Edit Note: This post won a 2015 Brodie Award for Best Mormon Parenting Piece!
Thank you to all who voted
It is my good fortune to have the kids with me this weekend in the aftermath of the recent LDS attack on them, rather than have them hear about it in church or with their uber Mormon mother.
I have four kids, a boy and three girls. My son is 18 and away on a mission. My girls are with me this weekend.
They’re kids. Facebook is for old people. Their social media time is spent on Snapchat and Twitter directly back and forth between immediate friends. I’ve seen no indication that they had any clue about the church’s new policy or how they’d be affected. But I planned to talk to them today to take advantage of the fact that, for once, I get to be the one to spin the message. I was hoping for a sit down dinner at the table with all of us together, but with all their varying schedules that seemed unlikely. So I talked to them one on one.
There are a thousand different ways it could have gone. I wanted to detail the unfairness of it and all the injustices this creates for them. I wanted to share some of the examples of bigotry I’ve dealt with in the church and prepare them for what lies ahead for them. I wanted to point out all the internal inconsistencies this policy creates with the church’s own scripture and doctrine. I wanted to reiterate the difference between morality and obedience. I wanted to explain the discrepancies between what Christ taught and what the modern church is doing. I wanted to paint a picture, where if I were ever disavowed, then financial support would be cut off. I wanted to compare and contrast the phrase “Honor thy father and mother” with “Disavow your father or mother.” I wanted to prepare them for the church’s arguments by discussing the book 1984 and “newspeak.” There is so much more that I wanted to say…
But when I walked into the bedroom of my 13 year old daughter who idolizes her missionary brother and loves both her mom and me, this is the only thing that came out.
Can I talk to you a second? I wanted to tell you something that just happened 2 days ago and I wanted to be the one to say it to you. The church just created a policy that says kids with gay parents can’t get baptized or go on missions until they are 18. And then, the kids will be required to disavow their gay parent’s life and not be able to live with them.
This doesn’t look like it will affect you now, but someday you may be required to say you disavow me and move out. I think that’s a horrible position to put a child in and I want you to know that I love you unconditionally regardless of what you ever decide to do. There’s nothing you can do or say that would change this love I have for you.
I love your brother serving a mission now and each one of you girls. I’ll love and accept you no matter what you are pressured to say or do in the future, and I will never let this sort of thing stand in the way of my love for you.
I’m just sad that you are put in this situation.
A hug and a kiss and a 13 year old girl fighting back tears and I left the room.
I’m going to keep it at that for now. Love. Full stop.
A child deserves unconditional love and they if aren’t going to get it from their heavenly father, they’ll get it from their earthly father