If the eternal blessings promised in Mormon doctrine of being married eternally to a woman are true, then count me out. But then again, count me in? You see, I want what I don’t want. As an active Mormon who is attracted to men, I battle with what I naturally want with what I believe I’m supposed to want.
Elder Perry of the Quorum of the Twelve taught, “Men and women receive their agency as a gift from God, but their liberty and, in turn, their eternal happiness come from obedience to His laws. (GCR Apr. 2013)
One of the laws frequently taught is eternal happiness is founded upon eternal families between a man and a woman. And I believe that is true doctrine. But it’s a doctrine I can’t begin to comprehend that I will want, let alone enjoy in this life or the next. How can eternal happiness come from a law that I feel will make me miserable?
Let me put it this way. I love fresh mangoes and if I could, I would eat them every day. One day I learn that eating mangoes is a grievous sin and that if I want eternal life and happiness, it’s not going to consist of me eating mangoes; it’s me eating broccoli. I hate broccoli. But everyone tells me, Don’t worry. One day, even if it happens in the afterlife, you learn to love broccoli and will eternally eat them. But you can never eat a mango again because it’s wrong.
So I go about daily life trying my best to forget about my appetite for mangoes and trying desperately to like broccoli. I make so many attempts to like them but just get sick to my stomach. I spend thousands of dollars on therapy and make strong spiritual efforts to like the broccoli. But the appetite never comes.
So I resort to water and saltines which feels likes I’m going to starve. What makes it worse is I see everyone else around me, enjoying the food of their choice. They talk about how much happiness their food gives them and they want to be obedient so they can have their food in the afterlife. But not me. If I want eternal happiness, I either start in this life or the next eating I vegetable really don’t like.
Today I don't look forward to the eternal blessings. I can’t. Life’s experiences nor God have revealed to my soul the joys of such blessings. I only know what God has validated with me so far:
• God truly and completely loves me.
• God perfectly understands what I’m going through and has provided some compensatory blessings.
• Peace and confidence today come from being obedient to God’s laws.
• Being obedient to God’s laws sometimes postpones our access to certain areas of happiness. And the postponing can be hurt like hell and be lonely at times.
• A great sign of spiritual maturity is delayed gratification and the acceptance of delayed blessings.
• Eternal happiness is built upon eternal families between a man and woman and obedience to God’s laws.
• God knows what will give me ultimate eternal happiness and He will not ask me to do anything that does not bring me that ultimate eternal happiness.
I want an eternal marriage to a woman and to raise a family. But I don’t want it physically or emotionally. I want what I don’t want.
I honestly can’t piece together the puzzle. There are some major pieces missing and I feel much of those pieces won’t be given until the next life. So I build my life with the pieces I do have from God and move forward confidently. Bottom line, God knows what will give me ultimate eternal happiness and He will not ask me to do anything that does not bring me that ultimate eternal happiness. It’s hard not having the missing pieces so I’m working on being okay with that.