Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Five Tests

"Elders and Sisters," he said, "this is part of your preparation to find your eternal companion. Relish every moment of your mission and you will be blessed in every sense of the word."

We've all sat down and given good thought to what we want out of a partner. I remember hearing a talk from a general authority in my mission about finding the right spouse. He gave us instructions regarding our physical and emotional well-being and ended with three pieces of advice meant for our return:

"Upon your return, you mustn't neglect to seek out the woman that will raise your children and love you beyond the day that you die. She will have a greater impact on you than your mission ever will."

That, of course, did not help the more trunky Elders (slang for the missionaries incapacitated by homesickness).

"I present to you three tests your future wife must complete to make sure she's the one."

The missionaries (Elders and sisters alike) readied their pens to take furious notes in anticipation of the Seventy's formula for happiness.

"First, take her to her ward and visit the nursery. See how she does with the kids. Then tell the nursery leaders they can take a break. Agitate the kids a bit by telling them they get cookies after church is over then lock her in the room alone with a dozen three-year olds. If she survives..."

We hesitated a little wondering if it was appropriate to laugh.

"... and doesn't kill you, at least you know she'll be a good mother."

Then, the inappropriate laughter commenced.

Working off the energy of the crowd he continued, "The second test is much easier. Set up a quiet dinner date for the two of you... and invite your parents. Give her an hour's notice. If the meal turns out well, and doesn't kill you, you'll know she's a good cook."

At this point, a few of the Elders were probably still taking him seriously, unfortunately.

"Finally, the last test is a date on the beach. Make sandcastles, have a romantic walk, and make sure to have a good swim. When you're out in the water (and when she's least suspecting), dunk her a few times then take a good look. If that's something you're okay with looking at every morning, you've probably found the right woman.

"Of course, if she has the patience to go through all of that, you have an added bonus."

Everyone had a good laugh at the implausibility of the suggestions. Considering the fact that he the general authority was a Latino speaking in Latin America, there's a little more leeway as far as machismo and humor go. The advice is abstractly practical. Essentially, he was telling us that we should consider more than just sexual attraction as a matrimonial barometer.

Over the past year, I've worked out my own little informal system consisting of five tests:

Test #1: The First Date Test.

Generally, I don't turn down a first date. I think that one-on-one time is where you really find out about a person, and first impressions are pretty important in my book. Even the type of date is important; dinner and a movie is not ideal for me because I want to know someone through conversation. (In total, the number of guys who have taken this test is approaching 80).

Test #2: The Cole Test

Cole has my back. He wants to see me happy and I value his opinion. When I'm dating someone and enjoying it, Cole is generally the first one to find out and if Cole feels it's about to get serious, he either meets the boy or finds him on Facebook in order to conduct a "worthiness interview." (About 3 have gone through the interview process and another 5 or so have met him).

Test #3: The Girl Friends Test

Practically every GMB has his straight Mormon girl friends. If the boy I like can survive any awkwardness surrounding my friends and their weirdness, loudness, and/or difference in belief, he's probably a keeper. (3 have made it to this point).

Test #4: The Bobbie Jean Test

As one of Bobbie Jean's 3 Gay Sons, I am obligated to take gay boy in question 'to meet the parents.' She's expects a lot because, in her eyes, I deserve the best.I've only gathered the courage to introduce one boy to her. (Mark).

Test #5: The Parents Test

Of course, if my surrogate mother's opinion matters so much, my actual mother's (and father's) will as well. They have met a few of the boys I've dated, however I've never introduced them as anything more than friends. Though it's difficult to think about sometimes, I'm confident that one day I'll meet someone who, in my parents' eyes will be worth losing my eternal salvation.


El Genio said...

Or gaining your eternal salvation, depending on how you look at it.

Cole said...

"Worthiness" test, GMB? Seriously? You're making me sound like one of the well-intentioned, yet obviously rigidly conservative bishops we all have tried to avoid. Tsk, tsk...

Cole said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Christine said...

I stumbled upon your blog yesterday and (loving it by the way). something I've been wondering for a long, long time is how homosexuals reconcile their faith and their sexuality. Do you really believe you will lose your eternal salvation?

I guess I should also say I ask this genuinely seeking to know how you work this out in your mind. I haven't been able to come to a satisfactory conclusion that reconciles all the pieces of the gospel and real life for me in regard to homosexuality.

A Gay Mormon Boy said...

@Mamma Christine: I don't really reveal a lot about my present thought since (with few exceptions) my posts are all written a year in the past.

Giving you a complete answer would be a sort of spoiler. I will say, though, that I'm closer to resolving the internal conflicts I've faced than ever.

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