I skipped Sunday School and RS today because open forum for commentaries were just not going to be productive for me today. I went to Sacrament Meeting though. The first thing the first speaker said was "I want to talk about the church's recent handbook change." I took a deep breath and put my chin in my palms and my eyes on the floor. He continued, "My whole life I've just believed everything the prophets and apostles said was true. It just was. But this one I struggled with for a little bit, until I remembered that I know Joseph Smith was a prophet and this church is true. If we know Joseph Smith was a prophet, if we know the Book of Mormon is true, if we priesthood keys were restored then President Monson is a true prophet and what he says is true and it is as simple as that."
It was an echo of half my facebook feed since Wednesday "If you disagree with this, then go pray and find a testimony of modern day Prophets." "This is God just weeding out the unfaithful that wander as mentioned in the tree of life vision." "Really, if you don't understand, then pray, read the scriptures, look for answers, but stop criticizing. If you have a testimony then you know how to strengthen it. If you don't have a testimony start working to get it. If you want if you do nothing, don't criticize."
And I just want to grab them and say you asserting that my faith is too weak or that I am somehow the weak that God is weeding out is literally the least productive thing you could do right now. If you need to declare that you aren't struggling because of your testimony, then fine, please do that, maybe your faith will strengthen mine. But please don't pretend to know how strong my faith is by the issues I struggle with. It must be wonderfully simple to see the world in black and white, to have the kind of belief where whatever the church puts out is inherently true, to have your biggest struggles with the church be things that can be resolved in a matter of days or hours. But there are so many of us who see the world in greyscale. That does not mean my testimony is failing or my faith is less than yours. It just means that I am built differently. God can work with that. I know He can. But making the Church an unsafe place for those who wrestle with questions is to not the godly thing to do. I'm trying. We're all trying. We are hurting and struggling and we are still here. Please respect that we all want to be good and to do good. Please see that.
If this is a way of weeding out the weaklings, then some of the best people I know are being weeded out and I'm not sure I want to stay with those who "pass" this test with flying colors.