Sunday, April 8, 2012

"You're welcome to come along"

A close girlfriend and I drove down to Canberra on Thursday to spend a couple of days with her brother for Easter. I had to be back Saturday night so I'd be here to pick up my man from his overseas holiday Sunday morning.

She has an old friend in Canberra, they served together for six months in the mission field. The friend knows I'm gay and also knows that my friend is less active. I dropped her off Friday afternoon then went for a drive around Canberra to find a cafe, read, blog and then pick her up a few hours later.

When I arrived to pick her up, her girlfriend and her husband greeted me at the door. There was some polite conversation and I could see they were off to Church for what I assumed was an Easter fireside on Good Friday. She and her husband were dressed for Church.

What happened next was something that I'd done many many times myself in the past when meeting less active members of the Church. She said "You're welcome to join us if you'd like". There was no malice, no mean spirit, if anything a little humour because I think she knew what the response would be.

What struck me though was that I was identified as a less active Church member. I hadn't really thought of myself like that before, so this was a new experience. It's been two and half years since I stopped going to Church, besides a close friend's child's baptism, I've not stepped inside an LDS chapel since. It hasn't been a conscious decision to not step in a Church, there just hasn't been a reason to do so.

How did I feel? Nothing much really, it just caused me to reflect a little. My girlfriend had watched the recent April 2012 General Conference and suggested I take a look at Elder Uchtdorf's talk. He talks of mercy and as has been my experience, many LDS folks don't seem to get mercy. He also cites a bumper sticker he saw which said:

"Don't judge me because I sin differently to you".

What a great sticker. As I've said in my blog previously, I've been richly blessed with wonderful LDS friends who have not judged and have loved me for who I am. However I read many blogs from Gay LDS members in the US and other parts of the world. However the US seems to be the worst, I wish all Gay LDS could move to Australia, life is good. It really does get better.

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