25 December 2007

The Gift of Laughter

Cyanide and Happiness is just what it sounds like: cynicism made funny--

Red VS Blue is best known for their movies made with video game footage--

White Ninja is pure randomness perfected--

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal is a daily comic that may be the reason RSS Feeders were invented--

Here's a bonus SMBC comic--

Penny Arcade chronicles the life of two men who built an empire around playing video games too often--

VG Cats prove that cat's are, in fact, valuable--

Dinosaur Comics prove literature is funny--

And a bonus Dinosaur Comic--

17 December 2007

Meet the OCMCO

and here i thought i was going to take a break from posting until after the holidays…

OCMCO stands for Orange County Mormon Choral Organization. It's a brand new choir that just had it’s inaugural concert on December 12th at the Orange County Performing Arts Center.

According to the blogger known only as "Max Power," a member of the choir, it was a magnificent show. Posting the night of the concert, Max describes the experience in glowing terms and even speaks of a personal miracle he attributes to his participation in the event.

But not all is well in the choir, it would seem, as an individual known only as the choir’s “Web Publicist” has discovered that Max is a homosexual* and asked him to remove his post so it wouldn’t show up in any Google searches for the choir!

"[T]his is not the kind of publicity we need as a young organization trying to benefit the Church and its music," said the Web Publicist in an email.

Max released a statement detailing the distasteful and offensive nature of the request he believes was made only because he is a homosexual. In a statement released earlier today Max writes incredulously, “Have you read my blog? Have you seen any of the posts where I talk about sticking with my core beliefs and values, in spite of my sexual orientation… Why do you think that an admission of incredible faith (faith to the level that it causes me to shun the most core and natural feelings that my body generates) about the church is bad?”

He continues, “I would say that I don't understand, but I do. The general membership of the church doesn't actually belive what they talk about every Sunday. They don't believe in unconditional love. The don't believe in imperfections. They don't believe in caring for those who are different than they are. They don't believe in the Atonement. They don't actually believe what Jesus taught, even though they can lay claim to greater knowledge of His teachings than any other Christian church out there.”

Whether or not the actions of the choir reflect on the general membership of the church is unclear. Max’s statement is, however, as scathing a critique of a choral organization as this observer has ever read.

If you’d like you can deliver your own scathing critique of OCMCO you may do so at the following link:

Contact the Choir

*It's true, OCMCOs. Like millions of Americans, Max suffers from Chronic Gay.


good tune (but not a choral piece)

08 December 2007

Love / Valor / Compassion

to those posts that sit unpublished because the blogger can't quite perfect it I humbly suggest we surrender

I’ve been spending some time trying to perfect a post about the necessity of gay relationships for gay men. The basic premise was the gayer the man the more necessary the gay relationship. The inverse was also true. The straighter the man the more necessary the straight relationship.

It was getting too long for one post but not quite long enough for two posts. I tried to trim it but every paragraph seemed necessary.

Then it struck me. I didn’t need any fancy arguments at all. Just a premise that played off the basic, ingrained human experience we all know so well.

Love and Companionship are critically necessary experiences for all men.*

Love and Companionship are two things that can't be replaced by anything. Or rather, nothing is a true substitute.

Neither casual acquaintances, nor home teaching, nor Straight Boot Camp, nor Legos™ will ever truly substitute that basic human requirement.

For men only Love and Companionship will do.

*Lesbians should swap each occurrence of "men" with "women." At least, that's what they usually do.


good tune

29 November 2007

You’re Considering a “Traditional” Marriage

neal called me a “pit viper” recently. what’s with that guy and phallic imagery?

You’re considering a “traditional” marriage. Good for you. A fool weighs not his options.

It works for some gays. I’ve met them so I can assure you it does work sometimes.* You’ll be a father like you’ve always wanted. You’ll be a husband like you’ve always wanted. You’ll get into that straight-only heaven you’ve always wanted.

Having weighed the pros and cons I’ve decided it isn’t for me. Having met the men who tried it only to meet with disastrous results I’ve estimated it isn’t right for most.

Normally, I would say this now, “Do as you will; it’s your life to make happy.”

But it’s not your marriage that explodes, is it? It’s her marriage, too.

It isn’t your life that explodes. It’s her life, too. It’s her identity, her self-esteem, and her kids that are caught in the shock wave.

She wasn’t prepared. How could she have been? Society didn’t teach her anything about this type of relationship. Neither did her family. Neither does her church. Neither did you telling her you were gay beforehand.

One might be fully aware they’re standing on railroad tracks, they may even be told the train is coming, see it’s bright lights, hear it’s sounding horn, and still not be prepared for the impact when it finally arrives.

And it always arrives.

*Allow me to make something perfectly clear for those of you who only read the first and last sentence of a post: I know it works for some gay guys.


good tune from an artist who will be missed (link, link, link)

22 November 2007


five things I’m thankful for

An evening’s rest without the need of my crazy-noisy space heater.

The opportunity to come out to everyone I care about* and meeting so many of the fine gay men here.

The mysterious lack of flak I’ve been getting from my family over being gay. Honestly, I appreciate but did not anticipate their flexibility over this announcement.

The fine musicians over at OCRemix who provide this blog’s soundtrack.

The flattery of a ranking tool that thinks I’m really, really cool:

cash advance

*Except the one aunt who scares the ever-livin' tar out of me. She's nice but kind of a... um, zealot.


good tune

15 November 2007

Overreact Much

dearest readers: please read the following dialog between RealNeal and myself and let me know if I'm overreacting when I wonder if I'm in danger

RealNeal said...

I can and do respect your right to have different beliefs, but I don't have to respect the beliefs themselves. If you can show me the basis for your beliefs, I may come to respect them, but to date no one here has been able to do that.

And I feel quite sorry for you too. Unless you're a REALLY old Y student I have decades of experience and learning on you. When someone sounds a voice of warning to another its not necessarily an "attack" on you as a person, or because they think they are somehow more righteous than you, or better than you. Perhaps its because they've been where you are and hate to see others make the same mistakes they made. You can choose to take offense, or to accept it as a heart felt gesture from someone who's been around the block a few times. I've looked around this big ole world with a doubtful eye myself, only to find that the truth was right in front of me all along. But that's my experience, of course, and you must have your own. Ultimately, we'll all find out for sure how right or wrong we are...

Respectfully Yours,

playasinmar said...
I'm listening, Neal. I'm always listening. For example, I heard you call iwonder's beliefs "baseless" in your last comment.

Congratulations on being old, by the way. i don't know what years of living is supposed to automatically grant you in our conversations. I think I should point out that some of the most wrong people I've ever met are also the oldest.

RealNeal said...

Yes, you're listening; and you also seem to have an agenda to criticize/slam the Church and those who believe in it every chance you get. You actively tear down. Mock. Disparage. Your blog is clear evidence of this, as are your comments on other blogs.

And please, let's not put words in my mouth. I plainly said no one has explained their basis, not that they don't have one.

Some of most wrong people I've ever met are young people who think they know it all. Experience is something you simply have to gain - you can't fake it. It takes time. And I think it has everything to do with conversations like these. Perhaps you can't understand that if you don't have any.

Making fun of someone's age, calling them "old", is really an irrelevant and juvenile gesture. That is, if you consider being in your 40s "old". You too will be "old" one day, if you live that long...


playasinmar said...
Wow, Neal. Threatening my life makes you way more… interesting.

I have experience. I also have the humility to know my experience is just that: Mine. And no qualifier, be it education, priesthood office, or age, can inflate it.

You called you old, by the way. Can you blame me for agreeing?

realneal said...
Threatening your life!? There you go putting words in my mouth again.
You really do have a persecution complex, don't you?

And the humility thing has me laughing so hard I probably won't be able to sleep tonight!!! Maybe I've got an Ambien* laying around here somewhere...


*According to WebMD these are the unlikely but serious side effects of Ambien: fast/pounding heartbeat, unusual tiredness, mental/mood changes (e.g., new or worsening depression, rare thoughts of suicide, hallucinations, aggressive behavior, anxiety), memory loss, unsteadiness.


good tune

08 November 2007


“mom’s nicer than the whores you date.” -buster
“don’t call my escorts whores!” -gob
“i’m sick of all this objectifying of women!” -lindsay
“it’s just mom and whores.” -michael

Gimple AKA Therayasomething is worried that the blogs have become a path from “…MoHo to MoHo whore to Homo.” He sites no references and expresses this analysis is based simply on his own observations. I, however, have never failed to accurately site concealed references so I’ll point out that he’s worried about Peter, Romulus, and iWonder.

Peter briefly mentioned that he wasn't going to date girls anymore. Romulus wants to [finally] fall in love [with a guy]. iWonder posted about an unexpected same-sex relationship that fizzled out before it began.* There may have been others but ultimately these are the posts that lead Gimple to fear the blogs are changing "MoHos to MoHo whores to Homos."

So why the heavy tone? Why the talk of “homos” and “whores?”

It would be disingenuous for him to have enjoyed a same-sex relationship only to disparage others who are merely thinking about such a thing so I’ll assume he’s been trying something else. Obviously, no one finds happiness through celibacy so he must be sticking to women-folk.** Therefore, it seems likely Gimple feels threatened by same-sex relationships.

It’s a fundamental misunderstanding about same-sex relationships. Said relationships don’t threaten anyone. Two people like each other… and... that’s all. It has no impact on the bystanders. The bystanders who really ought to respect the lives of others while hoping others would return that respect.

Friends should expect such decency.

*For additional fun read the comments on iWonder’s post. Remember, he wasn’t looking for a relationship and there wasn’t actually a relationship but nothing can keep Crow and RealNeal from going nuts at the news!

**That’s fine. Really, it is. Everyone finds happiness in their own way.


good tune

02 November 2007

Iron-Clad Guarantee

a summary of my three favorite promises in all Mormondom

The Atonement Will Make You Straight.* And why not? Being gay is a sin. The Atonement cleanses sin from our lives. It makes sense. I just have to be faithful and diligent in my church responsibilities. If I ever fail I’ll be cast into hell so I better be as neurotic and vocal about my devotion as possible!

Marrying a Woman Will Make You Straight.* Not exactly
sure where this idea came from. My guess is Stake Presidents. Stake Presidents recommend marriage as the default solution to everything** so maybe it’s not a recommendation based on dangerous ignorance.

The Mission Will Make You Straight. A
unique promise because it’s not offered by the church but rather by young gay men to themselves. In a way it makes perfect sense: “If I dedicate two entire years of my life, a tithe on my very youth, in perfect service of God’s mighty work surely he’ll grant me this one thing.” And then, after two years of close, male-only contact and emotional bonding with companions who are usually nudists the gay teenager returns home a gay man. Disappointed and usually suicidal.

*It’s worth noting that, at this time, neither of the first two promises is officially offered. They’ve been replaced by: You’ll be Straight in the Next Life AKA You’ll be Straight Once You Finally Die.

**Gay? Get married! Depressed missionary? Get married! Tax evasion? Get Married!


good tune


26 October 2007

X-ed Men

someone else beat me to the punch in posting these videos. sorry someone else, I don't mean to steal your thunder.

I know a good mix of gay guys. Some are young some are old. Some have been out for years and some are just starting to come out. Some of them are celibate* and some have boyfriends. Some live in their parent's basement and some cross-dress with women's jeans. It's the usual mix, I suppose.

I don't know a single ex-gay, though. It's one category I've never been acquainted with. I do know several straight-married gays but not a single one of them identifies as "ex-gay." They're more likely to describe themselves as "committed to a straight relationship" then "ex-gay."

Finally someone has come along to explain the ex-gays to me.

Thank you, Jon Stewart and Jason Jones. I finally understand the ex-gay phenomenon.

*A temporary condition if ever there was one.


good tune

19 October 2007

Do These Genes Make Me Look Gay?

"the most dangerous leadership myth is that leaders are born-that there is a genetic factor to leadership. this myth asserts that people simply either have certain charismatic qualities or not. that's nonsense; in fact, the opposite is true. leaders are made rather than born." -Warren G. Bennis

Over at Northern Lights some interesting ideas have been discussed in the My Genes Made Me Do It post:

  • Epigenetics
  • Twin Studies
  • Simple Science
  • Single Gene Theory
  • Dean A. Byrd is an idiot.
I can't help but chafe at the notion that any of this matters.* Wouldn't a single gene, once identified, be screened, cleaned, and "perfected" before birth? Or would all the gay babies merely be aborted? Probably whichever is cheaper.

I do understand the importance of asking, "Why?" It's human nature to take nothing at face value. We are compelled to find the cause of homosexuality even at the expense of learning to understand homosexuality itself.

Try as I might to avoid it, I think I may believe it. Genetics hold the key to pretty much everything in life so why not this?

"Can you honestly believe that GLBT persons are not created as such at birth? Can you in your heart-of-hearts, in your very soul, honestly believe that Heavenly Father would be so unfeeling and unjust as to create a person, innately GLBT, and then create LDS Churches whose dogmas... and rules would forever deny that GLBT person salvation, love, and the glory of Heavenly Father's kingdom, simply because of a simple aspect of their lives, instilled and created by that very same Heavenly Father? " - Phillip J. Ferrara, Sr.

Alas, I think it may be true, Phillip. I think it may be true.

*Except the thing about Dean A. Byrd being an idiot. That matters.


good tune

13 October 2007

The Story of Austin

the following* is an excerpt from "I am America"

My name is Austin, and I am a reformed homosexual.

I was only six years old the first time I chose to pervert nature. I was with my mother at the bike store, and I decided to feel a thrill of excitement when I noticed a shiny purple Schwinn with plastic flowers on the basket.

From that point on, I chose to feel different fron the other boys in my class. Until the age of twelve, I merely elected to feel a vague sense of not quite fitting in. But then, when my puberty hit, I resolved to be alienated from and picked on by my male peers.

I kept up this sinful pattern well into my twenties. I chose the urges that mane my father stop talking to me; I selected the longings that led a group of morally stronger men to beat me up in a parking lot; O even picked up the sense of contentment I felt during a three-year live-in relationship with an older man. But all that time, I knew I was living against God’s will. And so, I tried everything I could think of to turn straight.

I went on dates with women. I joined a fantasy sports league. I changed the shape of my moustache.


I even tried hormone therapy to raise my testosterone levels. All this did was make me go fat and bald, which, in addition to my pale skin and short stature, turned me into what’s known in the gay community as a “garbanzo bean.” In lesbian circles they’re called “chickpeas.”

Then one day at Hot Yoga, I saw a flier on the Community Board about a gay rehabilitation group called God Also Yearns. They teach God desires us to accept the true path of love.

I took the plunge and entered their proven three-part program:

  • Accept the authority of your spiritual counselors: They not only condemned my wicked acts, but also sternly judged my clothing and income level.
  • Admit your sins: To purge them, I wrote them down. It became a very popular blog.
  • Submit to a higher power: This consisted mostly of electroshock.
The God Also Yearns counselors said I could be completely cured if I attended their four-week rehabilitation camp. I could only afford a two-week course. They said that would also do the trick.

They were right. At the camp, I joined in healing acts of Christian heterosexual fellowship such as heterosexual cookouts and heterosexual trust falls. The highlight of the two weeks was performing in the camp’s traditional-values version of Rent, called Lent. I played Wally, the Republican Senator who casts the deciding vote for the marriage Protection Amendment. I’ve never clogged with such passion.

My God Also Yearns counselors taught me that homosexuality is an addiction like smoking, only you can still do it on an airplane. To quit you have to go Cold Turkey, by imagining that your homosexual partner is a slimy, puckered, cold turkey. Unless you’re into “cold turkeys,” in which case you definitely need the four-week course.

Today, I am married to a wonderful woman, Afke. I don’t need to hide my shameful past from her. During the physical act of love I will often talk about it just to remind us both how much better it is with a girl.

I also call in to a number of radio shows.

I hope my story is inspiring to any homosexuals who have bought this book not to read, but to carry as a signal to other homosexuals that they are willing to be approached and seduced. This book’s distinctive cover would make it exceptionally good for that, but take it from me: there is another choice.

*I am america (And So Can You!) by Stephen Colbert is now available for sale.


good tune

03 October 2007

The Return of the Dread Questions

How you can help? By filling in the blanks, of course!

First, there are many questions missing witty Perfect Answers. There can be more than one Perfect Answer per Dread Question so feel free to submit your ideas.

Don’t forget stories! Some people, like Edgy, have funny stories about answering the Dread Questions.

Lastly, there are more Dread Questions out there than what we’ve come up with so far. If you know of one that’s not on this list be sure to mention it!


Dread Question 1: "Should we have recognized the signs?"

  • Yes, you should have. You should have known when I dropped out of coach pitch I was gay. You should have known that when I didn't like my Jr. High math class I was gay. You should have known that when I refused to go to my Senior Prom because I was saving for my mission I was a raving queen.
  • Perfect Answer:
Dread Question 2: "Are you sexually active?/Do you have an STD?"

  • “When I came out, I got a variation of Question 2 from my father. Actually, it wasn't a question. It was the Safe Sex Talk. In the middle of a restaurant. I was 31.” -Edgy
  • Perfect Answer: Are you sexually active? "No I just lay there!" -Jacob Mathews

Dread Question 3: "Are you attracted to me?"

  • Perfect Answer:
Dread Question 4: "Why would you choose that?" (submitted by Drex)

  • Perfect Answer:
Dread Question 5: "Can't you just decide to like girls?" (submitted by Drex)

  • “When I told a friend of mine, he said, "Well, did you ever think that maybe it's because you don't date women? I mean, have you ever tried being attracted to them?" That was a fun conversation. Yeah, I'm gay because I don't date women. Yep, that's how it works. And if only I'd just thought to try being attracted to women and not men. I should really give that a try sometime!” -iwonder
  • Perfect Answer:
Dread Question 6: “Are you viewing pornography?" (submitted by Abelard)

  • Perfect Answer:
Dread Question 7: “Why didn't you tell me sooner?” (submitted by Beck)

  • Perfect Answer:
Dread Question 8: “When did you really know?” (submitted by Beck)

  • Perfect Answer:

good tune

27 September 2007


i believe it was William Randolph Hearst who first coined the word "penorz." while attending a state dinner at the white house he was overheard remarking to the First Lady, "What's with all the penorz at this shindig? It's like a sausage party in here." it was at the same event where William Randolph Hearst first coined the term "sausage party."
Once again, a ridiculous issue has come up in the Bloggernacle.
This time the issue is the effect certain blog authors use of imagery (specifically the use of male imagery) and the arousing effect it has on certain readers. It would seem that these certain readers are finding it hard to focus on the non-erotic subject matter of a blog if there's a picture of a male human (Homo Erectus) anywhere in the post.
I emphatically declare that it is not the responsibility of a blog author to make sure their readers aren’t touching themselves inappropriately.
If you’re finding this hard to grasp I’ll make it simple: Blog authors are not responsible for your uncontrollable masturbating. Honestly, the blog authors are tired of being blamed for your uncontrollable masturbating. *
I feel the need to rise up and point out that there are penorz everywhere. Every guy you run into daily has a penorz, every guy you chat with online has a penorz, every blog picture of a guy has a penorz, and if you’re visiting this blog you probably** have a penorz below your very own navel.
And as for the demands of certain readers to cease the use of male imagery... If you can't handle it by yourself, and you can't find someone to handle it for you, don't come to me expecting I'll handle it for you. That's just gross.
*Please do keep posting about uncontrollable masturbating on your own blogs. It's your space, after all. Do with it as you see fit.

**I said “probably,” Samantha.

good tune

20 September 2007

Hotels and Projections

you can check in but you can never leave

There are many roads that lead to homosexuality. There are at least as many ways to get here as there are ways to deal with having arrived. “Infinite” would be my best estimate.

One of the ways to deal with being here is straight-marriage.

I think it’s a foolish thing for me to assume I can remain emotionally attached to a spouse (attached to the level that a good husband must be) because I’m gay. My wife may well be the most Christ-centered, understanding, and empathetic person ever born but how dare I put those amazing qualities to the test every single day of your lives. What has she done to deserve that kind of stress?

Did you catch that? I said, “for me.”

It does work for some. Not everyone, mind you, but it does work for some. I think we, as bloggers, have a tendency to believe everything about ourselves applies to everyone around us.

Rather than be Defenders of Our Choices we become Projectionists; we assume what works for us works for others and what hurts us hurts others.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing.* It would be unfortunate to confuse our situations with the ideas of those around us. Although it is slightly ridiculous to think that could ever truly happen.

I guess what it boils down to is this: maybe we should take a breath before attacking one another for suggesting to us what we wouldn't suggest to ourselves.

*Which is just fine as it can’t really be helped. Human nature and all that jazz.


good tune

14 September 2007

Why I Fight - part one

first of all

There are too many ehugs and not enough discussion.

Sometimes a blogger, a friend, is feeling down and they need your support. Ehugs are not support. Get up off your butt and go to them, or call them, or message them personally.* Leaving an ehug where everyone else who reads the blog can read it and think, “Wow, what a wonderful friend he must be,” is lazy and self-serving.

The topics frequently broached topics in the blogernacle…

The worth of souls
The myth of celibacy
The option to straight-marry
Homosexuals’ place in the Plan of Salvation

…are weighty, weighty issues. They should be given a proper look. We owe it to ourselves to do so.

After all, if we don't take our concerns seriously, who will?

*That goes double for whenever a blogger is posting about suicide.


good tune

05 September 2007

Spirit Prison

that’s pretty selfish, gays (jump to 2:10)

There's a basic concept of homosexuality that you may be overlooking: The Closet

At one point or another an openly gay man finds himself going back into the Closet. Usually (hopefully) it is only for a moment. A stranger makes a rude comment and you don't feel like defending all gay men everywhere so you let it slide.*

And you hate it.

You hate it because that brief moment back inside the Closet makes you remember when you were trapped there.

And you realize the further distant the Wretched Box of Self-Loathing is and the more open you become the happier and happier you are.

For surely, man was not meant to live trapped in deception.

I'm not, however, talking about you, dear homosexual. I’m talking about that other person. The one you put there. The one you shoved in the Closet.

As it turns out, the major principle of homosexuality that you may be overlooking is actually this: No One Man Leaves Unless Another Takes His Place.

Think of the first person you ever told. Let me guess. You swore them to secrecy, didn’t you? Are they still locked in? Are they still in the closet unable to leave because you still hold the key?

Have you become their jailer?

*You can read more about the concepts of "covering" and "passing" in this post.


good tune

29 August 2007


and the Great Purge of ‘07

It’s been far too long since anyone has attempted a purge.

Previous attempts were (let’s face it) feeble, at best. One attempt was a shame-on-you attack that sought to get the Undesirables to leave on their own. The second attempt was an appeal-to-elitism attack that sought create a divide between the Undesirables and the Regular Folk.

Yawn-inducing, I know. The latest purge attempt, however, is much more interesting.

In the evening of August 20th, Crow stated, “I personally am beginning to think these blogs are a dangerous thing because I think a lot of false doctrine is being mingled with scripture and being passed off as the gospel.“

And what does one do with dangerous things? Ban them, of course.

Earlier that day Crow opined, “The only thing that really concerns me is that this. This and other blogs are linked to a site that is supposed to be faith promoting and provide solid gospel advice and support to those of us who struggle.”

The site Crow is referring to is Northern Lights. There are, of course, many unique individuals linked to the official blog of North Star.* Some are gay women in straight marriages, some are gay men who wear women’s jeans and wax their eyebrows, and all are in a different place in regards to their testimony and understanding of church doctrine.

So is it possible that Crow is merely offering a critique of blogs he views as less than faithful? Could he simply be suggesting that we should choose who’s advice we take a little more carefully? Perhaps some blogs are just less of a valuable resource than others.


For Crow, it‘s all or nothing, “I believe that things are black and white, good or evil. Either they glorify and uplift or the bring down and destroy.” He continues, “Yes there is a gap in the middle and various hues of gray… I think its in the gray that Satan dwells.” (emphasis mine)

We certainly can’t allow Satanic blogs to be linked to Northern Lights, now can we?

*Is everyone aware that North Star is a Gay Rodeo association? Also, Northstar is a gay superhero currently in a relationship with Colossus.


good tune

22 August 2007


you can read about these and many more words at m-w.com


Function: noun

1 a : a race or contest in which an artificial advantage is given or disadvantage imposed on a contestant to equalize chances of winning b : an advantage given or disadvantage imposed usually in the form of points, strokes, weight to be carried, or distance from the target or goal
2 a : a disadvantage that makes achievement unusually difficult b sometimes offensive : a physical disability


Function: transitive verb

1 : to make ineffective or powerless : CRIPPLE
2 : to cripple by cutting the leg tendons


I submit for your consideration: a gay Mormon male isn’t handicapped. For to believe homosexuality to be a “disadvantage that makes achievement unusually difficult” is to believe that God sent me to Earth with a disadvantage that blocks life’s supreme achievement; such being marriage for all eternity.

Rather, I submit that gay Mormons are hamstrung; having been severed from their basic God-given needs for intimate companionship. Needs that could easily be obtained for there is no physical disability to prevent such happiness and contentment.

*This post was inspired by Neal.* Thank you, Neal. I’ve been kicking this post around in my head for a while now.


good tune

15 August 2007

Me Ubico

curious about bisexuality is not the same as bi-curious

I wonder about the idea "there are no true bisexuals." I have seen this occasionally in my studies of homosexuality.* Sexuality, like everything humans experience, exists on a sliding scale. No man is purely Libertarian; no two green crayons exactly alike.

Any man can be rest anywhere between the poles of masculine and feminine or promiscuous and celibate. Even biological distinctions such as male and female can vary in very obvious ways.

The same is true of sexual attraction. Some like females more than males and some like both.

Someone out there might want to know where I place on the Kinsey Scale. So would I.

Over the years the Kinsey Scale has evolved into a sort of self-applied metric for sexual attraction. Some use it to describe behavior or mannerisms. Others use it as the author intended: to establish the ratio of gay:straight sexual encounters. Most prefer to use the Kinsey Scale to describe how attracted one is to other men and/or women.

I'll use the more popular version of the Kinsey Scale and place myself on the continuum. "Zero" meaning “only attracted to females” and "Six" meaning "only attracted to males.” I'll justify my placement with my personal feelings and attractions. So here it goes:

I am a Six.

(Unless Seven has become available.)

*Dr. Ruth believes this. I like to think of Dr. Ruth as the mother with the world's most embarrassed children.


good tune

08 August 2007

You’re Win

calling all married folks. come in, married folks.

Over at Northern lights, FoxyJ confessed the astounding fact that she has never seen her husband pee. This is a result of a rule established early in the relationship that made the bathroom an “off-limits” area.

For her part, FoxyJ doesn’t believe not seeing her husband pee has not been a detriment to their marriage.

My question: How could this be a detriment to the their marriage or anyone else’s marriage?

This I understand: Seeing each other pee is a common marriage event caused by two people who share everything including a single bathroom.

This I don’t understand: Not seeing one’s spouse pee sometimes damages a relationship.

How can this situation damage a relationship? What kind of damage can this cause?*

If any of you know the answers (especially you married types) please feel free to comment below.

*Also, how many of you out there have rules about stuff like this?


good tune

02 August 2007

The Oaks-Wickman Statement of 1976

part one

PUBLIC AFFAIRS: At the outset, can you explain why this whole issue of blacks and the priesthood is important to the Church?

ELDER OAKS: This is much bigger than just a question of whether or not society should be more tolerant of blacks. Over past years we have seen unrelenting pressure from advocates of the negroes to accept them as normal and to characterize those who disagree as narrow-minded, bigoted and unreasonable. Such advocates are quick to demand freedom of speech and thought for themselves, but equally quick to criticize those with a different view and, if possible, to silence them by applying labels like “racist.” In at least one country where negro activists have won major concessions, we have even seen a church pastor threatened with prison for preaching from the pulpit that homosexual behavior is sinful. Given these trends, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints must take a stand on doctrine and principle. This is more than a social issue — ultimately it may be a test of our most basic religious freedoms to teach what we know our Father in Heaven wants us to teach.


PUBLIC AFFAIRS: So you are saying that the desire to be treated equally is controllable?

ELDER WICKMAN: One of the great sophistries of our age, I think, is that merely because one has been born to a certain bloodline, that therefore the inclination to want what white members have is inevitable. That’s contrary to our very nature as the Lord has revealed to us. We do have the power to control our whining.


PUBLIC AFFAIRS: If we were to look back at someone who was born black, and we were to look at their parents who might have been born black, some might identify a genetic influence in that.

ELDER OAKS: No, we do not accept the fact that conditions that prevent people from attaining their eternal destiny were born into them without any ability to control. That is contrary to the Plan of Salvation, and it is contrary to the justice and mercy of God. It’s contrary to the whole teaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which expresses the truth that by or through the power and mercy of Jesus Christ we will have the strength to do all things. That includes resisting temptation. That includes dealing with things that we’re born with, including disfigurements, or mental or physical incapacities. None of these stand in the way of our attaining our eternal destiny.


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26 July 2007

Maketh Me Sick

it may help in life to pause at any time, take a deep breath, and think of adowabol kitties before moving back to reality

The Church has released a new pamphlet about it’s gay members and everyone seems to be positively aflutter with positive energy! I, like most of “us,” appreciate the Church taking time to focus on one of “our” prime issues in life but I’m going to play Bad Cop: this is a bad pamphlet.*

First they say, "Same-gender attractions include deep emotional, social, and physical feelings," which is a huge acknowledgement. Really, it’s a huge statement and entirely true. It’s almost like saying, "There are no known differences between mixed and matching-orientation relationships." Almost.

Then they say, "...many Latter-day Saints, through individual effort, the exercise of faith, and reliance upon the enabling power of the Atonement, overcome same-gender attraction in mortality, others may not be free of this challenge in this life."

That's total BS.

Assuming one person somewhere was made straight by the atonement, and that's a huge assumption, that one person would be statistically irrelevant!

The idea that the Atonement of Christ, Christianity’s defining moment, the pain that drew blood from the pores of the Savior, has cured and will cure "many Latter-day Saints" only serves to deeply wound the thousands upon thousands of people who have tried to change their orientation!

This next one is the Big One. The statement that gets me really riled up:

"You are best served by concentrating on the things you can presently understand and control, not wasting energy or enlarging frustration by worrying about that which God has not yet fully revealed."

Well, dangit, I'm not in charge of receiving revelation for the whole church, am I?!?

The faithful, gay members are leaving the church in droves and those who stay all to often kill themselves. Is this what God wants? Could God possibly want this?

Isn’t it time to ask God the really hard questions, GAs? The questions you may get answers to you may not want to hear. Remember, these questions aren't hard for God.

What the prophet asks the prophet gets answered. Actually, what the prophet asks for he prophet gets.

Nephi sealed the Heavens.
Brother Joseph got the manuscript.
And Brother Kimball got the ban on blacks with the priesthood lifted.

Anything but more of this, "Sorry, we don't know" stuff.

*And so we’re clear, this isn’t a matter of “not going far enough.” No, no. The Church isn’t making any strides at all. It’s the same old “Sorry, we can’t help you. Try to trudge along with the rest of the congregation” with a little less “Hit fags. After all, Somebody had to do it.”


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19 July 2007

Steps Four, Five, and Six: Well I Guess You Just Don’t Give a

and yes, I have been listening to a lot of goldfinger lately

Step One: pretend you're straight.

Step Two: ask a priesthood authority if there is more to a relationship than the physical.

Step Three: sheepishly admit you already know there is.

Step Four: clarify the question by asking, "How much more is there to a relationship. Beyond the physical, how much is really there?"

As it turns out there is more. Much more. Tons more. Decades upon decades more.

It turns out a real relationship is more than a perpetual infatuation. True love endures when the desire for sex fades. Relationships are about eternal friendships/partnerships that share everything, strengthen one another, and are a critical part of the life of every child of god.

I wonder if his response would have been different if I had clarified I was really asking about a gay relationship. But a relationship’s a relationship, right? Companionship is instinctual, isn’t it? I mean, regardless of who we’re after what we need doesn’t change, does it? I bet the Bishop would have agreed with me.*

How could he possibly not?

*The Bishop has been pestering me to start dating for a while. I bet he'll be happy to hear if I start.


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13 July 2007


I once worked in an open pit copper mine. Over the years the mine had been dug down one mile below the Arizona desert. It was really hot down there.
It was during my stint in that copper mine I developed my fear of Evil Mine Trucks. That’s me standing near one of the tires.
One of the gay stereotypes that I fit is my love of techno music. I have nearly 1400 techno tracks on my PC. Don’t try to cover me in glitter or expect to see me swinging glow sticks anytime soon.
I marched with a trumpet in a High School marching band that would put some DCI corps to shame. Blue Devils, I’m looking at you…
At one point just before my mission I knew every word to every song in Les Mis. To this day I’ve never seen the show.
When I was 11-years-old I began closely identifying with Alladin from the Disney musical. “His life was my life,” I thought. Today I have no idea why I thought that. I can’t imagine a single parallel in our lives.
I have never been hugged by Hug-Master Gimple. Nor have I ever seen him hug anyone…
I once threatened my little brother with a BB gun because he was swinging a fishing lure too close to me. When he didn’t stop I shot him in the leg.*
*This story is not true but I told it once at a “get to know your ward mixer” and it got a huge round of applause. Weird.

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05 July 2007

Very Romantic Romance

another week finds me going back out on vacation so please enjoy seanbaby's reviews of 100% real books that actually exist


How To Be The Almost Perfect Husband*
*By Wives Who Know Women’s Advice on Pleasing Your Wife

This book, which I’ll call HTBTAPH*BWWKWAOPYW for short, is a compilation of advice taken from a thousand wives who were asked, “If you could tell someone how to be the almost perfect husband, what would you tell them?” In a perfect world, this would lead to a very usable list of things women want. However, in the world we live in, it’s one-hundred pages of jaded housewives complaining about the pigs they have to clean up after.

Sample Advice:

Alyson, a 68-year-old wife says, “Please! Put your teeth in your mouth before you kiss me. I’d rather be bitten than gummed!”

Why is Alyson wasting her time giving tips for this crappy compilation book? This is a woman who gets to remind her husband not to rub his toothless mummy gums against her; she could write an entire series of books on perfecting a marriage!

Realism: 9/10
With tips like, “When I’m talking to you, don’t point the TV remote and click it at me!”, you’re probably following most of this advice already. And if you’re not, there’s a good chance you don’t care.

Emasculation: 4/10
You can still feel like a man without scowling at meatloaf and clicking the TV remote at your nagging wife. However, the book still got an Emasculation rating of four because of the advice given by 47-year-old Sally. When I read, “Tell her you love her three times a day. ‘I love you’ is like mayonnaise. It has a very short shelf life,” it was so fruity that it turned my penis inside out.


You can read the rest of the article here.

27 June 2007

Complete Idiots

i'm on vacation this week so here's a little treat from the intertube's foremost humorist, seanbaby


The Complete Idiot's Guide to Being Vegetarian

Vegetarianism has baffled people for many years. Underwear labels and their singing, dancing fruit have all but destroyed the line we were once able to draw between vegetable and animal. To save you $20, 352 pages and a trip to the bookstore, idiots looking to become vegetarians can read the following sentence, after this one. In general, the key to being a vegetarian is this: If your food would at one point have tried to eat you and you are not fertilizer, send it back.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Enhancing Self-Esteem

I understand and acknowledge that the term ''Complete Idiot'' in the titles of these books might be a cute nickname for people who only suffer from partial idiocy, but when a person is trying to improve their self-esteem with a book, the last thing they need is to get called names every single time they do it. That's like throwing a raging kegger for recovering alcoholics or printing fitness tips on a hot dog. If keeping the ''Complete Idiot'' brand name in the title was so important to the author, it should have been called ''Enhancing Self-Esteem for the Complete Idiot Who May Also Have Interesting Hobbies and Pleasant Breath.''


You can catch the rest of the article here.

22 June 2007

Begging Your Pardon

"Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself." -Og Mandino

Oh, for Pete’s sake, it’s a hug.

Pardon my incredulity but it’s a hug.

Excuse my Utah-ness... it’s a FETCHIN' HUG.

Has the world gone mad?

Time to face facts, guys. We are men. As such we are obligated to fulfill our very understandable, very simple, very human needs. And friendship is one of them.

It may even be primary among them. Okay, perhaps secondary to procreating but easily ranking above self-preservation. Friendship, companionship, and community are what we base everything in our world on.

Some among you might be uncomfortable with physical contact; hugging, in particular, might be unwanted. Fine, ask not to be hugged or do the missionary thing.*

Some of you might be uncomfortable risking others discomfort. Does the guy at the mall handing out sesame chicken samples worry if someone somewhere might be offended by being offered meat? Or sesame seeds?

Some among you may fear what a hug might lead to. It’s easy to imagine every great romance in history started with a hug. But I’ll guarantee a lot of other stuff happened between the hug and sex phases of the relationship.

And if anyone out there thinks they’re so uncontrollably attractive we’re going to spontaneously embarrass ourselves should we ever shake hands...

Get over yourself. :P

*Throw your hand out for a handshake quickly and firmly. Stay determined to convert the hug. Sister Johansen is really happy the discussion went well. Too happy.


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15 June 2007

This Ain't a Scene

it's a gosh darn arms race

Lady Co-worker: Could you believe that guy? He would just leer at every women who walked by.

Playasinmar: All guys do that.

Lady: Not my husband!

Playa: Sure he does. You just trained him to hide it.

Lady: Men are perverts.

Playa: No they aren’t.* Men are men. That’s one of the things men do.

Lady: You don’t do that.

Playa: Yes, well [ahem] I’m well-mannered.

*Well, maybe they are. Maybe. :)


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07 June 2007

We Are Sam. Sam We Are.

because the ones who think they’re beyond reproach are, in fact, funniest

[knock, knock]

Who’s there?


Immune, who?

Immune from being considered funny. For we have heaped upon ourselves the trials and tribulations of our people. For we are one voice and one mind. For we are many. For we are Legion.

And as much as one of us have suffered; each of us have suffered. And in as much as one of us has been scorned; each of us has been scorned. And we are to be feared when we have been scorned.*

And, in all honesty, we had no idea the pillow fight was in slow motion. We think the editors might have put that together using special effects or a special camera. Point is, we think it was done after the fact.

Um…, no. Thank you. :)

*Please, please read this article.


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31 May 2007

Why You Need to Die

inspired by “Give Me Something to Sing About”

"For if Men are to be precluded from offering their Sentiments on a matter, which may involve the most serious and alarming consequences, that can invite the consideration of Mankind, reason is of no use to us; the freedom of Speech may be taken away, and, dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep, to the Slaughter." -George Washington

Speaking of the slaughter, I was wondering about three recent posts about suicide.

Over at Northern Lights, Tito posted parts of an interview with J. R. Holland dealing with homosexuality and the church. In it the apostle says he understands that homosexuals have a harder time in the church,

"…for anyone in whatever gay or lesbian inclination may exist, … the marriage I have and the marriage I've seen my children have and I pray for my grandchildren to have, they say, "For me it's an experience I'll never have." And true to the Holland tradition, I burst into tears, and I say, "Hope on, and wait and let me walk with you, and we'll be faithful, be clean, and we'll get to the end of this."

It’s interesting to see how much the church has changed over the years. We aren't selfish reprobates* condemned to hell anymore. We are, in fact, beloved sons and daughters of God and condemned to life. If we somehow desire to be happy we just need only await "the end of this."

I've heard there's a difference between setting out some tinder and sparking at it with a steel and flint and dousing a pile of logs with gasoline and throwing a grenade at it. It's good advice.

Yet, I can't think of another way to express my disdain for the idea that we don't get to be happy here. If we can't be happy then why are we here? What's our purpose?

We have nothing to fight for. We have no Meaning of Life. No cause to endure to the end for. None has been given us and none seems forthcoming.

But I’m not so sure death is the answer. So I’ll stick around and encourage the rest of you to do likewise. We’ll figure it out because we have to. We’re the one’s this matters most for.

*but don't hold you breath waiting to be called to lead the Boy Scouts.


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23 May 2007

When Maquis Met Sacher

they would have made a cute couple but what gifts do you bring to their baby shower?

Every so often someone of the Mormon persuasion wonders why those who question the faith choose to remain in it. The mere act of “questioning faith” is seen as an inherent division between Mormons and everyone else. Those who question are seen to be disobeying the laws and failing to listen to what God’s men are saying.

But what happens when the Men of God say something that isn’t true? What happens if they something untrue over and over again? Let’s also suppose that this untruth is about you.

I’m not the only Moho to have been accused of being selfish, afraid of men, confused about my gender, and a sinner by nature. Blanket statements viewed as gospel by the church at large because the faithful are largely afraid to challenge any notion whatsoever.*

I question, I complain, and I confront. Through it all, I maintain my faith in The One True Church. I proclaim these truths to be self-evident, God loves His children today as much as He did in ancient times when He sent His prophets to lead the saints away from the false and foolish things of the world. He sent us to Earth to prove our valor and build our eternal families; the most precious of all things. He protects us, teaches us, guides us, and to this end, has returned the prophets to us.

What is it that keeps homosexuals like myself in a faith I know to be true but returns my devotion with fear, misunderstanding, and hatred? Some have suggested the answer is masochism, the pleasure (or gratification) of having pain or suffering inflicted upon myself.

It’s a difficult notion to dispel. Certainly, the church is the most real and beautiful thing in my life. It’s also true that the church is the source of my life’s greatest sadness, self-doubt, and pain.

I don’t believe it’s a masochistic desire that binds me to the church. I remain because of my desire to be a part of a marvelous work and a wonder even if there is pain attached. Besides, on a larger scale, pain is just a part of life. We seek to minimize pain but it remains our constant companion. Why should I expect the church to be different than everything else in this world?

I’ll conclude by stating that if it is, in fact, a masochistic desire that binds homosexuals to the church then I would like to point out that every abusive relationship has someone who dishes out the pain. You can fault the victim for always coming back for more but that doesn’t excuse a sadist who selects a group to paint as foolishly short-sighted, society’s enemy, and a danger to the children. An aggressor who then, like any good sadist, congradulates himself for getting the abused to keep coming back. Wielding promises of salvation and brandishing threats of hell, he seeks to prove his compassion by sheer force of love.

But that’s only if you believe in I’m a masochist.

*Untruths, every one. And just because one of those descriptors might apply to somebody, somewhere doesn’t make the idea behind them any less ridiculous.


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16 May 2007

2 Categorize and 2 Conquer

her skin, white as the cleanest snow, eyes closed in tranquillity

For the most part, there are two types of posts in the Bloggernacle. First, there are sad posts by sad people being sad. Comments for these posts are usually members of the community patting each other on the back and sending e-hugs.

These posts can be seen as generally constructive because the emotions expressed would probably remain destructively hidden without a blog to turn to. Everyone needs to let off some emotional steam once in a while.
What to Look for: emoticons, e-hugs, run-on sentences

The other common post features Mormons angry with Mormons because they aren't Mormon enough or aren't making Mormon-ish decisions.* Comments for these posts are usually loud proclamations of the blogger's genius or stupidity. The term "stupidity" is never actually used. The offended party will lash out by loudly playing the victim. This sets pity against the insensitive barbarian who caused such harm.

These posts can be seen as generally seen as constructive because, as homosexual Mormons, we must keep our skill for being wounded by the ignorance of society razor-sharp. You never know when it might come in handy.
What to Look for: z-snapping, abuse of caps lock, run-on sentences

*Other posts you might find are poetry, conversation transcripts, and Max flirting with me.


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09 May 2007

By the Numbers

it's three I hate but it's one I dread the most

At first, we can't see any good time, place, or reason to come out of the closet. We can only see the act as a violent upheaval of what we appreciate to be the status quo. Eventually we all do tell those we love most but why? What makes us hesitate and what makes us finally tell and risk our stability?

I propose that fear is the great motivator for both. Fear hides our secret. Fear leads us to forge false identities. Fear binds us in silence.

Even here in the anonymous-as-you-like blogosphere we hide. We are unwilling to use names. Unwilling to post pictures. Unwilling to expose our secret to the light.

Paradoxically it is fear that ultimately forces us from the terrible closet. Fear of being exposed. Fear of what we become while trapped in there. Fear of what we think about doing to ourselves.

Exposure is what I have always feared the most. I feared being found out every day I kept my secret until I was twenty-four. I was afraid of each thing I listed prior. Coming out defeated nearly every fear I held dear... except for one: Fear of the Dread Three Questions.

Dread Question 1 is the arrogant one: "Should we have recognized the signs?"

Yes, you should have. You should have known when I dropped out of coach pitch I was gay. You should have known that when I didn't like football by Jr. High I was gay. You should have known that when I refused to go to my Senior Prom because I was saving for my mission I was a raving queen.

Dread Question 2 is the ignorant one: "Are you sexually active?/Do you have an STD?"

I just would rather never, ever answer this question. Ever.

Dread Question 3 is the big one: "Are you attracted to me?"

Honestly, after all this time I'm not sure if it would be worse if I was asked this by a male or a female. If a girl asked it would probably be because she believed I was a romantic interest. Saying "no" would hurt her feelings and "yes" would only be a lie.

If a guy asked (and each of my closest friends are male) I would have to answer "no." I think on some level no guy, however straight, wants to hear they are unattractive but by no means do they want their attractiveness confirmed by me!*

If you have a Dread Question I missed or a funny/mortifying story about one of these three let me know and I'll compile them in a future post.

*Fortunately, and I swear this is true, none of my closest friends (the ones I've known and lived with for years and years) are attractive. Honesty is the best policy.


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03 May 2007

Due North

like any organization worth it's salt, it makes slugs uncomfortable

Out of nowhere, -L- has blindsided us with an incredible new endeavor. A special blog "...where we and our readers can openly explore and discuss topics and issues of interest to the LDS community—and particularly as they relate to homosexuality and the Church—in an edifying and uplifting manner and within the framework of commitment to the beliefs and ideals of the Church."

At first it seemed like an exclusive members-only country club surrounded by straight lawn jockeys. This may have been my impression since I wasn't initially invited to participate. All drama aside*, the blog is a stroke of genius and everyone involved with it's development deserves to be commended. Imagine: a resource focused on homosexuality and the Mormon viewpoint anchored to a blog community with a well-written "be nice" policy!

It has some mountains to climb to gain the legitimacy that will give it the attention it needs to fulfill it's mission. To bad that legitimacy can only be granted by the larger, straight, Bloggernacle community. You know the type, worried that Barq's might change it's Utah recipie to re-include caffiene, worries that someone, somewhere might have seen 300, and knows it's not okay to accept gays because doing so promotes the (mythical) "Gay Lifestyle."

I'm ok with Northern Lights. I'm glad to be a part of it. I'm tired, to be brutally honest, of the gays who only talk about the trial of living all the principles of the gospel and who speak endlessly of keeping the covenants they've made. They seek to make it true by vain repitition and can't stop shouting it to everyone loud enough and often enough that they can finally convince themselves they are "true to what matters most."

I didn't choose to be gay either but I am one who has chosen to be faithful to what God made me, to keep the covenants I've made, and to try to be an example to the younger guys out there that you can actually be happy, be active in the Church, have the feelings all mortal men have, and be happy - all at the same time!

*It's worth reading the comments to see how many times I can get offended in a mere two hours!


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30 April 2007

The Fab Five

yes, that fab five

Master Fob has politely demanded I pay tribute to the demons of chain blogging. Here goes nothing...

1. Where is this beach without sea you speak of?

It’s gosh darn megafreakin’ Arizona, baby.*

2. Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?

Yes. Michael Keaton cut in, if you believe. There were other mildly ironic details but I forget.

3. If you could choose only one book to take with you to a deserted island, why not take food instead? Or a boat?

Apples don’t have teeth.

4. What is your favorite sin and why are you telling the blogosphere instead of your ecclesiastical leader of choice?

I torture neighborhood children by giving them free PSPs and forcing them to play it’s… “games.” (This is the “massive damage” Ken was talking about.)

5. Brady Bunch vs. the Partridge Family. Which side are you on? Even if the other side has knives?

I have always wanted to see the Partridge’s dog rip out Greg Brady’s throat. I’ll join whichever side that makes that the outcome.

I’m supposed to pass five questions to someone else. Volunteers can contact me the usual ways.

*It may also be some kind of metaphor.


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23 April 2007

It's a Secret to Everybody

autobiographical posts 'r' us

In a recent conversation with my mother I mentioned, "I am secretly controversial." The statement was meant to be another seed for the forest that I hope will grow up and tell her I'm gay so I don't have too.

I got a very different reaction than expected, "Oh, you do like to stir the pot!"

That was hardly news to me* but it was something I've said about myself only recently. Lately, I've had to explain my behavior to many new people at once. One after another many of you have called me out on my approach to handling blog posts and I've honestly enjoyed the opportunity.

I realize I have a strong personality. Both my humor (often sarcastic) and my debate style (often confrontational) are things I've always known about. I even consciously tone myself down around new friends so they can have a chance to "build a resistance" to me.

So maybe it was just jarring to hear my mother use that phrase. It made me think the forest I planted over the years had a game trail that lead right to my blog. It was only for a moment, and honestly it was a pretty silly thought, but for a second it was scary!

It didn't help that she followed that with the statement, "I've always known about you."


It turns out she merely remembered details of a personality test I forgot I had taken a few years back. After she hung up I got out the test results and found a few things I didn't remember reading.

-"Since your major quest in life is to constantly take in knowledge and turn that into something useful, you will try to turn everything into a learning experience. "

-"Your enthusiasm for verbal debates can make you appear argumentative."

-"Tendency to be critical of opinions and attitudes which don't match your own. "

So are moms perceptive or do they just do their homework?

*or Drex, or -L-, or Scot, or Hurricane Chris, etc.


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16 April 2007

Knowledge, Wisdom, Full Times

"Integrity has no need of rules." -Albert Camus

We don't know everything about the Plan of Salvation nor do we fully understand God's designs for mankind beyond the general "might find joy."

Each dispensation has had it's rules, leaders, cultures, laws, and enemies. No two were ever the same. From Adam VS Egypt to Helamon VS the Soviet Empire each has had different challenges to face and each has handled them accordingly. To find a common thread connecting these many peoples you don't have to look far. Love thy neighbor, thou shalt not kill, chastity; the Laws of God are clear, eternal, and unavoidable.

Rules and errata are left to the people. I have no idea how important it was to only walk a few steps on the Sabbath but that was the rule for an entire civilization. That rule got changed (voided, really) but not until the start of the following dispensation. Obedience to the rule was, in fact, a condition of continuing in God's good graces.*

Or was it? Could a man of a previous dispensation have doubted the rules and sought out the higher laws? What would that man be in the eyes of his contemporaries? A heathen, a heretic, a Samaritan?

Even now, in the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times, we haven't learned everything. Until such knowledge is gained the modern Church works policy based off the best understanding available. This knowledge comes from sources both temporal and divine. It can be painful to witness and even worse to bear.

Just ask Jane Elizabeth Manning James.

She was an early pioneer of the church. Black and female she served the Smith family after her baptism in 1842. Following the death of Joseph she was taken in as a servant by Brigham Young. In the years preceding her death she petitioned church leaders to allow her to be sealed to the Smith family claiming she was asked to by Emma to do so prior to the events at Carthage.

Early in 1894 she received word that her petition would be granted. Arriving at the temple she was informed that she would not be allowed entry but would instead be sealed, by proxy, to "be attached as a Servitor for eternity to the prophet Joseph Smith and in this capacity be connected with his family and be obedient to him in all things in the Lord as a faithful Servitor."

This is the only known occurrence of a sealing between master and servant. That was what the rules called for but was that what God really wanted? Was that really ever in the rules?

It took nearly a century for the church to figure out the problems with that and it may take another hundred to figure us out.

That's fine. The church can move at it's own pace. I'm not going to agonize as to why it hasn't happened yet. I don't know why President Hinckley answers questions about homosexuality with, "I don't know." He'll ask eventually. If not then a future prophet will.

*Regardless of the motive and regardless of who wrote the rule.


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