A couple weeks after the Christmas break, a friend asked me if I had heard about a policy that was being reviewed for our school district with regards to Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and Gender Expression. It was an addition to our Welcoming, Caring, Respectful and Safe Learning Environments Policy. She also asked if I had seen or read a new document that had also come out from the province (i.e. state) that would affect this Policy, upcoming curriculum changes, my children’s rights and ultimately parental rights within the schools. I had heard murmurings but hadn’t read anything.
I like to research. It’s kind of a thing I have. I highlight, read footnotes and resources. For me, it’s like solving a mystery. I like to follow paper trails and read and understand. I question the wording. What’s the underlying meaning behind this? So, I found the documents my friend told me about. I began to see that there was more to this then policies and guidelines. This was one of the many ways our education system was being manipulated to teach our children Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE). Little did I know that this was going to be my opportunity to boldly stand for things I believed in.
I had a lot to learn in a short period of time. Motions, amendments, petitions, and policy. Federal rights, provincial rights, and local district policies. (I need to tell you, I’m a stay at home mom. I graduated from high school and have some college. I majored in Art. This was all new to me.) The learning curve was steep. But through it all, I drew on the power of prayer, the blessings of scripture study and the power of the priesthood. I asked my husband for a blessing and also learned to ask people to pray for me.
I met others who were concerned about what was going on in our community and province. The events that followed, I can say with full confidence, were guided by Heavenly Father. A meeting was called to request a delay in our local District policy. I had the overwhelming opportunity to petition over a 100 people to vote on a motion that would create a ripple effect in our community. Going into that evening I felt inadequate and at times felt that Heavenly Father could have picked someone more poised and articulate than myself. There were people there that did not want to see this motion happen. I had a woman say to me, that even though she did not know me, that her heart was filled with absolute hate for me. My heart broke for her. She kindly gave me papers trying to properly inform me on what the “experts” had to say on these policies. I thanked her for coming to the meeting and also told her I was truly sorry that she had those feelings for me. When I could have been offended and hurt all I felt was overwhelming compassion, sadness, and love towards her.
That night there was a protection and safety there that can only be explained by the Spirit. As I look back, I see that night as my Samuel the Lamanite experience. I didn’t have physical arrows and things being thrown at me, but in a room with over a 100 people, there were lots of verbal arrows. Not one left me wounded. I walked away feeling unstoppable and empowered. I knew that if we stood together we could make a difference.
The months that followed were sometimes a struggle, but in the same breath were sacred. I had the opportunity to share my testimony, the Proclamation, and articles from the Ensign. Speaking of Christ and the Gospel became regular occurrences.
Many miracles happened over the following months and I don’t have the space to share them all in this post. But one thing I am certain: I know that our Heavenly Father is calling the women of this Church to stand boldly. He called me. He’s calling YOU!
When I begin to doubt I reflect on President Nelson’s talk, A Plea to My Sisters, “We need women who know how to make important things happen by their faith and who are courageous defenders of morality and families in a sin-sick world.”
It’s scary to take a stand. To go out of your comfort zone. But I promise you that if you ask Heavenly Father and follow his will AMAZING things can and will happen!
Remember, I’m a stay at home mom, all I did was ask. What would your Heavenly Father have you do if you asked?
Author Antonia Ormston was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and now lives in Alberta, Canada. She met her husband the day he came home from his mission and she is a mother to three darlings. She is also an artist and painter and her favorite book is “A Quiet Heart” by Patricia Holland.