Now that I have written not one but two blog posts bemoaning how woefully wrong my dad was a few days ago, the conversation still disturbs me--and this time, it's not the wrongness of it that bothers me, but the nagging possibility of its rightness.
What if he's right, I wonder, and I really would be ruining myself by pursuing a gay relationship and (for lack of a better word) lifestyle? What if I would be handing in my ticket of eternal progression, effectively getting off at this sorry stop as the rest of the Church rolls on toward the Celestial Kingdom and beyond?
"I had a cousin," my dad said Monday, "who went on a mission, came home, and decided to...follow this lifestyle. Long story short? He got AIDS, and in his dying moments he basically said 'I screwed up.' Near the end he was trying to crawl back to the Church, but it was too little, too late." (Dad did admit that he wasn't actually present at the time, but maintained that this is what happened.)
This concerned parent's warning continues to haunt me. I see myself on my deathbed--either as a young man with AIDS or as an old man with the crippling ailment of regret--confessing that 'I screwed up', but also knowing that the chance for change is past.
By the way--on a happier note: three cheers for the success of the Matthew Shepard Act! A great step forward.