I’ll Stand Tall
My plan was to move to a new ward and never go this past January. I was tired of crying through the sacrament every Sunday since the November 6th policy was announced. I was tired of waking up in the morning with my first thought being, “Something awful happened,” and then, remembering what that was.
I went to some other churches, but I felt like I had been dumped and was cruising the bars looking for love. But, I didn’t want to go to bars, I just wanted my boyfriend, er, church, back.
My husband took the kids to Church without me, and then, I got called to be in Primary. I figured I could just do my calling–not learn anyone’s name and not like them (because I didn’t want new Mormon friends and I wanted the separation to be complete) until I figured out how to gracefully get out of said calling.
In our Primary, we have an amazing chorister, and she was teaching the kids a song she found in The Friend, “I’ll Stand Tall.”
As we learned the chorus, I started to cry.
I’ll stand tall! The Savior is beside me.
He’s always there to guide me.
I do not walk alone, I’ll stand tall!
His Spirit will direct me,
His loving arms protect me.
He’s on my side, so I can stand tall!
I have family members and friends who are affected by this policy. I didn’t (still don’t) know if I could be loyal to them and remain a member of the Church. I wanted to make the decision: in or out, active or inactive. But, that song reminded me of something I had forgotten. My Savior is always beside me, He knows me and will help me stand tall. This truth has been with me as I’ve learned another important truth over the past few months: He doesn’t actually care if I’m LDS.
At the Exponent retreat this year, one wise friend said, “The less I believe [about Mormonism], the more I hold on to what I do believe because it is so precious.” I’m slowly learning this. I can hold on to what I love about the Church. Labels defining activity don’t matter because the distinction about whether I’m in or out doesn’t matter to me or my God.
In the past couple years, I’ve clung to key doctrines about love, integrity, divine nature, and eternal progression that I learned in the Church, from my parents, from members of my tribe. But, I’ve let go of quite a few things, enough so that I don’t know if I’m really “in” or “out.” I’ve very recently come to believe that that distinction no longer matters. I don’t define my status in the Church by a checklist I follow (or don’t follow). And, it isn’t anyone else’s business to give me a label.
I’m learning to stand tall and trust my Savior, and I love the hopefulness in the final verse of “I’ll Stand Tall.”
When I face a challenge
That’s either great or small,
I’ll show my faith
And courage every day,
So I can stand tall!