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?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Where can I hide?

SANTORIO in a recent post stated:

"the more i post and comment the more i reveal about myself. one of these days someone out there is going to add things up and ask me if i am santorio."

This statement really resonates with me. It scares me to death!

I guess I've been cloaked behind the mask of supposed anonymity of cyberspace... and I've been under the impression that I can speak my mind and say whatever I want without risk of discovery. I've been fairly open about my feelings toward certain guys in my life, certain situations, and I've done so because this method of self-revelation has served me well. I've been able to express myself in ways that I normally never would do. I've expressed things about my wife, my relationship with her. I've expressed feelings which have led to self-examining questions that without such expressions, I never would have so boldly asked.

For the past two years I've been "out of the limelight" of the Ward and Church Leadership positions after decades of leadership positions. I've been a backrow observer and have been happy to melt into the woodwork. Coincidentally, during this same exact two year period, I've come out to myself (a frightful but refreshing experience of personal discovery) in this same time period. I've also come out to my wife (which was horrendous at first, but we've settled into a working relationship of mutual love and understanding)and I've come out to a couple of dear friends. I've sought professional counselling and have come out to him(though it didn't go well).

And somehow, with the religious conflicts of my deeply held beliefs and spiritual convictions and all this, I've been able to categorize them away and live my double life peacefully with my levels of angst in somewhat of a state of control.

But now, I've recently been called back into a calling of priesthood leadership! It's killing me inside! I answered honestly to the Stake President that I was worthy. But what is "worthy"? Does looking at hot guys in PG-13 format to get a "thrill" for the search of the "perfect-looking guy" entitle one to priesthood leadership responsibility? Does having fantasies about the young returned missionary down the street "disqualify me" for service in the kingdom? I didn't worry about this so much when I was a piece of woodwork. I was happy to justify it all away conveniently. I wasn't after all standing before anyone preaching gospel perfection... But now that I'm pushed back (grudgingly mind you) into the forefront - it's bothering me. I don't want to be a hypocrite. But I really feel like one...

I don't feel good inside. Not about being gay. I'm fine with being gay. I like being gay (at least my version of dealing with these feelings for men). I've come to appreciate my gayness is part of this makeup of who I am in this life. I'm okay with all that. I'm also okay with my level of repentance and I feel okay with my Savior and He knows me and knows my thoughts and struggles and temptations and weaknesses. I'm doing the best I can and know I need no condemnation for my "feelings".

But still, I don't feel good inside...

And with the thought of now being "found out" by this blog of mine? This is freakin' me out! What if someone out there is putting all of the pieces together of my mission experiences, my church calling experiences, the make-up of my family, etc. etc... and finally connects the dots and figures out who I "really am"? Then what?

Subconsciously, do I want to be found out because I'm blogging openly in the first place?

Subconsciously, do I want to be forced out of the closet by someone else so I don't have to do the dirty work of dragging myself out?

Am I willing to risk this exposure? Is this why I'm here blogging in the first place?

And why does this stupid church calling make it so much more frustrating? Don't get me wrong... I love church callings and have grown tremendously from service to others through these callings. I've had so many amazing and life-altering experiences due to devotion of church callings that have made me move out of my comfort zone and forced me to discover capabilities that I never knew I had; and with the help of the spirit, become a "new creature" in a very real sense.

Do I really have a conscience after all and I'm feeling guilt?

I've said too much... I often say too much...

I need to go hide!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Some recent reflections of reading the Old Testament -



-- Proverbs 20:29

I'm not a fan of the gray hair coming on my head! I don't consider them "well earned" or "signs of wisdom". Instead, they are a sad reminder that I'm slip-sliding into middle age whether I want to or not. (But they won't take me without much kicking, screaming, and gnashing of teeth!!!) I much rather glory in the strength of young men!



-- Proverbs 21: 19

Let's just say that when my wife is happy, then the entire family is happy! And when I'm concentrating on her instead of other "distractions", we are all happier... But, why are there so many distractions?

Thursday, September 14, 2006

He's still here...

He was supposed to have gone off to college out of town.

I was going to get over him. I was going to move on with my life and leave this "crush" behind. Infatuation isn't good for someone my age in my family situation.

I went away for a while and he went away, but now he's back.

He changed his plans and is still here going to the local college instead.

We sat together in Priesthood last week arms around each other sitting closer than most newlyweds!

He called me today! I did not call him. I have tried not to even think about him. But I jumped with joy when he called. My heart skipped. We talked about his life, his struggles, his goals - including his "love-life" with a GIRL! Yes, a GIRL that he's head-over-heels in love with. (I hate to disappoint Chris/Hurricane, but fortunately or unfortunately he's definitely straight).

I'm going nuts!

* * *

I've been thinking about this "crush" and have decided that it has a lot to do with the fact that as I was growing up, I didn't ever have a friend, a close guy friend to hang out with... Sure I had friends, schoolmates and such - but no one that really hung out with me or that we did things together besides school.

... to arm wrestle (as I was always the weakling and too embarrassed to show how weak and skinny I was against any other guy - I wasn't athletic and anything to do with phyiscal strength or athletics or sports or balls didn't enter my consciousness), go camping up in the mountains just as friends, or to goof around at the beach - particularly shirtless (again I was so self-conscious of being skinny and uncoordinated that I'd never ever want to be seen shirtless by anyone, particularly my peers - and I felt inferior to other males who I viewed as something different from me, something to be in awe of, not to relate with),

... or to hang out in the basement drinking or just chillin' together, mainly because I wasn't very fun to be around (a nerdy, studious kind of guy that would rather study than party - and besides, I didn't drink, and I didn't know how to "chill"),

... or flexing or showing off each other's bodies... just because - well, because I had nothing to flex and nothing to show off and I was way too shy to be so casual with other guys and do guy things.

In the end, I just didn't know how - I never learned - to act like the other guys and be a guy and not be afraid of guys and...

And in the process, I'm still missing even today a huge HOLE in my development. I ache for that HOLE in my life to be filled.

HE helps me fill up my hole that only a "guy friend" can do! Is that bad?

My RIBS are almost completely healed. I'm ready for another bear hug!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Apostate thoughts...

I read in the paper last night that fired BYU professor Jeffrey Nielson (the philosophy teacher who expressed openly his opposition to the First Presidency's stand on gay marriage, speaking in favor of it), is doing well. He's actively employed as a college professor of philosophy at Westminster College and UVSC (both colleges in Utah), still lives in Orem, and is still happily married.

The article from the DESERET NEWS states:

During about two months of unemployment, Nielson, 44, visited gay people in Utah, meeting their partners and children.

"Since that time, I've met hundreds," he said Wednesday after a lecture he gave at Utah Valley State College about his theories on leadership. "I've been completely blown away by their decency."

...Personally, Nielson said his children initially worried he would be excommunicated from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

That didn't happen. Still, Nielson, who attended church most Sundays, said he was released from a class in which he taught gospel doctrin to adults.

"I've only had support and love from my LDS ward members," he said. "They've all been great."

His wife, however, continues to disagree with his stance on gay marriage, as she has from the beginning, he said.

"But, we've learned to not have to see everything the same," he said.

He admires his friends at BYU but does not hold a desire to return to the LDS Church-owned school...

"If people could sit down and have mutual respect for each opinion, I think we could gain understanding of each other," he said.

I don't know why this impressed me, but it did. I guess I had thought he was on the path to excommunication for sure. After all, I heard on a local radio station (in Utah) discussions and debates at the time of the Senante debate on gay marriage, that those who profess beliefs contrary to the First Presidency should be excommunicated. Yes, such discussions actually occur on morning talk shows in Utah...

It's refreshing to know that this didn't happen and that he is free to express himself without repercussions. Though I understand the firing from BYU (after all the First Presidency are the boss there), I'm pleased to see that the local ecclesiastical leaders have shown restraint. We should be able to speak our minds without fear of repercussions (as long as we're not actively leading others into apostasy). Now, I'm not sure whether being released from the gospel doctrine calling is related or not. The article doesn't say.

I recognize this has been discussed in fellow blogs, but I add my meager offering to the debate: Is it apostasy to ever disagree with the Prophet? Must I step in line just because? Am I not entitled to have my own personal feelings about things that may not conform with the First Presidency? Is it not my personal responsibility to search and pray for inspiration and understanding of what the Prophet says is the word of God?

I truly believe that the Prophet knows best. I have faith and conviction that he will not lead us astray. But, I also believe that my testimony is an evolving thing - meaning, I'm not certain about all things, and thus, I'm still working out my understanding of things. Most likely, I may someday come to believe the same, but I do not fear feeling differently about things now - and that that difference does not affect my overall belief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or my willingness to adhere to Christ's teachings. (Somewhat related, I still don't understand what pierced earrings have to do with spirituality at all - be it no earrings for men, or just one hole in each ear for women - I mean, if the body is sacred and worthy of no piercings, why should women be entitled to one pair and not be defacing the temple of God?)

I currently support gay marriage rights. I proudly voted against the gay protection measure in Utah in 2004. I mean, I really punched NO in the ballet with gusto! Does this make me an apostate?

I have punched my ears myself with silver hooped earrings (Yes, it hurt, but I was too embarrassed to have it done professionally). I did it more as a statement of my "coming out" to myself and to strangers. I know it's illogical, but that is what I did. Does this make me an apostate?

I cringe at Elder Oaks hateful suggestion that gay partners be shunned from family gatherings. Does this sincere uneasiness I have about his suggestion, or his over-arching concepts of same sex attraction, make me an apostate?

Perfection, and working it out, is an interesting concept. Giving ourselves, our one and only gift we can truly give God - our free-agency (and our sins) - requires obedience and sacrifice. It also requires grace! I'm grateful that there is a period of probation for our apostate moments, instead of immediate repercussions... where we can have some time to "work things out". I'm far from perfect and need some more time. I'm not sure I'm ready to put my "sins" on the altar. I like my sins! I mean, I REALLY LIKE my sins! I'm not willing to give them up just yet. I know I should and I know I want to, but I can't bring myself to do it yet. I don't think I'm unique in clinging to my "favorite sins". But I accept Christ and know He will fill the gap of my shortcomings - after all I can do (2Nephi 25: 23).

The question(s) is (are)... am I prepared to DO "all that I can do" as Nephi admonishes? Am I stuck in the procrastinating-the-day-of-my-repentance attitude and not wanting to "prepare to meet God" as Alma preached (Alma 12:24)? Did I vote against the Prophet's will and do I continue to feel contrary to his will because of my pride? my ego? my sins? Is it popular to be "cool" on these anonymous gay-Mormon blog communities, and admit feelings contrary to the Prophet's will when one is admitting he is gay? Am I not as strong and ardent as -L- to place these feelings on the altar, too, and humble myself with a broken heart and contrite spirit?

Can I not struggle with these feelings and still sustain the Prophet as the only prophet, seer, and revelator on Earth?

I DO sustain the prophet as the only one on Earth who holds all priesthood keys. I think Jeffrey Nielson does so as well.

I thank Mr. Nielson for his open approach to the issue... and expressing his feelings as was encouraged by the First Presidency AND going beyond that to take the steps to understand the alternate devoted families living "decent" lives. Maybe if more of us weren't so afraid to do the same... Maybe if I weren't so cowardly to do the same...

Maybe the apostate in me just isn't quite broken hearted or contrite enough to throw it all on the altar just yet. I need some more probationary time...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Beginnings of an empty nest...

There is an ad (I think it's for Toyota) that shows a college kid being dropped off in front of his collegiate dorm, a banner across the entry stating "Welcome Freshmen". The kid is standing a bit bewildered with his stuff and junk spread at his feet on the lawn in front of the building. And the caption reads:


5:17 P.M. WHAT KID?

We just went through this experience this week with our eldest daughter. She has spread her wings and left the nest and is off to college out of state! I've kidded with my wife about this ad, asking her "What kid?". Over the weekend, we immediately cleaned her room, boxed up her stuff and moved our youngest into her room. The youngest has been sleeping at the top of the stairs in a loft - but now she's out of a crib and into a real bed in a real bedroom. Again I ask, "What kid?"

(So that you don't think that we're that heartless, we're redoing a guest room that will be our college kid's room when she comes back from school).

I've had my parents, friends, neighbors all ask how it feels to "lose" a daughter, anticipating some kind of "oh, it's so sad... we miss her so much" kind of remark. But, to be honest with you, I don't miss her at all. I'm not sad! I'm excited as can be for her! This is the best and most thrilling time of her life to experience new and amazing things away from the shadow of her parents! This is the time for her to find herself, and discover her strengths and interests and learn to grow and become the beautiful young woman that we know she is! How can that be sad?

She actually called my wife the first day and there were tears in her voice and she was not very excited, pretty nervous and overwhelmed by it all - the new environment, new roommates, etc. But the second day went better and she was more content and settled in her voice when she called. The third day we didn't hear from her at all! Good sign!

I guess I look back at my freshman year and leaving home for the first time and I remember loving every minute of it and never looking back. In fact, since that move to college, I never lived at home again (except for a few days here and there). College was a wonderful time! I loved getting away from home and never was homesick. I loved the challenges of BYU and learning new things and doing well and proving to myself that I could do well. I loved BYU and the Hinckley Hall boys in Helaman Halls. I loved new friends who didn't know me as the shy kid in high school. I was a new persona, a person with a clean slate and I loved starting anew!

I also remember starting my interest in earnest in other young men that freshman year. Though I was too naive to recognize that I was gay (I couldn't be... it wasn't even possible or even part of the plan for my life - I was an active straight Mormon boy who had a strong testimony and was on the path for my mission at the end of that first school year and nothing was going to get in my way of that goal!) I remember loving the "gang showers" in the dorms, and especially in the Smith Fieldhouse locker room at my "Fitness for Life" class where I experimented in exhibitionism of sorts. I remember parading around with no towel on and quite hard and noticing a fellow student watch me go into the shower. He was drying off and kept staring at me as I pranced by. He was still there slowly drying off when I came out. It was a bit exciting and yet a bit unnerving that he was openly staring at me. I remember this right now as if it happened yesterday. I smiled but tried not to make eye contact. Little did I realize what a horny little slut I was - when in reality I was crying out for male attention, male affection, male bonding, male recognition, and self-discovery.

But it was mostly subconscious and I was successful in suppressing it into the back corners of my subconscious mind... And that's where it stayed locked up and hidden for many years.

Had I been anywhere but BYU, had I not been a pre-mission candidate, had I not been raised with cultural and moral limits on my curiosity as I was as a Mormon boy, I wonder if I would have acted on those desires of male-contact during that period of self-discovery? I wonder had I not listened to the Spirit would I have ventured off on a different path? I wonder how my life would have been different now, had I realized that I was gay back then instead of two decades later. I wonder...

Yes, Freshman years are full of discoveries. I hope and pray that my daughter will seek to find out who she REALLY is in this coming year. I hope and pray that she will find joy in discovering the incredible person she is becoming.

Happy Fall!

Friday, September 01, 2006

And then they begin to LIVE...

I still can't bring myself to formulate into words the experiences I've had over the last few weeks. I still need more time...

So, since I can't articulate anything meaningful, I'll allow my 6-year old daughter to do so for me.

She was watching 101 Dalmations yesterday and I asked her to tell me what it was about. In her very unique way, she said:

"Well, this man and this women get all tangled up with their dogs in the park, and then they get married, and then they begin to live!

I don't know why that struck me so profoundly, and I don't remember inculcating her to think that way, but it hit me that we center all expectations and our lives around LIVING after marriage. She accepted it completely. Many others do too.

I have a 30 year old accomplished nephew who is single. All his mother can think about is why her son isn't married and how he can't start LIVING his life until he is. It begins to be the topic of discussion at any family gathering, and if this nephew brings a "friend" around, the gossip immediately spins around whether "she's the one".

We had a driver on our recent "trip" who was working 20 hours a day to make enough money to build a dowery for his sister so that she could get married. We asked about whether he was married. Matter-of-factly, he stated that his father was dead and so it fell upon him to see that his sister was properly married FIRST. Then he could think about marriage for himself and LIVING his life.

We became friends with another young man who just got married, though it was an arranged marriage by his parents and the bride's parents. Mind you, this was a very educated, 21st century college graduate young man, who accepted such arrangements as best for all involved so that he didn't have to worry about the entanglements of courtship. But now, he can begin LIVING.

I know I wanted to be married so that I could be the good Mormon boy and create that ideal family that brings eternal life and eternal increase. My life after my mission had to be centered around that "next step" or else I wasn't doing my "duty" and I couldn't get on with LIFE.

I don't know exactly where I'm going with this... just thought it interesting that even my 6-year-old daughter is convinced that LIFE doesn't start until after marriage.

I sometimes wonder when my LIFE is going to start...