There is something I feel it very important to make as clear as possible, so no one misunderstands me. So no one speculates or makes unwarranted statements about something I feel should be crystal clear.
As, at the urging of the Spirit, I began in the fall of 2005 to attend the LDS Church again, I naturally began to wonder about my relationship with my partner. Week after week I was finding my testimony of the Church powerfully renewed, both intellectually and spiritually. And at a certain point, I began to realize that I could not be genuine in my relationship with God if, in light of the Church's teachings on homosexuality, I did not seek God's will as regards to my relationship with Göran.
I put off praying about this for some time, frankly, because I was afraid of the answer. I knew that if God told me it was necessary to leave my partner, I would then be faced with a terrible choice. I knew that once God's will on the subject was made clear to me, for me to resist it or put it off could only result in my estrangement from God. And I had found so much pure joy in my renewed relationship with God, the thought of this was too much for me to bear. So I frequently prayed, "Heavenly Father, please just help me, prepare me to receive the fullness of your will for me." That was all I had the strength to pray.
But time went on, and I began to realize that even this was disingenuous. And finally, one night, as I was riding my bicycle to a bread shop of all things, the weight of it became too much to bear and I cried out to God, "I cannot hold back! Everything I own, everything I am belongs to you. Please make your will known to me. I will do it. I will find some way to do it!"
To my amazement, the crystal clear answer that came to me through all my turmoil of soul was, "Do not leave your partner. Be faithful to him. Honor your relationship with him."
Believe it or not, I actually could not believe this answer was correct. Later that night, in the quiet of my bedroom, I prayed again. I asked again. And again, in a clear, quiet, unmistakable way the Spirit’s response was, "You are to honor your relationship with your partner, be true to him, and stay with him."
Still, I could not believe it. I began to wonder if there was something more I needed to understand about this. Perhaps the Spirit meant I was to love him spiritually or emotionally, even though the physical aspect of the relationship was wrong. Or perhaps the Spirit meant "honor your relationship with him for now." Or perhaps I had not heard correctly because I was deafened by my own desire, and perhaps this answer was the result of wishful thinking. I did not want a "wishful thinking" answer, because I knew (and still know) that wishful thinking has no power to save us, only power to damn us. So just as I had wrestled for three months with the Spirit's message to me to start going back to Church again, I now began to wrestle with this answer. I prayed about it frequently in the following weeks and months.
Finally I received a rebuke from the Spirit that went something like this. "I have given you your answer. Why won’t you accept it? Do not keep asking this question. It shows a lack of faith. You will lose the gift of my presence if you do not learn to just accept this." So I finally accepted it, and I accepted the full, unequivocal, unexpurgated answer. I am to love my partner, be faithful and true to him, honor him, and never leave him. Ever.
This is as clear to me spiritually as anything I can possibly know. It is as clear to me as my testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, that the Church is true and that all its leaders have been ordained by God to lead and guide it. I know all theses things. And I also know that in every fiber of my being, God’s creation in me is good. It is not a mistake. God’s creation in me is not flawed.
I have been a prodigal son. I have been angry. I have been blind. I have said and written many, many things I wish I could take back. I have misused God’s gift of sexuality to me and I have done many, many things that I now regret, that harmed me and that harmed others, and that I wish I had never done. I'm sometimes overwhelmed by the enormity of these things. I only have the atonement to heal my life and to lift those burdens, and I can only ever be inadequately grateful for that infinite gift. The only thing I can do to make up for the wrongs I have done is to bear my testimony whenever I have a chance, to try to counteract whatever I may ever have said or done that might have caused someone else to waver or lose faith.
But there is one thing I do not now, nor never can regret, and that is the love I share with my partner. There is no aspect of that relationship, emotional, spiritual, or physical that is impure or unholy or an abomination. The only things I regret in that relationship are the things I did to detract from it or to hurt Göran. I weep sometimes to think of all the things I have done that Göran has lovingly and frankly forgiven me. I may now add to that list, the pigheadedness with which I once doubted that our relationship might be something I should honor. I humbly ask Göran's forgiveness for that, though I hope that in asking the question, I have been able to find a deeper, truer love, on a steadier foundation.
I know that some will find this contradictory. I cannot explain it. If something should ever separate me and Göran – were he to leave me, or, God forbid, should we be separated in death – I do not at the present time believe I would seek out another relationship. I would do everything I could to live my life according to the rules of the Church so I could be re-baptized. I do not claim that my life can be any sort of a rule or guide for others, if only because of all the mistakes I have made. I do not understand how my life or God's will for me personally fits into the big picture, or why I would have such a strong testimony of the gospel and of the Latter-day Church and also have such a strong witness of the goodness and importance of my relationship with my partner – even in light of what is taught about that relationship by the Church I know to be true. I do not understand. But I do not want anyone to misunderstand.