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

Hath Been My Support

By Rex Goode


A reflection of the support I have received through the years, especially a testimony of the marvelous power of Christ. Written in 1996, this essay is a little out of date with my life, but I can’t seem to lose it.

In the beginning of 1996, I accepted a job that would take my family from Portland, Oregon to Columbus, Ohio. In leaving, I was overwhelmed at all of the people that had supported me over the years as I had struggled with same-sex attraction. I posted this essay to the Internet. It had its effect, as I had hoped. However, it also was used when I arrived in Columbus to cast doubt on my intentions. As with everything, we take risks when we are open. As a result of the events that transpired in connection with this essay, I was able to talk to the local stake president about my need for a local Evergreen group. Shortly after that, the Columbus, Ohio Evergreen group was established with the blessings of that stake president. That led to doing firesides in my area and traveling with the group facilitators around the state to talk with priesthood leaders about same-sex attraction. I have visited with a few stakes and a regional welfare conference.

As always, from difficulties arise many great blessings. I keep this essay around, even though it is quite out of date regarding my life.

In a very few short days, I will hit the road for my new life in Columbus, Ohio. From the day I leave Salt Lake City after meeting some of you in Boise and Salt Lake, I will be out of touch with Disciples and Evergreen for a long time. I have come to rely heavily on various forms of support to feel good and like I am following a good course.

I wish to pay tribute to the people who have provided me with support all along the way. My wife has been both the reason and the help in the path I have chosen to not act upon my homosexual temptations. Despite that some say we cannot love those of the opposite sex, I affirm that I love my wife and will do anything to remain her husband, even deny myself of those things which powerful urges implore me to seek.

My children also deserve much credit. For every step I have taken to reveal myself to others, I have had some warn me to tell no one else. Some said that I should not take the step of informing my children–that they are too young to understand, that it would affect them adversely to know the nature of their father’s weaknesses. Those warnings were far from the truth. My children have been wonderful and they deserved to know why their father has not been optimal. I love them.

My parents also have been a form of support. My stepfather’s ongoing love for my children has given me a new perspective on him that I never had as a child. My mother has always acted as if she believed I was destined to be great. It was largely her belief in me that convicted my heart continually when I was covertly not being the young man she thought I was.

Over twenty-four years of living in one area, I have developed many good friendships over the years which have further reinforced my determination to live according to gospel standards. Not all of these friends have believed as I do, but all have been thoroughly supportive of my choices.

Two chapters of Evergreen have taken me into their numbers and shown me the love that can exist between men. In their warm embraces I have found great solace and strength to carry on.

A major turning point in my life began in the middle of November of 1994, when I saw an announcement for the Disciples mailing list posted on the ZION mailing list, of all places. It assured me of a place where I could openly speak of my same-sex attractions and past homosexual encounters in a forum of anonymity and support, both support for me and for the teachings of modern prophets and apostles. Until the moment I saw that announcement, I had stubbornly refused to admit that I was sexually attracted to men. It is amazing how one can deny that which is so thoroughly true. The part of me that knew it was true always was silenced by the part of me that did not want it to be true. In that very quick moment, I finally confessed to myself and began the process of overcoming the ashamedness I had. That ashamedness was unrighteous, because in being ashamed of my past, it included being ashamed of the miraculous power of the Lord Jesus Christ in helping me to overcome and remain faithful to my wife and my covenants.

Another significant day was the day I mistakenly posted to the Disciples2 address instead of the anonymous address provided. Suddenly, there was my full name associated with “The Changling”, everyone there (and for all I knew elsewhere) associating the name of “Rex Goode” with homosexuality. Before I had a chance to experience fear, the calm voice of assurance came to me that it was the will of the Lord that my name be known. I was reminded of a day about ten years ago, sitting in a sacrament meeting in Tempe, Arizona, among strangers, that the Spirit whispered that the Lord would expect me to one day be open and honest about my struggles. I refused the Spirit that day and for many years after, yet I could not resist the Spirit and remain faithful.

From the day I accidentally destroyed my anonymity, I posted my story on LDS-NET, ZION, JOSEPH, SCOUTS-LDS, and the mailing list for The Association of Mormon Letters. I also have been open and honest about myself on the alt.religion.mormon newsgroup. I have followed the promptings of the Spirit in revealing myself to friends and acquaintances at important moments. In doing these things, I have found that I have more support, more friends, more people who love me than I ever dreamed possible. I do not regret this openness, even though some have not appreciated it. In doing these things, I have been contacted by many, many people also affected by these problems, as family, friends, and strugglers and I have been able to point them in good directions. Those people have also become part of the support foundation upon which I have come to rely.

It seems that the Lord has tried over and over to convince me that as wonderful as this support structure is, it is nothing compared to the support I receive daily from him through his Spirit. When I relied so heavily on the Portland Evergreen chapter and Disciples, I got sent to Sacramento where I would be away from the people on whom I have come to rely, my family and my Evergreen brothers. Yet, I found the Bay Area chapter and found more support there. I also met others there, even people who did not agree with me about the gospel requirements. These people have also been supportive of my decision to be true to my convictions.

As much as I loved the people I met in the Bay Area, I was to be pulled away from them and returned to Portland, back to my wonderful family and my own Evergreen chapter. This was not to last, for soon I was sent away again, this time to Anchorage, Alaska where there was no chapter, no family, and no friends. For weeks I was alone except for the daily email from family, friends, and Disciples and care packages from wonderful people.

Then came the day I refused to accept a permanent position in Alaska. I knew I had to find a new job. With every knew prospect, I asked, “Is there an Evergreen chapter there? Do I know anyone there?” The answers were always “no.” I seemed destined to go to a place where there was none of the kind of support that had been so helpful to me in the past.

When I accepted the job in Columbus, I did so knowing there was no Evergreen, no one I knew, and that I would be away from my family for the longest period of time to date. The more I have tried to cling to friends and family who support me, the more I am drawn away from them by circumstance.

This has been a powerful reminder to me of something I ought to know so very well by now. That is that all other support must be built upon one sure foundation, that being a testimony of the power of the redemption through the Lord Jesus Christ. Though all other sources of support fail, I must be fully grounded in the one foundation which will never fail–a testimony of Jesus Christ and a personal commitment to obey his gospel with all my heart.

I see so many casual testimonies of the saving power of the atonement. I wonder if some people have really understood the hopelessness of their lives without it. I wonder if they have known the joy of forgiveness or even admitted their need to seek it. As Nephi said, “…nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted.”

In all the trials and difficulties of my life, the one consistency has been that I have known that he who loves perfectly has loved me perfectly.

I thank all of you in all forums and forms who have let me lean upon your friendship and concern. It is so appreciated. As I enter this new phase of my life, and especially during the next few weeks, I know that reliance upon the tender mercies of the Lord, and more particularly on borrowed power from him, will be what saves me and keeps me safe. More than ever before, I will need to remember, like Nephi, that “My God hath been my support.”

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