We got a ten year storm in our portion of the NW today. It was beautiful, oh, except for the part where I delivered the hated Sunday papers in the snow. And tomorrow will likely be a big icy mess--there isn't a snowplow within 50 miles of our fair city. After Sacrament Meeting, the Bishop called off the rest of church as snowflakes the size of silver dollars were still coming down hard. Pictures to come.
I wasn't going to blog today; I'm trying to have a no Sunday policy, but I read something over on Foxy J's blog--an old post I missed--and I decided to post instead of comment. Before my remarks make a lot of sense, you probably should read the post, and the comments.
Basically, in response to her post, somebody commented that she had recently been heckled for attending a funeral in Utah. Why? The young man who passed away had committed suicide and was homosexual. The person who wrote in did not say whether or not the two were related, but my impression is that the persecution this young man had endured probably did not make for great mental health.
Now I'm going to tell a long story, but it really has a point, I promise. I once had a roommate who was dating a guy I couldn't stand. He was in training to be a seminary teacher, but he was probably one of the most judgmental people I'd ever met. I was a sophomore in college and going through my detox from my ultra-Republican upbringing. I had a microbiology class. One section was about viruses and we talked at length about AIDS, as it was just really hitting the news then and it was before a lot of the successful anti-retro-viral drugs were available.
Anyway, the teacher's brother had died of AIDS a few years before and he just taught with such pathos, that I was really moved and interested. I was speaking about the situation to my roommate and ick-boyfriend happened to be there. He interupted the conversation to say, "AIDS is just God's judgment for the wicked." He shrugged off the deaths of women and children in Africa as collateral damage, and then I described the horror of dying from AIDS. He just shrugged and said, "Fags and drug users deserve it."
I was in complete shock. Complete.
Never before had I visted a bishop when I hadn't been called in, but I really liked the man who was serving as my bishop at the time and I'd had him for Institute. He was especially sensitive and attuned to the Spirit. I set an appointment and spoke to him. I didn't go to tattle on the wanna-be seminary teacher, I was more concerned that I too, as a member of the Church with a rather fledgling testimony, was supposed to feel likewise.
This wise bishop listened very carefully to me and said with great deliberation, "You know, I don't understand homosexuality all that well. I can understand why women sometimes turn to one another--women are sensitive and kind and men can be very cruel. But I don't know how men can be attracted to other men.
"But still, those emotions are real and powerful. It would be very hard to go through a lifetime of not acting on those impulses. They are very strong. But what I want to tell you is this:
"That young man your roommate is dating does not speak for the Church, and he especially doesn't speak for God. See, the thing is, we will all die in our sins. It doesn't matter if they are "little" or "big." Any act of disobedience keeps us seperate, spiritually, from our Father in Heaven. We will all have to learn to lay those sins, our OWN sins, not somebody else's at the feet of the Savior."
He then sighed and shook his head, "I hope your roommate's young man never makes it as a seminary teacher. How will he react when a sensitive young man comes to him for counsel? His attitude and judgments have no place in the Church Education System. I hope she doesn't marry him."
She didn't. But she almost did. In the end he couldn't believe that she was really wanting to go to medical school when she could have a life of raising his babies and living on $30,000 a year. He was actually dating another girl at the same time and when roomie got cold, he was engaged within two weeks.
I hope he isn't your kid's seminary teacher.