Friday, January 29, 2016

Mourn With Those that Mourn

We sometimes forget to read scriptures in absolutes. For example, take this one, where Alma explains the consequences of taking upon us the Name of Christ:
"And it came to pass that [Alma] said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;
"Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—"
Note Alma did not say "mourn with those that mourn, so long as you agree with their worldview" or "mourn with those that mourn, so long as their mourning is based on confirmed information." The command here makes no such exceptions.
(To be sure, one will mourn different events to different degrees, but that is true of any commandment. See Mosiah 4:27)
I choose this morning to reaffirm the LDS Church statement from yesterday mourning reports of deaths in the LGBT Community.
Yes, reports conflict about the number of deaths; Indeed, the Salt Lake Tribune reports that the Utah Department of Health weighed in and said there was not a large spike in the suicide rate, and no suicide they investigated was related to the policy. (They did not release figures about the proportion of suicides that were in the LDS Community or the LGBT community.)
But the Church statement clearly says that they are "mourning" even these unconfirmed reports. And, given Alma's counsel, how could they do otherwise:
"Every soul is precious to God and to the church, and the loss of life to suicide is heartbreaking[.] Those who are attracted to others of the same sex face particular challenges and pressures in this regard, both inside and outside the church. We mourn with their families and friends when they feel life no longer offers hope."

This is not in any way a policy change by the LDS Church: it is simply a reflection of what Alma teaches. (Indeed, I stand by my previous statements defending the LDS Church Policy.)

There is hurt and there is mourning today. There may not be names of those who died and we may never know until heaven the true figure.
But today we can "mourn with those that mourn."

As always, these thoughts are my own, are intended to help, but do not reflect the position of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Thanks for reading,

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