"And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things."
-1 Nephi 11:17
A few days ago I came across a post from a sister whom I highly esteem
and view as one of my greatest examples. She had posted it shortly
after last November's policy clarification regarding same-sex marriages and children of same-sex couples. She said that she would never ever turn her
back on her gay son and that she would never ever turn her back on her
faith and on the Church. I think this is a place where God would have us.
Many are mourning the anniversary of this event, and understandably so, yet I'm also reflecting on what I gained. I'm reminded of some fundamental truths that have strengthened my testimony. As I was sitting at choir rehearsal shortly after hearing the news, I felt an enormous sense of peace come over me as I remembered that God loves all His children. I knew that He was in charge, and that if this was wrong, He would fix it (however, in the discussions following the change, I understood more fully the reasons behind it). I knew that He was very well aware of individuals in same-sex marriages and their children, if any. I knew they were not forgotten to Him and that the Atonement would make up for any misunderstanding or current life situation.
I was also grateful for the decisions I had made up to that point. It reaffirmed to me my testimony of following the prophet and prayerfully being obedient. I was exceedingly grateful for parents who taught me the gospel and helped me in building my foundation on Christ. It solidified my testimony of the doctrine on marriage and the law of chastity. It's obvious that not everyone gets married or has the ideal family situation, but this event showed me more of the importance of the institution of marriage. It's a central component of my faith and of the Father's plan, even if I may not understand completely, and even if I may not have a family of my own. It's still important.
Through "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" and the words of other modern-day prophets, I have found that a lot may rest on how we view marriage and family. Some may see this as a small part of the gospel, yet this very concept seems to be at the center of why some people leave the Church and why some stay. I reiterate that not everyone gets married. Some people are single parents. Some couples do not have children. It's a stretch, but I've often said that I could be in a same-sex relationship, but I'd still probably have an understanding of the important role of marriage between a man and a woman. Sure, there would be moral implications depending on the nature of that relationship, but I believe I'd still have a decent relationship with the Church. It's that important!
As November rolls around this year once again, I do acknowledge the hurt of many people. I'd say my own mother had a harder time with it than I did. I don't discount those feelings. But I also remember the peace that I felt, the peace that came through the Holy Spirit, that voice that said, "Stay with me. It will all work out. I am in charge."