Sometimes (and by “sometimes” I mean very often), I get frustrated with fellow Mormons. I am self-aware enough to acknowledge my massive impatience and intolerance I have for the intolerance of others. I am very much imperfect and some of my biggest faults lie in these personality traits of mine, impatience and intolerance of intolerance. Oh, the hypocrisy; trust me, I see it. However, let me expand.
Over the past few years I have seen and heard fellow Mormons accuse the LGBT+ movement of harboring a secret desire to normalize pedophilia (I promise you, no LGBT person I know is looking to legalize pedophilia marriage). Some have also said talking about LGBT+ matters will “cause our children to become” gay or transgender, as if that’s how it works. Even more have said that the LGBT+ community is ruining our society. And the language and mocking I have seen directed toward Caitlyn Jenner has been revolting.
I have seen Mormons use racist language towards the Black Lives Matter movement, they have talked about children of God with vile words that drip with hatred and judgement. This has caused my heart to ache for my brothers and sisters who suffer at the hands of police brutality and racist judgments.
Some fellow Mormons have used fear mongering to justify their desire to be armed with weapons at all times, claiming that President Obama has “ruined” the country and is now coming for our guns. Firstly, America may have some issues but I promise you, it is incredibly far from ruined. Secondly, having gun control laws is no where near the same thing as President Obama coming around to our homes and taking all of our guns. That’s not what is happening. Gun control is not Nazi Germany, nor is it equal to slavery or abortion, that is insulting on many levels but that is another subject for another day.
Even more recently, I have heard Mormons spit hatred in the proverbial faces of refugees, choosing to shun and judge instead of love and serve. Others have simply chosen not to see the refugee crisis and turn a blind eye. These people are our literal brothers and sisters. Do we not have numerous pleas from the Savior asking us to feed His sheep and clothe the naked?
I fear that we, as Mormons, don’t fully grasp the Gospel or prefer to make it in our own image. We decide which scriptural passages fit our political ideas and shun the rest. We manipulate our theology and doctrine to justify our judgments and inhumane actions.
I love the Gospel, the actual Gospel. Not the “pick and choose whom you love or what commandment you follow, Jesus hates gays, go-back-to-your-country, women stay home and shut your mouth, gun toting, war mongering, if you have sex before marriage you’re a licked cupcake” Gospel. The Gospel of “as I have loved you, love one another (even the illegal immigrant, unemployed, or gay, lesbian, transgender “another”)”, the Gospel of “the law of consecration, I will share my loaf of bread with you (even if others think you’re “lazy” or undeserving of my bread), lay down your weapons of war, judge not your neighbor, let them without sin cast the first stone, woman are beautiful without lipstick, for the love of all that is good serve each other” Gospel.
For that is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.