One of the wisest counsels I ever received was the reminder, ”listen in a way that others love to speak to you.”
When I listen, I learn. ”Listen and learn” means that our Savior speaks to all of us, and through all of us. I, alone, don’t have to have all the answers.
When I listen with humility, I open my mind to ideas I once stubbornly resisted. I can release my prejudices and identify with others without insisting they be just like me.
When I am no longer compelled to criticize others, I lessen the compulsion to criticize myself. I listen to my own inner voice, and the voices of those around me and learn acceptance, inclusion, forgiveness, and love.
And when I am still enough to listen very carefully, I hear my Savior.
I am Mitch Mayne. I am an openly gay, active Latter-day Saint.
I was raised in Idaho, and baptized into the Mormon Church when I was eight. I left the church for many years, due in large part to my parent’s divorce. In my mid-20s, I returned to the church of my own accord, knowing full well that I was gay, and that someday I would have to find a way to reconcile my sexual orientation with my faith.
For many years, I was fractured: I believed I was a man with a foot in two worlds, and that I belonged in neither. But as I’ve grown in my testimony of my Savior and my confidence in who I am, I’ve come to understand myself as a man with a foot in two worlds–who very much belongs in both. From August 2011 through November of 2013, I served as the executive secretary of the bishopric of the Bay Ward within the San Francisco Stake.
I currently remain an active, happy and whole gay Mormon–just the way I am.