Challenges, difficulties, questions, doubts – these are part of life. But we are not alone, our Heavenly Father has enormous spiritual reservoirs of light and truth available to us. Fear and faith cannot coexist in our hearts at the same time. In days of difficulty, choose the road of faith. Jesus said, “Be not afraid, only believe.”  Mark 5:36. 1

 

As I contemplated on what to blog about today, my thoughts reflected back to my very first blog post about same-gender attraction and fear of pushing the publish button. My stomach ached, as I dug deeper to muster additional courage to share to Facebook and Twitter.  Fear of how the public would react to my son’s vulnerability and my motherly plea to the world to reinvest in kindness.

To our surprise we were inundated with positive emails, messages and phone calls.  Hundreds thanked us for helping them see things in a different perspective.

One father confessed he had not spoken to his son in four years.  Can you imagine four years?  He admitted, “I can see I’ve been doing it wrong.”  He committed to sending his son a text that simply said, “I love you.”

Bullseye! That’s what we intended.  It’s rewarding to see hearts healing and families reuniting.

The Commonalities

The most common patterns within the mass of emails that I received from gay young men and women were the internal conflict between their feelings of attraction, that they did not choose, and their strong religious beliefs, leaving them wondering, “Does God love me?”

The most difficult step seemed to be admitting to him or herself that this was not going away and that this was a real part of who they were.

Once they owned it the real fear steps in, just as I held my finger over that publish button, “What now?  Who do I tell?  Do I tell my parents?  How do I tell my parents?  How will they react?”

And the biggest FEAR of all, “What if they reject me?”

Now, imagine sorting this out in your mind and in your heart.

I’m not just talking about same-gender attraction, I’m talking about feeling different, being different and unique. I have traveled as far away as India and people are the same.  Everyone I meet desires to fit in. It doesn’t matter a person’s color, education, background or religion – everyone desires to feel loved, safe, appreciated, respected, accepted and valued for who they are and the diversity they bring – you bring.

Additional Commonalities

The happiest and most positive emails that I received from gay young men and women expressed a belief in God, knew God loved them and had loving family support.

The happiest expressed gratitude for parents who loved them unconditionally, just knowing their parents loved them seem to make a huge difference.

The happiest and most self-confident believed in a loving God, because their earthly mother and father showed them that were possible.

Positive Application and Questions to Ponder

What if one of our main responsibilities is to be a source of God’s unconditional love so that others may recognize His love for them and feel it to the deepest part of their soul, because we mirrored it in a very tiny way?  Hope

A tragedy would be a child who died feeling unloved by their family and thus believed their Heavenly Father could never love them.  Preventable. 

Perhaps, if we commit to lift and bear one another’s burdens with more empathy and compassion along with following the golden rule, “Do unto others as ye would have them do unto you” we would have less suicides, less drug and alcohol abuse, and happier individuals.  Love

Commit To Do Better

Elder Dallin H. Oaks on same-sex attraction;

“The First Presidency made a wonderful statement on this subject in a letter in 1991.  ‘We encourage Church leaders and members to reach out with love and understanding to those struggling with these issues.’ Surely if we are counseled as a body of Church membership to reach out with love and understanding to those ‘struggling with these issues,’ that obligation rests with particular intensity on parents who have children struggling with these issues…”(2)

When facing fear or doubts, reflect on the revelation given to Joseph Smith in D&C 123:7;

“Therefore, dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power, and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed.”

May we all commit to do better and have the courage to push through our fears as we face challenges, difficulties, questions and doubts.   “Be not afraid, only believe.”  Mark 5:36 

 

 

[1] Neil L. Andersen, “You Know Enough,” Ensign, November 2008
[2] “Interview With Elder Dallin H. Oaks and Elder Lance B. Wickman: ‘Same-Gender Attraction’,” Mormon Newsroom.

 

photo by Jeffrey C. Olsen

 

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1 comment

  1. avatar

    Ann

    Thank you for writing this Becky! I love how beautifully you put this.

    -Ann