For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

- Mosiah 3:19

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Increasing Revelatory Capacity

It is with great hesitation, but admitted humble expression that I take note of the profound truths embedded in the fleshy tablets of my heart.

Last night, I talked with God. I told Him that I am gay, to which I received a confirmation that that was indeed the case, I asked for clarification on the meaning of "gender" in the Family Proclamation. To which there was an absence of feeling. After which I asked if Elder Oaks' and Elder Holland's explanation that one should not refer to themselves as "gay" in the sense of a noun (with its connotation suggesting that there are gay people) - as opposed to using it as an adjective (which implies gay is a changeable condition). In this, I received a mixed response, simply that while these are prophets, seers and revelators, there are things they do not understand. To which I asked then, "how do I refer to myself?" "Who am I?" "Is my eternal gender really heterosexual?" To these questions, I received silence, and emptiness of feeling.

At this point I was completely frustrated and then proceeded to ask, "then what questions should I ask? What are the right questions to ask?" Again, there was silence. In frustration I threw up my arms and went to bed. I could not sleep, about an hour later, a question was gently laid on my mind, "How do I do thy will?"

While all of these questions certainly would clarify much, apparently for me, the greatest question of my soul happens to be, "Lord, how do I do thy will?"

As I've thought about this, perhaps this is what Elder Maxwell referred to as the need for the knees of the mind to bend before God. I recognize that there are several things about being gay and in the church:

1. God doesn't mind if I refer to myself as gay (rather He affirms that I am).

2. That for whatever reason He is withholding further light and knowledge on this issue.

3. That God knows me better than I know myself, He even knows the deeper and yearning questions of my soul.

This is both comforting and disconcerting. Comforting because I am coming to know that God is certainly involved and fully aware the layered and textured complexity of this issue, but at the moment simply requires a willingness to yield to His will. But this does not mean that I simply step away from continuing to interrogating the informal institutions surrounding the church. By institutions, I mean the formal and informal rules that structure interactions. Thus these institutions are inherently biased and unfortunately overshadow one's interpretation of eternal principles.

Disconcerting because it affirms that God does speak to Prophets and that His word is eternal. Thus priesthood power is real, despite the imperfect bearers of it. This is disconcerting because it requires that I mute my critiques and interrogation of statements of Church leaders on this issue (no matter how naive their understanding is). The point is to search for the eternal principles they wrap in their limited understanding of the world and this issue.

I've been sober for nearly a month. Expressing anger at God has allowed me to gain access to Him again, further, in a paradoxical turn of events, expressing anger to God has simultaneously melted away my anger towards Him and prioritized the questions of my soul.

I, at the moment, stand intellectually amazed at the movements and stirrings of Heaven. While I know God still knows that I feel my future is uncertain, He is simply asking me to follow Him today - to surrender my will to His today.

I think I can do that.

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