A Bit of a Spiritual Life Update

Spirituality has always been a fundamental aspect of my life, and due to my family’s historical involvement with it, the Restoration movement has played a significant part of my spirituality. Despite the challenges of being a polyamorous bisexual in a more traditionally-conservative religious community, I found a congregation that has formally accepted me within Community of Christ [1]. Through this church I have met incredible people who have been with me through the darkest periods of my life, deepened my knowledge of my heritage and my sense of self, and in general have found a sense of belonging.

However, in early 2023 a shift occurred when my church implemented a policy (“The February Policy”) which formally excluded polyamorous people from serving in the priesthood [2]. This policy deeply disturbed me, and it took several months to recover mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Since then, much of my spiritual energy has been channeled into raising awareness about families like mine. I wrote a book to process my feelings and organize my thoughts [3], I participated in an hour-long panel discussion with Elle about our experiences being polyamorous in Community of Christ [4], and co-authored another book with my partners to help educate monogamous folks about families like ours [5].

Thankfully, my closest friends in the church have shown support and made efforts to include families like ours in the church, including efforts to essentially retract and denounce the February Policy. Yet, some, including church leaders, have been less kind and welcoming and have even sought to further marginalize us further and punish those who accept us [6].

Despite these challenges, I’m proud of my advocacy work and my choice to improve my community rather than venture elsewhere due to the actions of just a few bad actors. However, since advocacy has dominated my spiritual life, I have felt relatively unfulfilled. While I intend to remain with my friends in Community of Christ, I also feel drawn to explore elsewhere.

A pivotal moment in my spiritual journey occurred when I was a teenager who was studying the Kirtland Temple dedication. It was here that people saw the veil between words tear and they saw heavenly realms. These people had unusually profound spiritual experiences which affected them the rest of their lives, and I sought to have similar experiences. However, these experiences were not forthcoming, and I grew skeptical about whether they could happen. My skepticism dissipated after my first encounter with psychedelics, which provided me the exact experience that I had sought for so many years. Through this aid I have been able to heal past traumas, feel sacredness beyond words, and deepen my connection with the Divine. Entheogens (spiritual use of psychoactives) have become an integral part of my spirituality.

Despite my experience with entheogens, I haven’t consistently engaged in this form of worship, particularly within a group setting or in a way that honors my heritage and identity. My hesitation has largely stemmed from fear of being judged as a bad actor myself for exploring my spirituality in this eclectic way. I have no desire to hurt anyone, to the point that I have even registered as a pacifist. I want to ensure that I and others feel comfortable exploring spirituality with the help of entheogens, so this year I am going to be doing a fair amount of studying on the topic of psychedelic philosophy and ethics.

My journey is starting by taking a class that my philosopher friend Alex Criddle created [7], and then I will be taking a class through the Zendo Project [8], which has largely partnered with organizations like Burning Man and Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) to teach harm reduction. Later this year I am planning on holding entheogenic ceremonies for people who are looking at deepening their spirituality and want to do so in a way that is distinctly Restoration with new life breathed into it.

This year promises to be a significant and exciting period of spiritual growth and exploration!


Picture: “Lehi’s Dream” by Evan Sharley, 2021

[1] Beyond the Walls: https://www.facebook.com/TorontoCongregation

[2] The February Policy: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dljO3Em6BPriPoY46UBheNnOH7Ynvm_W/view

[3] Maxims of the Mother: https://gileriodekel.com/maxims/

[4] Faithful Disagreement: Polyamory in Community of Christ: https://heartofdiscernment.com/polyamory-panel/

[5] Polyamory Primer: https://heartofdiscernment.com/polyamory-primer/

[6] The shutting down of the Latter-day Seekers program after there was wide-spread support for and acceptance of polyamorous people

Part 1: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=pfbid02bh9ToVcvoNH4t2UHKoAbu4sQRBceRSMcjmQGrT75scdWyQFUr4YyqJuqZGMvhV2Vl&id=100087683864565

Part 2: https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=pfbid04vmFdKuTbuLBkQv7SqYzqC6UVrgtM8oenzjphUbnveYLi54ii4RFwRBvTnNJpZAcl&id=100087683864565

[7] Alex Criddles’s Class: https://alexcriddle.com/psychedelics-course/

[8] The Zendo Project’s Sitting and Integration Training: https://zendoproject.org/sit/