…the parched land shall become a pool, and the thirsty lands springs of water…(Isaiah 35:7)

With Everlasting Kindness

By Rex Goode


(Written in 1999)

In my lifelong struggle with homosexuality, I have battled an ongoing feeling that something about me was unacceptable with the Lord, that I did not measure up like other men. I don’t intend that remark to be sexist, but it was my self-comparison to men, not women, that was causing me the majority of my problems.

I don’t believe that my perception of myself as failing any comparison is the cause of my homo-erotic feelings, just that such a perception contributed to the mental torment I heaped upon myself, compounding an already difficult dilemma.

When most men look at each other, they probably see just another man, recognizing that some attributes and circumstances are better, some worse. There may even be a sense of envy or admiration.

When I looked at other men, unless I was feeling particularly self-contained that day, I see someone who possesses a certain something that I felt I lacked, something that filled me with regret that I did not possess that something. Much of my problem was a search to find that certain something in myself, usually failing to see it. When I subscribed to this warped view of the world, I got this immense desire and envy that I could possess that something, make it a part of me and draw it in. In that self-hatred mode, I would do anything to possess that mysterious attribute, even to the point of possessing the man who had that something. In times long past I have fallen for this thinking, only to discover the lie. I can no more possess another man’s good qualities by possessing him than I can become a keychain by carrying it around in my pocket.

Some of these feelings were created in me by the ongoing physical, emotional, and sexual abuse I suffered as a boy. I was told repeatedly that I was not a man and never really would be one. Because I never put up an effective fight to avoid being sexually molested I was accused by the molester himself of being homosexual.

The point of all this is, that much of what ought to be my personal best behavior was impacted by a lot of garbage that doesn’t occur in the lives of all men. I am left wondering then, when I make an error of any kind, what part of it leaves me culpable and what part of it may I excuse by the things that happened to me as a boy.

Because of those things, is it my personal best to abandon myself to a life of cruising and doing the gay bar scene? Is it a life of searching for, finding, and living with a man? Is it to strive for ongoing faithfulness to my wife with only occasional slip-ups? Is it permanent, lasting, eternal faithfulness to my wife?

The truth is, a line upon a line, I am still at the age of forty-three, discovering just what my personal best is. Indeed, my personal best was one thing yesterday, and hopefully is better, higher standard today.

Alone, my personal best was the life I once led, a sad and lonely life of being one person in public, and another in dark places where only one other human being could see me, one who was not likely to tell what we had done together.

It was that miserable teenager who cried out in self-loathing disgust for one to have pity on him. I fared better than the Savior, who looked for someone to have pity on him and found none.

Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none. (Psalms 69:20)

Though he found no comforters, I found one. It was Jesus Christ who found me, heard my prayer, and turned my grossly imperfect personal best into a combined personal best full of eternal promise. At the time, the only covenants between he and I were baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and the ordination to the Aaronic Priesthood. My part in those covenants at the time were little more than faint memories. The covenant that I made that night was the one that brought me back to the others. I promised to abandon the life I had been leading and he promised to help me.

For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee.
In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer.
For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee.
For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee. (Isaiah 54:7–10)

I do not for one moment discount the importance of established covenants required of all of us, but there is a whole realm of personal covenants that we make that will be equally binding on us. The Lord also will honor them if he makes them with us.

I return again and again to drink of that Living Water. Those “great mercies” are real and not coincidentally plural. I now know, after a personal search, that as long as I do not altogether turn away, that his kindness will be everlasting to bring me back from whatever brink of destruction I tempt.

My personal best is insufficient. What I do after sin is what is decisive, not the sin itself. If I harden my heart and excuse myself, then the Lord will honor my agency to destroy myself, but if I look to him, am filled with true godly sorrow, he is faithful and just to forgive.



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