I know many people who are both faithful believers and empathetic friends to gay Mormons. They see the complexity of the decisions their friends face and wish it were easier. Many of them even understand their gay friends’ lives could be happier, more stable, and even more fulfilling if they were permitted to seek same-sex relationships with the blessing of the Church. But their faith, founded upon real spiritual experiences, leads them to support the Church in its current policies and teachings.
I’m thinking of each of you.
I know there are many things you will not do because it would go against your deepest convictions. You will not question the teachings of the prophets and apostles, because they are God’s mouthpiece on the earth. Your choice to accept the Church’s teachings as they are is an expression of your humility before God and your trust in His timing. You would never presume to know better than God. You understand that sometimes God has a bigger plan than we can see, and when our thoughts diverge from His, our obligation as His children is to wait on Him in patience and faith, believing that all will be sorted out in time.
When it comes to your gay friends, you don’t know how it all adds up but you know it does. God knows them and the plan He has for their lives and for the future of the world. God will not abandon them. You don’t understand why they experience life the way they do, what is best for them, or how things will end up for them in the eternities, but you know everything will work out for them because they are children of God and He loves them.
If that sounds like you, here’s a thought.
I’ve heard that God’s timing is sometimes constrained by us. He waits on us to prepare ourselves to receive His mysteries, or the plans He has for us. When things stay the same, it may be either because God wants things to stay the same or because we are unprepared for (or unwilling to accept) the changes He has in mind. Admittedly, that also means when things change it may be either because God wants things to change or because we are unprepared or unwilling for things to stay the same. Either way, the more willing and prepared we are for God to take us down a given path, the less likely it is that we are preventing God from doing so.
The only way to know whether God wants the Church to change is for us to be completely prepared for change to come.
What if everything you believe is true–God is guiding His prophets to do His will, and the Church is teaching just what God wants it to in this moment–and at the same time God is waiting to make adjustments as the people in His Church are prepared to receive them? Is there a way you can faithfully follow and trust your leaders and at the same time give God the freedom to “reveal many great and important things”?
I think so.
I think there is room to accept what God has offered today and at the same time prepare ourselves to accept what God will offer tomorrow, whether or not they are the same. I think we can all faithfully offer this prayer, placing both the present and future in God’s hands:
I trust You completely. I accept the words of Your servants, the prophets and apostles, and I trust what they are teaching here and now.
I see my gay friends and I want whatever is best for them. I don’t know how everything fits together, I but I know You do. I would love to have more space for gay people in the Church. I won’t pretend to know how that may happen, but that is my desire.
If You want to use me as an instrument for that purpose, I’ll go where You want me to go. If You have plans for changes in the Church, I am ready to accept them. I will not stand in Your way. If not, I am also ready to accept that. I will not resist Your will. Above all, I want to be a help, not a hindrance, to your will, whatever it may be.
Teach me. I am willing.