Monday, June 16, 2008

I'm Not Ashamed

There are a few things I will apologize for and a few things that I refuse to. I'm not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm not ashamed of its teachings. I'm not ashamed to stand for something even if it makes me politically incorrect or in the minds of pro-gay Mormons - ignorant. If counciled to by the First Presidency I will support any measure that they ask me to. I am not a blind sheep and I don't consider this blind faith. There is no such thing as loyal oppistion in the Kingdom of God. I know that God knows more then I do and if I follow him and his inspired Prophet even if I don't completely understand the reasons I will be safe and blessed. If something attacks things that are sacred to me or that mock God I will stand up against them, I have taken covenants to do so.

I WILL apologize if my approach comes off as unloving, uncaring, unkind or intolerant. I am sorry about that. I struggle with feelings and urges that I used to think made me unworthy. I am attracted to men. I would love to love someone the way that "feels natural." But I know this is wrong. This is why I joined this group. To have support to stay strong. But because this is a support group for people wishing to stay faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ, I am confused as to how anything I've said may be taken as anything but encouragement to do so.

No I'm not a Prophet, I've never claimed to be. I do know what the Prophet has said about choosing the influences we allow into our lives. I know what the church teaches God says about acting on our urges and I know what I've been taught about things like morality and agency.

I've never said that people who choose to exercise their agency in a way that goes against God's will are bad people. What I have said is that those that do that try to influence others to choose the same path are bad influences. I have said that media that is pro-gay that promotes a gay lifestyle is a bad influence. I have said that anything that helps us justify or normalize what is evil in our minds and that offends the spirit in such away that we lose the influence of the Holy Ghost making us easy targets for the adversary to snare are things that need to be avoided. I honestly don't see how saying this is hateful, contentions or unloving.

I would never purposely stand as a stumbling block to someone trying to be strong. I will always be here for anyone who needs a friend or who needs someone to hold to if they feel weak.

The worst thing in the world is watching a brother make bad choices which you know will lead to his spiritual death when you know that that person knows better. Its hard to stand back because in all honestly there is a point where even the most loving person if they say anything that would question their choice will be taken as closed minded to their happiness. I know this from personal expirence having watched two brothers fall into this path and seeing how those who do love them who are trying to keep them close get accused of this kind of hatred.

What hurts is that I am not a hateful person. I honestly don't want to see the pain that I know is the end result of these choices. I have seen that, experienced that first hand. Maybe I'm not good at tough love but I also know that support can only truly be support if it is used to hold up. Support isn't really support if its just used to stand by. When you are rebuilding, support keeps a structure from falling. But at some point the support system needs to be walled around and needs to be made internal. The outside support system has to be taken down and the structure needs to be able to stand on its own. The structure also needs a strong foundation, but if too much filler is added to the mix when pouring the foundation it can easily become weak and even the best support structure won't hold when the foundation crumbles.

We have our agency and we choose what influences we let into the mix. We also show what we feel is worthy by the things we promote and talk about in a positive way. I know from experiences that when I was feeling weak, I wanted to feel I was a good person so I would search out "support" from people and things that "uplifted" me and told me what I was doing was okay. Because I may have lost the prompting of the Holy Ghost these things seemed to comfort me. But because we never lose the influences of the Spirit even when we do everything we can to not accept it because we don't want to feel guilty something always made me feel as if there was something wrong, something missing. I know its was the Holy Ghost.

Again the purpose of my past few posts wasn't to bring anyone down but to warn about the dangers of allowing these kinds of influences into the mix that we are using to build our spiritual foundations.

Okay now in defense of those who do speak the truth. Some posters have said that if they had read what I wrote while they were at a period in their life when they would have left the group. Now to be honest I wonder if this has more to do with pride and less to do with what I said. When we are lost we don't need road maps that say, this is the way to go if you feel good about it, if not go the other way. Would we want a compass that gave us directions that matched our opinions and feelings? We would like to blame the the feelings we have with what is being said as the result of the spirit of contention. But lets be honest here, if we are trying to justify wrong, that spirit is already present in motivating us, its now just manifesting itself in pride and ego.

...1 Ne. 16: 1-32: And it came to pass that I said unto them that I knew that I had spoken hard things against the wicked, according to the truth; and the righteous have I justified, and testified that they should be lifted up at the last day; wherefore, the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center...

Remember brothers, wicked means choosing to sin after you know the truth. It's not sinning in ignorance. Please remember I'm not saying I'm perfect, I need to hear what I'm saying probably more so. I'm only warning because I believe that when we have been warned its our duty if we love each other to warn. And no I'm not accusing anyone here of being wicked, just as I know no one was judging me of needing reproving with sharpness for standing for what I believe to be right.

I love this scripture but I think we also need to be very careful in how we apply it.

D&C 43: Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;

We as Latter-day Saints have a tendency to speak in scripts and follow patterns that if we aren't careful can come off as insincere attempts to come off as insincere attempts at being perfect.

Just as we need to have been moved upon by the Holy Ghost to reprove. We also need to really love the person if we are going to try to show an increase in love afterwards. And yes we need to lose the pride, the ego and not let what is truth seem sharp or hard to us if its true. When it comes to the next part of showing love, if you don't really love someone no matter how you say it, if you don't and it will come off as insincere. Perhaps this is also part of why what I write offends people because they can't see into my heart and see that I am speaking with love.

If a person just feels the way they do after being told they are loved in fast in testimony meeting by a total stranger and then later ignored by that person after the meeting when you say hi to them in the meeting house hall way, they aren't really going to feel much of an increase in love. In fact what they may feel is a tinge of resentment and insincerity.

I think we have all been apologized by people in a way that we both knew was more for the sake of the person apologizing to feel better and more "Chirstlike" then for any real feelings of remorse.

If I didn't struggle with this I could see how some could say I don't understand. I do. I know its hard and I know its rough. But I also know what is true. I do understand. Again I offer my most humble apology if the messenger has overshadowed the message but I will stand by the message and I won't apologize for standing for that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'll keep my reply to the point. Have you noticed that people are often upset at you? That you're always having to defend what you say? People in general seem to dislike what you say. This isn't because you're standing for truth and the "wicked" take the truth to be hard. Perhaps you should re-evaluate what your purpose is. Most people in the Church are happy, positive and have friends. If you're not one of them, then perhaps you should try being a quiet happy gay LDS member, rather than a loud, unhappy, self-hating, gay LDS member. You'd probably be happier if you didn't concentrate so hard on what you aren't and refuse to be.