Saturday, December 23, 2006


May you find hope and peace.


Friday, December 22, 2006

Music of the Season

Some thoughts on Christmas musical concerts:

1. A perfect Christmas Sacrament Meeting in Manhattan.

Attending Sacrament Meeting in Manhattan is like entering another world of church-going. The congregation was almost all 20-something young professionals / graduate students as couples or with small children. The ward choir had to be full of Juliard students or Broadway-level professionals, including concert pianists, celloists, violists, and French hornists... all perfect. It was so perfect, it was almost uncomfortable. I know that the individuals and choir performing were offering their best to the Lord (verses showing off for the glory of themselves - after all this was a Sacrament Meeting) but I was blown away and felt like I should applaud instead of meditate. Don't get me wrong - it was wonderful. I kept thinking of the Jimmy Stewart line in the classic Rear Window (I love that movie) when Grace Kelly (the hottest actress ever) prepares a perfect dinner for him in his wheelchair and he looks up at her in amazement and she wonders what's wrong and he says: "Leeza, it's perfect!" in a disgusted tone.

2. High School Orchestra concert.

Returning home, we attended the high school Orchestra Christmas concert. Now, there is something spiritual that happens when the physics of resonance all come together in perfect harmony - this wasn't one of those moments.:-) However, my daughter's solo was perfection personified (no bias from this father).

3. Tabernacle Choir with Sissel.

The spiritual perfection of a voice of an angel (the International Norwegian singer Sissel) blending with the Tabernacle Choir and Temple Square Orchestra in the Conference Center decked out in the holiday's best - was a spiritual inspiration. It was simply magic!

4. Our ward choir.

Singing in our ward choir has been an embarassment - not that I know how to sing, but that the piece we are performing on Sunday is heavy on a descant of high sopranos - and - well, um... let's just say that we need to encourage the choir director to not select pieces that have anything relying on the sopranos doing more than singing the melody... or not singing at all... (was that too mean?)

5. High School Show Choir concert.

Now this one was fun. My son is in a performing show choir for the high school. They show a lot of spunk and enthusiasm as they dance, wiggle, sing and perform non-stop in an engaging way for 90 minutes of fun!

Because my son had to stay behind after the choir to help the teacher with some behind-the-scenes activities, I remained sitting in the auditorium and watched the open affection of the high school students (performers and friends) who lingered after the concert. It was astounding to watch abundant hugging between girls, guys and girls, and especially guys and guys... a lot of guy-to-guy hugging, and hanging on each other as they'd talk with each other. I realized how much removed I am from their world - but it was fun to observe the open affectionate relationships many of the guys had with each other! I raked my memory bank trying to remember if I had had those guy-to-guy hanging-on-each-other experiences and I can't come up with any! Has it changed that much? What was going on here? Or am I just so consumed by guy-to-guy attention now that I focus in on it and see nothing but this?

My thoughts lingered on what it would be like had I been in high school in such an open display of guy-to-guy affection... I don't know if the world is changing or if I just hope that it is. More thoughts on this later.

Anyway, just some random thoughts - not very well connected... but all the same - part of the Music of the Season!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Side comment...

Just a little side comment is frustrating me to death...

We have dear close friends whose son is openly gay. Living in Utah, (or anywhere for that matter, I presume) as an active LDS family, this situation causes screened and careful conversation. We received their annual Christmas letter update and noted that their son had moved out of state for professional reasons of career advancements.

I stated it matter-of-factly to my wife and she said: "It's definitely for the best that he leaves Utah. It's better for all involved."

I looked at her and was stunned and even hurt. I know she meant well in stating that he would be happier in his life in another state and yet there was an implied "relief" on behalf of her feelings about what she perceived to be the feelings of our friends - even though they have never indicated in any way this uncomfortableness. In fact, they have demonstrated an amazing amout of pride and love for their son.

(NOTE: I know that now is the time to crack open the November Ensign and read the conference talk of Elder Bednar's on taking offense and that only one can choose to be offended, but...)

Her comment was not meant to be mean-spirited. After all these years together, I know her intentions were not to be discriminatory or hurtful, but they came off very sharp and to the point, implying (in her mind) that one who has a gay son in Utah is better off having that gay son move out of state to be "rid of the problem".

This has caused me to think about if I had been more open - would my parents, would my family, would my wife-to-be had wanted me to "get out of Utah" to be "rid of the problem" or the "embarrassment"?

I don't know why such an innocent comment of matter-of-fact delivery is causing me so much grief. I guess it's triggered the idea that after all that we have gone through, all the pain and anguish of working through these tough issues, she really doesn't understand me or my issues, and is content with our situation as long as I manage to be "under control" and "hidden". I have been in control for some time now, but it's always there and it's not going away and sometimes it's just barely under the surface... I just go Christmas shopping at the Mall this weekend and see displays of young guys in sexy jeans or watch the parade of men and I realize just how barely hidden it is...

And she has no concept of how hard I'm trying... or how hurtful simple nonchalant statements can be. It's made me at least contemplate that she doesn't have a clue what is going on inside me. I know comments may come back at me that - then, it's my fault for not giving her a clue - but it's not that easy and opening it up again is so painful... it's better to hide.
Maybe I should be the one to get out of Utah?

Friday, December 15, 2006

What is this world coming to?

What is this world coming to? A kinder and gentler NYC?

I recently spent time in Midtown Manhattan and was pleasantly surprised at a softer Big Apple... What's going on here? Even with the hustle and bustle of the holiday time, and the general increased stress of the season, I found crowds, police officers, bus drivers, subway attendants, etc. all courteous and helpful. In past trips, I must admit that my experiences have been less than hospitable.

I mean I took the ferry across the Hudson at Pier 79 several times and there was actually a greeter with maps and smiles, cheerfully giving assistance and helpful information where possible. I'm confused... so, what's happened? I took the wrong bus and had several passengers eager to help me correct my mistake and help me on my way, being sure that I made the right connection.

Between business commitments, I had a great time...seeing some amazing art museum exhibits at the MET, MoMA, Guggenheim, and, eating an incredible lamb and chicken gyro on 5th Avenue, ice skating at Bryant Park, gazing at the department store windows, riding the ancient wood escalator to the top of Maceys, hiking through the Rambles and climbing to the top of the Belvedere Castle in Central Park, listening to Mozart in the J.P. Morgan Library while following along with the original 18th C. score, zooming to the "Top of the Rock" at Rockerfeller Center and taking in the never ending vista of a crystal clear morning, engaging shoppers at Saks while being sprayed with French perfume, googling the jewelry at Tiffany's, being in awe of the architectural detail of the City Library Reading Room, parading through St. Patrick's Cathedral reverently paying respect at the Nativity display, engaging in animated conversation with dozens of Italians (from Italy on a holiday) in Italian - sharing impressions of the season and the city with them, and feeling the spirit in a perfect Sacrament Meeting at the Chapel at Lincoln Center.

I was supposed to take in a show on Broadway, having tickets in my possession of the hottest show in town, but confused the night of the performance, and ended up missing it all together - and I even didn't get upset. Now what's up with that?

I learned that you never stand on 42nd Street waiting for a bus or taxi when the Canadian north winds blow through the city - the wider cross street with tall buildings each side create a canyon magnification of that wind so that you freeze your butt off within 30 seconds! Thank goodness for glove and scarf street vendors!

I know I'm sounding like the country bumpkin / Utah hick that I am... but that's okay.

You know - I'm okay with that. I'm also okay with the fact that I saw many amazing-looking guys and I was able to handle it - such as: "look over there, Beck, at that young stud with gorgeous hair pulled back loosely into a perfect ponytail - you know, that guy staring at the Picasso painting"... and I would respond to myself "yeah, he's a beauty all right!" and not get all stressed and discombobulated inside.

You know... with NYC being kinder and gentler, even softer around the edges, and with Beck becoming okay with himself and with the gayness inside, handling feelings in stride - even with a sense of calm...

I have to ask:

What is this world coming to?

Monday, December 04, 2006

A new week...

It's funny how just a week goes by and everything changes... What I thought was a sound family life with happy kids, a shaky and questionable upcoming work opportunity situation that gave me tons of anxiety over the future, and unfavorable spiritual feelings of "not belonging" and isolation from the Holy Ghost - has changed to an unstable family situation with two children really suffering with emotional and other traumas, a new job opportunity for 2007 that can be huge and challenging (an opportunity that just landed in my lap like it fell right out of the sky), and a spiritual miracle with my calling and feeling the spirit again in my life.

Life is interesting that way. It can turn on a dime. It never is completely in place with all aspects perfectly arranged.

I don't know if I will ever feel completely at peace with my gay issues... that seems to always be slightly out of place. A look here, an attraction there, a fantasy inside. Yeah, that doesn't seem to change. More on that later...

It's a new week...

Monday, November 27, 2006


The privilege to work is a gift.

The power to work is a blessing.

The love of work is success.

-- David O. McKay

After a long holiday, it is hard to get back into the grind. I'm beginning to lose my love of work. After more than a decade of working 70-80 hour weeks, I'm worn out and the love is gone. I used to work because I loved my career, my self-employed business, my profession. I used to work, however, to keep me from thinking of other things - it was a way of avoiding the inevitable. It was a way to distance myself from my wife, from my family, from myself. Keeping busy with work, doing good "works", kept me from being "idle".

As I've come "out" to myself, as I've come back to my wife, as I seek to be part of my family, work isn't the shield that it once was. Also, I am wrapping up several projects and the work load is slumping. I should be celebrating. But I'm not. More idle time isn't necessarily good. I'm worried about it. My weaknesses manifest themselves when I'm idle.

Of course, work, as physics describes it, is that force or effort against gravity. Mental work doesn't even count in physics. So maybe I don't truly work at all. As I traveled in India a few months ago, I saw men, like ants, swarming over construction sites with a parade of manual labor. It was amazing to me, particularly as I find myself on construction sites in the USA every week, how industrious and effective manual labor could be without modern conveniences. With enough men on the job site, anything could be done.

Our priesthood quorum moved a neighbor this past weekend - your typical heavy furniture stuff. Getting my son to participate in this service project was not as painful as I thought it would be. We had a good time, mainly because many able hands showed up - and he felt the "love of work".

I'm finding the joy of my profession is not there. The pressure of liability insurance, of threatening law suits, of pending legal hassles - makes it fatiguing. Am I getting old? This sounds like the makings of a good mid-life crisis. I just want to change careers and grab my camera and travel the world discovering new sights and adventures.

Apologies for whining and rambling. I guess I should realize the wisdom of David O. McKay. It is a privilege to work. It is a blessing.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Go Cougars!

Okay... I really do try to have a bigger view of the world than just the Wasatch Front. I really do consider myself well-traveled and open to new ideas that are bigger than what happens within the state of Utah.
I recognize that those of you east of the Rockies may not even know that Utah exists at all... Case in point: Walking through the historic neighborhood of Beacon Hill in Boston, I met a friendly contractor on the street who was working on a remodel project of a colonial gem of a house. He asked where I was from. "Utah," I replied enthusiastically.
I will never forget his response... He said: "Utah? There is no Utah! I haven't been there so it doesn't exist!"
That having been said... I don't follow many sports and I certainly don't play any team sports... and I recognize that football on the national scene doesn't even give the State of Utah a blink of attention... but living in Utah and having been both a BYU grad and a UofU grad (yes, I attended both schools and have degrees from both schools), the BYU vs. UofU football game has always been a big part of my life, from my early childhood memories to the present. To say that I don't care about other games or sports is a major understatement, but believe it or not, this game is a big deal...

and it's even bigger when BYU wins, such as today! To be able to dish it out a bit against my male buddies who are Ute fans is the best! (A great straight-male bonding thing!!!) As gaggy as this may sound... GO COUGARS!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Remembering Squanto!

It's funny but when you have kids that spread from young adults down to 1st graders, you forget what you taught the older ones and just assume the younger ones "get it" by association. It's funny how you work so hard to teach the first child names and places and dates and concepts and events and by the youngest you just are ready to just love them...

On Monday, when I asked my youngest what Thanksgiving was all about, all she could tell me was "turkey". I felt like Tom Hanks in Sleepless in Seattle where he questions his son Noah on where Baltimore is located - pulls down the map of the USA in disgust and states "I don't want to even think about the things they're NOT teaching you in school!". She couldn't tell me anything... No pilgrims arrival on the Mayflower. No Squanto and Massasoit. No and native Americans working together for survival, planting crops and hunting, and then celebrating their bounty in harmony together on those shores of New England. No Plymouth Rock... Nothing!

So, Family Home Evening became Dad telling the tribe about "The First Thanksgiving" with the help of a great picture book that reminded me of a few details even I had forgotten about, particularly the part about Squanto, the English-speaking Native American.

In our immediate family, we have the tradition (I don't know when it started) of decorating a glass quart canning jar with "I am thankful for..." written on it, with a fall-festive fabric lid. The jar is left on the kitchen counter and during the week before Thanksgiving, family members can write down (anonymously) things that they are thankful for. Then, at Thanksgiving dinner, the jar is opened and is passed around and the slips of paper are read outloud. Typically they center around home, family and friends, testimonies and blessings, but sometimes they get more creative, especially from my youngest daughter who is six... who is thankful for, among other things: the earth that grows pretty flowers, the color "pink", Christmas lights, and baby bunnies!

I was going to make of list of those things I will be putting in the jar and noting them here on this post, but I think my daughter's list is sufficient...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 20, 2006


I recognize and personally believe that "change" is possible as we evolve as who we are with time, experience, knowledge etc. I am not the same person I was in high school or college or even last year. And I don't desire to be. Though I wish I were younger, better looking, more athletic etc., I don't want go back in time and relive the past if I can't take the knowledge and experience with me. Does that make sense?

So, as -L- points out, we are all changing and evolving - hopefully to someone better. That change is inevitable as we strive to improve who we are.

I recognize and personally believe that ultimately my goal is to be more godlike and that in the eternal aspect of things, the "change" is potential as I accept His will and accept the Atonement. I don't doubt that my traits and characteristics have that potential to evolve into His image. I believe that this evolution is one that I cannot do myself - perfection comes from Christ, not from my "trying really hard to be good and work myself into perfection". (-L-: I don't think we're that far apart here).

But, I recognize that some things may not be "changed" in this life! That is why the scriptures (and Elder Oak's most recent conference talk) are very clear in distinguishing between "healing those who are heavy laden" verses "making one's burden light". Making one's burden light does not take away, evolve, or "change" that burden. The burden is most definitely still there!!! It didn't go a way!! And it may never go away in this life! Why? I don't know - maybe lessons to be learned? Maybe something we need to experience? I don't know... But that is why He offers his yoke - "take my yoke upon you". He doesn't remove His yoke nor our yoke... but He promises to make it "light". So - all I'm saying here is some things in this life remain an integral part of who we are. These challenges, these experiences, these blessings, these burdens REMAIN with us and are not "changed" or "taken from us". But, as he makes these things "light", we can learn from them, grow in the ways we need to grow, evolve as we need to evolve on our journey without being destroyed in the process... Change, in this life, isn't necessarily a requirement. Allowing Him to lighten our burdens is our privilige.

(NOTE: for some, the healing is possible - I don't doubt - but for me, for now, I don't see that this experience that I call my life will be healed through some miraculous "change". For me the "great lie" would be to say that "change" right here and now is possible, even necessary, and within my grasp if I but work hard enough to bring it about, if I but have enough faith - now in my situation, this promise, this temptation, this sense of hope would be a "great lie"!)

I do not consider my homosexuality a "burden". Instead, it is a challenge, even a blessing, and from this challenge and blessing I have learned much! I have become who I am! Even in this last year, this experience has opened my eyes to new aspects of who I am - things that I may not have seen otherwise. Why would I desire to "change" this? I shouldn't!
(I don't want to quivel over semantics - however, this fundamental principle is not semantics!)

I may be cutting myself short. I may be missing the point! I may be sucked into the "great lie" and therefore I'm caving into the natural man or the devil's temptations themselves... But...
For now, for here and now, today, I don't desire to "change"who I am with this scriptural "burden"... I don't see the need... I desire to take His yoke upon me instead, and allow him to make my load light!
So go ahead and tell me where I'm still screwed up! After all, I recognize how flawed I still am and will continue to be!

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Great Lie!

I've been doing some thinking. I know, it's a dangerous thing to do. But, thanks to L questioning me, I've had to. I've been wondering if I am being suckered into a belief in the great lie that gayness is interconnected to other aspects of one's personality than just an attraction and desire for the same sex.

I believe the purpose for this life is to "prove us herewith" and to DO the best we can with the talents / blessings / trials / characteristics / traits we've been given while here on earth AND in the Spirit World to come. The ultimate goal is to become like God through change (repentance) and in DOING / LIVING. I do not believe that we can "work out our salvation" and "perfect ourselves" into the Celestial Kingdom. I don't believe that is the task at hand. I am imperfect. I fall short all the time. I'm as stained as if you dumped blue paint all over me! I strongly believe, however, that we are to DO what we CAN with what we've been GIVEN, and that Christ will make up the difference of any shortcomings and imperfections and blue paint stains (for they will certainly be there) as we accept Him and allow Him to do His part.

So the task: doing what I can with what I've been given. Be a good laborer in the vineyard! Be a good steward of my "talents"! These talents include our core unique personality, our essence of our being, which includes personality traits, strengths and weaknesses, gender etc. These things were a part of who we were in the pre-existence and remain with us through this earthly life. We aren't all the same, just as the laborers worked various lengths of time, just as the talents weren't distributed by the master equally. Life isn't fair! (Just ask my disabled sister who has lived with major physical disabilities for the majority of her life). That is inherent in the plan! We don't get an equal shot. Our experiences are unique. Our reactions and lessons learned from these experiences are also unique. Thus, no one can judge but One. So, I should stop whining about what I've been given or not given, the challenges and struggles, the successes and joys before me. I shouldn't worry about what is fair! Or "Why me?" I need to do what I can with what I've been given.

I believe also that we have been foreordained, called, if you will, to do specific things. Whether we do them is still up to us and the choices we make.

So, is being "gay" a calling? Maybe. Maybe not. I think it's just a trait that one can look upon as positive or negative just like any other trait. Is it a god-like trait? No, not as I understand God. So should I banish it from who I am? I don't know that I can and I don't know that I should. If it is something that I can't control, if it is something that I did not choose, then I think it is unique, similar to other traits of my physical and mental abilities that make up who I am.

But, I feel (I don't know) that all of my traits, physical and mental, spiritual and social, creative and emotional abilities that make the person I call Beck are interconnected. I am a spiritually sensitive person. I am a compassionate person. I am a highly creative person. I am a very touchy-feely personal person. I am a passionate person. I am an easy-to-anger person. I am a quick-to-love person. I am a hard-working person. I am a selfish person. I am a self-made person. I am an over-reactive person. I am a gay person!

Now, can a person who is all of the above be so and not be gay? Of course! Can a person who is gay be a list of other characteristics? Of course! I understand that not only gays are sensitive, passionate, touchy-feely and creative. Millions of straights are, too. But the uniqueness is still there. My combination of who I am, what I am, and how I deal with those traits with the experiences I have are uniquely combined together. If you take my passion for creating and building away, I'm no longer the same person and maybe I become disengaged in other aspects of my relationships as well. Maybe that's a good thing, I don't know. If you take my over-reactive personality away, I'm no longer the same person and maybe it affects not being passionate. And if I'm not passionate, then I might as well give up!

So, if "being gay" simply means one has a personality trait of "liking guys" just as one has other traits (i.e. easy-to-anger, sensitive to the spirit, creative, judgmental, passionate, selfish), and if such traits or characteristics are not locked into the make-up of a person (that a person can change from being easy-to-anger to card-carrying temper-management expert by becoming more Godlike, or being less-enamored with athletic good-looking guys and more attracted to good looking women, then why not go for the change? I don't buy that argument. I think who we are is more interconnected. That's why there is the sentiment that I will stop being me if I can't be me. I won't be true to myself.

Don't get me wrong - I'm all for improvement, magnifying our talents, overcoming our trials and all that good stuff - for that is the point of this life - TO DO WHAT I CAN. But I shouldn't try to be who I'm not. I shouldn't try to be a pretender and say that I've changed something that is simply what it is. I'm to the point in this discussion that I don't really care about the reasons why one may be gay. The "why" doesn't matter to me. Maybe it should. Maybe if it did, and a cure could be found for this "disease" or "defect", I'd be more interested in the "why". But for now, after 3 decades of being a struggler, I'm tired of caring about the "why". I'm more at the point of accepting that what is, is. It has taken me an awfully long time to get to this point.

I am Beck. All that makes me who I am is as much a part of me as my height and weight is part of my physical stature. Everything is connected. I can dye my hair green. I can seek therapy and convince myself that I am no longer homosexual. But my hair color is still light brown, though it may appear green to everyone else and I am still gay though I appear heterosexual to everyone else.

My efforts to "embrace" my gayness means: I am seeking to be happy to be me, all of me, and I'm striving to be the best "me" that I can be (working on changing / repenting of those things that need improvement), doing the best I can. As much as I desire a relationship with a guy, as much as I crave to be held by a guy and truly loved by a special guy, as much as my natural tendencies are toward other guys, I am choosing to follow a different path (as fatiguing as that is at times - and believe me I'm getting tired of the daily fight), not because I want to cut off those feelings, but because I have even stronger feelings for my family, my marriage and the joys and experiences that come from this life I'm living. If I were to cut off those feelings, I'm not sure I would be the same person!!! That may be a fallacy in my logic, but it is how it feels, nonetheless. I welcome contrasting points of view to help me see the errors of my ways!!! If you made it this far through this nonsense, then you owe me feedback!!!

I'm not good at debate (pretty obvious, huh?) I'm weak at presenting logical arguments (you can say that again!). I'm not an attorney (thank God for that one!). As I've reread this, this post makes no sense. It doesn't say what I want to portray. I don't know what I'm trying to say. I can't change who I am - but I can change and control what I do with who I am. In my mind, that is the purpose of my life.

I guess I have bought into the great lie!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Still struggling...

I want to portray that I'm really okay and have things under control and that I'm not really a 'struggler'. But that would be a lie!

I want to say that I'm really not tempted by images of male eye-candy, even if limited only to the PG / PG-13 versions. But that would be a lie!

I want to be clear that I attempt to isolate myself from Tim. I do it for the sake of my family, my wife, my marriage. I do it because it is the "right" thing to do in my situation, at my age, in my circumstance. And for the most part that is true!

I want to declare that I sincerely have no desire to see him, or to be around him, and that there is NO feeling of excitement or twitterpation when I'm with him. But that would emphatically be a lie!

I want to do what is right and prudent and correct as I deem to be right, prudent, and correct, per my personal self-imposed morals, my personal self-accepted values, my personal family obligations and commitments. This is true!

I want to portray myself as not wanting anything more. But, this would be the biggest lie of all! For you see, there is still something inside me, something major and tremendous, that fighting, bubbling desire inside me, that wants so desperately to explode and do something "wrong", "imprudent" and definitely "incorrect".

I live my life in a way to be clear that I want NO relationship with another man. My belief system is such that this is not possible. But, that would be a lie! I've fantasized about the possibility (ever so slight) of Tim being gay and desiring a relationship with me. Even hypothetically if that were possible, though highly unlikely, but say it was possible... say he came to me tomorrow and burst into my office and announced he was gay and that his intentions have been all along to let me know that he loves me...not in just a dear friendship kind of way, but in other ways of "love"... say that were the case, what would I do? Would I try to beat him up (even though I'd lose as he's so much stronger than I)? Would I kick him out of my house and tell him never to come to my door again? Would I be sympathetic to him, but not reveal my own inclinations, and keep hiding for obvious reasons? And after much thought, I've concluded that I'd honestly faint. And then, with my heart racing, I would cry with joy and grab him passionately and plaster a big wet one right on his trembling mouth, not even thinking of any other consequence. (What a farce! I live in a fantasy world of make-believe!) Then I would regret doing it and I would continue with those thoughts of how this could possibly be, how I could betray the trust of my wife and values and beliefs, my foundation, and then my whole world crumbles at my feet like an unreinforced masonry building in an earthquake.

I don't want to hurt my wife. This is most convincingly true!

I don't want male companionship with Him. But this is a lie!

My son and I watched the movie "Alexander" together as an assignment for extra credit for his World Civilations class in high school the other night. Though not inclined to watch R-rated movies, we decided to watch it together and fast-forward where necessary and still keep the storyline in tact for him to write his report. I made it clear that what was portrayed was Oliver Stone's version of history, not necessarily the real story. We then had a discussion about the homosexuality and my son pointed out how Alexander wanted to have his normal public persona as Conquerer and King of Greece with a queen and posterity, but his faithful hidden guy-lover as well. I said something like "He wants his cake and eat it, too".

I guess as I contemplated it, all I could think of was myself. I want it both ways. I want my cake and eat it, too! I want to be righteous, with my favorite sins on the side. I want the blessings of family, and my guy-lover at my side. I want to kiss him in front of the Bishop's office! I'm now catching myself fantasizing of that very thing!

I portray myself as a man in control, who does not crave King Benjamin's explanation of the "natural man", but craves instead the spiritual life. But that would be a lie!

I'm not feeling very strong right at this moment...

I'm not very proud either of such thoughts...

Unfortunately, I'm still struggling...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

What's going on?

I promised I wouldn't freak out, but this is freakin' me out!

Friday afternoon I wasn't in the office. HE called and wanted to see me. NOTE: Okay, I'm going to give him a name... I'll call him "Tim", but Tim is the same HE of previous posts (for those who even care and are following along), the same guy I'm very close to, the guy I'm trying NOT to get too close to, the guy who broke my ribs during the summer, the guy who saved my life on a cliff jumping boating trip, the guy who I hugged and kissed (on the neck) in the garage, etc. Anyway, Tim said he needed to make copies. I told Tim I wasn't going to be in for the rest of the day, but that the door should be open and he should make himself available to whatever office needs he had. I didn't hear anything more and frankly didn't think much more about it.

I went into the office on Saturday (yesterday) and found "friendly love notes" on stickies all over my office, at the computer, at the copier etc. He had obviously been there. One drew a "heart" and his name. What does this mean? It started freakin' me out. I got excited. I didn't call him. I decided it was a joke or just a friendship way of him saying "thanks".

I had a hard time sleeping last night.

This morning I went to church and he wasn't in priesthood. I looked but no sign of him. In one way I was miffed. In another way, I was pleased to NOT have seen him and have to deal with him. But if I were honest, my heart sunk a notch. (Since our "relationship" is so non-existent (at my request / and at the request of my wife / and out of respect for her), our "seeing" each other sometimes comes down to bumping into each other at Church).

I didn't see him in SS nor Sacrament Meeting. We sat up front so maybe he was in back. At the end of the block I had to stay after. That's when I saw him go into a meeting. I wondered if he saw me. After my meeting, I left the chapel and there he was talking to someone. I smiled but kept walking down the corridor.

Before I knew it, he was on top of me, tickling me, and throwing me into the HP Group Leader. At 6'-6", 230 lbs of lean athletic muscle, it's hard to shake him. We looked into each other's eyes. He was all smiles today, unlike a couple of weeks ago. We hugged full body, falling into each other's necks as we are now very comfortable in doing very naturally. We held each other for a while. I felt so good and peaceful in his arms!

I gave him a hard time about the notes. He grinned.

I had to go. That was it. Nothing more. All innocent.

So, why, if it's so "innocent", am I sitting here with school-boy anxiety going on in my butterfly-filled stomach? Why is my heart beat racing? I'm positive Tim doesn't know what he's doing inside me. I'm certain of it. I'm sure it's just good-natured friendship. Right?

So why am I all in knots?

I think I need to sell my house and move to another state!

Friday, November 10, 2006


I've been pretty silent on the "change" topic that tends to float around. I've enjoyed the takes that everyone has to one degree or another. And I try to keep an open mind.

But in this last week, KSL RADIO (the LDS church-owned radio station) has been doing a week-long "in depth report" on reparative therapy and whether men can "change" their sexual orientation. Though I've listened with intent on seeing what kind of spin the church employed reporter would put on the investigation, trying to find a hint or slant, I must admit overall it's been "fair and balanced". The reporter has interviewed both sides of the story. I just find it interesting that it is being reported at all. Following the FOX NEWS report, it seems to be a "trendy" thing to discuss.

Is there really news here? Nothing new was brought to my attention. That's because I don't think there is anything "new" to report about reorientation of one's sexual preference. I guess I should look at it as a good thing that KSL even broadcasted the series and did so in an unbiased manner.


Am I the only one, or does it give anyone else the creepy crawly heebie jeebies when someone from Evergreen starts speaking??? I feel like lies are spewing forth as soon as their representatives open their mouths, like they are selling me something, like they want me to enlist in their program almost as bad as trying to sell me a used car. It makes me sick! In yesterday's report, the Evergreen guy stated something to the affect that "it will be difficult, but that CHANGE is definitely possible - though everyone's path is unique". And then in this morning's report, I just had it! An Evergreen guy stated "playing sports with men and making that connection will create positive relations with other men that will make the difference".

All I can say to this is: BULL CRAP! I'm not a 18-25 year old "struggler" here new to this game! I have a track record of "struggling" for over 30 years! This idea of "change being possible" is a JOKE! At least for me! The idea of "playing sports" will improve my relations with men is even a BIGGER JOKE! I hate playing sports... And making me dribble a basketball and shoot a lay-up, or spiking a volleyball over the net into the face of another man and receiving an appreciative slap-on-the-butt male bonding, (as nice as that may be) isn't going to CHANGE me one iota!

I fear that such reporting as 'fact' causes me (and those like me who are married) grief, because it gives people such as my wife, the false hope that there is a NEED for change, and that change is desireable. So far, my wife hasn't said anything to me about the reports. We listen to KSL in the morning for the news and weather at the start of each day. I'm sure it will come up. Maybe that will lead to positive discussions between us, I don't know...

You know... I'm sorry, but I don't feel any NEED TO CHANGE! Have I made that clear? Is that blasphemous??? I've tried that for two decades (in many ways even not knowing fully that that was exactly what I was trying to do). I AM WHO I AM! I have no desire to be anyone else! My characteristics that make me a gay man are beautiful, admirable, and praiseworthy.

Now, don't get me wrong. I know very well that another word for REPENTANCE is CHANGE. I've taught countless priesthood and sunday school lessons that teach the simple equation: REPENT = CHANGE. I know very well that "change" is part of the gospel plan and that Christ expects a broken heart and humble spirit of me as I come kneeling before Him.

But, I don't think He wants me to CHANGE what has been God-given - those characteristics or talents that I need to use in helping others and in losing myself through their use. It is my task to take my weaknesses and make them strong.

As the letter to Elder Oaks states in last month's conference address: "Some profess that change is possible and therapy is the only answer... There is NO NEED to determine why I have this challenge. I don't know if I was born with it., or if environmental factors contributed to it. The fact of the matter is that I have this struggle in my life, and what I do with it from this point forward is what matters".

To have this quoted in a conference address is very significant to me. There are many things in my life that I need to work on and repent/change for the better. But... the fact of the matter is that I have this struggle in my life, and what I do with it from this point forward is what really matters to me!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006


What is it about oceans that draws me to them? Why do I feel peace when I'm in there?

I needed peace this last weekend. So I flew to the ocean. Just for the weekend. It was extravagant, but I needed to do it. I'm drawn to the magical healing powers of the ocean. As much as my "angst" has decreased in the last couple of months, even to the point that I was considering changing the name of my blog to "Beck's Deminished Angst", or "Beck's Angst Held in Balance", or even "Beck's Sense of Peace Despite His Angst", I know I'm still not THERE yet as I need to get away, run away, hide, escape... whatever you want to call it. In fact, when I'm not very practical or prudent, I'd like to find a way to live my life where I could escape all the time. If I were truly getting in control of my life, my gaydom, my marriage, my ability to serve others and my God, if I were truly in touch with myself, I don't think I'd be taking these "escapes".

No, truly I'm not in control.
I'm very NOT all together. So, I seek to escape, to run away...

Oceans give me that "escape" treatment to my soul. (Maybe it's because I wasn't raised around them, being from Utah, and the Great Salt Lake, as magical as it can be with a late summer sunset, its notorious lake-stink kind of destroys the imagery).

Oceans restore my spirits.

Mountains do too.

I love God's creations!

Now if I could only learn to love me as one of His creations...

Friday, November 03, 2006


At my wife's request, we rented the DVD "The Lake House" last night. It's not a great movie and I don't "highly" recommend it as it is frustrating as all get out! Maybe I need to watch it again. The premise is very stupid and yet, I find myself haunted by its message of how fragile our human "connections" are with each other and how we can become "disconnected" very easily (not just between family members and friends, but between total strangers).

But the movie got me thinking...

I know my life has been impacted by numerous strangers. I remember just a couple of years ago standing alone at Dead Horse Point in Southern Utah taking in the spectacular summer evening over Canyonlands National Park and the goosenecks of the Colorado River snaking through the red rocks a thousand feet below. Up came an earthy, fantastic looking, young, athletic European guy standing next to me. I was immediately attracted to him! For a while we didn't say anything - just drinking in the soul-renewing scenary surrounding us. He finally said something about the incredible view in broken English and I asked him where he was from - Italy - my home away from home - and we soon were chatting away together in Italian for two hours until an amazing desert sun had set!!! Come to find out we have the same profession, the same love of the deseret and nature, of hilltowns in Italy, of architecture, photography, and art, or culture and people and language. It was an experience like none other. Here we were standing in the middle of nowhere in the deserts of the Colorado Plateau and Marco happened to stand next to me and we both began sharing our lives together! There was such an incredible momentary real human connection! We have since continued our discussions together via email, and are looking to collaborate professionally.

Is this coincidence that this experience happened, this "chance meeting"?

And friendships (dare I say eternal friendships)have sprung into a life of their own through "chance meetings". Countless ones from my mission experiences. Even the meeting of my wife was such a chance meeting where we were thrown in together in a circumstance because we happened to know the same people and those people needed a group to sing together in a Sacrament Meeting. They were desperate, and perfect strangers met to sing on one Sunday morning in Provo, Utah. And love followed.

Such "chance meetings" turning into a life-changing connection makes me think just how amazing life is. But like the movie, I'm haunted by all those connections I don't make by not reaching out, by not being where I should be.

And my haunting turned last night (as I couldn't sleep) into thoughts of "what ifs" -like:

* What if I hadn't volunteered to sing that day? Would I have still met my wife?

* What if I had my self-realization early on in my post-mission days and become accepting of being gay and more open to a relationship with a dear friend who died of AIDS (see my post of May 27, 2006 "Different Eyes Seek Peace"). Could I have lived a life together with him as he wanted to live with me? Could I have helped him from taking the course of self-destruction he took? Did I purposefully "disconnect"?

* What if I had my self-realization early on and stayed in Utah, but then chose never to marry?

The "what ifs" could go on forever. I guess I shouldn't worry about the disconnections and concentrate on my connections and making them stronger.

But why did I not come to a self-realization for so long? Why this delay reaction? Is this, could this be a blessing in disguise? Or is it a curse for now having to live with other decisions and choices I've made?

Why did I connect so strongly with my friend from the mission field?

Why did I connect so miraculously with my friend at Dead Horse Point?

Why did I feel such immediate eternal bonding with my wife?

Relationships, attractions, bondings, friendships... why do they so easily disconnect sometimes and other times last forever?

Oh, the disconnections of our lives...

Please stay connected.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Another good thing?

I hesitate to post such things.

We had really good sex this morning, my wife and I. It was spontaneous, unstressful, passionate and loving. I was able to "work" at the right time and in the right way. It happened while the kids were getting ready for school, with our bedroom doors open, so there was a sense of "being careless", "being discovered" or "being on a mysterious adventure". And, I didn't have to fantasize about "other things" (you know the other things I'm talking about).

In many blogs, us married gay guys seem to feel an obligation to explain the complexities of our love and attraction for our wives... It's as if we feel the necessity to defend why we are married or how we could have been attracted enough to get married in the first place. This defense seems to be necessary for some who have similar backgrounds (gay mormon) and yet can't see how marriage to a woman can even be possible.

For me, the attraction is real! I was "in love" at first sight of her. As gaggy as that sounds, it is true. I met her through a mutual friend and instantly I was head-over-heels in love with her! Or at least "attracted to her". This excited me, for I really hadn't felt much of any attraction to women previously. Yes, I had girlfriends (in high school and college) but they were always more friends than girls - if you know what I mean. With my wife it was different. I did feel something "magical". The fireworks of romance were present. And I seized the day!

The problem was: I was so excited to feel this attraction, that it scared her off. It took many months for her to come around (unbeknownst to me she decided to marry me just from observing me - we hadn't even dated) and for her to see me as someone she was truly interested and attracted to. We ended up working in the same place, and saw each other frequently - and one thing led to another and before you knew it we were engaged. It was her attraction to me, her devotion to me, that kept me going, kept me on the path of not pursuing my more natural tendencies. I was young. I was naive. I was very innocent. In many ways she was too. But we became best friends and our passion for life, for our common interests and beliefs, for our goals together became a bond that needed to be eternal. I found myself very attracted to her emotionally, spiritually, socially, intellectually, personally, mentally, romantically.

But, the physical attraction, though sparked initially, wasn't there. That lack of phyisical attraction on my part has caused us enormous grief and pain. I've inflicted that pain on her more than she has on me. Though unintentional, the reality of our married physical, sexual life together has been a road of tragic proportions. We've nearly divorced over it several times. I withdrew from her. She withdrew from me. We grew apart. We had no sex for years. It was too painful!

Yet, somehow, because of all of the other strengths of our relationship, our bond, and our covenants to God and to each other, we stayed together - as painful as it was. I feel the sealing power of those covenants helped us to never take that final step apart.

It was when she finally confronted me some twenty years into our struggling marriage on why I "hated her body so much", or why I was "repulsed" by her physical nature, and thus, she had no other conclusion than to realize that I "must hate her as who she really was as well" - her self-esteem was shot! (note: I wasn't repulsed by her body. She's a beautiful woman - but there was no attraction physically for her - it was all gone - sex equaled pain. That was the simple mathematics of it. Sex was stress. Sex was undesireable. Sex was lothed by me. I had no interest in it. We had struggled so much in that department that the sponteneity, the joy, the passion, the love was gone - it had been gone in our relationship for years) that I confessed to what I knew to be true (and had only come to personally and painfully realize to myself - coming "out" to myself just a few months earlier)that I was gay, that I always had been gay, that most likely I would always be gay... meaning my attraction was to men, beautiful men, and not to women.

Though not for this post, that revelation, as hard as it was to articulate to the woman I love and cherish, was the hardest thing for our marriage to endure. I was convinced that IT WAS OVER. Especially after twenty years, such revelation to oneself to to one's spouse, after the years of dedication to creating family, home, children, etc., was shattering to say the least.

But the miracle of it all was that she finally understood what she had suspected for years. She understood my pulling away from her (and that it had nothing to do with my thinking she was ugly, loathing and disgusting - but that I had my own self-loathing and self-disgust going on in the process of my "outing" to myself - though I don't feel this loathing or digust in any way, shape or form today -interesting!) and she became (in time) very soft, very forgiving, very sympathetic. And miraculously, over the course of the last year or so, we've been slowly becoming together in a physical way. This isn't to say that I haven't still had problems - major problems - with having a relationship as one hopes it to be - but we've had moments - the best moments of our entire marriage in the last year - and it's been because of her encouragement, love, and patience... And those moments - like this morning - seem to be enough to keep the spark alive, to keep it burning.

It's been a long road for us. I'm still very weak and I feel on the edge of the cliff of "outing myself" to the world and running away from it all with the first pretty face of a young buck that wants me... but I'm taking steps back from that precipice. Each time we have a moment of joy together helps me to draw closer to her. The journey isn't over and the road is still long with many trials and detours ahead I'm sure. I'm still not attracted to her physically - and that still causes her great pain - but at least she now understands why. I think she still thinks I can be "cured" by her love. I don't think I can. I don't say that to be negative - because her LOVE for me has helped me to heal in so many ways. But, I'm still drawn to that physical need, that physical desire for men, that Church term of SSA, SGA or whatever else you want to call it. Whether that will ever change in me is not for me to say right now. I don't feel there is a need to change. I don't want to be anyone but who I am - and that includes my attractions. But I do feel a bit closer to her today when I'm reminded how beautiful and joyful we still can be together.

Call our relationship a big mistake if you must... I know I have. I've thought about it a lot. Had I come to my self-realization before our marriage, we probably wouldn't have been married.

Call us delusional if you must... I know I have. But there is strength in covenants and commitments that come through bonds of love that transcend even the physical attraction. And even then, we sometimes can experience that attraction, too.

And I call that another good thing...

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

A good thing!

I'd like to share a "good thing", instead of my typical "whining with a purpose" entries. Since Sam reminds me this blog is MINE, and I'm blogging in the first place to help me "deal" with these issues, I need to articulate FOR MYSELF so that I can appreciate what is going on...

For the last few weeks, I've distanced myself from HIM. I've purposefully avoided him. He called and I didn't answer. In Church, I'd go the other way in hopes that our paths wouldn't cross. I told myself that if I didn't get close to him, if I didn't touch him, if I didn't even look at him, then things would go better.

But it didn't work that way. I still thought of him! I even fantasized about him. And then I beat up on myself afterward.

This last Sunday, I snuck into Priesthood opening exercises and sat in the back. I surveyed the congregation and noticed him sitting several rows in front of me. After the hymn, prayer, and announcements, we dismissed to our quorum meetings. Instead of getting up and hurrying out the door, I felt impressed to just sit there and wait and see what happened. I watched him. He spoke with a few brothren, his back to me, as most all others had left the chapel. I just sat watching. As he began to leave the chapel, he turned and finally noticed me and smiled. I smiled at him as I leaned back on the back legs of the padded folding chair, trying to act tough.

"So, whattsup?" he asked, his voice cracking as he approached me.

We began small conversation, he standing over me, I still sitting back in my chair. I stared into his face and could see a ton of pain. It's obvious when one is trying to hide the pain. His lips were quivering, attempting to keep a rigid form of a smile, as his eyes started to get watery.

I melted. I don't remember what came over me, but I grabbed him by his suit coat and white shirt at his chest and dragged him out the foyer where we could talk. He didn't resist. In the vestibule, we fell into each others arms.

"What's going on?" I pressed. He at first didn't say anything. We hugged! Full body hug! I pressed my cheek into his as he started weeping into my neck. This 6'-6" hunk of a guy was a baby in my arms. I held him tight. It was wonderful. It was wonderful because for the first time in a long long time, there was no thought of anything but brotherhood! We were friends. Dear close friends! There was nothing more... nothing sexual, romantic, dare I say "gay" about it. He was suffering and hadn't processed that grief and let it go. He had been the tough guy - the strong one in the family - as his family endured a significant tragedy. And now he let go - into my arms.

As we body hugged (but no broken ribs this time)and as I held him, his head buried snuggly into my neck, I noted out of the corner of my eye a member of the bishopric watching us. I didn't care! I'm sure there were others watching us as well - and I ignored them. Fortunately, no one approached us. Though we were open to view, we were alone in our privacy.

(NOTE: I'm sure they thought - oh, there's Beck again, going off and being affectionate with another guy. I get away with it. I'm a very touchy-feely kind of guy. I've always been that way. I can't help it. I'm most comfortable when I am and so I choose to be so. Most have learned to accept it. I can't walk down the corridor of Church or at work and not touch someone as I pass by - a tap on the shoulder, a brush on the arm, a squeeze on the neck, a slap on the head - particularly a slap on the head. I can't help it. Especially with guys - I don't know how to express my need for affection with straight guys, so, I slap them on the head - or I hit them! I'm famous for my hitting... I don't know why I do it - but I just do it. And, I'm affectionate openly with those guys who have become close friends - and they've accepted that being affectionate is just part of me...And as was pointed out in FOXX's blog a while back - I get away with this behavior because I'm perceived as "an affectionate straight guy", not as "an affectionate gay guy"... but that's a topic for another day).

Anyway, after missing most of Priesthood Meeting, HE and I were able to connect again as FRIENDS. Nothing more - just good guy-friends! We talked and I encouraged and I hoped I helped him. But most of all HE helped me!

I realize I really need good guy-friends! I need male bonding that is emotional, intense, sensitive, personal, intimate - but just that male friendship!

And I realize that I can do this without any premeditative predative or other sultry motives. FOR THERE ARE NONE!

I need hugs! I hunger for male affection. I don't know why. It's just something that I long for. And when I don't get it - I start falling apart!

And I realize, hiding from him is actually the worst thing to do. I get anxious and uncomfortable and I worry about it more. I'm not me and I hate it! At the same time, HE needs my friendship too, my sensitivity, my spirit.

I'm glad I didn't run from this prompting to grab him, pull him in, and let him grieve.

I sincerely wish that our American culture and mentality would allow us guys to do such things with each other more frequently - and without any judgment for having been sensitive to a friend. I have been judged. I'm sure I'm not alone in this. But, I've decided I'm not going to stop being me because of it.

Thanks for being a voyeur into this small, almost insignificant, little scene in my pathetic life.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


I just re-read my last post and I'm sick and tired of myself WHINING all the time and sharing the "wo is me!" attitude. I'm fed up with it and can't stand it. So what if I had an adolescence full of "not fitting in" or "not relating with my peers". So what if my life hasn't been "ideal". Whose is?

I've got to move on from this self-pity and self-doubt. I've got to become more comfortable with who I am and be grateful for the good that is internally and realistically me!

I apologise for my griping and whining and self-pity and I promise that, though I will share angst and longings and frustrations and griefs, I'm NOT going to bemoan my flaws and shortcomings...

Getting on with it! That's what needs to be done. I've got to LET IT GO and MOVE ON!

Again, I'm sorry for the silly drivel...and pitiful poppycock!

I am comitting to CHANGE!

Saturday, October 21, 2006


I attended a church social function last night. It was on the Stake level and so there were many people in attendance that I did not know. Typically, large groups in social settings, even as comfortable as a church setting, make me very uncomfortable.

I sat and observed instead of engaging the activity. I observed many folks totally comfortable with themselves, relating as normal members of the Church relate jovially and socially with each other. I particularly noticed the men. I looked at them and studied them and felt so distant and apart from them. They seemed so comfortable with themselves. I did not.

It's always been this way. When I was a youth, I didn't fit into the straight-guy world. I didn't relate with the guys in cub scouts or scouting. My mutual YM/YW years were torturous. I didn't do things that other guys seemed to be able to do so naturally. I observed them effortlessly playing sports, particularly basketball (I detest basketball). I observed them be athletic and strong (I was the neighborhood weakling). I observed them acting goofy and stupid as only boys can (I was too nerdy to be stupid). I observed them flirting with girls (I didn't relate with girls in a flirty way - though many confided in me about other guys). I observed them showing off (I never showed off).

So, I declared myself a misfit from an early age.

Now don't get me wrong... I'm very comfortable with crowds of all types including public speaking, giving talks in Church, teaching lessons to large groups, engaging planning commissions and city councils with the presentations of my designs, etc., But, in each of these instances, I'm the teacher, I'm the speaker, I'm the presenter. Smaller groups are a lot less nerve-racking, but I can do large groups as well.

But socially interacting and mingling and interacting takes effort. It's a chore. I instantly feel like I'm damaged goods - and I don't fit in to the world around me. It becomes uncomfortable, even unbearable.

I hate open houses where one mingles. YUCK! I hate striking up conversations with people that I know really don't care a minute later. Social niceties and all... including in business and church settings. Even being raised in this environment, I detest it.

Again, I feel I don't belong. I guess I feel I don't belong in a lot of circles. That's why I like to help in the kitchen when I meal is being prepared, or clean up, etc. It gives me something to do other than stand around wondering what to do or who to talk to.

I feel inferior! I feel flawed! Now, I know we are all flawed - but by my age, aren't we supposed to be overcoming these flaws and becoming more and more comfortable with who we are, not worrying about such things? not having such inhibitions?

I've never "fit in" with the straight-guy world. And because I've forced myself to adapt to a world where I see myself as a "misfit", as an outsider looking in, it has never gotten easier with the passage of time.

There have been times when I did feel like I was comfortable with who I was - maybe three instances:

1. When I was an MTC teacher and zone coordinator over many missionaries that I loved and cherished and fed from.

2. When I was in a bishopric, serving in an old ward - my best friends being kissing-and-hugging-octagenarian widows.

3. When I was a Young Men leader, serving young men and living the life of a young man that I never had as a youth, and finally being loved and accepted.

I find myself reaching out to the blogsphere to try to "fit in" again. Instead of trying to fit in with straight-guys, I'm seeking gay mormon men who may better understand me and my feelings and quirks. But even here, I find that I'm not a very good fit...

1. I don't have a story of my youth where I was molested, in any form of that word, nor any story of trauma to support the reason for my "confusion". Sometimes, I wish I did have such a story - I've racked my brain trying to figure out if I have a suppressed memory somewhere, and I come up empty.

2. I didn't come out to myself until just a couple of years ago, well into my adulthood - my struggle with this issue is young and fresh, but my age is old and should be mature and wise - but I find myself not very wise and even childlike in such issues. Though I've wrestled all my life with this struggle, it hasn't been one of self-recognition until recently.

3. I have been married over 20 years and have young adult children. This puts me at odds with my struggles being out of sync with my current situation, and with the situation of most readers of this blog.

I'm not sure where I fit in. I work alone most of the time. I keep to myself most of the time.

I don't know why I'm rambling like this... Just felt out-of-place and out-of-sync last night. I feel out-of-place and out-of-sync with the fellow blog world as well.

I've spent my whole life not belonging to the world I live in. I still don't know how to "fit in".

Monday, October 16, 2006

Eliminating the static...

I've had some serious family issues to address this last weekend and it has been good to be consumed in what is really important (not that my non-ending angst whining is less important). Sometimes we need to stop and work on others' issues that are much more pressing than our own, and in the process, magically, our own seem to diminish in scope.

Isn't that funny how that happens? It doesn't mean that I still didn't turn my head when I was 'tempted' by the usual attraction of the flesh. (No, I've come to the conclusion that I will always have these attractions, and will be turning my head at good looking meat - but I'm allowing myself to not DWELL on it and to let it go... to stop the fantasies and to just keep it more sane). Maybe such a tactic will backfire and I will explode like a volcano at some point - but yet again, it's worth the try to keep things settled. For my full attention, my needed "attraction" must be focused on my family right now.

My leadership calling has also focused me (by force) into centering on others and their problems. It's amazing what callings do to me. They make me better than I ever would be without them. They make me be who I want to be, not who I am. I wonder if I will ever get to the point of being willing to serve and give to others without the "assignment" to do so...

There is a certain calm inside my head at this time, and I truly am trying to be more in tune with what the Spirit prompts me to do for my family... Heaven knows I need to be more in tune, eliminating the static of these attractions in my head...

Friday, October 06, 2006

Enduring by making a difference...

Enduring to the end doesn't have much to do with suffering in silence, overcoming all life's obstacles, or even achieving the LDS ideal (perfection). It just means not giving up. It means keeping - to the best of our abilities - the commitments we made to Christ when we entered into the marriage of the gospel. It means not divorcing the Savior or cheating on him by letting some other love become more important in our lives. It means not rejecting the blessings of the atonement that he showered upon us when we entered his church and kingdom.
-- Stephen E. Robinson, Following Christ

Enduring to the end does not mean achieving perfection! I understand that. I understand perfection is NOT a requirement of endurance. But it also does not mean to let my "other love become more important in my life". Allowing this desire of male attention, affection, companionship, and relationship to become the most important aspiration of my life is not keeping my commitments I've made. Envying others who have is not keeping my commitments. Seeking out images that titillate and feed that envy is not keeping my commitments. Being bitter that I'm "missing out" on something more wonderful than my family and the covenants we've made together, is not keeping my commitments.

I understand that the TEST of this life is really about what we have DONE with what we have been GIVEN. There is no one standard for all (such as grades in school: 90% = A; 80% = B, etc.) nor are we graded by the bell curve (where just as many that get the A's will also get the F's and the majority get C's). I understand that everyone's package (talents, gifts, abilities) is different and thus we are judged uniquely with what we have been given and the "level of difficulty" attributed to our performance.

It's like Elder Stanley G. Ellis' talk in last week's General Priesthood session where he reiterated the point of the Parable of the Talents. The three examples in the parable did not receive equal talents. But all three were good stewards - even the one that received but one. The Lord gives the same praise and reward to the one who had five and the one who had two because "of what they DID with what they were GIVEN". But, even though the one who received one talent was careful to take care of, protect, and return safely back to the Lord his one talent - the rebuke is stark and harsh! It wasn't because he was careless or forgetful, or even uncommitted or ungrateful. It was because he DIDN'T MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

So I look at my homosexual issues as a gift, a talent I've been given. I didn't choose to receive this talent. It has been given to me as part of my mortal life. So what am I doing with it? Am I burying it? (yes). Am I carefully and attentively caring for it? (yes). Am I protecting it to return it safely back to the Lord? (yes). Am I making a difference with it, letting it increase? (NO!) So am I not a "wicked and slothful servant"?

I mean, what should I be doing with this special gift I've been given?

Somehow, just resisting it doesn't seem right.

Embracing it for good does seem right.

So how do I embrace it for good?

There are some good articles in the October Ensign... One in particular is by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland along these lines:

"It is important to remember that we need to succeed - not just finish the course - but finish our course with joy. For a celestial reward, it is absolutely essential that we remain faithful to the end. There is nothing in the Church that is directed toward the telestial or terrestrial kingdoms. For us it is a celestial goal every step of the way. We cannot flag or fail or halt halfway."

"The power of your covenants are GREATER than the power of temptation."

"The tests of life are tailored for our own best interests, and all will face the burdens BEST SUITED to their own mortal experience. In the end we will realize that God is merciful as well as just and that all the rules are fair. We can be reassured that our CHALLENGES WILL BE THE ONES WE NEEDED, and CONQUERING them will bring blessings we could have received in no other way."

"The most significant sign of your progress on this journey is not so much your location on the path at the moment, but rather the direction in which you are moving."

Okay, so celestial life is my goal. My covenants are greater than my temptations. My challenges (gifts / talents / issues) are the ones I need. And the direction in which I'm going is more important than being the best or better than others.

I got it...

But, how do I use this special and unique "gift", with its special and unique "level of difficulty" to make a difference (increase) so that I won't be a wicked and slothful servant?

Ah... Sheeezzee! I really don't have a "f-ing" clue about what I'm talkin' about!!!

Is this all a piece of crap???

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I feel like I'm trying to figure out how to "get away" with things.

And I know this is wrong. But that's how it feels.

And it centers around envy!

Let me explain. I've recently renewed a corresondence with a dear close LDS RM friend. He lives far away from me so we haven't seen each other for some time now. He and I have shared many similar experiences together, including the experiences of "strugglers" and "coming out" to each other at about the same time. His situation is different than mine in the sense he is not married, has no children, and has his whole life in front of him. Over the course of this last year, and more recently as I've corresponded with him in this last month, he's been able to quickly assimilate into a semi-open gay world that has embraced him with open arms. He has made connections with several guys and begun the adventure of relationships with men, discovering the peace and satisfaction of being open to who is he and no longer being lost in that proverbial dark closet spending time and energy in hiding.

I've congratulated him on this transition and honestly feel he is smart and wise beyond his years and is making intelligent and mature decisions that truly are best for him and his situation. He is approaching this new world in a healthy and head-on-straight way and I couldn't be more proud of him - and I've told him such!

As I've voyeuristically peered into his "new" and "exciting" world of gay relationships, I find myself envious... green with envy as they say as I see that he is doing what I longingly wish I could. As he looks back at me, my "chosen lifestyle" frustrates him to death, because of the angst I endure. It's interesting - our two perspectives of each other.

Now I'm not judging my friend and the choices he's making. In fact, I'm embracing them with him, encouraging him on, as I live vicariously through his ups and downs, infatuations and loves, disappointments and recommitments of the gay world. I'm envious of him and the choices he's making.

Now also, I'm not calling anyone "gay" here a sinner. Nor am I saying that "being GAY" is a sin! I've crossed that stream miles ago! In fact, any faithful reader of this BLOG knows that I prefer even now to call myself "GAY" verses SSA. So, don't anybody go there.

Yet, in my chosen lifestyle, and with my chosen belief system, I find myself desiring to cross the line of "sin" and have extramarital affairs with other guys. Though I've never done it, and have safety checks in my life to keep me from doing so, yet, I've still "desired to sin". I WANT TO SIN!!!

Is it a sin to kiss another guy? Of course not! Unless you are married like me! (You know this sounds like I'm holding a grudge because I'm married - ouch!) But I want to experience what I imagine he's experiencing!

And frankly, such "behavior" looks delicious to the taste and very desireable! And so, I envy those who, unlike me, are able to "get away with it" and cross that line and do such behavior. (NOTE: To my knowledge, my friend has not gone beyond a gay relation of affectionate friendship - kissing, hugging, cuddling etc. and yet even that makes me GREEN WITH ENVY. Such things in my book are NOT a SIN in his situation - in fact they are seen in my eyes as just and appropriate - and as such he is NOT a sinner). I AM THE SINNER HERE - guilty of the SIN OF ENVY, LUST, UNFAITHFULNESS, etc... You name it and I am guilty!

My view is distorted and mistaken... My current musing is somehow twisted to think that sin is something desirable and that those who sin and repent somehow enjoy an "advantage" over those who do not sin. My reaction isn't one of "moral superiority" as it is of ENVY of a carnal nature absolutely drooling over the goodies he's getting to enjoy, and ANGER because I can't have it too! In my case, gay relationships are something that I really WANT to have, but I don't GET to do... so I feel cheated.

Obviously, the Sunday School Answer is...

that those who are righteous who have kept the commandments "get" to live faithfully, "get" to have the companionship of the Spirit, and "get" to become more Christlike, while the poor sinners around us are stuck in the mud until they repent. The recently repentant should envy us our uninterrupted service to the Master rather than us envying their recent bondage to the adversary. The proper perspective is that I "got" to enjoy a relationship with Christ for thirty years, while that poor soul has enjoyed life in Christ only thirty days. I think I'm behind or at a disadvantage only if my hidden value system puts a higher diserability on wickedness than on righteousness! It's a matter of which you really feel is best - the life of sin or life in Christ. If the former, then letting sinners off the hook bothers you, and you want them to suffer (to balance out all that extra fun and pleasure they had and you didn't). If the latter, then you know that their sinful lifestyle was already its own punishment, and you rejoice with the angels over those who have repented and been redeemed.
-- Stephen E. Robinson Following Christ

Yeah, yeah, yeah... I know! I know! I hate Sunday School answers!!!

And I know that GRACE involves mercy and mercy overcomes all and salvation, even exaltation can come to those who embrace the Savior (as was the HIT-YOU-ON-THE-HEAD-WITH-THE-SHARP-END-OF-THE-HAMMER-UNTIL-YOU-FINALLY-WAKE-UP-AND-NOTICE-YOUR-FOREHEAD-IS-BLEEDING-AND-DENTED-IN-BECAUSE-IT-WAS-HIT-SO-MANY-TIMES-IN-THE-SAME-SPOT THEME of General Conference last weekend!!!!) - and it has been the theme of my most recent blog entries and readings...

But you know... I'm not there yet. As much as I want to think otherwise, I somehow can't get over the fact that what I'm doing, the choices I'm making are REALLY better than going off with a guy and doing what comes naturally. I'm really struggling with that concept of others who are "getting away" with stuff while I "struggle to be faithful". I'm forever building up angst with the fact that I want to look back with longing and envy at the pillar of salt! I don't want to hold to the iron rod... unless it takes me back to that salt!

You know, it's like the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). It is NOT a lesson on repentance and forgiveness as it is a lesson of ENVY! The lesson is obviously not of the repentant first son, but of the second son, the faithful son, who never left his father and was there tending to his father's business. He was the one who was ENVIOUS of his brother, envious of his brother's sin, lifestyle, choices, etc. and even envious of the party thrown in his behalf at his return. He was envious that he didn't "get to get away with anything". His reward was the satisfaction of "thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine" (v.31).

Somehow, in this carnal and devilish and imperfect mind of mine, that satisfaction still isn't good enough... I still long for that romantic kiss! I'm still envious of that pillar of salt and the iron rod is getting very slippery! (sorry for the scriptural mixed metaphors).

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Is this significant?

Right out of the chute, General Conference starts with Elder Oaks addressing the SSA issues and embracing the healing power of the Atonement. Is this significant?

I was surprised it came as the first talk! I hoped Elder Oaks would say something more on the subject. Though it's hard to listen to what is said "between the lines" when the broadcast is live, I did catch a few things (in my words):

1. Seeking counseling for CHANGE of SSA isn't necessarily a good thing.
2. Finding out the WHY behind why one is proned to these attractions also isn't really necessary.
3. Accepting these "challenges" and :deciding" what to do about them is more important.
4. Allowing the healing power of the atonement to lift the "burden" of these attractions is essential.

Again, I ask, is this significant to lead with such a talk?

-- I am not seeking change.

-- I am no longer asking why.

-- I am striving to accept these challenges and decide what to do about them.

-- I am trying to allow the atonement to have a lifting power. But this one, I'm doing a pretty poor job of. I allow my emotions, feelings, attractions, to get the better part of me. I have allowed this blog to be my VOICE of internal consciousness of my musings. I have done so in an effort of self-counseling. Any reader becomes a voyeur of sorts watching me utter and deal with these musings. I tend to hang on to my attractions and linger over them, even fondly. I haven't learned to shed myself of all ungodliness.

A dear friend kindly reminded me of Moroni's concluding words: "Yea, come unto Christ and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves all ungodliness... then is his grace sufficient for you..." (Moroni 10:32).

I love this scripture. I have it triple underlined, circled and highlighted. I know my job is to deny myself all that THEN, his grace is sufficient for me. As much as Moroni's words sound very rigid and inflexible, I still believe, as I've previously stated, that still the "rules of engagement" of the Atonement allow for one to DO all that is within his ability and understanding TO DO in denying himself of ungodliness! If ALL ungodliness conditionally must be completely and perfectly denied BEFORE the Atonement is sufficient - we might as well give up hope right here and now, because it ain't possible!

Elder Oaks words were comforting. They didn't jump out as criticism toward those like me with this personal trait of who I am. He did give me hope that even I, imperfect as I am, with vile and unfaithful thoughts that abound in my mind as I muse through these attractions, with struggles to keep within the bounds the Lord has set, and to keep my passions within those bounds, and to cherish and nurture my marital vows and covenants and not mock them through my flirtatious and infatuating relationships that I've more than longingly articulated on these posts (even with envy and long-suffering to NOT deny myself of these my FAVORITE SINS) - even I may still have HOPE.


As a footnote: I state emphatically that I have no intention of hurting or seeking to harm anyone through my words or actions, stupid, frivolous or immature as they may be! I have a huge fallacy of saying too quickly what I'm thinking, sometimes flippantly. I apologize to ALL that I may have offended because of my words! I ask your forgiveness! I need your strength! I covet the strength of this "blog community" that I feel a small part of. The blogsphere is a strange new world. We throw out to the cyberspace of complete strangers our thoughts and feelings in a very open and carefree manner - something that NEVER would we do in reality in our conversations with even dear friends, family, associates. Maybe I need to rethink how I use this media. I blog for myself. But deep down I jealously cherish the input from others - my friends of this community - as I seek validation, self-worth, and meaning that I find in no other place. My words affect others as your words affect me.

Again, I mean no harm... I must use more caution.

Maybe I am the one who should disappear for a while...

Thursday, September 28, 2006


A couple of quotes I've come across this week...

"We all occupy diversified stations in the world, and in the kingdom of God. Those who do right, and seek the glory of the Father in heaven, whether their knowledge be little or much, or whether they can do little or much, if they do the very best they know how, they are perfect... "Be ye as perfect as you can," for that is all we can do, though it is written, "Be ye perfect as your father who is in heaven is perfect." To be as perfect as we possibly can, according to our knowledge, is to be just as perfect as our Father in heaven is. He cannot be any more perfect than he knows how, any more than we. When we are doing as well as we know how, in the sphere and station which we occupy here, we are justified."
-- Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 2:129-130.

"It is reported that someone once challenged the work of Mother Teresa, the holy woman who ministered to the poorest outcasts in Calcutta, India, on the grounds that she could never succeed at what she was trying to do. No matter how hard she worked, her antagonist insisted, there would be more of the poor and sick tomorrow than there were today, and all her efforts could never even make a dent in the problem. Since she could never hope to succeed, why did she water her effots in a losing cause? Mother Teresa's answer was a classic. "God does not require that I succeed," she replied, "only that I do what I can." And that is the gospel truth."
-- Stephen E. Robinson, Believing Christ

I've often felt that since I'm so flawed, that it is hopeless to overcome my shortcomings. "I'm not good enough." "I'm too different to be worthy of anyone's love". "I'm never going to make it back to Heaven anyway, so why try." "I'm gay, so with that strike against me, I might as well give up". Of course, that is what the Adversary exactly wants me to think.

But I'm slowly learning that being gay makes me no more flawed than anyone else. (Wow, that's been a hard lesson!) In many ways, it gives me gifts and sensitivities I may not have had otherwise. I may be different, but we all are different! I need to stop worrying about those differences and get over it and learn to live and love.

Guess what? I'm imperfect! I'm daily tempted! I'm daily discouraged at my shortcomings of dealing with my "issues" and temptations. I'm daily reminded of my imperfections. Okay, I get it... I've just got to do the BEST I CAN, right?

But, do I have to be tempted so hard? Two days ago, I walked past a guy who works for me. He's extremely good looking and very fit and works out at a gym regularly. He works directly under me. We were walking in opposite directions toward each other in a narrow hallway where we had to turn sideways to pass. He wore a tight black tee-shirt. We paused when we passed. He smiled. I smiled. In my "touchy-feely" way, I naturally allowed my hand to brush along his abs and pat them firmly as I passed. They were firm and rippled to the touch. I was stunned by how hard they were! I melted as I kept going, struggling to walk as my legs shook with weakness. Yesterday, I gave him a shoulder rub and squeezed his hard arms as we discussed a project we're working on together. He was sitting at the computer and I stood behind him rubbing his body caressingly. He allows me to do so with no resistance or any sign of coiling or repulsiveness from my touches or advances. I know where I'm going with this and it isn't good. I've got to get hold of myself. I'm his boss. He's married. I'm married... What am I doing?

Now some may say that I'm never going to succeed to walk this tight-rope balancing act, that I'm going to slip and fall anyway, so why do I put myself through the test at all. They may scoff at my efforts to fight these feelings and that I'm not going to succeed in holding my marriage together as a gay man, because sooner or later I'm going to succumb to these attractions, so why am I forcing my wife and family to endure the impossible journey with me, precariously balanced on my shoulders on that tight-rope from one platform to another?

I don't need to succeed any more than Mother Teresa succeeded in her futile work.

Bottom line: I know what I know. I'm responsible for this knowledge and what I do with it. So why do I slip so easily?


Perfection... It isn't easy! God knows it isn't easy as well! He knows this HELL I'm living. He does not require that I SUCCEED! He asks, instead, that I DO THE BEST I CAN with what I know!

As Brigham Young said, I cannot be more perfect than I know how...

So, why do I have to "know" as much as I do?

Monday, September 25, 2006


Recent readings and musings...

"Too many of us are saying to ourselves, "When I've done it, when I've perfected myself, when I've made myself completely righteous, then I'll be worthy of the Atonement. Then Christ can do his work and exalt me." But this will never happen, for it puts the cart before the horse. It's like saying, "When my tumor is gone, then I'll call the doctor. I'll be ready for him then." This is not how things are designed to work either in medicine or in the gospel. "They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick." (Matt 9:12)

I feel very strongly that in most cases the belief that we must save ourselves by our own good works is not merely misinformed, it is evil. It is evil in the first place because it places an impossible burden on people - the burden of being perfect. Eventually they will dispair and give up. Second, it is evil because it keeps people from admitting their need of a savior and accepting the merits and mercy of the Holy Messiah. It keeps them from understanding Jesus Christ in his role as Savior. Finally, it is evil because some people are simply too arrogant to admit their own imperfection. They refuse to think of themselves as sinners or to admit there is anything they can't do on their own. Such hearts will not break - they are too proud. These individuals think of Christ and his atonement merely as handy tools to be used in saving themselves, just as a carpenter would use a hammer and nails to build a house. The emphasis, and the credit, is on themselves as do-it-yourself saviors rather than on Christ. No carpenter thanks his hammer."

--Stephen E. Robinson "Believing Christ"

I enjoy Mr. Robinson's writings. It's been a while since I've read them, and I'm enjoying them anew...

I feel recently that I have been trying to work out my "situation" of dealing with being gay by myself - working out my salvation as a do-it-yourself savior. I have fallen in the trap of "I can't approach anyone, particularly the Lord, about this 'gay thing' until I get a handle on it and can feel 'worthy enough'. I recently received (isn't that a nice and warm phrase for a church position) this leadership stake calling position and I continue to fall in this trap of working it out to be "worthy enough" and I go right back into the thought of not being good enough because I have this "issue"...

Instead, I should be allowing myself to be available to serve, to give, to love, to reach out, to help because I DO HAVE THIS ISSUE!!!! Am I not "worthy enough" to do that? Am I such "damaged goods" as to be of no value to others until I fix myself up? When am I going to learn that I am who I am and I'm a pretty damn good person and I don't need FIXING in the conventional sense of fitting-into-the-system! I'm sensitive and caring and willing to reach out and help. Doesn't HE want a willing servant? Aren't we all "damaged goods"? Are we ever "worthy enough?" Am I ever going to be "perfect enough"?

Of course not!

I love being the gay person that I am as it has helped to mold who and what I am! So what if my fantasies and secret attractions and desires to kiss another man may shock and scandalize the Stake and Ward and my fellow quorum brothren! Am I still not the same Beck that I've always been? Do I still not have value even as damaged, shocking, and imperfect me?

Isn't the atonement still valid for me? I am sick and need THE physician in my life because I am sick! I need HIM to help me to love myself, to be humble, and to be broken-hearted enough to NEED HIM. I need to do all that I CAN do... I don't need to do EVERYTHING. He'll pick up the slack.

Some have mused that the Prophet isn't getting specific enough about our situation as gay married Mormons. To hell with the Prophet! I'm not going to wait for him to figure it out. I'm going to live my life the best way I can and in the way I see fit as a gay married Mormon!

I'm going to stop resisting GRACE!

So having said that -- then why is it so hard to let HIM try to help?