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According to the LDS church, when certain privileges are withheld the purpose is not only to discipline, but to teach.
Nick and Spencer have already experienced discipline of one kind; the bishop stated that these conditions would continue in the new ward as they had in Hawaii—no sacrament, no callings, no garments, no temple.
I’m also grateful that they are still hanging in there with the Mormon people, and haven’t given up.
And I’m grateful that even though their future is uncertain as members of the Church, many Mormons have welcomed them with open arms, both in their Hawaii ward and their new ward in Washington DC.
It shattered so many hopes, so many people’s desire to maintain what little faith they had in the church and the hope that it was changing.” The sting of the policy has been real and lasting.
Nick believed the church knew there would be collateral damage, that LGBTQ members would leave the church in droves.
The leaked news of the policy reached Nick at the end of his work day. After all the progress he had seen, it felt like a gut punch.
“We saw all of this progress happening, and there was this momentum. It just put up a stone wall, an impenetrable barrier. So many people who were still trying to hold on, this policy ripped the carpet up out from under their feet.
After connecting with a member of the DC ward they were moving to on the LDS LGBTQ support group Mormons Building Bridges’ Facebook page, they hoped their new ward in Washington would indeed be as warm and inclusive as promised.
When he asked them if they had ever been threatened with further church discipline, a slow and familiar feeling of dread stirred within Nick.
This bishop meant more serious church discipline, as in excommunication.
With the tie from Hawaii around his neck, an emblem of pressing on even when faith gets complicated, Nick approached the expansive red brick meetinghouse with Spencer at his side.
The white windowed steeple and spire reached upwards, piercing the blue sky.
Yesterday I posted the first half of the story of Nick and Spencer, a married gay Mormon couple who want to stay active in the LDS Church.