Sunday, March 6
I know that God is real. He is the ruler of the Universe. Truly Good. Honest. True. Understanding. Loving. Just. Merciful. Perfect.
He is my Father - the Father of my soul. He loves me... and He knows my thoughts, hopes, dreams, desires, wants, and needs better than I know myself.
God wants me to be truly happy... and so He created a Plan for me. Mortality - and within that mortal life, experiences chosen to help me to grow, to push and stretch me, to enable me to find true happiness and eternal life.
Mortal life would be the most difficult experience I had ever faced. While it would offer me the best possible opportunities to return to God, it also held the possibility that I would choose to turn away. The circumstances of life would be so hard that I would ultimately have only two choices: either humbly submit completely to God, or turn away from Him and choose my own path.
I know that God is in control. The things in my brain - whether my attraction to men, the depression I faced, or anything else - weren't just flukes of nature, forced on me by birth. They were carefully selected for me - to try and test and bless and comfort and transform my soul. The things that happen to me outside my control are also not happenstance. God is all-powerful, and that means that He is in control - completely in control - of everything that happens and everything that is. Sometimes He causes things to happen; other times He allows them to happen. Either way He is in control... and His ultimate grace is that *everyone* will have all they need to return to Him. And so all those circumstances, and all the experiences of life beyond my control, are part of His Plan. Whether they seem torment or bliss in the moment, whether I call them blessings or trials, everything in life is His Gift to me, with every single point perfectly designed to lead me back to Him. Life is not unfair... but it is far beyond equality or even fairness. In reality, the deck of life is stacked in my favor, with each and every circumstance chosen by a loving God specifically for me.
God knew that I would falter. That the experiences and trials and temptations of life, in order to have the strength to change my soul, would also leave me bruised, battered, broken, hopeless, and alone. Alone, I would fail, and, marred from my own decisions, I could no longer stand in His presence.
And so He chose one of His Sons - Jesus Christ - to do something I don't truly comprehend. Christ would come to Earth as the literal, physical Son of God, live a truly flawless mortal life, and then suffer and die for the imperfections of my mortal existence. His death and Resurrection would then allow Him, as my personal Savior, to show a path for me - His younger brother - to return Home.
God knows that path to happiness, but I've forgotten. So He tells me what I need to do. He speaks to prophets, gives me scriptures, and, in answer to my prayers, He touches the depths of my soul with knowledge of what I should do.
It's not easy. It was designed to be the hardest possible experience of eternity because only that would do to change my soul. Most of the time I don't understand. An important part of mortality is determining what choices I will make, without knowing all the answers. Will I have the faith to follow God in difficult paths, even if I don't understand? Will I have the humility to let God guide my life even when I'm afraid, alone, hurt, or struggling to survive?
Temptations and trials are real. They offer real, tangible, and sometimes immediate benefits. Sleeping in, rather than reading the scriptures, is far easier. Keeping the law of chastity - and understanding the personal aspects where it applies to me - when the world and my hormones are pushing me to do otherwise is a hard thing.
But temptations wouldn't be temptations if they didn't offer something valuable... and true temptations have to offer something beyond just value. True temptations, to have the strength to change the core of my being, have to require me to place *everything* on the altar of sacrifice. To consecrate everything to God... and prove to myself and to Him that I am willing to follow Him and choose the right, no matter how hard or difficult it may seem.
And so it is. My desire to understand and lift others is contrasted by autism. My desire for unwavering optimism contrasted by bipolar disorder. And my desires to have a family of my own, to be a father, to feel loved, and to fit in contrasted by same-sex attraction and everything else.
But those contrasts truly do change me. Bipolar depression fractured my dreams, but then taught me new ones... and pushed me outside myself to lift others in need. Autism and its desolate loneliness brought me to know God and feel His love when nothing else could bridge the chasm. Same-sex attraction taught me, above all, humility - learning to have faith in God's promises, His timing, His ways, and His commandments even when the things I want (love, a family, children of my own) may seem impossible given the current circumstances.
I know that God is real. That He is in control. At the end of the day, I can either choose to follow Him, trust Him, and believe Him... or to follow, trust, and believe myself instead.
I've made mistakes, and had to follow the road of repentance. I'm sure that my life will be full of failure and frustration as well as triumph and joy. But in the end life is a choice.
I choose to follow Him. I choose to believe Him. I choose to trust Him... even though I don't know what tomorrow will bring.
Will I get married in this life? Will I have kids of my own to teach and love? Will I ever be able to understand people or honestly feel accepted or understood?
I don't know.
But I choose to let God worry about the future and how it will all unfold. To let Him guide me. To let Him chart the path. I know that I'll make tons of mistakes, just like I have before. But I choose to follow Him no matter where He leads me, no matter how hard or even impossible following Him, or returning to the Plan, may seem.
And I invite you to do the same.
Posted by Mormon Guy at 10:42 AM