disclaimer: i am writing this post because of my conscience. i have been wrestling with these thoughts, and myself, for days, and decided that it was time to air them out. i don't intend to offend or hurt anyone, so i hope anyone reading this will not take offense. i don't want to argue either - just voice my opinion. also, i don't believe i am a perfect person, by any means. i am not an expert in any of these areas, and i'm sure there are flaws in what i have written. but, like i said, i have been wrestling with my conscience about it, and have felt the need to share my opinion and beliefs. and i tried to do just that.
i support propositions 8 and 102, along with the other similar measures around the country. in a church meeting about a month before the election, a member of my stake presidency spoke to us about supporting them, and related to us that the First Presidency and other General Authorities had asked for our support on prop 102. if i hadn't made up my mind about them by that point, i would have after that meeting.
over the past 15 days or so, i have been interested in the things happening in california, and arizona to some extent, since the passing of propositions 8 and 102, along with others. hearing about the protests and persecutions that have taken place across the country has baffled me somewhat. within the last few days, i have heard stories of what members of the lds church, and other supporters of proposition 8, have gone through in california, simply because they exercised their rights as citizens, and decided i am glad i don't have to endure that kind of thing at the moment. sometimes it is not an easy thing to follow counsel passed down from the prophet, or even our own convictions, but i believe that it will always be the rewarding thing, maybe most especially when it is hard to do.
my 5 months in china taught me more about freedoms and privileges than anything else in my experience thus far. not being able to share the gospel principles that have made me so happy was painful - heartbreaking sometimes. talking to an underground member of a christian faith made me pray for all of the other members of the country to have that same privilege and choice someday, legally. having to turn chinese people away from church meetings so that we as citizens of other countries could continue to meet made me wish i could call a meeting with president hu jintao. being afraid to leave a hymn book at the home of a chinese couple made me feel sad that i couldn't share the messages of those beautiful songs with them. i learned a lot in china - how to love people who are difficult, how to find strength in tough situations, how to enjoy having less and make do with what i did have. i haven't carried those lessons with me the way that i should. but i also learned more appreciation for the gifts that being an american has given me. i am glad i can exercise my rights of free speech and freedom of religion. i feel privileged that i can bear testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel, and that no one is forced to profess belief in anything. i feel blessed to be a part of a democracy - to have a system in place that allows citizen's voices to be heard, and to let the people have a say in the laws of the land. i would like for everyone to have the happiness i feel in the gospel, and the peace that it brings, but i also recognize that everyone has their own right to choose. and if they don't choose what i choose, i hope i can be kind and remember that that is within their right. i hope that i can do what my Savior would want me to do, in any situation - that i can have the strength and the faith to act as He would have me act.
p.s. i am going to leave this post open to comments, for now. i am interested to hear what others think. however, i don't like to cry, and i don't want to start any fights. so if things get out of hand i will close them. be ye warned...