December 16, 2013
I work for American Express. I work in customer service and financial education. I have too many interests to list 🙂 Top of the list is skiing! I’d ski all day everyday if I could. Close behind is playing the piano. I lose myself in the music, and as a side effect… I tend to lose a few hours too. Other interests are reading, writing my blog, politics, religious study, and Notre Dame Football.
I am a member of the International Communications Team for Affirmation on the National Level, and am also on the Leadership team for Affirmation Millennials, whose target demographic are LGBT Mormons born between 1980 and 2000.
I am a convert to the Church, joining in my freshman year of college at the age of 19. I knew at that point that I was gay, but I came from a conservative Catholic background, and Mormonism didn’t offer anymore comfort. But I knew that the gospel is true, and I knew that if I joined the Church, I would be blessed. And there wasn’t any other blessing that I wanted than to be made straight.
2 years went by of living the letter of the law… Being that “”perfect”” Mormon. And I came to the conclusion that God would make me straight if I served a mission, and devoted 18 months of selfless service. In the end, I was denied after receiving a prompting from the Spirit to tell my Bishop that I was gay. At the end of the meeting I was stripped of my mission call, my temple recommend (I was set to enter the temple to receive my endowment only 3 days later), and was physically removed from the building. It took me another year to realize that my mission was to be here… Among the membership… Showing them that we are not evil or deviant, but normal people just like them. It’s my mission to reach out to the LGBT community and quote President Uctdorf and say, “”Come join with us! There is a place for you here!
Being gay and Mormon are two inseparable parts of my identity. Being Mormon makes me a better person, and being gay brings me closer to God, because of the personal prayers and revelation I have had to seek from my Heavenly Parents. I have walked a very difficult road within Mormonism, but I don’t regret the decision one bit.
I love the Gospel. It is unbelievably important to me, and I value it in my life. With that said, I openly acknowledge its flaws, and while I believe that the celestial glory of the Gospel is true and pure, the terrestrial framework is flawed because it is administered by men. I believe, with unwavering certainty that my Heavenly Parents know me personally, that they sent me to earth exactly the way that I am… They sent me with all of my talents and all of my flaws. But that most of all, they sent me here with my sexuality. I believe that Christ died for my sins, and that through His Atonement, he knows and had felt all of the anguish and pain that I have felt, but I also know that He shares in all of my triumphs and joys. I bear my testimony in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
More About Me
http://the-noncommittal-philanthropist.blogspot.com/?m=0 (Personal blog)
http://gaymormonstories.org/055-gods-affirmation-presentation-at-affirmation-conference-2013/ (I have a 5 min part at 45:44)