Sunday, November 25, 2012

The First Person

It’s time for another SSA missionary story! And oddly enough, this one happened before I outed myself. It actually happened this summer while I was getting ready and preparing myself for coming out. I guess maybe I should start with how that started, back in August of this year.

Like I think I’ve mentioned in previous posts, not even a page into the introduction of “Voices of Hope”, I had the sudden impression (before I read anything that Ty had written about speaking up) that my secret about my same-sex attraction would not be a secret for much longer. That struck me because I had NEVER planned on coming out. Sure, I’d told friends as I felt I needed to, but I never thought I’d be public (to the point where I’ve now outed myself three times in church to help me prove the point that I want to bring up). As I read on in the introduction, I felt it take hold of me and push me toward doing it. I wanted to help other people see that it’s possible to live the gospel, despite whatever challenge you’re facing!

That left me with one question. Would I do it? I wasn’t sure, but I decided to give myself some time to pray and figure it out and make sure it’s what Heavenly Father wanted me to do. I knew I had to at least tell a certain list of people in person if I could before making it public knowledge. The list filled up to probably about a dozen people, including a friend of mine (let’s call him James).

Around mid-August, I got the chance to hang out with James, so I took the chance to tell him about my SSA. After telling him about it and about why I was divulging my secret to him at that time, I was surprised to hear his response: “I’ve dealt with some of that too.”

Did I hear that right? I needed that clarified. “You deal with SSA?” I responded. The conversation proceeded well. It was amazing to me that James dealt with SSA. He said it didn’t really affect him much in his life, but it was still there. However, it blew me away more that I was the first person he’d ever told. He had never told his parents or girls he’d dated (he’s currently not married) or any of his roommates.

It made me really respect him that he had been able to deal with his SSA all the way into his twenties without telling anyone and yet he was firm in the gospel and seemed to understand (maybe more than I did) why he had SSA. I also felt really honored to be the first person he told. To me, that shows a lot of trust in a person. Two years ago, I knew that Elder Call was that person, who I trusted more than anyone else because I knew I could trust him with the secret of my SSA.

It’s amazing what the Spirit can do and how it can direct our lives, bringing us together to the people we need most in our lives. To me, it hearkens back to the original theme of this blog: for a wise purpose. We don’t know what’s going on, necessarily, but the Lord has a plan and as long as we trust in His will, we will get where we need to go.

To close, again, I want to remind you of one thing: no matter what your trials are and no matter what weaknesses you have, remember, through the Atonement, it gets better.

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