Friday, September 17, 2010
I saw, I felt, I knew...
I’m uneasy about sharing this experience, but I want to record it for my sake in order to not forget, and maybe doing so here, may help others who may read this. But, what do I know… I think in reality it just makes me out to be a pretty messed up man that doesn’t know what he wants as he continues to play the game of acting – acting the straight-arrow, straight-active, straight-loving, normal card-carrying guy. Maybe I'm just full of it... Or, maybe I’m on the road of acceptance and understanding a bit by bit – line upon line...
The other evening I found myself in the temple. I was there to be with a dear friend who was participating in temple ordinances for the first time. My thoughts were centered on her and the goodness and joyfulness of the occasion. And then…
I walked into the endowment room and there sat in the row directly in front of me was the most beautiful, cute, innocent-looking, gorgeous guy I’ve seen in a long time. He made me quiver all over as I sat quietly and reverently. At first I scolded myself for even having this mini-attraction reaction. I closed my eyes as if I were in the motions of meditation and prayer (which I was) and started talking to myself inside my head…
“What do you think you’re doing?” I exclaimed with a bit of perturbed attitude.
“I just looked at him! Did you see him? Didn’t you notice how gorgeously cute he is?” I countered.
“Yeah, I saw him… and he’s a looker all right, but for heaven’s sake, get a grip on yourself! You’re in the temple! Concentrate on why you’re here!“
“I know, I know…” I muttered out loud as I kept my eyes shut and head hung.
“It’s not like you’re ever going to see him again, so get over it and focus…"
I opened my eyes and looked forward toward the presentation. But as I did, I couldn’t help but notice him again – after all, he was sitting right in front of me.
“You’re focusing on the wrong thing!” I said to myself.
“I know… I’m sorry. But I can’t help it. His cuteness is sitting right in front of me.”
“You’re a basketcase! Totally hopeless…”
I closed my eyes again and breathed heavily and tried again to concentrate on why I was sitting in that room.
“No you’re not hopeless,” a calm voice came over me. This time it wasn’t me talking to myself. It was another voice, maybe it was more of an idea, or thought, but nonetheless, words were tangible and I “heard” the message.
All at once, I was overcome with the desire to look and behold. I started studying his hazel eyes, the line of his young sideburns and the way the hairline at the back of his neck was cut square and true; the spikiness of his blondish brown short cropped hair, the glow in his smooth face – he radiated with a cute innocence with a strong sense of wonderment, awe, and total confusion. I noticed that it was his first time – recognizing the colored tag pinned to his white shirt, and how his father was sitting next to him trying to reassure him and comfort him and give him encouraging whispers and tender touches of the occasional shoulder squeeze. He was a new pre-missionary for sure, preparing to go preach the good word for sure.
“It’s okay to look,” the voice said. “I understand.”
“You do?” I questioned. “You heard me thinking?”
“Of course I do.“
At that moment the lights went out and the film presentation began. I was confused. But a real strong sense of calm and peace came over me. As I thought of the pre-existence and the creation, of being a spirit child and even an intelligence before that, I kept pondering on the fact that we are co-equal in our existence with God. The essence of who I am – that fundamental essence of my thoughts and my being ME – has always existed. It wasn’t created. I am ME!
My mind raced to my recent study of Joseph’s sermon at King Follet’s funeral… that:
1. The mind or the intelligence which man possesses is coequal with God himself.
2. The intelligence of spirits had no beginning; neither will it have an end.
3. God never had the power to create the spirit of man at all. God himself could not create himself.
I was overcome with the feeling that the Father really does know me, and loves me for who I am, INCLUDING my attractions that are an integral part of who I am.
I started feeling a bit giddy. When the lights came up, I looked at the young missionary again and started feeling compassion for him, and empathy as I noticed his endearing confusion and questioning brow of what was going on. I, too, was there one day long ago. I, too, didn’t understand – and still don’t. But, as I looked this time – all of the feelings of guilt and shame were gone from inside me. I looked at him and felt his goodness and glory radiating. He was delicious. I had this overwhelming sensation and image of wanting to swallow him whole and consume every bit of him and feel of his spirit and innocence and excitement and sparkle.
“That is good,” the voice whispered.
I started laughing a bit. I was happy. I was sitting here in the Lord’s house, and I was having this amazing discussion of thoughts in my soul regarding my spirit and my desires and attractions, while studying this amazing young guy and wanting to consume him and taste of his goodness and beauty, all while feeling so at peace about it all.
I pondered how for the first time I felt that God personally knows and loves me for who I am even with or even because of these thoughts of attraction going on. I have always been this way. And it’s okay! All the pent up emotions of guilt and shame and disgust inside me flowed out of me. I was free of shame for being so oriented in my attractions. I was overcome with peace and tears swelled up in my eyes. Thank goodness the lights went out again and I was able to sit in the darkness again and gain my composure.
In the Celestial Room, I continued to observe him with his family now encircling him in love with hugs and squeezes of support. His eyes still were so cutely confused. I learned that indeed he was a newly called missionary and that he was going soon to Norway on his mission. I wanted to reach out and shake his hand and congratulate him or say something, but then my friends came into the room, and that opportunity passed.
As I focused on my friend, I hugged her and saw her confused but radiant expression, I brought her ear close to me and whispered: “Line upon line, precept upon precept”. She knew what I meant and smiled.
“But there were no angelic visitations,” she sarcastically replied.
“All in time…” I responded, and then added, “As I look at you, I see an angelic visitation.”
She beamed with delightfulness and holiness.
She wasn’t the only angelic visitation that I saw, felt and knew that evening. I saw an angelic young man that was delicious to devour. I felt a peace and comfort from a voice inside me, and I knew that God personally knows me, is co-equal with me, and loves me.
If He knows me, if I am co-equal with Him, and if He loves me AS I AM, then the same thing applies to you, too!
Now I need to go tell my wife...