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I had a friend who sent me a comment after reading my political platform. He said that he would like me to remove the term “cisgender” from the following statement:
Strong, nuclear families consisting of a cisgender father and a cisgender mother are the “fundamental units of society."
– Gavin D. Howard quoting The Family: A Proclamation to the World
When I asked him why, he said that people who identify as LGBTQ will not feel included.
I tried to explain why I needed to keep it there, why I was still being truly inclusive, but I did not do it well. This post is another attempt.
“He Denieth None”
In my last post, I talked about the Gathering of Israel and the building up of the people and city of Zion and how excited I am for them to happen.
Here’s why: because then we can finally build a united, inclusive people.
I despise how the word “inclusive” is used today. It is used so much that it has little substance, and it is also used to attack those who hold different opinions. That goes for both sides; those who claim to be for inclusion use it to exclude those they don’t like, and those who don’t like it use the word to attack those who claim to be for it.
But when used properly, the word is sublime.
What is the true meaning of the word “inclusive”? It means inviting all to come and be a part of something, regardless of who they are, what they are, what they may look like, or any other characteristic wherewith people might be distinguished from one another.
And the best example of that is the Jesus Christ, His Church, and His Gospel.
…[Jesus Christ] inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile.
That verse could actually be used as the definition of the word “inclusive”! For inclusive is one of the Savior’s many attributes. He was the example of it, and we are to follow.
Receiving the “Heavenly Gift”
I am sure that there are those who would insist that Jesus Christ is not inclusive, and to build their case, they would say, “But His supposed Church does not recognize marriages of gays and lesbians, and it teaches against being transgender.”
That is true, but it has nothing to do with being inclusive. Being inclusive simply means inviting all people to come as they are and learn to be “partakers of the heavenly gift.” (4 Nephi 1:3)
Notice that I said “learn to be partakers.” Receiving the true blessings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not easy; we must learn how.
And nowhere is that illustrated better than in the Parable of the Pearl Necklace.
The Parable of the Pearl Necklace
The cheerful girl with bouncy golden curls was almost five. Waiting with her mother at the checkout stand, she saw them: a circle of glistening white pearls in a pink foil box. “Oh please, Mommy. Can I have them? Please, Mommy, please?”
Quickly the mother checked the back of the little foil box and then looked back into the pleading blue eyes of her little girl’s upturned face. “A dollar ninety-five. That’s almost $2.00. If you really want them, I’ll think of some extra chores for you and in no time you can save enough money to buy them for yourself. Your birthday’s only a week away and you might get another crisp dollar bill from Grandma.”
As soon as Jenny got home, she emptied her penny bank and counted out 17 pennies. After dinner, she did more than her share of chores and she went to the neighbor and asked Mrs. McJames if she could pick dandelions for ten cents. On her birthday, Grandma did give her another new dollar bill and at last she had enough money to buy the necklace.
Jenny loved her pearls. They made her feel dressed up and grown up. She wore them everywhere – Sunday school, kindergarten, even to bed. The only time she took them off was when she went swimming or had a bubble bath. Mother said if they got wet, they might turn her neck green.
Jenny had a very loving daddy and every night when she was ready for bed, he would stop whatever he was doing and come upstairs to read her a story. One night when he finished the story, he asked Jenny, “Do you love me?”
“Oh yes, Daddy. You know that I love you.”
“Then give me your pearls.”
“Oh, Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have Princess – the white horse from my collection. The one with the pink tail. Remember, Daddy? The one you gave me. She’s my favorite.”
“That’s okay, Honey. Daddy loves you. Good night.” And he brushed her cheek with a kiss."
About a week later, after the story time, Jenny’s daddy asked again, “Do you love me?”
“Daddy, you know I love you.”
“Then give me your pearls.”
“Oh Daddy, not my pearls. But you can have my baby doll. The brand new one I got for my birthday. She is so beautiful and you can have the yellow blanket that matches her sleeper.”
“That’s okay. Sleep well. God bless you, little one. Daddy loves you.”
And as always, he brushed her cheek with a gentle kiss.
A few nights later when her daddy came in, Jenny was sitting on her bed with her legs crossed Indian-style. As he came close, he noticed her chin was trembling and one silent tear rolled down her cheek.
“What is it, Jenny? What’s the matter?”
Jenny didn’t say anything but lifted her little hand up to her daddy. And when she opened it, there was her little pearl necklace. With a little quiver, she finally said, “Here, Daddy. It’s for you.”
With tears gathering in his own eyes, Jenny’s kind daddy reached out with one hand to take the dime-store necklace, and with the other hand he reached into his pocket and pulled out a blue velvet case with a strand of genuine pearls and gave them to Jenny. He had them all the time. He was just waiting for her to give up the dime-store stuff so he could give her the genuine treasure.
So it is with our Heavenly Father. He is waiting for us to give up the cheap things in our lives so that he can give us beautiful treasure.
Making Room for the Heavenly Gift
God wants us to receive of His “Heavenly gift,” but He cannot, and will not, force us to receive it, for to receive it, we must make room for it in our lives by removing those things that would take its place.
So God and Jesus Christ invites us all to come and partake; He denies none to partake.
But we, by our choices and failure to let go of lesser things, may choose to not partake.
Changing Our Desires
But that is not all; God has promised to change our very desires.
An example is of the Anti-Nephi-Lehies, Lamanites who converted to the Gospel.
…They did all declare unto the people the selfsame thing—that their hearts had been changed; that they had no more desire to do evil.
This is also implied by the parable above: I am sure that when Jenny, the little girl, saw the genuine pearl necklace, her desire for her dime-store version vanished. So too will God change our desires to want what He wants if we will but sacrifice what we want right now.
So what does this mean for those who identify as LGBTQ? It means that if they will sacrifice what they want, or their accepted identity, God will give them a new identity that is far greater; He will make them part of Israel and Zion.
When I tried to explain to my friend why I still wanted to include those who identified as LGBTQ, I said that I did love them they way he did, but that love was what required me to be truthful, for it is only by truth that joy can come.
I hope that this post made it clear why Jesus Christ, His Church, and His Gospel are, in fact, the definition of inclusive. He denies none to come, and He will even change our desires such that we can partake, if we will but sacrifice our dime-store fakes for His glorious genuine joy.