I fell asleep last night in front of the television (a common occurrence with me and even more so since my recent carpal tunnel surgery). I woke up to the sound of my cell phone vibrating and beeping and pinging with notifications from Twitter, Facebook, etc. Hesitantly and (a little) fearfully, I began to read the notifications.
As I read, my eyes filled with tears. The physical pain in my hand was swept away by the intense emotional pain I felt as I read how the Church I love has decided that the children of our LGBTQIA sisters and brothers cannot “receive a name and a blessing” and cannot be “baptized and confirmed, ordained, or recommended for missionary service” unless they renounce and disavow their parents and receive permission from the First Presidency.
I cannot imagine having to explain to my child why he or she cannot be baptized. I cannot imagine as a teenager being told that I would have to disown my parents or disavow our family in order to be accepted in my church. I cannot imagine the pain or the anguish that so many of our sisters and brothers who want to continue to be part of the LDS Church are feeling.
All I can do is open my arms and my heart and let my sisters and brothers know that they are loved and that they are wanted. I can acknowledge that this new policy is a vile and violent act and that no part of it is worthy of being adopted by a church that includes the name of Jesus Christ in its name. I can mourn with my brothers and sisters and I can bear their burdens. I can let them cry, talk, scream, or all three.
What I do not need to do is to detract from their pain by drawing any sort of comparisons with any pain I am feeling or I have felt or with situations that I or others have experienced. Their pain is not a game. It is not a competition. I will not make them feel better by making someone else feel worse.
I simply need to step up and be there for them and with them.
I invite each of you to do the same. If you cannot, I invite you to be quiet.