#6 Does God Hate Me?

It was autumn time. 2007.  I was living in Payson, Arizona serving as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  I had switched my first name for the title of Sister.  I was was Sister Dick for 18 months of my life.  I would gladly and without hesitation give up my first name again for the same reason.

#6 was living with some of his relatives at the time.  He was somewhere in his mid-thirties, had developed very few life skills and was so endearingly sweet and humble.  I just wanted to hug him all the time.  I knew immediately when I met 6 that he was gay.  We visited the family he was staying with every week.  He always sat in on the lessons.  6 was always so very quiet.  He enjoyed our visits.  He enjoyed the lessons.  Sometimes, in his shy way, he would ask a question or two.

One evening when my companion and I were leaving he covertly slipped me a note.  The kind of note that you would pass in the hallway between classes with your friends during high school. Lined notebook paper, folded in half and then in half again.  I do not remember if I waited to read the note until we got back to the apartment or if I read it when we got in the truck.  All I remember is that it was dark outside and what was written in the note devastated me.

I still have the note today.  I treasure it.  Maybe that is weird but I do.  The note showed me that 6 viewed me as someone he could trust.  That he recognized the authority I had as a representative of Jesus Christ.  6’s handwriting was elementary.  The note was written in pencil.  It read,

Dear Sister Dick, I am gay.  Does God hate me?  Am I going to hell?  My dad hates me.  He disowned me.  Is he going to hell because of how he treats me?  6

 

I read 6’s note and reread 6’s note.  I cried myself to sleep that night.  The next day I called him to set up a time my companion and I could come by and talk to him.  My companion had no idea how to move forward, how to respond to 6.

I did.

 

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