Sunday, March 13, 2011

Prayer

I know it's been a while since I've blogged but I was thinking today about prayer and I was hoping to get some input and thoughts about it.

Up until I created this blog I can honestly say that prayer was an important part of my day. I can't say that my prayers were always heartfelt and sincere, but at least I would make an effort to pray and hope that my prayers were answered. I followed the structured prayers that I had taught as a missionary ( you know, address God, give thanks, ask for needs and desires, close in the name of Christ). I felt at the time that prayer was important in building a relationship with God, but even then I struggled to feel this relationship forming at times, so I'd try harder to be sincere in my prayers and work on this relationship.

When I finally began to come out of the closet and wrestle with the ideas of being both Mormon and gay I stopped praying completely. This was about 6 months ago. I felt as if I needed to take a break from my relationship with God and try and figure some things out. I felt that my sincere prayers for most of my life to have my homosexuality controlled and removed were a waste. I began to wonder if God was even out there and hearing my prayers, and if he even cared. Were my prayers just me trying to make a relationship with someone that didn't exist, or just didn't reciprocate the message back?

Now, I do feel and hold on to hope that God does exist. I believe that there is goodness in Mormonism, but I also feel that the rigid structure of the religion can help many people, but for me it was holding me back from happiness and well being in this life. I like to consider myself a "less active" member by choice. 

Now when I pray, it's more a meditation of ideas. I don't want to adhere to any type of form of prayer. It comes more as I ponder things in my mind. It's not a prepared statement to some person, but a jumble of ideas to figure out. I don't expect any communication from God, but would love it, and I cannot deny that other prayers of mine have been answered. if he does answer me I'm pleased with that. 

So, now I'm wondering (and I'd love some input on this) it's okay to pray for things that I want that aren't always in line with Mormon teachings. I've been taught all my life that I should pray to find that woman I could marry and go to the temple with. Now that prayer is just not practical for me. I'd rather pray for things I really do want and are achievable in my life. So what do you think? Is it okay for me to pray to God that I meet a man to date and have a relationship with?

7 comments:

  1. I think God would much rather have you ask for those things you feel you need to be happy than not talk to Him at all. It is also my belief that God wants you to be happy, and it is quite possible that find a partner of the same sex will help give you that. I know it did for me. Only you can know for sure, and your loving Father can confirm it. Bottom line, though: I think it's better to have an active communication with an all-knowing and loving Heavenly Father who can help us know what we need in life to succeed and be happy than it is to forego that communication.

    I also think prayer can be done in many ways. I don't believe that God ignores one prayer but accepts another based on "form."

    I truly believe in God's existence and love for each of us. I hope you are able to feel that concretely in your life.

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  2. Agree with the above. He already knows what you want, and he wants you to be happy. Give him the benefit of the doubt. I think if we are not honest with God, then in a sense we're trying to dictate to him what he should be like. Perhaps that's a kind of kooky idea.

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  3. Hey, thanks both of you. You really helped clarify ideas I had going on in my mind. A agree with both of you that any communication with God is better than none, And I honestly think he just wants me to be happy no matter what.

    Oh and Trev, I don't think that's kooky at all. Thanks.

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  4. Chuck,
    Why give in now? Youve gone 25 years of your life living the way you once felt you needed to. What changed your mind?

    I too slightly agree with what has been said before me. I believe that Heavenly Father will ALWAYS want to hear from you. He loves you unconditionally. He is incredible. HE is our father. He does WANT us to be happy. However, what is happiness?

    Do you really feel that giving into your temptation will bring you the happiness you desire? Why arent you happy now? I am 21 yrs old. I have never been in a real relationship. I go through every day of my life wondering why i have attractions to men. However, why does it matter?

    We're all different. Everyone is. We all are put on Earth to face different trials. Some lose parents or loved ones. Some are given mental disadvantages. Some are given physical handicaps. Some are sent down with allergies, cancers, disorders... etc. You and I and many others were sent down with the obstacle of having same gender attraction. Is it hard? YES! Does that mean we need to give into it? Of course not.

    I am tired of hearing the over used phrase of "i was born gay" "i didnt choose to be gay" "I will finally be happy when i come out". Not true. Happiness is a state of mind (unless you have clinical depression). You dont need to act out on gay tendencies to be happy. You are a son of God. You live in a beautiful country. You have amazing freedoms and possibilities. You CAN live an AMAZING life. Will it be easy? No. But when was life EVER supposed to be easy?

    I dont want to preach too long. I want to say, Hang in there. Dont give up. Pray to Heavenly Father. Will your same gender attraction go away? Probably not. Mine probably wont aswell. I too have prayed many nights begging to be rid of this challenge. However, why not embrace it? Help others hold tight to the rod!

    We can be happy. We can have fun. That doesnt mean we have to give into temptation to receive it. Dont be fooled.

    Pray to Heavenly Father. Thank him for everything you have. Everything youve been given. Thank him for his unconditional love. He is waiting to hear from you. Best wishes in life. Hold on tight.

    Youre never going to be tempted above what you cannot overcome :)

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  6. It's late for me to respond, but I remembered this headline, "What's a gay mormon to do" from 4 years ago, and googled it again today. Michael made some valid points above. It's obvious that being in a relationship with a man will bring fast and convenient happiness and satisfaction for you. You have told me that you don't identify as Mormon anymore, so maybe the headline is not a question to you anymore, but if by some chance it still is, you can follow my example, because I am gay and Mormon too.

    Your question, "is it okay to pray for things I want, not in line with Mormon teachings". The answer is no, because remember how Joseph Smith lost 116 pages of the book of Lehi? He prayed 3 times to the Lord to share them with Martin Harris even though the answer was no, just because he wanted to share them. Your case is a little different, because God was not giving direct answers to your prayers like that. I have also prayed to know if the church was right about homosexuality, but without exact answers I have to err on the church doctrine because I know other things about the church are true, such as temples and temple work which I do know is true, so I figure I should value my temple recommend and going there more than having gay sex.

    I have never prayed for my same sex attraction to be removed, with one exception. My parents told me to pray for it to be removed because they were interested in that, not me. So I casually prayed for it without getting any personal revelation or signs put in my path for it. So I dropped it and moved on. The fact that you chose to pray and wait for changed sexuality on your own is your misfortune. In fact, wishing for that kind of change and disliking yourself for having same sex attraction, makes the attraction much stronger and you weaker and more dependent on the attractions. It's ironic, but that's what happens when you dislike your attractions and try to change them, you actually make yourself weaker and more dependent on the attractions.

    Now that you have fully embraced your sexuality, and don't want it to change, I think you will find it a lot easier to be an active, celibate Mormon (assuming you don't want sex with women, like me). I don't plan to marry a women soon because of the Book of Mormon scripture that 7 women will ask 1 man to marry them one day because of more righteous women being left than righteous men. I'm not excited for that, it's just nice to know that I can procrastinate marriage until then, when it could be god's timing to change our sexual attractions for all gay people. In the meantime I'm not totally neglectful of my gayness. I make out with guys sometimes, I just avoid sex.

    Chuck, if you reconsider what I've said and come back to the church, it may be surprisingly easier this time than before, at least if your like me. And I don't suppose church discipline or repentance will be hard either since it is understandable how you left and the confusion and questions you had to deal with.

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