So before I start the story, I just want to say that my bishop is awesome. Earlier in the year I went to visit with him so that I could get a temple recommend and I was terrified because I was dating men and okay with that. Many bishops aren't okay with guys even holding hands, saying it's breaking the law of chastity.
Anyways, I confided in him that I was a gay Mormon and the immediate response he had was, "That sucks." To me this was a fantastic response, because it showed that he had some empathy! He then continued to say how he can't imagine how hard that must be for me as a member of the church, then he asked if I date guys. I told him yes and he told me that as long as I abide by lines, that I'm fine. Since there is no real set doctrine on what is right and what is wrong when it comes to homosexual behavior, I have kind of constructed the line to be, "If it makes my conscience feel bad, I have a loss of light, and a lack of the spirit, then I have crossed a line." He then not only gave me my temple recommend, but he extended me two callings that I still hold to this day. I like my bishop.
So back to the story I was going to tell you.
I have been going through a kind of spiritual lag for about a month now. Where I didn't read my scriptures with real intent, my prayers were spotty and insincere, my attendance to my church meetings were of mediocre effort... simply because I haven't felt happy and comfortable going to church lately. So I decided to set up a meeting with my bishop to discuss things. I sat down on one of the cushy chairs and he sat down on the cushy chair next to me, which is something I like. It makes him seem more human, instead of sitting in front of a desk, we were sitting on chairs next to each other conversing like friends.
We had the usual greetings and small talk exchange, and then quickly shifted the topic to the reason I was really there. I told him I felt unhappy in the church and I felt unhappy out of the church and I'm not sure what to do because of my attractions to men. He immediately validated my feelings and told me that I do experience some challenges that most men and women don't experience in the church and that my life holds a series of many complications in that sense. He then sat and pondered a little bit and told me a few simple things that I should do that would bring me more light into my life. I said, "Well, what do things things have to do with me figuring out what path is best for me to take to attain the greatest happiness I can?"
He got up from his chair and started to pace around his office, clearly deep in thought. The finally he stopped and asked, "Trevor, have you ever played golf before?"
I told him yes.
"Well," he said, "You stand there ready to swing. You can think about your posture, how far you're standing, if your swing is right, if you're aiming well, and stress about all those minor details. But I want you to just stand there and hit the ball. Just hit the ball."
I asked him what he meant.
"I mean that I can see that all of life's complications that has been worrying you is weighing you down," he walked over to me and pushed down on my shoulders, "Making you feel like this. And that's not how life should be lived. I want to see that light in yours eyes again. I'm not saying you need to forget your worries, but right now I want you to put them on a shelf. Those things you are concerned about are not things that you need to think of now or the near future. Right now I need you to concentrate on bringing more light into your life. Has dating men been distracting you?"
I said no.
He said, "Good," and then gave me a hug before I left his office.
I have never had a stronger testimony of the leadership of the church. My bishop is a good man.