Called to serve

I have thus far seen my call to return to the church in terms of serving fellow church members and the church as a whole. As a stranger in a strange land—an out and confident gay man among the Mormons—but more importantly as a human being and follower of Christ serving other children of God however I can.

But recent experiences have shown me that I have a unique opportunity to do missionary work among inactive gay (and gay-friendly) Mormons and my mostly-liberal non-Mormon friends and acquaintances, both gay and straight. These people might never entertain communication about the Mormon church from a more traditional source, but they are curious as to why in heaven’s name a gay person would return to this particular church.

The open-hearted curiosity of my non-member friends is a rare gift, and has allowed me to explain what I find most compelling about Mormonism: eternal spiritual growth and progression, the blessing of embodiment, the collapse of distance between the material and the spiritual, essentially universal salvation, and, most importantly to me, the infinite love of a Savior and Heavenly Parents who make any and every sacrifice to assist in our progress and salvation.

My inactive gay Mormon (or formerly Mormon) friends and acquaintances have reacted in a variety of ways to news of my return. Some have actually returned to activity with me, others are curious and open, and still others have talked honestly with me about the obstacles that currently prevent them from returning. I think these conversations are planting valuable seeds that few other people could plant.

I also believe my story is having some effect among straight Mormons who have left the church or become less active because of its treatment of gay folks. Examples include my last missionary companion and his wife, who stopped going to church for precisely this reason. They were surprised to learn that I, as a gay man, have returned to activity. I am hoping this will create a space in their hearts for eventual fellowship once more with the saints. I have also talked with parents of gay friends, where the parents became less active because they are unable to reconcile love of the church with love of their children.

In short, I feel the work reviving in my soul! Gay Mormons have unique and wonderful opportunities to thrust in our sickle and harvest fields that remain white with the souls of our Heavenly Parents’ children. Every one of them is precious beyond measure.

8 comments on “Called to serve

  1. Rick Bickmore
    November 24, 2012

    Hmmm, something to ponder, Brother J. I must say, this has taken me by surprise. We should talk about it sometime soon. Love you, always. -hug-

  2. John Gustav-Wrathall
    November 24, 2012

    D&C 18:15!

  3. Luis M
    November 24, 2012

    You are an inspiration.

  4. Derek
    November 25, 2012

    Everyone’s journey is there own and I support you 100%. I don’t hold any ill feelings towards the Church, but it appears they do towards me.

    I can’t hold a temple recommend. I can’t exercise the priesthood. I can’t hold a calling, except perhaps Hymn Book Repairer – not a bad calling my any means.

    Until The Lord chooses to reveal an update to the current situation, I’m happy to progress as who I am and eagerly await an update from The Lord via his Prophet.

    • EdwardJ
      November 25, 2012

      Derek, that is totally fair. I am definitely in a different place than I was even two months ago.

      Thanks for reading my blog! Just added yours to my reader. 🙂

  5. Denise
    September 7, 2013

    “The open-hearted curiosity of my non-member friends is a rare gift, and has allowed me to explain what I find most compelling about Mormonism…” Edward, I am offering the open-hearted curiosity of your non-gay friend, moi, as a gift. I, too, feel I have much to learn from your journey. I don’t know how to label myself currently: inactive Mormon, lost soul, spiritual not religious…I just don’t know. Really sure I’m heterosexual, so I guess I’m okay with the non-gay label. I have much work to do to secure a religious label for myself with which I am comfortable. (DO WE REALLY NEED LABELS? I ask again.)

    • Denise
      September 7, 2013

      (Forgot to click for notification of follow-up comments again…) Excuse me for clogging up your notifications.

  6. yergy
    October 1, 2013

    Just curious who your last missionary companion was? Also, I don’t know if you remember Elder Durtche, but he and his twin left BYU after coming out (excuse my political incorrectness if coming out isn’t a thing anymore) and from what I’ve heard have both returned to activity in the church. I have another roommate from BYU in the same situation; it makes me wonder if somehow the Lord is preparing something for the church. Not implying anything by that last statement, by the way.

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This entry was posted on November 23, 2012 by .
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