The following is an email I received from a reader. He had found my blog and shared some thoughts and I was gratedul to hear his testimony. I hope you will read it and comment.
I am an active gay mormon. I also watched Benji’s interview, and my heart ached for him and with him. His emotional and spiritual history parallels mine in so many ways. But I know that Heavenly Father loves us. He knows each one of us personally, intimately and individually. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He lovingly watched us and guided us as we grew in our First Estate, before being born into this world. He knows our deepest and most intimate desires as well as how and why they developed. He knows who we were then and what and why and how we developed into that individual. And that individual was definitely and undeniably good, or we would never have been born into this life.
He knows, but we have forgotten. One of the conditions of coming into this life is a forgetting of our long and eventful existance with him and each other before being born into mortality. Even though we don’t remember who we were then, we are still the same individual. All that we did and experienced and felt there is still a part of us.
Unfortunately we don’t spend enough time and effort looking inside ourselves for hints and assurances of strengths and attributes we developed there. We all have purpose in this life…..not only the reason why we are here…..i.e., to learn to live by faith and learn to choose God by faith among other reasons we all have in common…..but also, we each have individual callings and assignments to perform here to help ourselves and others grow and progress, so that we may return to live with Heavenly Father again.
Heavenly Father knows each of us and what each of us needs to experience in order to achieve the growth that will fit us for His Kingdom. He knows which trials, challenges, and even burdens each one of us needs to learn to overcome in order to develop our personalities and spirits to become more Christlike and more like Him. Each of us has our faults and deficiencies–our own baggage–and no two of us are exactly alike. What I need to overcome, what I need to experience to become my best self is not what you need. God knows this and has tailored our challenges and helpers to meet our needs for our growth to perfection.
I don’t know why I am challenged with SSA or the other trials I have, but I know that my kind and loving Heavenly Father knows exactly what I need down to the smallest detail. And I know that by praying for His guidance, studying the scriptures, obeying His commandments, and following his chosen representatives, I will be blessed with the strength that I need to endure and overcome. Each one of us will have our own unique Abrahamic test. We each must choose God above all else. We will each have to be willing to sacrifice that thing, person, feeling, attitude, etc. that means the most to us and that we desire above all else, even life itself, to follow Christ and love God as He loves us. Heavenly Father has promised each and every one of us, that those who truely love Him will have all hurts, disappointments, deprivations, injustices, etc., etc. redressed and more than compensated for, if we but love and follow His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, and obey his commandments. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
Our wildest dreams, our most fantastic imagination cannot come close to realizing the joy, happiness and fulfilment He has in store for those who love and follow Him. I do not know how this will come about. I can’t begin to imagine how this can be brought to fruition for me. But I know that God knows. I know that He loves me and that He wants my happiness, and He knows how to accomplish it. And I know that if I let Him, He will! And I will have peace and happiness in this life; and unimaginable joy and fulfillment in the eternities, even “all that the Father hath,” if I will but put my trust in Him while in this life.
Who among us cannot discipline themself to deny themself something for a short time in order to reap a reward at a later time. We do it all the time. We torture our bodies to look or feel better or to gain a heightened ability. We go without delicacies to loose a few pounds. We forgo prefered activities in order to study for a grade or work for a paycheck. And the list goes on and on and on……….We have existed for eons before being born on this planet and we will live forever one place or another. By comparison our time in this mortal realm is a fleeting moment, but so much depends eternally on what and how we do here. We can endure anything for this brief moment in order to attain the wonders of His presence forever. We know we can. He has promised us that we can, and He does not–He cannot–lie.
“Choose ye this day (and everyday) whom ye shall serve…..”