For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

- Mosiah 3:19

Friday, August 13, 2010

Desperate for Peace

I feel yet again estranged from God.

I watched porn in the wee hours of the morning and then masturbated. It was nearly seven weeks. Probably the longest I went since my mission. That was ten years ago. Now I feel terrible. This practice has simply exacerbated the guilt and anguish I feel already for having paid three guys to masturbate in front of me.

My Bishop says that I am changing or progressing. I wonder, at times, whether I feel as if I am deluding myself. But then there are moments of peace that passeth all understanding. These are rare and singular moments. I experience peace and good feelings, but those specific feelings are rare and a deep spiritual feeling attends them. These moments assure me that God is there, that I am loved. And that God will always see me for who I really am, the source of His love for me. He sees me as an eternal and exalted being; He sees the potential I have to become like Him. But yes, He loves even in my weakness. But this is not to suggest that because God loves me, He does not care about the things I do. He does care. He cares. When I break an eternal law, I move away from God. He does not move away from me.

Again, I feel as if I can so easily write about these things; I can even quote scriptures and General Authorities, but I fail again to feel the power of what I have written.

Abinadi, before the priests of King Noah, was questioned as to the meaning of Isaiah. Abinadi answered these priests who knew the law, who knew the scriptures, who even prayed: "Ye have not applied your hearts to understanding; therefore ye have not been wise. Therefore what teach ye this people." This is me. I know the scriptures, I know the law; yet I am failing to apply my heart to understanding.

There is a power, at least I believe, in the doctrine. I am failing to access that power. How do I apply my heart to understanding?

Having masturbated and viewed pornography, the first time in seven weeks, I find that I am still very weak. The power of doctrine comes, in part, from being obedient to the laws of Heaven.

I am finding that I am still so very weak, and perhaps not entirely honest with myself. There are parts of my mind and my life that I still wish to hide, that I still cling to. I desire to view pornography, more specifically I want to see men erotically engage each other. I want to be with a man. My physical body so desires to be with a man.

When I am in these moments, God's peace is so foreign, so distant, so unattainable, so impossible. It is in this moment, I suppose where I must simply remember the peace of God is possible. Remembering is tied to faith. It provides the foundation for faith of moving forward in times where things seem impossible, remembering helps.

Yet, I still have a hole in my heart. I continue to feel the anguish of what I have done. I feel alienated from Heaven.

This post is rambling. Do I dare ask myself that God is demanding too much? Do I dare ask myself if I am demanding the impossible?

I know that God is real. I have a budding faith in the power of the atonement. Yet, I am having trouble accessing it. My Bishop says I am progressing.

I want to deal with this in the most emotionally, spiritually, and physically healthy way as possible. Each of these has to be addressed. What am I missing?

I suppose I am happier than I have been. I have a greater peace of conscience. Yet, that one moment of weakness is bringing me down. I feel nervous, anxious, stressed, worried, weighed down, filled with anxiety, and anguish. Perhaps this pain is meant to help me truly see myself.

I have to come see myself as God sees me. He loves me, not just because of the potential I have, but because of who I really am. I am a son of God, but I fail to understand what that means. That knowledge has the power to deflect the powers of Satan. I remember Moses. But I do not have that knowledge. I do not have the deep spiritual knowledge.

But faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. In other words, faith is the foundation of all our hopes for the future. I hope for good things for my future. This is predicated on my conviction that God the Father lives, that Jesus Christ lives. Yet, I am slow in coming to know them. But I know they are there.

My physical appetites are strong; I believe that coming close to the Savior, His power will change my desires. I most certainly do not expect a change in my attractions to men, but rather a change in my ability to control my desires. That I will be changed to desire the things of God, the things of Heaven.

My heart is empty. I desire to believe.

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