Tuesday, September 04, 2012
Past Me And Present Me
We had the missionaries over the other day. My niece and nephew had invited them over and invited mom and me to join them for dinner. I wondered if my sexuality or excommunication would come up. I was prepared to be completely honest about my standing in the church if they brought it up.
I needn't have worried. First off, both missionaries were at the end of their missions, so they didn't have that same eager fire to convert every person in their path as they might have had at the beginning of their missions. Secondly, they were pretty much in and out. Some dinner, some light conversation, and a little spiel about missionary work, and they were gone.
They were both nice kids. One was from Hawaii. The other was from Kansas. When it got to the point of asking us to share the gospel with our friends, I thought about how most of my friends are either active Mormons, are no longer practicing and don't wish to, or are anti-Mormon. In any case, none are particularly good candidates for joining the LDS Church. But before they could extend a personal invitation to me, my sister-in-law and brother showed up and caused enough of a distraction to allow me to excuse myself, and I let my niece and nephew talk to the missionaries.
I did think about where I am now and where I was when I was these kids' ages. I remember when I was a missionary myself teaching an investigator (or maybe he was even an inactive member - I don't remember now) named Joey, who was openly gay and had great difficulty reconciling his sexuality with Mormonism. It was clear which path he wanted to be on, and it wasn't Mormonism; not if he couldn't be gay.
I remember feeling sad for him that he couldn't overcome his sexual attractions and find the truth like I had (ha ha) and I worried about the welfare of his soul. But there was also a part of me that was kind of jealous that he was able to choose a path that I had once wanted to take myself (and that I would later still want to take).
And now that I'm in Joey's shoes myself, it's interesting to see the world in much the same way as he might have, and it made me think how different life's perspectives are when we're in different shoes. Certainly if I have the opportunity to deal with missionaries or home teachers or church leaders or other members, I am respectful and welcoming, but I also know where I stand regarding my sexuality and the choices I have made regarding it. Having been in the missionaries' place, I know people probably feel sorry for me or worried about my eternal salvation or secretly yearn for me to "choose the right" and be rebaptized. It's not going to happen, and I hope people know that I am very happy with where I am in life and that my relationship with my Heavenly Father is terrific.
Even if the LDS Church accepted gay unions, I'm not sure if I would choose to be rebaptized or not. I would have to see. I have learned more and more as I have been out of the Church that I am quite happy where I am, and I'm not sure I see the need to change that. The point is moot right now, anyway. I'll cross that bridge when and if I ever get to it.