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

Monday, February 4, 2013

Added Measure of Grace

Yesterday, I was set apart as a member of the Stake Sunday School Presidency. Which is still odd to me; up until last week, I was happy occupying the margins of the Church, I was happy with my relationship with the Church. I had accepted my secondary status in the Church - estranged from the rights and privileges associated with technical worthiness. Further, I accepted that I would continue in Church, but openly accept and live a life open to the possibilities of a healthy monogamous long-term relationship with a man. I had settled this. I talked with God about this. I had settled that the only way for me to continue attending Church was to take my membership in it one month at a time. And so I had.

I attended my first meeting with the Stake Sunday School Presidency and was set apart by the Stake High Councilman (who is also the Stake Sunday School President) - he knows my history, too. I walked in, and the first order of business was setting apart. I walked into the Stake High Council Room with a heaviness about me, consternation, really, about this calling - what it would mean, how it might frustrate my settled plans, how it might complicate the picture of the future I painted for myself. But more importantly, I fixed on my "sinful" past - my anonymous sexual encounters with men, the times I paid individuals for sex, and so on. This was weighing on my mind, yet, the men who approved this calling knew this. There was no church discipline, there was no "repentance" set out by Priesthood leaders.

As the High Councilman laid his hands on my head, I was filled with anxiety, fear, a feeling of inadequacy - unworthiness, even - I felt that in the blessing, God would expose the lie and call me to repentance. Yet, something else happened. I sat there and in a voice and feeling of love, "Your Heavenly Father is fully aware of your situation and circumstances, and has called you specifically, He is blessing you with an added measure of grace to work through the challenges you face and the help you see His hand." As soon as this was uttered, the feelings of anxiety, fear, consternation, and so forth dissipated and dissolved - all that remained was a feeling that God is indeed Love.

While I do not know what Father is doing, nor can I peer into eternity, I am comforted that Father is using this calling to rescue me from my addiction. And for that I am grateful and humbled by the movings of heaven. Does this mean I stop dating? I don't know. How I see it, it does not change my intended course of being open to a healthy relationship, but it is a means to help me remain sober and manage my addiction. Any further reflection on other possibilities and implications cause me grave stress. But for the moment I am humbled by the stirrings of heaven.


  1. Did you see the movie 'Contact' (w/Jody Foster)? If so, you will recognize this:

    "Small moves, Ellie...small moves."

    The Church is taking baby steps right now in regards to its gay members. As gays, we need to be willing to take those steps with it, even if they are small ones. This is a step in the right direction, and I'm so glad you were there to be a part of it.

  2. When I said my evening prayer recently, I thanked Heavenly Father that I had stumbled upon your blog. (I have been reading for some time.) I told Him how grateful I was for the things I have learned from you, that you seem very genuine and want to be guided correctly. I told Him you were very honest and straight-forward, that you have not been trying to hide anything from Him, and that you write very astutely about what is happening in your life. I just wanted to share that with you and tell you thank you for writing and sharing your blog. You have an amazing talent with your writing.

    Happy night, Duck