Where I Try to Deal With Serious Things Without Dying

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I have a story to tell, but I'm not sure how to tell it. Usually I keep anything too personal or messy off the blog. You know I hate gooey sticky stuff. Can't even eat tapioca. But a friend asked me share this story so here goes.

At church a month or two ago we had a special meeting in Sunday school. It was a meeting about how we should treat our gay brothers and sisters. To sum up, we were taught that we should be nice, loving, perhaps even empathetic. Our teacher, a member of our Stake Presidency, acknowledged the excruciating difficulty a person who is gay has trying to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I left the meeting feeling really happy. Sometimes I've felt conflicted between my desire to defend and preserve the sacredness of traditional marriage, and my desire to see my gay friends happy.

Of course, President Stewart couldn't answer all my questions, and I'm not going to try to answer yours. This is a great link that I have found helpful, but even it doesn't answer all my questions. Don't tell, but I believe there is yet more to be revealed on this subject. Maybe to the world, maybe just to me.

Anyway, when we got home from church I was making dinner with Maddie and Katie, my two teenage daughters, and I started telling them about what a great Sunday school lesson we'd had. We were all chop, chop, chopping and I was talk, talk, talking and I was super surprised when I looked over at Maddie and she was crying.

"Hey!" I said. "What's wrong?"

And that's when she told me how completely relieved she was to hear this message at church, albeit second hand, since I was telling her what I'd heard.


I totally thought Marc and I had been giving our kids this message their whole lives. We are all about the love here at our house, right? We've told them to love and accept their gay friends. We've loved the gay people in our lives, and, you know, been part of their lives and they're part of ours. I thought our kids were pretty clear on the main-Jesus-message "love everyone."

I thought we'd explained that loving everyone doesn't mean you have to agree with them or think that everything they do is right, but it does mean you treat everyone with respect and kindness.

But it turns out my girls weren't sure. In fact,while she was crying, Maddie told me about spending a week at church camp and making friends with a young man there who was gay. Some of the other young men in her group confronted her and asked her why she was talking to him. "Why wouldn't I?" she asked confused. "Because he's gay," they said.


And by then Katie was crying too because she has had all too similar experiences.

I guess I'm really telling this story because of all the messy thoughts it brought up for me, like YIKES I really don't always know what my kids are going through. And how I hope The Church as a whole helps our youth understand homosexuality better. And how grateful I am for my Savior and his love.

And now I have to stop, all this emoting is exhausting...I need a caffeinated beverage.

4 Responses to “Where I Try to Deal With Serious Things Without Dying”

  1. What a great teaching moment--and what a cool moment for you as a mom to realize that you've raised such a great daughter, who HAS internalized the lessons you've taught her all along and will treat all of God's children with respect.

  2. Shelley,
    I loved this post on your blog. Love the article that you linked to, and plan to share it with my girls. This is a difficult issue to deal with, so good to hear it discussed openly and with compassion.

    I am impressed by your friend, you do know the most interesting people! We will have to discuss this.

  3. shelley you are such a beautiful person. I miss you so much after reading this blog post. I think back to the amazing friend that I had in VA.
    You are great! Thanks for sharing this moment in you life. What a great moment. Can't wait to share this with Jason...xoxo


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