Wednesday, June 18, 2014

They Were Right All Along

My initial (and raw, and maybe a little hyperbolic) reaction to the news of potential discipline against Kate Kelly and John Dehlin was posted at Mormon Child Bride. Since I wrote this short post, I've had time to analyze my feelings and no longer feel quite as raw. While this encapsulates well my initial emotional state, I'm feeling a lot less desperate and angry now. Although I still feel that disciplinary action is unjust, I have spent some time trying to understand this whole thing from the point of view of the Church and most of its members. While that doesn't mean I agree, I do understand and empathize. I'll post more about that later. For now: here is my first reaction after hearing the news.

They were right  all along.  

by Liffey Banks
Since the news that the church was pursuing discipline against Kate, I have many friends and acquaintances that have been patting themselves on the back for being right about me and my feminist sisters and allies. At first this made me angry. But then it made me really angry. Why? Because they’re right! Everything I believed and have trusted in is non-existent. The emperor has no clothes.

I believed that the church was inclusive. I believed that the Gospel net gathers fish of every kind. You can be any kind of person with any kind of opinion and be a disciple.

I believed that the restoration was ongoing. That there were many great and wonderful things yet to be revealed. So many scriptural and historical clues pointed to the eventual ordination of women to fulfill our divine role as priestesses in the heavens.

I believed that petitioning the Lord through His leaders was a prayer not "to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them.” I believed the lesson of the brother of Jared: sometimes the Lord leaves it up to us to figure out a way forward, and then ask for a miracle.

I believed that there could be theological pluralism, that even among the top leaders of the church, there is amicable disagreement, and that was okay.

I believed that admitting your doubts was a sacred step toward Christ himself, who didn't withhold mercy and miracles even for the father who said, "help thou my unbelief."

But I was wrong about everything. This isn’t a big-tent; that’s just our PR campaign. Tiny administrative changes are our modern substitute for “revelation.” Petitioning is fine, as long as it’s private and has no chance of being heard by anyone else. Pluralism is unacceptable. If you think differently, fine, but don’t open your mouth. And for heaven's sake, don't doubt. Ever.

The church I thought I belonged to, the church I loved, does not exist. I do not recognize the LDS church anymore.

No comments:

Post a Comment