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.