Saturday, November 7, 2015

Speaking Up and Speaking Out

During this past General Conference, of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints I watched and listened.  And when Elder Nelson came to the end of his talk "A Plea to My Sisters", I felt that I was personally being asked to "speak up and speak out". But I wasn't sure what I was supposed to be speaking up about.

Now I know. I need to speak up about love.

I am not a Mama Dragon, and strangely enough I have never considered myself a Mama Bear. Although I have a deep respect for those who identify with those ideas, I do not.

I am simply a Mother.

A mother who loves each of her children deeply and wants them to be happy and well adjusted, and above all, loved.  Last night I cried myself to sleep from the confusion and the hurt and the heartache that I was feeling about a policy change that was made by the LDS church regarding members who are in a same sex relationship/marriage.

Tears fell as I wondered how many amazing, talented, beautiful, creative, loving children of God were hurting and crying out.  It was as if I could feel this wave of sorrow flowing heavenward.  I cried as I worried about how many of those would hear this policy change and hurt so much that they would attempt to take their own life, or even worse, succeed.

If you think that this change won't cause such feelings and actions I say softly, you my friend, are wrong.

I don't have answers about this.  I am not here to offer up explanations. I do not and will not presume to speak on behalf of my church.

I am here to say that there are people who are hurting and angry and sad and confused. You may have loved ones who this affects directly and hurts deeply. There may be people in your life, people you love and adore who are suffering immense pain from this and you are not even aware because they are too frightened to say.

You may not know any of these people personally, maybe you think this policy change doesn't really affect you. Or it's not that big of a deal, this is the way that it's been with people in polygamist families.

Are you surprised by the reaction to this policy change? Are you upset with those who are hurt and angry or who are questioning?  Do you think that they shouldn't question?  That we should just pray about it end of story? That all of this is just showing who REALLY has true faith and who doesn't?  If you think any of these things, I say respectfully, you are wrong.

Before this year I may have fallen into any one of those categories.  But I no longer do. This year I have been witness to the incredible pain that has and is being felt by the LGBTQ community. Pain that I was ignorantly unaware of.

I am here give that pain a voice.  It may be small and soft but I will try.

It has occurred to me, that maybe, just maybe, the reason for this policy change is so that people can become more aware of the gaping wound that is out there.  Then again, maybe I'm WAY off base. But I do think that we have only just begun to see and feel the heartache.

If you believe, as we have been taught in the LDS religion, that we are literal spirit brothers and sisters then this pain should mean something to you. This pain should tug at something in your soul. You don't have to understand the pain. You can't. You don't even have to agree with it but please, please acknowledge it. Don't try to down play this heartache with empty platitudes. Look deep into the eyes of our brothers and sisters...

Our LGBTQ sisters and brothers are dealing with a pain you nor I will ever understand.

Let me say that again leaving out those letters of the alphabet that seem to be so polarizing...

Our sisters and our brothers are dealing with a pain that you nor I will EVER understand.

I myself, have had a minuscule glimpse because I have a daughter, who at the beginning of this year, came out as gay.  I say minuscule because we are at the very beginning of this journey with her. This week I was blindsided by the idea that it is highly possible that she will be considered an apostate in the future because of who she loves.  My heart and my brain cannot comprehend this. I do not know. I cannot say that I understand.

I  can say this.  My love for my her will never change. I will stand by her in both good times and bad. She will know that I love her unfailingly. I pray that she will never question that her family loves her, no matter who she brings through the front door to introduce to us.  I hope that anyone who steps across our threshold will feel of that love as well.

We are all children of a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother who, I believe, stand unfailingly beside us. Who want us to stand just as unfailingly with one another.  We have an older Brother who loves us with an unconditional, incomprehensible love. He, He is the only one who can understand our individual pain because He went through it all.

I can only hope that my words and actions are a small reflection of His. As the primary song says, "I'm trying to love as He did, in all that I do and say."

I am asking that you, my brothers and sisters, do the same.

Love as Jesus did.
Love one another.
Be kind to one another.

Especially at this time when emotions are high and spirits, hearts, and emotions are raw.

Be kind. Love. Reach out.

There is a great pain.  As I said before, a gaping wound.

I do not speak with the force of a Mama Dragon, nor with the roar of a Mama Bear. My hope is that it is more like that of

saying, I love you.

8 comments:

Stacey Taylor said...

You never cease to amaze me. I luv you so dearly and I'm humbled to know you and the pain I was feeling yesterday, I now know was not in vain.

Unknown said...

Thank you Shanna, for voicing your feelings and for sharing your love. I appreciate that you are seeking understanding and want to get this right. You are up to the challenge and your family is blessed by your faith and courage.

Unknown said...

Not sure why I am "Unknown" above ... This is David Edgecomb. I didn't mean to be so stealthy.

momof7 said...

Hugs , thoughts, prayers and much love to you and your family!
(From Denise Christensen)

Desert Datura said...

I am so proud of you for speaking your truth. You are the epitome of "unconditional love." My heart weeps as well for the pain this edict is causing. I fully concur with your plea for love and understanding. Bless you.

Funky Kim said...

I love you.

JenC2 said...

I can see that you are a loving person and feel deeply about this so I wonder if you truly understand the why behind the policy. If you've just listened to the media then you may misunderstand. If you listen to the interview with Elder Christofferson I believe you would see it is because of the great love Heavenly Father has for his children, especially of these unions, that he inspired this policy change. It is to protect them. They can still receive blessings, go to girls camp or scout camp, attend Primary or mutual, etc. They can just not make a covenant that they may not be supported in at home. A same sex couple, being in conflict with the teachings of the church, Makes me wonder why they would want their child to be in allegiance with an organization that says they are living in sin anyway. I fail to see how hurtful this is. Childhood is not that long and as soon as they turn 18 they can choose what they want. In the meantime, those close to them who are concerned for their spiritual welfare can teach them and love them and support them in any desires they have to prepare themselves for baptism when they come of age. I'm sorry that I don't understand the problem here if there is one.

Jaclyn Foster said...

"It has occurred to me, that maybe, just maybe, the reason for this policy change is so that people can become more aware of the gaping wound that is out there. " ...I love this. Thank you for your post.