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

Brought to the Knowledge

By Rex Goode


I’m one who has always believed that truth is absolute, that our task in life is to discover the truth and then change to conform to that truth. I don’t buy that individuals have their own truth, though I am willing to accept that each person possesses a different understanding of the truth based on experience and learning.

This different understanding does not change the truth itself, but it does affect how each person changes. I also believe that knowing the truth sets us free and that ignorance is a scourge on the human spirit. The wisest thing any person can do is be open to truth and be willing to admit he may not completely understand it yet.

In fact, thinking we know everything is the surest way to flounder in ignorance. I’m often accused, especially by my wife, of thinking I know everything. I haven’t really claimed that, except maybe facetiously. What I usually claim is that I am always right.

Now, I know I’m not 100% always right, but I learned a long time ago that it was smart and acceptable to admit that I don’t know something. When I learned those three little words, one a contraction, “I don’t know” and gave myself permission to use them regularly, I found myself being right with great accuracy. When I say them often, I am usually perfectly right.

The steadfastness of truth is illustrated for me in the words of Samuel the Lamanite on the walls of Zarahemla. Speaking of his own people, he recounted the prophecy, “…that they shall again be brought to the true knowledge, which is the knowledge of their Redeemer, and their great and true shepherd, and be numbered among his sheep (Helaman 15:13, emphasis added).”

It may be a nit-picky point, but it seems to me that the wording is not accidental. It seems to me that it is people who must come to true knowledge. Immovable and unchangeable truth stays in place and we must adjust.

Hopefully, having made the case that it is truth that remains the same and we must change, I think that we have much to learn as a society, as a human race, and as children of God. In fact, our own Mormon belief is that we do not yet know all. Our own ninth Article of Faith says, “We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.”

Until the Lord returns and the world as we know it ends, we will count on revelation from God. There is no greater uniquely Latter-day Saint belief than that. Yet, I have never heard this Article of Faith quoted in terms of modern questions without the quoter being accused in some way of heresy.

One area that I struggle to be brought to a knowledge of the truth regarding has to do with same-sex relationships. This is because I deal with a sexual attraction to men in a system of belief that says I can never act on those feelings sexually. It would be simple enough to just fall back on the usual formula that says that sex outside of marriage is wrong and that marriage is only between a man and a woman.

At this time in my life, and likely for the rest of my life, I accept that formula as God’s will. What it doesn’t say to me and I struggle to understand is the truth behind what my relationship with men ought to be. It is impossible for it to be simple with me.

If my same-sex attraction was purely sexual, it would be simple. I not only have struggled in my life to avoid sexual relationships with men, but also with a great desire to be around men, to enjoy their company, their voices, the sight of them, their scent, and the strange way they think. I have longed for their acceptance and, yes, love.

What is the truth I must be brought to regarding how I go about filling those desires? Are they needs? Are those desires a result of failing to be conditioned the way other men are or do they come from somewhere deeper inside? Despite the finality of the counsel of the law of Chastity, I still have more questions than answers.

Most people I know think that the answers should be obvious to me. All I ask here is that if you are reading this, that you would desire, like me, to be brought to a knowledge of the truth. Don’t decide what the truth is and then close your senses or make your spirit deaf.

I guess there is one more thing I ask. I ask you to remember that answers to questions often come in response to the depth of the need to know. How to avoid being mauled by a bear is a lot more important to a forest-dweller than to a city-dweller. 

I know there are a great many things about the gospel that I do not yet understand. I seek to be brought to the knowledge of the truth regarding all of them.

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