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.