Tuesday, March 26, 2013

On Marriage and Family

I love my marriage. Having my husband nearby at any moment is fantastic, and my life has been enriched by his presence in it. I adore him, and I don't know what I would do if I couldn't be with him.

Doctrines taught in the Mormon Church teach that marriage is the beginning to the epitome of human existence. This is how families start their journey together through the eternities. Those doctrines won't change. Men and women together are meant to start families.

But that is only one definition of family, and it's a definition the LDS Church can and will stick to. I don't mind that; it's what the church has taught for generations and it's a part of life.

I have been blessed with so many families. They are not all recognized by the Church, and I don't expect to be sealed in the temple to all of my "extended family" for eternity. There are simply too many of them, and they have other families too.

My mission family consists of anyone who served in my mission. If you served in Rosario, Argentina, you are my family. A teacher at my school served in Rosario many years before me; he is my family too.

My Heavenly Father and Savior are my family. Even if you are not religious, I hope you respect my choice to adore and respect in accordance with my beliefs.

My friends are my families. I have family in California, Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Illinois, Florida, Massachusetts, Texas, Spain, Argentina, and a number of other locales. I love them all and I want to be with all of them all at once.

My immediate family is my family. My parents raised me and taught me to do right by others. That's all I want to do. My siblings are hilarious and each of them deserve much more time than I give them.

My husband's family is my family. They are wonderful people who have taught me more than they know, just by being their wonderful selves.

My students are my family. I'm teaching two different practicums, through which I have had the opportunity to get to know 20 college students, over 50 fifth graders, and 3 fantastic observing teachers. I have learned so much from each of them, and I can't wait to get into new classrooms over the next two semesters--one more practicum here in Idaho, and my upcoming student teaching experience in Las Vegas.

If you speak Spanish, you are my family. The Spanish language is a beautiful thing that has enriched my life in more ways than I ever thought possible.

If you are struggling, you are my family. Everyone has struggles and hard times. I keep some of mine close to the chest, others I openly share. If you ever struggle with anything, I will do everything in my power to help you. It is my duty as a Christian, and it's what I want for you.

If you're reading this blog, you are my family. Maybe you fall into one of the above categories, maybe not. But you're here, and I love you for taking the time to read my two cents.

If you are LGBT, you are my family too. I feel badly that I have not actively taken a stand beyond a few blog posts on the importance of loving others, but I want you to have the same political recognition I have. It's bureaucracy, but it says more than we let on.

Today, the United States Supreme Court is holding hearings regarding a huge issue, and supporters of same-sex marriage are outside wearing red in support of their very extended family. I am 2,155 miles away wearing red, because I want my family to be happy. I don't want religious upheaval, and I don't want any trouble, but I know that's not always possible.

I want people who love each other and live together to legally be able to protect each other by means of health insurance, taxes, and other benefits available only to married couples.

I have heard some say that marriage is not a right, and maybe it is, maybe it's not. Maybe some people haven't earned the privilege, like Larry King, Zsa Zsa, Mickey Rooney, and others who seem to get married as often as kids in southern California go to Disneyland. Maybe even celebrities like Kim Kardashian and Britney Spears whose marriages don't last as long as my relationship in 7th grade did. Maybe they don't deserve the privilege.

Some may ask, How can an active member of the Mormon church support gay marriage? My response is simple. Jesus taught that we are to love one another. The Pharisees, whom Jesus worked and taught against, taught that there is a right and wrong, black and white to every question. I know who I follow.

I'm wearing red, and now you know why. What about you?