Sunday, November 21, 2010

My Stake President Is Awesome

I guess I should say "former Stake President" since I'm technically no longer a member of the LDS Church, but I just consider him my Stake President. He just wanted to meet with me to see how I'm doing and to express his love for me. He said that no one can know what it's like to be in someone else's shoes or to trod the road that he or she has trod, but that the most important thing was to make sure our relationship with our Savior and Heavenly Father remained intact and strong. I feel that is the case.

He said he admired my example and said he knows things have occurred in the Church that could easily have made someone in my shoes angry or bitter or combative, but that he's glad I have chosen a different attitude. I said I don't always agree with how church leaders handle specific issues, but that I still believe they come from a place of love and concern and that I still have a great love for the religion in which I was brought up. He said that no matter how I feel about the church or what decisions I make regarding it, he will always love me, and I know he meant it. I feel the same way.

He said one thing that has always stuck with him was that he has always admired the fact that Jonah and I have only been with one another sexually and that we waited until after our commitment ceremony to consummate our relationship. He said that he really admires that. I'm proud of that, too. I don't judge anybody who chooses differently, but it felt right for me, and I'm glad my relationship with Jonah is what it is.

My Stake President asked how I was doing. I told him I was very well and was very happy. I told him I have no regrets about the choices I have made. He was happy I was happy.

He asked me how others have responded to my choices. I said that for the most part people have been very supportive. He said he was glad, but also advised me that if anyone ever does say anything unkind or offensive that I still have the ability to choose how I will react to that; that people are imperfect and sometimes do and say careless things, but what is most important is that my relationship with the Lord remain solid and that I not put their imperfections on him. I said that ultimately I can't control how people to respond to me or how I live my life. I can only live my life the best way I know how, and although I can't control how those around me may react, I can control my own reaction and my attitude towards them.

It was a really good talk. I know this man genuinely cares about me. I remember before I was excommunicated, my Stake President expressed hopes that our relationship wouldn't be negatively affected; that our love and friendship would remain strong. I told him it would. And it has.

I have been very fortunate in my association with local leaders (bishops and stake presidents) during much of the course of my life. I've had some really good men counsel me, and in many cases, they have become more than just leaders to me. They have become and have remained friends. I know some people who haven't been as lucky.

My Stake President is a great man. I love him a lot. I'm grateful we had the opportunity to talk today.

I wrote another post today, too. It follows this one.


this blog author said...

Your stake president IS awesome. I am glad to hear about leaders like him.

And, you are an amazing man. I learned a lot from this post, not only about your stake president, but about you. I found that to be both commendable and touching to hear you and Jonah waited until you had committed to each other before you began your sexual relationship. I want to be like you and am going to use your example as what I, too, one day hope to attain.

Thank you for your timely and lovely post.

Happy Thanksgiving. :)

The Faithful Dissident said...

If there was a "Mormon Leader of the Year Award," I know who would get my vote. I wish there were more like him. Thanks for sharing this, Cody.

Angela said...

Wonderful story! Thanks for sharing.

Gay LDS Actor said...

Thanks for your kind words, everyone.

PB & J said...

This is really heartwarming to read. I am so impressed and touched by the friendship and genuine caring shown by your Stake Pres. I am also equally impressed by your courage to go through an ex-communication and come out with a good attitute, lacking bitterness. (although I'm sure you have your days. Don't we all!)

Gay LDS Actor said...

Actually, I don't feel any bitterness at all. Bitterness is a much too unproductive emotion for me to waste time with it. :-)