How I’m working for change inside my church

As some of you may, or may not know, I was born into the Mormon church.  I was baptized when I was 8. Received the priesthood when I was 12.  Went on a mission to the California Ventura mission, and a number of other “expected” checklist items within the Mormon church.

Over the last few years I have had what many call a “crisis of faith.”  I have watched the way my sisters, and nieces have been treated and taught within the church.  I saw the horrible, and somewhat despicable way my cousin was treated when he came out as gay. Ive watched family members shun, and discredit others that were different from themselves, and look down on “non members”, and its bothered me.

Now before I go any further let me explain a few things about my personal faith.  I believe in God.  I always have.  I also believe in the power of prayer.  Throughout my life I have had too many experiences to make me doubt that God is real, and that he listens to peoples prayers.

But the question I have held for a long time is this.  Why do people commit horrible and often tragic actions in the name of God?  A God they believe and teach is merciful, loving, and offers forgiveness to everyone.  Why do the actions of church members not mirror the teachings of God?

I have heard many answers throughout my life.  Things like, “The church is perfect, but the people aren’t.” Or, “God gave mankind free agency.”  These kind of answers never set well with me. Especially when I see the actions of man being passed off as “Gods will.”

Gender and racial inequality within the church has been something I have struggled with my whole life.  And recently, the new rules and laws against the children of same sex couples has been hard to swallow.

However, this video raises some very interesting questions.  How do we fight for change, and still respect the beliefs of others?  Like Chelsea Shields, I am not sure I have a good answer to that.  So for now I continue to have faith in God, and have faith that my prayers on this subject are being heard.

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