These stories are very personal and can be emotionally and psychologically triggering.
My ex has decided to take me to court to take my kids away. This all came about after the policy change. I’m gay and we divorced several years ago. Up until this past weekend, we were getting along well.
I agreed in the divorce to allow her to raise the kids in the church. Apparently she now feels she will not be able to do that unless she has full custody. Because under the new policy children cannot progress in the church if they have a parent in a same-sex relationship.
I had a 10-15 minute discussion with the kids on Saturday about the new policy. I basically told them about it and that I don’t know what it means. I told my 11 year old that it may mean he can’t become a deacon. But, the one thing that it clearly states is that they needed to disavow me if they were ever wanting to go on a mission. And this is what has been extremely painful to me.
I believe in free agency and would have honored and respected their choice to go on a mission. If and when the time came. Now given the fact that they MUST disavow me and get special permission is just crazy.
I recognize my ex has a terrible fear; perhaps none of our children will stay in the church based on this policy. I respect that my kids will make the right choice. I’m just so angry that the church has created a situation that a child needs to disavow a parent in order to achieve the love of God.
I have been having terrible night terrors again since this policy came out. I experienced the night terrors (PTSD) for 2 years after a brutal excommunication. I thought they would never come back. My night terrors were awful last night, I’ve been crying since I got out of bed. The night terrors rob you of REM sleep and drive you crazy. After the excommunication they became so bad that I had contemplated ending things. I just don’t want to go back to that place ever.
I am almost 19 and I desperately want to share the message of the gospel by going on an LDS mission.
However, I don’t know if I can do that anymore. Some of my closest friends are bisexual, transsexual, questioning, and asexual. I have met so many wonderful people in the LGBT community and have been welcomed at the nearest Pride Center so warmly.
I do not know if I can go preach the gospel when I will have to introduce people to the church as well. I can not speak of loving one another and bearing each others burdens when I open the doors to a place that feels they are doing people a service by excluding them.
There was one time not too long ago when the church and the gospel brought peace and happiness into my life. Knowing that anyone could miss their opportunity to feel the way I have hurts a lot. Knowing that they are missing that because they, or their families, have love to show, hurts even more.
I am the mother of a daughter who took her own life. Although I had been out of the church for many years, my daughter was baptized and attended church with her grandparents and friends. It is very important socially in a small Utah town. She had a firm testimony and attended every week. She wanted to be just like her friends. When she was a teenager, her friends let the bishop know that she was suicidal. She began drinking, drugging and cutting. She met with the bishop every week to repent. She would come home in tears. I don’t know if she ever discussed her orientation with the bishop. When I get brave enough, I will ask.
After her death at 19, it became much more important for me to learn if the church was true. I prayed and fasted and came to the realization that it was not. It had never entered my head that would be the answer. It was very painful. It was hard to give up on the dream of us becoming a forever family.
In the past 10 years or so, I have watched members become much more accepting. As the church made baby steps toward equality, I would receive “see, we are doing better” emails. I haven’t received anything about the latest announcement.
It is a truly sad time as we struggle to make some kind of sense of it all.
Please contact me at natashaparker.org if you are interested in sharing your story on this blog. Other spaces where you can share or read these important accounts include: Feminist Mormon Housewives and Suffer the Little Children.
Trigger Warning: If you identify as LGBTQ – please be careful in reading the comments people post on this site. I allow all comments (that don’t personally berate another person) because I want there to be a witness to the many opinions on this topic – but some are triggering, harmful and often give inaccurate information.