29 March 2013

A Page From My Book

I try not to get offended too easily.

Having been a debater for the last two years, I meet lots of other hormonal teenagers who like to get their stress out by tearing down your arguments over and over again in debate rounds.

You shake it off and let it go.

As I'm sure all of you are aware, facebook for this past week has been full of debate on the topic of gay marriage. Comments on both sides are accusatory, some calling others "bigots" and others calling some "immoral". 

I'm a gay mormon. By all practical observations, I sit right on the fence on this issue. Since my public coming out post on January 31, I've received so many kind and considerate emails, texts and messages of love, comfort and compassion. Most had no idea what I go through on a daily basis, but in quoting Nephi they said, "I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things" (1st Nephi 11:17). And they showed loved for me. 
And as Mathew said, "And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.", I would ask that you walk with me just a moment longer into my perspective.

I love being gay. 

Which as an odd statement coming from me. For the better part of 16 years I hated knowing that I was different. Even after I started coming out, I hated it. But I began to see with a new perspective. 
Of all people in this world, I have absolutely no right to even remotely judge another person. I am a minority. When coming out of the closet, that was one of the more strange things to realize. I was among the 5-10% of individuals who identify as LGBT. Statistically speaking, I will always be a minority, no matter where I live. 

And on a weekly basis, I have to tell people that I never chose to be gay. Almost daily I have to explain to people, yes, I am a boy who likes boys who also loves his Heavenly Father. I have no right whatsoever to tell someone else what is right and wrong for their life. I feel everyday the impact of other people telling me what is right and wrong.

I hope I am not out of line here when I say that being gay, and furthermore being openly gay and mormon, has made me more compassionate, more accepting and more loving than almost any other thing in my life. Maybe it is because I have been called "faggot" or "homo". Maybe its because I get stares everyday when I'm walking through the commons. Maybe its because there are people whom I love so incredibly much at one point or another that have told me that my path in life is wrong. 

Maybe that's why at school when the girl next to me shows up the folowing day in class with her hair dyed bright blue that I let her know how beautiful it looks with her eyes. Maybe that's why when a guy I know decides that he is going to get gauges in his ears, I tell him that I sincerely hope his mom likes them. Maybe that's why when I meet a person who while growing up as a boy feels so strongly that his life is incompatible with the body he has been born in, I tell her that I think she is awesome.  

You don't have to believe in the same things I do. In fact, I would hope that you don't. What I believe comes from much personal prayer and scripture study and Temple visits. My personal revelation is just that--personal. I would never prescribe my path in life to anyone else, unless they have received the same personal revelation. 

I don't believe same-sex relationships are wrong. The purpose of our sojourn to earth was to have a mortal experience and to learn ultimately to serve our fellow beings and our God. We come here to love and after the proper covenants to become sealed to families, so that in heaven we might be sealed as one giant human family.

I don't believe that I was sent to this earth with one of the most basic capacities of the human experience rendered unusable. On the contrary, I have an equally capable capacity to love and form relationships, but it happens to be with those of my gender. I believe that I was sent to this earth at this time to be able to learn to love in less ideal circumstances than most other people, and with that experience be able to love even more fully in the life to come.

I don't believe that my sexual orientation will change in the next life. I spent most of my younger years imagining what life would look like if I married a girl, and started a family with her. And every time it just felt lacking. I'm not saying that our Heavenly Father lacks the capacity to change sexual orientation--on the contrary, I have no doubt that he could. But as wonderful as a straight version of Aaron would be, as wonderful and productive his life would be, his desire to learn and his capacity to love, that version of Aaron would not be me.

I want the opportunity to learn to love in this life, and I feel very strongly that I should. And I think for me, that means having a committed relationship with another man. I want to feel love, I want to feel commitment, partnership and compassion with another son of God. And if circumstances permit, maybe we will take under our roof a child in need of adoption, who under current circumstances has no favorable options. Parenthood is always a life of service. And if I have the ability, financially and emotionally, I would like to be able to give the gift of a stable and loving home to another child of God who does not have one.

I really hope I haven't offended you with anything I have written. One of the consequences of being a gay mormon is that too often I offend people by either being an openly gay member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or I offend people because I am a tithing paying member of a church that has funded Proposition 8 and that has been more than hesitant to support anti-discrimination laws on a state level in Utah.

But being a a follower of Christ means so much more than any of that. It means to the best of your ability to love every single person you ever meet.  And so I am trying doing that in the best way I see.

So sometime in the next 10-15 years, when you receiving an announcement in the mail from me and my fiance, I hope you realize that I'm not trying to turn society on its head. I sincerely am not trying to change the bed rock morals of our society. I promise that I am not trying to desecrate religious principals or somehow take another person's rights away.

I am trying my best to love, and to show commitment in partnership, even if in the grand scheme of things it is only temporal, and only for this life. 

I love you guys more than I possibly can say. Many of the people reading this blog have helped me through hell and back in becoming the man I am today. I don't want to make you change your mind. I don't want you to feel like I am telling you that what you believe is wrong. Please, please don't take it like that. But I do hope that you do take into consideration my somewhat unique perspective. It's all I really have to offer.

 I’m trying to be like Jesus;

I’m following in his ways.

I’m trying to love as he did, in all that I do and say.

At times I am tempted to make a wrong choice,

But I try to listen as the still small voice whispers,

“Love one another as Jesus loves you.

Try to show kindness in all that you do.

Be gentle and loving in deed and in thought,

For these are the things Jesus taught.”


  1. Offense is a choice. Hurt is a choice. There are very few things in this life that 'offend' within reason. Like you said, following Christ is all you can do and that will offend many but those people all CHOSE to be offended. Don't ever apologize to anyone for offending them over your life decisions. They are not directly (and mostly not even indirectly) affected, therefore, they are of no concern to your eternal salvation. Personally, I think that the offended should be the ones apologizing for desperately failing to be Christ-like. You truly have a gift at explaining things exactly as they are. I know you will be one of the greatest leaders into the new world of acceptance and understanding. And i truly believe that God directs us all through the ways we understand best. This means there are no two tests that are exactly the same, there is no school class where everyone passes or fails, there are countless different classes, as unique to the individual as the individual himself. God isn't going to teach you to love through a relationship with a woman if you don't understand love that way, therefore how could it be wrong to teach you love the way you understand it? That is what thousands of Latter-Day Saints fail to understand and refuse to agree with. On the other hand, i don't think God's church is to blame. Men are imperfect in so many different ways, and because of this the rules of the Church will sometimes be alterable for specific reasons and individuals. For example, it is a sin to take prescription medication IF YOU DON'T NEED IT. Well, this being said, couldn't you say that those who do need them are sinners? Yes, you could. But God says they aren't. You don't have to fast if you are diabetic. Well, fasting is a commandment, is it not? Yes, for the non-diabetic. But God says diabetes is a trial that doesn't require that commandment. Everyone seems to understand these concepts, because they aren't diabetic or they don't need medications. Well maybe it's time they stop interfering with God's commandments about same-sex marriage because they aren't gay. They can't see the negative effect on the mind of a gay child who is forced out of being who they are, but they can clearly see negative effects on these diabetic or deathly-ill people if they obey a command that will hurt them. They choose to overlook the situation in this issue entirely because of biased opinion gathered from flawed observation. Let me explain. God speaks to one person who testifies to many, who then relate the message to others. It's like a game of telephone. Each person's flaw shows through in each new explanation of the rule. So by the time it reaches us little people, there are ten thousand different talks filled with truth, but still littered with slightly incorrect doctrine. The point is to THINK with the HEART and HEAR by the SPIRIT. ears and minds can be deceived but the heart and the Holy Ghost cannot. THE ONLY PERSON in or out of the church with PERFECT doctrine, is Christ. And if you have a relationship with Him, He will tell you exactly what YOUR doctrine is. If your church leaders are in tune with His spirit, they will too. Just remember, God will not tell you what you refuse to hear. Whether right or wrong, God isn't going to direct you in a way you won't go- even if it's right- anymore if He continually gives promptings that are unheeded. That goes for both sides of any gospel discussion... So regardless of which side WE think is right, we won't know for sure what God thinks until we are stripped of pride, and humble as a little child. I leave you with this- God's will is perfect and becomes clear at His perfect time, so until that day, it is okay not to know. Endure to the end, let earth and Hell combine against you, because if you are built upon His rock, they cannot prevail.

  2. I have great compassion for what you are going through Aaron. I have known you since you were just a baby. I do take acception with what you said in regard to Utah's support of gays and lesbians.
    You said that Utah has been "more than hesitant to support anti-discrimination laws."
    I think if you will do a little research you will see that the leaders of the LDS Church have advocated for civil liberties for all people in this state, including homosexuals. The only thing they will not support is gay marriage. You have only lived in Utah for a couple of years now but if you look back a few years you will see the impact the Church's leaders have had on local government policies. The leaders of the Church are very compassionate toward those who choose an alternate lifestyle, including you. Hope you are able to find happiness in whatever choices you make.

  3. You probably don't know me, only as one of the kids that looks at you in the hallways or when you walk across the commons at our high school. I look at you because I've been trying to get it together to talk to you for the past three weeks.
    Aaron, this post almost made me start bawling because I found out about six months ago that I was gay and in love with my best friend. And I've felt incredibly, awfully alone, especially on Facebook where I see people reacting positively - and close friends I see reacting so negatively to LGTBQ posts.
    My mother's reaction has been less than ideal, as you can imagine, and I've only come out to my family/girlfriend's family.
    This blog keeps my chin up when I'm really about to fall, and you have my full support.

  4. I would sincerely love nothing more than to get to know you and talk with you. Please message me on facebook if you feel so inclined!