Thursday, April 11, 2013

My New Chapter

This will be the first post I've published on my personal page in a while.

But I thought I'd get back to this personal insight stuff because of the big life changes I'm making right now. First a little backstory.

A few weeks ago, I said an ernest prayer to God. I asked for a sign to show me that he actually exists, and that he's not just fiction made up by people in power to control other people. I mean, what kind of God would create us, tell us he loves us, but then makes some of us gay and then says, "Whoops. Sorry about that. Guess I won't see you in heaven." It's kind of ludicrous. I was at a point where I was really thinking about who God supposedly is. He's supposedly this all-powerful being who controls every aspect of our lives. So if he's so powerful, then why is also so intolerant? Why is he so insecure that he has to make everyone prove they love him?

I mean, really. It's like a friend saying, "I'm not going to be your friend unless you prove to me you love me by living in complete misery." No. That just doesn't make any sense at all.

So my prayer was said. And I wasn't making threats, but I did specifically ask for something real. Something significant. I want a Joseph Smith moment. I literally want a "come to Jesus" moment. I wanted proof that I wasn't wasting my time worrying about an afterlife that might not even be real.

About a week later, Boyd K. Packer gave his talk at the LDS General Conference and told the Mormons to limit their tolerance. How could I not take this as a sign? I felt like God was speaking right at me. The message was clear: "They don't love you, and they don't even want to tolerate you. So why do you cling to that religion?"

And I don't care what Packer thought he meant. I get to interpret it any way I want. That's the General Authorities do every day. They interpret. So, I wrote in and asked for my name to be taken off church records.

I was having a really hard time with this. I mean, all my family belong to the church. I've grown up in the church. But, it was also the church that made me want to kill myself, made me feel like a mistake for being gay, made me feel like a failure for not going on a mission.

I saw a therapist on Tuesday. This was truly divine intervention because the therapist was not usually the person I see. She was the person who was available at the time I needed guidance the most. She listened to my story and told me to fire God.

Yes, fire God. And hire the God who loves me, the God who loves everyone--unconditionally, and doesn't punish them for the way he created them. What a paradigm shift I took. It was true. I myself am an artist. I don't paint things I don't want to paint. And when I do paint and there's a mistake made, I don't expect the painting to fix itself. It was my creation. If I want it the way I want it, then I make that way. And sometimes, I make mistakes that turn out to be wonderful.

So I fired God. I fired God and hired God in the same moment. It was literally moments where I went from sadness, stress and despair because church authorities were advising my friends and family to limit their tolerance of me, to happiness and peace.

And really, it came down to physics when all was said and done. In a two-dimensional world, people would perceive a globe as a mere circle. There's no way to explain a three-dimensional world to a two-dimensional person. They could never understand it until they've lived in a three-dimensional world. And if I were to travel to another dimension and witness a color that doesn't exist in this dimension, how would I come back and explain the color to everyone else? I can't. The only way for a person to perceive a color that doesn't exist in this universe is to travel to the other universe and see the color for themselves.

And that's how I now see the LDS church, specifically Boyd Packer. He thinks he's doing the right thing. He is a two-dimensional person in a universe with very few colors. I can't blame him for living in a particular universe, just as God can't blame me for living in a universe where I cannot perceive his will through the interpretations of people who have never been in the literal presence of God.

I am at peace with myself, and I am at peace with God. A weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I can and will love who I want to love. And love should never hurt someone. That's why the LDS church doesn't make sense to me. All the love causes so much hurt. And that's a universe I no longer live in.

My universe now has many more colors than I've ever perceived, and the dimensions are plenty. How can I describe them to my fellow human beings who still live in the universe I've left behind? I can't. I can only say I love it much more, and it brings me much more happiness.

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