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.

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