I tried to make it as non threatening as possible. This was written about 6 months ago.
I posted this earlier but couldn't get it to work. So I've just retyped the entire thing.
This is for my family.
Arguing and debating this subject has only worsen the divide between our family. A family that has overcome everything together. It is a losing battle with which we will take to our graves if we do not stop now.
I am well aware of my past, More than anyone. I have not made the best decisions most of the time. I've brought plenty of pain on plenty of people. The life I led is wrong and that is obvious to everyone. Being accepted in this family is the greatest gift I was ever given. (I was adopted) And it's been given to me countless times. I am eternally grateful to everyone.
What I need to understand is how we got to this point. Such a loving understanding family torn apart. We are putting boundaries on relationships that should be untouchable. When I see J.E., N.E., T., D. & J., Brother W., and all the other people who I grew up with, it breaks my heart. I know these people well. Yet when I see them it's as if they were looking into the face of a stranger. Actually, it's worse. You don't turn away from a stranger. He or she may even get a smile, or a "how do you do?" Should I be judged and punished for breaking an agreement I made when I was 14 years old? Punished to the point where I don't even get a "hello" from a person who has known me since birth?
I understand the disfellowshipping process and what it is for. I am not going to argue choice of faith. We are all adults and should be able to make our own decisions. It is understandable that a person who believes something strongly, especially when it is a matter of life or death, would want to share this with loved ones. That is commendable and the natural thing to do. It is also the natural thing to family in front of anything that could possibly come. It is a privilege we have as human beings that no matter what, we can take any measures to ensure the total bond of the family in never broken. To not be able to go fishing with a family member hurts. I believe that if something is telling you a thing like two family members sharing time and enjoying each others company is wrong, maybe it's time to step back and think for a minute. Not think like you have learned to but star from scratch., like an outside observer. It's difficult because that sometimes means that you may have to question your own mind. Some things are believed so strongly they override our basic reasoning. It doesn't always mean the belief is wrong. But I just think that nothing is flawless.
What I am here to say is this. We all live good lives. We are all basically good people. There should be no division. There should be no restrictions. To believe in an idea is a beautiful thing. It is what keeps most people above weather in this sometimes swamp of a world we live in. To think that someone I love more than they can possibly imagine is even THINKING of not attending our wedding, it turns my stomach. I hate thinking about it. I shouldn't have to think about it. Nobody should. Why? Are the constant attention to detail and the years and years of service not enough? Now, on top of all that, you must treat your loved ones as second class. "Can't be seen hanging out with him". "Somebody might say something." "Am I crossing the line?" "Am I spending to much time?" To think that might be going on in a STRANGERS mind would be disheartening. I do not think that feeling is fully understood.
When it is suspected that an Elder's family is faltering due to the time it takes to be an Elder, he is asked to step down. The family was always portrayed to be most important. And it is. There are many scriptures to reiterate this point. The bible was written to help us. The writers knew very well of our imperfections. It's lessons should without a doubt be learned and taught. It's value in every one's life is both it's strength and it's weakness. Not to say the bible has a weakness per say only it it is so valuable that it has become interpretted by a great many people over a great period of time. It's longevity has opened this great book to intense study. What is seen when we read is what is meant to be seen. Over interpretation is only natural when you are looking at the same thing over and over. From generation to generation man has been trying to unlock it's secrets. Maybe the real secret is under our noses. Maybe we are focusing on the wrong lessons. Maybe those lessons are taken out of context. Maybe there is too much onus on these rules that we as imperfect men have deduced as law. There is never going to be an agreement on all of these matters. What we do know and what we do not need to interpret is the constant mention of unconditional love. This kind of love is encouraged throughout the bible. You do not have to excavate these truths. There is a constant reminded because it is supremely important. No matter what any one of us believes, this is universal and always will be.
Some of us have abandoned our beliefs. Our life long love for the truth has been cast to the side. Each has his or her reason. Some may say there could be no reason. No good reason anyway. How can we walk away from all we have learned? Seeing the world in this state is not proof enough? All who have chosen this path know these questions more than anyone. All of us have battled this in our minds time and again. But I believe we are all liable for our decisions. It is understood what is at risk. If some of us wake up in the new system and not others it will be a crime, I know. We all know. But even worse is if we throw away the time we have here and now on top of that. The bottom line is nobody truly knows. Some know in their heart. But the heart is imperfect. But again, what we DO know is that we all love each other to no end. It shows every time I see the look in your eyes as they catch mine. It is the pure beauty of the family bond. Nothing can compare. It is beyond restriction.
This is the most important point. No argument on this subject will ever end in an agreement, EVER. It can never happen. This MUST be understood. If we accept this truth, our only loss will be a mountain of strife. Both sides can feel how they feel. It is not how it was suppose to be, I know. But it is what it is nonetheless.
In conclusion I am begging for something we need, we all need. Let's allow each his own. As long as no judgement is cast from either side and respect is given to all ideas, we can all live the rest of our lives the way they are meant to be. Together in agreement that whatever anyone believes it will never keep us from each other. At all! A stand must be made in this matter of disfellowshipping. Plenty of people feel this way, but it is a difficult stand to make. A huge sacrifice is needed. It will not go unrewarded. One of us could not be here tomorrow. There is no predicting life. It could be tomorrow that one of us is saying, "What was I thinking? I wish I had on more day to spend with them. I would cherish every second. There could be nothing to stop us from doing what we didn't. We would go here and there and I wouldn't care what anyone said."
That day comes and goes seven times a week. Saying it when it is too late is useless. Our lives are short. The time is here.