Today my heart is breaking. Not because my church has decided to make children of homosexual couples wait until they’re eighteen to be baptized, but because so many of my brothers and sisters are struggling with the decision, some even going so far as to say that the decision has destroyed their testimony in the truthfulness of the church.
I was raised in a homosexual household from the time I was three until I was eighteen. I was fortunate enough to have a mother that allowed me to attend church and would take me to practically any one I desired to go to. In some ways she set up my eventual discovery and acceptance of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because she always encouraged me to ask questions, and not believe something just become someone else told me it was true. She also told me to be skeptical of people, and in a way, this paved the way for me to learn how to receive personal revelation and understand its importance.
When I learned last night of the Church’s decision toward the children of gays I was initially in disbelief. Since joining the Church I have often thought about what my life might have been like had I found it while still a child, and the effects it could have had on the decisions that I made in adolescence. I cannot say for certain that my mother would have let me be baptized in the first place, but I do feel that she would not have stopped me from attending.
One thing that few people understand is that the Church at large is one of the most welcoming and understanding churches there is when it comes to homosexuality. When I was baptized into a Baptist church at thirteen years old my mother would not attend because she felt so uncomfortable, and yet when my oldest daughter was baptized both of my parents attended, and they have attended other functions such as fall carnivals at church as well. As a matter of fact, the church’s teachings regarding the judgment of homosexuals at the final judgment is one the reasons I looked further into the church in the first place.
And so when I read the Church’s decision I immediately began wondering why. So far this has never failed me as I believe that Heavenly Father wants us to understand why things are the way they are so far as we are able to comprehend them. I never doubted that the decision was of divine origin and the more I pondered, the more thoughts and impression began to come to me.
First, it is imperative that a child understand the doctrines of the Church and understand the true meaning of marriage. Being raised in a homosexual household can be very confusing for some children and difficult to reconcile the statutes of Heavenly Father with the example they see at home.
Second, feeling like we have to choose between our families and something else is excruciating. There were many times in my childhood that I felt torn between my beliefs and my mothers’ choices. I have personally spoken out disagreeing with the way I was raised and homosexual marriage and it has been one of the hardest things I have ever done. I cannot imagine what it would be like for a child to sit in a bishop’s office and disavow the marriage or relationship of his or her parents. Having children wait until they are eighteen takes this huge burden off of the children’s shoulders and ensures that the children are at a point in their lives where they can make eternal decisions with greater understanding.
These children are not forgotten. Looking back I can see many of the times that God was leading and guiding me, eventually bringing me to the point that I could make covenants in a temple. He was right beside me the entire time. As members of the Church it is our privilege to love these children and support them the best we can. To show them the Saviors love and remind them that all the blessings the Lord has are theirs, and will one day be bestowed upon them, even if not at the present time. The members will be the ones to make the time until their baptism sweet, and a blessing in their lives.
Let us not as mortals assume that we know more about what is right for God’s children than He does, and it is my prayer that we would all seek a testimony that this decision is from our Father in Heaven and serves a divine purpose, even if we can’t fully comprehend what that purpose might be.
Spanish translation of this post: http://www.mormonwomenstand.com/soy-hija-de-lesbianas-y-soy-mormona/