Friday, October 22

Another (not-so-hidden) Weakness

I'm definitely not perfect. Far, far, far from it. All of you can probably tell. And any of you who may meet me in real life will know it for sure. But I'm trying. And hopefully I'm getting better.

Same-sex attraction isn't the only major issue that I battle on a daily basis. In fact, for most of the day in most of my life it doesn't even occur to me. It doesn't put stumbling blocks in my ability to create meaningful relationships with acquaintances or friends and it doesn't color how other people think of me. And, in most cases, it (along with everything else that came with it) helps when I try to empathize with others. When I look at my daily struggle, in most instances, being attracted to guys definitely takes a sideline role to other, more pressing factors.

The biggest weakness I have was elaborated by President Uchtdorf in General Conference - on his recap of the famous talk, "Beware of Pride." ...and it's something that I'm working on. I loved his talk, and wrote dozens of things that I need to implement in my life. But it's a constant struggle... and I often wonder if I am totally losing the battle.

Every day I feel like I've been overly blessed. I look at the perspective that the gospel has given me, my family, friends, and opportunities in life, and I think that life is wonderful. But alone, of myself... without God to stand by me? I would be nothing. Really. All my blessings come from God. He is the One who saves me and lifts me up. And the message I share here isn't really mine, but His. Sometimes I'm not very good at communicating that. I'm still learning how to share it in a way that everyone else can understand.

The reason why I choose this subject is because every recent negative comment has been based on the commenter feeling that something in my blog was arrogant or proud. Mentioning that my companions and I were successful in the mission. Talking about my ability to overcome weaknesses. Inviting people to share their own success stories.

One commenter was right when he mentioned that, of all the comments, the negative ones stick most. I don't think that is a bad thing - negative comments always contain something worthwhile. They're always sincere, and heartfelt from people who read a post and truly felt the way they did... and reading them and praying for guidance helps me to see the areas where I can improve.

So I'd like to apologize. When I say anything at all that seems proud or arrogant or whatever, please tell me. I'll probably change it, and your comments will help me be a better person. I'm sorry for anything I've written that displays any of those feelings. And for those of you I've turned away, I hope that I can regain your trust.


  1. So you're not allowed to feel your mission was a success? I don't get it. Those who serve missions, do the best they can doing the Lord's work, should feel good and share it with others. It helps others to decide to serve missions. It's not being prideful. It's those who serve missions that feel that it was a waiste of time...that's prideful. That "their time" was spent on something insignificant. Of course not. There are too many critics out there and no matter what you write, there will be someone out there who will take happiness and optimism as prideful and arrogant. Don't alter your posts so that you don't offend the ones who can't understand happiness.

  2. I just want to say thanks for being so awesome. I didn't think you were prideful at all, and it was very inspiring for me to hear that your mission was a great success.

    I wish there were more like you, willing to stand up for what you believe. You have been an inspiration to me with your strength. Stay strong, brother. <3

  3. Every day it seems you just get better and better, not trying to puff you up or anything, but I think there is a lot of humility in your writing, and I learn something everyday:)
    Keep it up!

  4. There is a difference between giving credit where credit is due and being prideful. Your mission was a sucess for many reasons. You have worked really hard to keep your life in line with the Lord. I don't think that's prideful.

  5. I agree with Lauren. I wish all the missionaries will know how important their missions are and value every single moment of it, it doesn't matter the amount of baptisms you have but just planting a little seed, IT IS a SUCCESS by just using your time wisely instead of being at home playing video games. Serving the Lord, teaching his gospel, growing personally and spiritually and learning to love and appreciate your companions. It is a success to me! Somebody said "90 to 95 percent of what you do will seem like wasted effort. The other 5- 10 percent will change generations."

    We've all been disappointed at some time in our lives. If Satan plays his cards right, he can overcome our future successes when he uses defeat to frustrate and stop our moves forward towards a goal we've set. Satan uses discouragement to create addictions. A discouraged individual will be tempted to seek solace in sin Louise Brown, “Learning to Love Myself,” Ensign, Mar 1982, 29 "Searching for my own assets reinforced my self-esteem and helped me identify things I wanted to change...First, I dismissed negative, critical thoughts, telling myself they weren’t valid... In their place I substituted positive thoughts, reminding myself of the things I could take pride in"

  6. I don't find you arrogant at all! That said, almost everyone deals with pride to a certain degree. I know I do. Just keep keepin' on!

  7. You have an incredible amount of faith, and I really respect you. Thank you for using your experiences to help others, and for being an example of strength.

  8. Don't be afraid to talk about success in your life. However, you should also try to not do it too frequently. I haven't thought that the amount you have been putting into your posts was very arrogant.

    Despite what those who will complain say, I have enjoyed reading through your blog archive to catch up. I have been surprised at how similar many of our trials have been (namely dealing with depression. Its tough.) And I want to thank you for talking about it, it has helped me through a bit of a tough time recently. Keep it up for those of us who love to read your work.

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  10. I don't feel as if you have been arrogant or prideful. In fact I feel like you are selfless and brave. I honestly think you are refreshing. You have shown people a different light on this subject and in turn, you are helping so many. You have helped me see things differently, and I am so thankful for that.

  11. Nobody is perfect, so don't let the negative comments get you down. Besides, I think you sounded more positive than arrogant in your posts. I think writing down your successes is a great way to remind yourself that even if you are not perfect, you are not a failure. Please continue to share your inspiring stories!

  12. A whole lot of people who live with SSA think it is something they don't have any control over it, so why bother even trying to control their feelings/actions. Then you come here and show them how you are a good member of the Church and feel the Spirit and have total control over your actions. It is enraging!!

    I love reading your blog :)

  13. I don't see anything wrong with being proud of your accomplishments and if people do, it is generally because they either envy you, or think very little of themselves. At least you are honest.

    Personally, I think it has become unacceptable to be proud of yourself. Today's culture seems to look down on people who are,justifiably, proud of their successes. It seems we are all supposed to be mediocre, or at least appear that way. There is nothing wrong with having pride in your accomplishments. Not one single thing. And talking about them in context and in a sensible way does not make you a braggart or prideful. People just need to get over themselves and their feelings of being less than accomplished.

    Everyone is successful in one way or another. So toot your own horn all you want because you deserve it.

  14. Arrogant? If anything, I think you are very humble. You are very frank and honest in your assessment of yourself and your weaknesses. I feel uplifted reading your blog. Thank you for putting yourself out there.

  15. I don't think that any of your posts are arrogant. I think they're optimistic, but optimism and arrogance are different. You realize your weaknesses, like we all should, and try to see the positive in things. You're being strong strengthens others, and we appreciate that.

  16. Anyone who sees arrogance in your writing is missing the giant message that submission to the Lord, His laws, and His plan takes ultimate humility and patience. I don't think you're arrogant - I think you're a pretty great(anonymous!)poster child for humility. Our trials are different, but the struggle to do what's right (no matter how much it sucks!) is the same.


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