Since Stuart's death, we have learned about and met many devoted Latter-day Saints who have the same challenge as Stuart's and who are faithfully serving in the Church. Because of the homophobia that prevails in society, they have lived secretive lives of quiet desperation.Marilyn Matis in In Quiet Desperation
Elder Neal A. Maxwell taught: "No wonder Apostles and prophets have told us not to be moved away from the hope of the gospel.... The very way in which... illuminated individuals 'take up [the] cross daily' is a sermon in itself. They lead lives not of quiet desperation but of quiet inspiration, constituting what Paul would call their 'defence and confirmation of the gospel.'"
I believe that those who truly understand and have internalized the eternal vision of the plan of salvation and its essential doctrines would never view submission to Christ and their eternal potential as "suppression." And I do not believe that those who understand the glory and majesty of the love of Christ and His infinite atonement would feel "desperate" in their discipleship. As Elder Maxwell pointed out, their hope in Christ transforms their feelings of desperation to inspiration and suppression to submission. In their faith and understanding of the gospel, they maintain a "perfect brightness of hope" for a "better world" (2 Nephi 31:20; Ether 12:4).Ty Mansfield in In Quiet Desperation
Before ever reading the book itself, I thought the title was brilliant. It alludes to Emerson and captures precisely the mental anguish to which same-gender attracted folks in the church are so vulnerable. But I find myself so thoroughly encouraged by the book that in many ways it seems inappropriate now. I wonder if the title was imposed on the authors by the marketing department! It's apt for Stuart's suicide, but not to describe the lives of faithful Saints who learn and deal. In the quote above, Ty underlines Maxwell's concept of being released from desperation through Christ.
There were lots of other quotes from the book I thought about discussing--the discussion of holding fast vs. clinging to the iron rod, a discussion of mixed-orientation marriages, missionary work, etc.--but I think I've already gone on long enough for this title. My favorite quote from the book I never used and I'll save it for some other rainy day.
But for now I recommend... no, I vehemently insist--that you read this book! And my inter-library loan copy should be available for you to check out in a few days if you live near BYU-Idaho's library. ;-)
Index of Matis/Mansfield posts
In Quiet Desperation, 1
Mutually exclusive yearnings
Family and friends
Fat and sassy
Goldilocks and the three queers
Celebrity deathmatch: Mansfield vs. Byrd
In Quiet Desperation, 2