God’s call to love one another and his call to stand for truth seem to clash, but that’s only because we don’t understand that we can love people without conforming to their choices.
When I reconnected with an old friend online, she stated that she was saving up for sex reassignment surgery. She had tried other methods to deal with her negative feelings toward her body, but it wasn’t until after her second suicide attempt that she made the decision to socially and physically transition, and that decision has improved her life a great deal. She has now legally become a man, with a new legal name.
A mutual friend of ours didn’t know how to react to the transition. “I don’t want to just go along with it or act like I think transitioning genders is normal,” our mutual friend told me. “But how do I show love toward my friend while still standing for what I believe in?”
No one can clearly state how to love our LGBTQ neighbors because each person’s case is unique. But in the talk “Hard Sayings and Safe Spaces,” Eric Huntsman does provide one guiding principle when he states, “We should never fear that we are compromising when we make the choice to love.”
Huntsman goes on to explain that we must create safe spaces for agency, spaces where we listen to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters and seek to understand. Healing comes only when a person is heard and understood. Anyone can hear, understand, and love while continuing to live and discuss gospel standards. Huntsman wisely quotes Tom Christofferson, author of “That We May Be One”: A Gay Mormon’s Perspective on Faith and Family: “Accepting others does not mean that we condone, agree with, or conform to their beliefs or choices, but simply that we allow the realities of their lives to be different from our own.”
Read Eric. D. Huntsman’s full speech, “Hard Sayings and Safe Spaces,” to learn about these safe spaces and about how Jesus created safe spaces by ministering to the one.
Source: BYU Speeches
—Y. B., Latter-day Saint Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHER
Find more insights: See how President M. Russell Ballard has called us to love our LGBTQ brothers and sisters in his conference talk “The Trek Continues!”
Read Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s conference talk “Come, Join with Us,” a talk that affirms the need for both love and agency.
I love your thoughts on this topic. I often wonder how to handle these conflicting ideas as well. I truly love my friends in the LGTBQ+ community, but I also know that I can’t and won’t compromise what I believe about the Lord’s commandments. I think you made an especially great point with Hunstman’s quote: “We should never fear that we are compromising when we make the choice to love.” I think that’s so true! This definitely inspired me to be more loving and to truly listen to all others who may have different opinions than I do.