Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Men are that they might have joy...
The following comment was left on the blog of a friend of mine today and while the intention of the post was I'm sure sincere, to me it showed tremendous ignorance of the plight of the married gay Latter-day Saint. I can't help but ask this person, have you actually met and spoken with a Moho about the unbearable pain of living as a Mormon straight man in a gay person's body? Here is gist the comment:
"Up to this point [in your life], you've been a faithful member of the Church, paid your tithing, etc. So, [because you're middle-aged] you've only got 40% of life to go and if you can just keep on the path for that last stretch, you'll very likely receive exaltation and be together with your family...On the other hand, if you choose to live a homosexual lifestyle, you've got roughly 20 [years to sow your wild oats]. Are those 20 years worth...what you're giving up?"--Anonymous
My response to this sincere, yet condescending comment is as follows:
I can't help but respond to your comment. While I began the process of coming out two years ago, I've been totally out for nearly one year. Without question, this has been the best and happiest year of my life--by any measure. Interestingly, my gay brethren who have come out in mid life all say the same thing. I have NEVER met a gay Latter-day Saint who is unhappy as a result of coming out of the closet and would choose to return if given the opportunity.
I believe that when the Book of Mormon says that men are that they might have joy, it is speaking truth, both for this life as well as for eternity.
As a gay man once married to a wonderful straight woman, raising tremendous children, serving in a variety of Church leadership positions, I never understood what joy was. I had happy moments, but in my trial never felt the joy that the Gospel is intended to bring.
Since divorcing and actually being true to who I am, I have amazingly experienced a fullness of joy EVERY day--joy so profound it often causes me to tremble with gratitude for a Father who loves me for who and what I am and is willing to share His Spirit with me in a profound and immutable way.
If wickedness never was happiness, I have to take the Lord at his word. That means that if what I am doing is wicked, I shouldn't be happy. At the same time, if marriage to a woman brought such unhappiness that I was willing to inflict tremendous pain and suffering on the people I love most--my former wife and children--would it be pleasing in the sight of God?
Anonymous, it is so easy to live in a world constructed of cultural norms that is in reality antithetical to the teachings of the Gospel of Christ. Because it is easy, too many members of the Church choose to live in such a world of blacks and whites rather than a world of sunshine and rainbows as Heavenly Father intended.
I'm grateful that God led me into a world of color and with it, a world of boundless joy. I hope someday in this life or the next, you are able to find this world as well.