Yep. That’s me. At least, that’s how some are referring to me.
Champion of discord? Nope. The discord in my beloved church is already there and growing. It’s just kept hidden and lonely. In painful isolation. Who created the discord? Not me. For the source, you have to look much higher up the leadership ladder.
What Kind of Champion do I Really Want to Be
1) A CHAMPION for discussing discord. Dismissing, disallowing, & demonizing discord only drives people away. Our culture forbids discussing discord out in the open. How weak the position of the church must be if discussing our discord is forbidden. How weak testimonies must be! The best way to bring accord out of discord is to discuss. Demanding and dictating accord does not work and is not God’s way.
2) A CHAMPION for keeping temple covenants, specifically the covenant to obey God’s Law.
3) A CHAMPION for Christ’s clear and straightforward Law of common consent. Today in conference, Elder Ballard encouraged, “Never abandon the truths revealed through Joseph Smith.” Yet, we have abandoned the revelation of common consent. I’ll be it’s Champion.
4) A CHAMPION for my marginalized and vulnerable gay brothers and sisters. In the church of Jesus, “the least of these” have no champions whatsoever. If something is going to be called sad, this is the saddest of them all: we do not champion “the least of these.” For heaven’s sake, this is the gorgeous center of Christ’s gospel and ministry.
5) A CHAMPION for the marginalized truth seekers. Again today, Elder Ballard counseled, “We must never neglect anyone with questions. Treat them like investigators.” Well, guess what? Not only do we neglect those with questions, we marginalize, shun and shut them up. I KNOW this from personal experience. At this point, I’ve seen many leave because they were treated this very way.
Just Wait a Little Longer, Sam
I have been told that I should just sit back and wait. Do nothing. Trust the brethren.
Out of 6 siblings, all have left the church, but me.
How long should I wait? Until my own children leave?
Many good friends have left.
How long should I wait? Until another 100 have left?
All but one of my gay friends have left.
Should I wait until he’s gone? Should I wait until 10 more gay kids come out, get shunned and then watch them & their families leave?
Should I just wait for another child to commit SUICIDE???
70% of members have resigned or are inactive. 80,000 resigned last year.
Should I wait for another 80,000 to resign?
Nope!!! I’m acting on my temple covenants NOW. I’m following Jesus’ Laws NOW.
From January 2015 until now, 22 months in all, I have reached out to quorum, Ward, stake, and general authority leadership. Sharing concerns and ideas of what we could do as a church to stem the tide of exodus. Response: Zip…Nada….Nothing. Twenty-two months of being told: be patient, we’ll look into it, we’ll get back with you, the brethren know what they are doing.
Behold Thy Mother
My brother and his entire family left the church in January 2016. They have a gay son. The November gay policy drove them all out.
Then, two months ago, my mom resigned. This is my MOTHER!!! Oh, behold my MOTHER!!! Heart broken by policies NEVER approved by the consent of the common. Beaten down and driven out of Christ’s church. My church. The church that I love.
Unfortunately, the departure of all my siblings was not enough to kick my butt into action. But, there is no way that I am going to ignore the broken heart of my own dear MOTHER.
So, I am going to CHAMPION obedience of the Law of God, the Law that I promised in the temple to obey. The vital Law of God which He called: The Law of Common Consent. My mother has been bruised, battered, and severely scarred by policies that never would have been accepted if the church was not in disobedience of this indispensable commandment. No longer will I mock God by NOT striving to live up to the promises I have made in his holy house.
Resister of Common Consent–A Record of Those Who Disapprove (click here for link)
If you disapprove of what the church is doing, you have a voice. It was granted by Jesus himself. May we all CHAMPION what we know in our hearts to be right. May we reclaim our God given privilege to approve or disapprove.
4 thoughts on “Champion of Discord”
I feel your pain Sam. I was just writing today on another blog about how I wonder if I am going to be judged for not just towing the line and wait for the brethren to see their mistake, or am I going to stand at the judgement bar of Christ and be asked, “Did you follow me? When you heard about the policy, did you ask God if it was his will?” I don’t think being asked those questions I can fall back on, “I was following the brethren. I for one have to stand up a bit. I wear a rainbow tie clip every Sunday. It is what I can do now, and when some things work out a bit in the coming months (I hope) I can be even more there with you Sam.
I have to admit at first when I ran across your blog I did think of you as a bit of a noise-maker. As time goes on I am seeing much more of a loving action oriented person that deeply cares not only for the church, but more importantly – the people in the church.
I am proud to call you a friend. It is my privileged.
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I appeared as a bit of a noise maker? I get that. I am making noise. Things didn’t start that way. I have been concerned about the marginalized in our midst for decades. Things have not gotten better. They have gotten worse. For decades, I have attempted to bring attention to the harm that the church is causing to the very people who need our help the most. Quiet ways have yielded ZIP. Being honest, forthright and out in the open has brought hope and validation to many. If it results in changes in the church itself, that will be a Godsend. What I do know is that the church MUST change. It’s gradually destroying itself and damaging families and individuals in the meantime. No way will I sit in silence any longer.
“Behold Thy Mother” is one of the most powerful quotes from the Passion, and your use of it here was seriously on-point!
Wow. An answer to my prayer about whether or not to leave the church was “Stay. Just wait.” I don’t know if I can. But I will add my name to the register. I applaud you!
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