you don’t want me
**I know that individual members, leaders and even congregations want ME to be in the Church. I would like to thank them for their words of kindness and genuine acceptance. You and Jesus are what keep me going back.**
As I struggle to attend Church or even be around faithful members, people reassure me by saying, “the Church wants you”.
The Church wants me. OK. But does the Church want ME?
ME [n]: feminist, loud, often angry, immodest, potty mouth, sex positive, LGBTQ ally, and accepting of those who do not keep the Word of Wisdom.
The Church says:
“By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families”
“If you feel you must come and demonstrate, we ask that you do so in free speech zones adjacent to Temple Square”
“We are so easily offended. Happy is the man who can brush aside the offending remarks of another and go on his way.”
“Our Heavenly Father wants us to keep our bodies covered so that we do not encourage improper thoughts in the minds of others.”
“You don’t ever use any indecent language, do you? That would be a disgrace.”
“Unchastity is next to murder in seriousness.”
“…marriage between a man and a woman is ordained by God…Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose”
“Tell your nonmember friends about the Word of Wisdom and urge them to live it.”
Breaking Word of Wisdom
From what I gather, The Church wants an unspecific feminist member blob that will eventually conform back into being a good member. I will not and cannot go back to who I was.
I’ve heard the lovely words of acceptance during General Conference and then repeated from other podiums:
“If you seek truth, meaning, and a way to transform faith into action; if you are looking for a place of belonging: Come, join with us!”
What a lovely message! It gave me hope, strength and encouragement. Unfortunately, words have not transcended into action:
I was not allowed inside of meetings.
My friend and role model was excommunicated.
Most painful was the grueling missionary application I submitted. I was willing to commit myself to the Church entirely for 18 months. I endured horrible interviews, medical appointments and a soul-crushing 3 month wait.
I received an insensitive rejection from a stranger in the stake presidency.
If The Church wanted ME:
They would listen.
They would make a space for ME.
They would make ME feel safe.
They would care about what and who I care about.
This past year has made me realize that the Church doesn’t want me. Growing up they did. I was very obedient and righteous. Now that I think for myself and challenge paradigms I am not wanted.
I feel betrayed by the organization I devoted so much to.
And I don’t know how much longer I can stay.
Beena is a university student with a soft spot for rats and graphic tees. She also loves vegetables, especially the ones she grows herself.
13 Responses to “you don’t want me”
I have never heard of a missionary rejection letter?
When you aren’t allowed to go your bishop/stake president gets a letter to inform them. Then they tell the applicant. That is all I am referring to.
If you don’t represent the church in how you dress, act, and speak, why would they want you out there as a representative for them? Just because you were willing to commit to the church completely for 18 months doesn’t mean you deserve to represent the church. You have to earn that privilege by giving yourself completely to the church before your mission. If you aren’t living the gospel before your mission, why would they think you’re worthy to go and teach others things you don’t believe in or live? Furthermore, why would you want to change the way you talk, act, dress, etc, for 18 months? It sounds like you believe this is who you are and it should be accepted. Are you saying you would just conform to the mission rules? Why? Why conform to mission rules if you don’t conform to church rules and commandments? It makes perfect sense you were told you can not serve a mission. You don’t represent the gospel by your actions and a missionary is a representative of the gospel.
I was living church standards before and during my mission application. Also, I didn’t want to represent the Church. I wanted to represent Jesus.
It’s not about representing the church, because if so, the LDS church does a pretty bad job representing themselves. She wanted to represent our Savior, and to represent Him all one must do is be kind, forgiving, merciful and fair, not wear long skirts and avoid drinking coffee. None of those things have anything to do with the gospel. They are told to us because they’re supposed to help us keep closer to the Iron Rod, but they’re not the only way. Not everybody needs to follow those suggestions to feel close to the Gospel. And I repeat, they do NOT represent the Gospel, so please don’t confuse it.
Actually, not drinking coffee and being modest are not merely suggestions. Although not a part of the 10 commandments, they were revealed by the Lord to his servants and are commandments. Although I do see your point that the essence of the gospel is the Savior and getting caught up in the little things can prevent us from seeing the bigger, more important picture.
And also as a missionary you most definitely represent the church because it’s ON your name tag just below your name. As well as the Savior whose name is also on your tag. Missionaries are the key to the church for so many people. They teach all the commandments and expectations as being a member. But I can also see how many people get caught in the “subculture” of the church which has nothing to do with the actual teachings. But never underestimate the power of the missionaries and their huge responsibility. They are required to teach the doctrine solely based on PMG, the Scriptures and from the general authorities, not personal opinion. It’s not easy, that’s for sure.
I agree that missionaries represent the Church to a degree. But I would contest that it shouldn’t be that way. Missionaries shouldn’t bring people to Church, they should bring people to Christ? But, I think that just might be my opinion.
Regardless, missionaries do a lot of work and we need to support them.
I feel very similarly. Yeah, some individuals want me, but I’m not so sure the institutional church wants me as an authentic individual. I hope you are able to figure out what is best for you. 🙂
Thank you, I hope you can do the same 🙂
I agree with this post 100%. My current ward wants me, but I know the Church doesn’t and I probably conform slightly more than the OP. Also not sure how much longer I can stay.
Good luck. As the other commenter said, I hope you figure out what is best for you.
Thanks for sharing. I have wondered whether my feminist activism will impede my desire to serve a mission, so it’s good at least have that heads up that it could be an issue. No where else was anyone able to tell me concretely if that would be a problem. That being said, I ain’t gonna stop being feminist, and ally, etc, etc, and the example of Jesus Christ I feel the spirit promptinge to be. You rock. Keep it up everywhere you DO go.
Good for you for following the spirit! And by your empathy and compassion I bet you could be a great missionary! Keep chugging my feminist friend! ❤