For those of you who don’t know me, let me introduce myself. My name is Lolly Weed and I married my best friend, Josh. Josh and I grew up together on the same street in Utah, so we have known each other for a very long time. I love Josh dearly. He is an amazing man and a wonderful husband. Josh also has same sex attraction. This is an aspect of our marriage that we didn’t really share with a lot of people for the first ten years of our marriage.
Back in March of this year, however, we began to get several promptings from the Spirit telling us that we needed to be more open about this part of our lives. After a lot of fasting and prayer, we decided to share our story on Josh’s blog. His “coming out” post quickly caught a lot of attention. There was a lot of Internet buzz surrounding our story. There were a lot of comments and discussions happening regarding our marriage, mixed orientation marriages in general, and what it meant to be gay in the LDS faith.
While there was definitely a lot of positive feedback, for which I am grateful, there was also a lot of harsh judgment and condemnation. People questioned our motives and told us we were evil. Some have told us that we are foolish because God doesn’t even exist and our sacrifices are for nothing. There are many who can’t understand why Josh would choose to live his life married to a woman and committed to his faith when he has homosexual feelings.
We have had a lot of people over the past two months asking how we are doing with all of this attention. Most of the time, to be honest, I have a hard time putting into words how I feel. It has been overwhelming. The hardest part has been the thousands of people judging my marriage and my faith in a very vocal, accusatory way and telling me that I am wrong, for whatever reason. Complete strangers are examining the things that I hold to be most sacred and making a mock of them.
While a lot of people haven’t shared our exact experience of being so publicly scrutinized, we all have had moments where the truths we hold dear are called into question.
If you have same sex attraction, you may choose not to act on those feelings based on your testimony of the Gospel. That is obviously a choice that is not based solely on logic or feelings. It is an act of faith. Every single day you make the choice to not act on homosexual feelings, you are showing your faith in God and in your beliefs. That is a big deal and it’s not easy.
Faith is delicate and it is imperative that we safeguard our personal truths amidst adversity. Especially when so much is at stake. We must stay strong in our convictions even when it feels like Satan himself is determined to bring down our most precious beliefs.
I’ve recently watched many dear friends grapple between faith, doubt, and logic. I’ve seen their souls be tortured as they struggled to find peace in their heart and mind. To those friends, I would like to echo Elder Holland’s words from his BYU devotional Cast Not Away Therefore Your Confidence when he said “If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now. Don’t give up when the pressure mounts.”
Elder Holland also said in that same address, “…after you have paid the price to feel his love and hear the word of the Lord, ‘go forward.’ Don’t fear, don’t vacillate, don’t quibble, don’t whine. You may, like Alma going to Ammonihah, have to find a route that leads an unusual way, but that is exactly what the Lord [did] for the children of Israel. Nobody had ever crossed the Red Sea [that] way, but so what? There’s always a first time. With the spirit of revelation, dismiss your fears and wade in with both feet.”
I particularly like that quote when you apply it to same sex attraction or a mixed orientation marriage. Perhaps you may look at your own “Red Sea” and wonder how you are going to cross it. But, “with the spirit of revelation, dismiss your fears and wade in with both feet.”
Christ tells us to “Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.” (D&C 6:36). Doubt is never a productive or good feeling. It produces fear and despair. “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). When you have feelings of doubt, it is not God speaking to your soul.
You do not owe doubt anything. You do not owe people questioning your beliefs anything. I think that often times we feel obligated to explore any and all doubts in order to be a logical human being. This may be true if you are a scientist trying to find truths through the scientific method, but as a person of faith, you are not required to be “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive” (Ephesians 4:14).
Once the Holy Ghost has spoken truth to your soul, that truth is yours. No one can take that away from you. Someone may be able to question what you have seen or heard, but no one can question what you have felt. If you have felt the Spirit whisper to your soul that God lives and that He loves you, that is a truth that will never change. When God has given you a direction for your life, follow that path. Hold on to that truth, no matter what other people say, no matter what comes your way. You cannot fail when you do what God asks you to do.
That is why, although it is difficult to see people saying such harsh things about me and Josh and our marriage, we are still truly happy. Even when people think we are fools, there is peace in our souls. We know that what we did was what God wanted us to do, both in getting married, as well as in recently sharing our truth with the world. Therefore, what have we to fear? When we are at home together as a family, all is right in the world.
Anyone can have the peace of God in their heart and the Spirit in their life. It’s a matter of choice. And so I say as Elder Edgley said in his talk Faith—the Choice is Yours, “Choose faith over doubt, choose faith over fear, choose faith over the unknown and the unseen, and choose faith over pessimism.” As you act on your faith, you will receive added strength to make correct choices. As you continue forward in righteous living you will experience true joy and peace.