Friday, March 11, 2011
Coming Out to an Apostle
Thanks for everyone's thoughts and opinions on what Elder Bednar said (or did not say) regarding homosexuality. I tend to remain generally optimistic, based on a one-on-one interaction I had with him following the fireside.
We had the chance to shake his hand afterwards, and since I was near the front of the chapel, I took the opportunity to line up to say hello to him in person. Most people were just shaking his hand and moving on, but I wanted to say something to him.
I wanted to send a polite, meaningful message that might alter his perspective slightly or open up his eyes on the issue that he could eventually report back to the Twelve on. I didn't have much time to think, but when I approached him I shook his hand, thanked him for his earlier comments and then said something along these lines:
"As someone who is gay and active in the church, who is doctrinally grounded to the extent that I am capable of understanding, who is temple worthy, who serves the Lord and those around me, making friends and doing what I can whenever I can to help, I just wanted to convey to you how hard and lonely a road that life is."
He took me by the hand, looked me in the eye and told me that he can't understand how hard it is or can be, but that the First Presidency and Twelve are acutely aware of what is happening. He commended me for not letting the world define me, for realizing my divine heritage and for my integrity. I then moved on in the line.
In public meetings, I believe general authorities must maintain a consistent message across the board. In their personal ministries, they can be more open and compassionate. I hope that in the near future the wider consistent message and the compassionate personal response can merge to better uplift gay members of the church.