Why do you feel that your pain is greater than mine?

To clarify, I’m not stating that I, Greg, have pain that is greater than yours.

I don’t.

But as I read a few things posted recently regarding actively living a homosexual lifestyle and apostasy, and crying out for others to show compassion, I wonder if there are those who feel that their pain is far greater than that of their neighbor.

Perhaps I can offer a more encompassing perspective, though certainly not unique, as one with mental illness and same-sex attraction.


It would be hard for anyone to argue with me when I say that I feel I am qualified to voice an opinion about same-sex attraction, as well as choosing between suicide and homicidal tendencies and making it to the end of the day with everyone alive and intact, and at the same time actively choosing each day NOT to act upon that which feels natural within – be it sexual or mental.

In many ways, my coping mechanisms for each are the same.

We know that the suicide rate is significantly higher in the LGBT community.

My personal experience with suicidal thoughts is much like having a saboteur tamper with the microchip that controls the accelerator in my brain vehicle. It becomes stuck to the floor and gains speed as I head into a canyon with sharp turns.

It may be this way for you too.

It may not.

What I hear from LGBTs is that they can hit the brakes and slow the racing engine down by having family, friends, and faith support them in living a homosexual life.

speeding car

But for me, there are no brakes. I have to just get much better at handling the corners until the car runs out of gas.

Some say that they are choosing between suicide and a sexual relationship; for me it is choosing between suicide and NOT suicide.

And for better or for worse, I’m still here.

The point is, I get your pain.

Maybe the difference is that I’m not choosing between choice A and choice B; that would suggest that both are viable choices.

For me, I decided long ago that choice B is not an option.

I’m simply choosing between saying yes or no to choice A.

Once I’ve chosen to say no, I often find that choice B has disappeared, or at least doesn’t look as appealing as before. That’s okay. It leaves me free to take a look at a better choice C.

Jesus embracingAnd in my experience, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, it always is just that – better.

I’ve read several articles where the writer states that there are only three choices available to those attracted to the same gender and seeking to be a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints:

  1. Seek a relationship with someone of the opposite sex;
  2. remain celibate and stay in the Church; and,
  3. find a romantic partner of the same sex.

I don’t agree.

I think there are only two.

As long as finding a romantic partner of the same sex is on the table, it remains a viable choice.

And certainly the easiest to justify.

Because you’re sure that your pain is greater than mine.

I have no right to ask why you may feel that way, and you probably shouldn’t ask me either.

jesus christ 4But the day will come when, through the very definition and exemplar of compassion, we are asked this personal and deeply piercing question by the One who has more than earned the right:

Why do you feel that your pain is greater than mine?

I know that my job is to live in a way that I can honestly answer –

I don’t.

The trick?

When “Thy will be done” stops being a sacrifice and becomes a privilege.

No matter how great the pain.


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