Conference brought me peace, but it was not so for everyone. I intended, at one point, to write my perspective on several of the events surrounding Conference, and the applicable talks, but as I have watched discussions and listened, my heart was moved. I feel it doesn't matter how I see a fellow sister or brother in the Gospel erring, nor how I perceive that they have been deceived. What matters most right now is that they hurt and mourn.
I do not really share that mourning, though I believe I understand it. I have been burned by unrighteous male authority many times, myself. I have struggled with some of these same issues for nearly two decades. My journey through those struggles has been far different, but not so different that I cannot feel compassion. And what touches my heart more than the errors of those who find themselves feeling at odds with the Church leadership is the rush to harm them by people who ought to be most filled with the compassion of the Savior.
There are enough people telling others they are wrong. We need more people focused on hearts and tender feelings, offering sympathy and love.
I know that most of you don't know me. You know only the struggles, doctrinal thoughts, and difficulties I have been moved to publish publicly in this blog. If we passed on the street, you would not recognize me, nor I you. But I believe our spirits and hearts know each other. I believe that if we were able to bare our souls to each other, we would be able to weep together and rejoice together.
I know it hurts so very much. But please know that there is one person who doesn't agree with you who still aches at your sorrow, and wishes so much that she could be there for you with a plate of cookies and a listening ear.
This Church, its leaders, and its doctrines which have hurt you so much, I love. It is hard to know that something I love can feel so destructive and give so much pain to so many. It is hard for me to hear you attack it, misunderstand it, categorize it as an enemy. But sometimes when we are in pain, it is almost impossible to stop from lashing out. I understand this. There have been times in my life that I have done the same thing—even, if you can believe it, towards the Church.
But, just for a moment, let us lay all that pain and reciprocal pain aside and just weep together until we can laugh together. Let us invite the Spirit of the Lord, who loves all His children with unimaginable love, into our hearts. Let us knit our hearts together, carry one anothers' burdens, and become one in Christ. He died for you and for me.
I know the Church has hurt you. I know that being turned away at the door has made you feel rejected, that hearing values that make up part of your very being emphatically countered by the Church's leaders has wounded you to the very soul. But whether you choose to continue in the Church or not, I am here with a listening ear. I love you, and I mourn with you. Let me help carry that pain for you.
Maybe through me, the Lord will reach out to you and heal your injuries. Maybe, when I need it, He will do the same to me through you.