Monday, August 15, 2011

Keep your gay children close....

One of my favorite bloggers is Joanna Brooks. A self-described unorthodox Mormon, Joanna brings an interesting take on issues that often harmonizes with my own unorthodox devotion to the Gospel. Today in her "Ask Mormon Girl" post, she responded thoughtfully with more than a little inspiration to a mother wondering if she should allow her lesbian daughter to come home with her partner.

I was surprised (I guess I wasn't really surprised) by what seemed to me to be ill-informed and even bigoted comments left by several individuals who obviously considered themselves good Christians and exemplary Latter-day Saints.

While it has been difficult for me to write anything of substance lately, I couldn't help but respond to the woman with the honest question and the commentors with the narrow minds. Below is the text of my response.

"Unfortunately, Jettboy, you obviously missed the sacrament talks about Christ touching a leper, eating with a publican, and, my goodness, even sitting with a “fallen woman.” I also vaguely recall hearing a lesson or two in which Christ said that all God’s commandments can be boiled down to one: love, love of both God and our neighbor (which doesn’t sound very complicated to me and I believe is inclusive enough to allow for children with whom we may have a doctrinal disagreement).

"The bottom line is that If we can’t love all of our offspring and show that love by word AND deed, how do we expect to inherit exaltation? How can rejection of a child ever be justified under the commandment to love? It reminds me of another lesson about straining a gnat while swallowing a camel. I think Christ referred to folks who tried that trick as “hypocrites”?

"Oh, and BTW, I’m happy to assure you that exposing your family to LGBT people does not increase the likelihood that you, your siblings or other members of your family will become gay. Even the church (thanks to President Packer’s faux pas) now admits, albeit halfheartedly, that you and I are likely born the way we are and all the missionary work in the world won’t change that orientation one way or the other.

"Now, DT, with this in mind, let me assure you that your daughter’s decision to live an honest and open life will only result in her becoming a better woman. She will blossom under the light of truth and ultimately bring you joy and satisfaction that will make your life and that of each of your family members better.

"Living locked forever in the closet of fear is a life of darkness and despair. Is this the kind of life God would choose for any of his children or you for any of yours? I think not.

"In your heart, because you are her mother, you know the right thing to do. Because you love her with a mother's love, I have confidence you will do the right thing. If you do, I can assure you that in the end, you will be glad and your family will rejoice together because of your wisdom and compassion.

"As a gay bishop who has counseled gay Latter-day Saints for many years, let me bear my testimony that by keeping ALL of your family with you in love, including those children who may walk paths that differ from those you had hoped, you will find joy in this life and joy in the life to come.

"And isn’t joy what this is all about?"

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