This afternoon in Testimony Meeting, the culminating testimony was given by a young teenage member of the congregation. This past week, she had spent several days in line at the Supreme Court to obtain a ticket for someone to attend the hearing regarding same sex marriage.
The weather was alternately wet and cold or fair and hot. Unpleasant conditions in any case. But beyond that was the nature of the discourse.
One particular aspect she mentioned was the religious groups who were opposing those seeking marriage status for those in same-gender relationships. It was not opposition, per se, that bothered this young woman though. It was the hate-filled language being screamed from the bullhorns.
And so this young woman stepped away from her three friends who were waiting in line with her and approached the ministers preaching hate. She confronted them, asking if Christ did not teach love of all, even when they had sinned. As this young teen (think of a modern Helen Mar Kimball) confronted them, they agreed that they could (and should) still love the sinner, even as they condemned the sin.
For the next several minutes, the message proclaimed from the bullhorn was tempered with love. Then, when she expects they figured she was no longer in ear shot, the message reverted to the prior rhetoric.
But for fifteen minutes, the message from those protesting in favor of retaining marriage recognition in the hands of the states was moderated with words of love, because a young Mormon teenager confronted the ministers face to face.
Marriage is important. Family is important. But above all, the worth of each individual in the eyes of God is important.
As we strive to inform the world of the importance of family, we must not lose the love we aspire to feel for all, modeling the love we know God feels for all. If we allow hate and fear to guide us, any victory we might win will be Pyrrhic and our legacy will be as dust to the generations that follow us.