I've been pretty silent on the "change" topic that tends to float around. I've enjoyed the takes that everyone has to one degree or another. And I try to keep an open mind.
But in this last week, KSL RADIO (the LDS church-owned radio station) has been doing a week-long "in depth report" on reparative therapy and whether men can "change" their sexual orientation. Though I've listened with intent on seeing what kind of spin the church employed reporter would put on the investigation, trying to find a hint or slant, I must admit overall it's been "fair and balanced". The reporter has interviewed both sides of the story. I just find it interesting that it is being reported at all. Following the FOX NEWS report, it seems to be a "trendy" thing to discuss.
Is there really news here? Nothing new was brought to my attention. That's because I don't think there is anything "new" to report about reorientation of one's sexual preference. I guess I should look at it as a good thing that KSL even broadcasted the series and did so in an unbiased manner.
Am I the only one, or does it give anyone else the creepy crawly heebie jeebies when someone from Evergreen starts speaking??? I feel like lies are spewing forth as soon as their representatives open their mouths, like they are selling me something, like they want me to enlist in their program almost as bad as trying to sell me a used car. It makes me sick! In yesterday's report, the Evergreen guy stated something to the affect that "it will be difficult, but that CHANGE is definitely possible - though everyone's path is unique". And then in this morning's report, I just had it! An Evergreen guy stated "playing sports with men and making that connection will create positive relations with other men that will make the difference".
All I can say to this is: BULL CRAP! I'm not a 18-25 year old "struggler" here new to this game! I have a track record of "struggling" for over 30 years! This idea of "change being possible" is a JOKE! At least for me! The idea of "playing sports" will improve my relations with men is even a BIGGER JOKE! I hate playing sports... And making me dribble a basketball and shoot a lay-up, or spiking a volleyball over the net into the face of another man and receiving an appreciative slap-on-the-butt male bonding, (as nice as that may be) isn't going to CHANGE me one iota!
I fear that such reporting as 'fact' causes me (and those like me who are married) grief, because it gives people such as my wife, the false hope that there is a NEED for change, and that change is desireable. So far, my wife hasn't said anything to me about the reports. We listen to KSL in the morning for the news and weather at the start of each day. I'm sure it will come up. Maybe that will lead to positive discussions between us, I don't know...
You know... I'm sorry, but I don't feel any NEED TO CHANGE! Have I made that clear? Is that blasphemous??? I've tried that for two decades (in many ways even not knowing fully that that was exactly what I was trying to do). I AM WHO I AM! I have no desire to be anyone else! My characteristics that make me a gay man are beautiful, admirable, and praiseworthy.
Now, don't get me wrong. I know very well that another word for REPENTANCE is CHANGE. I've taught countless priesthood and sunday school lessons that teach the simple equation: REPENT = CHANGE. I know very well that "change" is part of the gospel plan and that Christ expects a broken heart and humble spirit of me as I come kneeling before Him.
But, I don't think He wants me to CHANGE what has been God-given - those characteristics or talents that I need to use in helping others and in losing myself through their use. It is my task to take my weaknesses and make them strong.
As the letter to Elder Oaks states in last month's conference address: "Some profess that change is possible and therapy is the only answer... There is NO NEED to determine why I have this challenge. I don't know if I was born with it., or if environmental factors contributed to it. The fact of the matter is that I have this struggle in my life, and what I do with it from this point forward is what matters".
To have this quoted in a conference address is very significant to me. There are many things in my life that I need to work on and repent/change for the better. But... the fact of the matter is that I have this struggle in my life, and what I do with it from this point forward is what really matters to me!