I'll sometimes get comments like this one on my blog - from people who believe, honestly, that I can't exist as a righteous, faithful, happy Mormon Guy who is also attracted to guys. They're normally also chock-full of 'objective' statements that go against the nature of (Gay) Mormon Guy, so I don't have the time or real desire to publish them. But this one, while definitely disparaging in nature, made me think... and want to respond. So here goes. His comments are in italics. My response is bold.

And please avoid personal, disparaging, or vague general remarks about the guy who made the comment, or people like him. You already know that I probably won't publish anything sarcastic, vindictive, or whatever, no matter who it comes from. I realize that some of you will strongly disagree with him, and you're welcome to share your ardent feelings with me, but I may not publish your comment. :)

I'm glad you have an outlet through this blog, as do many of your fans and followers. The reality is, just as your title exclaims, is a giant oxymoron. You can't have both worlds. I believe those who are homosexual cannot coexist happily with the gospel, nor can straight members coexist with homosexuals. The gospel, at least the LDS gospel, strictly forbids sexual choices, and you know there isn't the understanding that homosexuality isn't always a choice. That being the case, you will never be happy in the gospel, I will straight out tell you that right now. The more you try to reason the gospel into your life, the more you'll have men you'll be attracted to (in the church) that will call you "creep" or shun you because it is not accepted. Please, find the things that make you happy, the ideology, the teachings, and run with them if they make you happy. But the gospel in its entirety strictly forbids who you are, and so you will live a life that will, in essence, be hypocritical and oxymoronic, and always painful.

The only way I know how to respond to this is my own personal experience. The gospel, specifically the LDS gospel, is where I have found peace. The members of the Church, like everyone else in the world, are imperfect... and when I rely on them or on anyone else for my happiness, I agree - I won't find it in the end. But I also know that I am not an oxymoron... and while those who live with my struggle may not fit in your eyes, I fit in God's. And this is His Church. I've spoken with leaders of the Church on this subject, and, of all the things I have learned, is the true acceptance of who I am. I am a son of God, who is committed to living the gospel. Yeah, I'm attracted to guys. And there is nothing wrong with being attracted to them. I repeat - there is nothing wrong with being attracted to others. God gave us attraction as part of who we are. For normal guys, it's to help them find a wife. For me, it's an all-encompassing trial designed to help me be who He sees in me. If all extra-marital attraction were sin, we would have much bigger problems on our hands. The sin, and the choice that is not accepted in the gospel, is choosing to sexually act out those attractions... and that is as prohibited for me as it is for men attracted women.

I'm happy, anonymous. Really. I know you may not believe that... but I'd ask you to ask God - and I know that He can give you the same understanding He gave me.

We've known who you were, even those in your ward know who you are. They won't understand. Happiness is not in trying to be a part of something that shuns you out, while you try to hold onto the little good you know there is. Don't hurt yourself with the church. I know the 'priesthood leader' you professed about that called you a creep, and it's people like him that prove that there won't be acceptance, allowance, or tolerance. It goes against what the gospel states to have those things. I'd want to reason and believe as you do, but I know I'd be lying to myself. You will be happy. There are many like you and they've found solace in a world outside the church. You state about Him and how He loves you, of which, He does. But His love isn't how you state it. His love is because you are His. His gospel, however, (if you believe the LDS doctrine) is not the same love you are hoping for. If so, then His mouth pieces, the apostles, President Monson, do not speak truth and lie. If you believe they do speak the truth, then you can't twist or reason that what they say, what the scriptures say, can be warped into what you are. The 'truth' is you must repent and turn to Christ, the way that is outlined by the church. Repentance isn't about who you are, it's what you do. Why repent of what you are if it's not a choice? I don't know if you see where I'm going with this.

If I went to church on Sunday and everyone knew, and everyone judged me, I would still go, and I would do the same things I do now - reach out to others and try to be a good person. My membership and faith isn't dependent on being understood or accepted by others - it comes from being understood and accepted by God.

Maybe you do know him. But I choose to doubt that unless proven otherwise. I could be being incredibly trusting, but I believe in the goodness of people, even when they give me every reason to believe contrary. I'm not naive - I treat people as the best I see in them, and give them the chance to live up to that vision.

And, even if there were a thousand people who rejected and hated me for my circumstances, I've met with so many people who are accepting of who I am - most Church leaders - that I'll never believe that the gospel, or the Church, doesn't allow others to love, understand, and accept that I am attracted to guys. In fact, I know it's exactly contrary. When a member of my stake presidency gives a talk on the importance of forever families... and then looks at me and talks about the faith that comes in living true principles even when you don't understand, I can see in him more than just acceptance and tolerance... in his eyes is a profound admiration for being true to who I am in a trial he will never face and struggles to imagine. Knowing me, and seeing my faith, has made him a better person, and helped him on his journey of faith... and I know that because he has told me.

I believe that it is here that I find peace and joy. I know that what the prophets speak is true. I know, not only because I've compared and critiqued their every word, but because I've turned to God and learned the same truths at His hand. I've seen the same visions, received the same revelations, heard the same still, small voice... and from those experiences I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God... and that I'm on the right path.

Still, I'm saddened to see how sad you feel sometimes, both when I pass you by on Sundays or other days, and through this blog. If you want happiness, you need to not hurt yourself with the hope that things will change. The gospel doesn't change if it's true. Truth doesn't change. If you are who you are, you have no reason to change that part of you either. So the two can't blend together, but I'm sure you can coexist, separately. I'm sure you'll eventually figure out who I am, but that's irrelevant.

As far as figuring out who you are, passing you on Sundays, or constantly being sad, maybe you have the wrong guy. Here on (Gay) Mormon Guy I share only a small part of my life, and the only reason it's sometimes depressing is because this trial is sometimes depressing. But it's the only thing in my life that qualifies under that category... Everything else in my life easily qualifies as being incredibly blessed, and except for maybe a wife and family, I literally have everything that anyone could want. My life is awesome in almost every aspect.

Maintain the smiles you put on and push through each day. Just know you are in our thoughts, and you'll come out stronger in the end when you realize there's more to this life than being shunned out by that which you want to be a part of and parts that you want to believe. You are better than that, and that, I do believe with all my heart.

On this I agree with you, but with an application different than the one you had in mind. You believe that turning away from the Church, with its people and their potential prejudice, would give me happiness. Happiness doesn't come from people. It comes from God - and from living the principles of the gospel. True faith is giving to those that stand in need - and that is why we have the Church - not only to be buoyed up by others, but more to have a chance to serve and share and, by serving others, come closer to God.

Thanks for your comment. I know we believe different things, but I'm grateful that you care enough to write, to compose your thoughts for me. Merry Christmas!

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