In the few years I have spent weaving in and out of the gay Mormon world, I’ve tried to regularly step back and see myself from a distance, and ask the questions an outsider would ask. One question that has come up many times is “What do you want?” It has come up many times because I’ve never been able to answer it completely.

As long as I can remember, I’ve lived in tension between wanting to be part of something bigger–a cause, even–and wanting to curl up in bed and read a book. I’ve read some great books recently.

Over many Mormon years, there were moment when my aspirations became interconnected with scripture, a verse here or there popping out and speaking to something inside me. One of those verses was a comment Jesus made about the transitory life: “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head” (Luke 9:58). I connected with being a wanderer and not having found my place.

In a similar way, I also felt some familiarity with Captain Moroni, someone I previously had never thought much of, when I read that at the end of all his fighting, “he retired to his own house that he might spend the remainder of his days in peace” (Alma 62:43). I imagined his return home being something like Frodo’s: you know you’ve accomplished something, but you’re not sure what, and no one else seems to know either, and all you can think about is everything you’ve lost and that you’re tired.

In high school I came up with an idea for a dream house. The vision was eccentric–one room made entirely of glass, and another entirely of pillows. But the most important room was one covered in (artificial) grass, with (artificial) indoor sunlight, and every time you walk in room, the Shire Theme from LOTR starts playing quietly in the background as you lie down in the grass and feel a soft (artificial) breeze blow across your face.

That still sounds nice.


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