Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I don't understand people who sniff household chemicals.

I feel like I just drank a bottle of Lysol Mildew Remover through my nose. I cleaned my shower over three hours ago, yet the smell is still in my nostrils. I thought I was going to pass out and die while I was scrubbing the tub. Will this smell ever go away? Moving on ...

So many thoughts ... so little time.

First, conference weekend always stirs emotions. Let’s itemize a few of them:

1) nostalgia

2) peace

3) uncertainty

4) confusion

5) frustration

6) determination

7) sleepiness

Of course, I didn’t feel all these feelings at the same time. The nostalgia came when I thought of past conference weekends. General conference always involves friends and family, so I naturally started to miss all my friends and family in Utah.

I felt feelings of peace and comfort, which can be attributed to familiarity or the spirit (depending on your viewpoint). But these comfortable feelings went away when I started to think about the afterlife. I hate thinking about the afterlife. It creeps me out. I don’t want to rot in hell because I’m gay. I’m hoping that won’t be the result ...

However, I can’t help but wonder if that isn’t my fate. When I listened to the prophet express his deep, heartfelt belief in the church, I couldn’t help but think that this man has a greater understanding of life and its purpose than I.

I’ll tell you what ... if these guys (the leaders) are just talking out of their asses, they sure are convincing when they do it! Our dear prophet (whom nobody can bash on this site because he’s just the sweetest man alive) says so convincingly that he “knows” this is Christ’s one and only church! How could this kind, humble, honest, wholesome person fake something like that? (That question is rhetorical.) I did, however, wonder if he’s like many members who just hope it’s true and say they know it’s true, but who don’t really know.

I do get frustrated during conference, though. For example, I get annoyed when they …

1) hammer the same points over and over (every six months it's the same talks said differently).

2) focus so much on families that I can’t help but feel like a bastard child in the church (the church is ignoring its fastest growing demographic – young single adults).

3) don’t mention homosexuality (though I can understand why they wouldn’t).

4) say a woman’s proper role is at home with kids (even though I must admit I loved having a stay-at-home mom; nonetheless, I think that should be the woman’s decision).

5) ALL speak in their “conference” voices, which are rhythmic, unnatural, slow, and cheesy (tradition can be a bitch to break).

Besides those minor annoyances, I had a great weekend. The doc didn’t join me like he said he would. He couldn’t make it because of reasons x, y and z (which is fine by me). He assured me that he wants to come to church sometime, but we’ll see if that ever happens. I don’t know if I’d feel comfortable taking him to my ward. That might be a little over the top for me. We'll have to see.

Anywho ... foxx had a great post today. Honesty is always the best policy.

P.S. I've been meaning to give a shoutout to my good friend's attorney brother-in-law in Arizona. Can't wait for Karaoke next year! Plan on it, pal.


Anonymous tbirdguy58 said...

Hi GM, I totally agree with you re conference. Your #1 complaint is mine too. I always wanted to hear NEW revelation from the "living" prophet, but no. Same old rehash on autopilot. Whenever I visit my parents in Utah, they play the BYU TV station with its old devotionals and conference sessions... it's nauseating. I'd suggest that the church scrap the tired format and make meetings more entertaining if they want to keep an audience. That's my two cents :)

6:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good Friend's Attorney Brother-in-law in Arizona said . . .

So I see that Good Friend told you how I frequently check your blog for updates. It is one of my regular stops (more than once per day) on the internet during breaks at work. I've even posted here a few times.

Your honesty is compelling and refreshing, and I enjoy watching this process unfold. In many respects, I can relate to your experiences, having gone through my own struggles trying to reconcile my thoughts, feelings, and emerging beliefs with Mormon doctrine and culture. Substitute the gay theme of your blog with my own issues (a hodgepodge that does not lend itself to a concise cheerful label, such as yours), and your blog reads a lot like my missionary journal. But I would never post the pages of my journal on the internet for the entire world to view - you are much braver than I am.

Anyway, keep it up. And my singing voice will be ready to roll next time you come to AZ!

9:58 AM  
Blogger Elbow said...

I feel the same way about conference.
The spirit is there...and then it's not... and it makes me feel bad about myself because there is so much idealism.
So much about conference is so positive, but where are the talks about the specifics? If this life is so hard, then what are we doing, why are we talking about things that don't need explaination or clarification?

11:26 AM  
Blogger DCTwistedLife said...

I think I have the same complaints about conference...granted I only watched a little of it...I get too many negative emotions from worrying.

I agree with elbows comments about Idealism. Did you know that Utah's rate of consumption of anti-depressants is 50 percent more than any other state? The church places this emphasis on perfection... they say they dont, but obviously they do, because feelings of inadequacy run rampant, especially among women.

You mentioned the role of the woman in the church / family. Again, I am sounding my B.S. horn... perfect example: my mother. She raised 5 kids in the church, she is still doing everything she is 'supposed' to be doing. Yet she doesnt feel happy or fulfilled. The poor woman feel worthless, like she has never achieved anything. They need to re-think their policy on that.

Homosexuality and the church? Oh, I dont really have much to say about that issue ... ;)

2:12 PM  
Blogger Gay Mormon said...

Yay! AZ Friend's Attorney Brother-in-law still reads! I'm surprised ... and flattered! Great hearing from you! Hey, if you're reading this, I'd like to hear about your situation with the church sometime. I'm curious. Of course, only if you're comfortable telling me about your situation. Best Friend mentioned a few backgrounder things about your life, but I don't know much. Shoot me an email when you have a minute. Email: gay.mormon@yahoo.com.

2:36 AM  
Blogger Gay LDS Actor said...

I totally get where you're coming from. I, too, felt feelings of peace, but also feelings of guilt and even a bit of despair when certain talks were focusing on the afterlife (one mentioned the "unquenchable fire", and that depressed me). You know, Jonah and I have been talking a lot about guilt lately, and how so many religions focus on the guilt, but not the mercy and forgiveness. Frankly, I'm tired of feeling so much needless guilt. I used to feel guilty about masturbating, but several years ago I just thought, "Hey, this isn't changing, and I refuse to feel guilty about it anymore," and I've felt better about it since. Perhaps I may be able to reach that same peace if I take my relationship with Jonah farther.
I also don't believe we "rot in hell," as you speculate. The fact that any of us our here on earth already speaks volumes about our willingness to follow the Lord, and even the telestial kingdom is a degree of glory (emphasis on "glory"). I even think whatever kingdom we end up in, we will be happy, though it's true we may have regrets. But I can even have regrets in this life and achieve happiness.
What we need to remember is that God is a loving Father. Even when your mortal parents punish you, they don't "spank you forever," so to speak. Even if we are punished, God still loves us and always will. So don't be afraid. (I'm really good at doling out advice, but not always good at taking my own. :-) )
One last word, I agree with you; no matter what anyone thinks of our church or whether we accept all its doctrines or not, I can't deny that President Hinckley (our prophet) is a wonderful and sincere human being.

11:12 PM  
Anonymous Brother Tim said...

Hey Bro.
Check out this funny study that I ran across from the Pew Research Institute.

"Some 45% of all Republicans report being very happy, compared with just 30% of Democrats and 29% of independents. This finding has also been around a long time; Republicans have been happier than Democrats every year since the General Social Survey began taking its measurements in 1972. Pew surveys since 1991 also show a partisan gap on happiness; the current 16 percentage point gap is among the largest in Pew surveys, rivaled only by a 17 point gap in February 2003.

"Could it be that Republicans are so much happier now because their party controls all the levers of federal power? Not likely. Since 1972, the GOP happiness edge over Democrats has ebbed and flowed in a pattern that appears unrelated to which party is in political power.

"For example, Republicans had up to a 10 and 11 percentage point happiness edge over Democrats in various years of both the Carter and Clinton presidencies, and as small as a three and five percentage point edge in various years of the Reagan and first Bush presidencies. Also, we should explain here a bit about how our survey questionnaire was constructed. The question about happiness was posed at the very beginning of the interview, while the question about political affiliation was posed at the back end, along with questions about demographic traits. So respondents were not cued to consider their happiness through the frame of partisan politics. This question is about happiness; it is not a question about happiness with partisan outcomes."

I guess conservative politics are true...(if I were giving a testimony).

PS. I stumbled across this on a fact checking mission on all of these anti-depressant and Utah comments as well as suicide rates in youths. Let me just say that their are some serious confounding variables in the assessment of these two issues.
For example, Utah youths attempt suicide less than other youths nationally--but we have higher suicide rates. What does that mean? Our youths are better at it....they're more successful when they go for it. The study didn't break down method of suicide, but a likely hypothesis is the gun equation.
The anti-depressant use could be confounded by the fact that higher educated populations use them more (Utah has the higher per capita education) or that we don't smoke pot, drink alcohol, or use illicit drugs (on average) like the rest of the nation--so we rely more on ligitimate MD based solutions for depression, etc. I'll keep researching.

You know me, I study a study (part of my professinal life too) because their is a lot of JUNK science out there. I'm not saying this one is, but your readers that like to bag on Utah (and indirectly Mormons) are not considering all the facts.

5:22 AM  

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