Elbow: Love And Its Fullness

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Love And Its Fullness

In regards to Forester's question about how I've come to the decision of leaving the church, I ponder it's very introspective and difficult answer. I feel that I haven't left the church but that the Church left me. I grew up feeling safe and comforted by the walls of the Church and the people and the beauty I felt in regards to the connection it provided me between my Heavenly Father and myself. But slowly I've started to realize that the Church wasn't the same shape that it use to be. I do miss that feeling. I miss the comfort and I miss the trust in uncertainty that I was given as a member of the church. But if that trust no longer exists, and if I feel marginalized and if the church is spending millions of dollars in the combat of marriage between two consenting adults who love each other then I feel it is in my best interest to my soul to recognize that I can't grow and progress in that environment.

I don't want to complain. I don't want to be biter. I just want to feel love. And I simply don't feel love from the church because it seems that their "love is conditional of the celebacy of someone who desires close intimate relationships with someone of thier same gender. Instead what I feel from the church is judgement and close mindedness.

God is love and if two people love each other then it's in no one's interest to fight the union of two people who simply want to share their lives and raise children. God is not against this...the Church is. And if the church claims that God has given the go ahead to allow church leaders to advocate for a gay man to marry a straight woman and for a gay man to be celibate and live a life with out a partner and without a companion and without progress within the beauty of a relationship then I can't participate in that organization because it speaks contrary to what the meaning of love and trust is to me.

I feel love and I feel compassion but I don't feel it from the church. I feel it from God and I feel it from the Universe and all the love and trust that it holds.

If Joseph Smith is a Prophet (which I don't know if he was or if he wasn't) then he did what he had to do to give his life in the service of God, but that still doesn't mean that the church is the only way to life a full an happy journey through eternity. If the Book of Mormon is true then what does it have to do with the church telling people that being gay is a sin...there's nothing in the book of Mormon about gay marriage being a sin so for now the Book of Mormon is, I guess, not a very good tool for the church to use in regards to proving its veracity. And like I said I don't know...maybe the book of Mormon is as the church says it is, but I haven't felt that and I know it's a good book, but I only really felt good when it spoke of Christ and the other stuff doesn't really touch me or inspire me. And isn't more than half of the book of mormon about war and death and destruction...and don't tell me that it's a result of homosexuality...it's a result of pride which there's a lot of prideful people in and out of the church...

The bottom line is that if the Church were truly the one true Church of God then there would be less talk of judgement and more talk of love. God is love so why is love only "love" when it fits into the box of heterosexuality?

Wow, I'm just writing a lot and not even really thinking about it. So maybe I'll just post this and hope that it's received well. I don't want anyone to get offended I just want to explain my journey out of the Church and my journey into love and trust.

To be continued...


Anonymous Pistol Pete said...

I'm sorry to hear of what sounds like a painful experience for you.

I pray God leads you to a faith family where you can grow in love, in relationship with Christ.

6:45 AM  
Blogger Clark said...

One thing that I have done SO MUCH of during my time as a gay mormon is attempt to protect the church from its own homophobic doctrines. When someone would come to me and say, how can you be part of an organization who doesn't accept who you are?, I would just brush it off and say, well they are doing their best and maybe there is something really wrong with me and I deserve to be somewhat rejected because of my flawed nature. Maybe this is God's way of getting me to line myself up to His standards and His truth. Maybe this is the refiner's fire. The church isn't homophobic, its true-- I'm the one who is wrong. I am the one who needs to change-- the church shouldn't have to change.. I should have to change. The church is eternal I am just a little slip of a homosexual who needs a lot of work to be acceptable.

What I love about you is that you have never really taken this position. This is a truly self-destructive and damaging position to live in, and for me that is the biggest problem that a gay person in the church will face. Its about the way a gay mormon is encouraged to view him/herself. You have never ever looked at yourself in this way. I think that this shows a healthy self image that I am finally now allowing myself to perceive. What I am trying to say is that I admire you for your courage. I love your personal power because I feel that you are truly "plugged into" the eternal Source of power that is true and that never fails. You are really amazing and I love you.

8:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

your post is almost verbatim what my wife has said. the church that she thought she knew as a teen and young woman is not the same as the church she know sees.

blacks and the priesthood--strike one
women's role in the church--strike two
opposition to gay marriage--strike three and she's out!

9:27 PM  
Blogger Beck said...

Somehow, I can segregate the anti-gay stance of the Church from the spiritual feelings I cannot deny when I participate in the Church.
(Maybe it's just the "Christ-centered" parts that keep me connected.)

You can't make that segregation. I understand and appreciate that. I hope that we can connect together and talk about these things.

7:53 AM  
Blogger [kɹeɪ̯g̊] said...

It's really interesting to read your feelings about leaving the church.

From what you've written here so far, I feel the exactly same way.

I feel that I haven't left the church but that the Church left me.

That is something I've said to others as well. What so many can't seem to see is that just because we may have left the church, it doesn't mean we're not still good people, people who have love, compassion, and yes, even faith.

I don't know why it is so hard to understand why we feel unwelcome and rejected by the church and many if its members and "doctrines".

I fully believe that the opposition to gay relationships and gay marriage has nothing whatsoever to do with God, but is rooted solely in the biases of men.

Anyway, I completely agree with you.

8:39 AM  
Blogger Forester said...

Thanks for all of your comments. I want so much to understand, as it helps me to try and put things into a healthy perspective. I have to ask myself if I'm trying to ignore what the church teaches re. homosexuality so that I can feel good? I think part of it for me is that I don't really need the answer to the question of why church doctrine goes against part of who I am.

I've never felt alienated from the church or its members. I've never felt judged or not loved. My experience has been the opposite. When I have talked to church leaders about SGA, I've always been received with love and compassion.

I have to say that the people in the church who made you feel less of a person or bad for having SGA are wrong and they are not following the doctrines of the church. I don't understand how we have such different feelings about the church.

I'm guessing that if I were out about my SGA, my feelings of the church might change and I might be treated differently, because right now, I'm treated like a straight member of the church. I have one more clarifying question: If the church did accept homosexual love and behavior, would you still be in the church and believe in all of its teachings?

2:28 PM  
Blogger Forester said...

I forgot to mention that I love and respect all of those who have left the church under these circumstances. I don't think it's my place to judge, and in reality, leaving the church is not as big a deal as many would make it out to be. A friend of mine asked if I would still be his friend if he left the church. I told him that I would, and I meant it. I love him and don't feel in any way that I am better than him. I've followed your (Elbow's) blog for a few years now and I live you more now than I did when you were still in the church. I don't believe you are going to hell and I know that you are not a bad person. My definition of a bad person is one who intentionally hurts others.

2:38 PM  

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