…the parched land shall become a pool, and the thirsty lands springs of water…(Isaiah 35:7)

Why Am I Here?

A Thoroughly Mormon Question

By Rex Goode

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It’s a common question you hear when we Mormons are trying to share our religion. For us, it is the crux of understanding our basic doctrine about life and its purpose. It’s a question I like. The other two questions that often go along with it are:

“Who Am I?”

“Where Am I Going After This Life?”

If you’re not a believer, the rest of this may not matter to you, but I am not asking the title question in the eternal sense? For me, it’s a lot closer to the here and now. The “here” I’m referring to is church, in-the-meeting, there with the congregation, church. When I’m there, why am I there?

No matter what terminology you like to use, I’m an enigma, even to myself. I’m a happily married (to a woman) gay Mormon who believes in the Church and its teachings. I don’t fit many of the standard molds of Mormon men, nor many of the molds of gay men, nor many of the molds of married (to a woman) men.

People out there who like labeled molds don’t like me. I’ve had a lot of things said about me, a lot of things said in front of me about men like me when they didn’t know one of “us” was around, and a whole lot of things said to me.

Some of those things have been said about me in the workplace. Whether it’s other members of the Church, ultra-liberal coworkers, people in the “gay community”, or other people who like to put people in shrink wrap and call it original, people can say some really ugly stuff.

I shrug it off. There will always be people with opinions about my life. No big deal, really.

I’ll admit it can be a little more difficult when it’s people at church. You go there hoping people will be kind, tolerant, and recognize that we’re all there because we’re not perfect. I have to say that the ward I’m in now has been that way. They’ve been kind, tolerant, and even respectful. If anyone holds a negative opinion of me, they don’t voice it.

In times past, however, a lot of things have been said about me and to me. Sadly, the things that have been said to me are worse than the things said about me. Well, that’s life among the imperfect.

I’ve had rumors make the full circle. Even when someone says something not intended to be unkind, you know how things change when related from person to person to person. One thing I’ve learned is that people have basically dirty minds.

So, if I’ve been through everything I’ve related here, then you might be thinking the same question I originally asked. Why am I here? Why, when I’ve experienced the full gamut of people being at their worst, am I still in church?

It’s very simple, really. I just remind myself that I go to church to worship, not be worshiped.

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2 Responses to “Why Am I Here?”

  1. Another chance said:

    Thank you for your leadership and example.

  2. Art said:

    The biggest challenge I face is to not look down my nose at people who have just looked down their noses at me. So I find your post very timely.
    Thanks Rex

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