Black Lives Matter – Apology Overdue

A couple of days ago, I drove through an intersection where I saw a young protester standing on the corner with a sign. His sign only read “BLM”, but I still felt quite impressed. He was a pasty white kid that looked to be around 18 years old, showing his support for the black community and the “Black Lives Matter” movement. Seeing him there gave me some small hope for the future. There are a lot of young people in my area that really get it and are doing what they can to promote positive change in our communities and in the world.

From other corners, I’ve seen people posting things like “White Lives Matter” or “Every Life Matters.” Although these statements are certainly true, they show a complete lack of empathy for the people that are suffering most right now. When someone is in pain and in need of support and understanding, it is incredibly callous to shout out distracting messages in support of people that don’t need it right now. All lives do matter, so let’s give our love and support to those who need it most right now.

The very next day after seeing the boy on the corner, I saw another couple of white protesters in support of Black Lives Matter. I absolutely love the fact that I live in a predominantly white community that still feels the need to show their support in any way they can. I love the way that the people who drive past wave or honk their horns to show that they also support the movement. In case I haven’t made it clear yet, I am also in complete support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

As a former member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I want to apologize for the historic institutionalized racism of the church and the extremely racist comments and teachings of its leaders, especially by Brigham Young and other early presidents of the church. I doubt the church will ever apologize for its racism, so I hope that its members will make it clear that they fully reject the racist teachings of these prophets. 

The church has been the direct and indirect cause of incredible pain and suffering over the years, and it has apologized for none of it. I, for one, am sorry. I’m especially sorry that I even believed some of these statements growing up. I was taught racism in my youth, and it took me too long to realize that these teachings were completely false. At least now I can say that I categorically reject all of Brigham Young’s and other church leader’s racist teachings.

In recent weeks, months, and even years, current church leaders have spoken out against racism, but they have neglected to offer the apology that is warranted. For me, it is the same as if a man were abusive to his spouse. At some point, he realizes that maltreating his wife is having negative effects on his goals and direction in life, so he stops. Later, he sees another person abusing their spouse, and he tells the other person that they are despicable and should repent. He preaches that spousal abuse is a terrible sin, never mentioning his own infractions. When confronted about it, he blames his parents. They told me to act that way, he says. I was only following orders. I don’t know why they told me to do it, but I had to obey. Never an apology. Not ever.

When I saw that young man on the street corner the other day, I felt my eyes become teary. I felt mixed emotions as I felt great admiration for what the boy was doing to make the world a better place but also sad for what I was not doing. Over the past few months, I have written at least a dozen blog posts that I have not published. I just keep thinking that nobody really cares. What I write doesn’t matter to anyone. I’m not making any kind of positive impact. 

And maybe all of that is true, but is it really an excuse to say nothing, to stop trying? I wish to apologize yet again for giving up. Maybe, dear reader, you are among those that would prefer that I just stay quiet. However, my personal integrity compels me to speak the truth, even when it hurts or isn’t popular. You can expect more from me moving forward.

An Apology – I’m Sorry

A little over a month ago, I started writing this blog with the intent to share a few positive ideas, to give myself a creative outlet, and to help out some of my students with issues they may be having. I think I mostly stuck to that plan, but in going back and trying to restore some of my former blog, I made the mistake of posting some old blogs that I had never meant to publish. I think I have deleted most of those ones now. For those that read some of those posts and may have been negatively impacted as a result, I deeply apologize. It was not my desire to dissuade anyone from continuing to develop their faith as in the past. I should have been much more careful in what I chose to post. Though I myself may be rather apostate, certainly heretical, I value the rights of every individual to believe as they choose and to follow their own conscience, so long as it does more good in this world than harm. Where it harms, I may speak out, but I think those situations are not so common.

Anyway, from here on out, I plan to focus on construction instead of destruction. There is already enough darkness in the world, and though I think there is a place for tearing things down from time to time, it is not my place nor desire to do so. I have felt a little down lately, and I think that is mostly due to not being true to my nature. I really haven’t been myself lately and I’m sorry for that. My advice is to keep moving forward. Find those beliefs that best allow you to experience joy and happiness in life and stick to them.

As for me, I have taken my own lonely path, but I don’t actually want or expect anyone else to follow after me. If you have lost your faith and need an alternative, you can talk to me about it, but I’m probably going to say a lot less publicly about some of those ideas moving forward. During the last couple of days, I realized that many of my thoughts were being misunderstood. Perhaps I didn’t explain myself very well, or maybe those readers that talked to me privately about some of those ideas just weren’t sufficiently prepared to hear them. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to read my blog. I wish you all the best.