A blogger over at Religion Dispatches commented on an ol’ Mormon meme that goes like this: You can leave the church, but you can’t leave it alone (Elder Boyd K. Packer, as quoted by Vaughn J. Featherstone).
The logic is “the (LDS) Church is true”, deep down you know it’s true and can’t deny it, and so you have to keep talking about it to make yourself feel better. The Religion Dispatches blogger pointed out why this may be the case:
“[The Church] continues to exert its influence in areas that affect my life and the lives of people I love… [and] as long as the church has opinions that move it to action on these topics, I will have opinions on the church’s actions, which I claim the right to express.”
And that explains my relationship with the (LDS) Church: it just can’t seem to leave me alone. Indirectly, it attacks me every time I read headlines about the LDS Church mingling with politics and marriage equality. It seems to incite its members to attack, too. I get one to two emails every month from members of the Church admonishing me and sharing their belief that I can’t find “real” happiness being gay. I also received an email from a somewhat famous member of the Church who suggested I have “mental health struggles”, and that I lack compassion, integrity, and honesty, which is overshadowed by my mean-spirited, ad-hominen attacks and immature belligerence. Those are a few of the reasons I can’t leave the Church alone: it doesn’t leave me alone and seem to encourage its members to disturb my peace. As a more recent example, I was excited to move out of Utah until I learned Mormons are doing the same thing that has been done in other states.
However, I don’t want to discredit members of the LDS Church who have set aside differences to offer compassion and support nor do I want to communicate that all or even most members are like this. Most of the people near and dear to me are Mormon and just about all of them look past sexuality and differences of belief to extend warmth and compassion. And they are the Mormons I remember, the Mormons I look up to, and the Mormons I enjoy being around. I am inspired by their ability to set aside encouragement from their leaders to get involved in the fight against marriage equality to fight for me.