Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Truth shall make you free, PART TWO

Last night's post was perhaps more pessimistic, negative, and inconclusive than I would have liked. Luckily, a day's worth of pondering mingled with welcome distractions of various forms have helped my mind sort some things out.

The scripture I cited last night from John 8 said:

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

It dawned on me today--and bear with me on this--that the passage DOESN'T say that the telling of the truth makes you free. It is the truth itself that frees you. I'm NOT saying that to suggest that the command to not bear false witness (the ninth commandment) doesn't apply. Indeed, it is important for us to be honest, truth-telling people. However, there is no commandment that says we need to speak every truth we know out loud--and good thing too or we'd all be talking continuously! So, not telling people that I'm attracted to men is not in and of itself dishonest. I have no obligation to inform every person of every truth. Of course, there are certain truths we are commanded to declare, namely, the fundamentals of the gospel and our testimonies. As for truths like the fact that I like men (which is only a temporal and not eternal truth anyway), the only person who really needs to hear and comprehend that truth is me, the person it applies to. I have done that and let me tell you--it has made me free! Despite the fact that the freedom I'm now beginning to experience was scripturally promised, I nonetheless have found myself completely surprised to see that blessing come to pass. In the past couple months that I've started to be honest with myself and especially the past week, my relationship with God has returned to mission-levels! I have had perhaps a greater burden of emotions, but those are clearing up and I'm feeling more confident and more in control because I simply know myself better.

What I've concluded: Acknowledging truths--even difficult ones--is a liberating experience! I am not obligated to share every truth I acknowledge. Some truths are personal and not to be shared (we treat patriarchal blessings that way, don't we?) while others should be shared daily (like our testimonies). I am excited to continue to work with God to understand this truth through prayer and scripture study.

Now, a note about dishonesty and my conclusions on that matter. While it is not required that we tell every truth, we shouldn't assume that it is okay to spread falsehoods (beside very rare "spiritual override" moments from God, such as when He commanded Abraham to lie about his wife). I have generally lied the most by saying I was attracted to women who I wasn't. I guess I was always so disturbed by the fact that I WASN'T attracted to girls that every other guy was that I went out of my way to say that I WAS so I'd seem normal. And I was generally lying to myself just as much, trying to convince myself that if I told myself a girl was attractive long enough, that she somehow magically would be. I plan on writing at greater length in the future about my relationship with girls in general and the clear distinction between recognition of beauty and attraction. I may even touch on the complication this has presented in the few relationships I've been in and some of the reasons they are so few in number and always dreadfully short. Anyway, I've concluded tonight that I need to not lie about being attracted to girls I'm not. Silence is acceptable. I don't have to say things that aren't true just to try to reassure others and more importantly myself that I'm "normal" (especially since, as it turns out, I'm not!)

And now, I bid you adieu and encourage you to find ways you aren't honest with yourself. We all deceive ourselves frequently in various ways, and the more we are able to root those falsehoods out, the more liberated we will be. We can't move forward if our understanding is incorrect. Learn truth. Explore it. Treasure it. It will set you free!

My best,


The Truth shall make you free (John 8:32), PART ONE

I don't even know where to begin tonight. Let me first say that the term "coming out" does not appeal to me at all. To me that sounds like you're announcing that you've decided on a lifestyle. I recognize that that is not how everyone uses it, but that's what it makes me think--so by my definition I can't think of myself ever "coming out" because I don't plan on ever living a homosexual lifestyle. So, I'm going to simply say "telling people that I'm attracted to men." Telling people has not been in the plan at all. I have unfortunately seen too many cases where those who reveal their attractions to others get shunned. I am by nature generally optimistic, and I thorougly believe that latter-day saints are getting better at being loving and understanding of those with same-gender attraction. However, I also recognize that we're not all the way there yet and may have a long way yet to go. That is only one of several reasons that I don't plan on ever openly telling people about my struggles. I'm not saying my solution is the best for everyone, but it is what works for me. I have to add that I've felt as of late like I should someday tell my parents. That is a terrifying prospect for me. Don't get me wrong--my parents are both incredible people and I'm sure that if/when I tell them that they will be completely understanding and love me just the same. But I also know that it will change the way they see me--that simply can't be avoided. It doesn't mean they'll think less of me, per se, but they will think different of me, and I don't want to have drama attached to me! If I ever tell them it will be because I want them to understand me better without having to see me as a different person than the one they've always known. I guess my biggest hesitation is that I love them too much to dump such an emotional burden on them. I don't feel like it would necessarily serve to make mine lighter, so why burden others for no reason? Anyway, we'll see where that goes. Despite my many excuses for not telling them, I just can't ignore the little prompting to do so. Ultimately, if God wants me to share this burden with them, I will.

However, tonight I am absolutely emotionally divided about the idea of letting people know, because--completely unplanned--I just happened to have my first experience telling someone about this issue. My mind is still reeling from it. I was betrayed by my emotions and wish I could undo it, even though it went okay overall. Here's what happened:

Besides starting this blog and announcing, albeit anonymously, that I have SSA, this week has brought a whirlwind of homework and other time demands. A friend I work with this evening noticed that I was kind of out of it today and seemed especially stressed. He was picking my brain to find out the cause and I don't know if it was the spirit or what or even if he was just kidding when he asked, but he just directly asked "Do you like men?" Whether it was a joke or not, recent circumstances and experiences caused my emotions to betray me, a tear to come to my eye, and a timid but exasperated "yes" to escape my lips. That of course launched a very, very long conversation I was not prepared to have. I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say that I don't want to have that conversation ever again. Don't get me wrong, now. My friend was actually very caring and compassionate, but in his zeal to help me he started a 15 minute lecture telling me I needed to go see a psychiatrist and get pills to fix me so I'd stop being attracted to guys. That nearly destroyed me emotionally as I largely argued in vain that there weren't magic pills to cure attraction or make me fall in love with women. He insisted that it's all just in my head and therefore curable. Luckily, I finally got a chance to speak again and helped him understand a little more that it isn't that simple and there's no easy off-switch. Of course, I swore him t absolute secrecy and he was actually very kind about all of it in the end. Overall, it didn't go as great as I would have wanted a first "telling" experience to, but it most certainly at least went much better than I've always horrifyingly imagined.

As that friend might now be reading this blog (though I charged him strictly not to follow it, lest his presence clue others as to my identity), I hope he knows that I'm grateful that he was kind about it and still my friend. Nonetheless, like I said earlier about my reservations about telling my parents, when news like this comes to light, it ALWAYS changes the way that others see you. I know that even though my friend doesn't think less of me, he will now forever think different of me and I can never get that back.

Anyway, I hope that if I ever have to tell someone about it again besides through this blog that it isn't for a very long time.

I'll end tonight with the scripture for this post. I'm still chewing on it mentally and will probably comment a lot more on it in another post tomorrow. It's from John 8:32 and says:

"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."

I think the greatest burden of my struggle is the feeling of constantly breaking the ninth commandment. I've been telling people for a long time that I'm attracted to girls--even specific ones (always dishonestly)--and even today reassured a friend jokingly that I'm absolutely straight, knowing full-well that it was a full-blown lie... or is it? I'd like to think that since my actions have been to refrain from any relationships or pursue my attractions that I am in fact straight, even though I'm attracted to men. I intend to never have sex with anyone besides my future wife. Doesn't that mean I'm technically heterosexual, as I only (plan to) have sex with the opposite gender? Nonetheless, I continually feel dishonest and sometimes I do blatantly lie about myself. This blog has helped my soul see ways the truth truly sets you free, but tonight's conversation left that dilemma murkier.

For now though, I need to go for the evening. I'll keep chewing on that scripture and conclude my thoughts tomorrow, so be sure to check back.

My best,



Monday, November 28, 2011

"He neither slumbers nor sleeps" (Psalms 121: 4)

I have to admit that I am completely nervous writing this blog. I know it's what God wants me to do, but I have faced an inordinate amount of opposition from the adversary, trying to fill me with discouragment and self-doubt and destroy my confidence over the past day and a half. To tell you the truth, I am still somewhat in the process of accepting my condition, despite the fact that I've felt this way for a very long time. Luckily, the Lord has chosen to help me a lot in return over the past few days as well. In fact, it is only with his prompting that I've decided to share another piece of my story in this post.

I have to be very careful what I disclose on this blog as I'm trying to keep my identity very secret, and honestly, what I'm going to say in this post may be a little more specific than I am comfortable with. However, I must admit that it is quite relevant to my story and the insights I'd like to share, even if it increases the risk that those reading might be more likely to figure out who I am. So here goes:

Besides having same-sex attraction, my life is strongly influenced by an even rarer affliction. I have a rare and severe form of insomnia. I often stay awake for multiple days at a time and many other nights it takes me many hours to get to sleep. Those of you who struggle with SSA can understand the dilemma this creates. Night--after everyone else is asleep--is when the most awful wanderings of thought and temptation set in. Now, I have been blessed with the strength to resist those temptations and stay away from pornography and masturbation, but it is amazing how strong the temptations can be to commit sins you've never fallen into before! Harder to escape than the physical sins of pornography or masturbation are the awful thoughts the mind is capable of conjuring up all on its own. Fantasies of other men are terrible and swift ways to fill a soul with guilt!

Those of my friends who are super busy like I am always tell me how jealous they are that I don't sleep much, as they see the clear advantage of having extra time. What they don't know is that I dread those hours awake and keeping busy is one way to avoid the fantasies and temptations. When the sun is down and everyone else is asleep I have to put my guard up extra high. I try not to use my computer at that point, because I know that all people are vulnerable and a clean track record doesn't guarantee that I won't be pornography's next victim.

How do I deal with that? Sometimes I don't even know, but Psalms 121:4 has always given me lots of hope in this matter:

"Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep"

So, does that mean my insomnia is a Christ-like attribute? :)
Seriously, though, this scripture reminds me that I'm not the only one still awake during those long nights. At first, this used to be a heavy, harrowing thought--as in, you'd better not mess up because God's watching! However, I've come to understand why the passage doesn't say "watcheth," but rather "keepeth." To "keep" is the job of a shepherd. Shepherds don't just watch sheep so they can shake their head in dismay at sheep when they go stray. They KEEP the sheep by helping to bring them back, but more importantly to keep them from straying in the first place! So, knowing that God, like me on many occasions, slumbers not is comforting and strengthening. It means He's there as a resource to help me get through the long nights without giving into temptation. He keeps me, not just watches me.

You may not struggle with insomnia or SSA, but I guarantee that there will be times in your life when you must face your weaknesses and when you will be looking temptation in the eye and nobody will be watching. Whether it is pornography, masturbation, inappropriate fantasies, cheating on a test, substance abuse, skipping out on scriptures or prayer, or anything else... when the temptation comes, remember that God isn't slumbering and is there to offer His strength and support as He keeps and not just watches you.

My best,


Sunday, November 27, 2011

2 Timothy 1:7-8

I'd like to base this first post (besides my intro post) on what has always been one of my favorite scriptures.

Writing to his friend Timothy just months before his death, the apostle Paul says,

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;"

Paul was, at this time, literally a prisoner in Rome, but he is not deterred in his testimony by a trial and tells Timothy not to be either. This scripture gave me courage on my mission to speak to people, knowing that if I was too afraid to open my mouth, that was not of God--for He does not give us a spirit of fear.

That is the principle behind this blog. I have had a wonderful and happy, faithful life so far, despite living with same gender attraction. I have a fantastic testimony of God's ability to help those who face the struggle of testimony and temptation that comes with this affliction. Yet, until now I've never shared that part of my testimony with anyone before. It is hard to feel ashamed, but I've come to the conclusion that I just have too much ability to help others as long as I refuse to hide my candle under the bushel it has been under for so long.

I have to admit that I'm still trying to overcome a little bit of the spirit of fear. This is a whole new experience for me. This is the first time I've ever expressed myself on the subject of same gender attraction to anyone other than myself (and I haven't been that open with myself about it for very long either). But God has given me the power of love, and power, and especially of a sound mind persuading me to push forward with this endeavor.

My best,


About the blog

There is a fantastic blog out there called "(Gay) Mormon Guy" that I'm sure many of you have seen. If you haven't, I highly recommend you check it out. It changed my life.

Like the author of that blog, I am a fully active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who happens to have same-sex attraction. My attractions do not define me, but they certainly play a role in my life.

Nobody knows about my struggle. Thus, I am going to have to be particularly secretive on this blog, so don't expect me to disclose many personal details that could be used to identify me. Given my penchant for lesser-known Old Testament prophets, I've decided to go by the pseudonym Obadiah when writing.

This blog, as I've mentioned, is inspired by another blog written by a man I do not know, but whom I feel is one of my closest friends. His words gave me the courage to accept and understand my condition and to take it to the Lord. I will be perfectly honest with you: this blog is probably going to be pretty similar to that one. Why, then, am I starting it? Well, it isn't intended to be a direct copycat of that one. I am a different person with different experiences and insights to share, though I must say I agree with basically everything he has already written. However, if he's the only one who will have the courage to take the bold stand he has, then the world is in a sorry state. After all, I've read many a "Gay Mormon" blog and sadly observed that the majority of them are not at all about keeping the faith despite having SSA, but rather mere chronicles of testimonies slowly disintigrating. I am joining the battle and encourage others of you out there to do the same. Above all, I am starting this blog because in a very lengthy conversation with God today He told me that I should do so. I don't yet know everything it will become, but I will continue to pray for guidance from Him as I proceed.

One way this blog will especially differentiate itself, is that I plan to focus a lot on the scriptures specifically and the meanings I find in them. Not all the insights I share here will necessarily have to do with same-sex attraction issues, though those will probably get preference.

I will be the first to tell you that I am still figuring things out, but I have a firm testimony of the gospel and a passionate love for the scriptures and want to share those with the world, and especially with others who face these same struggles. If you are scared, uncertain, filled with doubt, or looking for someone to talk to anonymously, please feel free to email me at or comment on my posts with your questions.

God loves you! I promise!

My best,


P.S. Allow me to note that I do not prefer the terms "Gay" or "Mormon" (I'd rather say same-sex attraction and Latter-day Saint), but as my mentor from the (Gay) Mormon Guy blog has eloquently said regarding the title of his own blog, "Both gay and Mormon are common search terms that describe the nature of my blog. I'd definitely rather use different terms, but people don't search for 'Latter-day Saints dealing with Same-Gender Attraction.' ...People every day... find (Gay) Mormon Guy through search engines"