Conference was amazing. From the announcement of missionary age changes, to talks on missionary work, to the focus on faith in the public forum, I loved it all. The people I was watching with were amazed that I spent 10 hours on Twitter (@gaymormonguy). (none of them even know how to get on Twitter)
The talks, music, and atmosphere were great. But here and there were moments that made everything else pale in comparison. Moments when it seemed like God Himself was speaking to me. Answering my prayers. Addressing my unspoken needs. The moving words of a Christian battle hymn that made me feel loved and included and whole. A phrase in a talk that gave me the strength to make important decisions in my life. And the overwhelming feeling that God cared and was actively involved in my life.
I've had a bunch of questions recently, many related to how my life would be different if I dropped my name here on (G)MG. How it would impact my ability to help people I know personally. How it would affect my relationships and professional life. How it would influence my Church service. How I would deal with stigmatization from the media or others. How I would tell my family. How/if I would tell the people I know in everyday life. I don't think that some of them would even want to know. How it would change my voice in the world as a missionary.
The feeling I got at Conference, in response to the overwhelming questions in my mind, was simple. Follow God, do what you know is right no matter how hard, have faith, pour out your soul to the Lord, and everything will work out for the best. So I'm not as worried. If someday He decides that my anonymity isn't necessary anymore, and Mormon Guy has a name and telephone number, I'll let Him answer all the questions.
I'm incredibly grateful for living prophets and apostles... and for a gospel that applies to me, personally, and can give me direction along the pathway of life. It gives me hope in the darkness, light throughout life, and meaning and joy each passing day. It colors my Sunday school lessons, brightens my smile in scripture study, and opens my heart to listen and understand those around me. I'm grateful for the countless circumstances that have given me a chance to become who I am today - same-sex attraction, family, culture, upbringing, talents, trials... but I am grateful most of all that I've had these experiences within the perspective of the gospel. There is no better place to learn the truth, no better place to understand myself than learning from God Himself... and here, in His Church, I see and feel His hand.