I've pretty much run out of things to say - so I'm wondering if it'll make it to 5 years ...
I was called to serve in the Missouri Independence mission. About 6 months into my mission they formed the Missouri Saint Louis mission of which I became a part of and where I served the remainder of my mission. The Saint Louis mission covered approximately the eastern half of Missouri and the southern half of Illinois; although, I spent my entire mission in the Missouri side of the mission.
I hate to admit it (because it makes me feel really old), but it's been 30 years since I returned home from my mission - much of my mission has become a distant memory. I really don't remember much of my mission companions - but there are two that stick out in my mind.
Elder E was my second companion. Like me, he was older when he left. Elder E was a very dedicated missionary - although, not in an annoying way. He truly believed in and had a lot of enthusiasm for the work we were doing and his enthusiasm rubbed off on me. I was very shy when I left on my mission; and, Elder E helped me come out of my shell. I became very dedicated to Elder E - which, apparently, was obvious to other missionaries. I remember one of our zone leaders once observing that I "followed him around like a little puppy"; although, I've never really understood what he meant in a mormon missionary sense since ... well ... isn't that how missionaries are supposed to be?
I was companions with Elder K about midway through my mission. He left on his mission a month after I did; so, we didn't really have a senior/junior companion relationship - we were just companions. We were asked to open up a new area - well, reopen since the area had had missionaries in the past. It was a small branch in rural Missouri, outside Saint Louis, that covered an entire county that was approximately a square 40 miles on a side. And the real clincher - we didn't have a car, we only had our bikes to cover 160 square miles.Now, if the question was intended to mean if I was attracted to any of my missionary companions ... I will have to admit that I did find several of my missionary companions physically attractive; but, never to a point where I had unholy thoughts about them. Well, maybe a few with Elder K ... :)
The branch met in a town that was not the largest in the county, by any means, but was pretty much in the center of the county; and, we lived in a trailer park outside of town - so we were pretty much isolated. But, the branch was very excited to have missionaries again and was willing to do anything to help us out. With the help of the branch mission leader, we arranged to drive to work with members who worked in the various towns in the county and just spend the day in that town proselyting. Then we would meet them at their place of work at the end of the day for the drive back home. Of course, this meant that we had to get up and out of the house much earlier than usual and it was too early to go start knocking on doors - so we would find some place, like a library or a fast food joint, to sit down and study for an hour or two before starting out.
Elder K and I became very close; although, it was an odd relationship since we didn't have hardly anything in common - he grew up on a farm in a small town in southern Utah and I was a city boy from California. His dream was to own a farm of his own and my dream was to graduate from college with a degree in computer science. He had mormon pioneer ancestors and I was a first generation mormon. So, I don't really know why we clicked so well - but we did. Although, we lost touch soon after returning home and haven't had any contact since.
But, there was another elder that comes to mind (I can't even remember his name anymore). We were never companions; but, we were in the same district and often went on splits together (probably 2 or 3 times per week). Sometimes when we were meeting back at the apartment - we would arrive first and I would give him back rubs while we waited for our companions to return. I had a definite attraction for him - if he had showed a similar interest in me ... well ... he's the one missionary I might have gotten sent home over ...
I tried; but,the blogger gadget used on the MoHo Directory requires an RSS feed. If LDS Reconciliation has an RSS feed then please contact me privately so we can figure out how to add it.
I'm probably not the best one to ask that of as I've only met a couple in person. I will say that Evan is tall - at least he is taller than me; and, I'm 5'11½"
How did you meet your wife? If you're gay, why did you marry her?
How did you meet your wife? If you're gay, why did you marry her?
How did you come to choose such dark and oppressive colors for the MoHo directory?Answer: Actually - I didn't. A fellow MoHo volunteered their time and talents to redo the MoHo Directory. Although, personally, I really like it. It looks much more professional and polished than anything I could come up with on my own.
Some suppose that they were pre-set and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and unnatural. Not so! Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone? Remember, He is our Father.There are a number of things about this statement that bother me
that being homosexual tendencies. The whole tone of this rhetorical question implies that would be one of the most horrific and unthinkable things a father could do to a child.
Another problem with this statement is that it could be ask for any number of mortal conditions - conditions for which there is no question about their existence and immutability. The simple fact of the matter is: We don't know why God does most of the things that he does. Why did he make roses red and violets blue? We don't know!
Why are my tendencies towards members of my same gender impure and unnatural? It feels natural to me. And what's so impure about it? Sure, I could objectify men - but heterosexuals do that all the time with members of their opposite gender, and we don't label their heterosexuality as impure and unnatural, only their thoughts and actions. It's a double standard: A heterosexual is impure and unnatural only in their thoughts and actions while a homosexual is impure and unnatural for mere possession of tendencies towards their same gender.
Really? Isn't that predestination? Seriously, how many of us believe we were predestined to be gay? I expect most of us will confess that we don't know why we're gay any more than we know why we came out of the womb with a particular hair color. All we know is that we are gay - whether it be nature, nurture, or some combination of the two is water under the bridge. I think the better question is if sexual orientation is immutable or not - but that's not what Elder Packer said.
We must trust in the Lord - and in his duly called servants. And, if we lack trust in said servants then it's our own darn fault because we don't have enough faith. Implying that said servants have absolutely zero responsibility to do anything to earn our trust. We're supposed to trust in them just because.
God only approves of marriage between one man and one woman (I suppose we'll just ignore those pesky Brigham Young years) - and anybody who believes in same sex marriage is evil. Anybody who believes the law of the land should be changed to recognize same sex marriages is doubly evil. And God only approves of sex between a man and a woman who are married, preferably in the temple (I suppose if you're married, but not in the temple, then He merely tolerates you having sex with your spouse).
My name is President Thomas S. Monson - and I approve of the messages given in this session of conference.OK, I must admit, I did enjoy the rest of President Monson's remarks about gratitude. But, Packers talk has just left a bad taste in my mouth - so, now I'm grumpy; and, at this point, I'm not sure I'll even bother watching the Sunday afternoon session.
The Lost Son by Abelard
Oh please ne'er forget me though earth now lie o'er meI was once young and handsome and my spirit ran freeBut wretched confusion overcame my delusionAnd a family in mourning for the son I couldn’t be.A young lad with feelings too frightened to knowI was fearing and trembling for the loss of my soulAmid struggle and fear my family did prayThat my demons would leave me, no longer to stay.
When I was a young boy with skin t’was so fairAnd tussles of curls adorned my hairI was thoughtful and timid, my books were my friendsI kept to myself for playmates were rareOther boys would avoid as if I were uncleanTo them I was different, another poor queerRelentlessly teasing, they taunted and sneeredAnd thrashing while mocking and brought me to tears
Down trodden and saddened, I was in despairFor within me these feelings where none could compareMy family, they loved me, their souls were laid bareBut to them I had fallen to the great tempters snareAt length, I made my choice - I wanted not to liveI dreamed of a peace only death could giveSo one day when alone I found some pillsI finally found peace when laid on the hill
Oh please ne'er forget me though earth now lie o'er meI was once young and handsome and my spirit ran freeBut wretched confusion overcame my delusionAnd a family in mourning for the son I couldn’t be.
I'd like some input. I firmly believe the opposite, that homosexuality is wrong by God's standards. But I also believe that we should not judge, exactly as you have posted. That saying "love the sinner hate the sin" has always seem wrong. I agree we should all respect each other and let God judge. It's not our place. I'm willing to do that. But I still believe that homosexuality is wrong. How do I allow treat a homosexual person with the respect they want, but at the same time pass on my convictions to my children? This question may come across badly. I want to allow everyone the freedome to live their lives the way they want, but I want my convictions, that I feel deeply about to be passed to my children. How would you suggest I do this?I believe this is a very good question - and one that deserves some thought and discussion. In fact, I invite other bloggers to post their thoughts on this topic as well.
It's been 18 months since I was laid off. Now, to be fair, I'm not just sitting at home doing nothing. I have found a data entry type job which both my wife and I can do from home. It doesn't pay that much; but, between the two of us we are able keep our heads above water, just barely. But, our CORBA health insurance has run out - so, we've joined the ranks of the uninsured. I expect we're also part of that poverty statistic that's been in the news recently. Life is difficult, but we're probably doing better than many others in a similar position. I mean, we still have our home and we still have food in the pantry. Without health insurance, we're really focusing on eating healthy. For example, we've decided we're not going to buy any baked goods - if we want something (like bread, or a cupcake, or something) then we have to make it ourselves. And, I always scour (what I call) the used meat bin (meat that is near it's 'sell by' date) for good deals I can put in the freezer. My biggest problem is that I'm pretty much a food snob - I enjoy fine foods. It's difficult for me to buy Great Value products at Walmart.My life of solitude
The other day I made Chili Rellenos for dinner - which were tasty, but frying tends to smell of the kitchen. Later that evening, when I walked into the kitchen, I quipped to my wife "good thing we don't have any friends who might drop in on us - because our house stinks right now."Stake Conference
My attempts at humor stings with reality - we really don't have any friends. Well, more to the point, I don't have any friends. My wife has her quilting and sewing friends whom she visits with weekly. Instead of friends - I have the husbands of my wife's friends. And, when she's visiting with them during the day, while said husbands are at work, then there is no reason for said husbands to interact with me in any way.
In a typical week - my only interaction with people, other than family, is 3 hours on Sunday while sitting at church. And that's not really much interaction either since it mainly consists of sitting on my butt listening to some talk or lesson.
Most days I don't even leave the house. I do have my brief interactions during the week with the checker at the grocery store as I pay. But that conversation usually goes something like
them: "did you find everything OK?"How did this happen? How did my life devolve into such a meaningless existence?
me: [mumbling] "yes" (which I answer - even if it's not true)
them: "have a nice day"
I try to convince myself that I'm OK with the life of a hermit - a hermit that lives a life of solitude in plain sight. But, it's not true. I want friends! I want people I can hang out with. I want people who call me once in a while just to talk - and whom I'm comfortable calling, just to talk. Am I really that much of a pariah to be avoided?
I tried joining a photography club this year. I go to the meetings, but I just sit there and listen to whatever program was planned for the evening - I don't know anyone, I don't even know the names of the people conducting the meeting. I don't talk to anyone. I go, I sit, I leave. Gee, that kinda sounds like what I do at church. It's just so difficult for me to strike up a conversation with people I don't know.
Intellectually, I know that to have friends I have to be a friend - and I just really suck at being a friend. So, I guess I just have to learn to accept that I'll live out my life friendless and, apparently, penny-less.
As I was sitting in stake conference recently, I looked around at some of the missionaries serving in the wards in my stake and, I don't know why, but I started to wonder if they might be gay. With 13 wards in our stake and, on average, one set of missionaries per ward - it's likely that, at least, one or two of them are family. If only there were some way to reach them and let them know that they're not alone. But, alas, it seems that coming to terms with our sexuality is something we all have to go through alone before we are able to find and reach out to find others.
On an unrelated topic, there was one statement by our new Stake President that has really been bugging me. He was addressing those who suffer from depression. He didn't call it depression per se, he was using words like "those who are feeling hopeless". But, then he said something to the effect of "I'm not suggesting anyone go off their medications - but I firmly believe that we can be in complete control of our thoughts." [worded as best as I can remember] As one who suffers from clinical depression, perhaps I'm just being overly sensitive - but it just doesn't come across as being compassionate - 'mourning with those that mourn and comforting those that stand in need of comfort', if you will. Perhaps that's not what he meant - but if that's how I interpreted it - chances are I was not alone. It really doesn't matter what he said exactly or even what he meant - what matters is how it was perceived by others. And, I didn't perceive it very favorably - I certainly wouldn't feel comfortable talking to him about my depression issues.A recent lesson in priesthood meeting
When we were studying lesson #15 "The Lord's Covenant People", one of the older members of my priesthood quorum made a comment that was really out in left field (having nothing to do with the lesson content nor what the instructor was saying). He blurted out "what about all of those TV shows with 'homosexuals'" - the last word being spit out in a tone of utter disgust. Fortunately, the instructor was able to quickly get the lesson back on track; but, not before I saw nods and heard sounds of agreement from other quorum members. It served as a bitter reminder of what some of my quorum members really think of the me - the real me that they don't knowGlee
It is weird for a middle aged man to be so excited for the return of Glee this week? Is it odd for a middle aged man to own the Glee music CD's? Is it creepy for a middle aged man to be tooling around in his blue Nissan Cube rocking to the music of Glee?
Guess this means you're sorry
You're standing at my door
Guess this means you take back
All you said before
Like how much you wanted
Anyone but me
Said you'd never come back
But here you are again
'Cause we belong together now, yeah
Forever united here somehow, yeah
You got a piece of me
My life (my life) would suck (would suck) without you
Baby I was stupid for telling you goodbye
Maybe I was wrong for tryin' to pick a fight
I know that I've got issuesBut you're pretty messed up tooEither way, I found out I'm nothing without you
Being with youIs so dysfunctionalI really shouldn't miss youBut I can't let you go
Loneliness is a feeling in which people experience a strong sense of emptiness and solitude. Loneliness is often compared to feeling empty, unwanted, and unimportant. Someone who is lonely may find it hard to form strong interpersonal relationships.Yup, that about sums it up for me.
[after my 1st discussion with the missionaries]Whatever became of that lonely and scared 18 year old from so many years ago?
I took a long walk on the way home. I was lonely and frightened, yet I felt contented. I recognized that what I had been told was truth; I also recognized that I could never again be the same. I knew that a change would have to take place in me - and I was very reluctant to change. I was afraid to take the second discussion because I knew that it would verify the feelings. But I was even more afraid not to continue because I knew that I could could not let this out of my grasp.
[after my baptism]
Being a member of the Lords church means everything to me. I now have something more valuable than anything else in the world.