I would love to know who selected the hymn? The GA's, the chorister, the local leadership. Yes it sends a certain message and I am choosing the "Lord's side" part of it. I hear and feel Oaks words, I really can see the idea of the direction they are working from - but I also try carefully to look around at the other nuanced people that the church is widely aware of - and yet no actions are taken towards them.
On the short list are the following, Carol Lynn Pearson, Mitch Maynes, Robert or Bob Rees, The Givens, BCC team, Kristine Haglund - Dialogue Editor, Joanna Brooks, Dan Wotherspoon, Michael Barker, Wheat & Tares bloggers, Times & Seasons bloggers - this is a speedy go over. So far they still maintain their membership, espouse a nuanced view, engage in conversation and remain in the faithful category or at the least - not an enemy category.
I listened to Claudia Bushman encourage women to have baby blessings in their homes, she clearly stated not to use the word Priesthood blessing, but gather the friends, hold the baby, bless it and have refreshments. It's nuanced, it would curl some leaders hair and toes, but no one is shutting down Claudia Bushman.
As I see it, there is still room for navigation, the battle (and it is a battle) is far from over. I believe "there is hope smiling brightly before us" if we look carefully, choose wisely and use wisdom.
I remember hoping the essays would be this miraculous cure all to the problem, I was so hurt when it didn't become such, I allowed myself to feel that hurt, to rage at it, acknowledge it, shake my fist at God about it - as I did so other lights and ideas came to me. Perhaps thats the solution here. Own the anger it gives you, own the fear, make it yours, rage in private with God - and then see where it takes you. Think of our Black brothers and sisters and the years they endured. Think of the "faithful" who held out hope, and nudged the process for the ban to be changed. Maybe our job is like theirs and we have to create the response that will do our part to keep the entire ship sailing.
"I stayed because it was God and Jesus Christ that I wanted to follow and be like, not individual human beings." Chieko Okazaki Dialogue interview
"I am coming to envision a new persona for the Church as humble followers of Jesus Christ....Joseph and his early followers came forth with lots of triumphalist rhetoric, but I think we need a new voice, one of humility, friendship and service. We should teach people to believe in God because it will soften their hearts and make them more willing to serve." - Richard Bushman