Sunday, August 24, 2008

I Think So

I recently received a comment on a past post that I think helped me sort out some thoughts and anxieties I have been having re my family:
I was just thinking, if I were in your family's shoes, these would be my suggestions (take whatever I write with a grain of salt, because, let's be honest...I'm a stranger!:)
They still love you, I'm sure, but I can imagine that they may feel uncomfortable for a couple of reasons...
1) they may not know any persons who are gay besides you and not understand it or feel that things are suddenly different
2) they may be worried that no matter how they treat you, it will be the wrong way
3) they may be worried how to love you and still teach their children that they believe your actions are wrong
I think these are spot on... I especially have seen evidences of the second from my mother. And the first two can be worked on... the third, however, is where the biggest strain comes in -- primarily because the belief that my actions are wrong and detrimental is being proven, day by day, to be false (and the evidences are blaring when my life before my decision to "be gay" is compared to my life after said decision).

Quite honestly, perhaps the only way my siblings are going to be able to ensure that their children follow according to this belief is to cut them off from me completely... which is my greatest -- GREATEST -- fear and anxiety. Of course, this won't be necessary until I marry.

I do, though, have one brother and his wife who are completely "on my side" (I really don't want to make it sound as though there's a line drawn in the sand... but, then again, there may be one, but I'm not the one who is drawing it) -- so I know I'll still be an full-fledged uncle to three of my nieces and nephews.

I also have a sister-in-law who has a gay brother, living with a partner, and she doesn't keep her kids away from them... so there's hope for another three.

What I guess I'm saying is that this belief that I am in the wrong is what's scary to me... because it's just that, a belief -- not rooted in evidence, especially current, personal evidence, but rooted in "Because God said so."

How am I supposed to compete against that? How am I supposed to prove that my choices are right -- and even praiseworthy? ... okay, so these are kind of rhetorical questions... there's really no way I can compete. All I can do is make my choices, according to what I feel is right (not just temporally, but eternally and in the eyes of God), and hope that the fruits of my choices will speak humbly, strongly, and sharply.

Which brings me to the next part of the comment:
I know you are frustrated because you feel that your family are not praying about the truth of SSM and relying solely on the words of leaders.
I think, for many, it's hard to reject not only the words of current leaders, but the words of the Old Testament and New Testament. Homosexual acts are condemned in those scriptures as strongly as they are in current church addresses. They are reading and praying and their faith in the gospel doesn't allow them to think otherwise, no matter how much they love you.
From what I've heard from the leaders, I think their current stance stems very largely from the Old and New Testaments. And, though, I understand such completely, what I don't understand is how this belief can be so concreted when the LDS Church has a little caveat concerning the Bible: "as far as it is translated correctly."

There are so many things in the Bible that we simply do not subscribe to anymore -- and I'm not referring to the Mosaic Law stuff, either. There are verses by the apostle, Paul -- which apostle is perhaps the largest Bible reference as to why a man must marry a woman -- concerning gender roles (specifically that women should not speak or teach) that we do not follow. We have written them off as "that was just the culture back then" instead of "this is the eternal gender role of a female."

And, quite truly, the words purported to be referencing homosexuality are quite vague, rather stretching things sometimes, while the words defining the roles of women are crystal clear.

It just doesn't make sense to me, how we can take clearly worded counsels of an apostle and throw them aside as "cultural" and then take vague references and create "doctrine which cannot change."

It is especially confusing when, as I applied these proposed doctrines to my life... well... it just didn't feel right -- meaning I couldn't receive that same Spirit of confirmation I received when I read the Book of Mormon. Yet, when I started to seek things out more seriously, more meekly, I started to come to the point where I am now. And as I move along this path, things have been feeling much more right, much more akin to that same Spirit of confirmation I receive when I read the Book of Mormon.

Perhaps this is the core of my frustration: that this is a part of my testimony of God and Eternal Salvation... and I can't bear my testimony to my family -- most will not hear it... they don't want to hear it.

Coming from people who would have non-members of the LDS faith listen to their testimonies... it's frustrating, to say the least.

And my desire for my family to pray and listen and know really isn't padded in, "Because I want to be accepted by them," but in the desire for them to augment their own testimonies of God and His Plan of Happiness for all His children. I want them to be able to share this happiness and joy that I am beginning to experience.

I want to ensure the health and safety of my nieces and nephews who may be gay -- if there are any... out of 30, there's probably a good chance.

I want to do my part to rid the world of this horrible hostility towards gays. I want to help get rid of this awful contention flying around everywhere... and the best way, in my opinion, to get rid of contention is to find Truth... and the only way to find Truth is through meekness and humility... and I just haven't seen strong evidence of such in the stance the LDS church is -- for lack of a better word -- violently holding to.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to disparage the LDS church... they believe violence is needed here -- which is apparent as is often quoted the "I came not with peace but with a sword" scripture reference. There are, indeed, times when 'violence' is needed in defense.

It just kind of sucks when you're the one getting slashed at... and you're not quite sure what you did wrong (because you're only acting according to the dictates of your heart, conscience, and guidance through prayer, fasting, scripture study, and meditation... and you aren't even the one who picked up the sword and declared war in the first place).


  1. Keep the faith that you are doing what is true in your heart. What more can be said. Its your life...and nobody else can or even should tell you how to live it. You will come to discover there is a great reason for the gay has to do with the very spiritual nature of this path... and what we have to share with the world about creative intelligence, compassion and tolerance. Its just different. That's all.

  2. I kinda talked about the worry my Mom was facing in my last entry.

    She is afraid that I may never be married. She knows something went wrong with me since I refused to help give a baby's blessing. In general, she is concerned over my SGA.

    In a sense, this can be a good thing. I think she is looking at her options more and looking at what my future may consist of, and hopefully she is preparing for whatever could happen.

    I too am scared that if I decide to take the path outside the Church that my brothers and sisters will be more protective against me when it comes to my neices and nephews. I don't think they would cut me off completely, but I do believe that if I were to have a partner, things would grow complicated within the relationship of my family.

    As far as the Church side of things go, I try to remain optimistic. I think the Church has made steps forward since the 1970s, and continues to improve. I think they are more willing to learn of the issue than ever before.

  3. robert: I've definitely come to believe that this is very much of spiritual nature.

    mohointx: Perhaps the most difficult thing for me has been seeing my mother struggle and worry...

    But I'm seeing now that, as I take care of myself, as I -- to perhaps paraphrase robert -- make my choices based on the dictates of my own heart and faith, there has been less of a cause for my mother to worry (and, indeed, she has been worrying less and less about me).

    (Of course, that's not to suggest that my choice is 'the' choice or that following such is going to help your mother worry less.)

    I also remain optimistic about the Church. I mean, I don't know what's going to happen... but we'll see, and I hope for the best.