Thursday, December 23

The Light of Christmas

"For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord..."

2000 years ago, a young woman and a young man took courage, followed the counsel of the Spirit, and walked into the darkness with faith. They broke with traditional Jewish norms in the timing of their wedding, and when the call came to travel to Bethlehem for the census, they probably took everything they had with them on the journey - each other and their faith.

One of the traditions of Christianity in paintings and nativities is to paint the Holy Family surrounded in darkness, creating their own light. While the world looks on and the darkness gathers, they sit, full of faith and hope and light... even though they probably have absolutely no clue what the future holds for them and their loved ones.

Right now in my life I feel like I could probably fit in that picture, at least the part about darkness gathering around me. I don't know what tomorrow holds... and the only thing I can do is walk forward into the darkness with faith. For a long time I expected the light to come on as soon as I stepped forward - for the Lord to somehow reveal some great truth to me to put everything in perspective. And sometimes that happens... but recently there has been no brilliant flash of light. Instead, I've found myself walking in the darkness, and slowly able to see by another light. I definitely have a long way to go before having a halo... but I feel like this is the right direction. The Lord has helped me learn and understand gospel principles for myself, becoming a better person and learning to see the hand of the Lord... and slowly gaining the light of the Lord in my life.


  1. I really feel like truly Christian people should accept gay people for who they are...a different sexual orientation doesn't mean you can't be chaste when you are young/unmarried and true to someone of the same sex in a monogamous (marital) relationship later. I'm LDS and my testimony of the prophet is faltering because the Church's statements about this seem so unChristlike. Any thoughts? I'm straight, so I admittedly don't have the same perspective that you do...

  2. Anonymous: Your comment stands at the heart of the debate on why Christians care about issues in the gay world. There are plenty of potential reasons why individuals feel compelled to participate. 

    Some feel that legitimizing sexual relationships outside of what God has defined will open the door wider to following that path - not making it easier to become attracted, of course, but making the sexual choices more appealing. 

    Others simply feel it's important to support principles and laws that sustain the family as outlined in the proclamation to the world. 

    For me, I care because they are my brothers and sisters. I love them... and I feel the torment and pain and loneliness they do. And I believe there is a cure for the pain. If a member of my family had debilitating, painful cancer, and I knew of a cure, I would never stop encouraging them to obtain and use it. The pain we feel is debilitating, lonesome, isolating, depressing, suicidal, and hopeless... and, at least in my mind, the only truly Christlike thing to do is to teach true principles and help them to find and use the gospel in their lives. If they turn away, do I hate them? No, of course not. True love isn't made conditional on the actions of others... but I can never, in Christlike love, tell a man that he will be eternally happy married to another man. Instead, I tell & show that living the principles of the Gospel brings greater blessings than anything else... and relay the promise that God has given - that if we are faithful, we will receive all the blessings He has promised His children. I'll fall in love, get married, have a family... in this life or the next. I don't know how, but it will happen for me and for all who faithfully seek the promises of God.

    We should love others, anonymous. But love goes far beyond tolerance of actions. Love is emulated by God - willing to do anything in our power to help others be happy, return to Christ, and be perfected in Him.

    ... I hope that helps with your thoughts. Let me know.

    And thanks for your comment - welcome to the conversation.

  3. Your comments made me think of Lehi's dream where he says that he was in a dark and dreary waste and 'traveled for the space of many hours in darkness'. I often wondered why it was necessary for him to do that. What you said helped me realize it was much like our lives. We all have darkness to travel through at different times. It may seem to go on forever, but it won't. At some point we will come out of the dreary waste to find the tree of life waiting for us.

  4. I would like to thank you for having this blog, it's been a great help in my life, especially in the time I first found it... After having just talked to my bishop for the first time, then within 24 hours finding out he was being released the next Sunday, realizing that my circle of people who "knew" which at the time was 3, was about to grow to 4, and I didn't even know him...

    Since then I've become a little less stressed about it than I was... At that time It was just a few months since I'd told the first person ever in my life to know and less than 2 weeks since the second and they were kind enough to go with me to meet the bishop (an adventure in itself, I felt more like just running away than anything, if they hadn't come I don't think I would've gone...)... At that time I was a mess and didn't want to go to my ward anymore, or anywhere that reminded me that anyone knew... then I found your blog... before then I'd only ever read stories of how many people had left the church, and only knew that I never wanted to do that... I can't explain most of the time why I know the church is true, most of the time I still don't feel like I know what the spirit feels like, but to me it's just something that IS. it's true and regardless of my attraction and self-loathing that's where I belonged and could help the most people... and get the most help... and when I found your blog I finally realized there were other people who thought similarly to myself (similarly is used here only to give space in that I doubt highly we think the same on EVERY topic, but also realizing that such space is hardly necessary as most people don't read their comments with a fine toothed comb...). I've read the talks on the subject by church officials, but until you I'd never actually heard of anyone trying it... Again, thank you for that...

    In addition to thanking you, I'd like to ask if you had any recommendations of concise materials I might give to my new bishop to help him better understand... In our first talk (and only so far) he said he didn't know what kind of role he is to play in helping me in this and asked what kind of things me and the previous bishop had talked about, which is hard because I didn't stop crying long enough to really say much of anything to him when we did... I've thought about giving him links to all the talks/books that I've read that have helped me to survive, but that seems like a lot of things he probably doesn't need to read. But he seemed possibly even more uncomfortable talking about it than I was, and maybe I'm thinking about it too much, but I feel bad that he has to deal with this his first week as a bishop without any guidelines or help other than me who has also never been in the situation either so I have no idea how to help... Any advice you can give would be much appreciated... I've thought about calling the old bishop and asking him to advise the new in how he's dealt with it before, but I feel like that would be unnecessarily burdening my old bishop with things he doesn't need to deal with... and I can't figure out if that is just my false-belief that everything I do is a burden to others or if it really is...

    And don't worry about posting this with my E-mail, I created this account as an anonymous alias, much as I'm sure your account is... so no worries there, though you could probably edit out this last paragraph if you want...

  5. Damon -

    I'm definitely not a Church authority on this subject. But I can share my experience. 

    I think it's somewhat ironic that today was the first time I ever spoke to my bishop about it... and I, too, was helped by a friend to that point... except that I was outed.

    Your question seems really cogent to my own experience... as my bishop will probably ask the same one the next time we meet. So I'll try to answer it in my post today. As far as trying to make it concise information, I honestly do not believe that it is possible to quickly and concisely understand this issue unless he gets it directly from God... He could start with all the readings on lds.or under the topic heading, read a dozen books written by people like you and me, follow blogs, and never understand it. I'm asking my bishop to read my blog to start - and that's at least 150 pages.

    Don't ever feel that you are a burden to others. If your name is Damon, I knew one, once, and he was amazing. People enjoy being involved in your life... Your email made my day today. Hopefully something in the post for today helps...

    Mormon Guy

  6. Jewels: Thank you for the thought about Lehi in his dream.

    Damon: I know you need help and support. Remember also that we're all learning, including bishops, and that as your bishop works with you he'll learn how to better help others with similar challenges. Be patient with him and be confident that he is called of God, and thus, though only a man, he will be able to help you in some way. You seem to be intelligent and righteous; from your few paragraphs it seems like you're facing your trials well. I'm not attracted to other men myself, but I have trials also. We're all in this (life) together. Hang in there!

    Mormon Guy: Thanks again.


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