A group of us watched the documentary called Believer by Dan Reynolds last night. We do this through an event that Goldie Matthews hosts each month called Motivational Movie Night. We watch documentaries and she poses questions that get conversations going around the topic of the movies. This one especially hit home with me in a personal way. I’ll explain why later.
The Mormon Church
The film depicts the Mormon Church specifically in regards to the LGTBQ community. There were many clips of Mormon officials stating their stance on the matter. You can see the general feelings of the officials on the LGTBQ topic were not positive. As a matter of fact, you can see how necessary it was for some changes to come about in order to reverse some of the damage that was being done by the church. Young people were committing suicide due to being ostracized and shamed for their beliefs and behaviors.
Vision for the documentary
The reason Dan Reynolds took on this project was many-fold. He had personal experience having been raised as a Mormon. Throughout the documentary, he shares how he loved the community and all that he learned especially from his two-year mission trip as a student. Then he met his wife, who was not Mormon at the time. Even though she converted to Mormonism, other conflicts started to come up regarding sexual orientation opinions of the church. After some friends were affected by these rules and regulations imposed by the church doctrine, Dan started to take some action on the matter.
His idea was to host a community event to share the painful stories of those most affected by the repercussions, the parents of suicide victims. This was the seed for the LoveLoud Festival created in Utah. He felt regret for not having taken action earlier than he had.
As quoted in the movie, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” by Edmund Burke. Dan clearly felt regret because he had not taken action earlier and this is what helped him to persevere on his vision for this cause.
The documentary had a lot of facts regarding the many LGTBQ people that commit suicide yearly, especially the younger ones. They lose hope when they are shunned by the church or more importantly their families. Studies done by The Trevor Project report that when students have at least one person they can depend on for support, it increases their chances of survival by 30%. Even if it saves a few lives, it’s better than no lives. It was deeply disturbing to hear one of the Mormon leaders state “if they grew up in a loving family, they wouldn’t be gay or do drugs, etc.” Really? This man has no idea what he is talking about.
My Personal Story
I’d love to share my personal story with you. When my daughter was 17, she came out. It was a dark time in our relationship and not because of what she shared. It was dark because she was so certain that I couldn’t accept the information, that she hid it from me. This seems to be a common occurrence when those raised in faith make the decision to “come out”. They may be so afraid of the ramifications, they can’t bear to tell those they love. By the grace of God, I found out the truth. By shedding light on the issue, we were able to work through it. A few years earlier, I was introduced to a book called A Far Greater Country written by Christopher Yuan. It was a personal story of how Christopher had reached his bottom after being in jail for selling drugs. It’s a great help with those who struggle with what the bible says about homosexuality and how Christians can go through this valley. It helped me understand how to best love my daughter based upon Jesus’s love for her. I’m so glad that I had read it a few years earlier and was able to refer back to it when I needed it most. It was a welcome resource during one of the darkest times in my life. After I reviewed the book again, I was able to come to terms with my relationship with my daughter. The bottom line for me was, if the greatest commandment is Love, then how can I best show her love? I chose to love and honor my daughter by not shunning or excommunicating her from the church or family. Our relationship has flourished because of it.
I hope you enjoyed this article. I would love to have you follow me on my Facebook Business Page!