(As Long as You Stay in Our Box)

Of course we love women, they say
(as long as they accept their role,
uphold the patriarchy,
and don’t voice their desire for more)

Of course we love single people, they say
(as long as they are sad to not be married,
don’t ask too many questions about the holes in our heaven theology,
and don’t mind being forever supervised by married people)

Of course we love childless couples, they say
(as long as they want children (but of course they want children!),
aren’t unnecessarily putting off having children (just have faith!),
and don’t get snippy when we ask impertinent questions about their family planning)

Of course we love people of color (is that even the right term anymore? People get offended so easily these days), they say
(as long as they pretend the priesthood/temple ban never happened (we fixed it! it’s fine now!),
don’t expect apologies for past or present racism,
and refrain from pointing out our continued colonialism)

Of course we love gay people, they say
(as long as they are properly penitent about it
and live inspirational, celibate lives)

Of course we love transgender people, they say. They’re God’s children too, after all.
(but only when they conform to the gender we ascribe them,
don’t expect us to switch pronouns,
and don’t try to switch auxiliaries because that might make people uncomfortable)

Of course we love bisexual people! they say
(they can easily follow God’s plan by having righteous heterosexual temple marriages,
so what’s the big deal, anyway?)

Of course we love Jesus, they say
(but not when he’s used to promote a socialist agenda,
or speaking truth to our power,
or when someone points out that his strictest criticisms were against the church leaders of his day)

Of course I love you, God says, and I created this world to be big enough to hold the whole of you.
(and with Me, there are no boxes)


ElleK is a foodie, gardener, and writer. Women’s issues in the church are not a pebble in her shoe; they are a boulder on her chest.

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12 Responses

  1. Violadiva says:

    Love this. Thank you for your voice, and the important reminders.

  2. Katrina Reinert says:

    Absolutely beautiful!! This was a great way to point out the restrictions that are placed on love within the church.

  3. Katie Harris says:

    This resonates so much with me. Thank you for your words.

  4. EmilyCC says:

    This speaks to me. Thank you for writing this.

  5. magentamidnightblue says:

    love love love, thank you so much for this, ElleK.

  6. Katrina says:

    Thank you

  7. SrkyLaura says:

    This is spot on for so many reasons! Is it possible to use this in my Relief Society lesson on Sunday? Ideally I’d like to hand it out as a printout. Yay/Nay??

  8. Carolyn Nielsen says:

    Well done. I hope this gets widely read and is an opening to constructive self examination.

  9. EmilyB says:

    “Of course we love the women… that’s why we groom them and all the children for abuse by making them pledge loyalty to human men before they can worship in the Lord’s house.” Is that how Jesus taught us that the higher law works? Hmmm

    Thank you for this thought-provoking post. So much to meditate and reflect on here.

  10. Linda says:

    Yes! What is love? As a child who grew up in the church, felt gratitude for all that supported me, then chose a different spiritual path with intention, it didn’t feel like love to be referred to in Ensign articles as “wayward” and “astray”.

  11. Linda Case says:

    The articles made it seem like these adult children were now difficult to love. Ouch.

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