• melindawelch62

Moving into the LGBTQ space

Updated: Jun 24, 2020

LGBTQ thoughts after BYU honor code and LDS Church policies are changed, then changed back…

Only 4.5 % of our entire United States population is LGBTQ. Add allies, family, and friends to this number and at most you’ll get 20%. So a good 80% of the people in our world don’t have “skin in the game.” They don’t live in this marginalized space and they aren’t hurt by every homophobic cut or overjoyed when basic human rights are granted by the government. My day is in turmoil when BYU changes it’s honor code. Many others wonder what all the hubbub is about and are pleased when things just stay the status quo. They are more righteous because they were born heterosexual They don’t want to see same-sex couples on tv holding hands or watch an LGBTQ character in a Disney movie or see a gay man run for President of the US. I LOVE when I see these things because it shows my LGBTQ children, my LGBTQ relatives, and friends that there IS a place for them in this world. That there is nothing wrong with them that needs to be fixed. That God doesn’t make mistakes.

The 80% are pleased when we in the LGBTQ world don’t rock the boat. In my world, I want to rock the boat, sink it, and get a new more loving boat in its place. They don’t “get” me or mine because they don’t have to. They are safe in their little heterosexual world of superiority.

My job is to speak out with love and curiosity, to help educate the 80% and to do this again the next day and the next. I don’t want to speak out in anger and be hateful and add more hate and anger to this world around the homophobic dialogue. I want to address the haters with love.

I feel like a pioneer in the LDS LGBTQ church space and dialogue. In the scriptures, we read…..“A bible, a bible we need no other bible.” This is a crazy belief that makes no sense like the heavens are closed...we use it to say, oh yeah, what about the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine of Covenants and Pearl of Great Price? We know from the scriptures this "one and only" attitude and belief is wrong.

What about….. “A family proclamation, we need no other proclamation.” Do you get where I’m going with this? We are wanting and know our church is one of continuous revelation. There will be more revelation around family and how LGBTQ all fits together. I know this is true. The Family Proclamation is a pattern for 96% of heterosexual people in the church. In the meantime, for my LGBTQ family I’m comforted with this part on the Proclamation…

.. “or other circumstances may necessitate individual adaptation. “ My LGBTQ people are experiencing other circumstances and we need to love and support them.

I read and understand the Proclamation of the Family, but that doesn’t mean I think it’s the only one there will ever be. There will be another proclamation of the family written when the powers that be in my church want to know more. When we know better we do better. I’m waiting for this. I know the Lord is still capable of revealing great and marvelous things regarding the restoration of His kingdom.

AND I continue to have many questions…..

Why are so many senior church leaders afraid of same-sex relationships that don’t break the law of chastity?

- Why are so many of my fellow church members so afraid of the same thing?

- Why are so many members of my church similarly still so afraid of monogamous, happily-married, same-sex couples? Afraid of my son Landon’s marriage. How is this a threat to their family? Or to their marriage?

- Will the younger generation of church members who see no evil or wrongdoing in a loving same-sex relationship continue to put up with church actions that are so patently unfair?

- How long can LGBTQ church members and their families who are trying to stay connected to the church endure this kind of treatment before finally leaving?

The church policies around LGBTQ issues are all based on fear. What I read and hear is ... “We are commanded to love everyone..except need to change and fit in this hetero- box for us to fully love you. We say we love you but really we don’t understand how you fit into the plan of change. “

Revelation works through free agency. It doesn't take the place of. God is not sitting in the councils of my church telling the brethren exactly what to say and do. That would take their free agency away. They are seeking revelation for what concerns them and the main body of the church. Then this revelation is filtered through a flawed human, filtered through this person’s biases and beliefs, traditions, and experiences. This is who God has to work with. This is how revelation works for me and it’s true for the prophet and apostles through all dispensations of time.

No wonder it took my beloved church over 100 years to finally get the priesthood ban corrected - that all men should be given the priesthood, no matter their color. I’m sure God was shaking his head over this one, waiting for a quorum to be unbiased enough towards black people to finally be able to receive His word and make the change.

I believe LGBTQ issues will be passed through this same channel of revelations. While I wait for the whole church to turn the ship around, I have my own personal revelation to count on which is…. Love wins. Living and serving in the margins is what Christ would do. I believe in a God who knows all and makes NO mistakes including the sexuality of my children and my sister. The only mistake here is our prejudiced attitudes and cultural and religious biases.

LGBTQ people are not here for us to change them, they are here to change us. To give us opportunities to love and serve those who are different from us. To give us opportunities to question our own personal biases and to seek personal revelation on how to respond with love and how to become more Christlike in our interactions.

We say we are good ministers, but only for the obvious..the birth of a baby, a surgery, a death…these are easy. Drop off some food, help around the house, check in on periodically, pray for…..but the “taboo” topics are hushed up and we don’t know how to minister to those who are in true spiritual pain, how to sit in this space if we don’t have contacts in the LGBTQ community. So many saints just don’t relate.

Our LGBTQ experiences are not universal.

What could be universal is being an outcast and marginalized and thought less of… Change is slow but it is coming.

Moses brought the Israelites through the Red sea in search of the promised land. They had to wander in the wilderness for 40 years waiting for the “traditions of the Egyptians” to die out.

I wonder about the “traditions of our fathers” concerning loving and accepting LGBTQ into our church. I wonder if these traditions need to die off so we can enter the promised land of increased Christ-like love and understanding for ALL of God’s children and not just those who happened to be born heterosexual.

I’m glad my kids and sister are out of this homophobic church of mine, I’m also glad I’m still in it. We need someone to have difficult conversations, to educate, to help with the compassion and understanding of a marginalized group. To be the catalyst for increased answers, revelation, and change. I’m up for this and I look forward to a time when my family members might be able to jump back in.

I'm blessed. I can hold two things in paradox. I can hold two opposing views and not find this difficult. I call it living in full color. There is so much I have a testimony of and there is so much I question. I’m okay with all of that.

Anyway as you can tell my thoughts are spinning…. Me

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