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Lessons and New Beginnings

In a few days, my family is moving from a small town in northern Idaho to a much larger city in the western United States.

It’s hard to believe that we have to move on, yet there’s a sort of completeness that fills me as I think about it.  I have no doubt that it’s time for the next phase of our lives…and that we’re ready for whatever comes our way — thanks, in large part, to the preparation of this phase.

And my, what a phase it’s been!  My husband was in graduate school for Acting.  I think I was in graduate school for life.  I’ve learned seriously important lessons over the past 4 years.  And since new beginnings are always a time to reflect, I thought I’d share some of them here…

1. The only way out is through.

2. All I’ll ever have is a small glimpse into what is eternally True.

3. God is good.  

4. Love means honoring people’s freedom…then giving them all kinds grace when they use it to screw things up.  MOST IMPORTANT PART: this goes for me, too.

5. From our greatest trials spring our greatest blessings.

6. It is more important to be authentic than liked.  Of course, with few exceptions, it is possible to be both.

7. Wherever I am today is because I chose it.

8. At least 35% of the Avett Brothers’ songs should be canonized as scripture.  Case in point:

9. The Kingdom of God is within.

10. I married the right dude.  Just look at him.

11. The church is as true as the gospel.  Especially because of its flaws.

12. God’s love brings freedom to live from what’s real.

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Thoughts on Compassion and Change

(Image source here.)

I interrupt your regularly-scheduled gratitude blogging for a post I’ve wanted to write for some time now but haven’t gotten around to.  Yesterday, though, I read something that brought it to the forefront of my mind — and I figured now was as good a time to address it as any.

First, a bit of background on what inspired this post now.  The church recently updated its handbook of instructions — the official guidebook that outlines all its procedures and policies — and among the more interesting changes were revisions to the way it speaks about homosexuality.  No longer are homosexual thoughts and feelings considered “sinful” (homosexual behavior still is),  and advice to send gay people to reparative therapy is gone.  They’ve also removed language that refers to homosexuality as a “distortion of loving relationships.”  In other words, this reflects and solidifies the shift we’ve seen in the church over the past 5-10 years — acknowledgment that homosexuality isn’t necessarily chosen or changeable and that gay people aren’t inherently vile in the eyes of God.

I am glad for the official change.  As a people, I believe that if we can truly internalize this message, it will lead to greater love and acceptance of our LGBT brothers and sisters.  And that will reduce the suffering they experience as they grow up Mormon and gay, torn between two worlds that, at the moment anyway, are pretty much irreconcilable.

But my post today isn’t about homosexuality.

It’s about the nature of change and the value of accepting people exactly the way they are.

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