To tell our youth that any sexual activity is tantamount to murder and to threaten them with God’s wrath is not only dishonest: it is destructive. Our youth want to do the right things; they believe their parents and church leaders. Their spirituality—like the emotional, social, intellectual and sexual aspects of their lives—is undergoing rapid and precarious development. These are not times for unfounded exaggerations and threats of damnation.
As I began my drive, I viewed the hillsides, fields, and woodlands here in upstate New York. Such scenery has become my chapel of holy reflection, and I was lost in the beauty of my surroundings. Despite the fact that the snows have only just receded and the color scheme is still tawny, slate, and charcoal, I still see God’s creation in all of it. I find God in nature, and God finds me there, too.
It is credible, therefore, to infer that the “these things” he was referring to are in fact any activities that lead to others’ loss of faith. Alma would have his son and anyone within the sound of his voice understand that spiritual injury to others is comparable to physical violence.
Line upon line, God taught me to be more comfortable with my queerness. Then, one miraculous day, I was ready to learn the greatest truth of all about my queerness.
Society is coming to the truth that gender and sexuality do not fit neatly into boxes, that they entail numerous gradations, that they may be fluid, and how individuals respond to their own gender and sexuality is really a matter of individual agency.
I also view the present moment with the belief that God knows all, loves all, and will make all things right. I wish for some kind of reckoning in the here and now, but failing that, I believe an accounting will be had.
The things that still need settling no longer vex me. Instead, I am curious…intrigued and excited even. I am true to myself now, and true to the universe. Or at least truer to the universe. So I am confident in the flow of things. Life’s an adventure now, not a slog.
Absolutists don’t exist “in and of themselves.” As we come to the time of General Conference, we relativists need to listen carefully for those knife-edged messages that can slice the hearts of those most fragile among us and be vocal in saying, “I don’t think so.”
Each of us needs to transition from confusion and discomfort to wholeness and peace, where we realize that our queerness is an intrinsic part of our worth and say, “I have worth,” and live according to that worth.