Wednesday, October 31, 2007

"Make Me Think Beautiful Unexpected Thoughts"

I appreciate all of your thoughtful comments. It has lead to a lot of thoughtful thinking on my end of things.

Atonement. It references Christ's suffering on our behalf. The price He paid for our sins. You will notice the picture on my blog is a picture of olive trees in Gethsemane and references the Atonement. In every way I believe in the redemption of His ultimate sacrifice. It demonstrates to me, as it does to most Latter-day Saints, the reality of Christ's power to heal and change.

On my mission I learned a lot about the Atonement and about healing and changing. I watched people change their lives, their character, their desires. I saw how they did it. Through out my life I have applied the same principles I taught them. I have applied the healing, changing power to so many aspect of my life, most especially my sexuality. I felt broken because of my attractions to guys and lack of attraction to girls, and I wanted desperately to be fixed by the Atonement. I prayed fervently, deeply, desperately. I gave of myself. I kept the commandments and lived a meticulously righteous life. I fasted countless days. I bathed my pillow in tears. I became an amateur scriptorian. I served an honorable full time mission. I worked hard on my end of things to learn how to control my thoughts and I regularly went to therapy through LDS social services. I dated a lot of girls. I ignored my feelings for men. I did everything I was supposed to do.

When I came home from my mission I was devastated that I was still attracted to guys. I felt I hadn't been healed even after the Atonement. I expected that it would all end in despair simply because I felt I hadn't changed. It didn't. Instead, I found myself with new perspective. I realized that I had been healed. I realized that I was whole. I looked back and saw that I had changed. In fact, as I've talked with my brother this weekend, I have really felt a great sense of fulfillment in the wonderful things the Atonement has done for me. Of course I still have many things to work on and to change about myself, but I am not broken.

The fact remains, though, that I am still gay. What does that mean? Does it mean that I didn't apply the Atonement enough? Does it mean that I didn't need to change my sexuality? Does it mean I wasn't broken in that area to begin with? I don't know. Those are the questions I am struggling with right now.

The point is, I have let go of the expectation and the demand for change. I have given up the desire to have God remove my pain from me and am now submitting to what He apparently wants me to live through. That's the result of my journey so far. The side effect is that I don't believe that I will ever not be attracted to guys. Maybe that's not true, but I still believe that I needed to let go of the expectation before I could ever really understand what the Atonement has and will do for me.

I don't pretend to know anything about the Atonement. I can't understand it all. I do know that I felt it in my life, though, and I feel it now. And it feels compassionate. My brother has spent the past few days with me, and he shared a realization he had recently with me. "You just don't know what goes on in someone's head. Even if they tell you, you still don't know. But God does."

Monday, October 29, 2007

". . . Terrified of Living Your Own Life?"

I'd like to know what people mean when they say, "You're just trying to convince yourself . . ."

This is something that my mother and roommate have said to me when I tell them that I don't believe I will change my sexuality. Do they actually think that I don't believe what I say, or do they just not believe what I say and assume that deep down inside I also know that they are right? Do I act like I am just trying to convince myself? What does that even look like? What does sincere belief look like?

Just hoping you all have some insights I'm missing.

"If it weren't for your maturity . . ."

"I am a question to the world, not an answer to be heard, or a moment that's held in your arms. And what do you think you'd ever say? I won't listen anyway. You don't know me, and I’ll never be what you want me to be. And what do you think you'd understand? I'm a boy, no, I'm a man. You can take me and throw me away. And how can you learn what's never shown? Yeah, you stand here on your own. They don't know me 'cause I'm not here. And I want a moment to be real, wanna touch things I don't feel, wanna hold on and feel I belong. And how can the world want me to change? They’re the ones that stay the same. They don’t know me, 'Cause I’m not here. (Johnny Rzeznik).
I saw big boobs girl today. Big boobs girl is a girl I dated my freshman year. I know that she has big boobs because my roommate told me that she has big boobs. Knowing that important fact made me sure that she was the one who would fix me. I made out with her in the library. It didn't do anything for me.

It was weird to run into her for the first time since my mission. She was there with her husband. I kinda felt guilty. As if to seal the guilt, my high school girlfriend called me. I wanted to tell her in person about me, but that meant waiting for Christmas. I couldn't wait. I told her. She was way understanding. It helped that I was the third x-boyfriend of hers to come out to her. Poor girl. She had very insightful things to say. She said that a lot of parents have a hard time with their kids coming out because it shatters their dreams/plans, one of which is grandchildren. Another thing she said was that I should never date girls. She said it's not fair to them or to me. And she's had three gay boyfriends now, so I trust her insight. I won't completely rule it out of my future, though.
"And you see the things they never see. All you wanted, I could be. Now you know me, and I'm not afraid, and I wanna tell you who I am. Can you help me be a man? They can't break me as long as I know who I am . . . They can’t tell me who to be, ‘Cause I’m not what they see. And the world is still sleepin’, while I keep on dreamin’ for me. And their words are just whispers and lies that I’ll never believe . . ." (Johnny Rzeznik).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Getting to Know You

I have apparently met enough mohos now to run into them on campus daily. I'm not sure what that means, but I feel like it ought to mean something. The other day I walked onto the bus and was one of three mohos on the bus- which at one point was a majority. The original novelty and excitement of realizing that there are other Latter-day Saints who are attracted to the same gender is starting to wear off.

Does this mean I am exiting gay adolescence? Absolutely not. I still act like a thirteen year old girl.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

I wasn't even on drugs.

I like to start and end some posts with lyrics. Often they don't have anything to do with the post, but it is a nice reflection of the emotions I am feeling or the tunes I'm listening to. I just love music. Anyway, I just can't pick two sets of lyrics, so I will let you in on all of the songs on my itunes right now and you can pull the quotes you want. I Was So Alone, Chasing Cars, The Great Escape, You and Me, Open Your Eyes, and Oh What a World.
Yesterday I had a really good day. One of many small ecstasies was watching the movie Saved. You all MUST go and watch the movie. It completely changed the way that I look at the world and myself and God. I want to write a whole long review on the movie, but it would detract from the real point of this post.

I got home last night at 3 AM and I was feeling really happy. And I was wondering why I didn't feel that happy in Church. And then I started doing some deep thinking as I was wrapped up in the catharsis of the night. Thought turned to meditation turned to prayer turned to enlightenment.

Suddenly I realized that it was good that I felt good. And then I realized that Church should make me feel good. I should enjoy it. I should feel uplifted. I should feel spiritual. I decided to get what I wanted out of Church, and I want to get happy, uplifting, spiritual experiences out of church. To do that, I realized that I needed to give up my expectations and demands. I needed to stop putting conditions on what would make me feel good at Church.

Last night I didn't sleep at all- I just felt. And then I got up and I showered and I put on my new Sunday clothes that actually fit me and I went to Church and it was awesome. I haven't enjoyed Church like that in a very long time. I had fun. I was uplifted. I felt the Spirit. And all of this despite distasteful comments and offensive things. I just let those things that normally bug me fall off.

It was wonderful. And the best part is that this whole divine, euphoric, enlightening experience was not even drug induced.


"You didn't ruin my life, Mary"

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Cut from the Team

"It's easier to run, replacing this pain with something numb. It's so much easier to go than face all this pain here all alone. Something has been taken from deep inside of me. The secret I've kept locked away no one can ever see. Wounds so deep they never show they never go away, like moving pictures in my head for years and years they've played" (Linkin Park).
So last week I talked to my parents individually for the first time about what my life is actually like with these attractions. I knew they were having untold stresses of their own, and I hadn't really planned on telling them, but I needed to share it with someone. I thought the conversations went well. Apparently they didn't. (long story why)

Anyway, to be concise, my dad called me the morning after I had talked with my mom and said, "So let me get this straight, after two years on a mission, you're just going to give it all way to live a gay lifestyle?" If you could have seen me, you would have seen a classic wtf face. I never said anything like that.

So my parents just overreacted and freaked out. My mom thinks that blogs are akin to porn because both are on the internet. That's just one example of their ridiculous fears. Skipping ahead to the point, my mom and I had a three way conversation with my therapist to clarify some things. I asked her what she wanted, and she said she just wants me to be normal. I told her that was such a loaded word, and asked if I could replace it with the word healthy. She said no. So then I asked how important it was for me to be normal. I asked if being normal was worth the cost of being healthy. She couldn't answer the question.

My mom would rather me be who she wants than be a mentally healthy person.

I asked how this was going to be accomplished. She said that she didn't know, but that she was trying to find the solution. She said she thinks that we are on the verge of discovering the cure. I can understand why she would want a cure. I wanted one for many many years. But that's not what I want now. When I was hoping for a cure, then every day- every moment- that I wasn't cured was a disappointment. It was a terrible way for me to live. I don't have that expectation anymore. (unfortunately I have replaced it with another unhealthy expectation, but that's a whole new post).

My parents took a major loss this week. They have put themselves on another team. All I wanted was to feel like they were on my team, but they aren't. The result is that I don't trust them with my feelings any more. I can't tell them what's going on in my life. That is a major loss for them. They just severed communication. They also made me extremely bitter. It's too easy for me to blame the Church for their insensitivity, ignorance, and lack of compassion, unfair as that is. I'm just so tired of it all.
"I remember what they taught to me, remember condescending talk of who I ought to be, remember listening to all of that and this again. So I pretended up a person who was fittin' in, and now you think this person really is me and I'm trying to bend the truth. But the more I push the more I'm pulling away . . ." (Linkin Park).

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Lingering Again

How do you cope with the loneliness and ache?

It is so hard to be alone. I just want a companion, someone to be with. And I just want some affection. I want to cuddle. I want to hold hands. I want to kiss. I'm not asking for much. A guy like me should be able to do all of those things. I'm so tired of watching all the guys around me do them. I am not a loser. I am not ugly. I am not socially inept. *sigh*

Once again my finger lingers over the publish button. My dad says I should just not think about it. Just don't think about it and it will all go away.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Receiving Revelation

I still receive revelation. I always thought that if I accepted the fact that I am attracted to men I wouldn't receive revelation. I also thought that if I ever questioned the Church, I wouldn't receive revelation. Well, today in church, I received revelation. It was just as I have always received it.

I was feeling alright in Priesthood because of something the Bishop said about helping each other out when we feel "BLASTD"- bored, lonely, angry, sad, tired, or depressed. It made me realize how awesome my roommate is at recognizing that in me and in helping me. He's like the perfect example of what the Bishop said. It also made me realize how I can extend help to others, and how much the support of other mohos means to me.

So because I was feeling good about that, I suppose I was more open to the Spirit. During Conference, I had had a spiritual experience during the song "I Believe in Christ." It was a beautiful arrangement, and it just made me feel like being Mormon was such a beautiful thing. Anyway, in Sacrament Meeting we sang that song, and all of sudden these words jumped out at me: "I believe in Christ, He stands supreme. From Him I'll gain my fondest dream. And while I strive through grief and pain, His voice is heard: 'Ye shall obtain.'"

Yesterday I had a very good, meaningful conversation with my dad, and he told me that he just wants me to be happy. I have had that on my mind ever since. As I have been thinking about happiness, when I sang that line in the hymn, I suddenly realized that I could and would obtain happiness. I don't know how. I don't know when. I don't even know why, but happiness is not some hope we aim for in the afterlife. It is something obtained as part of the mortal experience. That much was revealed to me.

I have other thoughts stemming from this bit of insight, but I think I will leave the post at that.

Heroic Excuses

I wrote this the other day, and my finger has lingered over the publish button for a while.

Sometimes I am afraid that being a moho is just a transition from mo to ho. I have started to wonder why I am staying in the repressed Mormon lifestyle. I don't think that it is because of my testimony any more, as much as that would be nice to believe. So then I thought that it was because leaving the LDS lifestyle would mean leaving my support networks- specifically my parents. Then I realized that recent events have already taken away the support of my parents. They are not a support right now.

Now I think that it is because I am the support network. Now that my parents suddenly aren't, I am. My siblings are so traumatized right now, I can't disrupt the last stable thing for them. But even as I type this I wonder, am I really that self-sacrificing? It is a rather heroic excuse. Is that just because I want the reason to be heroic, or is it because I am really heroic?

Maybe the real reason is that I have no balls. Why is that so hard to accept?

P.S. This post makes me sound weak. It is really scary to allow myself to be seen as weak. I am still trying to maintain, however, this forum of honesty. Even now that I know some of you.
P.P.S. If you didn't, you should read Mormon Enigma's post, "What is it that we really want?"

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Never Knew

Wow. I have always loved the song Never Knew by The Rocket Summer. It is such a great song, but I never really realized what the song meant. It just popped up on my itunes shuffle, and suddenly the song resonated. It is all the emotions I have had since I started this blog. Here's the highlights:

"I just ran into a few someone's today, someone's that I never really knew. And I used to think how I had them all so figured out, but no, none of it's true 'cause I never knew you, and now the truth of it is, is I wanna be like you. So hello, good friend, I wanna be next to you for my head, for my heart, for what's true.

"So I'm burning the thoughts of the things that I once said. Because you tore down the walls that the world that has put inside my head. And I just get sick of the things that we think, we think we know . . .

"And as they strolled along, my heart broke out in song from all the things and the thoughts and assumptions that I had wrong. See now I'll be on my way to make this claim. I'll make it famous in every way. I'll make it stay when I will save it...

"No, none of it's true 'cause I never knew you, and now the truth of it is, is I wanna be like you. So hello, good friend, I wanna be next to you for my head, for my heart, for what's true" (The Rocket Summer).

More Comfortable

"Step one you say we need to talk. He walks, you say, 'sit down it's just a talk.' He smiles politely back at you. You stare politely right on through. Some sort of window to your right, as he goes left and you stay right between the lines of fear and blame, and you begin to wonder why you came" (The Fray).
Thursday I had an awesome time meeting even more of you mohos. (Thank you so much AtP) I also watched my first real "R" rated movie. (Passion of the Christ doesn't count). We watched V for Vendetta. It was good, but very political. I felt a billion times more comfortable with myself that night.

Today I decided to tell my roommate. He was suspicious, and I wanted to tell him rather than having him just find out. He took it so well. He didn't flinch at all. He was very understanding, and he hasn't treated me any different. He didn't even give me a lecture about the plan of salvation. He just talked and was there for me. I wish my parents had reacted like he did.

Tonight I watched the first three episodes of Heroes season 2. IT WAS AWESOME! The themes speak for themselves. I watched it with Romulus and Remus and Mulan. I just felt so comfortable- again! I could be myself. It was so weird not worrying about motives or how I appeared or being found out. With every passing day I get more and more comfortable being me.
"Where did I go wrong, I lost a friend somewhere along in the bitterness, and I would have stayed up with you all night had I known how to save a life" (The Fray).

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Love Unfeigned

"What if I was alright? What if I wasn't wound so tight? What if I had the balls to be bad? Would you still look at me like that? Would you be mad that I had held the old me back? Why can't I be somebody else? Somebody who isn't too cool to believe it's okay to be just me" (Bleu).
I started leaving Romulus a comment when I realized it was more of a post.

A few days after I came home from my mission, I went shopping with my brother, "Thomas." He is really my best friend. When we talk, it is amazing how similarly we think and yet we are different enough to let the conversations be provocative. Anyway, in the car ride home from this excursion, (and wow it was a fun excursion), I confided in him my fears about getting married. Suddenly I felt like that was my next step, but I knew that I wasn't ready for it. I had never had even as much as a relationship with a girl. (other than a somewhat short, hollow, non physical thing I had going with a girl in high school). On the other hand, Thomas has had great success with a girl whom he has been dating for two years. Their relationship is very deep. They're practically ready to elope. Anyway, I asked him how he had been able to make it work.

My brother started telling me about how he started dating her. There was competition. He described the challenges. He talked about all the schemes he came up with to get her to notice him. He talked about becoming her friend. He talked about how beautiful she was at prom. He talked about how deeply he was attracted to her- emotionally, mentally, and physically. Suddenly I was struck by this revelation. He worked HARD for that relationship. He invested everything into it. He tried so hard to make it work. He agonized over it, obsessed over it, loved it.

The reason I've never had a relationship like he has is because I've never even tried.

Why haven't I tried? That was when I realized I had never been attracted to girls. I have never wanted to put in the work for a girl because I've never wanted a girl. There was no driving motivation for me to do it. I thought I had been attracted to girls. I had pretended to be attracted to girls. I had pretended to work on a relationship. But it wasn't real.

My brother had something that I couldn't fake. He had something that was so real and yet mysterious to me. Something I couldn't have, no matter how much I had wanted to.

So what does that mean? Does it mean that I will never have it- will never love and never have loved? No. No. That's when I realized what I did have- what I had put work and investment into. Guys. I have worked really hard to make relationships work with guys. I may never have had a romantic relationship with a guy, but having something with guys has been important to me. It has been challenging. I have spent uncounted hours scheming ways to get guys to notice me. I have had to compete for it, but I have made such good friends. My attractions to guys is what has always driven me.

I think that this realization was the beginning of accepting who I am.
"Maybe I was too much. Maybe I'll take it down a notch. Maybe I'll have the guts to go mad. Maybe I'll mess me up real bad. Maybe I'll make you wish you had the old me back. Why can't I be somebody else? Somebody who isn't too cool to believe it's okay to be just me. What if I can't remember who I'm trying to be?" (Bleu).

Monday, October 8, 2007

Project: Function

So I watched the John Kovalenko Interview and I really liked it. There were so many good points that he made, but what struck me was just how secure he was. He was so secure and mature and . . . I just want that for me. I want to know what's up. I want to know who I am. I want to feel secure where I'm going. I really envied that in John, and wonder if his time away from the Church made that possible and if there is another way to do it.

But anyway, the reason that I'm posting right now is to give myself some accountability. I went and looked in the mirror and was completely disgusted. I was really scruffy and unshaven, my hair was greasy and messy and long, you could see my ribs and I just looked so sickly and nasty and ugly. I haven't really eaten since I had waffles yesterday morning. And you know what, the mirror looked almost as nasty as I did. My bathroom and bedroom are filthy. Piles of crap everywhere. Anyway, I've decided to take control, and so I am making a list of things to accomplish today. And I'm posting it up here so I can be accountable. So, if by midnight I haven't done these things, I expect sharp rebukes.

* Shower, Shave, Get dressed
* Do Laundry
* Clean Room
* Force roommate to help me clean bathroom
* Withdraw from honors polysci hell class
* Buy groceries
* Eat
* Do accounting homework.
* Do creative writing homework.
* Assemble bike
* Buy a zippered hoodie and some clothes that fit
* Buy some garments that fit
* Plan FHE with my FHE wife
* Do FHE
* Be Happy

Starting . . . NOW! Break.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

What a weekend.

"At Cavanaugh Park where I used to sit all alone in the dark, and dream about things that I cannot say. You always said destiny would blow me away, and nothing's gonna blow me away . . ." (Something Corporate).
General Conference is now over, and I am now faced with the dual reality that I have to do my homework and that I can't really accomplish tasks right now.

In case I have been too vague and you think that I'm being too dramatic in saying that I can't accomplish simple tasks, let me elaborate on all that has happened in the past week and a half. I realized that I wasn't going to change my orientation. I discovered three of my friends are also homosexual. I accepted myself and stopped some terribly self abusive habits. I discovered that someone I should be able to trust had betrayed me and the rest of my family. My family was torn apart by the sudden withdrawal of secrecy. The future of my family was jeopardized by legal consequences to the said betrayal. In short, in the same week, I experienced the best thing that has ever happened to me and the worst thing that has ever happened to me. That is actually not even an exaggeration. I am writing too much about this.

Despite all this emotional overload, I really enjoyed myself this weekend. I loved the one liners of the Priesthood Session. It was nice to be able to have someone to laugh about it with (I went with AttemptingthePath). I had a lot of fun at Drex and Salad's. I wouldn't have been ready to meet everyone had it not been for Romulus and Remus. I grew up with them, and it so it was so great to just . . . I don't even know. It just was great. That night I felt like I hadn't felt since July 1, 2003. And that's all I have to say about that.
"At Cavanaugh Park where you used to take me to play in the sand, and said to me, 'Son, one day you'll be a man. And men can do terrible things.' Yes they can. And there was never any place for someone like me to be totally happy. I'm running out of clock and that ain't a shock. Some things never do change, Never do change" (Something Corporate).

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Scared to Death

WOW! Did anyone just see that?! I am watching the live news conference introducing Elder Eyring and Elder Cook to the press on KBYU, and they just opened it up for questions, and poor President Eyring's first question was "What do you think about Same Sex Marriage and Same Gender Attraction?" The look on his face was priceless. He was scared. To me it looked like the mantle suddenly came crashing down on his shoulders. He couldn't answer the question, and delicately danced himself out of answering it. I'm not upset about that, he did a good job of it, but man- I would love to have the image of his face to put up here.

It is so sad that we have to be so scary.

On a completely different note, I changed my title and username from "ssa" to "forever barred." When I started this blog, I thought that SSA was going to be a creative title. I thought that a blog about the conflicts of same sex attraction and being an active Latter-day Saint was unique. Well, since I've discovered I'm not really that weird after all, I should create a username that is more reflective of me. And so, I decided to make an allusion to one of my favorite books, Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie. I thought about using "My Biggest Pretend" to refer to the quote: "I want always to be a boy and have fun." (Peter) "You say so, but I think it is your biggest pretend" (Wendy). But then I thought that this site is not my biggest pretend, because it is the one place I can be honest. So then I thought about using "Oh the cleverness of me!," but it is too long and it is too cocky. While it is the cockiness that makes Peter Pan so awesome, I haven't improved my self esteem enough to share such a virtue.

And so I, I decided to use "forever barred" as my username- a reference to some of the things that Peter was barred from, (or was he really barred from them?) It fits.

Friday, October 5, 2007

How do you know?

"I wanna heal, I wanna feel what I thought was never real. I wanna let go of the pain I've held so long. (Erase all the pain till it's gone) I wanna heal, I wanna feel like I'm close to something real. I wanna find something I've wanted all along. Somewhere I belong."
I am watching Meet Joe Black in front of my roommates. This is dangerous. Brad Pitt is so seductive in this movie.

At the end, Joe Black, representing Death (therefore one who can never love, until by accident he falls in love) confronts Quince and asks him how he knows that his wife loves him. His response: "Because she knows the worst thing about me, and its ok." That is making me think about love, and who loves me. It is an interesting definition to think about.
"I will never know myself until I do this on my own, And I will never feel anything else, until my wounds are healed. I will never be anything till I break away from me. I will break away, I'll find myself today" (Linkin Park).

Elusive Happiness

I discovered some very terrible things today, and I went into trauma mode. Romulus and Remus rescued me, and now I feel a teensy bit better. They had me laughing, at least, and that felt good.

One thing they mentioned was that my blog sounds a whole lot happier and more optimistic than I seem in person. I told them it was because I was trying to convince everyone of the Mo in moho. In any event, here's to honesty:

I'm beginning to wonder if there is such thing as goodness and happiness, or if they are just vain hopes that we dream up to make up to get us to our graves.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


"I wanna know, can you show me? I wanna know about these strangers like me. Tell me more, please show me. Something's familiar about these strangers like me" (Phil Collins).
Last night one of my roommates was trying to force me to eat. I wouldn't, so he accused me of having an eating disorder, to which I replied that only girls have eating disorders. This prompted some internet research that shows that boys can also have eating disorders. We had a whole big conversation about the symptoms of anorexia, trying to determine if I was anorexic (of course this was 75% jest). As he read the symptoms, we would state whether or not I qualified. Here's the list:
* Food rituals
* Compulsive exercise and/or preoccupation with body mass, muscles, etc.
* Preoccupation with food
* Intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat, even though underweight
* Disturbance in the way in which one's body weight or shape is experienced
* Undue influence of body weight or shape on self-evaluation, or denial of the seriousness of current low body weight
* Lying about eating or difficulty eating around others
* Depression, isolation, loneliness
* Unrealistic and perfectionistic standards
* Difficulty expressing feelings
* Low self-esteem
* Need for control
* Possible sexual orientation and gender identity issues
* Decreased interest in sex, anxiety surrounding sexual activity
* Fatigue and muscle weakness
* Low blood pressure and body temperature
* Thinning hair or hair loss

Anyway, the point I'm getting to is that when he got to the symptom, "possible sexual orientation issues," we all started laughing, and he said, "Well I guess you're not anorexic."

That just made me laugh even more.
Come with me now to see my world, Where there's beauty beyond your dreams. Can you feel the things I feel, right now, with you? Take my hand. There's a world I need to know" (Phil Collins).

Monday, October 1, 2007

Eternal Happiness

One of the reasons I love Mormonism is the spiritual blessings it gives to it's members. I love the Temple and the blessings bestowed in the Temple. I love the revelations and the concept of divine communication with God. I love living Prophets. I love Joseph Smith. The inspired man declared, "As well might man stretch forth his puny arm to stop the Missouri river in its decreed course, or to turn it up stream, as to hinder the Almighty from pouring down knowledge from heaven upon the heads of the Latter-day Saints" (D&C 121:33). God has indeed poured down knowledge from heaven upon the Latter-day Saints, but he's not done pouring. I believe that God will yet reveal important things pertaining to the eternal salvation and happiness of homosexual Latter-day Saints. In the mean time we need to make use with what we have. As we examine what God has already revealed generally about eternal salvation and eternal happiness, we can better understand what we need to do to experience these blessings.

As far as I'm concerned, Joseph Smith received one of the most significant revelations on Eternal Life in the history of this world. He saw in vision things that had never before been seen, including degrees of glory within Heaven. The promise made to him at the beginning of the vision applies to all of us.
"I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me . . . And to them will I reveal all mysteries, yea, all the hidden mysteries of my kingdom from days of old, and for ages to come, will I make known unto them the good pleasure of my will concerning all things pertaining to my kingdom . . . even the wonders of eternity shall they know, and things to come will I show them, even the things of many generations . . . yea, even those things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor yet entered into the heart of man" (D&C 75:5-10).
For ages to come the Lord will continue to reveal to His servants great things pertaining to His kingdom that have never before been revealed.

Included in that beautiful vision, the Prophet saw the Celestial Kingdom, the ultimate hope of all Latter-day Saints. Both the requirements for this Kingdom and the blessings of that Kingdom are clearly identified.
"They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized . . . and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power; And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, . . .They are they who are the church of the Firstborn. They are they into whose hands the Father has given all things— . . . Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God— Wherefore, all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. . . These shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever. . . These are they who are just men made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood. These are they whose bodies are celestial, whose glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all, whose glory the sun of the firmament is written of as being typical" (D&C 76:50-70).
I think the excerpt speaks for itself, but I will emphasize that marriage is not a requirement for entrance into the Celestial Kingdom. Also, all members of the Kingdom are considered gods, the sons of God, and have all things in the presence of God forever. As far as I am concerned, that is eternal happiness.

Where does marriage fit into eternal life, then? Further revelation was revealed to the Prophet Joseph Smith. The Lord explained, "In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage]; And if he does not, he cannot obtain it. He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase" (D&C 121:1-3). Within the Celestial Kingdom-- within eternal happiness, there are three degrees. The difference between the highest degree and the other two is that only in the highest degree is there "an increase." What is an increase? I believe that this refers to eternal posterity. To have children in the eternities, it takes a man and a wife. The same as here. This is not a surprise. I find it interesting that it is only one out of three parts of the Celestial Kingdom that will have an increase. Not necessarily 33% of celestial people, but there are two other levels within eternal happiness that don't have an increase.

In Joseph Smith's most controversial revelation, this notion of increase is developed more.
Those who do not marry an eternal companion in the Temple but who are married outside of the Temple "are not bound by any law [of marriage] when they are out of the world. Therefore, when they are out of the world they neither marry nor are given in marriage; but are appointed angels in heaven, which angels are ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory. For these angels did not abide my law [of marriage]; therefore, they cannot be enlarged, but remain separately and singly, without exaltation, in their saved condition, to all eternity; and from henceforth are not gods, but are angels of God forever and ever" (D&C 132:15-17, emphasis added). (Though this is spoken to those who are married outside of the Temple, it is the closest thing I can find pertaining to single saints and so I will assume that the description applies to those who never marry).
In this description a different definition of "god" is used to denote a difference between a man and a woman united for eternity and a single person. Here the word "god" does not denote one of "the sons of God [of which] all things are theirs" as it did in section 76. Instead the word "god" in section 132 denotes those that "have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have call power, and the angels are subject unto them" (D&C 132:20). In reference to Eternal Marriage, the blessings of godhood are that they continue (ie. increase- posterity) and that they have all power (including the procreative power, again, an eternal increase). "[T]hey shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever" (D&C 132:19).

In light of all that has currently been revealed, those who do not marry but are faithful to baptismal and Temple covenants, including homosexuals who choose not to marry, enter the Celestial Kingdom as gods in their saved condition, but do not have continuing seed or the power to procreate. They do have, however, eternal happiness. Those who do marry in the Temple pass by these gods and go on to create and inherit eternal posterity and creative power. They have an added happiness- that of posterity- that the others will never experience.

Understanding this helps me to make decisions and to feel like I have a part in the Plan of Salvation. At this stage in my life, eternal marriage sounds more like eternal hell. To be sealed to a woman would not be happiness for me- at least not now. And you know what? I'm ok with that. I'm ok with divine Angelic status. I think I would love being an Angel- I would find a lot of fulfillment as an Angel. Being single doesn't exclude me from the blessings of divinity promised by the Church. I can still inherit eternal life in the Celestial Kingdom and be happy forever. And who knows, maybe a revelation that allows two men to be sealed together- something that has never before been revealed- will one day be poured down from Heaven.

"The Way I Am"

"If you are chilly, here take my sweater. Your head is aching, I'll make it better. . ."
Have you seen that Old Navy sweater commercial with the really hot guy in it? Well I really liked the song that's in the commercial- "The Way I Am" by Ingrid Michaelson. I love the song. I love her voice. I think she's beautiful. Really beautiful. The problem is I just don't think she's beautiful in an 'I'm attracted to her' kind of way, I think she's beautiful in a jealousy kind of way. I wish that I was singing that song and having that kind of sex appeal towards other guys.
". . . Cuz I love the way you call me baby. And you take me the way I am."