Friday, December 18, 2009

The Better of Equal Options

Wednesday at my group counseling session, I told the group about how I had met with my bishop and how I planned on attending church meetings so I could network with the ward for job leads. The conversation from there went easily to dealing with our LDS backgrounds and how to deal with LDS authorities, especially bishops. I talked about how I found the encounter easy to deal with as I went in with a very specific goal and topic. I wasn't there out of a sense of duty to "confess" or "repent." One member, who is active in his ward, talked about how he believes the bishop is not necessary for salvation/exaltation. I really liked how he talked about how one should only go to the bishop with problems and issues when one is inspired to do so (not shamed or guilted). The bishop, he said, is there to be a person of guidance and teaching. He is not the one who absolves our guilt or cleanses our sins.

At the end of the session we do something called "check outs." This is an opportunity for every member to articulate what they are taking away from the session and mention anything they would like to keep discussing the next time we meet. At this session, as people took their turns, I had a profound Spiritual epiphany. I don't know why it came then. Perhaps it was the discussions about dealing with going to church meetings, the position and powers of church leaders, or perhaps me talking about how I planned to attend church to network with the ward. What came to me was an answer to a question I've carried with me for over four years.

As I've written about before, back in 2005 I came to an understanding of what general path is best for me to take with my sexuality. It came from a process of prayer, fasting, and totally surrendering myself in being willing to accept whatever answer came to me. Although the answer came out clear, one thing that I have always wondered was why out of the options none of them were considered bad or wrong for me. The only difference was that one was "best" for my spiritual growth for this life and into the next. Even then, I understood the "best" was only something ever so slightly better than the others. Ever since then I've wondered why this particular option, to embrace my sexuality and even seek out a male partner, is "best." Wednesday, it just came down on me. It was one of those moments of understanding, when knowledge and understanding just comes. This option is "best" not because it will put me, per se, in some position of better spirituality or better attitude for salvation. All in all, when it comes to only me, all options were equal in what their path would do for me spiritually. The difference, where the "best" came from, was what this path will allow me to give to others. As I have felt for some time, there is a need for the gad-fly. I am not talking about being disruptive, contentious, or a nucence. What is needed is a voice of reason and moderation both in the LDS community and LGBT culture.

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