the thinker

Kevin Rex

This web page is dedicated to the accomplishments of Kevin Rex and his dealings with the Mormon Church.

About 5 years ago, at age 45, after being released as counselor to a bishop and having 4 of my 5 kids grown and relatively independent, I found myself with more time to study and read about the Church and religion in general.  Prior to that calling, I had served on the Stake High Council, and I have lived in the same ward and stake for nearly 20 years.  I mention that only so that the reader may understand the many personal, social ties I have to the LDS church and its culture.  I live and have lived in this same area outside of Utah, but in a still heavily Mormon community that is also politically and religiously very conservative, the Tri-Cities area of Washington state.  

Having obtained a master's degree in my early years and enjoying very much the opportunity to research and learn again with more free time, I began to discover many serious problems with the methodology used by the Church to teach its members.  Not just problematic history or Book of Mormon anachronisms or Book of Abraham translation issues, but what seemed to me to be purposeful teaching by Church leaders that was misleading in the extreme.  Complicating these newly discovered doubts of my faith was the fact that I had hidden my homosexuality from my family, my children, and my wife of 27 years, in large part because of the teachings by the so-called living prophets of my era who had taught me myriad conflicting things about homosexuality such that I became despondent, even suicidal, after coming out gay to my wife and family in February of 2013.

During my week-long stay in the psychiatric ward on suicide watch in April, 2013, I came to realize how very conflicted my mind was about the Church and its teachings.  I had tried with all my energy and will-power to control and change my homosexuality and be a “perfect” Mormon boy, Mormon young man, and Mormon adult man.  Being told from an early age—about 5 years old are my earliest memories of being different—and fully realizing what I was being told at that age because of my astute and early-developed mental capacity, that I was “impure and unnatural” and that my homosexuality was “a crime against nature” and that it was not and could not be inborn as such an idea would “frustrate the entire Plan of Salvation”, I had slowly become a mental case of the highest degree over a period of more than 40 years, sinking further and further into mental depression. 

I loved reading even at the earliest age, and I read such adamantly black-and-white-thinking books like “Mormon Doctrine,” “Doctrines of Salvation,” and “Miracle of Forgiveness”.  While fully believing that the authors of such books were speaking God's will directly to me, and without any opportunity or understanding of how to process paradox, irony, or even to doubt just a little, I tried to fit myself into the mold that the Church had built for young men.  Boyd K. Packer, especially, was one of the most influential people in my teenage years and into early adulthood, but since he was and is so homophobic and seemingly too proud to even admit that something as scientific as biological evolution could possibly occur in our world, and being unable to process nuance or contradiction myself, I became trapped in my own mind. 

Now, at age 50, my emotional life is in ruins, and I have only been saved by my own preparations for a solid career, which I have and continue to maintain.  When I couple my being gay with the many problems of Mormon history, doctrine, and pedagogy, I cannot help but turn away from the Mormon Church and look elsewhere for a loving God; I still hope She or He is there.   The mind is a wonderful gift from God, and Mormonism ruined my mind.  Thank Heavens for God being in more places than one, and for Her gifts to all of her children in the world.  My one true friend has been my wife, who yet remains very convinced of the basic truthfulness of Mormonism and its version of the Gospel, another paradox of many I'm learning to live with.  She now says, as she has several times during our marriage, that she learned how to love unconditionally from me, when I had to fight very hard against Mormon culture in order to teach my family about Christ's grace and love.  Mormonism has become ironically pharisaical.