Tonight an era has ended.
The President of the Church who presided over Prop 8 and then gave us the exclusion policy has died. These are some pretty hefty bookends holding together his 10 year ministry. As an LDS LGBTQ, I acknowledge the good President Monson did as president while grappling with the personal pain he caused me, my family, and so many of my fellow LDS LGBTQ. If anything, he brought the LDS LGBTQ issue front and center for the church to see in full daylight.
Previously our LGBTQ members, as well as the policies managing us, were shamefully hidden and interactions were transacted away from the public eye. President Monson’s advocacy and policies educated us all as members of the church. They elevated us from perverted caricatures straight out of the pages of “The Miracle of Forgiveness” into flesh and blood brothers and sisters with real and valuable stories to tell.
The LDS LGBTQ are now seen. We tell our stories without shame on official church websites and to our families. The bright lines drawn by official policy now give clear boundaries for lay leaders and members alike to thoughtfully and morally consider (as well as cross) as they figure out what to do with us.
You cannot confront an enemy you cannot see. From President Kimball’s time to President Hinkley, our existence was whispered about and only occasionally spoken of. We were not seen. We even became one of the three nebulous dangers of the church. However in President Monson’s day he shoved us out of obscurity right into the conversation. And then an interesting thing occurred. Once visible we turned out not to be an enemy after all.
Instead of seeing us as an enemy, we were (and will continue to be) seen as fellow saints… as brothers and as sisters. As children, nephews, nieces, cousins, aunts, uncles, mothers, and fathers. As family equally worthy to be sealed together in Zion.
This era of high visibility and relevance is one of the gifts President Monson left us. And like any LGBTQ who has fought for authenticity, we will not return to the closet of days past.
Welcome President Nelson. We are ready for you. ♥
I’ve been wondering for a few days now if I am ready for President Nelson. Credible word is that he is highly responsible for the exclusionary policy of Nov 5, 2015. That policy has caused me personally a very great deal of pain. My hope is that the Savior will one day soon right that terrible wrong. I’m always ready for the Savior. I just don’t know if I’m ready, or ever will be (?) for President Nelson. Any thoughts of help for me and my wounded soul? Thanks.
Two thoughts for you that I hope are encouraging. First, in Michael Quinn’s latest interview with John Dehlin on Mormon Stories Podcast, Michael made the interesting statement that it actually was President Monson who spearheaded and brought forth the exclusion policy. He had evidence to that effect. It was surprising to hear and Dehlin was suprised as well and asked some good follow up questions on this. It turns out President Nelson may be championing it, but it was the brainchild of Monson.
Second, The new president of the church steps into the machine of the Office of the First Presidency. This is entirely different than the twelve and Presisent Nelson has not yet had to operate within it’s administrative culture and protocol. Also as Ben Park has written today, “…a Nelson presidency could still be much more moderate and conciliatory than expected. One of his predecessors, Ezra Taft Benson, was similarly considered a conservative hard-liner before his ordination in 1985. However, perhaps due to a combination of his age as well as the weight of the position, Benson turned out to be much more restrained and even pacifying as prophet.”
All things considered (especially if President Nelson retains both of President Monson’s counselors) I think the LDS LGBTQ shouldn’t think the apocalypse is happening quite yet.
@dubistmeimduck—in my view President Nelson is only there to help you be ready for the Savior. If you’re ready for the Savior then you’re good to go 🙂
Thanks, Nathan and Jon, for your words and for your kind efforts to help me. You’ve given me some things to consider and carefully think about. For now, it will be interesting to see what the future brings with these changes. I remain, as always, with the Savior. I love you guys. Thank you! Duck