Welcome back to my blog, my friends. I have not written in my blog for a while due to personal life issues and the difficulty I've often encountered in coping with the draining nature of my job. However, I have found the energy and inspiration to compose this blog post, and I hope you find it edifying. Thank you for continuing to read this blog post, and I hope that after a year of posting, I have made some kind of remark here and there that has helped you heal in your journey with same-sex attraction. For those who are friends and family, I hope you have discovered more awareness of the unique situation that SSA individuals (particularly members of the LDS Church) find themselves in. Finally, all of you who are straight, nonmembers, and so on, I hope you have come to know this blog as a source of knowledge and awareness, and as well as motivation for greater love and compassion towards those who experience SSA.
Yesterday, for the first time since December of 2012, God finally granted me the marvelous blessing of being able to walk through the entrance doors into His temple, and to go all the way inside to the baptismal font. My friends and I discussed the symbols of the temple, both inside and on the grounds, drinking in the Spirit which is there in immeasurable strength. As I look back on my experience with the temple that day, some symbols existed for me personally to be edified by and to share as an edifying testimony for all of you to read. The Spirit urged me to write a blog post sometime soon, and finally I experienced something that I simply couldn't resist writing about.
You see, I had my temple trip yesterday all planned out. Things would go smoothly- I would be picked up by my rental car early in the morning, fill out a bit of paperwork, and cheerfully go on my way to do ordinances I'd dug up by doing genealogy a couple Sundays in a row. But since Satan hated the idea of me going, he wanted to throw all he had to make it collapse around my ears...in other words, he threw a tantrum. I was informed by the rental company I had to give them a 50.00 deposit via credit or debit card with a card in my name (which was not possible, due to an accidental overdraw on my account). So, I was without a car. No problem, I reasoned, my friend going with me could just pick me up. He agreed to, but then I suddenly remembered my job interview at 11am, which was just an hour after we'd be done there. I tried everything to make it work, only to have the Spirit prompt me to ask my friend to take me. He agreed. More complications arose, however, because I also had to pick up dry cleaning and go get part of my job portfolio reprinted. My friend took care of all that as well. In short, because of the love of a friend, my spiritual and temporal needs were taken care of.
Christ once said we are His friends, if we do whatsoever He commands us. Obeying such a sentiment would result in us being temple worthy, and as one General Authority once noted, we are never lost when we can see the temple. But sometimes, opposition will arise when we can see the temple, when we can practically feel the recommend in our hands and hear the bishop telling us congratulations on the good work for our worthiness. I realized based on my experience that we cannot expect things to go all perfectly on our journey to the temple and the same goes for our journey with same-sex attraction. We may be arriving at a landmark point of being more capable of physical touch, friendship, callings in the Church, priesthood/temple worthiness, etc., all of which can help alleviate some of the inner conflict we may feel over our same-sex attraction. Then the unthinkable and unprecedented happens, and we may well feel tempted to give up or get discouraged, as I did when my father suggested that my job interview was more important than getting to the temple (for reasons that I would say are plausible, but not totally sound). However, we must remember as I did in that moment who is on our side and why we are doing what we are doing. I remembered my Savior and why I wanted to be back in His holy house. I prayed with all my heart and asked for help, which was then when things started to work out.
If you're at a place in your journey where success is within sight, and the very forces of hell itself seem to be opposing you (or even mild to moderate life issues), remember that is when you are the very closest. Satan will lie and try with all his might to dissuade you from this truth. But I testify to you with all my sincerity of heart that I know Christ lets opposition come at the last part of the night, only to intervene at the last minute because He knows we will remember that experience. And when we remember it, we will cry out to Him in faith and trust again for strength and deliverance, knowing He'll be there.
Another amazing symbol I want to tell you outright, instead of "showing" you, is that I didn't experience what I was expecting when I went to the temple. I did not get a single ordinance done because there were people already there doing ordinances. However, I still felt the Spirit. Sometimes, in our journey we arrive somewhere wonderful...only to complain that we are not actually experiencing the thing itself. Examples might include talking of celestial marriage or attending a wedding reception, seeing happy families together, hearing of people receiving the priesthood or getting endowed, and so forth. However, I know Heavenly Father sends those moments to us to inspire our hearts with love for Him and our fellow man, faith in His Son, Jesus Christ, and hope for a brighter tomorrow. My temporary triumph over Satan has been symbolic, but sweeter than I can possibly describe to you. Keep persevering on your similar journey to a clean, holy place filled with the Spirit, and do not give up because you cannot experience it yet. Let the symbolic experience of it, the bad and good, testify to you that God is there and will bless you with your heart's desires in His time. I love you all! Until next time...