Mormon from My Eyes: Dean A. Brewer
A True Believer
Words by Dean A. Brewer
[Editor’s Note: This article is written using a pen name to protect the author’s identity.]
I am gay but, more importantly, I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It may be surprising to know that I joined the LDS church well after I knew that I was gay. This is something that many people, including my closest friends, do not understand.
I was asked why I was a member of a church that supported Proposition 8 over and over. I gave the same answer each time: “Because the church is true.” I believe in the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith, and I believe a prophet continues to guide The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints today. I am still, however, a young gay man.
President Boyd K. Packer (President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles) said, in reference to those that have same-gender attraction, “We do not reject you… We cannot reject you, for you are the sons and daughters of God. We will not reject you, because we love you.” (From “Ye Are the Temple of God,” Liahona, Jan. 2001, 87; Ensign, Nov. 2000, 74.) For me personally, I know that the most important thing in my life is that I am a son, a literal son, of God and He loves me.
My reaction to the passage of Proposition 8 was one of sorrow, but I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints did NOT support it out of hate. Although I do not live in the State of California, Proposition 8 does affect me because it could set the ball in motion to pass similar laws across the United States. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” I believe Proposition 8 is a great injustice against me and all the other members of the LGBT community, but that does not change my faith in Jesus Christ or his restored church. I admit that it was a hard pill to swallow when I learned of the letter that the leadership of my church sent that read, in part, “...We ask that you do all you can to support the proposed constitutional amendment by donating of your means and time to assure that marriage in California is legally defined as being between a man and a woman."
That hurt, and it hurt a lot. Why? Because I want to be married one day to the man I love. I know that my marriage will not be in the temple, the House of the Lord, but I still want the right to get married. I am not advocating that the LDS church allow same-sex couples a temple marriage, but I believe that the church should understand that marriage is something that every human being deserves as an inalienable right. I will say that although I was outraged at the passage of Proposition 8 I was grieved to see the protesters outside the Temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To most people they are buildings, but to me and all members of the church they are truly the House of the Lord.
I grew up in a very conservative Christian (not Mormon) family in the South. I can recall the evening that the CBS Evening News aired the story about the death of Matthew Shepard. My mother responded, “That fag got what he deserved.” I was 15, just coming to terms with my sexuality, and this is what I heard from my own mother. I mourned for Matthew, and I mourned for myself because in that instant I wanted to die instead of cause my family pain and embarrassment. A few years later, on the fourth anniversary of Matthew’s death, I came out to my family. I found strength in the love of my Heavenly Father and courage in Matthew. During all of this, the Book of Mormon was always near to me, and I knew that God had great things in store for my life on this earth. I often think about my pre-mortal life with God before I came to this earth. Did I know that I was gay before I passed through the veil and was born to earthly parents? Rather than answering, I always remember 1 Nephi 11:17, “And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.”
Elder Jeffery R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints wrote, “I too affirm that God loves all His children and acknowledge that many questions, including some related to same-gender attraction, must await a future answer, perhaps in the next life.” In the same article, Elder Holland continues, “…recognize that marriage is not an all-purpose solution. Same-gender attractions run deep, and trying to force a heterosexual relationship is not likely to change them. We are all thrilled when some who struggle with these feelings are able to marry, raise children, and achieve family happiness. But other attempts have resulted in broken hearts and broken homes.” While those statements from Elder Holland do not bring comfort to everyone, they bring comfort to me. Elder Holland has recognized that gays and lesbians must not be forced into marrying a member of the opposite sex, but that answers to many questions will be made known in the next life.
As for me, I am currently single. That has not always been the case, but it has been since I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mr. Right has not entered my life, but if he does I will not only be open to the relationship but I will welcome it with open arms. I am progressive in my way of thinking, but I personally believe the Heavenly Father would not expect me to be alone for the rest of my life.
For now, I am happy to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I look forward to each visit to His holy temple.
Quotes from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland are from “Helping Those Who Struggle with Same-Gender Attraction,” Ensign, Oct 2007, 42–45.
Read the Whole Series:
Mormon from My Eyes: Denise Hamblen
Mormon from My Eyes: Bruce Bastian
Mormon from My Eyes: Jarom Rowland
Mormon from My Eyes: Ben Jarvis
Mormon from My Eyes: Steve Thomas
Mormon from My Eyes: Eliott Davidson
Mormon from My Eyes: David Baker
Mormon from My Eyes: Rob Donaldson