Browsing MoHo blogs I came across this quote from the Personal Writings of Joseph Smith, 509:

"Our heavenly Father is more liberal in His views, and boundless in His mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive."

Then, as I was verifying the quote, I came upon the second half:

"...and at the same time more terrible to the workers of iniquity, more awful in the executions of His punishments, and more ready to detect in every false way, than we are apt to suppose Him to be..."

I am at a crossroads with basically everything--church, school, family, identity.  I suppose it's the age--as my mom says, "At 17 everyone is just trying to find who they are and where they fit in"--but being a gay/LGBT Mormon seems to add an extra dimension.

Already, people--family members, ward leaders, etc.--are asking about my mission.  I'll have to make a decision soon, especially as I try to arrange college.  And the scary thing is, I don't know.  A couple of years ago I was Peter Priesthood; now I don't know who I am, and no one else does, either.  Not too long ago I was visiting "inactives," but now I'm the one being hounded by the Priest Quorum advisor.

Am I straying?  Am I lost?  Have I been deceived by the "permissiveness of the world" (a popular phrase in today's GC session)?  Will I forever have to wonder about "what might have been"?  ("Of all sad words of tongue or pen..."--another conference favorite.)

I don't know where I stand with God.  Nor do I know which God to look to--the One "more liberal in His views, and boundless in His mercies and blessings, than we are ready to believe or receive" or the One "more terrible" and "awful" to the sinful than we would suppose.  On which hand do I stand?  In which direction am I going?   To what future should I look and act to bring about?

I wish I could put these things out of my mind, but I am running out of time.  There's a sense of--at risk of sounding too melodramatic--a sense of foreboding, and a sort of suffocating inevitability to all of this.


Bravone said...

FLS, My heart goes out to you. It can be confusing and even frightening to feel a lack of direction. Father loves us enough to not force his will on us, but allows us to find Him in our own individual way.

My best advice would be to ignore what I or others say and spend time alone, pondering, praying, and seeking the path that will ultimately bring you the most happiness, even if it is a difficult path.

You are good and wise beyond your years. Just because you begin down one path, doesn't mean your life is forever destined to follow that path. Part of our individual journeys sometimes takes us down unforeseen trails because we need to learn something we would have otherwise missed.

Trust yourself. Trust that God love you. Trust that your future will be bright. I think it is a fallacy to say we are at a crossroads, although I have said it myself before. Truth is there are many paths to our ultimate destination, each unique to us. Find joy in your journey.

Love you.

Ned said...

Hey FLS, I concur with Bravone's thoughts and would add this from President Monson's last talk: "The Lord will bless us as we call upon him."

El Genio said...

Despite what some people will try to tell you, there is no rush on the mission decision. You can serve anytime up until your 26, so there is no reason to jump into it.

MoHoHawaii said...

That last part of your post is interesting. What future (when you allow yourself to daydream) makes you giddy with excitement? Which daydreams make your stomach go sour? In other words, what are your hopes and fears? If you can clarify these to yourself, with brutal honesty, then the problem of what to do is mostly solved.

Nothing is inevitable. You are the captain of this particular ship.

Alan Williams said...

Personally, the mercy/wrath or liberal/conservative duality as it relates to God and homosexuality, in my mind, is "made up" in Mormon culture to keep queer folks in line. I'm currently writing a paper on this in school. Of course, I'm on the outside looking in (I'm 26 and left the Church when I was 15), but still, the themes of your blog post make me think I'm onto something. =)

Kevin L. said...

Being able to feel, recognize, and understand the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Ghost is so vital, yet so tricky.

It seems that is what you are looking for: some assurance--a real solid peace and conviction--of the direction your life should be going.

I truly believe that assurance can only come from God. A lot of people feel that they are free and happy even in choices that are contrary to the Gospel, but I would argue that what they are experiencing is a degree of relief from the constant battle between choices.

The problem for me was that even when I was choosing the Gospel way, I still didn't feel the certainty I was after. It was SO frustrating and SO agonizing. I didn't just want it. I needed it. Without the confidence that I was doing what God wanted, my life was miserable and unbearable.

I finally realized how much I had personally been closed off to the influence of the Holy Ghost. I'm not talking about worthiness here. I'm talking about willingness. I realized that even in my attempts to live the Gospel, I had such a hard heart that I couldn't feel the confirmation of the Spirit. It was a huge process for me to "open my heart" and really be authentic with my God. I had to learn to reject shame in all of its insidious forms. It took being vulnerable--and that was damn scary.

But it was so worth it. Once I truly opened my heart to the influence of the Godhead, I felt a peace and joy I had never even imagined. I was so confident, so sure of my life and the direction I was headed. I was truly happy. Nothing is more rewarding than that.

So totally rambling, but I felt like I ought to share. Love you, buddy. Good luck with everything.

A Gay Mormon Boy said...

I think a great deal of this process has to do with you being a happy and effective teacher. In speaking to a friend in the exact same situation 2 years older than you, I asked a question he's still pondering: Would you be able to teach everything you teach believing in it fully.

Read through "Preach My Gospel." In particular, the section on the Law of Chastity. If you don't have a testimony in a principal you'd have to teach, I see that as a limiting factor.

In my case, I thought I had a testimony in it when I left, but came to the realization after my mission that this piece didn't make sense anymore.


Frank Lee Scarlet said...

Thanks everyone for your advice and concern. I really appreciate it :)