28 December 2010

THT: Plan of Action for Gay Mormons

I came across this well-written call to action by Clay Essig and wanted to share the gist of his article. He basically pleas with the gay Mormon community to join together in determination to seek to be granted new revelation on our plight. He recognizes that we are all in different places. Some of us have chosen celibacy. Others, a heterosexual lifestyle. Others, a homosexual lifestyle. But all of us can do things to seek positive changes.

We can serve people to the extent we can. If we cannot do it in the church (due to excommunication or simply because it is still too hard to go to church), let us seek to uplift the poor and needy, visit the sick and afflicted, do good in our communities, and be the first to serve our neighbors. If you have chosen celibacy or are otherwise worthy to attend the temple, visit it frequently.

We can still seek the Lord in our lives. Read the scriptures. Ponder their meaning. Be a light and example to those around us. If we are in a place where we can be at church, let us serve faithfully. If we are unable to hold callings, we can still be the first to welcome others who may otherwise feel marginalized within our community of saints. We can still share the gospel of Christ.

We don't need to harden our hearts. We can't be perfect. No one can. But don't let that discourage us to doing the things that we can do. We don't need to turn away from the gospel and reject everything just because there is one thing we don't agree with or understand. We can still pray and fast for further revelation, to open the minds and hearts of people.

Let us shine forth and be a blessing to others. Show people that our lives are capable of great goodness. That our fruits are good and our spirits strong. And as we do so, come out to family, friends, and church leaders with wisdom. Help them to see that being gay isn't inherently evil just as being straight isn't inherently good. Help them see that we also see the danger in promiscuity, drugs, abuse, etc, and that we seek loving, monogamous relationships in which we can raise a healthy family.

I encourage you to read the article. The writer's words are encouraging and empowering. You can feel the spirit behind them. Rather than arguing between ourselves over which course of action is the "right" course of action for the gay Mormon, let us unite and move forward in our search for more enlightenment and understanding regarding this issue.


Trev said...

This is an excellent post and a beautiful article. Thank you for sharing it! I am glad you seem determined to act on this, and I'm excited to keep following how things go for you.

apronkid said...

Thanks for the link. I read some of it, and plan to read more of it later. It is an empowering article, and has some excellent suggestions.

bradcarmack said...

I read the article yesterday. I could tell it was heartfelt. I've been in email contact with the author recently. It seems he was excommunicated for refusing to take down his website. I used a number of his points (from that article, his other article http://www.gaysandthegospel.org/articles/Believing_the_Words_of_Jesus_Christ.pdf, and his website) in my book.

Anonymous said...

Hello Gay Mormon, My name is Eric and I am a fifth year student at Purdue University in Indiana. I have been reading your blog in the past couple months along with many other gay mormon blogs. I would like to share with you my experiences of being out in my ward and being out as Mormon to the GLBTQ community.

I am a fairly new member, I was baptized April 26th 2008, Actually came out of the closet and was pretty involved with the Queer Student Union at Purdue when before I became a member. Before that I was catholic of which my family still is and no one in my extended family is mormon either. I was a very committed catholic and hard on myself for being gay, in fact I was the only one in my friends and family that seemed to have a problem with me being gay.

If you like I can tell you more about how I became mormon, it is way too long for me to write it out all at once but what I will share now is this:

I came out to the missionaries the Bishop and some of the members, I let them know that I had just came out as gay just last summer had no interest in ever changing and that I was involved with queer related activities, and if I joined I plan to be fully out and honest about myself. I went on to share my experiences in GLBTQ community and in my investigation of the ward. When I spoke my peace he actually complimented me on my righteous actions and told me it wouldn't prevent me from becoming a member.

Anonymous said...

Though many of the members of the GLBTQ community thought it strange a good number actually showed up to my baptizm including my out Trans-geneder (Showed up to the baptism fully out with her partner) friend who actually helped me to become a member by showing me the importance of authenticity and a space where I can always have my voice (will love to explain later I can write a whole novel based on my experiences with her group Get Real About Discrimination which I currently run at Purdue now.

The Bishop actualy shook her hand and they had a talk about another branch of mormonism when it split with Brigham young and Joseph Smith's son of which she was a part of like 30 years ago.

My realtion with ward members are really good when you are out you tend to attract the right people to you. About a year ago I actually bore my testimony to the ward about being the only out gay person in the ward and what blessings it has given me in my life. I had recieved compliments of that talk from young memebers and the ward leaders.

Something my bishop said is that though the church is true it is not perfect, he was such an honest bishop that he didn't know what really to say to me but put his trust that I will act according to god's will.

In your call to action I feel that doing good deeds is great I am actually working on making a volunteer system to help ward members find ways of volunteering including special olympics and gonna try my hand at ofereing them some commoon ground to help with the queer organizations on things such as AIDS awarness.

Anonymous said...

I feel that we need to come together as a gay mormon community I truly fully support each person's decision on how to live their lives and this includes those that claim to have changed from gay to straight (of which I know of two personaly) and out gays in heterosexual marriage. They are no better off or worse of than heterosexual marriage or gay coouples. It is important to recognize that no one will ever have all the answers and no one will ever be perfect that is why we have religion, not to show how much more righteous we are than other people but to grow as a community of believers and support one another. Just because a church is true do you think that means that it is right for everyone? I do believe this church is true though I put the personal testimony of a persons belief first before any entity on earth because even the imperfections of a true church ca damage and seperate a person from God

You can begin to grasp the diversity of the world when you can grasp the diversity found in even the smallest groups such as gay mormons. Regardless of any difference, there is no excuse for not working together to create a more conscious and loving environment that accepts all those trying their best through life.

I am not a GLBTQ advocate and I am not an advocate of the mormon church what I am is an Authenticity advocate. By being one I work to build bridges where few even care to build. I am happy I am at the point I'm at now, to me it would've taken no less than god's grace to get me to this point he has placed the support I neeeded at all the right times.

I still have alot to learn, alot to do, and alot to share.

I could be wrong about all this as any other person or entity could be wrong if there is any wrong. I just have faith that the love that has gotten me here is that of God's and even if it wasn't I can at least live eternity with the choices I made.

Hope I can talk with you more , I hope to start a blog at some point to share my experiences in more detail.

Thank you for listening

Gay Mormon said...

@Anonymous- PLEASE email me! I would love to talk with you more. My email is at the upper right corner of the blog. Thanks! And thank you so much for sharing!

bradcarmack said...

That was a very powerful call to action. Very compelling. I've had email contact with Clay- seems like a solid fellow. Recently excommunicated.

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