Tribute to President Hinckley

31 January 2008

A good friend sent me this in a email. I found it very touching so I decided to share it all with you. Thanks Felicity for sharing it with me. :)

If you cannot see it, you can click here to see it.

The Love of My Life

Sometimes I feel like the love of my life is gone from me. She is still where she has always been and where I left her, but I have not seen or felt her for a very, very long time. Oh, how I miss her smooth edges, the solace that she brought to my mind, her sweet touch that embraced my whole, the way she could help me solve problems, the awesome workout that she gave me, her cool, yet warm touch, the beautiful sounds she made when she sang to me, the way she was my refuge, her amazing kiss, the sexy, little outfits I would wear when I went to see her, and most of all, her beautiful smell.

All of you might think I am crazy, but I miss the pool! She is wonderful and I am definitely going through chlorine withdrawals right now. I wish I had more time to go and swim. Hopefully as soon as high school state (Timpview is going to rock the pool) is done with weekend, I will have more time to visit her. She is wonderful and I need her more than ever right now!

Who Are You?

23 January 2008
Before I start this post, I want to start off by saying thank you to all of you who sent your support to me and my family, for the prayers, and for the love you have for me. My brother turned out to be alright. He had extensive cuts and bruises on his body and he separated his shoulder. There were no broken bones and there was no super serious damage. They released him from the hospital a day later because they wanted to keep him overnight for observation. Everything has turned out fine. I thank God for blessing our family and keeping my brother alive. I do not know what I would do without him.

I watched Drop Dead Gorgeous this weekend with some of my swimmers. When it got to the part with the anorexic pageant winner saying, "Who are you?" to Becky, I really started to think about who I am. I do not know why this movie struck me so hard at this moment, but it did. I finished watching the movie and then I went to a friend's birthday party. After the party, I thought about who I am. I started to pray to God to help me discover the answer to my question of who I am. I got much more of an answer than who I am. I learned about myself, my gifts, and how they define me.

I was told numerous times that I am a child of God and that He loves me no matter what (I know this but it still feels good to have it reinforced every once in a while). Then I felt that God was pleased with me because I have stopped let my "gayness" and SSA define my whole persona. I have been discovering over the past 6 months that it really does not matter who you are attracted to. What matters is what you do with that part of yourself. God also told me that because of have stopped letting SSA define me, I have noticed a decline in my problems with it. It does not bother me and cause qualms with life, unless I act upon it. I can live life happily. I also found out that my divine potential is limited only to myself. If I do what is right, then my potential is limitless, but if I do not do what is right, I limit my potential.

After receiving these great pieces of information, I received a few tidbits of other information that I really do not want to share with all of you. I will give some general information though. I now firmly believe that having SSA can be a gift or a curse. It just depends on how you look at it and how you place it in your life. I also found out that certain gifts that I have help define me as a person, but not my whole persona. Having SSA is one of those gifts that define a part of me. There are many parts to me and they have all been given to me by God. He knows what will be best for me, the gifts that I need to grow to my greatest potential, and how far I can be pushed for growth.

He gave me SSA for a reason and I know that I have had unique experiences here that I would not have had if I did not have it. Also, I do not think my testimony would be where it is today if I did not have SSA.


16 January 2008
Whenever I see the word "fragile," I think of the movie, A Christmas Story. Today, I do not like the word fragile because I want to laugh because of what I think of and I want to cry because of what happened a little while ago.

About thirty minutes ago, my mom called me at work. I was busy coaching so I did not answer my phone. She left me a message telling me that my brother was in a terrible accident. The accelerator on his delivery truck (he works as a delivery man for DHL) became stuck while he was on the freeway. He started picking up a lot of speed and then the brakes in the truck failed and he could not stop. He thought to collide into a barrier to protect others and to allow himself to take most of the damage. Right now, he is in the hospital and I do not know what is going on. I do not know how bad his condition is and I cannot reach my mom or dad. I am kind of freaking out right now!

All of this happening right now has made me think about how fragile life is. One moment, you can be living and then next, you are pushing daisies. Be thankful for your life and love and worship God the best way that you know how. Then when the time comes, you can say to God that you believe that you lived a good live and lived it the best way that you could have. It also has made me think about the constant need for daily repentance. Repentance should not be put off if you can help it because you never know when it might be you time.

Life is fragile...

I Will Go and Do

13 January 2008
"I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded..." (1 Nephi 3:7). How many times to we hear that in our Church? I think that we hear it all too often. Jeffrey R. Holland thinks the same when he stated this in a devotional, "I confess that I wince a little when I hear that promise quoted so casually among us" (The Will of the Father in All Things, 1989). When we say, "I will go and do...," we do not understand the magnitude of what we are saying if we say it casually. We are rather stating a fact about a principle of the Church that we think that we are living.

The question arises, do we think that Nephi understood the magnitude of what he was saying when he said this? I would say that he had a perfect knowledge of what saying that entailed and it is obvious in his actions. Nephi had a strong testimony and had strong faith in the Lord. This is evident when he went to retrieve the plates without question and when it did not work the first time, he rallied his brothers and went a second time.

Then another question arises, what about when he was commanded to kill Laban and he did not want to perform the task? I would say that the main reason why he did not want to kill Laban was because it went against what he had been taught and it did not feel right to him.

Then the question comes up, why did the Lord command Laban to be killed? Some may say that it is because Laban was wicked and he stood in the path for the righteous. I believe that this is true, but there is more to the story. Laban had two chances to be righteous. When Laman first went to him to ask for the plates, Laban said no and chased Laman out of the gates with his guards. Laban could have done the righteous thing and prayed about it to see if he should give the plates to Laman, but he did not. Then when Nephi and his brothers brought him all of their silver and gold, Laban could have gone off to pray about it again to see if it was right, but he did not. All that he wanted was the gold and silver, so he took it and kept the plates. Laban's past wickedness gave the Lord the need to kill him because God could not have his people going to the Americas without scriptures. If that had happened, his people would have forgotten him even easier and they probably would have lasted in righteousness for a generation or two.

Now that you see the reasons why Laban had to die, the questions are brought up in most minds, why did Nephi have to kill Laban and how come God did not kill Laban himself? I would argue that Nephi had to kill Laban because it would cause him to become the great person that we know him as today. This was his defining task in his life. Nephi had two choices. Number one was to follow his heart and instincts or the natural man inside of him. Number two was to follow God. We know that he chose to follow God. Since he chose to follow God, he became a great leader, he was willing to follow God in all things, and he had the Spirit with him constantly. He was also able to do the hard things, like go to war against his brothers and their people and forgive them, more easily.

We do not know how Nephi would have turned out if he had chose to follow the natural man, but I know for a surety that he would not have been the same person. Now that we know a little bit more about the magnitude of what Nephi said, we can apply it to our lives.

I personally believe that his story can be related to all the MoHos in the world. Right now, a lot of us are going through a period of growth and development, like Nephi. We also have two different choices that we can make. Number one is to follow the natural "gay" man or our instincts, attractions, and heart. Number two is to follow God, his teachings, and overcome the natural "gay" man inside of us (I do not mean get rid of the "gay" man inside of us). This is our defining task for our lives, like Nephi. We can choose either or because we have the agency to do it. What will your choice be? Will you go and do what the Lord has commanded or will you go down a different path?

Note: I would like all of you to think about this. I don't want comments defending your actions and decisions because I can really care less (I have already heard a lot of these in comments and emails and I have probably heard most of the defenses you can give me). I also don't want the comments saying that God told you to be gay, because I don't believe it and I want some actual thoughts besides those in my comments. Give me some meat, arguments, and flaws in my thoughts. I would really appreciate it if you would follow this criteria.

The Quest for Love

10 January 2008
I found another wonderful quote in Truth and Beauty: A Friendship, by Ana Patchett the other day about love. It is very interesting and I think that it equates with what a lot of MoHos, including myself once upon a time, believe.
Lucy thought that all she needed was one person, the right person, and all the empty space would be taken away from her. But there was no one in the world who was big enough for that. She believed that if she had a jaw that was like everyone else's jaw, she would have found that person by now. She was trapped in a room full of mirrors, and every direction she looked in she saw herself, her face, her loneliness. She couldn't see that no one else was perfect either, and that so much of love was the work of it. She had worked on everything else. Love would have to be charmed.
I remember that I once believed that love had to be charmed to. I felt that if it did not work out right away, it definitely was not meant to be. It was also so easy to fall "in love" with someone I was attracted to, who was another MoHo, and who felt the same way that I did. This meant, in my opinion before I changed it, that being with another MoHo was what was meant to be for me. That love was supposed to be easy, full of passion, and charmed.

I was like Lucy. I did not see the fact that love had to be worked on and that the love that was worked on usually lasted longer. About six months ago, I noticed this. I soon found myself loving some beautiful women that I thought I would never love because of the lack of physical attraction and passion. I found that there was much more to love than the physical attraction and passion. There was a deep emotional love for them. One that would not leave and one that I could not ignore. I was attracted to them in different ways than the physical and I still am. It was an amazing feeling to not be controlled by raging hormones and to know that I can love women and possibly spend the rest of my life with them.

I believe that a lot of MoHos and the rest of the world get caught up, like Lucy, in the charmed love that is shown in Hollywood movies. That love can take every pain away and that it is perfect. Love is definitely not perfect and charmed. There is a lot of work to do and it may not work out the first time, second time, or third time. The point is that all of us need to keep working at it to try and make it as perfect as we possibly can. Sure a mixed orientation marriage (MOM) is not perfect, but we must remember that no relationship is perfect and that they all need to be worked on. I believe that we should not give up hope on MOMs. They can work if both, the man and the woman, are willing to put forth the effort.

Love needs to be worked on constantly and it is not magical (I think that love can be magical at times though).


06 January 2008
This is another great snippet from Truth and Beauty: A Friendship, by Ann Patchett.
Lucy was ashamed of the way she ate. She felt enormous shame at the idea of having food on her chin or breaking out into a sweat when she swallowed. She was ashamed of her teeth because she could not close her mouth. She was ashamed of her eyelid, which had stayed swollen off and on ever since that surgery in Aberdeen. It drove her crazy and she was certain that everyone noticed it. I told her constantly that those were things she should in no way be ashamed of, that shame should be reserved for the things we choose to do, not the circumstances that life puts on us.

This part of the book reminded me of my past. I remember when I first went to my bishop and how I felt much shame for the things that I had done and because I deal with SSA. I was right, according to Ann Patchett and me, to be ashamed for my actions, but I should not have been ashamed of the fact that I deal with SSA. It was not until my counselor told me that it is perfectly normal to deal with SSA. He told me that I am a normal person and that I should live life to its fullest. I am not abnormal and neither are any of you!

Take Ann Patchett's advice and do not be ashamed for who you are and what you deal with. Everybody has there follies and weaknesses, but it does not make them abnormal. Each one and everyone one of us is not abnormal. We are normal people dealing with SSA. In my opinion, I say that we all should get over the fact that we deal with SSA and continue to live productive lives. It does not help to dwell on it and it can make life worse by dwelling on it.