Dealing with Spiritual SlightsBy: hawkgrrrl
In an amazing OP written by John Gustav-Wrathall of Young Stranger: On Unfairness and “Spiritual Reinforcements” he discusses the injustices polygamy heaped on early Mormon women like Emma, and compared those to the indignities and heartache suffered by gay Mormons in the wake of Prop 8:
And as the sense of anger and betrayal welled up in me, I remember the Spirit speaking very clearly to me. The Spirit said in essence: “Don’t be angry. Don’t be afraid. Your Heavenly Father loves you and is proud of you, and this will be made right.“ It took some effort on my part to follow that prompting; to take a deep breath, and to set aside the anger. But when I did, I experienced this incredible peace rushing in. I attended Church the following Sunday, and greater spiritual gifts followed. Spiritual reinforcements, indeed.
But what God told me in those moments was not, “You just have to learn to accept this unfairness.” It was, in essence, “Be faithful. Be loving. Be patient. I will make this right.”
I had a similar experience when I attended the temple a year ago. As a lot of the temple language places women in a second class status to men, requiring women to be subjugated under men in a way men are not subject to the arm of flesh, I often feel that agreeing is morally wrong; I don’t believe women are second rate or should be subject to men, but that we are all equal before god. I wasn’t sure how I would feel, knowing that I don’t enjoy that aspect of the temple. I went with a prayer in my heart to understand and to be able to see things for what they are.
My experience was very similar to John’s above: an almost audible assurance that things would be made right and not to worry about them now. It was like I had a teflon shield in front of me, an assurance that those sexist throwbacks were not god’s will for women and didn’t have any bearing on me or my life. It was a liberating and comforting feeling, and it certainly felt (as do all revelations) like it originated outside of me. It was as if those sexist statements were being made in a different voice, one that did not speak for god or to me.
I can think of many types of slights people might experience in the church:
- Being single, divorced or childless and feeling like you’ve been placed in a lower status as a result.
- Not having a calling when you really want to serve.
- Someone, a leader or other member, giving offense while speaking as if having authority from the church.
- You feel you obeyed yet didn’t get what was promised.
- You are surrounded by like-minded people to whom you cannot relate.
- You feel overlooked, dismissed, or ostracized for things beyond your control or simply by virtue of your sex, race, or sexual orientation.
How about you?
- Have you ever felt you received a spiritual slight?
- Have you felt comforted like this when contemplating your own situation?