Monday, February 7, 2011

Of Past and Present

Dear Sentry,

Tonight I wish to write about the past and how it inevitably is connected to the present. I apologize in advance for these words will likely not have much humor in them. More likely, they will possess a sober kind of sorrow. But whatever they will contain, I still wish to write them for you to read and for you to speak in response to.

Tonight was a night of conversations. It was a night where discussions ranging from political philosophy to the great evil of certain denominations were held. Some conversations were light-hearted and others sobering to a degree of annoyance. But in each case, I was present to either listen or add to the conversation.

I wish to talk to you about one conversation where a casual emotion ran the breadth of the conversation with one speaker. Now, I could be wrong in my assessment of the situation, but I will still share my thoughts on it anyway. The speaker, a guy only a few years older than me, seemed to see the world in a black and white scenario with the only deviance from the theists being the reverse of what is evil and what is good. The LDS Church was cast in evil vocabulary and the gays were cast in good vocabulary. Every motive of the Church was driven towards the ultimate goal of total and absolute control over its followers. I weary at this view. Why? Well, tonight, it reminded me of decisions that I made years ago that have haunted my life for nine years now.

I made the choice to avoid my very being and be celibate at the age of sixteen. I chose to avoid the possibility of companionship, romance, and the fulfilling of one of the deepest, most poignant aspects of human existence: love. For seven years I chose that path and then I chose to change that. My point in all of that is that I chose this path. I was not ordered by the Church to do so. I was not caught in some web of control by some great authoritative force out to abuse and absorb my choices. I chose it and suffered the consequences of that choice until I could bare it no more and then sought true knowledge and understanding in life. In each situation, it was my choice and the consequences are mine alone to bare. I do not blame my childhood religion for my choice. I merely acknowledge the sources of my knowledge and see myself alone to blame and praise for my actions.

I think it unnecessary to pass the blame onto others. Yes, I do believe my childhood religion has much to answer for and certainly has blood on its hands. But I will not absolve myself of all responsibility for my actions. I am perfectly capable of deciding things. It was my fault for not truly understanding the nature of my choices. I accepted this several years ago and have since absolved myself of my guilt in choosing the incorrect path. I was but a child when I made my choices. Sure, I was making decisions with incredibly far-reaching consequences but I learned, grew, and am happier now than ever before.

There is enough evil in this world, Sentry. Why do we have to keep finding more enemies and villains in the shadows of life and the recesses of our memories? Why can't we find more heroes? Well, I refuse to succumb to that. The Mormon Church can be whatever it wishes. I don't care. My heroes are my wife, my best friend here, my best friend in San Diego, one of the most beautiful women I have ever met, my roommate  for his courage and hope, and so many more individuals.

Anyway, those are my thoughts on that one emotion. I'm sure I took it way out of context but I feel that I have expressed my opinions well enough. Tomorrow, I wish to talk further about relationships with you, Sentry.

Your friend,

P.S. A song that I rather enjoy :) (to lighten the mood a little)


  1. I completely understand your feelings of annoyance at this conversation. Life should not be seen as black and white. Everything has it's own shade of gray. Love you. <3

  2. I see what you're saying, but I think the challenge that is is that you never would have chosen to live a loveless life had you not already been taught that it was the right choice, and the right sacrifice. I don't think all the actions of the Church leaders are driven simply by a want for control. I believe there are leaders who believe that they are right in doing what they do, and that motivates their actions. Also, :), although I do not know the intricacies of your life as a child in the church, rarely will you find someone who has been... shall we say brainwashed, for lack of a better term? say that they have been brainwashed. :) When a child cannot even speak, much less comprehend morality, and is spoon-fed their parent's morality, enough so that they are stuck in an infantile state of morality, as far as I can tell... that'd be "brainwashing".