My daughter Audrey, a Washington University student, was recently honored for her work in the LGBT community. Her involvement with LGBT community has been hard on me, especially as Audrey feels, perhaps, that issues facing the LGBT alienate her from the faith in which she was raised.
At the award ceremony I couldn't have been more proud when members of the LGBT thanked Audrey for promoting sensitivity on a wide range of issues affecting their community.
Audrey reaches out. She wants people to understand each other, if not agree, but especially to love each other and treat each other with respect and kindness.
Audrey tears up when she relates stories of members of the LGBT community who have been killed or abused. Her feelings run deep, and like her mom, she can't stand by without doing something. I guess it's in our genes.
So she has organized safe zones on her Washington University campus, teaching students and teachers to be sensitive to issues facing those persons with same-sex attraction. And many other activities...her work has been tireless and consistent. It's a work I have not thoroughly appreciated for the main reason that same-sex marriage is such a dividing issue. But Audrey and her friends have taught me that there is much more I can get on board with that is of importance to the LGBT community. I can find common ground.
I have often thought about our church communities, LDS and other faiths, particularly in the aftermath of Proposition 8. Though miles away from California, the tense season was divisive and felt keenly in our family and in our ward here in Missouri. Many were left hurting.
It's time for talk. And Oakland Stake President, Dean Criddle, created a beautiful dialog that you can read in a very balanced article in the Salt Lake Tribune. How I am grateful for his leadership. Thank you President Criddle. I needed to see your example and feel of the healing your stake is experiencing.
I have to think that Oakland Stake members will be better neighbors as a result of the dialog.