Thursday, December 11, 2014

Addiction is Modern Day Idolatry

The addiction cycle always begins by "Wanting Relief from the Discomforts of Life." When these discomforts come, I have a choice: to seek relief in addiction, or to seek relief in the Atonement.

I believe addiction is a modern form of idolatry. We don't have idols of gold or stone to worship, but we do have pornography, drugs, alcohol, and countless other addictions that stand today as modern-day idols.

Both the idols of addiction and the God of Heaven ask us to give our time, talents, and everything that we have been blessed with to the building up of their respective kingdoms. The idols of addiction use our consecration only to further enslave us and destroy those that we love. On the other hand, Jehovah uses our consecration to empower us to attain our divine potential. The idols of addiction limit me, but the Atonement has the capacity to make me limitless.

While I will always be in recovery, and while I still have a long road to travel, I choose to worship the One True God instead of the false gods that only offer temporary relief from the discomforts of life. I choose the Balm of Gilead over the chains of Satan. I choose freedom over slavery. I choose hope instead of despair. I choose limitless potential as a Son of God instead of eternal defeat at the hands of the devil.

My Salvation comes from Him. And no one else.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Faith vs Doubt

"Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not" -- Doctrine & Covenants 6:36

The above words are a consistent reminder to me that regardless of what happens in life, I need to rely on my Savior.

Six days ago, I filmed my Voices of Hope video, in which I shared my story and experience of the hope I have found in the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ as found in the LDS Church, while living with and experiencing same-sex attraction. Since then I have faced a lot of doubts and fears, wondering if I've been kidding myself or fooling myself, or if all of this is just wishful thinking.

To be bluntly honest, I can't say with complete certainty what life will look like next year, next month, or even tomorrow. I have no idea what curve balls await me further on in my journey. Yes, I have found hope and peace in the gospel, but it has not been a rosy path by any means. Some days just suck. On those days I either want to scream at the world and everybody in it, or curl up in a ball, drink Pepsi, and binge on one of my favorite TV shows.

But even in the depths of my frustration, and on my darkest days that have been filled with the most doubt, in the end I always come back to hope and faith. Yes, life is uncertain and I feel like choosing a life inside the Church while experiencing same-sex attraction requires a certain amount of faith and sacrifice. But deep down, after all is said and done and after the tender mercies have been made manifest, I firmly believe that the choices I make to keep true to my covenants will lead me to the greatest amount of happiness.

It is a lifelong process, but for now I am working to develop a faith, trust, and reliance in the Lord that is independent of what happens in life. I am working to look unto the Lord in EVERY thought, be it positive or challenging. Faith isn't easy, but I believe it has to be worth it.