Friday, October 17, 2008

I don't know how many of you have read the Gospel Doctrine lesson for this coming Sunday but it includes a story about a gay man who was converted to the church. The story attributes his homosexuality to learned behavior. Here is the story:

"I know [a] good man who was reared in a family without the blessings of the gospel. Through a series of unfortunate events in his early youth, he was introduced to homosexuality, and gradually he became a prisoner of this addictive behavior. One day two young missionaries knocked on his door and asked if he would be interested in learning of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. In his heart of hearts he wanted to be freed from his prison of uncleanness, but feeling unable to change the direction his life had taken, he terminated the missionary discussions. Before leaving his apartment, the two elders left a copy of the Book of Mormon with him, and testified of its truthfulness.

My friend placed the book on his bookshelf and forgot about it for several years. He continued acting out his homosexual tendencies, assuming that such relationships would bring him happiness. But alas, with each passing year, his misery increased.
One day in the depths of despair, he scanned his bookshelf for something to read which might edify and uplift him and restore his self worth. His eye caught hold of the book with a dark blue cover, which the missionaries had given him several years before. He began to read. On the second page of this book, he read of Father Lehi’s vision in which he was given a book to read, and “as he read, he was filled with the Spirit of the Lord” (1 Ne. 1:12). And as my good friend continued reading, he too was filled with the Spirit of the Lord.

He read King Benjamin’s benedictory challenge to undergo a mighty change of heart—not a little change, but a mighty change. He was given hope by the comforting conversion stories of Enos, Alma, Ammon, and Aaron. He was also inspired by the account of the Savior’s visit to the ancient Nephites. By the time he reached the final page of the Book of Mormon, he was prepared to accept Moroni’s loving invitation to “come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness” (Moro. 10:32). My friend contacted the Church and was taught the gospel and was baptized. [Spencer J. Condie, “A Mighty Change of Heart,” Ensign, Nov. 1993, 16–17]."

I don't refute this man's conversion to the gospel or his change of heart. What bothers me is that his homosexuality was something that was gradually learned over time. I find it hard to believe that he gradually became gay as a result of some bad choices as a youth. This story contradicts what the church teaches about homosexuality not being a choice. Am I interpreting the story correctly to assume that it says being attracted to the same sex is a choice?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I must be insane to believe that I could ever make a straight relationship work when I am attracted, almost exclusively to men. I can't imagine how I ended up with such an incredible wife and children. I just don't see how this is possible, and I'm scared about the future. There's no way I can keep this up. Where is the logic behind all of this? What are my motives? I've made it this far, but what is it going to take to make it 50 more years, assuming I die at an old age? Am I capable of holding this relationship and this family together? Why isn't there more support and understanding from the church? I need more direction, more strength and more faith.

I am so happy with my wife and family. They are the center of my universe. I would be devastated if I had to leave them for any reason. My greatest fear is that I will do something stupid and lose all that I hold dear. I've come too close on a few occasions as can be seen in my posts. One of the sacrifices I make is having to deal with the guilt of the mistakes I make every so often of looking at porn (nothing hard core), looking at guys, wanting guys, keeping things hidden from everyone (except the occasional priesthood leader or a close friend), and then the once or twice a year I do something really stupid like chat with gay men online or coming close to hooking up.

Will I ever be or feel temple worthy under such circumstances? I want to be clean in every way but am thinking that this will never be the case. I continually repent of my sins to God, and when they are more severe, to my Bishop. But it's not always possible to repent all the time or talk to my Bishop. It takes a lot of trust to confide in a new Bishop every time I move or every four years when a new Bishop is put in place. I really don't think it's fair to have to rehash my situation in order to be temple worthy.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

I've often wondered what it would be like if the tables were turned. What if homosexuality was the way to live as taught by the church? What if straight relationships were the abomination? Would the current members of the church put aside their tendencies toward the opposite sex in order to live how God has commanded? How many would fall away from the church because they weren't attracted to the same sex? How many could handle such a huge sacrifice? I wish this could happen for one day, so that everyone would understand what we as gay men are giving up to live the life that has been taught to us and that we believe to be right. I'm not saying that I actually wish that homosexuality was espoused by the church, but I just wish they could understand what it is really like. Are the testimonies of church members strong enough to handle such a commandment? I really don't think they are. I think the church would quickly fall apart.
Since July 15, 2007