Friday, October 25

Any Sacrifice Is Worth It

Each Saturday morning I work at the Provo temple as an ordinance worker. And each Saturday morning, as I stop and listen... I feel like life is all in place. Everything I'm dealing with stays outside the temple walls, and for a few hours I'm free from the problems and issues I face. Safe, free, happy, and whole. I feel like I belong. I feel loved and valued and know that I'm making a difference. And life is worth it.

The transcendent moments I find there in the temple remind me that keeping the commandments always brings the greatest happiness. Pornography might be exciting. Hooking up with a guy might feel good. Dating and marrying a guy might fill a real desire to love and be loved. But staying close to God, and keeping His commandments, will always bring greater blessings than any other alternative... for everyone.

I wish I could go back to myself ten years ago, when I was deep in addiction and fighting to stay alive day to day... and been able to share the hope and peace and faith that I feel now. To be able to say, "David. It's okay. If you're willing to push through the hardest parts of your trials, and come closer to God and really be humble... life will have hope and peace and happiness. You can do it, and it's worth moving forward."

But, then again, maybe the faith that I've developed came in part because I didn't know if it was possible. Faith to turn to God and trust Him when I didn't know what to do or even hope for. Because I, like a lot of people, thought I was the only person in the church trying to live and be attracted to guys... and definitely had no role models to look up to.

To anyone who is struggling with faith... I want to say that it's worth fighting for. It's worth the pain, isolation, frustration, anxiety, loneliness, sorrow, and anything else that will make me humble enough to open my heart to God. Ideally, I'd be willing to do it without going through pain. But I know that's not the case in my life - God has pushed me through the fire so that I would turn to Him.

It's worth it. The gospel is worth it. Having to never have a family, or never get married, or never have friends, for all of life, is worth it. Anything is worth sacrificing to God for the salvation that He offers. Chances are, He'll ask me to sacrifice the things I value most - to see whether I truly trust Him and place Him first. If I refuse to believe that He would ask me to sacrifice the deepest desires of my heart... I will never be able to truly follow Him when He calls. But if I'm willing to have faith, give Him everything and let Him lead and guide me, the rewards are infinite.

Living the gospel is so worth it. Just keep living. Have faith. Be patient - even if it means all of life. God will make up for it all in the end... and support me in my day-to-day.

4 comments:

Mallori said...

You are such a great example to me and how I need to be more proactive in the church. Thank you!

ライザ said...

I can't wait to go to the temple, for the first time, in 10 days. It's my 30th birthday present to myself, one year and one day after I officially became a member of the church. I yearn to finally know what it feels like to escape the world, and feel nothing but absolute peace in the Lord's home. Life right now is so freaking hard, and what I'm dealing with is threatening to make me lose focus. Which is funny (not really), given that the person I'm struggling with is the reason I found the church. And that just makes everything even harder.

I just know that this is a test of my faith.

Some days, it's so hard to continue to hold on - to hope, to faith, to patience.

Thank you for your always inspiring posts. Your thoughts bring me comfort at the times I need it.

Lucas Jones said...

Wonderful, David. With so many opposing viewpoints I really appreciate you sharing this. It was a really good reminder for me, and helped me address some of the thoughts I've had on my mind of late.

Sandy said...

I believe everyone has their own "garden of Gethseminie" to go through. there are still women who get married who dislike sex, but that is how they bring forth children. People may loose a child in a horrible way. Just a few examples. It sounds like you have accepted this and you are showing others how it can be done. someone I love got mad at God for leting the hard times come. by getting mad he chose decisions that brought more hard times. He blamed God. He is so good. I am praying every day that he will open his eyes, see what he has done and then
The joy can come. THANKYOU for helping someone's son. THANKYOU for showing how to be strong. It is SO worth it!