We have all read in recent weeks about Mormons who have resigned their membership in the Mormon church over the recent policy change declaring Mormons living in same-sex relationships to be "apostate" and subject to immediate excommunication proceedings, and to the consequences on their children--refusal to bless, baptize, ordain, or send them on missions. If you are one of the many Mormons who has a strong testimony of The Book of Mormon, who believes in modern prophecy and in the divine calling of the First Presidency and the Twelve, but still does not accept this new policy change as coming from God, there are, I believe, other ways that you can express your disagreement with the church besides resigning your membership. Here are some:
1.Direct your charitable giving this year to help Mormon LGBT teens who have been kicked out of their homes after coming out, like the Utah Pride Center.
2.Write a letter directly to the Presidency of the Church to express your love for LGBT people and your concern about the deleterious effects of this policy on them and their children.
3.Call out friends, family members, and ward members when they post homophobic things on facebook or other social media.
4.Wear black to church every day until this policy changes, and be vocal about why you are doing it if people ask.
5.Set an appointment with your bishop and/or stake president to discuss your concerns honestly and faithfully about the new policy.
6.When called on to pray in church, pray for love for all, for LGBT people in particular, and for the minds and hearts of church leaders to be changed.
7.Talk openly and tearfully about your opposition to this policy in church meetings, particularly those about eternal families, about repentance, about the worth of souls, and about the sins of the fathers not being on the heads of the children. Refuse to allow the controversy to die down.
8.Talk honestly about the risk of suicide to LGBT Mormons who feel unloved and unwanted by the church.
9.Tell LGBT friends directly and repeatedly that you are on their side, that your love for them is unconditional.
10.Find an on-line or IRL group to join that supports LGBT Mormons and attend rallies or march with them (Affirmation, Mormons Building Bridges, etc.)
11.Wear rainbow socks, ties, tights, or an armband to church to mark your position.
12.Insist that people do not forget the many years when the LDS Church recommended various reparative therapies to LGBT people, including mixed orientation marriages, which have produced the very children the church is now disavowing.
13.If you are in the leadership of the church, refuse to follow this policy. If this means being released, accept this as a consequence. The more this happens, the more the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve may be forced to pay attention to this issue.
Whether or not the Mormon church sees enough reaction from its membership to go to God about changing this policy, I do not feel I can in good conscience do nothing. The God I know loves all and I believe that He is the head of the Mormon church. I also believe that the prophets of the Mormon church are men of God, that they sincerely try to do what is right and to listen to God's voice--and that they get it wrong sometimes, just like the rest of us.
I have friends who have formally resigned their membership in the church because of this policy and I honor their choice. You can certainly speak with your feet on your way out the door. If that is what your conscience tells you to do, then you must follow your own sense of right and wrong. But for now, I feel that those who remain within the church can respectfully protest this policy and in doing so, can help LGBT members who are still in the pews, some of them out and some of them not. In particular, I am concerned about LGBT teens who are terrified to tell the truth about themselves to parents who do not realize yet that their own children are suffering because of this policy. Those are the ones who are at greatest risk of suicide and it is to them I feel I am speaking when I protest in the ways listed above.