Sunday, March 28, 2010

My spiritual state

A couple of weeks ago a young man, who was leaving to serve a mission, spoke in church.  I know this young man well, having been his youth adviser.  As he spoke the thought occurred to me - wondering if I will still be sitting there in church when he returns back home in 2 years.  As I sat there pondering that thought, my eyes started to well up and tears started to trickle down my cheek - upon the realization of the possibility that I may no longer be an active member of the LDS church within two years.

I really do not have any desire to leave the LDS church.  In fact, it saddens me to even think about it.  Over all the church has been good for me and my family. But the harsh reality is that the path that I am on no longer lines up with that of the LDS church.

The obvious answer is that I should repent - that is, I should make adjustments in my life so as to get back in line with the LDS church. But, that's easier said than done.  The LDS church teaches that the first step in the repentance process is to recognize that you have sinned; and, I just can't seem to get past that first step.  Mind you, I'm not trying to claim that I don't make mistakes.  But in the events that have led up to me being on a diverging path - I just don't see where I've made some sort of grand error.

About 3-1/2 years ago I finally ended a lifetime of denial and accepted the fact that I am gay - and that set into motion a series of events that brought me to where I am today, including starting this blog, making new friends, and reexamining where I stood on gay related issues.

During this same time period, the LDS church took steps to solidify where it stands on gay issues.  They released a pamphlet telling me that God loves me and that it's OK to be gay - so long as I don't have gay sex, don't think about gay sex, don't exhibit gay mannerisms or flaunt my gay characteristics and don't have gay friends.  And, while not specifically addressed in said pamphlet, they really do not want me to call myself 'gay' - preferring that I 'struggle with same gender attraction'.

On the issue of gay marriage:  I started out opposing gay marriage but supported civil unions - and I've evolved into being a firm supporter of gay marriage.  While the LDS church has made it abundantly clear that they consider gay marriage to be the biggest threat to 'traditional' (i.e. male/female) marriage in the world today.  They have also claimed that societal acceptance of gay marriage threatens their free speech right to oppose it.

The bottom line is:  The LDS church and I just don't see eye to eye anymore.  With mormonism being an "all or nothing" sort of religion - that's a problem, a very big problem.  Once I start questioning the LDS church in some things, it leads me to question it in other areas as well.  For example, how do I resolve an account of the creation that puts the world at a few thousand years old with scientific evidence that it is, in fact, millions of years old?  Gender is supposed to be an eternal characteristic; so, what about those who are born with both male and female genitalia and whose gender is "assigned" by doctors?

On the subject of gay marriage, consider two hypothetical situations
A) A gay male couple have been together for years and live in a committed monogamous loving relationship
B) A heterosexual couple get married in Vegas in a drunken stupor
According to LDS teachings, God is OK with couple B having sex but not couple A.  I'm sorry, but I just don't buy it.  It does not compute.  As I ponder this in my mind, the LDS position only gives me stupor of thought.

Don't get me wrong, I still think the LDS church, overall, is a force for good in the world.  I fully support its commitment to family - where we disagree is what constitutes a family.

Nor am I suggesting that my leaving the LDS church is a foregone conclusions - I'm just saying that the path that I am on is diverging from that of the LDS church and, if nothing changes, eventual separation will be the logical outcome.  I also realize that if anything is to change this direction - it will have to be with me as it is highly unlikely I will see any major changes in the LDS church philosophy in my lifetime.

There is a difference between doing what is right and doing what is easy.  The easy thing would be for me to reject my own thoughts and feelings and just accept the LDS church, and what it says, at face value.  The easy thing would be to go back to my old life - living in denial.  But is that the right thing to do?  Or, is the right thing to follow my heart?

Most TBM's (True Believing Mormon's) would tell me that I've got this backwards - that the easy thing would be for me to follow my own feelings and that the difficult path would be to follow the church - but those people do not know me!  They have not walked in my shoes.  They do not understand my commitment to my own family.  In many ways, going back to my old way of thinking - pretending that this gay thing was just a phase, a mid-life crisis - would be the easy thing to do.  But, could I look at myself in the mirror every morning?

I continue going through the motions.  I attend church every week, I sing in the choir, I stay after the block of meetings to help put away chairs and clean up the building.  In private I abstain from alcohol, tobacco, coffee and tea, I abstain from eating two meals on Fast Sunday.  We pray together (although private prayers and scripture reading have gone by the wayside).  My wife, who handles our finances, writes a tithing check every month which I give to the bishop.  From all outward appearances I am a good Mormon - but only in body, not in spirit.

My heart yearns to worship with others who will accept me for who I really am - not who I pretend to be.  I want to commune with brothers and sisters whom I don't have to worry about making unkind and untrue homophobic comments and who don't consider my very existence to be a threat to their families and way of life.

I'm tired of sitting in a crowded room - and feeling all alone.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


It's been a while since I posted anything to my blog - it's been even longer since I posted anything meaningful and/or insightful (and the wait will continue even after this blog post).  Although, I do find myself wondering if anybody - other than the two MoHo's I've been in email contact with - even missed me.  I'm not wallowing in self pity (well, maybe I am, just a little) - I realize that with blog readers, the MoHo directory, etc. - there really isn't much of a need to go check a blog for updates.  It's like having a neighbor down the street whom you see occasionally out watering his garden - do you ever notice when he's not out watering?  I can't complain because I'm just as guilty with other MoHo blogs.

So, what's been happening in the life of Abelard?

First off - I got a job.  But, hold off any celebrating or applauding - it's a temporary job - at our local Walmart while they are going through a major remodeling.  Basically, I move merchandise from the old location to the new location (sometimes to a temporary location if the new location isn't ready yet) and then help tear down the old shelves when empty.  It pays peanuts - but it's more than I make sitting at home sending endless job applications that all just seem to end up in the round filing cabinet.  Bottom line:  A year ago I was in a comfortable job making a 6 digit salary - today I'm a Walmart associate.

In other news - I was a victim of identity theft. It seems someone got hold of my debit card number and then went around to a bunch of Walmart and Walgreen stores - up in Iowa - charging a couple of hundred at each until they emptied my debit account - to the tune of several thousand dollars. The good news is that it looks like I'll be getting it all back. I'll know for certain after April 4th which is the last day the stores have to challenge my dispute. They didn't have my pin - just the card number, probably stolen by an employee from some store I did business with; and, the stores they went to were, evidently, not asking for a picture ID - which makes them liable.

So, basically, my life really sucks right now. My job at Walmart is physically demanding and I just feel tired all the time. I work the 2pm to 11pm shift; although, some days it's well after midnight by the time I get home and crash in bed.  It seems like most days all I do is sleep, eat, and go to work - repeat.  The good news is that I get paid time and a half for overtime - the bad news is that 1-1/2 peanuts is still measly.

If I do a good job and they like me, it's possible I'll be offered permanent employment when the remodel is complete - and the worst part?  I'll actually consider it.  Nobody else wants to give me the time of day.  And, since being unemployed for nearly a year is decimating my savings - I'm probably going to have to work until the day I die.  I'm pretty much giving up on the idea of becoming a teacher.  At this point, I'm willing to do just about anything, as long as somebody is willing to pay me to do it (and has a health insurance plan).  Maybe I should start rehearsing in front of a mirror - "would you like fry's with that?"

Why does god hate me so?  Is it the gay thing?  But, since he made me this way, maybe he just has a cruel sense of humor.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

March theme: First meaningful kiss

It has been suggested that the theme for March be your first meaningful kiss.

Personally, I'm not really sure what to say on this topic. Thing is, I really do not like kissing.  It's slimy, messy, and just generally icky.  Although, in truth, I've only kissed girls - two girls to be specific.  One girl whom I briefly dated in high school, and the girl who later became my wife.

I sometimes wonder if my aversion to kissing is more specifically an aversion to kissing girls.  But, since I'm committed to remaining faithful to my wife, I guess I'll never know.

[big sigh]

Anyway, for those of you more into kissing than I - tell us about your first time when fireworks lit up the sky.