KHOWST PROVINCE, AfghanistanÐ a young girl waits to receive a blanket from Afghan National Police during Provincial Reconstruction Team KhowstÕs return visit to an orphanage in Khowst City. The orphans also attended a dental hygiene brief given by the PRT medical team. (Photo by U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Matthew Lohr, Khowst Provincial Reconstruction Team Public Affairs)

I was born in the church. I grew up adhering to the principles I was raised in because I was a stalwart saint. I graduated from seminary, I served a mission, I graduated institute, I baptized, I taught, I prayed, and I begged for God to take away my homosexuality. Youth of a Noble Birth Right.

When the church started to ramp up it’s anti-gay rhetoric, the chasm between the church and me began to be visible.  The concourse for self-love was never mine in the church. President Packer, who recently passed away, taught that homosexuality was a choice. Why wasn’t I able to make that choice? I grew up hating myself, wishing I were dead, wishing I weren’t me, wishing I didn’t exist. Men are that they might have joy. Men are created in [His] image and have infinite worth . . . am I and do I? What is wrong with me? Why did I hate something that God had apparently created? If God created me, then why should I have a fundamental issue with any of God’s principles? Am I a sin? Am I a born apostate? Is there any chance of me making it to the Celestial Kingdom, and was I ever intended for such?

When conference comes, the pulpit sings of hope to unwed women, a staggering priesthood holder under economic pressure, a wife burdened with a husband’s porn addiction, alcoholism, abuse, and even a child’s death amongst couples old and new. However, one suffering minority I have never heard addressed is the group of us gay Mormons in the church. We only get to hear talks about how others should handle us.

I was one who wanted to stay in the church, but the brethren never acknowledge that WE — gay, active Mormons, even exist. Not in the same way they acknowledge those who fit the mold. We, as a group, are ignored. We are put in the category of carnal worldly sinners that deserve others kindness and prayers. We have been raised in this house and we are not being kept by it. No one fits in, but I always thought all belonged.

We are sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunts, grandchildren . . . we are family. Family is forever. Where is our place in forever? Why can no member of the priesthood — not even the living prophet, seer, and revelator — answer where exactly our place is?

Doctrine is harsh, it always has been, but Christ delivered doctrine with tender hands and acceptance. He didn’t use “No offense, but…” statements. In ancient times, people sat with their backs against the walls of the temples for a reason – they weren’t permitted to enter, but they knew they were at the right place. They were told to stay as close as they could to what they knew what right.

We are not allowed in the temples, sometimes literally and always proverbially, and the new ‘policies’ are sweeping us off the sidewalk. Our faith is held as naught. I am not asking to change dogma to include homosexuality, I gave up on that notion. But, tell me, where is my place as me? Don’t tell me where I could be, tell me where I can be. No more do not’s — let’s start with what we all can do.

We get no hope. No voice says hope, no hand reaches to comfort, and no ear comprehends. We are being pushed out the door and being told “You are choosing to leave, please don’t.” God is almighty, omnipotent, and ever-loving; there is NOTHING He can’t do. Would it be that hard for the church to have a place for us? Instead of drawing more lines in the sand with more policy, can’t the Church just say to us struggling saints “This is your home — come home to us. There is indeed a place for you.”

We are now orphans. No voice says hope from the pulpit, the house that birthed us will not keep us, the mother has forgotten her sucking child, and there is no room for us at the inn. I never wanted the great and spacious building, but I can’t reach the tree of life. The straight and narrow path is covered in road blocks and red tape.

Where do we go?

Patriarch Joseph Fielding Smith
Patriarch Joseph Fielding Smith
Joseph Fielding Smith (January 30, 1899 – August 29, 1964) was presiding patriarch and a general authority. Patriarch Smith was pressured into resigning from his position because of a homosexual relationship he had with a 21 year-old sailor, who was also a Latter-day Saint.
  • PassionateMind

    In Jesus’ day, the custom in Rome was that homosexuality amongst men was the preferred, and ideal, way to have sex. The women were kept in the home, or at the market. They had no power, unless they had money, and then they could build some influence in the marketplace by becoming patronesses of artisans they chose. But in all other public arenas, women were not allowed. I find it interesting that, in that cultural climate, we have record of Jesus addressing the issue of homosexuality exactly zero times. None. (He did address leadership that got in the way of individuals knowing God, but that’s a whole ‘nuther story.)

    He. just. LOVED.

    My actions do not change Jesus’ love for me, no matter how much He “disagrees” with them . . . and so, in my desire to emulate my Lord, I’m unwilling to allow the actions of others to change my love for them.

    I cannot imagine anyone, much less a powerful church leadership, ignoring and marginalizing characteristics I carry, and then telling me that my marriage to my husband is a sin before God and that because of it I will lose privileges in their organization, in an effort to “help” me conform to their idea of righteousness. The idea breaks my heart.

    Jesus LOVED.

    If, and I honestly mean IF, there’s anything that needs to be changed in a human heart, that is the domain of Jesus. It is in coming to know and experience His love and His holiness that we see where He would have us become more like Him. It’s only our own understanding and experience of the kindness and love of Jesus that moves us to choose to make changes, and that can effect lasting change. And we mortals, we’re supposed to love one another with open hearts, so there’s a way for Him to get in, and to show His love to each of us.

    I’m so sorry this has been your experience. I hope and pray that God will lead you to a place where you are cherished and loved and welcomed, as He did for me.

  • SB

    But, tell me, where is my place as me? Don’t tell me where I could be,
    tell me where I can be. No more do not’s — let’s start with what we all can do.

    I love those words! And I appreciate what you have written more than you know. I pray that because I am raising my children to love and serve as the most important focus that when they are grown are and leaders of the church, there will be a place for EVERYONE! ( I am bi-sexual, but am married to a man. I am also a convert. I have definitely spent many days not knowing how to fit in. My youngest is like unto an autistic child. He told me the other day that he wants to be an Apostle. I asked him why. His reply was that he would make some changes in the church so that it would be easier for kids like him to able to understand and learn more easily. I wish that we didn’t have to wait for his generation to grow up and lead! But hey, when I was a teen, my friend’s parents were very concerned about their daughter dating an african american, siting the churches teaching discouraging mixed marriages. We don’t hear that anymore and maybe we won’t here policy that alienated us gays! There is hope!)

  • Brian Kohrman

    Wow, that was powerful. It reminded me a lot of this post about a young black Mormon in the 70s, which was one of my favorite blog posts ever:

    Both of you are so full of sincerity and pain. It’s heart breaking.

  • Pink-lead

    The God I believe in has a plan for mankind that has a place for everybody. It is not limited by individuals or institutions that claim authority to speak for God.

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