Monday, January 15, 2007

Cautious Optimism

I've had a depressing start to the new year, yet I'm feeling positive right now and hopeful. I just got done perusing some of the blogs out there on the topic of same-sex attracted Latter-day Saints. Reading these is an exhausting experience to me, but necessary. I need to constantly remind myself that I am not alone, but then a get overwhelmed by realizing that there are MANY MANY people who are struggling with this, no doubt most of whom never record their experiences on the internet for all of us to see. I feel great concern for the many SSA Mormons (or those of other faiths) who feel isolated and desperate, and I fear that they will seek out comfort in places where (and from people) where they can not find lasting peace, and that are contrary to the commandments. In many ways, I don't blame them, and I am unsure to what degree God will be able to. Yet I know that we all believe that where much is given, much is required...we just don't know how these quantities will be measured.

I read the Tito Times, Gay BYU Student, Pine Tree, Unusual Dude, Eye in the Sky, and Beck's Angst, among others, and found them to be interesting. It made me love life. I love how all of us are so different yet so the same. We all deal with problems in such unique ways and often try to prescribe these onto others, which I think is a mistake. All of us have our own lives to live and we all need to figure out what will make us the happiest...especially in the long run. I do truly believe that God wants us to be happy. From the experience of my friends, I can say that seeking out gay relationships does not seem to bring this lasting happiness. I have many gay Mormon friends and the ones who have boyfriends are the most superficially happy, but I they also seem the most unstable and unsure of their lives and their future. Fortunately, I have used their experiences to remind me to that I want to pursue a life within this church, and as a married man with a family. I am not sure whether this will work or not, but I am hopeful. Again, we are all different and must all take our own paths...this is what makes life so beautiful, doesn't it?

Satan has been working hard on me lately. Although frankly I am not sure how much of it is actually the devil and how much of it are my innate and carnal desires. I would love to flatter myself and believe that I am so powerful spiritually, and such a threat to Satan's kingdom, that he has enlisted an unusually large number of forces to bring me down. Maybe I will choose to believe this at times, simply because it gives me encouragement and confidence, but I know that much of this battle is in my own mind, and Satan may have less to do with it than I think.

This week I found myself yearning to kiss another guy. I guess I have had that desire at times, but not often as a concious thought. But this thought has been upsetting to me because I have entertained it in my head for too long. It scares me how quickly thoughts turn into actions and it makes me realize the necessity for controlling our thoughts in the early stages. If you continue to give a though attention, then it grows, and takes root, and then soon it seems to overpower you where you surrender and think, "this is beyond my control." I think this is how many sins (and probably crimes in general) are committed...they are created in our minds, planted, cared for and attended to, and cherished. At some point they crowd out other things. In my case it has been scripture study.

I have done SO well at studying the scriptures during this last semester. I did it daily, and gave my scripture study a lot of effort. Yet this last 2 weeks has been disasterous, and it coincides with the thought of kissing another guy. I have scared myself a lot in the past, but this is definitely pushing my limits. I broke down last night and prayed for God to put me back on a progressive path, and I need to do my part to make that happen.

I love being alive, even when it sucks!


pinetree said...

Hey bud, thanks for stopping by my blog. Even with all the SSA Mormon blogs out there it's always cool to know there is another person to relate to, and that in fact the whole SSA thing isn't at all that extraordinary after all.

Gay BYU Student said...

One of my discoveries in blogging has been that what I thought was unique actually isn't. I'm just one of so many others struggling to figure out life. I'm glad you've decided to share your life with others as well. There is something comforting and reassuring about the presence of so many people with whom I can relate.

Anyway, welcome and nice to meet you. Glad you found my blog but don't be too disappointed if I don't say anything groundbreaking or helpful. There's so much in life that I'm unsure of, I don't know how I could possibly help anyone else.

I was totally able to relate to this post. Oftentimes I try to be optimistic as well - hoping it will all work out in the end. But I question myself just as much - often wondering if the temptations I feel are actually Satan of if it's just me thinking it's Satan because that's what I've been taught. And as much as I hope it's the former, I also often find myself secretly hoping it to be the latter. It's easy to get confused.

Beck said...

I was flattered that you found my blog as well. Though I am married with kids and far away from the college scene, I was once a BYU student coming to terms with these issues, and thus our stories relate.

I have no advice. I have no answers. The choices I've made are unique to me. My marriage has been a HUGE blessing and strength to me. My coming out to myself "later in life" allowed me to innocently bury my sexuality and allow myself to be married. Is that right for you? I will not venture to guess. You will have to decide that.

It hasn't always been easy. For the most part it's been great! But there are days, frequent days when I desire more than anything to kiss a guy, a particular guy. I'm 20 years older than you and I still go through this on a daily basis...

You're not alone.

Anonymous said...

welcome to this corner of the blogosphere. we're all the same; we're all different. and for many of us, we no longer feel alone.

-L- said...

Yeah, being alive is good stuff, even when it's hard. I still want to kiss guys with unfortunate regularity, so I've just learned to take it a day at a time and a temptation at a time. That seems to work pretty well because in spite of it all, I'm pretty happy these days. That is, when I'm not getting angry at bad drivers. ;-)

Anonymous said...

I wanted to make a few comments on your post which, while contradictory, I hope you won't take with any malice as none is intended.

First, I disagree with the observation that a gay relationship can't bring any sort of lasting happiness. Sure, it's not a marriage in the temple by any means, but I don't see any reason why it can't be the same as any other heterosexual marriage in general society. My observation is the flip side - I've seen enough successes to know it's possible.

I would suggest that the issue isn't so much whether or not the relationships are successful; rather, it's a question of beliefs in your case. If you trust and believe in your religious beliefs without a doubt, then the issue is a question of faithfulness to God and his decrees, not the particular color of life you see with the glasses you're looking through.

Best wishes on your journey.

Thrasius said...

Thanks for your comment anonymous. I understand what you are saying and I definitely appreciate it. You have to realize thought that I was building my thoughts on the assumption that the LDS church is the true church, or at the very least that I believe it is the true church and therefore would not feel comfortable having a homosexual relationship while maintaining my current beliefs. One of the two has to give, and since I believe the church is true...I obviously believe that having a homosexual relationship may have consequences that outlast this life. For this reason I am searching for a way to find fulfilment within the church.
Thanks again for your comments.

"And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance."