Tuesday, October 20, 2009

One Year Anniversary

October is my one year coming out anniversary! I can't believe that it has been one year since I first uttered the words, "I am Gay" out loud for the first time in my life. Prior to this I would rather have committed suicide than have told anyone that I was Gay. As only a gay man can understand I was so afraid someone might discover my secret and then my life would be over, I knew I could not continue living if people knew my big secret. How wrong I was. I have never felt so freed and self accepting in my life as I have since I came out of the Closet. I won't say that is hasn't been difficult but it has been the most rewarding thing I have ever done in the long run. Not everyone accepts me but I have discovered who my true friends are and they are more than I ever thought possible. I wish with all my heart that I had the courage to come out years ago. I had heard others talk about how freeing it was but I never thought it could be like this, for the first time in my life I love who I am. I am at peace with myself and what others think does not matter as much as it used to. For too many years I tried to deny what my Father in Heaven had created within me. I still do not understand the how’s and whys regarding homosexuality and the Gospel but I have great Faith that someday the Lord will have the answers for us.

One year ago I went to my Bishops office to talk with him about how depressed and devastated my life had become. I had fought for so long just to stay alive and I was at the point were I just wanted to die and end the pain. My Bishop was at odds with what to tell me so he recommended that I talk with a member of the ward who worked in a position within the psychology community where he knew many professionals and might be able to recommend someone for me to talk with. To this point I still had not told anyone that I was gay. I called this gentleman and went to his home to talk with him whereupon I learned that he had a private practice specializing in working with Gay Latter-day Saints. My heart skipped about 50 beats but I still could not bring myself to say the words. We talked about some abuse that I had suffered as a child and he gave me the name of a man whom he thought might be able to do me wonders. I made an appointment with this man and had few fantastic sessions. During about our third session he looked me in the eye and said, "Quite bullshitting me rich, if you're not going to be truthful with me then you might as well quite right here". I was so taken back; I replied that I had been totally honest with him and that I had not told him one lie. He sort of rolled his eyes and gave me that "oh brother" look as he shook his head back and forth. OMGosh, I was ready to die, I was sweating profusely; my heart felt like it was going to explode because I feared he had figured out my "Secret". I left that night more depressed and scared that my secret was about to be discovered than I had ever been in my life.

As I was driving home I knew I had to tell someone and I had to do it soon. I also knew that by next week I would not have the courage to tell my new found friend so I pulled over and called him on the phone and told him that he was right that I had not been completely truthful with him that I had something that I needed to tell him and the reason I was calling was to ask him to "make" me tell him next time I saw him. He laughed and said that's your responsibility, don't dump it on me, if you want to tell me something then take the responsibility and do it. I told him that was exactly what I was doing, that by next week I may not have the courage to tell him what I needed to but that I was taking the responsibility right now to make sure that I would follow through next week. He was silent for a moment and finally agreed to bring it up and make sure that I told him in our next session. I am so glad that I had the courage to call him because had I not I know I would never have told him. Because I had committed to tell him my secret I followed through our next visit. I sort of laugh at the whole ordeal looking back on it now but I was so scared at the time. It took me about 20 minutes to finally utter the words and once they had been said I was so sure that he was going to say thanks for being open with me but please don't' come back. The opposite was true. He went out of his way to make sure I knew that he did not look upon me any less for this, the opposite; he admired me for having the courage to tell him. I could feel the love this man had and I knew he did not judge me in the slightest. He also knew how hard this had been and asked me if I would like the person who referred me to him to come over and talk with me for a minute. Keep in mind the person who referred me specialized in working with gay RM's. I thought that perhaps next time he might be present to talk with me for a second but when he got the call he dropped everything and was there within minutes.

For those of you who are still hiding your identity from the world, I wish I could describe the next hour, I felt such relief, I knew that the Lord was guiding me to the people who could help me to accept the fact that I was a Gay Child of God and that as such I was a wonderful and loved individual. The psychologist that I was seeing was not a member of the church but knew the church intimately. That night a non member helped me to understand my Savior more than anyone else had to this point in my life. I had taught who the Savior was and what he did for us literally hundreds of times while teaching at the MTC and I knew with all my heart that the Savior loved the souls whom I taught and that he paid an atoning sacrifice that they may return home to He and His Father upon leaving this life. Yet I also knew that love did not extend to me, I was a homo and there was no hope for me. My secret would go to the grave and at that point it would condemn me. When ever friends would visit from out of town they would want to go see the Movie "Testaments" at the Joseph Smith building. I got to the point were I hated that movie, each time it came near the end to the part where the Savior is visiting the people in America, there was a scene where the Savior leaves the crowd gathered at the temple and goes to a blind man who was injured trying to save his wayward son during the three night of darkness and earthquakes. The blind man was alive when Christ was born 33 years prior, he saw the signs in Heavens foretold by the prophets that would precede the birth of the Messiah. He had lived righteously his entire life dreaming of someday being able to see the Savior and here He was and he could not see Him, when out of nowhere Christ reaches down and touches him and heals him that he might see. The whole point here was that Christ left the crowd and came to the one. Each time this scene played it depressed me because I knew that the Savior would never come to me, he could not love me enough to do such a thing because I was so evil. Every time I was coerced into going I would end up in tears at the end. Those with me thought that it was because the spirit had touched me during the show, if they only knew it was because the movie was just rubbing Gods displeasure with me into my heart like Salt into an open wound. This night my nonmember friend and councilor along with the Brother in my ward, helped me understand that Christ's love did extend to me, that my Father and my Elder Brother fully loved and accepted this Gay Child they had created. When I left these two men I actually felt like God was proud of me as a Gay Man that somehow part of what had disappointed him the most was my denial of what He created.

Here it is one year later and I still feel this way. I have a deeper understanding of the Gospel and my Savior than I have ever before had. My testimony and my faith are stronger than ever, though I do have different beliefs regarding homosexuals and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For now I have come to accept that what the Spirit has witnessed to my soul differs from that which is taught by the Church regarding this issue. There are many times of confusion and question regarding all of this but I have faith that God lives and that He loves me. Until the day comes in the which he reveals more truth to the world I will continue to live my life as a Gay Man with a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

If anyone who reads this post finds themselves in a situation similar to that which I was in a year ago and would like to chat please feel free to email me at MormonGay@gmail.com. I would love to converse with you in further detail regarding your particular circumstances. God sent some special men into my life one year ago to help me accept who I am and if I can be of any help to you it would be a wonderful way to show my appreciation.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Safety Net

It was pure inspiration, "if I was fat then he wouldn't like me". Perhaps I should share a little bit of background regarding this comment before continuing. . .
I was young and working at a job which required extensive travel. I found myself flying throughout the United States and Canada multiple times a week with more hours than I can count spent waiting in airports. I discovered that I thoroughly enjoyed people watching during these many hours. I would locate a busy spot in the airport with the most amount of people traffic I could find and then sit to watch. Before long I would be checking out the guys walking by and I would catch myself and make myself look for attractive women. . . however before long a cute guy would walk by and I was back to checking them out. This went on for quite some months. I had found a safe way of dealing with my attractions, widow shopping without touching the merchandise. Everything was great in regards to my new game, except having a little guilt once in awhile, until one day this man walked by and totally and completely "stole" my heart. There was something about him that touched heart strings which had never before been touched. Up until that moment I had never understood Love at first sight. But I had experienced it and it felt so wonderful, I felt giddy inside as I watched this gentleman take a seat not that far from where I was seated. For the next couple of hours I sat there completely twitterpated. I knew that I had an attraction to men but this was the first time I felt so completely in Love and it began to scare me to death. The thought came to me that if he were to ask me to "give" myself to him I might not be able to resist. Up to this point the temptations had always been present but because of my commitment to the church and its teachings I had not been tempted to actually fall. These feelings scared me and I told myself that if I were fat he probably wouldn't like me, that if I were fat I wouldn't be tempted to succumb. Looking back on those thoughts I realize how ludicrous they were but that is what I thought. As a safety net against the possibility of having someone else desire me I began eating and eating and eating until I eventually gained over one hundred lbs. My strategy worked, I so loathed myself that I would never be able to believe that it was possible for someone else to take a second look at me. I lived this way for a number of years before I finally came to the realization that being gay, yes even LDS and gay was a great thing. I accepted myself fully and completely for the first time in my life and began to realize what a stupid thing I had done in putting the weight on as my safety net against "falling". Very soon thereafter I began eating healthy and exercising and before I knew it over 60 lbs had dropped from this lovely gay body. I was well on my way to truly actualizing who and what I was. I no longer needed the "Safety Net".

Monday, October 5, 2009

Teaching at the MTC

When asked about my experiences teaching at the MTC I reply that they where among the highlights of my life. I cherish those years with fond memories, even the many hours spend pleading with the Lord over same sex attraction. As a teacher at the MTC it is natural to impose upon oneself impossible requirements by which one must live. You are constantly told how important it is to live a life worthy of the influence of the Spirit so as to be able to rely upon His guidance at all times. You get to the point were you think that if you are not perfect the Lord will not be with you that you will fall short of His requirements and not be able to adequately perform your duties. It is all but impossible to live up to the standards that have been imposed upon oneself and yet I continued to do so. When you have already placed your standards at an impossible level to reach you begin to condemn yourself for even the slightest of infractions. And what can be more condemning than to be attracted to other men. I cannot begin to tell you how many nights were spent walking around the Provo temple, stooped on bent knee to pray, with tears of condemnation flowing. I now find it saddening that such a fine young man could be made to feel so worthless over something which emanates from his very soul. But that is the way it was. Back then I thought I was the only MTC Teacher in existence who felt such feelings, it wasn't possible that another could be so weak as to allow these feelings and thoughts to enter their mind. At least that is how I felt then. I now look upon homosexuality, same sex attraction, or whatever you want to refer to it by in a completely different light. It's amazing to me how many gay friends and associates I now know who also taught at the MTC and have expressed similar experiences. I am proud of the days spent teaching there, and to my knowledge, boundaries were never passed by anyone I know. I was attracted to the MTC because of the Spirit found there, not becasue of the individuals residing there. Yes there were times when I was attracted to some of them but it was neither the time nor the place to act out on such attractions. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ with all of my heart. I, along with my gay teacher friends had deep desires to serve our master and his disciples. These young men and women were beginning their quest in the which they would give two years of their lives to the service of their God and we took our calling in helping to prepare them very serious.

Life has offered a change of course for me, a slightly different path than I was then on, different but still headed in the same direction. In those days hours were spent pleading with the Lord to remove the feelings and temptations. Many promises were made and none of them were fulfilled in regards to removing the feelings. I was taught that if I would live worthily I would be blessed with a change. I can promise you that I lived completely and totally worthy and yet with the passage of time they became deeper and more intense. The question that plagued me was why did not God remove them if they were truly as evil as I had been told. I was attending the temple so often I knew the scripts better than the actors. My scriptures were in such sorry shape from overuse that my missionaries all chipped in one year and bought me a new set because pages kept falling out while teaching classes. The prophet himself declared that if we were to put our trust in the Lord and be obedient to His council by courting and marrying, the Lord would bless us by "changing our hearts" and removing this plague from us. Dating and marriage did "NOT" remove it, the homosexual core remained the same. I have since come to understand that this kind of change does not take place and I have learned to not only accept who I am but to love who and what I am. I am proud to be a Gay LDS man! There are many in the church who cannot deal with this but that is their problem not mine. For the time being I choose to remain celibate but what the future holds I cannot guarantee. I have a strong testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ though I do have some disagreements with the Brethren and how they approach the gay issue. My twin brother likes to remind me that I am on the road to apostasy by voicing such disagreements, I happen to believe that I am following the Spirit of the Lord. Someday we will discover who is correct in their assessments, but until that day I will continue to follow the path which I believe the Spirit of the Lord directs.

Out Of The Mouths of Babes

At first I thought I could tell them, then I discovered just how strong their anti-gay sediments were. It was during the proposition 8 debate something that was especially strong amongst the latter day saints. I was riding down the freeway as a passenger in my brothers suburban. I don't remember where we were going or what we were doing except that my bro, my father and myself were in the vehicle. Others were present too though I honestly don't remember who. They started talking about Prop 8 and the church's stance. They started talking about how gays were responsible for the downfall of society, how they were the worst possible element of society. They started quoting prophets, scripture and whatever other sources they could think of. Finally spoke up and asked what had happened to Charity, everything they were saying was motivated by hate, anger, and ignorance. I aske them were the pure love of Christ came into play?". Eyes rolled, lisps of air escaped twisted lips, and heads were shaking as they talked about how gays deserved what they got. I asked my brother what he would do if one day his own son announced that he was gay? Would he disown him and treat him with this sort of "Love"? He responded that he loved his children unconditionally but would never have to worry about this because his son had been taught righteous principals and would not choose such a path. My comment was never say never. I then asked him what he would do "if" his son announced that he was gay and wanted to bring his partner home to meet the family. He stated that his son would always be welcome in his home, but that a partner would never be welcome. I asked him why and he replied that he would never subject the other children to such evil influence. Once again I wanted to know when God threw Charity out the window, didn't God love all his children? I have many gay friends and I have to ask myself how any of these wonderful Christ-like men could ever be considered an "evil influence"? Ignorance and bigotry do indeed go hand in hand.

The months that followed were filled with conversations such as this with different family members. I knew that some of my family suspected that I was gay but I was not ready to neither confirm nor deny their suspicions. I was open about the gay friends I was hanging out with but that is as far as I was willing to go in talking to people with such attitudes. One day I drove to my parents house and as I was getting out of the car noticed my mother outside working in her garden. She asked me a question which elicited a comment about my brother and how he did not trust me with his children. She made some snide comment to me regarding my worthiness or possibly the lack thereof and I could contain myself no longer. I told her that I had always been a good example for the kids, that I had always made it a point to be such. She looked me right in the eye with this look of anger and hatred and said, "Oh you have have you, how do we know what you've done?". It reminded me so much of the self righteousness of Bobby's mother in Prayers for Bobby. I responded that I was every bit as worthy of a temple recommend as she was, possibly even more so with her judgemental attitude. I have spent my entire life trying to love and serve others. I don't ever remember a time when I purposefully hurt anyone. I can honestly say that nothing anyone has ever said or done hurt as bad as those words coming from my mother. I guess I could have dealt with it had I deserved them but I have done nothing to warrant them. They came from absolute ignorance. Have we as members of the Church become so hardened through the teachings of "The Church" that we have completely forgotten the teachings of the Saviour? How great shall be that day when Christ shall reign personally upon the earth and the Lion shall lie with the Lamb.

Many of my friends know that I am gay and have been fully accepting. Isn't it a shame that I am able to be open and honest with friends but not with family! One of my best friends has a younger brother who is gay and he is wonderful when it comes to accepting and loving his brother. I have a great respect for him and the way he has raised his children. Like myself, my friends brother has a special relationship with his nieces and nephews. When my friend was first married it was necessary for both he and his wife to hold down full time employment in order for my friend to finish his schooling. During this time they had their "still in the closet" gay uncle babysit their young daughter. Because of this the two of them have always had a very special relationship. When his brother first came out to them my friend requested that it be kept from the children for a time. When their oldest daughter turned thirteen my friend decided it was time to sit her down and tell her about her uncle. After he finished telling her she broke down into sobs, and he thinking that she was having a difficult time accepting this new information regarding her uncle asked her what she was thinking. He was prepared to help her understand that tho they disagreed with his lifestyle he was still family and as such was loved. What his daughter said took him by complete surprise. Through her tears she expressed her feelings of sorrow. She stated that she had said some bad things in the past with her friends regarding gay people and that now that she knew one she realized how wrong and hurtful she had been. She knew how good her uncle was and therefore must have been wrong in her thoughts regarding gay people. She felt so much sorrow for having said such awful things. Talk about "from out of the mouths of babes. . ."

Sunday, October 4, 2009


In my last blog I mentioned that the years following my one day marriage were filled with depression and suicidal thoughts. I never wanted to hurt this gal, but I didn't know what else to do. I was attracted to men and I knew it was not going to change. I dealt with guilt like never before, both because I felt like a worthless being due to my attraction to men and the fact that it had driven me to harm this wonderful lady. And I couldn't even bring myself to tell her it was because I was gay, I would rather have died than to have anyone know this secret. So I held it inside and withered away. With the loss of my marriage I had also basically lost my life. I no longer had a place in this church which had been my entire life up until this point. I had just flushed my career down the toilet, if the church frowned upon single men over 27 they screamed bloody murder when it came to divorced men teaching in their Educational System ( and if they had known I was gay?) and though my marriage was annulled the church still looked upon me as a divorced individual. My ward hated me, my Bishop hated me, my one day wife hated me, my own father was so angry with me that he would not speak to me for nearly six months. My father, who was one of the individuals who had told me it was just the jitters , was acting this way without ever once having asked me what was going on or what happened. I think he was embarrassed and out of that embarrassment let anger cloud his judgment were I was concerned. The first thing my mother said to me was that she was so sad, she had become so close with my wife to be while I was living overseas, and now she would not be able to keep up the friendship. . . I was basically alone, a closeted gay mormon man afraid that his secret might be discovered.

I decided that I would start driving truck for a time in order to escape the world. I spent the next few years running, during which time I became so depressed that life itself lost all meaning. One day while alone at my parents home, I found myself standing by a floor to ceiling window with gun in hand, held to the roof of my mouth. At the precise moment I was ready to pull the trigger the phone rang and I happened to look down at the caller ID and saw that it was my brothers home. Immediately I thought of what this would do to the kids as I reached down and picked up the receiver. The sweet little girls voice on the other end saying that she had just called to say "hi to Uncle Richie" made me realize that I could not do what I was about to do and cause such pain to those kids, I would have to find another way. . . A short time later the depression became so bad that I forgot about the kids and one night found myself on the outside edge of a freeway overpass in parleys canyon. I had climbed over the railing and was waiting for the right semi truck to come along. It was one o'clock in the morning when I saw the headlights of a truck in the distance. As it approached I noticed a minivan at it's side and the first thought to enter my mind was that if I jumped, the truck would swerve and kill the family in the minivan. I waited for the next one and it too had a car to it's side. I stood there hanging on the outside edge of the railing for over three hours and each time a truck drove by there was another vehicle close by. After having been there for about a half an hour a sheriff drove up the on ramp and turned off his engine while he sat watching me. He never moved for more than three hours, he stayed put and kept his eye on me the entire time. I can only imagine what was going through his mind. It was obvious that I was planning on jumping and I am sure that he was afraid of what might ensue if he were to approach me, so there he sat for half the night. At close to four thirty I decided this was not the way to do it either, I wanted to die but I was not about to risk the life's of a young family along with my own, so over the railing I climbed, walked back to my car, drove home and went to bed. I wanted to die but did not know how to do it without causing pain and harm to others. Thank God I was not so far gone that I did not care about what it would do to innocent bystanders. So for the time being I kept on living, tho this was not the end of my battle with suicide. In subsequent research I discovered that one of highest genres of suicide can be found among Gay LDS men. This was shocking to me at first but after having thought on it for awhile it totally made sense. When one is convinced, because of his church's teachings, that God does not love him and that there is no place for him in His Kingdom, his own life can lose it's purpose, he may no longer hold it to be sacred or of any value.

A Gay Angels Story

Gay and Mormon. Two words that can hardly be used in the same sentence without gross amounts of emotion ensuing. I was raised in an active Mormon home with parents that taught their children all the correct gospel principals including the teachings that the sin of homosexuality was next to that of murder in seriousness as far as God and the Church were concerned. With this in mind I refused to admit to anyone, including myself that I was gay, a fact that I had known from the time that I was about 11 or 12. I did not label myself as Gay at that early of an age but I knew then that I was attracted to men and not women. I knew that my secret fantasies were of other boys my age and not about girls. My brothers and friends would always talk about the girls they had crushes on and I would wish I did too but then I would see this one particular boy in the ward and think horrible things about him, I thought I was so evil. I can't tell you how many times I followed Elder Packers teachings that if you thought of a church hymn you could drive the evil Imps off the stage of your mind. Yet the dreams and fantasies still came, and I grew up knowing that I was damned.

Dating was a whole-nother experience for me than it was for my brothers. They always had girl friends and more dates than one could imagine, my twin brother included. I felt so out of place, like the "loser of the family" because dating was so horrible for me. The only dates I ever had were set ups which most always turned out disastrous; I just had no desire to go out with girls. Finally during my senior year of high school I had signed up for a co-ed gym class because it was one of the few classes in which you didn't have to play the regular "guy type" sports. In this class we learned how to bowl, play volleyball, tennis, etc. One day we were playing volleyball and I went to spike the ball just as a girl on the other team went after the ball and we collided over the net with me hitting her dead on the breast. She looked me right in the eye and screamed, "You hit me in the Boob". I was mortified. I stayed away from gym class for a week because I was so afraid of having to face her again. Near the end of this week I got a phone call from a young boy telling me to go outside and look at my truck. I had a sweet 64Chevy pickup which I had restored and was scared to death that someone had vandalized it. When I got outside I saw that someone had filled it full of balloons, each one with something inside of it. As I got them in the house and popped them I found a puzzle piece inside each one which when put together was an invitation to a girls choice dance from none other than the girl whom I had hit during the volleyball game. Come to find out she had liked me for quite some time and the "molestation" was the ice breaker.

I accepted the invitation and a two year "romance" ensued. I really did enjoy being with, I shall call her Kim for the purpose of this story, but never had any interest in "romance". I had been dating her just over one year when one day her mother pulled me aside as I was leaving and handed me a letter telling me to read it after I was alone. In the letter her mother told me that if I were going to keep a relationship with her daughter I would have to be a little more affectionate, I would have to kiss her daughter. Imagine that, a mother telling a boy to get "more" affectionate with her daughter. Most parents would do anything to slow the boy down, something that is not necessary when your daughter is dating an In the closet gay boy. The letter scared me to death. I knew that I could not kiss her. At the time I told myself it was because I was being righteous and was saving my kisses for my wife, but deep inside I knew it was because I just didn't want to kiss a girl. Here I was refusing to kiss my girl friend of over a year because I was following the prophet and yet when I would see a cute guy or go to sleep these horrible fantasies would haunt me. Talk about ripping a young soul apart to the very core. I was so confused! I took "Kim" out on her birthday and after the date we went to the park and sat on the swings so we could talk. During the conversation I explained to her that I just wasn't into kissing that I loved being with her and holding hands but that I just couldn't get into the kissing scene because of my beliefs. What a crock!

Our relationship was never quite the same after that. She began dating other guys behind my back, probably to fill her own needs, even seeing an old fling that she had gotten into trouble with before meeting me. There was a part of me that loved her so much, but the romance was just never there. We would spoon while watching movies at her house but the thought of doing something romantic with her never even entered my mind. I was proud of the fact that I was not even tempted to slip into immorality. At the age of 19 I was still a kissing virgin, when asked about it no one could believe that I had gone steady with a girl for two years and had never even once kissed her, a number of people actually called me a liar.

Upon returning home from the mission I dated a number of girls, each time they quickly fell in love with me upon which I would immediately pull away. A number of times I was accused of having commitment problems. Commitment problems heck, what I had was a darn good case of closet homosexuality. Over the next five years I taught at the MTC, worked as a councilor at EFY, worked as a tour guide at temple square, worked as a baptizer in the Salt Lake Temple, and pretty well drowned myself in church service. All the while knowing who I was and trying everything and anything to run from it. The women I dated would see all this and think they had found themselves the next General Authority. I can't tell you how many gals thought they had made the catch of a life only to find that they had merely snagged a "rainbow" trout out of season. (argh argh) People were quite confused with me, they would often ask why such a great guy had not married yet. They would voice their confusion at my lack of ability where serious dating and female relationship building was concerned.

During this time I was attending BYU and was preparing to become a Seminary Teacher. I had finished my student teaching and was readying to receive a class of my own the next fall when the CES department informed me that I had to be married by the age of 27 if I were to continue teaching. The only problem was that I was only weeks away from turning 27 and was definitely not married. You see the church had this rule at the time that you cannot teach seminary full time if you are 27 and single. (I have heard that it has since been changed to 31) Somehow they believe that you are a bad example to the young men and women whom you teach if you are 27 and not married. (Brigham Young refers to this category of men as "Menaces to Society) However in my case they decided to make an exception to the rule and told me that they would extend this to 28 but that if I was not married by that time, out the door with me it would be. I did not go forth to find someone just to fulfill that requirement however soon thereafter I had courted a young lady and asked her to marry me. I had convinced myself that I was in love and could make it work. The week preceding the wedding I knew I was making a big mistake and yet every time I tried to talk to somebody about it they would just tell me that it was the pre-wedding jitters, to buck up and just "do it". So I did. Without going into any details, the wedding night was disastrous. From the time we went to bed I knew I had made the biggest mistake of my life and didn't know what to do about it. We weren't scheduled to leave on our honeymoon for two more days so I made some excuse to get away for a few hours and went to talk to my mission president. As we sat down the first question he asked me was whether or not I had any homosexual feelings, upon which I replied, "come on pres you know me better than that". But inside I began to panic, I knew that I had had them since I was a kid and I was so afraid that he might find out. I would rather have committed suicide than to have had him know this secret about me. I knew that he admired me and that if he knew my secret he would hate me, he would think I was the scum of the earth. Literally I would rather have died than to have admitted my inner feelings regarding men. Keep in mind I had never acted on these feelings but I knew that they were present and that they were condemning me, and that I could not change nor stop them. I left his home scarred to death that my revered Mission President may have discovered my deepest secret.

I then went home to my new bride and told her that I was confused and that I thought I had made a mistake. I told her that I needed some time to sort things out and that I would like to move out and go back to dating her in order to get to know her. (The one thing I left out earlier was that I had lived overseas for a period of time just prior to our marriage) I was convinced that if she would just give me the time to get to know her again we could figure things out. She told me that it was not possible to do so that we were either married and together or we were not, no starting over. I guess she thought this ultimatum would scare some sense into me but it just made me dig in deeper for I knew I was not in love with this woman and that I could not be married to someone I could neither love nor make love to. At this time I went from the idolized young man in the ward to the most talked about, gossiped about person in the stake. People went from loving me, almost idolizing me to hating me and spreading the most horrible rumors about me literally over night. Prior to this incident people in our ward would constantly tell me that I was going to be a General Authority someday and now without knowing any of the details they were saying the most horrible things about me. The Bishop and Stake President treated me like they were fathers of a jilted daughter and yet not even once did either of them ask me what had happened, why the marriage had broken up after only one day. My stake president called me into his office and told me that while on his knees the night before, the Lord had born witness to him that I had committed some horrific sin and that I had lied to both he and my Bishop in our interviews prior to the wedding. He told me that this was my one chance to come clean and that if I refused he would stand as a witness against me at the judgment bar of Christ when my final judgment day came.

It is important to remember that tho I had had these homosexual feelings for many years I had not once acted on them. Yet here was my stake president condemning me, basically with the threat of eternal damnation. I nearly ran from his office denying everything but somehow thinking that the inner me was condemned because of whom I was. Looking back on the whole experience I sometimes wonder which spirit had told him things in his office the night before, for I had done nothing wrong I merely had hidden, unacted upon, feelings for men. It is amazing that I could condemn myself so rapidly over something that had remained undone. But I knew after years of church instruction and teaching experience that our very thoughts condemn us. Therefore after this conversation I knew that I was damned, that there was no place for me in the Kingdom of God. As a result soon after this experience depression and suicidal thoughts slowly took over my life.
As is common with many gay members of our Church most of my life had been spent pleading with the Lord to "change" me. Pleading with the Lord to take away these horrible feelings and replace them with normal yearnings. I never could admit that I was gay but I always knew where my fantasies would take me. When a cute guy would catch my eye I would say it was just because I was envious of his physique, or sometimes I would say that the awesome spirit he carried drew me to him, but always I knew. How is it that so many good, honest, righteous young men and women end up hating themselves with such intensity that it takes them to the very edge of suicide. I am convinced that it breaks a loving Father in Heavens heart to see such turmoil amongst his children. To see his very elect treating others in such a way that it brings them to the very brink of self inflicted death.

Something that I will talk more about in my next blog.