This past weekend I found myself uplifted and edified by the words spoken by our church leaders during the 183rd General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints. I approached the conference with specific questions and found them answered. The peace that comes from knowing that God is not silent is truly incredible.
I was struck by the words of Elder Bednar specifically. In his address entitled We Believe in Being Chaste he said:
“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a single, undeviating standard of sexual morality: intimate relations are proper only between a man and a woman in the marriage relationship prescribed in God’s plan. Such relations are not merely a curiosity to be explored, an appetite to be satisfied, or a type of recreation or entertainment to be pursued selfishly. They are not a conquest to be achieved or simply an act to be performed. Rather, they are in mortality one of the ultimate expressions of our divine nature and potential and a way of strengthening emotional and spiritual bonds between husband and wife. We are agents blessed with moral agency and are defined by our divine heritage as children of God—and not by sexual behaviors, contemporary attitudes, or secular philosophies.”
As I mentioned in my previous post, I sometimes find it hard to not get discouraged or worry that I am being foolish. So many people tell me that I am simply “denying who I am.” Thankfully, at this conference I was reminded that who I am is a son of God and a disciple of Jesus Christ. As Elder Bednar said, I am defined by my heritage as a child of God and NOT by sexual behaviors, contemporary attitudes, or secular philosophies. People may try to sway me or say that I am being too dogged in my pursuit of the will of my Heavenly Father, but what is being taught is clear; chastity is important. To have a relationship with a man, no matter how committed we may be to each other, would be immoral. The presence of love would not change the incorrectness of that lifestyle.
Many (and boy do I mean many) of my friends have had children recently. For three of these couples, this is their first child. Seeing their families growing has been so touching. One friend of mine, Chris, wrote about his feelings on being a new father. He said that “she has taught, motivated, and lifted me. I see in her a divine means of help and strength for myself. I find myself wanting to be more noble, more kind, more precise….She has calmed my countenance and brought light to the beclouded parts of my soul.”
To read these words from a new father touched me deeply. As I read I began to see and understand one of the many reasons that the family is so important. We need families to motivate us to do better. I love my friend Chris and have always admired his devotion to the gospel and his desire to be righteous. To hear him say that this makes him want to be even better is inspiring. Anything that can drive such a good man to seek even deeper and firmer righteousness must be of God.
More and more I realize that this is the kind of life that my Father in Heaven wants me to live. For now that is not possible. But one day, whether later in this life or in the eternities, I will have a wife and a family. And they will enrich me and enlighten me and I will strive to do the same for them. I cannot say enough how grateful I am for modern prophets and apostles who help me know the will of my Father in Heaven and give me guidance as to how I can change through the atonement of Jesus Christ, my Savior.
I may walk a long, lonely road in this life. I have accepted that probability. But if I am allowed to experience the sweet joy of having a family of my own and live with them for eternity, it will be well worth it.