Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I'm sorry that a religion with the potential to be so great has fallen short

My dear Brothers and Sisters (that's what people in the LDS religion call each other), I truly believe that we are all connected to one another and what happens to one happens to all. I can only imagine what it's like to be discriminated against for being who you are and who God made you to be. I disassociated myself from "the Church" largely in part to their views on gay marriage. God doesn't make mistakes and you are all amazing people. I'm sorry that a religion with the potential to be so great has fallen short. Regardless of what kind of afterlife you believe in or if you believe in one at all, those who have discriminated against you will pay on judgment day.

Love to you all, Your sister, Sara. =)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

We won't let it happen again.

We won't let it happen again. To our gay and lesbian siblings, we love you. You are beautiful. You are special. You are not sinners. You are not failures. We are failures. We have sinned, because we as a religion have failed to protect you and show you love. We're sorry about this. We won't let it happen again-ever.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

To the twelve year old I used to be

To the twelve year old I used to be,

I'm so sorry. For making you sit in church listening, every day, to things that confused you and that you did not agree with
I'm sorry for telling you that, because of what you were, how you felt, you were an abomination, a mistake that needed to be fixed
For believing that no one could love you, that you were alone
For never realizing that the church isn't perfect, and that blind faith as I had would lead to your destruction
For trying to die; for trying to kill you, because I believed we were worthless
I want to apologize. I want to tell you that you're fine; everyone like you, like me, is perfectly fine, and there is nothing wrong with us.
You don't have to accept a single comment from the church that tells you otherwise. And you don't have to do a single thing the church tells you to that your heart tells you otherwise.
To you, me, and anyone else out there who feels trapped, lost, alone, and unloved by the church, I'm so sorry.
I've changed now, and contrary to what the church told me, I am so much happier than I've ever been.
You'll be fine.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Reborn Father

Before Proposition 8 there was the 2004 Presidential Campaign where marriage initiatives were proposed on many state ballots to define marriage as between one man and one woman. In the fall time leading up to the election I got into a debate with my college aged son over gay marriage. I was not kind in this debate. I gave him all the traditional arguments against it, i.e. it’s not how nature/god made us, it is an abomination in the Old Testament and the New Testament (when you include the Apostle Paul) and if we legalize gay marriage we’ll have to allow pedophiles to marry children and men to marry their animals. Yes, I made the comment about marrying and having sex with animals.

In winter of 2005 my wife and I got a phone call around 1:00 am telling us that our son was in the hospital after having attempted to commit suicide earlier in the evening and that when we got there we’d find that his gay partner was there with him. What a shock. His partner, whom we knew as his friend, was a returned missionary and we were glad that he was hanging around since we were hoping he could help reactivate our son. Fortunately for our son and for us, our son lived. I can’t imagine the pain of others who have not been so fortunate.

Since then I can say that I have truly repented (in Hebrew repentance is often associated with “change of mind”). I have literally read thousands of pages of information from all sides of the issues surrounding what it means to be gay and have come to see that gay’s are just people with romantic feelings pointed in a different direction than heterosexuals.

My son now knows that his father is not the same person he was in 2004. While he has never blamed me for his suicide attempt (he is too kind hearted to ever want to hurt anyone) and I know the pressure he felt came from more directions than just me, I still can’t help but feel partly responsible. I’m so thankful that I don’t have to live with his death. I wonder how many of our LDS leaders can sleep at night knowing the pain that they have caused. But I guess when you live in an Ivory Castle you are immune from the pain or simply see the pain you are causing as just a call to repentance.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Todd was one of the kindest, most thoughtful, humane, gentle and utterly Christlike people I have ever met.

I once had a friend named Todd. We were best friends since we were both seven years old. He told me he was gay just before I left on my mission. To my eternal shame I thought homosexuality was—as the church clearly taught—an abomination. I encouraged Todd to stick close to the church and not act on his feelings; he left the church a few months later, but I wasn’t about to drop my best friend. I wrote to Todd from my mission and told him I loved him no matter what and would prove it by treating him no differently than I did before; we remained best friends.
By the time I returned from my mission, Todd was living in Salt Lake City. He would tell me stories about how people would give him dirty looks when he walked downtown, quietly holding his boyfriend’s hand; how they would even cross the street to avoid him; how people at adjacent tables in a restaurant would make comments under their breath, just loud enough for him to hear; how people would yell obscenities or even spit at him.
Todd eventually met a man for whom he fell deeply in love. He was, of course, never allowed to legally marry that man, the person of his dreams. Instead, he and his boyfriend were joined in a ceremony performed by a kind female clergy member of an open Christian faith. It was beautiful.
Shortly thereafter I told Todd that I had been mistaken; the church was wrong and I loved every part of who he was. I never felt better. After Proposition 8, I called Todd and told him I would no longer support an organization that allowed such discrimination. I left the church, and I am honored to now be able to donate my time and money to support gays instead of suppress them.
With the exception of my time in the mission field, I interacted with my friend Todd almost every day of my life for 21 years. Todd was one of the kindest, most thoughtful, humane, gentle and utterly Christlike people I have ever met. Late one night, just four months ago, Todd drove up a canyon near Pleasant Grove, Utah and threw himself off the top of a waterfall. He died instantly.
I am not okay with that. I miss Todd terribly, and from the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry to the entire gay community for ever supporting a religion that is clearly so hurtful to you.
I believe God will hold accountable any person who ignores their conscience just because they were told to do so by General Authorities. I will never make that mistake again.
I thought I was the only one who felt this way. I am thrilled to have found this blog and I thank all of you—especially those who remain LDS and thus have the power to create positive change from within—for your magnificent apologies and your thoughtful words.


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I will do whatever I can to bring the change I wish to see.

I hadn't really thought about it before. But as I watched Proposition 8 move forward, I felt sadness... This doesn't feel right... I felt anger... I wanted to follow my leaders, but I couldn't agree with what they were doing.

I don't agree. I am sorry. I don't know what else I can do, and I will do whatever I can to bring the change I wish to see.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

The dissenting voices must come from within the church

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I attend every Sunday with my husband and four children. I've served faithfully as a missionary and in numerous callings over the years. It is hard to express how deeply disappointed I am with what my church has said and done regarding homosexuality. Please know that there are many of us who do not feel the same way as our church leaders. I have been asked how I can stay in my church after the Props and Elder Packer's comments. I ask myself the same question. I've come to the answer that if those of us who oppose the church's position on homosexuality jump ship - change will never occur. It will only be by voicing our concerns and dismay that things might be different for our children and grandchildren. The dissenting voices must come from within the church - criticism from outside the church is seen as adversity - and only makes church members more entrenched. My daughter is at BYU. While most still follow hold to the "iron rod" unquestioningly, there is a growing group who are having conversations about the issue and are gaining courage to speak out - which is far harder than any non-Mormon could understand. I am saddened by what my church has done. I'm trying to make a difference. I hope change comes.