Monday, November 29, 2004

The path I've chosen

I have so many things on my mind that I want to include in this blog, but I don’t know where to begin. First of all, let me get some facts out on the table. 1) My struggle with homosexuality has been a long, discouraging eight-year battle. 2) I am not sexually active and have never been. Yep, still a virgin. 3) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints excommunicates practicing homosexuals. 4) I was not born a homosexual; rather, certain events in my life led to my current situation (I know this for sure). 5) I have only told five people (However, I did attend a conference for LDS men struggling with homosexuality, and I met several people there. I guess you can say that I told those people at that conference. Nonetheless, I have only told 5 people whom I know well about my sexuality.) A bishop, two stake presidents, my father, and a friend (I only regret telling my friend).

Now that those facts are on the table, here’s my dilemma. Just know that for me this challenge has been a roller coaster ride. My descriptions right now are only a reflection of how I feel at this moment. Unfortunately, I go through many different emotions. That’s actually one of the reasons I started this: to see what emotional swings and shifts occur along my journey. Anyhow, it’s obvious that I have to choose between the church, which I love, and my sexuality. For the most part, I have been pursuing the church option. Every once in a while I entertain the thought of “coming out” and living a homosexual life, but I don’t see that as a viable option. Many within the homosexual community probably think I am an idiot, but my motivations for overcoming homosexuality are very deep rooted. Let me explain just a few of the reasons of why I am committed to overcoming my struggle with homosexuality.

First, I believe The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the restored Church of God and that its teachings will guide us back to our Father in Heaven. I have always believed my church is true, but spiritual experiences I have had in recent years have solidified my beliefs. I know that Jesus Christ is the redeemer of the world and that he has a plan for us and for our happiness. Practicing homosexuality is not part of that plan. As part of life, He has given us trials and struggles in order to make us better people. I honestly believe that each person has personal goliaths that he or she needs to overcome in order to gain salvation. It just so happens that homosexuality is my goliath. How do I feel about this: depends on the day. I’ll definitely talk about my feelings in other blogs. For the time being, suffice it to say that I am trying to figure out what the Lord would have me learn from this experience.

Second, I am unhappy when I get wrapped up in homosexual activities; i.e., viewing male pornography or masturbating. Of course, I enjoy these activities for a few fleeting moments, but the feelings of unhappiness that follow these activities are dark and hellacious. I know that when I am living my life in accordance to Jesus’ teachings, I am a happy person. I have confidence; I feel good about myself. When I am living contrary to his laws, I feel dirty and dark inside. I don’t like those feelings. Psychologists may say my upbringing is to blame for my feelings of guilt and unhappiness after performing certain activities. I say that I have tasted of truth and light, and because I choose the evil over the good, God’s spirit departs from me, leaving me empty and dark inside. I suppose I could go through therapy to repair my parents’ mistaken teachings, and I would probably be able to progress to the point where I don’t feel guilt or pain after performing those activities, but I would never feel of the same joy I’ve felt by living according to God's principles. Trust me; this church has more to offer than one from the outside can imagine. Whether or not you agree with my view is irrelevant. The fact is I know my feelings and I trust them. These emotions are too powerful to deny, and I don’t want to deny them.

Third, I would not be able to spend the eternities with my family. This ties into LDS teachings. If I were to accept the gay lifestyle, my family would still love me, most likely. However, in the afterlife I would not be able to live with them because they will inherit a much greater kingdom than I (or so I hope they inherit the Celestial Kingdom). In fact, I wouldn’t even be able to spend much of this life with them. My sexuality would create an awkwardness for them that would limit our involvement with one another on this earth. They wouldn’t want their children to see me or associate with me. I would certainly be denied the privilege of bringing my significant other to family functions. Things would simply never be the same between my siblings and me. This may sound trivial to some, but family is important to me, and I don’t want to sacrifice mine. (As a side note, my father does know about my sexuality, and he is very supportive of my efforts to overcome this trial. He will continue to be supportive as long as I am trying to overcome homosexuality.)

Fourth, an openly gay lifestyle would eliminate my goal of meeting and marrying a girl and raising a family. I want nothing more than to marry a wonderful woman and raise a family. I realize my homosexual tendencies have destroyed much of my potential of ever marrying, but I have faith that God will help me have a family someday. I’ve just got to find a very open-minded wife. Good luck to me.

Fifth, my mother would have a nervous breakdown – another seemingly trivial reason. I am my mother’s favorite child, or so I like to think. She was devastated by my sister’s illegitimate pregnancy. What would this do to her? I don’t know. I don’t want to know. I know that she would fall into a depression, as she did when my sister became pregnant out of wedlock. I fear my coming out would ruin her altogether. I don’t want to hurt her. I love her dearly. She has been and always will be my best friend.

Sixth, I would jeopardize my efforts and goals of becoming a senator and possibly president of the United States (every one needs a dream, right?). I honestly have a goal of becoming a U.S. senator. Homosexuality would destroy my chances of being elected. I don’t want to risk it.

Seventh, my health would be placed in jeopardy. Accepting my natural desires would mean promiscuous sex with men. That jeopardizes my health and wellness. I don’t want to contract an STD, which is very good possibility as a sexually active gay man.

Eighth, I would not be able to go to my church or face people I know in the church. I love all my friends from church. Being a homosexual would eliminate relationships with many people in the church. It would also make future friendships through church impossible. I honestly love going to church and meeting people there. I would hate to sacrifice that.

Ninth, I have this deep-rooted feeling that I am supposed to overcome this so that I can help others with similar problems. I truly believe God has a plan for me. I know he wants me to overcome this and help others. I also know he wants me to fight against the homosexual agenda that is sometimes dangerous to our nation and society. However, I also think He wants me to help people understand homosexuality for what it is. In another blog, I will explain what I think it is and why people struggle with it.

In any case, those are some of the reasons why I have chosen this path. I know it’s a difficult one, but I believe it will pay off in the long run.