Sunday, October 19, 2008

Prop 8

I cannot help but be shocked at my decision to follow the brethren regarding the Prop 8 initiative. Why? Because five years ago, I'd never have approved of anything which could be seen as discrimination.

For those who have been in a cave on Mars or have only recently been released from solitary confinement, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (of which I am a proud member) has requested its members to support traditional marriage by voting Yes on Prop 8. I don't live in California, nor have I ever lived there, but IF I did I would follow the First Presidency's counsel to support traditional marriage.

I think there are many with very different views on this issue. Many have gotten into arguments about it, debates, massive discussions in their blogs, facebook pages, etc. regarding these opinions. I was even criticized as a same-gender attracted person for my support of traditional marriage. However, to me, its not an issue... I believe in the gospel and I know what the Gospel has taught, repeatedly, over the years regarding marriage. When asked if I sustain the Prophet at General Conference, I hold up my hand. That reason alone is enough of an explanation as to why I choose to follow the Brethren.

I've been quote statistics... been shown how pre-marital relations can HELP a marriage... been told that people should do what feels right, what's in their heart, how its inequality, how we should do this and that and everything...

However, when it comes down to it, I believe in the Gospel. I believe in the Prophet. If he and the rest of his counselors and the Quorum of the Twelve have prayed regarding this and have been given the answer that traditional marriage is the way to go, then I will stand with them. No matter how many might say that I am hindering progress.

I've been told I'm not being as Christian as I could---because "God would want his children to be happy---so why would he disapprove of something which promotes love?!?!"---

Well, I do believe that Heavenly Father wants his children to be happy. Does he want them to deliberately disobey him---and allow others to allow it to happen? I don't think so. And if ANYONE in this Universe knows what will make us eternally happy, it is our Father in Heaven who has lived it all before.

What it all stems back to is my belief that WE as members of the Lord's church need to stop being wishy-washy with our opinions. If I see someone, even a member of my own immediate family, doing something which I think is against the Lord's Plan, I don't want them to believe that I find their actions satisfactory. I will not attack them, make them feel inferior or that I do not love them. But it would sadden me to know that whoever it is has chosen against the Lord's Plan for them...

So yes, I love my gay brothers and sisters---even those not of my faith---I don't wish them unkindness. Nor do I hope they find my words to be damaging.

I believe in the Gospel. Wholeheartedly. Not just the parts I like or which fit my agenda easily. I cannot go to Church on Sundays and go to a gay club the night before. Why would I want a law to be passed that would take what is our Lord's definition of a true marriage to be redefined to fit whomever's social agenda? Or to fit their own lifestyle more easily?

Even five years ago, I'd have probably wanted to fight for the rights for gays to marry. At one time, I was planning on getting married myself---to a woman who I still consider to be one of the most amazing people to ever walk this earth. Marriage is a beautiful thing. Five years ago, I'd not be where I am today... sitting at my computer and writing a blog about why I support Traditional Marriage. But, then again, five years ago I was still coming to terms with the turmoil which existed within me... I have since begun to realize the Lord's infinite plan and where I, as a proud member of the church who happens to deal with Same-gender attraction really fits into the picture.

Five years makes a big difference.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Tall and Tender like an Apollo...

What happened to the man from Tacaremba la Tumbe Del Fuego Santa Malipas Zatatecas la Junta del Sol y Cruz?

Well, he's right here... For those who don't know what this reference is, its a Sondheim Song about a woman who falls in love with a guy who is OBVIOUSLY not batting for her team. He is a great dancer, wears weird clothes, his friends call him Lillian and he owns a boutique... the woman still falls for him and doesn't understand why he doesn't return the affection.

Sometimes I feel like the guy in the song.

This past Sunday (before General Conference) a girl in my ward asked to sit next to me during Sacrament Meeting. Usually I sit alone---which is fine because I'm there for spiritual development and not purely social reasons---but it was a little weird. Does she like me a little? Is she just being nice? Social? Who knows.

It was a little strange for me because most of the time, women don't seem to notice me very much. And if they do, they don't make it evident.

Why am I so weird to not appreciate women? Am I a freak? Most guys would jump at the chance to have a nice girl sit next to them at church... For me, I felt awkward. But it was nice to not sit by myself for a change.

It is nice to get at least a little attention even if its from a woman. It goes to show that I'm not so entirely without visual charms.

In other news, a couple weeks ago a guy in my ward saw my outfit and asked why I was "dressed like that---wearing a suit and stuff..." which I thought was a little weird. Is it inappropriate to wear a suit to a Young Single Adult's ward? Sure, my suit was tailored well and I had a pocket square with a matching tie... but thats just style. :)

It was a little weird and felt like I was on display. Or that maybe my clothes were a little more extreme than most guys in my ward.

Well, if so, then aren't I even more like the man in the "The Boy from..." song? If so, why would a girl ask to sit next to me if I'm so blatantly obvious? Hmmm... I dunno.

I think I'm analyzing this too much.

Sometimes I wish I fit in at church a little more. And sometimes, I still wish I was married. Yesterday at the Matis fireside, I held a baby who belonged to a woman I met last month. His name is Seth and he's really cute. However, sometimes when I hold a baby I wish I had one of my own. I'd be a really good father. Much better than many others I know.

Its sad because there's a very real possibility it might never happen for me.

Le Sigh.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Being Blind to my Own Potential

On Monday, I went to the Matis fireside. And like always, I enjoyed it.

I didn't meet a lot of new people. I kind of kept to myself and just socialized with people I already knew. (Basically what I do every time I go... haha.) However, I had an enjoyable time seeing old friends and visiting.

Chris Belcher was there. I need to buy her book, I might add. She is a blind Latter-day Saint who has had something like four or five surgeries and radiation to remove cancers and tumors from her eyes... the first time being when she was only like 7 months old. Due to this, her face is a little misshapen.

However, as she spoke and I heard what she had to say, I was amazed by what a beautiful person she was. Not saying she was going to win Beauty Pageants... since that kind of beauty goes with age. She had this inner beauty---a really nice aura about herself where you could see she was a happy person.

So why are we as men who deal with same-gender attraction just sitting around complaining? I know I would choose attractions over blindness. And I think many of you would say the same thing. If we would choose this issue over another had we been given options, why do we sit around and talk about how unfair life is?

I think we can all be happy no matter what struggle we have. And we don't need to leave the church to pursue happiness.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Ever have one of those days where you feel completely unattractive and gross?

Today was that day.

Normally I'm quite content with my appearance. But today I felt very unattractive. It was very hard for me to sit and analyze my appearance and all the things about it I didn't like... all the while getting depressed over it.

I guess the last month or two I haven't been feeling very attractive. I don't get compliments like I used to when I'd get all dressed up for things. I don't know why but I don't get compliments as much... maybe because I've stopped putting so much thought into my clothes or maybe I don't hang around those who find me attractive... or maybe people just aren't quick with saying how nice people look anymore. I don't know. But its nice every so often to be told something nice about how you look.

I'm feeling okay now. I think its been a very trying day... I haven't been sleeping very well. I should go to bed.

I know its stupid to be depressed when I am so blessed in other things.

I really wish I had someone around to give me a hug tonight.

Oh well.

Another day begins tomorrow. And maybe I'll finish the work I was supposed to do today.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

God Still Loves Me...

While I do know that Heavenly Father still loves me, as He does all His children, I am actually using the heading to base a very long standing argument which gay people (specifically out-gay inactive members of the church) seem to state:

"I know that God still loves me..."

Often said in an argumentative manner or a means to gain sympathy after they've expressed how their church has abandoned them (rather than, interestingly enough, the person abandoning the church...)

This statement always bugs me... And it doesn't bother me because I believe that God doesn't love an out-gay person. Its the idea that the Gospel or the First Presidency has ever stated contrary to this statement.

OF COURSE, Heavenly Father still loves you! He loves you no matter what you do.

If you had a puppy chew on your favorite shoe, would you be upset with him? Sure. Would you maybe be frustrated? A little. Would you hate him forever? Certainly not. I've never been able to stay mad at a pet of mine for very long. However, that doesn't mean you approve of the action of chewing on the shoe.

I believe that Heavenly Father works the same way.

He will always love His children. Gay. Straight. Black. White. Brown. Tanned. Purple. Pink. Member. Nonmember. Inactive... However, that doesn't mean he approves of all of our actions.

I know Heavenly Father loves me. I know he approves of my love for helping my family, providing service to people, and doing things like submitting names to the Temple. However, that doesn't mean that He likes everything I do. Does he enjoy when I get mad at someone? Or if I chose to drink just a little alcohol... or watch an R-rated movie... or something pornographic on the computer...??? Of course not. But He doesn't stop loving us either.

When I hear former members of the church bash our leaders, those of whom at one time they followed, it makes me upset when they say "I still know God Loves me... no matter what anyone says!" because the church has never said same-gender attracted people could not be members. They merely stated that certain behaviors be dealt with in a gospel-centered way. The church never stated that same-gender attracted members were not welcome in church meetings or at BYU or working for the church or as a missionary. . . We're just like all other members of the church, and, like all members of God's spirit family.

However, just because we are always recipients of God's love, doesn't mean He approves of all the things we do. Whether gay, straight, black, white, brown... etc.

Just a couple pennies' worth of my thoughts. Anyone else agree? disagree?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Things and stuff...

I have had an interesting conversation with my exgirlfriend.

Lately she's had a crush on her Spanish professor. Just a little one. The type where she thinks he is cute and gets tongue tied around him (which isn't a good sign when in a LANGUAGE course...) but it has been really fun to talk to her about all of it. She's been so embarrassed by her behavior. It has cracked me up though.

The weird thing is that she and I have been discussing our mutual attraction of latin men.

Why is this somehow normal? haha.

I think that my love for the cute darker-skinned not-so-fair sex is evident by my talking about how I think Corbin Bleu is really cute. I am not just attracted to darker skinned people though.

Okay... so my "Type" is anyone having curly hair and an accent... Hence why I love Orlando Bloom. As so many Latinos have curly hair and accents, it is evident why I would be attracted to them. It doesn't hurt that Latin people are the only ones who are okay with the fact that I could lose a few pounds and don't go to the gym.

I'm sure America Ferreira would find me attractive since latinas love my booty. But I doubt she will ever marry me despite my best efforts at becoming Mr Ugly Betty someday.

This is just a bunch of my random thoughts. I've asked my ex to take a picture of him since I'm just curious what he looks like.

If anyone hasn't already started, listen to In The Heights. AMAZING.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My thoughts

I am going to bed soon. I promise.

I've been thinking a lot tonight and wanted to share some of my thoughts.

I'm a Moho. A same-gender attracted person. An occasionally well dressed celibate.

In the Latter-day Saint Church Culture (though not doctrine) we're taught that unless you're married with a family you are not doing what you're supposed to be doing. If I don't get married, then where do I fit into the church?

I sometimes wonder about my role in the church even if I did get married. Would I ever want to be a church leader... a bishop or stake president? Not really. Callings of power and authority scare me. I'd probably pee myself if I was ever called to be even an Elders Quorum President.

I had a girlfriend once. No one ever seems to believe it. We had a long-distance courtship which ended in both of us being burned though not for the SGA reasons. Jealousy and misunderstandings became so prominent in our relationship that it was giving me panic attacks and a pre-ulcer like condition with the stress. I didn't like what our relationship turned us into. And, of course, I miss her. Even though we talk every week, I still miss her.

I sometimes think about marriage as a means to feel normal. Its always in the back of my mind as one of those "What Ifs"... What if I had married my ex-girlfriend? She is by far the coolest girl I've ever met in my life. If I wasn't attracted to men, I'd have married her a long time ago. I had planned on proposing to her about 2-3 months after we ultimately broke up. She never knew that I had planned on proposing to her. Short of her discovering this blog, she will likely never know. Because I couldn't possibly tell her at this point.

I don't really want to marry a woman anymore though.

My Bishop suggested I date. Not in the sense of wanting to get me married. He thinks dating for me would be a good way to become social. He thinks I'm anti-social at church. That is actually funny to me because this is the first ward I've been to that I actually attend activities on occasion and I have not missed a single Sunday despite usually sitting alone.

How do I explain to my Bishop that my NOT dating is a form of kindness? Because if I dated a girl, she might become attached to me... And then look what would happen... she'd possibly want to date more, take it to another level, kiss me, etc. Must better to just avoid the drama and not put girls through it.

What would I do on a date?

Despite the occasional loneliness, I like being attracted to men. Its normal to me.

If I'm content with my attractions with no desire for marriage or dating, then ... we're back at the same question: WHERE do I fit into the gospel?

My answer... I think that we choose our own way we fit in.

My mom went to the temple today and did the work for someone. I helped a friend of mine compile some names for the temple, and this was one of them. My mom had such a spiritual impression about this woman that she called me afterwards crying.

While my friend and I both have worked on compiling his family history... I know it is because of my work that this woman ultimately is getting a chance to accept the gospel.

I think we all need a reason to keep going to church. Whether its a love of Scripture Study, Temple attendance, church service... being a good friend... being an example to those you know... going on splits with missionaries... singing in the ward choir... or organizing the nicest centerpieces at a Stake Date-Night.

I think we all have a place in the gospel if we desire to find our own way to help.

In other news, I still don't know why Corbin Bleu is not as famous as Zac Efron.

Monday, July 7, 2008

My latest

... So I met with the Bishop the second time yesterday. I'm on an "Informal Probation" for a few months until I can get my Temple Recommend. That is nothing too severe, in a sense, compared to disfellowship or a formal probation.

However, it is hard in its own way...

I cannot take the sacrament, pray in public meetings or participate in class discussions. So basically, when I'm at church I sit by myself, don't say a word during the lesson, and I cannot do really anything but read.

Church is supposed to charge my batteries. However, yesterday being my first Sunday on the Informal Probation meant I got no charge. I don't feel good this week. Things like talking in class, sharing experiences with the lesson and praying in class help me...

I'm sure the church has its reasons for these rules in the informal probation. I have to figure out a way to get a spiritual charging of my batteries because right now I'm not feeling very strongly charged. Does any of this make sense?

I was thinking that during church I would bring my journal and record thoughts because I cannot voice them out loud.

I would appreciate prayers and maybe a phone call, email or something for those who know me...

Monday, June 30, 2008

A day in a new life...

Already, I feel like my life is a little different. I'm on an unofficial probation right now, I guess, so church will be a little weird for a couple weeks ... Unless the Stake President says I don't need the probation. Unsure of what he'll say.

Regardless, I am feeling happy and confident that whatever is decided will be for the good of not only myself but my relatives' whose work in the Temple I can complete when this all happens. It will be insane getting baptized for some of my deceased relations. And then also Endowments and sealings too.

I feel like I'm beginning a new life. That makes me happy. :)

I still want prayers from my Mohomies, if you wouldn't mind. It took a LOT for me to talk to a Bishop since I hate admitting my faults. But, as I said, its for the best...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

My "First Time"

Well, its not going to be as sensual as you might think...

Today was my first time meeting with the Bishop regarding getting my Temple Recommend. I explained the Same-Gender Attraction thing. Told him about any issues I've had in the past ... He's let me know that I can get my temple recommend... but he's not sure when. He would like to counsel with the Stake President to determine what will need to be done.

My Bishop was very supportive... He even let me know that one of his close relatives deals with the same issue.

I will be meeting with him on a weekly basis ...

I've decided I'm going to do whatever they ask of me to do. And I will do my best to follow the commandments and participating in my ward. Going to Family Home Evenings. Ward Activities. Church Every Sunday. Paying Tithing. Etc.

This coming Sunday, I have a meeting with him...

I will keep you posted. Please keep me in your prayers so I can get a recommend as soon as is possible...

Friday, June 27, 2008

Careers and blessings. . .

I already had a job by the time I graduated college. I know what you are thinking "HOW was it possible?" Well, I would love to take the credit for it but I realize that it would be a little selfish. I realize it is a definite blessing from my Heavenly Father.

However, I wasn't getting enough hours. I still am not but its not due to a lack of work. I am merely having scheduling issues. It is hard for me to work 40 hours a week at my job despite LOVING what I do.

I will not tell you what I do as my job would basically out me to everyone ... not because it is a gay job. The reason my job would out me is that I'm in a specialized field and so I am just a little protective over my privacy.

My job is not technically "full-time" nor does it offer any benefits.

I got a call from a friend the other day who alerted me to a possible job where he works. I still have not heard officially whether or not I could get the job, but his boss was interested in hiring me. So, last night I was up until 2 AM working on a resume.

This job would offer a salary, benefits, more job security, and a potential for traveling in the future...

Even though I don't HAVE the job, I can see our Heavenly Father's hand in this.

I don't consider myself somehow special enough to gain these blessings. However, I know that I am special in God's eyes. If I don't always see myself as special or important, I merely need to look at the blessings around me.

Right now, I am living rent free with a relative... in exchange for housework and things.

I am living in my mom's old bedroom she had as a child. Its a little strange realizing that, but its cool in a way. My mom and I are exceedingly close, especially since I told her of my same gender attraction issues three years ago. (Holy crap! Was it really that long ago? I guess it really is... WOW!)

What a difference has occurred in my life since I told my parents... Some has been hard. Some have been a major blessing. I do not regret any of it...

And now, I am working towards having a career of my dreams. If these are not evidences of my commitment to the gospel and not going the "gay way" then I don't know what is.

Life is beautiful. We should all enjoy it.

Post-It Boy

Friday, June 20, 2008

Mixed Blessings and a Random Quote

Was browsing the Northern Lights blogs and came across a little blog game... pick up the closest book. Go to Page 123. Find the 5th sentence on the page and post it.

For me, it was "Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe" ... Actually it was my copy of the books where they're all contained in one book. (Would be amazing if Harry Potter could ever do this but the book would be enormous and completely impractical... haha.)

The line: "Make it Pax."

That means "Make Peace" in older British Slang. (We're talking WWII time England...)

Interestingly enough, the fourth sentence on the page says "Do Come Out" and the 6th was "Still there was no answer."

Neither of those are really good for inspiring members of the church to be strong in the gospel. :)

Since graduation, I've remained busy by continuing things I love... cooking, watching movies, working, etc. But I have noticed that right now, it seems, my life is rather peaceful. Maybe its because most of my friends haven't spoken to me in a while. (I've only seen a few of my friends since moving to Salt Lake...) Or maybe its because I don't have school to keep me extra busy.

I guess graduation helped me realize a few things about myself... I can do a lot of things with my time now that I am done with school. However, as I don't have things like the Honor Code hanging over me, I guess now is the time to proof to myself and others that I want the best life has to offer... which includes the Gospel.

For those who are curious, I have emailed around to some other companies to find work and I've had some positive responses.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Two months ago...

... I used to blog regularly. For the last couple of months I've been busy. Sure, I know that sounds like a really lame excuse but in all sincerity... I have been busy.

For all of May, I've been in South America. Revisiting old friends and meeting some new ones.

I rediscovered this song and I absolutely love it. It is from a Swedish musical about the trials of emigrants from the country in the 19th century. As I'm a social history geek, I enjoy the songs I've heard thus far... even with very limited Swedish knowledge.

The English translation follows, taken from various sources. You can look up the song on Youtube...

Du måste finnas from Kristina från Duvemåla

You expelled me God
From my homeland I was torn
Here I seek refuge and am a strange
and that fate I willingly accept
but you took my child...
you seperate me from my husband
I can no longer see a purpose...

What is it you want? What should I believe in?
What is it Lord that you want? That I am not seeing?
Never once have I dared
Never until today

Who is to save me if into the darkness I fall?
Now that I need more than ever to have my God near me...
Do you hear when I call? Are you there after all?

The thought is terrifying, before me gapes an abyss
My whole being is in turmoil and wants to say no
The question is asked and my soul trembles in wait for the answer
... That you don't exist
Though I believed in you
Who would help me endure life in this place out there?
Who would give me the strength that I must recieve?
Who would console me, I am so small on this here earth
If you weren't there, what would i do then?

No you have to be there, you have to...
I want to live my life through you
Without you I am a remnant on a dark and stormy sea
You have to be there, you have to, how can you abandon me?
I would be nowhere.
I would be nothing if you weren't there.

Never before has it been in my thoughts or in my speech
That little word that scares me and torments me so...
The word is "if", if I prayed all my prayers for nothing
If you aren't there...
what shall I do then?

Who would sense my my dread, and then forgive me?
The peace in my soul, who would bestow upon me?
Who would greet me in the end after dying?
It you aren't there, who would take care of me then?
No, you have to be there, you have to, live my life through you
Without you I'm a remnant on a dark and stormy sea
You have to be there, you have to, how can you abandon me?
I would be nowhere
I would be nothing if you weren't there...

You have to be there, you have to, how can you abandon me?
I would be nowhere
I would be nothing if you weren't there...

I would be truly lost without God in my life. I do not know how inactive members of the church can handle that seperation.

The only difference with how I feel with these lyrics... is that to me, it doesn't matter if God doesn't exist or not. I do not mean to sound blasphemous because I know He exists and watches over us. I merely state that to me, it doesn't matter if He is there because I want to live a good life... and so even if I die and that is the end of my life as I know it, at least I have done all I can to be a good friend, charitable person, etc.

Being Gay or Same-gender attracted doesn't mean we cannot be those things: Good Sons, Good Neighbors, Good people. However, it doesn't excuse immoral behavior either. I think so many people get caught up in that "Well, just because I'm gay doesn't mean I'm a bad person..." because it doesn't mean that at all.

And, the Gospel doesn't teach that you are either. So why can't more people reconcile their hurt feelings, get off their Pro-Everything soapbox and get back to the root of the good things in this life... which stem from the Gospel.

I am excited to go to my new ward tomorrow. For those who don't know, I've graduated from BYU officially and I am now living in Salt Lake City with my family. Woohoo!

Everyone email me and tell me how you're doing!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Being glad for who I am

I think sometimes human beings have a desire to be unhappy. Either its the way they look or their car or their job or their family... People always want to have the next bigger and better thing.

With our lives personally, I think that people seek changes in place where it might not be necessary to change. I'm not talking about changing from gay-to-straight. I'm talking about just change in general.

Why can't people be content with what they have instead of focusing on so many other things they do not have?

I was sitting with someone and we were discussing sports cars for a minute. My involvement in the conversation was limited as I know nothing about cars. This person plans on buying a vintage classic car older than my parents' marriage and likely as expensive as six of my cars combined.

It is not a problem, necessarily, to get a new car. I applaud his efforts to follow his passion which evidently is classic cars. However, it made me think about just being content for what you have and who you are. Instead of constantly tweaking or changing things.

Sure, there are plenty of things about myself which I dislike. However, overall, I'm glad to be who I am. I wouldn't want to change myself. Nor do I want to change my life.

Wouldn't it be nice if instead of always focusing on the "next big thing" we were just content with being in the here and now... and just sit back, breathe in a deep breath and say "I'm flippin' great just how I am!"?

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Being Different

I only caught the tail end of the talk today by an Apostle. Forget which one since I've now seen several hours of Conference. Hard to remember each speaker individually.

Anyway... The talk mentioned being different.

The part I remember most said that just because we're members of the church does not mean we have to all be the same. I liked this idea because I think sometimes we assume that to be LDS we have to be just like everyone else. However...

How are LDS People EVER like everyone else? Aren't we outcasts already for being different from the World? We're not all the same because of differing personalities, appearance, educations and backgrounds. I was raised in a Mormon home in the east coast. I am tall, average build, decent looking. Am I bad because I'm not the type of Mormon you see in Utah who are also my age? Sure, I don't have two or three kids as some of my friends do who are about my age. However, I like my differences. It keeps me real and authentic to myself.

Being different from others is a blessing.

Those of us with SSA have special talents and abilities. Why not focus on the things which make us special and unique instead of thinking about all the ways we don't fit in?

Sunday, March 30, 2008


Ever feel like sometimes NOTHING is going right and then you get a little hope?

I have a friend who is attempting the long process of coming to this country. He's a very good friend of mine.

Recently we've had a lot of blessings with him coming here. However, we have had challenges... and despite the fact we have only partially completed steps for him to come here, we have hope for things to come. Its a comforting feeling having hope.

I am considering putting his name into the temple when we are working on the immigration process as his motivations for coming here are good. The best way to get things done is with the Lord...

Recently I had an experience where I had to go into the reception area of a temple to ask a question. LONG story. Anyway, while I was there, I felt something which I haven't felt in a while...

I really want to go through the temple. I've decided I'm talking to my Bishop when I graduate and move to a more permanent ward. Its about time I took that step. Instead of dragging my heels.

I forgot how pretty even the foyer of a temple is.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Itunes and Thoughts

Today I woke up and opened my Itunes. A typical morning activity as I am first waking up.

I imported a folder of some newly acquired music and I came across a song I do not ever remember downloading or getting from a friend. My only guess is Cool Roommate sent it to me. It is called Ophelia by Rebecca Luker.

Its a really good song.

I've had a friend who has been a little sad lately because he wants to be loved.

Sometimes I wish that for some people, being loved by friends was always enough to realize they are worthy people. Why are we the worst critics of ourselves?

People are sometimes shocked when I tell them I've battled body image issues and thought I was very unattractive my whole life... until a few years ago when I began to accept I wasn't as hideous as I thought I was. Granted, I'm not a supermodel. However, I'm not bad looking. I think most people assume those who aren't ugly could never have body image issues. Actually, I think it is a problem for everyone.

Why do we do that to ourselves? We make ourselves think we're unloveable because of our looks, appearance, wealth, status, etc.

EVERYONE has worth. And, everyone has the same worth simply for being human. We're not amoebas whose life will not be missed when its snuffed out. Everyone, even people in prison, have people who love them and will miss them when they die.

Just because you don't have a hot guy on your arm doesn't mean you're not loved or loveable.

Friends are good sources of love. And if they are true friends, they'll respect your standards whatever they are. So rather than think of yourself as unloveable, go and find a friend who can let you know how special you are... The biggest step of all is actually BELIEVING it for yourself so that you don't need to be reminded of your special qualities and will know it on your own.

Monday, March 17, 2008

A ridiculous dream... and a thought for the day

I had a dream last night that my parents got a boa constrictor and also a polar bear.

I think I've watched too much Lost lately.

A friend of mine said recently he was considering not paying tithing because he couldn't get married. Not to embarrass him, since that is not my intention, but it got me thinking. How often do we excuse our behavior based on our sexual attractions? How often do we use them as a crutch to hide behind?

I am reading the book The Secret Garden because I like to read childrens' books to then be able to recommend and discuss with my nieces.

For those who don't know the story, a young girl goes to live with relatives after being orphaned in India. She meets her cousin, Colin, who is a bedridden very spoiled child. He uses his illness as an excuse for his ill-temper, lack of kindness and for how miserable he is. A doctor recommended to his caretakers that Colin wouldn't be ill if he chose not to be.

Do we ever do this?

"I am same-sex attracted... so then I don't have to go to church because its too hard for me..."
"... I don't have to follow all the rules because the church has abandoned me..."
"... I don't have to follow the Prophet's counsels because HE doesn't know what I'm going through..."

The list of excuses we allow ourselves is astronomical. And, to be quite blunt, a little ridiculous and stupid.

Sometimes we follow rules and commandments simply because they are commandments.

What makes US different as single SSA men (or in fact married men as the case may be) from any other members of the church? We don't look different, minus the nicer couture on occasion. :) We don't smell different. We don't talk different necessarily. We are all still men.

Single SSA men are no different from their straight counter-parts as far as their anatomy. I am just as much a male as any man at church who fathers 12 children. And if I was married, I'd be just as much a married male as any married man at church.

We allow those excuses into our lives as a crutch to keep us from doing what is right. We know the commandments. Most of us went to Primary or Seminary. So why do we pretend we don't know the commandments? Or, why do we use excuses not to follow them?

You're not so special you are not subject to the same laws as anyone else.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


I'm in Salt Lake for the next few days visiting family up here.

We had a crazy freak snowstorm last night. It made me realize how nice the sunshine is. It is harder for me to live when I don't have regular exposure to the sun. We'd been having some slightly warmer days with sunshine... and then its been snubbed out a bit.

It makes you realize how important the small things in life are.

I think sunshine is a small miracle which happens to us everyday which we don't even take the time to consider. Without the warmth and rays of the sun, life on this planet would be impossible.

It is one of the many miracles which everyone is allowed to experience. Gay, SSA, Straight, etc. And yet, how many of us ignore those small things in our life which make it quite literally possible to be alive?

Instead of focusing on the negative of what the church "forces" us to live by... all the rules and laws and commandments which some claim smother their freedom... Think about all freedoms and blessings we're given on a daily basis.

And, speaking of sun, Where is Spring?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

More bedtime thoughts...

Last night I said my first really sincere prayer in what feels like weeks. I say prayers but they're not always seeking a real answer, does that make sense? Last night I prayed about what I see as a very uncertain future. Not that I don't have plans, but that I often times doubt my plans. I feel better about things now.

Prayer really does help. Even if they don't always get loud and clear sort of answers.

MohoHawaii asked me in my last blog's post about the whole celibacy thing.

First, I wanted to comment on the mixed-orientation marriage idea. First off, I hate referring to them as a mixed-orientation although its hard to explain otherwise. As someone who at one time intended on marrying a girl (who knew I was not sexually attracted to her) but who I loved anyway, I have a little bit of a twisted image of the idea of marriage.

I think marriage is a beautiful idea. A partnership is always beautiful to me. IF THERE IS HONESTY FROM THE START!

What seems to have happened largely in the past is that SSA\Moho men get married and 5, 10, even 30 years down the line realize their error. Sometimes they lived in such denial over their attractions, they refused to get help for any of them until long after things like adultery was involved and divorce was on the horizon.

The church doesn't support this notion anymore. I don't know if the official church position ever was to "just get married" although many church leaders pushed for that out of naivety or perhaps seeking a quicker way to work through this. Now, church leaders have a bit more training and knowledge when it comes to this. And while many out there think that Evergreen International is the devil (myself NOT included) it has helped to educate church leaders on the topic of how to more adequately deal with members of the church with these feelings.

That being said, I think that marriages nowadays between SSA men or women and their spouses have a better success rate than in the past. Generally because help is being sought earlier for those individuals. So that when they do enter a marriage, its with the right motives and the partner is aware.

Is marriage for me? I don't really think so. It is not required to be LDS no matter what people preach in Sunday School or you BYU Book of Mormon or EFY class.

NOW about the celibacy thing...

To me, life is not about any one thing. Life isn't about what I'm going to wear, or how I'm going to style my hair, or go to school, or which friends I have and which job I get after graduation. It is a mix of those things.

That being said, life doesn't have to be "all about sex"--In fact, any couple out there would admit that sex is just a way to express your love for someone.

That doesn't mean my life needs to include that aspect of love. Nor does it mean that my life is not worth living if I don't have sex.

So many people have this black and white mentality that life is about this-or-that. Either people are all gay or all straight. (And I know straight guys who have admitted they can see why being affectionate with a guy might be fun---and I know gay guys who admit they have been attracted to women before. Go figure! Evidence its not so black and white!)

Life doesn't need to contain a lot of the things we think it has to in order to be fulfilling.

I made a list of the things I wanted to do in this life. Some of them include, but not limited to:

Visiting most of the countries of Europe.
Learning how to cook really good Italian food.
Growing a more organic garden.
Learning how to do food storage.
Writing a book.
Gathering Temple Names for all my nonmember deceased relatives.
Being a true friend to those in my life.
Become self-sufficient. (i.e. being able to grow my own food)
Giving my nieces and nephews a really cool Uncle. (ME!)
Seeing the Pyramids.
Owning a house with a pool.
Rescuing a Maine Coon Cat just like the one I had as a kid.
Snorkling in the ocean with an underwater camera. (Just as long as there are no sharks within about 100 miles since Jaws still scares the crap out of me...)

Okay, so the above list proves I'm a gay mormon since traveling, and food storage are on my list of to-do's.

So while some might see a life of living without sex as some sort of punishment, I think of it as just one thing to do without which does not prevent me from having so many other things in my life. I can still be a great uncle. I can still learn how to cook really good Italian food. (And for those who have tried my cooking, you know someday I'll learn... I'm great in the kitchen.)

I think the reason some people detest the idea of celibacy is either they're holding onto a little too much of the world's views of what normalcy as a gay man is... they're not truly committed to the gospel... or they just cannot grasp the idea that there are SOOOOO many other things that life has to offer.

One thing I told my mom a few months ago is that by my NOT having a wife (or a gay husband or whatever) I will be able to devote my time to doing so many other things which benefit myself and others. My life stopped being all about my own needs and wants a while back.

I will add that I also get affection from friends of mine which helps fill a need to get love and friendship. And I plan on living with a friend of mine---since living alone is NOT a requirement for being SSA and active in the church. Nor is it a requirement for living the law of chastity.

Thoughts before bed

I'm sitting here in my bed thinking about some blogs I've recently come across.

Recently, I learned another friend of mine has left the church. Correction: As my father says, he has left the church but cannot leave it alone. Its similar of all the blogs I come across from ex-Mormons or out-gay inactive Mormons or whatever. Their blog posts are filled with the same stuff of the "I hate what the church says..." and "I cannot BE ME in the church..." So they gradually go inactive. And then preach the whole "You can live a good life without the church!" philosophy.

Sure, anyone can live a good life whether or not they're LDS. I know some born-again Christians who live very moral lives. I know Jewish people. Catholics. Mormons, etc.

However, did Heavenly Father intend for us to live our lives as inactive members of the church fighting against the church? I don't think so.

A friend of mine said to me today "What would you do if I stopped going to church? Would you still be my friend?" To which I of course replied I would. However, it would not stop me from being saddened by his decision.

Another argument they have is that "Parts of the church are good and parts are bad." So they stick to the things they like, which fit their own agenda, and decide not to follow all the commandments? Seems a little like "Well, I will be on a new health plan... but I insist on eating a gallon of double fudge brownie chocolate ice cream every night before bed!" Kind of ruins the whole diet-exercise routine if you pick the parts of the diet that are convenient to follow while keeping other habits not in accordance with the diet.

To me, it is quite simple.

The Gospel is true! I cannot stress it enough. No matter how conflicted you might feel or how unhappy you might be at times with church leaders for their supposed homophobia... The Gospel is still true. And if that Gospel is true, then ALL of it is true.

Do not talk to me about how the Blacks changed the church by getting the Priesthood and how someday gay temple marriage will happen! It is not logical to follow that same line of thinking with this situation. The church's position, officially, is that we are unsure of the reasons behind the Priesthood issue. However, the church is quite clear about its position on homosexual marriage.

If I hear another person complaining about how they "cannot be themselves" because of the church, I might scream. WHAT about yourself cannot be expressed? Is your identity so tied up with being gay that nothing else matters? Give me a break and find something ELSE about your life which you can use as a cultural identity marker besides which genitalia you're more attracted to.

The church doesn't require marriage in this life. If you cannot tolerate living in a Singles Ward because of the pressure, find another ward! And just because you're in a Singles Ward doesn't mean you have to date. I have been in Singles Wards for years. I have never gone on one date at BYU and I don't think its that big of a deal.

One closing remark... IF the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true, then the Plan of Happiness is true. And wouldn't you want to do anything you could to reach those Blessings? Even if it meant changing your focus on what is important in your life, and maybe finding newfound strength inside of yourself to continue on and BE HAPPY in this life? (And trust me, it is possible to be happy and SSA in this church without marriage... I've never been happier and marriage is the farthest from my mind.)

To me, the Gospel is True. And I want to return to my Heavenly Father. So I will respect his teachings and those appointed leaders. Without questioning. Without attacking. I will go to church and live a good life while going to church. Because I believe that the Gospel is true. I cannot sit and pick apart the things I like while ignoring the doctrine I dislike.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Being the Uninvited, Taking Control and Evergreen

Recently I've seen a lot of people---mohos and non-mohos alike---who have been going on trips and adventures. National parks, camping, Europe, Cruises, etc. I see the pictures on facebook, myspace or those online photo albums on other blogs. And I sometimes think "Wow! I wish I was there! It looks like fun!"

But, the sad truth, is that I've never been invited.

Is it a problem with me, personally? Am I grotesque? Or boring? Or too weird to make people want to associate with me?

I don't think so. I think I'm a pretty good guy.

I've decided that rather than ever be sad that I'm not invited places, I will take control of areas in my life which I can control more.

I am working on not being affected by my usual evenings of being in my apartment. I have a close friend with whom I talk to almost every night. And that is a really amazing comfort to me. Without his friendship, I'd probably be very lonely.

I've been asked to be a part of the Evergreen Conference planning committee. I'll be going on a trip in May to visit the one friend of mine who evidently does enjoy spending time with me... The same friend I just mentioned. lol.

But after this trip, I'll probably lend my services to helping plan the event. I've never done anything like that before. However, it will be my fourth conference so it should be good.

For those who don't know what the Evergreen Conference is, its a really great two-day event full of workshops and classes for being dealing with same-sex attraction in the church. Specifically, it is for those seeking to remain active in the church. However, it is attended by some who are still "figuring things out" and many in attendance have family or friends accompanying them. So just because you see someone you know at the event doesn't mean they're a Moho. haha.

I've gone to the last three Conferences and I always learn something at them. I enjoy them immensely even though, yet again, I'm usually alone.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

::::Enter Witty Blog Subject Line Here::::

One thing on my mind lately is the immaturity of many of the people I see around me.

The other day I was working on homework in the library when Cool Roommate messages me on the computer asking if I know :::: name removed to protect the immature ::: as evidently he had been saying I'd been flirting with him at a gym and I evidently told him my name.

Okay, flaws flaws flaws in this scenario... I don't flirt. Especially with freshmen who are 7 years younger than me. I don't go to the gym. I've never seen or heard of this person in my life. I also wouldn't flirt with this guy even if the above scenarios were not the case. And why would I tell someone I don't even know my name? Do I have "Stalk me" written on my forehead or something?

It bothered me on a few levels. First, the immaturity of the situation---lying about meeting me, then me flirting, etc. I dislike immaturity. Second, it bothers me because of my character. I try to be what I consider a good person. (Or, I should say, the type of person which does the things which I find to be morally good.) So it bothers me when someone makes some statement about my character and broadcasts it to even a small audience of listeners. And third, it bothers me because I do not like people talking about me in what I would feel is "behind my back."

I'm close to graduation. I'd like to leave BYU on a positive note knowing that people who are students here will look back on memories of me and think "Wow, he was a really good guy!" Not, "Wow! He was a hypocrite!"

Cool Roommate told me today that he confronted :::: name removed to protect the immature ::: who then stated that it "must not have been me" or some cheap excuse to get out of an obvious lie. Whether it was to gain attention from me or others, it bothers me. Cool Roommate also told me that nobody believed the story. Thank goodness.

I try to uphold my standards. I don't go to gay chat rooms, I'm not signed up on Connexion,, or ... okay, so that's all the Gay Personals type websites I know of. I don't go to gay clubs. I don't flirt with people and I certainly don't think going to Gay Pride Parades is the best avenue for a good time. (There are better and much more appropriate places for me to be.) On most Friday and Saturday evenings you'll find me cooking dinner for one in my apartment, two if Cool Roommate is home and I'm feeling generous. Not getting felt up in some gay bar while complaining about the Mormons or BYU. Not crying about the evils of the Honor Code or how unfair my life is. Or how repressed I am.

I will have it known that despite what people might think---that I'm some sort of religious zealot---I don't treat people badly based on their choices to leave the church, however, I do make it known I would not SUPPORT that decision if it were my choice. I merely support my friend.

Gordon B. Hinckley taught us all, if nothing else, to stand up for our beliefs. So, it bothers me when someone would make up rumors about my own character and standards.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Humorous Sunday Morning

Okay. So my roommate needs to move out.

Sure, he IS moving out in a few months. But I think it should be sooner.

Not talking about Cool Roommate. Talking about the engaged one.

This morning at 8:20, Cool Roommate and I were both woken up (not together---well, together meaning at the same time but different rooms) to the sounds of a Bob Marley-Rahastafarian-Rap sort of music BLASTING from down the hall. It was loud enough I heard every thickly accented word.

Its bad enough that it ever happened, but its a SUNDAY for crying out loud... day of rest... relaxation... pondering the gospel...

And instead, I wake up to hearing this LOUD music.

Cool Roommate and I are taking votes as to whether or not we blast Mariah Carey, Celine Dion or Judy Garland at full blast next week at 7:00.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Feeling Special and always giving bad news...

You know, there's nothing in the world like the feeling of being special. I don't know why that is, but whenever I feel special and important to someone it makes me feel like I'm walking on air. Its a very good feeling.

I wonder if part of why same gender attraction is hard for us is because we are the types of people who seek others' affection and attention much more so than the average guy. We seek approval from others to intercept the lack of approval of ourselves. Does that sentence even gramatically or logically make sense? Hang in there---its 1 AM!

What I am trying to say is that so often we seek approval from others to gloss over the fact that we don't approve of ourselves. Or even love ourselves. I think that finding that approval in another person sometimes makes us feel normal, acceptable and good. I think that desire for approval is stronger in US as we tend to be emotionally sensitive people, who also happen to have low self-images of themselves.

Think about what the gay community does: forcing their agendas on others, seeking equal rights, marriage, etc. Isn't this just an outward push for acceptance and approval from a society which at the same time they hate? (Don't even get me started on the numbers of gays who hate President Bush and think he's as honorable as Chavez... who, I might add, is the actual devil and far worse than Bush.)

People can push for rights for whatever makes them happy. However, wouldn't it be better to first get approval from yourself?

Wouldn't it be nicer to accept oneself without the approval of society---to love yourself unconditionally---and not giving a damn about what you look like, act like, etc. in regards to what others think?

I think so.

I think its only after we accept and love ourselves for who we are that we'll feel good about ourselves and our position in the Gospel. We don't have to "accept ourselves" in the way society tells us by getting boyfriends and leaving the church.

As far as that feeling of being light goes that I mentioned at the beginning of my blog... I feel that a lot more now. And honestly, I couldn't care less most of the time what others think about me. I'm happy being me. That approval I feel that makes me feel good stems from me.

On a sidenote, it seems like I'm always having to give bad news to people... Ever feel that way?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

My mom

... is amazing.

I realized today that despite the fact my father refuses to talk about same-gender attraction and they don't live locally enough for me to see them besides a few times a year, I wouldn't swap my parents in a million years.

End of story.

p.s. Cool Roommate and I think Wicked should be released on DVD and we'd each pay $100 for the DVD. Anyone think we need to petition???

Saturday, February 16, 2008

House Plans and Greenhouses

I know I am a nerd deep down when I admit that for the last hour my thoughts have been geared towards two things: House Plans and Greenhouses.

Why these two things?

Because I secretly love planning my future home and also of owning a greenhouse.

Recently I went to a concert with Cool Roommate where I realized that honestly, I didn't fit into the whole "club vibe." A lot of the people there were gay, and I didn't belong. Not because they're more attracted to guys than I am, but because its just NOT my scene. I don't belong in a club. I guess its a gay club on some nights or something? I don't know exactly.

Sure, dancing is great--I loved the concert. But is it the type of place I'm fully comfortable going regularly? Nope. Was it fun? YES! A total blast. Will I go back? Depends on if the singer is good. lol.

Its not my regular hang out spot.

When Cool Roommate decided to stay to go dancing after the concert with some friends, I went home. I don't think I missed out on much. I was tired and not in the mood to dance.

I felt old and out of place at the concert to be quite honest. Cool Roommate is six years younger than me so I guess I feel ancient at times. Cool Roommate had fun at the dance afterwards with his friends. I am glad I did not participate though. I talked with him later about it and he understood why I didn't go.

And to put it simply: I don't want anyone to mistake my morals by seeing me in a gay club. I don't want people to wonder "Hey, is Post-it Boy a bit of a rebel? Is he unsure about the church?" Since I am sure I want the church. And I'm not much of a rebel.

Anyway, about greenhouses... I had this idea that in my dream house someday I'd have a greenhouse large enough I could use it as a sunroom type place. So I could raise fresh tomatoes and things year round and enjoy being able to breathe the fresh air that plants give off. During winter, I miss breathing the air from trees and nature.

I've also been jotting down some things I'd love to have in my future home.

Once again, it proves my nerdiness when I admit I'd rather daydream about a future home I'll share with a friend of mine than go to some club and get felt up by a stranger.

However, at least I will know that my standing with the church will not be second-guessed. Nor will I have to worry about temptations or being around bad influences. Depends, I think, on where you'd rather be.

What was the quote or saying about "I'd rather stand in holy places"? or something like that? Hmmm...

I am not saying that gay clubs, or clubs in general, are evil. But, aren't there better places to dance? Or hang out?

Honestly, I'd rather stand in my future greenhouse sunroom planting tomatoes than go to a gay club. A few years ago, I wanted to become a world famous artist traveling Europe painting. I think that is proof enough that people (and their goals) change.

Speaking of tomatoes, Macey's on State Street in Orem has some DELICIOUS tomatoes on sale for 99 cents a pound. Delicious, I tell you! Red and juicy and firm.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Busy Nothings

"Life seems more like a quick succession of Busy Nothings" --Mansfield Park.

Does anyone else feel like sometimes their life is just a bunch of busy nothings? Things we fill our lives with that amount to nothing but to fill time.

Sometimes I feel that way, and I hate it. I prefer to stay active in being involved in something, no matter what it is, and detest feeling as if I'm not actually doing something to benefit anyone. Including myself.

Sometimes, I think, that we get so involved in life and keeping on top of things which life requires us to do that our life turns into busy nothings.

For those who have not seen the Jonny Lee Miller version of Mansfield Park: DO! Its so romantic and sweet.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Problems and Solutions

I'm the type of person who likes to find ultimate solutions for any problem. In my research, I continually come across problems historically with what I think makes sense... So I read more. Reference other books. Go to papers about Social Studies. Talk to professors, etc. in hopes to find a logical answer which I feel confident is correct.

Sometimes life isn't able to give us "answers" to questions.

Recently I was asked to go on a group date. I agreed not realizing that a group date wasn't just a group of people hanging out but many couples doing something together. Naive Post-it Boy!

I realized I have not gone on a "date" at BYU. Over two years and no official date. Just hanging out on occasion with friends and of course there are nights when I hang out with a Moho but its hardly a date.

I don't know who to ask. I know of a couple girls who probably have crushes on me. But is that good to ask a girl out who might have a crush on me only to disappoint her when its a one-time only thing?

Maybe I should just ask a female friend who is "in the know" about my same-gender attraction so I'm not going to have too awkward of a night.

I guess I'm the atypical Mormon guy since I haven't gone on a single guy-girl date since coming here a couple years ago.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Elphaba writes music...

"Brave" by Idina Menzel

Don't know just where I'm going
And tomorrow, it's a little overwhelming
And the air is coldAnd I'm not the same anymore
I've been running in your direction For to long now
I've lost my own reflection
And I can't look down
If you're not there to catch me when I fall.
If this is the moment I stand here on my own
If this is my rite of passage that somehow leads me home
I might be afraid But it's my turn to be brave
If this is the last chance before we say goodbye
At least it's the first day of the rest of my life
I can't be afraid Cause it's my turn to be brave
All along all I ever wanted, was to be the light
When your life was daunting
But I can't see mine
When I feel as though you're pushing me away
Well who's to blame, are we making the right choices
Cause we can't be sure if we're hearing our own voices
As we close the door even though we are so desperate to stay
If this is the moment I stand here on my own
If this is my rite of passage that somehow leads me home
I might be afraid But it's my turn to be brave
If this is the last chance before we say goodbye
At least it's the first day of the rest of my life
I can't be afraid Cause it's my turn to be brave
And I might still cryAnd I might still bleed
These thorns in my side
This heart on my sleeve
And lightening may strike
This ground at my feet
And I might still crash
But I still believe
This is the moment I stand here all alone
With everything I have inside, everything I own
I might be afraid But it's my turn to be brave
If this is the last time before we say goodbye
At least it's the first day of the rest of my life
I can't be afraid Cause it's my turn to be brave

My so called life

I will admit that I am currently addicted to watching reruns of My So Called Life on I watch it every week.

That show sometimes makes me think.

The main character Angela at one time tried really hard to fit in. Then, the first episode she dyes her hair red and starts hanging out with new people.

Tonight I make Chicken Cordon Bleu. A friend of mine didn't realize that was the name. He always calls it Chicken Gordon Blue.

And I realized I should call it Chicken Corbin Bleu. Its cuter.


I think I like the idea of breaking a mold even more ever since I wrote that blog.

I don't think we all need to be alike. I actually love seeing diversity at church. Tonight I was reading about Samaritans in a good called "The Four Gospels" and it brought up some interesting points.

The Savior went to the Samaritans on several occasions, and also used them in several stories to teach a few principles. It would be like Gordon B. Hinckley using a drug-dealer as an example of Christ-like love. At the time, the Samaritans were a HATED people. Total outcasts and despised. They were partially Jewish in their background but were considered dirty and unclean.

However, among the Samaritans, the Savior found some good followers.

I guess it goes to show that the outcasts of the world are sometimes the best.

The Savior taught the gospel lesson of the Living Waters to a woman who had lived immorally with many men. This was interesting to me. He chose a woman who was an outcast on many levels---being a woman, being a Samaritan and being an open sinner. And yet, he must have known her heart was good.

What is so wrong about being an outcast of mainstream society? People want to fit in with the popular crowd so often, and yet---what truly great artists ever did what everyone else was doing?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Breaking the Mold

I think sometimes we as Latter-day Saints are afraid of breaking the typical mold of acceptibility.

On one hand, we're taught to stand for something. We're supposed to believe in traditional family values, which, quite honestly I'm 100% in support of. I know it might seem strange that I'm not in support of gay marriage and I would rather support traditional forms of family.

I'm not against gay people, for obvious reasons. I think many gay people are on the defensive in regards to tolerance. Either you are a proud out man (or woman) and if you're straight you're a liberal thinking person in support of their cause---or, if you're not, you're a homophobe.

Why can't there be something in the middle of such a broad spectrum?

I think in the Mormon community those who don't fit the mold are somehow excluded because they don't fit in 100%. You're either the Molly Mormon\Peter Priesthood type, or you're a screw-up. You're either active or inactive. You're a Mormon or you're a non-member. Someone couldn't possibly be "half Mormon" but you get my idea... We have these polarized ways of thinking that when someone comes along who doesn't fit the mold, we don't know what to do with them.

I admire my BYU Professors who don't show up wearing white shirts and ties. Hugh Nibley never fit the mold of what was a typical professor, including the fact that I don't know if he EVER wore a tie. He did it on purpose from what I remember. In fact, I think he was reprimanded on occasion for wearing his old fisherman hat on campus. He was a remarkable person but he was much too intelligent for his own good. He was smart enough to realize people didn't have to fit the mold.

I like to say that part of life is not just to become a Latter-day Saint, but a TRUE Saint.

Early Latter-day Saint converts didn't fit the mold of traditional society. Usually converts were found in the poorest of living conditions, in workhouses, factories, weavers' cottages and poor-houses. Anyone who believes their ancestors in the early church were rich is either a rare exception or a liar. They were the downtrodden of society. They were even poor by the standards of society in which they joined the church, not just in comparison with our standards.

And yet, despite their lack of education, cleanliness and monetary advantage, many excelled in a new environment. Utah was the place to build up Saints as they had to literally build from the ground up. Colonists face hardship and, I believe, if they were not truly converted before coming to the West they certainly were after relying on the Lord.

These people, like me, didn't fit the mold.

A man in a Preston cotton weaving factory, whose death would have gone unnoticed by neighbors, had the opportunity of joining the church and becoming a mayor of a small community in the Western States. He got his lungs adjusted not only to the altitude, but the lack of grime and filthy air he had to breathe from the factories. There would not have been a chance he'd have become a local politician in England, and yet, in America he had that chance.

We as members of the church don't always need to fit the mold to excel in life, and in the gospel. I am about to graduate BYU as an unmarried student. I do not think my lack of a marriage will deter me in my future. In fact, for my chosen career, not being bogged down by a young family might improve my chances of success.

I don't need to fit any mold to be a great person. In fact, I think that those who don't fit the mold become much more caring and compassionate towards others. We as same-gender attracted people in the church can feel downtrodden at times.

What makes us different from the outcasts of society who joined the church in the early days of the restored gospel? Not much! What prevents us from also becoming TRUE Saints? Not much. If its truly what we desire.

I like to think I'm gradually becoming a True Saint. I'm proud I don't fit the mold. Are you?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Sometimes when I'm alone...

I think about my life when I'm alone.

... And I am alone quite a bit.

Not always out of my own choosing. Sometimes I'm alone when the last thing I'd want is to be alone.

I think that my life isn't all that bad. I miss having someone around who tells me I'm important to them. I have that with some of my friends, one in particular who tells me everyday how Important I am. However, sometimes when I'm alone in my bed just before I fall asleep, I wonder why I am alone in the first place.

I walked through Gordon B. Hinckley's viewing on Thursday. It was really beautiful seeing so many thousands of people coming to honor him. I hope that when I die, people (including myself) will look back and say I did a good job. Hopefully I'll even get a Gold Star for my life.

I worry sometimes that when I'm old, I won't have as many visitors. By that time, everyone I know will be married with kids and grandkids, etc. And I'll just be that old guy at the end of the street whose house people are afraid of. haha. Well, hopefully not.

Sometimes I feel a little trapped in what I can become. I really want to teach someday, and I'm working towards that goal. But... A single male BYU Professor? Could it be possible? We'll see.

I've dreamed about teaching at BYU for years. Its all I've ever really wanted to be, since I grew up from the childish ideas that I could make it big on Broadway despite no singing capabilities. I think every little moho dreams about acting sometimes. :)

But, if BYU won't hire me because I am single, I guess it is their loss. I'd be dedicated if they hired me. And they wouldn't have to worry about paying for any dependants on the insurance.

I want to spend my life feeling as if I've accomplished something.

So, to my friend who tells me I am important everyday, I know you read these blogs. Just remember you're my best friend and I couldn't imagine not having you around.

And for all those others who read my blog, hang in there... I get lonely sometimes, I know, but generally I'm quite happy with my life. I just get lonely and analyze too much.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

In the mood for a change...

I have minimal classes this semester with an awful lot of "down time" when I'm busy doing school work, researching for papers due this semester, etc.

This past week I haven't gone to Salt Lake City or even as far as Orem. Mostly, I've been in my house or been on campus.

It's a little weird. I kind of miss having excursions to Salt Lake. Gives me something to do that is different. I can visit with family and all that jazz...

I'm kind of seeking a mini-change right now. I've been at home for too long. So I think I'm going to see my aunt in Salt Lake for a bit. Might be fun to have a change of scenery. And I have some classes cancelled this week.

Anyone else ever feel the need to have a mini-change of scenery?

Its also very cold and I think I need to get a hot latin lover to keep me warm and snuggly at night. haha.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Our Prophet

Today, our Prophet passed away at 7:00PM. I learned about it at 8:08PM when my roommate came into my room and told me of the news... His sister had only just recently learned.

Within 5 minutes, I had gotten a call from my mother. I told my friend in South America via an Instant Message, he being one of the first likely in his country to hear. I texted a dozen of my friends. Then called by brother.

Within an hour, I'd gotten about ten messages from other friends about the news.

Mormon news travels fast.

For some reason, I feel like I need to go to a viewing if at all possible.

He was my Prophet for half of my life. I am twenty five years old now and he's been a Prophet for twelve years. I am still a little in shock.

So I guess a current Apostle with make the third in the First Presidency and another new Apostle will be called? Sheesh, I can't even remember the name of the newest one from October yet! Takes me at least two Conference sessions to remember the name...

Why do I feel torn by his death? I never knew him, although I'd seen him a few times in person.

I'm saddened by his death. I hope he realizes just how important he is to many members of the church.

Rainy Days and Sundays...

I am kidding about the blog title. Just a play on words with the Karen Carpenter song.

Although, I heard it is supposed to be a Rainy Day in Provo today. But I hope not. Rain and winter don't mix. Because then ice happens.

Today in my Ward we had a Fast Sunday because next week is some sort of Stake Conference thing. I had a prompting to bear my testimony and I spoke for a minute about my favorite scripture...

Its short, simple and to the point...

Doctrine and Covenants 76: 60 "And they shall overcome all things."

I like this scripture over others because it is simple but also profound.

It is referring to the people who will inherit Celestial Glory. They will overcome all things. ALL THINGS. Not just some things. And not just most things. ALL THINGS. It's all inclusive.

I think it describes how we can work now. To try to overcome anything in our lives.

I'm not saying that tomorrow I'm going to wake up with thoughts of having sex with a woman, or even a desire to get married in this life. I do not think that is going to happen, nor do I think that is what is involved with "overcoming" same-gender attraction.

So many of the ex-Mormon crowd taunt those of us who choose to stay in the church, saying we're looking for a "cure" and laughing at the thought. Or even making fun of individuals who choose for whatever reason to get married. Or those who choose to remain married after "coming out" to their spouse. Or those who choose to leave the gay world and return to the church.

Personally, I think there are many ways to "overcome" this.

For one, I won't let it rule my life. I don't spend all day thinking or talking about it. Honestly, I have better things to do. Even if I decided to get a boyfriend and leave the church, I'd HOPE my life wasn't all tied up in who I was attracted to. There's a lot more to life.

No matter what I decide, I can overcome this "hurdle" in life by doing all I can to make the world a better place. I like to be a positive influence on those around me. I can provide service or just be a friend. While it might not be changing my orientation, I can change those around me for the better--focusing on them might help me to worry about my own challenges.

So I will close this blog with my testimony that I love the Church, I love the Prophet and I want to honor him by listening to him... I am not always the best at it. I know this church is true. And I will listen to the Prophet's teachings regarding homosexual behavior. I KNOW it is true. I could never deny it. And I also know that we can overcome any challenge in life---large or small---but that overcoming it doesn't mean it will always go away.

Have a great Sabbath day!

p.s. Cool Roommate and I are going to FHE tomorrow night. First time ever together. Weird. I never normally do ward things. But it might be fun!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Seriously... Random

I was working on homework in the library last night and missed the bus. So I walked home. And for about as far from the Hinckley Building down to Little Caesar's some dark creepy person was following me. It was weird.

I have been a little under the weather today so I've been doing homework at home instead of the library. Just a stuffy nose. Nothing life-shattering or otherwise dangerous to my life.

I kind of want the Straighties to move out. And then replace them with better looking gay versions of themselves---and if they're not gay, then at least give them personalities.

I have been tired all day but I didn't want to go to bed yet. I kind of just want to do nothing but eat ice cream. But in order to eat ice cream, I'd need to go to the store. And leaving my apartment is a no-no.

I've been a little lonely lately. So many days spent in my apartment doing homework and not having a social life. I miss having friends who just call me up to see how I'm doing. I liked that. And it was nice to have someone call me up to hang out. It doesn't happen a lot anymore.

I've been listening to a musical the last hour called Bare: A Pop Opera. Its really good. I've mentioned it before.

I kind of just want to curl up in my bed and go to sleep and hopefully wake up without a stuffy nose.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Mitt vs. Clinton vs. Barrack

Okay, so I woke up today and was super tired but for whatever reason decided to turn on The View where they quickly criticized Mitt. Made me think...

I'm not supporting Mitt because he's a Mormon. Actually, initially, I was in support of Barrack until I saw what an idiot he seems at times. And although I think Hillary could be good, I think she'd end up like her husband. I think both are manipulators.

Anyway, I like Mitt because so far, he's seemed the most down-to-earth and honest candidate. Plus, I think he's better looking than the Kennedy family who everyone thought was so gorgeous... No, I don't have a crush on Mitt Romney. I just think he and his wife could bring back a little of the old-school Camelot feel to the White House and the Presidency.

Honestly, I think he could become our President.

And I'm not against a Mormon for President. I'm not FOR a Mormon for President either. His religion simply made me aware of him, although, I used to work in Massachusetts when he was Governor so I knew all about him before.

I think its annoying that this Presidency Campaign is the Mormon, the Black and the Woman. Seems a little ridiculous to me. Sometimes I wish the American People would realize the importance of a Presidency and try to pay at least a remote amount of attention to who is elected. SO many people ignore their right to vote. Its honestly, extremely sad to me.

Even in a state like Idaho which will undoubtedly vote for Mitt (not because he's Mormon but because they always vote Republican) I think its important for everyone to vote.

I don't think one should vote simply because of race, gender or religion... It should be about "WHO will make this country better?"

So unless Barrack really impresses me in the next while, I'm voting for Mitt.

And, am I the only one that forgot McCain was running too?

Sunday, January 20, 2008

My Soapbox

Okay, so I actually had to re-read my blog from last night because I posted it way too late slash way too early to remember what I said.

It should always be a bad idea to blog when your mind isn't clear. I still stand by what I said though.

Now for a discussion...

I've noticed amongst many of my gay friends this need to be recognized. And I've noticed that the gay community fights for this a bit. Society needs to recognize their unions, their rights, their this, their that, etc.

I can understand what it feels like to be rejected by one's peers and even partially my family. While only my parents are currently "in the know" I have felt rejection by my family at times. I have a close relative who absolutely and bitterly hates gay people. Wants nothing to do with them and thinks even celibate gays are on a one-way ticket to hell. So while he doesn't know about me, it still is rejection on some level. Its painful. But I moved beyond it.

So many people fight so hard to be accepted. I think that gay rights is a step with this---fighting for acceptance from the masses.

Sure, I advocate less violence towards gays. But I would say the same about any group! Blacks, Jews, Mormons, Christians, Republicans... etc. I don't like when anyone is physically harmed or made fun of. I don't agree with homophobic attacks on people just as much as I hate people attacking other groups of people.

I don't think marriage rights will change many peoples' minds about gay people. And I don't think every person in America needs to have a gay friend or read gay themed children's stories in elementary school ... "Billy has two Mommys" or whatever. Seems silly, once again, for the issues of the few to overshadow the majority.

I'm a historian and I can tell you that the institution of marriage goes back as far as recorded history points. Always for various reasons. Historically, Marriage was a financial institution between a man and woman in order to help provide necessary trades and abilities and further protect the individual from financial ruin. Marriage later became about love and affection in a more Victorian age. Marriage motives have changed but the definitions have stayed the same.

I am not against Domestic Partner relationships or "common law" agreements in order to protect one's inheritance. (After all, marriage historically also dealt with legal inheritors... why do you think being a bastard child has had a bit of a social stigma?)

Marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman.

Instead of fighting for one's own rights, isn't a more-Christlike attitude to seek to help others?

Aren't there children starving in foreign countries? And people who are dying because of a lack of something like Penicillin?

Wouldn't a better rally be to try to save lives than to promote one's own agenda? Personally, I'd rather focus on other issues which are more pressing.

Another thing I have to discuss... why is Zac Efron the most talked about cast member of High School Musical when Corbin Bleu is absolutely adorable?

Okay, so Corbin is far too young for me to have a crush on him. BUT I think he's cute in the way that I'd love to adopt him. Or better yet, adopt a little biracial kid who has hair like his! He's adorable. Zac is great in Hairspray.

I had to PROVE my sexuality by bringing up Corbin since I know some people are shrieking that I'm not a supporter of gay marriage and all that jazz.

Corbin Bleu is much more adorable than Zac Efron. 100 times. No questions asked. I'm watching Corbin Bleu youtube clips. And yes, I will admit I secretly want to own his CD...

Gay Marriage

I went to a get-together of gays, straights and mohos tonight and someone brought up Gay Marriage briefly as I was walking out the door. They were like "Who wouldn't want to support Gay Marriage here?"

Knowing that the audience was gay-friendly, I'm sure they never would have guessed that I almost piped up and said "Me!"

I guess I'm a little different because I don't support gay marriage. And I don't ever see myself fighting for gay rights.

Aren't people given natural rights of being a human being? Does being gay offer you more rights or the right to shove your opinions on others? Doesn't the gay Minority (and yes, despite what people think---gays are a minority of the population no matter what they say...) say that mainstream society pushes their views of traditional marriage on them?

Well, if that's the case, then isn't the minority pushing their marriage views on the majority the same thing but in reverse?

Sure, I'm attracted to guys plenty... Just as much as the next guy. Okay, so not really the NEXT guy since most men are not gay. But you know what I mean. :)

Am I getting more and more old fashioned everyday? Am I in fact turning into my parents?

If I start making quilts and complaining about how much things cost, then I'll know I am.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Seems a downright shame...

Green finch, and linnet bird,
Nightingale, blackbird,
How is it you sing?
How can you jubilate
sitting in cagesnever taking wing?
Outside the sky waits
Just beyond the bars...
How can you remain staring at the rain
maddened by the stars?
How is it you sing
How is it you sing?
Green finch. and linnet bird,
nightingale, blackbird
How is it you sing?
Whence comes this melody
constantly floating?
Is it rejoicing or merely aloaming?
Are you discussing?
Or fussing?
Or simply dreaming?
Are you crowing?
Are you screaming?
Ring dove and robinet is it for wages?
Singing to be sold?
Have you decided it's safer in cages
singing when you're told?
My cage has many rooms
damask and dark...
Nothing there sings,
not even my lark.
Larks never will,
you know,when they're captive.
Teach me to be more adaptive.
Ah...Green Finch, and Linnet Bird,
nightingale, blackbird,
teach me how to sing.
If I cannot fly...Let me sing.

Last night Cool Roommate and I went to see Sweeney Todd. Talk about fun! Murder, mayhem, cannibalism all wrapped in a Sondehim musical.

Okay, so it was Rated R but I'm sorry... its a musical and I'll watch just about any musical.

It was very bloody but the music was AMAZING.

This song made me think about how we sometimes do feel a little trapped in our circumstances in life. The character is being held against her will but manages to sing anyway. Shouldn't we all try to do that? ... No matter what we're dealing with, we should find some glimmer of happiness that allows us to sing.

I say that as I am singing this song as home. I am a horrible singer but I just enjoy singing.

And besides, the straighties are not home.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

He wanted to say...

... I wanted to talk to my parents more while on my final Christmas Vacation from school. But I didn't.

I don't know what I would have said.

I don't know whether anything I said would even matter. I'm doing alright. I'm going to church. I'm about to graduate in a field in which my parents are thrilled I'm going into. They don't have to twist my arm to do the right thing.

And yet I cannot help but feel as if I am letting them down on some level.

Maybe they'd prefer it if I was different.

I wonder if I shame my dad. If not, I wonder why he never wants to talk to me about things. Or say he is proud of me.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Focus on marriage... or something more?

I got an email today from a friend of mine who was feeling overwhelmed by thoughts of marriage. Evidently several of his friends lately are getting married. He's at the age just above graduation---and I am nearing it as well being nearly 26---that is just beginning to be over the "boundary" of normalcy for marriage.

Brigham Young is oft mis-quoted (or should I say ill-documented and poorly quoted as the age changes repeatedly) as saying single men in their late 20's were menaces to society.

Single people don't seemingly have a place in the church. I can assure you that every great aunt of mine has wondered why I'm not married. I've even had a cousin of my mother's try to hook me up AT A FAMILY REUNION. I know what its like to be a Single Mormon. Believe me.

What if Moho's stopped caring about marriage? What if marriage wasn't their motivation to stay in the church---?

So many Moho's say "I want a wife and children. That is why I keep battling!"

Well, that reason is good enough to stay in the church for now. But will it work 10 years from now?

Couldn't there be a better reason to stay?

Like... what about if instead of focusing on marriage and family as a commitment, we focused more on "I want to be a good person" or "I'd like to be with my Saviour someday, so I will live according to how he taught..."

Wouldn't that be a longer-lasting reason to continue with our life of honoring church commitments?

On a sidenote, I've had another friend of mine tell me he's received personal inspiration that going the gay route is okay with the Lord and he's allowed to have a sexual relationship with his partner. Does anyone else hear this? Personally, I'd rather stick with what the Prophet is saying rather than trying to change doctrine. Just curious if anyone's come across this.

Happy New Years! Make 2008 super hot and awesome!