This morning I got up, finally committed to grab my video camera and get some morning shots around my apartment complex. I showered and dressed more quickly than usual, hoping to provide myself with extra time to shoot.
As I grabbed a drink, I looked out the kitchen window to the fence below, where each morning I had been greeted with a wall of vibrant morning glories.
They were gone.
I don't know when it happened, but they were totally absent, only a few dead strands of vine were left clinging to the trellis.
My enthusiasm was dead, my heart sank. Who would take something so beautiful and destroy it? It was perfect the way it was, or at the very least, not in anyone's way.
After driving up to Utah last-minute on Sunday, I spent a late night, driving to get home for church Sunday morning. I was excited, ready to feel the spirit come into my heart, and lift me, sustain me, for one more week. I wanted to sing the hymns, to fellowship with some friends I've made, and to feel closer to Him.
When I arrived, I was greeted with a letter from the Prophet and his councilors, that in effect commanded California LDS to vote to support the Constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a woman. It was, in fact, a call to arms.
My spirit was gone.
I had always thought the church was better than that. If fact, the week before I'd commented to someone that "The Mormon Church is different, we don't have a political agenda ... the church doesn't tell us how to vote, they tell us to pray and make a decision based on what the spirit tells us is best for the country and church--we believe in agency."
To me, the issue is one of law. First, we must understand that marriage is an institution created by religion (or God, depending on your perspective.) Not an invention of the state. It was only in the last century that the state began requiring "Marriage Licenses"--prior to the US Civil war, NO ONE had a marriage license. The marriage license was invented after the civil war so that the states could try and prevent and regulate interracial marriage
Even if marriage is not defined by the state, what does it matter to the church? No one will be forced to perform a same-sex ceremony. That would be a clear violation of Congress's prohibition to "...make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof".
My testimony was severely damaged that day. Not my testimony of God's love, or even of the Scriptures, but my faith in the divine guidance of the church and it's leaders. But it shouldn't be--I should have known this would happen, if I'd done my research. I called and spoke to my father about it, and he said the church has issued call-to-arms type letters on many issues in the past--including fighting against equal rights provisions that would make men and women equal under the law.
Sometimes I wish I could create an eloquent ending to this post, but I'm left dumb. I don't know what to say. I realize that the parallel of the flowers is a bit weak, but I felt that it would help you understand a 1/100th of what I'm feeling right now.
I have to get to work. God, please forgive me.