My Battle with Same-Sex Attraction…
I was certain my Heavenly Father had given up on me. How wrong I was!
By the time I had moved to Utah with my family in the early 1980’s, I was beginning my decent into a full-fledged homosexual lifestyle. When I finally had my first relationship I felt I had finally come home. It felt perfectly right and natural to me. I was finally getting what I thought was the love I had longed for. I did not live a closeted gay life. I was a very active participant in the gay culture in this community. I had embraced the philosophy of the world which teaches that if you’re gay that’s OK because it’s just the way you are. You were born that way… I’m here to say, that I am living proof of the contrary.
In 1988 I met the woman that I would go on to share my life with for the next 12 years. At that time I was working for a man who was a member of a Baptist Church. Not only did I love working for him, but he became a great friend. I can honestly say that he was the first good male role model that I had had in my life. I respected him and I grew to trust him. No man had ever gotten through to me before the way he did. I thought he was kind of peculiar with all of his religious practices and beliefs, but he would spend hours of his time talking with me about anything and everything. I learned much from him. He never once tried to force his religion on me in any way, but as I look back now I see he was planting seeds in my heart about the Savior at every opportunity. But I didn’t want anything to do with religion at that time. I had not been raised in any Church and had rejected the teachings of the Protestants before I had even begun high school. In fact, by the time I was a teenager, I had turned completely away from organized religion of any kind.
Eventually my years and years of spiritual deprivation began to take it’s toll. Six or seven years ago I began to really question what this life was all about because I was very unhappy. Like many people I had spent most of my life searching for happiness in many of the exciting pursuits the world has to offer, but no matter what I tried it never seemed to be enough, and it was getting increasingly harder to find things that made me truly happy. In addition my depression was manifesting in some very self-destructive ways, and I was making those around me who loved me miserable. About this time my grandmother died, and in an effort to find some comfort I did something I hadn’t done since I was a child. I started to pray. At that time I didn’t believe in a Supreme Creator – I only had a desire to believe. Well, my partner had been born and raised in the Church, and even though she wasn’t,(evidently) practicing Christianity, she still believed it was the true church. She could see that I was searching so she taught me about the doctrines of the Church and encouraged me to read the Bible.
When I first read the story about Christ I felt two equally strong, but opposing, things at the same time. I felt excited and intrigued at the possibility that Jesus Christ could have appeared to many, in this country, 2000 years ago, and I also found it to be very unnerving. Because I knew that either it was true or it wasn’t – there was no in-between, and if it were true my life would never be the same. I would have to change in ways that I couldn’t even begin to understand. So I did the only thing I could do at that time. I put the story away and tried to ignore it. But I really couldn’t – I still continued reading other books by Church leaders, and as time went on it became more and more apparent to me that the story of Jesus Christ was in fact true. I feel like I developed a testimony of the Bible before I had even read it. So, finally when I was ready, the Lord sent the missionaries, and I read the bible.
I had no idea then how I was going to align my life with the teachings of the Savior. I just knew without a doubt that I had to, and so after a lot of tears and struggle I took a leap of faith and entered the waters of baptism in May of 1998. As my faith and my testimony of Jesus Christ grew, so did my desire to serve Him, and in October of 2000 the Lord’s prophet called me to serve a full-time mission.
I stand here before you today as one who has completely forsaken the homosexual lifestyle. I know that the Plan of Salvation as set forth by the Lord in the scriptures is true, and that the practice of homosexuality will not only destroy our ability to attain exaltation after this life, but is also an act of outright rebellion against our Heavenly Father and our Redeemer. Why would we want to rebel against those who love us so much?
Over the past 5 years the same-sex attraction has diminished. It is hardly a problem at all now. I am still working through some of the emotional issues that are at the root cause of the behavior with the help of a very capable therapist. The road here has not been easy. At times it has been a long heart-wrenching struggle. But it has been worth it!
Time does not permit me to even begin to express my gratitude to the Savior for reaching down into the darkness and pulling me out and into the glorious light of His love. But I can say with great joy: “Nevertheless, after wading through much tribulation, repenting nigh unto death, the Lord in mercy hath seen fit to snatch me from an everlasting burning, and I am born of God. My soul hath been redeemed from the gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity. I was in the darkest abyss, but now I behold the marvelous light of God. My soul was racked with eternal torment; but I am snatched and my soul is pained no more”. And oh, what joy, and what a marvelous light I did behold; yea, my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain!”
This is the testimony I want to leave with each of you my friends and fellow strugglers. The overwhelming joy and peace you begin to feel deep within your soul as the Holy Spirit bears witness to your heart of the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the inconceivable love He has for each one of us is beyond description and beyond compare to anything on this earth. He is our hope and He will never leave us or forsake us. His power is sufficient to heal, to guide, to lift, and sustain us through anything, even the journey out of homosexuality.
I would like to publicly express my gratitude for the Evergreen organization, and for the men and women who provide such tremendous support and examples of selfless love and courage.
For those of you struggling with same-sex attraction (temptation) I say: Remember who you are. Remember that you kept your first estate; otherwise you would not be on earth today. Remember that Heavenly Father loves you and wants you to come home to Him and receive all the blessings He has in store for you. He will be your great encourager if you will only give place in your heart for Him. Fast and pray, without ceasing, and know that our God is a God of wonders and miracles, and as such can and will deliver you from your bondage.
I know that Jesus Christ is the living Son of God, and Savior of the world, who helped to bring about the restoration of the Gospel in these last days.
Brothers and sisters, I put Scripture to the test, and I know it is true! I so testify in the sacred name of Jesus Christ . Amen. I have found as I have followed His counsel.
**If you, too, feel confused and suffer from same sex attraction and would like to read testimonies,click on link: http://www.evergreeninternational.org/Thousands.htm
To seek help click here:http://www.evergreeninternational.org/Individuals.htm , and/or contact your local church/Pastor.