In the course of the last month it seems major events are happening every day in the lives of many of my closest friends and family. My parents celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary, friends are having babies, graduating with their masters, getting married and purchasing homes. I truly embrace these moments and am so thankful to see good things happening to good people. 2015 seems to be turning up as a great year for some amazing people and I could not be happier for them. While I feel as if certain aspects of my own life have been put on hold for the time being, these causes to celebrate have got me thinking and in true “Chris” fashion I have to put it into writing before I explode.
As it does with almost everything, with the good comes the bad. This little nasty tic we call opposition tends to find its way into almost every aspect of our lives and yet there are times we act surprised when it breaks up our course. One fairly recent situation where opposition made the Utah news was when a select few decided to oppose sustaining the church leaders during the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints General Conference this spring. I have had a few discussions in regards to this and I have found it interesting that some are angry that they chose this opportunity to stand and oppose. These members had gone through the proper channels of speaking with their bishops and stake presidents and yet still didn’t feel as if they were being heard. When President Dieter F. Uchtdorf took to the podium he asked if any opposed and these individuals took that opportunity to stand and do so. It makes me wonder, however, with so many being angry that they made their voices heard during conference, when is the right time to take a stance and speak up for what you believe in? It has been rather interesting speaking to family and friends about this particular event and hearing the differences of opinions. I for one think that it was handled well and I hope the church speaks with those members who were brave enough to let it be known that they have questions. Opposition is hard to face and from my stand point, it appears as if they are seeking answers and being told to quiet down.
Being gay and having been raised in the LDS faith, I feel fortunate that I have that foundation to live my life off of. I feel it gave me a good understanding of my Father in Heaven and I’m grateful for that and the relationship I have with Him. While I have stopped asking ‘why I am gay’ or ‘why this had to happen to me’, and embraced the life I have been given to live, I do still question a thing or two from time to time. I watch the broadcasts and the reports the LDS Church puts out in reference to its LGBT members and I am concerned that they are simply trying to defend themselves rather than seek honest answers to some extent. For myself, I am not so much concerned about getting married in an LDS chapel or what my stance is with the priesthood, as much as it is with my eternal salvation. I do believe life goes on after this life and I do believe that there are tiers of salvation. One of my family members use to make comments that they were sad I would not be able to spend eternity with them. My mother, being the amazingly witty person that she is, recently commented on this to me and said “You think any of us are going to be in the celestial kingdom? We’ll all be together, don’t you worry.” While I found this funny, I do hope to be with my family forever when that time comes no matter how bonkers we drive each other here on earth.
What I am currently contemplating is how I can apparently be damned from the get go for something I have no agency over. I did not choose to be gay, I have no agency over this matter and yet according to the LDS faith, if I dare act on this “ungodly” act, I will not make it to the highest kingdom. For the sake of my soul this obviously concerns me. On that same note, this is a religion that emphasizes the importance of finding love and growing a family unit as a foundation of one’s life and yet I am not supposed to take part in that. This, more than anything, is what I wish I could find closure on. The lack of agency and yet I seem to already have my fate decided for me. It is a bleak and discouraging outlook according to what I have read or been told by members of the church however this is where I know God loves his children and I am not some forgotten black sheep that has no hope. As much as I would love to see the leaders of the LDS church tackle that question, I continue to prepare myself that this may be one of those things I simply never know the answer to in this life. Let me state yet again, as I have in previous posts, that I do not hold ill will towards the church. I grew up in this religion, I served two years of my life preaching of my testimony that God lives and that part has not changed for me, nor will it. That being said, I do not hold myself accountable to the Mormon lifestyle for some obvious and some not so obvious reasons.
There is no genie in a lamp, no wishes to be granted, yet we all find ourselves in those inevitable spots in life where we seek for miracles or specific blessings. I hope one day I can celebrate a 35th wedding anniversary or have children of my own as I have watched so many others experience. I do not think these desires make me a bad person nor do I think they would cause harm in this world. I also do not think that a loving Father in Heaven would want me to abandon those dreams either. As happy as I am for the many great memories being made this year in my family and friends’ lives, I hope one day they will have the opportunity to be as happy for me. Until then … I’ll keep hunting for that magic lamp.