Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Deus ex machina

"Deus ex machina" is an interesting concept...

It means "God from a machine."

The term comes from Greek and Roman theater, and refers to a hopeless situation in a tangled plot where a god would be hoisted down onto the stage to settle an otherwise insoluble situation.

Really, I think that this is something that many SSA individuals in the LDS church are waiting for....albeit in different ways. Some are waiting for the church to drastically change its stance on homosexual marriage and relationships. Some are hoping for all their desires to simultaneously be fulfilled - they want to be fully active in the church, but also have the emotional satisfaction of a same gender relationship (even if non-sexual). Some are feeling torn apart by two opposing forces, and hope that suddenly one of the two will be wished away - either their desire to stay in the church, or their same gender attraction. Finally, and most unfortunately, some are hoping to die as a way to escape their inner trauma.

I love the idea of deus ex machina...something that will heroically come onto the stage of my life and make all of my problems disappear. I really do believe that this does exist if we want it to, and that it is Jesus Christ. The problem is that our priorities are so freaking mixed up sometimes. Deep down inside, we want Jesus to tell us that we are perfect the way we are. We want Him to come down and vindicate our actions, and to feel sorry for us, and to tell us that our desires are all justified. Basically, we want Jesus to be our deus ex machina in exactly the way that would be most comfortable for us.

Basically, to me that would be like wanting to play a sport well, but you don't have the true dedication that it takes to be criticized by a just can't handle it. You want the coach to tell you that you are SO talented naturally, and that you are the most skillful person on the team. You want the coach to compliment you on every part of your game and to tell you that you are just brilliant. You would get upset if he told you that you sucked sometimes, and that you need to work harder, and that you might not be as good as some of the other people on the team.

I don't mean this post to sound negative at all because I am feeling so optimistic lately. Really, things have been going great and I am in love with life again. However, sometimes it annoys me at how selfish we (SSA-ers) can really be. We LOVE to victimize ourselves and to tell ourselves OVER AND OVER again that we are heroes. That NOBODY understands us. That we are better than other people because we struggle. Because we can't get married. Because we don't always feel welcome in church. Because nobody understands us.

Well you know what, I am sick of it. I am sick of us thinking that we deserve special treatment, and ESPECIALLY that we are an exception to the commandments. Either you believe in the church, or you don't. If you believe in it, that doesn't mean you need to be perfect. I sure has hell don't want to be friends with you if you are. Rather, it just mean that you should ADMIT when you are doing something wrong, and don't blame the church for the pain that it causes you when you disobey. If you don't believe the church, FINE. I don't condemn you, Jesus wouldn't condemn you, but just go your merry way and live your life how you will be happy. That is a central purpose of our life.

If you believe in the church and you try to follow it, then of course you will make mistakes. I make mistakes, I have doubts. That is normal. But that doesn't mean that you should think you are special or better than everyone else, or more deserving of sin because of your temptations.

There are lots of people we could feel sorry for. You know, I feel bad for handicapped people in the church. I feel bad for Iraqi war veterans that lost a couple of limbs. Do you think life will be easy for them? Do you think they are better than everyone else and they can sin because the church just doesn't get it? Just because we are SSA it doesn't mean we are special, and it certainly doesn't mean that God will just lower his expectations.

Basically, I want everyone to be happy and to live their life how they want. CHOOSE what you want out of life and then pursue the heck out of it. In 1 Corinthians 9:24, Paul says, "Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain."

Life is hard, but I have made my choice and I am running toward my goal. I hope that those of you who are confused can do the same. There is a deus ex machina out there if you choose to accept Him. But you have to accept Him on His terms, not yours. It's not for everyone, but I hope that as many of you as possible decide to follow Jesus according to His teachings in the LDS church. Of course it is hard, it is meant to be. Don't let Satan trick you into thinking that the church is irrelevant to you. We need this church BECAUSE of our imperfections and our weaknesses and our trials...whatever they may be.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Reality Check

I have had such an intense week. I was able to spend a whole day at the temple last week and I couldn't bring myself to leave because I had been preparing myself for so long to be spiritually ready to go again. I hadn't been for a while. You know, I am so in love with the church, with God and Jesus Christ, and with life. I don't know why I am so blessed to deal with SSA but you know what, it is my biggest blessing. It has helped mold me into the man that I am (and am becoming) and I would be so weak without it. I want to shout for hallelujah when I hear the following words of Paul (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
Finally, I just want to share a scripture that I came across yesterday and it gave me a giant reality check, for which I am most grateful. (Helaman 13:38)
38 But behold, your days of probation are past; ye have procrastinated the day of your salvation until it is everlastingly too late, and your destruction is made sure; yea, for ye have sought all the days of your lives for that which ye could not obtain; and ye have sought for happiness in doing iniquity, which thing is contrary to the nature of that righteousness which is in our great and Eternal Head.
I don't want that to be me. Can I repeat that? I DON'T want that to be me. I truly believe that this church is true and I believe that we will be blessed for keeping the commandments. When all is said and done, the only lasting happiness comes from following Christ in the manner that He has given us, even if it doesn't fully make sense now.
Thank you to all of you for your support. You really are like guardian angels sent from God and by miracle I have been kept on the right path. Let's continue to be support each other and stay true to our covenants, whatever the cost.

"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."