So like I promised last post, I did get to meet with Elder L. Whitney Clayton, a member of the Presidency of the Seventy. I stated off the day at the Temple doing baptisms and let me just say how much I love the temple. If I leave the church, that is the one thing that I will miss the most.
So I went into the meeting with full intention of discussing the nuances of my sexual identity and the scriptural evidence that doesn't condemn homosexuality. When I got up to his office, I had this feeling, based not on the spirit but on my brain picking up on subtle clues that I don't even know what they are fully, that I shouldn't tell him about my preference for men. So to those of you who were hoping for a discussion from him concerning homosexuality I am sorry...for now (more on that later)
I instead approached Elder Clayton with my concerns over what I should do when the Spirit prompts me one way, and the Church tells me the opposite. This is very much what I have felt like in recent weeks, where the spirit has confirmed to me my need for a loving family with children who are adopted and a husband that I can love more than myself. I am sure that this feeling comes from the very same source that my testimony in God, and the Atonement come from and that is why I am having so much difficulty with this line of questioning.
Elder Clayton had these words to tell me. He told me that the Lord would never give me a spirit that went against the words of the Brethren. That the members of the church will not be given promptings to correct the Brethren. That any feelings that I had that were contrary to the Church originate from Satan. He also told me that Satan does have the power to trick us into feeling the same spirit that the Lord sends.
This really frustrated me because I know that both my believe in God and my believe in my plan for a temporal family originate at the same source and so I am left with a large existential crisis. If I believe the words of Elder Clayton that the Lord will never tell me to go against the Brethren then one of two things must happen.
1. Assuming that my second testimony comes from Satan, then the first testimony is like unto it and comes also from Satan, which leaves me confused as to why Satan would give me a testimony about the Existence of God and so that is a large pill to swallow unless you take into account the following.
2. Satan Does have the Power to trick us into believing that his words are the Lords, and that he is able to perfectly recreate the same feelings of spirit, the very same ones, that come from the Lord. If this is true then how do I trust anything that I have been taught, or anything that I have been told others felt with the spirit, how do I know that the entire set of revelations that create the D&C are not the revelations given from Satan, how do I know that the line "The Lord will never allow His prophets to lead the people astray" isn't from Satan. If I believe this part, or any part of Elder Clayton's words, they lead me to the conclusion that God doesn't exist. I however cannot see that my testimony, the immense burning in my heart that told me God exists is simple wish-fulfilment. It might be, but once I start down that path, forever will it dominate my destiny. I can not believe that, even though it is a possibility, I can not bring myself to face that because I don't think I have the strength to continue on if I disbelieve in the existence of God. So this leaves me with the third possibility.
3. Elder Clayton is wrong and the Lord will give counsel the differs from the teachings of the Church because we each have a different mission to fulfill and until the church is perfected in Christ during His millenial reign, He will elad us to do what is right for ourselves.
This is my conclusion so far however I had the idea to talk to my Stake President, A personal spiritual giant whose oppinion I highly value. My idea was to get a blessing from him and so yesterday I sat down with him, who knows all about my past transgressions and my present inclinations, and reported on my meeting with Elder Clayton and how I felt about it and my conclusions that I came to after I left Elder Clayton's office. He had the insightful idea to continue my disscussion with Elder Clayton and himself after giving Elder Clayton full knowledge of my inclinations and So with my blessing, my Stake President is discussing the more intimate details of my life with Elder Clayton and the two of them and I are going to meet again hopefuly before the end of the month. So I look forward to posting more information about my future meetings once they happen.