neither your present nor your past
need to command your tomorrows"
This quote is on the wall in the counseling center where I met with a counselor during the last year. Earlier this month I had my last meeting with him. It was a strange experience sitting outside his office and making the decision that it was the last time I would see him. Strange because for the first time I realized that I didn't need to cling to a crutch for fear of making mistakes and falling too far. My last session focused on looking back at where I was a year ago and celebrating where I am now.
A year ago if someone told me I would be writing a blog about Same Gender Attraction (SGA) and that people would be looking to my words and my story I would have laughed at them. A year ago I lived in fear of everything: that my parents would find out I was gay, that I would not be strong enough to be obedient and most of all that I had no hope of forgiveness. I was terrified to admit to myself that I was attracted to men. I felt that if I admitted it out loud, even if I already knew in my heart, I would be dammed. Much to my surprise I was more dammed then than I am now. To be dammed is to have your progress halted. Because I had so much fear I could not progress further until I let go of the fear and turned to my Savior.
This all changed when I went to a stake conference at BYU-I. Elder Webb came as the visiting general authority and he invited a bishop to speak. I do not remember the bishop's name but I do remember his words. He told of a young man who came to him desiring to have his name removed from the records of the church because he was gay. The bishop asked him if he had broken the Law of Chastity; the young man said no. He then asked the man "Who are you?" The young man hesitated a moment and responded that he was a child of God. After some more discussion the Bishop told us the the young man left his office saying "I am a child of God. I am destined to be a father." This phrase struck me so hard I almost couldn't breath. I am destined to be a father. As I contemplated this truth it gave me the courage to make changes in my life.
The first was to start talking about my troubles with God through prayer and with his representatives here on earth. Then it was to talk to family and friends and allow them to strengthen and comfort me. They gave me the spark I needed to not give up. Their words, hugs, letters, phone calls, emails and prayers constantly remind me that I am not alone.
Tonight while at a concert I heard a song that captures the feeling of receiving that spark, that support I needed. The song is called "Spark" and it is by Allred. I hope everyone who reads this can remember a time when they received a spark from those they love.