Orthodoxy of Inclusion

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I am still riding a wave of spiritual ecstasy following the Kirtland Sunstone weekend and the Human Rights devotional in the Kirtland temple (the first Josephine temple in Mormonism’s expression of Christianity). In addition to the devotional for Human Rights, there was also a Sunday morning devotional led by Jana Riess. Her comments, in concert with sermon from John Hamer served as dual witnesses to the orthodoxy of inclusion.

Representing the Latter-day Saint tradition, Jana spoke eloquently and convincingly about the call of Paul for radical incorporation of all members in Christ’s body. Reading from 1 Corinthians 12, she eviscerated the sins of exclusion and rejection. “The eye cannot say to the foot, ‘I have no need of thee.'” No member on account of their differences in form and function has any right to tell another member of the mystical body that their gifts are unwelcomed or unwanted in the Body Spirit. This includes members whose identities are LGBTQIA, and members whose opinions and thoughts are inclined to reformation of the status quo.

John Hamer, drawing on Galatians, reminded us in the Human Rights devotional that divisions in the body of Christ based on identities in this world are anathema to New Covenant spirit. For participants in the Mystical Body, there is neither Jew, Greek; black, white; male, female. Paul already superseded nationalist, color, and gender divisions by the all-consuming unity of Anointing (i.e., Christ). This isn’t a modernist Liberal invention. Paul’s words directly provide haven to those whose exile from the Body were perpetrated based on this-world identities of sexual orientation and gender identity.

This coming weekend in Salt Lake City, there will be a wonderful Inclusive Families conference, organized under the inspiration of these Orthodox principles of inclusivity. We have an Eternally Inclusive Parent (or Parents, pending your personal theology). Why should we not intentionally practice similar inclusion in our homes and families? By practicing the principle of inclusivity, we magnify the Orthodoxy of Inclusion that we are called to embrace by New Covenant. If you are in the Salt Lake area this coming weekend (October 23-24, 2015), consider joining the instruction and learning, so that we can all model and secure the righteousness of inclusive families in Utah’s culture. Lives and hearts need us; and we need those who are on the margins of the fallen society we inhabit.

Information about the Inclusive Families conference may be found here: http://inclusivefamilies.org/

“If ye are not One, ye are not Mine.” (Doctrine & Covenants 38:27)

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