Tuesday, December 30

Either way...

This week I came to powerful, overwhelming conclusions about the course of my life: either way--if I stay, or if I leave--I fill find happiness in this journey. After years of believing the life of a gay Mormon could be nothing more than miserable and nothing better than hell, I realize now happiness awaits the earnest seeker of it. I am not consigned to a life of woe, but am given the opportunity to follow my heart on the path to happiness.

Either way, I will love those who struggle. I will consider myself worthy to be counted as one of a very unique and close community, bound together by not just our trials, but also our hopes and dreams, our quest for understanding and tolerance. I will not seek to rationalize my own decisions by minimizing the conclusions of others. None of us, not one, will come to any verdict without much heart-wrenching turmoil.

For those who find that they must leave, I will question neither their motives or their effort. I will not condemn them, for judgment is God's alone and from what I know of Him, He is much more predisposed to look past our weaknesses and see the purity of our hearts than we may give Him credit for. Likewise, I will not think less of those who choose to stay. They do not stay because they lack the courage to leave. They stay because they see a level of goodness within the Church that they do not find outside of it.

There is no 'better choice'--each of us must find our own way.

Either way, I will sacrifice. The journey of a gay Mormon has no route around Moriah. There is no detour. No matter which decision we make (to leave, to stay, to marry) we walk up that hill as Abraham of old, we take out our blade and with fear, hesitance and uncertainty we soon find that their will be no ram waiting in the thicket for us. Whatever decision we make comes at a great cost, and I do not for a moment underestimate the value of either sacrifice.

If I stay I sacrifice companionship, romance, the chance for a family of my own, to know how it feels to be loved. No one can deny the inexplicably beautiful feeling of butterflies in your stomach. If I leave, I sacrifice the greatest family I have ever known. I remove myself from the Saints of God and the blessings that come from activity in the kingdom of God. I do not separate myself from the love of God, but to a large extent from the love of His people. I will sacrifice the acceptance of many of those whom I love dearly.

Either way, I will love God. God is many to things to many people. The three things I know most powerfully about Him are that He understands, He loves unconditionally and that He weeps with us when we do.

He understands our mistakes. He understands the desires of our hearts. He understands our yearnings for love and family and companioship. He loves us unconditionally and blesses each of us daily even though each of us is less than perfect, even though each of us conciously make decisions that take us further from Him. He weeps with us when we do. He knows our hearts and His compassion is not limited by correct decisions. Even when we weep over the stupid choices we have made, or the things that seem so important that really have no consequence, He weeps with us. Who God is--and who God is to me--remains constant, irrelative of my choice.

Either way, I will serve His children. If I stay or go I will still serve His children and look for opportunities to be selfless. We build His kingdom by building people. My patriarchal blessing says that I have "a great opportunity to be a blessing in the lives of others." I believe that either way, the opportunity and responsibility of that promise is mine. As one who 'struggles', I know the need of reaching out with compassion and love to the gay community. Tolerance and equality are causes worth fighting for. There is much work to do in a world where the last words a 19-year-old boy hears are: "Die, you fucking faggot." There is much work in the Church when so many leave because no one understands them, no one loves them, no one surrounds them with arms of love and carries them upon their backs.

Either way, I will have a place. Be it in the arms of a (hopefully) handsome man or among the other broken Saints of God. There will be times of loneliness--without doubt. That is an unavoidable aspect of life.

The man I love might walk away or might let me down or might not come at all. I'm inexperienced in most matters of love, but I've already learned to much of pain and felt too much heartache--it is inevitable. The Church I love might fail me. There will undoubtedly be many Sundays where I have the whole bench to myself and then I'll walk into Priesthood where the lesson will be on marriage and no one in the room will be able to understand why I just can't overcome "this" and find the right girl.

Despite all this, and in many ways because of it, happiness awaits me. Great things await me. Sometimes life is so good, I don't want to go to bed because I know that no dream could be better.

Tomorrow may bring pain, but today I am happy. And even more happiness awaits.


  1. I buy the idea that the life of a gay Mormon need not be a miserable one. What I don't see is how a closeted gay Mormon can be happy.

    Good luck to you.

    P.S. I feel sure you can find a good boyfriend. Don't worry.

  2. WOW....bucket listed amzingness

  3. Mark, I am proud of you whatever decision you make. We all come to a crossroad where we must decide which path we will choose.

    It is a difficult decision, whether one is married or single. I chose to remain and try to effect change from within. My situation is different than yours though. I have a family that factors in to the equation.

    Realizing that happiness, love of God and others, service and sacrifice are your choices to make and can be found in either path is an important acknowledgment.

    I can tell from your sincerity that you will hold to these ideals, that you will be your best self regardless of the decision you make.

    I sincerely wish you the best in whatever choice you make and will consider you a friend worthy of my respect and prayers.

    Your brother on the path,

  4. That's awesome Mark. I guess I haven't hung out with you to know you that well, but I had no idea how strongly you felt about the church and about God. Really, I very much agree with you on everything that you said. You've got a skill in expressing yourself. We've definately got to hang out sometime...prefferably before school starts again. I hope your holidays are going really well. Later Mark. Love ya.

  5. I loved your post and I really enjoyed the part about Abraham--I have thought this exact same thought for awhile. I too have felt that I will have to sacrifice a part of myself depending on the choices that I make. That choice like you eloquently stated in this post is going to be hard either way.

    Good luck on your path and I believe that you will find the happiness that you are seeking.

  6. Um hi umm wow nice blog. not exactly sure what 2 say. Umm i'm debating whether i'm bi or completely gay and how the world will affect me when i realize the answer. I was raised Episcopalian but i'm a bit young so....

    so hopefully we both can figure stuff out

  7. Thank you for this post - You wrote exactly how I feel although I have never seemed to have the words to sum it up like you have. If you're a gay Mormon it really does feel like you are trapped with no "good" option and I don't think people understand the loneliness of that.

  8. My favorite scripture is John 11:35 - Jesus wept. It's a beautiful illustration of the way Jesus suffered with Mary as she mourned the passing of Lazarus, even though he knew that he would raise him up again. I totally concur with you: the Lord knows our pain, and is there weeping with us when we hurt. He is there to heal us, too, and help us through the tough times, even though he knows the happy ending.


    P.S. How come I never see you around? I live in Federal Way~

  9. Wow. I just wanted to tell you that this post was amazing. It really sums up a lot of how I feel too. You're awesome and a lot of the things you said in this post really show the kind of person you are. I don't know if I expressed that quite right, but I think you'll figure it out. Thanks for being a friend...

  10. Mark, you don't know me and I don't know you, but I stumbled across your blog and let me tell you that this post has just given me a sense of hope and love. Thanks for being so awesome and hopeful for the future! You are a great example to many!

  11. I'm one of the 1 in 4. I married my gay ex/husband (we are only separated for 13 years as of tomorrow). My heart breaks for all of you. I, myself, have left the church. My story up until 6 years ago is at wearewildflowers.blogspot.com I am Colleen.

    I hear you--(I see MoHoHawaii here--I've seen him somewhere else, but I don't recognize anyone else).

    I left the church over this issue--though I am not gay. I could never reconcile my ex's struggles (and our combined struggles after marriage--I knew when I married him) with the church's teachings. I have asked myself a lot of the questions you have asked on your blogs. I left the church and my life is fuller and I'm finally at peace over the gay issue and the mormon church. I have not lost my faith in God. I do not believe in the LDS church any longer. You can e-mail me if you like at colleen84319@yahoo.com

  12. I just found your blog off your facebook profile. I love it and this post brought tears to my eyes.

    I often think of the first conversation I had with a gay member of the church.. just a thought about it...I loved the opportunity to finally ask questions, and I'm sure he loved the opportunity to answer them! I'm grateful for the time I spent with him because it opened the doors to later relationships with gay members of the church - most of whom had left the church.

    "If I leave, I sacrifice the greatest family I have ever known. I remove myself from the Saints of God and the blessings that come from activity in the kingdom of God."

    Thanks for reminding me of my role in this family of God's people - to accept, to support, to understand, to.... ? I will leave the question mark and keep reading your blog so you can teach me more of my role.