Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Learning Through Patience

I recently had the opportunity to meet a few people I don't know at all and somehow got into some pretty in-depth conversations with this woman I met. I didn't really know anything about her personally, her strengths or beliefs, but I gathered that she was a member of the LDS church. As we chatted, I'm not sure how the subject came up, but I found myself again talking about my point of view on homosexuality. It seems I find myself in this conversation often. I'm not sure if it's because I simply MUST share my views on the issue or if it's a coping mechanism of mine or if I'm actually guided by the spirit to do so, but in any case I do speak to people about this often.

I found myself truly grateful that I have the understanding and knowledge that I have about this subject. So many people do not understand. It is hard for anyone to understand something so personal without having some kind of experience with it. Because I have personal experience with loved ones of mine, I have a different perspective than most, at least most of the people I come across, especially those within the LDS church.

Don't get me wrong, I love the gospel. I have a testimony and will follow church authorities. But that also doesn't mean I haven't struggled with this issue because of the attitudes I've been met with. People simply do not understand.

In my initial struggles on the subject it was as though I hit denial. Because I knew and loved these people so much, there was absolutely no way I could believe they were evil or damned as some people taught. After struggling with this concept initially, I came to a place where I would simply say - it's not my job. I love them anyway. I put my trust in the Lord.

In Relief Society yesterday we discussed patience. There are so many different faucets of this word that I had not applied to myself before. Among the kinds of patience you seek as a parent with your children, or a spouse, or just dealing with other people's personalities, there is the patience you develop while learning gospel principles. It hit me that this is what I had been doing for years and years. I had simply been patient and pondering on the issue I struggled with. It was too heartbreaking to jump to conclusions, so that's what I did. I trusted that the Lord would make things right. No matter what happens, the Lord has an infinite and eternal understanding of things that surpasses me completely. I just need to trust my heart, which tells me the church is true, and love people.

Then the Ensign for June came into my home and I took the time to read much of what was in it. I am so grateful I did! Lately I haven't been devouring the Ensign in the way I used to. I read an article entitled "Defending the Family in a Troubled World" by Elder Bruce D. Porter of the Seventy. The part that really spoke to me was the section under "The Shifting Definition of Tolerance" because of everything, this is where I have been struggling. I felt it was none of anyone's business what someone else in the world does as long as they aren't hurting anyone. This section talked about how the world's view of tolerance is redefining the virtue and distorting it, abandoning all sense of right and wrong. It never pin-pointed homosexuality in this article, however this is where I applied it in my own mind. It goes on to talk about how love is of even more importance and surpasses tolerance. In any case, I felt my mind at peace around this issue for the first time. I hope that more and more we can develop this balance among all the people in the world.

Later in the same issue is the article entitled The True Path to Happiness and I felt it also expanded on where my mind already was. I am so glad we are given the opportunity to find revelation through patience and pondering.

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