Date: May 02, 2021 01:07PM
‘It just hurts my heart’ — How COVID dissent pushed some Latter-day Saints away from their church
When the fellowship they yearned for turned to bickering, doubts arose and faith crises ensued.
That, Davis said, was the peak of his faith crisis — a crisis other Latter-day Saints have run into after they became turned off when they saw how fellow believers turned on one another over pandemic responses, ranging from mask-wearing to physical distancing to vaccinations.
When he began to struggle to come to terms with his church’s legacy of discrimination — Black members weren’t permitted to hold the faith’s lay priesthood or enter its temples for more than a century — he still wanted to be a part of the religion because he felt that while the church couldn’t escape its past, members were trying to make amends.
When he faced another faith crisis over a now-discarded policy that barred the children of gay couples from receiving certain blessings in the church, he stayed to be an ally from the inside and hoped other members would follow his example.
In March 2020, though, soon after the pandemic began, the way Davis’ church community behaved changed his perception.
“It was just people reacting to the pandemic and not actually trying to do the right thing for each other,” he said. “People didn’t care if they got COVID and didn’t seem to understand they could spread it to someone more vulnerable to the disease. People were fighting mask orders.”