Sunday Supplement: What We Share
Sunday Supplement blog posts are issued each Sunday as a supplement to the messages heard in our congregations and homes, with emphasis given to how the scriptures and counsel from church leaders can help us to reach out with love, empathy, and compassion to our LGBTQI/SSA sisters and brothers.
This picture is my favorite from a day spent working on genealogy. A cousin opened up some artifacts he has from his mother–these spectacles belonged to our shared ancestor (my 3x great grandmother), who was a midwife before joining the LDS church, and continued that life calling as a pioneer Mormon in Utah.
As we were wrapping up for the day, my cousin asked me a question. He said : “How did you become so involved in LGBT rights ?” This cousin is from my dad’s generation, so we don’t really know each other well, and if you compared our facebook profiles, you would think there was not very much we had in common.
I told him about how I had lived away from Utah for a long period of time, and had met many gay people who had lived their lives without some of the cultural inhibitions so prevalent here. I told him that when I saw Erika’s first parade effort forming, it struck me as something I could do. It was positive action, and I agreed with the idea that church should be a welcoming sanctuary.
He told me that he had been a bishop in the past, and among the many difficult situations he had been faced with while counseling members of his ward, that LGBT matters had been the most frustrating and heartbreaking. When he sought some kind of doctrine or guidance from LDS resources-there had been nothing available.
He had relied on what he knew from his relationship with a family member who was gay, but not openly. They had shared all manner of family experiences, fishing, camping, etc. He loved this family member, and knew him to be a good person.
My cousin is so happy now to see resources growing. We talked about the shifts and adjustments we are all going to have to make, as the families in our neighborhoods start looking different than they have in the past.
Down the street from him lives a gay couple, and one of the men is a carpenter just like my cousin, so they relate. My cousin’s philosophy is that if you get to know someone, there is almost always something you have in common.
Yesterday was a very good day.