Friday, March 27, 2015

There goes the bride

It has been months that I have been waiting to hear from the first presidency concerning our sealing in the temple - my wife’s and mine.  

Actually it was less that two weeks from the time it was actually sent off to them.  (Stake president goofed, more info was needed, My wife's former mother in law from hell who still is from hell made trouble and lied on official paperwork)  With all said and done it was two weeks and four days from when the Bishop sent off the last email.

And, yes. My wife and I can get sealed in the temple. So, we will have a little party.

Like either one of us is this skinny...
Some of my friends who are not LDS immediately grab on to how unfair it was that there was such a log wait.  I certainly understand their feeling.  Most of them are expressing a little empathy, and I appreciate that. There were several hoops to jump through that miffed me a little. 

But, most of the problem for me may have been being disgruntled that they didn't hear my name and ask how high. Reality check; I am just like everyone else it would seem -- lesson learned number one.

Lesson two; Being sealed is important enough to me that I was willing to jump through a few hoops. 

Third lesion, My stake president is a human, and he works in a building made by other humans, and all of have agency and choices and layers of understanding or mis-understanding and the gospel is for all of us, even the ones who forget to send e-mails. That is my way of saying the every-day people in the church are fallible.

That doesn't shake my testimony.

Forth lesson: I would have survived if the answer had been no.  The no would have been accompanied by a why, certainly, and I would have done my best to adjust whatever may have been needed, but I would have accepted a no and would have done my best to turn it into a yes, because this girl is the one.

And I’m gonna marry that girl.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Am I getting Married in the morning?

Love, and a lot more was in the air when I married my wife. We married civilly over seventeen years ago under the rain-forest tree at the courthouse in Provo. She had children from a previous marriage, a union that had gone south in a hurry. That marriage should never have happened, but I'm glad it did because of the children. 

I was not a prize. I had issues - most of which I had spoken to her about.  My sexual preference we had discussed at some length.

This might be us in another 17 years.
So we raised the kids, and now we are raising a few grand-kids because we didn't do such a good job with our daughter-the-mother.  

Now, it seems like the time to get sealed in the temple as neither one of us is going anywhere. We are both living in accordance with the commandments and we both have had and have used our temple recommends for some time.  

I say, let’s do it.

So, we made the appointment with the Bishop and he agreed with us that getting sealed is something we should do. It took my wife some time to fill out the paperwork and compose a letter that she had been asked to write describing what happened and why she wishes her previous sealing to be canceled. She didn't really want to open that can of worms because of the distasteful events that lead up to the divorce.

It, in essence was canceled the moment he stepped out on her, but that is neither here or there.

And we waited. Several month later were still waiting. Turns out that the stake president had neglected to turn in the paperwork. They all had a good laugh. Not me. Not my wife.
Several more months later we get notice through our bishop that the church committee needed more information. They needed letters from our children and first-husbands mother - since he had, mercifully, died several years ago. 

The kids writing letters was not a problem. I explained to them that our getting sealed did not affect their relationship with their first dad. They were still sealed to him and to their mother. All that would happen was that their mother would no longer be sealed to first-dad and she would be sealed to me; Not a conversation that I imagine happens a lot in the LDS church.

The kids emailed their letters to the Bishop.  We waited for Mother-in-law from hell to write hers. My wife felt that the MILFH's email would hit the fan. I thought MILFH had matured enough and understood the situation well enough that she would act like a grownup.

I was wrong. MILFH drug it out, contacted our bishop and then her stake president. Finely - three weeks after the deadline - she sends her e-mail. We rolled our collective eyes at her and waited for the verdict. 

Two months later we heard from our bishop that there were questions the committee had that needed to be answered before the application could move on to the first presidency.  We set the appointment to meet with our Bishop to answer the questions.

Question number one was whether or not I had resolved my many issues. Of course the answer was yes. I had dealt with my problems with all the correct authorities and had come to resolutions in the correct, prescribed manner. In short, I had not lied to get my temple recommend.

Second question; MILFH had made allegations of impropriety in my relationship with my wife, and the committee wanted to know if the allegations were true.

I became angry. Anger, there in the bishops office.  Not only did MILFH lie to our bishop, our children and her church leaders, but she did it in writing to the first presidency of the church.  She lied to the prophet!  If I may say to you, dear reader, what a complete hag! 

Our bishop set the matter straight and told us we would be hearing from the first presidency as soon as they met over the matter.
We are still waiting. 

I get more nervous as the time passes. What if they say no?  What if they tell me that I cannot be sealed to the person I love and care for and want to take care of.  Will it make a difference in our relationship if it is for time and time only?

I think about others in my position - wanting to marry their loved one and feeling like they are waiting for approval. I have more empathy for those who are still waiting for answers. The very real fact of the matter is that the first presidency might say no.  

No, I cannot be sealed to my wife. Your repentance was not enough.  You do not have our approvalThen what?

Do I pout and leave the church?  Does my wife become bitter?  Do we become one of those stories printed in the Ensign about those who may or may not have been done wrong and left the fold?

Oh please. I am not leaving the church.  I know too much to deny what is right - even if I come in at the wrong end of things.  

I recently read a man's post that was dismissed from his church job simply for being gay - not having sex or being unchaste, just being gay. I told him it was unfair, but that some day he would know that his hanging in there was the right thing to do.  Will I be in that same boat?

I may be. However, had I been in a frame of mind to leave the church I would have used one of the many episodes having to do with me being gay and trying to be honest about it - which didn't work so well.

I say no to vacating the LDS church because "I have been done wrong" -- assuming that the worse happens. I say that we stay. I will have to spend a lot of time with my wife to let her know that the church is not to be blamed, and then focus on what I ( we) can do to be in a future position to have her cancellation of sealing exacted and our own ordnance performed. I may have to put a hit out on the MILFH.

And if we get a letter in the mail that says my sealing is a go?  I will thank the Lord and marry that girl. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Darwin and the gay bulldog

T.H. Huxley was a Victorian biologist who was a vigilant supporter of evolution -- so much so that he became known as “Darwin’s bulldog”. Though they were not social active - there was not much by the way of having a little lunch together -- Huxley is listed as one of pallbearers in 1882 at his mentors funeral.

Regarding Darwin's work, the bulldog commented;

“In scientific work, those who refuse to go beyond fact rarely get as far as fact.”

I have no idea what that means. What I get from it up front is that those who aren't able to really look at and study don't come up with answers? No, that's not it. 

Those who aren't willing to allow for the unknown won't really understand the known? Maybe that's it. If that is the case, then I might be able to find out a few things.  I am certainly willing to allow for things I don't know.

I am a MarMoHo, a gay Mormon man who is married to a woman and who strives to stay worthy of a LDS temple recommend. The odds are that my marriage to my wife is not going to work out and that it will end in divorce.

A popular study recently completed -- one focusing on those in my position -- has come to the conclusion that I am doomed. It states that between 51% and 69% of so-called "mixed-orientation marriages" between Mormons end in divorce.  By way of comparison approximately 26% of all Mormon marriages end in divorce.

More than 70% of LGBT or "same-sex attracted" -- the term used by those who acknowledge they are sexually and/or romantically attracted to members of the same sex but don't identify as gay, lesbian or bisexual -- Mormons end up leaving the church, either on their own volition or through excommunication.

At first I took aim at the stats and tried to discredit them. I read them over and looked for anything I could find that supported my stance. I looked to confirm my bias.

Just for the record, my bias is that if the Lord, through the holy spirit has told me that the course I am following is a correct course for me, I will continue to follow it - regardless of the stats, odds, wisdom of scholars or John Delan.

Bit of a tangent:  Do you feel that current wisdom conflicts with your goals or your aspirations?  What do you do about that?  It that even an issue for you? I freely admit that what may or not work for me, what the spirit has confirmed for me may not be what is best for you. Are you able to find strength in what the spirit revels to you? 

Mr. Dehlin was the one that instigated the study. I didn't just pick his name out of the hat. And, as much as I hate to say it, the study is correct. I do belief that the study is a representation of what the currents trends are and it corroborates what I have seen in my years of observing and sometimes participation in the LGBT Mormon community. As much as I think Mr. Dehlin is wrong on so many other issues, his stats here are correct.

The facts of the matter tell me that the odds are not in my favor.

I don't care.  I have been married for fifteen plus years.  We are working on being sealed in the LDS temple.  I don't take the marriage or the sealing lightly and I am committed to making it work.