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,


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