Some years ago a good friend of mine who is gay wrote me this email that he said I could share which illustrates a good example of how God can answers us individually and might go against church teachings. Here is his abbreviated story. Tell me what you think?
I started a long version of my personal story until my computer froze up. Let me offer this shorter version.
I have always been a spiritual being. My spiritual relationship with God has richened as it has developed over time. It has helped me as a missionary and in many leadership positions in the church from Seminary Teacher to Bishop.
I have a strong testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. I even believe that GBH (Gordon B. Hinckley) was called to be a prophet. My faithfulness to the church is witnessed by my desire to walk a mile to church every Sunday at 16 years old rather than follow my family into inactivity.
Even in the face of falling into sexual relations with one of my missionary companions, I wouldn't admit that I was gay. My Mom wanted me to get therapy, I refused since I knew they would tell me to accept it.
I got married to fulfill the requirement to be sealed in the Temple. Shortly after our first daughter was born, I finally admitted to myself that I was gay. Regardless, it didn't change anything. I was still a committed faithful husband and father. Eventually the lack of affection and romantic love that my wife was incapable of giving to me led me to seek that affection elsewhere.
I struggled with my lack of faithfulness. I sought help from God.. It seemed to come and go in waves. I figured I was probably slacking off when things got bad. Eventually, I sought to be released as Elders Quorum President, not because I couldn't do my job but because I didn't think I should. This time in my life brought some of the most powerful spiritual experiences and I felt the power of the keys that I held. It baffled me how I could be propped up by God in the face of my sinful state. I eventually moved because my Bishop would not release me.
Moving didn't make it better. I was then called to be the Bishop in our new ward. I was blown away. How could the Lord inspire such a calling to someone who was so sinful. In prayer God confirmed that I needed to accept the calling. I felt the mantle of leadership fall upon me and cherish the spirit that attended me in that calling. Meanwhile I had no less struggle with seeking affection from men than I had previously. Regardless, I had even greater capacity to help others. I rationalized that one of the reasons that I was in this calling was to help the numerous youth and adults that sought help regarding sexual situations. I figured I could relate and help them more than someone else could and as I mentioned before assist several youth in dealing with SSA (damn I hate that term).
During this time, My second daughter was born with extensive medical problems. The first two years of her life were filled with hospital and doctors visits. She had to be on oxygen full-time and we struggled to make her better. Eventually the only way we could help her lungs was to move back to sea level. I had almost finished my 3 years as Bishop and had started my own business so the move was easy for us to make.
At this time, I decided to make every effort to divorce myself from my sexual plague. I prayed several times a day averaging 60 minutes a day, I read the scriptures for another 60 minutes a day. I spent 4-6 hours a day with the missionaries (since I had been called as ward mission leader). I had greater success in my business and had great success in missionary work but I had absolutely no success in curbing my sexual appetite.
I fell into despair. I plead with God to find out what I could do. Eventually, I gave up everything to know his will. I even opened to the fact that he may have some other calling for me. It took 6 weeks of prayer but I finally received an answer, "I have made you as you are. I love you for who you are and will always love you. Seek to do good to others and learn to love and accept yourself for who you are." I cried like a baby that day. No greater love have I felt than this. All of the "miracles" that I have been able to perform in the lives of others and the great strength the Lord has given me as an instrument in his hands, paled in comparison to the healing in my life with those 3 sentences.
The next day, I told my wife. She found great relief as she was already seeking affection that she was lacking. Though she had not broken our vows, she had committed to leaving me. This relieved her of the guilt she felt in making that decision. It was the greatest "AHA" moment of her life.
Later, I was led by the spirit to resign from the church. In speaking to my Bishop, he raised every objection that I have heard Bridget raise. He even asked if I believed that GBH was the Prophet. I told him that when Pres Hinckley was called as Prophet, the spirit confirmed to me that he was the right man. He asked then how I could act against what the Prophet said. I told him that as a missionary, I taught God's pattern for revealing truth. God calls a Prophet to reveal his truth, he gives it to his people in the spoken or written word. The people are then require to seek spiritual confirmation that what the Prophet says is true. I told him in this instance, God revealed to me that what the prophet said was not true in my life and I could not act against God's will no matter what the Prophet said.
Things have improved since then. I am not burdened by who I am, I am bolstered by it. I have found meaningful loving romantic relationships that I could not find otherwise. I am incredibly blessed by the love of my partner Jeff and how much we both grow from our relationship. My life is so much more meaningful now. I am more successful in my career, in my relationships, in rearing my children, in my spiritual relationship with God. I did not know that there could be this level of happiness in my life. Life is so much more meaningful when you can express the romantic love for another as God intended, especially after going so long without.
I must say that I don't believe that my path is the path for anyone else. But I can and do testify that life is far more meaningful when you follow the will of God. I thought I knew that meant denying who I was and suppressing it. Ultimately, I could only know by asking him.
I personally know nearly a thousand gay Mormons. I can tell you which ones gave up and which of those gave in to God's will. There is a big difference. I always admonish people to follow God's will.
It is possible for God to want some people to try reparative therapy, to deny such would be to deny God. I know that God leads many to accept and develop how he made them and lead lives outside the church that are meaningful and powerful. We are all children of God. Let God direct his children and none else.