I've started reading Gordon B. Hinckley's biography, which is something I have intended to read for a while, but never seemed to have the time to do. I think he is a wonderful man and a wonderful example. Now that school is over, I have time to read about him.
In the book, he is quoted as saying, "I have done nothing more than try to do what has been asked of me, and I've tried to do it the best I could." When I read those words, they really resonated with me. I read them six or seven times in a row because they really hit me. A voice said, "That's what you are doing, too."
Now certainly, by the standards of my religion, I am not living my life they way I have been taught to. And certainly I am not equating myself with Gordon B. Hinckley. But what struck me is that he is living his life the best he knows how under the circumstances life has dealt him, and I do feel that I am trying to do the same in my own way. And it's nice to know that I'm not competing with Gordon B. Hinckley. God is measuring me by my own merits, not by somebody else's.
In spite of the fact that I may not be living my life according to the gospel plan as it has been laid out to me, I am doing the best I feel I am able to do with the life I have, and that is very comforting.
In spite of the fact that I am in a gay relationship (and a very fulfilling one at that) which is contrary to what I have been taught to do, I am trying to be in that relationship adhering to the values my religion has taught me. Jonah and I remain chaste, we plan on getting married (as legally as we can), I still go to church, I still treat others in as Christ-like a manner as I am able, I still adhere to many of the tenets my religion has blessed me with, I still love my religion very much. And though there may be some who would argue that the choices I'm making in life are sinful, I have to say that wrong or right, these choices have brought me more happiness and peace than I felt when I was trying to live my life "right." I feel closer to God and have a greater understanding of his love for me. And whether I understand the reasons or not, I feel that things are okay as far as my standing with the Lord is concerned.
I don't believe in black and white. Nor do I believe that God doesn't understand his plan better than I do. And right now this path is right, and I trust that it's right.
I am doing what I've been asked to do in life as well as I can, and that is enough.
There are so many of us out there who beat ourselves up because we can't do what has been required of us and then spend our days feeling guilty and worthless because we fall short. I spent a great deal of my life feeling that way all the time, and it just made me uptight and miserable. Coming out was a difficult transition, and as I've said many, many times in my blog, I do not necessarily advocate the choices I've made for anybody but me. They are my choices and mine alone, and I will deal with whatever the consequences are myself. But I will say that since I've chosen this path, guilt and misery seem so far removed from me. What I have learned is that God loves me so much more than I ever realized, and he just wants all of us to be happy. Right now, this is where my happiness lies, and I do not regret it. I've come a long way since I started this blog (others might argue for the negative, but I disagree). Coming out and having this new life with Jonah have turned out to be very positive influences in my life.
I am grateful for the life Heavenly Father has blessed me with, and I strive every day not to disappoint him. I believe I am doing that as best I can, and that's what counts. I believe when all is said and I done, I will be very pleased with how I chose to lead my life. I'm not even talking about my sexuality now, but just in how I treated others, and in my relationship with my Heavenly Father. I think I am doing well. I hope so, anyway.
No matter how you choose to live your life, whether it be in the church, out of the church, gay, straight, married, single, whatever, at least let go of hate and guilt and self-loathing and misery. Heavenly Father doesn't want that for any of us. I know no matter what else, Heavenly Father is at least happy that I am happy right now. That doesn't even mean I'm necessarily making the choices he wants me to (although I really don't know anymore), but I do know he's happy that I have found some peace and happiness in my life.
I truly view where I am now as opposed to where I was a couple of years ago as a very good thing. And good is what God is all about.