When Do I Get to Feel Peace Here?
by Erik Lovell
Today, I’m supposed to be happy. I’m supposed to be thankful. I’m supposed to be impressed by the progress Mormonism made today.
But instead, I’m heavy. Instead, I’m confused. Instead, I’m angry. Instead, I’m in tears.
Four years ago, I watched as a group of Mormons came out against the policy that labeled same-sex married couples as apostates and barred their minor children from baptism. I watched as another group of Mormons attacked the former for rebelling against the prophets, for forgetting what inspired priesthood leadership means, and for not having faith that the Lord inspires Mormon leaders.
Today, I watch those same people who harassed myself, my friends, and other people who voiced concern and outrage over the previous policy shout for joy today that the Church is showing up for LGBTQ persons. I’ve watched this group reiterate with the same certainty as four years ago that the leaders are inspired and how grateful we should be.
Why do they get to be the ones who are joyful?
When do I get to feel peace here?
I do not feel peace as the leaders go back and forth playing with my life and the lives of my LGBTQ friends as they decide whether or not we are worth their consideration.
President Oaks stated in the announcement today, “The very positive policies announced this morning should help affected families. In addition, our members’ efforts to show more understanding, compassion, and love should increase respect and understanding among all people of goodwill. We want to reduce the hate and contention so common today.”
However, just recently Oaks visited our stake where he was asked what the brethren’s greatest concerns were about their members today. He responded that his number one concern was the influence of those people with same-gender attraction and “transgender desires.” His concern wasn’t how to meet the needs of these people — he was worried about their influence.
So, no. I’m not thrilled by the latest attempt to throw me a bone. When the bone was taken by them in the first place. I will continue my skepticism until I see long-lasting, intentional, and pure-hearted attempts to reach out, understanding, and /be with/ me and my LGBTQ friends.
“I will continue my skepticism until I see long-lasting, intentional, and pure-hearted attempts to reach out, understanding, and be with me and my LGBTQ friends.” Spot on.
You also identified something I haven’t heard as clearly in the other comments that I have read: the point that it is same people rejoicing in the reversal as those who initially praised the policy. Take that a little further–the same person announcing the reversal as the one who so strongly advocated for the policy and doubled down on us. Some people have used the word “gaslighting” to express that this feels not like an attempt to make our lives better, but to drive us insane with the confusing mixed messages. This is crazy making.
It all comes around to your last sentence–rather than let the push and pull and back and forth confuse us, we need to remain where we are until it ever comes to pass that we are accepted as full and equal participants at the table.