Monday, May 16, 2011

When "It Gets Better"

The other day I was at home watching "The Office" when this ad came on. It was paid for by google and it was all about how "It Gets Better" for teens struggling with SSA as they grow up. After watching it I was left feeling empty and sick.

I find nothing comforting or uplifting in something that may encourage a young person to turn their back on the gospel and pursue a lifestyle that will lead them away from Heavenly Father.

So much has been said about the evils of "bullying" what hasn't been said is that these kind of messages, on the surface they seem good. We all want to ease the pain and the suffering of those who feel alone and isolated. But is the remedy that is being offered really the cure? Will this really lead to happiness? No, and this is how Satan uses the appearance of "good" to do "bad."

In reality these messages add to the conflict which many point out lead to confusion, pain and teen suicides. If parents of a teen struggling with SSA are doing everything they can to love and support their child but are doing it within the gospel then these messages do conflict with that effort. What these messages are saying is that the only way for it "to get better" is to embrace your sexuality, make being gay part of who you, part of your identity, and act on it. This does run counter to the gospel, and so anyone who opposes that idea is now suddenly guilty of being a bully for advocating the opposite. Parents are now the bad guys because they don't "accept" who their child is. The church is now the bully because it rejects who they are. And anyone who believes that acting on it is a sin is a bully as well. On the other hand, if the child tries to stay faithful to the church and its teachings this group will attack them as not being true to themselves or being repressed.

You know, Elder Holland spoke about how “it does get better,” at the last General Conference and this is the message we should share with our friends who struggle. He was right. When we accept that it is the gospel that makes us happy, not what the world or Google tells us, it will get bettter. When we accept the fact that we children of a loving God, it gets better. When we accept that our true self is eternal, it gets better. It gets better because of the atonement. It gets better because we know the truth of the gospel. Those are the truths that make everything better.


ControllerOne said...

While I respect your viewpoint, I tried the Mormon approach and it simply got worse. This is the problem: You are operating from the premise that what the LDS church is teaching is the truth, absolutely and without question. You and many others may believe this and have faith in it, but that doesn't make it true.

The problem is, the LDS message is that those who don't believe it are sinners and their acts are wrong and constitute sin. The "world" is made up of many, many people who do not have your faith, or that of the many fundamentalist religious sects that reject homosexuality. And it is that condemnation (yes, let's face it, it is condemnation - it can be nothing else if the theology is fully embraced) is what makes life difficult and even miserable for those of us who have tested the LDS faith and remain unconvinced.

I have no ax to grind with the LDS church. In fact I have a keen appreciation for the many positives I enjoyed from it in my youth. And I believe that the teachings are, for the most part, honestly believed without an intentionally malicious spirit. Nevertheless, those teachings force gay members to live conflicted lives of denial and rejection of their very nature. And that is sad and hard.

MY VIEW said...

Thank you for your comment and for choosing to not post it anonymously. I don't normaly post anonymous comments. While we don't agree on this issue and my view point is from the LDS viewpoint, I do understand and respect your point of view. Thank you for taking time to read my blog and for sharing your thoughts with me with respect.

Bran said...

Thanks for this post. There are a lot of lovely points in it.