Monday, November 17, 2008

helplessly hoping

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...


Kara & Chant said...

I agree with you Jenna and I think you worded it perfectly!

Bonny said...

Even though I don't necessarily agree with you politically, I would hope that I would never make you cry!

I had to do the same thing on my blog (as you know), and it felt good to get my own feelings out there. I knew there wouldn't be much response, because most people I know feel differently than me. So, good for you for not holding it in. That's the best thing about having your own blog! You can say what you want, and delete the comments that you don't like!

Stacy said...

I must say that I have really struggled with this whole Prop. 8 issue...mostly because standing up for my beliefs and my rights means that there are other people out there who are going to feel hurt and feel like their rights are being taken away. It's a touchy issue because it's one that most people have pretty strong feelings about. I think it's good that you wrote about it, and I hope no one says mean things to you because of it.

Reid Family said...

Hey Jenna this is Karen. Your blog rocks! Visit ours

Jenalyn said...

I applaud you and your courage to voice your opinion on these matters. You are much braver than I. Simply put, I will just say that I am 100% against prop 8, and 100% pro-human rights. But I will not delve into that here, in your comments.

I understand that, religiously, we are taught to be against such things. And I take no issue with that. Each religion has their own stance on the subject. What I hold major problems with is the approach that the LDS church, OUR church, took in this matter. It doesn't surprise me that members support these propositions. Not one bit. It's almost to be expected. What angers me is that the church "asked" it's members to support a legal stance. A church can lobby. I just don’t want them exempt from paying taxes if they choose to support a certain legislation.

Jenalyn said...

... i thought i might could go in and edit my last comment, but it looks like my only option is to trash it.

I just want to add that I'm not trying to start anything here. Talking too openly about politics scares me, that's all.

I love you and can't wait to see you again!!

(i'll go crawl back under my rock now)

Jenna Kae said...

thanks for the comments everyone! it has been interesting to find out what everyone has to say about this.

bonny, you didn't make me cry! don't worry! and i like what you said - it is my blog, and i can do what i want! :) i'm appreciate the fact that we can all voice our opinions, and different as they may be, we can still be friends. :)

jen-jen, i just wanted to clarify one thing. i probably should have been more clear in the post, but the leaders of the church were very clear that they weren't telling us that we needed to vote a certain way. they said they can't tell us how to vote, but that they were taking a stand on the propostions as a moral issue, not a political or legal one. i don't have the letter that was read in sacrament meeting here with me, or else i could quote it. (and i am getting old - my memory isn't what it used to be :)) they said it much better and clearer than i can. anyway, i hope that clears things up a little. (oh, and ps, i love you and miss you too! see you this week!)

anyway, thanks to you all for your comments! i knew it was a touchy subject when i decided to blog about it, but like i said, it was something i felt like i needed to do. good to hear from everyone!