Thursday, October 7

President Packer's Talk... From a (Gay) Mormon Perspective

President Packer had only spoken for a few seconds before I knew there would be backlash. Everything he said was directly applicable to me... and to my brothers and sisters who live with same-sex attraction. As I listened to his talk, I was torn in two ways. I knew his message was true. But most members of the Church who live with same-sex attraction don't need fire and brimstone. They already know that acting on their temptations is wrong... and they respond much better to hope, love, and support in order to gain the faith to change. In the moment, I, like thousands of others, felt like President Packer was telling me I just hadn't tried hard enough. That I wasn't good enough. And while I knew from the Spirit that those were not his intentions, I could already guess how the rest of the world - who heard the talk without the guidance of the Spirit - would react.

The reaction was immediate and vehement, from all corners of the world and seemingly every walk of life. From the Church and without. From men, women, family members, and hundreds of others. Some simply disagreed with his statements; others wished for violence to befall him. Everyone seemed up in arms.

I just re-read President Packer's talk from General Conference. As I read, I noticed something interesting. President Packer was a professional teacher. His talks are meticulously formatted to have opening, supporting, and closing sections that build on one another. In recent years, he has meandered a bit, but there's still a format.

In his opening remarks, President Packer talks about the importance of the family, the powers of procreation, and foreshadows to the rest of his talk:

"To be entrusted with the power to create life carries with it the greatest of joys and dangerous temptations."

So obviously he's going to be talking about pornography, adultery, fornication, and homosexual relations. That's all covered in the dangerous temptations. However, the main theme of his talk is pornography, as can be seen when he switches to the body of his talk with this statement:

"In our day the dreadful influence of pornography is like unto a plague sweeping across the world..."

then gives a number of other statements:

"The effect of this plague can be, unfortunately often is, spiritually fatal."
"Pornography will always repel the Spirit of Christ and will interrupt the communications between our Heavenly Father and His children and disrupt the tender relationship between husband and wife."
"The priesthood holds consummate power. It can protect you from the plague of pornography—and it is a plague—if you are succumbing to its influence."

Then came the phrase that ignited everything:

"Some suppose that they were preset and cannot overcome what they feel are inborn tendencies toward the impure and the unnatural. Not so. Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone? Remember, He is our Father."

Taking apart this statement in context gives it a bit more meaning. Simply living with same-sex attraction does not make you impure. Church doctrine is clear in that respect. So what did he mean by these "inborn tendencies toward the impure"? Aside from pornography, it is tendency and temptation to act on attractions outside of marriage. President Packer was not claiming that we could change homosexual attractions... he was simply stating that each of us has the power to choose to overcome or give in to temptation.

He then goes on to quote Paul to explain why he was so definite in his statement - "God . . . will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

He continues by explaining the Church's continuing position in moral politics:

"Regardless of the opposition, we are determined to stay on course. We will hold to the principles and laws and ordinances of the gospel."

And finishes his talk with this injunction:

"the simplest and most powerful prevention and cure for pornography, or any unclean act, is to ignore and avoid it. Delete from the mind any unworthy thought that tries to take root,"

President Packer gave a clear, direct, and concise talk on pornography and other sexual sins. I don't know if he realized that everything in his talk could also be applied to same-sex attraction... or how painful that application would be. But I know that his final statements were heartfelt and true:

"I promise that ahead of you is peace and happiness for you and your family."
"And I invoke the blessings of the Lord upon you who are struggling against this terrible plague, to find the healing that is available to us in the priesthood of the Lord."


As I read the talk again this evening, the Lord confirmed to me that I'm on the right path. I'm doing what I should be. I'm moving forward. And that is what matters.

Ultimately, as I go through life, it is my responsibility to listen with both my ears and my heart - to know when the Lord is speaking to me - and to follow Him. Then President Packer's promise will come true in my life. I will find peace and happiness... and the strength that comes through Christ the Lord.

327 comments:

1 – 200 of 327   Newer›   Newest»
Eric said...

Your insights and faith touched and helped me. Thank you for sharing!

BLB said...

The printed version has a few revisions...

"Why would our Heavenly Father do that to anyone?" was dropped, and "tendencies" was changed to "temptations". There might be a few other changes I may have missed.

(Gay) Mormon Guy, I know we may not agree on everything, but I admire you sticking with what you believe and trying to make the best of it.

Flan the Travel Man said...

Thank you for posting! That was an excellent blog. I should have asked your permission before posting it to my Facebook profile for others to read but I felt like it would help clear up the talk and issue for many members since your insights were so clear and on the mark. Thanks for your example of faith in the Savior and Redeemer and the effort to do your best always. Best wishes for you. you'll be in my prayers :)

Anonymous said...

I'm a recovering addict clean for many years now and I know it can be done. No matter what cross you have to carry, God does indeed have a key for you to free yourself from your particular bondage. No matter how far down the wrong road you've gone, God entreats you to return to your rightful path. It's almost unbelievable how perfectly tailored my escape is for me, how well it comforts and sustains my soul. And it is of paramount importance to avoid avoid avoid temptation at all costs. Eventually we become stronger, but it's best not to purposely test that resolve, ever.I would never imply anything condescending or insulting to anyone by my words, just that I want to encourage those searching for hope. Having a pure conscience is a great source of rest and peace for me.

Steph said...

i love how you represent the group of people around which all this controversy is centered, but you still took the time to really understand what is meant by elder packer's words. you are a very great example, and i thank you for your message.

Mormon Guy said...

Eric: You're welcome. I'm glad you found my post helpful. Thanks for your comment and welcome.

BLB: There are differences between the audio and printed versions. It happens for almost every talk ever given. I used to transcribe talks given by the Brethren. The differences were the first thing I noticed when I re-read the talk this evening, so I watched it again to relive the experience. And I wanted to write about that specific statement, as it happened, since I knew that it would probably be the one on people's minds.

Having worked with teleprompting and knowing the patterns of the Brethren, it would be conjecture as to whether the text published online at lds.org was his original talk (if he missed the teleprompter, then published the original version) or an edited version of the talk. I tried watching it in a few other languages, but the translators were excellent (following his voice instead of using a script) - so I'm still not sure.

Either way, thanks for pointing that out. The differences in text definitely give more clarity to the situation and help readers understand President Packer and his motivation in speaking.

Flan: You're more than welcome to post anything here to your Facebook profile (Ironically, it will never get posted to mine) if you feel it will help others.

By the way, if you read the small print at the bottom of the blog, you'll find the re-posting policy of (Gay) Mormon Guy. It's pretty cool stuff. Yeah. I know. No one actually reads the small print. But it's there anyway. Thanks for your comment. Welcome to (Gay) Mormon Guy.

Mormon Guy said...

Anonymous:

"No matter what cross you have to carry, God does indeed have a key for you to free yourself from your particular bondage."

I agree - God does have a key for us to understand our lives and to return to live with Him someday, perfected, and clean. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope you'll continue to share as you feel prompted. May God be with you on your journey.

Steph: I'm not sure that I could honestly say I represent anyone but myself. Thanks for the compliment, though. I'm glad that I wrote this, too - Lauren (another reader) asked me about my thoughts, so I had a good excuse to write and share them.

Thanks for being part of the conversation. And welcome to (Gay) Mormon Guy.

Anonymous said...

Repentance is more than overcoming the effects of sin. It means changing your worldview. Change how you think of homosexual attraction. That is part of repentance.

If people followed President Packer's inspired counsel, they would seek Priesthood help to overcome, then ignore and avoid any person, place, activity, or thing that reminds them of or could potentially stir up old feelings.

I had strong homosexual tendencies most of my life. Ever since I started giving them the appropriate amount of attention (next to nothing), they have receded so far onto the back burner that I am able to live a life in harmony with the gospel, INCLUDING pursuing and developing healthy relationships with the opposite sex.

Change the way you think about the problem. Obviously, anyone who has issues with the Lord's clear teaching that the feelings are contrary to His plan has room for improvement. Repent. I will, too. Until the perfect day when I am made pure in Christ.

Anonymous said...

I have no idea why people found this talk to be controversial. I have had homosexual feelings my entire life, and I honestly and truly without any pretense have never felt different from people who have a natural tendency to be quick to anger, who are prone to alcohol, who find stealing or lying to be a major temptation. I paraphrase: The natural man is an enemy to God and has been from the Fall of Adam. And will be until he yieldeth to the Spirit, putteth off the natural man, etc.

A trial is a trial is a trial. The purpose of a trial is to see which path we will choose. Choose God. The end.

Turns out God does want us to have families. In fact, it was one of the first commandments He ever gave. In my opinion, those desirous to follow God should strive to this end. Now, there are healthy, honest ways to do this, and desperate, destructive ways to do this.

Turns out God does want us to be married legally, lawfully, and eternally to someone of the opposite sex. I think we all realize that every choice we make either constricts or expands our ability to follow the commandments. Pornography, masturbation, and sexual activity with people of the same sex can more deeply implant and limit our ability to mitigate attraction for the same gender. Thankfully, God will be the one to judge our repentance and thus what opportunities will await us in the next life.

I can't think of a single reason Heavenly Father wouldn't want us all to obtain those blessings in this life. The prophets counsel that not all will have the opportunity, but does that mean we shouldn't try?

From personal experience and common sense, I believe that if more of us who struggle with this reached out sincerely (without pride) to priesthood leaders and parents (just like God's prophets commanded us to do (the priesthood, as was taught in conference, has the keys for this type of thing)), there would be far less depression, far less complaining, far less suffering, far less rebelliousness, far more happiness, far more successful marriages, and far more of God's children achieving their divine potential.

Stop complaining (this is not targeted at anyone in particular). Quit focusing on the issue (by nature, we all love having problems, but despise actually solving them (fun's gone if the problem's solved)).

Remember that repentance is more than overcoming the effects of sin. It's changing your worldview. Change how you view the issue of homosexual attraction. Be happy.

Mormon Guy said...

Anon: Thanks for your comment(s). I agree - if everyone were to develop meaningful personal relationships with God, follow the commandments, read their scriptures, and reach out to Priesthood leaders, the world would be a better place. I've seen the blessings in my own life, and that is my ultimate goal for each of the people here at (Gay) Mormon Guy. I know that some of them aren't there yet, though. Or they aren't members of the Church. And so I teach them according to their language, as the Spirit directs me each day. And we are seeing success.

I'm also glad that you're passionate about your beliefs. I agree that God wants each of us to progress and return to live with Him, and that we all need to be sealed to a member of the opposite sex in order to do that. In terms of living with that attraction today, though, and seeing it in context - Elder Oaks and Wickman stated: "It’s no sin to have inclinations that if yielded to would produce behavior that would be a transgression."

There are some things we can choose on our own - our actions. There are some things that we can influence through repeated habits and actions - our feelings. And there are some things that require miracles in our behalf - whether in this life or the next. I believe that God will help me be happily married in this life, and so I strive for it. What happens to me does not affect my choices in life.

I agree that ignoring same-gender attraction is one of the best ways to deal with it. That's definitely one of my coping mechanisms. And Elders Oaks and Wickman concur:

"Ultimately, the wisest course for anybody who’s afflicted with same-gender attraction is to strive to extend one’s horizon beyond just one’s sexual orientation, one’s gender orientation, and to try to see the whole person. If I’m one that’s afflicted with same-gender attraction, I should strive to see myself in a much broader context… seeing myself as a child of God with whatever my talents may be, whether intellect, or music, or athletics, or somebody that has a compassion to help people, to see myself in a larger setting and thus to see my life in that setting.

The more a person can look beyond gender orientation, the happier and more fulfilling life is likely to be."

So why haven't I moved on? Why am I still here, writing about the world from a (Gay) Mormon perspective? I used to completely ignore it... and then the Lord asked me to share my story...to stop and help those along the way. Because I'm a teacher. And a missionary. And there are thousands of people in the world who need to hear the message of hope in their own tongue.

I used to move forward, with the help of just God, myself, and Priesthood leaders. Now, I cry myself to sleep at night trying to find ways to help my brothers and sisters attain the understanding that you and I have reached... and we all move forward. Keep moving forward, brother. I know that I will.

Jessica said...

Brother,

Thank you so much for this post. You have said so elequently and sincerily what I have been trying to say for days now. I have been trying to put my thoughts about all of this together in a blog post and haven't felt like I have been able to express how I truly feel about it. But my heart wept as I read your post because it touched me so deeply and spoke everything I had been feeling.
I have never struggled with the trial of same-sex attraction and have not wanted to be insensitive and presumptuous by saying things that I may not fully understand. So I hesitate to express my feelings about it, for fear of hurting feelings. I love God's children no matter what trials they have in their lives, and I have not wanted to be misunderstood as hypocritical or intolerant. This is a topic that I have wrestled with so much in my heart, the main discouragement coming from the disunity of the members of the Church because of this debate. I am just so grateful that there are people like you who have so much faith and courage. Thank you for this, so so much.

I'm wondering if you would let me pot this on my blog. It is something I would love to keep forever.

Jessi

LaurieBee said...

This is my first visit to your blog, but it won't be my last. Thank you so much for being so willing to share your story. I won't even begin to say that I understand, but I believe it is my responsibility to try. Your story has helped me in that effort. My prayers are with you. I admire your courage.

mon cherie ♥ said...

Thank you for this post. We talked about this very thing in Institute the other day and your post basically sums up our discussion. I don't believe that people are "born gay" but I do believe people can have same-gender attractions. Like you said, it's acting on the attractions that Packer was talking about. Thank you and I pray you'll have strength to overcome the temptations you may face.

kimsueellen said...

Uhm, I heart your post. I felt the spirit very strongly while reading it. It brings tears to my eyes. As both someone who loves unconditionally and have had many people wanting to hear what I 'thought about that talk' etc. I feel as you feel. I love as you love, and I know that our Heavenly Father loves us all. He is willing to help us all. Hearts. xoxo

Anonymous said...

I am impressed. You took the time to really study this out within its proper context. I am even more impressed with your ability to listen to the quiet promptings of the Spirit. I plan to use your response as a source for others in discussing President Packer's remarks. I join my voice with yours in saying that I know that President Packer has been called for our time as a Special Witness of the Savior. I'm grateful for a Savior that has died for me and for everyone that I will ever know.

ClistyB said...

I have yet to catch up on the talks that I missed from Conference. But from what I have read in the press about the talk, one would think there was a huge rant on same sex attraction. When in fact, it was not as fiery as they claim.
I plan to tweet and Facebook this. I have a feeling you might be able to help me answer a question a long-time friend asked. I'll read the rest of your posts.
Thank you for your insight. And time.

Charity said...

You have restored my hope in humanity with this post. Thank you.

Little sister said...

Facebook led me to your post! I have family that have chosen to act on their feelings and choose to be happy in that manner. I love them the same and know that the Lord loves her!

She is not an active member in the church and has even told me that she wants to remove her name from the records. It pains me that she feels unloved by choosing such ways and has not shared this information with any of our family except me, her husband, and probably her friends... A few years back is when she shared it. I was 19 and didn't know how to react since I was naive and unsure about life. Without hesitation I kept loving her and showing her that my love has not changed because of her sexual preference.

About a month later, I left to go on an adventure to Alaska...I made a point to go see her before I left. I spent the whole day with her and we never spoke of religion or her non-religious life, but clung to those things in common. As I was getting into my car, she gave me the biggest hug and thanked me for loving her for who she was.

I'm 26 now and I come back to that experience and it has influenced my life for the good, many times. "Love others no matter what action they choose." - me. I pray for her and know that she is loved by many and God.

I'm grateful for the Lord to guide you to be a strength to others and in return it's helping you to become a strong individual as yourself. I see that your very strong and have a good head on your shoulders.

Thanks for the peace of mind and the positive side of this talk that is hard to hear where so many are easily offended.

*Please note that I'm not eloquent in words, so if this offends or it's a bunch of rambling. Thanks for your positive outreach to those that need some clarity in their lives!

Risk said...

Great words, brother. I pray more people in this world who share your struggles develop a similar measured and insightful view of their world. You are truly a choice son of our Father. Remember what Nephi said to Lehi (1 Nephi 3:7) and the example of Job. Pornography has always been my struggle, and these words are a constant reminder to me that I can stay the course; that the Lord will give me strength if I ask. he gives me nothing to overcome that He doesn't also prepare a way for me to accomplish. I know it is the same for you, too.

Thank you again for your inspiring and faithful words.

~Risk

Anonymous said...

I have just read your story and am very touched that you have shared this for others to read. I believe that homosexuality can be one of the hardest of trials to have to face. I am not homosexual myself, but I have spent alot of time pondering why our Heavenly Father would chalenge his children by giving them an attraction to the sam sex. I too have faced hard trials in my life and I believe that the trials I have been given is God's way of saying how much he trusts me, and how much he believes in me. He loves me so much he believes that I can get through and over come my trials, and that is why he has given them to me. I believe that applies to everyone. Our Heavenly Father loves you and has faith in you that you can over come homosexuality. And I also believe that the harder our lives may be here on earth the better it will make it when we are no longer having to face temptation in Heaven. The Lord loves everyone, and would never abandon anyone.

Courtney said...

I just want to say that I really enjoyed your insights. It amazes me how humble you are. Instead of taking offense or feeling targeted, you saw the big picture. All sins are wrong. Some are more serious but they all keep us
separated from God. God cannot tolerate sin. Any sin. Some of us have sins that everyone can see and some of us have sins that aren't so visible. we al have our own cross to bare. I can see that you are stronger for what you have gone through. You help others by sharing your experiences. I am amazed by you. Each of us have trials that are tailored to us specifically. You are a special person with an amazing spirit to have this particular trial. I can't express what i feel right now adaquitly. I feel God's love for you. It helps me to see things in a different way. It tajes a strong humble person to share such personal struggles with others. The world and many other Christians accept homosexuality as natural and ok. Instead of doing the same thing, which seems like it would be easier to do, you are listening to the spirit. Instead of taking the truth to be hard like Lamen and Lemual, and rebelling like so many of us do(I did it for a while) you sincerely offer a willing heart. Thank you for being a great example to me and many others. I can't imagine dealing with what you deal with. You have great faith. My prayers are with you.

Mormon Guy said...

Jessi:
Thanks for your comment. I’m grateful that you understand how important it is to choose the right words in difficult situations, and I can feel your pain at seeing members of the Church torn in pieces over issues that sometimes even cause them to lose their faith.

You’re welcome to post this, and anything else that inspires you, anywhere you think it will help people come closer to Christ. Share the word. Thanks again for your comment. And welcome to (Gay) Mormon Guy.


LaurieBee:
I agree - even though the Lord may not bless us with the ability to empathize with all people through experiencing their trials (and I’m grateful for that!), I think we have the responsibility to build ties and connections with one another and with the Lord. He knows our feelings and our needs… and can help us as we reach out to others. I’m glad that you are willing to try to understand.

Thanks for your comment. Welcome to (Gay) Mormon Guy.

Jeff said...

Wonderful treatment, GMG. You actually made some of the same points I did, in my own entry on President Packer’s discourse.

I’ll be linking to your page from my own, but not before I thank you for your strength and humility. I, too, struggle every day with temptations and tendencies not entirely unlike your own, and I’m so grateful that there are others out there that are willing to show that kind of strength.

Mormon Guy said...

Mon Cherie: (that feels really weird to write as a name)
Thanks for your post. Sometimes the discussion becomes a matter of semantics, and it makes more sense to just lay out definitions. Some people have circumstances that make it much more likely to be attracted to the same gender. But their choices to act on those attractions (what we call being gay) are exactly that – their choices. Take me, for example. I’m attracted to guys. I might have been born that way. But I don’t act out those feelings. From my perspective, I’ve made the choice to not be gay. So I definitely wasn’t born gay.

Thanks again for joining the conversation. And welcome to (Gay) Mormon Guy.


kimsueellen:
I’m glad that my testimony can speak to you, and I’m grateful that the Lord can inspire you to know what to say. It’s hard when people ask you to comment when you know there is a fine line between what is right and the right way to say it. Sharing love is often the best answer, and the answer that the Church gave in a press release after the protest Thursday night.

Thanks for your comment and your love. Welcome to (Gay) Mormon Guy.


Anon:
Thanks for your comment. I hope that my words can help you in your discussions with others… and that the Spirit will enable them to feel and understand the power of God in this issue. In major personal issues, even studying it out doesn’t work. We can’t live on borrowed light when it is so close to our personal experience. We have to turn to God… and then He will help us come to a personal understanding.

Mormon Guy said...

ClistyB:
Conference is definitely worth catching up on. And re-reading. And putting on your .mp3 player to listen at the gym, while running, walking and doing anything else. You’re welcome to share my thoughts on Facebook and Twitter, and if you feel prompted to ask, I can try to help you answer you friend’s question.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. And welcome to (Gay) Mormon Guy.


Charity:
Humanity definitely goes through some hard times. Even harder times are coming… but if we band together with faith, we can face anything. There is hope shining brightly before us.

Thanks for your comment, and welcome.

Kathy said...

I don't think I have ever read a blog post or stream of comments where I have felt the Spirit so strongly. You have all spoken with such faith and eloquence, I don't feel like there is anything I can add to the conversation except a truly heartfelt AMEN. Thank you so much for the thought, love and spirit with which you wrote. I have been truly touched by your words.

Mormon Guy said...

Little sister:
Every time I hear stories of people who struggle as I have, my heart reaches out. I understand the pain and the loneliness, the desire to be loved and yet the fear of being misunderstood or causing pain in the lives of others… and, at the same time, I know that true and lasting happiness in this life and the next comes only from living according to the gospel of Christ. And so I love people. And, because I love them, I share my testimony. I work with them through hard times. I pray for them. And I never give up hope that I can help them come closer to Christ in whatever way possible.

I hope that your friend will hear this message, or something similar someday… and listen to the Spirit… and come closer to Christ as well. Thanks for sharing your story. Welcome.


Risk:
I join your prayer and add the hope that all people in the world develop an insightful view of their world. God has designed our lives, and He did not give us insuperable trials. Thank you for your testimony and your willingness to share your faith. And welcome to (Gay) Mormon Guy.

Mormon Guy said...

Anon:
“To each is given a gift… according to his needs… according to his ability.” God gives us every circumstance in life because He knows that it will give us the maximum opportunity to grow. Whether it’s being uber-wealthy or living in a dirt hovel, our lives are designed for us – personally – by the Master Teacher who knows our hearts. Yes. Trials are hard. Mine definitely have been. And some of them last for a lifetime. But in the furnace of affliction we become immune to the fire… not because God took it away when we asked Him, but because he gave us the tools to withstand it even at it hottest. Thanks for your comment, and welcome.


Courtney:
I hope that after reading and responding to dozens of comments telling me how great I am for sharing the gospel, I can still preserve some of the humility you saw. Each of us has the responsibility, taken on at baptism, to mourn with those who mourn… and to succor those who stand in need. To understand their personal, individual trials, and do all we can to help them feel loved and enabled to choose the right. I hope that you, too, can find ways to help the people around you to feel the Spirit of God in their lives.

Thanks for your comment, and welcome to (Gay) Mormon Guy.

Mormon Guy said...

Jeff:
I’m glad that you felt inspired by my comments. God really does speak today through two lines – the Priesthood line to establish doctrine, and the Personal line to apply that doctrine in our lives. We need both in order to not be deceived. Thanks for sharing your comment. Welcome.


Kathy:
Welcome. Your comment - that the Spirit is here on a blog - is my reason for writing. I hope each day that I can write and share something that will inspire and enable people all over the world to come closer to Christ - to listen to the Spirit, apply the gospel more fully in their lives, and be happy.

Thanks for your amen. And welcome to the conversation.

Shandy said...

I appreciate your take on things. I can't help from feeling sad that you feel you have to change and that you're wrong, impure, etc by escentially being gay. :( You have to do what is right for you and be happy with your choices. As long as you are, I'm happy for you. God loves YOU. So just be YOU.

Amy Lindstrom ~ YourLifeUncommon.com said...

I loved this post!

This last week I was reading a post for another "Mormon Blog". That was the first I had heard of the controversy. This blogger was spreading the fire! I was shocked that she spoke so harshly, and without faith, about an Apostle.

I have SO much respect for you! You so perfectly expressed your feelings! Oh, if more of us would seek to understand before we seek to defend our faults or ignorance! I love that you went to this talk seeking out the REAL message behind the whole thing.

Can you imagine how hard it is about to become to stand up for the right?! Not hard, if you have a true conviction, but hard if you are afraid to be hated for standing by what you believe. Hard if you can't be humble enough to focus on the true purpose of this life and rely solely upon the Lord and His spirit to guide you. Justification is dangerous.

I can't help but think that some of us have certain weaknesses because we MUST learn to rely completely on the Lord to perservere and overcome. A select few are strong enough that the Lord will place His trust in us to not only go through on our own, but to inspire Hope in others! You are one of those! I can only imagine the amount of HOPE you have inspired through your faithfulness!

Mormon Guy said...

Shandy:
Thanks for commenting. I agree - we each need to make the choices that are best for us. Each of us has our own lives... and our own needs. Ultimately, though, we are all the same. And all the major choices in life - to read the scriptures, develop a relationship with God, make covenants, and keep His commandments - are the same for me or you or anyone. Why? Because, no matter who we are, those are the steps that will bring us happiness. And we are all children of God somewhere on the pathway to conversion and returning to His presence.

God does love me, and all His children. Because He loves us, He gives us commandments and enables us to learn incredible lessons in life. True friends and great parents aren't willing to simply support us in decisions that will make us unhappy. They help us to identify the things that will make us truly happy... to become who we can become, instead of being complacent with the choices we made in the past. They want us to grow in faith and joy each day... and lasting happiness, in every case, is based on the principles of the gospel.

Welcome to the conversation at (Gay) Mormon Guy.


Shandy:
Standing up for the right has always been hard. It has always required faith. But today it requires something else - personal revelation from God and the guidance of the Spirit. It's not enough to simply say that you know something; you need to understand it well enough that you can converse with doctors and lawyers, and explain it so simply that a 5-year-old can understand.

But when we stand up, it's important to remember why we are standing. We aren't standing to elevate ourselves above our brethren, or to drown out their voices. We are standing so that we can share the light of the gospel, and enable them to feel and understand the power of the Spirit in their hearts. We don't need to be afraid of sharing the gospel - the Lord will carry the message; we simply need to open our mouths.

Thanks for your comment. Welcome to (Gay) Mormon Guy.

Tyson and Dani Todd said...

I really really appreciate and admire you for this post. Coming from someone who is experiencing it personally is so powerful. Thank you!

Doug and Kim Conant said...

Thank you. Thank you for your honesty and for having a seeking heart. Any time I hear a talk I bristle at I hope I follow your example and seek to know more and to still find ways to overcome myself and find peace as I apply it's teachings in my life. I really appreciate what you've written - and the comments from your other readers as well. This topic/debate/discussion has been a hard one for my family as well. I love your perspective.

Anonymous said...

I am beyond impressed that you were able to not only listen to that talk without being upset or feeling attacked, but that you were able to take so much from it. Thank you for being such an incredible example!

DeNae said...

I have a dear friend who I watched struggle with this for decades, and finally left the church a couple of years ago. The other day we were e-mailing, and he said, "I've decided that right now, the one thing I believe in is love."

There was a time when I would have felt exasperated by such a declaration. Any more, however, I can't think of a better place to start. For myself, I've spent a lifetime learning about God, and yet I honestly wonder if I'd recognize Him if I saw Him.

I don't know what the end of the road will be for my friend, but I intend to check in with you regularly, not to find ways to preach to him, but to learn more about charity and reaching people where they are, not waiting until they're where we want them to be.

Thank you for this post.

nunya said...

... I have been an inactive member for years but this ... pushed me over the line to have my name removed from the records of the church.

Mormon Guy said...

Tyson & Dani:
I’m glad you appreciate it, and that you can understand the message. Hopefully the power, though, comes from listening to the Spirit testify. Thanks for your comment, and welcome.


Doug & Kim:
It definitely can be hard to look at your life from an honest perspective and try to see how God would have you be… especially in things that are painful to begin with. I hope that the faithful here – and the Spirit – can help to heal your family and help them really understand God’s love and its application in the principles of the gospel. Thanks for being willing to share with us.


Anon:
It was definitely more than just listening to the talk. I thought about it, read it, prayed about it, listened to it, and finally wrote the blog post. Had someone asked me my split reaction without all that preparation, I don’t know what I would have said. Hence the importance of “studying it out in your mind.” I can’t expect the Lord to help me understand if I’m not willing to put in the time to show Him I really want to understand what He is saying… but if I do put in the time, I can learn a lot. Thanks for your comment.

Mormon Guy said...

DeNae:
My heart goes out to you and to your friend. I’ve felt the pain that comes when a friend chooses to leave the Church… and some days I wonder if there’s any way I could reach out and change their lives. The answer, as you said, is not waiting until people have arrived, but helping and enabling them to move forward from wherever they are, closer to God. Thanks for commenting.


nunya:
I’m sorry. I’ve lived with this issue for years, and I understand how painful it can be. I’m sorry for the pain that has been caused unintentionally by the people around you and by the culture in which we live.

At the same time, I know that the Church is different from the people and different from the culture. The perfect doctrines and ordinances of the Church have always been there for me, even when the imperfect people fell short. And the Lord, through keeping the commandments and striving to live according to the gospel, has helped me to better understand my life. You have the choice to decide whether to be a member of the Church or not; I know that in my life, the gospel has brought innumerable blessings... more than anything I could find from living outside.

The Rowe Family said...

Thank you for posting this! I found it through a link on facebook. I haven't read any other comments, but just wanted to say thank you for your spiritual sensitivity and wisdom. I am supposing that Heavenly Father has placed you in your position for just that reason. I appreciate your perspective and post!! :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Thank you for sharing and loving enough to take the time and effort to be a voice in the wilderness!

In this world it is so easy to let anger and contention get in the way of the heart of an issue or to hear what others are trying to say. I guess that is pride. You write out of love and it shows!

I pray that your example of love and reflection will spread through out the world on not only this issue but on so many other issues where hate seems to be the response to anyone who is different, weather it be an attraction issue, religious issue, mental health issue or even politics! It is so easy to let the darkness blind us to other points of view.

Thank you for your love and faith... It gives me hope!

Kristen said...

To (Gay) Mormon Guy:

Thanks for posting this. I am not facing this difficult trial that you must bear, but I do have homosexual friends who would believe that I hate them for supporting President Packer's remarks. I have been torn to try and find a happy medium but have come to the conclusion that I can only serve God and love my friends for who they are, regardless of their lifestyle, and, if, in the processes I sadly loose them, I will have to deal with that lose when it comes.

I know you probably here this all the time, but you are an inspiration. I may not be homosexual, but reading your blog helps me understand why we go through trials. Stay strong.

Happy Sabbath!

Kristen

Reggs said...

You are amazing, whoever you are. I appreciate your positivity in this storm of hatred and finger pointing. Thank you for teaching me something today. :D

Anonymous said...

I really appreciate this post (I have also shared it on FB). As a wife of a wonderful man who has struggled with an addiction to pornography for much of his life, I see President Packer's talk as both a warning against and encouragement for all those who are tempted by any "perversions". There are many parallels in all addictions, and it saddens me that people choose to see it as a message of hate or intolerance. Good for You, doing what you know is right, even when it's difficult.

Anonymous said...

many thanks for your point of view. i have suggested your blog to my sis. seems you have a way of moving forward in a place where many get caught in anger. i imagine that did not come quickly.. many thanks

BLT mom said...

Thank you for your insights. My brother struggles with this and finally gave in to the life in his late 30s. He is still one of the finest individuals I know, so it is all so difficult. Bless your heart for staying strong in the gospel. I know it could be a lonely choice. May you be blessed for your diligence. The hearts of my family go out to you. Thank you.

Elaine said...

I have so many gay friends in and out of the church that are torn up about this and are having such a hard time reconcile their feelings of attraction with their belief in the LDS church. I can't imagine the pain and immense patience and understanding you must have to conjure every single day, but you are a stud for doing it. I am so moved by your testimony. Seriously thank you for sharing this, I will be posting it on my twitter!

Liza said...

Gay Mormon Guy,

I am so grateful I came across your blog. Ever since President Packer's talk I have felt keenly the backlash of the community against the church and specifically him. It has been so disheartening, because we all know and love President Packer, and in our politically correct world how much bashing he is getting for it. I have tried to stand up for him and the church, but honestly have just felt so sad and misjudged by the world. And here's the reason: love- President Packer loves all people, as do we as members (or trying to!), most especially anyone who struggles with any issue. I've been up late each night thinking about it and really being disturbed. But for the first time I have felt like someone understands, that does have gay tendencies. I have had many amazing friends who have them also, some who act on them, some who don't. When I heard of the young guy that jumped off the bridge my heart ached for him and his family. And to now be bashed that we as a church have something to do with that is so awful. I would like to think that we as members would never bash, belittle or bully any one under any circumstances whatsoever. It is true that our beliefs set us apart from the world, but that doesn't mean we don't love and respect each other, or can't even be friends. So I just wanted to thank you, you're the first breath of fresh air on the subject. And you're inspiring- we truly can overcome the trials- no matter how big or small that come our way with the Lord's help. Much love.

KaylaJean said...

Your faith amazes me.
It's good for you to stand up for what you believe.
I am deeply touched by your post, and am very glad that you are able to say these things in the open like this.
Thank you for reminding me why I believe(:

Anonymous said...

First I've seen of this blog. Someone posted a link on Facebook. I'm glad there are ways to share and cope and educate and heal for people that, in another time, may have felt doomed to loneliness and isolation in feelings they might feel they could never share.

Good luck. God speed. Thanks for the courage of sharing and facing it. Myself, I have to hope and believe that Christ can actually remove the burden, I hope for it for you, and for you in the sense of a sort of proxy for so many struggling with this.

Anonymous said...

Love your insight and hearfelt, inspired message. It's funny, isn't it, how people see/hear the things that are at the forefront of their minds and struggles... as the wife of one who has struggled with an addiction to pornography that nearly destroyed our marriage, Elder Packer's focus on pornography was clear (and powerful) to me. Succumbing to any temptation that would lead to the abuse of the most god-like power we have been allowed the privilege of exercising is a perilous road. Thank you for your insight... it is the truth I have felt for a long time and you have put it into words so beautifully.

3547 said...

i am so grateful that you are doing what you are doing. the church needs more people like you!

Anonymous said...

Wonderful post. Thank you for your willingness to listen to the Spirit in humility and sustain an Apostle of the Lord. I am touched.

Brooke said...

Thank you so much for insights and for your bravery in talking about things that other people would probably prefer you leave alone. I admire you greatly for your commitment to the gospel despite your particular trials. I pray you will have much peace and happiness in your life!

Anonymous said...

Wow wow wow that is all I have to say

Lindsay said...

You rock! I really admire your strength. I've never struggled with same-sex attraction, but it is very encouraging to my testimony to read your thoughts and be assured that it really is possible for someone to overcome those feelings and still stay strong in the church.

Molly said...

Dear (Gay) Mormon Guy:

I just think you're the best.

xoxo,
(Straight) Mormon Mama

Anonymous said...

I am a Mormon mother of a gay son and a lesbian daughter. And I have been reading the various posts generated by Elder Packer's talk. I love my children and my heart breaks as I watch them struggle with who they are. I hope that makes sense and doesn't offend. Knowing how much I love them, I have no doubt that they are loved by their Heavenly Parents. They are His children. I can't express how much I appreciated reading your words about the format of President Packer's talk, his profession, and your respect for him as a chosen servant of our Father in Heaven. He, too, is a natural man. His delivery or words may not have been the 'best' but I know before he spoke he sought guidance and direction form the Spirit. There is more I want to share but the written word can be tricky. I pray that my daughter, especially, and myself, will be blessed to meet someone like yourself. I know she has felt the promptings of the Spirit but is finding it easier to turn away from 'spiritual' things (prayer and scripture study) because of the conflict that exists. I hope that if it so be, that I can share your words with her and she can feel the same strength and encouragement that I felt while reading them. Thank you again

Mrs Wilson said...

Thank you so much for your post. You eloquently put into words what I felt in my heart and in my head.

I have lovely friends that suffer from this temptation and I will share your blog with them.

As previous comments said, what a rock you are amid a slowly-yealding society.

Thank you for standing firm.

LQG said...

You are simply incredible. One of the noble and great ones. I've come to understand that we don't have to know everything to know that God loveth His children. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

This really is fantastic. Thanks so much for the time, thought, and spirituality that you put into this post. It was heartfelt, clear, and responsive to all of the concerns that have been associated with this talk. I really respect your perspective and admire your faith.

Jency and Joey said...

I am not attracted to the same sex, I am happily married and love my life but I have close friends who are the complete opposite of this. I never know what to say to them to help comfort them, and I have no advice to give them when they tell me they wish they could "give in" to their temptations... Until I read Elder Packer's talk. I love the gospel and know that our Prophet and his apostles ARE "speakers" for Heavenly Father and that with this talk I am sure now that it is okay to be gay, it is natural to be gay. What's "unnatural" is acting upon the feelings and temptations. I can not even come a fraction close to knowing what it is like to have homosexual feelings but from what my friends share with me it is HARD. But, none of my friends have acted upon their desires, because they are STRONGER, they know that "God . . . will not suffer you(them) to be tempted above that ye(they) are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye(they) may be able to bear it."

Also, I know that those words can not only help, console, inspire and direct homosexuals but also anyone with trials and temptations they think are "too hard" to not act upon.

My advice, if ever asks for by my friends, and also for MYSELF will now be, forever: "Delete from the mind any unworthy thought that tries to take root".

Thank you (Gay) Mormon Guy, Elder Packer & Heavenly Father for you insight & words!

Catherine Dabels said...

Thank you.

Eme said...

I am deeply impressed and moved at your thoughts. This post has personal revelation written all over it, but you bravely share. You change the world and make a difference that is so meaningful to this time of the world's history. I applaud you with all my heart for your courage and peace-ability. I admire you for sharing good insights and feelings. Thank you very much. Love, Eme

Lori said...

I so appreciate your courage and insight. Thank you for being you.

Anonymous said...

I don't know you but I am really impressed with your faith and spirituality. I can see you blog as an inspiration for hundreds and possibly thousands who have same struggles and even those who have different struggles. I don't experience same-gender attraction, but I do struggle with weaknesses that I feel I was born with I can't seem to overcome no matter what I do. Your blog entries help me see that is my choices, not my nature that determine my happiness and future salvation. Please keep the faith and continue to be a leader for the rest of us.

perkiwindy said...

So many members of the LDS faith want to be able to express how they feel about this topic and why. It is difficult to do so without offending or driving others away. It is certainly a wedge that is being forced into many LDS families and friendships worldwide. You seem to be able to do it perfectly...Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous

Well said. I believe that all of us no matter what faith or agnostics or those who live a lifestyle have to be tolerant and respectful of others beliefs. Also, as you so eloquently put it, understand President Boyd K. Packer's talk in the context it was intended.

RebeckerOnline said...

Wonderful post! It is truly a pleasure to read about someone dealing with a personal challenge and can take time to look at it with wonderful perspective. And, be willing to share it.

So often we go and hide with our challenges, problems, and addictions while others facing the same issues think they are alone.

Just wish we could all share with each other and support each other more in working through them.

The helping each other all starts with posts like these.

Thanks for sharing!

ryan said...

Two earnest questions:

You mention that it was the Spirit that let you understand the intentions of the talk, but that you could guess how the rest of the world - who heard the talk without the guidance of the Spirit - would react.

You also include the quote: "Pornography will always repel the Spirit of Christ and will interrupt the communications between our Heavenly Father and His children" (pornography, here, potentially representing adultery, fornication, and homosexual temptations).

So if those he is speaking to can't understand without the Spirit, who, then, is Packer's audience?

Further, I don't think that Packer nor anyone who read his talk were unaware that homosexuality was addressed throughout. Why else mention legalizing "immorality" without specifying it in terms of same sex attraction?

Ultimately, I want to know why Mormons are involved legally in gay marriage - why they don't draw the lines at Temple and Mormon-sanctioned marriage, and stay out of the legal debate? I earnestly ask to hear a compelling reason.

Again, this seems to be a pretty harmonious environment, and I have no desire to stir up contention with these questions. You seem honest and fair in your assessment, so I ask what I've tried to frame as honest and fair questions.

This is a rough topic and a rough time.

Thanks.

Mormon Guy said...

Ryan:

I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to post your comment. It’s obvious that we disagree, but I’m thankful that you were willing to write it in a way that mostly fits the tone here. Hopefully my response will help to answer your questions.

The only plausible way to know who President Packer intended to address at General Conference would be to ask him. I don’t currently have that luxury… and I’m not an official representative of anyone but myself. The next best thing is slightly informed conjecture – and the only piece of evidence I have is that a Church official explained that the word modifications in his talk were to ‘clarify his intent.’ In my mind, that means his word choices were designed to better communicate to his intended audience. Given that, I think he was trying to communicate with all the people in the world, but especially those who currently participate in pornography and/or sexual relations outside of marriage. I can't conjecture beyond that.

As far as the second question - why Mormons are involved in the legal issue of same-sex marriage:

I can only speak for myself. I wrote a post on this before, but I’ll tell you my reason. I’ve struggled with same-sex attraction my entire life. At times I’ve wondered if living according to my physical attractions would bring me happiness. I’ve seen others wonder the same thing. But sexual relations outside of marriage are sins, and while I don’t know everything, I’ve found that lasting happiness in my life comes through living the principles of the gospel.

I recognize the right that I and others have to choose our individual actions… but my actions influence those around me. Laws and government, from my understanding of America, are designed to uphold the Constitution with the goal of preserving the rights of men to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, by guiding citizens away from certain behaviors and towards others. Some laws are restrictive – such as speed limits and laws against crime, and some are enabling – such as laws enforcing education and creating tax benefits for charities. My responsibility as a citizen, then, is to support the creation of laws I feel match the guiding principles of the Constitution – moving society towards life, liberty, and happiness. Every citizen has that same responsibility.

I feel that marriage between a man and a woman matches the guiding principles of the Constitution. There are millions of people struggling in the world today to find true happiness, and many who, like me, are searching for happiness while living with same-sex attraction. Marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God, and brings unique blessings when entered into and kept faithfully. I know and believe that true happiness in life also comes from living according to the principles taught by Jesus Christ… and I so support and encourage men and women in living those principles.

Thanks for your comment. Welcome to the conversation.

hairyshoefairy said...

Thank you! I've seen so much hate spewed about this. It's refreshing and fills me with hope to see someone who actually took to time to try praying and truly looking for understanding instead of instantly looking for ways to take offense. I had many of the same thoughts you did, especially in reference to the quotation of Paul. Thank you for sharing your perspective. It is appreciated.

Mormon Guy said...

The Rowe Family, Anonymous x 11, Kristen, Reggs, BLT mom, Elaine, KaylaJean, 3547, Brooke, Lindsay, Molly (Mormon Mama), Mrs Wilson, LQG, Jency and Joey, Catherine, Eme, Lori, perkiwindy, and RebeckerOnline:
Thank you for your heartfelt comments. I’m amazed at how my life and my thoughts can touch so many people. I’m sorry I can't make the time to write personal responses to each of your posts, but know that I’m here. Come back. And thank you, again, for being a part of the spirit of peace and hope here at (Gay) Mormon Guy.

Nattyphat said...

Bravo! That's all I can say. I wrote Boyd K. Packer a hand written letter today giving him support when so many were throwing letters of hatred, and malice his way. This is an outstanding blog you have. Thanks for standing for something, for standing a little taller. This will not be my last visit to this blog, as your post was shared via Facebook by a friend of mine. Your words are getting out there, and I want to thank you for posting this.

Michelle said...

As a faithful LDS and a devoted big sister to a proud gay man I have been torn on this issue. I appreciate the cooler nature you were able to take on the matter. As a Mexican mama I can sure fly off the handle and let my emotions get the best of me especially with this struggle and with this little brother.

I have been racking my brain on this issue on what was meant by certain words and for the first time in all my confusion, I have felt the Spirit witness truth in context. Thank you. For having faith enough for some that have been lacking!

Brittany said...

Thank you for sharing that. I think every gay person and every latter day saint should read this post. With all the controversy about it, it's nice to see a point of view that isn't full of anger and hatred. You have created a piece of harmony here, and I thank you for being a great example.

Amber and Lance said...

I'm normally not one to voice my opinion when clashes of value come to the surface, but I feel that this is a circumstance where I should. I completely agree with you. What the world needs right now is for more people to feel the world around them, and then eloquently state what is going on. With all the hating and bashing and name calling that is going on around us, a falling away from meditation and thought, it is no wonder that people have forgotten that the light of Christ is not selective. It is in all of us, no matter how "despicable" or "unnatural" our choices may be. It is sad, though, that just knowing that fact does not make it any easier for everyone to love each other. It is a process. Some people were born with specific gifts, but all of us come with the gift of being a tender mercy to someone else. We have opportunities to teach those around us, and also to be taught by the examples that they give, be they "good" or "bad." We cannot claim to understand all the choices made by our fellow human beings, because we don't know how, but we can gradually learn how as we interact with our fellow brothers and sisters. We can take them as they are, as individuals with strengths and weaknesses, and take all we can from their examples.
Thank you for your example. You will certainly change the world, one well articulated sentence at a time.

chantal said...

As a true believer and the sister of a gay man who left the church angrily and quite publicly (in fast and testimony meeting), this touches me. I've been told time and time again that unless I completely celebrate his openly gay lifestyle that I can't love him. You put so eloquently how I feel about the gospel's message on sexuality, no matter one's sexual orientation.

I don't believe that we choose to whom we are attracted. All we can do is choose how we behave. Thank you for sharing your strength with the world.

Angie said...

I tweeted and facebooked this. Everyone should read it! I just think you are wonderful and I can't wait to read more of your posts. Thank you for speaking out in a positive way when so many voices on this topic are negative.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. Thank you for turning your weakness into a strength for so many. I do not understand all of the "why's" in life. There are so many. I found your post through facebook. I am grateful for the friend who posted it. I have felt such turmoil from all of the contention, and I've been seeking to know for myself what is truth. I am so thankful for the gift of the Holy Ghost - my own personal link to God! I feel like your words were in a way a confirmation of my own feelings. I have a sister-in-law who is lesbian. She is very angry lately, and publicly denouncing everything the church says or does. Her words have stirred up a great deal of debate in the family. Unfortunately it has severed several relationships as well. I have always loved her, and I see great strength in her, however, this bitterness and anger has altered her. It has broken a family. She would say otherwise - pointing to others as being the reason the family is broken. I don't mean to imply that her choice to be openly gay has broken the family - it's her fierce anger towards any and all who don't see her as enlightened. I don't want to criticize her, I just haven't understood how to stand for my beliefs and not offend her. Do you understand what I mean? Your words gave me hope that the scripture that says that nothing is impossible with God - is in fact truth. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! May God bless you in your efforts to share your light with others sharing your trial. Bless you.

Tausha said...

Sometimes as a Mormon, I feel so hated for my beliefs in this debate. I applaud you for your tolerance and your view of the bigger picture. It is nice to see someone who has struggles that turns to God instead of hate. You are a wonderful person!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this. Your faith and honesty is truly inspirational. I am glad to read something from someone who can see things from both perspectives and touch on these topics so gracefully. I hope your blog can be a help to others who have these same struggles.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your view, being so positive. I have been thinking alot lately about those of our brothers and sisters who have those attractions and how hard it must be. You are a strength.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting. You have shed new light on a subject that is so controversial that is now more easier to understand and see that not everyone with this is anti-mormon.

Michael Atkinson said...

You are AWESOME. Thanks for your intelligent and sensitive remarks.

Anonymous said...

I can't tell you how much I appreciate the feelings and thoughts you have shared. I have been so sad about the horrible way we as sons and daughters of God are treating each other. When I read about the bullying and hateful actions, the suicides, the violence...it makes me want to cry. Why can't we all treat each other with love? And why do so many people say we hate if we express our view that we should keep the law of chastity, despite the difficulty?

Anonymous said...

I also found your blog on facebook, and I loved everything you wrote. I could definitely feel the spirit as I read your words. Thank you for your beautiful post, I will share it with my family and friends.

Allie said...

I am amazed with your faith, I know some people that have same sex attraction and they are very bitter, bitter with the church, the government even their families for not agreeing with them. You aren't and I find that very refreshing, Thank you for being that example that even though I don't suffer from same sex attraction I do have other crosses to bear. You are that example that no matter what happens in life it'll get better. Thank you for everything you said.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your insight. I am a recovering pornography/sex addict (in the relatively early stages, mind you, but recovering). and when I first saw the backlash from this talk I was surprised. I didn't think of same gender attraction b/c I felt like the talk was directed to me! Often times legalization, freedom of speech issues and pushing the boundaries of what is appropriate to air in the media is debated and I've struggled w/this and continue to struggle with this from as far back as I can remember (my own "in-born tendency, or temptation). When I looked back at the talk to see if the talk was targeting that specific demographic I STILL felt like he was talking to me. Thank you for a) clarifying w/o animosity (I hear much better that way), and b) clarifying that his message applies to all sexual temptations, not just the one.

Sharon said...

Dear Mormon Guy,
I just read your blog, and can I tell you how amazing it was? Thank you so much for the spirit of clarity you've brought to a foggy world. My current city is ablaze with this, and I can't even go to work without getting persecuted for my beliefs on this topic. I hope that you know that your post was an answer to my prayers for the past week. Thank you for creating a post that isn't full of hate or anger at anyone. I am much with you on creating a world of love and hope for everyone. I wish you luck as you continue on your path.
Thanks again,
Sharon

mandyface said...

Thank you for your wonderful message. Your words are full of the Spirit and hope. I will be saving them as a reminder of the peace that only Christ gives, which is not as the world gives.

Anonymous said...

I found your blog posted on Facebook. I am so glad I did. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Now that this issue is being discussed in a civil manner, I will finally say something I have never voiced to anyone but my husband (I am a woman). I have struggled with same sex attractions for a number of years now, and sometimes struggle getting those thoughts out of my head. Does that make me bisexual? Homosexual? Quite frankly, I don't believe at all that I was born with it, I recognize it at a powerful temptation that is sometimes very difficult to overcome. I distinctly remember a time when I was 15 and felt that attraction. I was strong enough by then that I knew I had to put it out of my thoughts. I KNOW that if I had acted on my sexual impulses, either hetero or homo, before marriage I would have a completely different life now. I am so glad to have the gospel and direction in my life, and the spirit and peace I feel knowing I am following God's plan. This is a tough issue, and I really feel for those who struggle with it more than me. But I know that these temptations can be overcome, and I know from a personal struggle that porn, masturbation, and homosexuality are some of the most difficult temptations to avoid. If you are struggling with these problems too, I feel for you! BTW, I am super lucky to be married to a man who understands me.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your post. The better part of the church can't understand your perspective so having someone within the church deal with these issues, but still sustain the truth of Presider Packer's remarks is amazing on your part and clarifying for rest of us. Recently, a regional conference was broadcast from the Marriott center on the BYU-Provo campus and sister Julie B. Beck spoke to us and felt impressed to say, "You are doing better than you think you are, but you can do better! We can ALWAYS do better!" I know this doesn't compare with your situation very much, but I thought you might feel good to know we are all "doing better" no matter what our better is. Don't be disheartened, your position is one of extreme influence for those who do not understand and especially to those who do! "You are doing better than you think you are!"

Thank You!

Alpha Ender said...

Thank you so much for what you've said. I haven't had any problems with SSA, but I have had problems with other addictions and issues in my life.

To be completely honest, I have been having a hard time as of late going to Church, or even following the doctrines of the Church. I look around and I see other people with crosses so much harder to bear than my own, and I feel ashamed that I can't carry mine. This post, this blog, has pushed me to going back to the Church, to repent and try again. There's some things in the Church I know I won't do, like a mission, but I plan to live my life as according to God's laws and rules as possible. Thank you for your example.

Hate the sin and not the sinner. -Gandhi
I don't like the emphasis on the word "hate", but I couldn't actually find a source for "Love the sinner, hate the sin."

Cristi said...

I admire your courage. Thank you for these thoughts! Beautiful! It's nice to hear a voice of reason. :)

Anonymous said...

Dear Brother,

Thank you so much for sharing what must be so difficult and so private and personal! It was refreshing and faith-building to read your comments. Watching the anger of the people on the news only gives me a small idea of how difficult your trail must be. I am glad to know after reading your story that they're are people that can take council as difficult as Elder Packard's and having faith to continue.

Anonymous said...

I hope you are not tired of hearing this yet, because I just have to express it: You are inspiring! Your testimony of who you are and Heavenly Father's guidance in your life brought tears to my eyes and pure joy to my heart. You are an example that I will not soon forget! Thank you.

Mormon Guy said...

hairyshoefairy: Keep hoping. Share the message.
Nattyphat: While sending a letter to President Packer is nice, the people who really need your support are the people around you… the people who are struggling with this issue and you would never guess. I’m glad that you found the blog; I hope that you continue to come back.
Michelle: Thank you. May God bless you and your little brother.
Brittany: That would be a lot of people. Like millions. And I’d have to find some translators… I’m glad that this can be a place of harmony… and refuge from the storm. Thanks.
Amber and Lance: Thanks for your support. I definitely do share my voice in issues of value (hence this blog), but, no matter who you are, it is important to share your thoughts clearly and understanding the issues at hand.
Chantal: My heart reaches out to you and your brother. I pray that the Lord will help you both… and give you the strength to do what is right.
Angie: Wow. That would be even more people than Brittany suggested. Like billions of people. And I definitely don’t speak that many languages. But I’ll keep posting. Thanks for commenting here.
Anonymous: I hope that here you find something to heal your heart and your family… and that you feel at peace.
Tausha: There are many people who have turned to God in their struggles… and even though you’ve found someone who is tolerant, life is still going to be hard. You’ll probably still feel hated. But when you turn to God, He will bless you.
Anonymous: I hope that I can reach them, too.
Anonymous: It is hard. It’s probably one of the hardest things I’ve faced in life. But, with my luck, it may not be the hardest. Sometimes the Lord gets creative.
Anonymous: You are completely right – there are people all over the world who live with same-sex attraction… in the Church and out. And while some are outspoken against the doctrines of the gospel, not all of us have horns.
Michael: You’re welcome. Thanks.
Anonymous: The only way to change the world is to reach out and change it… one word, one action, one life at a time. Share your love with a family member, tell a friend you care. Be there for a stranger. And then, as quickly as we act, the world changes for the better.

Mormon Guy said...

Anonymous: I hope that your family and friends feel the spirit, too… and that you are able to help them know that you love them and want them to become better with each passing day.
Allie: I’m definitely glad that I’m not bitter. Did you know that some people can’t even taste bitter? I can’t remember whether I was or wasn’t… and I think it was just a chemical taste-test anyway… but yes, life will get better no matter what. Thanks.
Anonymous: I hope that you find the strength and faith to overcome your own trial. Talk to your bishop. Talk to God. And look deep within yourself to find the way that you can change who you are, forever. You can do it, brother. God be with you.
Sharon: I hope that your city catches fire from a new light… as they see the light of truth you share in your example and your testimony. Good luck at work tomorrow.
Mandyface: You’re welcome. Christ really does give us peace.
Anonymous: In the last few days, my opinion of Facebook has risen exponentially. There is so much good that we can do… just pushing a button and posting a message of the Gospel to Facebook.
Alpha Ender: As I page through these comments, publishing each one, I am touched by the stories of people whose hearts are open to change… and who make the commitment to turn to God in their lives. Thank you for sharing your story – for making (Gay) Mormon Guy into a place where the Spirit can be present and help us to be better.
Cristi: Courage is standing in the face of adversity. I think we all need courage in times like these – courage to stand and share the light when the darkness is raging.
Anonymous: It is my struggle… but the Lord has blessed me so much. How could I stand by and not shout His praise?

And to each of you: Thank you for posting… for reading… for submitting to Facebook and Twitter and texting and news sites and your own blogs. I’m amazed at the outpouring of support and love… and as I read your stories and comments, I am so grateful that I can hear them, and in some small way be a part of your lives. Be strong. Turn to God. I love you.

Mormon Guy

Oreo said...

GMG, what a post! Look at the rich conversation happening because of your thoughts. I too found your blog because someone posted it on Face Book. I am so glad this person did.

I just watched Elder Packer's talk because I was traveling on Sunday and could not see conference but heard about his talk from my son. Reading your comments brought peace to my own soul who struggles with Same Sex Attraction. Thank you for your insight and everyone else's comments and support. This is a wonderful blog. One than I plan on following in the future.

I know it is possible to overcome the temptations. I have been there. But recently it feels like they have been weighing me down and getting the best of me. My pride has been in the way to me truly overcoming the trial that I carry.

Thank you GMG for your words of encouragement, your strength and testimony. You have truly inspired me to try harder. I know I can do it. I just have to live the basics like you said. Have faith in God, call upon the Priesthood, read the scriptures and pray daily.

I need to work on my relationship with my Heavenly Father and you have given me the strength to go forward. Once again thank you for your blog. Please keep writing and sharing your feelings. I too hope to be as strong as you someday and will turn to your blog for those words of encouragement and strength. Keep up the good work!

Heather said...

Thank you for your words. When I was listening to this talk, I interpreted it very differently from many who are talking about it, but I think that is because my struggles are different, or at least the struggles that immediately come to my mind are. (does that make sense?) At any rate, I know what you have said will help clarify for others and I just appreciate your willingness to open up. God bless you and I pray all your hopes and earthly desires may come to pass :)

Néna said...

Thank you SO much for this entry, I can't tell you how meaningful it is to me. I want to applaud your determination, and give you a big hug! me and my roommate were talking the other day about how much our hearts go out to those who are struggling to live righteously. What I don't think people realize is that they have their own Agency, we can't change the world or force them to do things that we don't believe in, but we ourselves can hold steadfastly to Christ and hopefully help others find their way, and the message that Elder Packer gave was for those people who are trying very very hard to be good and listen to the spirit. You are an amazing person, and I'm proud of you for listening to the spirit. I think people don't realize (and sadly some LDS people don't either) that we don't believe that being Gay and having those feelings makes someone a sinner, its the act of it. Just as a single person is not a sinner unless they have unchaste relations outside of marriage. It saddens me to think that Gays think I automatically hate them, which is in fact not true.
Again, thank you for this.
My Regards,
Néna

Anonymous said...

Well said, well written, and well received. Thank you for sharing your perspective. Everyone is fighting a different battle and is in need of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know he has the power to heal us and in time, make us stronger and more like him. As long as we do not drive away the Spirit, the Lord will "lead us by the hand, and give [us] aswers to [our] prayers." He stands at the door and knocks.

Rebecca said...

I have never been more impressed with an article/blog in my life! I have struggled with my emotions over this topic, especially since my facebook home page is covered in postings that contain such hatred and distain for the LDS Church and manipulations of the truth about President Packer's address. So I cannot adequately express the depth of peace and happiness I feel from your beautifully written, heartfelt words. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints as well, and have family members who are homosexual. The love I feel for them has never changed nor will it ever. But because I trust my church leaders and whole-heartedly believe in my faith - refusing to deny the validity of its teachings - those same family members have willingly cut me out of their lives.

I admire your willingness to take the time to really examine the things President Packer said. While I listened to his message, I heard a strong warning against the viewing of pornography, a need to recognize the ability to create life as a divine gift, and an uplifting message of hope for anyone struggling with temptation.

I do not pretend to understand the personal struggle you face every day. Your ability to stay close to the Spirit and live the Gospel in today's environment is admirable. We will not ever be able to stop the negativity being spoken against the Church, completely. But we can control the ways we react to it. Since both sides of this issue say they want peace, tolerance, and unconditional love for everyone, then everyone needs to be willing to start with themselves. Thank you for sharing your inspired thoughts.

Anonymous said...

The day after I heard Elder Packer's talk, the web was lit up with anger and venom. People were disappointed in the words Elder Packer used in sharing his message about the power that Christ has to deliver us from our struggles.

The problem was in the message, or the timing. The problem is in us... It is the way we treat and deal with people that have same sex attraction.

For some reason, the world, and much of the body of the church, does not take the time to think about the double standards that exist in our own minds as we judge the "severity" of a sin.

If you struggle with an addiction, or even a strong incliation to look at pornography... a hypersexuality for lack of a better word, people take an approach of, "gee brother, you can do it." and life seems to go on with a full cure in effect shortly after.

If however you have homosexual feelings, or tendencies, you may as well have a flesh eating disease that mangles you beyond recognition.

I just dealt with this in my priest quorum. I boy's mother had left the marriage for a lesbian relationship. In the mean time, his father had met a woman who moved in.

He had in immense amount of anger for his mother, however his dad, who eventually married the woman, was just "getting through a nasty divorce."

Once we talked about the reality of his situation, one question opened a real discussion. Wo is in the greater sin, Your mother, who lives has a relationship with another woman, or your father who is in a relationship with a woman.

The first answer was that it was his mother. When I asked why, his answer was that it was because she was in a homosexual relationship. All I asked him was, "Really?" and as he pondered it, a light went on in his eyes. The portion of the hurt and hate left, and a measure of love for his mother came back.

These trials are real for everyone. The fact that I struggle every time I turn on a computer, not to look at pictures of naked women, is no more or less a sin than is homosexuality. It doesn't mean I am going to rape women or children, it doesn't make me some wierd pervert stalker, nor does it make me love the lord less.

Maybe because I have my own struggles, I hear Elder Packer and I feel the loving rebuke of a loving Heavenly Father telling me that I can do it, and I totally miss the hateful message of anti-homosexuality. I guess if I was looking to be hurt and offended, the information is there, but the reality is, that we all have our struggles and we all have to take a look at ourselves, our culture, and our attitudes.

If you walked away with an attitude of, "Way to go Elder Packer, you tell those perverts..." then you must have totally missed the talk on pride during Priesthood session, and you may want to go see your bishop about a VERY serious sin.

Good luck to you in your trials, I know that the same Atonement that allows youto overcome, sustain, and deal with yours, will do the same with me.

And, by the way... even though the title you choose doesn't define who you really are, I consider you a brother in Christ that happens to have a struggle with same sex feelings, not a "Gay Mormon." I would hope that when people see me, they see a loving father, with skills and talents, a strong love for the lord, and that happens to struggle with pornography. My trials do not define me... my love for my fellow man and the Lord does.

Teri said...

I was directed here by a friend of mine who posted the link on Facebook. I have to admit that when I listened to the talk and took notes on it, I was inspired by it and thought that it was a wonderful talk about choice, sin and repentance. I noticed the one bit about homosexuality, but it never even occurred to me that Pres. Packer's talk could be construed as being all about that particular topic. He spends a lot more time (as you noted) talking about the evils of pornography.

When all the furor broke out about it, I thought I must have missed something and went back through my notes...finding nothing, I wondered what was going on, if I had heard a different talk from everyone else. Reading your post here about it both made me feel a bit better about the whole thing and made it clearer to me how it could have been taken in the way so many did.

We see the talk through the lens of our own temptations. I've had my own struggles and it is through that lens that I took Pres. Packer's talk, even with the discussions of pornography and homosexuality. I sat there and thought, "Yes, we have a choice about committing sin and we have to avoid that." ...and there is always repentance for the inevitable moments when we fail.

I don't know what it feels like to have homosexual urges or attraction (not sure on the correct term there), but like every other human being, I know how it feels to be tempted to do that which is not right...and sometimes, I give in...and that's where repentance is so wonderful.

Thank you for writing this. It was a good thing to read this morning.

Diana said...

Amazing! Thank you for standing for truth, I pray you are blessed for your courage. Your comments were so clear and show that if we seek for the Spirit we can avoid contention and offense.

Steph said...

Thank you thank you thank you for sharing this. My family grew up Mormon, and only two of the seven kids remain in the church, myself and my sister. Our youngest brother is gay, and we have NEVER made him feel ostracized or outcast, just loved. We don't see eye to eye, but we love each other and are holding on to him tightly.

Thank you for your blog. One day, I hope to have the courage to share it with my siblings who are leaning away more and more as the gay rights issue takes a stance against the LDS church.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mormon Guy,
You are a hero. Thank you for being a man, brave and strong and full of the Spirit of Love. If only all those who are "hating" could hear your words of conviction, of truth, and of love and most of all your commitment to Gods will over all else, to choose HIM. That is what matters in the end and that is what will bring you and each of us the most happiness. I BELIEVE IN YOU. And hopefully someday we will stand side by side in our Fathers Presence. :)
Ashli

Steph said...

I am so grateful for your courage in standing up for what you believe in and having such a strong spirit to guide you in your life. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and being an Ensign for truth and righteousness. Your words are definitely inspired and your interpretation of Elder Packer's talk is heartfelt and honest. I'm glad that I was able to read it.

Steph

Candace E. Salima said...

Thank you so much for being brave enough to write your thoughts, revelation and conclusions when hearing President Boyd K. Packer's talk. You are right all the way. I am so grateful that I have been privileged to read this blog. God bless you, my friend, as you continue on this path.

For me, like you, that last statement by President Packer was a prophetic and apostolic promise that if we will fight the natural man, for we all have weaknesses and desires that we fight in order to remain righteous, the Lord will bless us in that battle and aid us to the natural conclusion.

---(--{@ MSK said...

Thanks to Candice, I found your blog, and am enriched by your tender and honest approach. There are other ways of looking at things, and you have exhibited the courage to do so. Yours is a sorely needed voice in a wilderness of dissent.

While any temptation is not easy, everyone has something that tempts them and pushes them to deny their spiritual natures and come between themselves and Heaven. For you, it is this. For another it may be pornography or alcohol or other addictions. Who is to say which are 'harder' ? For the tempted, that which tempts them is the hardest FOR THEM.

I have my own temptations, sometimes I am strong, sometimes I am weaker. . . but always the only answer is placing my hand in the hand of the Savior, and allowing HIM to do what he has already done, taken them unto himself.

I honor you and respect your ability and willingness to share your temptations and struggles.

MSK

Anonymous said...

You are an inspiration. I have GREAT respect for people like you. Thanks for sharing your insight, it's very powerful coming from someone who personally struggles with some the things President Packer spoke about.

I have also sinned a many sin in my day. One of my sins brought an innocent life into the world, I'm glad I was able to be touched so much by the Spirit that I was able to put myself aside and choose adoption.

Through the power of forgiveness I was able to overcome my sin, the guilt I felt and forgive myself and others. Forgiveness is for everyone who chooses to accept it's power. The church is extremely compassionate to those who sin, I have witnessed this first hand.

Thanks again. Continue doing what you are doing. We need more people like you out there.

Cherilee said...

So very well said. You described and explained perfectly what I feel President Packer was trying to say. Thanks for sharing it!

Anonymous said...

As a fellow member of the church, I just wanted to say thank you for your inspiring words. A friend of mine directed me to your blog as many of my other friends have been debating back in forth on Pres. Packer's talk. I'm glad that someone, especially in such a position as yours, not only has the courage to speak out on it, but also took the time to understand the WHOLE talk and not just one portion of it.

In order to appreciate what Pres. Packer was talking about you have to look at the whole thing rather than just a comment taken out of proportion. I have several gay friends and acquaitences and truly sympathize with anyone called upon to face that trial. It is inspirational to see someone in your position be able to stand strong and stalwart in these troubling times. God Bless!

Romans 12:4-5 I think this also applies to trials as well as callings :)

Robb Taylor said...

Thank you.

JLBills said...

Thank you so much! Your words are very inspiring. I appreciate you breaking it down in the way you did. You are awesome!

KH said...

I am LDS and live and work in a very liberal town. I have many gay colleagues and friends whom I love and respect dearly. It is hard to know how to respond to the criticisms of the church when I sometimes feel upset at things that are said by some church members and leaders that can readily be interpreted as intolerant and unloving. Thank you for this wonderful perspective and being willing to share your struggles. You are an inspiration to all of us who deal with trying to do what the Lord requires of us when at times that can be heart-rendingly difficult.

Camilla Jones (CioCo Photography) said...

In a world that is so quick to anger, you truly have a grasp on the Lord's plan and I want to thank you. I'm not sure why the Lord has allowed us to pass the specific trials we struggle with, but I know that one reason is to help others through our righteous insight. You have done that, thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say keep up the good work. I've had some of my own struggles with a tendency toward sexually related sins, though not same-sex attraction they are still hard to deal with and have destroyed my life a couple times. I may not face the exact same things as you do, but I want you to know that I appreciate your struggle and I will love you as my brother always. Thank you for writing and showing the world what it is really like.

deilataylor said...

Thank you for your blog and comments about this issue. I do not understand all things and believe that certain things such as blacks and the priesthood do not get resolved until a prophet earnestly seeks answers for that particular issue. Pres. Monson's talk at the RS session asked us to not criticize other people, to have charity--we are all different and I hope to be one that has expressed love and care to all our brothers and sisters--we truly do not know the struggles of others or their triumphs. My cousin was a gay mormon, but jumped to his death on a freeway overpass many years ago. May you be blessed for your goodness and example.

Jeff said...

I know Heavenly Father will strengthen you for your righteous desires to follow Him. I thank you for expressing what it really feels like to have this difficult temptation as part of your life. I love you as a brother, and I pray God will give us all the strength we need to overcome what may be life-long battles against temptation.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. Repentance is as much about changing our mindset as it is about changing behaviors.

I have found it so interesting that opposition to Elder Packer has been met with such hostility. There was no new message. It was simply that our beliefs are based on eternal truth and will never change.

Your perspective and soberness concerning such a personal issue are inspiring to me. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Great comments.

My thoughts from LDS General Conference, October 2-3, 2010: I encourage everyone of all backgrounds to take a private moment and read or watch each or any of the 39 messages given.

Regarding the much publicized sermon by President Boyd K. Packer, "Cleansing the Inner Vessel". I see it as a map to happiness through re...pentance. It tells of a story of beautiful forgiveness and mercy that our Father in Heaven has for each person on this earth through our savior Jesus Christ. It outlines the gift of agency from our creator, which allows us to decide if we wish to act ourselves or be enacted upon by our circumstances. EVERYONE has made mistakes and needs guidance from temptation.


I am grateful for President Packer for giving me, a flawed man, an opportunity of introspection as I seek to do better today than I did yesterday. I wish each of you the same as you find your path in your own personal way.

BreeAnna said...

Wow! I just loved reading your message. As others have before me I'm going to post this to my blog and facebook page, with your permission. I know there are others out there who need to hear this message. What a wonderful age we live in where we can reach others, that we may never actually meet in this life, with our words and thoughts. Thank you for yours.

Fay said...

I love your honesty in expressing not only your deeply personal temptations, trials, and tribulations in life, but your candid and honest search for truth and righteousness in a world that no longer respects either. I am grateful to have read your message today, and am deeply touched. --I am reminded that this is why we are counseled to uplift and strengthen one another, and why that is part of our baptismal covenants. You have lightened my load today, and I pray that the Spirit of Comfort will be with you to lighten yours. I am grateful for a voice such as yours. Keep writing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that beautiful post. It helps me to understand.

Anonymous: Thanks for sharing your insights as well.

Colton said...

You are the man. Thank you for explaining what I had previously misinterpreted. I have my own demons, and to see someone with so much courage and faith like yourself in a modern day setting (as opposed to a scriptural one) is a great strength to me. I feel as though I have let that burning testimony I once had smolder a bit, thanks for adding some kindling to my fire.

Anonymous said...

I saw this on someone's FB status. Your words are very eloquent and your faith is inspiring.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts, but more importantly, thank you for your example of faith, courage and love for the Lord.

Kelli Duthrie said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and testimony. Your experiences are so valuable to many of us who don't struggle with this problem. I found your blog through FB, and I am so grateful I did.

After reading your words, I can that you are humbly overcoming your trials through a strong relationship with God and great faith in Christ. Thank you for being an example and inspiration to so many.

Isabel said...

All I have to say is THANK YOU! I don't doubt the Lord's disciples and I know that Satan is fighting really hard against them and all of those who choose to follow Jesus-Christ. Thank you for your words, I know that the things you said are true and I admire you for having such a great love for the Gospel. Heavenly Father bless you everyday!

Graham Bradley said...

Thank you for your clarity in this. There are a number of people in my life who also deal with this issue, and not off all of them made the effort to understand what President Packer was conveying in this talk. I'll be sure to pass this along. Thank you also for your faith, brother.

Drew said...

Interesting perspective, and nice to hear a more positive response. I think that President Packer stated that change is possible, even from the attractions, but that's a much longer issue to present in a short General Conference address.

Mormon Guy said...

Drew:
Sorry. Your comment got lost somehow, so when you reposted I went back through my emails and found it. I don't post every comment immediately, and when I don't have time to respond, I don't post the comments that need responses - since I like to follow up shortly thereafter.

I think it's important to realize that change may be possible, but sometimes it's out of our control. The most important aspect is keeping the commandments and trusting in God, no matter what happens to us in life... and whether or not a change comes. Thanks for your comment.

Jeff said...

I'm truly touched by the humility and sincerity of your comments. I pray with all my heart that you find the peace you deserve. Thanks for your courage. You have inspired me to continue the fight against the deamons I face.

Anonymous said...

I have such respect for you. I am a member of the church as well and have two sister in laws that are lesbian and if they could so much as just read what you wrote I think it would help them. I felt the spirit as I read this and I am in awe of your stalwart faith in these trying times. It has got to be such a hard thing to go through and I can't say that I understand how you feel but I am just so grateful for people like you. I do hope this message you shared and be shared everywhere! Thanks again for your faith and message. It really made my day.

May the Lord be with us all and may we turn to Him in all things.

Drew said...

I guess that's where we might disagree, in that I believe change IS in our control, which is evident by the ALL-encompassing and enabling power of the Atonement.
I appreciate your honest and positive response to President Packer's conference address, especially considering the incredible amount of backlash that came shortly after he spoke. I do think he very clearly stated that issues such as those you are dealing with can be overcome. I kind of think that was his point, that any trials can be overcome through Christ, which is a very hopeful and inspiring message, no matter what issue someone is dealing with. I have seen people overcome same-sex attraction completely and go on to live full, healthy, happy lives. As children of God and believers in Christ, we have so much more power than a lot of people realize. Faith and trust in God are crucial, but faith is a principle of action. But understanding all of this is a very personal and life-long journey.

Sorry for the double-post, I thought my comment might have been one of many.

Liz said...

Good for you. I applaud your faith and trust. Best of luck.

lyndsey said...

Gay Mormon Guy-
I just want to express my respect for you. I just found a link to your blog, and only read the article on President Packer's talk, but was deeply impressed. As a member of the church in a very liberal area, it was difficult for me to express my love for those struggling with same-sex attraction as well as side with the church with Prop 8 in California. I admire that you are still strong in the church and do not bash or demean its significance. I am also in awe that even as you struggle with your gender identity, you are working on staying in the church. I am glad you are willing to share your story and thoughts so that others may see your perspective, as it is a unique and insightful one. Please continue to do so.

Mormon Guy said...

Drew:
I don’t think we disagree. We both believe the same things, just with a different perspective. We believe that the Atonement is all-powerful. We believe that God will bless us and take care of us. And we believe that He will structure our lives to help us return to Him someday. We also both realize that, while all trials can be overcome through Christ, and all trials can also disappear through His grace, not all trials will disappear simply because we have attained a certain level of righteousness. Prophets are not immune to cancer. Others never have the opportunity to marry. Others lose children, live with deformities, or struggle with mental or physical impairment. I have a friend who has Down’s Syndrome, and who has so much faith… that I can’t even comprehend. Can her impairment be overcome? Yes. She has already overcome it, and lives her life helping others. Will it disappear? Yes – in the Lord’s due time.

Elder Wickman, on the topic of making attractions disappear, gave this statement in an official Church Press Release:

“What matters most is recognition that ‘I have my own will. I have my own agency. I have the power within myself to control what I do.’
Now, that’s not to say it’s not appropriate for somebody with that affliction to seek... help… Case studies I believe have shown that in some cases there has been progress made in helping someone to change that orientation; in other cases not. From the Church’s standpoint, from our standpoint of concern for people, that’s not where we place our principal focus.”

No matter what our circumstance, we are both saying the same thing. We each need to turn to God, forsake our sins, and call upon Him to help us overcome the trials we face. Then we move forward with faith, sure that He will help us to live happy, fulfilled lives and return to His presence. Thanks for your comment, and the chance to clarify my words... and what the Spirit has taught me in my life.

Erin Howarth said...

Well said.

Ryan said...

Thank you for your insight and understanding. You are a great example to everyone on how we should not take offense but assume the best in everyone and learn from them. I appreciate your humility in looking to the Lord for understanding. I have been inspired by your example and will share this with everyone I can. Thanks again,
Ryan

Millie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa said...

Your perspective is so valuable. Thank you.

mormonsoprano.com said...

I saw your link posted on facebook, and am thrilled to see someone writing with your life perspective! I KNOW there are many strong Latter-day Saints who also deal with same-sex attraction but the majority can never vocalize it publicly. I applaud your bravery, your openness and your faith. Thank you for being YOU. I think you are very awesome, and the Lord is using you in a unique way to spread the gospel of peace.

A few minutes ago, the church released a formal response to the petition. They have released it as a YouTube video as well as in written form. go to newsroom.lds.org/article/church-mormon-responds-to-human-rights-campaign-petition-same-sex-attraction [add http:// at beginning to link]

Ruth M said...

Thank you for that.

partypatt said...

Thank you, thank you! Your blog has touched my heart. You have helped me understand my brothers and sisters who are attracted to the same sex. You are amazing. I wish everybody could read your blog. I will be returning!

Anonymous said...

Thank you.

Karey said...

I cried and felt the spirit as I read your posting. It is wonderful to find someone who struggles with same-sex attraction who also recognizes that moral behavior and following the commandments applies to us all--no matter our challenges, addictions or sexual preferences.

The church is true and Heavenly Father loves us all and wants us to return to him. The way is clear. In D&C 82, it teaches us that His words are directions to lead us back to him. If we ignore those directions because we rationalize breaking the commandments, no matter what our weaknesses are, we lose the blessing of those directions.

I'm praying for you to make it through this life and this trial successfully and triumphantly. If we could all realize what a small piece of the big picture this life is, it would be easier for us to plow through whatever obstacles face us.

God bless you and thank you.

sweetisthepeace said...

Thank you so much for this blog. I'm also a very active member who deals with a poorly-understood and much shunned challenge (GID in my case). Your testimony is an inspiration.

Ben said...

Great blog. Thank you for your comments. I respect you immensely. Our prophets have said that homosexuality is not itself a sin (just that sexual acts outside of marriage are). I hope that members of the church will take this counsel to heart.
And it is true that some people have genetic tendencies towards same-sex attraction. Others have genetic weaknesses for alcohol or pornography. Others have mental or physical impairments. We are all imperfect and that is how God made us. It is for us just to do the best we can with the light that we have.

Jimmy said...

I love this post. You are a wonderful asset to the Lord and the Church as the work goes forward, and I wish that all of our fellow members, friends, and critics would take as much time to reflect as you have. I could not agree more with every word that you said about the backlash, the intended meaning of the talk, and what sticks out while looking back at the talk. Wonderful analysis and Spirit-filled message. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

May the Lord bless you for the strength of supporting and sustaining a prophet, seer, and revelator. You will be blessed for your strength and righteousness. To speak up for an apostle is hard. To speak up when he is speak against something you are struggling with is strength and valor beyond measure. May you be blessed with the righteous desire of your heart. I'm honored to hold the priesthood with you!

AJ said...

I just wanted to add my praise and encouragement for your courage and faith. I am so glad there are faithful people like you out there to share a true pure testimony with the world.
I wanted to read all of the many wonderful comments, but I just didn't have time. I just wanted to add my support to you and tell you that I think you are great. Thank you for this post. I am sure it will help many!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your perspective and faith. It is refreshing. I wish you the best of luck in all you pursue.
-Becca

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your example of faith. First time reading your blog. You have put into words my feeling and understanding of the issue which I have never been able to articulate. One can always tell truth by the peace that comes when contemplating information or an issue.

I am a passionate person. I have often confused my feelings and thoughts with the Spirit of the Lord. Over my few years I have learned this: I know something (a conversation, a thought, a passage etc) is from God when I feel peace, even though I still may have questions and not fully understand.

When I feel frustration, conflict, confusion and/or anger, the "something" is either not being expressed in the way God would wish ie with love, peace or it's simply not of God or I am being prideful because I am not doing what I know is appropriate - emphasis on "doing" not the tendency or thought, and so the truth cuts me to the very core.

Even the most difficult, tender, painful or controversial issues can be discussed with the Spirit being present allowing individuals to leave at peace with each other and God even if the issue isn't fully resolved yet. It's not easy and may not be fun but it is so worth the effort.

Thank you for your sharing your gift of articulation.

Kerstin said...

What great perspective! Thank you for sharing. What a great example you are for those who are dealing with the same issues as you. I have a gay uncle who I treat the same as any other family member. He has chosen to act on his feelings and we treat his partner respectfully as well. It really bothers me when we are categorized as intolerant. I feel like I am very tolerant and in fact trying to treat everyone I know as Christ would (while maintaining my beliefs).

Erin said...

GMG: I really enjoy learning about other's feelings about similar experiences because they're always so different from mine. Thanks for helping me understand better.

Nathan and Shaleena said...

Thank you so much for sharing that! I didn't read through all the comments, so I don't know if this has already been said, but I've heard (read it off Deseret News) that the brethren are given the opportunity to revise and edit their talks the Monday after conference if they feel that what they said and what they were implying or trying to say weren't the same. I've noticed the small differences, too.

At any rate, the Spirit is the ultimate bearer of the truth to be taught to each of us. Thank you for your testimony and courage!

Take care :)
Shaleena

Kairy Salazar said...

As a former straight member of the LDS Church I admire your willingness to be openly gay, but still live the gospel. I also loved the comments you made. Most people can't be so impartial in looking at things of a controversial nature esp with religion involved. I wish you all the best in living the gospel as you seem to love it so much and I know without a doubt you are helping those around you which some people would ignore or turn away as being an unwanted part of society. I know that is just what the Savior would want since He did the same thing while He was here :)

Herry and Jayley said...

I saw this post on a Facebook page and am highly intrigued. I just wanted to say that I appreciate and admire you being able to see yourself as a whole. I had a gay co-worker in my last job (living on the east coast I was, as is typical, the only member of the church) and struggled somewhat in being able (if asked, though i never was) to appropriately describe to someone that while i do not agree with the choice in lifestyle (much like i wouldn't if someone was a drug addict) I still loved the person for who they were. The thing that seems to make someone so sensitive about it is that they define themselves as being gay-they tend to consider it as exactly who they are. Though being mormon is a fairly defining characteristic and has shaped who I am-it is simply a characteristic. Not the whole. I truly appreciate that you are able to see yourself as who you are-a son of a very loving Heavenly Father-and don't allow yourself to be defined (and perhaps confined?) by a characteristic-your SSA. A friend of my father's works with Project Evergreen, I think it's called, who specialize in helping those with SSA. If you're looking for a place to help others-that might be a great place for you. I'll continue to read to gain more understanding. Thank you.

esther414 said...

I love it when we receive promises from a Prophet! As my brother in Christ, I feel love for you, and I thank you for posting your thoughts, they have inspired, edified, and lifted me today. You have helped lift up my hands that hang down and strengthened my feeble knees.

Mindi said...

Thank you for a very thoughtful commentary on this talk. For several years I have struggled to find a balance with this issue I can live with. I'm not gay, but have many dear friends who are. I was still bristling about President Packer's talk until a friend helped me see a similar message you so eloquently shared. No matter how many emotions this topic will continue to stir in me, I cannot deny that what I read from you tonight is the truth and in truth comes an invaluable feeling of peace. Thank you so much - may you be blessed for bringing comfort to so many.

Mr. Tent Trash said...

While I do not share your temptations and your challenges, I admire you for openly sharing them. I hope and pray for your happiness brother.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your blog post. A friend posted it on facebook. I am the mother of an LDS young man who is attracted to men. He is not active in church, and I was praying for clarity on the issue of same-sex attraction before the Sunday morning session of conference started. President Packer's talk answered my prayer. I was so dissapointed in the response to the talk by the gay community. I'm glad there are young men like you who were willing to listen, read, and think about what was said. I wish you all the best. I bet your family is very proud of you.

Anonymous said...

I wish I could wrap my arms around you. As I read your blog, I felt the spirit confirm how much each one of us are loved and that one day there will be answers, healing and freedom. Your humble faith deeply touches me.

Anonymous said...

I want to meet you at the Celestial Kingdom, hug you and tell you that you example helped me to get there.

Doug said...

Thank you. Well said. I'm going to share this.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. You are an inspiration and example to more than you know. You helped me see something in that talk I had missed the first time.

Anonymous said...

GMG,

Beyond this quite incredible post, I am further impressed by some of the comments by these readers. It is good to know that those who do not deal with SSA are still trying to be aware of the issue. You do not realize how this small act is indeed Christ-like. My heart has been touched. As someone who has been in the turmoil involved with SSA with unresponsive and unacknowledging family members and friends, it is reassuring to know that others truly desire to be educated and attempt to understand the issue.

There are those of us who strongly desire to be active in the Gospel and are attracted to those of the same sex--the two are not mutually exclusive. Beyond your well-articulated and thought-out words that helped comfort me, I am indeed grateful that there are those who have the desire to be aware of the difficulties that may come into our lives. It is my sincere hope that those of you who have written and been supportive to members with SSA are able to find such understanding and helpful individuals in your trials and difficulties. For all I may know, your situation may be as difficult as mine. And for that, I pray that I may have the decency to become educated and support you.

Andrea~Nicole said...

I cannot tell you how wonderful it was to read your opinion on the talk. With your permission(given to others) I would also like to repost this on my blog, facebook, and twitter so others can be comforted and strengthened by your words. You are an amazing person.
While you may not have expected it, I think your testimony will change the way many people think and feel, not only about this specific talk, but also about homosexuality, the Church's stance on it, compassion, faith, strength to overcome temptation, and the what Christ-like attributes really are.
My prayers are with you, that your faith and testimony will grow stronger and touch more lives. Once again, thank you.

alex dumas said...

I applaud you, and I hope it's all right to link this post to my blog. I've been trying to think of something to write in response to President Packer's talk, and for the most part, you wrote it. But I want to add one thing: I think the atonement *can* change our natures, and I hope for it to change mine. Lots of good people commented here. And if you're looking for another blog like yours, check mine out.

Amy said...

Beautiful thoughts GMG. Would that we all were so faithful in enduring our trials!

Krista said...

You are a gifted writer. I am here from a link on FB and I'm glad I visited. You expressed yourself well and my heart goes out to you. We all need to be a little more sensitive to others because we don't know what their burdens are.

Jayme said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. What a wonderful example you are! I am so touched by your willingness to seek for the truth in Elder Packer's words, as well as the way you are facing your personal trial with dignity. I think I will continue to read your blog.

Tia said...

I just want to thank you for your example and your kind words. I have an immense amount of respect for you and I appreciate your willingness to turn to God and trust in his words, you're a great, faithful, passionate person and I know you will be rewarded greatly.

Thanks again.

Krissy said...

Nicely stated. I applaud you for your faith!! I work with quite a few gay guys at my dance studio, and I knew that this talk would become a difficult subject for many of them. We were discussing this in my Institute class a few days ago, and quite a few people were upset by the talk. But honestly, I thought the same thing that you did when this came out- What he said is true, and everyone will have an opportunity to act or escape from this type of temptation. It does not mean you don't have the tendency or desire necessarily. Everyone has different trials in life, and I honestly believe that this is one of those trials given to some individuals. Keep moving forward- God loves you and is proud of what you stand for and how you are working to understand Him and His plan! :)

Peruchos said...

What an incredible person you are! I can't imagine what you have been through and are going through in life. How courageous you are to write a blog and share your feelings like this!

I have come to the realization recently that I believe that you and many people around us were some of the strongest spirits in the war in Heaven. I believe that we all chose our challenges in life up there: some cancer, some broken families, and I believe that you took upon yourself this trial. I believe that you felt it was something that would make you stronger and would be an excellent challenge for you. Way to go for being such a strong person and a great example. I wish you luck with your trial and that you can continue to strengthen others.

Anonymous said...

Only my trusted therapist and a past Bishop know the extent of the same gender attraction that I have struggled with throughout my life. With so much of the world yelling, no, SCREAMING that we should embrace these feelings and "come out" make it all the more difficult.

Understanding that it is wrong, I became extremely promiscuous with the opposite gender through out my youth and young adulthood to prove to myself that I was not that way.

It has been a long and painful process. I have gone through many different addictions to numb my senses. My present addiction I am fighting is food... And sadly, it is winning. But I also know that there is hope and peace that can come from the Savior and his teachings. It is there for me and waiting for me to take that step.

I have been married in the Temple for nearly 15 years. My spouse and children are completely unaware of my real struggles and I am so grateful that they are. If they knew, it would make things so much more difficult.

Thank you for having this blog. I will never divulge who I am on this subject, so I will not likely ever see any response from you on this. It was very uplifting for me to read your post!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your clear and insightful words. I have a brother who was once a faithful member of the restored Church--but has now unfortunately decided to succumb to his own temptations of same-sex attraction. My hope is that he will come back to the truth one day. Perhaps faithful people such as you will inspire him to do so--perhaps not. But either way, your unique testimony stands as a witness to the world that the words of the Apostles, both ancient and modern, are true.

Thank you. And may God continue to bless you in your life, that you may remain pure.

Yvonne said...

#175
Thank you so much for listening to the Spirit and following what the Lord had in mind. Often we wonder why we have certain trials that others do not - and I honestly believe it's because for some reason we are better able to reach out and empathize with others who are where we have been. You are definitely fulfilling your mission on earth and I commend you for your dedication to do so! I will definitely be reposting this and following your blog!

The White's said...

I got on this link from facebook and I am so glad I did. I am LDS and have never had same sex attraction, I can only imagine how hard it can be. My parents are at times very rude and unforgiving people and they had a lot to say about homosexual relationships after President Packer's talk, and however much I do agree that it is not Gods plan for us to be homosexual I still feel empathy for those people who are and the trials they have to face in life. Your words were so well written and they sum up my feelings on the matter so well. Thank you for your inspired words.

caseyd310 said...

Wow... Very nice post. I just got done reading through all the arguments on the article in Deseret News, and felt discouraged and confused. Sometimes I find myself having less sympathy than others for this subject, because I myself am a single woman, and therefore have to refrain from sex for.. well.. however long it takes for me to get married.. if I get married in this life. In other words, I feel your pain in a different way brother!
I wanted to hear from the perspective of someone who was struggling with this himself, and yet, still living true to the covenants. I feel enlightened by your message. Ultimately all I can say is I am grateful for the Atonement, and while I don't struggle with the same temptations as you face, I have plenty of my own, and I know that as we press forward in faith, all will be reconciled unto us. That includes our greatest righteous desires!! Thanks for your example!

Nise said...

I am sure I will be lost in the crowd of love and praise but I just wanted to say I truly love you as my brother! I can not believe the affect you have had on people! You amaze me! I am sooo grateful for you! I know with one hundred percent of my heart that heavenly father is so grateful for you! Grateful for the leader you are and the lives that you change! Your strength is a testimony of his love. I know you were chosen for these days to be a leader and example to us all! I am so grateful for you and all that you do!
Love,
Denise

Vanessa said...

YOU ARE SO PERFECT! Everything you said is right on! I have a guy friend that struggles exactly as you do. I wish he knew how much he is loved. I wish he knew what you know: God loves you ever so much! He cares about you just as much as any one of us. You just struggle with a very difficult trial. People can be so cruel to you (especially those of your own faith) because they misunderstand. I am sorry for everything you've gone through and will go through in this life. However, I am also so SO very happy that you've posted this! You are so fantastic for posting this! I agree with you 110%! I wish you luck in all that you do. You are so wonderful!

Merri said...

Thanks...I know others have said this, but I just wanted to let you know what a great example you are to everyone.

EVERYONE has a cross to bear and you are bearing yours with incredible diginity and strength. Thank you for helping those of us, who know the church is true but who also sometime feel upset for our gay brothers and sisters, understand a little more what your life is like.

Good luck to you on your journey.

chattyme2 said...

I felt your blog was very well said and I applaud you for standing firm in your faith. Your Heavenly Father truly loves you and is very aware of your feelings and all that you go through. I know that there are those out there that are faced with this same problem and their faith may waiver a bit so they need to see bolgs like yours. Stay true to your faith and all will be well.

Jessie and kids said...

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I have been discouraged by the backlash and though i have not questioned my testimony, I have worried for those men, women and families affected by this talk. Your comments humbled me and strengthened my faith. I'm grateful for your commitment and love of the Lord. You are an amazing person!

KAT said...

Thank you for your courage in sharing your thoughts, feelings and convictions in this public forum. I have learned things from your posts (in the last few minutes) that I didn't know and I have been a member of the Church all my life. Thank you. God bless you. I know He will!

Kerrie said...

I really think you should speak at EFY's or firesides. At the very least write a book. I saw this post on facebook and loved it! I went back and read your first post and other previous posts. I cried. I feel your love for the Savior and I don't doubt your relationship with him. Although I can't imagine how hard this is for you, I think your testimony can help others through their temptations, no matter what it is. I think everyone needs to hear your story, especially the youth and parents. The youth need to know that all isn't lost and parents can also learn from your story if this or similiar situations find themselves in their homes.

I feel the spirit when I read your blog. And through you I know that I can overcome my struggles, no matter what they are.

You are a beautiful writer. Thank you so much.

jeff and alli said...

Thank you for sharing.

Mitchell5 said...

Thank you for your words!! I'm grateful to have an understanding from your perspective!! I admire your stregth as you fight the fight! Keep going and hold to the rod... you will certainly be blessed and your missionary efforts will help many others!! I'm also grateful that you took the time to actually read through Pres. Packers talk. I hope others can gain insight from what you wrote... I know I did!!

Jason Kilgrow said...

Are tendancies/cravings/temptations for any other impure practice (pornography/adultery/fornication) any easier to overcome? Should we just give into those too? No. Because they are just as destructive to the family and to the spirit as homosexuality. That is the point: Learning to overcome those tendancies of the natural man.

Maria said...

If only more people were like you! Thank you for not being afraid to stand up for what is right and to defend a prophet of God, even when what he says is so against the worlds standards of what is wrong is right and what is right is wrong. The public's reaction is truly a sign of the times and evidence that he really is a prophet! I hope you have the strength to keep fighting your battle.

Caskey Crew said...

Thank you so much for sharing. I have been praying for those who are struggling with same-sex orientation and striving to live the moral laws of God. I can't imagine the struggle, but I do believe God can help to avert those temptations and sins. I have gay family members, but I also felt the spirit in President Packers words and I know them to be true. I'm grateful to be surrounded by stalwart members like yourself. You are the salt of the earth! I will keep you and all struggling in my prayers. Best wishes.

Jen Duke said...

What an insightful post! I followed this off a Facebook post and immediately re-posted. I can't imagine going through this trial, but your faith and humility give me confidence in my own!

kasey said...

I'm impressed by the amount of positive comments left. Sometimes it's a bit sad to read all of the negative bickering that happens in the "comment section" of most internet publications. Thank you, those trying to be steadfast and immovable.

SBB said...

How refreshing to hear this from your perspective. You are so courageous--the world needs to hear what you have to say. Thank you for the way you are living your life!

Sarah said...

I just wanted to say thanks. Thanks for clarifying, for taking time to look at the whole message, for passing your insight on to the rest of us.

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