To my LDS readers.

{This isn’t a real post. I didn’t proofread it, I didn’t add pictures or anything frilly. I just wrote. Take it or leave it. It’s how I feel right now.}

I’ve wanted to write a post about how it felt to walk in the Capital Pride Parade. About the joy I felt. The love. The Spirit. But I’m too afraid. I’m too afraid to air what a beautiful experience it was because I know of the backlash. I know that the minute people see the sign “Mormon’s for Marriage” they’ll start quoting scriptures and conference talks to me. They’ll make me feel bad.

Because guilt works, right? Well, apparently not. In fact, nothing has worked to change how I feel about this. I think it would surprise many to know that I have not wanted to feel this way. That it does not feel good doing something that is contradictory to what my prophet has said. In your emails, you have told me over and over again that I am not following the prophet. That I’m on my way to apostasy. I don’t know what you’re trying to do when you say these things. Scare me? Because I’ll be quite honest with you. I am scared. I’ve been scared about this issue for years and years and years. I love this gospel. I love how I feel when I am at church. I want my children to grow up in the church because it teaches so many great things. I am a better person because of it. I have my husband, the greatest thing in my entire world, because of the gospel. He is the man, the father and husband he is today because of the Gospel. The church isn’t even just a religion to me, it’s a culture and a heritage. Most of my friends are LDS. My family has been members of this church for generations. I am proud of that heritage.

Then there’s this. This one thing. I feel like I’m living my life according to the teachings of Christ and his prophets in every other way. Am I perfect at it? Not anywhere near close. But I am trying. For the past several years, I did everything that I knew to have a “mighty change of heart” in the area of gay marriage. I’ve read and reread conference talks, press releases, and scriptures that apply in this area. I’ve prayed. I’ve fasted. I did not want to feel anything but how I’m supposed to feel. The church brings me such happiness.  In the end, the only thing that has felt right to me time after time, was standing up for gay rights.

This is not the LDS church’s stance. This is my own.  Please know that in these posts, I am not trying to convert others to my way of thinking. Especially not members of the church. I’m doing what I always do here, writing how I feel. Writing what I believe to be true. I write for me.  I have wrestled over this issue for years and have never for a second taken what I’ve written or done lightly. I knew in airing my convictions, that I would be criticized. I just did not realize how much it would hurt.

I have stood up for the church many times in my life. I have been ridiculed for my belief in the things of the gospel. None of that has hurt as much as the pain I have felt these past weeks from members of my own church. For the hurtful things that have been said.  For the attacks on my testimony and my faith. No amount of criticism outside of the church could have swayed me from it. It’s been the attacks from within that have given me more pause about continuing my membership in this gospel than anything else. Be careful with your words. You might think you are just stating how you believe, but there are times when it is truly hurtful and does not work to bring people closer to Christ, but push them further away. You have every right to stand up for what you believe, and I respect that. Just be careful to not judge, to not condemn. For that, you have no right. If you continue to feel a need to tell me that I’m going to hell, please just don’t come back to my blog. This is MY blog. This is how I feel. You do not have to be here.

It’s humbling to feel all of these things, all of this pain, and know it’s just because I have stated that I support gay marriage. I could not imagine what it must feel like for a gay person in the church. That makes me ache for them. For the people who only want to have love and acceptance in the church that they love as much I do.

 As much as you do. 

46 thoughts on “To my LDS readers.

  1. I'm LDS and it really irks me when people in our church tear each other down, don't let those horrible people get to you. I love reading your blog, and I think it is great how open and honest you are with your feelings and opinions.

  2. agree with the above statement. I think most people in the church aren't going to judge you for your opinions/beliefs. If they do, maybe they need to look at themselves a little more.

  3. Lexi, you are awesome. Something that has been stated numerous times in my LDS church is "The Gospel and 'The Church'" are two different things. I freaking LOVE that they have said that! Most recently it was a Stake Presidency member that said it last Sunday in his talk. The church (and it's members) are NOT "The Gospel". Jesus is the Gospel and he taught to love everyone. He is the perfect example of how to treat others and how to be a better person. The fact that you ARE following his example and bettering yourself means you are living the gospel. People of all faiths are quick to judge, which is why many people are turned off to organized religion. You are a wonderful person with a heart of gold. I'd plead with you to not let them change you, but I know you won't, you are too amazing for that. :)I love that you always speak your mind and tell it like it is. I'm proud of you for standing up for what you believe.

  4. Well, you know where I stand, right? I am right there with you. I have read many accounts of people who marched with Mormons Building Bridges and I totally cried and felt the Spirit. I don't know. Maybe I'm rationalizing, but I don't feel guilty that I want certain rights for EVERYONE. I don't think you are going against the prophet because you want to eliminate disparity in rights. I don't know. All I know is I agree with you. And I love the gospel, too. So, I guess I'll be in good company in Hell. 😉

  5. I freaking love you Lexi… Stay strong! I was not able to handle the hurt and judgement. I was not mentally strong enough. When I felt more depressed and anguished in an environment that was supposed to make me feel comfort and uplifted I had to stop. I had to stay were I feel love and that is with my family, all of them…. Continue to be you, that is what makes you lovable!!!

  6. thanks for sharing this, even tho it is painful. i'm proud of you for stating this sad reality publicly. when people use scripture as weapons it hurts, just like other weapons. i feel like people are truly mixing the philosophies of men with scripture when they do that. the law of the gospel is love. the goal of scriptures and the purpose of prophets is to help people know Christ. He never acted like that. it is hard to leave the church, and you probably don't need to. the church is evolving and in time, those who are critical of you will realize that you were the one who was right. the pioneer. i admire your determination to live true to your truth. "the sincere seeker of truth need not fear what he finds". hang in there.

  7. Non-LDS person here, in fact, I am currently non-practicing; I have grown angry at my church, at my faith for their hypocracy on many levels. That being said, I am so proud of you for standing for what you believe – regardless of how others around you may feel. I admire your strength, and your resolute faith in Christ. Please do not let others disuade you from speaking your heart. ((hugs))

  8. As far as I am concerned, we believe in a gospel of love. I don't see how promoting real love can be looked down upon. And we're not taught to love any specific group. We're taught to love everyone.

  9. For someone who was just writing down what they thought without editing, you are one amazing writer! I couldn't express my thoughts that well even with editing. That said, hang in there! There are people who feel the same way you do. (I'm one of them.) Even if there weren't, I don't think you'll be condemned by Heavenly Father for trying to treat others with kindness, love, and respect.

  10. Lexi, I've intentionally hung back from this ongoing conversation both on your blog and on facebook. Basically, I disagree, and I hate conflict so I've just been reading and thinking but not chiming in. 🙂 I, like you, have struggled with this in my mind and heart for many years. I personally knownseveral people who fall into the LGBTQ category, and many more online. I love these friends deeply. There have been times where I thought, well, why not condone gay marriage? Why not? It doesn't personally affect my life, at least not immediately. In fact, when we were living in Reno, we were approached and asked to help with signatures for a ballot initiative keeping gay marriage illegal, and I felt far too uncomfortable to help with that, which made me REALLY examine how I felt about this topic.However, after many years of struggle, at the root of it, I do believe that Heavenly Father has sanctioned marriage between a man and a woman as far, far more than just a social custom or a civil liberty. I truly do believe that He planned for us to form families with a mother and a father. I do. That's all there is to it for me. Everything else is a secondary decision for me, i.e. is there an equivalent social arrangement to be made for gay couples. Now, like you, I'm not trying to convince you, or sell you on my way of thinking. What I am trying to say is this: sometimes it seems that you and lots of your commenters equate not supporting gay marriage with not loving homosexual individuals. Perhaps that is far from your intent, but that's how I've felt in reading. And I just feel the need to say that I don't think those things are the same. I think it's okay for church members to oppose gay marriage and still be following Jesus' commandment to love everyone.That is all. I love you and I love your passion for everything you believe and stand for.

  11. I love that you have been brave enough to stand for love. That is what Jesus preaches- to love thy neighbor. You are embodying his spirit by refraining from judgement and choosing to love. The scripture also says: "There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you." James 2:13. The point? God will take care of what he deems to be a sin. It is your job to be merciful and refrain from judging. Judging is God's job. By choosing love, having empathy for gay people and promoting equal rights for them, you are doing exactly what He would want you to do. Stay strong. And do not fret about how God will judge you for this. He will show you mercy as you are showing others, as has been promised. Take peace in your scripture.Oh and all of this coming from a raised Christian now turned Unitarian 🙂 lol.

  12. I feel like I know exactly where you're coming from. First off, I'm a born and raised Mormon and I've always been very firm in the gospel. Having said that, I'm also a Democrat (GASP!) AND I fully agree with supporting our gay brothers and sisters. Now let me clarify: while I do not necessarily believe what they are doing is right, I do believe that everyone has the right to CHOOSE how they live their OWN life. I will gladly support legislation for their rights and I will gladly stand by them. Everyone deserves their rights, and everyone deserves to be respected. People will look at me sometimes and say, "You're contradicting yourself." And I don't believe I am. The Gospel is very clear: Love one another. PERIOD! Gay, straight, black or white – it doesn't matter. We are all his sons and daughters and we all have the right to choose the way we want to live our lives. No one deserves prosecution. No one deserves disrespect. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

  13. Let me see if I understand what you and other believers in the "Mormons for Equality in Marriage" are saying here.You have the First Presidency of the Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints (who are prophets, seers, and revelators who commune daily with God and Christ Himself in the affairs of His church here on the earth) who tell the members of the Church: "The Church's teachings and position on this moral issue are unequivocal [which means "leaving no doubt, clear, definite, unambiguous"]. Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God…. Children are entitled to be born within this bond of marriage…. Our best efforts are required to preserve the sacred institution of marriage." [this is from the 1st Pres.'s letter to members in California during the Prop 8 efforts, but there are several more statements like this one from the 1st Pres.]So you and the other members of the Church who believe in "marriage equality" think what, exactly? That because you support gay marriage and the Lord's prophet doesn't, that you are more loving and more compassionate? Than the prophet of God? And by extension, more loving and compassionate than Christ Himself, who told the prophet to tell us members to uphold traditional marriage? Or are you saying that the Lord didn't tell the prophet to have us uphold traditional marriage? Do you think the prophet is mistaken in this issue? The Lord has promised us that he will not allow His prophet to lead His people astray. He also says that whether a command is from His mouth or the mouth of His prophet, IT IS THE SAME.One of the most important roles of the prophet is to "raise the warning voice, foresee future times, and reveal the mind and will of God." [that's from the institute manual] So if you believe that Pres. Thomas S. Monson is truly a prophet on the earth today, which I think you do believe, then will you concede that maybe the Lord has shown His prophet something we can't see yet, and so He's instructed the prophet to prepare us? I'm not trying to bully you into believing what I believe, but it worries me that you and so many other members are effectively saying that you won't follow the prophet because you believe in love above all else. Upholding the sacred institution of marriage isn't not loving our gay brothers and sisters. Christ does love them. The prophet loves them. In a more pure, more perfect way than any of us are capable of doing. But when the Lord tells us that we need to work to preserve traditional marriage, should we maybe have faith that He knows more than we do on this issue, and do what He's asked of us? In faith, trusting that He knows the beginning from the end and is guiding us accordingly?

  14. Guh. I shouldn't even respond to this because you're writing EVERY SINGLE THING EVERYONE ELSE HAS WRITTEN ME. You're here, telling me the same thing over and over again and that's not even what this post is about! I'm saying I'm having a tough time with this. That I do not like that the way I feel is not in accordance to what I've been taught. That it hurts. And then you go back and say it ALL over again? What is your point?! I've heard all of this. I've read all of this. That's what this entire post was about! I never said I was more loving and compassionate than the prophet. I'm saying I'm having a tough time with this because of how I feel in my heart.You think you are standing up for your religion, fine. But you're also pushing me and others you so obviously feel superior to away. I tried just doing what I was told with Prop 8 and all of it and it FELT WRONG. The same feelings that I've had, the same feelings of the Spirit. Explain that to me? Am I deceived?! Have all of the other times I've felt the Spirit in my life when it was in accordance to the doctrines of the church been wrong, too? Because the feeling is the same. This is how *I* feel. Next time before you get on your high horse, read what the article is about. This wasn't about gay marriage. This was about the pain I have felt by members of the church who have made it their mission to judge and condemn me. You don't see what you're doing because you think that you are standing up for the Church. I poured my heart out here about how I have not wanted to feel this way and then you jab at me again and again and again. This is why gay people leave and never come back. The gospel is for everyone. We want everyone to feel accepted at church. You don't have to agree with me. That's fine. But stop making me feel like less of a person because I don't live the Gospel the way you do. I'm doing my best. Just stop it!

  15. Lexi, good for you for standing up for your values and beliefs. I fully understand why the church has taken the stance it has on this issue. It is one of many tough issues members face- which is why I support abortion being legal (the church allows abortion under certain situations so it must be legal to allow those situations to have that option). Too many Mormons think there is only 1 version of the gospel. If that is true then why does every Mormon I know live the Gospel differently? It is obvious that church leaders have a few different ideas about LGBT issues as well- here's a link to show that: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/50537493-78/uchtdorf-church-lds-sex.html.cspI also find it hilarious that many Mormons will attack anyone who supports Gay rights/marriage and yet defend those who support immigration laws the church has very clearly opposed? It is WRONG to attack anyone for their values and beliefs! "We believe . . . let them worship how, where, or what they may." So attacking others for believing something slightly different than you, even within the same religion is wrong. The church has very openly and clearly defended that members are allowed to support any political issues they wish to support. The church itself takes stances on certain issues but the members are not held to follow them absolutely. The only things the church is strict about are the Temple recommend questions- I don't remember anything about supporting Gay rights/marriage as one of those questions (if you want me to go off on the dealing honestly with your fellowman issue and what a problem that is for many Mormons in Utah I'll be happy to).Even with Prop 8 in California Mormons were told they could support either side of the issue without any consequences from the church itself. Here's one link showing that: http://www.sltrib.com/ci_10797630As for the church being against Gay rights (not marriage here) that has never happened. In Utah the church has openly supported legislation to give LGBT people more rights (just not marriage). Lexi, you are absolutely right when you write about LOVE. That is the entire Gospel. When we attack others we make them feel unloved- that feeling only comes from Lucifer. There is nothing wrong with having differing views- we just need to be careful to not let ourselves become emotional and lash out at others for being different (something about a moat and beam is popping into my head here). Sorry to make this so long, I just get disappointed when anyone attacks another human for not having the same views. Lexi, keep sharing your thoughts and don't let bashers stop you. Every voice needs to be heard!

  16. Who's bashing here? Who's attacking? I hope you are not referring to me. I simply provided official statements from the 1st presidency and not from a secular newspaper, might I add. I just see gay marriage, which was mentioned in the blog with referencing the Mormons for Marriage Equality group, as a highly divisive issue within the Church, and it troubles me a great deal to read all of the comments from fellow members of the Church saying in their comments that they support same-sex marriage when the prophet has been very clear that we should do what we can to uphold traditional marriage. If we as members of the restored church don't stand for marriage when the prophet asks us to, then what? We should all be striving to follow the counsel of the Lord, and He has been repeatedly clear where He stands on this matter. Obviously, none of us is perfect in doing so, but most of the time we're actively working toward developing faith in and obedience to His will. When He has repeatedly affirmed His will on a matter as clearly as He has on this one, and we still willfully choose to go the opposite way because we let the voices of the world influence our thoughts and actions more than the voice of God, that's another matter entirely than trying our hardest and falling short.I continually see people talking about Christ loving unconditionally, even the sinner. He did love the sinner and He spent a great deal of His mortal ministry directly associating with them. But what did He do when He associated with them? He lovingly encouraged them to repent and come unto Him, for He knew the only sure way to His Father was through adherence to his plan for them. We likewise should follow Christ's example by loving others without condition, without judgment of their worthiness. But our love for them should be guided by our desire for them to partake fully in all that God has to offer them in the eternities. So we also fully support them in their efforts to live their lives in accordance with God's will.

  17. Lexi, I have been silently following a long on your blog and Facebook since you came out :). I havnt chimed in because I am not nor will ever be again a practicing Mormon. You already know why, and it really doesn't have anything to do with anything, but I have learned a lot by experiencing people's reactions to my very personal decision. While most have been supportive and loving (just as most have been here), but a few, have been extremely defensive and have taken my thoughts and decisions as a personal attack on them ( as a few have done here ). Those few feel the need to fight to the death to prove how right they are and how wrong I am. Some how the 'this is how I feel, and I respect how you feel' gets lost in translation over and over again. Through this I have come to the conclusion that those who are secure with themselves in all aspects of their life, feel no need to try and change my thoughts, actions or opinions. They just love me, but those who (even though on the outside may not appear to be) not as secure with who they are or what they believe, and need confirmation always and in all ways feel emotionally and physically threatened when someone doesnt 100% agree with them. I see this happening over and over to you. Bottom line there is nothing you can say or do change their minds, just as their is nothing they can say or do to change yours. It's hard, but I have decided to not let other people's issues effect me like it used to. I am comfortable with who I am, and my decisions. I actually even kind of think I am amazing :), and I don't need others to think or feel the same way as I do to make me feel better or worse about who I am or what I believe.

  18. Lexi,I am just so sorry that there are people in our church who have made you feel bad, about yourself, or about your decisions. I may not agree with you, but no one, even if they strongly disagree, should make you feel bad because you think something, or not. And we, as Church members, should know this more than anyone. If I may just quote Pres. Uchtdorf here, from his latest Gen Conf talk: "This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:Stop it!"

  19. And I don't see how my defending the church and prophet and God I love by re-affirming plain and precious teachings is a personal attack on anyone. I haven't condemned anyone or judged them. I just see it as necessary to stand for truth and righteousness when I see specific counsel from the prophet trodden underfoot by groups like "Mormons for Marriage Equality." Their mission is exactly in opposition to the prophet's counsel, and that saddens me that people within the church are being so outspoken in their defiance. Obviously it's their choice to be in opposition, but when they get high fives and accolades for being so much more tolerant than those of us who choose to trust in God and strive to uphold marriage, it stings. My love for my gay brothers and sisters is no less than theirs, but I'm painted as an intolerant, hateful bigot because of my decision to support traditional marriage. I am neither hateful nor intolerant, and I'm weary of being accused of such awful things. I will not try and force anyone to accept the way I think, but I feel it my duty and obligation to defend the prophet in conversations where he's accused of being out of touch, unloving, or intolerant. He is none of those things. As a man he is more loving and compassionate than most others, and as a prophet he's more in connection with the pure love of Christ than most others because he feels it so deeply and directly in his divinely appointed role as steward.

  20. "the church is evolving and in time, those who are critical of you will realize that you were the one who was right." teabelly, I'm just sincerely trying to do my best to understand. Let me just say that none of what I say is to demean or to attack. I'm just hoping that both sides of the conversation can be heard. So are you saying that the church will evolve and eventually change their mind about marriage? I'm just trying to understand everybody's thought process here. I think that many members of the church misunderstand what Doctrine is. God defines Doctrine. Not Men/Women. He defined marriage as being betweeen man and woman. This has been the doctrine since the beginning of time. Men/Women do not have the authority to change any doctrine that has been set forth by God…not even the Prophet of God. Doctrine is unchangeable. And if a Prophet were to try to change the doctrine, he would be put out of his place. In the history of the church there have been many church policies that have changed throughout time, but the Doctrines themselves have never changed and never will. In the LDS church, the doctrine of marriage will always remain the same. So what it really boils down to is personal testimony. Each person has to make a determination on whether or not they have a testimony of the gospel and the doctrines therein. Either the gospel of Jesus Christ is true or it is not. There is no middle ground. And each person has to determine whether they have a testimony of it or not.You say that the law of the gospel is love. I wish that living the gospel was as easy as just solely loving everyone. But there is so much more to it than that. You are right that Love is such an important part. It's at the base of everything we do in the church. But there are also doctrines to follow. As a parent, I love my kids dearly. However, in my home there are rules to follow and to abide by. Does it mean that I as a parent don't love them and accept them for who they are just because I impose rules on them? Of course not. My kids might not agree with my rules, and might fight against them and think that they know what is best for their own selves, but as their parent, with more experience, I know what is best for each of them, and will continue to have rules in my home. It is not any different with our Heavenly Father. As our Father, God loves each of us equally. But God does not say, "I love you, and because I love you, you can live your life the way you want without any consequences." That's just not the way it works. BECAUSE He loves us, and for our safety and happiness He has provided us with rules/doctrines to follow. We may not understand fully the rules while we are here in mortality, but we will eventually understand and be grateful that we followed His Doctrine…

  21. With all that being said, I do think that we as members of the church need to do a better job at understanding and loving those with SSA. The brethren continually try to teach us to be loving and accepting of those with SSA. And I do think that the church will evolve in that way. As the conversation becomes more open, and as the brethren continue to make efforts towards understanding, I think members of the church will become more loving and accepting towards those that deal with SSA. We are getting better, but we obviously have a lot of work to do in general. I know many around me who are gay, I love them, and I hate that they have to deal with such hard stuff. Stuff that I know I could never possibly understand. But I also know that allowing gay marriage is not the answer. And I just really wish that people would understand that just because a member of the church doesn't condone gay marriage doesn't mean that we don't love those who are gay. That simply isn't true. I know that these days being against gay marriage is not the popular thing to do. But neither was boarding the Ark in Noah's time. With all of my heart I believe in the doctrines of the gospel. And I do also believe that those who deal with SSA and stay firm in the gospel of Jesus Christ have many wonderful blessings awaiting them on the other side. SORRY that was so long. I wasn't trying to pick on you teabelly. 🙂 You just said a couple of things that many others have said as well, and I just wanted to share my thoughts on those points. I respect everyone's opinion and hope that mine will be respected as well. God loves us all. http://www.crissieroberts.blogspot.com

  22. I think where the confusion or misunderstanding lies, or what I hear Lexi saying over and over and over again is that she respects understands and has heard over and over and over and over again the position of the prophet, the church, and its members so there is no need for more defense, at least not here. she has read all there is to read, listened, prayed, gone to her bishop, her husband (who disagree's), fasted, done all of the things that she has been taught to do, nothing you or I or anyone else says at this point is going to change her mind as her heart is telling her something different. Your absolutely free to voice your defense if it makes you feel better, but i just question who it is that it helps? PS – i have never said the words hateful, intolerant or bigot to anyone in my life. not sure who is saying those things or even thinking those things as I havn't seen or read that on this blog, not once. but since your reply was directed at me I want to make it very clear that I respect you, your passion and support of your prophet and church, and never would I make the assumption that you or anyone is any of those things.

  23. I think where the confusion or misunderstanding lies, or what I hear Lexi saying over and over and over again is that she respects understands and has heard over and over and over and over again the position of the prophet, the church, and its members so there is no need for more defense, at least not here. she has read all there is to read, listened, prayed, gone to her bishop, her husband (who disagree's), fasted, done all of the things that she has been taught to do, nothing you or I or anyone else says at this point is going to change her mind as her heart is telling her something different. Your absolutely free to voice your defense if it makes you feel better, but i just question who it is that it helps? PS – i have never said the words hateful, intolerant or bigot to anyone in my life. not sure who is saying those things or even thinking those things as I havn't seen or read that on this blog, not once. but since your reply was directed at me I want to make it very clear that I respect you, your passion and support of your prophet and church, and never would I make the assumption that you or anyone is any of those things.

  24. Sorry. Part of my response was directed towards you, and the second part was just a general response to people who do call traditional-marriage supporters those terms. I've seen those terms used frequently, and they're just inaccurate. Sorry for the confusing way I wrote my response.

  25. Katie, that's what I was alluding to when I said, "Stop It" above.Violette, I respect you for standing up for your beliefs. I respect every person who has in the past month or so. I've recieved letters saying the exact same things you have said over and over and over again. What I was saying in this post is that I HAVE READ all of these things. I totally understand what the church is saying. I wish I could feel differently and I have tried to change how I feel. It's become depressing and hurtful to see the same things over and over and over again when I have acknowledged over and over and over again that I know how I feel is not how the church feels. This post was about the pain I have felt because of that and those who feel a need to keep telling me how I SHOULD feel, that I'm not following the prophet and that I lack faith. No one ever called you hateful or a bigot. But as far as the "high fives and accolades" goes, if you have been through what I have been through this week, you would surely see that those are not worth the pain I have felt by members of my own faith who repeatedly tell me why I am so wrong. You have repeatedly told me why I am wrong. I GET IT. Do you do this with new members of the church as well? Do you do this with anyone who struggles with aspects of the church? Does making people feel worse than they already do work for you? Shannon, I love you so much. Thank you for standing up for me.

  26. No worries, and I think it is a fair and important distinction for people to understand that most traditional marriage supporters do love their fellow brothers and sisters regardless of their sexual orientation. The church has been very clear about that, and that message of unconditional love is so important and something I think everyone can agree on. I appreciate the clarification.

  27. Derek, thank you. I am temple worthy. I even mentioned this in my last recommend interview. No one reprimanded me. And they are the ones that have the authority to do so. As far as everyone else, they don't…You make such fantastic points here and I appreciate you SO MUCH for coming to my defense. I don't care if people don't feel the way I do. People just don't get when they say these things over and over and over again it doesn't make anyone feel better, it doesn't change minds. It pushes people away. This is why gay people leave. Not because anyone is wrong in their convictions or wrong in the doctrines of the church, they just can't get past the issue and see to the person. And you're right, too, the church is ALL FOR gay rights outside of the actual word "marriage". That's the only difference in the stance with the church.

  28. Violette, I think you're taking this all a little too personal. No one has written on this thread that you can't defend your religion. I was merely pointing out Lexi has felt attacked by many LDS members. It appears that you are very emotionally attached to this issue and are unwilling to accept that others are allowed differing points of view (this is just speculation based on your arguments). To truly practice what you preach, allow others to come to truth on their own- don't be chastizing and forceful (this is the tone that comes across in your writings). Just bare your testimony of Marriage as between a man and woman and let others search, ponder, and pray to come to their own personal understandings- I believe this is exactly what Lexi is doing.A side-note- the Salt Lake tribune is owned and operated by the LDS church.

  29. How do I join Mormons for Marriage Equality? I fully support your point of view (and even more so I oppose others points of view on here).Katie C…..LOVE Uchtdorf's quote above^^. Wish all "members" would listen to EVERYTHING that is said and make their own decisions rather then cherry pick, ridicule and judge.

  30. Actually, the Salt Lake Tribune is owned and operated by the MediaNews Group and has a long history of being an anti-Mormon newspaper, having been founded by former LDS members with a bone to pick with Brigham Young. It has always held itself out as the Liberal voice in contrast to the Deseret News, which is in fact owned by the LDS church. You can read about both newspapers and their histories with a quick Google.You're right in that I take these discussions very personally. I feel duty to stand for truth and righteousness when I read comments from so many people here saying such things as "in time I hope there will be more members like us" or in other words the people who oppose the prophet on this divisive and important issue. It frightens me that members are finding strength with each other in building opposition to the leaders of the Church. It's a sign of the Latter Days, when even the elect will be deceived, but it still scares me to see it happening. I just don't feel like it would be better for me to sit back and let people band together to tear down the church without trying to show them what they are doing.

  31. I also believe there is a question in the temple recommend interview that asks if we support, agree with or affiliate with any group or individual who's teachings are contrary to or in opposition to the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. A group as MFME is directly in opposition to proclaimed teachings of the church. Just saying.

  32. The Church asked us for support in Prop 8 to define marriage as between one man and one woman. The Church has NEVER EVER said that we need to go out and rally against gay marriage. And there's a crucial difference there. Even as legislation of the same kind has been introduced in several more states, the church has taken a MUCH softer approach.I asked in my post for the people who feel a need to constantly tell me I'm going to hell to not feel a need to stick around. This is my blog. Just as you feel a duty to stand for truth and righteousness, I feel the same. I'm not trying to change the church or the members in it. I'm stating my opinion and have REPEATEDLY said that I fully acknowledge it's not in accordance with the churches teachings on this matter. I don't understand why you feel a need to come back and constantly berate me for something I told you I'm already hurting over. It's people like you that push people OUT of the church. Did the Savior, after admonishing the woman caught in adultery to "sin no more", chase her down and repeatedly tell her what she was doing was wrong over and over and over again? Did he make her feel awful, over and over and over again because he knew his position was the correct one? No, he loved her. I have felt ZERO love from you. I have only felt your rebuke, and you do not hold the authority to rebuke me. Those who do, have not. They see it more important that I feel loved and accepted in the church. What good would it do, Violette, for you to "win" and for me to say that I'm leaving the Church because I don't fully support the Church in this? Is it better that "sinners" leave the church or that the church accepts everyone because God does, too? If you're just going to come back to continue to cause pain, I ask that you do not come back at all.

  33. Crissy, to say that someone has a testimony or they don't, that they follow Christ or they don't is unfair and destructive to those who are struggling with their faith. Your words make me feel as so many have before, that if I don't believe 100% 100% of the time, I should just leave.That is not the church's position on this. They want us to be doing our best.

  34. This post break my heart! I don't know that it was any more or less difficult for as a gay member of the church, and part of me feels like it might be more difficult for people in your position. When you're gay, you're expected to leave the church (and not leave it alone) so people just sort of shoo you away and stop asking you to participate. Here are some things that comforted me on those difficult days:1) This movie (Saved). Here's one of my favorite clips: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umLUKBlpyoY2) This quote:"Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising that tempt you to believe your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.”3) People like you who worship, pray, and cry in private to love people like me, find it, master it, and come to the public square ready to fight for social justice whatever the cost. Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you!

  35. I actually had a friend who was hateful to me for supporting gay marriage. He said "how dare" I "question the leaders" of my church. When the whole immigration thing happened, suddenly he was being bashed by friends who said "HOW DARE HE." I stood up for him and told him that I understand how hard it is to support something you believe is wrong deep down in your core, that this wasn't part of getting a temple recommend and he should not lose sleep at night. He immediately came to me and apologized for the way he treated me, and left me alone after that.

  36. Lexi, I have read a few of your "pro gay" posts. In fact I wrote about one here: http://backwardsmormonchick.blogspot.com/2012/06/private-club-no-non-members-allowed.html. Also (side note) I was so upset about the terrible things that were said to you that I talked about it with everyone, and then I found out that one of my closest friends is your cousin! Anyway, I know it is hard, and I know it sucks to be treated horribly for feeling this way, but keep going! Keep being you and keep telling people! I have found that the longer I'm open about my absolute love of LGBT and support of their rights, the more people I meet that feel the same. In fact, I have now met more nice, accepting, or even agreeing members than I have met rude, judgmental, and hypocritical members.There have been quotes that have said that no one who disagrees on this issue will be punished in any way. The apostles don't want you to leave. The prophet doesn't want you to leave. Who do these people think they are? It is not asked of you to get a temple recommend, not asked of you to be a full member of the church. Why should anyone think that this makes you somehow lesser than they are? Our church teaches that anyone is welcome there. It is the members that don't get it, and they are not speaking through God nor by God. They do not have the right to make judgments that God makes. So stay strong and be you! There are actually thousands of us that feel exactly as you do and we love you for it— you just have to find us!But you might be a stage 2 apostate, so you better get that fixed 😉

  37. Dear VioletteI have talked to my bishop about this, as I'm sure many of us have. He does not seem to think supporting gay marriage is in opposition to the church. I don't know why you feel that you need to. There is a difference between politely disagreeing, and judging others as only God has the right to do. You do not know what is in Lexi's heart. You do not know her struggles. Work on your own problems/sins please. We all have plenty of those to keep us busy enough to keep our hands out of someone else's cookie jar.Thanks lady. I think we'd all appreciate it. Just saying.

  38. Lexi, I honestly had no intentions of offending, and I'm sorry if my words did so. I was only trying to state my beliefs in hopes of promoting clarity and understanding. I hope you'll allow me to clarify…the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is either the true gospel of Jesus Christ restored through Joseph Smith or it is not. Some may say that they feel that many of the Doctrines in the church are true but some are not. But when it comes down to it, if there are any incorrect Doctrines within the church, then that would mean that our church is not the true church of Jesus Christ. It would be a good church, but it would not be the true church. Because within the true church of Jesus Christ, there would only be true and pure doctrines that come straight from God. Do you know what I'm saying? So all I was saying is that each of us needs to find out for ourselves if this is Jesus Christ's restored church upon the earth or not? Once we determine that, then in my mind, it would be easier to follow the doctrines or not. Now I did not say that I think a person should leave if they don't believe 100%. I'm not saying that there's no room in our church for doubt. I didn't say that there's no room for people in the church who are struggling with their testimony. I've had my doubts. I think most people have. For most people a testimony comes in pieces, here a little and there a little. Lexi, if you still have any desire to be part of the church, and if you still have a testimony of some aspects of the church then absolutely stay. I don't want you to leave. I have the utmost respect for members who continue to stay active even though they are struggling with their testimony. I admire that they are willing to make the effort to figure things out instead of just giving up on the church. I really believe that the gay marriage issue is going to be the big event in our day that will cause many to leave the church. I really do. I think that many members of the church will lose their testimony over the gay marriage issue. I know many who already have. And I think that the problem is on both sides. We need to promote understanding from both sides. And we need to help each other through this! We cannot let Satan divide us. Lexi I don't know you, but I really do feel for you and care for what you are going through. Don't give up on the church. There are insensitive people in the church who will give you a hard time (We are all very imperfect within the church). But I hope that you will be sensitive and understanding towards their views as an example to them. And don't ever leave on account of the imperfect people. Lexi, take what testimony you have and continue to live the gospel and things will work out for you. Although the doctrines will never change, I do believe that as time goes on, we will have more and more understanding and compassion within the church towards gays. And I believe that in the near future there will be more support within the church for those who deal with SSA. The church is already on that path. Thanks for sharing your struggles with us Lexi.

  39. I would just like to quote something from a member of the 1st Presidency, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, in his talk "The Merciful Obtain Mercy". I don't know if anyone will really read it, but I hope some will and that they will get the point: STOP IT! Stop judging others! It is not YOUR place to do so. Lexi has opened up about something that concerns her. If I remember right, this is HER blog. Please afford her the respect and LOVE she deserves and STOP trying to put her in her place."This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two-word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following:Stop it!It’s that simple. We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children. God is our Father. We are His children. We are all brothers and sisters. I don’t know exactly how to articulate this point of not judging others with sufficient eloquence, passion, and persuasion to make it stick. I can quote scripture, I can try to expound doctrine, and I will even quote a bumper sticker I recently saw. It was attached to the back of a car whose driver appeared to be a little rough around the edges, but the words on the sticker taught an insightful lesson. It read, “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.”

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