not in Primary anymore

a prayer.

dear god:

i’m having a difficult time discerning right from wrong. i am trying to remember wwjd. but it seems to me that “what would jesus do?” is the wrong question in these circumstances. when i am trying to figure out what decision is the most christlike, i like to think, “where would jesus be?” wwjb. this has been especially pertinent over the past few days, since the excommunication of sister kate kelly. additionally, same-sex marriage has been ruled legal in utah and the church has spoken out against it. i don’t recognize the church i once loved so much. and so i keep asking myself, “where would jesus be?” i have concluded that the answer would be, “not with the brethren.”

i don’t mean the brethren as in every male-identified member of the lds faith. indeed, i only mean the brethren as in the leaders of the church. the first presidency. the twelve. the quorums of the seventy. i don’t think that jesus would be with these people. instead, i think that jesus would be mourning with kate, and assuring her that whatever her leaders say, her covenants are between her and god and they are safe. i think he’d tell her that her efforts are not in vain, and confirm that the gender disparities within the church can, and need to, change. i think that jesus would be with the many families whose lives are in less of a limbo, now that their marriages are legally recognized. i think he’d embrace each family with open arms, and rest easy with the knowledge that people have cultivated love in their hearts. i think he’d stay far away from city creek and instead join the protesters in detroit who have been petitioning for the city utility to turn people’s water back on. one cannot live on bread alone. one needs water, too.

i think jesus would be wherever his work is being carried out: wherever people are fighting injustice. is that not what jesus would do? because if not, then i don’t want to be where jesus would be.

and i’m at peace with that.



22 Responses to “a prayer.”

  1. alice

    How brave of you to lay it out on the line that way! You have my admiration and my thanks because I have also been wondering if the Brethren could be suffering from the sin of pride. They are certainly not listening and they are certainly not ministering. They more resemble the 4yo who digs in his heels and can’t think of anything to say but “no”.

  2. Nancy

    So what you are saying is you hold your political views above the teachings of today’s prophets and apostles, whose calling is: “Special Witnesses of Jesus Christ”. That is quite sad. I sincerely hope you find your way back.

    • alice

      When was the last time today’s prophets and apostles came up with any special witness of Jesus Christ? Many LDS women are asking for that witness and get instead letters from the Public Affairs department and their way blocked by a utility vehicle. How Christlike does that “witness” sound to you?

      The Northern European church asked for witness and got an apostle and church historian who travelled to Sweden to provide them with canned answers that, to choose reality over deference, amounted to double speak.

      Here in the US saints are at saints over this crisis of half a dozen prominent Mormons excommunicated or facing excommunication and Pres. Monson is AWOL. Shouldn’t he be ministering? Leading? Something?

      I find all of this sad. Sad and derelict.

      • Nancy

        The witnesses have been given. However, you have to be willing to listen and accept them, even if they disagree with your political views. One of God’s prophets on Earth, Elder Oaks, clearly explained the doctrine of the priesthood in his talk in April’s General Conference. The answer to the same-sex marriage issues was given in 1995 when all 15 prophets signed The Family: A Proclamation to the World and it was read in general conference.

      • alice

        1) That’s hardly leadership. Leadership is able to assess the situation and provide the guidance before things go out of control. That’s reactionary, coming after the fact, and what’s known as “covering your *ss” in the business world.

        2) You may choose to believe that’s a message from Heavenly Father. I don’t seen any evidence of it. It sounds like privilege protecting its priority to me. Heavenly Father would surely have had something to add that soothed, spoke to our needs and gave us all a direction for moving ahead together.

        3) If the Brethren had spoken to Kate Kelly or Ordain Women early on and made that clear and then followed that meeting up with such a statement, we probably wouldn’t be here now. I bet Heavenly Father knew that all along. Don’t you think so? Wonder why the leaders chose to sit things out until there was so much pain and division…

      • Nancy

        And this is precisely why you don’t get the answers you want from God’s prophets: You reject them and consider them “not good enough” for one reason or another.

      • alice

        …because they sound like 8yo boys hiding out in their secret clubhouse?

      • Jaxon

        “Pres. Monson is AWOL” — rumor has it that his health isn’t very good. I don’t blame him for being absent should this be the case.

    • D

      I wish that I had known enough at the time to have challenged the “prophets” concerning the racist views concerning the ban on blacks.

    • curtispenfold

      Calling the passion to stand up for those who are marginalized, hurt, abused, ignored, denied, and oppressed a “political view” is really dismissive, Nancy.

      Trying to be like Christ and see others the way He sees others is not simply a “political view.”

      • Cindy J

        Abused? Really? You clearly have no idea what real abuse is. Not getting what you want from an organization where you are a voluntary member hardly constitutes abuse.

      • Dani

        Please respect the experiences of people who have experienced ecclesiastical and other forms abuse in the church.

  3. Stirling

    Dani, I very much appreciate this post. We’ll use it as a text in family home evening tomorrow.

  4. Jaxon

    “It saddens me that there will be a mass resignation to protest the LDS Church’s policies this coming Pioneer Day. That is not the way to leave.

    Both my friend and I were excommunicated. I didn’t quit. I would never have quit voluntarily. I would have stayed and tried to work within the organization to persuade by example, by precept, and by my testimony.”
    Denver Snuffer Jr.

    Stay. Sustain the Brethren with your prayers. They’re fallible, but good, men. President Monson said in October 2012: “The office of the President of the Church is a demanding one.” I can only imagine. Sustaining the Brethren doesn’t mean never questioning them, or letting go of your opinions and questions, it means that you live by what they invite you to practice: the Gospel.

    Live. Love. Reach out to the broken hearted and down trodden. Mourn with those who mourn. You needn’t abandon your faith to do all that. Mormonism is a beautiful and uplifting theology. Embrace it and study it to the fullest!

    • Dani

      Please don’t assume that people leave because they don’t understand the theology of Mormonism. In fact, the more I understand the doctrines of Mormonism, the more resolute I become in my desire to leave.

      • Jaxon

        I am curious what part of my comment suggests that people leave due to theology.

        I am also curious as to what doctrines of Mormonism have caused a resolution to leave.

      • Cindy J

        Wow. This is quite a website Hannah has set up here. I hope she’s proud of her work.

    • Dollie

      Cindy J, if I was Hannah, I would definitely be proud! 🙂 She’s set a great example of standing up for herself and what she believes in.


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