I don't usually bring up religious or spiritual things on this blog, because it was originally designed as a place for me to put my poetry. I originally envisioned this to be a fun place where I could be silly and others could easily access it. That original purpose has obviously somewhat changed over the years, as I have expanded the blog to basically to be a place for me to put anything I find interesting, whether it is funny or not. I even eventually caved in and posted a few politically themed posts as I felt the desire. One reason I have avoided spiritually themed posts is that I haven't wanted to turn anyone who is not of my faith away, because they feel "bombarded" by beliefs they don't share (I realize that my "reader base" is not large, but I think I always figured that it someday would be). I must admit though, that I am not the same person I was when I first started this blog. A few years will do that to you. It is still not my express purpose to wax political or spiritual on here, but I will no longer avoid those topics either; they are a part of who I am and if I feel the desire/need to say something regarding them, then I shall. Consider this my "coming out" declarative post.
This morning I listened to the talk on Christian Courage that Elder Robert D. Hales gave in the October session of Conference. I found it so helpful and reassuring, given that not even two full months after it was given the LDS church has come under heavy attack by many who feel hurt and angry at the church for its support and involvement in Prop 8. A great deal of hatred has been spewed out against the church by "news" commentators, there have been protest marches in front of and even vandalism done to our temples, misleading commercials and representations of the church's purpose for supporting it (i.e. that hatred was our motivation), some verbal threats made, and even one instance of violent retaliation. I have asked myself--sitting there in classes, listening to fellow students talk about any who supported Prop 8 as hateful and homophobes--should I speak up and defend the church (knowing that it will only lead to bitter debates and hurtful accusations)? How am I to respond? It turns out that in this case the Lord already answered that question before I asked it or knew I WOULD ask it. Thus, for any who are feeling similarly conflicted, who don't know whether or not they should "fight back," I link to Elder Hales' talk and highly recommend reading it. It can also be found in November's General Conference issue of the Ensign.