Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hometeachers?

Aaron and I have been together for five years in August 2010.  Time really does pass quickly.  But Aaron and I have fit in so much.  We have traditions now.  Mid-2010 we'll have lived together for five years.  We've been in our same apartment close to Liberty Park the whole time.  We love it here too.

In that four years, we've been to Church together maybe 3-4 times.  Truthfully, I think we miss it.  I missed singing the Christmas hymns this season.  I don't miss Priesthood lessons however.  (Even in a student ward, they were boring.)  I also don't miss fasting as I get really cranky when I'm hungry.  We both were upset during the Prop 8 fiasco.  It felt like a slap in the face.  But we didn't get bitter.  We still love the Church.

So yesterday evening the doorbell rang.  I answered it and there was an attractive, about my age guy standing there, smiling.  He asked, "Scott?"  I figured it was either a friend of our neighbors (who are also gay) or maybe some wayward Escape member.  As it turned out, it was our newly assigned hometeacher!

I was surprised.  As I said, we've been here for over three years and never had a hometeacher come visit.  I know my records are here because I get a Christmas card from the bishopric every year.  Either my parents had them sent here, my old student ward, or the fact I have a Liahona subscription did it.  Either way, there he was.  He said that he was kind of new to the ward and he hadn't seen me there.  I told him part of the truth.  That being that I work many Sundays and haven't been there.  He invited me to come.  It was a little awkward to say the least.  I wanted to invite him in, but I had the vibe that he didn't have the time.  His wife had also made a treat which he gave to me.  He also looked up my records and they didn't have my phone number, so I gave it to him.  His partner wasn't available, but they wanted to give me a call and set up an appointment next month.  Which I welcome.  We said our goodbyes.

Now, being the analytical person I am, I started thinking about it.  I'm going to guess that he's a member of the Elder's Quorum Presidency.  First of all, they normally give less-actives (especially the ones that have never been seen) to a member of the presidency.  Second, he had that ambitious feeling.  The kind where when a person moves into your ward and they have it, you give them an ambitious calling because you know they'll magnify it. 

He seemed very nice and very genuine as well.

But I digress.  I'd like your advice.  Let me tell you what I'm not going to do.  I'm not going to be passive-aggressive and not answer his calls or not answer the door when he comes.  I had enough of those on my mission to know how frustrating they are.  My first instinct is once we've built a relationship of trust, that I will come out to him and be upfront about who I am.  I am gay.  I am inactive.  I do love the Church.  I do have a testimony.  I do like having hometeachers (if that is the case).  But I am unsure of my place in our religion.

I think the honesty will pay off.   The Holy Ghost loves honesty and will reward us for it, I think.  I guess if they're uncomfortable or disapprove then they just won't come.  But I intend on being a gracious host either way.  I they might actually like coming to our home.  Aaron and I are used to having people over.  We're funny, fun, and have a good time.  I'd even invite the hometeachers for game nights if they'd come. 

What do you think?  What have your experiences been?

10 comments:

Scott said...

I think you should absolutely be honest and open about your situation.

I don't even think that you need to wait until you've "built a relationship of trust".

Simply state, as plainly and clearly as possible and with no hint of apology, that you are gay, that you are happy in a relationship, that you are unsure of where you stand in relation to the church (despite retaining a testimony of it). Let him know that he is welcome to visit, but clearly define what you expect from those visits (e.g. if you don't want him to put any effort into "reactivating" you, say so).

If he's a good person (and not just a good Mormon) he'll accept you as you are and you'll become good friends as he continues to visit. If he can't handle the truth of the situation... well, then you don't really want him coming around every month anyway, do you?

Evan said...

First off, I find it refreshing that you have a testimony and still love the Church. As a gay member, I find that's an admirable position to be in as that is something I would like to strive for and maintain.

I think that's great that you are willing to have them over. And letting them know of your sexuality is important, too. Having spoken to a number of bishops on the subject, I find it rather disheartening that many of them have never dealt with the subject before on an ecclesiastical level. I believe we do need to make ourselves more known in order to see change come into the Church (in the sense of love and compassion towards GLBT members).

Silus Grok said...

I'm with Scott: I see no reason to wait.

"Well, Peter … I'd love to have you and your companion over. My boyfriend and I both love the Church and have testimonies. We're not sure whether we belong in the Church, but we certainly miss having the contact."

Or some such … you don't need our prompting.

I'm rooting for you — and the home teacher.

:)

Beck said...

I find your attitude refreshing and intriguing and can't wait for you to share what happens next.

I agree that you don't beat around the bushes but you take his interest as sincere and see where this contact with the church ends up going. I've been in his position before and being taken for a ride is never appreciated and your sincerity will hopefully be rewarded in kind.

Jon said...

Yeah, I say that there is no reason to wait. And I don't think you need to make a grand announcement. Just make it part of the regular flow of conversation. Like you said, you can be gracious and kind to them and then leave it up to them to decide what they will do as a result. That way, you've been true to yourself and also kind to them.

A-Dawg said...

Hi Scott. I met you over five years ago. How's life?

mightybob said...

A couple of years ago you told me you weren't ready for the church to know you're gay (at the time your family didn't know either). It seems like once your home teachers know, the bishop will know. I have zero experience with this, but are you ready for any consequences that might bring? You know the old addage - hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. To live in fear is no way to live. Are you ready?

BigRedHammer said...

Assuming the worst: The bishop could seek to excommunicate me.

Assuming the best: I could become good friends with my hometeachers. I could even change my status from inactive to semi-active.

The Worst: I am ready for this. I wouldn't hate the Church for it. I don't think I'd be bitter either. When you join a private institution, you agree to abide by its rules and the consequences for breaking those rules. If that is how they need to punish me, I can accept that. Everyone makes it out to be *horrible*. But truthfully, it's like being a member minus the responsibilities. You can't hold callings, be a hometeacher or even pray in public. But you can still go to Church, participate in the lessons and feel the Spirit. Doesn't sound half bad?

The Best: Aaron and I could feel welcomed to our ward and make an effort to attend. Of course we'd stay closeted while there. And that doesn't bother me. But if we can be friendly with our hometeachers I'd love to invite them to things and become good friends. The Spirit they'd bring would be welcome in our home.

Quiet Song said...

This is a bit late, but I've been thinking about your post a lot. . .

I hope you will have the hometeachers in your home, I hope you will attend church, and regardless of the incongruity and or ultimate church membership status, that you will come worship with your ward.

I see this as an important part of changing hearts, even if policy does not change.

DKSmall said...

Follow the spirit. I do want to correct you on something though. YOU are not gay. Gay is a part of you, a genetic trait, but not all of you. When I hear that I think, well I prefer chocolate so should I say, Hi my name is... and I am chocolate? Of course not. My point is, you are also LDS. When they are there enjoy that part of you with them. IF you feel impressed to tell them OTHER parts of you - then by all means do so. Just my two cents.