Through an onslaught of emotions, two seem to overpower the others: anger and grief. I remember reading of events like the September 6 in Book of Mormon Girl from Joanna Brooks and I thought, “But that can’t possibly happen again.” When I read Sonia Johnson’s From Housewife to Heretic, I desperately tried to bury the feelings of deep disappointment I felt for the Mormon Church.
But today I feel crushed because it is happening again. Kate Kelly and John Dehlin, two amazing and inspiring leaders of the liberal Mormon communities, were given formal notices of disciplinary counsels for speaking out again the Mormon Church.
It appears the Mormon Church thinks it can meet with representatives of Mormon Women Stand and pre-tend that they are trying to resolve some of the injustices offered to women in their church communities. The leaders of the church can pre-tend that the two dimensional woman Mormon Women Stand presents to them represents all Mormon women. They can say they accept members “struggling with same-gender attraction” and then spend a fortune fighting against their human rights. They want to believe that they are “fixing” the problems riddling the culture of the church and that those of us in the liberal Mormon communities are just “bad guys” giving them an overly negative reputation. Then this church thinks it can excommunicate our leaders, the people who have taught us to not be ashamed of who we are and to stand up for ourselves, and we will go away as has happened in the past. Well they are wrong.
We are not going away. Not this time.
How can we stay? We get the message, you don’t want us. You want to continue on the easy path and ignore us. Don’t you understand the damage you are doing? Don’t you understand that we sit in church and hurt when we want to be able to sit and feel the love of Christ? Don’t you care?
There are many who are so sick of the poor treatment they’ve received from the church that they will walk away. There is, in fact, an event calling for mass resignation from the Mormon Church. But I personally, and a lot of those who are so disappointed at this act taken by the church, still believe in so many parts of the church. Why does it have to be all or none? I don’t think it does so I will stay. We are strong together. You want to make martyrs of our leaders? You think that will make us disappear? Not this time.
In the words of Kate Kelly, “Onward.”