DAVID DOUGLAS' PERSONAL STORY
My Story - by David Douglass
March 1st, 2010
It may be time to write something about myself. The story. I don’t like to write. It seems that I never say what I really want to say, there is always something left out and things I should have left out.
Before you start you should know there is not a word of truth in this piece. This is not deliberate but because my imperfect brain gets thing wrong and my inability to write exactly what I think. If that is not enough I suspect when you read this your thoughts and feeling won’t be anything like mine when I wrote it. So, feel free to stop anytime or skip over the boring parts. OK here we go.
For nine years I was the High Priest Group teacher. Usually taught two sundays each month. I followed the lessons pretty much as written and usually led a discussion on each section. From the beginning I let it be known that I did not think that just because a general authorityproclaimed something that it came from God and had to be true. There were several issues that came up I didn’t agree on and I would explain why and it surprised me how many in the quorum agreed. The topics ranged from God knows everything, the role of church in government to discrimination.
I read the Book of Mormon when I was a teenager and from that moment I knew it was true. In spite of clearly seeing that we were not getting Christ like messages from the general authorities I thought this must be the church that Christ sanctioned since it did have the Book of Mormon, it did seem to have priesthood authority and a line of prophets from Joseph Smith.
Five or six years ago I started wondering what could be in the sealed plates that the people in this church were not ready for. Some of my guesses were that it would be closer to the law of consecration, teach that homosexuality was not all bad, and champion equality for everyone. I also wondered when people would be able to accept those teachings and the plates would be translated. It never occurred to me that someone outside the general authorities or the Mormon prophet would be the translator. Maybe it did occur a little bit since I was noticing that the authorities were not following the teaching of Joseph Smith.
One of the first things that seemed against God’s will was the practice of the Word of Wisdom.The prophesy clearly stated that it was by way of suggestion and not commandment. It seemed to me out of step with what the revelation said when president Grant said that we needed to follow certain parts of the Word of Wisdom to prove how good we are. After reading that I started following the Word of Wisdom as written and in moderation. When the Bishop ask if I was following the Word of Wisdom I could honestly say yes. I didn’t bother telling him it just wasn't following it his way.
One evening I was talking with my home teacher Boyd Rollins. This home teacher was unusual in that he was a liberal, a history teacher and history enthusiast, and in church classes often corrected the incorrect teachings regarding history. Even the ones directly out of the manual. I told him I disagreed with some of the members of our ward about the statement of the general authorities being scripture. I told him that I didn’t think they were scriptures and I was not obligated to follow them. Boyd looked me straight in the eye and said “David, you have to believe everything the general authorities say, except the ridiculous (pause) and just about everything they say is ridiculous.”
He was strong in his beliefs, mainly because of the Temple Ceremony. He was a worker in the Temple and totally dedicated. Up until the time that cancer made it impossible to do the work he made every session. He told me that as a younger person he hated the temple work and when He got the calling to do temple work he just about turned it down. I wish he had lived long enough to learn of the translation of The Sealed Portion.
A few weeks or so before the 2009 Salt Lake seminar at the Salt Lake Library I was reading a blog called the Ohana News. It is a blog that James Kent puts out to all of his friends, most of us coming from Affirmation, a gay Mormon support group. James writes a few things and puts in comments from his friends. One person sent in a comment on something and mentioned that the sealed portion of the Book of Mormon had been translated. My first reaction was that’s impossible. I would have heard about it, the prophet would have announced it. Then I started thinking maybe I didn’t have it right about the church and maybe I should at least look at it. I didn’t expect much, probably and attempt at history, maybe a little bit of doctrine. A Google search led me to the Marvelous Work and a Wonder site. I downloaded TSP and began reading it on my computer.
I’m not sure how far I read when TSP said the family was of the devil. I had been taught the family was the foundation of the gospel. And then it said the Church of the Devil as described in the Book of Mormon was the LDS Church. It never occurred to me the church was false. I began to think this is a bunch of crap. I don’t know why I kept reading but the story of Adam and Eve made a lot more sense that the Bible version. The talk that Adam gave before his death really did ring true and I got excited about having TSP.
A few days before the Salt Lake meeting I joined the Yahoo discussion group for Marvelous Word and a Wonder®. I read some of the comments and of course had googled Christopher. Some of the comments weren’t good. I saw something I think was written by Christopher that he had the ability to tell what kind of person you are by talking with you. My Initial thought was this guy has an ego. I don’t think there was a description of Christopher and no pictures so my own mind made up a picture. My picture was of a small, skinny recluse. I continued reading and TSP continued to make more sense. A few days before the Salt Lake seminar someone mentioned the seminar on the Yahoo group. My first thought was I wish I had known about it sooner. It is too late to get off work, it is not in my budget and......
Christopher posted a message encouraging people to come and he said that it was important and that nothing we were doing was more important. I am pretty sure that is not exactly what he said, but that is how I remember it. I was only about 200 pages into TSP but it was making more and more sense. I remember thinking if Christopher really did translate TSP it would be stupid of me not to attend see what it was about and meet Christopher. On the other hand I couldn’t see why I would be given the privilege of meeting a real prophet when there are so many better people than I am. Still wondering about that one.
I booked a flight to SLC, booked a motel and reserved a car rental, called in sick, and felt guilty calling in sick when not. Then sent an e-mail to the MWW Yahoo group announcing that I would be there. I arrived at the SLC Library early, before anyone else from the group. In a short time I noticed several people conjugating in the Lobby. Surprised myself when I walked up to one of the groups and ask if they were going to the seminar. It turned out they were so at least I had a group to stand with. I remember someone discussing the soon to come out Human Reality book and me thinking What does he need that for. It seemed to me TSP was pretty complete even though I Had only read 240 pages. I have a lot to learn.
Just before 9:00am I noticed this really good looking man enter the lobby. He was tall well built, had beautiful long hair and wore a pullover renaissance shirt. I remember thinking I hope he’s in the seminar. Sorry Christopher, but I’m gay and you are good looking.
I had my camera with me but I wasn’t sure it was OK to take pictures, especially of Christopher. I ask Julie and she said it was OK. I took some pictures. This is jumping ahead, but when I got home I still had the pictures in my digital camera. Four of my friends were having dinner and I showed them the pictures one by one. When I showed Christopher's picture to my friend Eric, he said WOW! I usually don’t get wows from my pictures. I then showed the pictures to Eric’s Husband Frank and upon showing the first picture to Frank he said WOW!. Paul was in the kitchen cooking. When he came out I showed him the pictures of Christopher and the first thing out of his mouth was WOW!. Loren hadn’t arrived yet but when he did it was the exact same reaction.
The meeting was way more than I expected, everyone was friendly. Julie bought me lunch. I felt a little guilty letting her but she seemed like she just wanted to. At one point in the meeting Christopher said that there was one story in TSP that everyone remembered. I had read past the place where the story occurred and didn’t remember even one detail. I remember thinking to myself boy this is awkward. I read 240 pages and couldn’t remember anything about the most memorable part. I’m glad I didn’t get questioned about that one. Kay gave me a copy of 666 and I bought a copy of TSP. Found I liked reading it on my cell phone better.
On the second day of the seminar Christopher told about the blessing and obligations of the WUF. I hadn’t heard any thing about it before. I thought it was interesting but didn’t go away with a grasp of what it is.
Next step home and finished TSP. By that time Human Reality was out, bought a copy and it made even more sense of the things TSP made sense about. When I read these books I get the same feeling I got when I read the Book of Mormon the first time. It is like a feeling of Awe and wonderment combined. Each book has a different feeling and writing style. I believe John the Beloved directed the writing of 666. I have a few more pages in my first reading. That is a book I am going to have to read several time to get many of the concepts.
After reading HUMAN REALITY-Who We Are and Why We Exist! I thought about what humanity type I am. I took a mental inventory of my characteristics and found characteristics in all three humanity types. I wondered, If I am not a Solarian why am I interested in this work. It occurred to me that all humanity types will sooner or later have to live the golden rule. It seems to me that accepting your humanity type is more important than being a particular humanity type.
I have characteristics in all three humanity types. No idea which on I fit. I think in one of the posts Christopher said that all entertainers are Stellarian.
Well I am an entertainer and I do like acting, doing magic shows and modeling. I don’t do those thing much anymore but I really like it when I do. I am now experimenting to see what I like. I see what it feels like to help people, what it is like to do things for myself and what is like when people help me. So far I like them all. I do know this work has made me more honest, and knowing the truth has made me more helpful as a human.
For years I was an entertainer, or manager. I was always trying get higher in the social ladder. About eight years ago I lost my job at Motorola. That was a surprise. I thought I was doing well and would be there for years always got good reviews and no sign of any problems. I had become the GLBC (Gay Lesbian Business Council) leader for Arizona at Motorola. Someone had warned me that my boss was a born again christian and and told others proclaimed being gay was a sin. I didn’t pay any attention about that since I was in a company that had a policy against discrimination and since I was a leader against discrimination. On the first cut I was gone. I could have protested but didn’t.
I was out of work for about a year. The severance package held me over so I didn’t starve. Companies were cutting back on tech support and I couldn’t find work in my field so I ended up being Dial-a-Ride driver. I knew I would hate it. Going from a position of authority to a position of service where all I was doing was helping people who had fewer abilities wasn’t easy. I had way too much ego. Been there for seven years and loving every minute. Not even thinking of finding another job. I am now a supervisor, but I never have to discipline anyone. Just solve problems of logistics. I still get to drive a bunch of passengers each day and loving it.
I have the PDF of Sacred Not Secret but I am ordering the book. That’s one book I would probably skip except Christopher thinks it is important. I need to read everything again. I was looking at the Human Reality book today and everything I read was like brand new.
Someday when we get together I will do some magic if anyone wants to see it. I understand that Solarians like to watch Stellarians perform. I think Christopher said that in the Human Reality Book.
I am amazed at the answers moderators and Christopher come up with to questions. I also love the way you are so kind to the enemies. If I see someone misrepresenting what I think is the truth I have a tendency to attack. I have written out answers to some of the questions hoping to get it right some day. Very seldom sent them in. So far I don’t think I got any answers right. From now on I plan to answer more often. I think this may be a good way to hone my thinking. If I don’t get feedback then it is my imperfect brain controlling my thoughts. Since I am not a moderator I won’t have to be quite so nice.
This is not where I planned to end this piece but it is getting too long.
Damn, I almost forgot the most important part. The reason I haven’t been writing. Also the reason I am now writing. Their both the same. I had a calling in the church that I enjoyed. I helped do Sunday services at an assisted living home. Instead of a Branch it was called a Twig. It was an opportunity to make a difference in others lives. When I got the calling the Bishop asked me not to say anything about being gay. I told him I wouldn’t bring it up but if anyone asked, I would be honest. But there were other things that bothered me. I had to, on occasion, bless and pass sacrament. I no longer felt it was any worth. About a month ago someone gave a talk he pulled off the internet. It was pure fiction going around some LDS sites about how the Vatican approved a site in Italy for a temple. The reason they were so willing to approve the temple was because of the LDS support of Prop 8 in California.
After the meeting I told the one who delivered the message that it was an urban legend and never happened. He didn’t say anything and never recanted the message. I am not offended personally by anything said in a meeting. However I know that it is degrading and humiliating to young people not out, questioning and even those who are out. To many of the non-gay people it is a reason to bully, taunt, assault and isolate those perceived to be gay. That is not nice.
Last Sunday I got out my LDS resignation letter that has been on my computer for some time and updated it. I printed it out, sealed it in an envelope and took it to the Twig meeting. Luckily the Bishop showed up and after the Twig meeting I told him I needed to talk with him. I gave him the letter and told him I no longer felt that President Monson is a prophet and I gave him the letter of resignation. I had a fairly long talk with the Bishop where he never ridiculed my decision or tried to get me to change. He even seemed interested when I told him about TSP. The meeting went exactly as I had dreamed about and yes I did dream about. Now that I am free from that church you will be hearing a lot more from me.
One more thing. AS the Bishop and I were walking out to our transportation he said, "You know you may lose the Holy Ghost." I told him I doubted that. I didn't tell him what the Holy Ghost really is. This last week has been one of the best weeks in my life. After delivering that letter it felt like a weight was taken off me. I felt like a kid in love for the first time. Of course I know it is only endorphins and won't last. It is good to feel like that sometimes.