My husbands best room mate from college who he is very close with called him just called the other night and told Oliver that he is gay. Oliver was totally fine and we all talked for a long time... The whole night we couldn't stop thinking about it. He was sad because our friend has been on a mission and loves church. He never accepted anyone not going! Now he is questioning whether or not he should be actively gay and leave the church or try to live with how he feels and try his best to stay with his faith. This friend expressed how he has tried so long to overcome being gay. He told us how he can't understand why he was given something so unfair. It was heart breaking for us.... especially for my husband. He loves his friend a lot! He also knows what Heavenly Father has said.
The next day for family home evening we watched this video.... Then after he prayed and wrote his friend a letter. This is what he wrote
I hope that you are doing ok today. I first wanted to thank you for calling Mamie and me the other day, I'm really glad that you did. I had a few thoughts bouncing around in my head, and I felt like maybe some of them would be good to share with you. I'm not really the preachy type so I hope this doesn't come out too weird hahaha ;-). Yesterday for Family Home Evening we showed the kids the Bible video of Christ suffering in Gethsemane (https://www.lds.org/media-
library/video/2011-10-015-the- savior-suffers-in-gethsemane? category=bible-videos-the- life-of-jesus-christ&&lang=eng )
and for some reason it really hit me at that time how He suffered for
ALL of the pains and trials that we go through in this life, just like
it says in Alma 7:12, including (and maybe even especially) what you
are/have been going through. I've always known that, but for some reason
it really struck me that he can help us because He knows exactly what
we are going through, even when no one else in the world does. There is
no limit to the power of the Atonement.
It also hit me at the same time that even though He will comfort and strengthen us, He still doesn't take our burdens away. When I watched the part where Christ was asking His Father in Heaven to take the cup from Him if possible, I realized a little be better why God didn't take it away. He sent an angel to comfort and help, but Christ had to suffer that pain, even though it was unbearable, because God could not take that pain away without destroying the whole Plan of Salvation. I realized that if we are to become like our Savior, we need to experience what He did, at least in a very small part, and if He took all of our pain away, it might ruin our part in that great Plan. I thought about what Elder Holland has said: "We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that [we] have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. [we] have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary. Now, please don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking about anything anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumptuous and sacrilegious. But I believe that [for us], to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price. For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul. If He could come forward in the night, kneel down, fall on His face, bleed from every pore, and cry, “Abba, Father (Papa), if this cup can pass, let it pass,” then little wonder that salvation is not an easy thing for us." I think I am now able to understand a little better why we have to suffer the things that we do.
I've also been thinking a lot about how unfair it is that you have to go through something so hard that most of us will never experience. And it's true, I honestly can't say that I know the pain and the heartache that this has caused you, and it's not because of anything that you have done wrong. It isn't fair. But the more I've thought about it, the more I've realized that you are in good company. It wasn't fair for the Savior to suffer for things that He didn't do. It wasn't his fault, but He did suffer for it, and because of it He was glorified beyond all description, and we can be too if we just endure. It made me remember what Elder Wirthlin taught when he said: "The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude. One of the blessings of the gospel is the knowledge that when the curtain of death signals the end of our mortal lives, life will continue on the other side of the veil. There we will be given new opportunities. Not even death can take from us the eternal blessings promised by a loving Heavenly Father. Because Heavenly Father is merciful, a principle of compensation prevails." This has also been of great comfort to me because we have had a crazy year too. While I still don't understand everything, this has really given me great peace, and I know that all of the injustices of this world, large and small, will be more than compensated for by a merciful and loving Father in Heaven.
The other impression that I have had as I have been thinking about this (man, that's a lot of thinking for me...I'm not use to that, hopefully my brain can handle it ;-)) is that 2 Nephi 2:25 (the "men are that they might have joy" scripture) applies just as much to you as it does to any one of us-not only in the eternities but also in this life. Like I said before, the Atonement is infinite, and if it has the power to save us it also has the power to help us overcome our darkest days and help us find so much joy and happiness as we experience this roller coaster of a ride known as mortality.
I really hope that you can reconcile your testimony with your same sex attraction (is that even the right term to use? I'm new at this stuff hahaha) and remain an active Latter-day Saint. Obviously, you know much better then me that it will require a lot of sacrifices that most of us don't have to make, but I believe that this Gospel is true, I feel it in the deepest parts of my soul. And I believe that it is only in the Gospel that God's priesthood authority lies, the ordinances of Salvation can be performed, and that ultimately, for all of us, no matter what our circumstances are or challenges that we have to face, it is within the Gospel that we will experience our greatest happiness.
I also really do hope that you know that no matter what choice you make, I will always be here for you. I won't judge you and you will always be welcome in my home. And I promise that I will always be just as bad at keeping in contact with you as I always have been, nothing will change that ;-). Once again, I am really glad that you felt comfortable enough to tell me, and I hope that you have been having a great day. Let me know if you ever need anything and know that I am always here for you