2.09.2009

All That I Hold Dear

In 2003 I wrote this article that put in motion so many changes in my life. I'd love to share with all of you.

All That I Hold Dear
Nathan Eggleston



Many are familiar with the near fable-like tale of Joan of Arc. She was a mere peasant girl who, through faith called a captured people to freedom. Her certainty in her calling and her faith in God lead to great things for those who placed their confidence upon her shoulders. She took on the armor of men and fought upon great battle fields for her faith and her country. She stood up fiercely for her principles and withstood the temptation to leave her people behind. She was asked to either choose life - shamefully denying her belief, or, to choose death - courageously maintaining her heavenly inspiration. She doubted and struggled but remained true to her convictions even unto her horrible death.

Though we can neither confirm nor deny the validity of young Joan’s tale, we can all agree that it can inspire and encourage us all to stand tall and brave in the face of challenges. Like Joan, we each face exceptional difficulties, we also have the reassurance of a loving God and the power that comes through faith. In our day, our lives are enriched through the blessings of the restored gospel. Trials are not easy to confront. I have confronted a particular opponent that has brought great hardships to my life as well as perspective over the years. I have gained wisdom through shortcomings and power through faith.

My Path

I have been reared in a strong Latter-day Saint home and have felt the blessing of the Lord all through my life. My parents are worthy examples and have taught me the essentials of faith, repentance, baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost. They have also taught me the importance of obedience and of living a worthy life. My father still quotes President Ezra Taft Benson, “Obedience is the first law of heaven.” From those very early years, the principles of the gospel have taken hold of my life and became a part of me. I felt a warm confirmation of the veracity of the Gospel and knew “by the power of the Holy Ghost” (Moroni 10:5), that these things were true.

I can also recall a voice of a very different kind that has called me from a darker place. I, much like Joan of Arc, have had my share of time on the battle field and remain there even today. The struggle with my foe however is not as apparent or strategic, but is rather a battle of wills. I live with, what many in the Church call same-sex attraction, a difficult and potentially soul-destroying challenge.

My confusion as to my sexuality has become a cankerous sore whose elimination has consumed me. It is a force that if left unchecked could leave me eternally lost. I have floated through various emotional extremes in this sinking barge. When I found myself in the most profound emotional and spiritual chasm I knew my only hope was in the gospel. The following is an excerpt of a letter that I addressed to a Church authority some time ago:

“I do not know how to portray the pain that I have suffered much of my life. It tears at my heart on a daily basis. I’m so lost, so confused and so alone….
“…I know not why I have been given this challenge nor to what end it shall serve… I do not know where to turn. I try to lean on the ever present arm of the Lord and try to lay hold of the redeeming power of the Atonement but I find myself continually aching, struggling, and fighting what seems to be a loosing battle.
“… I feel so inadequate, so unable and so overcome by the weight of… this enormous burden I feel I must bear. I do not know by what means I can overcome it.
“My greatest desire is fulfill my eternal potential and live a life that would be worthy of the Celestial Kingdom…
“I long for companionship but I know that such a choice would lead to a complete loss of what I hold so dear. I love this Gospel and know it is true… I do not want to leave it… I beg you to plead with the Lord that this burden might be lightened from the shoulders and hearts of all those that carry it…”

This great confusion has reigned throughout much of my adolescence and into my adult years. It has been at the root of horrible and damaging encounters. I have fought mightily against suicidal tendencies, extreme depression, self-mutilation and other destructive patterns. All of which I have tried to hide from those I love. I became closed and withdrawn. When speaking with my parents I avoided the topic of my feelings and problems. Our conversations were superficial; my relationship with others was much the same. I was searching for something that I could not find in the things of the world nor, more particularly in the empty promise of a homosexual lifestyle.

Arise!

Our elder brother invites us all to, “arise and come forth out of the dust” (2 Nephi 1:23). He yearns with us and pleads on our behalf before our Heavenly Father. Though we may not be called to repentance by an angel of the Lord, like Alma the younger, there is a time when the still small voice will whisper inside our heart that call to repentance. He will take us back to that testimony that still dimly burns within. It has been promised that “he will bring to [our] remembrance all those things which [we] have been taught” (Matthew 14:6).

I can vividly call to mind that most significant turning point in my life. I was visiting my grandparents and saw in their home the pictures of our family; my cousins, my aunts and uncles, my parents and my siblings. I remembered how much the gospel had played a roll in our upbringing, how we had prayed together and read our scriptures as a family. It evoked the feeling of love that I have always felt emanating from each of them, a feeling which I had long since grown numb to. I knew that my path was not one that would permit me to be with my loved ones for eternity. I have always envisioned the words of the primary song “Families Can Be Together Forever,” I wanted that song to become a reality. But at that moment I felt as if I were in the company of Laman and Lemuel as they turned away from their father who beckoned to them to partake of the fruit of the tree of life (1 Nephi 8:17,18). The last thing that I would want for my parents and others in my family is to see me by the wayside. My life changed that day.

I began to seek out the tiny simple mysteries of heaven. I sought the counsel of the Lord and found His voice in the words of His prophets and inspired leaders. I felt the warmth of forgiveness, and the burning resilience of a lasting testimony that has been a constant anchor in my life. The road was rough and paved with tears and regrets and that godly sorrow that brought me to my knees. But in those bleak moments I was never alone. My heart pleaded with the Lord and my soul yearned for His love. I felt the power of the Atonement overtake my burdens. The yoke of the Lord replaced the heavy and arduous weight of my sin and trials (Matt 11:28-30).

I was reminded that the Shepherd knows His sheep and knows them all by name (3 Nephi 18:31). He “knoweth the weaknesses of man and how to succor them who are tempted” (D&C 62:1). For so long I had felt the empty loneliness that disobedience had inflicted upon me, often thinking to myself: “No one knows what I am going through. No one can understand.” I had been very wrong. The Lord knows my ills and is aware of all that I may suffer. Same-sex attraction is a complex hardship that He fully understands. In order to bravely face it, we too, must seek to grasp its far reaching repercussions.

Same-Gender Attraction

Like many other temptations of a sexual nature, same-sex attraction beats at the very core of human instinct. Yet, unlike pornography, incest or adultery the answers, as to its source and its remedy remain unclear. Thus it eats at the identity of an individual who seeks to find answers where few, if any, are clearly given. I do not hail from a medical background nor do I claim to profess an understanding of the psychological and or possible genetic origins of homosexuality. I have found that, in short there still remains no concrete answer in the medical world as to the origins of homosexuality.

The dictionary defines homosexuality as being of, relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward another of the same sex. A. Dean Byrd and Stony Olsen, in their article, “Homosexuality: Innate and Immutable?”, made the following clarification: “It should also be noted that [there are differences] between: 1) homosexual men who have homosexual attraction and may or may not engage in homosexual behavior and 2) gays who assume a social and political identity and tend to be political activists. They are two separate groups.” They went on further to explain that “Homosexual behavior refers to overt sexual activities between two partners of the same sex. Homosexual orientation refers to overall sexual responsiveness of someone to members of his or her same sex. Homosexual identity refers to the labeling of oneself as gay or lesbian.”

It is said that there are many degrees of homosexual attraction. One could also refer to, what is commonly known as the Kinsey Scale, a scale of sexual identification that “rates” a person on his or her sexual attraction. Many may also remark that sentiments vary from one person to the next and that none are completely the same. Kinsey’s Scale exemplifies this variance: zero being exclusively heterosexual with no homosexual tendencies, three being equally heterosexual and homosexual, and six being exclusively homosexual. If there is a possibility of varying degrees of sexuality this leads one to wonder: Is homosexuality genetic or inherited? Is it a learned or an adopted behavior that is a result of life-shaping experiences? Or is it a combination of the two? Science has found little to provide substantive responses to any of these questions.

There have been numerous reports that have claimed to confirm the genetic inheritance or susceptibility of homosexuality and yet a near equal number supposedly refute that idea with similar research. Studies have taken all angles to prove or to disprove the genetic connection. I mention only a few. Dean Hamer’s linkage study (linking genetic traits prevalent in a family line) claimed that “out of 40 pairs of homosexual brothers, 33 (83%) received the same sequence of markers within the studied region of the X chromosome.” These results lead to Hamer’s hypothesis stating that the genetic marker q28 on the X chromosome was partially responsible for homosexuality. Another study conducted by Samuel LeVay published in 1991 claimed that the neuron cluster known as INAH3 located in the hypothalamus of the male homosexual was smaller than that of the male heterosexual thus inferring that homosexual men are neurologically different than heterosexual men. The results of both of these studies have been seriously disputed. Attempts to recreate similar results failed but it was admitted that there was possible discrepancies in the variables.

Many researchers still feel that solely tracing a genetic cause of homosexuality is a fruitless effort. Dr. Edward Stein stated that “genes in themselves cannot directly specify any behavior or physiological phenomenon. Instead, genes direct a particular pattern of RNA synthesis, which in turn may influence the development of psychological dispositions and the expression of behaviors.” Dr. Ruth Hubbard, Professor emeritus of Biology at Harvard University confirms the opinion that “sexual attraction depends on personal experience and cultural values and that desire is far too complex, varied and interesting to be reduced to genes.”

Elder Dallin H. Oaks cited Drs. Byrne and Parsons of Columbia University’s Department of Psychiatry as reporting: “Conspicuously absent from most theorizing on the origins of sexual orientation is an active role of the individual in constructing his or her identity. … We propose an interactional model in which genes or hormones do not specify sexual orientation per se, but instead bias particular personality traits and thereby influence the manner in which an individual and his or her environment interact as sexual orientation and other personality characteristics unfold developmentally.”

There is little consensus among scientists and researchers on this topic. The origins of homosexuality still remain theory. Therefore, we can in nowise accredit homosexuality to, nor discredit the possibility of a vague or even a determinate genetic link. There is no answer. We do know however that its effects and repercussions on the individual are far reaching and our religious conviction incites us to action; to teach, to reach out, and to show love.

Free to choose

Each day we make two kinds of choices: those that have very little effect on our eternal destiny and those that will affect our lives and the lives of others from that day forward, even eternally. We are free to choose as we will (2 Nephi 2: 27-29). The Lord, in His infinite wisdom has permitted us this luxury of choice. Without it His plan of happiness would be set at naught. Only recently have I come to begin to understand the reality of this mortal blessing and eternal law.

Standing at the fork in the road of my eternal destiny I realized that I had to make a very conscious and pro-active choice. I could choose the promise of the comforting presence of the Holy Ghost and celestial glory with an eternal family. Such a choice would be accompanied with daily bombardments from the adversary and a lifetime relying “wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save” (2 Nephi 31:19). My other choice consisted of a few moments of pleasure and a fa├žade of happiness. Such a choice would be coupled with a lifetime of loneliness and rejected truths turning me bitter. Could I turn my back on the testimony that I had gained so many years ago? Could I deny the healing balm of the Savior’s love that I had surely felt in my life? Could I deny my family, my faith, all that I cherish to follow an unsure path to happiness?

As I reflected upon Joshua’s imploring “Choose you this day whom ye shall serve” (Joshua 24:15 see also Alma 30:13, 14). It became ever more apparent that I would not be able to rationalize or reason any choice contrary to the truths that I had learned so long ago. I knew that I could not remain in this indecisive place forever toying with my two possibilities (3 Nephi 13:24 and Matthew 6:24).

A good friend once related the following to me. He said that his sexuality was as much a part of him as his right arm. He continued saying that his faith and testimony were also as important as his other arm. He asked me, “How can I be expected to choose?” That sent me into a whirlwind of confusion and questioning but the answer still came out the same.

The words of a hymn came to my mind, “Jesus the very thought of thee, with sweetness fills my soul.” Each time I thought of the promise of the Gospel I felt a reassurance and the quiet murmur from the Spirit. I knew the answer to my choice. I had felt the power of the atonement. I knew the Church was true. What greater sign was I awaiting? A homosexual lifestyle could bring me only temporary gratification and satisfaction. A life of struggling and constant effort applied to the gospel would bring me an eternal reward. I knew that I must choose “to repent and work righteousness rather than parish” (Alma 13:10)

A Counsel to Follow

Many leaders in the Church counsel that these temptations should be overcome and harnessed before including another in their damaging effects. Elder Dallin H. Oaks instructed: “The gospel applies on the same basis to everyone. Its central truth is our Savior’s atonement and resurrection, that we might have immortality and eternal life. To achieve that destiny, an eternal marriage is the divine and prescribed goal for every child of God, in this life or in the life to come. Nevertheless, this sacred goal must come about in the Lord’s way.” He went on further to cite President Gordon B. Hinckley, who said: “Marriage should not be viewed as a therapeutic step to solve problems such as homosexual inclinations or practices.”

Though it is difficult, I have learned that I can only turn to the Lord. I cannot seek inappropriate comfort in a homosexual relationship nor can I marry and potentially cause undue suffering in the life of a spouse and children. I have realized that my life should be a life consecrated to doing good, seeking righteousness, overcoming my challenges and helping others. I have accepted that I may live this life without an eternal companion. However, I realize that if I am obedient and faithful the Lord will see to my needs. He will provide the path that will allow me to enter into His kingdom. I have hope and faith that the promises of my father in Heaven will be fulfilled in His time.

Finding Peace Through Sacrifice

The Savior, when speaking to the Nephites before his apparition among them taught, “Ye shall offer for a sacrifice unto me a broken heart and a contrite spirit” (3 Nephi 9:20 see also verse 19). His request is simple, His intention divine. He dares not turn his back on those for whom He has suffered the ultimate price. His is a perfect love. In that same chapter He pleads with us, “Will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you?” (3 Nephi 9:13, emphasis added). I can only imagine the compassion that resounded from His voice. He called to His brethren with a new and greater understanding of their inflictions. That call is still echoed today.

It is taught in the missionary discussions that as we seek to know the Christ we long to become like Him. And in so doing, we feel the awful weight of our transgressions and imperfections and in turn seek reconciliation. We are not asked to bear this weight alone. It is clear from the passage above that our elder Brother invites all His kindred to partake of His eternal and everlasting sacrifice. His promise is to bring us healing and relief, to take from us that great yoke of sin and failing. He promises, “I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). He asks only a comparatively miniscule effort on our part. Turn to Him, follow his commandments and endure to the end.

One Sunday while teaching a Gospel Principles class I felt fortunate to have heard the whisper of the Holy Ghost as he brought to my mind a very important scripture. “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it” (Matthew 10:39). I was urged to apply this principle to the lesson at hand, on sacrifice. I became emotional as I realized why this scripture was so important. The Lord was not asking us to die for His mighty cause but asking us to abandon our unrighteous will and mortal appetites that we might follow Him. In so doing we would be blessed and would truly find the meaning of life.

A little over a year ago I watched the film, “A Beautiful Mind.” I was caught up in the story line and found myself leaning forward in my seat. As the film came near to its close a certain line said by the main character, John Nash sent me whirling back into my seat and caused me to greatly reflect on my own life. I’ll paraphrase the scene.

A representative from the Nobel Commission came to visit Professor Nash, in his now rehabilitated state. John Nash suffered from chronic schizophrenia. The man began talking with Professor Nash, somewhat nervously and then attempted to ask a question. Dr. Nash politely cut him off and said, “You want to know if I’m still crazy?” The man shamefully nodded his head in agreement. “Well, let’s go for a walk.” They left the building and he explained his situation. As Professor Nash looked over his shoulder he noticed those characters that had haunted his past and then said, “They are still there. I still see them. But where I am now I realize, much like an individual on a special diet that there are simply some appetites that I can no longer indulge in.”

I sat in that theatre for some time after the film had finished and the lights had been turned back on. I sat there in tears and in reflection.

John Nash’s task was not easy. His burden was not light but he conquered his foe and is known for his great accomplishments. I am certainly no John Nash but I am a man suffering and dealing with great trials. Just like Nash’s hallucinations my temptations “are still there. I can still see them.” In order to surmount and stand tall I must realize that “there are certain appetites that I can no longer indulge in.” I must choose to put them aside to see before me the greater more important aim. I must “lose my life;” my physical desires, my unhealthy and unrighteous appetites in order to gain the pardon and comfort that comes only from our Father in Heaven through His son, Jesus Christ.

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin has reminded us of the Savior’s call to follow Him (Matthew 4: 18-22). He taught us that we must be willing to “leave the entangling, worldly nets behind and follow [the Savior’s] footsteps.” Our task is not easy but our reward is great. When we are willing to leave behind the entrapments that keep us from following eternal aims and choose instead to follow the Lord we will gain everlasting life.

I hope one day to echo these words of Elder Wirthlin: “The Lord was merciful and helped me to find the energy…to do all that I had committed to do. Although it was difficult, I have never regretted making the choice to heed the Savior’s call…”

Fighting the Dragon

A legend is told of a great soldier named St. George. This great soldier was born in the Holy Land around 270 AD to a wealthy Christian family. He fought on behalf of the early Christians and rose up against the injustices of the Roman Empire. During his campaign he came across a young princess that was to be devoured by a mighty dragon. The village had been offering the dragon goats to calm him, but the dragon was growing more and more threatening. Finally the princess had presented herself up in sacrifice in order to appease the dragon’s appetite and save the kingdom. St George proposes to the King to slay the dragon if the kingdom will convert to Christianity. St. George killed the treacherous beast and saved the fair princess and the village from certain ruin.

It sounds like a crusader’s story fit for a movie. But a great lesson can be pulled from this short fairytale. The dragon can represent the instincts and desires of mortality (unhealthy homosexual desires), the young princess is the human soul and its salvation; the king represents our motivation in the offering (sacrifice and obedience). Often in life we try to appease the beast (our temptation) and slowly we abandon our innocence (our soul) to its grasp. Lastly, St. George is representative of the Christ who will eliminate from our lives such imposing threats if we, like the king will offer up our faith and true conversion.

Just as Joan of Arc called the nearly enslaved French to seek their freedom, the Savior and His prophets have called us to “shake off the awful chains by which [we] are bound” (2 Nephi 1:13), and seek out the goodness and bounty of the Lord. Joan demonstrates that by having faith in our convictions we can triumph over any challenge and we know that we are blessed through sacrifice and obedience. The maiden put on a protective armor to withstand the arrows and assaults of her enemies. We should put on the armor of God and with courage take to our spiritual battle grounds. With this armor we can withstand the spiritual foe and resist the temptation to abandon when all seems lost. Joan was given the opportunity to choose. Her choice set her apart as a martyr. Our resolve to stand for good and live righteously will be rewarded an hundred fold. Our battle field is more fierce and our foe is more skilled. Yet our weapons of defense are even more powerful when yielded by the believing.

Through the length of this document I have traced out my own spiritual journey, identifying and accepting my challenge and my responsibility. Now comes the daily, hourly and continual task of facing that dragon and defeating him. It will not be an easy task. There will be mistakes along that road but as my mission president once counseled, “You have to get up brush yourself off, feel the remorse of your actions, seek forgiveness and move on, just move on.”

The Armor of God

The great war in heaven spoken of by the apostle John begins with each sunrise. As we get up to face our day we must prepare ourselves to fight the dragon and his angels (Revelation12:7). The Lord has taught us to “put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). In learning to resist and in preparing for our battle we cannot forget the essentials. In the twenty-seventh section, fifteenth verse of the Doctrine and Covenants we read:

“Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with the truth” – we are partakers of the true and everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ, this is His church, He is at its head.

“Having on the breastplate of righteousness” – it is no coincidence that the Lord instructs us to cover the most vital parts with righteousness. Obedience brings us strength and added blessings.

“And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace…” – the gospel has been restored. The powers of the priesthood are available to bless and inspire. The message of truth, the plan of happiness is being trumpeted to all corners of the earth. We can take comfort in knowing that this life is not a bleak and solemn journey. It is a passage of trials and triumph leading to everlasting life with our father in Heaven.

Weapons

Prayer: Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin tells us, “There may not be a commandment uttered more frequently than that we lift up our hearts and our voices in prayer to our Heavenly Father.” Regular communication with the divine is not to be left by the wayside in this battle. It affords us daily spiritual strength and reminds us of the reason for which we are fighting. We cannot down the dragon if we do not first strengthen the soldier.

Scripture Study: In the Doctrine and Covenants we read further of the weapons we have been given: “the sword of my Spirit, which I will pour out upon you, and my word which I will reveal unto you” (D&C 27:18). Great is the comfort that can be found in the words of the prophets. The instructions in this battle are found by carefully seeking the scriptures. The Lord has promised that He will aide us as we seek His word. Our thoughts will be quickened by the Spirit. I have found myself pouring over the scriptures that I might find His instructions. My prayers have been answered in reading the teachings of the Savior and I have come to feel His love and learn of His life.

Fellowship of the Saints: Regular church and temple attendance and service are also important in increasing our spiritual power. Nearly a century ago a truth was taught from the pulpit of the Tabernacle in Salt Lake City: “Unless the Saints attend their meetings it will be hard for them to keep alive in the Gospel.” If we are to win this battle restocking our spiritual energy levels each week is a must.

Circle of support: It is amazing what the counsel and love of supportive and faithful family members, church leaders and friends can do to aid some one in their trials. I have had many experiences with very special people that lead me to believe firmly in the truth that President Spencer W. Kimball taught, “God…watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs” Through honest, open, and faith-inspiring discussions we are able to go to our battle field more prepared and encouraged by those who love us.

Trust in the Lord

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). Learning to rely upon the Lord and improving our relationship with the Savior are parallel principles that enrich our life and the life of others. I do not know why this challenge is my lot but I do know in whom I can place my faith. If I follow the commandments I can overcome and benefit from these trials (2 Nephi 2:2).

Paul promises us: “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). And in another discourse he proclaims “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).

Our father in Heaven has made His promises. His truths and His Gospel lay before us. The Lord has given us this challenge: “Prove me now herewith” (Malachi 3:10). He asks only that we trust in Him and He will protect us. “Taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked” (D&C 27:17). We are standing in front of a great personal foe. Our father in Heaven has dared us to place our trust and faith in Him. Perhaps I cannot yet see this shield; perhaps I cannot yet feel its weight. But as I have stood tall and have trusted in the Lord I have heard these words in my heart: “He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee” (Deuteronomy 31:6).

Conclusion

President Gordon B. Hinckley, when addressing the priesthood body, asserted: “Victory will be yours. There is not a boy within the sound of my voice that needs to succumb to any of these forces. You hold the priesthood of God. You are a son of God. You have his power within you to sustain you. You have the right to ministering angels about you to protect you. Do not let Goliath frighten you. Stand your ground and hold your place, and you will be triumphant.”

What greater promise could we seek? Victory is in our reach. This struggle will be hard. We hope that our casualties will be few but we will remain true. We will be triumphant. We will stand tall. And who shall succeed?

“They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized…that by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit… And who overcome by faith…Wherefore, all things are theirs… And they shall overcome all things” (D&C 76:51-53, 59, 60).

My faith remains in the Lord. I will place my confidence in Jesus Christ. I will seek to live my life worthy of His Spirit. I will seek forgiveness when I falter. I will overcome. I hope to repeat the words of the apostle Paul, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith” (2 Timothy 4:7). I pray that I will remain strong and true and faithful to all that I hold dear.







Sources: “Same-Gender Attraction”- Dallin H. Oaks; “When a Loved One Struggles with Same-Sex Attraction” - A. Dean Byrd; “Overpowering the Goliaths in Our Lives”- Gordon B. Hinckley
Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1988, p. 26.
Miriam Webster’s Dictionary, 1999
A. Dean Byrd & Stony Olsen, “Homosexuality: Innate and Immutable?” ; Regent University Law Review 2002 Vol. 14:513, p. 514
Id.
Kinsey, Alfred C. et al. (1948/1998). “Sexual Behavior in the Human Male”, Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders; Bloomington: Indiana U. Press, pp. 636-659.
Id. - Dean H. Hamer et al., “A Linkage Between DNA Markers on the X Chromosome and Male Sexual Orientation”, 1993, 261 SCIENCE 321.
Dean Hamer & Peter Copeland, “The Science Of Desire,” p. 104 ©1994
Simon LeVay, “A Difference in Hypothalamic Structure Between Heterosexual and Homosexual Man,” 258 SCIENCE 1034-1037, ©1991
Edward Stein, “The Mismeasure of Desire: The Science, Theory, and Ethnics of Sexual Orientation” p. 221
Dallin H. Oaks, “Same-Gender Attraction,” Ensign, Oct. 1995, 7
Byne and Parsons, “Human Sexual Orientation,” pp. 236-37.
Clairvaux, Caswell, Dikes, “Jesus the Very Thought of Thee,” Hymn # 141, Hymns of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ©1985
Dallin H. Oaks, “Same-Gender Attraction,” Ensign, Oct. 1995, 7 (emphasis added)
Gordon B. Hinckley, “Reverence and Morality,” p. 47.
Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Follow Me”, © 2002 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-266-5,00.html
Id.
Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Improving Our Prayers”; 21 January 2003 BYU Speeches, http://speeches.byu.edu
Anthon H. Lund, CR, Oct. 1907, p. 9
Spencer W. Kimball, “Small Acts of Service,” Ensign, Dec. 1974, p. 5
Gordon B. Hinckley, “Overpowering the Goliaths in Our Lives”, Ensign, May 1983, http://library.lds.org/nxt/gateway.dll?f=templates$fn=default.htm


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7 comments:

Russell Earl Kelly, PHD said...

Malachi 3:10 has been replaced by Galatians 3:10; 1:8-9; 3:1-2 and 2 Cor 3:10.

Gal 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

See Deuteronomy 28-29. The entire law was a TEST. Obey and be blessed; disobey and be cursed.

The only way to be blessed by tithing is by observing all 600+ commands of the OT law which is impossible.

NT giving is primarily sacrificial with no set limit up or down.

For over 150 articles on tithing see: www.tithing-russkelly.com

beaux said...

i'm sorry... who are you?

Bravone said...

Nathan, What a powerful message. With your ability to express yourself the way you do, I can see that you are well on your way to accomplishing one of your goals to write and publish a book.

I appreciate your thoughts and words of wisdom. I hope it is okay that I saved a copy for my personal library of resources.

Thank you. I really needed this today.

Steve

Russell Earl Kelly, PHD said...

You have posted a comment on the worldwide internet for all to view and comment on. I merely chose to freely disagree with you in the spirit fo Christian Ber

I think tithing does more damage to the church than it does harm. It keeps it shackled to the law and Paul opposed such in Galatians 1:8-9; 3:1-2 and 3:10 in a Berean debate.

beaux said...

did you read the context of the passage? it wasn't in regards to tithing in the least. i was put there in reference to proving the lord. proving his benevolence to bless us or to withhold blessings. that i believe will always be a part of the gospel.

Russell Earl Kelly, PHD said...

You cannot "prove" the Lord by obeying only one of 600+ OT laws. Do you think that ?God is obligated to you because you give him a lot of money? It does not work that way.

beaux said...

Just to remind you of the context here is where i used that passage: "Our father in Heaven has made His promises. His truths and His Gospel lay before us. The Lord has given us this challenge: “Prove me now herewith” (Malachi 3:10). He asks only that we trust in Him and He will protect us."
I believe that you CAN prove the Lord by obeying/testing/challenging only one of his laws. I speak not of money or tithing in the least. If that is the aim of your debate then I ask that you email me privately and we can discuss this outside of the context of this post. The message of this post is to convey the importance of obedience. As we are obedient we prove the Lord's promises. We prove the validity of that principle, whatever it might be, in our own personal life. There is so much more to Malachi than ancient obsolete laws. The reason the old testament is preserved for us is so that it can be used as a tool for good not to be belittled and called obsolete. I personally see far beyond the immediate declaration of that verse and see it as a much more applicable principle in my life today. I choose to interpret the scriptures as tools in my life and as they speak to me in the moment. A verse could talk about murder and life and so how speak to me in regards to a homework assignment. Remember the Lord works in mysterious ways.