Tuesday, March 8

Outside of Eden

It snowed. And I'm grateful - for both the snow and the reminder that Spring is on its way. The weather has been amazing lately - warm, sunny days, ever-present rain... this might be the last time it snows (until mid-May when a crazy storm hits or something like that) this season.

Everything is symbolic in life - and the thoughts I had this morning walking through the snow were about trials in life. If life, like it was in the Garden of Eden, were an ever-bearing Spring, with amazing sights and beauty for years on end, no trials, no sorrow, and only peace, there would be things I would miss... principles I would forget... and people I would never meet.

God knows me and loves me - and so He didn't send me to Eden. He sent me to a fallen world, as a gay Mormon guy, to a mortal body full of "thorns of the flesh." And while sometimes I live in the Springtime of life, I also live through the blazes of Summer, the swirling storms of Autumn, and the freezing blizzards of Winter. Trees in the forest grow best in alternating conditions. During Spring and Summer, they experience massive growth. During Autumn and Winter, they create layers of hardened wood. Combining the two together gives the strength and breadth to withstand massive trials and support heavy burdens.

I'm grateful for the times of Winter in my life, and for the times of Spring - for the alternating lessons they teach me and the man they are helping me become. The imperfections that God gave me from birth (and yes, God did give us all imperfections - if it's not obvious from life, it teaches that in the scriptures) are the blessings Adam and Eve traded for ever-bearing fruit and eternal Spring. And as I've turned to God He has made me strong.

"I give unto all men weakness... That they may come unto me. And if they will come unto me I will make weak things strong unto them..."

Yeah, life would be great in a perfect Eden. But life outside is better.


  1. Thank you for your blog. I cannot imagine how you have the time and energy for this, but I pray for your continued strength and ability to keep doing this. My son has just shared his ssa with me. He was to enter the MTC soon but felt he could not continue to lie and make covenants in the temple he could not honor and for that I am grateful. He feels he must be true to himself and our family struggles to understand. You have helped with this so much. I hope you are soon able to find face to face friends, until then please know that you have an on-line community of supporters who pray for you and right or wrong look to you for strength and inspiration in dealing with their own challenges.

  2. Anonymous:

    I'll keep you and your family in my prayers... that this experience can help each of you come closer to God and understand His will in your lives. Let me know what else I can do for you or your son.

    Mormon Guy

  3. This is an excellent post. Thank you!

  4. I have wondered for years about guys like you because I knew you must be out there somewhere. I can't tell you how much I admire you for what you are doing and that you are actively showing people that there is survival in same-sex attraction and being a member of the church. I've always thought you guys had it the hardest, so you have my unending support and respect. Keep up the great work!

  5. I totally love reaing this blog. You are a great writer and am amazing person!

  6. Beautifully said - amen. I think what I love most is the way I'm getting some questions answered in a very spiritual way. I have a friend who has a gay son (doesn't everyone?) and I will refer her to your blog. I think she'll find it helpful to read and ponder your thoughts and observations. Hopefully it will help her and her son to become closer through this trial. Thanks again.

  7. So, just to be clear, do you believe God created you with SSA feelings, that you were "born that way"? I sincerely hope not. Someone with an obviously strong grasp of the Gospel concepts as you must surely know the power of the Atonement and change, and should be sharing the truth that these feelings are not inborn, and can be overcome. I hope you use your influence to help others conquer this challenge, as you do the same.

    (Truthfully, I feel the title of your blog itself is kind of discouraging, since you're sort of giving into the label and identifying yourself as such, when really that's just an adjective used to describe people who endure this particular temptation.)

    Best of luck to you.

  8. Drew:

    Welcome back. Same question as last time...? I think it's pretty obvious from my posts that I am trying to help people grow in faith, turn to the Lord, and come closer to Him.

    As for your questions...

    By the simple limits of social psychology, same-sex attraction (and any characteristic, tendency, or trait) can only come about through one of four methods.

    First is "nature" - the inborn belief. You are born human and can't change that. The extremists in natural psychology claim that your destiny is predetermined at birth by complex mixtures of hormones and genes. Science has since proven that this first claim has partial merit, as identical twins are significantly more likely to share sexual orientation, but since there is still significant statistical proof (some twins who differ), nature by itself cannot be the answer.

    The 2nd is "nurture" - which, in this case, since same-sex attraction shows definitive signs long before development, translates into bad parenting and outside influences. While it is possible that every man or woman living with same-sex attraction had inferior parents during the first few years of life, I've never read a study that reached that claim, and I have never been able to see any sort of similarity from that perspective in the stories of the people I've helped here through GMG. I know that my parents were awesome, though.

    The 3rd is "choice" - believing that all those who live with same-gender attraction made the conscious decision to be attracted to their same gender. This belief is incredibly reprehensive to me and others. The Church has made it very clear that this belief, when held exclusively as it relates to attractions, is false and damaging to faith and relationships.

    The 4th is a combination of the three. Natural tendencies, that are compounded by outside influences, and that may change in their intensity based on choices made by the individual. This is the view held by the Church leaders I've met and those who are currently living faithful lives with same-sex attraction. It's also the view I hold.

    As far as overcoming feelings, the cleansing power of the Spirit is freely available to all who repent and turn unto Christ, and is a requirement for salvation in this life. As we turn to Him, He has also promised that He will lift our burdens and assured us that all things can and will be overcome through the power of the Atonement. When and how that happens depends on individuals and their needs and place in the Plan. And regardless of when that happens, I have the responsibility to live my life as a faithful Saint. Many Saints have fallen when the Lord did not live up to their arbitrary expectations; as I explained in the post "But if Not...," true faith cannot be conditional upon my own personal timetable and results.

    On the spiritual side, do I think that God designed my life perfectly for me - to enable me to develop and find my place in the Kingdom? Yes. That everything in my life, without exception, is a gift from Him "for my good," as it relates in the Doctrine and Covenants? Yes. That applies fully to everything in my life.

    And the title of my blog - (Gay) Mormon Guy - is clearly explained in the post that addresses the title. The Spirit teaches men according to their understanding... in their own tongue... and I only chose my blog title after I was prompted and directed in prayer. Today I understand why - where I once wrote this blog just for a few people, today I get hundreds of visitors, daily, who find GMG, and the message of peace and hope, through search engines all over the world. The Lord was just making sure I chose the right keywords.


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