My Holy Horcrux

A few years ago at a church conference I was seated behind a woman furiously taking notes. As she scrawled all over her specially-made LDS note-taking journal, it became apparent this Sister had come to be fed by the spirit, and that her desire was being met. 

She scribbled and scribbled through each speaker until one began a talk focused on homosexual sin, at which point her pen stopped moving. When the talk was over, I couldn’t help but notice the two lone words she’d written, easily legible on the otherwise blank page: “LGBTQ issues.”

That image has stayed in my mind for years, because it mirrors how I feel anytime “LGBTQ issues” are addressed over the pulpit. It’s a record-scratch moment, where the spirit stops flowing and a stupor of thought takes its place. 

I am not here to discuss the doctrine around LGBTQ issues or argue about policies. I simply needed to write this in the hope of some catharsis.

Earlier in my life, it was easy to keep the spirit I felt at church and my confusion over LGBTQ issues separate.

As an adolescent, I did a lot of church and a lot of dance. At dance class there were boys who I knew were gay. I loved and accepted these friends, but never, when I saw some of those same boys in sunday school, did I really think about what these two factors might mean for their lives. 

When Proposition 8 happened, I am embarrassed to say I was still able to keep the issues separate. It was a political struggle happening two states away and I was a bubbled BYU student caught up in my selfish early twenties struggles. I don’t know why I ignored it — perhaps because it was easier that way, or because I wasn’t really thinking for myself yet. I knew Prop 8 was a big deal, but because I didn’t have to face it or it didn’t affect me personally, I chose again to not confront it.

It wasn’t until the 2015 Handbook policy that I could no longer pretend to ignore these two realities: 1) I believe in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and 2) the church I believe in has made decisions I disagree with and/or find deeply painful. Maybe I was less naive by 2015. Maybe I just had more gay friends. But for the first time, I experienced this soul-splitting confusion, this uncomfortable, impossible juxtaposition of two things that has come to be all-too familiar since. 

When Tom Riddle asks Professor Slughorn how to make a Horcrux, Slughorn replies, “Well you split your soul, you see. . . but existence in such a form . . . very few would want it, Tom, very few. Death would be preferable.” 

I am aware that to compare my feelings here to the creation of a Horcrux is both an imperfect metaphor and possibly melodramatic, but it is the only word I can think of to describe what I feel each time I try to reconcile “LGBTQ issues” with my faith. The more I try to make peace between the two, the further the wedge between them seems to drive.  

In moments, I have felt encouraged that I am to “wait upon the Lord.” We don’t operate on his timing and we don’t have all the answers, nor should we expect to. I have taken courage from 2 Nephi 31:20 — perhaps I need to simply press forward with a perfect brightness of hope, having a love of God and of all men. I can love God by being part of his church, and I can love my fellow LGBTQ brothers and sisters as well. 

But then another talk is given. Another policy is issued (or walked back) and it’s that same record-scratching, soul-splitting moment where the spirit leaves and I am left staring down at a blank page, confused and unable to make it make sense. 

I sometimes wish the scales would tip toward one or the other, because if nothing else it would make life simpler — it would keep my soul from further fragmentation. But instead, the longer I go, the stronger each side seems to get. I continue going to church where I feel its goodness in spades, I feel so assured that the people and teachings there are of God. I also feel keenly the absence of my gay friends who once sat next to me in the pews, who have left because the pain of their split souls became too much to bear. 

When Tom goes on to ask how many times one could split their soul, Slughorn is appalled. “Merlin’s beard, Tom! Seven! Isn’t it bad enough . . . to divide the soul…but to rip it into seven pieces!”

I am privileged to not have encountered my holy horcrux until my mid-twenties. I have hated each encounter with it since.

I am determined to stay part of this church, yet it seems off that the true church should hurt so much. It is so strange that by now I expect at least a semi-annual soul-splitting, right alongside inspiration and light. It is so strange that the church that once provided answers and peace is now also a consistent source of confusion and pain. 

I wonder, how many times can a soul split? Seven? Until seventy-times seven? Existence in such a form…who would want it?

Comments

  1. I don’t know how many more times my soul can split but to know mine isn’t the only one fracturing, that I’m not alone in waiting, wishing, and determining provides me with a bit of light. Thank you.

  2. Oh Rebbie you ruined my makeup this morning. I feel what you wrote deeply. Love you.

  3. I’ve had a similar experience to you. I continue to love my participation locally—I see God in the people and the work all the time, and I’ve been serving in leadership positions in my wards for many continuous years. But it seems every General Conference, or any time Pres. Oaks speaks, or any time the church makes a statement about LGBT issues (or sex abuse scandals), I feel split. I try to focus on my local experience but it’s tough when I have so lost trust in the folks in charge in Salt Lake.

    The thing I’ve realized about this particular horcrux is that it’s rooted in an even deeper, more fundamental doctrinal horcrux: church leadership has come to worship the 1950’s nuclear family as a false god and to distort the reality of the atonement by suggesting that we earn our exaltation through obedience and earn God’s approval through “worthiness” (which itself focuses more on sexual purity than Christian charity). This really hit me during Pres. Nelson’s address at BYU about God’s Love and Laws. Too much emphasis on laws. (See also Pres. Oaks Christmas devotional where, rather that use the occasion to celebrate how God showed God’s love for us by sending Jesus, he emphasized that we had to be obedient to earn that love.). Don’t get me wrong – I think God’s laws (the ones that are actually God’s law, LGBT exclusion not being among them) are good – but I think they are here for our own good here (“the kingdom of heaven is at hand” – HERE) and not so that we can earn a spot in heaven by being good enough.

    Those doctrinal emphases (and in my view errors) are the root of our missteps on LGBT issues as well as other horcruxes for me like exclusion of women from leadership, harmful “worthiness interview” practices, hoarding of tithing money, etc.

  4. There are many who feel split by discussions of things that are, in my opinion, fully secular. IF God loves His children without end, without judgment and with all encompassing grace, then is it fair to listen to what MEN say (apologies to those who think everything the Prophet and counselors and leaders spout is holy. They’re still MEN (and women) and as such are flawed by their human-ness) and become split over which ideology is right. Me? I listen what God whispers to my soul and in my ear and tend to disregard what men say. I know they don’t know fully God’s reasons for creating some individuals with different tastes, and I know that judging is probably a worse sin than being gay. In my opinion. Thank you for sharing your inner turmoil and pain. You are NOT alone.

  5. Rebbie, what would it take to reunite your soul?

  6. I found your thoughts cathartic and inspiring. My horcrux began in 60s and 70s when I “woke” to what was then called the Negro Doctrine and priesthood restriction. Members today would be shocked by the racist arguments propagated by Church leaders. I was called to serve a mission in Chile where there were no black members, and I was able to split my soul — preaching the gospel while my spirit rejected the accursed practice. But my horcrux had a permanent effect on me, diminishing my ardor for the Lord’s church and its racist leaders. Of course, I was thrilled with the 1978 revelation and Elder McConkie’s admission that the leaders had been looking “through a glass darkly” and “everything” ever written or said about the Negro Doctrine prior to The Revelation was “wrong.” But I lamented that I had allowed my love for the gospel to inhibit me from standing with opponents of the priesthood ban. I viewed it would never happen again. So now I’m at least speaking out against the 21st Century version of the discredited priesthood ban in the form of the cruel policies toward our gay children. I listen to the rationalizations for the Church’s stance, and they’re almost identical to the “wrong” (McConkie’s term) teachings about the priesthood ban, to wit: God’s law never changes!” or “We must follow our leaders even if we feel they’re wrong.” I can hardly wait for President Oaks to have his McConkie moment when he says “Everything I’ve ever written or said about homosexuality or gender is wrong.” My horcrux also resulted in a permanent distrust for leadership. I’ll never allow them to lead me into any belief or action that goes against the Light of Christ.

  7. Thank you for acknowledging that as much as your soul (and mine), as straight Mormons who care for our LBGTQ family and friends, feel split due to the church’s cruelty around this issue that our LBGTQ sisters and brothers must feel it infinitely worse. My recent move from very imperfect ally to a parent of a newly out gay child has reminded me that whatever soul splitting, cognitive dissonance and spiritual pain I may have had before must pale in comparison to what our LBGTQ family and friends must feel.

    For me there is no epistemological world where I can believe that Dallin H Oaks and crowd have any special moral authority, connection to the heavens or claim to Christ-like examples. They have had half a lifetime to listen, understand, pray, soul search, sympathize, commune with the heavens or whatever they tell themselves they are doing. They can’t let this go and they can’t seem to do more than stagger from one cruel incompetence and disaster to the next inflicting unimaginable spiritual harm on those they are called to lead. Amen to the authority of these men and their institution have over my life. I choose my gay daughter over whatever potential goodness comes from all my Mormon friends trying their best to be good people. As much as I love local ward mormonism and as much as it may have given me, these reoccurring recent events remind me this church deserves none of my time, energy, love, effort or money. None. Zero. Its not worth the mental gymnastics, moral compromises or any risk to my daughter in developing any Mormon identity toxic to her beautiful soul.

    I think your analogy here is apt. This is Horcrux that is splitting all our souls doing irreparable harm to us all. And at the end of the day its a choice. Its choice to keep showing up, hoping, giving support and splitting our souls and spiting our community. All for the very human bigotry of a few old men who have no prophetic imagination and somehow believe with all their Horcrux split, status-drunk souls that they something special about how God sees gay people. I call BS which means either they are deluded or disingenuous. Either way, amen to the priesthood of these men. I respect that that choose otherwise but for me I choose to put my soul back together and keep my daughters whole.

  8. I don’t expect any real movement on this issue until either Holland or Uchtdorf is president, and if they do anything it will need to be early in their tenure for the new culture to take hold. Otherwise, Bednar would likely undo everything when he takes the reins.

  9. Horcrux is a good way to describe this feeling. I first experienced it when I felt compelled by leadership to write my senator in regards to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). After sending the email, I felt such a profound sense that I had done something that was wrong, and I knew it. It shook me enough that I have been more vocal about these issues. I have yet to have a temple recommend interview with a member of my stake presidency that I have not brought up the exclusion policy of 2015, and my concerns about it. So far, that has not prevented me from getting my recommend, and so my soul only feels partially split. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  10. @Rah, beautiful.

  11. Rachel Allred says:

    Bryan, I love your question. I’ve been thinking about it all morning.

    In the Harry Potter universe, the only way to heal a Horcrux is to feel genuine remorse, to feel the full weight of your actions and the suffering they caused. Sincere repentance, in other words.

    What does that mean here? Repentance of what? By whom? Does the metaphor even extend that far?

    I don’t know, but it’s some good fodder for thought today.

  12. a ship can’t be turned around too quickly. I try to remind myself of this when I get frustrated with the church.
    And yes, it’s cliche, but it’s also true.
    I think the future of the church will look far different than it has. I know that a year or so ago CES was talking with Thomas McConkie- and that sent excitement coursing through my body! When I was first introduced to Thomas, I was hoping that the church would tap into him as a source!

  13. @cdh Yes it can. Policy can shift literally overnight. One strength of the church’s top down structure is it can move at lightening speed. It is a church that preaches moral/free agency as a core tenant. We can choose differently. The men in charge can literally change their mind. They could “choose the right and let the consequences follow”. Our gay sisters and brothers have been literally killing themselves hoping and waiting for change. Their souls to use the OP have been split, raw wound opened up and their souls (and blood have gushed out). So tell yourself all you want how “hard” this change is. At very least the church could care enough to get its act together, align and not give false hope through misinformation and easily avoidable bureaucratic farce. It could be *gasp* honest. So if it makes you feel better and more moral to say “a ship can’t be turned” good on you. People like you would still be waiting for blacks to have the priesthood because you know…you can’t turn a ship tooooo quickly. If you are generous and allow for a reasonable lag of cultural wokeness to the bigotry against gays to say oh…2010 then the church has had 10 years – *10 years*, a decade. The only thing slow here is our leaders being glacially slow to overcome their own bigotry and belief in their own moral rightness based on nothing but a few ancient, random bible versus. But you know a ship is slow and we are all good people with souls assunder. Go us!

  14. Thank you so much for putting into words my exact feelings and inner conflicts. A “split soul ” is a perfect way to describe it.

  15. Troy Daniel Cline says:

    To those here who are making comments about how they don’t want to leave the church because they see God at work in the teachings and lives of its members, I would just add this. It isn’t my place (or anybody else’s) to tell anybody whether they should stay or not. However, God is at work all over the place in this great big world and people of all faiths and none are out there everyday manifesting God’s love. If you leave the church, you’ll still have ample opportunities to watch God at work in the world. So if you want to stay, stay. But don’t stay because you’re afraid that leaving will cause you to miss out on seeing how wonderful God can be. And for heaven’s sake, don’t stay because you’re afraid that leaving Mormonism will result in you acquiring a lesser heaven in the next life because that is patently false.

  16. @Troy I agree. I do not stay because I think we have a monopoly on God or love or truth, or because I think I’ll be punished. My reasons for staying (for now) are out-of-scope for this thread but just wanted to clarify.

  17. Geoff-Aus says:

    Very powerful description of life as a member of the church, in the article and comments.
    Troy this applies even more so when members are less than 1% of the population, and where sexism and homophobia, are only acceptable to the extreme right of politics. No party likely to have any power in Australia holds these views.

  18. Amber McLain says:

    Oh Rebbie, you speak what’s in my heart so often. I wish I could express my feelings in words as eloquently as you do. This is an issue I have struggled with for years and I continue to struggle with today. Although I have no clear answers to many of my questions, one thing rings loud in my ears. Just love. And I do. I know it doesn’t make it any easier for my LGBTQ friends. But that’s all I’ve got right now. In the meantime I continue to pray for answers and understanding. And for peace. Not just for me, but for all of us.

  19. This is a good analogy. I feel it as well.

  20. Two possibilities. You are right and the church is wrong. If that’s the case there’s no pain to be had. Well that’s not entirely true. If you are a noble Christlike character who weeps at the mistakes of others, maybe these alleged misdeeds could cause pain. But I doubt you have so much pain and anguish over, let’s say, an aborted child, premarital sex, evil speaking of the Lord’s anointed and other unholy and impure practices.

    Or, the pain is because you’ve rejected the truth, and keep sticking with your faulty assumptions and the spirit is leaving you without the light on this issue because you have already decided they are wrong and you are right.

    Option 2, really makes more sense, unless you are that Christlike character. And again, for option 1 to be right, you have to see the light while everyone else in leadership is wrong. That false dichotomy also reveals your pain. Your spirit knows you are clinging to a false reality and is causing you pain.

    It’s not a question of being kind. You can be considerate towards those who are making moral misjudgment. But you don’t need to accept, endorse, or promote their errors in morality and family as divine.

    You don’t even need to call it that. I’d prefer not to, because I realize that labeling creates a feeling of judgment. But for clarity, when people are insisting that what is wrong is actually right, and it must be taught and respected as such, we have to use some clarity.

  21. This captures my own feelings brilliantly. When it was my own daughter coming out, the only divine inspiration I received was “love her.” That was easy enough, she’s one of the most Christ-like people I know. And she’s my daughter.

    But the dumpster fire that is CES policy making and public relations culminating in this week’s spiritual Tiananmen Square on the Quad pushed me too far. I couldn’t hold the parts together. But after a great deal of time in the divine wrestle, my answer this time was an extension of the last answer, “stay, and teach the others to love.” It was not accompanied by any great healing but rather a determination to press forward with that mission. If others need to leave, I can understand, but I can’t abandon those still in the fold.

  22. Hedgehog says:

    Yes. It’s an apt analogy.
    You could almost have been sitting behind me during a broadcast! Except in my case it’s either a sheet of paper or scruffy notebook. Definitely not a purpose-made journal.

  23. It’s funny to see the term ‘false dichotomy’ used (incorrectly) in a comment that is itself constructed as one, Soulson.

  24. As has been pointed out, the leadership of the church has been mistaken before about the will of God, either fairly benignly like the evil of mustaches, or much more damaging like the limits placed on members due to race. That they were admittedly wrong in the past is proof that they could be wrong now. What if, what if we just let God sort this out? Not his representatives who make mistakes, but God. Later, when we are again in His presence. Soulson, how would it hurt you and your eternal marriage if LGBTQ were given the same opportunities for service and leadership and family and blessings as you have been given? What if we admitted all to the worldly church in every respect, and let God sort it out later? How does that hurt you in any way? We actually have very little idea what the next life will be like; there is very little in scripture, and much of scripture has also proven to be inaccurate, self-contradicting, etc. What about just loving your neighbor as yourself (seems like that is pretty high up on God’s preferred commandments) and living YOUR life as you feel best.

  25. Rah- I’m glad you are comfortable with blanket statements about a fellow human. You don’t know me or my feelings on this issue. But “it’s people like (me)”…….
    That’s full of love.
    I don’t understand the hate that seeps out when someone disagrees with another person.

  26. @cdh. I will own and apologize for some of how my anger was directed in my response to you. You are right I shouldn’t assume or imply the assumption to you as a person. So I specifically retract my shot about you being the type of person that would still be waiting for the overturn of the blacks and priesthood/temple policy. That was unfair and ungenerous. It was born of my anger as the parent of a gay kid who can’t conveniently wait, but that doesn’t make it right. It was wrong of me and not helpful.

    But, I will stand by my refusal to accept “a ship takes a long time to turn”. We must recognize these policy choices are very discreet choices by a small number of men. It is all dependent on them and they can change in an instant. “Waiting for the ship” is cold comfort to those impacted now. It isn’t comforting at all. It’s infuriating. All that is good screams against it. I don’t apologize for not quieting that scream. The spiritual wounds are deep. This latest episode was beyond cruel. And it is not fair for me to assume that you are just one of those that go along, watching. giving “thoughts and prayers” and doing nothing. That may not be you at all. If it is, that is for you to morally wrestle with. If not, thank you for what you do.

  27. The primary fruits of the spirit are peace and love. If there’s no peace and no love . . . .

  28. Rah- thank you.
    I do not agree with the back stepping, I cannot imagine the pain it’s caused so many souls. I also cannot imagine what it’s like to be a parents of one such hurting soul (though I’ve thought about not often, as my children are still relatively young).
    A bit off topic, but the song “Heaven Sent” by Parker Millsap made a huge impact on me in this area.

    I have my own theory on the trigger that causes the change (which also involves God and not just people forcing change). I hope it’s right, because it is hopeful.

    I’m sorry for the pain you and so many others feel.

  29. Tanner Wilson says:

    Ins’t that was this is all about? I don’t know if people realize that we are here to literally change our being. Jesus taught if the eye offend thee, pluck it out. And we are taught that the “natural man” is an enemy to God, or that our “Natural” self is an enemy to God. We are tossed between tough choices, tough decisions both of philosophy and physical choice. And what’s damaging is when we separate pieces of ourselves and hold onto them. If something doesn’t follow your testimony of the church, chip it off the block. But don’t hold onto it and say you’re fractured, that’s silly. If you aren’t sure about something, then you aren’t sure, and tell people that with a clear conscience. And if someone is upset because you don’t know? Gee they’re a schmuck and why give them your time. That goes for whatever “side” we are one regarding whatever circumstance. Know you aren’t alone. And even if you truly are, Christ was alone, and you’re in good company then.

  30. @cdh. Thanks for the kind words. We are fortunate. We ultimately stepped away from the church in a process that started with Prop 8 and ended with the Nov 15th exclusion policy. This all happened when our daughter was very young and before she came out which has only been recently. So we are in the fortunate situation where our daughter has little to no Mormon identity or belief. We live in a place (in the Bay Area) where LBGTQ kids are generally accepted as just normal. We shudder to think what could have happened had we remained active members and our kids had developed strong LDS identity and belief. We are just close enough that it is not hard for us to imagine and of course we have many friends that have had that exact experience. Still its sad when we have to say “I am so glad we aren’t that Mormon anymore because my daughter is now safe”. She has no Horcrux and we are determined to keep it that way. That said she is friends with the local Mormon kids and we know one or two of them aren’t so lucky. This whole event just raised our parental hackles…as it should. The callous indifference with which the church bureaucracy created this whole mess is mindboggling and tragic reminder why we clearly made the right choice for our family because we followed our conscious out of the church.

  31. Glenda Crump says:

    I Love this article it speaks to much of how I am feeling. As the mother of a gay child I find it hard to go at times and I have a very accepting ward (in Dallas Texas) so I can imagine how hard it is for others in wards who are more judgy. I still go because it is what I have known my whole life, I go to support my kids who are still active, I go because much of the gospel is beautiful However I also go to be the voice inside to stand up for the LGBTQ community. I wear my rainbow ring, bracelet and Mama Dragon pin every week. I gave a talk centered on loving our LGBT brothers and sisters, I make comments in support of the LGBT community and I speak out if something cruel is ever said (usually by visitors who do not know me) they don’t know like my ward friends do that I will shut them down if they dare say judgmental things. Either my ward members are just not concerned about LGBT issues or they have learned not to say things if I am there. A few weeks ago we had a transgender member (MtoF) come to Relief Society and No One said a word against it and No One seemed to care…. As it should be!

  32. Go Glenda! I am a gay Mormon who has been beaten and bruised by the Church my entire life (57 years and still holding on for my miracle). It has left me tired and sad and without much hope. The LGBTQ community…and the LDS religion….needs more people like you! God Bless!

  33. Whitney Castillo says:

    Thank you a million for writing this. There are a lot of charged agreements here and justly so. I just want to say that I have a true testimony of most of our doctrine, about specific things, and one of them is the priesthood. I truly do believe men are endowed with the priesthood, and that has nothing to do with women not being worthy, of that responsibility, or fit to stand in positions of leadership. No matter, my point is that I do not believe anyone is trying to do harm to any group, specifically the LGBTQ+ community. I do not understand why this doctrine is still purported, but I’ve found my own peace with it. I also share your heartache, and see no reason why this community should be excluded from both temple blessings and marrying someone they love romantically/sexually. I’ve prayed about it, and I’ve gone out into the world seeing people as I think Christ would. I have never received any inspiration or experience that confirms the church’s stance on LGBTQ+ issues. At the end of the day, God holds us accountable for our actions, and if I’m going to answer for something, it’s going to be a decision I feel right about. Not because I went blindly against my better judgement. If it means I have to say that I believe this doctrine is incorrect, I’m okay with that, and I don’t believe God is going to punish me. I believe the church is true, and I believe this tenant is going to change eventually.

  34. Glenda – You rock. I love that you are strong and you speak up. Keep on keeping on.

  35. @Soulson, your reasoning would have been just at home in 1977 when many felt pain and an absence of the Spirit about the teachings of church leaders regarding the priesthood and temple ban or interracial marriage. If your logic would not have led to the truth then, it won’t now.

    Rebbie, I really felt this post. Likewise, 2015 was a turning point in my feelings about the church and its leaders, even as straight, married man who had a fairly orthodox outlook at the time. I am still here, but I’ve never felt the same since. (Though ultimately, I hope, for the better.)

    I too feel that soul splitting. But I’ve come to wonder if that sense of fracture is simply a defining—and intentional—feature of life in a fallen world. As a youth, I found comfort in my belief that unfailing, uncomplicated, absolute sources of truth and goodness existed in the world—represented especially by the church, since, I figured, it represented a perfect God. Morally speaking, white was white, black was black.

    But since 2015, I’ve never felt whole, and I’ve just had to (attempt to, in fits and starts) make my peace with that. Maybe mortality just isn’t a place for that certainty or wholeness, at least not for me. As with Eve (and Abraham after her), there may be no clean or safe or uncomplicated choices. (I really enjoyed Jared Cook’s BCC post about Abraham.) There is wrong mixed in with so much good, truth found among error, joy tempered with pain, and, to quote Tolkien, “love … mingled with grief.” This might be pessimistic of me, but perhaps the philosophies of men, mingled with scripture are simply all we have right now. How can it be otherwise, when whatever we think is scripture—whether a sacred text, an inspired talk, or even our own personal revelation—is necessarily mediated through fallen human minds?

    I don’t mean to say that since nothing is perfect and whole in life, everything is as good or as bad as anything else. And I don’t even mean to say that the church is devoid of any special role or authority or divine mission. But I do mean to say that ever since my eyes were opened, as I think, to the fundamental brokenness of mortal life, I’ve stopped expecting things, even what I think may be the Lord’s church, to be anything but broken. Including myself.

    My loyalties and my time can sometimes be divided. I often feel pulled between competing goods or torn between apparently necessary evils. I wrestle with how to make imperfect choices amid incomplete knowledge. I help others and I also hurt them. I rarely live up to what I think is right. And I can never be completely certain that all my notions of right are actually so. It’s hard.

    Maybe none of this is helpful or relevant. But it’s how I try to process the feeling of brokenness you mentioned, which I identify so much with, especially about the church. I don’t have any certainty, but I have a hope, at least, that Jesus Christ can someday make our souls whole, whether in this life or the next. And maybe the church needs a Savior, too, because, at the basic level, the church is simply us.

  36. @Rebbie and @Greg, your words have been helpful to me. (It’s liberating to be able to put words to these kinds of feelings. I’ve felt many similar things but have struggled for words to express them with.)
    Thanks to you both.

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