Sunday, November 1, 2015

My rejection letter from the LDS Church

Many years ago, I was in a rut at my then workplace. I decided to put out some feelers and see what other job opportunities existed. A good friend of mine suggested I apply for a manager-type job with the LDS Church. She said I'd be good at it. I was honored that this friend thought I should apply for such a high-profile job - so I did. It was a great opportunity in a career field that I loved (and went to college for!)

I didn't meet all the requirements. The COJCOLDS wanted 10 years experience and I had about 8 in the related field. But I still thought I had a chance. Back then, I wanted this position. How cool would it be to work for the church I grew up with and devoted two years of my life for?! (I know that sentence may come across sarcastic, but I'm not really trying to be!) :-)

I freshened up my resume, wrote a nice cover letter, and applied.

This was their response:

In a world where most employers don't send out rejection letters, I was kinda surprised to get this. (Especially the "Will Not Be A Finalist" in the subject line!)

I didn't get my hopes up, but I was still kind of bummed when this showed up in the ole Inbox. Applying for jobs will always be a tedious process, and after this email it was back to the drawing board.

Today, I have a job I love, nowhere near the headquarters of the LDS Church. So the "Best wishes for your success" line in the above message actually came true.

Over the years, this simple form letter from a "No reply" email account has really made me think. What if I really did get the job?! Would I still be in the closet? Would I be miserable? Would I still be single, or pressured into marriage? Since you have to have a current temple recommend to work for the church, would I have to confess to my bishop about my "same-sex attraction?" What would I have done with the doubts about the church I've accumulated over the years?

A bunch of questions I'm glad I don't have to worry about answering.

This email I've saved for 7 years also shows how naive I was. What was I thinking?! A gay Mormon approaching 30 seriously applying to work for the church. I guess I had the mindset that I could overcome my gayness and somehow work for an organization that really doesn't know what to do with people like me. Just think, me, a gay person, would have to defend my employer regarding conference talks on traditional marriage. That would have been fun. (This time, I am being sarcastic.) 2008 was NOT that long ago! It's fascinating how much my views on homosexuality and the church have changed.  

Seven years later, I'm more than grateful I don't work for the church. That would have been an absolute recipe for disaster. Plus I would have hated wearing a white shirt and tie six days a week.

Crisis averted.

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