As I continued the process of coming out, I reviewed my journal from that period of my life when I last felt most alive: my mission (paradoxically). These entries, published in a post on 2 December 2010, came from the last few months of my mission in the southwest of France in the fall of 1985.
“This time which Heavenly Father has given us on this earth is so short, so precious. I rebel against all efforts to negate it, to minimize its importance, to abort our experiences, our search. I resist efforts to categorize, to methodize, to “planify”; in short to reduce this glorious learning experience called life to a psychological learning experience of instant rewards and gratification. … So many LDS seem to regard the Gospel as so much of a Pavlov system of rewards and punishments. Motivation comes in this case as a salivating dog seeks his treat. Argh! Away with such behavior! We are not Pavlov’s dogs! We are human beings, placed here by our Celestial Father in order to grow and gain experience ...
“I see now how the Gospel was used by me as a badly-needed crutch when I first joined the Church. I needed the moral code [euphemistic reference to homosexuality], granted, but the Church offered me something I had been looking for, i.e., someone to tell me what to do in my life.
“I am now ready to seek a more mature relationship with God. I feel its presence, this relationship, there in the fog. After having wandered in the night for awhile, the dawn is finally breaking. I can make out forms and images in the mist but they are still indiscernible. The light of personal awareness must burn these mists away until I can make my way towards those objects which are near to me. Perhaps it will be some time yet before the morning sun burns off all the fog, allowing me a clear perspective. Until that time, I shall enjoy the beauty of this autumn morning of my human experience and glory in the scenery around me with its haunting effects of light and dark, fact and fantasy, phantom and form, ever thankful for the opportunity to be here.”
(I'm working on a memoir about the year I came out. This is one of a ongoing series of posts based on the blog - entitled "Invictus Pilgrim" - that I kept during that year.)