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Showing posts from August, 2011

Know of the doctrine

There are many wise sayings found in the Bible, particularly those attributed to Jesus.  There's one I'd like to focus on in this post that I have personally found to be very useful in my own life--especially over the last year or so.  It is found in John 7:17, which reads "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself."  I have heard this passage paraphrased many different ways in my years of attending the LDS church.  I suppose the way I would word it is "If you want to know whether a commandment is really for your own good and happiness, try it out and live it."  This is the ultimate empirical experiment. When you go clothes shopping, you commonly try the clothes on in a fitting room to see if they fit and if you like they way they look on you.  When you do homework for school, you try one thing and if it works, you keep going, otherwise you try something else.

I have found this advice to …

Trials

I've been told by many people--mostly family and Mormon friends--that being gay is just my "trial" in life that I have to go through.  It's much like diabetes or down syndrome or some other disability.  Some people have equated it to having a hot temper or being prone to alcoholism or some other such tendency.  So, I just wanted to talk about that for a while.

First, the issue of homosexuality being like a disability or condition such as diabetes.  One major way in which this analogy breaks down real fast is that, as far as I am aware, there aren't any church or groups of people teaching that people with diabetes are evil or that they have done something evil to bring upon them their diabetes.  I don't know of anyone teaching that diabetes is a choice (and, fortunately, the number of people asserting that sexual orientation is a choice is also dwindling).  Those who have physical or mental disabilities or lifetime conditions are usually not discriminated agai…

Why can't ex-mormons just "leave the church alone?"

I recall numerous occasions, while I was still active in the LDS church, when I heard the phrase (concerning those who had left the church) "they can leave the church, but they can't leave the church alone."  Of course, I always accepted the premise that this was because they were angry or bitter toward the church and were merely trying to get some sort of sordid revenge.  I am not angry at the church, nor am I bitter.  I seek no revenge.  And yet I've found it surprising difficult to "just walk away", as I have been told to do by so many of my Mormon friends.  It seems like simple enough advice--it seems like a reasonable request to make.  So why is it so difficult?  I've thought quite a bit about that and I'd like to share those thoughts here.

There are a couple ideas very heavily engrained into a Mormon's head through all of the structure and doctrine of the church.  The first is to seek truth (wherever it is to be found--from scripture and f…

As I Am

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This is a play within the movie The Big, Gay Musical.  I would like to recommend the movie to anyone due to its message of acceptance.  However, I can't do so because there are several bedroom scenes that I know many of my friends would find over the top, so I will simply summarize enough of the movie to provide context for this video.  If you haven't seen the movie yet and don't want any part of it spoiled, you may not want to read the rest of this post, although I wouldn't necessarily call any of it a real spoiler.

The lady singing is the aunt of the young man whose hands she's holding.  He's gay and she's a Christian.  Earlier in the play, it shows how she sends her nephew to a camp for curing homosexuality and she's sure that Jesus will heal him from his "sickness".  The couple in the audience that it shows watching the play are the young man's parents.  They're baptist and they just barely found out that their son was gay just be…

The Nation's Capitol

Conrad and I just got back from a trip to Washington, DC.  It was a wonderful experience.  My first time to DC was actually last year, but I only had half of a day to spend there, so I didn't get to see much.  This time  we spent almost a week there and saw all of the main attractions.  We had a staff member of my representative's office take us on a tour of the Capitol.  We did a self-guided tour of the white house and all of the sights along the National Mall, including the Smithsonian.

There were so many good restaurants that people recommended we eat at.  They were all really good.  I think I gained a few pounds during the week.  It was such a happy experience.

With all of the wonders and marvels that are available to tour in DC, it's hard not to enjoy your time there.  Despite the fact that the USA is a relatively young country, there is so much history there to be told.  There's so much art and science to explore.  We wore our feet to the bone every day walking…

The Book of Mormon

Practically everyone has heard of the Broadway musical written by "the South Park guys" about the Book of Mormon.  I have to admit, I watched a bootlegged copy of it the other day and I can't wait to see it in person.  It won 9 Tony awards and is being called the best musical of the century.  I bought the soundtrack and I listen to it frequently.  It certainly is very obscene--I'm still not so sure why Trey Parker and Matt Stone are so obsessed with obscenity--but I do like its message: that the essence of religion overrides following all of the prescribed rules and the approved dialog.

Anyway, in response to this musical, the LDS church has asked all of its members to share their experience with how the Book of Mormon (the book, not the musical) has changed their life.  Although I am no longer a member of the church I wish to do just that, since it has had a huge impact on my life.

I remember when I was 7 about to turn 8 I had the goal of reading the entire book be…

Gay Like Me

John Howard Griffin wanted to see what life was like as a black man. He darkened his skin, through a series of dyeing sessions. He wrote all of his experiences concerning how he was treated as a black man in a book called Black Like Me. I would recommend the book to anyone who hasn't yet read it.  It’s been a long time since I read the book, but I wanted to talk about something that really stuck out to me.

Before I talk about that, I wanted to mention an episode of Boy Meets World where Shawn and Cory have the idea of doing an experiment they called “Chick Like Me”, inspired by this book. Their idea was to dress up as women and see what it was like dating guys. Shawn realized that the way he treated girls was not as enjoyable to the girls as he thought--he didn’t like guys putting moves on him as fast as he put moves on girls. It was years ago when I first saw this episode, and I’ve thought about it a lot since.

I think a similar experiment could be tried by any straight pe…

Together at last

After having been in a long-distance relationship for about four months now, Conrad and I are soon to be united, never again to part from one another.  I will be flying down to Texas tomorrow and then the two of us will drive up to Tennessee together, with his car and all of his stuff.  Then we will be together in body as well as in mind.

We have not seen each other since he came up here for my birthday in the middle of June.  This last month and a half has been excruciating.  Every particle of my body screams out "I want Conrad."  I cannot express in word or even in thought how extremely excited I am to see him in approximately 24 hours from this time.  The best part about it is that I will never have to live apart from him again.

I have the most romantic thoughts of going down to Dallas to rescue him from the extreme heat and then riding off into the sunset with him.  (Ok, so it would be away from the sunset since I'm east of Dallas.)  It has definitely been a long t…

A Grave Misunderstanding

I can't speak for all ex-Mormons, nor do I intend to.  No two people think alike.  However, I have associated with several ex-Mormons and I have noticed that most of what I say in this post will apply to most of the ex-Mormons I have come to know.

Many logical fallacies are used against people who leave the LDS church.  The first I'd like to mention is the straw-man argument.  Demonizing or insulting words are used to describe ex-Mormons.  For example, "apostate", "angry", "bitter, "vengeful", and "anti-Mormon".  Ex-Mormons are painted as horrible people who have nothing better to do with their time than attack Mormons and the Mormon church.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  The reason I left the church was because I no longer agree with its doctrines.  I feel completely free of the grasp that the church had on me.  I do not need to get revenge, since I was happy while I was a member of the church.  I do not need to attack…