I’ve often felt stuck, stuck in bad habits I can’t seem to kick, stuck with my inhibitions keeping me from achievements just out of my reach, stuck in my inability to find just the right amount of discipline to do that one new thing regularly and consistently that, over time, can accumulate into something significant. I’ve doubted myself, I’ve not spoken up when I’ve had something to say, I’ve failed to make a connection with someone I really wanted to connect with. And once you’ve been in this feeling of stickiness for too long, it’s easy to give up hope.

It doesn’t help to belong to a culture that values competence and perfectionism. Where it’s better to know the answer than to have a question. I remember one example among many in life life, as freshman in college, taking a class in Materials Science Engineering. The teachers was droning on in a topic that was flying right over my head. The lecture hall was big, I was near the front. I scanned the audience and felt like I was the only kid in that class not getting it. In an effort to fit in, I tried to have a, I totally get this, look on my face. Afterward, to my relief, I realized, like me, everyone else was faking it too.

And that was indicative of my entire engineering undergraduate education. Professors, droning on complicated topics with little effort to really engage with students, students more interested in the appearance of keeping their heads above water. Later, in the quiet of a corner library or, more effectively, with the companionship of trusted friends, I would sweat over the material for hours until my actual competence approached my appearance.

Vulnerability is easier in the safety of dark corners.

And this battle to appear to know more than you really know has been persistent in my technology career. Computer software evolves so rapidly. There are just too many people pushing the envelope in too many areas to stay on top if it all. But at some point, far too long in my career, I realized the power of being vulnerable. I found my voice. Not always, not consistently. But somewhere along the line, a flipped switched. I can start asking questions, I can keep reading, and keep digging in, have difficult conversations, push the envelope. Expose my ignorance while I learn, connect and contribute at a deeper level.

And I find this in my religious life as well. Samuel Brown in his book, First Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel, describes how church should be both a hospital and a museum. We should consider ourselves patients looking for healing and sustaining support from a community. This requires vulnerability. However, too often, the church acts more like a museum. We are all on display, showing off our best selves, keeping our problems hidden back within the safety of the walls of our home. In this sense, church can be a painful place, going each week, realizing in comparison to those on display around you, we feel broken, hopelessly falling short of the potential we so desperately want to achieve. Not realizing, of course, that those sitting with us in our pews are more likely than not feeling the exact same way.

Most people aren’t born competent. Most people aren’t born saints. We all have to work at it. We all have to sweat it out – I know there are those who are gifted with extra talent and just get there faster than the rest of us. And I realize, we all have our own talents and special gifts. We find find our lanes, find our voice, and then engage from our own unique point of view. This is true with any skill, piano or programming, but it’s also true in our ecclesiastical endeavors as well. We don’t usually magically wake up with extraordinary compassion or an amazing ability to show empathy or connection. These are skills. Showing love and concern, being a friend, lending a listening ear, finding the discipline for regular spiritual practice. All skills that take time to develop. In Letters to a Young Mormon, Adam Miller says it this way:

The gap between theory and practice is often biggest with the simplest things. You’ve promised to pray, but you’ll spend a lifetime learning how to pray. You’ve promised to study the scriptures, but you’ll spend a lifetime learning how to read them. And you’ve promised to give God everything – your time, your talents, your money – but you’ll spend a lifetime learning how to consecrate even a part. You cannot forfeit responsibility for this. You cannot wait for someone else to do them for you. If you do not work things out for yourself, they will never be done. You must learn how to body your religion out into the world with your own fingers and toes, eyes and ears, flesh and bones. This can only be done from the inside out.

You are a pioneer. Life has never before been lived in your body. Everything must be done again, as if for the first time. You are an aboriginal Adam, a primal Eve. You are a Mormon.

Linda Rising makes similar empowering points about development and growth in a technology context, that we can still learn and grow no matter our age. “We have some limitations, but we can always get better.” As a parent this is the message I want most to pass on to my kids: this idea that we can improve in any area as long as we continue to work at it, with patience and perseverance. We can improve. We are not static beings, forever trapped in our labels.

And this, for me, is the message of Easter, a holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Christ. It comes at the beginning of spring every year, just as the days are getting longer, the air is getting warmer, our plants are getting greener. It’s the season of renewal and rebirth. Every year is a new year, every day a new day. I love the idea that each night is our opportunity to lie down as if dying and to wake up to a day of new possibilities.

And each day, each year, day after day, month after month, year after year, we can continue to make the same resolutions, the same desire to quit something old or start something new.  I think we can keep trying, keep probing. At some point, the lightbulb will go off, the switch will be flipped, we will take a quantum step in growth.

And I agree, the Easter story doesn’t make a lot of sense. Easter is a season where we celebrate a brutal, violent death. We take our family each year to watch a really impressive retelling of the story. My little children watch Christ getting whipped, they hear the nails getting pounded into His flesh, and they see Christ struggle and die on the cross. Then, they see his triumph over death. The story concludes with a resurrected Christ floating upward towards heaven. It’s universal event, a singular moment in history and the foundation for all of Christianity. The straight forward application of this story is to reduce it to single moments in a person’s life. At some point, they need to be converted. Then, at some point, they will die and be judged. Then resurrected, redeemed and saved.

But this interpretation simply doesn’t work for me practically. I prefer to see it happening in the micro-moments of my every day life, applying Christ’s grace in the minute decisions of my day. More than anything, I think for me, at its core, it’s a message of hope, a vote of confidence and an injection of faith that at some point, I can change and improve. That eventually, I’ll get unstuck. That I’ll accomplish, I’ll connect, I’ll belong. That eventually, I’ll find renewal, restoration, for myself individually, but more importantly, in my relationships.


Navigating a Faith Journey

In my religious faith, children are not baptized until they reach age 8, the age we feel like they are old enough to take ownership of their faith journey. We have a seven year old now and next fall, she’ll be baptized. But is she really old enough and mature enough to mourn with those that mourn; to comfort those who stand in need of comfort; and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that you may be in? So, it’s doubtful, but it’s also not the point.  She’s Mormon because we’re Mormon. I’m Mormon because my parents were Mormon. They were Mormon because their parents were Mormon. This is my legacy, my heritage and it’s something I’ll pass on to my kids.

What does this mean for me in my faith journey? What does this mean for my children in theirs? It doesn’t mean I’m obligated to remain in this faith tradition the rest of my life. I can leave at any time. Though, it’s not just me that would be affected by that decision. I married someone also committed and faithful to the church. I made commitments to her. My journey is intertwined with hers.  There’s obligations in that.

Nevertheless, I don’t think I’m chained forever to my church nor are my children. Every Sunday, I remake my baptismal covenants. As my children develop, their commitments and covenants with the church will have a chance to be nurtured. And they will also have to make and re-make these same commitments and covenants.


About a month ago, I attended a conference on Mormon intellectual thought.  One of the presentations really stuck with me delivered by Jon Hammer  entitled “Stepping Back from the Dead-End of the Belief/Disbelief Dichotomy and Recovering the Path to Meaningful Spirituality.”


In the presentation, he describes a tree with roots similar to the picture above. Where we collectively stand has everything to do with  the efforts and the sacrifices of those who walked the paths before us, like the tree that finds strength and nourishment from its roots. We have a tendency to simplify the stories of our ancestors. We dismiss them as naive or evil or dumb. History deserves nuance. Our ancestors legacy deserves consideration. And perhaps that also means the religious institutions they’ve passed on to us should not be so quickly abandoned.

This obviously doesn’t mean that we should not move on from the mistakes of our past. My ancestors made plenty of mistakes, even egregious ones. My point is to be careful not to throw all of it out. We need to grow like the tree, drawing strength from our roots.

Finding Meaningful Spirituality

But this should not mean we give up our own responsibilities for our own unique spiritual journeys. We all have a role to fulfill, special unique talents and spiritual gifts. We should dig in and seek ye out the best books of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and by faith. This means, yes feasting upon the words of Christ but it also means learning as much in this world that we can, with an open hand and an open heart.

And we may learn things that can cause a faith crisis. In his book Stages of Faith, Martin Fowler channels the spirit of the clinical psychologist, Jean Piaget in a fictional dialogue with a two other psychologists,  Erik Erikson and Lawrence Kohlberg.  In Piaget’s voice he offers this definition of a developmental stage:

When a novelty or challenge emerges that cannot be assimilated into the present structures of knowing then, if possible, the person accommodates, that is generates new structures of knowing. A stage transition has occurred when enough accommodations has been undertaken to require (and make possible) a transformation in the operational pattern of the structural whole of intellectual operations.

And this can and should happen with our faith. Rather than resist new information, we should continue to discover and learn new truths and find ways to accommodate these truths into our faith paradigm. This is not a journey for the feint-hearted. It might mean opening ourselves up to contradiction, finding more questions without answers, and discarding previous ideas we once held onto with unflinching certainty. We may have in this journey the dark night of the soul and experience a very real crisis of faith.

When You Disagree with Your Faith Tradition

If we take our spiritual journey seriously, as I think we should, we may discover points of conflict between truths we discover and the theology and teachings we hear over the pulpit on Sunday from our religious leaders. We may find points of theology or doctrine in our religious institution that we no longer agree with.

Ross Douthat makes an interesting point that cognitive dissonance can be a path toward spiritual growth in its own right. Here, he defends the rigor of Orthodox Judaism practice while making allowance and room within the tradition for those who can’t or won’t comply.

But Gordis is actually making a more subtle point, which is that Modern Orthodoxy has held the line while also allowing space for the cognitive dissonance of the sabbath drivers and non-kosher-eating vacationers to persist — and that dissonance, that tension, has often been a spur toward spiritual growth and more serious practice, rather than curdling into either an outraged critique or a Trish-esque indifference.

Now for a variety of reasons this may be an easier wire for Judaism to walk than Catholicism. But Gordis is raising an issue that any tradition-minded religious body needs to think through: Namely, how to make its hardest rules seem like aspirations rather than just judgments, and how to deal with the many fine personal gradations that can exist between orthodoxy and apostasy, fidelity and dissent. And I suspect there are many Catholics who would be classified as “liberal” who want something like what he’s describing in Modern Orthodoxy from their church. That is, they want room to dissent from a teaching or fail to live up to it in practice, but they don’t necessarily want the church to change that teaching so that the dissonance or tension they feel simply goes away.

For one thing, in any institution, to the degree we actually decide to dig in and think, act and feel for ourselves, we will always arrive at different conclusions on some issue than the institution we belong. In church, we could use this as a reason to leave. Here, Douthat offers another approach, to expect and welcome this tension, this dissonance as fuel to drive greater spiritual growth.

Final Thoughts

I’m not making the case that we should tie ourselves up to the traditions of our fathers and mothers here. We shouldn’t be chained to our church. I think membership to a church is a lot like my marriage with my wife.

In Letter’s to a Young Mormon, Adam Miller puts it this way:

When your faith falters and you’re tempted to run, stand up and bear testimony instead. A testimony is a promise to stay. A testimony gives form to your great faith, it gives direction to your great doubt, and it publicly commits you to the great effort of trying to live what God gives. It is less a measure of your certainty about a list of facts then it is a mark of your commitment to bearing the truths that, despite their weakness, keep imposing themselves as a grace. In this way bearing a testimony is like saying “I love you”. A testimony doesn’t just reflect what someone else has already decided, it is a declaration that, in the face of uncertainty, you have made a decision. Saying “I love you” or “I know the church is true” commits you to living in such a way as to make that love true.

It doesn’t mean I stay with my wife or she stays with me no matter what. And it certainly doesn’t mean my soon to be eight year old is having to make an equivalent to a lifelong marriage commitment when she steps into the waters of baptism. The analogy is not perfect. There are legitimate reasons people choose to leave a faith tradition. I went on my mission in Alabama talking to many people in many faith traditions, encouraging them to leave theirs and join ours.

It’s at its heart an individual decision, an individual journey. My goal is to respect yours, my hope is that you’ll respect mine. My goal is that I can support you in your journey, my hope is that you’ll support mine in mine.

In the end, though, I think our religious heritage, our institutions, our churches have played and should continue to play an important role in our culture, our community and in our lives. For me, balancing my own, personal, individual faith journey, within the larger context of a faith tradition passed down to me from my ancestors, for me, this is my path, it’s what I feel called to do. I have found and hope to continue to find joy in that journey.

When You Disagree with Church Leadership?

They say you should not talk about religion or politics in polite conversation. I’m sorry but these are the two topics I just can’t seem to stop thinking, talking and reading about. And this isn’t a recent phenomenon; I cannot remember a time when I wasn’t doing this. Growing up in a conservative church with conservative parents got me started down a pretty conservative path. But for a variety of reasons, I made a leftward transition down the political spectrum while still maintaining faith in a conservative church.

But as soon as you become a liberal in a conservative church, you start to grapple with those issues where  politics and church contradict. Because what happens when you join a political party? You start swimming in its ideology. And because I feel there’s goodness, depth and breadth in both conservatism and liberalism and the best ideas come when the two work in tension with each other, I start to see all of the good in liberalism – not just politically but religiously as well.  And seeing the world with this perspective can, at times, put me in tension with church policy, theology, doctrine or I think most commonly the  culture within a conservative church.

So how can one go about reconciling personal faith with theological disagreement?

Ross Douthat has this beautiful and far too short essay on this subject that I keep coming back to. There are liberal Catholic reformers who do want to reform Catholic doctrine. Surprisingly though there are some who just want the space to be Catholic without always living up to every belief.

Linker is putting his finger on a real tension within liberal Christianity today — or, if you prefer, a real fork in the road, with one path leading in the direction that he assumed dissenting Catholics wanted to take (which seeks to alter church teaching precisely because it still believes that teaching really matters), and the other leading toward a kind of Emersonian, therapeutic, basically post-ecclesiastical form of faith, in which “Roman Catholicism” just happens to be the name of the stage on which your purely individual spiritual drama is taking place. The Commonweal-reading wing of liberal Catholicism would certainly reject the latter idea, but the kind of “post-Catholic Catholicism” Linker describes is clearly more of a force in our culture today than it was during the early days of the American Church’s post-Vatican II civil war (it’s hard to understand the controversy over American nuns, for instance, without recognizing its impact), and the Trishes of the culture have a strong wind at their back in a way that would-be reformers of the old, 1960s-era school of liberal Catholicism arguably do not.

I went to a Sunstone conference a few weeks ago, my first one ever. It’s not an indulgence I can often partake in, but circumstances aligned exactly right to make it possible for me this year. There were two presentations that stood out for me above the rest, one of them was John Hamer‘s entitled, “Stepping Back from the Dead-End Belief/Disbelief Dichotomy and Recovering the Path to Meaningful Spirituality”. A simplistic summary of his point, as far as I understood it and with plenty of my own personal biases and interpretations mixed in, is that our relationships, with ourselves, with those around us and ultimately with God is more important than any specific belief system. His point was more sophisticated than that, I believe, and his argument for it was also fairly complex. He spent time showing the commonality between religions across sects throughout history; how our shared history is more complicated and nuanced than perhaps we realize; and that we should grant our ancestors access to more sophisticated thought, realizing how squarely upon their shoulders we currently stand.

But this thesis, that our individual spiritual journey should matter more than belief in specific theological claims is certainly one way to manage cognitive dissonance. Ross Douthat offers another:

But Gordis is actually making a more subtle point, which is that Modern Orthodoxy has held the line while also allowing space for the cognitive dissonance of the sabbath drivers and non-kosher-eating vacationers to persist — and that dissonance, that tension, has often been a spur toward spiritual growth and more serious practice, rather than curdling into either an outraged critique or a Trish-esque indifference.

Now for a variety of reasons this may be an easier wire for Judaism to walk than Catholicism. But Gordis is raising an issue that any tradition-minded religious body needs to think through: Namely, how to make its hardest rules seem like aspirations rather than just judgments, and how to deal with the many fine personal gradations that can exist between orthodoxy and apostasy, fidelity and dissent. And I suspect there are many Catholics who would be classified as “liberal” who want something like what he’s describing in Modern Orthodoxy from their church. That is, they want room to dissent from a teaching or fail to live up to it in practice, but they don’t necessarily want the church to change that teaching so that the dissonance or tension they feel simply goes away. Hence their positive reaction to Francis’s rhetorical shift and their lack of urgency about actual doctrinal change. They aren’t necessarily all Trishes who have decided that they don’t care about what the Catechism says. Some of them, at least, might be more like the Orthodox Jews who parked their cars around the corner without demanding that the rabbi be okay with it, and whose children turned out to be more observant, rather than less.

That cognitive dissonance, then, is the point of belonging to an institutional church. It’s through the practice of dealing with this tension that one finds spiritual growth. There’s a lot to like about this point of view. For one, if we fall in line with every single teaching we hear over the pulpit each and every Sunday, we probably aren’t thinking, feeling, praying and living our religion hard enough. Our lives should be a wrestle. Now I get that this isn’t for everyone. In the real world, each of us struggle with real-world difficulties: disease, poverty, addiction, abuse. At times, these struggles can take every ounce out of us that we simply have no mental energy to think through doctrinal minutia. It’s enough to go to church, find strength in the community and then return to your life to struggle through another day with as much grace that we can muster. I am sympathetic to that point of view, and feel it in my own life, really. I’m forever grateful for the strength of a community.

But at other times, a person has no choice but to face this reality square in the face. My last post talked about a specific example in fact, gay marriage. Mormonism is nearly impossible and getting more difficult to manage as a gay person, but I’m fascinated by the stories of those who have found a way to make it work. I don’t think there are many, but John Gustav Wrathall is a rather remarkable example. He left the church, embraced his identity as a gay man, married but then after several years of marriage and because of strong, spiritual urgings, returned to Mormonism as a happily gay, married man. Listening to his story, I can’t imagine someone navigating a spiritual journey with as much cognitive dissonance as that. His story is important.

I guess the claim I’m trying to make here is that for me one’s personal spiritual, individual journey is important. We should claim it with all of the sincerity and authenticity that we can muster. We should claim responsibility for and a willingness to work through our struggles, to wrestle with our doubts and to claim our faith as our own. But I also believe in the value and importance of doing so within the structure of an institutional church. We don’t need to nor should we even have complete and total agreement with every piece of doctrine or policy. We recognize our church leaders at times make mistakes. I still believe in modern day revelation and that doctrinal decisions are not final. We are still growing as a church.

But I also believe Joseph Smith did something significant, important and inspired. I believe in his prophetic mission. The institution is important, I sustain it. My own individual, spiritual journey is also important, and I sustain it as well. At times they come in conflict. I think that is by design. I think there’s room for it, I think there’s spiritual growth that can be gained by it and through it.

Mormon Theology and Gay Marriage

I keep coming back to this topic because I think it’s a topic that deserves to keep coming back to. The conversation has rightly taken up a lot of oxygen in political and religious conversations because the shift on this issue has been dramatic, rapid and consequential and  the church I belong has been a major actor in this conversation both politically and theologically.

I have previously spent a lot of time focusing on the policy and political aspects of this issue, but the theology of gender, sexuality and marriage is also incredibly important. While the first debate focused on various legal benefits granted to same-sex couples, the second debate gets into, for some, even more significant issues of morality, salvation and eternal life.

Before I get into that, I want to lay some groundwork.

Today in church service, one of my quorum members took a deep dive into the parable of the sower where Jesus describes the three types of ground and how that effects the seed’s ability to grow in Mathew 13:3-8 here:

And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up:

Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth:

And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away.

And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

In verse 8, the thorny ground may represent those people who are seduced by the cares and enticings of the world, cares that can choke out the good word of God. What I wanted to ask but wasn’t able is that what should you really do when you come you experience this conflict. Should you always reject the cares and concerns of the world? Should you always assume what’s offered as the word of God takes precedence?

Well, when worded that way, the answer is obviously yes, but where this goes awry is that God is everywhere and works in and through the world for the benefit of all mankind. Additionally,  church is situated squarely in this world. In other words, we don’t have a clear demarcation, always, between the cares of the world and the inspired word of God.

To explain this point better, let me use Adam Miller’s words from “Letters to a Young Mormon” in his chapter on science. In this quote, he tries to find a way to reconcile the tension between the Genesis creation story and evolution and other scientific discoveries and theories.

I believe in a literal reading of this text. I believe the Hebrews literally thought the world was like that, and I believe God literally ran with it and revealed his grace at work in their lives through it. More, I believe that God is just as literally showing himself to us in and through that continually rolling revelation that is science as we know it.

This is the point, that we are making discovery after discovery, advancement after advancement. God is in this. In many ways, this is our form of modern day revelation as we discover new truths that must be reconciled with older truths.

How does this relate to gay relationships?

Recently, I listened to this podcast interview between Bill Reel and Daniel Parkinson describing the latest science on homosexuality. At a basic level, they believe what drives homosexuality is a combination of genetics and the hormonal environment in the womb as the fetus develops during certain parts of maturation. The classic case of nature verses nurture, but in this case, the nurturing is biological. As a result, homosexuality is baked in at birth. I’m not sure how universal this is and there is fluidity and ranges in sexual attraction. It’s not binary at least not as I understand the latest science.

None of this is my area of expertise, but I’ll happily defer to scientific consensus on this subject. The temptation here is when science contradicts or pushes our theology is to reject the science based on theological beliefs. I think this is the wrong approach. Rather, it’s our job to reconcile the science with our theology.

So, assuming we assume this is all true, that homosexual desire is biological and non-changeable, does this work with or against Mormon theology on homosexuality. The clearest, most official summary of the Mormon position on this issue can be described in The Proclamation on the Family and on the Mormon and Gays website. In the first, the church lays out its position on the eternal nature of gender, how gender affects our role in this life and in the eternities, the importance of confining sexual relationships between a legally married husband and wife, and the eternal nature of such relationships. There is no room for gay relationships in this proclamation. In the second, the position is staked out clearly here:

The experience of same-sex attraction is a complex reality for many people. The attraction itself is not a sin, but acting on it is. Even though individuals do not choose to have such attractions, they do choose how to respond to them. With love and understanding, the Church reaches out to all God’s children, including our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters.

 What’s not clearly explained but surely implied, is that in Mormon theology there are no gays in heaven.

Now this is tough stuff for a gay Mormon. If one is gay but wants to live a faithful, Mormon life, the church encourages either celibacy or mixed-orientation marriage, living a life of discomfort and sacrifice now for a promise of more in the life to come. Neither options are desirable or easy for most in this situation. Now there are people who never marry and live happy and fulfilled lives. But to be told that your natural desires for intimacy and relationship are sinful would be counter-intuitive at an existential level. To be told to reject and avoid opportunities of intimate, life-long loving relationship is a cross too heavy for most to bear.

There are those who can make a mixed-orientation marriage work but I’m imagining this population mostly inhabits the bi of the LGBTQ acronym family. For most who try, divorce is the likely outcome.

But you know, I’m not an expert on any of this. Nobody is asking me to come up with the church’s policy or theology on sex and family.  That is not my job. Nor can I really speak for a gay Mormon person who is trying to navigate their lives through this. The only person I can speak for is myself. How will I react, who will I advocate for, what kind of change can I or should I try to push for?

To be honest, I don’t know. I have no idea what sexuality means after death. I have faith that my relationships will continue with my family and friends beyond death. I have faith that my marriage will last forever. So, I’m invested in that.

What I do know for sure are two truths that I think are relevant:

1) God’s love for His children is infinite and beyond human understanding. Any time you hit a Mormon and most Christians with problems without good explanation the usual default is that God will sort this out in the most loving, just way possible.

2) Our job is to love others, unconditionally, without judgment.

I feel strongly that this is a hole in our theology. I think our first priority is to find a sense of peace, fulfillment and purpose in this life. Our specific knowledge of what will come in the next life is so limited and prone to error. I believe what gives us peace, connection, and a transcendent connection to God now is a good harbinger of what will lead us to God in the next life. Figuring what brings us to God is an individual, lifelong struggle.

Again Adam Miller, again from Letter’s to a Young Mormon:

 Eternal life is God’s kind of life. Rather than just checking a life span, “eternal” names a certain way of being alive, a certain way of holding life as it passes from one moment to the next. Life itself involves the passage of time and, in order to be faithful to it, we must bless rather than dam flow. We must do as God does and allow the world and our parents and our children and ourselves to grow and die and start again.

In a word, we need to live our lives and make our decisions for the here and now because there aren’t two lives, there are one. This life and the next, merged together to make a single life that is eternal. If something doesn’t work now, it won’t work then. With that, it’s impossible to ignore stories of gay men and women who feel led and inspired to enter into gay relationships. I support and sustain them in these important decisions.

And for now, in my Mormonism, all I can do is to hold out hope that there will be further light and knowledge. If Mormonism is anything it’s a gospel of restoration and renewal. We have an open, growing and expanding theology. The heaven’s are not closed, nothing is forever decided. We will work this out.