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The Final Goodbye

"In a major policy announcement, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says children living in a same-sex household may not be blessed as babies or baptized." - KUTV

The story blew up social media. I read it once, twice. Three times before it sank in. I had no idea, no clue that this would ever come to pass.

I had no idea that this would hit me like  it did, like reliving that first wave of realization at the beginning of my faith crisis all over again.

I typed the words into the YouTube search bar. Come, Come Ye Saints. I don’t know what possessed me; perhaps this was what was needed for me in this moment, a last, final benediction. I watched parts of the accompanying video. Lights bounced off the copper-gold pipe organ columns. I stood under them, from 1000 miles due east, and watched with the eyes of an earnest 11-year-old visiting Temple Square for the first time. The next scene came from a reenactment of the Mormon trek; men in pioneer garb dug into the frozen ground burying another casualty to the harsh journey West. Tears streamed freely down my face, hot, raw, scalding. I wept freely, but not for the lives of those left in a trail of sorrow that first hard winter, nor for the empty hearts of the mothers who left them there. Not this time.

I wept for the children buried now by the policy change for same-sex families. I wept, heartily, for the cold steel cutting through these families with impersonal, surgical precision. All is not well in Zion. It never will be again.

I wept, for the memories, for the tribe I loved, for the Gospel I lived, and for the raw wound, the knowledge that this final schism was the end of it for me, that though the question was never really asked I had the final answer. I would not, could not return. Not now. Not ever.

My Mormon story is over. It is done.

The song ended. Music cued up for another hymn. I barely listened to the military ballad, but I could not close the window. This was the last long glance from the back window of the station wagon as the moving truck pulled away from the curb, the final goodbye to the home that had housed my soul for most of my life. Despite faith crises, beyond resignation letters, home had always been home.

The third, the final song rang through the speakers, and the tears overcame me. Amazing Grace. How could there be anything left of grace now? Never again will my heart quicken at the sight of the temple. Nevermore will passages of the Book of Mormon leave me to wonder if my doubt had been hasty, if my worries had been misplaced. I closed the window, unable to listen any longer. No longer was there an open question, just a period at the end of a sentence.

The ties are cut and I am done.


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Welcome to The Peacewriter.

We all want to belong somewhere, to someone. It is a basic human need.

If you have ever experienced a period of doubt or questioned your beliefs in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, you know that this is not a minor thing. It is tantamount to a crisis, and one that can be life altering.

Lose your testimony, and you stand to lose everything that matters.

There are those who exist on the fringes of the Church, who feel disenfranchised, even unwanted. If you are single, gay or lesbian, feminist, atheist, or uncorrelated, it can be tough to feel like a part of the community. You may feel that you do not belong.

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