Sunday, April 12, 2015

An Important Correlation

Puberty sucks, big time, period.  That being established (sorry for the use of the word "sucks." I think it's distasteful, but it helps get the point across without cussing.), puberty combined with same-sex attraction is a nasty cocktail.  If you grew up with these feelings, you know exactly what I mean (I imagine the feelings, emotions, and urges are similar in heterosexual male adolescents).

Anyway, like most of the girls my age, I was utterly boy-crazy.  Not the ideal situation for a bishop's son!  When I allowed myself to dwell on these fantasies, I gave Satan power to arouse lust within my soul.  As a result, I would be left shattered, empty, alone, worthless, pathetic, weak, disappointing, and unfit to live in the presence of the Holy Ghost.

After years of this struggle, I decided to take a different coping approach.  I made two lists.  On the first, I noted the emotions I experienced after any form of "acting out"  (Some of the feelings on that list are mentioned above).  On the other, I listed how I felt after I had resisted the urges of Satan.  Such emotions included: worthy, whole, strong, reliable, loyal, clean, pure, loved, responsible, and free.   I kept these two lists in my scriptures at all times, so whenever I opened them (at least once a day) I would see the two lists and would instantly be reminded of the emotional consequences of my actions.  This paper became a symbol for the underlying truth of agency: there is a correlation between happiness and obedience to the Lord's commandments.

I am so grateful, eternally so, for parents who taught me this correlation.  Without them, I would probably living a rather riotous yet meaningless lifestyle.  Applicable to all sins, I know that as we remember how we feel after making a choice (whether right or wrong), we will be able to act more responsibly in the future. 

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