A while ago there was an event encouraging women to wear pants to church. Another event encouraged women to attempt to attend priesthood session. There are a number of individuals who are pointing out inequality, and sharing pain they are feeling about complex issues that feel as if they are being ignored. In every ward there are individuals who are struggling with doctrine, church teaching, and cultural practices. Gay individuals struggle to find their place in the church, and those who do not commit their lives to celibacy feel as if their only option is to leave the church.
I recognize that one can have a variety of opinions specifically about the diverse critiques of our church, but the reason that all off these issues are so important to me is because of the ways we can sometimes respond to those who are struggling. Since we are perfectly comfortable and pleased with the status quo it is often easier to ignore those struggling and to even provide them with ultimatums suggesting that they just leave. I strongly feel that this is the wrong response.
I am so grateful for Elder Uchtdorf sharing his much needed wise counsel in this regard and plea to those who are on the edge, or are even outside of our boundaries. In a talk addressing these types of issues he said “…regardless of your circumstances, your personal history, or the strength of your testimony, there is room for you in this Church.”
I pray that we can do a better job in following his counsel and making room for all in our church, instead of building the fences higher to keep them out.