not in Primary anymore

why MY jesus has no place in the lds church today

I’ve written seventeen drafts of my resignation letter and sent none of them.

I’ve skipped church for months on end because I couldn’t walk into a building without being unspeakably furious.

I’ve declared willingly that the rally at City Creek Park on June 26 was one of the best hours of my life as I was able to hug my friends, family, fellow MoFems, brothers, and sisters as we celebrated the right to marry.

I’ve mourned as my church tried to take that celebration away from us.

I’ve written and studied and prayed endlessly about my role as a Mormon Feminist and an LGBTQ activist, and come to almost no conclusion.

Almost being the operative word.

The only answer I have found so far is Jesus. MY Jesus is a revolutionary and radical, who had the crazy idea in first century Palestine to just love everyone. Be kind to everyone. To stop the persecution of women and children, of the ailing and the restless, of those discarded by the rest of his society. My Jesus toppled tables in the temple when the religious authorities misunderstood the words of his Father and Mother. My Jesus suffered little children to come unto him, no ifs, ands, or buts, and told anyone who tried to stop him to get the hell out of his way. My Jesus taught that the only two commandments that mattered in the slightest were to love God and be good to each other. Frankly, I think my Jesus was a badass. He is the kind of God and Saviour I am proud of worship, follow, and try constantly to emulate.

The Church of “Jesus Christ” of Latter Days Saints, on the other hand, makes me wonder if I’m wrong about my Jesus.

Last night, I drafted my eighteenth version of my resignation letter after I read about the new LDS policy of refusing to baptize, confirm, or even name the children of same-sex couples (http://kutv.com/news/local/lds-church-to-exclude-children-of-same-sex-couples-from-membership). I can’t come up with the appropriate words to describe why this new policy is so repulsive. I can’t even describe why I’m so angry, except by pointing out the irony of a church that claims to worship Christ barring children from its membership. Because I can’t believe Jesus, who said “suffer the children, and forbid them not, for such is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 19:14), had anything to do with this policy. In fact, after yesterday, if I know one thing to be true about the LDS church, it is this:  it had nothing nothing nothing to do with my Jesus.

I think my Jesus would be flipping tables right about now.

(That’s also what I’m inclined to be doing.)

I don’t have any solution and I don’t even know what I’m doing next, other than writing yet another resignation letter that I will probably never send. Because the problem is, I love my religion, my church, my scriptures, and my culture. As angry as I have been and probably will continue to be at the church, it’s also my home. And, especially as I’ve moved away from Utah, I’ve been so grateful to have a Mormon heritage and community to give me roots. But today, I feel like this heritage is a black mark, this community is becoming a curse, and these roots are binding me to institutional policy that makes me sick. But the problem is, I love my religion.

Yet, I have to love my Jesus more.

And love myself more. Possibly most importantly, love my family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and brothers and sisters in Christ more than an institution that is seeking to discriminate against (and, frankly, harm) those in need to love.

I believe with all of my heart that Jesus would love people first— always first— and make handbook revisions never. All my Jesus ever wanted to do was convince people to be a little bit better to each other and it seems like the most disturbing perversion of his gospel to use his name to force families out of their faith. The LDS church is at odds with my Jesus, and, when forced to choose, I will always choose following my Jesus over following an institution. In this case, at this time, the LDS church is wrong. The God I believe in loves everyone and Christ would never exclude anyone from his gospel, let alone a child.

And I say these things in the name of my Jesus, Amen.

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9 Responses to “why MY jesus has no place in the lds church today”

  1. Emily

    Clearly, you are worshiping a false god then. You say your Jesus. That’s the problem. You’ve invented a different Jesus than the one who exists. Jesus leads the Church. Jesus did believe in loving everyone, but he also showed us the perfect example of love and it was not all rainbows and unicorns. He was harsh to those who were wrong. He told people to stop sinning. He did so many things that people thought were wrong, or rude, or just plain annoying, that they killed him. Perhaps you should leave “your jesus” and come to know who Jesus actually is. He certainly taught there were more than two commandments that matter, and that in order to return to Heavenly Father we have to keep them ALL.

    Reply
    • Jewelfox

      If you worship the Jesus who said “if ye love me, keep my commandments,” then why the hell are you forbidding the little children to come unto him?

      Do you want a millstone hung about your neck, and to be drowned in the depths of the sea? Because that’s better than the fate Jesus has in mind for you and your whole worthless church. That calls him Lord, but that he never knew.

      Reply
    • Femme de la Ren

      Technically, every single person has their own perspective and understanding; one of the most amazing aspects of the human brain is its ability to abstract concepts out of what we experience. It’a highly improbable, if not impossible, for any two people to “know” the same concept of Jesus, or anything else. Because each person has their own personal neurological blueprint for understanding. People with similar backgrounds may have understandings more similar to each other than people with very different backgrounds, but each person has their own personal Jesus. This whole concept plays a lot into the concept of free agency as well.

      Reply
  2. Pete

    “My Jesus toppled tables in the temple when the religious authorities misunderstood the words of his Father and Mother.” Subtle additions of words and changes to motivation make this much more meaningful to your point and cause. Bravo.
    “My Jesus taught that the only two commandments that mattered in the slightest were to love God and be good to each other.” I must have missed that part.

    Reply
  3. katebrusse

    Amen. I felt the same way 20 years ago and left the church. It hasn’t changed much. I finally found my church home about 2 years ago. When it’s truly loving and everyone can be authentic, it doesn’t take long to feel like home. Before, my spiritual leaders felt like a wall between me and God. Now, my church enhances my relationship with God. I still enjoy learning about my Mormon pioneer history. I take lessons from it in courage and perseverance. You may find your path too. For me, I’m happier on the outside. There is also a need for voices of love on the inside.

    Reply
  4. Dollie

    Yesterday as I read the news of the church’s decision I was so ashamed to be a part of it. After reading your post I realize that you’re right, my belief in God and Jesus Christ do not mean I have to agree with what the Mormon church declares, especially when it is something so full of hate. I love the Gospel, but I do not agree with this decision, which is wrong and un-Christlike.

    Reply

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