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

Who I Think We Are

By Rex Goode


As I have pondered throughout my life how I came by the challenge of being attracted to members of the same sex, I have searched for some meaning or purpose in it. Considering how strongly the leaders of the Church have consistently spoken against acting on these attractions, I have needed to reconcile my beliefs concerning the authority and calling of these men with my own experience of having been in this condition for as long as I can remember.

One thing is certain to me, that I was not born to an inevitability of homosexual encounters. Beyond that certainty, I have very few concrete answers, though I have spiritual feelings that I have concluded are answers from a Father who knows my questions.

Whether I was born this way or not, the tendencies in me are as powerful as almost any other aspect of my being, ranking nearly as high on my natural priority list as survival and hunger.

It would not be surprising to me that a thing so potent and ingrained as my homosexual desires would be in answer to life’s turmoil. My early life had plenty of turmoil and pain. I could easily believe that at some infantile pivotal point that something went wrong and affected me in a way that instilled these feelings deeply in my soul. It would seem to make little difference, then, whether I was born that way or made that way by life.

All my life as my body and emotions reacted to men and boys older than me, I searched my mind and spirit for reasons, anything I could use to understand why me. Later, when I acted on those feelings, I sought to rationalize, still desperate for an explanation that would satisfy.

While my body and feelings practiced homosexuality, my spirit continued to reach for spirituality. Even through the worst times, there was a testimony inside me that God lived.

When I was very young, about three, I was the recipient of a message of love from a higher Being–a message that saw me through the rough times ahead. I looked up one night while being carried across the street through the darkness. There I saw a street light and beyond it stars, and from that direction and then all around me, a feeling that I was loved, that there was a God, and that I needed not fear.

From that time on, the gospel of Jesus Christ was as deeply instilled in my soul as any sexual orientation could ever be. Later, when I was the victim of foul abuses and heartless treatment, something inside me reminded me that it was all temporary, that life was more than the here and now.

With those deep feelings, even as a child, I entered the world of adolescence unready for the things I would discover there. I learned prayer as a boy and never gave it up, even increasing in frequency when my career in homosexual encounters reached its peak. Prior to a long stretch of nearly nightly encounters, I had read the Book of Mormon and prayed to know if it was true. The answer was no small hint, but an overwhelming presence that reached deep into me and shook me. Not only did I know that the Book of Mormon was the word of God, but I knew that the Lord was not pleased with the things I had been doing.

Through the next weeks, while my homosexuality raged out of control, I sought solace in prayer, until the night I prayed long and loud that I would not return to those ways again. My prayer was answered.

Still, there were no answers as to the origin of my attractions. Yet, for me, the Spirit tells me that it is not inevitable that I must do as my body demands.

I see myself in the premortal existence, being endowed with special blessings of manly love for other men, gifts to take into the world where I can make a difference and be like Christ. So pure and rare were these gifts, that the world was barely ready to receive me with them.

Inside this mortal frame is a magnificent, immortal spirit, blessed with a tenderhearted love that terrified the usurping king of this world. He prepared the world against us, found how to thwart us, taught false doctrines of masculine aloofness, aggression, and killer instinct. He primed an opposition for us, taught his false doctrines of “men don’t hug, cry, or feel.”

His preparations were not ineffective. We languish in a world where the sacred feelings in us are misunderstood and mocked. Instead of being allowed to be loving and kind, we are taught in this worldly place to be sensual, more than aloof, easily wounded, without natural affection, and unable to employ the gifts we received.

I believe that homosexuality is the clash of spirits who were among the noble, great ones and the world made by the father of lies. I believe he feared our coming.

Joseph F. Smith noted about some spirits:

I observed that they were also among the noble and great ones who were chosen in the beginning to be rulers in the Church of God.

Even before they were born, they, with many others, received their first lessons in the world of spirits and were prepared to come forth in the due time of the Lord to labor in his vineyard for the salvation of the souls of men. (D&C 138:55–56, emphasis added)

I believe that we, men and women who are same-sex attracted, are among the “many others” mentioned. Our learned lessons in the spirit world, were something that would intrinsically be at odds with the world of mortality, and that the result of combining the two would inevitably create a struggle.

We could not get by with casual levels of love, but were primed for extraordinary giving. Mortality is more foreign to us and therefore we stumble. Yet, we need not stumble long. Our spiritual eyes, accustomed to great light, will adjust in the darkness, and then we will see clearly until that glorious day when we will be reunited with the Father who sent us here with faith in our ability to overcome.

I pray that none of us will hate the gifts we brought into this world. By faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we can learn to use them as they were intended to be used. I believe that the way to do this is to first fully forgive everyone who has sought to harm us and to walk as God wants all to walk, full of love, faith, and hope.

When the veil is parted and we see for the first time who we really are, I know we will be amazed and grateful for the small things we were asked to endure.

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