On a friend’s Facebook this morning, and in light of yesterday’s policy change forbidding the minor children of gay couples from being blessed or baptized, a friend of a friend asked why anyone would stay in the church.
For me, the answer is complicated and messy, but it has a couple parts. The selfish reason is, it has been a force for good in my life. It has helped me become the person I am, it has helped me develop a relationship with the divine, it has helped me establish my moral compass.
The unselfish reason is, I’ve seen the church work wonders in others’ lives. The lives of people who aren’t as fortunate as me, who financial or familial situations would impede the best of us. I’ve seen members reach out to those in pain, to lift those who have struggled. I’ve personally been on both ends of that comfort and that lifting.
So I’m deeply loyal to the church.
Seriously. I’ve accepted every calling I’ve received, I’ve given time and money toward building the church and the Kingdom. I’ve studied, I’ve prayed. I attend church. I attend a lot of church. Like, when my family is on vacation, we go to the full three-hour block, even where nobody knows us and nobody would care.
Which makes the church’s policy announcement all the more jarring. Jarring because it is both unnecessary and wrong. It hurts children, children that we believe (with strong scriptural justification) are innocent, in fact cannot sin. It closes the door on people whom we could love, people whom we could help and who could help us. It feels pointedly un-Mormon and un-Christian.
I’m typing this slower than I usually type, because this is hard to write. But I don’t have any choice. I’m loyal to the church. And that loyalty demands that I do what is in my power to help the church move forward, and to help it correct course when it falters.
And yesterday it faltered. And yet, in spite of the misstep, the core of the church is good, the core is loving and salvific and beautiful. And I want, I hope, that the church realizes this was a mistake, jettisons it, and corrects its course.