You are a remarkable woman that stands as an amazing example to me and provides many lessons for me to learn. For that I am grateful to you. Your years of experience in life are ones that I do not doubt have a wealth of wisdom to guide me in life. I hope to have the opportunity in future years to continuously go to you for advice. But even with that said I know that you are not perfect and definitely no where near close to that definition, as I am not as well.
You are my mother, a person I will honor all my life. You have taught me such lessons as the importance of moral decency, honesty, integrity, charity, humility, and compassion to those that need it most of all. You have taught me to trust, love, and work hard. You have instilled in my very soul the value of learning, of seeking truth and wisdom, of having fun, and of trying new things and stepping outside my comfort zone. I continuously strive each day to apply these lessons more fully in my life.
Even though you do not like or approve of what I think and feel, I must still do what I think (and not just feel) is right. There is a difference in my mind between what makes me happy or feels good/wonderful/etc and what I consider to be right. When you accuse me of doing what makes me feel good/wonderful/whatever I feel that you are suggesting I am merely walking this path because it strikes a chord with some carnal or lustful nature within me. That couldn't be farther from the truth. My decision is not based on some purely hormonal or emotional basis. To do so would mean that I am merely an animal and I do not believe you taught me to be that way. Let me ask you, have I ever been like that? I would think you would state that as emotional as I can get at times, I am also very analytical and a lover of knowledge and wisdom. I do not jump into most things without some forethought and consideration on the matter.
That it took me nine years after I realized I was gay to finally embrace this part of my soul should be evidence that I am very careful and thoughtful in my approach to such a serious matter. That I submit my new thinking towards religion and theism as well as atheism to rigorous contemplation and research should also be a sign that I am serious about what I do. That I am willing to discuss this with you and even invite you to help me believe should show that I am not some lazy creature that seeks the easy way in life. That you have chosen to do virtually nothing on your part to discuss this topic is not my fault and I am not to be condemned for acting as I find to be correct and right. You are still more than welcome to invite me to read articles, discuss religious topics, and especially to bear your testimony to me with all the energy and Spirit you can bring to bear upon me. I still extend that invitation to you for the remainder of my undergraduate schooling.
My decisions are based on what I think, feel, and have experienced as being right. I can do no more than that and in fact to do less than that would be a terrible wrong that I would then be committing. On my mission we taught the same thing to those people we invited to hear the Gospel. We invited them to pray, ponder, and investigate. When it came to deciding on whether to come out, I prayed harder than I had ever prayed before. I pondered deeply, investigated carefully, and, again, prayed while on my knees and while walking. I poured my heart out to know what to do. I begged and pleaded until I cried. I wrestled over this issue both in times of joy and depression. So I cannot help but repeat: I did not come to this decision lightly. I still examine how I am doing in this new mindset of mine. I submit myself to a question I investigate very deeply on a yearly basis, "Am I truly happy?" You would recognize this question as being similar in thought to the familiar scripture "wherefore by their fruits, ye shall know them" (Matthew 7:20). It is one standard that I use to determine through the course of my life.
You asked me to not mock your beliefs. I ask you to not mock or ridicule the process that led me to this conclusion. Mutual respect is essential if we are to accomplish the task of building bridges between us and respect is truly a two-way street. With that written, I apologize for mocking your deeply held beliefs. I was wrong in doing that and know better.
10 months ago