...has caused a lot of conversation. And arguments.
My purpose in writing this post tonight is to try and process my own thoughts and feelings about the policy change. I hope that I don't hurt any feelings or cause any feuds, but I can't promise that I won't.
I saw a link to the news article on KUTV Thursday night. I was stunned, to say the least. I searched to find any sort of verification from the Church. Nothing came until Saturday, if I remember right. Chelsea was in Sacramento all week for a training. She called Thursday evening and we talked a little about the news item. It was hard for me to talk and she didn't know any more than I did.
My heart ached. My soul felt bruised. I thought about my cousin Carrie. I thought about my friend Blake. I thought about my friend Brian. I thought about some of Chelsea's friends who I don't know well, but care about, because she loves them. I hurt for them. I prayed and cried and prayed and cried Thursday night. I didn't get much sleep.
I'll be honest, I asked myself, "Is this the straw that breaks my back? Is this what is going to make me re-think my membership in the Church?" The thought was frightening. I enjoy some of the aspects of going to church. There's a measure of comfort in doing the same thing I have done all my life. I have had periods of inactivity, but I always came back. Complicating matters is my marriage. This wasn't a decision I could make alone. I don't think now that I will walk away from the Church. I have some issues that are tied up in my religion, but I'm working on them.
In the meantime I've done some research. I've read many different blog posts and Facebook posts. Rants and complaints on both sides. I've read posts of acceptance and explanation. I've learned that the policy about children of same-sex marriages is the same as for children of polygamous marriages. Those children can't receive a name and a blessing when they are born. They cannot be baptized at age eight. When they turn eighteen, if they choose, they can be baptized after receiving approval from the First Presidency/Quorum of the Twelve. To receive approval they will have to move out of their family's home and disavow the practice of same-sex relationships or polygamy, depending on their situation. This seems difficult and hard to me.
So I thought and prayed and cried. I talked about it with Chelsea when she got home from Sacramento. She felt much the same confusion and pain that I did. And do.
And here's where I'm at. I comprehend the decision the leaders of the Church have made. Logically I can connect the dots. I just don't understand. I don't get it. It seems divisive. It feels like it singles out the gay members of the Church.
I rejoiced when gay marriage became the law. I don't know where same-sex couples fit in God's eternal Plan. I have faith that He has space for them. I felt that the Church recognizing that being gay wasn't a choice was a huge step forward. And now I feel that perhaps an even larger step has been taken back.
I stand with my baptismal covenants to "mourn with those that mourn and comfort those in need of comfort." If I lived anywhere near Brian, Blake, or Carrie, I would seek them out and give them a big hug and just let them know that my heart and soul aches with theirs.
And I don't have the answers and I am still confused. I hope that I will understand in time and that all will be well.