Some week it has been, huh? Social media has certainly exploded, especially with the Church's recent statement regarding policies for same-sex families. The past couple of days have made me very sad and disappointed, but not for the reason you might suspect.
In this last dispensation, big things are happening. For me, these things are complex, and I think about them intensely. I truly wrestle with the Lord to try and understand why things are the way they are and why things happen the way they do. Perhaps, this is merely indicative of a mere 21-year-old's budding testimony. Or maybe, it proves that I truly have the mind of an English major who questions everything, even a description of a rock in some book.
My point is this — it's okay to have questions, and I am positively certain that I'm not the only one who has questions. And yet, I am so disappointed to find members of the Church flaunting the news as if it's a victory conquest. I see things like, "We're finally setting people in their place!" or "Amen to the Church whipping out the big guns!"
I saw these comments, and the tears rolled down my face. Maybe some will think that I just don't have a testimony, but I think that we are estranging those who have questions. We are isolating those who are struggling with doubt. When people see the hasty responses of members on Facebook, they feel alone, and they do not feel safe to talk to us. And isn't that heart-breaking?
I can't help but think that Heavenly Father cries with those who are heart-broken and struggling to accept the Church's statement. He, more than anybody, knows what is right, but He also knows that it's hard, and our Church leaders know this, too. So for us... I don't think it's our job or privilege to parade around and declare that we are right. Instead, I think our leaders and, more importantly, God expects us to reach out lovingly to people who are struggling. They are our brothers and sisters, so why are we treating them otherwise?
When people have questions, we help them. We listen to them. We love them. We encourage them to ask God in faith. And when we encounter people who have doubts, and their hearts are hardened, we help them. We listen to them. We love them. We encourage them to ask God in faith. Regardless of where we are in our testimonies, our faith, and our progression before the Lord, we love each other, and we leave the judging to our Savior. People need to feel safe to talk to us, which means we need to be extremely careful about what we post on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other sites.
And so, to my friends who assuredly have stronger testimonies than I, please be loving. Be careful about what you say. And if somebody approaches you with a question, say a prayer that the Spirit will guide your words and your heart.
And to my friends with questions, please know that it's safe to come to me. I will not even pretend to know the answers, but my ears work just fine, and I know how to listen. I'm learning, and wrestling, and growing, and praying... right alongside you!