If you are reading this blog then you have a computer and you've probably heard about the kerfuffle (isn't that a good word?) of late about the new policy the LDS church has regarding the children of same sex couples.
I've seen some anguish online and a fair bit of ugliness too. I've seen downright anger.
A few years ago, I heard a dad say that when dads get angry, it's usually because they are scared. I think there's a lot of truth to that. (For example, the angriest I've ever seen Adam is when Braeden almost killed us while learning to drive on the freeway. Good times....)
The anger that crops up on Facebook probably has its root in fear too. People are afraid they are being judged or misunderstood or disenfranchised. Or, the scariest of all, maybe they're afraid because the church they've been a member of isn't sitting quite right in their mind.
I know from personal experience that is a scary feeling.
There have been times over the years that I have had questions about different church doctrines. It is unsettling. One time in particular that I am thinking of, I remember I talked to my parents and my sisters and my closest friends and of course Adam and when I was finally all talked out, I decided that in the balance, what I knew outweighed what I didn't know. I resolved to accept that some things were just hard for me to understand, and I'd move on.
Does this seem like foolish and blind obedience? Maybe to some. To me it was the most logical course of action.
My modus operandi to get through tough times is to back up. I go back to what I know and it almost always helps.
For example, when Marianne and I were in high school and we crashed in a snowdrift in the middle of the night and I was freaking out because we were hopelessly stuck, she suggested we pray. We did and it settled me down a little. Praying helps. Then she backed up to what we knew. We knew that we had called our parents before leaving town. We knew that our parents set an alarm for the time they expected us home. (Did they this time? We didn't know for sure, but we really hoped.) We didn't know, but trusted, that my dad would head out to look for us with a shovel.
It comforted me to remember what I knew and what I trusted in.
And yep, my dad showed up with a shovel.
Another time, several years ago, I was confronted with something I did not understand. It didn't seem right. It seemed askew with what I knew about the nature of God and the Atonement. I felt confused and sad and maybe even alarmed.
I backed up to what I knew. I prayed and felt the love of Heavenly Father, more so than I ever have when praying. I didn't have an answer to my question, but then I remembered a lesson my dad taught way back when I was growing up. He talked about a scripture he didn't understand. He said he decided to put the question on a shelf and hope it would make sense later. And then later, it did make sense.
I decided to do the same. There was no way I was going to give up all the goodness and light I knew for one hard question, no matter how perplexing it was.
Years later, I was watching General Conference and Elder Scott answered my question.
All I have is my own experience to draw from, but I know it works. This particular policy of the church doesn't impact me personally. People I know and admire could be impacted in seemingly really unfair ways, but I'm waiting to see what happens. I know what I know and that is Heavenly Father loves us. He gives laws and boundaries to keep us safe and make us happy. He has a prophet that leads our church. Sometimes all we can do is remember what we know, put our questions on a shelf, and trust that the answers will be clear eventually.