Monday, April 08, 2013

Listening to conference...

In Sunday afternoon's session of conference, I hope I was a good listener, as I heard something like this:

"An honest declaration of doubt is esteemed higher than an honest declaration of faith" -- Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

I guess with the last couple of months, I've been trying to declare my honest doubts, and maybe frame my life around said doubts instead of framing my life around my FAITH. I have done this most "honestly" as I've tried to ask myself tough questions about the path I'm choosing to live and staying with my wife, faithful to her and to the church. I have asked these questions in order to confirm whether my choice of life's path would be any different if my faith were not in the mix. I guess I could have taken offense at how Elder Holland would view such tactics of mine. But I didn't. I found inspiration and hope in his words.

I have never said I've given up on my faith, just an emphasis on my honest doubts. And he's right in that I felt more "esteem" and "enlightenment" particularly from my friend who is pushing hard for me to think critically, as I express my doubts. Is the "esteem" what I'm seeking? Is it cool to be a questioning person instead of a believing person? Why is it that a believing person is looked down upon as naive or insignificant, not worthy of consideration? Where has the esteem gone for a man who holds to his beliefs?

I am sure that my questioning will continue, but I have had a personal revelation of sorts in realizing that I can build upon where I am, I can build upon my foundation of faith, and yes, build upon what I know to be true for me. I don't have to know everything, but I can still question and probe and pursue answers unceasingly as I build on my faith. I like that.

I like that a man can stand for what he believes to work for himself and hold true to what he holds to be true, and act with integrity regarding his choices. I may be alone in this, but as close as I was to find a way out of this path of belief, to find any way to get around my beliefs and thus, my "struggle" with my homosexuality, I need to find a way that keeps me going strong with who I am.

I like this.

And as a footnote to this, I really liked the Priesthood Session talk from Pres. Uchtdorf where I noted several profound statements such as:

1. Satan wants us to define ourselves by our sins, instead of our potential...

How often have I done this to myself. I really need to concentrate on the good I can do instead of the mistakes I have made. And with my attractions, I need to concentrate on what a blessing they have been to my life! (NOTE: I'm not implying that my attractions are a sin at all, though sometimes I have allowed myself to be beaten up by my thoughts...

2. We are not "robots" (my word)! We are not identical... Instead, we are different and as such we are not molded to be the same and anyone saying so does not understand the Gospel. We are diverse and should use our unique talents to serve and give BECAUSE of our difference, as we follow the Savior...

I really, really, really like this! Maybe I'm reading more into it than he intended, but as I sat in the chapel in the dark feeling so different from all those white-shirted men, noting to myself of the beautiful beard one of "my" young men (now approaching 30 years old) was sporting and how handsome he is, my spirit leaped a bit in hearing those words... words that are so relevant to me... we aren't the same mold and never were intended to be. Our cultural, social, emotional, AND our sexual attraction differences make us who we are and who we can be, as we follow the Savior! I like that, coming from an Czech boy coming from the refugee world of East Germany and being the coolest, tannest, general authority with great hair, who isn't like the rest, who doesn't speak like the rest, who has compassion and hope and is a champion for the one who may not "fit the mold".

I don't fit the mold. I never have. I don't think I ever will... and that's okay. I like that!