Saturday, June 28, 2008

Cool Conversations

So, I've had some really nice conversations lately via email, over the phone, or in person that have really given me some food for thought. Some of the people I talked with were really liberal, none of them were ultra-conservative, and the rest were in the middle.

I've got a friend that nobody knows that would like me to "just be what God made me, the way that he made me; because He evidently intends that I be that way." He wants me to accept who I am because if I don't, I'll just cause a lot of pain to anyone who I include in my guaranteed-to-fail attempt at a hetero lifestyle. He said that he had done a ton of research about these attempts and said that they really did fail. I know that he wants to keep me from sadness and so he's really just sharing what he's experienced. I wrote back that I've done a lot of research too. Ultimately, I've found that there are so many strong opinions out there about this (really, try to find someone that doesn't have a strong opinion about this issue and I'll give you a candy bar) that I've got to base my hopes and beliefs about future possibilities off my own experiences and the ways that God helps me to understand them. I know that I'm gay. It's been a long time and a hard road for me to be able to say that. But at the same time - or even before that, I was and am Robert; and Robert is whoever I make him to be. Homosexuality and homosexual characteristics is and are an influence in my life - they influence me, they don't determine me. This is the hardest, scariest, and biggest challenge I've ever known. Sometimes, it seems like it controls me. With the challenge being such, I don't think that I can hope to win by exerting any amount of effort, faith, patience, or trust that I've exerted in the past. For this challenge, the difficulty of which I haven't even fully fathomed, it'll take effort, determination, endurance, and heart the likes of which I've never known before. I'll be required to go deeper within myself and trust, not seeing, in the Lord in a way that I've not yet done. But...if I do...if by some miracle, I can have a will strong enough to last in this...then I can only know that I'll find myself grateful for enduring the indefinite trial. The indefinite part may well be the hardest part. Being gay doesn't necessitate immorality or compromised integrity. I can still hope and work to be totally moral, in spite of sga. I never need to break covenants, oaths, or promises - my word should and can be my bond. I know these are lofty goals, but it was revelatory when they hit me...and they hit me hard.

The other conversation was with an elderly couple. We had a chat about their son and his challenge and their subsequent involvement in the lds sga scene and the things that they learned in light of it. Our talk really helped me to remember that I once knew that God knew where I would be long before I got there and that where I am now is not by mistake. I'm Robert, born to Mike and Billie, sga lds, brother to four sisters, and friend of amazing souls all because that's exactly the slate I was asked/allowed to take and accepted in pre-mortal existence. I really learned, a few years ago, that where we are and who we are now was foreseen before we were born, and that there are more callings on the road ahead...all of them shaping and molding each individual in the only way that he or she could have been shaped and molded. This couple shared experience upon experience that affirmed and re-affirmed this principle. In consequence to their sharing as well as in consequence to things that I've learned in my walkings, I saw once again a very large picture. Same gender attraction was put into the context of mortality and trials, and mortality and trials was put between pre-mortal preparation and post-mortal progression, and that was put between eternity and eternity; all in the context of the work of Heavenly Father and Christ and the Holy Ghost for bringing more souls to live in celestial glory, love, and light. I know that our conversation sounds like it was all a little melodramatic, but it wasn't. It was really just a very fitting, quiet, and comfortable chat to have shared.

Someday, I'll have a family. God asks us to remember the things that He's taught us in such a way that we can make decisions based on those things even if we aren't filled with a burning belief in them a the time that the decision needs to be made. If once, long ago, we learned, undeniably, that in spite of our wrongs, God was willing to guide us out of our dangerous corners to light, happiness, and destined callings, then we can rest assured that the same is the case now...and forever. For a bit of humor and irony, a quote from The Boondock Saints fits to end this post: "The question is not how far. The question is, do you possess the constitution, the depth of faith, to go as far as is needed?"

Sometimes, I don't think I posses it; sometimes, I think otherwise; and then again, sometimes, I just don't think about it cause it feels better not to. Sometimes, I don't think I can do what I know I should...or more truthfully said, sometimes, I don't do what I know Heavenly Father would help me to do because I lack the heart to continue to try...that is, if I'm being totally honest. But, often, I remember what I've experienced and the awakenings and testimonies that God has shared to me...and I make choices based on what I know I once knew (and therefore still know)...and I do better.



October Rising said...

i really like your blog.

Sean said...

Having everything put into perspective was and is one of the key ingredients that always helps me to be stronger.

Sure there are times that we struggle and slip up, but you have to realize that it is all part of life. That is why we have the atonement. If we didn't slip up every now and then, the atonement would be useless and Christ would have suffered needlessly. This perspective has always helped me not beat myself up for making mistakes and feeling like God doesn't love me for those mistakes.

PS It's been fun having you around this past couple of days. I think we should hang out more.

-L- said...


Thanks for your comment over on my blog. It was good to know you're here. I love your blog and your great attitude.

It's a long road that you're on (I'm not even in a position yet to know how long!), so be careful who you get information from. It really does make a difference what influences you choose for yourself.

Robert said...

Thank you -l-, october, and sean. I'd say you don't know, but, I know you do know...the way that the support feels.

Samantha said...

He said that he had done a ton of research about these [hetero lifestyle] attempts and said that they really did fail.

Ummm...they don't all fail...not that I'm advocating a hetero lifestyle or anything...

At some point you'll figure out what works for you. It's good that you're thinking this through and looking for answers. I never think of myself as living a "hetero lifestyle", I'm just me--and there is no one like me. Perhaps, one day, you'll understand all the things that make you unique, how those things fit into the puzzle of life, and it won't matter whether other people agree with you or not. :)