Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sex in the Cupboard

Lisa commented the following on my post, Sex in the Closet:
Your willingness to serve and to restrain when possible from things should speak volumes to your bishop.
Here's the problem: I still use the word "gay." If I were to simply say, "I am no longer gay," I would be welcomed with open arms and thrown out the window to serve a mission.

It doesn't matter the status of my heart or my testimony of God and the Church. It doesn't matter how chaste I am or how strictly I abide the rules of the Church, I will never be equal to my heterosexual counterpart in the eyes of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.



I'm just being honest.

So, why the hell am I here, sitting within the walls of the LDS Church?

Right now, I am feeling dark.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not feeling bitter about what is being said or anything like that.

Frustrated, yes. Disheartened, yes. But not bitter or angry.

I'm just feeling dark, and I haven't felt this way since... well, truth be told, since I was last sitting within the walls of the LDS Church.

It is a horrible, familiar feeling. A demon that sat on my shoulder most of my life. A demon that left when I walked away from the Church for a season. A demon that returned in my Bishop's office last Wednesday.

A demon that I had forgotten.

When I told my mom that I wanted to serve a mission, I said, "Didn't see that one coming, did you?"

Her response: "Well, you've had such a great countenance lately..."

Ironic, isn't it? At least to the Mormon's ardent belief that the Church is where the greatest countenance root. Here I am, within the walls of the Church, and my countenance is dropping. I can feel it.

My heart has shivers of coldness.

My spirit feels heavy and shackled.

My mind feels cloudy and indifferenced.

This is not the life I found outside of the LDS Church.

What the hell am I doing here?

... there will be much soul-searching to do these next few weeks...


  1. Not sure if you've noticed, but you're hardly alone.

    Granted, what brought you here differs from what brought me here, but something I've learned this past week is how much company we're in.

    For what it's worth, I get that feeling. Best of luck to you.

  2. I get that same feeling at church lately, too. The most uplifted I have felt in the recent past was in my home on New Years Eve. The two circumstances (church vs. moho parties) is very distinctly different, and I can tell you in an instant where I would rather be.

    Good luck. What are we to do? Let me know when you figure it out.

  3. @ Sarah--yeah, New Years was a wonderful time. I wish I had you guys closer to me.

    I admire your faith, Chedner, because I realized the other day that despite my best efforts to the contrary, I'm bitter and puffed up with pride regarding my relationship with the church... and I don't want to be that way. I loved the church--that's why it hurts so much.

  4. Remember Joseph Smith said he felt great darkness before the first vision. Could it be that you are also about to find great enlightenment?

    The church plays word games. You can too. They prefer SSA and SGA to gay. I don't know if you find those terms offensive, but if you don't, consider an experiment where you use those terms and see if it makes a difference in the tone of the conversation.

    Similarly you might play with an acronym to get a way from the M word. Tell your bishop that a testicular self exam and MDP are medically indicated for your prostate issues. If he insists on more detail you can explain that MDP is manual draining of the prostate, and unlike masturbation which is can be pleasurable and addictive, MDP is sometimes painful but medically necessary.

    Just some ideas to play around with. They may or may not fit your situation.

  5. Hey Andrew.

    Wow...First off, I think it's great that you feel you can be so honest...often times, I don't feel that way.

    But like Lisa said...a great friend, she seems to are not alone. There are a lot of people here who seem to love and care about you.

    Not being Mormon myself, sadly there is not a lot of direct denomination advice I can give, if you know what I mean. However, I can say with full conviction that God loves you as His beloved child and that His light shines on, even in the darkness (John Chapter 1). Search your soul and see that light. Then listen to what the Spirit is saying to you. I know you're opposed to phones; nevertheless my phone is on for ya if you ever need to vent vocally. I wish I could give you a hug right now...

    Keep us updated, k?

    With peace and brotherly love,


  6. Lisa & ABrooks: Thanks.

    Sarah: Hopefully something can be figured out, eh?

    Ezra: I don't know if I could say I ever loved (read "admired") the church, per se, but I've always loved (in every way) the Gospel. The church doesn't have exclusive rights to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    Ned: To be completely honest, I've come to hate word games. I played them when I was a liar and manipulator, when I would use people to get what I wanted while still, technically, being honest.

    In doing so, however, I have perhaps felt the most dishonest.

    Referring to the scriptures, I believe word games deter from the instructions given by Christ in Matthew 5:37, "But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil."

    I mean, with word games, I could start looking at porn but instead call it "Executing MDP stimulus programs."

    I could also have sex with men and call it "ODP: Optimal draining of the prostate."

    I guess what I'm getting at is, "Where does it end?"

    I feel the most honest sticking with the "Yea, yea, nay, nay" philosophy. Straightforward, simple, clear, lacking of vanity/redundancy.

    If I have to play word games to get me on a mission... well, then I would no longer feel worthy in the eyes of the Lord to serve.

  7. The church can really mess with your head and it is true, as a homosexual, the church will never consider you equal in any regard to a heterosexual. Whether you act on your desires or not, you are forced to the edge of the church. Luckily more and more people are not letting this happen anymore, and there are is a handful of people that will help you see true Christ-like love.

    However, I've learned that the gospel encompasses more than just the church. I have a hard time believing in the God I hear about in Sunday School, but the one I've learned of in the actual gospel seems more real, more forgiving, more loving...and that is the one that I have found myself trying to find faith in.

  8. Grant: I definitely agree with you. An even greater distinction between the Church and the Gospel has been forming in my mind.

  9. LOL at ODP! I'm glad you had some fun with acronyms. More seriously I'm also glad that you reminded me of Matthew 5:37 and that you desire to follow the Savior's counsel to communicate clearly and directly.

  10. I, too, have found that I believe the Church is not God and God is not the Church.

    Ask many members, however, and they may argue to the contrary.

    God is so much bigger than our church, and through my thoughts lately I see us rejecting others. We build ourselves up but rarely those who do not belong to our "flock."

    I want to help others out, no matter who they are or what they believe. Isn't that what Christ would have us do?

    I'm with Grant. That's the God I feel most connected with anymore, and I'm not so sure our Church preaches that God as much as perhaps it should.