I want to go to the temple.
There. I said it. Out of my system.
The problem is that I didn't know how to go. And trust me... it's a hell of a lot harder and more complicated than convincing the bishop and stake president to sign a piece of paper, and then driving to one of the four temples in the Salt Lake Valley.
I'm a Mormon. I'm a Mormon who's a Democrat, an intellectual, and a feminist, and a lesbian. That right there just put four road blocks down my path to "spiritual enlightenment", and I have no idea how to reconcile it. I'm the danger in President Boyd K. Packer's imfamous quote, "The dangers I speak of come from the gay-lesbian movement, the feminist movement (both of which are relatively new), and the ever-present challenge from the so-called scholars or intellectuals."
The biggest road block is easily the fact that I'm gay. I believe that the Church has got it wrong on homosexuality. Like the Church's new policy on race, I believe that the denial of full fellowship to LGBT members is coming from a place of privileged bigotry. I have had personal revelation from God that tells me very plainly that I was born gay, and that it was absolutely something God intended. I was gay in the premortal existence, I'm gay in morality, and I will be gay hereafter. Easy peasy. But I can't be dishonest. Because I have had sex with a woman *gasp*, I need to go through the repentance process. Am I ok repenting for sex before marriage? Yes. Am I ok repenting for having sex with a woman, and promise to never do it again? Absolutely not!! I simply can't do that with good conscience. However, in the Bishop's eyes... this is a "cut and dry" example of not being repentant of my sins. And BAM. No recommend. No temple. And possibly a form of formal/informal Church discipline. No bueno.
But all of these concerns are things that are real to me. I have severe concerns, and disbelief about the Church's positions on homosexuality, and the ordination of women to the Priesthood. I have serious concerns about the Church's teachings to our Young Women about modesty, and how they are responsible for the "pure thoughts" of the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood holders. I have serious concerns about the Church's lack of transparency about it's history. I have concerns about the Church's "worship" of Joseph Smith, and his portrayal of the most perfect man who's ever lived, when in truth, while inspired and called of God, he was a man with many flaws. I have doubts! And simply "doubting my doubts" isn't cutting it. They are not going to go away.
And yet the temple pulls at me. Everything aches when I drive past... knowing that everyone else around me can go in, and I can't. I've tried to ignore it. I've put it out of my mind, telling myself that it's simply something I won't get to have in this life. But I shouldn't have to resign myself to the fact that I can't go! Do I feel worthy? Yes! I respect my fellow brothers and sisters. I strive to do good in my day to day life. I help when I can. I pay my tithing into the Book of Mormon fund, and the general missionary fund. I sustain the leadership of the Church. I read my Sciptures and say my prayers. I feel the presence of the Holy Ghost in my life, nor have I ever stopped feeling it. I know that I am worthy.
But it's up to 2 men to decide if I am. And I don't think that they'll rule in my favor.