Friday, October 1, 2010

Patience and Mortal Afflictions

In preparation for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' biannual General Conference, I would like to share the following message about patience and mortal afflictions, namely same gender attraction, which is an issue very close to my heart, as it has deeply affected my brother, whom I love very much.

Many of us are afflicted with various desires and temptations throughout our life: alcohol, tobacco, pornography, sex outside of marriage, same-gender attraction, cheating, stealing, violence, abuse, etc.

Regarding mortal afflictions (particularly same gender attraction), in a message given to Evergreen International, on September 18, 2010, Bishop Keith B. McMullin stated the following:

The Lord views us in the context of our immortal possibilities, not in the light of our mortal limitations. He “esteemeth all flesh in one; [and] he that is righteous is favored of God” (1 Nephi 17:35). He does not view us as forever poor or halt or maimed or blind, though He is compassionate toward these conditions and knows the purpose of each in the lives they affect. Mortal limitations are with us only for a season. They were not part of us before birth and will not be present in our lives beyond the grave.
“Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose” (“The Family: A Proclamation to the World”). It is vital to our happiness; it is everlasting and unchanging.
Same-gender attraction is a mortal challenge. As with all such limitations, in and of itself it is neither evil nor sinful. For example, same-gender attractions that result in genuine friendships and beloved, righteous associations are desirable and praiseworthy.
But as with all mortal conditions, if the inclination of same- or opposite-gender attraction leads a person to violate the laws of God or to mar one’s immortal possibilities, this inclination needs to be controlled and overcome. Sexual thoughts and behaviors, except for those within the bonds of marriage between husband and wife, fall into this category. Conquering them becomes part of this mortal probation, part of what must be done as we “prepare to meet God” (Alma 34:32).
Most importantly, I (this blog's author) believe and know that through Jesus Christ, we can overcome any and all difficulties we may face. "For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4: 15).
And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities (Alma 7: 11-12).
I invite you to learn more of the Lord's Atonement and doctrine by listening to what His Prophets and Apostles will say tomorrow and Sunday in General Conference.  "What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same" (Doctrine & Covenants 1: 38).


Christy said...

Patience is something I certainly need to keep working on. Thanks for sharing the message!

Rock Solid said...

Thank you for this message. It is comforting to know that the Lord will never tempt us above that which we can bear. We are on this earth to overcome by faith.

M Fletch Fotos said...

These words and pictures will help me in the future to remember that there is ALWAYS HOPE and that continuing to exercise some kind of patience in all of our mortal afflictions IS necessary and that though the supreme love and atoning blood of our Savior Jesus Christ, we ALL can be cleaned up before we come before the throne of our Heavenly Father.