I wrote a post for the Celebration on the Family Proclamation at A Well Behaved Mormon Woman blog. I took a risk and wrote a topic that elicits strong emotions from nearly everyone: gender. And it did.
I want to address some of the negative comments.
I will start with one negative comment that wasn't actually published. In it, he quoted Matthew 22:36-40:
"36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."
He was making the point that one disobeys the second greatest commandment by writing, declaring, and even believing that gender is an essential characteristic of premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose. This is the most common argument by anyone who is offended at the idea that people are born the gender that they were in the premortal life as well as offended at the idea that homosexuality is a sin.
I argue that one is not disobeying the second greatest commandment by believing the teachings of the prophets and the teachings found in the scriptures. Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments," (John 14:15). The idea that one breaks God's second commandment by believing and declaring some of His other commandments rejects the first and great commandment to "love the Lord, thy God.". One cannot both love God and reject any of His commandments including the unpopular ones on marriage, family, and gender. Jesus who has perfect love taught us when he said,"neither do I condemn thee: go and sin no more" (John 8:11). If we are to keep the second commandment we cannot pretend there is no such thing as sin.
Now to another negative comment:
"I am sorry. But this is very hurtful. I have a Son who aligns with the "Male Role and identity" I have a daughter that aligns with the "Female Role and identity". I also have a beautiful transgender daughter (born male). They were all raised the same. You have no idea how painful this journey is for not only the parents but more importantly the child. It seems you have not read the churches stance on transgender persons as well. Nor do you have any understanding of science behind it. Please don't assume that my child is Satan's grasp, or that I as a parent failed to indoctrinate my child in the ways of manhood. You isolate and condemn those who are suffering and struggling."
I will respond by saying, exactly!! Families who struggle with gender identity are on a painful journey. That pain can be relieved. But it cannot be relieved by rejecting God's commandments. Jesus said, " Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light," (Matthew 11:29-30). Every man, woman, and child born into this world has been given this invitation. How do you "take [His] yoke upon you"? By keeping His commandments.
We cannot be people that are both loving, compassionate, and understanding while rejecting God's commandments. We must not condemn, but if everyone is afraid to teach the unpopular commandments then no one will know where to go to find rest to their souls. To be a loving person, one must not ignore the source where peace, love, and rest is found.