Thursday, March 19


After transfer meeting we went to the temple... I prayed and asked the Lord if my mission was acceptable. I didn't receive any great or strong impression which kind of worried me but I realized what I did feel--a sense of peace and satisfaction. That was my answer. I've done my best for these past two years and that is what I have to offer the Lord, nothing more and nothing less. (December 21st, 2005)
I struggled my entire mission to know whether the Lord accepted my efforts, if it was an 'acceptable offering' to Him. I can say without reservation that I worked and loved and obeyed the best I knew how. Still I didn't understand how the God who wouldn't accept a blemished calf could possibly accept what I had to offer. And yet, at the end, imperfect as it was, I feel like He had.

Today, I find myself in a very similar situation. The past few years have been a failed effort to succeed in the Church as a gay member. I've prayed and fasted and studied. I've tried to look beyond my own struggle to reach out and help others. I've tried to find the reasoning and rationale as to why God would ask this of me. I've tried to love Him and His children, the best I can.

I've tried to lose myself in the service of His children only to be left feeling more dejected and lonely. I've taken steps of faith into the darkness and found no light. I've climbed Mount Moriah to find that there is no ram in the thicket--not for me, not this time. Here I stand, giving Him the best that I can offer. Surely, someone better could offer something much greater. But this is me--and I've given Him the best that I can.

I know it might be difficult for some to believe that the Lord would accept such a sacrifice. But like the widow who gave her two mites and had nothing left to give -- I feel quite the same. Maybe I've failed, but I've given all I have to offer.

His children might, but I don't think that the Lord will fault me for giving up and walking away.


  1. I think you are a success in the church. You've been a great example to me and so many others. I'm honored to be your friend Mark.

  2. I don't often post to people's blogs, and I am somewhat at a loss because I don't know the details about what has made you feel like you feel currently.

    But, as someone you know, who is in a similar situation, and (hopefully not sounding condescending) a few years older than you, I have one or two thoughts.

    You are trying, Mark, and that is more than most people even attempt to do. That alone, is admirable, but the truly admirable thing is that you actually care. Even though you knew how uphill the battle would be. And I'm not talking about trying to be a gay member of the church. I'm talking about trying to be who you are, in truth.

    And the only true loss here is if you ever let other people or situations make your faith in yourself waver. Words are cheap and I don't convey the depth of what I mean by speaking them to you here.

    There is always hope, Mark. Always. And though you feel like a failure now, or even if you need some space from certain people or situations, that's okay. Just make sure that you think about what you do, so that the next day, when you think about what you did today, you'll still be able to always look yourself in the mirror.

    Either way, Mark, you are not a failure. I would say more, but I'll send you a message on facebook instead.

    In the meantime, just remember that this is not a battle that you have to fight alone. There are others out there who feel as you do and who understand.

  3. Perhaps no failure is final until the end of this life. Perhaps no sacrifice is complete until it's offered until the end, when we will truly have done all we can do. Your best, my best, our's all we are capable of offering, and it pleases the Lord, but it's not enough. We need to dig deep and strive to gain more understanding about how the Atonement applies to us personally. For example, I've discovered that Christ will not take away the pain and the sorrow and the loneliness (a misconception I long held). Rather, He will enable us to deal with it in ways that we just can't on our own.

    You are an outstanding example to us all.

  4. Just remember, if you really are giving YOUR best, the Atonement WILL cover you. You are not required to do it on your own. He may not heal you or make you whole now, but in the end He will.

  5. After six days of creative work, even God took a break. In Gethsemane, even the Savior needed the support of angels to carry on with His task.

    Constant effort and sacrifice are draining, and nobody can sustain such efforts forever. Walking away can give us a chance to regain our strength, and the distance that it gives us allows us a different perspective on our problems.

    If you need to, walk away from the Church and take some time to evaluate your life and your position.

    But try to remember that your struggle is as a gay member of the Church, not as a gay Child of God. The former can be hard to reconcile, but the latter needs no reconciliation, because the "gay" part makes no difference to Him, and doesn't affect His love for you in the slightest degree.

    Walk away from the Church for a while if you need to, but don't walk away from God.

  6. While some of his children might fault you for walking away, there are others who will forever be grateful for your example, & the courage you have to follow your heart.

  7. I relate to how you feel so much! I was talking with one of my friends about something along these lines just the other day. She is an active, faithful member, and I suppose that is why I turned to her. She reminded me that the Church and the people in it are not perfect, but God is, and having an open communication with Him right now is what is really going to matter. Keep Him close to your heart. She also encouraged me to find what is right for me.

    I would offer the same encouragment to you. I commend you for every bit of effort that you've given, and I know that it hasn't gone unnoticed.

    This is not an easy path to walk on. I want you to know that you've helped me walk upon it, because somehow it's a little bit easier when you know that you are following in the footsteps of someone who understands.

    I hope that what you decide will be right for you. Whatever that is, you're okay with me.

  8. Mark, Reading your post breaks my heart. You are in no way a failure. We are all a work in progress. How can any of us say we are failures when we are still "clay in the Potter's hand?"

    I don't know that I am worthy of God's listening ear, but tonight, I will plead that he send you the peace you need.


  9. Dang man, that was sad. I've felt that way before. Do you think it'll pass? In a month or a year, do you think that you'll discover something new - that you've got more to yourself than you thought? I love your writing, your thought, your expression, and the "you" that is expressed through the print. My guess is that there is much more good in you than you tend to believe. And I'll wager that I'm right. :) I hope the best for you Mark.