My next mission after my mission was to run from the gay part of me after continually having to saw that sapling branch off. My mission president (a wonderfully knowledgeable and compassionate man) said my next transfer would be home and I would need to find a new companion immediately! I knew that if I wanted to continue on my Mormon expedition, I would need to find someone that would be strictly obedient and that would be a good mother for our children. My dating experience hadn't been too extensive, I dated in high school and college but I knew that Rachel fit the bill. She would help me fight my (internal) battle and help keep us strictly obedient to the principle taught us. I felt comfortable with who she was, her family, her background, her belief system and we were friends. We were married 8 weeks after I got home from my mission. I was following the counsel from my mission president.
My next line of action was to "pray the gay away". I had focused much of my energy on my mission to others, now I had to focus on my internal struggle. When you are taught that being gay is an abomination....1) you do not want it brought up in conversation....2) to acknowledge it would admit you have a problem.....3) the church does not provide helpful guidance for this type of individual (because it is an abomination)....4) this is a burden that I alone would have to bear and find some sort of solace......and 5) guilt, shame, remorse, thoughts of not being good enough, were ever present in my life. I needed to use the tools I had at my disposal to "rid this sinful yearning from my breast"! Those tools were: Read the scriptures, pray and be obedient. I did all of these probably better than 90% of those around me. I served wherever I was called. I kept myself busy.
One would think that after using those tools to find peace, solace, or anything to overturn those feelings of guilt and shame.....that the obedient son of God would find an answer to his struggles. The only respite that I would receive was when I was completely busy with callings, school, fatherhood, work (getting 5 or less hours of sleep) was where I was actually able to ignore my inner self. That was the only way I was able to subsist for so long......ignore the inner self and focus on the external nature of self and things. It is tough to compartmentalize oneself for so long....then is starts to fragment and disintegrate! I am not sorry or apologetic for doing what was needed to survive in a closed system.....but I am disappointed in the system that compels such obedience and obliterating the inner self of those like me. There has to be a better way. There needs to be honest and open conversations that allow people in this situation to come to the surface and find air. Otherwise the system just drowns us. Maybe those in my situation now can realize that there are other (valid) options for them. I hope so.........