30 June 2013

I Think I Found A Ward

I attended the 8th Ward today in downtown Salt Lake. And it was the most unorthodox ward I had ever attended. (And I say that in a very good way)

The ward boundaries cover a large chunk of downtown from 300 East to 400 West, and 500 South to 1300 South. Within the ward is a homeless shelter, multiple low income housing projects, and retirement communities. There are people with obvious mental/developmental handicaps and mental illness. And I don't think I have seen so many tattoos on as many people ever, much less in church. The ward welcomes everyone. Not just the Molly Mormon, Peter Priesthood "True Believing Mormons", but everyone.

The bishop is fantastic. He is a retired mental health professional, which makes him uniquely qualified to be called as the bishop of this ward. I have no doubt that his knowledge and background has assisted him in ministering to his ward. These are some things that really stood out for me...
  1. He is completely fine with me being gay, and believes that I was born this way. This is extremely uncommon for members of his generation.
  2. He is not concerned that I am living with my ex-girlfriend. He invited her to come to church with me.
  3. He is not concerned that I have yet to (and most likely never will) form a testimony that celestial marriage is between a man and a woman only.
  4. He is not concerned that I am a feminist, a liberal, an intellectual, or a homosexual... All of the things that Elder Boyd K. Packer warned were the "present dangers of the Church" in 1990.
  5. He will jot force me to go through the repentance process. He will be there when I am ready, but until I am ready, he wants me to attend the ward.
  6. He is bending over backwards to help me get my membership records moved into his ward. Since I do not live within the official ward boundaries, there are certain steps that need to be taken... One of which may have to be approval from the First Presidency. He wants me in the ward.

All in all... I feel good about where I'm going. It's not going to be easy... Especially if I decide to go through with the repentance process to prepare to go to the temple. But I have a bishop who judges no one. He welcomes all. He doesn't care about your past, but only about your future. And that's a special thing. It's special indeed.

26 June 2013

One Small Step For Man, One Giant Leap For Mankind

Today the Supreme Court of the United States struck down key parts of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and dismissed an appeal over California's Proposition 8, paving the way for same-sex marriage to resume. We took a major step in the right direction as a nation to stop morally based discrimination in our nation's laws.

Some people in this country oppose same-sex marriage based on a religiously influenced moral compass. (Or you just think it's "icky"). And that's OK. No one has to agree with everyone about people's personal moral opinions. When DOMA was argued in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996, the purpose of the law was to express "both moral disapproval of homosexuality, and a moral conviction that heterosexuality better comports with traditional (especially Judeo-Christian) morality." The stated purpose of the law was to promote an "interest in protecting the traditional moral teachings reflected in heterosexual-only marriage laws." Were there any doubt of this far-reaching purpose, the title of the Act confirms it: The Defense of Marriage.

But I truly believe that the opinion of the Court is absolutely correct in saying that the Court can not uphold laws that are discriminatory based on a Judeo-Christian morality. While the vast majority of this nation is Christian (as am I), we must make clear that religiously/morally motivated laws that discriminate against people in this great nation, is not OK.

If you don't want to have a gay marriage, you don't have to have one. If you want to believe that "God Hates Fags", fine... you're protected by your First Amendment rights of Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech. But allow me my Fourteenth Amendment right of equal protection under the law.

This is what I posted on Facebook this afternoon, upon hearing about the SCOTUS decisions, and educating myself on them (no one likes to look like an idiot because they were uninformed about something). In the last 4 hours, I've been called subversive, an apostate, and have been told that I should leave the Church since, I obviously have no intentions of repenting of my sinful nature and behavior.

Just to name a few.

Sometimes it really sucks to be Mormon and gay. And a feminist. And an intellectual. And gay in general. Our Constitution has liberated the slaves, empowered women by granting them the right to vote. Its now protecting another minority group from suppression. All over my Facebook feed are conservative rants about how the Second Coming is at our doorstep... and that God will come to judge America with fire and brimstone for her sins. Some people even asserting that the Justices are just plain wrong.

Since, of course, these friends of mine are experts on Constitutional Law like the Justices are...

The 12th Article of Faith says that as members of Christ's Church, we sustain the law of the land. The 9th Article of Faith says that we believe that God has yet to reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God. Doctrine and Covenants 134:4 says that men are entitled to the practice of their religious opinions, so long as their opinions do not infringe upon the rights of others (and the other way around). Doctrine and Covenants 134:9 says that the Church does not believe it to be right to mingle religious influence with civil government.

But the members (and leadership) seem to have forgotten this.

Let me reemphasize that I am a believing member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I love the Gospel. I love my Heavenly Father, and I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I am asking anyone who reads this, to take very seriously the words of our Savior: Love one another.

23 June 2013

It's A Beautiful Day

I went to church today for the first time today in almost a year. I attended a family ward, which was already a bit out of my element, since I've only attended singles wards. My new friend Corey, who I met through Mormons Building Bridges, invited me to attend her ward. She knew that I'm looking for an inclusive ward, and boy, did she deliver!!

Sacrament meeting was great, and Sunday School was good too... The teacher is a high school science teacher, so his lesson was actually instructing. If I would attend this ward regularly, his class would be the one I would attend. But it was Relief Society that really sealed the deal.

It started off with at least 5 people coming to introduce themselves to me before the lesson started. And because the ward is pretty small, everyone knew who I was by the end of the lesson. The lesson was on Elder Jeffery R. Holland's most recent General Conference talk, "Lord, I Believe". I couldn't have asked for a better lesson topic on my first day back. When I introduced myself, I openly admitted to being gay... I kind of use it as a litmus test... But it opened the door to me being able to bear my testimony, and say that I have my doubts and my questions. And that's ok. It's ok for me to be scared, and unsure. It's allowed me to say that I would rather be at church, even if I'm not in the "right" ward. It allowed me to open up and say why I'm "test driving" wards. It allowed me to be honest about myself, and not be scared of the reactions from people.

And I felt welcomed. For the first time in a very long time. I was uplifted, and I learned something new, and I made a new friend. I felt the Spirit strongly and clearly. And I would feel comfortable in this ward. Most likely. It's hard to tell because I haven't met the Bishop or his counselors yet, but I think I may have found a good ward. I am excited. Honestly excited.

21 June 2013

Genesis 2:18-25

While I was still a closeted lesbian beginning to prepare for an LDS mission, I spoke with one of the missionaries I knew while I was still an investigator of the Church. I asked him how he approached the subject of homosexuality; especially with openly gay investigators. He told me that he would welcome them with love, but would still teach the doctrine of the Law of Chastity; that while sexual orientation itself is not sinful, all homosexual activity is, and that for any gay or lesbian person desiring to be baptized, and continue as a member in good standing, they would need to live a celibate lifestyle, or be engaged in a heterosexual relationship.

I am grateful that I have never had to teach someone that principle of doctrine. It simply would be too painful.         

Think about this for a minute. The Church has a single standard of morality that all members are to follow; abstinence from all sexual relationships prior to marriage with a person of the opposite sex. If a same-sex attracted individual was to follow that council, and cannot honestly engage in a heterosexual marriage relationship, then celibacy is the only way for them to continue their mortal and spiritual progression. They are as a result, companionless and alone.

But according to Genesis 2:18, it is not good for man to be alone. How can this be?

In the Garden of Eden, Adam lived in a perfect world. He possessed everything. He was in charge of the Garden of Eden, a manager of sorts. And Adam was “with God” He walked and talked with God through the Garden. He was not alone.

So when God proclaimed in Genesis 2:18 that it was not good for man to be alone, Adam must have been confused. After all, Adam was not alone! He was with God. How can someone be with God, and be alone at the same time? Adam must have wondered as well.

After Adam was told that it was not good to be alone, God creates the animals (Gen. 2:19). He brings them to Adam to be named. It is here (Gen. 2:20) that Adam realizes that there is no one “like him”, and for the first time, Adam feels alone. When Adam and Eve are presented to one another as companions (Gen. 2:23), Adam reacted with delight. This is illustrated by his statement, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.” Adam’s statement is wonderfully symbolic of the closeness and intimacy he felt with Eve.

Intimacy is God’s remedy to human aloneness. Intimacy replaced that sense of incompleteness and disconnectedness. It is not until after the Fall, that Adam and Eve would feel this aloneness again.

Many members of the Church shoot my argument down straight at the beginning, by saying, “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” And that is true, in a very literal interpretation. Hell, I even supported their argument by showing the amount of love, and closeness that Adam felt for Eve. That’s because Eve was suitable for Adam, and Adam was suitable for Eve.

Remember that these events are still before the Fall, before Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden by eating the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Good and Evil. So it is fair to say that they could not have experienced same-sex attraction, for they knew not pain or affliction. And for anyone who has experienced homosexual feelings, knows all too well the pain, anguish, and despair it causes.

Let’s look at what the word “help meet” means. In Genesis 2:18, God says He will make a help meet for Adam. In Hebrew, “help meet” translates to ‘ezer kanegdo. ‘Ezer translates to “aid”. Kanegdo traditionally translates to “meet for”, “fit for”, or “worthy of”. God gave Adam a help meet, someone who was suited to him, someone who was worthy to be with him.

Genesis 2:18-25, shows the importance that God gives to committed relationships. For a heterosexual, the only suitable companion is someone of the opposite gender. For a homosexual, the only suitable companion is someone of the same gender. To say that gays and lesbians should not form committed, intimate relationships is to say that it is good for (some) people to remain alone.

If it was not sufficient for Adam to be alone, in a perfect state of being, then why is it sufficient for those of us, who live in a fallen and forsaken world, who experience same-sex attraction? When religious doctrine dictates that such individuals must choose to enter into a heterosexual relationship, or remain celibate, is that doctrine not saying that it is good for such human beings to be alone? To lack the sort of intimacy with another human being Genesis 2:18 says is good? I humbly suggest, that the Bible correctly states that it is not good for men and women to be alone... regardless of race, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

20 June 2013

A Most Pleasant Surprise

After posting my "coming out" story, I've had a lot of good reception. I have yet to have someone call me a degenerate, or sinner, or whatever. Which is a relief. For the most part, I've had people thank me for telling my story, because we change hearts and minds by showing people that we are just like everyone else.

But today, I had a pleasant surprise.

Katie Seibert was my "arch-nemesis" growing up in school. She was one of the popular kids. And while I had plenty of friends, I certainly was not a stereotypical "popular kid". If you would've asked me 6 years ago if Katie was my friend, or if I was Katie's friend, I would have laughed openly in your face.

Today, I opened my computer at work, and logged onto Facebook for a little bit, and I heard the little *ding* that tells me that someone had sent me a message. It was Kait. She had read my blog, and was apologizing for how she treated me in school. My heart warmed at what I was reading. I had never heard a more sincere statement in my life. She felt bad for making me feel different.

I forgave her. Not because I had been mad at her, or that she had hurt me, or even that what she did was wrong, but deserved to hear it from me. She reached out to me, and was humble enough to say that she had done something wrong, and she deserves that from me. And I wanted to give it to her. It also turned out that we have so much more in common than we ever would've thought 6 years ago. We talked about our lives since high school, and I think that we might be friends now... like real life friends.

I can't begin to tell you how much it means to me. Having her come to me and want to reconcile differences, gives me hope that one day, I will have that reconciliation with my parents and my siblings. She's not the only one who has come to me, and wanted to be friends again... Kait, Sophie and Anthony have been the most recent, and I've still retained friends from high school who saw me for who I was, and not how I acted. It gives me hope that my family will come around. But until then, its one person at a time. And I'm ok with that.

Journey To Gay (Part 2)

When I started writing this, I intended it to be in just one post. But after looking at how long it got, I decided to split it in two.

When I moved to Utah at age 17, I was going through some major therapy (as to why is a whole other story). It was a good and bad experience, but honestly, I do not look back on it fondly. It destroyed my self esteem, I learned that I was wrong about just about everything, and right about virtually nothing. My mother, with whom I've never had a good relationship with, would not write letters to me, or speak on the phone. Our relationship never recovered. Nor did my relationship with the rest of my family.

But it was here, at my lowest point in life, that I finally recognized what I was. I finally recognized that I was gay. I craved an emotional, physical, and sexual connection to women... Not men. And it scared me, because at the time, I had a very conservative therapist, who I already did not like, or trust, so how could I possibly tell her my biggest secret? I remember the entire experience felt like a fight or flight... I simply had to survive. And there was no way in hell that I was going to tell her something that could potentially lengthen my stay. No way.

After that experience, I was released from my cage, and into the world of college. I was at Southern Utah University which is in no way a big school, or a party school, but it felt that way to me! I had 5 roommates in the dorm, and every single one of them is Mormon. Here is where my Mormon experience starts. I read the Book of Mormon, and I had the lessons with the missionaries. This was the first time that I had heard anything about homosexuality not being ok. And the Elders did a fantastic job at explaining it... They said nothing bad about gay people, or that they were damned to hell. They simply explained the Law of Chastity, that sexual relations were only allowed in marriage, and that marriage was between a man and a woman only. At this point, I was beginning to form a testimony, and I wasn't going to question it... This was the first time that I had ever felt the Spirit like that. And it felt right, and true. 

As I gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon, I read passages about God healing afflictions, and that He will bless me. I believed that, and I still do. But I foolishly thought that I could be fixed. Wrong. In my baptismal interview I was asked about homosexual activity, not feelings. So I answered his questions honestly. I got baptized and was on top of the world. I was happy.

I continued to date men... And no one really was able to fit the bill for me. One guy, Mike, came the closest... Still no fireworks and earthquakes when I kissed him (like I later would experience with women). But it was something. To this day, he's the only man I could seriously consider, but even then, I wouldn't be as happy as I know that I could be.

And then, in my last year living in Cedar City, my roommate Missy kissed me, and we formed a mini relationship. I was on fire... I never stopped wanting to feel her lips on mine. But wait! This is wrong! Dirty! Abominable! This is the same year that Elder Boyd K. Packer gave his infamous talk titled "Cleansing the Inner Vessel." I was terrified. And so was she. She "broke up" with me, and told me months later that if she or any of her friends see me, they'd beat the shit out of me. Naturally, I never again tried to contact her. 

This is where I tried to serve a mission, and it failed, because I told my bishop that I was gay. He was the first one I told... Needless to say, I didn't tell another bishop for a while. I went back into the closet. Dated another guy named Zac. And he's amazing... Just not for me. Reason? He has a penis. But... He will make a girl so happy one day :) He was the last guy I dated.

My boss at the time was my saving grae. Melanie is a lesbian, and grew up LDS, so she knew the dynamic I was struggling with. She was the first person that I had truly come out to. The first person who heard me say, "______, I'm gay." She helped me realize that I wasn't alone, and that there was nothing wrong with me. She was the missing piece in the puzzle for my self confidence.

I started dating a girl named Jamie. She was kind, and smart, but she had completely left the Church, and wanted different things for our lives. And it was difficult, but in the end it was for the best.

That's when I came out to my roommates... I couldn't stand being set up anymore, or them asking about my dating life. I told them, and at first it was alright, but after a while they turned really Molly Mormon about everything, and started insisting that I go to church with them, which was anything but what I wanted to do. I finally caved and went. 

That eventually proved to not be enough and they encouraged me to speak to the bishop. I scheduled a meeting and told him that I was gay... I didn't tell him about anything that I had done, just came out. He wasn't hostile about it, but he wasn't inviting either. He recommended articles that were "less than compassionate", and absolutely refused to refer to me as a lesbian, using instead the term same sex attracted. And I hate that more than anything else. The one good thing that came out of those meetings was a recommend to receive my patriarchal blessing.

It was around this time that I met Melissa and until 2 weeks ago, I was the happiest woman alive. I knew that I was finally being true to myself. I was being authentic. I wasn't hiding anymore. I was free.

Continue to Part 3

19 June 2013

Journey to Gay (Part 1)

I have been trying to figure out what to write about next... I'm on a roll, so I might as well keep the ball rolling right?

So I thought about it, and I have never really told people (other than Melissa and a few others) how I came to know that I was gay. Hell... I barely know how I finally realized I was gay, because I had buried it so deep inside the depths of my mind. While I was writing this, I found that it had gotten quite long. So I split it into two parts. 

So here goes nothing I suppose...

I'm the oldest of 5 kids. I don't think that made any difference in who I turned out to be (sexuality wise that is). But even as a little girl there were little things that were different about me, all of which prove to me that I was gay from the moment I left the womb. The one that sticks out is how I would play House with my friends Marissa and Taylor. Every single time, without fail, I wanted to be the boy, or be the soldier. I also remember helping my Uncle Jim wash the car... I was probably only 5... But I remember asking him why I couldn't take my shirt off like him. I even tried to pee standing up when I was 6 or 7 years old. These three examples make it sound like I might have been having some gender identity issues, and maybe I was; I don't know. By themselves, they could be isolated incidents and not amount to anything. But for me, in hindsight, they were things that early on defined who I was as a little girl. And I wasn't normal.

Getting into adolescence, I was awkward... Everyone was, but I was especially. I started my period young... I was only in the 6th grade. I didn't care about wearing make up, and I loved to play football and baseball with the boys. I had many boys as friends, and girls, but it was the girls that I wanted to pay attention to me... And I went to great lengths to get that attention, and the attempts weren't always healthy. I remember having one boyfriend, Jonathon. We were friends and I remember him and his mom taking me to one of the first Harry Potter movies, and I drew a lightning bolt on his forehead. :)

In high school it was much the same... I played the trumpet (a very "boy" instrument), and played soccer and softball. (Stereotypical lesbian sports). I kissed a lot of boys in this period. A LOT of boys. And there were some that were bad. Just awful. But most of them were "eh". Not bad, not good. So I couldn't really make any judgement on whether or not I liked to kiss boys, because I simply didn't care. I didn't care about catching boy's attentions. I never had a problem with dressing immodestly. In fact it was everything my mother could do to get me to wear something other than jeans, t-shirts, hoodies, and sweats. I still didn't wear makeup, and I still didn't like the "girly" things like shopping, jewelry, and shoes.

I was angry though. I acted out. I was "defiant" (get it? I was defiant in Defiance, Ohio... ok, bad joke...) I did everything I could to piss my parents off. I stopped caring about school, I was causing trouble in the family and with my friends. There was something going on. But I didn't know what it was behind it, and neither did my parents.

I didn't grow up LDS, I grew up a devout Catholic. I never heard my parents speak badly about homosexuality. In fact, I never heard them talk about it at all. I never had a religion class (CCD, or Youth Group) or teacher that ever talked badly about homosexuality, or gay people. Nor do I remember ever hearing a sermon in church about it. (In hindsight, I would've been surprised to hear one. St. Mary's was a pretty liberal parish, and our priest, Father Tim was the most loving, Christ-like man I have ever known.) So I didn't have religion telling me it was bad, and my parents weren't threatening to kick any of us kids out of the house if they turned out to be gay. And I was friends with two kids at school who were gay, Mathis and Sophie. Their sexual orientation didn't matter to me. So why didn't I realize that I was gay? And why did I innately feel and know that it was wrong and something to keep to yourself?

Two Paths Diverged In A Wood...

I have no idea what I want or where I want to go. Absolutely no idea. I want to go back to Church, and yet I don't. And it's not so much that I don't want to go back, it's that I don't know how. I love the Gospel more than I can explain... And I miss it in my life. I miss going to church every week and learning something new, and just being in that "spiritually uplifted" state of mind. But the problem is a ward... I need to be able to find a ward that I will feel safe and comfortable in. And that's not going to be easy. 

It's not as simple as you think... I can't just walk into my ward and expect the bishop to be ok with (1) my gayness, (2) my cohabitation with another woman, who by the way, is my ex, and (3) won't immediately excommunicate me upon hearing that I was sexually active with *gasp* a woman! (You really need to read that last part in the voice of the Emperor's Aid dude from Mulan... It makes it that much more epic)

I need to find a bishop that is progressive enough to know and understand that being gay is not a choice, and that I'm no less of a person because of it. I need my bishop to understand that I will not repent for having sex with a woman (have you ever heard of a bishop who expects a straight man to repent for having sex with a woman? Of course not! They will expect them to repent for the sexual act only.) Some bishops will see that declaration as me being unrepentant (and possibly an apostate), and will convene a disciplinary council to address the issue (and my membership). My ideal bishop will be able to separate the act from the orientation. 

All in all, I don't regret loving Melissa. I don't regret anything that happened in our relationship. At all. And it's hard to repent for something that I don't regret... I honestly don't even think it's a real thing. And I don't want to repent for it, simply because I don't think it's wrong for me to have loved her. The only thing that I could agree that was "wrong" about the nature of our relationship, was that we were unmarried and sexually active. And we couldn't remedy that by getting married, because Utah doesn't perform same sex marriages, or recognizes one performed in another state, and even if it did, the LDS Church does not. So marriage wasn't a realistic option. (Not to mention that I would be going through a divorce right now rather than just a break up)

Why am I talking about repentance? I miss the temple. It's quite simple really... I miss being in the presence of God. And for the last couple of months I've had this unshakable feeling that I need to go through the temple and receive my endowment. Yeah, talk about fucking complicated.

Do you see how I feel like I'm stuck in open water with nothing but a raft? It's not just the Melissa/Megan shit that going down. It's not just the fact that I have no real family that actually wants to see me or invite me home for Christmas (which with my new job, I might actually be able to afford now). Everything is connected. It's like my life is a big ball of copper wire... every wire represents an aspect of my life. But the wires are all tangled up in a big knot. And whenever anything happens, big or small, an electrical shock is shot through it. And because its a big tangled ball of copper wire, EVERYTHING gets shocked.

What do I do? What path do I choose? Where do I go?

17 June 2013

Searching The Scriptures

I said in a post a couple of days ago that I was having some trouble searching the Scriptures to help make everything easier. Part of it definitely was me trying to search for comfort while my heart and mind were filled with animosity. The other part of me genuinely had no idea where to begin to look. But this morning before I started work, I was sitting at a table with my scriptures open in front of me, and I said a silent prayer for the Lord to stay close to me, and to help me find comfort and strength from His words.

I got a bit more than I was bargaining for.

I was pleasantly surprised that I found a lot of comfort from the Old and New Testaments. I think as Mormons, we sometimes overlook the value of the Bible, because we lean so heavily on the Book of Mormon (not that thats a bad thing). But I felt like I was really able to increase my knowledge of the Old and New Testaments by finding these scriptures.

Old Testament:

Joshua 1:6-9 – I think my favorite verse is verse 9. Be strong, be brave... The Lord is there.
Psalm 23 – Everyone knows this one... The Lord is my shepherd. One of my favorite scriptures of all time... (I have a pretty fantastic story about this scripture that I might have to share one day)
Psalm 25:16-22 – This one deals a lot with forgiveness, but forgiveness goes hand in hand with compassion, comfort, and love.
Psalm 27 – Trust in the Lord. Confide in Him.
Psalm 30:5 – "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." While I've cried for almost 2 weeks, joy will come. Eventually.
Psalm 31 – "In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness." Another one of my very favorites. 
Psalm 46:1 –  God is our refuge and strength. 
Psalm 147:3-5 – Heavenly Father knows each of us personally. He understands our own individual trials and pains, and He will lift us up and bind our wounds.
Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the Lord, He will not lead you astray.
Ecclesiastes 3 – There is a time and place for everything. Anger and Happiness alike.
Isaiah 26:3 – Trust in the Lord with perfect peace.
Isaiah 49:13 – The Lord will comfort His people. He will have mercy upon His afflicted.
Jeremiah 31:13 – The Lord will comfort me, and turn my mourning into joy.

New Testament:

Matthew 11:28-30 – Come unto me, and I will give you rest.
John 14:1-2 – The Lord has a place for me. He knows my needs.
John 14:18 – The Lord will not leave me comfortless.
John 14:27 – "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you."
John 15:17-20 – Love one another.
Romans 8:31 – If God be with us, who could be against us?
Romans 12:10-21 – There's simply no better scripture to teach you to get along with your fellow man.
2Corinthians 1:3-4 – Heavenly Father will be merciful and comforting through our trials.
Colossians 3:12-17 – People sometimes refer to this as Paul's secret to happiness.
2Thessalonians 2:16-17 – Heavenly Father will give us everlasting hope and comfort.
Hebrews 11 – With faith, we can work miracles.

Book of Mormon:

1Nephi 1:20 – The tender mercies of the Lord are over those He has chosen, through their faith.
1Nephi 3:7 – I will do the things the Lord commands of me, and I will have no fear, for He will provide a way.
1Nephi 9:6 – The Lord knows all things, and has the power to fulfill His words.
1Nephi 20:10 – The Lord will build me up, and will help me be the best person I can be.
2Nephi 2:2 – My trials will be to my good.
2Nephi 2:25 – Adam's transgression in the Garden allowed for me to come to this earth. While I will always feel pain, I will always feel joy.
2Nephi 26:28 – None are forbidden to take part of God's goodness. All are alike unto God.
2Nephi 31:3 – The Lord will give me guidance personally, so that I can learn, and know His love.
Mosiah 18:8-9 – Easily one of my most favorite scriptures. It brings a tear to my eye every time :)
Alma 7:11-12 – Christ's Atonement, and infinite love for us.
Alma 31:26-35 – Alma pleads with the Lord for strength and patience
Alma 36:3 – Whoever trusts in God will be supported in their trials.
Ether 12:4 – Hope comes from faith.
Ether 12:27 – Grace is sufficient for all who humble themselves in their weaknesses.
Moroni 10:32 – Love God with all your might, and protect yourself from all ungodliness, and His grace will be suffucient. 

There were some wonderful talks from General Conference and the Ensign by Russell M. NelsonGordon B. Hinckley, and Jeffery R. Holland.

All in all, I don't feel a whole lot better, but I'm getting closer. 


16 June 2013

Well It's Been Fun

It's been brought to my attention that I am embarrassing, creepy, and sad. Probably all true. 

Anyways... I'll stop. I'm not one to fall like a limp noodle when people don't like what I do, or say... But in this case, it's simply easier. Whatever.

Normal journals are so boring, but... you gotta do what you gotta do, right? 

Peace out Girl Scout 

Limbo, Limbo

Disclaimer! I've been asked to delete this post. I'm the spirit of transparency, I will be editing the parts that were asked to be deleted•

I'm stuck in limbo. Treading water. I have nowhere to go. I have over a month until my new job starts; I have no money until I get my first check from the new job; and until I have money, I'm chained to this spot, unable to move. Which means I'm chained to Melissa whether or not I want to be.

Part of me just wants to throw up my hands and say, "Screw you and that woman," and leave and never look back. Because if they do stay together, and try to make a go at it, they're doomed. Like a new friend told me, they're fighting a two front battle... Melissa is pursuing a woman who has no problem wooing, seducing, and having affairs with married/committed women, and Megan is pursuing a woman who has no problem dropping a committed, long term relationship when things start to get "boring" or "too vanilla". Instead of filling the car back up with gas, giving it a tune up and just a little TLC, she decides to scrap it and buy a new one...

And yet, the other part of me is still head over heels in love with her, regardless of all the pain and anguish she's put me through this last week and a half. I never lost that spark for her. I never lost interest, I never stopped being attracted to her, and I never stopped loving her. She was my everything. My heart and soul. Simple as that. I would still take her back. If she comes home from this "honeymoon" and tells me that she's sorry, and that she'd never do it again... I'd still take her back.

And yes I know that its crazy, and that I'd be setting myself up for failure, and pain.

Tomorrow would've been our one year anniversary. We were laying in the grass of my front lawn, just talking and having fun. Once it got dark, I leaned over, and asked her if I could kiss her, and we made out. For a while. And then she asked me to be her girlfriend. And that was that. I'm thankful that I'm going to be working tomorrow... because it'll force me to get out of bed, and be productive like a normal human being. But I know that all I'm going to want to do is lay in bed all day.

I've been trying to reach out to the scriptures and anything really to make this easier. But nothing really helps. Maybe I'm just reading in all the wrong places. Maybe I'm not searching with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. Maybe I'm just too hurt and upset to be able to pull anything out of it. I don't know. But it is discouraging... if I can't find any comfort or relief from the scriptures, then where the hell can I find it?

15 June 2013

D-Day Plus 10

I find it really ironic that my break up coincided with June 6th, D-Day. So now... in the aftermath of my break-up/divorce/whatever you want to call it, I can count the day's as D-Day Plus 1, 2, 3. It makes me a mega nerd, but it's effective in keeping track of the days.

Last night really sucked. I couldn't sleep and Maggie refused to lay anywhere near me... which put a wrench into the whole theory that if she cuddles with me, then I won't feel so lonely and cold in my big empty bed. And it would have worked, if she wouldn't have been acting so anti-social. Trust me when I say that Maggie is a very... friendly... dog. Meanie dog face just wanted to hang out with Bridey... Traitor.

So now I'm sitting at work, and its slow, and I have too much time on my hands to think about everything I don't want to think about. Like all the dirty, nasty sex that probably happened on the other side of the Wasatch. Who in their right mind would want to be thinking about the love of their life having sex with another woman?? Certainly not me, and yet... here I am.

*cue the cane yanking me off the stage.*

On the good side of life... the one I haven't seen in what feels like a year... I got a new job! I am the newest employee with American Express! I had the interview on Thursday afternoon, and after telling me that I would find out by the next day, my interviewer called me back to extend the offer after about an hour... needless to say, I think they like me a whole lot :) And the salary is quite nice... I don't feel comfortable saying how much it is, but I'm making roughly double of what I've been making the last 2 years. And that's significant. I'll finally be able to go to the eye doctor and get new glasses with the stronger prescription I've been needing for the last year. I'll be able to update my wardrobe. I'll be able to buy a reliable car. Get some real furniture... So yeah... I'll be living like a normal human being, rather than a starving college student for the first time since I moved from Defiance.

AND... they have an on-site fitness center. So I'll finally be able to start losing weight, and getting back into shape without spending money I don't have, on a gym membership that I'll be too lazy to use. Now all I'll have to do is go to work an hour early, or leave an hour late... It'll be easy. No problem. Don't get me wrong... I'm still lazy, and I'll still not want to go more often than not. But at least I won't be wasting any money, and I won't have any excuse to say that its too far, or that I don't have time, because it's at my work. Piece of cake. Hopefully I'll be able to get a workout buddy, so I can't skimp out on it. :)

So... I'm a huge World War II buff... I absolutely love it. And I own a lot of World War II movies... Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan, Windtalkers, Flags of Our Fathers, Valkyrie, Letters From Iwo Jima, Saints and Soldiers, and U-571. Plus a bunch of other war movies from other wars. I'm looking for suggestions on other good movies (and books... I'll never say no to a good book) that I should look into.

Ok, I'm bored. And my shift ends in about 30 minutes, so I should probably go and do the things that I'm being paid to do.

Au revoiur!

Are Y'all Getting Sick Of Me Yet?

I know I'm posting a lot. And I'm sure y'all are getting really annoyed with it. I can understand... I'm ranting and raving, and feeling sorry for myself. I get it. But I do better when I get all the venom out of me, so that when I do bite, it only stings for a little bit, instead of slowly poisoning you to death.

Tonight is the first night where I have slept alone... And I haven't slept alone for about 10 months now. I don't know how to sleep without a warm body next to me. I have Melissa's dog Maggie, which helps, and she's being so good curled up next to me. But it's not the same. Nothing's the same. 

I'm alone. And not just in my bed tonight, but in the world. I am alone. I don't have family. I don't have a ward in Church. I don't have anyone. Normally it doesn't bother me to be this alone, because its been this way for so long. But then I met Melissa, and everything changed for me. I was happy again. I was putting down roots. Everything came together. 

Until it fell apart.

Hopefully Maggie won't mind if I kiss the top of her head all night...

14 June 2013

Joke Was On Me All Along...

Truth's out... Melissa had an affair. Complete with saucy text messages about how much they love each other, and plenty of other things that make me want to be sick. The drives to "clear her head" while we were breaking up, turned out to be engineered to go out and see her. The "innocent" kiss at Pride turned out to be not-so-innocent (The Pride Festival and Parade happened before Melissa and I broke up... we didn't break up for 4 more days). And all along through the break up, when I asked her directly if she was seeing and/or kissing Megan, I consistently got "no" as an answer. Even after I confronted her with the evidence. But yet again... It was a lie disguised as her "not wanting to hurt me anymore than she already has". Have they had sex? She says not yet... But they're in Heber this weekend, and I'm sure it's happened by now...

I was surprisingly calm when I found everything out in the early hours of Thursday morning... But knowing that I was cheated on really puts a wrench into me being cool, calm, and collected.

What I can't understand is how Megan has one bit of compassion or a conscience. She knew that Melissa was in love with me. She knew that she was engaged. Engaged to be MARRIED! Yet, she still pursued her, flirted with her, and seduced her. How does someone have no conscience about going after a "married" woman? There were emails where Melissa says she feels bad for hurting me, and Megan's response is, "You aren't a horrible person." I'm sorry, but she broke off our engagement because she had an affair. With you. You both should feel terrible. I think that Melissa does... But I think Megan is simply polishing her trophy, and not giving a damn who she stepped on and hurt to get to it.

I finally understand why people blame themselves when they're partner/spouse cheats and has an affair. I keep thinking about where Melissa and I would be if she didn't work at L's (where she met Megan). Or if I could've done something better... 

It's one thing for people to get cold feet in their relationship, especially when it's getting serious. It's pretty healthy to take a step back and re-evaluate what you want in your life. And that was what she told me in the beginning. 

In the waning days of our relationship, I noticed Melissa pulling away from me. I thought that she might not be attracted to me anymore. Whenever I'd touch her, or kiss her forehead, she always reacted like she didn't want me to touch her. When I asked her what was wrong she said nothing. I even asked her specifically, and she still said no... And she would say it in the most loving and affectionate way. But in reality, she was no longer attracted to me, and instead was attracted to that woman. Joke's on me. I had the wool pulled over my eyes, and was completely oblivious to what was going on under my nose.

I feel so pathetic.

12 June 2013

10 Sentences That Can Change Your Perspective On Life

1. People aren't against you; they are for themselves.

2. Climb mountains not so the world can see you, but so you can see the world.

3. You learn more from failure than from success. Don't let it stop you. Failure builds character.

4. The most dangerous risk of all - the risk of spending your life not doing what you want, on the bet you can buy your self the freedom to do it later.

5. Go where you're celebrated, not where you're tolerated.

6. The person that you will spend the most time with in your life is yourself, so you'd better try to make yourself as interesting as possible.

7. If you accept your limitations you go beyond them.

8. People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing. That's why we recommend it daily.

9. Everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something, and has lost something.

10. Comfort is the enemy of achievement.

11 June 2013

Where Do I Go From Here

With the recent deterioration of my engagement, my life has kind of hit neutral. I can't move backwards, and I can't move forward. I put all my eggs in one basket, because I honestly believed that we would be together forever. And now, I'm trapped in open water.

I don't know what to do. It's WAY too early for me to get back into the dating ring, and start thinking about another relationship. I can't take a break and get out of the city for a few days because I don't have any money. It's June, and there's no snow, so I can't just jump on the tram and lose myself in the mountains. I can't really do anything. I'm treading water.

And the one and only thing that I do want to do is play Halo and destroy everything. But my Xbox 360 has a major overheating problem, and nothing I've done to fix it has worked. And I've been trying to call places around town that repairs Xbox 360's, and not ONE has answered their phones in their declared business hours. And of all of them, only one had an answering machine, but I was unable to leave a message, because their voicemail was full. Which means they don't check it. I'm annoyed. And I swear the universe is out to get me. I just wanna shoot aliens... 

10 June 2013

It's Been Swell

I met Melissa in May 2012. We started dating June 17, 2012, I told her that I loved her July 26th, and she asked me to marry her on November 4, 2012. June 10, 2013 she called it quits. I'm not going to pretend like I'm doing ok... Because I'm not. My heart is shattered and I feel like I'll never be happy again. (Where's my Patronus when I need it?) But here's to another door opening. Here's to living one day at a time.

We are still living together. Mostly we're too broke to afford to move out. And aside from being my girlfriend, she was my best friend. I don't want to cut her out  of my life. Because if I cut her out, then there's no one else left (My immediate family and I mutually evicted each other from our lives). 

But it's hard to not look at her like my girlfriend. I can't look at her with "roommate eyes" yet. I can't stop calling her "baby", "dear(est)", and "love"... Because we rarely used our first names in casual conversation with each other. It feels artificial, and fake. 

But it's not.

She's started flirting with (and possibly had started dating) a girl that she works with at Lowes... Megan. She's has had a crush on Melissa from the beginning. When they first started being friends, Melissa asked me if it was ok that they text, and hang out. Naturally, I said yes, because fully I trusted her. I told her that it was fine with me as long as the relationship stays appropriate. Joke's on me I guess.

I don't know who to reach out to... I don't have a lot of close friends anymore, because I caught the "married and boring" bug. I spent my free time with Melissa and few others. So it's going to be interesting.

Anyone in need of a sad, and pathetic friend?

It's gonna be rough going. It's going to suck. But, all in all, it'll be ok. It gets better, right?

02 June 2013

Pride 2013

This weekend I had the privilege to march in the Utah Pride Festival's Pride Parade with a group called Mormons Building Bridges. MBB is a group of Mormons from all walks of life, all political affiliations, and all levels of active ness in the Church. But the one thing we all have in common, is love and acceptance for our LGBT family members, neighbors, and coworkers.

As I am still a believing Mormon, and an outspoken lesbian, I couldn't think of anyone better to march with, for my very first Pride Festival and Parade.

The experience was overwhelmingly positive, and loving. I marched so that people could see that one can be gay and Mormon. Or gay and religious in general. I marched so that I could help. But it was the people who lined the streets that helped me instead.

There were about 400-500 of us, which made us one of the largest participants (if not the largest). All dressed up in our Sunday best, and holding signs that have Family names, and Scripture passages, we held an opening prayer, and then we were off. I had barely walked for a half of a block, before I saw an older woman crying uncontrollably. As I got closer to her, I could see a CTR ring on her finger. I gave her the most heart-felt hug I could muster, as she choked back tears, and told me how thankful she was that we were there, and how much it meant to her. 

That's when I knew that this wouldn't be a normal parade.

As we marched, the streets were lined with people cheering, and clapping for us. Many people expressed their thanks, and appreciation. I gave many high fives, handshakes, and more hugs. I also got to see friends along the route, which made the experience that much more special.

Close to the end of the route, a young woman around my age came up to me, weeping. She gave me a hug, and then asked me if she could still have a relationship with God, even though she was gay. In those 30 seconds or so, I was able to bear my testimony of the Savior's love for us, and I instinctively recited this quote, "No matter who you are, or what you may have done, you can always pray." I have her one last hug, and a smile and I ran to catch up to the group.

When I got home, I looked up the quote, as I didn't know who said it. I was unbelievably surprised when I saw that I had quoted Elder Boyd K. Packer. After all of the discouraging, and down right hurtful things Elder Packer has said concerning people who are gay, I was so pleased to be able to offer his words as a comfort for this wonderful lesbian. It sure was fitting, and blissfully ironic.

My testimony grew. My heart grew. This parade spiritually uplifted me more than any other event in my life with the exception of my baptism. I encourage anyone who wants to be involved for next years parade, to do it. It was unbelievable.