Saturday, November 7

Waiting on the Lord (Same-sex adoption. Families. Etc)

Update: The Church has released clarification on the policy mentioned here. The text (published Fri, Nov 13) can be viewed here: https://www.lds.org/pages/church-handbook-changes?lang=eng



While I was a freshman at BYU, I tried to get to know new people every chance I could get. I wanted to hear their stories, understand what made them tick inside. The best place to find people who would talk to me was the cafeteria. Find someone sitting down somewhere that has just begun eating, strike up a conversation, and see where it goes.

Oh, the beauty of not knowing you're awkward. :)

My freshman year I met a girl in the cafeteria who, after a few minutes, told me she was a convert to the Church. That's not a big surprise; while many students I met at BYU were there because they perceived social pressure to be part of the Church (and used their attendance at BYU to assuage concerns of their families), I met just as many who had come a long way to be there. This girl was one of them.

She grew up in a polygamist family. When she was little, polygamy seemed somewhat normal to her. She knew that most people had just one mom, but she had multiple moms. Eventually her mother got out of the relationship and took her daughter with her, and years later the daughter met missionaries and wanted to be baptized.

Under Church policy, children born in a number of situations, including unsanctioned marriage situations (polygamy, polyandry, etc) must show that they have the ability to safely support themselves and a testimony of the nature of the family - which sometimes means disavowing the nuclear family where they may have spent much of their lives. This policy isn't about politics, though it obviously supports the Church's stalwart stance on the nature of families; the policy is about the importance of each child. The policy applies universally, and, while laws vary, is especially applicable in countries where polygyny, polyandry, and/or group marriage are still legal, customary as per cultural norms, or both.

This daughter was not permitted by her mother to be baptized, so she waited until she was 18, then went through the process on her own. She had to have an interview with a member of the Quorum of the 12 or First Presidency (if I remember right), and talked about how awesome that experience had been for her - to be able to talk with an apostle one-on-one about her childhood, her growing faith, and her simultaneous love for her parents.

I was jealous and somewhat shocked.

My baptismal interview was with my bishop, who I didn't really know very well... and I was 7 years old, about to turn 8. I remember he asked some questions. But that's all I remember. Yes, this young woman had come from a family situation that she eventually had to renounce - she had to openly renounce the choices of her parents... but people get to have baptismal interviews with an apostle? The apostles take notice of something like this?

Another young man was from mainland China. He had a friend who was a member of the Church, but his friend wasn't allowed to share the gospel with him. He told him if he wanted to learn more, he'd have to travel to Hong Kong. Years later, when he was old enough to do so, he traveled to Hong Kong, met with missionaries, and decided to be baptized. Then he returned to his town in the mainland. His friend had moved away, and now he was one of very few members. He had to rely on his own faith. Then he came to BYU.

A few years later, while serving a mission, I met a young man who told me he wanted to be baptized... but was afraid of the potential reaction of his family. I learned shortly thereafter that baptism would be more complicated than normal: since his family opposed it, and he was from a fundamentalist Muslim state where the law was to kill those who betrayed the faith, he would have to find a way to be completely safe before his baptism could happen. And, again, it would have to be approved by an Apostle.

Of all the people I met in the cafeteria and on my mission, the ones who I felt most connected to were people like these. The people who had been born into difficult circumstances, but who found the gospel anyway. The leaders of the Church took special notice of them, even though sometimes they had to wait for those blessings. Yes, each of them had to work for their faith. Yes, they all had to wait. But in working and waiting, they felt like modern-day pioneers. While they regretted the situation of their early childhood, they felt a profound sense of gratitude for the deep testimony they had gained - sometimes far deeper than their peers. And they were so much more faithful, happy, and grateful for it.

The students I met who had been raised in the Church from early on sometimes took their membership, and their faith, for granted. The Church was often just a social club to them, and BYU was just a way to extend the masquerade and get cheap tuition. When something happened in the community, or in their lives, to shake their faith, they were much faster to lose their foundations. Those who had fought for their membership, and those grown in the faith who had actually gained a personal testimony, were totally different.

The policy governing the baptism of children born to polygamous/polyandrous (multiple mothers or multiple fathers) relationships has been around for as long as I can remember. Mainland China hasn't allowed missionaries or temples ever. And neither have some Muslim or other states. Since there are places where practices contrary to Church teachings are accepted, and children learn a huge amount from their parents until they leave home, it makes sense that the Church would want to ensure that children born in every situation honestly understand the gospel. When talking with the people that the policy has affected, I've only ever seen a profound sense of gratitude and love. The fact that the Church required the blessing of a member of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles or the First Presidency for their baptism was never seen, to them, as an obstacle. On the contrary, it was a memorable, life-changing blessing.

Recently the Church added to the list of special exceptions children with parents living in same-gender sexual cohabitation or marriage situations (making the policy apply in all countries, whether same-sex marriage is legal or illegal). And, for some people, this is apparently the end of the world.

Under the policy, local leaders are directed to not make a personal decision based only on worthiness when someone presents for baptism in the Church. Instead of having to determine a child or adolescent's actual understanding and dedication to fundamental doctrines about the family, local leaders submit the request to the First Presidency, and they'll make the decision.

It also explicitly states that individuals in same-sex sexual cohabitation or marriage may not present their children for an infant blessing and outlines factors that will influence the First Presidency's decision: Individuals with parents of the same sex will need to disavow same-sex marriage both in word and deed - by showing a personal, lasting commitment to traditional marriage, by no longer living in a home where same-sex marriage is sanctioned, and by being completely free to make their own decisions legally and physically without required consent or potential interference from same-sex parents. Freedom to make your own decisions depends on country and local laws: in the US, you have to be 18 to make your own decisions.

That's it.

So the daughter of lesbian parents can come to Church whenever she is able and sit next to the young man from a Muslim nation, the girl whose parents were polygamists, and the kid who was baptized at 8. She can go to classes with them. Get her Young Women medallions and go to Girl's Camp. Attend Seminary and Mutual. Hold responsibilities and help plan activities. Give service. Fast, pray, and receive Priesthood blessings at her own request. Make plans to be married in the temple someday. And when she becomes legal age, she can move out of the house, choose to join the Church, and prepare to receive her Endowment in the temple.

In our world today, it's easy to think that everyone deserves whatever they want, immediately and now. That being an official member of the Church should be freely available to anyone who wants it, when they want it. But the reality is that God has always been a God of His own timing. And there are plenty of stories dating back to the Bible of people who wanted to join the family of God... who had to wait.

Two come to mind: a leader in the Roman army believed in Christ, but he was a Gentile. His servant was sick, and he knew that Christ had the power to heal. So he approached him and asked for help. Christ healed his servant, and even told the officer that he had greater faith than some of the Jews Christ had met... but didn't baptize the man. He would have to wait for Peter to begin preaching to the Gentiles. (Luke 7:2-10)

Another woman approached Christ and asked for help. She was also a Gentile - simply meaning that she was born to non-Jewish parents. In her response to Christ's questioning, she expressed how grateful she was to be able to symbolically feed on the crumbs that fell from the Master's table, even if she wasn't yet part of the family. Christ healed her daughter... but yet again baptism didn't happen immediately. (Matt 15:22-28)

Why was God - Jesus Christ Himself, the Savior of the World - unwilling to baptize these people who had professed (and shown at great duress) complete faith in Him? Perhaps it was because of political sentiment and the effect it would have on the early Church. Perhaps it was for their safety - to ensure they had a more welcoming environment and didn't become instant martyrs. Perhaps it was because they still held to pagan beliefs and customs embedded in their culture and everyday reality, and there wasn't yet a community of believers large enough where they could learn what to do and what not to. Perhaps it was to allow them to continue to exercise faith on the periphery.

Whatever the reason, God Himself understands all personal situations, blesses His children, and always charts the path they will need to follow to find baptism. In His eyes, life is just a speck in time. And any blessing we have to work or wait for, He will give us a hundredfold.

I believe that God loves all His children. I also believe that He will give all of us the best possible opportunity to receive the gospel, no matter where, how, or when we were born. Sometimes that means that people live their lives without the gospel in far-off places and times, and make a difference in the lives of people during mortality, then accept the gospel after. Sometimes that means being born in the covenant, sealed to an eternal family at birth by nature of two parents who keep their covenants. And sometimes that means choosing to follow God and wait for His blessings.

The people I met in the cafeteria and on my mission were special people. People who had worked against all odds to find and join and stay a part of the Church. While their parents vocally disagreed with Church doctrines and policies, they quietly grew in their own testimonies and treasured the fact that they were known by God and His prophets. In some situations, and by some people, perhaps their trials and the changes required in their beliefs and culture would have been taken for granted. But they weren't taken for granted... partly because the Church told *everyone* that they were special. 

If you're a new part of that group, welcome. I can't promise it will be easy. It's hard to have to wait for blessings from God, especially when people around you feel that you're entitled to them. It's hard to see people around you who take the Gospel, and the simplicity of their lives, for granted. It's hard to see everyone else's dreams come true while yours have long since shattered. It's excruciatingly painful to see people you care about who turn away from the truth... people who have never truly seen God in their trials... or who don't understand what the Gospel really means.

But, more than anything else, it's amazing to feel God's love... and to know that you are His. To have a personal relationship with the Lord of all creation. To be able to speak with Him and hear His voice and see His hand in all things. To have a perspective on life and a testimony and a connection with the Heavens so secure that nothing can shake it. It makes it all worthwhile.

Your life *will* be hard. Likely you'll face major trials long before others do. Maybe you'll have to put your dreams on hold for mortality. Maybe you'll cry yourself to sleep for years. Maybe you'll study the scriptures and pour out your soul to God trying to understand who you are. Maybe you'll lose yourself in service, or reach out and help others, or search deep within yourself to find peace. Whatever happens, definitely you'll find yourself like the people in the scriptures and the BYU cafeteria - having to work and wait on the Lord, having to trust in His timing, having to have faith in His words.

God has good things planned for you. He loves you. And because He knows you, your circumstances, and everything about you, He allowed your life to be hard in the beginning... so you could be stronger in the end.


One post ahead: God Knows What He's Doing
Two posts ahead: Dear Little Brother (to children with same-sex parents)

593 comments:

  1. wonderful comments and perspective. Thank you for sharing!

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  2. I wan't you to know how much I appreciate the clarity and kindness with which you express yourself. My son is autistic so I have some insight in to how difficult you find personal interactions, but the Lord has made you mighty in writing, and powerful in testimony.

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  3. Just. Beautiful. Both your words and your spirit.

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  4. Thank you brother! You have restored a little bit of hope for humanity in me this day. Keep strong and keep sharing the good news of the Lord.

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  5. Such a beautiful and faithful perspective. Thank you so much. God bless you!!

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  6. Thanks for sharing David! Love to read your thoughts and it's awesome to see your intelligence and faith shine through

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  7. Thank you! You have perfectly stated and supported my feelings on this matter. THIS is what I needed to see. Well written and well spoken. Thank you for sharing your inspired thoughts with the rest of us. And thank you for keeping it real!

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  8. Thank you for these words, David. Your strength and testimony are encouraging and helpful. We miss seeing you and your family.

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  9. Thank you for your thoughtful perspective. I will be sharing this with many friends who are shaken by this not new doctrine but a doctrinal clarification. You answer a lot of questions here.

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  10. You are so awesome! I hope it's okay to share this on my FB page as the controversy is raging at the moment.

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  11. I stumbled across your blog from a friend who shared it on Facebook today. I was weary to click on the link because, frankly, most articles floating around Facebook today about the Mormon church are chalk full of hate and I've really struggled reading the hateful comments about our beloved Prophets and Apostles.
    I'm so glad I opened this link because your post was inspired. It was one of those "General Conference" moments when what you're listening to hits you as true doctrine. You were spot on and its amazing to see someone who struggles with the exact thing that is being addressed understand where our Prophets and Apostles are coming from in their statement and also being able to support it! I can't praise this post enough for its clarity and thorough understanding. All I have to say is, the church is true, the doctrine is true, and our Prophet is a mouthpiece of God. God would not let these changes happen in his church if it was not what needed to be done. He knows what He is doing, He loves all of his children, and He has a plan for each and every one of us.
    Thanks again for your inspired words! :)

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  12. Well said. I appreciate your insights and depth of understanding. I was somewhat having difficulty with the concept of "forbid not the children to come unto me". You have given me better understanding. Thank you.

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  13. Thank you! You are an inspiration to many of us ❤

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  14. It is rare to find someone who understands the teachings of Christ & the church doctrines as well as you do. Thank you for your perspective.

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  15. Wonderful article. I discovered the church when I was in Junior High but had to wait until I was an adult to be baptized as my parents wouldn't allow it, nor would they allow me to attend Church. But I found the Church as an adult and was baptized (46 years ago). I know my life would have been different had I been able to participate in Church activities as a youth, but what I was denied (by my parents) has not been a stumbling block for me. I love the church and am grateful to belong to the Kingdom of God here on this earth.

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  16. Very well written, and with sincerity. Thank you.

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  17. Love this. All of this. Thank you for sharing.

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  18. Thank you for your faith and powerful testimony! I admire your strength immensely!

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  19. I love this. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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  20. Thank you so much for your blog. Your contribution is so special and vital! It has meant the world to me.

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  21. Best article I've read yet touching on this subject. Thank you so much!

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  22. Unlike the tears and heartache of some responding to the newest changes in Church policy, my tears and heartache are for dear friends and family who have decided that this recent change is cause for them to leave the LDS church. I am sharing your blog and I thank you for writing it, in the hopes that my friend's prayerful studies and prayers will lead them to a better understanding before they make their decision final.

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  23. I appreciate your perspective, your faith, and wish more LGBTs were like you, but I can understand why they aren't. And thanks for the inspiration and strength.

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  24. This,was such an amazing read! Thank you for your kind and informative words.

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  25. I had to wait 9-10 months before joining the church because of family opposition, and it was a very difficult time in my life in some ways, but I wouldn't give up the learning and stretching experiences that I had in that time. Facing opposition and having to wait on the Lord confirmed for me how beautiful and important the Gospel was.

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  26. Thank you do much. My friend posted this in FB and I am so glad she did. I was having a hard time understanding the new policy change because I never heard of it anywhere else. But the way you explained it and your experiences with other people really did help to clear things up for me. Thank you again and God bless.

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  27. Thank you for your insight. I am always strengthened by your testimony. You are changing lives in ways of which you can't even fathom. God bless you!

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  28. Such a powerful and needed testimony these days. Thank you for sharing your perspective and experience.

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  29. I loved your personal experiences and examples from the scriptures! Thanks so much for sharing your testimony and faith and love. Cheers!

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  30. Your testimony as strengthened mine. Thank you for your words and your faith. I'm grateful for the perspective your words have given me. I knew it was all about love, but in my own ignorance I couldn't figure out how, so thank you so much explaining it and for sharing the examples of those who had to wait for the Lords time.

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  31. The first post that serves as justification for the new policy that has not made me angry. Thank you for your sensitivity and specific stories.

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  32. Thank you for your thoughts and example. I personally have been struggling to come to my own solid conclusions about the Church's recent decision. Not that it rocked my faith or anything. But your thoughts have presented a perspective I hadn't thought about which has given me a lot of peace. I haven't faced very much adversity when it comes to the Church but I really admire those who have and continue to be faithful. Thank you for your faith. It strengthens mine. And isn't that what being brothers and sisters in the Gospel is all about?

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  33. Well articulated. The thing I feel is people outside the church cannot understand our doctrine and culture very well, so they see the new policy as exclusive and hateful. They don't realize it is a very reasonable decision, made out of revelation and love. It is actually very hard to see it that way. This helped clarify some misconceptions.

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  34. Thank you for your comments and more importantly your faith and strength. May god bless you.

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  35. Wow, thank you for this wonderful post! Your perspective and testimony is inspiring and helpful on such a difficult topic. I really appreciated what you said on all of this. I'm a single straight LDS guy and just want to applaud you for staying true to your testimony when it must be incredibly challenging to do so. Thanks.

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  36. Couldn't have explained it better myself. Thank you.

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  37. Thank you for your carefully thought out words and point of view, that was helpful to me.

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  38. Well said! Thank you for sharing your testimony!

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  39. Of all the blogs I've read on this subject , by far yours is thr best.

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  40. Thank you so very much for your words and thoughts! I have been struggling with this and your words have answered prayers!!!

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  41. Thanks for writing this so clearly and sharing your understanding of what had been a confusing policy fort many people.

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  42. That was really lovely. Thank you.

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  43. Thank you so much for writing this! I needed this article! Not only for myself but to help others better understand the situation as well. Perfectly said!!

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  44. Thanks for the insight! Many people are too quick to anger.

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  45. This was such a peaceful and thought-out post. Thank you for sharing your perspective.

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  46. Best yet. Thank you for sharing!

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  47. Thank you for your thoughts!!! Your testimony has strengthened mine. I appreciate being able to grow together as children of God. May He bless you for your courage.

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  48. It is so good to read positive comments comming out of this newly announced change to church policy. So much criticism on my social media is from members.....who always seem to be jumping on the bandwagon of negativity towards the church and it's leaders. You have to keep working on your testimony no matter how easy or challenging it was to become a member. Living in England I have never really been affected by polygamy issues but I do have friends I grew up with in the chuch who are gay and have, for now, abandoned their faith. I have experienced seeing people lose their membership in the church and waited patiently and faithfully to recieve approval from the first presidency to be rebaptized and recieve their priesthood blessings. Life is not ment to be easy I have had my fare share of heart ache and sorrow and that's nothing compared to others. We all have our crosses to bear. Thanks for being open about your situation and sharing your perspective.

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  49. You have a incredible gift of voice. Thanks for your willingness to take the time to put that voice to writing.

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  50. I also heeling to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and have been struggling with this new policy in regards to family members. Thank you so much for putting this into better perspective.

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  51. Thank you so much for your words. They have touched me deeply

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  52. Loved this. Very well said!

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  53. What a beautiful, thoughtful, and hopeful message. Thank you for sharing your perspective and your experiences

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  54. I just wanted to say I enjoyed this post, and found it a breath of fresh air where so many people are putting down what the church is standing for, I appreciated your perspective and great use of comparisons.

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  55. What an amazing person you are. Love this article and your spirit.

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  56. So well said. I can really feel the spirit of love in what you say. If people want to understand you have made it easier. If people don't want to understand you have made it hard for them to hold on to the determination. I am so grateful you have chosen to use your talents and experiences to bless the lives of others and to build God's Kingdom. Thank you.

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  57. Definitely one of the best responses to this new guideline change that I have read.

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  58. This helped me so much. Not with the new handbook addition but in other aspects of my life. I have the strongest desire to be a stay at home mom with my son (3 months old). But financially we can't swing it yet. I have struggled wondering why Heavenly Father would make me wait for such a righteous desire. But your examples remind me that the Lord knows more than any of us and He knows what blessings lie in store. So I will trust in His timing and I will wait. Thank you :)

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  59. An old dear friend shared your article with me. Even though my heart still hurts and I don't fully understand... I love this article. It's like... I am still in this confusing tunnel of emotions... And this you... This article... My my flashlight... Hopefully I'll find my way out.

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  60. Thank you! I have been reading all didn't perspectives on this. I loved what you said. You are amazing.

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  61. Hello from Spain!
    I´ve been reading a lot of post about this new policy from the church but this one is, without any doubt, my favourite one so far. People are getting a bit excited about this and it seems to me that most member that doesn´t agree with it are just missing a bit it´s true meaning, and your words explain in such a beautiful and nice way the way I think we all should react as sons and daughters of God.
    Thank you so much for sharing what you think!

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  62. That was truly inspiring. It made my heart sing and my spirit perk up, so to speak. :)

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  63. Perfect! This was very well thought out. Thank you.

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  64. Thank you so much for this post and the clarity it brings. It's the best article I've read yet on this controversial topic.

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  65. This was simply awesome. I appreciate your view point. Thank you!

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  66. Thank you for your insights and testimony.

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  67. As always you have amazing insight!
    ~Wrylon

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  68. Beautifully said. Thank you for sharing!

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  69. Wow, this is a double wow!! You hit the nail right on the head, very
    Well written article thank you


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  70. Love your perspective! Thanks for sharing.

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  71. Thanks for taking the time to write this!

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  72. I saw a link to this on Facebook. Just wanted to say thank you for writing it! One of the reasons I love the scriptures so very much is because there's always a story of someone who felt whatever were feeling that we can liken to ourselves. That's one of the most powerful things about the scriptures. Anyway, thank you for a glimpse into what you and others are/might be feeling.

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  73. Well said. From a convert myself, I am grateful I found the church and can relate to those who had to join with no support from family and friends.

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  74. This is exactly what I was wanting to tell others around me too! THANK YOU! I'm sharing this to my Facebook Page.

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  75. Thank you for sharing this posting. Wonderfully written!

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  76. Love this so much. Thank you for sharing!

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  77. So many people need to hear this right now. You have a unique background which makes your arguments even more powerful. Thank you for sharing.

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  78. Love this.. a very refreshing read than that of FB. Thank you!

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  79. Love, love, love this. You are wonderful!

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  80. Thank you for pouring out your heart David, against the tide of anger and judgment that is sweeping the internet. You have shared a gift of love and an empathic spirit. I pray your words and testimony will spread far and wide. I am a Mother in Zion of 9 children including 2 gay sons. My hope is in our Savior, Jesus Christ, as I believe is yours.

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  81. Wow! The example you used from the scriptures are very relevant to this situation. Funny, I read those same stories and never had the perspective that you just illustrated. Thank you for your thoughts!

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  82. Thank you for this wonderful perspective!! I have more reverence and love for the people that have to wait and it makes so much more sense to me. I feel bad for being impatient for my blessings that I had to wait for.

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  83. Thanks for sharing these words. I served in Hong Kong and loved teaching those from Mainland that came to be baptized! You are amazing.

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  84. Thank you for saying so beautifully and powerfully what needed to be said.

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  85. Beautifully written. Thank you.

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  86. I had not thought of it in this light but I know of the Lords goodness and his love for all of us. Thanks for sharing this.

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  87. Great perspective and wonderful insight. This article was so well articulated that it brought a new understanding that I thought I already had. Even if we share the same burden, it's still different and we all have to go through life trying to share this burden with the Savior. Thank you again.

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  88. I think I agree with your perspective here, but I feel you may judge life-long members of the church too harshly. I think most of us know and appreciate the blessings of the gospel and do not take them for granted. Often we have no idea the internal turmoil or personal tragedies that people are going through. I feel that many life-long members may feel uncomfortable sharing with others what they might be going through because it doesn't "measure up" or seem as hard as someone else's trial. Not to mention cultural taboos in and outside the church.

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  89. Loved this insight, helped me understand and see things better. Thank you for writing!

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  90. Thanks you for sharing. I strive to follow the standards of our faith but I also am grateful for the mandate to live with compassion for all. Your story has helped to shed light upon a perspective that is foreign to me. Thank you once again.

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  91. Thank you for sharing. Keep the faith Brother.

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  92. Thanks for your post! I really appreciated the points you made. I know that this doesn't really compare, but my wife grew up in a protestant church where her father was a pastor. Needless to say, her conversion was a rocky road. But I believe that charity never faileth, and despite our differences with even our closest loved ones, we can maintain fulfilling relationships. It is a two way street and requires love and acceptance from both sides. I know these principles are true! :)

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  93. Thanks. I love the scripture examples you shared.

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  94. Thank you for your story. It was eloquently written with a comfortable amount of logic, humility, personal experience, and love. After reading so much discord, hate, and confusion on this subject it was pleasant and healing to read your story. Keep telling it.

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  95. This has helped me. Thank you for your insight and compassion.

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  96. Thank you so very much for sharing these wonderful thoughts. They have been very well considered and have been very helpful to me. I have already been chastened by someone who made very wrong assumptions about what the Lord has in his mind. They want to say "the church" has made these decisions without understanding that the Lords time is what it is and that sometimes our understanding is not God's understanding. Also that God intrusts his prophets to reveal that which is true and necessary to bring about His work. I really feel like it that these words will be helpful and I plan on sharing them with my friend who is struggling with this stuff right now. God bless you and all your life

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  97. Thank you sharing. I'm sure your message will help many who face at least some of the struggles you've known.

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  98. This is fantastic insight! Thanks for sharing.

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  99. Wow...thank you for your experience and faith.

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  100. I love this post, thank you. I appreciate your perspective. Blessings to you!

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  101. Thank you!! Really love this:)

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  102. Thank you for writing such an insightful blog! Hoping things can be seen in this kind of light instead of negatively.

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  103. Holy smokes that was awesome. Loved it, you are quite an amazing example.

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  104. Very well written and appreciated! I did notice you said they HAD to wait until 18 AND move out of the house. The policy actually states that exceptions can be made before 18 while still living with their parents if they meet certain standards including parental approval for baptism, disavowing the practice of same sex relationships (not the people living in them), and an interview with the Quarom of the 12 or 1st Presidency.

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  105. Thank you so much for your perspective! It was so helpful in understanding something that is confusing to most.

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  106. Thank you so much for this! You wrote exactly what I needed to hear and who I needed to hear it from.

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  107. Love your post!!!!! Thank you so much!!!

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  108. Marvelous, thanks for sharing! It sounds very fair that children that have grown up in challenging circumstances have the blessing to visit with a prophet of the Lord, for sure whoever interview them will comfort, guide, and bless them.

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  109. Wonderfully stated.Thanks for sharing!

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  110. This is BEAUTIFUL. I've been praying that others would help to shed light on this issue in a way that helps others draw closer to God and you've done it, flawlessly. Thank you so much for your knowledge, faith, and experiences! God bless you:)

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  111. Very well articulated. I think that this was a hard decision for the leaders to make. Yet. I have also witnessed grandparents taking their grandchildren and blessing them or baptizing them only to have angry parents. The church needs to protect the child and the parents so this won't happen. And make their home a comfortable place to live in. It's not about hate. But I have seen a LOT of hateful comments & articles. So nice to read a nice one. Thank you.

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  112. As usual I am stunned by your wisdom and the way it touches me. I know I was guided to your words today and I hope many more will have this opportunity. I was raised to be a "closet" Latter Day Saint as my father was deeply hateful of the church. I remember my mother and siblings sitting in the kitchen distracting him so I could stealthily crawl down the stairs and go to Mutual (Young Women's) where I felt warm and welcome. I wanted nothing more than to be baptized but I knew I had to wait until my father would give permission which never happened. Only after my parent's divorce became final was I allowed to be baptized - my father never knew and was bitter about the church until the end. I believe we have to gain our own testimony of hard things and pay the price if we really want to know.

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  113. This strengthened my testimony so much. Thanks for your thoughts and testimony!

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  114. You did a wonderful job in your explanations. You are a very special young man and a child of God.

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  115. I appreciate your words today. Thank you. I am from a polygamist background and was baptized before one had to meet with a General Authority but got to go with other family members before they were baptized. What an experience of love that was.

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  116. Lovely. Thank you! A faith booster for all going through most any trial, I'd say. Appreciate your testimony.

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  117. Thank you for this. This is my first time reading your blog and I'm so glad I did. Your faith and perspective are inspiring. You have increased my faith and I am so grateful for your truly magnificent example of righteousness in difficult circumstances. Thank you!

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  118. Wow! So well said. Thank you.

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  119. That was a great story. Your faith in such trials are admirable. The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, my friend.

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  120. Thank you so much for this post. It's truly amazing.... And you have my husbands name... So I think we should be friends. ;) Seriously though, thank you for sharing your positive message of hope and love.

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  121. Wow, very powerful. Thank you for your words.

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  122. Thank you for sharing this wonderful perspective. I'm a convert to the church (I was baptized at 18) and I do agree that converts who have to work hard for their testimonies and membership have a deeper appreciation for them. I met a lot of fellow sister missionaries on my mission in some of those circumstances (I served at SL Temple Square).

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  123. Wow. Beautifully said. Thank you. Much love sent your way:)

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  124. Thank you so much for such an incredible and personal perspective! I hope you don't mind that I shared your blog on my Facebook! It is powerful and I love how you used examples from the New Testament to illustrate both Christ's love as well as the importance of God's timing.

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  125. Very insightful! You're commitment and testimony are inspiring to me especially because of the struggles you clearly have had. Thanks for your testimony.

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  126. Well said! I appreciate your insight! :)

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  127. Thank you for your comments. Well stated!

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  128. Wow! Wonderfully written. Wise words. :)

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  129. Hey man...that was awesome! Tim in Altus, OK

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  130. Thank you for your reminder that this life is mortality and we are looking for eternity. My situation is different,but your words helped me keep the perspective. I lost my husband and eternal companion two years ago. This was after losing 10 babies through miscarriage. This year I found all the medical reasons and could have a child here. The only problem is that I am not remarried,so I had been thinking of artificial means which would lead to many consequences. You have helped me to realize that mortal choices are nothing to trade fir eternal rewards. Thank you

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  131. Thank you for sharing these insights. You are an amazing individual and HF will bless you for standing up to speak out. Your testimony was powerful and it really touched me. Thank you again.

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  132. I love this brother. I love this! Thank you.

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  133. Hi. I'm not gay or even a guy but I admire you so much. I spent some time reading your old posts and you're a remarkable person. I wish I were more like you, and hope my sons will be like you, too. Whatever they struggle with, I hope they can follow your example to turn to the Lord. Thank you for sharing your perspective. Sending love from our home.

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  134. Beautifully written and a balanced, healthy and faithful article.

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  135. I looooooooooves this. So glad I stumbled upon it.

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  136. Thank you so much for your insight! I appreciate your clear point of view. Is it ok to share your post?

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  137. I don't know you, and likely will never meet you, but I feel so much love and appreciation for you. My thoughts and prayers have had a pretty specific focus over the past three days. Heavenly Father has been giving me the calming answers that I need, and your beautiful, spirit filled words have contributed. Thank you brother. I hope you don't mind if I share it on FB.

    Also, I'm not the sort to "follow" people or blogs, but I just might be popping in here from time to time. :)

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  138. These are the best comments I have read on this subject and my heart is full after reading after reading them. Thank You.

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  139. Well said! Thanks for your thoughts.

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  140. I really appreciate your insights. While I accepted the Church's decision on faith, this has helped me accept it on other levels.

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  141. I absolutely loved this! Sharing this with my friends and family!☆♡

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  142. Wonderful article! Thank you for sharing your perspective.

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  143. Thank you for sharing these inspired thoughts. I needed to hear this today!

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  144. That you life be stronger in the end!!

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  145. Thank you for sharing your very insightful thoughts. I appreciate the perspective that you give. God bless. ~~ Brenda

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  146. Very insightful, thank you! May we all find the strength to continue following the Lord in these days!

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  147. I just absolutely loved this! Thank you for your inspired words, thoughts, and blog. What a great message of hope!

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  148. I enjoyed reading this faith promoting perspective. It gives me hope in the Church membership.

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  149. I am crying. This is PERFECT. As a youth of 16, not living anywhere remotely near "Mormonvilles" of any kind, I have many many many friends of the LGTB community. And I love them all. a lot. I was raised in a "member" family - and there I have been taught to love everyone based on the fact that they are children of God. And that our Father in Heaven loves them so therefore we should too. We are ALL different. We ALL make choices may not agree with. But that is a commandment not one of us can "get out of." that we are commanded to love EVERYONE and NOT JUDGE.

    When the Brethren clarified this point this week, I was rather disheartened. Selfishly I thought "here we go again - people will mock me because I belong to a stringent, unfeeling, stupid religion that hates anyone who isn't perfect." I thought long and hard about it. And prayed. And all of a sudden I found beautiful statements and articles like this, like YOURS, come across my newsfeed.

    The more I read, the more GRATEFUL I am for our religion. For a Church that loves EVERYONE. And teaches us to ALSO love everyone. Period. Sometimes things may not make sense. So we pray, we search, we listen to the Holy Ghost. And answers come.

    So thank you. Thank you for sharing your perspective and listening to the Spirit that I am sure prompted you to do so. And I will share it with my brother, who has Aspergers and may also benefit from your wonderful thoughts.

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  150. This is the most Beautiful, loving and touching view on this sensitive subject! I agree full heartedly with every word you say! Thank you so much for sharing! I really hope it will help those offended to understand a little more! Your a beautiful person and i know the Lord loves us all no matter our religion, race, or background! We truly are ALL his children!

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  151. Thank you for sharing your insights and for writing with the Spirit.

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  152. Thank you so much for your thoughtful and inspired words. I was very touched and I appreciate the thought and, most importantly, love, that I felt as I read your post.

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  153. Thank you so much for your wonderful insights and perspective! Your article is an answer to my prayers.

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  154. Your in sites are amazing, thanks for the article. I loved it such good ideas like interviewing others. I think this will calm some hearts.
    It has helped calm me and my stomach. I hope I will be able to grow in to the answer of why the children always have to be the ones afflicted?
    My grand mother was a small child when polygamy was abolished her and her mother had to hide from the law!! She stayed a faithful Latter Day Saint

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  155. You, my brother, are amazing! I thank you and commend you for you faith and wonderful example. Not to mention your eloquently worded thoughts. Thank you for sharing!!!

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  156. You, my brother, are amazing. I thank you and commend you for your faith and your wonderful example. Not to mention your eloquently worded thoughts. Thank you for sharing!

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  157. Thank you for your words of wisdom and eternal perspective we all need to have.

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  158. Thank you. Great perspective. I appreciate the respectful, yet candid, remarks about taking church membership for granted. I needed the reminder.

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  159. Inspired! Thank you for using your beautiful gift for words to bring peace to my soul.

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  160. What amazing wisdom and spiritual depth you have! We are all blessed by these words. Thank you!

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  161. Thank you so much for writing this. You are so right.

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  162. So eloquently said. Thank you for sharing your testimony.

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  163. Thank you so much for writing this! It is an accumulation of all my thoughts and feelings and more than I had even considered. Thank you! I will be sharing this!

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  164. Beautifully said! I couldn't agree more.

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  165. I just stumbled across your blog and applaud your courage. Thank you for sharing your perspective and testimony!

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  166. I needed this today. Thank u for sharing and softening my heart. ♡

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  167. Thank you for your faithful, patient, trust in God perspective.

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  168. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Of all the things I have read over the last two days your words have brought me the most peace. While I still have sadness for these children that may find themselves in this situation I now have more understanding and peace.

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  169. LOVE this, David. You have such a lovely way with words. I'm going to share it, because there are so many broken and angry hearts out there. Thanks. <3

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  170. This is an excellent perspective. One that rings true to me, especially as a gay, super-inactive Mormon

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  171. My heart needed this so much tonight. Thank you for sharing, thank you for your faith, and thank you for your perspective and examples both modern and ancient. I add my faith to yours, and am grateful for a God who knows and loves each of His children deeply and individually.

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  172. Thank you for your testimony.

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