Monday, September 22, 2014

Let Me Explain Myself

by Brig Bagley

22 September 2014

I was surprised to hear that my mother found this blog. She is a devout Mormon and a mother anyone would be lucky to have. She is also very sensitive to some of my more biting comments about the LDS Church, for which I'd like to apologize. My mom represents a large population that may or may not also come across this blog, and I don't want to further entrench feelings of distaste for gay people.

Although I express my feelings honestly here, I sometimes carelessly disregard the old perspective that I used to have. I used to defend and love the LDS religion to the very end. It was my life and I knew nothing else. But as soon as I could no longer fit into the box that it very clearly prescribes, I left the LDS Church and started exploring other options and beliefs for my life.

I admit, what I learned of the LDS Church since leaving it disturbed (and still disturbs) me, enough to instill a good amount of distaste for it. But I want to clearly state that I did not experience much of the pain and suffering that others have. I have little to no anecdotal experience from my own childhood to discredit any of the good people in my life--almost all devout Mormons.

What I fight for now is for change that will improve the lives of other Mormon people--child, teen, or adult--that do suffer from the unavoidable consequences of living with homosexuality or gender identity situations that are in direct conflict with their life as a Mormon. The policies, teachings, and positions of the church and some of its members sometimes creates an unhealthy environment for these people, which causes the emotional pain and suffering for which I discuss on this blog.

I hope that society advances and pressures change in the LDS Church to support and protect these very real people--its own members included. Although Mormons fervently believe that God's law never changes, the policies of the church do change. It is known that a traditional family is a declaration of the modern church leaders. But so also was polygamy, preventing blacks from receiving certain ordinances, and the minimizing of the women's involvement in church leadership. Those have all changed, and it is also probable that policies concerning LGBT may also change. In fact, they already have.

There are no scriptures that elaborate on LGBT issues. Most of the Bible policies aren't accepted as useful today, either--so anything against homosexuality in there is selectively and subjectively chosen to be taught as still valid today. There is nothing in the Book of Mormon or Doctrine and Covenants / Pearl of Great Price that hints on this issue. In short, any official policies and teachings on LGBT issues are declared by modern prophets/apostles, and can just as easily be "undeclared", as the policies mentioned above were.

I will do my part to be more sensitive about those who still avidly participate in the Mormon Church. But I also hope I can be informative and persuasive concerning the change that needs to happen in Utah and the LDS Church to help and improve the lives of LGBT people and their families.

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