The idea of love, as I’ve learnt within the LDS Church, is a broad and all encompassing love, we’re taught to love even as Christ loved. In Ephesians 5:25 husbands are taught to “love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it”.
“There are several Greek words for love, as the Greek language distinguishes how the word is used. Ancient Greek has four distinct words for love: agápe, éros, philía, and storgē. However, as with other languages, it has been historically difficult to separate the meanings of these words. Nonetheless, the senses in which these words were generally used are given below.
Deciding to step away from the Church afforded me an opportunity to do things that full activity would not allow. More specifically, I felt that my doing them made it difficult for me to attend Church and be authentic in my behaviour. That included drinking of alcohol, smoking and sex. While I may feel justified in my behaviour as a gay man in a relationship with my partner, the alcohol, tobacco and multiple partners is a little more difficult to justify.
Why do I break the world of wisdom as well as the law of chastity? I’m not really sure, I think part of me believes I’m in so much trouble anyway I may as well maximise the experience. As far as the atonement is concerned I feel far and removed from it’s reach, through my own behaviour. Of course, the atonement is further reaching than I can ever understand and forgiveness is always available to all of us.
Do I want to repent and will repentance be available to me? I believe it will be available, but wanting to repent may take some time. As I wrote these thoughts for this book, I really found it difficult to express how I felt on this issue. The Lord says:
“For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.”
The ideas expressed above are based on the premise that homosexuality is seen by the Lord as wrong or sinful. Many Churches teach that if a person is involved in an intimate relationship with someone of the same gender or someone of the opposite gender and not married, they have committed a sin which must be repented of.
It’s this point which caused me to step away from the Church. While the Church so aggressively supported the ban on gay marriage in California during the second half of 2008, they provide me no option other than to live a life of celibacy away from gay friends and surrounded by married heterosexual friends and their children. I can’t imagine a more empty and lonely existence void of any affection or intimacy which we all crave, gay or straight.
Do I need to know that god loves me? I don’t think a person needs this knowledge, but it provides a warmth and comfort that I believe little else can. Some may see it as an anchor to my guilt, but as I’ve shared in this book I don’t feel guilt in the sense that I dwell on it every day and night. I do acknowledge that my actions are not in line with the current teachings of the Church and there may be consequences for them. I’m comfortable with that and look forward to one day being held accountable for my actions. I have a few things to share when that opportunity presents itself.