Sunday, March 13

True Acceptance

When I was young, I would have given anything to feel "accepted" by others. People loved me for who I was, and I definitely felt it, but for some reason everything I did seemed to isolate me. It wasn't an obvious thing - just something in the back of my mind... as if people were constantly disapproving of what I did.

I agree that I'm definitely intense. And not like most other people (this blog is called (Gay) Mormon Guy). But I still wanted the mark of approval from society on my life. Whatever the issue, I realized I had only two options if I wanted people to completely accept me - somehow make them change to accept my choices, or change my choices to be "more acceptable."

In both cases, there's incredible danger. If I change my choices and actions for acceptance from just anywhere, I will almost always end up shooting for a bar far lower than what God has in store for me. On the other hand, if I try to convince others to accept my actions, I am asserting that my bar is high enough - again, running the definite risk that I may be complacent with the happiness that my life brings when there could be better things in store.

Hopefully I'm being clear that this is about condoning actions. People have always loved me. I've always known that. But love is different from condoning and supporting who I am... and my friends and colleagues rarely supported me when I declined major school events that happened on Sunday, or didn't play sports on Sunday, or when I felt a greater responsibility to my personal relationship with God than to anything else. Or whatever else it was. I wanted them to understand and accept my actions - to condone them and, by doing so, somehow eliminate the feeling of being ostracized by society for my choices.

I tried changing who I was within the bounds of the gospel. Then I tried changing the people to help them see my vision. But in the years that have passed, I've realized that what I wanted - the feeling of true acceptance and support of my choices in life - can't come from society. True acceptance, of me and my choices, can only come from someone who knows me and my circumstances completely... and there is only One - God - who does. Yes, society could be nicer to those who choose to live their lives honestly, openly, with faith. But that's not the issue, because even if society accepted me it wouldn't fill my need. Even if I became world famous and everyone loved me, it wouldn't make a difference... because no one can see inside my mind to who I really am - to judge me for my actions and to support me in the good things I try to do. Looking for acceptance anywhere other than from God is looking too low. Only God knows me. And only He truly understands the measure of worth and value... and can give the stamp of approval that I needed... the true measure of acceptance for who I am.

God loves all His children, and He approves of the actions that follow His Plan to bring us back to Him someday. Today I know that God accepts and approves of me, and that's all that really matters. 

But God's acceptance is only temporary. It only counts for today. 

And with His acceptance comes a sacred obligation to raise the bar higher and higher - and to never let my eyes leave heaven. I think that focusing on acceptance from the world lowers my sights and easily leads to complacency. God holds me to an ever higher standard. And as it rises I will rise to the occasion. As I go through life, I'm sure He will continue to raise the bar of my actions and what He expects of me... because He understands me completely. And as I turn to Him, He will give me the strength to clear the bar, every time... 

Today I'm good. Tomorrow I hope to be better. And, in the end, I hope to hear my God say, "Well done, thou true and faithful servant... Enter into the rest of the Lord."


  1. You have a fantastic thing going here. However, I find myself wishing you would be gentler with yoursflf and more realistic in your expectations. Being gentler does not meaning you should condone, engage in or act upon anything that would lead you off the path. It's just that (at least for me) I think I set my bar pretty high and there's no way you would think I was doing well. I find myself so glad that you will be judged by your loving Heavenly Father and not yourself. Because you are awesome, whether you help a bunch of gay Mormons or still are amazing. You might make mistakes, big ones even. We all make mistakes everyday. But once we repent those sins are remembered no more. The other day I wanted to jump my optomitrist!!! I'm a mini van driving mormon mom who loves her husband. But in that moment my thoughts were totally impure about my super smoking hot optomitrist. I not only told my husband who laughed with me after taking it seriously and took the concern to the Lord. I now have a different eye doctor. Just give yourself room to be human and enjoy the journey somehow. You seem like such a loving guy.

  2. I just finished reading several of your posts, down to the one where you explain why you're Mormon. Thank you for your thoughts and your faithfulness. Thank you for reaching out. I never thought I would read a blog by a man with same sex attraction who understood the necessity and opportunity of overcoming it. I don't struggle with that challenge but I have my own shortcomings, and what you have to say applies to all. Thank you.

  3. 3 for school:

    Just because I know your comment could easily be misconstrued: I agree that this life was designed to be overcome, but not in the way the world sees "overcoming." It's not the repression of feelings or seeking out strange therapies to fix something that was never wrong - it's turning to the Lord and believing Him... trusting in His statement, "In the world ye shall have tribulation. Be not troubled. I have overcome the world." With faith and trust in Him, we can overcome all things and return to live with God someday.

  4. I felt the same way growing up, and into adulthood. I have always compared myself to the highest standard, and expected it of myself. It has been a tough thing for me, but I finally realized that doing my best to be my best; continuing to keep my expectations/goals high, while still being happy with my best; knowing that the lord more than accepts me; and coming to accept myself - are all that matter. I am REALLY ENJOYING - reaching for the best that is in me, coupled with my journey towards TOTAL self acceptance. :)

    PS I totally understand your high expectations. Reaching and stretching is a great feeling, isn't it? :D

  5. Corine -

    Stretching does feel great. Usually. Sometimes it hurts like crazy or makes me think I'm going to rip something I didn't know existed. But, when it's over and my Coach gives me a momentary rest, yeah. Stretching is awesome. Because the blessings of the gospel are much more easily in reach.

  6. I love this.

    I often think of how much better i feel in my skin now that i am not younger than say...22. In the spirit of my (not that much) younger youth, acceptance of myself felt nearly impossible. I think the difference is my own testimony that it is okay to accept who i am on this exact day. Even if it wasn't who i planed to be yesterday. And that when I start to gauge myself on an all or nothing scale...things get all wonky.

    My trajectory is always aligning my values with God, and living his plan being true to myself.

    Sometimes even when people (mother in laws) mean well, they forget that we don't all run a marathon at the same pace. Some of us need inhalers. Some of us have really bad running shoes, bunions! (?). And instead of feeling sorry for us with all the blessings we are missing out on (and attempting to guilt us into hurrying up), they can feel happy that I report to the same loving Father in Heaven who blesses my life through trial and grace for the effort it takes me to run that same race. That no matter how my spiritual growth rate compares to the next, I know i'm still moving forward, plugging away, even if others are too fast to notice.

    p.s. my mother in law is great. just sometimes a bit assuming :)


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