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Showing posts from April, 2011

Gratefully Gay

I am truly grateful to be able to experience life as a gay man during this generation.  Perhaps I have not always been grateful for that experience, and perhaps that is not the typical feeling that a person in my situation might have.  So, I would like to list reasons why I am grateful to be gay.

First, being gay has helped me understand my own spiritual beliefs better.  For example, "Why do I believe in God?" I believe in God because a universe without God seems to be a more desolate and lonely place in which to live, whereas a universe with God seems to have more hope and a more reason to do good in life. "What kind of a God do I believe in?" I believe in a God that wants, above all else, for His children to experience the true joy and happiness that He has found by following all of the laws of Nature.  He wants to teach us what we must to do achieve that joy.  There are many other ways in which I have searched and refined my beliefs.  Perhaps at a later date I w…

Would I be a hero?

There is a blog of another gay Mormon that I follow who is out to his friends and family but still maintains anonymity on his blog for various reasons.  At any rate, he posted this story a week ago that I just read and it has moved me to say my piece concerning the matter.

For those who do not wish to read the full story, I summarize it in one paragraph here.  This man (Mohomie) was dating another man (Steve) and they were both very happy with each other, until Steve decided that he wanted to leave the relationship and embrace the family and church that claims to love him so much.  Mohomie discusses in great detail the pain this has caused him--the longing he has felt to still be with Steve, and the disappointment in knowing that could never happen.  He says that even if Steve were to change his mind and come back to him, he would not take him back because Steve is such a different man now than he was before.  This is how he feels about Steve: "he surely has had trouble getting ov…

Ban Marriage?

I just encountered this study done by Emory University finding that a ban on gay marriage raises the rates of HIV infection.  I hope that this doesn't come as a big surprise to anyone.  Consider the reasoning.  Let us suppose that a state (or the nation) were to enact a constitutional ban on heterosexual marriage.  What would be the effect of such a ban?  Would it stop straight people from having sex with each other?  Certainly not.  Would it stop people from having children?  Again, the answer is certain in the negative.  What effect would it have?  Well, for one thing straight people wouldn't be having sex within a marriage, since marriage is not an option for them.  For another thing, there would be less motivation for people to be in a committed monogamous relationship.  Since there is no option of marriage for them, they would be less likely to want to be in a marriage-like relationship.  Certainly, there would be a large number of people who still want to be in a monogam…

Defying Gravity

Karen always told me about this wonderful musical that she had seen and that I needed to watch it sometime (I still haven't, but I want to).  I regret that I never did watch it with her because now that I've heard some of the music from it, I really want to watch it.  Anyway, most of you reading this blog probably have seen it.  It's called Wicked.  From what I understand, it's the story about Glinda's roommate (the wicked witch of the West, in the Wizard of Oz, who incidentally is named Elphaba, after the initials of the book's author) and how she became wicked.

One of the songs in the musical is called "Defying Gravity" and I find it to be rather inspirational.  I actually have no idea how it fits in with the rest of the play, since I've never seen it, and since the words in the original soundtrack include lines that are not clear without the context of the play, I will quote the slightly modified version that appears in the TV Show Glee, on the…

Familial Pressures

I want to start off by saying how loving and supportive my family is.  My entire life my parents have supported me and encouraged me to seek the life that I chose for myself.  I remember in high school, one of the guidance counselors had an interview with me.  She asked what I wanted to major in in college and I said math.  She replied, "No you don't, you want to major in engineering."  Her point was that there's no money in any career that requires a math major, but engineers can make a considerable amount of money (at least, compared with mathematicians).  I told her I didn't care about money or about her opinion and I was going to major in math.  I went home and told my mom about it and she agreed with me and encouraged me to seek my own dream, not listen to the short-sighted advice from the counselor.

I love the movie Dead Poets Society, for many reasons (for one, I think Robin Williams is absolutely hilarious in every movie he does).  One of the main charac…

Puppy Love

So, I've been making friends on Facebook with some fellow gay Mormons over the past few months.  There's a handful of them down in Texas that I had become really good friends with, so I decided to go down there to visit them.  Hence, the spontaneous trip to Texas a couple weeks ago.

While I was there, I went on a couple dates with Conrad.  It was a magical time.  We went to watch Tangled (did you know it was still in theaters?  We even watched it in 3-D!) and then we went and ate a (really late) dinner together.  It was such a wonderful experience.  We were both alive and excited about the happiness of being together and sharing such precious moments.

The next week, when I came back to the city where Conrad lives, we went to lunch together.  It was so much fun eating with a man that I love so very much.  I loved staring into his eyes and just chatting with him while we were eating lunch together.  I also liked holding his hand and not caring if the whole world saw it happen. …

Touching my circumstance

I found Elder Holland's talk on Sunday afternoon to be, as usual, very inspiring.  He talked about how General Conference is an ensign to the world.  What is an ensign?  It is a flag, or a banner.  The messages shared at General Conference can give guidance and direction to people who are seeking it.  It can help us to understand God's will.  Many great words of wisdom are spoken by the men and women who speak at General Conference.

Many of the things said in General Conference are warnings to stay away from particular sins.  Elder Holland pointed out that when people give talks like that, they are not assuming that everyone in the audience is struggling with that particular sin.  In fact, most of the time it is the case that most people listening are not struggling with it.  Then he adds "If we teach by the Spirit and you listen by the Spirit, some one of us will touch on your circumstance, sending a personal prophetic epistle just to you."  Personally, I feel like…

The Spirit of Revelation

Elder Bednar gave a beautiful talk Sunday morning about revelation.  First he mentioned two different analogies for the way that revelation can come.  The first, which is rather rare, is like turning on a light in a dark room--a sudden burst of revelation, such as when Paul saw the Lord.  The second is like watching a sunrise--it starts off dark and by very small degrees gradually becomes lighter until the sun has risen over the horizon.  Personally, I don't think I've ever experienced the lightbulb version, but I do feel like I've had my fair share of gradual sunrise-like revelation.

In talking about the blessing of revelation, Elder Bednar says
This blessing is not restricted to the presiding authorities of the Church; rather, it belongs to and should be operative in the life of every man, woman, and child who reaches the age of accountability and enters into sacred covenants. Sincere desire and worthiness invite the spirit of revelation into our lives.which I find to be…

Persecution

There were a couple people who talked about persecution during this past general conference.  Elder Nelson mentioned the warning from the Apostle Paul "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Tim 3:12)  Then he said "That very persecution can either crush you into silent weakness or motivate you to be more exemplary and courageous in your daily lives."  In my very brief time of interacting with homosexual members of the Church, and of other religions, I have seen those who have been literally crushed into silence by the pressures and persecution of the society and religion around them.  I have also seen those who have decided to be exemplary and courageous.


Ty Mansfied would be among the courageous ones.  He has made the decision to remain faithful to what the Church teaches is God's will concerning homosexuality.  He has published a book containing all of his feelings, and has done many things to help people follow in his…

For Mormons with Questions

There are two sites that I have come across, in my search and research.  Each of them is for Mormons who have a serious concern or question about Mormonism.  I have looked each one over briefly and I feel that neither of them is critical of or bitter toward the Church.  In fact, the first one, StayLDS, encourages people to embrace the Church and remain active in it.

StayLDS.com is a site for people with serious questions about the Church--perhaps its history or its doctrine or policies.  For example, I have a major concern with its policy concerning homosexual behavior.  It provides a forum where these questions and concerns can be openly discussed.  This is beneficial because many times, a Mormon with such a concern cannot turn to friends or family members with that concern out of fear of being viewed as heretic or apostate.  Yet, the truth of the matter is, they want to remain part of the Church and they want to believe it, they just have a serious question and are sincerely looking …

Study it out (addendum)

This is a follow-up to my last post.  First, I'd like to make the disclaimer that I don't truly believe that everyone that studies this issue out and reaches an educated conclusion will reach the same conclusion I did.  I do not claim to have clairvoyance into the will and mind of God, nor do I claim to be a source of truth.  So, I admit my own fallibility and the possibility of my error.

To anyone truly interested in learning more about this matter, I would recommend the book In Quiet Desperation, which is in two parts.  The first part is the story of a gay Mormon named Stuart Matis who committed suicide because of the conflict inside of him due to his homosexual feelings and the teachings of the Church.  His parents write about him and his story.  The second part of the book is written by another gay Mormon, Ty Mansfield, who has studied the matter out in great detail.  The conclusion he reached is that he should remain faithful to the Church, to live by its standards, etc.…

Study it out

"I cannot, however wish you happiness in living a homosexual life because in my heart I know that it will only bring you discord with your family, and sadness in the eternities."

"Homosexual relationships are dead-end. What would this man do for you, or these men, should you suddenly fall victim to a dread disease, an incurable disease? Suppose your body shriveled; suppose you could no longer satisfy or get satisfaction sexually; suppose you could no longer be 'used.' How long would the alleged friendship or friendly ties last?"

"The homosexual life tends to be a furtive, shifty, concealed life. This abnormal involvement with a person of one's own sex can be only barren and desolate, having for its purpose only temporary physical satisfaction."

"Homosexual practices are enslaving. These practices are somewhat like the use of drugs, alcoholism, or other vicious habits which eventually take over control of the person and make him slave …

Wound Healing

I have been thinking a lot lately about wounds.  Informing my family about my homosexual orientation has caused a lot of pain, confusion, and sorrow.  It has made me reflect on the situation often.  Would it have been better for me to have pretended to be straight for the rest of my life?  I did so well for the first 27 years of life, and I'm quite confident I could have continued to do so.  I don't enjoy the fact that my family and friends are experiencing negative emotion in connection with my revelation.  I certainly didn't intend to inflict such pain on anyone, least of all my family whom I love so dearly.

So, why was it that I felt the need to "come out" and has it been worth it?  I feel the best way to explain this is with an analogy.  I am no expert in medical science, but I do have a basic understanding of physical wounds.  A deep tissue wound needs to be cleaned out and disinfected or it will not heal properly.  I view my treatment of my sexual orientati…

Anti-

I just posted this, but deleted the previous post because I felt like I had digressed from the main reason I made the post and I don't want to have anything I say construed so as to make me come across as negative toward the Mormon Church.  I love the Church and I respect it.

I've gone out with the missionaries here in Tennessee quite a few times and there is one of the things that they've been instructed to tell people which I have found to be very interesting.  One of the main reasons why people do not invite Mormon missionaries back to hear more lessons about the church is because they have encountered, in some form or other, some anti-Mormon literature.  Therefore, missionaries tell people that they should come to the church for truth about the church, rather than look to third-party sources, such as those that publish bad things about the Mormon church.  They say that you wouldn't go to a Dodge dealership to learn more about a Ford Fusion, and so you shouldn't …