Sunday, November 2, 2008

Checking In

I think that there are three types of moho’s out there. At one end of the spectrum we find those whom I would categorize myself with as one who has a firm testimony of the truth who works and tries to follow what is right, sometimes more diligent then at other times, but cannot deny the truth that he knows. If this moho was to decide to choose the wrong, he would knowingly commit sin, accepting responsibility for his actions.

At the other end of the spectrum, we find those who have been taught the truth, but in the process of temptation has changed his mind on what is right, losing a testimony or a belief in what was first taught as being correct, feeling that God would not punish acting on homosexual tendencies or being in a loving, actively sexual long-term relationship. This man chooses to live the active gay lifestyle and does not feel guilt because his paradigm or belief system has changed to incorporate homosexual behavior as righteousness.

In the middle we find many who are between the two, questioning his belief system, asking how could it be wrong when it feels so right. These are the men that have not yet decided what to do with how they feel. I used to be one of them, from the age of 5 to about 20, when I truly gained a firm, steadfast testimony of the gospel.

If I were to advise these men, I would give them the same advice that I gave my investigators on my mission:

I am not here to convince you that I am right. I do not have the power giving lasting conviction to any individual, even my children with whom I have the most influence over. I will not do that because I believe that it is ethically and morally wrong for one person to push another to live or abide by religious principles. That is the plan that Satan had before this life, and it is wrong.

All I can, all I want, and what I love to do is to share my belief system to others who wish to hear and let my words sink into their minds. Ponder over the things that I say and the feelings that you feel, and then take it to the Lord and ask if the things that I testify are true. If you believe that there is a supreme being that cares for you, then surely he wants you to be happy. He will let you know what plan is right, but be advised that the happiness that He has for you might not be the same happiness that you would like it to be.

Now to those who feel abandoned by God (and I am sure we have probably all felt that way at times, if not, let me know that you have never felt abandoned and I will learn at your feet in hopes to develop a closer relationship to God), I testify that He is still there, that His hand is outstretched still, waiting for you to seek for Him. Pray humbly, and sincerely, and I PROMISE that He will answer your prayers.

If you do not get this or any answer, of if the answer you get is opposite from what I have shared, then all I can do is trust that you have tried to the best of your ability to do as I advise. I warmly wish you well, with ‘bromancing’ hugs (thanks, Beck) and I hope that you do find the happiness that you are looking for.

If any of my three sons were gay, and decided to live that lifestyle against my beliefs or counsel, I would love and honor them, no matter what. I think that I have at least learned that from being sga and hoping for the same from other people, especially family members in my life. My children are most precious to me, and even if they committed the most heinous of crimes, though I would be disappointed, I would always love them and would always accept them back as the prodigal son. Sometimes I feel that this is the closest that I will get to becoming like my Heavenly Father in this life.


Alan said...

Profound and moving. Thanks Mike. One of the delights of blogging with other members of "the family" is the ongoing discovery of things we have in common. Mike, I counted three right off the bat in your blog. This isn't meant to tout myself, but rather to let you know that somebody else out there knows exactly how you feel because he's there too.

I couldn't have described myself better than to say "I have always felt a love for other people that I don’t know, and I have wondered if it is one of those bonuses that comes [with] my same-sex issues." Exactly! One of the things I find frustrating about this virtual world is that I can't step through the network and actually put a supporting arm around a shoulder or look into a real eye and say "hang on, you're doing okay." I hope to be able to do that someday with at least some.

I loved your affirmation that no matter how we stray, the love of God our Father is always there. Regardless of what I may have doubted here and there, this is one thing on which my confidence has never wavered. I've clung to this rock through some pretty rough times and thank God it's been there.

And I too would be the first to race to welcome back a prodigal. In the past my wife would say she was baffled by my ability to forgive things she said she never could. Regardless of her capabilities, I have always felt lucky I could do this, because if I'm to have any hope of forgiveness and mercy myself, then I'd bloody well better do my best to be forgiving and merciful to everyone else.

Thanks again for an inspiring post and for the comfort of finding yet more ways in which I really am not alone either.

Mike said...


I love your posts and your comments. Thank you for being uniquely you. I am happy that we have so many things in common because I admire who you are and the passions that you have.

On a side note, I just left looking over all of the posts on your blog, and I am quite surprised that you have only been blogging for only a month. I would have guessed that you have been doing this for ages.

I am afraid that I am not sure that I can agree with being able to forgive everybody so easily. I have had problems forgiving my father-in-law for some outrageous things that he has done to me in the past. When I say outrageous, I mean things that make me sick. I have thought today about posting about these things, because they deal directly with SSA. I have been working on that though, and I have gotten a bit better.

Thanks for being you. I love how we have become friends.

Andy said...

mike. thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. you have an amazing testimony and love for the gospel. i have enjoyed reading your blog and can tell that i will be able to do so for many posts in the future.

Bravone said...

Mike, thanks for putting in words what I feel and sometimes have a hard time expressing. I think there is another group in the middle. They are those who don't question their faith, but succumb to the weaknesses of the flesh. I recently had a blog friend want to meet with me who fits into this category. He is around 65 and has never questioned his faith, but given in to the flesh almost continually.

He is in a position of sure excommunication and is trying to find the courage to go through the process. He is sincere and, like me, is blessed with an incredible wife that will stand by his side. I will be there too, as much as I am able.

As you and Alan have eloquently expressed, I too am grateful for the softness and compassion that my same sex issues have brought. Not everyone needs to have ssa to feel compassion, but I believe that part of the reason I feel so deeply for others, no matter what their plight, is that because of my personal struggles, I can empathize with them. My mom used to call me her little peacemaker. I hate to see others hurt, lonely or down trodden.

I have strayed far from the path at times, and found some very wonderful people in places least expected. I feel grateful that, at times, God has blessed me with the ability to look at people through his eyes, to see the love he feels for them, the goodness inside.

Thanks again for the thoughtful post.