It is sometimes really easy for me to feel like I am a bad person. I can be doing everything right and still feel some kind of disconnect with the Lord. I can’t help but think at if I am REALLY doing what is right, I would stop feeling this way. “Shouldn’t I be attracted to women now?” I think.
I feel like this is a common thought process for people who struggle with same gender attraction, and it has been on my mind. So many friends and acquaintances of mine actively choose to stay away from God because they assume that He is unhappy with them because of their attractions. I was recently speaking to a friend about this and she gave me some interesting insight.
She pointed out that there is definitely a stigma surrounding the words “same gender attraction”, “gay”, “homosexual”, or almost anyone who talks about such things. It simply isn’t well accepted, especially in religious settings. There is often an automatic assumption that anyone who struggles with these feelings is somehow bad or unrighteous. This is simply not true.
To illustrate her point, she reminded me of a story in The New Testament. In John chapter 2 we read:
1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
The man was not a sinner. His parents were not sinners. His condition was not a form of punishment. On the contrary, it was a way to help people find a testimony of Christ.
Is it not the same with any of us? No matter our struggle? The more I have thought about it, the more I have realized that my struggle with my attractions is what has brought me closer to God and helped me gain a relationship with my Savior. Through this I have seen the works of God made manifest in my life.
I am not evil because I feel this way. Everyone has feelings and desires they do not wish to have. We all strive to change those things. Again, these thoughts are not in themselves evil. Acting on them, however, is. As long as we keep our actions clean and we strive to (and actually do) feel the Spirit, we can trust that the Lord is pleased with us and that the Atonement is working in our lives. I hope that we can all learn to find our personal “blindnesses” and learn from them. They do not denote condemnation for sin, rather opportunities for blessings and seeing the wonders of God.
I thank God for my blindness, and even more for His son Jesus Christ, who can help me learn to see.