Sunday, July 3, 2011

“Not My Will, But Thine, Be Done”: But What Is Thy Will?

This is another in the Gay Gospel Doctrine Class series of posts that takes a lesson from the LDS Church’s (Adult) Gospel Doctrine class and presents it from a gay perspective.  Today’s lesson, written by Utahhiker801, is based on Lesson #25 in the Gospel Doctrine Manual.

The title of this week’s Lesson 25 is, “Not My Will, But Thine, Be Done.”

In contemplating this lesson, I thought about the many times when I turned my will over to someone else; I did what others asked of me because I thought that’s what I should do.  As a child, it was always very important for me to be good.  I was the Deacon’s Quorum president as well as the Teacher’s president and 1st assistant in the Priest Quorum (I guess that’s not so hard living in a ward with few youth).  In high school, I was on the seminary council.  I was able to serve a mission in what many would consider an exotic and incredibly challenging country.

Now, please bear with me for a moment.  I’m not saying these things to aggrandize myself, just to show that for me, as I was growing up, doing the right things was very important.  I was the good kid.  And despite doing all of these things, I constantly felt unworthy.  I had feelings that I thought no one else shared.  I was sure that if I continued to do the things the Lord wanted me to do, I would be able to over come them.  If I followed the Lord’s prophets and apostles, I would be able to achieve the goal of eternal salvation in the Celestial Kingdom.

I believed that doing the Lord’s will and putting that in front of my will would lead me to peace and happiness.  “With God, nothing is impossible.”  And yet, my goal seemed very elusive. 

I read with interest about Invictus’s experience on his mission where he felt that God loved him and didn’t care if he was gay.  I spent most of my mission time just trying to run away from those thoughts while at the same time seeing men who were some of the most physically beautiful examples of perfection I could imagine.

I never thought to ask God if it was alright that I was gay.  One of my references was the pamphlet my dad gave me called, “To Young Men Only” so I felt that the Lord’s mouthpieces had already spoken on the subject.  Why would I even think to ask if it was alright?  I instead gave myself repeated emotional floggings where I asked myself, “Why is this a problem for me?  I should not be attracted to guys.  This isn’t what the Lord wants for me.”

I have recently begun to think that perhaps the better way to address my concerns is to take it directly up with God.  There is too much cacophony in the world, even within the LDS Church, of people claiming to speak the will of the Lord.  And I, the former Deacon and Teacher’s Quorum president, 1st Assistant in the Priest Quorum, missionary and three-time Elder’s Quorum president, have begun to come to the conclusion that maybe I have been supplanting my will with the will of others and not necessarily with the will of God.  Because of this, I find that I have a need to self-correct, to change directions, or even – biblically speaking – repent.  If I only do the things others tell me to do, then I have abandoned my person responsibility to decide, actually decide, what it is that I believe and the direction I should go and the kind of person I should become.

I’m not yet ready to do everything I believe I should, and I have far too many inner conflicts to sort them out quickly, but I am moving forward with a clearer sense of honesty.  I still find myself with moments of uneasiness with my progression, but think it’s ultimately a better path for me.

Ed. Note:  Wow!  Utahhiker801, this was amazing.  Thank you for sharing your thoughts and heart with the rest of us. – IP

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