I have been trying to decide first if I should write or not write what I’m thinking and feeling this weekend at all — then which blog does it belong on. This one, my personal day-to-day blog or M2G . But what I’m feeling impacts all aspects of my self so I have decided to write and I will probably post it in both spots.On Mormon 2 Grace I’ve been writing my “God” story so-to-speak. How I came to the Mormon religion and how I left and why. It’s a multi-part series and Part V I deal with the straw that broke the camels back. At the end of 2015, the LDS leadership came out with a policy against LGBTQ and their children that was well, appauling. They claimed it came after prayer, revelation from God, and unified agreement. Magically, only 3 1/2 years later God did a 180 and directed, again through revelation that this policy should be reversed.
See, I sit here again, blinking my eyes steadily, not even having words to share. I am dumbfounded. And I am sad.
I am sad, not because of any ruling the church makes. The church has no power over me specifically — they do not determine decisions I make for myself nor do I believe in any way the men who sit at the helm have any more direction from God than I do (as I believe all have the opportunity to hear from God — that’s the point of the veil tearing at Christ’s death). I am sad because the many followers of the religion will now begin to make excuses for the change — say things like “this was simply God testing us to see if we would follow our Prophet,” or “We don’t get to know everything the leadership knows…we’ll understand more after we die.” They will make excuses for what is so plain and obvious to see — the church is a sham. God does not change.
And the church makes it clear that this is not a change to “doctrine,” only to policy. But it’s a pretty damn big policy to swivel on in just 3 years. In all the history of the bible, God does not swivel on “policy”.
One of my LDS friends reposted a blog post from a member who used God intending to save the Jews and then he became “suddenly” inclusive of the Gentiles with Christ’s death and how confused that left Peter??? I’ll come back to this in some other post — because right now, I feel a theological tangent brewing and that isn’t what this post was started to achieve. Suffice to say it never ceases to blow my mind how twisted the biblical teachings are among the LDS. And how those twisted understandings are used to support the whims of their leadership when they make blatant rulings by man.
This 2015 ruling/policy did not bold well for the church. There were mass resignations from the rosters at the outset. The resignations did not cease. So, membership was impacted. When membership is impacted, tithing is impacted. In addition, the heartbreak this policy caused among families — I don’t even know where to begin with that — and let’s talk about the spike in teen and young adult suicide of the LDS populations, particularly in Utah — off-the-charts. And no, not all of those suicides can be directly related to an LGBTQ connection — but many can be related to the high anxiety and stress that comes from following a religion whose emphasis is on striving for perfection — there are so many church talks that cover it. Pretty much stating (and yes, I’m paraphrasing) that though we cannot expect to be perfectly perfect in this life, we should work to be as perfect as possible as we follow Christ.
The PRESSURE. Ugh.
And let’s not forget about the bad press. The 2015 policy certainly darkened the black eye already on the church. What black eye, you ask? The one placed their by racism (not allowing blacks to hold priesthood), or by false prophets (how in the world did President Hinkley NOT know the Salamandar papers were false if he was truly a seer and revalator) — the list goes on and on.
And that leaves me sad again. People I love, people I care for follow these men, and it pains me to say, quite blindly. I am angry that these leaders get to pick and choose what populations they will ostracize and then not — all under the guise of God and revelation. This is where the danger of cults is well, cultivated. If you believe this is of God, where does it end? Will it end when they tell you consecration is back on — hand over all that is yours to the giant church pool? Where? Tell me? When is too far, too far? When will the followers read the actual Word? And not the version that has been “rewritten” by their first leader, Joseph Smith? In your own temples you are warned not to follow the words of God mingled with the words of Man — yet, that is exactly what the religion is predicated upon. And it breaks my heart.
It is simple. God sent his Son to be our savior. Christ took on our sins and broke their chains when he died on the cross. Through Grace we are forgiven and through Grace we are saved. All that is required is that we believe in Christ. The end. There are no ordinances required past that because there is nothing for us to “buy” no additional penance required for salvation. The end. It’s really that simple. And when in doubt — we can go to God directly. He guides us through the Holy Spirit. We don’t need a man, or men, or a leadership or a Bishop or a Stake President or a pastor to tell us how to live or what is acceptable to God. God has told us what He expects when he COMMANDED that we love one another — and will continue to tell us directly if we come to him and ask. And sometimes He’ll prompt us when we forgot to ask. But He will never change His teachings in the Bible. God said suffer the little children — He would have never come back and now say ostracize the little children if their parents are gay. And He certainly wouldn’t have given that “policy” and then turned around a few nanoseconds later to correct His error.
See, I am still not far enough removed from my emotions of the weekend — or the last few years to write this without the anger and sadness I feel. But I write it all the same. To help me process so I can simply love my friends who choose to still follow and still believe. Regardless if I understand.