Sunday, February 7, 2016

I'll Walk With You

(Artist: Annie Spratt)

I bore my testimony in my local congregation today. Due to my debilitating fear of public speaking I wrote my testimony down, memorized it and shared it:

Good morning sisters and brothers,

I want to bear my testimony of Jesus Christ. Patterning my life after the example of Jesus is very important to me, particularly the new commandment he gave to his disciples in John 13, “Love one another as I have loved you, that ye also have love one to another. By this shall all men know that ye and my disciples, if you have love one to another.”

The recent changes in the Church Handbook that bar the children of LGBTQ parents from baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost has been extremely heartbreaking for me. When I think about the exclusion these children feel from their religious community it is extremely disconcerting. I also am troubled by the message this is sending to our LGBTQ youth. It saddens me greatly to think that there are LBGTQ youth taking their lives because they feel like there is no other way out—that they don’t belong here with us.

That’s why my family and I wear these buttons. We don’t want any child, youth or adult to feel like they don’t have a friend at Church, that they aren’t welcomed in our congregation.

I’ve spent some time serving as Primary President and it was there that I really came to appreciate the simplicity of the teachings of Jesus. One of my favorite primary songs is “I’ll Walk with You”, because the lyrics beautifully illustrate the principle of discipleship.

If you don’t walk as most people do,
Some people walk away from you,
But I won’t! I won’t!
If you don’t talk as most people do,
Some people talk and laugh at you,
But I won’t! I won’t!
I’ll walk with you. I’ll talk with you.
That’s how I’ll show my love for you.
Jesus walked away from none.
He gave his love to everyone.
So I will! I will!
Jesus bless all he could see,
Then turned and said “Come, follow me.”
And I will! I will!
I will! I will!
I’ll walk with you. I’ll talk with you.
That’s how I’ll show my love for you.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.