Monday, June 23, 2014

A Name Blotted Out

Like everyone, I just heard of Kate Kelly's excommunication. I expected to feel somber at the news. I didn't expect the tears.

I do not agree with Sister Kelly's actions in any way. Yet, I had still hoped there would be a way for her to repent before excommunication happened. I imagine to myself what it would feel like to be cut off from the Church. That it would be devastating is without doubt. I imagine her family, her children, her husband and herself. This has to be a sobering experience.

While I would probably have chosen no differently, had I had to make that terrible decision, still it cuts me. I may not entirely understand it, but I mourn. I mourn any time I hear of someone leaving the Church for any reason. I wish that she had not felt that she had to give up her covenants in order to "be authentic."

I hope and pray that she finds a place in her heart to make those covenants again.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

What it Means to Repent in the Face of Excommunication

I have never been called before a disciplinary council. But on my mission, I experienced something similar. Near the end of my mission, my mission president was released and a new one was called. My first mission president had incredible perception by the Spirit. He allowed me to be the kind of missionary I was drawn to be, even though it caused considerable upheaval and confusion among the ranks of the elders called to lead me in my work.

I remember going to interviews with him, which happened once every six weeks, nervous that I was going to be called on the carpet for the disagreements about how to conduct missionary work I had been having with my leaders. Every new set of leaders in every place I was moved (and it was frequent, at the beginning of my mission) was a new battle. They were called to report numbers of baptisms and lessons taught. I was inclined more to concentrating on the people I came in contact with, feeling strongly that counting numbers was not going to be effective in the area I served.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

"It's Personal"

Like everyone who wants to do better, be better, I sometimes struggle with my relationship with divinity. I have been amply blessed in a myriad little ways. Nothing major, until recently, but repeated small nudges to say something or check on something that ended up saving me just enough to keep me sane. Some days, it has felt like I'm barely holding on with torn and bloody fingernails, but have been touched with just enough extra energy to keep holding on. It is like I'm part of a vast chorus where, hoarse and broken, my voice does far more to create dissonance than beauty.

Recently, the hand of the Lord has been much more obvious. For the last month or so, I have been attending a ward temporarily while I am in transition from one house to another. This ward has several women who are going through divorce. As I've learned of them, and heard some of them speak, I felt prompted to bear my testimony in Fast and Testimony meeting.

This was a difficult proposition because my testimony, as I have said before, is not smooth and pretty, cut to show light and sparkle. It is cracked, crazed, with deep inclusions. It's a bit off-color. The deliverance I've prayed for over the last several years has been slow in coming. Most days are beautiful, but I still sometimes crack under certain types of pressure which I feel ought to be long gone. I'm still triggered, sometimes, over silly things.

I've been in a liminal state for some time, but it is a liminal state where I feel unseen things are happening, that I am being pruned and developed for some specific purpose. I am changing in ways I can't quite see, let alone quantify. I have started several drafts for blog posts but never finished them. I find myself with few comments to make on others' posts. Whatever changes I'm going through don't fit labels easily. I am becoming, but I'm not becoming anything.

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