I'm a very spiritual person... Always have been. Even since I've been a little girl, I have always been keen to the promptings of the Spirit... Even when I don't listen to them.
There was something about the Gospel, that the Catholic Church just didn't have. I felt like all the loose ends were tied up. Everything just clicked and made sense. The Bible supports the Book of Mormon, and the Book of Mormon supports the Bible. It never made sense that revelation would just stop at the death of Christ, and that there were no more Prophets to guide the world... It never made sense that the Canon just closed. So when the missionaries (Elder Lund, and Elder Hill) taught me that families were eternal, and that there was no "Til death do us part", I felt at peace (I had always believed that in heaven, families were together... But that is not Catholic Doctrine... Earthly relationships ended at death). When they taught me that the Canon was not closed, and that there was a living prophet on the earth, Thomas S. Monson, who receives revelation for the Church, and for the world, I was at peace... These were all things that I already believed. That's how I got my "common sense" testimony. And that is the testimony that I ran on when I got baptized.
My "spiritual" testimony didn't really kick in until this last year or so. My life was in the can... I was denied the opportunity to serve a mission, and I was crushed. I hated the Church, and I hated God. I started drinking, I stopped praying, and I stopped believing that God loved me. And I was in a dark, dark, place. I was done. And then I took a step back, and realized how miserable I was without the Church. I wasn't unhappy all of the time, but I wasn't really happy either. I was just "blah". So I decided to go back. No one pressured me, and it wasn't because of anyone else... It wasn't for the Bishop, or my visiting/home teachers... It was for me. Because who cares that I like other girls?? It's no one's fucking business!! It doesn't matter. I am no different than anyone else in my singles ward (except for the fact that I'm the vegetarian in the meat market). There is not one God damned person in my ward who can look down on me, or judge me, because they sure aren't perfect... My former home teacher should be entered as Exhibit A for the defense (but that's a story for... well...never.). I belong there just as much as everyone else.
Now, that doesn't mean that I agree with the Church on every position... Not in the least. And they range for little things, like not having a special Christmas Sacrament Meeting (I still go to Midnight Mass at the Cathedral of the Madeline every Christmas for that reason... If you've never been, GO)... To big things, like homosexuality (among others). It hurts me that I can't go to the temple anymore... I think that's what I miss the most. I hate that I am expected to live my life alone, and repress any and all attractions I have. I hate that I will never have a temple marriage, and that because I will never have a temple marriage, I will never reach the highest degree of salvation. All of these things seriously suck for me. I hate that certain General Authorities still speak on the topic of homosexuality, who have been so hurtful with their words in the past. (specifically President Boyd K. Parker and Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles). I hate that there are members of the Church (and society at large) who believe that I am sick... And that I can "overcome this affliction". It's annoying, and it implies that my life, feelings, attractions, and experiences are not authentic. I also hate that people in the Church believe that the Republican Party is God's anointed party...
But that's not the point...
The point is, is that the Gospel is true. Not the institution. Whenever I get up in Fast and Testimony meeting to bear my testimony, I always say that I know the Gospel is true. Not the Church. Someone once noticed it, and asked me why I never said that the Church was true. I came back saying, "Is the Gospel not true?" It shut her up real quick.
The General Authorities are still men. They are inspired, and I sustain them every 6 months in General Conference... but they are still men. The ninth Article of Faith states, "We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God." They are guiding the Church based on the revelation that we have received, but also with the cultural, and generational bias that comes with along with it.
In the spirit of the 9th Article of Faith, I genuinely believe that the Church will give full fellowship to the LGBT Latter-days Saints. I really do. Some of you, (like that anonymous comment on my post New Ward) probably think I'm an idiot for this... Sticking in an organization that "hates" me. The organization doesn't hate me... Some of the membership, yes... But honestly, I hate them too.
I do not fear mortality, because I know that Christ will welcome me into Heaven with open arms once my earthly probation is finished. He loved me unconditionally, and He completed the Atonement for my sake. He is the only person who has ever walked the Earth who was perfect. Not President Packer. Christ is the one who said: "Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you." (KJV Matthew 5:4, 6-12) Jesus Christ is my Saviour... Not an ideology.
I am a Mormon, and I am a lesbian. Not "but"... "and". They are inseparable parts of my identity... One cannot be without the other. I don't want to leave the Church. And I don't want to be straight. If I woke up tomorrow morning, and was "cured", I would cry, and plead with The Lord to give it back to me... Because I've invested far too much time learning to accept myself for who I am, and shaping myself into the kick ass person I am today, to start all over again. This Church has done more for me than I could ever express in words. And this restoration of this Gospel has done more for the world than any other spiritual event in history, save the Atonement of Christ.
I'm happy. And fuck anyone who thinks that I don't deserve it.