A New Year for a renewed life - Final Part

Posted by BB | Labels: , , , | Posted On 27 February, 2010 at Saturday, February 27, 2010

I, Beloved Boyd, am a Gay Mormon Boy and everything I say here is the truth to the best of my knowledge:

Whenever we find an answer all it seems to reveal are more questions. When I left Elder Christensen’s office I had gained some answers and some direction but all I had was more questions.

God had told me that I needed to start looking for a husband and get ready to adopt kids. Elder Christensen had told me that Satan and/or my own desires were leading me away from the church. As I drove home the contrasting views clouded my mind.

On one hand I had two distinct and undeniable impressions from the spirit. The first gave me my testimony of God when I was at a point of utter despair. The second told me of what I should do with my life. My first question about the second revelation was “What?” the second “Why?”

I was in utter shock that I would be given such a revelation. It really was a foreign concept to me that I didn’t believe could happen. In asking why I had a couple of thoughts. 1st is that I stopped focusing on what is right for gay mormon boys and instead on what was right for me. I also stopped asking what was right and instead in which direction I should move my feet.

The second reason I thought of is that the Lord, having perfect empathy, was giving me this revelation so that A. I could know the spirit even better because B. I needed to have the hope of a husband now in order to divert my course away from a tragic and early death. To this day I still do not know why I was given this revelation, but I do now know my present course in life.

As for being led away by Satan I came up with a couple scenarios. 1, If Elder Christensen was right and Satan had the power to mimic the spirit perfectly then how do we know that everything revealed unto man wasn’t from Satan in the first place? How do we know that Satan didn’t create religion, the greatest cause of death worldwide?

2. If the second revelation I had came from Satan then that meant that the first also came from Satan. They were identical. If Satan is advocating for God’s position then he is NOT Satan.

If the second revelation was created by me then that meant my testimony in God; in the loving atonement of Christ; all of it was also created by me. If that were so then why was I in such angst and anger at the world? Why was I struggling with my faith? And even if it were a self-delusion, isn’t it better to live the delusion rather than suffer a life without the love of Christ?

These were my thoughts as I deconstructed the revelations in my life. It took me many months after the revelations to get to this point. Many nights of anguish and pain. They cost me a couple of relationships as well, but that is a story for another week, so stay tuned to the Journey of a Gay Mormon Boy.

A New Year for a renewed life - Part 11

Posted by BB | Labels: , , , | Posted On 26 February, 2010 at Friday, February 26, 2010

I, Beloved Boyd, am a Gay Mormon Boy and everything I say here is the truth to the best of my knowledge:

My mind just exploded. Usually as I am being baptized I try to remember the names of those I am being baptized for. I try to say a little prayer to them, a prayer of encouragement. That morning I entered the font in a complete daze. I don’t remember even doing baptisms, or showering and getting dressed either.

My mind was in complete shock. How could I have received a revelation guiding me towards a husband? How could Heavenly Father give me that knowledge? What did it mean? Did I have the strength to take that step forward? I didn’t think I did. I exited the temple and walked over to Elder Christensen’s office in still in a pretty good shock.

I sat down with Elder Christensen and he asked me what was troubling me. Still flabbergasted from the revelation I had earlier received my original questions regarding new (church-wide) revelation concerning homosexuality went out the window. Instead my thoughts, in asking “WTF Heavenly Father,” had wondered what the hell do I do now? And so I asked Elder Christensen “What do you do when what the spirit tells you to do and what the Church tells you to do conflict?”

Definitely a loaded question that I hadn’t prepared for. His response was a bit shocking, but more on that later. After clearing up the difference between members, local leaders and the brethren he answered,
“That will never happen to you Boyd. It has happened before, but it is a headline event when it happens. The first hurdle that any member of the church has to clear is the story of Nephi slaying Laban. However Boyd, Nephi was a prophet and therefore he was special. I promise to you that that will never happen.”

“Well what does it mean when that does happen? I have felt it happen. The spirit of revelation I have felt is the same burning spirit I felt when I learned that God did exist, that Christ lives and that his atonement is eternal. When this prompting leads me on a course that, given present policy, would excommunicate me what do I do? In a fight between the Church and God who wins?”

”Well Boyd, where can spiritual promptings come from? They can come from one of three sources. 1st, The Lord 2nd, Satan and 3rd, Ourselves. Boyd, couldn’t it be that Satan is leading you on a path out of the church?”

“No. If he were, why would he, at a point of despair and desperation in my life, a time when I was about to become an atheist jaded by pain, would Satan demonstrate the Savior’s love to me? The feelings in my heart are the same and by definition of Satan he cannot be doing God’s work else he would cease to be Satan. I would believe it were my own desires if I hadn’t been so focused on what God wanted me to do.”

”Boyd, you must have been prompted to start this path out of the church by Satan. He has great power to mimic the spirit and he desires very much for you to leave the church. He wants you to be miserable like him. You need to stick with the Church, it will not lead you astray.”

This wasn’t the full transcript of our talk, but the message conveyed was the same. Tomorrow I will finish this series and conclude with my thoughts as I left the meeting with Elder Christensen.

A New Year for a renewed life - Part 10

Posted by BB | Labels: , , , | Posted On 25 February, 2010 at Thursday, February 25, 2010

I, Beloved Boyd, am a Gay Mormon Boy and everything I say here is the truth to the best of my knowledge:

I had always heard in church that when you pray, pray with “real intent.” It is in Moroni’s promise and was driven into my head countless times. However while growing up I now realize I never had “real intent” to follow the will of God. I had intent to, but it was not true, not real, and not sincere. Not like the morning of Tuesday January 6th, 2009.

I went to bed sobbing and pleading unto the Lord as I had many nights before. But this night I prayed for the strength to follow whatever the Lord would have me do, even if it meant literal self-castration.

I awoke with the same prayer on my lips and in my heart. I knew that if the Lord asked it off me I would give all. With that I dressed and went quickly to the early round of baptisms in the Salt Lake Temple. As I sat in chapel waiting for the temple workers to gather for confirmations I cleared my mind and prayed.

“Heavenly Father, Please prepare me with the strength and knowledge that I need before I meet with Elder Christensen. I have been praying for answers, but now I ask only that I am placed on the right path to step forward upon. I will follow all that thou asketh of me and pray that you only give me the opportunity.”

And with that I entered into the confirmation room and as I helped many souls receive the Holy Ghost I prayed and thanked the Lord for the Spirit in my life. I was filled with gratitude for the Lord and prayed to my Father to such effect.

I entered the baptistery and sat down as the handful of young women were baptized. As I sat I pondered over what I was to discuss with Elder Christensen. I was planning largely to ask “Why there had not been revelation in a church devoted to the principle of eternal and continuing revelation.”

As I sat, I split my mind into two parts; My questions of “WHY” were saved for Elder Christensen and for the Temple and for the Lord I asked “How and Where.” This splitting of my mind led greatly to what happened next. I was able to dedicate my soul to the Lord and in return he blessed my life.

As I sat on the chair at the top of the font I received the greatest gift from Heavenly Father. I was honored and blessed with a clear and distinct revelation. “Boyd, You need to search for a husband and prepare to adopt three children.”

This Revelation blew my mind and completely changed my meeting with Elder Christensen. It completely changed my life. It completely changed my mindset on life. I never expected this and I was in no way ready for it. I did not know why I received this revelation or what it meant for my life. But I did know that this changed things.

A New Year for a renewed life - Part 9

Posted by BB | Labels: , , | Posted On 24 February, 2010 at Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I, Beloved Boyd, am a Gay Mormon Boy and everything I say here is the truth to the best of my knowledge:

So I had a date set. It calmed me down a bit. What helped though was continuing to go to the temple; continuing to study the scriptures; and continuing to pray for answers. Those 8 days however changed my life forever.

Somewhere in my readings I came across someone who mentioned that homosexuality was more prevalent in the bible, it was just called something else. Rather than be called “gay” homosexual men were eunuchs. Now I didn’t (and still don’t) know how accurate the information that you can simply interchange eunuch and gay and understand the scriptures. However that thought wormed away at me.

At the same time I shifted in thought process in my prayers. I had been praying to know “why”; why are there gay mormon boys like me; what are we supposed to do; why do we have such an impossible task. Somehow I decided to become selfish and stop wondering about all gay mormon boys, but instead focus on me.

Why am I gay Heavenly Father? What am I to do? Why does it feel like life is an impossible task? What would you have me do?

These two thoughts combined one day and my outlook changed entirely. I stopped trying to force God to answer me and instead submitted to his will. I still had questions, but the lack of answers was slightly manageable. I began to ask different questions and have a conversation with God.

Heavenly Father, please guide me how you wish me to live. If it means that I must become celibate and alone for my earthly life then so be it, I will become a eunuch for you. If it means I should find a wife, then please help me be faithful to that. Heavenly Father I need to know where to go, more than that, I need to know I am going in the right direction. I will go where you need me to be Lord and I will do whateverso thing you ask of me. If it were your will for me to castrate myself and cut off that which offends me, then I would do so. I just wish to follow you oh Lord. I trust in thee.

When I met with my bishop again on Sunday he pulled out the Church handbook of instructions as revelation regarding homosexuality, but the logic of it (which is and was weak) didn’t appeal to me. I needed spiritual guidance and answers. On Monday morning I awoke and went to meet with Elder Christensen. Apparently I got the date wrong and it was on Tuesday not Monday.

While I was upset that I had to wait another day I was kind of relieved. Elder Christensen’s office was on Temple Square and so I had the chance to go to the temple right before meeting with Elder Christensen. That night I prayed to Heavenly Father and pleaded with him to show me where my next action should be. Not where I should go, but where to place my foot. There is an African proverb that states; “When you pray, move your feet.” This is how I felt that the Lord would answer me and in the morning my faith was rewarded.

A New Year for a renewed life - Part 8

Posted by BB | Labels: , , | Posted On 23 February, 2010 at Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I, Beloved Boyd, am a Gay Mormon Boy and everything I say here is the truth to the best of my knowledge:

Before I left for Seattle and after I had come back I had been meeting with my Bishop nearly every week. I had my customary seat on the couch and my usual time slot immediately after church. This week started out pretty much the same as all the others prior.

“How are you doing this week Boyd?”
“Not so good Bishop, pretty craptastic actually”
”Why Boyd?”
“Well, with Walter and Hayden I have been distraught and I keep examining everything over and over again. I know I am gay and I thought I had everything figured out, but lately I have been wondering why. Why Why WHY! Why in the name of God are some of his children Gay? What are we to do?”
”Well have you been reading your scriptures and saying your…”
“YES I have, immensely, I have inhaled every account and record about homosexuality I could find. From Leviticus to Paul, Sodom to Navoou, from Christ to Kimball.”
“Nowhere do I find anything newer than Leviticus. It all comes back to Moses and there has been no revelation since pertaining to what a gay mormon boy is to do.”
“It is all suspect and policy and only dealt with the concept as understood then. Do you think Moses thought of the possibility of a loving monogamous gay marriage? How then is there nothing new?”
”I don’t know Boyd. I haven’t studied this nigh as much as you and I would think there has been revelation since then”
“I assure you there is not Bishop. I have searched and pleaded with the Lord. I have gone to the temple over a dozen times this past couple of weeks and all I have are more questions. I feel lost and when I come to you what do you have for me? More unknowns.”
”Boyd, I am sorry I cannot answer your questions, I truly am. All I can offer you is to look into the matter and get back to you next week.”
“That isn’t good enough Bishop. I can’t wait until Tuesday, let alone Sunday. I am going mad with this void of meaning. Each day I hear the question pounding in my mind, Why Why Why WHY!”
“Can I ask your permission to talk with the Elder Christensen [The General Authority who was also a member of our ward] about all this? I truly need answers or else I will go insane.”
”Boyd, If you can get him to listen you are free to talk with him”

So with that I left the Bishop’s office. Not with the customary closing prayer and conciliatory hug, but instead with frustration and distraught. I walked out to my car and found his phone number. I gave Elder Christensen a call and told him that I was having serious difficulty with my membership and I had several poignant questions I needed to ask of him. We agreed to meet on Monday January 5th, 2009. 8 torturous days later.

A New Year for a renewed life - Part 7

Posted by BB | Labels: , | Posted On 22 February, 2010 at Monday, February 22, 2010

I, Beloved Boyd, am a Gay Mormon Boy and everything I say here is the truth to the best of my knowledge:

And you thought the series was over! You were wrong.

As has been discussed, Brother Black’s comments left me with a lot to contend with. I had confirmation from a BYU religion teacher that the text of Leviticus was in question from multiple angles. And, as was pointed out in the comments of Part 6, that no revelation regarding homosexuality had been received save that section of Leviticus. I had confirmation that I was dealing with church policy and not necessarily gospel doctrine.

However, I received this confirmation from a man. My goal in the temple was to know God’s will. It was to discover what the Lord had in store for us gay mormon boys. What was to be our destiny? I wondered if we were meant to seek for wives, husbands, or the monastery.

Do not get me wrong, it was a fantastic response I received from a BYU scholar like Brother Black, however, this it still wasn’t what I needed. I needed something that could answer my question. “WHY!” Why was I made like this? For what reason came I into this world? What is your purpose for gay mormon boys, Lord?

I had gained more knowledge and insight into the Levitical interpretations, and even more beyond that. I should have been content with what I had received, but I was left still not knowing, and not having directly received anything from the Lord. Yes, Brother Black’s name was an undeniable revelation from the spirit, but I still felt like there was more I needed to discover on this journey.

So, like any typical Mormon boy faced with a problem, I locked myself in my room and inhaled more scripture. I went to Deseret Book and studied the full Joseph Smith History on the floor in the corner – This is what led me to my resolution in case you were keeping score; I read through a couple of books by Dean Byrd et al.

I was falling back into a trap and so on Saturday I left the bookstore, newly purchased JST, in hand and went home. I changed into my fairly soiled white shirt and tie, and went over to the Jordan River Temple. I was back again and by now the ladies knew who I was but they still didn’t trust me to know my own jumpsuit size. (Medium – Long in case you were wondering)

As I entered the waters this time I thought and called out in my mind to each of the souls I helped. Ancestors hear my plea, help me find my destiny. I didn’t know if we had a concept of guardian angels, but I figured that those whom we help might in turn guide us when we need it the most.

I sat in the pews after getting dressed and continue to read every topical guide reference to homosexuality. Even the temple wasn’t helping to clear my mind and help my soul. Then the thought hit me. Tomorrow at church I will ask my Bishop for help discerning what the position on homosexuality is given the lack of revelation.

I had a plan and so I left the temple and anxiously awaited tomorrow’s meeting with my bishop.

A New Year for a renewed life - Part 6

Posted by BB | Labels: , , | Posted On 20 February, 2010 at Saturday, February 20, 2010

I, Beloved Boyd, am a Gay Mormon Boy and everything I say here is the truth to the best of my knowledge:

Yesterday I revealed my questions, here are his responses to my specific questions regarding the mistranslation possibilities in Leviticus.
“The issue of same gender attraction is certainly a major concern today and yes you are correct to say that we have relied on the Law of Moses revelation for direction here. To put that into perspective, we are relying on a law that we also teach has been fulfilled. Perhaps, as in other instances, this is a situation where this part of the law is eternal and not fulfilled. Every scripture quoted and every statement in the modern era goes back to the Leviticus 18:22 passage. Paul uses its language and so do many modern prophets. So to quote Paul is to quote Moses in this matter. So, from my heart, I hope whatever advise you are given is in light of the fact that we haven’t had a new revelation on the matter for say 4,000 years. I’m always a little nervous about this.

“You are correct to state that the context of Leviticus 18 is certainly to avoid the sins of Egypt and Canaan. Moses was trying to get them to leave Egypt spiritually and homosexuality (possibly male prostitution) was something that he taught came from their stay there.

“Unfortunately the interpretation you’ve considered for Leviticus 18 is certainly possible, and some commentators are adamant that you are correct, but it isn’t something that we can prove. What I think is certain is that Moses is reacting to the practices of the Egyptians, which he considers an idolatrous nation, and one of their sins involves males sleeping with males (almost certainly where one paid the other, or where one was retained as a sort of sex slave).

“From Leviticus 18:21, we are certain that Moses is condemning some pagan rituals and forms of idolatry. Their are parts of his speech that seem to warn the Israelites that warn against falling into their forms of worship (a type of idolatry). But for other parts of the chapter, we aren’t so certain because we don’t know that sleeping with one’s cattle was part of any religious practice. So here’s were commentators diverge, and unfortunately it’s not really a matter of Hebrew, but one’s impressions. Here’s the dilemma, if one or two of the items in the list are from a pagan religious context, then are all of the items to be considered in the same context; or if some of the items derive from non-pagan religious practice, then do we consider each item separately? Scholars are divided on this issue, and LDS scholars really don’t have anything to say beyond the text. As someone who studies the biblical text, I can say that it appears that both Paul and Moses are reacting to extreme pagan practice and want to make sure that the followers of the Lord in their dispensation do not do as the idolatrous pagans do.”

“I wish that I could give you some clear statement by the modern brethren. What I am hearing in the last few years is love as they seek to understand.”

“I can only hope that you will find someone who will share with you what is really happening on this issue and how the brethren would answer your questions. For me, to hear a recent Prophet’s thoughts on the matter would be more profound than a 4,000 contextualized text dealing with male prostitutes could ever be.”

A New Year for a renewed life - Part 5

Posted by BB | Labels: , , , | Posted On 19 February, 2010 at Friday, February 19, 2010

I, Beloved Boyd, am a Gay Mormon Boy and everything I say here is the truth to the best of my knowledge:

Brother Black’s name flashed into my mind, I took a step into the font and then his name was wiped from my memory. I had forgotten his name but clung onto who he was. Brother Black had been my New Testament teacher at BYU Freshman year. I knew I had to contact him. I entered into the waters and Max baptized me for 10 more people.

I left the font and rushed home, convinced to get into contact with Brother Black. I looked online at the religion teachers and couldn’t make out his face amongst them. I called BYU and found out his name from the registrar’s office looked up his CV online. He was fluent in Ancient Greek and Hebrew. How miraculous.

I emailed him asking “Brother Black … As you are the only person who I have personally met who understands Greek and Hebrew and is a member of the Church, I turn to you with some of my questions. Here's to the hope that you will be able and willing to answer my translation questions.
Sincerely,
Boyd, a member looking for answers.”

9 minutes later I got this response!

“Boyd, I’m happy to respond to your questions and help out where I am able to.”
I asked, still timid; “Before I get to my main question concerning the translation from Greek and Hebrew of New and Old Testaments respectively, I wanted to ask, does the Complete Joseph Smith translation supersede the need to look back to the Greek and Hebrew for interpretive meaning?” - I was asking to see if the Hebrew needed to be read given the JST.
“Going back to the original language still has value because it provides additional insights into the meaning of terms, phrases, context, etc., which is beyond the scope of the Joseph Smith Translation.”
Here was my response to him and the questions I asked him:

“Let me preface this by saying that I have taken a lot of time considering this issue and am seeking the truth of the matter, not to justify myself. I have struggled over this issue as a whole for a long time, but the concept of a mistranslation only entered my mind last week. All of this has given me great strife and tumult as I have considered everything, so much so that I tried to kill myself. That being said, I struggle with Same-gender attraction and scriptures I refer to are those that condemn it as a sin. I have to wonder why it is condemned as such and when I discover in my search the possibility of a mistranslation I have to find the truth, and so it is with that design that I turn to you.

"I have read that the Hebrew word used for "abomination" is "To'eba" which is used primarily to describe ritual impurities and Idolatry and when outright sin is the aim of the prophets, a different word is used. Given that translation, homosexual acts are idolatrous not an abomination. Is this translation and interpretation correct given the context of Leviticus 18 , which talks about avoiding the idolatry of Egypt and Canaan?

“From the context of Leviticus 18 do we know if the sins of Egypt and Canaan were the literal sins listed, or that the overall message was one of idolatry, and not the act of gay sex itself? Could it have instead been the ritualizing and worshiping of the act, placing the acts of homosexuality above God?”

His response will have to wait until a special Saturday post.

A New Year for a renewed life - Part 4

Posted by BB | Labels: , , , | Posted On 18 February, 2010 at Thursday, February 18, 2010

I, Beloved Boyd, am a Gay Mormon Boy and everything I say here is the truth to the best of my knowledge:

I got a text message from Lorrie a couple of days after Christmas. Lorrie was one of the few girls I have ever dated and she was the last one as well. I will talk more about her and the other few women in a flashback series later. Anyway, Lorrie’s text was asking me if I wanted to go and do baptisms with her and 2 of her friends. She didn’t feel like being their 3rd wheel and I was available so I joined with them.

I drove over to Lorrie’s for some breakfast and then we carpooled down to the Salt Lake Temple. Apparently everyone else had decided to pick this date and time to do baptisms as well. The place was packed fuller than a slaughterhouse. We got our clothes, changed and then proceeded to the small chapel to wait with 8 other full pews of people.

This provided us some time to contemplate things and to talk gospel amongst each other. As it was December and Prop 8 had passed less than 2 months ago Max, the other guy there, brought it up. We had been discussing inconsistencies in scripture and so I brought up a couple of the interpretations of Leviticus that I had been praying for answers on. Needless to say, anyone who can recite arguments for homosexuality in Leviticus by heart inside the temple just shot off a few giant gay flares.

The conversation stopped, as it became our turn for confirmations. Max confirmed the three of us and then the temple workers confirmed Max. 10 more souls helped. The women split form us as we entered the font room… that is to say as we stood outside the room stuck in a line of guys that reached about 6 people outside the door.

Max and I continued talking about all sorts of things, his mission; his hopes at marrying his girlfriend that was with us; his thoughts on the gospel. I was listening and discussing all the while praying for more guidance on these scriptures and to know where and what the Lord wanted me to be. As we got to about the halfway point one of the temple workers asked Max if he could take over baptizing the next batch of 20 some-odd people.

Max reluctantly claimed that he was a weak man and didn’t have the strength to baptize more than the three of us. I jokingly told him that I had the strength but not the power. It took him a second to understand that I wasn’t endowed and his response was a glib “Well what’s stopping you?”

I decided to respond diplomatically and say that I currently had issue with the Church over some policy and so until that was resolved, there was no way I could honorably ask people to join the Church. A light sparked behind his eyes and he told me he could guess why. “Oh really?” I asked “Why?”

“Proposition 8” Max said.

“Yep” I said. “I strongly disagree with what the Church did on a personal level. I felt attacked and it will take me a while to regain faith in the Church again. It’s not easy to listen to the words said against me… as a gay man in the church.”

Max stood there for a second and then told me that for whatever reason we had a bond of trust between us. We had met that day and I could tell him my deepest secret; that meant we must have been friends in the pre-earth life. He told me that he still cared about me and even though he didn’t know me he loved me because God loved me.

With that he turned around and stepped up into the font to baptize his girlfriend and I was hit with a revelation from the Spirit. It was only a name that flashed with brilliance in my mind. Brother Black. And with that I took another step towards an answer and entered the font.

A New Year for a renewed life - Part 3

Posted by BB | Labels: , | Posted On 17 February, 2010 at Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I, Beloved Boyd, am a Gay Mormon Boy and everything I say here is the truth to the best of my knowledge:

I woke up early and went to the South Jordan Temple. It was my first time back in a temple since my first day in Seattle with Ethel. It was also my first time at the South Jordan Temple. I was a pro at the ordinance though because at one point growing up I wanted to visit every temple; I even kept track of how many people I had been baptized for. By the time I was 14 it was over 250, and then I lost track.

I love the temple and its calm, however the South Jordan temple is pretty legitimately crazy. It was the biggest game of hurry up and wait I think I have ever played outside an airport. But I was fine with the waiting and took several moments to get completely lost in prayer. I used the hard pew to focus and calm my mind and prayed with whole intent to Heavenly Father.

“Heavenly Father” I asked. “I don’t know what to think of these various interpretations and definitions regarding homosexuality. It is something very real to me with little real information and knowledge. I have come up against many ways of seeing this and don’t know which is right, please, please Heavenly Father, help me to believe and know the truth.”

I prayed this and variations with each stop and go. I got to the font and helped 10 people move towards the next step. I got out, feeling the spirit telling me that this is where I was meant to be; the temple was a sacred holy place that I needed to continue to be a part of. I got dressed, and left out to my car.

Then I drove down to the Salt Lake Temple and, hair still dripping from my earlier round, entered Temple Square. It was much quieter here and more organized. Also it helped that there were only 3 or 4 of us being baptized. I proceeded through the same process again. I prayed in solemn earnest waiting keenly perched on the couch in the font room. I needed to know the truth and I knew that I could find it if I only had enough faith.

I helped another 10 souls and then proceeded to get dressed. I am not proud of this next part but it happened. As I was putting on my tie in the mirror, Adonis walks down the stairs in his towel. A model of sculpted physique (and not in that gross body builder way) walked down the stairs and I noticed one prominent feature. He had a tattoo on his arm.

This tattoo seemed so out of place in the temple that it made me wonder if I belonged here. Here I was lusting after a guy in the temple. Did I deserve to be there? I walked out into the lobby and put down several names on the prayer roll. I left the temple, walked around the grounds for a few minutes, and then made it back to my car and headed home.

On the way home I again felt the same spirit that I had felt in the South Jordan temple. I did belong there and needed to keep helping others, and more often. I kept visiting at least 1 temple praying in earnest for the next couple of days when I got a message that changed things up a bit. But that is a story for tomorrow.

A New Year for a renewed life - Part 2

Posted by BB | Labels: , | Posted On 16 February, 2010 at Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I, Beloved Boyd, am a Gay Mormon Boy and everything I say here is the truth to the best of my knowledge:

And now we resume your regular programming on the Boyd Timeline.

So here I was a few days before New Years and I had time to myself with Walter in the hospital and mom visiting him whenever she had the chance. I truly wanted to know what I was meant to do. I wanted to know what was right and all I ended up with was a wall.

I was frustrated and tired and in the short time before I went back to school I took stock of my situation. Here I was, a gay mormon boy with no idea what I was going to do with myself. I felt a kinship with Paul who, in Galatians, instructed the people not to follow the words of man, but the true gospel of Jesus Christ as given in divine revelation. I wanted to follow that truth of God and not of men.

I threw myself at scriptures and commentaries to fully show that I was like Mahonri Moriancumer, willing to work out the problems in my own mind to my best effort. It was the only way I could exercise faith in action and so I studied. Then one day I was watching the news. In the footage about Prop 8 there was a Jewish Couple getting married under a tent. This struck me as odd because Leviticus seemed to be the singular solid stone against homosexuality.

Leviticus had, in my study, been the bedrock on which hung all the words of the prophets. I began to look at how the Jews viewed homosexuality and I was surprised at the contrast between Judaism and Mormonism. A synagogue in NYC might allow gay marriage and one in Chicago might disavow it. The contrast to the structure of the Church blew my mind.

As I researched more and read more I learned a few reasons why some Jews are fine with and even advocate for gay marriage.

1. The Humane View – “As Jews we recognize that our gay brothers and sisters are still our family and our friends and they deserve our love above even our religion”

2. The Demographic View – “The homosexuality discussed in Leviticus was about lust and sex instead of love. Today homosexuality and gay marriage is about honoring a commitment for each other, not pagan temple rites”

3. The Mistranslation View – “There is a key word in the bible that is mistranslated. That word is what is called ‘abomination’ today. In Hebrew the word stands as something that makes one ritually unclean. Many of the same rules regarding ritual cleanliness do not apply because the Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed”

In looking at these varying views I was left more confused; more frustrated; more desirous to know the truth. I spent hours pouring over the scriptures, online commentaries, and my own patriarchal blessing. Finally, after I had exhausted my mind, I broke down and cried. I hadn’t come any closer to truth and knowledge, just more pontifications of man.

At the end of my weeping I made a commitment to myself. The next day I was going to get up and do baptisms for the dead. I would enter sacred ground and seek with earnest intent the will of the Lord for me.

A New Year for a renewed life

Posted by BB | Labels: , | Posted On 15 February, 2010 at Monday, February 15, 2010

I, Beloved Boyd, am a Gay Mormon Boy and everything I say here is the truth to the best of my knowledge:

As some of you have commented on, and others have probably noticed, my posts tend to jump around a lot. That is because periods of time in my life were often intense in stress and depression. To date: I came out to myself; 1 month later came out to my dad; 1 month later I came out to my mom; 2 weeks later I tried to kill myself; 1 month later Walter tried to kill himself. It was a rollercoaster of emotions, stress, suspense and pain.

I chose to break it up to spare you from having to read it all as it happened. With the addition of Yesterday’s post there are now three timelines running on my blog. There is the main Boyd timeline. This is chronicling my story from the time I came out to myself to roughly 1 year later. There are the flashbacks to various points in my life. These provide distraction from the maudlin and fill in holes in my back-story. And now you have the current, present day ramblings of my spiritual mind.

I give you this recap now of all times and places because this is a new year for my blog. Given my back ground today is a New Year, the Year of the Tiger. It also represents a day in the Boyd timeline, January 1, 2009.

In honor of the New Year today I am sharing with you my resolutions from last year in this post. They represent my desires and wishes of last year. The original resolution is in black and my current notes are in red.


1. Graduate College - I had 21 credit hours remaining.
2. Take the GRE
3. Apply for Graduate School – I had 1 in mind, but was open to many
4. Read the D&C – herein hangs the laws and covenants of the people of God.
5. Read the New Testament with the complete Joseph Smith Translation – There actually is more of the JST that isn’t published in the footnotes and PGoP. My discovery of that and subsequent interest in this will be revealed in a post later this week.
6. Earn a higher rating in tennis – I had a competition goal in mind
7. Run a 5k with a constant pace – I was always starting and stopping
8. Run a 10k – really just survive one
9. Workout at least 2 times/week – Without going to the gym and the showers it held.
10. Get a job in Seattle or Canada – I had two distinct companies in mind, the one I had interned for previously and another firm in Canada that would be perfect.
11. Help Hidalgo serve a faithful mission
12. Serve my community – I had some distinct ways and forms, but they must remain anonymous
13. Discover an inner peace in the gospel regarding my sexuality – Yesterday’s post illustrates the final culmination of this resolution
14. Go to the Temple often – I needed to feel the inner peace in my daily life
15. Thrive – Thriving is more than mere survival, it is living life and loving it.

 Throughout this blog I will highlight different resolutions I succeeded and others that never happened, but know this. It is a new year and a new life.

Teachings for our Time – The Potter’s Clay

Posted by BB | Labels: , , | Posted On 14 February, 2010 at Sunday, February 14, 2010

Each month at least one lesson is prepared in church designed to be pulled from a talk given in General Conference. This is known as a “Teaching for our Time.” I like the name and whenever I feel a hit of spiritual inspiration I will have a Sunday post dedicated to that thought. It will address a topic of concern for me as a gay mormon boy in regards to the Church. They will not be regular and will fluctuate like the Saturday Delight posts. I hope that they can help those who read and convey to those who read this as a history of my life what I was thinking from a spiritual perspective. These thoughts will not follow the timeline of the rest of the story, but reflect my current thoughts as of the date the post was published. So sit back and hold onto your butts!

In the past couple of weeks the gay mormon blogger friends I have made have written several posts questioning, postulating, and testifying on the concept of the eternal nature of homosexuality. Some believe it to be only a mortal flaw, others an eternal facet of our character. Scott had a wonderful post about it that you should read here.

While reading these posts I didn’t quite know where I stood on the issue. Was I born gay or did I have gayness thrust upon me? Will it be with me forever or will it be taken from me after I die? I didn’t have an answer and it was the proverbial pebble in my shoe; that is until I took my mind off of things for a moment to play a round of the video game Civilization IV.

Throughout the game you discover technologies and with each discovery a quotation is read that loosely pertains to that technology. Well as I played and “discovered” pottery the narrator a passage that seemed to answer my questions intuitively.

Hath not the potter power over the clay to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

It seemed like too simple of an answer and yet there that line hung in my mind all day. As I awoke the next day and was reading my scriptures I thought again about the passage. Could it really be that simple? I was created; doesn’t a creator have power over his creations? Could my gay attraction be “wrong” to the world and yet what was meant to be?

As I read the Romans 9 closer I realized the depth of what that simple message was telling me. God created me precisely how I am. I am meant to have these attractions. It cannot be stated that Satan turned me gay because I can trace these attractions to before I was baptized. I was put on a path designed to have me become a gay mormon boy. I think believe that my attractions were created by God; they were stitched into every cell and sinew of my body as I grew inside my mother’s womb.

I don’t pretend to know the mind or purpose of God, but I do know that I was created this way. It is no coincidence that Romans 9 is a Pauline discussion on foreordination. He discusses how the one man or people can be placed above another prior to being born according to the election of God; that God created Moses’ Pharaoh for the expressed purpose of declaring his name throughout the earth. It is then that Paul states a beautiful line:
Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?
Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? - Romans 9:20-21

Could it really be that my Creator created me thus? that in the grand scheme of things I am meant to be gay? I believe that it is true. I believe that I was foreordained to be attracted to men. God has some plan in mind that requires me to be attracted to men. I do not know why; but I cannot help but know that a God of justice will not punish me for being how I was created to be; and a God of mercy will love me as his son and open my eyes to see why I was created thus.

Before I had this understanding I was just as the Gentile Christians wondering how they would receive the glory of God when they were not the chosen people. How would an “abomination” like me receive the glory of God? Now having read this beautiful passage I know that, just as the Gentiles, I will be called beloved. Paul refers to a scripture in Hosea that is amazingly beautiful. I leave it with you as a closing to my testimony.

”I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.“ - Hosea 2:23

Amen.

I'm LOST!

Posted by BB | | Posted On 12 February, 2010 at Friday, February 12, 2010

So I have started a new blog. It is all about the TV show LOST so if you are interested, check it out. I am rewatching the series and taking notes.

http://lostboyd.blogspot.com

The Start of Something New - Part 5

Posted by BB | Labels: , | Posted On at Friday, February 12, 2010

I, Beloved Boyd, am a Gay Mormon Boy and everything I say here is the truth to the best of my knowledge:

That time at the public pool was the beginning of my freshman year at BYU. During that year I used gyms as a place to meet discreet random guys. It wasn’t pretty, but it is what happened in my life. A series of meaningless days with people whose names I never knew.

However, there was one time that I took things further than the gym. And that is today’s story:

I had seen this guy a couple of times at the gym; we will call him Kris. Now Kris was a swimmer and would swim several lengths of the pool before joining me in the hot tub. We spent a couple of nights talking but we never messed around at all. Whenever we would shower we would see leave our curtains open to stare at one another and let others watch as well.

One night we were talking and I ended up getting myself invited back to his place. He lived just up the road from sugarhouse and so I followed him in my truck. He invited me in and offered me something to drink. I got some Gatorade and we sat on his couch talking. I lied to him when he asked me what I was doing and studying. I told him I was going to the University of Utah studying physics.


We talked for a little while longer and as we did so he turned on Showtunes Saturday Night on the radio. We started listening to some great musicals and then started to make out. Things got hotter and so we moved to his bed. We fooled around a bit before I left.

The following semester I was back at the gym when I saw Kris again. We hit things off well and so, yet again, I ended up at his place. Again I was offered something to drink and took a Gatorade, we turned on the Showtunes and started to make out again. Let me just say, when you are making out with a guy and you have both had different flavors of Gatorade, it tastes amazing!

So we start making out and I confess the truth to him. I actually go to BYU. He sympathizes with me and asks me what I, as a starving BYU student, want to do. I hesitate for a while and want him to decide, but ultimately I say that I want us to have him be my first time going all the way. I want to top him and then have him top me.

He checked to make sure that I want to go through with it and then starts showing me how to get him ready for me. After some prep work I dived right in and toke care of business. During the middle of it all I took a second to listen to the music and heard High School Musical’s “The Start of Something New” playing on the radio. I chuckled to myself at the irony of it all and finished up before the end of the song.

I collapsed in a heap of ruin, too spent to do anything else that night. Kris held me close for a little while and then took a call from his long distance boyfriend who lived in NYC. Later he came back into bed with me and I spent the night with him.

Kris was the first guy I ever had sex with; The first guy I slept the night with; The first guy I went home with. He was someone who opened up my eyes to something new. Kris showed me that I didn’t have to just have sex; that I could feel much more than that. It took me a while to figure it all out, and it may sound weird, but spending that night with Kris is something that has helped me figure out my role as a gay mormon boy.

The Start of Something New - Part 4

Posted by BB | Labels: , | Posted On 11 February, 2010 at Thursday, February 11, 2010

I, Beloved Boyd, am a Gay Mormon Boy and everything I say here is the truth to the best of my knowledge:

After we got home from the cruise I had a short while before I moved down to BYU. During that short period of time I had in SLC I spent one summer’s day back at the old local swimming pool. I had become accustomed to the pool on the cruise and so I visited the old swimming pool; the same one from earlier in the week; the one with the 18+ locker rooms.

Somewhere in my mind I knew the real reason why I was going there, but I thought it was just to go for a swim… by myself. So I go in through the front doors, past the front desk, and straight on into the adult locker room with the same attraction that draws a turtle back to the beach of its birth. I walk in the door, find a locker and start taking off my jeans.

As I do so I start looking around at this locker room. It’s pretty standard, four enclaves of lockers, a row of toilets, tree of life showers with 2 private/handicapped ones, and then to my amazement, a sauna. I hadn’t ever been in a locker room with a sauna before. I took note of the staring eyes as I slipped off my underwear and brought my towel to the tree of life shower.

I showered up and then made a B-line towards the sauna, towel draped over my shoulder in a fashion to still cover my front. I wrapped my towel as I stepped in the door and sat down on the top row. There were 2 cute guys and a few trolls in the sauna. I leaned back, again emboldened by the spirit of Neil Patrick Harris, and spread my legs a little.

After a short time 2 of the trolls left to follow one of the cute guys leaving 3 of us in the sauna. They were both staring at me and I knew it and so did they. The tension was soaking out of our skins with the sweat and toxins. I finally got up from the heat, removed my towel and went back to my locker to get my suit on.

Then I proceeded to the indoor pool where I jumped in off the diving board, and then got out and plopped myself into the hot tub. The troll had followed. The exact series of events that transpired I have repressed, but somehow I let him start fondling me. I sat there for what seemed like arduous torturing hours letting that happen before I pushed away and tried to back away.

I went back into the sauna and the same cute guy was still in there. Alone. So I sat near him and we started chatting. He started hitting on me as well and I liked it. Then during our conversation I mentioned I was going to be going to BYU and planning on a mission soon. I don’t know what he thought about the fact that I was cruising for guys and planning on a mission but he tried to give me good advice.

He told me “You should join quack, even if you would be the team twink.” I had no clue what those words meant. “quack”, “twink” They were foreign concepts to me. This was my first introduction into something more than just male-male sex and it was comforting, even if it wouldn’t be a couple of years until I figured it all out.