Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Beginning

In a talk to students at BYU-Hawaii, Elder M. Russell Ballard encouraged members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to "join the conversation by participating on the Internet, particularly the New Media, to share the gospel and to explain in simple and clear terms the message of the Restoration." I have long wanted to share my spiritual journey with any who are willing to listen. I do not feel as though my story is unique, though it is one that is rarely, if ever, told. I am a proud member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and I am gay.

Now hold on you valiant LDS members. Before you start screaming blasphemy, hear me out. For most of my life, I have had an attraction to the same sex. I felt ostracized from my family and my friends. Because of my feelings of isolation, I rebelled against my religion and my family. Through my rebellion, however, I could never convince myself to completely detach from my religion. I carried doubts of "What if my family is right?" and "What if there is a god and he doesn't want me to be gay?"

After a series of events, which I will certainly describe in later blogs, I decided to put the gospel of Jesus Christ to the test. I knew that if I wanted to be in a same sex relationship, I would have to know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was not the true church. Over the coming months, I immersed myself in scripture study and prayer. I attended meetings and even accepted a calling in the ward. Ever so slowly, the spirit of truth and righteousness crept into my life until I knew that I could not deny the truthfulness and goodness of the Savior.

Ultimately, I came to the knowledge that God had a plan for me, and that this plan did not entail pursuing a relationship with someone of the same sex. In fact, for the time being, it does entail me pursuing a romantic relationship with anyone.

I have thought about what I want to accomplish with this blog and who I want to reach out to. Over the last several years, I have searched for someone who has a similar story to mine. Someone who had same sex attraction but believed that God had a greater plan for their life. I longed for someone to share their story with me. For me to be able to ask them questions and learn from their experience. To know that someone else has walked this path. I have not found that person as of yet, so I hope to become what I longed for. I also hope to touch the lives of the parents, siblings, extended family members, and friends of those who are gay. I want to give them comfort and faith that all may be well.

I do not profess to have all the answers and I do not profess to be perfect. I do not claim that my path is one which all people need to take. I only wish to inspire and give hope to those who may need it.

I leave you for now with my simple, humble testimony. I know there is a god in Heaven. I know that he loves me and I know that he loves you. I know that Jesus Christ came to this earth and paid the ultimate price of death so that we may return to our Father in Heaven, clean and pure. I know that prayer is a magnificent tool and that our Father in Heaven is ready and willing to pour out blessings upon us if we ask and are ready to receive them. I have hope that I can find true joy in this lifetime by obedience to the commandments. I have hope that God will support me in my trials. I have hope that my choice to lay aside my personal desires and to serve God will bring more happiness than I could obtain otherwise.

May God watch over you and bless you.

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