Ad

12/13/12

here.

Dear Internet Friends and Foes,

I am the mother of Stephanie Lauritzen. Over the past few days I have watched as like minded friends rallied in support and friends with different views express themselves respectfully and with kindness. But as a mother reading death threats, angry tirades, and unkind pejorative rants attacking my daughter brought me to tears. No one really knows another persons hea
rt, but I think a mother sees most clearly the heart of a child. I have often felt in my years of mothering that my Heavenly Mother knew my heart and blessed me with insight and instinct to raise my children. So, my mother’s instinct leads me to share a little of what I know about Stephanie’s heart. First, it is not cold or stone. In Ezekiel the Lord tells his people that he will take their stony heart and give them a new heart. That transformation that happens through Christ took place when Stephanie was a child. The Lord gave her a soft heart that feels the ache of others. She has always championed the underdog, looked for those who were lost, listened when people struggled for words to express their grief  She has kept her baptismal covenants to mourn with those who mourn and comfort those in need of comfort. Many of you who have responded to her request to wear pants have treated her as the enemy and addressed her with hatred that defiles a Christian. I am proud of her goodness. While we don’t agree on everything, we agree that the most important commandments are still to love God and to love our fellow man. She’s tired right now, and hurting from some of the stinging comments. If you don’t agree with her I love you because I know your mother loves you with a mother’s heart that sees clearly. If you have been hateful, I love you because you are a beloved child of Heavenly Parents. With all the power of a mother’s love I plead with my fellow members, my fellow Christians to remember we have all been bought with a price. I bless you with peace in your hearts and a knowledge that there is a place for us all in the kingdom of God. He invites all to come unto him, male and female, bond and free, the confused and the struggling, those with the gift of faith and those like Stephanie with the gift of a soft kind heart of flesh.






26 comments:

Nicole Holloway said...

Love to you and Stephanie. How sad we live in a society that forgets and needs to be reminded that we are all sons and daughters of both earthly and heavenly parents.

Jessica said...

What is it about fear (of change, of new opinions, etc) that causes Christians to act so un-Christ-like? How sad and awful.

alex said...

It's been an exhausting week for us involved even in small amounts; I can't imagine how it's been for Stephanie and the other leaders.
I admire Stephanie so much for her bravery. Thanks for keeping us posted.

Genavee said...

Bless you Stephanie. I really admire your courage and your love. Thank you so much for giving me the hope that maybe there can be a place for people like me in the Church after all. It means so much to me.

bb said...

I admire you for voicing the concerns that so many of us feel, but we struggle with the ability to articulate our thoughts as eloquently as you.
bb

bb said...

I admire you for voicing the concerns that so many of us feel, but we struggle with the ability to articulate our thoughts as eloquently as you.
bb

anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing such beautiful sentiments.

Alison said...

This is beautiful. You have a beautiful heart as does your daughter. I'm proud to know her and proud to support her. What an amazing woman you have raised.

Shan said...

Love and support to you all. Keep safe and rest, there is plenty of time to fight.

postmormongirl said...

I am so sorry that Stephanie has to go through this - please know that there are many supporters out there.

Jami said...

I am impressed. I don't know if I could be as kind and loving to someone who hurt one of my girls.

I said it before and I'll say it again: The combination of feminism and testimony is powerful. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for all of your love and kindness.

Gretta Whalen said...

Thank you

Jen said...

This pant idea was a great idea. I am saddened only by the members of my church that would judge & say anything to make someone sad. Stephanie's intention is great & She should be respected for her it. Best wishes.

Jen said...

This pant idea was a great idea. I am saddened only by the members of my church that would judge & say anything to make someone sad. Stephanie's intention is great & She should be respected for her it. Best wishes.

CatherineWO said...

I too am a mother of adult daughters. I met Stephanie last summer, and she is all that you describe her as. She has been so unfairly judged, but she is lucky to have a loving and supportive mother and family.

Sara K.S. Hanks said...

Life has taught me that as long as your mother supports, loves, and accepts you, the rest of the world can go to hell.

I'm happy you have your mom and that she has you, Stephanie.

Emily said...

What a fantastic post -- I have been surprised how much backlash there has been (from women by and large) about this event. There is mocking, and belittling, and all kinds of surprisingly angry language just about the idea of the thing...so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that Stephanie is taking so much heat. I am so sorry that she is - I admire her bravery & pray that we can come together as Saints.

Laurel, Brian, Addison & Liam said...

I'm intrigued with the wear pants to church day. Would I do it? No. But that doesn't mean I would belittle, judge or try to hurt someone who feels that they should. And isn't that what we all should be doing, as Christians and Latter Day Saints- loving no matter what we may think or believe. It is not my place to judge and I know Stephanie wouldn't judge me for saying I think it's ridiculous for ME. If anyone feels powerful about this, and it's not hurting anyone, why not? Bless you in your effort and for standing up for what you believe in without belittling anyone around you. A wonderful example indeed.

Mrs. Clark said...

Stephanie has the right to express her opinions in this way, and everyone else has the responsibility, if they are true Christians, to respect that opinion whether they agree or not--because the Gospel is one of love and tolerance, and also because they enjoy the same rights themselves. I am so sorry to hear that she has been treated badly. I love and respect her, regardless of whether or not I agree with her, and I find her insights and observations valuable. Thank you so much for sharing this on her blog.

Al said...

Dear Stephanie's Mom,
About a year ago I couldn't stand the raging cold-triggered arthritis anymore (I used to be a ballerina), and after research and a conversation with my bishop, I wore pants to church. I felt sick. I was terrified and scared. I was also very lucky to live in a ward full of women who came up to me and told me I was brave, and that they wished more women would wear pants. I was just cold and in pain! I wasn't trying to be brave. In fact I wasn't. I wanted to barf. Your daughter is brave. And please tell her, for me, that I am so happy at the thought that maybe I won't be the lone wearer of dress slacks on Sunday.

Kimberly Wilson said...

I'm so sorry for all the backlash you have gotten, and for the flame wars. I'm sure that if you knew then (just a few days ago) what you know now, you would have done a closed group and worked out how the moderation would take place before really posting.

For what it's worth with a lot of the horrible behavior, I touched base with a cousin in Utah and was even the first male person asked to speak at an fmh conference.

He pointed out the messiness of online forums, especially if they're open to all (I know, an honest mistake) or not moderated. You already know this just through your blog.

But he specifically pointed out several types of posters:
1) poes
2) obviously, people saying things they would NEVER say IRL, thus many flame wars from people who don't even know each other or know what they're talking about, hijacking your thread just to flame, to be vile and disturbing.
3) And on the Internet you never know if people are who they say they are and if they are expressing their real views. (I think that's a BIG problem)
4) He is personally aware of non-members and ex-members and anti-mormons who participated because they heard of the media buzz and thought it was funny to mess with mormons. He thinks some of them may have jumped on for their own amusement, or to help cause division and strife and perhaps hurt a few testimonies.

How I wish none of this happens in general, but it does. : (

He said he thought that all of that said, the backlash was still very disturbing. He has also had people write horrible offensive things to him for years, being mocked and put down in rude and extreme ways for his blog posts, and that he knows it hurts. His "for what it's worth" is just to encourage you that many of the comments were probably trolls, and to let those go.

Almost all of your comments in several of your recent posts are proof that there are many members and non-members who are reasonable and kind even when they disagree.

Sadly, this backlash is one of the inherent problems with public discussions of criticisms or disagreements with the church. All such discussions are open to manipulation by others who are really interested in causing division. (cousin's words, not mine)

I know you're wondering why I'm giving all this input from my cousin. It's because I don't have first-hand experience with everything going on, and my cousin is much more in tune with recent events, and when he weighed in with me, I thought it was relevant to share.

Vera said...

I have been following your blog for years now and have (unfortunately) never commented before. I just wanted to tell you how much I admire you.

All the best from Germany, Vera

Kristin said...

Oh my goodness. I am in shock. Literally. The past few days have been so emotionally draining and then to read this beautiful plea from this mother about her child . . . yes, yes!! The two most important commandments are to love our God and to love each other!! How do we forget so quickly?? I don't know your name--Stephanie's mom--I am new to this blog, to this movement to everything. But my heart is full of Christlike love for you and your daughter. I can only hope that your example will shine for others to see. I am sad that at the hands of fellow Christians your daughter has experienced such hurt and pain.

Melinda said...

Hello Stephanie's mom. I am the mother of a beautiful, brave 22 year old, who despite what others thought, was courageous enough to wear pants on Sunday. I may not always see eye to eye with her either, but I respect her choices and was immensely proud of her on Sunday for standing up for what she believes in. After a particularly draining sacrament meeting - not because anyone was unkind, but because of her own turmoil, I had to remind both of us that what keeps us coming back is that there is something bigger than any of us found in the gospel- our love of the Savior and His love for us. My own prayer is that my beautiful daughter never loses sight of that. Despite what we mot be told by those we share this world with, He knows our hearts and our worth. Much comfort to you and your daughter.

Melinda said...

Hello Stephanie's mom. I am the mother of a beautiful, brave 22 year old, who despite what others thought, was courageous enough to wear pants on Sunday. I may not always see eye to eye with her either, but I respect her choices and was immensely proud of her on Sunday for standing up for what she believes in. After a particularly draining sacrament meeting - not because anyone was unkind, but because of her own turmoil, I had to remind both of us that what keeps us coming back is that there is something bigger than any of us found in the gospel- our love of the Savior and His love for us. My own prayer is that my beautiful daughter never loses sight of that. Despite what we mot be told by those we share this world with, He knows our hearts and our worth. Much comfort to you and your daughter.

wonderwoman1975 said...

Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful.