In case any of you didn’t hear, there have been some changes made to the handbook for the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The changes include children of same-sex couples are not to be baptized until they are 18 and that is causing a LOT of contention and debate among a lot of people, members and non-members alike. I have a few words to say, but I’m going to keep it short(er) because it’s simple (I also think you should read this article here written by a gay mormon who supports this policy and explains it in a really wonderful way).
In the words of a friend: “I believe in Jesus Christ and His living prophets and apostles, so why would I even let my faith waver because of a policy change? Ponder this.”
I have felt a lot of pain and sadness in the past day or so since hearing about this policy change but not for the same reasons as everyone else. What hurts is seeing members of the church not trying to understand this change and allowing it to shake their faith. I’ve seen comments like “I know the Church isn’t perfect” or “Don’t tell me this is about the protection and love of children because it’s not. It’s wrong to exclude those poor children and it’s not of God” (There is an article called The 9 Facebook Myths About the Church’s New LGBT Policy that I encourage each of you to read – it’s REALLY good in explaining why these kinds of statements are not true).
Well let me tell you something. This IS Christ’s Church. It is His Kingdom established on Earth and it IS perfect. He guides and directs it every step of the way through a prophet, who today is Thomas S. Monson. The leaders of this church may not be perfect, but they ARE led by a perfect Being. If you ever thought at one point in your life that these men have been called of God, and are thinking now that they have fallen away from God, I tell you this: The Lord will NEVER allow His chosen servants to lead the world away from Him. If they try, they will not succeed and will be removed from their position.
The leaders of the Church (AKA God) have chosen to include this policy in order to protect these children and their families. Families are of God and even though we may not agree with their actions, they are still a family. Isn’t it amazing just how much the Lord loves us that He will bless even those children who act in ways He doesn’t like? Isn’t it amazing how He can direct the leaders of His church to bring such blessings to those wonderful families? Because that’s exactly what He’s doing.
But what if you don’t see it that way? What if you’re one of those who is struggling to understand the reasoning and love behind this policy, whether you’re a member of the Church or not? There is a way to know what to do.
In the words of Jeffrey R. Holland: “With any major decision there are cautions and considerations to make, but once there has been illumination, beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now. Don’t give up when the pressure mounts. Certainly don’t give in to that being who is bent on the destruction of your happiness. Face your doubts. Master your fears. “Cast not away therefore your confidence.” Stay the course and see the beauty of life unfold for you.”
I have received my own witness that Thomas S. Monson is the Lord’s called and chosen servant to represent Him on the Earth today. I continue to feel how true that is with every general conference that I get to hear him speak. I also know that Henry B. Eyring, Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Russell M. Nelson, and the other members of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles have been chosen for their holy calling to assist the prophet in establishing and clarifying the doctrine of Jesus Christ. There are going to be times where I may not completely understand why there are certain policies made, and there may even be times where I possibly disagree with those policies until I can come to understand them. But I have a witness from the Spirit of the Lord that these men are called of God and that they are doing His work. Because of that witness, I will do everything I can to understand what isn’t so clear and if I can’t find some understanding, I will pour every ounce of faith I have in my entire being into trusting that God knows what He’s doing. God’s laws are NOT man’s laws, and the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints truly ARE men of God who are doing all they can to follow the Lord and guide the world in doing the same. Because of my witness, I REFUSE to cast away my confidence but instead, I will do everything I can to understand why or to just trust that God is in charge.
I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints IS His Church and that it is perfect BECAUSE He is the one leading us, not men. I challenge each of you to get on your knees and pray. Pray for understanding. Pray for faith. Pray for love. Pray for whatever it is you need at this time to accept what the prophet has declared. If you’re not a member, pray anyway that you can be able to trust in the Lord and trust in His servants whether that is your pastor, rabbi, preacher, mother, father, brother, sister or whoever else is leading you closer to Him every day. Pray that you will come to know and understand the truth so that whatever He asks of you, you will be able to accept.