The LDS church recently announced a new policy declaring that married gay couples are apostates and that any children they have will not be allowed to receive baby blessings or to get baptized until they are 18 [or out of their home]. Sounds pretty harsh right off the bat. And if you read no further than the titles of numerous articles announcing the church's new policy, it'll remain harsh. When I heard the news, I was - at first, like so many - disappointed and confused as to why the church would take such a drastic, seemingly-negative and exclusive step. Kids won't be allowed to get baptized? Innocent babies won't receive a baby blessing? Huh? WHY?
I let the news simmer in my head for a while, having thoughts as, "So many people are going to leave the church because of this." "Is this really the smartest move?" Ultimately, I just wanted to understand the why behind the decision. But then I remembered that I'm human. And that this is God's church. I repeat, this is GOD'S church -- not President Monson's church or any of the 12 Apostles'... not the bishop's church or my former YW President's church -- it's God's church. He created it. And any proclamation - heavy or light, controversial to the world or not - that is delivered through His servants is still coming from God. It's God's church - He is entitled to every decision and principle that He sees fit. My limited knowledge is just that - limited. God is the one who is omnipotent. And His church is a church of Order. Therefore, any questionable, puzzling commandment or proclamation has a valid reason behind it that my mortal mind may not be capable of understanding right now. But I do believe that we will be given all the answers at some point, and when we do - it WILL make sense. All of it.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is so simple at the core, yet its depth is so complex. It's a gospel that will take more than a lifetime to understand. Or more than my human mind can comprehend. Why? Because it's eternal. Even trying to wrap my head around "eternity" makes my brain hurt, so it makes sense that an eternal Gospel would require more than just a mortal brain and lifetime to fully understand. But that's where one of the core principles of the Gospel comes into play - FAITH. Faith in God. Faith that He knows what He's doing. Faith to trust Him. Faith that it'll all be okay. Faith that all blessings will [eventually] be given to all those who try their best to follow Him. Who am I to question His tactics about HIS church? A church He - not I - so perfectly created?
Along with the church, God created the earth, mankind, animals, plants, land, water, the sun, moon and stars... what do all those have in common? They're natural. Not battery-operated or tinkered with by humans; they're just natural. The best and healthiest food to eat is naturally grown from the earth. The best thing to drink is water. However, we're all given the agency to choose to eat or drink things that are harmful to our health. That being said, there's a natural order to God's way. A best way. THE way. Because He created man [and woman], He also created the Family -- which, originated and defined by HIM -- starts between a man and a woman, or another God-given term for that is Marriage. Hence, Adam and Eve- not Adam and Alan, or Delilah and Eve. The only way to bring children to the earth [that I'M aware of] is between a man... and a woman. So, that's that. It's not my definition to change. And- since this is God's church- if the world keeps trying to change it, why wouldn't He reveal to the Prophet, His mouthpiece, this new "policy" -- the one He's always said is the case [now it just has to be laid out in even plainer terms]. Of course it's not going to be popular in the world. Of course there will be more people vocally against it. But God's church never has been the popular way, has it? And again, reading only the headlines [or opinionated articles], without earnestly and humbly trying to understand the reasoning behind such news with an open heart & mind, would of course come across as astonishingly negative and exclusive. But God's ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts -- I choose to trust in that.
This current revelation and policy actually falls perfectly in line with so many past experiences on this earth that we read about in the scriptures, where people try to take matters into their own hands - letting their own limited minds decide what's "best" for themselves and the people, rather than heeding to God's will (of what's ACTUALLY best for everyone). And what always happens next? God steps in and makes things right again, because it's HIS Plan, not ours. So, whether it's flooding the earth or removing a blessing [such as vision or ability to speak or being healthy] from individuals, He reminds people that He's the God, the one in charge - not us. Then people are humbled and they believe in and obey God again. Time after time after time. From an outside perspective, it seems so clear as to what people should/shouldn't do, especially when we see the consequences of narrow minded, instant-pleasure-seeking choices.
Obviously, God loves everyone. That's not what this new policy is about -- it has nothing to do with LOVING the kids of married gay couples who no longer have certain rights. It has nothing to do with LOVING homosexuals. God loves everyone. God's INcapable of NOT loving everyone. That being said, the motive behind this new policy must be out of love for all his children - straights and gays alike. There must be a valid reason, from his Omnipotent perspective, to enforce this new policy. And I have no doubt that He's shed tears for all those whose hearts are aching at this news, since it IS a hard one to fully grasp and understand. Of course He's not trying to hurt anyone-- but He knows more than we do and knows what's ultimately the best way for us. I believe that everyone will receive all the blessings they deserve as they strive to understand, obey, and faithfully follow Heavenly Father, even if those specific answers don't come right away. They'll come at some point - maybe not in this life, but they will come. My heart does go out to anyone who is drastically affected by this. Again, I recognize that it is hard news to swallow, since so many of our friends and loved ones are the ones who will be directly affected by this. However, I know that it doesn't change the fact that Every. Single. Soul is important, valued and unconditionally loved. More loved and valued than we could ever fully grasp.
I believe this policy is not an attack on anyone, it's simply a bold clarification of the church's boundaries. Fair enough, right? Since it's God's church? Doesn't He have the right to set the boundaries [for HIS CHURCH] without being attacked? If the church didn't have set boundaries and was always changing, wouldn't it be a harder one to commit to, since you couldn't fully rely on the fluctuating principles and teachings? It would then be a church of MAN, not a church of God. As we know, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever -- therefore, His ways are what they are - His church is what it is.
Bottom line - truth is truth. I am forever a Seeker and Defender of Truth. I believe God's true church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I believe that He speaks through prophets & apostles today, just as He did with Moses or Nephi or Joseph Smith. I believe that He knows what He's doing and that there's a reason for everything, even if we don't get it now. I choose to fear God more than man, even if it's unpopular or looked down upon. Again, God's followers have always seemed to be fewer than those who choose not to follow Him. I respect that everyone has their own free agency to choose -- but from what I believe and know about the Gospel, I'm better off staying true to God's ways than man's ways. I still love and accept all different walks of life, since we're all God's children and nobody is perfect. I'm the first to admit that I'm a flawed mortal, constantly trying to improve, while staying true to myself and living the best life I can live. We all have different challenges, but I know that each of us can be helped if we humbly turn to the source of Truth & Love & Mercy. I know that Jesus atoned for each of us and that the blessings of the Plan of Happiness are available to anyone who chooses to follow the requirements of that Plan. I love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ with all of my heart. I know I'd be nothing without them. I am proud to call myself a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, since I believe it to be the true church. And I can't deny truth.