I realised I haven't posted in a while and that maybe in part due to my busy schedule lately but also due to the fact that the Gospel actually doesn't cross my mind as much as it used to.
I went to Church last week for the first time in... about 2 months because my Home Teachers texted me and asked if they could share a message with me after Church on Sunday. I actually stayed for the whole 3 hours... I felt nothing. While my HT started sharing their message, they began asking me questions about how to have courage in defending my standards and beliefs and I thought it would be very hypocritical of me to lie about it so I told my HT that I didn't believe in the Gospel anymore. They really didn't know how to respond, I don't think they saw it coming but it felt good to be honest. There is so much power if verbalising thoughts that your mind has pondered for so long.
I think about my path to inactivity a lot and look at where I am now... how the hell did I get to where I am now?? Not in a bad way... I just can't comprehend how I managed to successfully breakaway from the Church while still feeling satisfied in my life and not harbouring any harsh feelings towards the Church.
I've written this post mostly due to reading some other posts by fellow MoHos and reading about the all too familiar struggles that they're going through. I remember being in the exact same position and remember feeling how I could ever be at peace with a decision and be happy. I thought I had found it when I decided to live the Gospel with all my heart and stay faithful the rest of my life... I think I gave it a good shot. Although I can't and won't try to convince others of what to do, I can only share what my experience has been hoping it could give some insight into what 'could' be on the other side.
I dated girls growing up and I really thought I would live a happy fulfilling life in the Gospel and get married. Minus a few hiccups along the way during my rebellious teenage years, I was quite grounded in the Gospel. I promised the Lord that if I were to stay in the Gospel, it wouldn't be a half-assed attempt and that I would do it with all my heart and do everything He would want me to do. I served the most fulfilling 2 year mission I could've ever asked. I didn't have to think about girls, relationships or marriage. It was all about serving the Lord and that was probably why I loved it so much.
I continued like this for a few years. I was feeling somewhat fulfilled because I had great friends. I knew something was missing though. I couldn't put my finger on it but something was missing...
Right around this time I also met my first boyfriend. We had a 'discreet' relationship as I was still in the closet and while it probably wasn't the best looking back it helped me realise that maybe this could work. I wasn't totally convinced though and I was too scared to let go of the Church.. something so familiar and safe to me. But this was the first time I had a taste of what the other side could be like... I liked it... but I couldn't see myself at this point leaving the Church and living a 'gay lifestyle'. Nevertheless, my Church activity began to waiver, I still went but I began missing weeks here and there.
At this time, the Gospel probably moved more to the back burner for me. I wanted a boyfriend. I wanted to be loved. I want to love someone. This was when I met my second boyfriend who in my opinion played quite a bit role in my life even though we were only together for a short 3 months (it felt like a lot longer). He pushed me out of my comfort zone, we kissed in public, we held hands in public and we lived a 'normal' life. It showed me that a partnership wasn't just the promiscuity or the secret relationships, I could live happily with my partner and live a normal life. The relationship as mentioned before was short lived but what surprisingly remained with me was the will power to not go crawling back to Church. I needed to discover who I was and what I believed.
It all began with a seed of question and it begins to grow just as the same principle the Church uses about faith. I slowly began to question the reason WHY I believed what I did growing up. i wanted answers; I couldn't find any. I tried testing this faith principle oppositely - what if the Gospel wasn't true? What if God doesn't condemn me being with another man? To be completely honest, I feel more at peace with the thought that God would love me regardless. The Gospel taught me who God was... but I really had to find what that means for me.
I recounted an experience with my HT on Sunday which I'd pondered about a lot. It was an experience from my mission when I visited a less active family. Lovely family, long history in the Church infact their ancestors were pioneers. A few years prior to me getting to the area they had dabbled in 'anti-mormon' material and had gone less active. I remember distinctly sitting with this family asking them what they believe now. They answered they didn't know. I thought to myself, 'man, how stupid is that? Why would you give up something you know for the unknown?' I remember talking to my companion afterwards about how stupid we thought that was and swore we would never leave the Church. I retold this story to my HT because I was wrong those years ago. Just because you're afraid of the unknown, doesn't mean you have to hold onto something you're not even sure is true.
So there you have it. I never knew this day would come. I can't even comprehend it sometimes... it's a bit surreal thinking about it really. The best thing is... this is solely my decision, it hasn't been influenced by a partner or a friend. I am choosing this other path even though I don't know what it means... and guess what? I'm exciting to see what it brings and the adventures that will come along with it. Everyone's journey is different and I'm all for everyone taking a different journey so long as it brings them peace.