I was born the oldest of 5 brothers. When I was born, I was a large baby and my mother was a long time in labor. She lived with her parents in a small farming community outside White Salmon, WA. My father was off fighting WW II. White Salmon had a very small hospital. If you ever saw the movie “Big Business”, the hospital in that movie was larger than White Salmon hospital. So, we went across the Columbia River to Hood River, OR, where I was born. It was a hard labor and a hard delivery. My mother’s eyes and my eyes both hemorrhaged. I was left with damaged eyesight. At one point in my life, I had 20/20 eyesight using glasses, but most of the time, my eyesight has been poor, even wearing glasses.
If you believe in astrology, and I don’t much believe in it, but according to “the stars”, I was born in Sagittarius with Sagittarius rising. This is supposed to mean that I would be very independent and freedom-loving. I would be my own person, independent, adventurous, and have a laser-like focus on whatever goal I pursued. One New Age philosophy has a motto for each sign. The one for Sagittarians is this: “I see a goal. I reach that goal. I see another goal.” I rather like that motto, but before I learned this lesson about me, I was very much opposed to goals. And, I think the reason for this is that the goals were always chosen for me and imposed upon me by outside parties. When I learned to choose my own goals, I was very much happier working to achieve them.
My independent mentality is also moderated by my willingness to cooperate and get along with others. I am very uncomfortable being at cross-purposes or having disagreements with those around me. Taken together, I am willing to be a team player, but first, I need to be convinced that I am following my own goals and my own motivation and my own purposes, which also happen to coincide with the group’s goals, motivations, and purposes.
Why go off on this tangent? Because this will help you better understand my life and why I made the choices I made. This all figures into the story.
Also, I am not writing this story from a victim’s perspective. I am writing this from the perspective of a person who has faced my share of life’s battles and overcome them. Or, at least, I believe I have overcome them. I am hoping that, in writing this, I will reveal more of myself to the “me” who thinks he already knows everything, but probably doesn’t. I also write this to introduce myself to you, and in so doing, I have several purposes in mind.
1. To show you that we don’t all fit in the same mold. You may encounter Gay Mormons or ex-Mormons and try to fit us all into the same mold, because the church and society at large try to get us to see everybody in the same mold. This would be a mistake, and I hope this biography vividly demonstrates that fact.
2. To show you that not everybody passively caves in to the dictates of society and religious institutions, but we can and do fight back. There are people that I greatly admire in this life who also fought back. You will meet some of them in this biography. These were my teachers. They taught me how to balance my desire to “get along” and “follow the rules” with the desire to make my own choices and think for myself. I learned from these people by talking with them, asking very pointed questions, and by observing them.
3. To show you that many of the things you were taught to be real, but never did more than blindly believe, actually are real. Somebody needed to come along and find out these things for himself, and point them out to others. In some areas of life, I am not a “get along” guy. I am a fearless adventurer, independent observer, and as my school teachers described me: “an aggressive learner”. All my life, I wanted to be somebody who KNEW, not just believed. From the standpoint of society and its churches and institutions, belief can be manipulated, but knowledge is dangerous.
4.To show you that in no way do I consider myself as better or having more potential than anybody else. Everything I have done, I believe anybody can do. I have been shown, in a very spiritual way, the potential each of us have. If we really could see each other as I have been allowed to see us, we would bow down and worship each other as gods. This is not very productive, however, because as Gods, we have God’s work to do, and God can only do FOR us, what God can do THROUGH us.
- Who’s going to change our hearts so we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually? God’s going to do that.
- Who’s going to create the kind of society that will establish Zion in our midst and create the kind of Terrestrial conditions and law such that Christ will be pleased to return and dwell among us? God’s going to do that.
- Who’s going to drive the dark forces out of our midst, and literally “seal the door where evil dwells”? God’s going to do that.
- Who’s going to raise us up at the last day in the resurrection? God’s going to do that.
- Who’s going to make us equal to the task of reinventing ourselves, our relationships, and society as a whole? God’s going to do that.