Thursday, February 1, 2007

Risk Assessment

So, it's been a has been interesting, but thank goodness I am still on top of everything. Temptations have been strong lately, and I have felt like my support structure has disappeared. I'm not sure if that's true or just in my mind. I feel like I need to have more close relationships with guys, but healthy good relationships. I have been avoiding anything that tempts me and I'm starting to feel like I'm in self-imposed exile.

Anyway, I saw something interesting on Gay Byu Student's blog.

"As I sat and pondered the mysteries of life recently, I couldn't help but become frustrated with my newfound desire to strengthen or reaffirm the testimony which I was once sure I had. You see, lately I've been praying, keeping the commandments, studying the gospel, and trying to have a better attitude toward the church. So far its been a positive experience. Yet I would be lying if I didn't admit that it has been difficult at times. I know its only been a few days, but I know the difficulty will continue to increase.So this is the question I get stumped on: how much time do I give God to answer me? I mean, I know we're not supposed to give God a timeframe - and we're often told that our timetable is not the same as the Lord's, but is there no end to the waiting? Are we really just supposed to live our whole life doing what we hope is right with the continual expectation that we will eventually receive a more sure testimony that it actually is? And what about when I decide to stop waiting and pursue a different life, won't there always be someone to say, "If you'd have just waited another day you might have received your answer."

He also said

"where do you draw the line between rules and commandments? "

Anyway, I was thinking about those questions...and these are my thoughts, which I already posted as a comment on his blog.

Here is my take on the difference between rules and commandments:-Commandments are rules of God. If you break one of the commandments, you get in trouble with God. -Rules are restrictions placed by people or organizations besides God. For example, BYU has rules...some of the rules are commandments as well, but some are just rules (like the facial hair thing) So if you break a BYU rule, then you get in trouble with BYU, but not necessarily with God...unless you broke a commandment. That's what I think about that.Also, you ask how long you should wait to get an answer. I think you are approaching the problem wrong and may get disappointed. I DO think you should pray for an answer, and open your heart to receive one...don't get me wrong. However, I think that you should also do a simple risk assessment. How much do you understand the church? How much do you believe it is true? What do you think the likelihood is that it is true. If it is NOT true, then what is the likelihood that some other major religion is true (that teaches homosexual behavior is wrong)Then you have to calculate what your risks are for choosing to break God's rules (against the odds that He does in fact exist and homosexual behavior does have consequences)If you think it's worth it to just go ahead and live how you want, then go for it. As for me, besides believing that this church is true, I also fear that if I were to believe otherwise and be wrong...then the eternal consequences would be devastating. I would rather not take the risk and live a life that will be DIFFICULT, even extremely difficult, but temporary, and in which I can still find happiness (I hope!)


agirlwho said...

I think we all know how it is to feel alone while dealing with a challenge. This one in particular is especially looked down upon and I can understand why you aren't sharing it with many people. I also wish that it was something that could be talked about openly. I enjoy what I've read so far on your blog. The title definitely caught my eye. I hope that you can feel peace despite the constant stream of temptation. Have you ever considered going to a support group? I have a number of friends who deal with SSA who go and they say for them it's a relief. Blogging is one thing, but actually talking to someone face to face (while scary) is much more cathartic. Take care, I look forward to reading more.

Beck said...

Your very last words "I hope!" are the key. You can't give up hope, despite the dispair or the wait for the deferred answer. Hope leads to faith and faith leads to a greater understanding...

Keep hanging in there. I like your questions and your thought process.

Elbow said...

1) Awesome post.

2) (Since you asked) A six-pack requires a lot of diet restrictions. Of course you have to work out and do the actual abdominal regime, but most of all you have to watch what you eat. Email me if you have any questions, and I'll be happy to fill you in on what little I know.

Gay BYU Student said...

Hey I enjoyed the post. Although I have to admit it's kinda weird to see my words quoted by someone else.

I meant to thank you after commenting on my blog. Your distinguishment between rules and commandments was exactly the answer I was looking for. What you said makes perfect sense to me, and I'll use it as a personal guide when deciding whether something is a commandment or not.

Oh, and I'm confident you can find happiness in whatever life you choose - as long as you believe in it and go for it, always striving to be better at whoever you are trying to become. I also realize that for me happiness might be only as far away as a decision, I just don't want to make the wrong one!

-L- said...

The trick about commandments and rules is that often we've made an agreement to follow certain rules. By violating the rules we become dishonest and break a commandment. This is true of BYU's honor code, mission rules, and others.

Thanks for this great post. I actually have something to post soon that sounds a lot like this (so sorry if it's gonna look plagiarized!)

Plus, I don't know if you've turned off your atom feed on purpose, but I would appreciate it if you don't mind turning it on. I want to follow your blog and it's kind of hard for me to do otherwise.

"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."