Sunday, September 19


I remember reading a book once that described an intriguing method of meditation. Turn out the lights in a room, sit down, and light a candle. Then just stare at the flame and empty your mind. If a thought comes, don't think about it. Just stare at the candle and let it burn into your eyes and your mind.

The first time I tried that exercise, I felt a bit silly. And it didn't seem incredibly effective. My mind raced in a thousand directions, none of which were the flame flickering in front of me. But I really wanted to understand the metaphor - so I kept trying. After some effort, I was able to clear my mind for about 5 seconds. And the feeling that came with that - being able to control what was happening in my mind was incredible. I felt like I was on top of the world. Yes, it was only for 5 seconds. And yes, there were times when I tried again and couldn't even get my mind to clear. But it had happened. It was possible. And I could do it.

I forgot about the exercise until just recently when someone showed me a similar one on the Wii (Wii Fit Plus or something) - you sit on the balance board and stare at the screen, while keeping completely still. In this electronic meditation, the game simulates the distractions of your mind by twisting, turning, and spinning the screen. Once you move, you've lost. But if you can stay perfectly still, it keeps going. In this case, it doesn't matter if you think about something else. As long as you are able to follow the physical directions, the game keeps going. And, the few times I tried, I was actually pretty good.

Now take those two and apply them to living with my attraction to guys. Right now, I don't have the ability to easily control my mind. I know a bunch of coping mechanisms - like singing songs at full voice or going out to talk with someone, but at times I can't keep my mind from wandering or twisting down unwanted pathways. And, for a long time, I felt inadequate because I wasn't really in control of my mind. But God doesn't ask us to immediately control our minds and our attractions. He first asks us to keep His commandments - to control our actions. So I look at my life - at the actions of my life - and I realize that, as far as the game goes, I am actually doing pretty well. Considering the shaking, jarring, and twisting that goes on inside my head, my actions are true to the principles that the Church teaches... that same knowledge that God confirms to me time and time again. I'm keeping the commandments, and that brings me a level of peace.

For right now, I'm focusing on the actions in my life, and slowly learning to be master of my mind. As long as I keep the commandments and turn to God, I am blessed. The Lord helps me in my life and I have peace because I know that I am accomplishing His will. As far as controlling my mind, there isn't anything inherently wrong with being attracted to guys, and so I'm not stressing about finding a way to turn off the attraction - if that is even possible. Instead, I focus on ensuring that it doesn't turn into lust or something worse. I'll probably go buy a candle and practice watching the flame / clearing my mind just so that I have another tool to use when temptation strikes. And, hopefully, someday I can be master of my mind and body. To be able to put off the natural man and become as a Saint, meek, humble, full of love... and completely at peace.


  1. Hi.

    I just found your blog a day or so ago. You have amazing insights and ideas. Thank you for sharing them. You have helped me.

    Happy night!

  2. TBA: I'm glad that my insights have helped you. That's why (Gay) Mormon Guy is here - my hope that, somehow, I'll hit on a chord that will help men and women like me come closer to Christ.

    Welcome to the conversation, TBA. I hope you keep coming back and finding new insights. And, ultimately, I hope you're able to work out your life (and salvation) with the help of the Lord.

  3. I want to encourage your practice of meditation. I first learned how to meditate when I was around 7 but didn't really understand it's power until I was 13-ish and dealing with some very difficult struggles of my own. It really did help me to free my mind of impure or inappropriate thoughts and get to a higher ground that allows me to communicate with the spirit.

    As you continue to practice, you will be able to clear your mind in any setting. Now, after almost 15 years of practice, I can "reset" my mind in a few moments, even in places like a crowded mall. Like anything else, it's about building strength. However, using a candle as a focus point in a quiet, dark room is a great way to start. Good luck.

  4. "my hope that, somehow, I'll hit on a chord that will help men and women like me come closer to Christ"
    I think it's just as important that you are helping the rest of us to understand your struggles. I feel a distaste for the overtly gay lifestyle and have had trouble reconciling that with the love that I feel for an old friend who embraced it after struggling with SSA for many years. Your perspective has helped me to see that there are many upright people within the church that are carrying the burden without surrendering to the desires. I don't believe that the feelings are a sin, only acting on them, like so many other temptations. You are a brave man and I admire you for your life and for sharing it in this blog.

  5. I actually just recently found your blog as well. And I find your words so inspiring. I can't relater to everything...but some things hit me very powerfully. I can't wait to keep reading and I love your testimony and strong words.

    I want to have better control of my mind and I'm inspired by you to try harder.



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