Monday, March 2, 2015

If you can't stand the heat get out of the glass house

You are wrong to ______.  I do not support you.  However, you can believe whatever you like. It's a free country.

I get that all the time. It is true, I get it because I put my thoughts "out there" as far as posting a gay Mormon blog and links to it on Facebook.  I knew from the start that my POV would be considered odd, and that has proven to be true. Conservatives think I am a heathen for being gay, and liberals think I am a loon for choosing to marry a woman.  
  • Being gay is wrong
  • Being married to a woman is wrong.  
  • Being gay and being married to a woman is wrong
  • Being gay and married to a woman and being public (blog or Facebook) is wrong.
  • Being Mormon is wrong. Blind obedience is wrong. Paying tithing is wrong. Brown shoes with a black belt is wrong.  Never mind that last one.
Let me answer those questions by saying...  blah, blah, blaaah. 

If I were to tell one of my friends that he can choose to do as he believed however wrong he was, but that I supported him in his choice -- would that be offensive?

What if I said "you are wrong to want to marry someone of your own gender." How would that fly? Or, what if I said "You are wrong to have sex with one of your same gender". There would be screaming.

How you choose to live your life is wrong. That sentence would cause a riot, and yet, somehow, how I chosen to live my life is "like"able or not on Facebook.

(For liberals, these neigh say-ers sure are being conservative.)

So, today's soapbox topic would be this, were I to have to stick a point on the post. It is not my position to judge others and the choices they have made or that they are making. By the same token, others are not in a position to judge me and the life decisions I have made or that I am now making. 

And as I type that last sentence, reality kicks in and I have to laugh at myself. The glass house I live in gives people a pretty decent view. And if, by some miracle, they didn't get a chance to see it all, I go and announce it from the rooftops. "Shout it out" as it were. And then I ask for feedback.

Bottom line is that I have chosen to put my "stuff" out there for others in my position to read, and in trying to find those who need this kind of a read, I have opened up my life to comment. 

Some of the comments are painful.  Some are wonderful. Regardless, I do not need comments in order to support or justify my stance. I strive to do what the Lord has asked of me, Calvin Thompson. 

All I can say is that I hope that you strive to do what He has asked of you.

When I started posting in 2009 there wasn't so much out there for those who were gay and wanted to live according to the LDS churches standards. Now there is even less out there. Being gay and being an active card-carrying Latter-day Saint seem to be incompatible. Most choose to live quietly with their thoughts.

I made another choice.  Let's see how long I can take the heat.  

Friday, February 27, 2015

Who do I believe?

A reader brought up a decent point. He stated: "Believing that you are doing something that will affect eternity is powerful indeed. It doesn't even have to be true so powerful is it."

Well, that does present a real problem.  I don't want to be doing something simply because I have convinced myself it is the right thing to do. Recently I found out that I am diabetic. Who in their right mind would give up sugar and shoot up twice daily if it wasn't to get something better? -- in this case, the chance to live.

As a child like millions of others, I believed in Santa. The Easter Bunny always seemed ludicrous, but I got into the whole Santa thing. Even when I was older I still sooooo wanted to believe. I created my own little reality where Santa was a man that was so busy that he instructed parents around the world who then acted as his agents to make sure that worthy children received the gifts they rightly deserved. 

That lasted a year. By then puberty kicked in and I was too busy thinking about other things to worry about Santa. I had been so sure about the Santa thing. But I was mistaken.

So, what if we are putting our whole heart into religion, the Mormon church and the teachings of the gospel and it ends up that Jesus was/is just a good man who tried to keep us from killing ourselves?  

Let's say, for the sake of discussion, that we in the LDS church who are also, by definition members of the LGBT community (read - gay Mormons) are functioning under a premise that is mistaken -- our own little "If we are good then Santa will bring us gifts" premise.

The premise is this; if we live a good life we will go to heaven. (We will define good will be as following the commandments as stipulated by the prophets living and written.) How do we find out if we are being taken or not? 

For me there are two things I consider. First, what was in it for Christ to ask us to follow him. He was not political.  There was nothing physically or monetarily for him to gain. He got nothing but grief and ended up dead. What would have been his motive if He wasn't who he said he was? What He asked us to do was be kind, be honest, and to focus on the needs of others. Doesn't seem super logical that it was some sort of scam.

Second, in order to know that I am not off on the wrong track, I would need to know the answers to the following questions; Do I believe in God?  Do I believe that He knows more than I do and that he has power that I do not have? Do I believe that He wants what is best for me?

Now that we have the questions established, who do we ask?  Who has the knowledge of things from the beginning of time?  Not John Dehlin.  No one here on earth. 

Mormons believe that the third member of the Godhead is the Spirit, the Holy Ghost. He will testify to us when we ask with real intent. He will answer us. We do not need to go through anyone else for personal revelation. Not John Dehlin or anyone else here on earth.

  • I believe in God and that God has set standards.
  • I believe that the prophets speak for Him to instruct us while allowing us the freedom to choose for ourselves.
  • I believe that God is just and that he is in a position to judge.
  • I believe that God's knowledge is more than man's knowledge and that his power is more than man's power.

If I believe these things, and I do, then giving up something for something better in the long term is doable.  

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Are gays asked to give up sex?

I received the following question/comment and I thought I would share part of it:

Is it realistic to ask anyone to remain celibate and alone their entire lives with no hope or chance of loving someone in every sense of the word? Even straight members who are single have the hope that they might meet someone to marry. Women who were single for a long time have even ended up marrying apostles! One could even marry a non-member and still remain an LDS Church member in good standing. The Church does not completely ban straight members from expressing physical love, it just asks that they wait until marriage. It even allows divorce and multiple marriages. Until the same kind of thing is fairly offered to gay LDS members (whether in the temple or not) the vast majority of LGBTQ members will separate from the Church.

First off, thank you for reading and feeling like you can comment on this blog. Regardless of the language or the point of view you are welcome here. I believe as this writer does, that there will be some who will leave the church, or will not choose to become part of the church because of this LGBTQ issue. (Is it me, or does the acronym appear to be growing?)

The thought was underlined for me during Sunday's ward conference when my friend the Bishop referenced the of the story of the young man who had everything and asked Jesus what he needed to do to obtain eternal life. Jesus said…

19 Thou knowest the commandments,…

20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.

21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, …

Interrupting the story. I love reading this, that Jesus acknowledged all the the young man had done already to follow the Savior.

21(Continued) …and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.

22 And he (the young man) was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: 

The man turned and walked away. It doesn't say that he left the church, or that he stopped following the commandments. It doesn't state that he became bitter and started an anti Jesus web site. It doesn't say that he would not be welcomed into heaven. It simply says that he was sad and walked away. 

He appears to have been living a type of life where the Savior may have been calling him to a position. He was definitely being offered something more than what he had -- something of great value that the world wouldn't consider a step up.

This young man at the time of the story decided that what was being asked was too much for what he thought he would get in return.  Today, we have the same decisions to make -- if we believe what the Church teaches -- and I do.

So, the question is, would I be a modern version of the Young Man? Would I give up something important to me because I had been promised something I felt was better? Would I give it up simply because I was asked to by someone I respect and revere? 

To bring this home -- right to my house -- I think that I would.  I know that I have chosen to follow the commandments concerning sexuality. I am doing what has been asked of me, as Calvin Thompson. I am a gay man and I am choosing not to have sex with men. I am married to a woman and I am faithful. I am giving up something valuable for something even more so.

President Joseph F. Smith said: No man can obtain the gift of eternal life unless he is willing to sacrifice all earthly things in order to obtain it”.

President Smith also taught: “… if he will bring his heart and affections into subjection to the law of God and to the principle of truth; if he will place his affections upon God, his heart upon the truth, and his soul upon the accomplishment of God’s purposes, and not fix his affections and his hopes upon the things of the world".