It is true that there is potential, temporary comfort to be found in a same-sex relationship. Even so, ours is a religion that requires sacrifice. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught:
“A religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation; for, from the first existence of man, the faith necessary unto the enjoyment of life and salvation never could be obtained without the sacrifice of all earthly things. It was through this sacrifice, and this only, that God has ordained that men should enjoy eternal life” (Lectures on Faith, p. 58).
While many view the denial of same-sex relationships as a tremendous sacrifice, it is beneficial to focus on the positive things in life that righteous living brings to pass — increased faith through obedience, opportunities to interact with and serve those around you, participation in wholesome recreational activities with friends and family members, the safety that comes from living the gospel. When we focus on the teachings of the Savior and the things that will lead us back to live with God, we will find fulfillment and joy. It is also important to understand that sexual/physical fulfillment is a desire of the mortal body and must be kept within the bounds the Lord has set. Emotional fulfillment should not be confused with unhealthy emotional codependency.
The question of fulfillment in life is addressed well in the booklet God Loveth His Children:
“Same-gender attractions include deep emotion, social, and physical feelings. All of Heavenly Father’s children desire to love and be loved, including many adults who, for a variety of reasons, remain single. God assures His children, including those currently attracted to persons of the same gender, that their righteous desires will eventually be fully satisfied in God’s own way and according to His timing.
“If you live by the standards God has set and fill your days with worthwhile things, your life will be full of hope and you may expect opportunities for meaningful service, social inclusion, and spiritual growth in this life.
“A number of Latter-day Saints with same-gender attraction are moving forward with their lives by carefully adhering to gospel standards, staying close to the Lord, and obtaining ecclesiastical and professional help when needed. Their lives are rich and satisfying, and they can be assured that all the blessings of eternal life will ultimately be theirs.
Elder Richard G. Scott both warned and encouraged us with the following words:
“You cannot be passive in life, or in time the natural man will undermine your efforts to live worthily. You become what you do and what you think about. Lack of character leads one under pressure to satisfy appetite or seek personal gain. You cannot successfully bolster a weak character with the cloak of pretense.
“In time one who makes decisions based upon circumstance is virtually assured to commit serious transgressions. There is no iron rod of truth to keep that person in the right way. He or she will continually be faced with many subtle temptations to make deviations from the commandments. Those choices are justified by arguing that they are not that bad, that they are more socially acceptable and provide a broader base of friends. A clever individual without foundation principles can at times acquire, temporarily, impressive accomplishments. Yet that attainment is like a sand castle. When the test of character comes, it crumbles, often taking others with it. Despite how carefully a transgressor seeks to keep the violation of commandments hidden, in time they nearly always become publicly known. Satan himself sees to that. He and his minions are determined to cause the greatest possible harm to each of Father in Heaven’s children. One serious act of disobedience or violation of trust invariably raises questions of whether or not there are others. The faith and confidence of others in that individual’s character is undermined.
“If you have determined to live righteously, don’t become discouraged. Life may seem difficult now, but hold on tightly to that iron rod of truth. You are making better progress than you realize. Your struggles are defining character, discipline, and confidence in the promises of your Father in Heaven and the Savior as you consistently obey Their commandments” (“The Transforming Power of Faith and Character,” Ensign, November 2010)
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