(Metaïntroductory note: Apparently --- and I didn't know this --- but apparently it is typical, when a General Authority [innermetanote: I'm going deep with the unexplained Mormon terms again] attends a stake conference, for the General Authority to hold a special meeting the morning of the general session for a select group of invited memmbers. The last visiting authority to our stake was Bishop McMullin and he met with recently baptized members [why I wasn't invited and thus remained ignorant]. This time, Elder Jensen met with member of our stake who may have been particularly wounded or troubled by Prop 8. I'm not sure how Lady Steed and I ended up on the invite list as we doubt we were "particularly" affected, but we did and we weren't going to miss it. So we packed up our kids and let them play baseball in a room elsewhere in the building while we sat near the back of the baptistery.)
(Introductory note: The format of the meeting began with the stake president discussing the history of the stake's efforts to heal after Prop 8 [cf]), then he invited those in attendance to speak frankly, taking turns at the front. People talked primarily about their pain and confusion related to the Church's handling of Prop 8 directly or about their pain and confusion related to being gay and Mormon, gay and formerly Mormon, or being closely related to such a person. This part of the meeting went, as you might imagine, long. I ended up not standing up because the personal stories hit all my points, but if I had taken the chance to speak, there are three things I don't understand which I would've loved to have addressed: 1. I don't understand the scriptural (canonical) basis for the Church's policy against homosexuality. Few doctrines with that amount of scriptural basis do we bother adhering to. 2. Even if homosexuality is a dire sin, I don't understand how preventing suchlike from entering legally sanctioned committed relationships will result in a net moral loss for society at large. 3. I wonder where the Church will go now, because the court case was an utter debacle --- it's hard to imagine how Prop 8 proponents could have lost worse or more thoroughly. Legally, it's over. So will the Church continue to engage in a lost battle or . . . what's our plan exactly? But anyway, people's pain and tears covered those points, just not as succinctly. After these stories, Elder Jensen rose to speak.)
Trust is my stock in trade as a General Authority and I don't want to lose it but I do want to use it for those I can help in my ministry.
The Lord expects better of us. (By which he meant that members who behaved uncharitably toward the gay community during 2008 etc are not to be commended.)
The Church has learned from its Prop-8 experience and will likely handle things differently in the future, ala Argentina.
(Concluding note: I did not take many notes during this meeting. Elder Jensen made some comments that made me feel that to record a large percentage of his words would be inappropriate. So in conclusion, near the beginning of his words, he apologized directly and personally and forthrightly and emotionally for the pain that was caused to so many during the campaign. His sincerity could not be doubted and I heard many sobs from those in attendance. Clearly, Elder Jensen is not in a position to change doctrine or even apologize for it [this was not the nature of his apology], but having witnessed the meeting, I think that the real purpose of the meeting was to give the downtrodden the chance to feel heard and understood and loved, and in that respect I think the meeting was a stirring success.)
(Postconcluding note: In the general session of stake conference, our stake president spoke on the meaning of the scripture Charity Seeketh Not Her Own. I've meant to svithe* on this before but haven't yet, but the gist is that, in context, the scripture is clearly teaching us that those with charity to not cleave only unto people like unto themselves, but unto those wholly different as well. And so, as his final example of charity seeking not her own, he told of a recent dinner he had with a couple, both lapsed Mormons, who desire to return to the faith. Their daughter ran around the house as they and the stake president and his wife spoke together. Then he asked us is our stake had room for a couple of lapsed Mormons. Answer: Yes. For charity seeketh not her own. And what if this couple is unmarried. Is their room in our stake for them then? Yes. For charity seeketh not her own. And if they are of the same gender? Have we room for them then? Yes. For charity seeketh not her own.)
*I've been a lazy svither
lately, ergo this multi-
part svithe. Call it the
beginnings of my eventual