Back Row Update

In light of a recent and relevant weighty event in my life, I'm following up the previous post with another.

First, thank you for your comments. I so appreciate your thoughtful and supportive remarks. Right now, every option is on the table for me. I'm not closing my mind to Temple marriage, a gay relationship, or celibacy at this point. I support fellow MoHos in whatever they decide is right for them.

Also, while I do have a few differences with the LDS Church (such as the nightmare that was Prop8), I believe in the Gospel and love the Church on the whole. One commenter, a disaffected member of the Church, posted his view of disillusion with the Church, and that's fine with me. My entire post was something of a gripe about the Church, and I understand that some of these issues (amongst others) can cause a member to leave the Church. Some feel it is best to ignore these things--putting them on the religious 'shelf'--and I fully understand this as well (the reason for my little warning before launching into my back row quibbles). However, I personally do tend to confront these things (for better or worse) while still keeping in mind the easy possibility of intellectualizing oneself out of the Church. While I would never presume to pass judgment on another's religious beliefs, I do take great comfort in the Gospel, and see the Church as a vehicle for it. As such, I do value my membership.

With all these ideas whirling around in my head, I thought it a bitter irony when someone I'm very close to told me they do not have a testimony. We talked about it; the person claimed to have never had a real belief in the Gospel. I bore my testimony, but it did little.

In some ways the situation is a mirror that shows a slightly altered version of my own position. Again I find myself wondering about the eternal consequences of leaving the Church... And how I have no problem with atheists, but when a person I'm close to comes out as one, it's a bit...different (which is similar to my mother's reaction when I came out as gay)...

It's a lot to think about. I find myself deeply saddened by this person's disbelief. (It gives me reason to evaluate my own future with (or without) the Church.) I feel so devastated by this because I worry about this close friend's happiness and everything else that's at stake.

A bit hypocritical of me? I'm not sure--I just want the best for this person.


Mister Curie said...

I'm glad my comment did not offend. I'm glad that the church brings you comfort and happiness. I would never want to take that away from anyone. As long as the church is a net positive in your life, you should definately stick to it.

BB said...

I am glad that you wouldn't pass judgment on another's beliefs. It seems to happen often in the Church membership today. Many people fail to live the example of Joseph Smith when he said "If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No! I will lift them up and [each] in his own way if I cannot persuade him my way is better!"
I do agree that we are all mirrors into each other's souls. Such beautiful imagery there Frank. I hope you feel less devastated and remember that we area ll on simmilar journeys.

j4k said...


I don't think you're being hypocritical for caring about your friend. A good friend worries about you and wants the best for you.

Think of Samwise in Lord of the Rings. When Frodo was leaving the fellowship to walk to Mordor alone, Sam didn't "respect" the decision. He followed him. He knew that Frodo would need the help. When Frodo told him to leave, after Gollum set him up at the bread theif, Samwise followed from afar and ended up saving the short sighted Frodo, and my favorite, when Frodo decided carrying the ring was too hard, Samwise picked him up and carried him.

A true friend isn't a hands off, hang out buddy, that is happy as long as you guys play Halo once a week. A true friend is worried about the long term happiness of his friend.

Sure you're not going to harp on them all them time, but I would hope my friend would let me know out of love, if I was wavering, his advice. Then keep loving me afterward.

Associates or acquaintances don't care about our personal well being, but friends do, so it hurts us when our friend makes choices we know aren't in their best interest.

Anyways, i guess I"m passionate, cause I just told my best friend about my SGA, and he reacted remarkably. I love the guy.

Good luck.

Bravone said...

FLS, It sounds to me like you are being a true friend. Even the years when I did not believe in God or the Church, for some reason, I felt bad when people felt that they needed to leave. Hard to explain. You are far from a hypocrite. The most important thing is to continue showing love and friendship regardless of the eventual choice he makes. Love you!

Frank Lee Scarlet said...

Thanks for your support! Hopefully I'll be able to help in some way.