Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Reducing the Drive

I just thought I would share some more thoughts about what my experience with homosexuality has been like.

(These thoughts were spurred by a good e-mail friend and blog reader. )

Here's the thing about homosexuality, or at least my experience with it. At certain times my attraction toward men is GREATLY diminished. In fact, I can even feel attraction toward women some of the time.

I think one of the main reasons for my same-sex attraction is my inferiority complex. I feel inferior to men. Because my best friend through elementary school was a girl, because my father and I weren't close while I was growing up, because I wasn't interested in sports like my brothers I have never quite felt equal to men. You would probably never know this by just hanging around me. I really get along fine with most men, especially those to whom I am not attracted. However, if a guy is good looking, I do get a bit nervous to talk to him – usually not noticeably nervous though. In any case, I am constantly aware of my feelings of inferiority to good-looking men. It's rather funny, really.

Because of my inferiority complex, I have this HUGE unmet need: same-gender love and acceptance. I'm not talking about sexual love, but the good love that you find between brothers, good guy friends, and father and son. Because I feel inferior to men, I start to sexualize my desires to be with and feel loved by them. Most of the time I simply want to cuddle with other men. I don't want to have sex with them, just feel loved by them. I know that might sound odd considering I have a porn addiction, but that's honestly my greatest desire. Watching porn is just one way I try to get close to men. I guess sucking another man’s penis is the ultimate closeness – stupid, I know. (Plus, the sexual element is really addicting.) I simply want to get close to and feel accepted by men.

That's why I think I am RARELY attracted to my close guy friends. Once I know them and feel accepted by them, the attraction wears off. Once the mystery and longing to be close to that person is gone, I no longer am attracted to him. It's weird. That's why a lot of ex-gay groups like Evergreen Int'l and Exodus focus on helping gay men build positive relationships with heterosexual men. It really helps them reduce their desires for men.

That's also one of the reasons why I don't think I could ever be happy or feel satisfied as a practicing homosexual. I fear that once I get to know my partner well, I will no longer feel attracted to him and will want to end the physical aspect of the relationship. I don't know if that's what will happen, but that's what I think might happen. I really can't think of a close guy friend to whom I am attracted. I've often begun friendships having feelings for the guy, but the more I get to know him, the less attracted I am to him.

Anyhow, that's my little tid bit for the day.

Here's a Web site that a reader sent me. I agree with much of what is written on this site.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Attraction Phenomena

So, I’ve decided to take a vacation from my problems. Yep, it’s official. I’m on vacation. :) I have to laugh because the movie “What About Bob,” which I love, gave me the idea to go on vacation from my problems. While I was watching the movie, I just thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to do that?” Unfortunately, not many people have that luxury. People who deal with sickness, family problems, relationship problems, etc. cannot just go on vacation. Their problems are always there. However, I feel like my situation might allow for such vacation time. Time where I can just refuse to think about my problems and refuse to feel bad for my problems.

I’ve actually been on vacation for the past week or so. For the past few days I have NOT made a conscious effort to stop looking at porn or masturbating. I’ve also forced myself to think about things other than my guilt. It’s been rather nice, but I have to admit that it’s impossible to go on vacation entirely. It’s kind of like a businessperson who must answer business calls while vacationing – same sort of thing. I say this because even when I am not thinking about the problem or solution, I carry a certain mood, attitude or feeling. I feel a bit darker, hopeless after I look at porn or masturbate. It’s just there. I can be walking across campus, thinking about schoolwork or something entirely unrelated to my problems, and I’ll still feel a bit down. Not depressed or suicidal, I simply feel a bit empty.

Nonetheless, a portion of the stress has dissipated because of the vacation. Ironically, I almost feel less inclined to look at porn now that I’m on vacation. Perhaps it’s because I’m not thinking about it as much. I think I’ve heard theories about porn being a bigger problem in Mormon culture because members can’t stop thinking about their “awful” sins. On the other hand, maybe I haven’t given my vacation enough time to tell if it is having a noticeable impact on me. It could just be coincidence that I’ve not looked at porn as frequently over the past week or so. I’ll keep you posted on any breaking realizations regarding this.

One thing I have noticed, however, is no matter what I do, I am constantly checking guys out. I can’t get away from it. I don’t know if this is how it is for heterosexuals or other gay folk, but whenever I see another guy, I immediately decide whether I think he is attractive and whether I think he is gay or not. Kind of weird, I know.

That brings another thing to mind. I’ve noticed I’m attracted mainly to guys whom I don’t know very well. For example, I’ve never been attracted to my roommates, even though I’ve had some very attractive ones. Sometimes I’ll be attracted to them in the beginning, but the more I get to know them, the less attracted I am to them. Weird, eh? Maybe it’s the element of mystery or fantasy that I like. I don’t know; I can’t figure it out. I’ve wondered whether straight guys experience this same phenomenon.

Hey, I just realized that it works for me with both sexes – sometimes. For example, for the past year and a half I have been very attracted to Michelle (to her personality, at least) and have wanted to pursue a relationship. However, the closer we got to having a relationship, the more “normal” she seemed, and the less interested I was in dating her. This phenomenon really paints a bleak picture for future relationships of mine. The more I get to know a person, the less interested I am! What kind of freaky phenomenon is that!? Can anyone relate?!

Anyhow, I’ve got to go. I’m going to a play right now.

Monday, January 17, 2005

I've Found A Reason Why

I loved this email from Bill. I thought I would share it along with my reply. It answers a lot of good questions about the church, and it gives my deeper reason for sticking with it.

Hope you enjoy.


Hi GM,

I was just catching up with your blog and wanted to wish you well. I am sorry to hear about the strained relationship with your father. You are in a unique position because, unlike a lot of gay men who are odds with religious parents, you understand and embrace the same belief system as your dad. You know exactly where he is coming from. I don't know that that helps, other than to help you remember that he is a good man with a sincere faith.

I was interested to read your answers to some reader’s questions. Don't get put off by this, but as a non-Mormon gay man, I totally misunderstood the question about you being endowed. That means something entirely different in my world! But seriously, I am not sure what that means or why you can't go to the temple. I'd be interested in knowing more about this.

I am not sure you'd have to be an agnostic if you came out as a gay man. I realize that you would most likely not be able to be a Mormon any longer, and since you love your church that might seem to be the same as giving up on God. But I just wanted to mention that many gay people embrace a spiritual path. There are many Christian denominations that are accepting of gay people and faith is important in the lives of many gay people. Just as there are many politically conservative gay people, there are also religious gay people.

Does the Mormon Church have a position that says you can be gay as long as you don't act on it? Or does the church believe with the right effort or at the right time you will be healed?
I am not a fan of them, but was curious to know if you have looked into any Ex-Gay organizations?

I'd like to understand the porn addiction issue a little better. Is part of the problem that masturbation in and of itself is a sin? Obviously a person doesn't look at porn and not intend to masturbate. But a person can easily masturbate without looking at porn. Since I don't look upon masturbation as a sin, I may not fully understand this issue.

I completely understood your point when you write: Within the last year or so I have stopped trying as hard to kick the habit. I have been so fed up with my failures that I don't want to fail anymore. I’m afraid. I hesitate to try new methods for breaking the habit because I fear that the methods will fail. I don’t want them to fail; I want them to work! So now, as a “solution,” I avoid possible solutions altogether. I have been in the position where trying to do something wound up being worse than not trying at all. I am pretty self-critical and sometimes I have to avoid finding something else to beat myself up over. I think that is what you're doing in this instance.

When you have so much to reconcile in your life that seems irreconcilable, it is easy to put yourself down. I understand that you believe you were not born gay, but became gay because of things that happened in your life. If it wasn't something you chose, is it still a sin? Since you have not acted on your homosexual desires (other than masturbation) is the sin that you are having homosexual thoughts? I guess I am trying to understand what your options are. To have a desire that you feel is wrong and to not act on it takes a certain degree of character and you should give yourself credit where credit is due. Yes, when you are alone, you might lose one battle. But you have not tried to engage in homosexual acts with other men. You have, in fact, successfully avoided such activities. While you may feel you have things to feel guilty about, I would say the Mormon side of you wins out far more than the Gay side.

Sorry, this is a bit long. If you have an opportunity to write back, or address some of these issues in your blog, I would be interested.

All the best,




How are you? I was very glad to see an email from you in my inbox this afternoon. In fact, I’ve been meaning to reply to the last email you sent about two weeks ago. I knew I would want to write a longer email, so I have been waiting to find a good time to reply.

Anyhow, I’m well. Thanks for keeping up with my blog. I wish I posted more often, but what can you do? This semester will actually be less busy than the last in terms of schoolwork, but I just began another job, so I’m sure things will feel just as busy.

You nailed it right on the head when you said, “You are in a unique position because, unlike a lot of gay men who are odds with religious parents, you understand and embrace the same belief system as your dad.” It really is frustrating sometimes because I can see both sides of the “argument” (maybe “situation” or “issue” would work better). It’s especially frustrating because my father unknowingly makes me feel like I don’t love my religion at times, which isn’t the case at all.

Just so you know, though our relationship is strained when it comes to my sexuality, it’s really not as bad most other times. I was very upset with him after the holiday break, so my blogs at the beginning of the month were a bit negative about him. Those blogs were very emotion laden.

Our relationship has actually evolved quite a bit over the past six years – enough so that I can say our relationship is good now. While I was in middle school and high school, we simply did not get along. One reason is because we’re very similar; another reason is because I know how to push his buttons. It’s an odd talent, but I’m sure you understand. :) After I moved away to college, things improved greatly! The distance helped us build a more solid relationship. We can now laugh and talk without problems; we’re very cordial with one another; and, ironically, one of the cornerstones of our relationship is politics. We both love discussing politics. The only thing we have problems with these days is homosexuality. When that topic comes up, I go on the defensive.

Anyhow, things are much better these days than they were in the past. I talked to my father just tonight, and we were laughing and joking about one of my friends. Neither of us mentioned the controversial email correspondence we’ve been carrying on for the past two weeks – partly because my mother has NOOOO idea that I’m gay. I love her to death, but knowing about my sexuality would send her into deep depression. Plus, at this point there’s no reason for her to know.

Thanks for reminding me that my father is a good man -- he really is. I respect him so much for his faith, commitment, diligence, work ethic, and knowledge. Sometimes I just get too wrapped up in his flawed views regarding homosexuality.

I can’t tell you how much I laughed when you asked about my being “endowed!” Your comment was HILARIOUS! I’m so glad you pointed that out. I forgot that “endowed” has a very different meaning to most people. Any Mormon wouldn’t think twice about it because it’s so commonplace in our religion. Let me explain.

This explanation could get quite lengthy because the temple is a very big subject, but I’m going to try to keep it short. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have two places in which we worship. First, we have our chapels. Much like other Christian churches, we go to church every Sunday for about three hours for worship services. Anyone can attend. They are open to the public. (Even though you disagree with the Mormon church, you should really go sometime just to see what things are like.) Temples, on the other hand, are reserved for members who abide by the church’s doctrines and principles. One must have a recommend for the temple, and members can only attend the temple Monday through Saturday. It’s not even open Sundays. Thousands of chapels exist around the world, but only about 120 temples exist in the world.

Anyhow, inside the temple various ordinances and ceremonies take place. For example, it is in temples that Mormons usually wed for time and all eternity – unlike other weddings where it’s until “death do you part.” Like I mentioned in one of my earlier blogs, Mormons believe in eternal relationships, marriages and families. We believe that two married people must be “sealed” in the temple by one having authority to be able to live together with their family forever. Anyhow, that’s really a discussion for another time.

Regarding your question about being endowed, one of the main ceremonies we perform in the temple is called the “endowment” session. In the ceremony we make additional covenants or promises with the Lord, vowing to be more Christ-like, etc. In return, we are promised certain blessings for making those covenants. As members, we believe the endowment ceremony is a necessary ceremony for the life hereafter.

I realize this may seem very foreign to you, but trust me; the temple is really a wonderful place to meditate and worship God. I really think you would like it. Of course, you’d have to be a Mormon and a non-practicing homosexual in order to go through the temple. :) Nonetheless, I think you’d find the temple as a very peaceful and spiritual sanctuary.

Anyhow, I realize I’ve spoken in generalities, but that’s because we really don’t give details about the temple ceremonies outside the temple. They are very sacred to us, and we don’t want people mocking them. Plus, without a better understanding of Mormon doctrine, they are usually confusing and odd to most people.

Wow, I didn’t succeed in keeping that short, and I don’t think I succeeded in explaining the temple very clearly. Like I said, it’s a huge topic. Let me know if I can help you understand more about it. To summarize: because of the “endowment session,” Mormons refer to those who have gone through the ceremony as being “endowed.” It’s just a colloquialism in the Mormon church. That’s why she asked if I am “endowed.” She wanted to know if I had gone through the endowment session in the temple. :)

You asked about the church’s position on homosexuality. A gay member can enjoy all the rights, privileges and blessings of the church and temple attendance as long as he or she is not practicing homosexuality. The church does not view my homosexual tendencies as sinful. The leaders realize that men and women don’t choose these types of emotions, but I don’t think they believe people are born gay. Either way, the church opposes all homosexual behaviors. So, to answer your question, no I am not sinful for simply being gay. I am sinful if I act on those urges. I guess you could compare it to an alcoholic who has urges to drink. As long as he doesn't actually get drunk, he is doing nothing wrong.

The church, however, does regard pornography and masturbation as sinful; therefore, because I am involved in porn and masturbation, I cannot worthily attend the temple. It’s really an “on your honor” type situation, though. If I wanted to, I could lie to my bishop (who is like a priest or pastor) and go to the temple all I want. I just wouldn’t feel comfortable doing that. Though the church is opposed to both porn and masturbation, the pornography is the larger problem. Masturbation, though not good, is not as serious of a sin.

You’re too kind. You say everything I need to hear. I never feel like the Mormon side of me is winning, so it’s good to hear someone else’s perspective on the issue. I, like you, am pretty self-critical. Thanks for pointing out my successes.

You suggested that I might be able to find another spiritual path as a gay man. Let me explain why I really wouldn’t be able to do that. I’m going to get a bit personal/religious, if that’s okay. You see, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – a.k.a. the Mormon church – has very unique doctrines and beliefs. We believe in modern-day prophets, eternal marriage, The Book of Mormon, temple ceremonies, and even a health code. We believe that the church we have today is the restored church of Jesus Christ, meaning it is the same one Christ established 2,000 years ago, which fell apart because of corruption. Anyhow, I honestly believe all the teachings of the Church. I believe this is Christ’s true church. I have this conviction because of how I feel. When I read the Bible or The Book of Mormon, learn the doctrines of the Church, pray, or go to Sunday services, I feel warm, peaceful feelings in my heart. I feel a happiness, even joy, that is difficult to explain. I know that these feelings are from God, sent through His Holy Spirit, to enlighten and uplift me. I truly believe these feelings are an answer to my prayers for guidance. He leads me through life by them. It really is a wonderful thing for me.

I know that in my blog I often talk about all the struggles and emotional anguish I experience because of my beliefs; however, the joy and happiness I find through Christ’s church is worth the sacrifice and struggle. No one in life has it easy. This is my struggle. I can deal with it if I have His help.

I hope none of my beliefs have offended you. I would love for you to learn more about the church. You can find copies of the Book of Mormon in many places – and they’re usually free. Also, the missionaries for the church are all over. I realize you’re not interested in adopting the church’s teachings as your own core beliefs, but I think we have a wonderful message worth hearing.

I hope these last few paragraphs helped explain why I want to live a heterosexual lifestyle. It’s like one of my heterosexual Mormon reader’s said a few days ago, “if the world flipped up side down, and heterosexual desires were seen as bad, I think the only thing in the universe that would stop me from being heterosexual would be the light and truth of Christ (and even then it would be incredibly hard).

I hope I never seem too critical or condemning of the Church’s doctrines because I truly believe this is Christ’s restored church. I wouldn’t be trying so hard to overcome my homosexual desires if I didn’t feel that way. It's really the only thing in the universe that could make me want to live the "straight" life.

Thanks again for being such a great friend and for wanting to understand. Please keep the emails coming.



Saturday, January 15, 2005

Comments? Questions?

In the previous blog I received two very interesting comments. Firstly, I’d like to thank the two anonymous people who made the comments. I’d also like to address them.

The one comment said I am dealing with two different problems. I agree completely. I have a porn addiction and I am gay. They are very separate. Like he said, even if I do kick the porn habit, I will likely always be gay. I'm glad he made that distinction because apparently I have been blurring the lines between the two issues.

I only disagree with one part of his comment: the origin of my sexuality. I don’t believe I was born gay. I’ve mentioned in previous blogs why I feel this way. Perhaps I am wrong, but that’s what I believe based on my experiences and feelings. Nonetheless, I don’t believe I CHOSE my sexuality – as does my father. For ME and MY situation, I believe the explanation for my sexuality lies on the “nurture” side of the argument. I don’t believe that this is necessarily true for all gay men. Homosexuality may very well be genetic for some gay men. I don’t know.

Anyhow, thanks commenter for believing that I CAN overcome my porn addiction. Right now, that’s the issue I want to deal with most. Thanks for your support. You’re probably right, however, that I will always have feelings for men.

As for the other person who commented, I appreciate your hope-inspiring story. I wish I were as strong willed as you in overcoming your heterosexual porn addiction so quickly. I don’t think it will ever be that clear cut for me, but who knows. Maybe over night I will just be able to give it up! I would pay a lot of money for that to happen.

I’ve been emailing one of my blog readers quite regularly for the past month, and I just thought I would share a portion of my reply to one of her emails. You see, she is working on a project and has been asking me questions about my situation and my feelings. In her last email she asked if I truly believed a porn addict could overcome his addiction completely without ever reverting to it.

This is what I wrote:

The question you asked is the scariest yet. :) I contemplate it a lot. To begin, let me say I have heard stories of porn addicts who have gone 10 years or more without it. So, yes, I do believe that it is possible for people to actually, sincerely get out of porn. Now let me tell you how I feel deep inside. I feel like I will never get out of porn entirely. Mainly because I have been involved in it for about the past 7 years – barring the two-year mission break – and have seen no results from my efforts to get away. I mean, you’d think after having gone two years without it that I would be “cured” from it. Well, not so. I quickly returned to my old ways the WEEK after I got home from my mission. Really, the only reason I wasn’t involved in porn during the mission was that I didn’t have time for or access to it. It was wonderful. I still masturbated on my mission, but not nearly as much as I do nowadays. I could go months without masturbating on my mission. Anyhow, my situation has been that I ALWAYS come back to porn after a few weeks, months or even years of trying to give it up. It’s sad.

Now, for the bright side…I have this hope that someday I will conquer my bad habit. For some reason, I know that I will someday, but it’s hard for me to BELIEVE that I will someday. Does that make sense?

Now I am going to be even more honest about my addiction – something I just recently noticed about myself. Within the last year or so I have stopped trying as hard to kick the habit. I have been so fed up with my failures that I don’t want to fail anymore. I’m afraid. I hesitate to try new methods for breaking the habit because I fear that the methods will fail. I don’t want them to fail; I want them to work! So now, as a “solution,” I avoid possible solutions altogether. This is really a catch-22, I realize. I don’t even know if I am making any sense. I guess what I am saying is that if I keep trying new or old solutions, I will eventually run out of them and then I will be DOOMED to a life of pornographic addiction! AHHHHHHH! I just reread this paragraph and realized that my thinking is VERY ridiculous. I wish I didn’t feel or think this way. I really need help. WOW!


Here are some of the other responses I’ve written to other questions in other emails.

Question 1: If you knew the Lord would make you attracted to women one day, would it be easier for you to stay the course or that much more harder not to?

If I knew the Lord would someday make me attracted to women, then it would be SOOOO much easier to stay the course. As you know, I've not had homosexual experiences, and I know I can endure longer, as long as there is an end at some point. You see, my greatest fear is that someday I will get married to a woman, have kids, and then walk out on her and my children for another man! No woman or child deserves such treatment, yet I've heard stories with similar endings. That's why it's very difficult for me to take girls seriously or to try to get into a serious relationship. I just don't know how long I can last. If I knew that at some point down the road I would be completely "cured" of homosexuality, I would be much stronger through this trial I think. I guess that's kind of my problem: lack of faith. As my father would say, if I simply believed that would happen, then it would. He's probably right, but 9 years of believing that has produced few results. In fact, I'm much farther from the path than when I was 18 and preparing for a mission. I think that was the spiritual climax in my life: ages 18 -19. Anyhow, my testimony is strong enough that I know this is God's restored church and that homosexuality is a sin, but it's weak enough that I don't see an end to this trial and I don't know if I will ever be able to have a family because of it.

Question 2: If you didn't have the gospel in your life where would you be right now? Happily homosexual on a beach sipping a pina colada in Cancun with your domestic partner?

Without the gospel in my life, I would certainly be a flaming homosexual. Okay, maybe not flaming, but I would be dating men, having sex with them, and essentially living an openly gay lifestyle. Would I be happy? Probably. Like you said, I think people can be happy regardless of the sinful life they lead; however, I don't think I would have the same peace and joy that I enjoy as a member of the church. Plus, I would most definitely be agnostic without the church. What a sad state! Not knowing your purpose in life. That is scarier than being gay.

Question 3: Are you endowed? Serve a mission? Have any married friends?

I am endowed. I did serve an honorable, full-time mission. I served my mission in Europe. I became a trainer and district leader at eight months out. I became zone leader at 16 months and assistant to the president at 18 months. I would usually never showcase my callings like this, but I figure as long as I am anonymous, it's no big deal. However, with that in mind, you must know that I have not been to the temple for nearly 4 years. The last time I attended a session was while I was in the MTC. I miss the temple greatly, but I don't feel worthy to go. Well, actually, I'm not worthy to go to the temple. Since about the first week after I returned from my mission, I have been involved with pornography and masturbation on and off. I'll get into it for a week or two, then I'll be clean for a few weeks. Then I go back to it. It's really a stupid, predictable cycle, but I can't seem to break it. I will break it someday.

My temple recommend expired about a year ago, and I didn't bother to renew it because I knew I wasn't worthy. Plus, I never use it anyway. Right now it's been about two weeks since I last meddled in the Net. I have a goal to go 30 days without porn so that I can get a new temple recommend. My bishop recommended I be clean from it for at least 30 days. We'll see if I can ever do it. I want to, but apparently I don't have the will power for it -- yet. However, I don't know if I'll ever feel really worthy to go to the temple. Even when I went through before my mission and during my MTC stay, I always felt a little guilty about being there -- even though I had confessed every possible sin and was told I was worthy. Anyhow, you can probably tell that I am sad about my temple attendance situation. Oh well, it could be much, much worse.

Yes, I do have married friends. Being nearly 24 years old, it's impossible to attend BYU and not have married friends. In addition, all my close friends from high school are married or engaged. Of course, when I'm asked about marriage, I just tell people I am focused on my career and just waiting to find that special someone. A lot of Mormons think I am probably too focused on my career, but they can think that. It's a better than having to explain my sexuality. :) "So why aren't you married?" "Well, I'm gay. That seems to be the biggest problem." :)


As a final note for this blog session, I told my dad in an email today that I won’t be talking about my problem to him anymore. We’ll see if that happens. I just can’t deal with him right now. He’s a great man, though. Don’t forget that.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

To My Wonderful Sympathizers

I got a few comments on that last post, and I just want to take time to thank all the wonderful, tolerant sympathizers out there! I love it when people leave me comments telling me how they feel about my situation. Thank you all for your wonderful comments! They really do put a smile on my face. I would reply to all of your comments, but some of you are anonymous.

You know, I am especially touched by your comments because I feel somewhat like a red-headed step child in my current situation. Here's why: I am not an openly homosexual man and am, in fact, trying to live a heterosexual lifestyle, so I don't feel very accepted by the homosexual community; on the other hand, I do have homosexual desires, which makes me an "unworthy" or "illegitimate" Mormon in many ways, so I don't think I can find total acceptance among Mormons. As a result of these conflicting feelings/actions, I don't feel entirely accepted by any group. Your emails give me hope. Thanks again!

Anyhow, here’s the most recent dispute between my dad and me via email. I really don’t think we’re going to make much progress until he agrees to try to understand me better. He really doesn’t understand my situation or what I am going through; plus, I’m prideful and don’t like to accept certain pieces of his advice. Hence, our dialogue is always strained when it involves my sexuality.

Here is a copy of his email to me and of my reply to that email. Just so you know, he hasn’t responded since I last wrote him. Maybe I’m a lost cause in his mind.

Dear Son,

I have great love for you and desire that you be a part of our family forever. You are an esteemed son, brother & uncle for whom all members of our family have respect. Your mother continues to try to 'mother' you--as her youngest child--at every opportunity. She wants you to be her little boy forever.

Of all my children, you are the one for whom people seek out to visit with and say hello when you are in the area. You have a place of honor among men here and elsewhere.

You have the potential to do a great work in the Lord's kingdom. You also, in your current thinking, have the potential to hurt many people--including yourself--by continuing some self-destructive behaviors.

President Spencer W. Kimball has written:
"Satan tells his victims that it is a natural way of life; that it is normal; that gays are a different kind of people born 'that way' and that they cannot change. This is a base lie. All normal people have sex urges and if they control such urges, they grow strong and masterful. If they yield to their carnal desires and urges, they get weaker until their sins get beyond control."

"One young man sought to pit his reasoning against the things I told him, saying, "That is your opinion and this is mine." This caused me to say, "My dear boy, if it were my opinion against yours, I would have nothing more to say. As an individual my mind might be dull compared to yours; my thoughts might be elementary compared with your erudite ones, but you have forgotten a basic truth. I am not expressing my thoughts only. When I say this is sin, I am quoting the Creator of the world. Truth is truth and needs no eloquent tongue nor brilliant brain to portray it. You are using the logic of one mind, however keen it might be; I am expressing the truths of God as interpreted by six thousand years of the Lord's prophets in addition to the Lord, himself, the Christ, the Savior, the Creator, the Redeemer. Why do you continue to 'kick against the pricks?" Spencer Kimball

I know you are not into this, but you were using the words of the homosexual philosophy in our conversation last Sunday. Please don't listen to their deception, their lies. Please do not email or listen to those who promote the gay lifestyle; help yourself overcome SSA by getting out of the homosexual pornography.

"So long as you tolerate this 'gay world' and its degenerate people, you are in a very desperate situation and you are playing with fire just like a child who might be pounding a bomb with a hammer."
"False counselors have no love for you but want only what you might be able to do for them. If such persons have convinced you that this way of living is not degenerate, then they are likely degenerate themselves and are in reality your worst enemies." Spencer Kimball

James said: "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am temped of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
"But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed."
"Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death (spiritual death)" James 1:13-15

Son, you mentioned that you 'couldn't see how the Atonement of Christ could help you'. I admit that I don't understand the mechanics of how it can heal and cleanse us. But I do know, from a power beyond my understanding, that He can and will heal you--and me, and every other person who has sinned.

I urge you, son, to cleanse yourself and get in a position to receive answers to prayers and to receive the Power of Jesus Atonement. We all have to do this throughout our lives.

Get out of the pornography; increase your prayer time pleading for help; make yourself temple worthy. You have cast aside a powerful help and assistance--temple worship--by not attending in many years--since before your mission.

Avail yourself of this spiritual power in houses of the Lord. Don't set aside your faith and your beliefs.

"Remember also, if you repent, the
". . .burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off they neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed. . ." 2 Nephi 20:27

". . .The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." James 5:16
Listen to the prophets, to your parents, to the Lord, to those who love you the most. President Joseph Fielding Smith often quoted:
"Sow a thought, reap an act,
Sow an act, reap a habit,
Sow a habit, reap a character,
Sow a character, reap an eternal destiny."

". . . These (arrayed in white robes) are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
"Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them." Rev 7:14-15

This latter quote from John the Beloved is where we strived to be. Let's work together to be there.


Your Father

Here’s my reply:


To begin, I want you to know that I appreciate mother's mothering nature. Please let her treat me how she wants. If I ever feel she is "mothering" me too much, I'll be the one to tell her. It's not your place to tell her how to treat me.

Regarding the rest of your email, I do appreciate your concern and love for me. I know you mean well, but I must be honest: your counsel isn't helpful. I've heard these things a million times over. I know the LDS church's stance on homosexuality. In fact, I agree with nearly everything you wrote.

I suppose my problem with your intervention is twofold. First, this is my problem, not yours. As much as I'd like for you to solve my problems, you can't. Pointing out all my sins, and then providing Sunday-school solutions to fix them isn't helpful. I simply don't believe you understand my condition. I don't think you ever could. You think I am a homosexual because of decisions I've made in my life. It's simply not true. I chose this trial just as much as a diabetic chose to stop producing insulin. However, do I think I was born this way? No. Anyhow, that's another discussion for another day.

Second, I guess I would like to think you trust me and believe I will make the right decisions. I really don't need you treating me like -- or making me feel like -- I'm living a promiscuous life among gay men. I'm not. I am trying to do what's right. I am trying to live the gospel of Jesus Christ. Do I fail regularly? Yes. Am I proud of that? No. I'm still working things out. Stop making comments like, "in your current thinking," as if I have decided to live the gay lifestyle. Comments like those do more harm than good.

Like I said, I understand you only want to help; however, when you try to help you make me feel terrible and I immediately turn defensive. Maybe it's my pride; maybe it's your ignorance. Either way, our conversations/communications hurt me -- they don't help me. That's why I think you should stay out of this.

Here's what you can do for me: pray that I will figure this out and do the Lord's will; stop telling me stories about men with porn problems who could never overcome it; and try to be more sympathetic toward homosexuals.


Saturday, January 08, 2005

Holiday Conflict

My dad and I had it out my last day at home over Christmas break. Not an unusual thing, really, but it was the worst I’ve seen it in a long while. I got really emotional as well. It was interesting. My dad and I were riding home from church, and he asked me what I was doing to overcome my porn addiction. Because I’ve seen where previous discussions of this sort have taken us, I told him I didn’t want to talk about it. However, my father is a very concerned parent, and so he wouldn’t drop it. He insisted I tell him what I am doing.

Me – “Dad, I know where these conversations always lead, and I don’t want to go there.”

Dad – “I’m concerned about you and I just want to know how you’re doing and what steps you’re taking to overcome pornography.”

Me – “I really don’t want to talk about it.”

Dad – “I’m just trying to help. Why don’t you want to talk about it?”

Me – “Because our conversations don’t help. In fact, they make things worse. I’ve heard what you’ve had to say, and I really don’t want to hear it again.”

Dad – “What do you mean you’ve heard what I have to say?”

Me – “It’s the same thing every time: pray, read scriptures, blah, blah, blah. I know all the right answers, it’s just not that simple though.”

Dad – “Son, I want you to be a part of our family forever, so I am going to talk to you about this.” (Side note: A basic tenet of the Mormon Church is eternal families. He was referring to not only this life, but also the life after we die. I believe in the doctrine.)

Me – “Dad, I know you want to help, but our conversations make me feel worse about myself because everything I am and everything I feel is contrary to the Church, according to you. I’m a sinful, prideful, awful person, and I don’t need to hear it from you any more.”

Dad – “I don’t say those things about you.”

Me – “You think that homosexuality is awful, and I am gay, therefore I must be awful.”

Dad – “You’re not gay…”

Me – “Dad, you’ve got to be kidding. I AM GAY! I am a homosexual, and no matter what you think or want to believe, I like men! That’s the reality. It’s really hard to live in a homophobic family where all my siblings and parents think what I am is completely wrong! I hate it!”

Dad – “Homophobic! That’s a term invented by the homosexual community to help them justify their sinful behavior.”

Me – “Dad, those people are good people. Just because you disagree with their lifestyle doesn’t mean you have to abhor everything about them. I’m sick of seeing you guys act so disgusted when homosexuals are on T.V., or when it’s discussed in a political context.”

Dad – “We don’t hate the people, we hate the sin. We cannot look upon their sinful behavior as normal or acceptable.”

Me – “But, Dad, that’s who these people are. It’s not something they chose. WHY WOULD ANYONE ONE CHOOSE THIS!”

Dad – “There are a lot of deviant behaviors portrayed on T.V. as normal that we disagree with. We cannot accept such behaviors. We hate the sin, not the sinner. God made us man and woman for a reason.”

Me – “Dad, you just don’t understand. You don’t understand what it’s like to be homosexual.”

Dad – “Your trials are not much different from other people’s trials. All people have desires that they shouldn’t act on.”

Me – “I know, but with homosexuality it’s different. I can never have your blessing in being with a man. You don’t understand homosexuality, though you think you do.”

Dad – “You’ve become homosexual because of certain choices you’ve made in your life…”

Me – “Hold on, you think I CHOSE this! Why would you think I would ever choose this!”

Dad – “Because of your choices to meddle in pornographic material…”

Me – “Dad, pornography is a SYMPTOM of a much larger problem. Pornography did not MAKE me GAY! Who do you think you’re kidding!”

Dad – “You even said yourself that your sexuality is a product of your choices.”

Me – “I said my sexuality is a product of my CIRCUMSTANCES! Very different. Dad, you think choices made me gay because that fits into your religious paradigm. Well, you’re wrong.”

Dad – “God gives us trials blah, blah, blah.”

Me – “You’re right, dad. You know everything. Well, if you’re such a genius, why don’t you take my problem and solve it for me!”

At that point, I went downstairs VERY PISSED OFF and upset. I couldn’t even believe what I was hearing. I had heard most of his advice before, but I had no idea he thought I CHOOSE homosexuality. WOW! He came down after a few minutes, and he gave me a hug. I lost it at that point. I just started sobbing. I wish I did love my dad. I wish I did have a great relationship with him. Unfortunately, he doesn't trust me, he doesn't believe me and he doesn't understand me.

I explained to him that it was very difficult for me to talk to him because I can see both sides of the issue. As a result, I automatically take the opposite side when I talk to people about homosexuality. If I were to talk to a gay man about my decisions, I would certainly argue that my decision is best for me.

Either way, I think my arguments would be more sensitive if I were to discuss the issue with a homosexual man. I think God loves all people, including all homosexual men and myself. I think he sympathizes with their plight in life. I think he wants to help them feel peace and love just as much as the next heterosexual man.

Anyhow, my dad’s and my conversation left me with even more resentment for my father. It definitely did more harm than good. At least now I know he thinks I’m a screw up. He thinks I chose to have the worst internal conflict of my life. He thinks I am a failure and have made terrible decisions, which apparently made me gay. I forgot to mention this above, but I did tell him that our shitty relationship is more to blame for my sexuality than pornography. That’s a fact.

Just as a side note, the conversation I just transcribed has many holes. It’s really difficult to remember everything that was said and how it was said. Oh well, I think you get the gist of it.

What my father doesn’t realize is that I am inclined to do the exact opposite of what he says simply because I resent him so much. By the way, I am still a little emotional about it. Our relationship probably isn’t as bad as it seems. In reality, we're very cordial to one another. I respect him for the sacrifices he has made for both me and my family, and I think he is a genuinely good person. I simply don’t have a very loving relationship with him. It could be much, much worse though, so I can't complain too much.

After the episode, I emailed him and told him I resented some of the things he said to me. I’ll paste the emails below. In case you don’t have time to read them, he apologized for upsetting me, but he didn’t take back or apologize for any of the things he said. Oh well.

Here’s my email and his reply.


I just wanted to tell you I was really hurt by only one comment from our discussion earlier today. You implied that I chose this. That'sabsolutely untrue. I resent that comment. I know you have theories about this condition that fit nicely into your religious paradigm, but I disagree with your ideas because in no way did I CHOOSE to be the way I am. I know you think you understand my situation perfectly, but you don't.

If you want me to be humble in this, then you're going to have to lead by example. I just want an apology. I write this only because if you insist on being a part of this -- and I don't think I have much choice -- I need to know you believe me and trust me. Otherwise, I never want to talk to you about it again.

My dear son,

I don't know whether or not you received my email this morning. The format for these things change and I don't email enough to keep up.

Anyway, I do apologize for hurting your feelings; I am not trying to hurt you, but only trying to help you.

I am sure you are not happy with your divided feelings & conflicts. I hope to see you resolve them in the future.

I desire only your happiness and peace of mind. At this time, I don't know how to help you with this. But there is one thing I know for sure: You will never, ever have happiness and peace of mind through SSA or homosexuality. It is against the laws of God and eternity.

You are an embodied soul and an eternal person of body and spirit. Peace and happiness come only through obedience to the laws, ordinances and commandments of God.

These commandments are the pathway to happiness. God knows this and that is why he asks us to follow his plan--The Plan of Happiness.

And he never gives us a plan or commandments which we cannot obey--all of us!

By your comments expressed Sunday, you seem to be using phrases from the gay websites and homosexual philosophy. Will you accept and read or view differing thoughts, truths showing the opposite points of view?

There are some things I would like you to see and read.