Where To Go From Here

Last Wednesday was the first time I've come out to a bishop before. It went much better than I ever suspected it would. We did the normal small talk stuff so he could get to know me-- I had only met him once before, due to things like being out of town or working on Sunday and going to the ward that the kids I help go to. I was hoping I could somehow naturally bring in the topic of my homosexuality, but I couldn't. Just as I had feared, it got quiet and he asked, "So, what can I do for you?"

He recognized it was difficult for me to blurt it out, so he let me take my time. I was able to say it with surprisingly little difficulty, compared to coming-out experiences with friends or family before. And he was just great about it. He told me that had actually crossed his mind earlier in the conversation when I hesitated to answer a question about girl troubles. He went on to tell me about some of his gay friends from throughout his life. For example, while attending BYU, he found out his home teaching companion had the hots for him and was jealous of his fiancé. Then, while living in New York, he was assigned to visit one of the original BYU bathroom toe-tappers who was dying of AIDS.

Anyway, I was left with the impression that I had been led to this man, whom I knew would seek to understand my situation and could help me out. He was of the opinion that a person in my situation-- a person who sees the potential greatness of living according to his attractions but who is "cursed" (his word) with an undeniable testimony-- could use some help in figuring where to go from there.

He kept using that phrase-- "where to go from here." In any event, he recommended I go back to the counseling center to see how they can help me move forward with dating girls (my goal, not his). I'm happy to go back but had started feeling guilty earlier in the year when I felt like I was wasting their time. Hopefully I'm messed up enough to get in.

I'm really happy I went to see him. Similarly to when I felt instant connections to Mohos when I first started hanging out with people in April, I feel like I have this sudden connection with my bishop, who I feel I can always count on. I'm glad I went despite some less than enthusiastic responses from a few people close to me when I told them my desires to tell my bishop.

I guess I agree with him. I could use guiding help from trustworthy sources. Really, any person who has to navigate life amidst homosexual attraction and gospel beliefs would do well to have a spiritual leader by his side.

I've been wanting to put my two cents (or less) in regarding the recent Mohosphere drama and side-picking and all that. It's true that we all go through phases of varying degrees of devotion to conservative ideals and more liberal lifestyle choices. That makes it difficult to judge those who are making what we might think are mistakes, just because we happen to be spiritually sober at the moment. My opinion, though, is that that doesn't change the fact that full devotion to Church standards is always the best option.

Um, in other words, we're all at different stages but it's my firm belief that we're always more correct when we're safely on the gospel's side. It's in those moments, when we feel the prick of the Spirit to try harder in life, to pray more earnestly, to go to the temple and get rid of all the stupid sins we fall into, that we're on the right path. I've never found myself at the other end of the spectrum and thought, "This is exactly where I need to be!" In the midst of an immature, teen-like crush, I've never felt the prick motivating me to be more active in gay dating or encouraging me to get to the gay club more often.

I guess my advice to myself and to everyone else is to pick a side (for your own life choices) and stick with it for as long as you possibly can. And for goodness sakes, pick the right side. And be nice to the people who are wrong.

9 comments:

Charlie said...

Yay! I am glad to hear about this... not so glad that it's through the blog and way late and all but glad it happened nonetheless. *sigh* I love you so much and am really sad you're stuck in Provo. :) I wish I could see you right now. Well, in any case, have a wonderful thanksgiving. I love you!!

playasinmar said...

Didn't take him long to bring up AIDS, eh?

Bishops are so weird.

drex said...

I love that last paragraph. Glad your talk with your bishop went better than the time I went to mine. (:

Therapevo Ydata said...

I've been waiting to hear how that went in better detail. I'm glad that it went well and that everything seemed to work out.

I'm also glad that you have now expressed your feelings on all of the drama too! :)

iwonder said...

Hopefully I'm messed up enough to get in.

That's a strange wish. I don't think you need to be any more "messed up" than anyone else out there. For me, it is not about anyone trying to "fix" me because I'm broken, it is about being able to talk to someone who is totally non-judgemental, doesn't have any ulterior motives, and can't repeat what I tell him. I think it is more about having the ability to just talk. If you ever get the feeling that they are trying to fix you or that you aren't messed up enough, then someone isn't doing their job correctly.

Original Mohomie said...

Oh man, I guess I'm corrupt beyond repair. I was fully expecting to see someone else having commented on the last part of the second-to-last-paragraph. My thought was, "No, actually that's EXACTLY what motivates me in those times..." *cough*

Neal said...

Calvin,

I'm glad you had a positive experience with your Bishop. I've come out to four Bishops and a Stake President. The first Bishop 25 years ago was not particularly helpful. The last four experiences were wonderful, and have made a huge difference in my spritual and emotional health. My current Bishop is really close to me, and his outpouring of love has been especially healing. He gives me a hug every time we see each other, he calls me regularly, and he involves me in his family life (he's got four little kids). He has really been a blessing.

I think you're on the right track here. Indeed, full devotion to Church standards is always the best option. That's called enduring to the end.

Best Regards,

Neal

Neal said...

Playa,

None of my Bishops have ever brought up AIDS; nor have any of them been "weird". On the whole, I have found Bishops to be amazing, caring, and inspired men of God.

Neal

Romulus said...

Thanks for the post. I really liked it. But don't make a judgment on who is right and who is wrong. Life isn't that clear cut.