So, I am not part of the social mainstream of the gay world. I have a few gay friends. I’ve been to one party.
But other than that, I am very much isolated from that. But lately I’ve been reading some of the blogs that gay people in Provo have written. It kind of opens my eyes to how many of us are here.
But it’s been hard to see how many of us end up leaving the church. I understand the reasons why. I’ve seen those reasons in my own life. But I’ve come to think that the biggest problems are not within the church itself, but rather within the social system in the church. Yes, the leaders still don’t endorse a gay life, but they are much more accepting and loving than the members.
I think sometimes we forget that the people that lead the church are just doing the best they can. They don’t know everything. No one does. They don’t have all the answers about the how’s and why’s of our lives. We are pioneers when it comes to being gay and mormon. There are no books about this. There were no Sunday school classes on this. So we’re doing the best we know how. And so are the leaders of the church. And we’ll get a lot further by working together, despite differences, than by building walls between us.
The bigger problems tend to be social problems within the church. And really, that’s where all the problems facing us are. They’re social. Not political. Not governmental. We want to be treated like normal people, not like freaks for what we are.
What people need to realize is that the church was never really about church. It’s a vehicle by which we come to know God. That’s what the gospel is all about. That’s the point of it all. A person can be up to their eyeballs in church attendance, scriptures, manuals, fhe, and whatever else you can think of, but if they’re not coming to know God, then there’s no point to it all.
And in my mind, a person who may not be the best “by the book” member, but who sincerely tries to build a relationship with God, is the one who is accomplishing everything the church is about.
Yes, there are rules in the church. Ones they’re not willing to change. And they never will change. But that doesn’t mean that people like us can’t be a part of that path to God that the church is trying to provide. And if members of the church feel differently, then they need a refresher course in Christ-like compassion.
No, these two life styles don’t go together very well. No one said our lives were going to be easy. But honestly, trying to keep close to God is more important to me than avoiding the awkwardness or judgment of insignificant church members.
God loves us. He always will. And he wants to help us and guide us. Our path is not what people think it will be. All the advice I’ve gotten from people on how to handle my feelings isn’t what I’ve really needed. But God knows what I need. And he’s the one I need to point my way.