At this time of Easter, a traditional post would focus on the power the resurrection has in direct correlation to same-sex attraction. We all know that because SSA is a weakness of sorts, though providing much strength if nourished properly, the resurrection will remove it in the afterlife and we will become whole. All the tears, heartache, pain, and so on that is associated with it will disappear at that point. All of us who have a sure witness of the Savior's atoning sacrifice know this with certainty. As such, I wish to point our discussion in a different direction so we can dig a bit deeper into this particular aspect of the Savior's Atonement. It is a good time to delve into both the letter and the spirit of this particular doctrine.
What do the simplest parts of the letter say? We know that through the resurrection of Christ, a restoration of both body and spirit will be brought about, which references our aforementioned closed topic. However, it also brings about a restoration of our works done in the flesh, charity for charity, faith for faith, and hope for hope. Those of us who belong to the restored gospel understand that these principles extend far beyond knowledge or even daily activity. They become part of who we are. But the question, naturally, is how do they relate to same-sex attraction and the resurrection?
This is where we start delving into the spirit of the resurrection. You see, because these principles become who we are as disciples of Christ, naturally they must be processes in daily living. First, we have charity. For every time that we exercise patience, kindness, happiness at others' triumphs & successes, humility, or any other characteristic of charity, that will reflect on our character in the resurrection. And naturally, the challenge of same-sex attraction will require charity in several circumstances. Consider a few of the more common ones, such as those who unrighteously judge, criticize, shun, or even misunderstand those in the Church (or outside it, for that matter) who live with SSA. Anyone can respond back with catty remarks or contentious words, but it takes true grace as a disciple of Christ to respond with His pure love-even charity. And as we read in the Book of Mormon, "it shall be restored to him according to his deeds" (Alma 42:27). I would rather be the individual who can be restored unto love in this life and the next, because I drew upon the grace of God to be loving.
Next, we can look at faith. In order to live certain principles of the gospel, such as the Law of Chastity or proper dating and courtship, it requires faith in the words of the prophets and apostles, as well as the words of our Savior Himself. We have to receive their words "not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe" (1 Thessalonians 2:13). Why? Because, as the scripture states, it works effectively when we do-it yields fruit. Faith is also required when relationships do not work out, other SSA friends betray/hurt us, arguments rise against faithful living amid same-sex attraction, and when other demons of life fight against us, like mental illness and addiction. But, in reference to faith, I have faith that none of us would be called unto this battle unless we would walk away as stronger warriors of light. The Lord was wise in His choices of who would bear this burden, because He knew that through Him, that burden could become a blessing and a strength to those around us. Do we want to be restored unto self-confidence and faith in Christ now and for eternity, or is it ultimately desirable to give in or give up (if only temporarily) to chance at having doubts forever?
Finally, the spirit of hope. We cannot have hope, unless we have faith. It is impossible, because faith kindles the fire of hope. Indeed, so powerful is that flame that Paul taught, "for we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?" (Romans 8:24) In our darkest hours with same-sex attraction, hope is what saves us from our grief, distress, loneliness, depression, and worse. We have the ability to overcome because of the brightness of hope that the resurrection of Jesus Christ brings. Hope for potential marriage and family, hope for righteous friends, hope for emotional and spiritual support, hope for laughter, hope for all good things is what sustains us. And it is my prayer that as we are in this Easter season, we can ponder on the sacrifice of our Savior, because He is the reason why we can have a "perfect brightness of hope" (2nd Nephi 31:20), pressing forward and enduring to the end to have eternal life with Him and the Father. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is so much more than overcoming SSA in the next life- it is about living with it in the here and now with perfect joy and optimism. And I have love, faith, and hope in my heart enough that I can testify this is true. I hope you all have a wonderful Easter!