Monday, December 31, 2012

What else matters?

President Hinckley once shared the story of a young man who came to the US for training purposes and converted to the gospel.  However, when it was time to return to his home country, he knew his conversion would not be received well.  President Hinckley asked this man what would happen?

Friday, December 28, 2012

Charity, the Pure Love of Christ

If I had to choose just one gospel topic that I wish I could teach everyone, it would be charity, not because it's something I'm particularly good at, but rather it's something I value, but I know I lack.  Paul teaches the Corinthians that regardless of any other greatness I possess, if I "have not charity, I am nothing. . . . And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity." (1 Cor. 13)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

St. Stephen's Day

Have you ever found yourself singing a Boxing Day carol and not realized it?  If you've ever sung Good King Wenceslas and thought it was a Christmas carol, then you qualify.  In fact, Good King Wenceslas is the only Boxing Day (a.k.a. St. Stephen's Day) carol I know.  It's a day to give to the poor.  Box up food and goods and deliver them to those in need.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Merry

'Twas the day before Christmas and all through the blogsphere ...

Friday, December 21, 2012

And Work as Missionaries Do

A mission is such a powerful experience regardless of orientation.  I think that's why it's talked about so much among gay-oriented Mormons.  So, what was it like for me serving as a Mormon missionary who was attracted to guys?  Well, my orientation scared me. It led me to be a bit hyper-obedient, hoping that if I was just a little more righteous, my orientation would be miraculously changed.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

I hope by then I will be ready

My father, all his brothers, all their sons, their sister's sons, and several daughters have gone on full time missions for the church.  The youngest of all my male cousins recently got his call, so that's 100 percent of the boys.  I'm not telling you this to brag, but so you can understand a little about my family.  Now imagine growing up in this family, knowing that you're attracted to guys instead of girls.  I had always been taught that I would be serving a mission.  I usually just accepted the fact, but in the back of my mind I wondered if I would really be able to serve.  What if someone found out about me?  My father had a friend from his mission who eventually left his wife and family to follow his homosexual attractions, so I knew that there were missionaries who were gay, but this guy wasn't exactly the role model I wanted to follow.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Double Standards

I sometimes feel that there is a double standard when it comes to orientation, and there shouldn't be.  For example, the Boy Scouts of America have emphasized homosexuality as violating the "morally straight" phrase of the scout oath, but there is no similarly strong caution against irresponsible heterosexual behavior.  In fact, it appears that behavior is less important than ideology.  There's no statement that a man who lives with his girlfriend would not be allowed to be a scout leader.  But a celibate homosexual would not be allowed.  That appears to be a double standard.

Friday, December 14, 2012

I don't understand

I want to be understanding of others, if they ever come to me with troubles involving their orientation.  However, I realize that I have only my own experiences to draw upon.  It's a very limited viewpoint.  Cosmologists have this problem as they try to understand the cosmos through the lenses of their telescopes.  We can only look at the universe from the viewpoint of our own solar system, and that makes it somewhat difficult to get a complete picture of the physical universe.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

To Bear One Another's Burdens

When Alma was teaching the people of King Noah by the waters of Mormon, he explained what it would mean to be baptized and enter into the Church of Jesus Christ.  He knew these people were ready because, among other things, they were "willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light" (Mosiah 18:8).  This is expected of all members of the church.

My problem is that I often find it easy to expect these things of others.  I want others to be welcoming and supportive of their gay oriented brothers and sisters, to help support them and help bear their burdens.  But how often do we expect it of ourselves?  Can we bear burdens for those who have backgrounds that have not prepared them to deal with others of different orientations?  Or are we quick to judge them as biased or bigoted?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Love and Marriage

One concern that many people have raised in the comments of other blogs is that if a man is attracted to other men, it is unfair to ask a woman to marry him.  She is deserving of his wholehearted adoration, and should not have to compete with men for his infatuation.  My usual response to this argument is that the bar is not raised that high for heterosexual husbands, why should we have a different standard for those with gay orientation?  (Nobody complains that a man shouldn't have married his wife because she may still have to compete with other girls for his attention.)  But I think that there is some other misconception behind this argument that I would like to address.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Getting Married

Ding-dong, the bells are gonna chime!

I'm a guy, married to an incredible girl.  I am so amazingly happy in my marriage.  We have a number of children and our family is generally healthy and happy.  We're not without our flaws and struggles, but overall, life is good.  This may seem more remarkable due to the fact that my orientation is gay, but I don't think it's really all that remarkable at all.  I think of it as rather normal.

Monday, December 3, 2012


Of all my experiences, probably the one I'm least able to shed light on is courtship.  I have no idea how a gay oriented Latter-day Saint should court someone of the opposite gender.  While I dated all the time, I never dated seriously, or at least I never intended to.

Friday, November 30, 2012


For as long as I can remember, the church has set clearly defined standards for dating.  Stake and school dances were for those 14 and older, and dating shouldn't begin until at least the age of 16.  Even then, it should be groups, not couples.  I was always kind of amused.  I was never going to get into trouble with a girl.  When I was 14, I had friends who encouraged me to come with them to the stake dances.  They were a lot of fun.  I've always been very social, and I enjoyed being with friends.  The dances were a great place to hang out with my friends.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

First Kiss

I think when I was about 5 or 6 I kissed a girl, but I really didn't understand what it meant back then.  So that doesn't count.  When I was a freshman at BYU, before my mission, there was this girl that I dated some.  I knew it was customary to kiss and I felt like she expected me to.  So, one night I tried it.  The only think I felt was that it was wet and did not excite me at all.  I had no idea why people liked kissing so much.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Ever since I entered puberty at around 12, I have been only attracted to guys.  I recognized this about myself almost immediately, but it really hit home a year later when I had my first crush.  In retrospect, it was probably pretty mild, but at the time it felt all-consuming.  He was another LDS kid at my Jr. High and I just couldn't get him out of my mind.  I didn't know what to do about it, so I tried to just act natural.  I got to know him a little better over time, and that, more than anything, helped to assuage the crush.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Blame Game

I knew I was attracted to guys and not girls almost immediately upon entering puberty, so I was naturally interested in learning about that particular issue.  I searched my family's library and there was not much there.  What I did find tended to basically say that homosexuality was a condition with causes.  I looked through the causes and realized that I didn't really fit any of them.  How could this be?  I had a good relationship with my father and other boys.  I had never been abused in any way.  I had learned and was trying to live the commandments.  I wasn't perfect, by any means, but my problems were nothing like what was supposed to cause homosexuality.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.  I have a lot of friends who are doing the daily thanks list, but I don't have the attention span to do that.  Today I just wanted to list a few of the very many things I'm thankful for.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Rock and a Hard Place

Growing up as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon) while at the same time being attracted to the same gender is a somewhat awkward situation.  From when I was very young, I was always a bit different from my peers.  The knees of my pants never got holes in them.  I preferred thoughtfulness and music to roughhousing and sports (although I did participate in sports a bit).  I also started to develop spiritually at a very young age, and had experiences which helped solidify my testimony even before I was baptized at age eight.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Required Disclaimer

It seems to be a required disclaimer that any gay guy married to a girl has to explain that it is only his own story, and that it is different from everyone elses story.  I think this serves a very important purpose, in that somebody else should not be judged by my experience and choices.  I wholeheartedly agree that nobody should have to measure up to some ideal that somebody else thinks I embody.  It's hurtful and divisive -- the opposite of Christlike love.

So, my disclaimer is that this is my story.  I do not want anybody else to use my story as a measuring stick for themselves or for anybody else.  In fact, I expressly forbid it. On the other hand, I hope there are those that can learn something from me, and that I can learn something from those who communicate with me. 

I plan on only approving appropriate comments, because I have seen so many other blogs host comments that contain ad hominem and straw man arguments.  (If you are unfamiliar with these terms, an ad hominem arguement is belittling somebody to argue against their position, and a straw man argument is when you oversimplify someone else's opinion so it is easier to lampoon.)  Anybody who avoids such arguments and uses respectful vocabulary is more likely to have thier comments approved.  I hate to have to approve comments, but I know it's easy for them to get out of hand.  I will not try to discriminate against comments with which I disagree; just show respect for others.

Monday, November 19, 2012


Allow me to introduce myself.

I love listening to (and making) a variety of good music.  I am a college football fan.  I am an amateur astronomer, who's a bit out of practice.  I am a husband and father.  I am a lover of ice cream.  I am a professional teacher.  I am an avid reader.  I am blue eyed.  I enjoy swimming, biking, and hiking.  I am a calligrapher.  I am actively involved as a Mormon.  My ancestors mostly come from Sweden, with some from Great Britain.

Of the above characteristics, some of them are more a part of my identity than others.  The fact that I have blue eyes is not a big part of my identity, despite the high value I place on my eyes.  On the other hand, being a husband and father is an enormous part of my identity.

I am also gay oriented.  But, like my eyes being blue, I don't consider my orientation to be a large part of my identity.  My orientation is gay; I'm not.  However, the blogsphere has been alive lately with the thoughts of men and women who, like myself, are attracted to others of the same gender, yet are also active Mormons.  I feel it would be appropriate to write of my own experiences in that realm, in case anybody was interested.

So, to anybody who might possibly be reading, welcome to my blog.