I would like to start this post with my testimony of God's love for every single person to ever exist. I know without a doubt in my mind that God's love is unconditional. No matter your beliefs, your standards, your actions, no matter any situation, God loves you still. He loves us all endlessly; infinitely.
And I love God right back. The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints teaches that the absolute most important commandments are to first, love God, and second, love your neighbor.
Following this, I will admit that my heart hurt when I first heard of the new update on children not being able to be baptized until they are 18 if living in a house where same-sex marriage is being practiced. I genuinely love the friends I have that are gay/lesbian. And they're children? I couldn't understand at first how the leaders of my church could seemingly 'punish' them. This simple new statement made me question the leaders of my church and their teachings. How could God give this world such a rule?
But this is the moment that Elder Uchtdorf was preparing us all for when he said,
"Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith."
So I knelt in prayer. I needed help to understand, help to know of the truthfulness of this new rule. I needed to strengthen my testimony of the prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and his apostles. I asked for the knowledge of where GOD would have me stand, because my ultimate goal is to follow God and his teachings, no matter where that leads me - in this religion or not.
And upon this prayer, I received a sure answer.
I am overwhelmed just writing this with love and respect for the dear prophet of the LDS church. I have always been one to stand beside him and his teachings, because that is what I have been taught. But now I've prayed to my Heavenly Father, and I would like to publicly announce that I no longer am following Thomas S. Monson because I was raised to do so. Now I follow him strictly because God told me I should. No questions asked. I know that God speaks to us through the prophet- and I KNOW that Thomas Monson is the true prophet, given to us and led by God Himself.
I cannot say that I completely understand everything Thomas S. Monson and past prophets have counseled us to do, but I know that what they say comes directly from God. And I always stand by God.
On that note, I also have a testimony of the truthfulness of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I testify that if you sincerely pray, God will answer your questions as he has answered mine.
Before being angry with the leaders of the LDS Church, please ask God for truth and search for an understanding.
I end with noting that I fully sustain President Thomas S. Monson as the true and living prophet.
I write this post with love for anyone else who may have been hurt by this new rule-