in need... another letter to a friend

"i had convinced myself for years
that i will die being attracted to men. "


i can't begin to tell you how my heart reaches out to you and how i feel an
exceptional kinship to someone when they speak of the doom
and fear of their attraction.

i came to finally understand myself and my attraction and my connection with
my father in heaven to an even greater extent when i was finally able to
look at myself as a great and powerful son of a loving god that has not nor
will he ever abandon me.

having met you, i know that you're not one that seems to struggle with any
self esteem issues. you seem very aware of yourself and your place on this
life. but you do seem critical of something of something that you cannot
change. no matter how hard any of us try we will not change the hand that we
have been dealt. it is our fate, our lot, our task. so here are some
thoughts. I've made links to several talks and scriptures, enjoy those as

we have been given a responsibility by our father in heaven to be something
and someone that no other soul could be. when we stood before him as his
heavenly children awaiting the chance to descend to our earthly home, i am
convinced that he took each of us in his arms and with a great and loving
embrace told us of our worth and of the blessing that we would be in the
lives of others. i believe that he knew of our great connection to his son
and our intuitive ability to hear the words of the spirit as he would
whisper to our hearts. i believe that he knew that we were strong and
capable men and women that would bless the lives of others with great
compassion, with selfless giving, with eyes and hearts that can see and feel
the needs of those around us without words. i believe that he blessed each
of us with a keen capacity to understand and share the mysteries of his
kingdom through all that we do. i believe that he loved us and gave us a
task that measured up to his love for us. i believe that he knows each of us
so intimately and believes in our power to do good and inspire good in the
lives of others that he asked us to take upon ourselves this unique and
special fate. i believe that we were endowed to become great men and women
in the eternities. as we stood on the threshold of our mortal existence we
may have looked back with trepidation and a grand sense of pride knowing
that this lot would be difficult but knowing that in the end "thy work be
done." i believe that much like paul, the beloved apostle, our father in
heaven looked upon each of us and said, "...i have set thee to be a light of
the gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the
earth." (acts 13:47).

our task has been enriched by the power of the gospel and it has given us
all great strength to know with certainty the path that we *should *follow.
it is not easy. the path is not evident. a wise soul once said "follow not
the path most worn, but instead find thine own and mark it that others might
follow thee." at times upon that journey we lose our way or struggle but
know this that the , "spirit persuadeth men to do good." (ether 4:11) and
that spirit will strive with men that turn to the prophets and seek wisdom
in their god and heed the word of the holy ghost (moroni 8: 28, ether 2:15,
d&c 1:33). and perhaps i'm speaking to myself now, we all know what is
right. and in our heart of hearts we strive, yearn, fight, long to do good
and to please the lord.

he has said, "i know thy heart, and have heard thy prayers concerning thy
brethren. be not partial towards them in love above many others, but let thy
love be for them as for thyself; and let thy love abound unto all men, and
unto all who love my name." (d&c 112:11) "i know thy heart," what precious
and moving words from our compassionate and understanding savior. "i know
thy heart." it humbles me to feel such reassurance from my savior. why
then do i fret when i meekly stumble? why then do we tear down our own
growth when we waver in even the most simple manner? i know that my
heavenly father an his son both want me to succeed. i know that he hears my
yearning. he longs for me to stand tall as the son of god, and priesthood
holder that i should be. he wants not that my righteous affections be
shunned and hidden away. *he knows my heart* and he knows my intentions and
knows that i seek to do well by him and adhere to the covenants that i have
made. he knows that i struggle. he knows that when i lie in my bed alone
yearning for companionship that i seek not to betray my faithfulness. he
knows the longing of my heart is not to turn away from him, our father. he
knows that the opposition i face comes not only from that clever adversary,
but from those that surround me and from within my own mortal flesh. he
knows that i will err and that i will falter. he knows that in a moment of
weakness i have shunned the promptings of right. *but he knows my heart*.
he knows my truest desires. he knows that i long for that brotherly
affinity that binds men together and strengthens them. he knows that i
yearn to provide and to lift up and to serve others. he knows that i love
my brothers and sisters and that i share concern for them. he knows my
truest desires he knows me as the man that i truly am.

"therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning [thy task]; for all
flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that i am god." (d&c 101:16). "be
still and *know* that *i am god*." his plan is eternal. his wisdom is
infinite. yet i doubt him and doubt my gifts and my task. he has not erred
in placing this fate upon my shoulders. he has not rolled the die and given
me this errand simply by chance. he has laid my task before me because *he
know my heart*. he knows the strength within me. he knows my potential and
my eternal nature. his eternal plan is simple and his aim well known. he
longs that we all return to him in honor and humility. he has not set
before me road blocks impossible to surmount. he has blessed me with
knowledge and power, faith and direction, guidance and peace. all this and
i find myself unhappy and foiled by my own weaknesses. so often i find
myslef saying, "i am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the
sins which do so easily beset me. and when i desire to rejoice, my heart
groaneth because of my sins." (2 nephi 4:18–19.)

i must realize that, "fear can be a thick fog that smothers our dreams. it
can be a cage that restrains us from reaching our destiny. it can be a
weight that restrains our every step." (joseph b
). i cannot allow myself be squashed out by the weight of my own
repression. i battle myself each day to defeat the goliath in my life that
may be my greatest blessing. i try so hard to stamp it out and to destroy
that which has been given to me for my benefit, that i might "succor the
weak and lift up the hands which hang down and strengthen the feeble knees"
(thomas s. monson
). the aim of this life is to be tried and to seek
to, "lay hold upon every good thing," (henry
b, eyring).

what example am i to follow to find happiness and to fulfill that divine
mission with which i too have been charged? i look to the savior;

""behold i have given unto you my gospel, and this is the gospel which i
have given unto you—that i came into the world to do the will of my father,
because my father sent me. and my father sent me that i might be lifted up
upon the cross; and after that i had been lifted up upon the cross, that i
might draw all men unto me, that as i have been lifted up by men even so
should men be lifted up by the father …and for this cause have i been lifted
up; therefore, according to the power of the father i will draw all men unto
me, that they may be judged according to their works…therefore, what manner
of men ought ye to be? verily i say unto you, even as i am" (3 nephi
27:13–15, 27).

i believe that each of us, like our elder brother, have come into this world
to do the will of our father, because we too stepped forward and fought for
that plan of happiness and fought the dissenting spirits that we, too, may
go forward because our father sent us. i believe that we came to this earth
knowing full well the task that we were to complete and knowing that through
our faith, example, compassion and great sacrifice that we would draw souls
unto us and in turn bring them closer to the truths of the gospel and to our
eternal father in heaven. we will struggle, we will shred tears or grief
and pain, we will be mocked and we will be spat upon but ours is a noble
task, like unto that purest sacrifice. i believe that through our
faithfulness, and our willingness to be ever turning toward our father, and
through the power of that majestic atonement we can become even as he is.

i must share with you those simple words the savior spoke to his disciples,
"fear not: believe only" (luke 8:50). fear not my friends, fear not for the
lord *knows your heart* and all things are in his hands. i believe and have
a testimony that as we learn to view our life with the greatness that our
father sees in us we will come to a peace and ease in facing our task with
confidence. we are great men and women. we are talented and gifted and
precious in our father's eyes. we must never forget that we are HIS
children, children of a perfect, loving, and wise father. with faith and
trust in our father and in our savior we will soar to unimaginable heights.
"The Holy Ghost will be the wind beneath your wings, placing in your hearts
the firm conviction of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ and His place
in the eternal plan of God your Eternal Father. Through the Holy Ghost you
will know your place in this plan and your divine eternal destination." (dieter

i work in the human services field. i work with individuals that on a daily
basis are confronted with the person that they are. they are mentally or
physically deficient. they are not inferior. they are simply lacking all
the tools that a fully functioning individual may have. i'm not a fan of
the label "disabled" i much prefer the term "differently-abled." Looking at
the lives of these individuals it is quit clear that they will never escape
their diagnosis. it is quite clear that they will never function in the
same way that a "normal" person functions. this however does not preclude
them from the right and the ability to strive to become the best individual
that they can. i once worked with a man in his sixties that i was told
would never read. after nearly two years of working with him he could
recognize and write his own name. dial a phone number. write and read his
address as well as some basic cooking instructions. this was not all my
doing but moreso the effort and desire that he had to improve his lot and
his fate and step beyond what those around him expected him to be able to
do. he became more independent and extroverted and grew in so many ways
because he accepted his fate then rose above it. instead of protesting, "wo
is me, i can't do anything on my own," he fought to learn and grow and
become more than what those around him thought he could become. he accepted
his challenge as it was given him from the lord and fought to become better
than the confines of that task and therefore he became ready for the next
task. i've since lost touch with this man but i know that in the next life
i will see him and see him as a perfected being.

we too have been given a task. ours, in this day and age still remains
undefined and unclear and leaves us wanting so many answers. we cannot say
definatively where our attraction has come from but i know that it was not
an error. i not that i am not some miscrient abandoned by god. i know that
god gave this task to me and laid before my responsibilities and my
blessings and those things that would oppose me. at that heavenly momented
i accepted the task. i accepted that fate. i accepted that challenge (or
whatever you choose to word it). *i don't mean that i accepted that task
and intend to do nothing to challenge it. i don't mean that i accepted that
fate and will lay in wait . i don't mean that i accepted that challenge and
therefore i mu*st embrace the definitions and expecations of the world. i
refuse to allow another individual to define me, my life or my eternal
progression. but no matter how hard i try i will never cahnge the fact that
i am attracted (be it emotionally, physically, or out of environmental
neccissity) to folks of the same gender. that is a part of me. that is not
all that i am and that is not all that any of us are.

now simply because we cannot change the fact that we are attracted to
someone of the same gender does not by any means mean that we should allow
ourselves, as you perfectly put it, to be "lulled away into carnal
security." as we strive to follow the commandments and to hold to the rod
and even in some cases to return to the fold we *exceed the
expectations*that the world has set for us and even the expectations
that some of our
peers in the gospel have set for us. i believe that this is a gospel of
hope and ambition and progress. i believe that by accepting our attraction
in a positive light (in accordance with gospel principles), we can overcome
the daunting task of simply having enough faith in our *ability *to become a
better person. without faith in ourselves and in our own capacity we cannot
expect to receive the help of the savior in addressing the task at hand.

the priciples of the gospel are, FIRST faith. "But the word of the Lord was
unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line
upon line; here a little, *and* there a little..." (isaiah 28:13). if we
cannot have faith in the power that has been given to us from on high to
succeed in this mortal test then we cannot begin to even attempt the test.
if we choose to fight against the test and continue to say in our hearts,
"no this is not my test this is not what the lord has given me, this is not
who i am, this is a horrible, ugly demon" then we cannot recieve the
spiritual reenforcements to even attempt the test. and therefore become
more perfect. so in order to be able to conquer this task we first must have
the faith in ourselves and faith in our father. we must trust that he knows
us well enough to both bless us and challenge us according to our needs and
our abilities. then we must accept that challenge as it is given to us from
our father in heaven, if don't accept our task and our fate we cannot
overcome the buredns that accompany them. the lord will wait until we are
ready and we have come to him in humility. lastly once we have faith in
ourselves and our father, and have accepted the task we have been given with
an open heart and contrite spirit, then, and only then will we be blessed
with strength and power from on high to achieve greatness. then, and only
then will we be shown the strength that lies within us to move mountains!
that my brothers is accpeting the task. that my friends is the true quest
toward perfection. if we can follow those tiny simply spoken, but forever
difficult steps we will find ourselves in the express lane toward

that is what life is about, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father
which is in heaven is perfect" (Matthew 5:48). that is a massive task in
and of itself. but if we maintain an eternal perspective and realize that
our own perfection and our own testimony and our own faith is a gradual
process then we will make great strides. if we tackle our eternal
progression in the same manner that Isaiah spoke of gospel principles, line
upon line... here a little there a little then the road toward perfection
becomes clear and a manageable task. now for some, like you said that may
mean being able to marry in this life and have children. for others that
may mean that we remain "anxiously engaged" in perfecting ourselves and
growing closer to god until that day when we are relieved of our task and
restored to our perfected spiritual form through the power of the atonement.

i believe that *by accepting* your task, your fate, your lot, your challenge
*you agree to take on* that foe, that chore, that mission with ardure and
commitment. i believe that *by accepting* your task, your fate, your lot,
your challenge *you welcome the blessings that your father in heaven will
bestow upon you *for your faithfulness and your actions. i believe* by
accepting* your task, your fate, your lot, your challenge *you open up to
coffers of heaven to bless not only your own life but the lives of countless
others* as you live worthily and/or even in those rare and poignant moments
when the spirit touches you to share something and to bear witness despite
your inactivity or your imperfect nature.

there must be opposition in all things. that is, i suppose you could say a
proven gospel fact. with all the blessings that i see behind my attraction
there is also the obvious, taxing, and nagging temptation. with the
blessing of a guaranteed exaltation the mentally handicapped individual is
trapped in a vessel of clay that is deteriorating. with unbelievable wealth
come a miriad of familial problems and marital problems. every yin has its
yang. the universe hinges upon this principal. so brethren seek out the
good in your individual task and embrace that good. seek out the challenge
and accept that challenge like gentlemen accepts a dual.

this is a mortal assignment. i blieve that with all my heart. i will
strive to do all that i can to face it bravely (i'm working on going on a
date or two... with a woman, it's been years!) for the rest of this mortal
life. it's going to be a long road but i know clearly what is before me. i
have accepted my duty and will fulfill it. I will meekly sing the words of
my favorite hymn as the tears roll down my eyes,

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Hither by Thy help I've come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.

Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.

O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.

His gospel is simple, "Come, follow me." (4:19). His word is established.
We need but forge our own way and that battle is more often than not fought
within our own hearts.

I look forward to the day that I can say, with confidence that I reflect the
words of this great verse.
"Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always
abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you
his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting
salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and
mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God
above all. Amen." (mosiah 5:15)
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