Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Enduring to the End & the Far Between Website

Kendall Wilcox is extraordinary! I've had the pleasure of meeting him on several occasions. His crew filmed his interview with my husband and I back in December, for his documentary called "Far Between." His website is finally up and running and he has several of the 100+ videos posted. Ours isn't on there yet, but that's good! I'm not quite ready to have the word spread until I talk to my boys and close family members about our entire situation.

I can't imagine there is a MoHo out there who hasn't already seen the It Gets Better video that Wilcox compiled of BYU students. But just in case, check it out - it's incredible!

-----------

I have a question for everyone and I beg you to give me your answers. It's an answer I haven't been able to find for myself and these videos have really made me think. I am in awe of how similar the stories are throughout the LDS/gay community, or at there are at least a few themes I've noticed. 1) there has generally been a lot of depression and even suicide ideation/attempts at some point in the gay Mormon's life. 2) The depression has lifted as they recognized their homosexuality. 3) Everyone talks of how they dedicated themselves completely to the gospel, to living righteous and Christ-centered lives, and having done everything imaginable in order to have this "thing" removed from them. Or at least to have the pull lessened. Most people report that this never happened, even though they did everything they could think of.

That brings me to my question. We are asked to "endure to the end." People on this video appear to range from age 20 or so to at least 50? Some have known of their homosexuality for a lifetime, some a few years. It seems as though there is a wide range for how long people have "done everything they can" to rid themselves of the burden homosexuality often brings. Some a year or two, others 20+ years, and I'm sure their actions are quite varied. I have been hearing a friend's question echo in my mind... "How can you say that you've endured to the end? There is no end. Enduring isn't something you finish... you have to keep doing it. It's not an event, it's a process." So my question is to each of you, how can we each say that we've done everything we can possibly to, for as long as we can possibly do it, even though the majority of the members of the church would say we should never stop? If we've stopped, we haven't "endured to the end," correct?

I don't know the answer to this but it's been on my mind. All I know is that I came to a place a while ago when I realized I was done. Whether the church wanted me to or not, I couldn't continue forward with trying to prove myself. I know that for me, I am confident that I'm doing what I can do and I have done enough in regards to enduring this part of myself. I no longer believe that I should have to endure any part of myself. I should accept and love myself and until I do, I imagine no one else will be able to. I love where I am in regards to the MoHo community. I'm at peace with how long I tried, what I gave, and how I currently feel. This doesn't mean I threw away all of my morals and said to hell with it all. In fact, other than going to church each week, I am basically the same person. I don't break the Sabbath, I keep the Word of Wisdom (except for that pesky early to bed, early to rise thing!), I love, I serve, and we make sure our family continues to enjoy all the important values we've always had. I didn't throw it all away. I have no desire to do that. I don't know what "enduring to the end" looks like, but it seems as though it's an individual journey. I am okay with myself and I believe God is okay with me. That's all I know.

Please share any thoughts you may have. No judgment, I promise! Just complete curiosity.

6 comments:

InItsGrip said...

When I think of the phrase "enduring to the end," I think of keeping a close relationship with our Heavenly Father and modeling our behavior after our Savior Jesus Christ. For many of us MoHos, "enduring to the end" means continuing to pursue that relationship and behavior, despite everything: fellow church-goers striking us down, leaders failing to properly lead us, and excommunication (for some). Enduring to the end means despite all of that ostracizing, we still pray, read our scriptures, and try to be more like Jesus.

Wendy said...

This is a compelling question, to be sure. I've had similar thoughts, but coming up with the answer was too tricky, so I never followed it through to a clear answer.

But I do have to say, that the phrase "enduring to the end" while so common, feels too much like drudgery. I'm not sure that's what our Savior wants for us. He wants us to be happy, find peace, be joyful. And "enduring" doesn't bring those feelings out. So maybe, and this is just a quick thought about this very complicated topic, the answer is more about doing our best to stay close to the Savior, not giving up on Him or His Atonement. Not throwing our hands in the air and abandoning Him. I think it might be more about doing the very best we can, in the very best way we know how. And that might change from one day to another.

I don't know. I'd be curious to hear what others have to say.

MormonLesbian said...

"So my question is to each of you, how can we each say that we've done everything we can possibly to, for as long as we can possibly do it, even though the majority of the members of the church would say we should never stop? If we've stopped, we haven't "endured to the end," correct?"

I don't think "enduring to the end" means "continue to pray for a change that will never come." For me, I was able to realize through personal revelation that this was part of who I was and I had to deal with it. It wasn't that I stopped praying, I just started changing my prayers. It stopped being about "take this away," which only brought pain, self-hatred, and didn't change anything. When I stopped asking for my sexuality to be changed, that is when I was able to find peace.

And to be honest, I haven't done "everything I can" to rid myself of my homosexuality. Because I have learned through prayer that all of the options out there available for me to try are simply not for me. Which isn't to say they aren't right for others.

Mostly I don't think that we can judge one another because we aren't the ones to say if someone is "enduring" their trials in the way there are supposed to be or not.

Neal said...

FMW,

Key kiddo!

I think the enduring thing is very individual and no one can make a judgement for someone else. I think the other question that must also be asked in any given 'enduring' situation, is 'to what end?'. Are we enduring so we can obey God, or enduring to keep from hurting someone else, or enduring just for the sake of enduring? For what?

Let me give you an example - my father was diagnosed with a nasty form of cancer. There were several treatment options available to him, including radiation, chemo, and others. He weighed all his options and decided not to do any of them. He chose to die. And so he did - they put him on hospice, pain meds, and he quickly died. Now some might say he did not 'endure to the end'. He could have taken a treatment and perhpas have been cured, or had his life extended. But he didn't. And he didn't largely because of the quality of life he was likely going to experience, which had a good chance of being very miserable and painful and drawn-out.

Now some in my family think my father did not endure the test well. They think he took the easy way out. But how can we judge? I know one consideration he weighed heavily was the burden and strain it would put on my mother to care for him while he went through chemo and other treatments. I think a lot of the reason he 'let go' was to spare her a prolonged trial. So, perhaps his choice was the best one in the circumstance he was in. Perhaps he prayed about it and knew the Lord wanted him to come home. We don't know for sure. For someone else, that may not be the case and another path should be chosen.

Only you know if you 'endured well'. I think its something you know in your heart. No one else can make that judgement for you, and no one else should judge you for the judgement you make. It's your life - not theirs. They have enough to worry about, working out their own salvation, don't ya think? My thoughts...


Love ya! :)

FindingMyWay said...

I appreciate your views, each one of you. Thank you for taking the time to give me your thoughts. I completely agree that we should never judge another and I'm glad that was pointed out. It is just very interesting to me that everyone's story is so varied yet we're all instructed the same way. Of course it's individual and only WE can know for ourselves if what we're doing is enough and acceptable to God.

Thank you all so much for dropping by!

Pepper Lovin! said...

Hi,

I found your blog on Cjane. I enjoyed reading your comments and am saddened that you feel so judged and misunderstood. I hope that you can find peace for yourself in this life. I hope that your life will be all you want it to in the next. The hardest part about being a member of the church is other peoples free agency. People preach of peace, love and tolerance and at the first sight of something or someone that makes them uncomfortable they run and judge. It is hard to want to accept something that one might not understand. Even if you don't agree with someone being homosexual You can LOVE them and who they are without supporting what they choose right? I feel like sometimes Gays don't let people even try to just love them. They are so concerned about shoving ONE aspect of who they are down your throat. I understand you are a lesbian but they is not all you are right? Please don't mistake what I am saying as rude I am just trying to understand. Is it possible to love someone when you think the way they live is a sin? What are your thoughts. And if it is possible how do you have a relationship with that person?

The other night out at dinner with friends we were talking about law and how Christ is the ultimate lawyer. Just remember that he is on your side. and not only is he perfect but he has walked in our shoes. He has felt all of our despair loneliness, confusion, our wants, needs etc. he will fight for us.

Again, thanks for your comment and I hope to hear back from you. rachbos44@yahoo.com