Here's to Hope's recent post has stirred a thought I have regarding why some who profess to be "Mormon" but don't believe in the precepts absolutely, still associate themselves with the Church. The Church is a hard thing to give up.
I've watched over the last year, as I've participated in the MOHO queerosphere, as some in this community have decided to take steps to leave the Church but still associate themselves (maybe on the periphery) with it. I'm okay with that. I'm not saying I'm choosing the same path, but I'm okay with understanding how some come to that decision, for I've seriously contemplated it myself - and who knows - may still do so in time - but for now I have not and am not taking those steps.
I'm okay with a lot of things that I wasn't so okay with in the past. My coming to terms with my own essence of who I am and why I'm the way I am, including my gayness, has altered my thinking to realize I'm not as black-and-white as I once was, though the Church remains black-and-white, because my reality has become more gray. Does this mean I don't believe? Of course not. Does that make me an apostate? I hope not! It just means that I'm questioning more, and I'm open to other thoughts more than I was before as my world has become a mix of black-and-white with a lot of gray.
So why do some continue to want to associate with the Church and its teachings? Why is there the great interest to influence those teachings and principles if they don't have any personal meaning? Why worry about the Church and the prophet and General Conference and what was said or not said, if its all a fairy-tale anyway?
Good questions all... I had a dear friend (the first person I came out to - or actually he helped me out of the closet for the first time) who, when I was worried about the Church, and my family, and my marriage etc. and how they fit in or didn't fit with my "coming out to myself", stated that I would have to allow my feelings for the Church follow their own separate path as I came to terms with my gayness. He wisely advised that I needed to re-establish my own self-worth (which was destroyed at the time) and let other things fall where they may in their own time and place and manner... He didn't debate with me the teachings of the Church - but let me come to my own conclusions. NOTE: I think he thought I would end my marriage and end my relationship with the Church as he had done - but it's now 2-1/2 years later and I'm still here: married and an active, believing follower in the Church, and self-aware even more than ever of my unique "gayness".
The answer, for me at least, lies in a quote I have stuck in my scriptures that I keep to remind me of a perspective of my own waffling testimony:
It is my hope and my belief that the Lord never permits the light of faith wholly to be extinguished in any human heart, however faint the light may glow. The Lord has provided that there shall still be there a spark which, with teaching, with the spirit of righteousness, with love, with tenderness, with example, with living the Gospel, shall brighten and glow again, however darkened the mind may have been. And if we shall fail so to reach those among us of our own whose faith has dwindled low, we shall fail in one of the main things which the Lord expects at our hands." -- J. Reuben Clark, Oct 1936.
I continue to blog because I sense there needs to be some of us out there with a small voice "to reach those among us of our own"... who can show that we are married, we are gay, we are active card-carrying LDS members with testimonies, and yes - still somewhat sane... and though we may still have doubts, questions, and struggles with the absoluteness of all things, the light, though flickering and weak as it may be, is still glowing...