"Make Me Think Beautiful Unexpected Thoughts"

I appreciate all of your thoughtful comments. It has lead to a lot of thoughtful thinking on my end of things.

Atonement. It references Christ’s suffering on our behalf. The price He paid for our sins. You will notice the picture on my blog is a picture of olive trees in Gethsemane and references the Atonement. In every way I believe in the redemption of His ultimate sacrifice. It demonstrates to me, as it does to most Latter-day Saints, the reality of Christ’s power to heal and change.

On my mission I learned a lot about the Atonement and about healing and changing. I watched people change their lives, their character, their desires. I saw how they did it. Through out my life I have applied the same principles I taught them. I have applied the healing, changing power to so many aspect of my life, most especially my sexuality. I felt broken because of my attractions to guys and lack of attraction to girls, and I wanted desperately to be fixed by the Atonement. I prayed fervently, deeply, desperately. I gave of myself. I kept the commandments and lived a meticulously righteous life. I fasted countless days. I bathed my pillow in tears. I became an amateur scriptorian. I served an honorable full time mission. I worked hard on my end of things to learn how to control my thoughts and I regularly went to therapy through LDS social services. I dated a lot of girls. I ignored my feelings for men. I did everything I was supposed to do.

When I came home from my mission I was devastated that I was still attracted to guys. I felt I hadn’t been healed even after the Atonement. I expected that it would all end in despair simply because I felt I hadn’t changed. It didn’t. Instead, I found myself with new perspective. I realized that I had been healed. I realized that I was whole. I looked back and saw that I had changed. In fact, as I’ve talked with my brother this weekend, I have really felt a great sense of fulfillment in the wonderful things the Atonement has done for me. Of course I still have many things to work on and to change about myself, but I am not broken.

The fact remains, though, that I am still gay. What does that mean? Does it mean that I didn’t apply the Atonement enough? Does it mean that I didn’t need to change my sexuality? Does it mean I wasn’t broken in that area to begin with? I don’t know. Those are the questions I am struggling with right now.

The point is, I have let go of the expectation and the demand for change. I have given up the desire to have God remove my pain from me and am now submitting to what He apparently wants me to live through. That’s the result of my journey so far. The side effect is that I don’t believe that I will ever not be attracted to guys. Maybe that’s not true, but I still believe that I needed to let go of the expectation before I could ever really understand what the Atonement has and will do for me.

I don’t pretend to know anything about the Atonement. I can’t understand it all. I do know that I felt it in my life, though, and I feel it now. And it feels compassionate. My brother has spent the past few days with me, and he shared a realization he had recently with me. “You just don’t know what goes on in someone’s head. Even if they tell you, you still don’t know. But God does.”

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5 thoughts on “"Make Me Think Beautiful Unexpected Thoughts"

  1. I’ve found the same thing.In fact, I still have not heard a strong response to “How is changing going to make me a better son of God?”Right now, to me, changing seems so extremely arbitrary — it seems as though changing is 100% based on the expectations of man, not God.Of course, that probably makes me an anti-Christ for saying such…

  2. Thank you, Peter, for such thoughtful words. I gain reconfirmed strength from your stated endpoint:”I have let go of the expectation and the demand for change. I have given up the desire to have God remove my pain from me and am now submitting to what He apparently wants me to live through.”I hope to magnify the talents and strengths the Lord has blessed me with, many which in large part are due to my SSA. I hope that I can realize meaning from my pain and struggle to live the gospel, as well as the heightened sensitivity I have towards all people and the gift of the atonement in my life.

  3. Hey! You found the conflict between righteous living and the church’s promise that it will make you straight. That’s the conflict that gets all the gay Mormons to commit suicide!

  4. The side effect is that I don’t believe that I will ever not be attracted to guys.That’s a very important and honest thing to realize. You should hold on to that knowledge. But that’s not all all you should remember…I realized that I had been healed. I realized that I was whole. I looked back and saw that I had changed.If that’s still as true as when you said it, then why are you still wondering about this…The fact remains, though, that I am still gay.Are you though? “attracted to men” I will not quibble over. But gay? What does that even mean anymore? If you are using it as “attracted to men” then I think based on the post you’re kinda okay with that if you are feeling whole, no? If not, though may I then ask why you are continuing to try and define the way that you feel by the boxes society has created for you? What if instead of questioned where/how/why YOU need to change, you shift outward and begin to question society itself and the arbitrary constructs it has created to define, restrict, and nominalize people?Just a thought. :p

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