Sunday, January 5, 2014

A Mother's Testimony

Let me (Carole Thayne Warburton) introduce Wendy Montgomery. If you are a mother who has had a child who has been bullied or marginalized for whatever reason, you'll understand what makes Wendy passionate about protecting her son. Many of us who are LGBT allies have known of Wendy for sometime because she fights a very personal battle. We look to her for courage. Today she took this battle to the front lines of her California ward. Here is the testimony she gave over the pulpit in her ward as she recalled it. 

Good afternoon, Brothers and Sisters. My family and I have been in this ward now for several months, but this is my first time bearing my testimony here. For those of you who don't know me, my name is Wendy Montgomery. It's interesting - I speak in public quite often, but I'm usually not nervous. Right now, I'm absolutely terrified because of the things that are in my heart that I feel to share with you. They are not easy things to say in a setting like this. The past 2 years have been some of the hardest I have ever experienced. And that's saying something, because I have had a difficult life. 

We found out about 2 years ago that our oldest son, Jordan, is gay. (This is where all the air got sucked out of the room.  ) I apologize for bringing this topic up because I know it makes many uncomfortable. It made me uncomfortable 2 years ago, too. My intent is not to make anyone uncomfortable, but to ask for your help. 
(This is where I started getting emotional)
My son has a very hard time being here. It is extremely difficult for him to be in a place, week after week, where he feels unwanted and unloved. He doesn't know where he fits. Or where he belongs. 
As parents, I'm sure you all feel like I do and want this same thing for your children: I want Jordan to know what I know - that his Heavenly Mother and his Heavenly Father know who he is and love him exactly the way he is. I want him to have a deep and lasting relationship with his Savior, Jesus Christ. I want him to come to church and feel God's love and be around people who see what a beautiful person he is. Outside of our home, these things can happen best at church. 
But it is not happening for him. So I ask you to help me. Please. Please love my son. Treat him the same as other young men here. Look him in the eye. Offer him a smile, a hug, a handshake. Please be his friend. Because I want him sitting with me and the rest of our family in church each week, if he is comfortable there.
I am grateful to those of you who have reached out in friendship to my family. I know our circumstances are difficult and uncomfortable for people, so I am very grateful to those few who have been willing to put aside their own discomfort and befriend and welcome us. 

I have a testimony of this gospel. It has taken a beating in the last 2 years, but there are some things that haven't changed. I believe God lives. I believe He knows me and loves me. I believe in Jesus Christ. I love him deeply. He has carried me through some of the darkest moments of my life. I have spent every day of my life as a member of this church and I have always loved it. There is much here that is beautiful and good.

I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.