October 5, 2010
This weekend was the Semiannual General Conference of the LDS Church. It was a beautiful weekend in a lot of ways. It was also a very difficult weekend for me personally.
To avoid my long-winded tendencies, I will simply state that I was hurt by comments made by a leader of the LDS church, Elder Boyd K. Packer. I won't repeat the words here. They are all over the Internet by now. Not only do I disagree with this good man, but I felt hurt because I knew that now there will be even more ammunition to use against the gay community and people like me who try to defend their rights. Once again, I can be told by a vast majority of my people that I don't follow the prophet, amongst other less flattering statements.
On the other hand, I have read a lot of the responses to Elder Packer, and it hurts me just as much to see all the hatred and anger directed at the church because of the words of a leader. I know Elder Packer's words are offensive to many, but I have never understood when people choose to fight what they consider hateful with more hate of their own. Just as many have a keen inability to recognize a gay relationship as more than just a question of sex, there are too many people who take an LDS church leader's words and determine that Mormonism is a bunch of garbage. In my opinion, both of these approaches are seriously flawed.
I just want to stand off to the side and weep as I watch people being hurt on both sides. I cannot understand why we have to always find ways to divide ourselves, when as another leader (Dieter Uchtdorf) of the church puts it: "All of God's children wear the same jersey. Our team is the brotherhood of man." I wonder if God is weeping as well when he sees His children divided as we always seem to be.
I regret that some people are angry with me because they disagree with my position on homosexuality. I do not mean to offend, and I realize there are valid grounds on which to disagree with me. I have long maintained that we can learn a lot more about ourselves by seeing HOW we disagree on issues than looking at the issues themselves. And I see a lot of hatred and bitterness on both sides. I wish we could find a better way.
For now I guess the best I can do is make a pledge that personally I will try to be less angry, less defensive, and more sensitive to the feelings and opinions of others. I will try to be less concerned about always being right, and more concerned about respecting and loving people despite our differences. I hope and pray that others will join me.