LDS Church Talks, Attributing Their Policy on Gays, to Revelation.
I'm a Returned Missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. My family is typical, with parents, three kids and a dog. I have served in Mormon Bishoprics and many LDS callings. My academic achievements include a Bachelor's degree in Finance and a Master's Degree in Business Administration. I have worked in the financial industry for seventeen years, and own my own business, as well. We struggle with bedtimes, grades, homework, baseball games, dance practice, band concerts, health issues and finances. For all intents and purposes, we are the average, American Family, but…I'm gay.
When I was in my early 20's, I attended reparative therapy through LDS Family Services, from a counselor at BYU. I was told, and convinced, that my attraction to men was a confidence issue, and that I hadn't learned proper relationships with men, during my formative years. Their solution was to teach me how to play basketball, attend group therapy sessions, and ultimately…marry a woman. Although I gave it my best effort, the straight life didn't work for me, which resulted in my divorce and my resignation from my church.
In November 2015, when the church issued its "clarification of the clarification" for their ridiculous new policy on Apostate Gays and their kids, they granted my children, who have been active in the church with their mother, an exemption. The clarification permitted my kids to continue their church progression, so long as their primary residence was with their mother. This was particularly beneficial for my eight-year-old daughter, who was scheduled to be baptized in a few weeks. The clarification however, never resolved the lingering angst that it left on my family.
Since the date that the policy was leaked, I've had many of the faithful, who had their testimonies shaken, express that they whole heartedly disagreed with the church. Despite their opposition however, they held fast and allowed the church to make a human error. The clarification appeared to reinforce, the "human error" argument, thereby appeasing the teetering masses. As a result, since my kids were no longer directly impacted by the policy, my friends and family had the benefit of ignoring the gross abuse of a large population of people, and could continue singing "We Thank Thee, Oh God, For a Prophet," without remorse.
Since this policy was originally published, and everyone tucked away the memories of the social media firestorm, I spent significant sums of money on personal therapy and counseling for my children. I worked on my personal spiritual, emotional and mental healing. My conclusion from the therapy and introspection is that, I'm offended. I'm angry. I'm pissed off! I have a right and cause to be angry.
My anger was further enflamed when, in his recent speech at BYU, Hawaii, the top ranking Mormon Apostle, Russel M. Nelson, explained that there was no mistake in the genesis of the policy, and that it was inspired. I'm not sure if there was bad reception on the line, or not enough bars on the cell phone, but if this was revelation and they received spiritual confirmation on the policy, then how did it change so quickly? Most questionably, it seemed that God was paying attention to the policy backlash from his Facebook account, and quickly sent a retracting, private message, to Thomas S. Monson.
The way I see it, is that it's no small claim to have a "Prophet." To say that you're the only people to have the direct line to the "dude in charge," is pretty extreme. Then to say that a colossal error (one that required multiple points of clarification) was inspired is, indeed, insane. A statement that enshrines this policy as revelation reveals only one thing…this is not just a group of "old men" who are out of touch with society. This is a group that veils bigotry under the name of God. They have proclaimed falsehoods, throughout history, for which they continually apologize.
As a result of this revealed fiasco, I say to my friends and family…be angry. Be disappointed. Question what your Prophets and Apostles are telling you. Bring your heads back out of the sand and recognize that there is no revelation. I know that it's scary, at first. I get it. It wasn't easy when I had to face it years ago. Everything has to change: your perception of God, your perception of "morality"; even your social structure changes. It's intimidating. But it's this conditioning that keeps people anchored in the faith, and afraid to leave.
The world, and life, is beautiful. Pass through that veil of hatred and judgement and see the brightness that an uninhibited mind can offer you. The world is a much better place. You'll see. I promise. When I resigned from this church, in 2009, I received a letter stating that all of my blessings had been revoked. It was then that I learned that God is in ALL of us, and NO ONE has exclusive rights to the divine.
Finally, please don't tell me that you "tolerate me." I appreciate and love all of those who continue to love me, while loving their church. However, the distance between us increases as the church abuses my family and me. The wedge between us drives deeper as you continue to pay your tithes to the church and dedicate your time and talents to their endeavors. It's saddening, and frankly, slightly insulting. The whole concept of "Mormons Building Bridges" is noble but honestly, silly. The LDS Church will not change their stance any time soon, and none of us should expect that to happen. Instead, build a true bridge to those you love. Build not only for the gays, but all of those who are disenfranchised and marginalized by this corporation, and salesmen of spirituality. Open your mind and recognize truths from fiction, and what you hoped to be real, as opposed to the hypocrisy that's preached from the pulpit.
Some say that "the gospel is perfect, but the people are not." When you claim to have a prophet though, there's no room for imperfection. "By their fruits ye shall know them." This fruit is rotten.