Monday, May 5, 2014
Brad Part 3
Scroll down to read part 1 and 2
In part two, I talked about a friend I met and knew we would be friends at that moment, and I knew we had been friends before we came here. That was 23 years ago and we are still best friends. Our friendship has grown in depth and beauty, for over the years and we have come to understand our friendship and have a deep love for each other.
Over the past 23 years I have had amazing opportunities to grow and understand just why I am different from other men. It has been an interesting adventure to say the least. I believe in personal revelation and have received many personal revelations as I have pondered and prayed and struggled with my feelings. Through the process I have learned so much and that is one of the reasons for this blog. Twenty three years ago it was an issue, but today it is an issue beyond description as the world we now live in is filled with conflict. We are surrounded daily by Same Gender Attraction issues, from same sex marriage to same gender relationships. We are surrounded by media that tell us it is normal to feel the way we do and it is ok to act out on those feelings. And in the process we are made to feel that we are doing something wrong if we do not follow those strong physical attractions.
In my quest for peace I have learned that only when we follow Christ and his teachings can we really find peace. His teachings include modern day revelation from living Prophets. We know when our personal revelations are right on when they are in accord with what we have been taught. If we feel we are receiving revelation and it is contrary to the commandments of God, perhaps we are not where we need to be spiritually.
I have received much personal revelation on this topic and I always search to make sure it is in line with what we have and are being taught. As I look for answers I receive special feelings that validate what I have been learning.
One of the most profound teachings I have learned is about who we were before we came here, and as I have pondered that and the Proclamation to the Family I have learned things that help me understand who I am and why I struggle with the things I struggle with. One thing for sure is that we each are on a personal journey and the journey is unique and different for each one of us. As we strive to live the commandments we can and will receive personal revelation in the time we need it and when it will do us the most good. Sometimes we struggle for years trying to understand and then all of a sudden we know why we have struggled and it all makes sense. This typically happens when we have been obedient and faithful to what we know to be true. If we stray too far off the path the ability to receive personal revelation in regards to our trials is greatly diminished. It is when we are trying our best that the windows of heaven open up and pour wisdom into our souls and we begin to understand what we have needed to know and why we have our trials.
Remember the greatest light comes after the trial of our faith. Sometimes the trial is long and hard, but the reward for being faithful is amazing and the clarity we see at the end is worth the trial of our faith.
I share with you these feelings to help you understand that a price has to be paid for us to come to an understanding of why we struggle with the things we struggle with. And as I share with you some of the personal things I have learned I want you to know that it came after much trial and struggling on my part. It came as we are taught, line upon line, not all at once. It came to me as I was ready to receive it. And I want you to know that I have come to understand that our personal trials, if we remain faithful, will turn into blessings for us personally and in an even greater way, blessings for those we come in contact with.
So now if you will let me I will try to share some very personal revelations I have received over the years as I have struggle with who I am and what is my purpose here. I think the first thing I remember learning by the spirit in regards to this struggle is that I was different and that it was ok. The spirit taught me that I was a sensitive man and that it was a gift from Heavenly Father to be a sensitive man and that if I nurtured this gift it would and could be a great blessing to me in my life. The spirit taught me that sensitive men have a great capacity to feel spiritual things and as I learned more I would indeed be able to feel things stronger than other men. That is not to say that all men cannot enjoy spiritual things; it is to say that some men are blessed with a greater ability. Remember there are many gifts of the spirit. I have learned and found it to be true that most men that struggle with SGA are sensitive, sweet men and these men have a tremendous ability to feel spiritual things if it is nurtured in the right way. That leads me to the next powerful revelation the spirit taught me.
As a young man I wondered and struggled with the feelings that I would have for other men. I would meet certain men and be overwhelmed with love for them. There were times when I was actually brought to tears. I remember one day I was in a store doing some shopping. A man walked up to me and I felt instantly that he wanted to kill me. It was scary, as I knew that he hated me with all his heart. He followed me throughout the store pounding his fist and staring at me. I was terrified. I left only to find him backed up against my car blocking me in and still pounding his fist. He left and I have to tell you I did not go home. I drove around for a couple of hours to make sure he did not find me. It was scary and the only way to describe what happened is that man was evil and sensed my spirit and it offended his. His spirit scared me to death.
Now in contrast to that experience, a few days later I met my best friend. When I saw him I wept for joy and was filled with love and excitement in seeing him. These experiences back to back taught me a powerful lesson. Our spirits can communicate. On one hand it was fear and I was terrified; on the other hand it was one of the sweetest experiences of my life.
We know through modern revelation that we were spirit children of our Heavenly Father and that we lived together for a long time as we prepared to come here. I cannot help but think of the close relationships we developed there. I believe we don't have the ability yet to understand all that we experienced before we came here. Over the years the spirit has taught me that when I have those special experiences it is nothing more than recognizing someone I knew before I came here. My spirit feels and remembers the relationship from before we came here. I believe that is part of the gift of being sensitive to spiritual things, feeling things so deeply. There is no doubt in my mind that our spirits feel and understand things our mortal mind does not understand always. But as we pray and ponder, meaning and understanding can and will come. For me it was like a light came on. I understood completely that I was not a gay man, but that I was reconnecting with men who had meant a great deal to me before we came here. In each case over the years where I have felt that strong connection and acted appropriately, I have developed a deep and lasting relationship that has brought me joy and happiness.
In the process I have discovered that one of the greatest gifts or relationships that a man can have is an appropriate relationship with another man. We deny ourselves these fulfilling relationships out of fear and misunderstanding of what a same gender relationship can really be. As we look to the scriptures we find many examples of men who loved other men. We can find great examples of this in today's world.
The last thing I want to share in this post is about Increase. I always thought that increase was all about family. That is an important part of increase, but it is not just for family. Increase applies to all things spiritual. Relationships that are spiritually based have eternal increase. All relationships in this life that are spiritually based and are developed through the laws of God will experience eternal increase. How does this apply to SGA? Simple – when we meet another man we basically have a choice. We can choose the world’s way, in other words we can choose a physical relationship that is based on the natural man and submitting to the moment, or we can choose God’s way, which is spiritual based, meaning even if we have strong physical feelings towards another man we set that aside and build the relationship on spiritual principles, meaning we keep all of the commandments. As we choose the spiritual path those relationships will continue here in love and have eternal increase, meaning that what was once started before we came here will increase in beauty and depth and will have eternal increase. That love will go on forever and ever.
Can you imagine the joy we will have after this life as we see who we once were and how we were connected and that we chose to build a spiritual relationship here? Can you imagine the sorrow of finding out how much you loved someone before you came here and you traded it for what the world sold as normal? I have pondered this often and for me I desire relationships that will continue in love and depth forever. I want eternal increase in my sweet relationships that I have reconnected with here already and will in the future.
I love my wife and family and look forward to eternal increase with them, but I also love my men friends and am equally looking forward to eternal increase in those relationships as well.
If you have any questions or comments please feel free to make them.