For those of you who follow Loyd's personal blog or haven't hid his Facebook updates, then you know how hard the whole Prop 8 thing was on him, and how last weekend's conference did little to boost faith in the church hierarchy. Especially Elder Packer's talk. Many, many people, members and non members alike, did not pickup on even the slimmest glimmer of a hint of love or charity from that talk.
I feel so many different emotions and I'm trying to make sense of it all, or at least come to terms with my inability to make sense of it. I often say "You can have all the truth possible but if you're a jerk, it sure doesn't matter". 1 Corinthians 13:1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
I hear people on both sides of me saying that if I pray about it, I'll get the answer. Both sides testify that God has witnessed to them that what they believe is the truth. It is right. Both sides actively attack the other hoping to win back those lost souls, and make them realize how they are hurting other people...now and for eternity.
I am one to believe that both sides can be right and wrong at the same time. I believe that "truth" is as vast and varied as the color spectrum. And I am also willing to say "I don't know". So, I don't know a lot of things. But what I do know, is that regardless of how "right" you are, that doesn't make your actions or words "right" or good or Christlike. I do not believe the ends justify the means.
I think that people are justified in being hurt by Packer's talk and by other horrible, untrue, and bigoted comments made by other leaders. Whether or not it is "true" that homosexuals do not have a place in God's kingdom - that their actions are an abomination, does not justify treating them less than full humans and children of God and citizens of this country.
And people are justified in believing that homosexuality is immoral. They are allowed to believe that their God does not approve. Nor do I believe that any rituals or specific religious rights should be allowed to those who do not follow the basic guidelines for admittance to that church. I will not step on any religions toes.
Regardless of how hurt or scared people are, they shouldn't react out of their anger or fear. Mocking Elder Packer or making claims regarding his sexuality might get a laugh. Spreading statements that homosexuals are inherently dangerous will not help us truly understand one another. None of it helps or succeeds at opening communication or to soften hearts. Or to heal any wounds.
If anything, pity those that refuse to look at their brothers and sisters as children of God who possess intrinsic value. Sorrow for those who can't let Christ in their live enough to empathize with the hurt and pain of their neighbor. Forgive those that refuse to see good, wholesome people because they are afraid of who they kiss. Don't condemn them because they are afraid of shadows and ghosts that seem so real as they view the world through dark, distorted lenses.
You can not convince any one of the truth. You can only lead them through love and long suffering and gentleness and meekness. Maybe one day we will all lead each other to the ultimate truth - to love one another as we love ourselves.
Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.
So, I am still at odds with so many things. I respect people's idea of morality. I sympathize with the fear of the unknown or the different. I empathize with the hurt and agony and the loneliness of those who have been rejected by their families, communities, states, and churches. So many people have no one to love them; no one to reach out a hand of friendship and understanding simply because of who they find attractive.
I can't even imagine how it would feel to be barred from Loyd because "mixing" races is going against God's will. I don't care who God has testified to that races shouldn't mix. I don't believe that, so why should I live like that?
So, I try to forgive people for their thoughtless comments and their ruthless actions. I try to, so that I won't be bitter or angry or hopeless. It is all I can do to survive until I finally do have all the answers.