More and more I read and see and hear things about men/women/boys/girls who have decided that it is just not worth it or even right that they have to struggle with feelings of same gender attraction. So they decide to leave the church or live a gay lifestyle.
I am here to say, quite emphatically, that this is not the answer! A few years ago I had made a similar decision; that there was no point in trying anymore. It was not fair that I had to feel this way. I was being cheated of happiness and I was only going to be unhappy. As I stopped living the gospel, and started living a very much gay lifestyle, I thought I was happy. I was able to force it for a while, but deep down I knew that I was betraying my Heavenly Father, and only hurting and mocking the Atonement of the Savior.
I have since repented. I am in full fellowship with the church and it is the most beautiful and joyful thing in my life. Nothing has even come close. In a talk titled Helping Those Who Struggle with Same-Gender Attraction, Elder Holland gives wonderful advice to those who struggle as I do:
“I ache for those who do not understand that every blessing offered by God is available to anyone who obeys the laws upon which those blessings are predicated (see D&C 130:20–21). No one who lives the gospel should despair. Hope and peace come from the Comforter, and the answer to despair is to invite the Holy Ghost into our lives.”
True happiness will come from living the gospel. I know that there are some who do their best to live the gospel and are still heavy and burdened. To those, don’t give up. Find solace in the Savior. It is there. Seek to know Him better and the comfort will come.
I know others who are unhappy as well. But more often than not, these people are trying to live two lives, as I did. They try to be a part of the gospel, but they also live (even if only in little, rebellious ways) a homosexual lifestyle. The fruits of such a life are despair. And Elder Holland teaches that the answer to such despair is inviting the Holy Ghost into our lives. Elder Richard G. Scott tells us that “emotions such as anger or hurt or defensiveness will drive away the Holy Ghost.” Please be careful not to be angry or defensive about your life. It will not allow you to have the spirit. In the same talk, Elder Scott gave this wonderful message:
“The scriptures give eloquent confirmation of how truth, consistently lived, opens the door to inspiration to know what to do and, where needed, to have personal capacities enhanced by divine power. The scriptures depict how an individual’s capacity to conquer difficulty, doubt, and seemingly insurmountable challenges is strengthened by the Lord in time of need.”
This challenge can seem insurmountable. But as we consistently live the gospel, to the BEST of our ability, we will be given strength to endure. The gospel is true. I promise anyone who is wavering or doubtful, that if you will apply these teachings and with your FULL heart, seek to keep the commandments of God, and strive to know the Savior, you will have peace and know that you will be able to endure. Please, take the test. Do your absolute best to: daily read from the scriptures, pray, attend all church meetings, and meet with your bishop. Just for one month. I promise from personal experience, that if you give this 100%, you will feel and see a change. You will know of the truthfulness of the gospel, and you will know that it is possible to live a life in harmony with the teachings of the church.
Please, don’t give up.