26 March 2013

Things Denise Has Been Pondering: My Religion and Marriage Equality

Disclaimer: I'm not a highly political person. I don't like being attacked and I strongly believe the eleventh Article of Faith: "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience and allow all men the same privilege: let them worship how, where, or what they may." I don't mind you voicing your opinions as long as they do not attack or degrade and I strive to share my own opinions under the same guidelines.

Today, Facebook has been covered in red.

Symbol for the marriage equality movement.
My heart feels very heavy today while I've been thinking about the marriage equality movement in relation to my friends, my family, and my faith. I follow the counsel of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and I believe that marriage is ordained of God and reserved to unify a man and a woman.

My heart is heavy because I have friends who are homosexual. Because they are my friends, I want them to be happy in this life. I cannot imagine the struggle it would be to endure those feelings and be true to the gospel and its teachings. I am sad for their life-long trial. I am sad that I must stand by my faith and risk losing the friendship and respect of some very wonderful people.

I try to minimize the degrading talk I sometimes hear from close-minded individuals who get  so wrapped up in the condemnation of it all that they forget something very important: these are our brothers and sisters. They are also children of God. We have ALL been commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves. Jokes and degrading comments about homosexuals are offensive to me. I cannot feel my Savior's love when people around me are participating in hate-speech against my spiritual brothers and sisters.

If any of my gay friends are reading this, I wish things could be different. I applaud you for standing up for what you believe in despite enormous adversity and, often, ridicule. I hope that you can see that not all people who support traditional marriage hate the gay community. I lost some friends during the first Prop 8 tussle. I sincerely hope that during this next round of court rulings our discourse can remain calm and understanding and that we may remain friends.

Here is a statement released by the Church of Jesus Christ about this issue:


Heather Faulkner said...

Thank you Denise. I agree 100% to every word you said. And I too have a heavy heart when it comes to this very topic. A difference of views does NOT equal hate.

Noelle Newitt said...

Denise thank you for posting this. I needed to read this blog post and know other people feel the same way.