So through the random connections that abound in this Interweb I came to this post from Austin about the Church being an all or nothing religion. Now I am sure that I don't quite agree on that (saving for a latter post) and that is one of the reasons why my meeting with Elder Clayton made me feel so horrible I think. In that meeting I was basically told that the Church is a mold and if you don't fit you are at fault and need to change, even if the Lord has told you otherwise, because that is Satan not the Lord. So while I was reading Austins post I came across Abelard's comment that referenced Don Holsinger's article concerning a CES fireside talk given by Elder Oaks. So I emailed Abelard and got a copy of the article that I have provided to you (if the link didn't work then email me and I will send it to you.) So I read the article in which Elder Oaks gives us counsel that contradicts the counsel given to me from Elder Clayton, the counsel that the Lord will never give me any personal revelation that goes against the Brethren. Elder Oaks states that should any member feel that he is an exception to anything said that that is a matter NOT for the General Authorities or the twelve, but for you and the Lord. As soon as I read this I knew the truth of it, I knew that of course I can not change the doctrine of the Church, if the Lord desired the entire doctrine to be changed He wouldn't use me, but his chosen mouthpieces instead. I realized that both Elder Clayton and I could be right, that Elder Clayton could be right in that the Lord would never tell me any revelation that should tell the Brethren what to do, which was one of the main thoughts going through my head at the start of the meeting, but that I am still right in that the Lord will give me personal revelation to guide my major decisions in life.
So now I know that I am supposed to continue living the church standards and the church principles for they are true, but that I am meant to marry a husband that I love, and adopt children that we can raise, that can be raised up in a better environment then they would have otherwise. The only thing that comes into question now is the timing and what I should do until I am ready to settle down and get ready. This was starting to percolate in my mind when a friend sent me this message;
"You figure out what is right for you, whether that be leaving the church and dating men, or going on a mission, or staying in the church and being celibate, you go for it."Now I had heard these and similar words before, but the juxtaposition of them with the question of timing in my mind, combined with another friend's concerns against going against what the church says about getting married now or waiting until his future wife goes on a mission gave me a great idea. I know what the long term goal for my life is; find a husband and have kids, but in the mean time what should I do? Why should I not go on a mission? It has been something that I have always wanted to do even though for the wrong reasons, but now that I really do have a testimony of the truth of the atonement, of the power that the church is in many people's lives, and the testimony and feeling that came to me when I first KNEW that the Lord lived was that I wanted to shout, to sing, to proclaim this truth out to everyone, I was so happy that my boss said that I was radiating happiness when I got back to the office. I have felt the worth of this gospel in my life, and in the lives of others and I want to share it.
My Patriarchal Blessing states;
"You will be a positive influence to many and have opportunity to testify as a full time missionary. There will be those who will bless your name because they will hear the truths of the gospel from your mouth. There is nothing you could do in these two years that would benefit you more, even in a material sense. If you had to choose between a mission and a college degree, the mission would be of greater benefit."As I reread those my blessing I felt how words that didn't make much sense to me before, or that I disbelieved due to me being gay were relevent all along from the new perspective that I gained when I trust in what I have felt from the Lord. So now, with my mind contemplating a mission, I plan on seeking out the answer of whether or not I should serve a mission and when. On whether I should go to the temple and enter into sacred covenents that I know I will break in order to follow what the Lord has told me. I will try to find the answers to these and other questions just as I have this past round of doubt and anguish, by turning to the scriptures, the temple, prayer, fasting and all around communion with Christ my personal Savior.
Now that I have a knowledge of what I should do, of where my life lies in the distant future, I am happy. I know where I need to end up and I plan to get there. My mission is something that is less important than that and if it needs to be furloughed then I will do it, but it is not something that will consume me, not somehting that will leave me exhausted with stress and late nights of reading.
Here is to a great new year, and the peace that comes with a vision of the future.