Sunday, October 15, 2006

Guest Essay: A Gay Believer's Point of View

I read a recent comment on the "gay marriage problem" by Michael that gave me pause. Not only was it well written, it represented a side of the debate that we three writers could not represent on our own, that of a gay-but-believing Mormon. I was so impressed with what he said that I felt it should not be tucked away in the comments. Therefore, I am taking the liberty to repost his comments here on the front page. Since there was no email address, I have no way of contacting him, so Michael does not know I am posting this. However, because he did post his comments, it is my good faith belief that he wanted his words to reach a wide audience. I am doing what I can to aid him.

A note: the only changes I have made to this post were to run it through a spell checker and to break it into paragraphs for easier reading. If you prefer to check the original post, you may do so here.

As I begin this effort to better communicate with others concerning "The Gay Marriage "Problem," I pray to my Heavenly Father to have the Spirit of Inspiration I desire to be able to do so in a factual and logical way. I must first of all declare my status as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I am also an adherent to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have come to realize there is a profound separation between membership in the church, and knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I should also declare that I have been, for nearly 50 of my 59 years, been dealing with same gender attraction. I am currently a single adult male who has never been married, and am a convert to the church since I was 24 years old.

I was baptized in the South China Sea while serving as a Sergeant in the United States Army in the Republic of Vietnam. I was virtually inactive for approximately 30 years. I became active again in December, 2001. During the 30 years of inactivity I am certain I would have been excommunicated justifiably for my sinful behavior. I began my repentance process by declaring my sins in the prescribed method. At the time I was a Teacher in the Aaronic Priesthood. I currently hold a valid Temple Recommend. I have received my ordination as a High Priest. I am also Cub master in my Ward, and 11 Year Old Scout Leader.

I make these declarations because I do not believe anyone is called out of the world to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ because they are qualified, but because they are willing to allow the Lord to qualify them through being converted away from the world, and the worldly. As we continue to progress in our personal journey with the Saviour, we are going to be continually reminded of the world we are so determined to overcome.

Overcoming same gender attraction is, in my estimation, just as easily overcome as any other worldly affliction. However, the ease to which I refer is due to the Atonement, as I, myself cannot overcome anything sinful. I know what the requirements are for me as an individual to enter into the level of the Celestial Kingdom wherein my Heavenly Father resides. I knew when I first joined the church, and was baptized, and given the opportunity to receive the Holy Ghost that I was embarking upon a journey which seemed familiar to me, and I wanted that more than anything I am able to understand, or describe. I only know that I long for the opportunity to sit at the feet of my Heavenly Father with my Savior Jesus Christ learning what he would have me do in order to be as He is. I am certain I shall be able to realize the desires of my heart because I have the promise given to me by the Savior when He proclaimed the Plan of Happiness, and Salvation, and I sustained Him in that proposal. I hope to be able to marry, and be sealed in a Temple ceremony upon the earth, but will not forsake my Savior by doubting Him. I know I will attain to the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom because I have the Word of Him whose I am. My only requirement is to rely upon His sacrifice on my behalf by faith.

It is so very important to always remember exactly what it is we are trying to accomplish on this earth. We are to rely solely upon Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. Any other consideration is doomed to failure. Unfortunately, discussing the problems we face with anyone other than the Lord through those who are called to represent Him whether it be a Bishop, or through prayer, and personal revelation is dangerous. I say this because unless they possess the keys commensurate with the calling, we are acting purely in an unprotected realm whereby the adversary may also participate. Compassion, properly understood, is an attribute of Christ, and possessing a compassionate nature is desirable, but it must be exercised through understanding of the Higher Laws of Creation, and Order. If it is exercised in any way contrary to divine understanding, it may be subject to contamination through adversarial influence.

I have come to profoundly understand the time in which we find ourselves is literally the most wonderful and dreadful simultaneously. It is the time when many of us in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will be required to valiantly proclaim our absolute loyalty to Jehovah, and His plan. It is also a time when many of us will fail to recognize just how powerful to persuade Lucifer can, and will be.

To those of my brothers, and sisters who are struggling with same gender attraction, I pray you will be valiant in your efforts to resist the temptation to forsake the Lord. I further pray you will remember who you are in relationship to those who do not possess the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I sincerely believe many of us with this understanding will be called upon by the Lord through the Priesthood to take the message of the Restored Gospel to those of our brothers, and sisters who are struggling with same gender attraction, but do not have the power of the Priesthood to help them understand how to repent.

As for the marriage debate, I must rely wholly upon the Prophets, Seers, and Revelators whom the Lord has called to lead the body of His Church. I cannot permit myself to become involved in worldly debate as to whether or not the church may change, or the brethren may change. I do know that the Lord will not change. If there is anything new or different concerning the way the Lord would have the leadership of His church respond to the world, and the ways of the world, I believe He will inspire His Mouthpiece to declare it in the prescribed manner He has laid out for the body of the church to follow. If it is to be proclaimed to the world, it will be likewise done.

While we do have our agency, I pray we will lend it to the lord to show Him our faith, and trust in His higher knowledge to navigate through the din of worldly clamor, and bring us to the other side of the veil unscathed.

I beg your forgiveness for my lengthy ramblings, and hope I have not offended any of my brothers or sisters. I believe some of us must valiantly refrain from being politically correct, and multiculturalistic, and I intend to continue to pattern my response to the world in the same way Captain Moroni did.

There are 3 things in my life upon this earth which cause me to tremble with compassionate feelings, and they are the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Constitution of the United States of America, and my love for those of my brothers and sisters who have been called upon to endure the tremendous responsibilities of overcoming the world sufficiently to declare the gospel of repentance to the world.

I know that our Redeemer lives, and that there is no other name under Heaven or upon this earth save it is the name of Jesus the Christ. I know that there is but one man upon the earth at this time who represents that Name, and he is President Gordon B. Hinckley of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There is but one Gospel, and one Priesthood with the power, and authority of Him who created all things spiritually before they were created temporally. I know these things to be the truth, and do declare it in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


Book Dragon said...

There are many more of us "gay but believing Mormons" out there. I wish we could be more heard ...


Book Dragon said...

Forgot to leave my blog address to a blog about being gay and staying true to the church.

How I Deal


Anonymous said...

You are welcome. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow is all I can say! I have several friends who struggle with ssa in the church and I can't imagine how hard it would be to have that trial. That post is just amazing. My friends that I have known who struggle with ssa are among the most valiant and amazing men I have ever known in my life.

Jonathan Sevy said...

This letter touches my heart. As a person who is genetically predisposed to alcoholism, I understand something about life-long resistance to cravings for something that is harmful to self, family and society. However, in this as in many of life's trials and temptations, I think mine are less intense than those of many others.

I have a question for the writer and others who suffer from SSA: Is it truly offensive, or simply politically incorrect, to refer to SSA as SSAD, Same Sex Attraction Disorder? The acronym SSAD is so much more appropriate than what I see as a deliberately manufactured "gay".

We would be incensed if some group started referring to drunk driving as "happy driving." If the media began using the term "Happy Driving", would we capitulate and use it, too? No doubt there are credentialed professionals who could be found to question and condemn the term "drunk driving" -- just as there are professionals who question and condemn the term "disorder" applied to SSA. They have some artificially limited, strict definition that is out of sync with the definition that the majority of God's children would apply to the word "disorder."

It bothers me a lot when we descend to using the term "gay" for a lifestyle that is anything but gay. It is SSAD. A same-sex marriage is SSAD, a SSAD Marriage. I have a number of SSAD friends, also alcoholic and diabetic friends, good people, kind, thoughtful, intelligent.

How is SSAD offensive? There is a growing minority around the world who are using the term. Why should we use gay?