February 19, 2010


Whats done is done. I am officially disfellowshiped. While I don't care to go over details or a play by play of the meeting (mainly because I am tired of telling the story and also I feel its a personal matter), I do want to express my current feelings about it.

Honestly, and truly, I feel nothing. I feel as if nothing else has changed. Probably because I have been so far removed from the spirit anyways for so long. But I don't feel horrible. I don't feel great anguish. I feel indifferent.

After the word "disfellowshiped" crossed my Bishop's lips, my first thought was, "Is this even worth it?" My second thought was, "How can I even think that." However, that was the feeling I continued to feel for the following couple of days.

I don't want to speed repent, because I want to either change, or change. Change 1- Truly repent, and gain the spirit so that I can fight these unwanted feelings. Change 2- Forget all that I know and believe and go find myself a man. Right now even, two weeks after the discipline council, I want neither 1 or 2. I want... 3? The only problem is I don't know what 3 is, but I want it!

I haven't told my pops yet about the outcome of the meeting, even though he knew it was happening. I haven't told my BFF what happened, but she knows I wont be able to be physically present at her sealing (which is killing me inside). Soon, however, my whole family will find out, when my brother and his wife are sealed to their adopted baby girl, and everyone in the family goes inside, and I have to stay outside. (Not sure how I'm going to handle that situation. Either tell everyone the truth about me, or just say I don't wanna talk about it).

Sorry... back to the topic.

I am still straddling the line. I go to church, say my prayers and read my scriptures, but I have no desire to put in any true effort. I look at guys, flirt with them, and search for a boy friend, but I have no desire to leave the church, or get into a long term relationship. I want something in-between, which I know does not exist. My choices consist of 1 or 2, but I want 3.


A New Life - Jekyll and Hyde Broadway

What I wouldn't give
To have a new life!
One thing I have learned
As I go through life:
Nothing is for free
Along the way!

A new start -
That's the thing I need,
To give me new heart -
Half a chance in life
To find a new part,
Just a simple role
That I can play.

A new hope -
Something to convince me
To renew hope!
A new day,
Bright enough
To help me find my way!

A new chance -
One that maybe has
A touch of romance.
Where can it be,
The chance for me?

A new dream -
I have one I know
That very few dream!
I would like to see
That overdue dream -
Even though
It never may come true!

A new love -
Though I know there's no
Such thing as true love -
Even so,
Although I never knew love,
Still I feel that
One dream is my due!

A new world -
This one thing I want
To ask of you, world -
Once! - Before it's time
To say adieu, world!
One sweet chance to
Prove the cynics wrong!

A new life -
More and more, I'm sure,
As I go through life,
Just to play the game -,
And to pursue life -
Just to share its pleasures,
And belong! -
That's what I've been here for,
All along!
Each day's
A brand new life!


  1. The punitive discipline system of the Church is one of my bigger beefs with it. Instead of helping the people who want to come back and who want to move on, it slows their progress and makes it harder. It's also a form of manipulation and control. When I announced my engagement on facebook, I had one friend try to put me through a disciplinary council, as if I was a child that needed discipline. I think the Church needs to make it easier for those who want to leave to leave, and easier for those who want to stay to stay.

  2. Quinn, Iam glad you have comments enabled so I can let you know that I am here for you. I don't know how well this will be recieved, but I think there is an option three and it is what I am living. It's not for everyone at all, but it is an option you should consider.

    I am a faithful member of my ward. My bishop and now most people in the ward know about my homosexuality. I have a calling as a Hometeaching District Leader and try to get 100% hometeaching every month. I go to church each week and am respectful and contribute my somewhat liberal mormon views.
    At the same time, I have a date tonight. With a guy. I have my boundaries with dating, but my overall goal is to find a man to be with, to marry, to comitt myself to. In this case I have option 1 - I feel the spirit each week, each day, each hour and option 2 - I am searching for my husband.

    I am not telling you this is what you should do, merely trying to help you find an option 3. Too often when faced with an empty-handed search for option 3 we become distraught. Know that we are here for you Quinn. I sympethize with you, I empethize with you, I cry with you. Know that I am here cheering you on.

  3. Maybe this is precisely the chance you need for "A New Life"...?

    You know? A new beginning?

    Perhaps the end of something good, but the start of something better?

  4. Sometimes I look back and the most important changes I've made in my life are "Choice 3" decisions.

    Anyways, whatever happens with the Church, I'd worry more about your relationship with God, since often I am not sure God and the Church are the same thing.

  5. I agree with all three comments above. The Church "discipline" system structure unavoidably produces widely varying and inconsistent results, which makes it difficult to defend if there are supposed to be consistent standards for everyone. Also, the Church has realized in recent years (I believe they even commissioned a study on it) that most people who go through the process feel punished and driven out, and they don't return. This is not what the Church wants and there has been a noticeable softening of the "penalties" over the last couple of decades. People used to be ex'd just for admitting they were gay. Now it's quite different. And while that's welcome, again, it inevitably calls into question the integrity of the whole process and its standards. And, IMHO, its credibility and reason for existence at all.

    Your post suggests that you're in the initial stage of reaction so I'd say go easy on yourself for a while. You can't change this, and if was wrong then the bishop will have to answer for it. Meanwhile just keep going on as you have, give yourself time to calm down and adjust. No decision taken in haste is ever wise. It'll probably take you some time to figure out really where you want to go from here. Be patient with yourself and take comfort in the fact that there are helping hands ready to support and comfort you.

    More than once in my own life, something I thought was a huge disaster turned out to be a door opening to greater blessings than I could have imagined. God's love and care for you haven't changed because some bishop with limited insight chose to do what he did here. You are as valuable and as loved as ever. Hang on and you'll get through this.

  6. To all-
    Thank you. I know with most of you I have disagreed with in the past, but I appreciate your kindness. It speaks a lot about the people you are.

    I do agree, and I told my bishop this, that I don't feel like I can grow and improve when I am not allowed to participate in church. He discussed this with me, and explained that I am not worthy to do some things; to use my priesthood, give talks, etc.

    I can't deny the love I felt from the bishopric after the council though.

    To boil down what I was trying to say... I see the need for the extreme punishment in my case... I am just complaining I have to go through it.

    The past two times I had to "confess my sins" it was a very easy comeback... Which, I believe, is why I screwed up again.

    I would like to ask you some questions about how all of that works for you? That sounds exactly like what I want, I just never dreamed it possible.

    Does your bishop know your pursuing guys? What happens if you meet someone? There are more, but I'll start with those. If you want, e-mail me your answers,(E-mail is in my profile) If you don't want to answer I understand.

    I think I know what you are alluding to... but sometimes Im a little thick... care to explain?

    Right now I don't have much of a relationship with God. To be honest the past few months that I have been trying to "do it on my own" I have digressed. I feel, for me, I need the church to help build my relationship with God. I do, however, need to remember its with God and not with the church institution, but I feel the church institution is the best way to help build that relationship.

    I agree I need to be easy on myself and take my time. However, I am 23 and I'm getting old quick so if I want too, I need to find a guy now.... lol.

    All joking aside, I guess Im just tired of the in-between, which has been going on for many years, but more strongly for the last 2 years.

  7. This stuff is so painful. Maybe you should give yourself a break for a while. If you wanted you could take a break from church and also take a break from pursuing guys. During your "stress vacation" you could focus on other things like friends, work, school, sports, music and hobbies-- things that give you pleasure without the stress. You could do this for six months or even a year. The church will still be there at the end of that time. Guys aren't going anywhere. You'll be in a different, better place, though.

    I don't know if it would be possible for you to talk to a professional counselor. The kind of double-bind you're in is something they can sometimes help with.

    Good luck to you.

  8. Quinn--my heart aches for you. I saw 3 of these councils as a clerk. They were always loving, and I always felt their choices were correct, but it doesn't ever resolve the big "why's" about whether or not this is really a correct view of God and what he wants.

    You know, there are other great sources of spiritual guidance out there. Wayne dyer's books are all wonderful. Take a read. Wishing you the best.

  9. Hey Quinn, I know that stuff can be difficult and tricky to navigate. You've been given lots of good advice and ideas. Consider each of them and open yourself up to each of them and figure out what will bring you happiness.

  10. @Hawaii-
    I would like a break, however, my bishop told me if I stop meeting with him or stop "progressing" he will take it as a sign that further discipline needs to be taken, and that is one thing I DONT want!
    I had thought about a counselor in the past, but dont think I need or want that.

    The Why's do kill me inside. Ill check out that book.

    I will and am trying. Fear, of my family's reactions, keep me from doing a lot of things though.

  11. So you have a "contingent" or "conditional" disfellowshipment that could be "upgraded" if you don't toe the line? Wow. That sends me right back to Dan's first comment at the top of this thread.

  12. My choice 3 is pretty similar to David Baker's...I go to church most Sundays, take what I need from it and leave the rest. I don't feel like I'm leading two lives or straddling the fence. I do feel that I have my own personal relationship with God regardless of what my status is with the church.

  13. It appears your Bishop is definitely the punitive type, using the church disciplinary system as a stick to keep you in line. The church likes to set itself up as a proxy for God, making you believe that you have to be in good standing with the church to be in good standing with God. It's not true. Unfortunately many family and friends who are church members believe that you have to be in good standing with the church to be in good standing with God, and that makes life difficult. Good luck!

  14. @Alan-
    Yes I guess it is conditional, which sucks. I feel like I wanna tell him, I wanna take my time, figure things out fully instead of just going through the motions... And that process may take time, but it doesn't mean I'm digressing.

    @Dark & Mr. Curie-
    I do, personally, believe that good standing in the church is to be in good standing with God. Its not all of the God/self relationship, but it is part of it. I know that belief complicates things, but its what I believe. I wish sometimes I didn't believe it, but I do.

  15. Quinn: Your experience illustrates Dan's point above. Sounds like your bishop is more concerned with process than people, and the fact that the current system allows such disparities of administration to exist is, IMHO, one of the reasons it's so flawed. The more I think about that the less I like the prospect of having anyone's spiritual standing determined by such a system.

    As to equating good standing with the Church as good standing with God, think of it this way.

    The Church is the formal earthly organization that asserts authority to decide who is "worthy" to administer and participate in its activities and ordinances. That's all.

    But that's not the definition of being in good standing with God. The Church is run by fallible men who are no more capable than anyone else of looking at a person's true heart, spirit, motivations, desires.

    God, however, CAN see all that, and He alone can make a completely honest assessment of your standing with Him. Remember, Joseph Smith wouldn't qualify for a temple recommend by today's rules, yet do we question his good standing with God? Personally I think only you and the voice of the Spirit to you can tell you what that standing is.

  16. Quinn, I've thought quite a bit about you the past few days. I sat on many disciplinary councils in the bishopric, as bishop, on the high council, and my own. I totally thought I was going to be excommunicated and had already purchased new underwear. I was shocked when I was disfellowshipped. It was an important year for me.

    For the first six months, I did everything with perfection, the reading, studying, praying, repenting, attending, etc. and I felt nothing, so I returned to drinking and P&M. I didn't get involved with anyone again, but otherwise just gave up for the next six months.

    When it came time to hold the council to be reinstated, my stake president pulled me out of Sunday school and we went for a drive. He asked me if I was ready to come back. I told him no. I didn't want to come back. I told him where I was with my addictions.

    He said "Steve (yes, that's my name) it really doesn't take long to regain your faith. Remember what it was like in the mission field when someone recognized truth and was touched by the spirit?" He challenged me to truly try the Lord. I decided that I needed to 'know' or leave the Church.

    I totally changed my daily schedule. I got up early and studied the gospel, not the church, but the gospel. I left work on time so I didn't look at porn or go to the bar, and went home to work out instead. King Benjamin's words always resonated with me, so I started there. At that point in my journey, I no longer believed in God, so I had a long way to go. I had to want to want to desire to desire to know. But, the moment I opened my heart ever so slowly, Father began to fill it with love and the spirit. Then I had to gain faith in Christ and his gospel. The Church was the last and hardest part. It took over a year to regain my faith the it was truly Christ's church, and was a sacred miracle to me. The difference between the six months of going through the motions and now was that I did it with faith.

    Of course, how I fit into Father's plan was intertwined with the whole process. I am finally at peace. The process was sacred and necessary for me. My faith is not the strong facade of faith it once was. It is simple. I am humbled and feel that I have truly earned the faith with which I have been blessed. I treasure my testimony now and realize how fragile and vulnerable I am, and yet how much strength I can have when I align my actions with the Savior's teachings.

    Sorry I went on so long. My heart empathizes with you. Let it become a year of self discovery and a year of discovery of the goodness and love of our Father, His Son, and His Gospel. Take things slowly and enjoy the process.

    All my best,