Also, I haven't been posting much, so I figured I would let you all in on an email I recieved from my aunt the other week. The circumstances were brought about by facebook and a group I joined but then promptly left. She saw it and was offending which resulted in:
27 October 2008
I'm worried about you. I figured all of the stress and hype about proposition 8 might be unpleasant for you, and I've tried to keep in touch to make sure that you were handling it okay.
When your post on email said that you had joined the Nazis for CA's Prop.8, I checked it out. Like so many other No on 8 places, it seemed to be lacking in tolerance, at least.
I understand that you were being facetious and that you probably weren't trying to hurt my feelings, or anyone else's.
My concern is with the intensity of some of your comments. We've discussed the importance in your situation, in everyone's situation, of following the Spirit in our lives. An earmark of someone who is filled with the Spirit is the abundance of genuine love for other people. You expressed that to me in a phone call a while ago.
Since then it seems like your life has taken a terrible turn for the worse. Honestly, I don't think someone who is filled with the Spirit would choose to associate himself with such a hateful post. It is a manifestation of the harsh turmoil and confusion that seems to surround you these days.
I am concerned that, instead of trying to align yourself with the Lord's will for you and His plan for your life, you are trying to make Him (and His Church) bend to your will or be ridiculed for not doing so. This is a clear earmark of pride, and, pride, if allowed to remain unchecked, always leads to unhappiness.
I really want you to have a satisfying, happy life. I know that you have had a testimony of the gospel. I know that your spirit is strong enough and has been close enough to the Lord that you will never be content with partial closeness to the Lord, or to His Spirit.
As one who loves you, I beg you to humbly pray to Heavenly Father, with a willingness to follow His will no matter how hard it is, until you are again filled with love and peace. I know that this is the only path to happiness in this life and the next.
I have no desire to hurt or offend you. If I have misspoken or given any offense, I hope you can temper it with the understanding that no matter what you do, there will always be a unique place in my heart for only you, and that that place is filled with love and affection.
Sincerely and with love"
To which I (eventually) replied:
Hi! Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you. I planned on waiting a week before replying, but with me spending 10+ hours every day on campus alone it has dragged beyond that.
Also, I have written about 3 different drafts of this email (all of which were fairly long and were brilliant writings...), but in the end I think it best to keep it short.
I understand your concerns and appreciate your concern. I have a quite a few thoughts in response, but will only share these: Firstly, if you are trying to track/determine the condition of another's soul and character, Facebook is not the best source for that. I might equate it with getting news from the tabloids. Secondly, I knew how I would be received from the beginning. I knew emails like this would come, and that this is how I would be viewed. I am actually suprised at how long it has taken for that to occur. (Although intellectual preperation doesn't make the misunderstanding any more easy to deal with when it comes.) In the first few months of this year I realized that my own self respect and dignity are perhaps two of the best gifts I can give the world, and I reject the notion that I owe one person an apology/explanation for my choices.
Just know that I have left no stone unturned and I have extensively, deeply, methodically, and prayerfully considered every aspect of this issue. I am fully aware of the potential repurcussions on all sides and of every choice. You might think this naive of me, and while I dont know and cannot predict what the future holds, I know what my heart holds and am prepared for all that I will face. Of course I will make mistakes along the way, but that is just the human condition and I apologize if one of these mistakes has offended you or hurt your feelings.
Additionally, the Lord (and the Lord alone) understands my heart and if I were to face him today, I would not be embarassed. He knows and understands. Just realize that as you are indeed on "the outside looking in," there is so much that you cannot understand, and therefore I accept your views and will take the heat.
With deepest love,