I went to an LDS fireside tonight that was for gay men (and theoretically lesbians). The theme for the fireside, not shockingly, was about the birth of the savior in Christianity. The typical scriptures were quoted concerning Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the divinity of Jesus, and the wise men. Music was shared and I even participated by playing the piano (crudely may be the most accurate depiction of my performance). Yet through it all, I had both a typical and an interesting experience.
It was unique because it was a Mormon religious gathering that was specifically directed at lesbians, gays, and bisexuals. Priesthood leaders were present and one even gave some closing words about Christ and how he can be applied in our lives this Christmas season (I'm actually only guessing. I lost interest pretty quickly and read a book during his remarks).
However, before I ignored him, he did say something that I thought was interesting. He stated that the music tonight was all manifestations of our testimonies to the Father in Heaven. I admit I had to chuckle that an atheist had actually managed to bear witness to the reality of Deity. Took me by surprise.
But it made me wonder, what else happens in our lives where others take our apparent superficial show as a depth of testimony or belief in something. Furthermore, what actions or words do we give that encourages people to believe something entirely inaccurate in us? My own parents try to take the lack of my discussing any pertinent relationships with other men as a sign that I'm not "acting on it" or "being gay." It's no real shocker that we all attempt to read into other people's actions what we would like to be true. Our negative, positive, and realistic outlooks are merely manifestations of this desire to perceive the world in a certain way. We are all guilty of doing this to one degree or another.
Perhaps it's a far fetched goal of mine, but I have tried to just see people as they really are. I fail many times in doing so. For me it means there will be pluses and minuses to them and that my only job is to simply observe people and see them as they are and not as I want them to be. Again, I fail a lot. I inadvertently place what I wish to see into the picture that I'm attempting to put together of the person. But I'm slowly improving in this effort.