Faith, Love, Paradox, and Staying in the Boat

By Emily Milner

(Photo by Anatolii Kiriak from Pexels)
Two weeks ago the Church announced that they were reversing the November 2015 policy regarding the baptism of children of gay people. I’m glad and I’m frustrated at the same time. I continue to sustain the leaders who implemented it; I honor them as prophets, seers, and revelators, and I trust that they understand a larger picture that I don’t always see, then and now. Still, I wish the policy had never happened in the first place. But it did. And this reversal doesn’t magically make the pain it caused vanish.

I’m trying to reconcile my own faith and lived sacred experiences with the grief I see around me. It’s hard, living in this space of paradox. I want to claim the paradox space though, neither denying the pain around me nor my own testimony of the restored gospel.

I feel like sometimes I silence my own lived experience because it’s not as painful or hard as what so many other people go through. If I’m not hurting as much as they are, then what I say must not be as valid as their truths.

I want to mourn with those that mourn. And I want to do it in a way that does not diminish the reasons I stay in the boat.

Is that even possible?

I know people whose empathy is so overwhelming that they jump out of the boat.

But I can’t do that. I can’t jump out. Maybe it’s too soon for this post–so many are still feeling raw– but I need to write it because I feel like the grief I’m feeling vicariously is making me forget the true things I have experienced, things I need to remember and remind myself of.

If it’s going to trigger you to read the expressions of faith in this post, don’t read it. Know that I love my LGTBQ brothers and sisters—my tears have been with you even before the news of the policy reversal, because of the recent tragic suicide of a dear cousin. I want you to stay alive, alive, alive.

I also love my faith, and I need to hold those two things at the same time.

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