Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Another Cause to Pause

I’ve had the opportunity to discuss this blog in depth with two people who I consider very good friends. One of them told me that my blog sounded a bit bitter toward the LDS church, and that they would no longer be reading. I understand how a few of my recent posts could have come across that way, but I feel the need to clarify.

My feelings for the church have really evolved constantly through this experience. Please remember that I am recounting a story from its inception, as I remember it during the time it happened. My CURRENT feelings for the church are only partially recounted in posts such as “A Shift of Faith.” That experience took place almost two years ago, and at that time, yes, I was bitter toward the church… or should I say… the people in the church. I’ve also been bitter towards God, towards myself, towards my parents (which you’ll see in the next few posts), and towards Satan.

But I told my other friend with whom I’ve been discussing this blog, that although she may feel differently, I don’t think I’ll ever let go of the gospel principles. If anything, my faith in God and in Christ has increased over the course of my ordeal. After all, if the church is right in its current stance, I will be relying on them both in mercy for my salvation! And my faith in them is such that I don’t believe that it is “too late” for me. “A Shift of Faith” really was intended to do nothing more than point out that the people in the church don’t understand the things they do to hurt those in my situation. I’ve blamed the church for that, I’ve blamed God for that, but the fact remains that really, I can only blame myself. Who can teach them what things are hurtful and what things are not in this regard unless someone like me is willing to put myself out there enough to help them understand?

The ninth article of faith reads: “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.”

I believe that God is not done talking about this issue. I might hope that a revelation will come to the church that will resolve this issue one way or the other, but the only thing I expect is that such a revelation will come to me, personally, for me, personally.

In fact, one, mostly, already has. I might take a lot of flak from the gay world by posting this, but I think it is important that everyone know that for me, this is my testimony, and this is the secret as to how I have currently resolved this issue inside of myself:

I know God lives, and prayer has been the most important thing I have learned in regards to this issue. My conversations with my Father in Heaven have been sincere and realistic. I have been promised that one day, the issue of homosexuality will be put into perspective with God’s greater plan. I have been promised that one day, I will have that perspective, and that with it will come the choice. That choice will also be about love, but not in the same way it is now. If I am still with my partner on that day I will see my love for him grow even more, into the realm of the gospel, and will then, together, may make the choice to separate.

That day may come tomorrow, or it may come after this life. Perhaps some of you may think that I have made the wrong choices leading up to this so-called “day.” You may be right, and if so, thank God for the Savior.

My complaints and agony in regards to the church are down to one, and it has nothing to do with gospel. My complaint, in fact, is only with the people who spout hatred, like the high-counsel man who read the letter in that fateful sacrament meeting. What he said wasn’t gospel. In fact, I think if he would have bothered to read what the church has officially put out on the subject, he would have had a kinder tone. To that man, and all of you who preach against homosexuality without knowing your own church’s doctrine, I will not do the same against you. I will, in fact, tell you how to help.

Imagine, please, for a moment, a 12 year old boy in your sacrament meeting who realizes his struggle is actually same gender attraction. If he felt that every member felt as you did, would he be able to come forward, and confess, at such a tender age, what he feels? Or would he be fraught with fear, his only resources telling him he would be excommunicated for being gay (the distinction between feeling and action still underdeveloped in his mind). Could he tell his parents, when he has heard his father and mother make comments about how gay people are going to Hell?

I was that twelve year old boy.

Now, imagine if the overall attitude in the church was one of tolerance. What if that boy was not afraid to approach his bishop and parents? What if counseling could be started younger, before the boy felt any frustration in regards to his feelings and the gospel? What if those parents and that bishop, cried with him, expressed their love for him and the heartache they knew he would endure? What if the subject could be discussed openly in sacrament meeting, with no feelings of guilt or shame for this boy?

I am not against LDS counseling in this regard. In fact, although it didn’t quite have the intended change in me, it DID help me rid myself of the same feelings of guilt and shame. Is it possible, that had I been younger, and this issue wasn’t taboo, and if it is environmental as the church suggests, that I could have resolved myself to be heterosexual? I don’t know. And we won’t know, unless we try a softer, more inclusive approach.

Thank you for the open dialog. I hope everyone knows that I will discuss spirituality openly and often in this blog, as soon as I get through my story. We are almost there. I can’t wait to share with everyone about my favorite prophet (Nehemiah), whose story touched me years ago, and will help anyone at any juncture in life.

Skip the parts you find offensive, but please understand that by doing so, you might miss a lesson I learned that you would AGREE with. And please, give me time to get out the story, so you can know the background behind my current thoughts and feelings.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was an awesome post!