The Empty Sea and Mount Olympus

on 16 May 2009

So this has been a long week, filled with a bunch of things. So I told you about my graduation festivities and then my Truck getting hit by either the Jets or the Sharks. I told you about my chance meeting with the Elder from Texas that I went on exchanges with as a boy of barely 14. I also told you why I use the term MoHo and then I went and wrote down my near breakdown thoughts that occurred after my visit with my bishop. Well on Wednesday I had the opportunity to see one of my good friends off. She is the girlfriend (read future wife) of my missionary who is serving in India right now. She and I have been in very good touch and she was one of the first friends from BYU that I came out to.

She is going to be teaching the gospel to Spanish speaking investigators in California for the next year and a half and I went to the Empty Sea (read MTC) as part of her family. It was an interesting and blog worthy experience because the last time I was at the MTC it was with said missionary sending him off. It was shortly after my BYU bishop had informed him that I had been asked to leave BYU, and it was an emotional time for me because we were meant to head out at the same time. It was 3 weeks later that I was on a fateful flight to D.C. where I came out to myself and finally allowed myself to utter the words “I’m Gay.” That MTC experience was wonderful and sad because I wasn’t going to be heading out with him, but because I was supporting him and I had my mission to look forward to, I was ok with everything.

This experience was completely different because I am now out to everyone and myself, and I have been debating whether I should go on mission or not. The night before I had been pretty much told that my faith in the prophets wasn’t strong enough and so I could expect to not leave until I worked out those “issues” that a mission (albeit selfishly) could help resolve. So this experience at the MTC was different and kind of sad. It started out with me getting there about 45 minutes before she showed up. So I decided to wait by the flags just outside of the entrance and spot the entering MoHo missionaries. This was an interesting thing, and kind of eerie because I could see what they were going to go through either on the mission or when they got back and I wished that I could take it from them. I finally met up with her and took pictures and headed into the chapel where I was basically preached to about how all males in the preexistence covenanted with Heavenly Father that we would serve missions and that those who were here were honoring that covenant and those who choose not to go are oath breakers. That was nice and uplifting! But in the end, I saw her off without any drama and promptly made the drive home to West Jordan mostly crying feeling that I didn’t know what I needed to do.

So I decided that now was high time for me to have a Joseph Smith experience and so I decided that I would climb Mount Olympus here in SLC and when I got to the top I would pray to find where I belonged in this giant mess of a world that I live in. I kind of felt like Hercules trying to figure everything out:



So I was going to climb on Thursday but I had to help my mom move some more furniture and so I didn’t get to it until today. But I didn’t start until late and once I got up about … 100 feet, I realized that my muscles have atrophied and I am weak. I got thinking, after the 5th person passed me, that I wouldn’t make it to the top. I figured I would keep going until I couldn’t go anymore and then stop, read and pray. I got about ½ mile further when I thought I was going to collapse but my power song had just come on and I only had about 9 songs left in the playlist and so I decided to push through until the playlist ended.

I ended up getting to the halfway point and knew that for time reasons as well, I needed to head back down. While I was there I studied and prayed but didn’t get much. I am thinking that I need to train some more and then hike it again get to the top and take in the natural beauty that surrounds me and connect myself to the temple that is nature. I just really feel the need to connect with what is right and find my mission be it education about GBLT rights/issues to church members, or teaching the gospel to investigators. One interesting thing that I read was my patriarchal blessing that mentioned twice my opportunity to share and that people would praise my name for sharing the “truths of the gospel.” This wording struck me home because it implies that there are either “untruths” of the gospel, or that I will teach many truths of the gospel while not teaching the gospel itself (if that makes sense). With this in mind I thought about bringing spirituality to other gay peoples lives and think it would be a worthy way to live life.

I also reread the Weight of Glory by C.S. Lewis and noticed an interesting passage. “It may be possible for each to think too much of his own potential glory hereafter; it is hardly possible for him to think too often or too deeply about that of his neighbour. The load or weight, or burden of my neighbour’s glory should be laid on my back, a load so heavy that only humility can carry it, and the backs of the proud will be broken.” This comes right before his most quoted (at least by LDS) passage in this sermon that states “It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship. Or else a horror and a corruption such as now you meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations.”

I highly recommend the whole sermon (it is only 9 pages). It is really great and inspiring. But in reading these quotes and contemplating my life and my possible glory I realized that my life is not my own and it belongs to those who partake in it, that my life would be well spent simply serving others rather than focusing on dogma. Sure it would be wonderful to know the absolute truth but it would be perfectly acceptable to God if I spent my life guiding a majority of people closer to Him.

We shall see where this line of thought take me in the future and I will keep you updated as to when I finish that climb up to Mt. Olympus.

2 comments:

Alan said...

I'm sorry David that you had to sit through that bit of false folk doctrine at the MTC. Take comfort in the fact that it was one person's opinion only, with no basis in the Scriptures.

More to the point, I am delighted that you've realized that your life is not completely your own and that others who partake in it have just as much of an interest in it as you do. That your life would be well spent serving others rather than focusing on dogma. Rarely in your life will you reach conclusions so fundamentally important. This is what I told you before: if you're certain of a few crucial, basic things, you can comfortably abide uncertainty about a lot of other things. I am very proud of you.

Bravone said...

David, many never realize that "my life is not my own and it belongs to those who partake in it." When I have lost sight of this principle, it has resulted in selfish behavior that has been both to my detriment and the detriment of those I love. Thanks for the reminder.

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