Faces of Affirmation

Knowing Myself, Knowing God

By Carson Tueller

carson_tueller

There are only a few experiences I have had in life that have changed me in deep and lasting ways. Most of these experiences are painful at first, but eventually grow into something positive. Learning to reconcile being gay and Mormon has been one of those experiences. I grew up in an Air Force family that was led by two of the most fantastic parents this world has known. Regardless of where the Air Force sent us around the country, our faith in God and the restored gospel was always a central part of our lives. The gospel was very important to me and I had planned out my life to be just the way I wanted it. I would serve a mission, marry the woman of my dreams (though for some reason I never dreamed of women), have kids and live happily ever after. I had no reason to believe that things would be any different.

From childhood to high school, my attraction to men seemed to solidify more and more, despite all my best efforts to keep it from doing so. It was only after my mission that I faced the reality of my feelings and thus began a spiritual learning process that would challenge everything I thought I knew. I lived in a world of assumptions, and when it came to being gay, I assumed I knew how God felt about gay people, and I assumed I knew what he would want me to do with my life. I was not in the habit of asking God questions, or questioning any aspect of his plan.

As I went through the reconciliation process, I received spiritual insights that changed my perspectives. These came bit by bit, each one teaching me a great lesson and providing me with more peace and understanding. One example of these bits was feeling that being gay would not keep me from becoming the man God wanted me to be. Prior to this, I believed that I could not reach my potential if I were gay. I now believe that it is only the gay Carson, not some imaginary straight one that will be able to do and become what he is supposed to in this life.

This is one example of many where a previous belief was modified by an experience. After repeatedly having this nature of experience, I learned to adopt a more humble attitude regarding revelation. No longer do I assume to know what God will expect of me, nor do I assume to know exactly where he is leading me. While learning to reconcile being gay and Mormon has been a challenge, being gay has been also been a gift in many ways. Among other blessings, I now have a more realistic relationship with God than I did before. How was I supposed to personally know a being I never had to consult regarding any truly personal decisions?

Since coming out and having learned so many things about the intersection of my faith and sexual orientation, I have become passionate about changing the environment surrounding LGBT Mormons. The lessons I have learned have impacted me so positively that I feel compelled to share them and my experiences with LGBT people and non-LGBT people alike. I truly believe that an understanding and involvement in LGBT issues, regardless of orientation, provides an optimal environment for all to love and live more as the Savior did.

7 thoughts on “Knowing Myself, Knowing God

  1. I love this article. I’ve been facing a tough time myself about knowing whether its okay for me to support the LGBT community like I want to. This gives me comfort. Thank you Carson! 🙂

  2. Carson ,
    Thank you so much for sharing part of your story. I was so impressed with you when I had the opportunity to meet you at the September conference . It is nice to have a chance to read more about you and your experiences . I’m glad you can see the great potential that God sees and created in you . I felt it In just the few minutes that I spent in your presence . You are an amazing man .

  3. Hello Carson – thank you for sharing your insightful thoughts and feelings. Many of the LDS men (many RM’s) can relate to your words. I’m a generation older than you and am retired from the Air Force so you can surmise that I have also had to reconcile between our LDS faith and being gay and serving God and country. Even though we may have spears tossed along our way, our testimonies of the important things of God are eternal. I try to exercise patience with the church leaders and members while realizing and hoping that my testimony is more important than the frailties and slowness of the church leaders to find a place for us – while we know full well that being gay isn’t something we chose, selected, or succumbed. God wouldn’t want us to lose our testimonies, so serve where you can and feel comfortable. Seek for eternal truths (many unseen, yet hoped for), and weed -out those words and actions which don’t call for allowing a place for those who have some of the most fervent testimonies of the Gospel and related things Eternal.
    All the best! Robert D. Bell

  4. Thats right. This is reality. The lessons I have learned have impacted me so positively that I feel compelled to share them and my experiences with LGBT people and non-LGBT people alike. I am a gay. But, forsed to be married.

  5. Carson, I enjoyed reading your post surrounding your personal and spiritual journey. What struck me is when you said that being gay was a gift. That is an incredibly open mind, and one that reflects a high sense of maturity and growth in your revelations and reflections. It can be very hard to accept ones sexuality, but to be able to look at it as a gift is amazing. I also found your next sentence, about having a more “realistic” relationship with God to be spot on. How can anyone truly have a genuine, deep, and transparent relationship with God if they deny a part of who they are – to themselves, to others? Remarkable post. I have read many posts here and other sites that support LGBTQ Mormon and Catholics in particular. There is so much support available for those who wish to seek it. Keep the faith, and all the best to you.

  6. Thank you Carson so much!! I was looking at LDS web sites for some reason out of the blue, when I woke up tonight at 2am with a strange dream that told me to go online and check out LDS . I am in shock! It led me right to you. I am now clear as to why I was guided to this time and site! I will now find a nearby church to question about becoming a LDS! Thank you so much………..Mike

  7. I don’t know how to truly convey my gratitude for saying something that I relate to. I have always assumed to know what God wants as well. This helped me realize that I really need to buckle down to receive my own revelation. Thank you for helping me feel less alone. I just came out to several family members who are the only ones I have told. I am facing spiritual crisis. Thank you for giving me guidance right when I needed it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.