Do we damn ourselves (or others) to a life of doom and loneliness because of these real physical feelings?

This is part 3 of a 7-part series on same-sex attraction

For part 1, click here

For series summary, click here

What is the purpose of life?

Ahhh.

platoCan’t we all hear the philosophers elbowing each other out of the way in a rush to debate and defend different positions on what exactly is the reason we keep breathing?

Let’s save some time and just sweep them out of the way.

Bye bye.

Now let’s tweak the question: What is the purpose of your life?

Suddenly there is no need to elbow and shove, as you are the only one in the queue ready to defend your position.

At different points in my life I would have given different answers. I feel that my purpose changes and grows and evolves as I do. I would think that yours does too.

Right now I’m pretty Zen with 2 Nephi 2:25

scriptures

(Source: LDS Media Library)

Adam fell that man might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

My purpose is to learn to overcome all the things about me that will keep me from experiencing true joy, AND to embrace the moments of happiness that come along the journey.

There may be some of you out there reading that, and thinking (or screaming) “how can those two things be congruent for someone like me?”

Some people are wired with same-sex attraction. This logically tells us that pursuing a homosexual relationship will bring us happiness. Yet, the gospel tells us that homosexuality is indeed a sin, and a very serious one.

Don’t the two cancel each other out?

I’ve spoken with several young men who are struggling over this very question.

“If I choose to obey the commandments and stay a worthy member of the Church, then wouldn’t it follow that I will be alone all my life?” The heavy prospect of utter loneliness only predicts doom and gloom.

This could be one of the factors that contribute to such a high suicide rate among young people facing this dilemma.

child

 

 

But ask yourself: “Would Heavenly Father actually put me here without the ability to find true happiness?”

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                   (Source: LDS Media Library)

Even asking this question will lead some to rationalize their decision to pursue homosexuality. After all, God made me and loves me, so He must intend for me to live this way.

Okay, if that were true, then what about the young woman in her 20s who has aggressive leukemia that ravages her body, leaving permanent damage, and increasing the prospects of being single the rest of her life?

What about someone like me, who has some significant mental illness which makes me hard to live with? This would certainly increase my chances of being alone, especially after I have burned out everyone in my path.

We may be asking the wrong question again.

What if we turned it to more accurately reflect Lehi’s teachings? “What parts of my fallen body have the potential to bring me the greatest joy as I learn to control, and not be controlled?”prayer2

After all, we never really appreciate anything that is easy. It’s the hard stuff that sticks with us and makes the greatest impact.

And the truth is, EVERYONE has something “given” to them by Heavenly Father that has the potential to be inconsistent with gospel teachings.

That’s actually the whole point.

But some of us are getting stuck on the incongruity of sexual attraction of the same gender and finding joy through the gospel. We just don’t seem to be able to get past this unresolvable conflict.

And we despair that things will never get any better.

Doom.

Why do we choose to identify ourselves sexually? Aren’t we so much more than that?

This would be one of the critical reasons to open the dialogue within our own families, allowing us to put the struggle in its appropriate perspective. Sometimes it is a great thing to step back and focus on all the brain wirings that work incredibly well within us.

We don’t feel so broken.

In fact, we realize that we are pretty wonderful due to all the things that Heavenly Father has done for us.

And darn it, that happiness starts to push the doom to the side.

If we let it.

Then, we can begin to look at people through different eyes. No longer is everyone a potential mate, or a potential sexual partner, or a reminder of what we can’t have. We choose to be attracted to different things.

discussionWe can now see others for all the pretty wonderful things that Heavenly Father has done for them, and not necessarily just what they can do for us.

We really are not alone.

                 (Source: LDS Media Library)

True, it may not be a marriage, a completeness, a oneness.

But I know many incredible women who are single through no choice of their own, who’s first choice has always been to be married with a family, but have forged ahead anyway and found the joy that Heavenly Father has waiting for them.

Is it really any different for someone dealing with same-sex attraction?

I know of people who are wired with same-sex attraction but have been so blessed to find that one right and perfect member of the opposite sex who is their true eternal companion.

Hey, wait a minute, wouldn’t that be me?

And I am not damned to doom and loneliness.

Not because of my slowing body and mind.

Not because of my mental illness.

Not because of same-sex attraction.

Adam fell that man might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

Jesus Christ

(Source: LDS Media Library)

Yes, I’ve fallen many times.

But I keep getting back up.

That’s the purpose of my life.

How about you?

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