Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Waiting

Here is the quote my Stake President shared with me that I referred to in this post. Reuben J. Clark said in the 1953 October General Conference, "I believe that in his justice and mercy [God] will give us the maximum reward for our acts, give us all that he can give, and in the reverse, I believe that he will impose upon us the minimum penalty which it is possible for him to impose."

This reminds me, too, of a quote by Dallin H. Oaks that I referred to in a post a little more than three years ago where he said, "The telestial kingdom…seems to me to be a precise description of the world’s concept of hell. The terrestrial kingdom seems to me to be a precise description of the world’s concept of heaven. The good people of the world will not be disappointed by the terrestrial kingdom. The bad people of the world will be utterly astonished to do as well as the telestial kingdom, for despite all of its relative drawbacks, it is a kingdom of glory reserved by a Father in Heaven who loves his children and saves all the works of his hands."

These two quotes give me a lot of comfort. I had another meeting with my Stake President on Sunday in which he asked me how things were going and also told me that as he has thought and prayed and struggled about how to proceed, he has felt prompted that some action does have to be taken. As we both talked, I felt that we both knew that a church court at a stake level will be necessary. He said he wanted to confer with his counselors once more and would get back to me regarding just when this might happen. I do expect it will be relatively soon, and although he said the outcome will not necessarily be excommunication, my heart tells me it likely will be. As I've said many times in my blog, I do not wish to lose my membership in this church, but I am fully aware that I have done things that may very well merit that, and I also believe that excommunication is not a punishment, but rather a way that a loving Father protects his children as well as the church itself. I am feeling a bit of trepidation, but I am not, necessarily, afraid. I feel much peace and love in my heart. As I told my Stake President, in spite of the fact that I still have a testimony of the LDS Church, I feel that how I'm living my life is what I need to be doing right now. He seemed to understand. Certainly this will be hard on many people. Hard on me. Hard on my family. Hard on my leaders. Hard on some of my friends and ward members. I know this. As my Stake President said, "If we didn't care about each other so much, it wouldn't be hard."

I do believe that my life with Jonah is what I need to be happy right now. Living my life as an openly gay man and finding this wonderful man to share my life with have been incredibly liberating and joyful experiences. I know some people out there will think I've chosen my love for Jonah over my love for God. I simply do not believe this to be true. Love is from God, and I have felt Him bless my life with so much love and happiness since I met and fell in love with Jonah. In many ways I have drawn closer to God and even my religion since these events occurred. I do not have all the answers. I don't claim to be right or wrong about anything. I just know I'm happy, and even if excommunication is a result of certain decisions I've made, I know God loves me and knows my heart, and I feel that I will be judged by Him (the only one who truly can judge me) accordingly.

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. I've been busy with rehearsals for another show. I'd actually like to post about that as well if I can find the time. I'm finding myself in a very peculiar (and sometimes uncomfortable) position of being in a show that's been somewhat of a challenge, especially in this particular juncture in my life. Hopefully I can talk more about it later.

11 comments:

Beck said...

Your approach and attitude toward this is so tremendously important. You've been blessed with a sense of peace and assurance that what you are doing is right for you right now. Your stake president seems to be sensitive to you and to the spirit and looks at things not so by-the-book, but what is best for the individual. I hope that's the case.

You know that the Lord is mindful of you and loves you and is well aware of who you are.

Waiting is an awful game. Soon it will be over and you can open a new chapter of how to go forward. You have my thoughts and prayers.

The Faithful Dissident said...

I echo what Beck has said. You're in my prayers and I hope that regardless of what happens, that it truly is the Lord's will for you and that He will give you the strength and guidance you need to carry on in the new chapter of your life.

Joe Conflict said...

Would you really choose to go through a church court, rather than just resign your membership? I've heard of a fellow who used the opportunity to tell a Stake High Council what he really thought about the church's views on this issue.

Gay LDS Actor said...

I'm certainly willing to go through a church court, if that's what is called for. I don't particularly want to resign my membership. In spite of the LDS Church's stand on homosexulaity, I have no antagonistic feelings towards my religion. As I've said many times in this blog, some of my best qualities have come from being a member of the LDS Church, and I still have a lot of love (and even loyalty) for my religion. I know that's difficult for some to understand, but it's where I am right now.

Certainly I would want to use a church a court as a time to express my point of view as a gay Mormon and also to defend my actions and hopefully educate the Brethren on what it's like to be in my shoes and in my circumstances, but I am not out to be belligerent or antagonistic about it. I don't think one can get others to listen if you attack. I'm not implying that this is what you are saying; I'm simply stating my feelings on the issue.

SimplyMe said...

I admire your approach also. You sound amazingly compassionate and understanding toward your leaders. I think that you are a wonderful example to people who are wanting to stay true to themselves and remain in the church where they also see much value. I wish you peace and strength as you continue to wait.

Gay LDS Actor said...

Thanks, SimplyMe.

I sincerely appreciate your comments.

adamf said...

I just found your blog via FD's. I really enjoyed this post--your sense of peace really comes across in your writing. I wish you the best.

The Faithful Dissident said...

"...your sense of peace really comes across in your writing."Very much so, and it's something I'm very thankful for. The peace you feel gives me hope in times when it feels elusive to me for much lesser reasons.

CLARK JOHNSEN said...

I think you are full of integrity and goodness. I hope these leaders know what a loss to the body of the church it would be to excommunicate a good loving person such as yourself. I so appreciate what a positive and courageous stance you have taken on all of this. You are awesome and regardless of how things go you are being fully authentic, honest, and wearing your heart on your sleeve. You've already reached the highest degree of glory possible as far as I am concerned.

Gay LDS Actor said...

Thanks, guys, for all of your very kind and thoughtful words. You have no idea how much I appreciate them.

adorned with life said...

*sigh*, Clark. Disfellowshipment or excommunication has nothing to do with selfish needs or wants by church leadership.

I lost your blog a while ago and just fell upon it again. I just love what you say and I can feel your heart in your writing so strongly. I admire you for not trying to justify things overly, just being plainly honest. I have no doubt whatsoever that the Lord has been pouring out love and peace upon you. I've had similar experiences.

Good luck.

Natasha
BecomingSomething.com