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

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Life with a man or the Son of Man?

I've realized as I gradually accept who I am as a gay man, the question of my place in the church becomes increasingly more difficult, burdensome and poignant. I suppose as I come closer to accepting that being gay is more than simply a "lifestyle," the more I realize I want to spend my life in a healthy monogamous relationship with a man. I desire that more and more with each step towards acceptance. However, that step towards acceptance makes a life in the church more painful and more like a sacrifice; I'm beginning to realize it requires more faith, more obedience, and more love for God. Thinking about committing to a life of celibacy to remain close to God is beginning to feel more and more like a sacrifice.

I think I may have prepared myself intellectually for this sacrifice, but now that I'm beginning to feel its weight, I realize I've not prepared myself emotionally nor spiritually. Frankly I'm scared. I cried out to Father this morning to help me see with clarity. I've immersed myself in the scriptures, seeking solace there. Sacrifice is not easy, if it is, then it's not a sacrifice.

“I have decreed in my heart, saith the Lord, that I will prove you in all things, whether you will abide in my covenant, even unto death, that you may be found worthy.

“For if ye will not abide in my covenant ye are not worthy of me” (D&C 98:14–15).

The law of sacrifice provides an opportunity for us to prove to the Lord that we love Him more than any other thing. As a result, the course sometimes becomes difficult since this is the process of perfection that prepares us for the celestial kingdom to “dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever” (D&C 76:62).
(Elder Ballard)

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