Sunday, May 8, 2011

Gay Fast

This weekend, I decided to go on a gay fast.  I decided not to post on my blog, read others' posts/journals on the subject, or try and talk to anyone about the struggle.  I focused my energy on mere living and on studying other, more reputable avenues of perspective, like the scriptures, words of the prophets, and books approved and published by the Church.  I had high hopes for the weekend.  I thought that if I just left it all behind for a few days, the temptations and frustrations would subside through sheer distance alone. I wondered if maybe my problems were a result of my constant dwelling on them and I wanted to put some space in between them and me.

I've come away with mixed feelings.  I definitely think that reading Gospel messages on the subject has been helpful, but the issue deals with volume.  There's just not that much out there approved and published by the Church to really acquire a great library of information on the subject of homosexuality.  By contrast, there are dozens of blogs that address the subject through varying degrees of eternal perspective, and they all contain truth.  Reading church material on the subject was at best hypothetically insightful and at worst frustrating for the lack of personal application.

I must admit, I failed somewhat at putting distance between me and gay.  A friend texted me some pretty salacious material, material I didn't ask for or welcome. While I didn't dwell on it and I removed it from my phone immediately, the memory of the picture he sent still ran through my head more than I would have liked. It also led to what could have become a pornography binge, as I became really tempted to seek out more material like what my friend sent.  And it led to a fight between him and me, as I can't have my friends actively trying to tempt me like he was.  That fight was fueled by my feelings of attraction to him as well as by my rage at some insanely disrespectful things he said to me about our relationship as we argued about the night's events. Definitely not a very gay-free environment last night, and thank goodness I was 250 miles away from him because that picture was REALLY tempting.

One of the other things I couldn't help but laugh at was the proliferation of nudity this weekend offered me.  Aside from the aforementioned picture message, I was visiting Provo and driving up to my friend's apartment, when six guys, wearing nothing but tennis shoes and baseball caps, streaked down the quad outside.  Seriously??!?  I can't have one gay-free weekend?

Still, there were some good insights that came.  The first came after the fight with my friend, when I was flipping through my grandpa's old scriptures.  I was pausing at each of the highlighted sections, hoping his insights would speak to me in some way.  I just pleaded, "Please Grandpa, talk to me.  Tell me a secret from the other side."  I found an answer that gave me some comfort in 1 Nephi 11:6, wherein Nephi is shown some of the mysteries of the earth, but it was only because he believed in Jesus Christ that he could see the things of the Spirit.  I appreciated reading this, because I, like almost everyone else, wonder what is coming for me and what this struggle is preparing me for.  I know that I may not find out in advance, but as I put my faith and trust in Jesus Christ, some of those mysteries may be revealed to me in time, just as they were according to Nephi's faith and preparation.

Another came during Sunday School today.  Sometimes it's difficult to feel the Spirit in a student ward's Sunday School, but occasionally the messages come through so clearly that it's difficult to ignore, even among the jovial twitterpations of my peers.  The scriptures are found in Matthew 18.  In verses 8 and 9, Jesus uses a parable to explain how to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven when he advises man to pluck out the offending eye or cut off the offending foot, because "it is better for thee to enter life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire." I think this verse applies to me and my friend.  As much as it pains me to say this, I feel like I need to cut him out of my life to limit his influence on my decisions.  I'll enter life maimed for the lack of a friend, but hopefully it will be worth the sacrifice if things become easier.

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