I've never been very good at seeking answers to prayers. When I pray to make a specific decision, I usually don't feel a confirmation one way or the other, so I end up telling God that I'm going to do such and such and to let me know somehow if that is the wrong thing to do.
But I do (or I did) know what the holy ghost feels like. I have had some strong spiritual experiences where I have felt like the spirit was testifying something to me, and I was just sure of it.
Such was the case two years ago when I prayed to reconcile my personal gut feeling on gay marriage with what the church teaches. It took a while, but the answer finally came loud and clear. I'm not sure how to explain this, but I didn't get the answer as to whether gay marriage is really okay in the eyes of God, but I did feel that it was His will that I support it so that I could truly understand and empathize with the struggles of gay members of the church.
And so I've stuck to that answer and cannot deny that it is truly what my Heavenly Father wanted me to feel.
But some individuals do not believe it is possible for me to have received that revelation. They believe that I have mistaken the answer somehow and that it must be coming instead from the adversary. One of the talks in a recent stake conference was on personal revelation, and the speaker emphasized the idea from Elder Oaks's recent talk in general conference that personal revelation cannot contradict what the leaders of the church are saying.
Today in relief society the lesson was on the holy ghost. The question was asked by the teacher, how do you know when you are feeling the holy ghost? I do not even attempt to voice my opinion in relief society any more. But especially on this subject I must take a back seat. I thought I knew what the holy ghost felt like, but if revelation I've received on gay issues is from Satan rather than from God, then I must have absolutely no idea what the holy ghost feels like or how to receive personal revelation.
So why even bother trying anymore? That's what I think. Everything I've ever felt or believed with all my heart to be true could just be a lie.
But I don't think it is. I'm pretty darn sure that God lives, that Christ lives and died for me, and that the gospel of Jesus Christ as taught by the Mormons is true.
But I am also sure of the position I am to take with regards to gay issues, and that I have a responsibility that I need to continue to pursue with the gay community.
And that makes church attendance and faith in the teachings of my leaders as hard as ever. I still wonder what the future will bring. Will I leave the church eventually? Will I come back in full force and truly "see the light" and believe every word? Or will I continue to stay agonizingly in the middle, unable to deny any of the things that I believe that the holy ghost has told me are true. Things that many believe are in direct conflict with each other.
No idea. But it makes me blah, that's for sure.
4 weeks ago