If a simple seed gets just what it needs,
Then a redwood tree can grow,
Up to a hundred feet for the world to see,
And endure the sleet and the snow.
But if my whole life,
Was wrapped in price,
I wonder what the tag would show.
‘Cuz every time I’m close to the Holy Ghost,
I always seem to let her go.
-The Classic Crime
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
From a letter to Boyd K. Packer from DAVID ECCLES HARDY dated Oct 7, 1999
You may recall that in his somewhat recent newspaper interview in California, President Hinkley compared the plight of homosexuals to that of the single sisters in the Church. To paraphrase, he said that the Church doesn't ask homosexuals to do anything it doesn't also ask of its other single adult members - to live chaste lives. But this simply isn't true. As a former bishop I have firsthand experience. We openly love and support our single brothers and sisters. We give them important callings - especially with out youth and children. We urge them to date, to flirt, to get crushes, to fall in love, to marry. We sponsor Ward and Stake activities and dances to get them together to accomplish this. We ask them to be chaste - until they find someone to share their life and intimacy with. We go out of our way to give them something of immeasurable value in the struggle to keep the law of chastity - hope - hope that no matter how difficult this emotional and physical loneliness is, it is temporary. For those with the least control over their situation, our single sisters, we give special encouragement and hope that they will find love, emotional intimacy and fulfillment in this life - and if not, certainly in the next.
We do not knowingly give homosexuals important callings - especially not with our youth or children who would be at risk of being infected and recruited. We forbid them ever to flirt, to date, to get crushes, to fall in love, to have a legally-recognized monogamous relationship. The image of a Tri-Stake Gay and Lesbian Gold-and-Green Ball is amusing. We ask them to be chaste - forever. No hope at all. The question of sexual intimacy aside - can you imagine having being denied the ability to become attracted to, flirt with, get a crush on, hold hands with, steal a kiss from, or fall in love with you wife? With all trace of romantic love and emotional intimacy denied you, with what would you fill the void to hold at bay a life of loneliness, emptiness, and despair?
My experience as bishop of a student Ward, the father of a homosexual son, and a friend and confidant to the many LDS homosexuals I have since become acquainted with, would indicate to me that in some few cases, the terrible guilt associated with reparative therapy and the strong desire to remain in good standing with the Church and one's family has brought about an ability to repress one's homosexual desires - for a season. Usually just long enough to get married and ruin a family.
Monday, August 30, 2010
"1. Life's metaphors are G-d's instructions
2. You have just climbed up and above the roof. There is nothing between you and the Infinite. Now, let go.
3. The day is ending. It's time for something that was beautiful to turn into something else that is beautiful. Now, let go.
4. Your wish for resolution was a prayer. Your being here is G-d's response. Let go, and watch the stars come out--on the outside and on the inside.
5. With all your heart, ask for grace, and let go.
6. With all your heart, forgive him [her/them], FORGIVE YOURSELF, and let him [her/them] go.
7. Let your intention be freedom from useless suffering. Then, let go.
8. Watch the heat of the day pass into the cool night. Let go.
9. When the karma of a relationship is done, only love remains. It's safe. Let go.
10. When the past has passed from you at last, let go. Then climb down and begin the rest of your life. With great joy."
To myself, to all those I love, and to those who need it.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Several months ago I wrote a post that I never published. It spoke strongly of the Church being the one and final truth, the spiritual truth that needed to be followed instead of the earthly truth of sexuality. I unabashedly sanctioned mixed orientation marriage as an important part of life and a higher and better choice than homosexual relationships. In the early fall of 2008, in the fall of 2009, and early 2010 I believed in the Church as the only way, with full support and understanding of mixed orientation marriages and of sacrificing the natural man. I don't think I believe that anymore. Maybe I never really did believe it. In June 2009 I was in the place I currently stand. It has been a winding, winding road.
I don't know where I am in my testimony. I KNOW that I do not believe in any form of hate or suppression of choice. My therapist told me that where much is given much is required. The Lord, our Savior, had to sacrifice everything, but He was given a divinity and perfection that none of us have. The Prophet Joseph Smith gave up his life, but he was pre-ordained and prepared for such trials and sacrifices. He SAW the Lord and the Father. Angel Moroni CAME to him. I was given a desire for males, so why shouldn't I be expected to strive for a marriage with a man- something that I can have in a Temple because current law allows hetero marriages in the Temple. Not everyone has been given the ability to be in love with, desire, and adore the opposite sex. BUT- everyone (I believe) has been given the ability and desire to LOVE. Despite what the Church upheld for years, there is no right pigmentation in skin. There is no skin color that makes one person more worthy than the next person.
I also KNOW that homosexuality is not a path, choice, or process. The only difference between homosexuality and heterosexuality is if people are attracted to those of the same sex or the opposite sex. Homosexuality is not like alcoholism, pornography, or pedophilia. It is natural, hormonal, and maybe even hereditary. It is whatever heterosexuality is. I KNOW this. I cannot choose to be a lesbian any more than I can choose to have brown eyes (mine are blue). Sure I could date girls and have sex with them- I can also get brown contacts. But the contacts won't change the fact that my eyes are blue anymore than dating a girl would change the fact that I like boys.
If some random bishop from North Carolina called me to tell me he received revelation for me I would tell him he does not have the authority to receive revelation for me. I cannot receive revelation for anyone else. I don't know why I thought I could- why I thought I could say, "I know this is the correct path for everyone, regardless of their circumstances."
So that is what I am here to say- I don't know what is right for anyone else. I don't know what it is like to be gay and Mormon- or gay and raised Mormon. I do know what it is like to give up everything that your family cherishes, everything that you have ever loved and cherished. Everything that has made you, you. Judaism was my whole life and identity. I loved it with all of my being- I was deciding if I could better serve my religion, faith, and heritage by becoming Orthodox (Chabad actually) or by remaining Reform and becoming a Rabbi (Orthodox women can't be Rabbis or I would have done both). Then I discovered the Church. I knew that the Gospel was true and that Christ was the Savior. I knew that for MYSELF I needed to join the Church. I turned my back on everything I had known and I accepted Christ, something that I had spent 18 years believing was idolatry (to believe in something besides Adoni, one G-d). Sometimes I still wonder if I have turned my back on G-d by believing in the Savior. I hurt my family and made them angry. I felt like I turned my back on my heritage and all my relatives. I felt like I turned my back on my people. But I still know that it was the right choice for ME.
I don't know what all the eternal truths are. I do know that the Lord loves all His children, no exceptions. I know He made those who are homosexual and those who are heterosexual- there is no flaw in one anymore than in the other. I know that hate, anger, and offense come from Satan. I know that love, understanding, acceptance, and happiness come from G-d. If being in the Church causes hate, anger, and offense then I can't believe that is right. G-d never wants us to hate ourselves. EVER. He wants us to love to the best and fullest of our ability. He wants us to help others in the capacity that we have been given. I truly believe that what is right is what brings people to love themselves and others. What is right is whatever makes a person fill up their own well and then give to those who are thirsty. For some, being in the Church evaporates their wells. It causes hate and bitterness towards oneself and towards others.
I fully support those who leave the Church to find happiness in homosexual relationships, those who leave the oppression and hatred so they can love and accept themselves. If someone can't love themselves and believe in the Church, how is it from G-d? No one should ever hate themselves for something they naturally are. I know, because I use to hate myself for having any sexual desires. I support those who have been married for ten or twenty years and choose to leave an opposite sex spouse to find true peace, happiness, and fulfillment. Perhaps the best way for some to honor their wedding vows is to allow a separation so both spouses can find true and deep love and mutual attraction. For some the best and only way to love themselves and others is to be in a loving and committed homosexual relationship where they give and receive a mutual love.
I also support those who choose the Church. I do not think that choosing the Church over acting on sexuality is letting anyone down anymore than me getting baptized was letting down the six million Jews killed in the Holocaust. I support those who leave a same sex partner they have been with six months or forty years if for them greater peace and happiness comes through the Church. I support those who do find honest and true peace, love, and acceptance in a marriage with someone who is only a best friend and partner.
Staying in the Church for the benefit of another person or because of peer pressure, just like leaving the Church because of pressure or for the benefit of another person or group, is being false. I think each person needs to find their own path, and I don't think that it is the same path for anyone. Being on a path that leads to misery, hate, and creating a false identity is not of G-d. It doesn't matter what path is causing those things- it is not a path of G-d. Love for self and love for others is G-d's path. I honestly believe that for some the path of greatest peace, happiness, and self love and acceptance is following the Gospel and staying in the Church. For others the path that leads to peace, happiness, and self love and acceptance is leaving the Church. I don't think there is one right way or answer. We have agency so we can find our own way to G-d. Believing G-d hates us because of who we naturally are (hetero or homosexual) is not finding G-d. I think we have personal revelation and prayer so that we can each find our own way. If the Lord wanted us all to do the same thing we would not need prayer or agency. We would not be individual people with different passions, feelings, needs, desires. We would be uniform.
I support those who leave and those who stay because I believe what is right is different for each person. I honestly believe that leaving the Church can be as right as staying in it or coming back to it. It is different for each person, maybe different at different points in each person's life. We each have a conscience because what is right for each of us is different. But I do believe that love for self and others and happiness is what is eternally and spiritually right- what brings that about for each person is different.
I am willing to stand up before G-d at the last day and stand by this. I am willing to stand up and stand by every person that has done their best to find the path in life that brings them the greatest amount of true hope and love, not a false hope or fake love coerced by indoctrination, fear, or pressure. For some this will be turning their back on their heritage and the truths they have always known and believed so they can be honest with themselves and in a loving relationship. For others it will be turning their back on their natural and true sexuality to follow a path they feel peace and love on. Each person is the only one that knows what the right path is. It is the path that leads to real and true love for self and others. And for each person that path is different.
Saturday, July 4, 2009
I was thinking about sex (I tend to get distracted by this a lot because sex and the male anatomy are both such a huge mystery to me) and I started to actually have feelings and desires. I immediately scolded myself, "you are so evil!" And then I thought, wait, I don't think anyone else is evil, even my friends that have sex (even those who have it out of wedlock). Sex isn't evil! I am not evil! These feelings, thoughts, desires, they are all natural, they are even spiritual and divine. Unless man just started making up the divine aspect of sex as an excuse to have it more often, I think we are supposed to have these feelings and wantings. As far as I can discern, we are taught that our sexuality makes us divine. These emotions and connections are one of the most spiritual aspects of marriage. I'm thinking, even though it feels blasphemous, that according to the doctrines of our relationship with G-d, even our Father in Heaven has sexual feelings. Even Christ had them on earth!!
So we are sent to earth to become like our Father in Heaven. We are asked to learn self control so that we can be in command of our godliness, and apparently our sexuality is an important part of this since we have so many rules regarding its restraint and usage. I'm not sure why we have all these regulations- I guess it is like our other strengths. We are given great power that can be used to destroy and hurt one another, but instead we are instructed to love and be kind at the expense of everything else.
Still, it makes me question homosexuality. It doesn't seem like G-d would just accept that if we are sent to earth and subject to nature some 10% of man will organically be born gay if it is in opposition to our divine nature. If sex and our sexual desires continue into the next life and are indeed part of our godly nature then homosexual attraction must be as well. Since He has to obey the rules of nature did G-d just say, "I sacrifice a tith of you in order for the rest of man to have the necessary sexual drive to become divine?" I can't see Him doing that. So I guess the question is, is sexuality a natural drive that is necessary so we procreate, which is our divine purpose? Or, is sexuality in and of itself divine, in which case it seems as though all sexuality should be divine? Are we given the law of chastity so that we can create stable families- in which case homosexuals should also be expected to hold those standards and be with one life partner and adopt children or use invitro techniques? Or, against all common sense and reason, do we have earthly attributes that we must overcome to become divinity? This doesn't make sense if sexuality is divine, because then 90% of man would not have to overcome their desires for celestial glory.
I can understand if we have earthly laws to govern our sexuality. That makes sense because we need to gain control over our bodies and certain behaviors enhance family solidarity. I can understand (if gay marriage is indeed ok and only not revealed as of yet because church members are human, dumb, and not ready for truth) that we are all expected to keep these laws and demonstrate our yearning to serve our Father by showing our obedience. We sacrifice our desires to have sex with whoever, whenever for our spiritual progression. What I can't see, is if sexuality is eternal and divine how only one type can be right. Unless we have been blindfolded by the world and homosexuality is just a thing of nature and those desires will change after we lose our earthly bodies (which will make all the women who die single very happy in the next life because all the amazing gay men will suddenly be straight and they can all marry each other) :P
If sexual desires are only earthly, then I can understand that some of us are lucky enough to have natural desires that can be fulfilled within G-d's commandments (I mean we can't have sex whenever we desire it, but we can be fulfilled with a spouse we are attracted to should we find one), while some are challenged to follow G-d at the expense of their earthly bodies. Then once we get to Heaven we will all be asexual so it won't matter.
I guess the bottom line is we don't really know- which is why we all struggle and blog. I also think this is why we are told not to judge, for how can we judge when we don't understand eternity and when so much has not been reveled? We all must decide for ourselves which gambles we want to take, which desires we want to fulfill, what paths we want to choose, what consequences we are willing to accept. We each have to examine what our Heavenly Father is asking us to do and decide if we are going to do that. We have personal revelation for a reason. If it was a blanket truth for all mankind we wouldn't be asked to communicate with G-d on our own.
For personal reasons last week I deleted my blog, but I'm happy to be returning to the blog-o-sphere now. Thanks to someone very, very dear to me I'm done with constantly being the victim. I am finished being selfish and prideful to the point that I think everyone's actions are about me and everyone's sins are my fault. I was so conceited I believed that I was worth less than everyone else and hated more than anyone else. It was all or nothing to the point that if someone was special, I was useless, and if I was not everything, I was a nonentity. Well F* that! The only thing I was being a victim of was of my own thoughts and I was so concerned with my self-inflicted pain I didn't realize I was hurting others. I'm sorry that I need to be forced to stop injuring myself when I'm so obstinate I insist on walking on a bleeding and smashed toe. Thank you. I will not be so selfish I destroy others.
Oh- and I'm strong too :)
So two really great songs that I found and that I think say so much coupled together: