A Mammoth & Moving Spiritual Experience


Last Sunday I visited my daughter’s ward.  The annual primary program was being presented at Sacrament Meeting.  Three of my precious grandchildren were on the program.

I literally WEPT the entire meeting.  A couple of times my emotions had to be reined in, as I verged on trembling.

Why the cry?  The ward has a huge primary.  60 children were at the front of the congregation.  They sung their songs.  Recited their lines.  Some squirmed.  Some monkeyed.  All were beautiful and cute.  But, my attention was soon diverted by haunting questions.

Tears for the Rainbow

Among these 60 innocent, lovely and dear children…….how many are gay?

Is it 3?  Is it 4?  Or is it more?

What do they face in the coming years in MY church, the church of the gentle Jesus?

What of their coming teenage years?  Will their self-esteem be destroyed?  Only to be recovered after years of pain?  To be reclaimed only after leaving the beloved church of their youth?

Will their family disown them?

Will their friends turn away?

In the past, my church has not been gay friendly.  Even less so this past year.

Oh, that I could know who the gay children were.  That they might be spared the fate of so many gay children who have gone before.  What problems, what pain, what agonies await?  Yes, I sobbed!

Then I heard the spirit of Jesus whisper, “Sam, keep that rainbow on your lapel.  It will touch my little ones.  Likely, they won’t remember you.  But, they won’t forget the image of the ribbon you wear.  When the time comes, they’ll take comfort that someone in MY church cares.”

Tears for Safety

I thought about their parents.

Which children have parents who are struggling in the lonely silence of questions and doubt?

These innocent children have no concept of the pain their questioning parents will suffer…alone.  The children feel safe at church.  How could they possibly comprehend that their parents could feel unsafe?

Which are the children whose parents will agonize and finally leave?  Making that choice without any consultation with their active member friends?

Which of these little ones will be gone in 6 months?  In a year?  In ten years?

If current trends continue, at least 60% will eventually depart.  60% will be gone?  Why, oh why?  These tender children of today, gone tomorrow.

Oh, that a safe place existed for their parents.  A safe place, before their parents made their fateful choice to pull out and pull out their children with them. Yes, I sobbed!

Then I heard the spirit of Jesus whisper, “Sam, keep pressing forward to make a safe place inside my church.  It’s MY church, Sam.  Soon there WILL BE a safe and loving spot for discussion & deliberation.  My apostles are now openly addressing this in public.  But, sometimes nudges from my sheep are necessary.  You are on the right track.  Please don’t stop working for it.”

This sacrament meeting, filled with the voices of innocent children, will be recorded as one of the most precious spiritual experiences of my 63 year journey through life.


10 thoughts on “A Mammoth & Moving Spiritual Experience

  1. My Friend, Sam,

    You truly have a huge heart filled with love and compassion for your fellow travelers on this beautiful planet. The deep empathy you expressed as you acknowledged the awaiting anguish and suffering of innocent children (and grownups) you saw around you in church touched me as well.

    I don’t think I have shared with you the single most significant discovery of my Life so far. It is simply expressed in three words and one punctuation mark:

    Life is Perfect. (period)

    The period means there is no fine print and no excuses … no buts or exceptions.

    The trials, tribulations, pains and challenges we face are indeed the Refiner’s Fire and serve to mold and shape our characters as we grow closer to our amazing potential as human beings made manifest by our Creator.

    When we pause to look back on the more difficult experiences of our Lives, later if not sooner we will eventually understand how those trying times not only shaped our character and expanded our spirit, but may have served as a portal or turn in the road we would not have otherwise taken.

    One more thought to share with you. I love this one. It’s one of my favs:

    We’ve all heard it wisely stated that the only person we can really change is ourselves. But consider this: Maybe we are far more powerful than we imagine. When you muster the will and courage to actually make that change in yourself, Sam, the entire Universe is compelled by Laws of Nature to accommodate your change. The new Sam … the changed Sam … will automatically and unavoidable affect in ways big or small virtually everything and everyone you interact with. When you change yourself, the Earth and the Universe becomes a different place.

    Wherever you go … whatever you do, Sam, your loving heart and soul will touch those whose paths cross yours. Who knows what your future holds, Sam. Regarding your desire to influence the Church to become a more loving and accepting place where good and decent people of all persuasions feel embraced and accepted, nothing is impossible. After all, look what happened last week? If Donald Trump can become President of the United States, then maybe The Brethren could one fine day start to consider following Jesus’ example instead of using His name as a weapon to harm innocent people who only want to be loved.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Here I was reading along your reply to Sam and thinking how amazing and insightful and full of love it was. Then I got to the last paragraph and wanted to cry. You aren’t any different that those who pass unwarranted judgement on those Sam fights for. Only your judgement is against Trump, whom you don’t even really know. We might not like what he said . But actions speak volumes. He has done a lot of good for people. We should give him credit for the good, and forgive him for those things he has apologized for. You also slam the brethren who constantly try to follow in the footsteps of the Savior. This brethren bashin is really getting old. They are doing their best and that is all we can expect of anyone. They may not be doing what we think they should, but I believe that they are acting under inspiration.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Janice,
        I don’t think you mean to be judgmental, but you come across very judgmental. You immediately assumed that Gary’s reference to Trump was that he did not want Trump to be president. Read his comment again and see that he only commented that Trump became president. He did not reveal if he was for or against Trump, but you immediately jumped to the conclusion that he must be against him. Having read all your comments on this blog, you stand up for the church leadership without giving any thought that maybe there can be another perspective or viewpoint to topics of concern that Sam has raised. There are too many in the church that blindly believe everything spoken by leaders from SLC all the way down to our local congregations that cause people like Sam and me to feel the way we do. It’s the disregard for anyone else’s differing view that diehards want to squash that makes me want to walk, not my love for our Savior and his teachings.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Roy,

    “That makes me want to walk.” To quote Janice, “Here I was reading your reply,” and then I got to your last sentence which contained these words. Tears came to my eyes. You give me added strength and resolve to stay. I hope my words do the same for you.

    All my best, my friend.


  3. As always Sam, emotion, passion for change…for good positive change… captured perfectly. Your words reach and strengthen more than you know. Stay the course. Beautifully said my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

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