Dear Ms. Feverfew –
More ruminations about last week’s General Conference talks. In the Saturday morning session, President Boyd K. Packer, president of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said something that probably slipped past most people, but not me. Here is one of the things he said:
“Some…are raising children as single mothers or
single fathers. These are temporary states. In the eternal scheme of things—not always in mortality—righteous yearning and longing will be fulfilled.” (Boyd K. Packer, 2012. And a Little Child Shall Lead Them).
I wonder how many of the “happy” LDS birth mothers – you know, the ones who are seemingly thrilled to have been given the “honor” and “privilege” to give their babies away to other women, so much so they are out there actively advocating and recruiting other mothers into this sorry sisterhood – how many of them heard what an Apostle of the Lord told them last Saturday, that being a single parent is a temporary state. He confirmed what many of us already know: Adoption is a permanent solution for the temporary state of single parent status. I wonder how many of those same “happy” LDS birth mothers heard what Elder Baxter told the single parents of the 13+ million member church a few hours later when he said:
“With God’s help, you need not fear for the future. Your children will grow up and call you blessed, and every single one of their many achievements will stand as a tribute to you. Please never feel that you are in some kind of second-tier subcategory of Church membership, somehow less entitled to the Lord’s blessings than others. In the kingdom of God there are no second-class citizens.” (David Baxter, 2012. Faith,
Fortitude, and Fulfillment: A Message to Single Parents).
“Although you often feel alone, in truth you are never
totally on your own. As you move forward in patience and in faith, Providence will move with you; heaven will bestow its needful blessings.”
I wonder if these merciful and compassionate words of an Apostle and an Elder in the church made any of them wonder how different their life would have been if they had been met by LDSFS counselors and church members who held the same views? Did it prick their conscience even a bit? Or did they continue on their merry way, continuing to believe it was “God’s plan” to use their uterus and their body to get a baby to the “right” family, believing they would never be able to offer an eternal family status to their child, even when an Apostle declares it a temporary state? I wonder, will they continue to advocate and recruit other mothers as intensely as they do, knowing mercy is over taking justice within the LDS church? I wonder, would they have made the same “choice” if, instead of spouting NCFA-sanctioned rhetoric, their LDSFS case worker, bishop, and parents offered the same hope held out by Elder Baxter? Can you imagine a bishop or LDSFS case worker reminding a single expectant mother her marital status was a temporary state (Packer, 2012) and in the eternal scheme of things, she can offer the idealized “more” – you know, an eternal family, a stable, happy home, and parents who are utterly devoted to each other AND that their children would call them “blessed” for it (Baxter, 2012)? What if she had been told she “need not fear for their future, and as they move forward with faith in raising their child, ‘providence will bestow its needful blessings’ ” (Baxter, 2012)?
I know this conference will have little affect on LDSFS adoption practices and probably even less impact on those “happy” birth mothers who try to recruit others to relinquish their child for adoption. Infant and newborn adoption is about now, now, now, now,
now. It is about solving the “crisis” in front of us now. It is not about being patient, trusting God’s plan and timing for us, and looking forward to the eternities with hope for our family, even if that family was create because of a wrong turn before marriage (Baxter, 2012). Just a few more thoughts about General Conference.