I wish I could fully express what I've felt in my heart the last couple of days, but I know that the feelings I've felt can't be expressed properly here. I was reading a book recently and really received a strong impression regarding God's love for me. What became really clear to me was that God isn't judgmental. God doesn't judge us the way we often judge each other. There is nothing but love in his attitude towards us. This doesn't mean I don't believe we won't be judged for our sins. What it does mean is that there is no judgment behind it, at least not as we define it here in our mortal realm, if that makes any sense. I just felt so strongly that God views us with an eye of perfect knowledge and doesn't judge us the way we judge each other and ourselves. Words can't express the thought I'm trying to communicate, which is somewhat frustrating, but I just wanted to share this because I know so many of us get down on ourselves for so many various reasons, and God isn't viewing us in that way at all. So many times in my life I have felt God is disappointed in me or frustrated by my continually making the same mistakes or angry because I've done something wrong, and this spiritual impression made me see things so differently. I've known for some time that God loves me unconditionally, but I saw something different when this experience happened. We are truly here to learn and have different experiences, and God is not sitting there eyeing us, saying to himself, "Oh, he messed up again," or "What is wrong with him? Why can't he learn this lesson?". He is simply watching us with love and support and knows exactly what each of us is facing and just loves us. I really felt that life is for learning, not for punishing or condemning. So many times we do that to ourselves and each other and feel like failures or feel feelings of disappointment or self-loathing when we screw up. I just felt so strongly that God doesn't have those feelings towards us. He is simply filled with perfect, absolute love. It's a concept I certainly don't understand fully because it's hard in this mortal existence not to transfer our human feelings onto God, but I really feel he isn't passing judgment on us; He is simply loving us and helping us and thinks no less of us when we fail. Again, my words are clumsy and inadequate. My ideal would be to somehow transfer the feelings I felt to all of you who struggle because the experience really gave me hope and made me realize that God is not in the condemning business; He is truly a loving Father.
You know, I've really been learning a lot lately about myself and Heavenly Father and my relationship with Him, and the irony is that I'm learning a lot of different things from a different perspective. I'm kind of living my life with one foot still in the church and one outside of it, and I'm feeling that no matter what I do, God loves me more than I can ever possibly understand (at least in this life), and that things are going to be okay.
A great irony in my life is that I still believe quite strongly that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is God's true church on the earth, but as I've read the words of the Prophet and Apostles (specifically concerning this issue) lately, I just find that I can't seem to reconcile the reality that is my life with what I believe and know to be true, and that whether my acting on my gay feelings is God's will or not, somehow things are going to be okay. It doesn't make sense to me, but it feels right somehow, and I don't understand why. All I know is that God sees life all at the same time as opposed to the linear way in which we view it and that he loves me and knows what is best for me, and somehow living my life with Jonah at this time in my life seems like what I'm supposed to do. I keep asking God if I'm being deceived or if I'm rationalizing my actions. I still don't know the answers to those questions for sure, but somehow I feel that I was meant to be with Jonah, and that things will be okay, and I guess that will have to suffice.
You know, the other day a friend was asking me how I liked graduate school, and I was telling him all the good things about it and said that when I prayed about where I should go for graduate school two years ago that it was very clear to me spiritually that I needed to go to this school. And that is how I met and feel in love with Jonah. And my friend (who doesn't know about my sexual preferences) said, "Well, maybe that's where you will meet your wife," and I felt a strong impression that Jonah was the person I was meant to be with. Again, as far as what I've believed and known to be true, that seems contradictory, but somehow it seems right. I just feel I have to trust that Heavenly Father knows what He's doing and that this choice is right for me right now.
You know, I remember when my sister married her husband. They both felt so strongly that they needed to get married, and yet, to the rest of my family (including myself) it seemed so wrong, and we were all against it. Now, five years later, I see that God sees all from beginning to end, and I believe the direction he gave them, even though it seemed contradictory and hasty at the time, was probably for the best for her, him, her step-kids, and their daughter. It seemed so wrong, and yet now I don't believe it was, and it took me some time to get to that point. I guess the point I'm making is that somehow being with Jonah feels like the right thing to do even though on a gospel level, it seems wrong. I don't know, but I do know we love each other.
One final thought: also as I was reading this book this quote stuck in my head:
"...earth life is a gift. It is a school to learn how love manifests in the physical dimensions where bodies and emotions exist. But the school has many playgrounds, and those need to be used. The physical life is meant to be enjoyed. This is one reason you have been given the senses. Be good people. Have fun and enjoy yourselves. Enjoy the simple yet abundant pleasures of life while not harming other people or other things, like nature.
"Be more gentle... Don't do harm to others."
Be the best, most loving person you can be. Less judging, more loving; both to ourselves and others. That's what the Spirit was really telling me this week.