This past week I've been thinking, pondering on my status in the church. It was a strange coincidence that a couple of days ago I was chatting with a fellow Moho, and he commented to me I still can't believe you're still Mormon. I asked him what he meant by that statement. His response was something along the lines of, "Well, you're old. And you're single and lonely."
I couldn't deny that. I had been thinking about that for a few days. The thing that had brought him to say that was that in our conversation I had just been stressing to him the importance of including God in the big decisions in your life. That was some good advice that I needed to give myself.
In thinking about the mid-30's and single ordeal, and not wanting to live the lonely life forever, and how I felt about church, et cetera, et cetera, I began to think about entering into a same-sex relationship. And not just a casual friendship, but an actual long-term, committed relationship. I thought about it a lot. And then I took my own advice and I prayed about it. I prayed that I would be able to see the right answer as I was working through this issue in my head. I prayed for His inspiration and guidance as I was seeking out this answer.
And then I went about my life.
Today I woke up early so that I could attend my friend's ward for their baby blessing. I had been invited to stand in the circle. The Lord was definitely on my side. I sailed through green traffic lights the whole way to church. I arrived just in time to sit down, remove my jacket, and then have them call for the blessing to happen. I stood up and walked to the front of the chapel and greeted my friend, the proud papa. I looked at the other people in the circle. I knew most of them. They are all great people.
We all placed our hands under the baby, and my friend proceeded with the blessing. It was the most beautifully inspired baby blessing I have ever heard uttered. I stood there soaking in the spirit of it all. I felt so strongly that I wanted to do that someday. I wanted to be the one to exercise the Priesthood that I have been ordained with to bless my child as he/she comes into the world. I can't think of a greater experience that could happen.
Then it slowly came to me. You see, after I had prayed about entering into a same-sex relationship, I never heard a "No" answer. And for me, I have noticed in my life that the Lord typically lets me go with my own decisions when I pray about them. I don't necessarily get a "Yes", I just feel good about moving forward with the decision I made. I have on many occasions received a definite "No" answer when I'm about to do something I shouldn't. I've learned to pray and listen for the "No" answer, and if there is nothing telling me that I've made a decision that He doesn't approve of, I go for it.
The thing was, I never received that "No" answer after praying about entering a same-sex relationship. It has been a few days and still no "No" answer.
The answer came to me today. It wasn't a "No" answer. The answer that came to me was to realize what I would miss out on if I proceeded with a same-sex relationship. I would miss out on that humble, simple and beautiful opportunity that my friend had just experienced. If I entered into a same-sex relationship, I would forfeit my Priesthood ordination and all rights and privileges associated with it. I would never have the opportunity to bless my child in the way that my friend just had.
If I entered a same-sex relationship, God would still love me, bless me, and answer my prayers, but I would give up the Priesthood in exchange for that relationship. I could have children through adoption or surrogate parenthood, but I would not be able to raise them in a home that was blessed by the power of the Priesthood.
I got my answer. And maybe it wasn't so subtle after all.