Bennett Borden, North Star President
September is the first month when we begin transitioning from summer into fall, and this time of year often calls to mind the seasons and cycles of life. When God organized this wonderful Earth and placed it in its station, He established these seasons and cycles to teach us that there are times of rebirth and new growth, of planting and tending, of reaping and harvesting, and of quiet resting and recharging. As we move into this season of harvest, I have been thinking a lot about the law of the harvest, and in reaping what we sow.
Nearly six years ago, Becky and I first considered returning to the gospel after having lived for more than 20 years in an openly gay lifestyle. We both longed for the peace and joy of the gospel, but were terrified of the process of coming back, and even more terrified of how we could live according to gospel principles. There seemed to be so many obstacles in our way, and the distance we would have to traverse seemed unbearably far. How in the world could we do it?
About this time, we were reading in the Book of Mormon, and came upon Alma 32. This is the sermon where Alma compares the word of God to a seed. He says that if we make room in our hearts by simply having the desire to believe, that the word will grow and swell, it will enlarge our souls, enlighten our understanding, and become delicious to us. Alma 32:28.
When we read this, the spirit touched my heart deeply, and I knelt down and prayed. I told the Lord I had no idea how we were ever going to make it back, and I wasn’t sure I believed that we could, but at least I had the desire to believe. And, most importantly, I told Him I trusted Him, and would do whatever it took to come back. I will never forget the peace that poured over my soul during this prayer. I saw the path back to the gospel shrink down from this long and arduous road to just a series of small choices, one tiny step at a time. That, I could do.
I look back over the years since that pivotal moment and see the great spiritual harvest that has come from planting that tiny, quivering seed of faith. Becky and I were rebaptized, my blessings were restored, we were sealed in the temple, we adopted an amazing daughter, and our lives are filled with thousands upon thousands of precious experiences working with the LDS SSA/LGBT saints, their families, friends and leaders. Our lives are full to bursting with the harvest of tiny seeds of faith we and you have planted along the way.
My dear brothers and sisters, we SSA/LGBT saints have been blessed with a truly unique earthly experience. We have been blessed with a capacity for strength, love, empathy and understanding that is sorely needed in building the kingdom of God and reaching into the far corners of His vineyard. Sometimes this path may seem hard and to traverse untrod and unproven ground. Sometimes we may not even believe we will make it.
But, we have the Lord’s promise that even if we don’t believe today, if we only desire to believe, and plant a tiny seed of faith, nourishing it along the way, it will grow. And, we will pluck the fruit which is most precious, reaping the reward of our faith. Alma 32: 42-43. May the Lord continue to bless you on your path, and may your harvest of faith be rich and abundant.