Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My Gay Story [part 2]

A continuation of my story. Originally written 29 October 2013. 
Read part 1 / en español
Read part 2 / en español
Read part 3 / en español

For so long I've felt like Abraham, climbing Mount Moriah, building an altar, preparing to give my sacrifice to the Lord, for I love Him. But for so long I've been waiting for His approval of my sacrifice. 
Abraham yielding his greatest sacrifice

I would put what I thought was my greatest sacrifice on the altar and kneel and wait. Nothing. Flustered, I took it back off and swapped it out for something else. Surely this would be the right sacrifice. Kneel and wait. Nothing. Magnify calling. Nope. Try to do my part in making a blended family work. Nada. Serve a mission. Zilch. Full tithe, service, love, charity, scripture study, faith, fasting, you name it. All good things to offer the Lord, but none were the one required for my Abrahamic Test. I started thinking harder. It's mighty hard to place something on the altar that you deny possession of. Especially when deep down you know you might have it, and the Lord definitely knows you have it. So this has been my experience lately: soul-searching and acknowledging possession of something the Lord requires of me. A path that I do not know. This is my required offering unto the Lord upon the altar.

I've never been suicidal, though I understand how someone with this experience could be, and I try not to judge those who have attempted it. I've never thought "I just can't live up to what the Lord expects of me, I'm not good enough," which is a thought that many have. I have made mistakes, yes, committed sins, yes. The thing is, I believe in repentance. 

The Book of Mormon Title page explains its purpose: to convince us that we are never cast off forever because of Christ and His Atonement. Simply put, I believe that is the purpose of all scripture: to persuade us that we aren't cast off. If we are convinced of this, we will repent and come unto Christ. 

The thoughts that I have had more recently have been ones like "Okay, now that you've repented, don't do anything to screw it up." I would try and bug God with "Hey, ya know, if you're cool with it and all, I wouldn't mind if you said my time was up here 'cause I'm doin' pretty good right now." 

A friend of a friend wrote me the following message, which impacted my outlook on this experience:

Dear Brother, [Your friend] has told me a little bit about you. Not your name or anything specific, just that you know that you're gay and how hard that can be in the church. I felt like reaching out to you. I'm sure you have wonderful people in your life and an email from a stranger can't mean much. But I just wanted to be another voice. I wanted to share with you that I love you. I know that our Heavenly Father loves you completely. He loves you exactly as you are. If you were the only person in the world to ever take part in the atonement, the Savior would have suffered it all just for you, because you're worth it.
As I shared some thoughts with another friend, he told me, "You're God's little boy. He'll take care of
I'm God's little boy
you."

People like these two have helped me gain a new perspective. Now I've started to have better thoughts of "Oh, this is my purpose, my path. I can do this."

Dan Bunker

2 comments:

  1. Dan, you are so together. This gospel convinces me that we are loved perfectly. Our Father made each of us, warts and all, knowing we would have to struggle with our weaknesses. But, oh, how He loves us. You have been willing to share with some of us the sacrifice required of you. It is crystal clear that you did not choose it. But you have chosen to put this on the altar. Sacrifice is required of all of us, unbidden and painful. Abraham had an angel intervene. Sometimes we don't see the angels, but they are there, whether they are Grandma B. or your best friend, or some unknown hand. I have had my angels come, over and over, as I have pleaded with God to take away my struggles. Those angels have been my family and my friends who practice what they preach. I love knowing that perfection is completion and that will come in time. In the meantime we are loved, forgiven and watched over and sustained. I love you, Dan.

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