2 weeks ago my moms tied the knot after 15 years of living in companionship with one another. The wedding caused me to reflect on love, families, and especially God's role in everything we do since, after all, the church emphasizes that God really is in all things.
Growing up, I attended church by myself and constantly faced a moral dilemma of whether or not it was inconsiderate for me to be attending a church that wasn't supportive of the lifestyle my parents were living. But the feelings, comfort, teachings, and insight (among others things) I received from attending church every Sunday were something I could just simply not give up. Sitting in Sunday school reading the Proclamation of the Family--which details the marriage between a man and woman--left me feeling angered, confused, and above all different. I found myself sitting next to families in my congregation that were seemingly all the same because they were a 'traditional' family. Consequently, my mothers felt uncomfortable and, I'm sure, confused about my pursuit of the church, just as much as I was. Their emotions on the topic, coupled with my whirlwind of thoughts on everything, created tension and a difference of understanding between us all.
Because the church's teachings center around the family, I felt I lacked the very fundamental testimony of the Gospel. Despite the fact that I had gained 50,000 other testimonies of the Gospel to stand for, lacking that key testimony of families left me feeling incomplete and unsatisfied. Since then though, I have realized that there is no immediate rush to figure out the answers. There is no reason to agonize over whether or not my family will live together forever because in doing so, it takes away from the time we have living together, now. I have learned that in focusing on what leaves me incomplete and unsatisfied, I lose focus on what does make me feel complete and satisfied. Close friends and mentors inside and outside the church have helped me to embrace my support for my mothers as well as my identity as a Mormon--neither of which I need to feel apologetic for!
There are lots of things in life that sometimes we need to simply put on the shelf and worry about later--if not at all. As I prepare to become a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I'm not naive in knowing that I will have to proselytize for all teachings of the church. To proselytize for the very Proclamation that left me feeling once so uneasy. That said, I'm also not naive or unprepared to share my own testimony of the church. Sharing my testimony of the very notion of putting something we don't understand right this second on the shelf. I want the people who will hear what I have to say find the conviction within themselves (if they so desire) to seek after those 50,000 or so testimonies they've gained instead of focusing on that one controversial testimony that's looming over them because for me, those '50,000' other testimonies are something I just simply can not give up.
|Here I am with both my mommas on their wedding day!|