I recently received an email from a concerned mother. Her son struggles with same sex attraction and she and her husband wanted to know more. With her permission, I will be sharing parts of our email conversations. I hope that any readers (especially those who are parents) are able to see something here that can be helpful to your situation.
From: Jennifer (name changed for privacy)
Subject: Thanks – and advice?
First of all, thank you so much for sharing your blog. I can’t tell you how much your testimony as well as your challenges have touched me. The Spirit completely resonates through your words. Your voice isn’t one I’ve heard as much and so I appreciate it all the more. You articulate your thoughts so well and you are truly making a difference.
I actually wrote you a very long email earlier today,explaining the details of my situation. Then I decided it doesn’t really matter. The bottom line is I have a son who not only has SSA (same sex attraction), but has self-identified as gay. He is looking forward to the day when he will meet his future husband, get married and adopt kids. From the day we discovered his feelings, he has basically refused to talk about it. The few times he will talk he sounds like a pro-gay activist pamphlet would read.
Besides love him – as I always have and always will – do you have any advice for me, as his mom? My hearts hurts every day for him. My husband and I have read every possible thing – from all sides – about SSA, gay issues, everything. We have tried to “up” our love for him. He does seem to enjoy being home. He always has. He’s always been mostly a loner which was a worry long before we knew about his SSA. And as you surely know, there are more voices to tell him to live the gay life completely. The reason I enjoyed your blog so much is because you are so clear and succinct.
Thank you for sharing. And please, if you have any advice at all for us, we are humble and would love to hear it. I hope it’s ok I write you – Your invitation on your blog was encouraging enough for me to take the leap!
Jennifer,My heart goes out to you. Thank you so much for what you are doing. Sadly, some parents in your situation choose to alienate or ignore their children who have this struggle. The fact that you are even writing me and wanting to know how to love and help him speaks of your love and care for your son. Know that you are doing your best and that you will be blessed for that. YOU ARE A GOOD MOTHER!!
First of all, I have to say this: we have our agency. For me this is sometimes a sad part of life. Yes it is beautiful and amazing, but when I see people choose to act in a way that I know will ultimately make them unhappy, I get so sad and frustrated!! But, there is nothing we can do about anyone else’s agency. I just want to remind you that your son will make the decisions he wants to make regardless of what you have taught or try to teach. This does NOT make you a bad parent. Know that.
Also, know that it does not make him a bad person. He is lost. And I know that Heavenly Father is merciful. He may find his way back, and he may not. But remember, you are sealed to him and that will bring blessings upon his head.
I want to direct you here. http://familyproject.sfsu.edu/LDS-booklet (note to my readers: please PLEASE follow this link and read the material here. I think it is a wonderful resource. It will ask for your email so you can get a copy. It is so they can send it to you.) This was sent to me by a friend and I think that it is a wonderful pamphlet. It is not put out by the church, but it is made by church members. I would read through it, and take it to your bishop and discuss the things in it with him (same advice to any readers). I think it could do some good.
If I may ask a question to help me understand (please don’t feel you have to share if you do not wish to): Is your son actively living a gay lifestyle? Because something I would put forward to him is this: if he IS living a gay lifestyle, he has clearly given thought towards such a thing and believed in it fully, and therefore has acted on such beliefs and thought patterns. Has he tried to fully live the gospel? Tried to truly believe it and make it a part of his life in the same way he has made being gay a part of his life? Maybe (I am not sure if it will work…he may be against trying) he will be willing to give it a try. I know that if someone actively tries to live the gospel and tries their hardest to learn if it is true, that they will see blessings and know of the truthfulness of the gospel and the blessings it can give.
Well Sister, I will pray for you. I am glad that you asked me for advice. I don’t feel qualified to give it, but I will do what I can to help, because I believe strongly that I can do good for others and I need to do it as much as possible. I wish you and your husband the best. This is not easy, but you are trying very hard, I can tell. Continue to do so. I hope to hear from you soon. All my best,