This is the 100th post on my blog! Celebration time!!!!! 🙂
Since it’s my hundredth post, and it’s coming up on the New Year, I thought it might be a nice opportunity for reflection. So I went through some of the old posts I’d written. WOW. What a transformative few years it’s been since I started writing my blog in June 2008.
In some ways, it’s painful to read. In other ways, it’s miraculous. I read between the lines and remember what this journey has been. In particular, it’s striking to revisit the agonizing confusion that came with my fight against OCD, especially before I knew I had OCD (I wasn’t diagnosed until December 2010, but I have been battling it my whole life). I see it in every post, every question. And yet, I would not change any of it. OCD has been my life’s greatest trial; but as is often the case with great trials, it has also provided many of my greatest gifts.
Today, I’d like to share some of the gifts OCD has given me — graces I would not have received were it not for my day-to-day struggle to live a rich, meaningful life despite my disorder. I write this for the benefit of others struggling with difficult trials of every variety (including myself!), but with a special place in my heart for those facing mental illness. I hope this will be a reminder that there is meaning in our battle, that God can create tremendous beauty from even the deepest despair, that there is hope for all of us.
(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.
Today, I simply want to affirm that my approach to the gospel can summed up by the 13th Article of Faith:
We believe in being honest, true…
This touched me on multiple levels tonight, as I realized how painful honesty can be.
Sometimes, it means sacrificing my public face in favor of acknowledging a private truth, even when it makes me look bad. At other times, it means standing up for my beliefs, even when my culture or community might reject me or my interpretation. It might require that I relinquish power, authority, or control in order for another person to be free. In almost every instance, it means being willing to let God to shine a light on injustice, cruelty, violence, hatred, bigotry, and intolerance wherever it exists — but especially in my own heart — so that I may see it for what it is, and do what I must to root it out as quickly as possible.
Her daughter Jessica is a lesbian, and in an interview with KOST 103.5 in Los Angeles, Marie talked about the need for civil rights for everyone.
I have to say…I’m proud of her. I’ve always liked to make fun of Marie–ever since that horrendous doll dance on Dancing with the Stars (okay, that’s a lie; I made fun of her long before that)–but you know what? It takes guts to be Marie Osmond. God bless her for that.
As for me? My political views compel me to require that all people be treated equally under the law…even when they’re doing things I don’t agree with (as long as their actions don’t infringe upon the rights of people around them). My religious views compel me to treat everyone with love and kindness…even when they’re doing things I don’t agree with (just as I would hope others would show compassion toward me).
Gay marriage is a messy topic, but I generally agree with Marie’s assessment that in a free society, the same civil rights must be afforded to everyone, regardless of sexual orientation–whether that means civil unions, marriage, or whatever.