas, but it was his therapist’s idea. Paul said he kept the shock therapy from his parents, because he knew they wouldn’t approve, but was willing to try anything to be straight. Also, they added that their local stake president was heartbroken over the new policy and didn’t think he could move forward with it for their family.
Tom Christofferson, the brother of Elder D. Todd Christofferson, is a gay man who came back to activity a number of years ago, and just recently broke up with his long time partner and was re-baptized. Here he tells some of his story and reflects on the new policy. In stating his biggest reaction, he said, “my experience both with my family and my ward family as I was coming back to church would be more difficult to pull off under the setting that’s coming out here, I fear.”
This next post discusses how best members can respond to struggles and dissent coming from other members. It discusses loyalty and charity.