To All The "Bad" People: A Few Thoughts To Consider

There has been a million posts. A thousand emotions. A hundred thoughts. And consequences that will reverberate for years to come.

I don't think I've ever done two posts so close together on the same topic. I occasionally beat a dead horse but usually dislike it immensely so I try hard to avoid it. But I still had some things to say. Some thoughts I hope others will consider.

There's been a lot of "bad peopling" going on since the LDS Church's announcement on the policy change for same gender marriages, partnerships and their children.

If you are FOR the policy change - you are a bad person. You are a hater. Homophobic. An ostrich with your head stuck in the sand. Unkind. Unloving. Non-empathetic.

If you are AGAINST the policy change - you are a bad person. You don't live the gospel. Follow the prophets. Have a testimony. Commandment breaker.

Good heavens. We are all alot of bad people!!

But not really. We are just people being people. Can we treat each other as such? Each at our own place in this world - trying to understand, trying to live, trying to love the best we know how. Here are some thoughts no matter where you fall in the spectrum of thought in regards to the policy change.

Agreement with the policy change does not mean you don't see the people it affects. It doesn't mean it doesn't hurt your heart and you don't ache for those affected by it. It doesn't mean you hate others. It doesn't mean you don't want to know and understand how to reach out to anyone effected by the change (which let's be honest - we ALL are in some way). It doesn't mean you don't see the struggle others have and hate to see someone struggling so deeply.

Disagreement with the policy change doesn't mean you don't have a testimony of the gospel. It doesn't mean you don't have faith. It doesn't mean you don't want to understand and be understood.

No matter where you stand on the spectrum of feeling toward the policy change, you aren't a bad person. So can we please stop the finger pointing. The "you just don't understand because you _______" Claiming one side or the other loves people more or less.

We ALL want to be  understood. So wherever you fall on the spectrum - can you be open to reaching out? Can you listen to someone's feelings on the matter with genuine empathy and compassion knowing they are doing the best they can and living by what they know? And that it is a struggle for almost everyone for different reasons no matter what they think about the policy? And then be willing to share in return and ask for the same empathy and compassion?

Listen even when it is hard. Listen even when you disagree. And listening doesn't mean waiting to jump in to share YOUR thoughts as soon as the other person finishes speaking. Really listening means being willing to sit with someone no matter where they are at. Even if you disagree.

Imagine the difference in all our lives if we strive to do this? We want to help others during this time of confusion, anger, disappointment, fear?

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Yes This Effects Real People

So much uproar





I'm sure your news feed has been as full as mine the last few days with posts about the new policy change the LDS Church announced last week. The reactions have been across the spectrum - there have been posts supporting the policy, posts explaining why the policy is difficult for people they know or for themselves, and posts criticizing the church. There has been finger pointing on all sides and a general feeling of division and anger. It doesn't have to and shouldn't be this way. If we strive to love others, even if we disagree, things can be different.

My initial response after reading the policy and then seeing post after post on Friday was to respond with my own post supporting the Church and the policy. Later in the morning I saw a post where a professor from BYU-I had said something along the lines of

This Effects Real People

She is right. It does. That gave me alot to think about and I wanted to share some thoughts that I haven't heard said anywhere yet. I hope those on both sides and anywhere in the spectrum can be open to reading and striving for understanding (even if you disagree) with the thoughts I will share. The one thing we don't need more of is unkindness.

I have read numerous posts by gay couples about the difficulty they will now face as they've worked to stay involved and an active part of the LDS community with their children. I've read numerous posts by friends of those in same gender relationships or marriages and how their hearts hurt for the difficulty they will face or are directly facing RIGHT NOW because of the policy. My heart hurts for these individuals as well. It is a very difficult position they are in. There is no easy path. And while all of these posts expressed the sadness at how the children in these relationships would be effected - I haven't read one where they actually talked about the children. Ultimately the focus of the post was on the adults and their desire and efforts to stay active in the community and faith and to have their children be a part of it as well.

But lets stop for a moment and really talk about the children - I think it is so commendable those parents and partners that strive to continue to be involved in the Church and to have their children involved as well. I hope all of us can avoid saying - "Well if you don't like it, then leave." It shouldn't matter that we disagree on things, that is something that should never be said to anyone. But despite a parent's or partners' best efforts to have their children actively involved in the Church, there will be conflict the child will face. Even if there is no disparagement of the Church the child will be faced with conflict. They will be taught repeatedly that marriage is to be between a man and a woman.

Then they will go home

It won't matter who you are, how positively you talk about the Church and all the other teachings. They will be faced with a huge conflict and dilemma that I'm sure will be extremely confusing to children. So yes the policy effects real people, especially the children. But as the Church has stated the policy is FOR the children. And this is why.

A solution that is suggested and often demanded then is that the Church accept gay marriage and stop being hateful, homophobic, bigoted, etc. But there is a reason the Church has stood firm in stating that marriage is between a man and a woman. It is part of the doctrine. Here are my thoughts on that if you want more clarity. I know we live in a society where it is popular to say there is no law. No right or wrong. If you feel it - do it. If you want it - you should have it. But to say something is not right is NOT hateful.

I strive to love everyone - do I have room for improvement? You better believe it. And I know it. And while I support the policy change - my heart does hurt by those it will effect. Don't think I say this from this a removed place having never faced have to make a choice between something I felt and wanted that went against what the Church taught. We all face that dilemma in one way or another. It isn't easy for anyone. I've raged at Heavenly Father and myself trying to understand why I had to face the difficulty. We all face things that wrench our very heartstrings.

And we will be asked to make choices. I believe no matter what you feel or want you always have a
choice. There are laws - eternal laws set by our Heavenly Father. While I can't always understand then why we would feel things that are in such opposition to His laws I know part of it is to see if we will choose God above all else - even the very things we yearn for. I know God gives us laws for a reason - and through my own personal experiences I've gained a knowledge that ultimately I will be the happiest when I follow God's laws. That He gives us laws because He loves us. Even if it means I choose to not pursue something I feel and really want.

Now you may disagree with my personal testimony and views of God, His laws and having to make choices that go against our feelings and desires. I respect that you may disagree. But I hope all of those who disagree with the Church and/or this policy can also stop for a moment and that we can all strive for respect. I will strive to treat you kindly no matter your choices. I ask the same in return. As I've said before - we need more love and compassion between all of us. Yes I know this policy effects you - it effects all of us in some way or another.

And that yes - we can all stop for a moment and really think about the children.
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