It's Friday night, and I have a little time before I head out for the evening, so I thought I would post a little bit more.
So I talked about how I've always had same-sex attraction. Let me talk about my testimony. I've always had a testimony of the church. I was born into an active LDS family. We were active growing up. My dad was in a couple of bishoprics and served as the bishop. Mom was always in Relief Society or Primary or something. I always liked church. I always liked going to it. I felt a tremendous respect and responsibility towards handling the sacrament when I was made a Deacon. I never really fit in with most of the other guys, in that they were pretty normal teenagers and didn't pay much attention or reverence to church. I had one really great friend in the ward that was very much like me - except for the SSA part.
I always felt like I knew the church was true, and went on a mission without ever really questioning anything. When I got into the MTC all of the other Elders were always talking about these great conversion stories of theirs. I was worried, because I didn't have one. I began to doubt, but I also began to desire an experience that would be burned into my soul to keep me from ever being able to deny the truth of it all. I got that, sort of. After a week of low productivity because I had given into this peer pressure of needing a grand testimony experience, I was sitting in the Tuesday night fireside. Elder Marvin J Ashton was speaking that night - and he will forever be one of my favorites Apostles because of this - and he related the experience of how he obtained his testimony. He was a young man, on a mission, who had been in the church his whole life. He had been faithful his whole life and had always strived to do what was right (this all started to sound familiar to me). He was worried that he had never received this grand "burning in the bosom" and began to doubt (hmmm, just like me). After much fasting, study and prayer, one night he was on his knees pleading with the Lord to grant him this burning testimony. While he was praying an audible voice said to him, "You know it's true, now get off you knees and get back to work." Hooo-leeeee-cow!!! When he said those words it was as if I had been hit in the head with a sledgehammer. Never before had words come to me with such force as those did to me at that time. It was amazing. From that point on, I have never doubted.
So that was one of my first great realizations that the church really was true. It was great and I will never forget it. Heck, here we are almost 16 years later and I still can remember it as if it was yesterday. That experience has helped me more than once when I have began to falter due to SSA. Those words frequently return to my mind "You know it's true."
Well, off to my blind date. Hope it works out well. Moreso, I hope she's one of those 1 in 100 girls that I am attracted to.