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.