The last four years I survived a faith transition, and in the middle of my "mini crisis" I found a few of John Dehlin's podcasts over a Mormon Stories that really helped me anchor my faith in the Gospel make my faith even more unshakable. They were much more helpful than any of the reactions of my family members. This week both John Dehlin and Kate Kelly were notified of the excommunication proceedings to be held this month (NYT). Kate's notice came after she moved out of the ward and court will be held in her absentia as she moves to Kenya for her job.
I really am trying to reconcile what I think the Gospel of Jesus Christ is, what I believe the vision I see in Elder Uchtdorf's words . . . very clearly there is not room for everyone in this church. Kate's bishop told her she didn't have to change any of her opinions, she just had to never say them out loud except in the confidence of her bishop.
So what does this mean for me? And the thousands of women and men like me who are faithful and diligent and feel alone and in fear that they have nowhere to turn to, no place of understanding and love and unconditional acceptance of who they are and where they are at? Are we facing another Mormon Purge? What about members who are determined to live authentically, to not hide who they are or what they think? We are smart enough to know the Lord loves us, all of us - questions and all.
What does this mean to me, a Mormon Feminist? Am I to be forced into silence? And who will be next? What we really think we are doing is helping others stay, bringing others to Christ. And as I discuss and work personally and privately with a variety of members one on one who are reaching out to me . . . what am I to say? That you can be here but never ever say what you really think? Just pretend to be something you are not? You can be here, but only if you think this way, act this way, and say these things?
All I can say is to love. Love those we don't understand. Love those we don't agree with. What we don't need in this church is more judgment and fear. What we need is more love. I pray I can be an agent of change, to love more widely and deeply - and I pray the same for all of you.