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.