Alright, many of you have asked me concerning whether or not I've resigned from the LDS Church, but when I say no I did not resign, I was excommunicated...you ask me about it. So rather than give a short description of what happened in the chat room, here we go.
First of all, I am gay. I have known I was attracted to men my entire life. I was born LDS and believed that this was something sinful and not part of God's plan. My teen years were horrendous with raging hormones and strong desires of attraction to men, but I kept telling myself it is just a phase and if I'm really good, Heavenly Father will change me. I then attended Ricks College from 95-98, still believing I was just in this phase. Served a honourable mission to the Canada Calgary Mission, 98-00. I did confess to my mission president that I had same-sex attraction, since it was my last interview before going home, he recommended me to see LDS counselling. I did two sessions, after realising how I could answer the way the therapist wanted me to, and said that it was just a phase. Gotta love knowing the Commitment Pattern in brainwashing. I then moved to Alaska.
So what does this have to do with the excommunication? Just keep reading.
I went to Alaska to finish my education in Fairbanks. While there, I joined the YSA Branch, and held various callings until I was 31. When I reached the ripe age of 31 they booted me to the family ward. This was in 2008. As many of you will recall, this was the year of presidential elections, major social upheaval including Proposition 8 in California. During my years in Alaska though, I had my first experience with a man, and then through various internal ups and downs came to the final conclusion that I am gay. Around 2005, I came across a great book published by Deseret Book titled, 'In Quiet Desperation'. It basically told me that God made me who I was, that it was not some mistake or phase, and most importantly, He loved me for who I was.
What really pushed me to the brink in 2008 was sitting in the Sunday School class and being told that I (and the entire class) were Republicans and know how we need to vote. That gays had no right to marry, that such a thing was an abomination to God. Those who 'professed' they were born gay are liars and deceivers. That did it! I was offended beyond belief that this ignorant bigot teaching this class was condemning me this way...and what was worse, members of the bishopric were in the class AGREEING with him.
So I went home and decided that enough was enough. I will go and see my bishop, tell him that I'm gay, I am in a relationship (which I sort of was), I'm not living the Word of Wisdom [at this point I lived to separate lives, church and non-church and was fine with it], and that I am not going to change. Determined I was going to do this, I got to church and was surprised to find out my ward was being split. I was now in the newly created ward. To make this long tale quasi-short, I went to the Stake President and told him...I was holding a stake calling. He had the look of disappointment on his face, and said that what I told him could lead to excommunication. I told him I knew that.
Following protocol, I was called in to see the new bishop. I told him what the stake president already did, and so on. They did this to follow the protocol of such a confession. Local unit leaders, then if necessary stake council.
Later that week, I received a phone call saying that I was to meet with the high council concerning this matter. I knew this was it. I went to the stake centre at the appointed time. When brought in, they had an opening song and prayer. I at this point was shaking inside and nervous about what was going to happen. The stake president explained why we were there, explained what I had told him, asked me to correct if what he said was correct. Following that, members of the high council, some with disdain and disgust on their faces, questioned me. How I could have gone down this road of sin. How my testimony had diminished to such a state. And so on.
During the questioning, I was told that there were several members in my stake that suffered from same-sex attraction, and decided that they would marry anyways knowing that they would be fixed and happier in the next world. At the time I didn't say what I thought after leaving. What I thought was this. If God is the same yesterday today and tomorrow, does not make mistakes and created me, then I am not a mistake. If I was created this way by God, then this is not a mistake. But you just said that I would be fixed. How can you fixed a non-mistake? If my 'condition' was something to be fixed, then God made a mistake in my creation process...thereby not a perfect being. Anyways, didn't think of that until the drive home.
One set of questions to which I was appalled by were concerning molestation. They asked me if I had molested any boys. Like I would. I answered with a disgusted look and tone that I never did such a thing. They then asked me if I had same-sex relations with anyone in the stake. To which I said no (which actually was a lie, there was someone who had left a few years earlier that I had hooked-up with...but I was not going to give them the satisfaction of me ratting them out).
I was then asked to leave the high council room. My bishop accompanied me. We waited nearly 45 minutes until asked to return. Once we sat down, the stake president said that much was discussed concerning this issue with me, and that the decision was made to excommunicate me. At this moment, my nerves of being questioned and all that had left me emotionally numb...for the most part. They explained that the excommunication would strip me of my priesthood, my patriarchal blessing, my temple blessings, I could no longer where the temple garments. But that I was still welcomed to attend church, as long as I didn't cause trouble (I never caused trouble prior).
After that, they asked me to shake everyone's hands. This was very unnerving, as I had served with these men for years in Fairbanks and knew some of them well. When I came to the 1st counsellor of the stake presidency, he made an odd remark. He said this excommunication was a blessing to me, rather than being disfellowshipped. He said that should I want to return to the church, being rebaptised was an easier process than returning from being disfellowshipped. Anyways, then I left the room.
As I was walking to my car, I felt a giant weight lift off from me. Shaking from the experience, I was smiling. I realised that I no longer had to attend church, go to my meetings, pretend to be mormon, do home teaching, and all that other crap.
So there you have it folks. My story.