Faces of Affirmation

I Knew It, and I Knew God Knew It

Jeff_FryeBy Jeff Frye

Being gay and Mormon certainly has its inherent contradictions. I find those challenges more as external paradigms than internal struggles. I see the many facets of my life as a singular expression of faith and hope in the Gospel. I strive to live a life that, as I intuit it, has been given to me as a calling…of being a gay Mormon husband, as well as a parent to our 16 year-old son, who is my biological child.

My life progressed along a normal Mormon convert’s trajectory: missionary discussions at age 17, many church callings, serving a mission to Japan at age 19, a BYU graduation, and a temple marriage. Yet, because of my sexual orientation, it was a little different. I disclosed my sexual orientation to my future wife on our first date; we decided that if any two people could accomplish this, it would be us. 10 years later, we had our only child, a boy.

I was blessed with that marriage for 18 years, until it ended in divorce. I realized that I could not marry another woman, in fear of hurting her. So I decided, with much fear and consternation, to leave the Church in 2005 and live my life congruent with those internal, God-given feelings towards my own gender. The gate to Church activity had slammed shut and locked behind me.

Still, life continued in its goodness. I met my husband Rick in 2006, dated for a year, and in September 2007, in the presence of our beautiful son, was married in tranquil Stanley Park, Vancouver, BC with our son standing beside us as we took vows. We had a fantastic family honeymoon.

In 2013, I received an unscheduled visit from my Bishop. We sat on the porch, and there, I told him honestly that I was married to Rick, and that I was not going to walk away from it. During that visit, I wrote a letter of resignation from the Church. A great sense of loss came over me.

So, why am I knocking on the door of the local LDS chapel? I cannot walk away from the Lord. Just as Joseph Smith knew that he could not deny what he saw during his pivotal experiences, I also knew that I could not deny my testimony. I had to stand, along with Joseph, as he declared, “I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it” (Joseph Smith—History 1:25).

I recently returned to church for the first time a month ago, and met with the Bishop afterwards. I made it clear that I was coming without political or personal agenda. He kindly welcomed me, and admonished me attend every Sunday for all three hours. He also invited Rick and my son to come with me “because they are your family.”

I do not pretend to know what will happen in my future. But I do know I am living a life that meets spiritual needs congruent with the gay Mormon that I am. I do not expect special favors, or drastic changes in the Church for me to walk this path.

Affirmation has blessed me with unconditional love from so many members who have walked this same journey. We are all working through this together, as individuals. You are welcome here. Love is the language we speak.

One thought on “I Knew It, and I Knew God Knew It

  1. There are many qualms I have about joining the church, but the really difficult one is the one for which you left. The questions I have are what is your status in the eyes of the church? You resigned but apparently have not been excommunicated. Is this correct? In any event, your essay has given me personal insight and a framework for addressing this matter with the church representative, and for that I am most grateful and thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.