Under normal circumstances, and in any other time of my life, I would never reveal such sensitive and personal information. But because the Lord has told me to reveal my story, for reasons yet unknown to me (which will be made known later, I'm sure), I have chosen to obey and trust in His mighty power to preserve both my heart and the integrity of my reputation among those who love me. For, as Proverbs has stated, "A friend loveth at all times, and a brother (or sister, of course) is born for adversity." I am confident, then, that the statement of a favorite childhood author, Dr. Suess, holds true: "Be yourself, and those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Most of you, I'm certain, will fall into the latter category. As for the few who choose to gossip, judge unrighteously, etc. I resoundingly say to you that your opinions matter no more to me than the wind that blows past my face, though I always love you as children of God.
Since by now, reader, you probably are dying to read what I really have to say, here it is. From the early ages of adolescence, I have struggled against feelings of same-sex attraction. Yes, I am attracted to women, but since God has allowed this struggle to be a part of my life, I have had to learn how to cope with it in a healthy and gospel-centered manner. Many of the principles taught by Elder Oaks in his talk (Same-Gender Attraction, 1995) have helped me to remain strong in the recent past, including that we are defined by our divine identity, that people who struggle with SSA (same-sex attraction) are able to marry in this life if the Lord wills it, and they can enjoy the same blessings of the gospel that regular church members do (see "Helping Those with Same-Gender Attraction by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland). I have learned through the sacred revelations of the Lord, fortunately, that I will have the blessing of a temple marriage and children in this life. This also has been an anchor to me as I have coped with the hardships associated with this. I know that everything will work out largely because of that.
In addition, my knowledge of the healing and strengthening power of the Lord's Atonement has been nothing short of priceless and glorious. I have come to know the truth that He truly has "descended below all things" and understands every single affliction and pain that we, as His children, suffer. I also have come to know through His tender mercies and love that experiencing SSA is never a sin, because to say this would be equivalent to saying that being tempted is a sin. We all experience the effects of the Fall, and SSA is no different than the rest of the passions and lusts that mankind encounters. Indeed, I would go boldly as far as saying that it is absolutely the same as one who has heterosexual attraction and deals with issues of overpowering attractions to them that must be held in. Faithful members of the Church everywhere are called upon to live the law of chastity, no matter what their attraction classification is-heterosexual or same-sex. And it is just as difficult for the man struggling with issues of overwhelming attractions to women as the man struggling with overwhelming attractions to men.
Having said all that, I am grateful to have friends who stand by me no matter what happens, and as true friends, love "at all times" and "are born for adversity", as I previously quoted from Proverbs. I am grateful for a Savior who understands my pains and afflictions, and who is my constant North Star when nobody else is there. He stands by me, always. For those of you having these same struggles, I extend my compassion, friendship, and love of God within my heart to you, and say with all the feeling in my heart that I know our Savior lives and loves you, no matter what. You are not dirty, broken, sinful, or anything like that. You are a child of God, as am I. We are all children of our Father in Heaven, and I know this. May this blog, as it continues in its progress, bless many lives and be a strengthening power to many.