By Study and By Faith is my blog centered on how I gained a sure testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. As I am a man who experiences same-sex attraction, I focus primarily on aspects of my experience with same-sex attraction and how I came to reinterpret them and come to peace with myself and my faith.
While I still occasionally experience same-sex attraction, that attraction has largely diminished from what it once was. This is due to many factors, but primarily with the fact that I have always refused to label myself as gay or homosexual. It is not something I am - it is something I have experienced. Our experiences can be reinterpreted and given different meaning over time. That is exactly what has happened to me.
I hope the words I write here are helpful to others trying to reconcile their faith with the reality of same-sex attraction - both those who experience it and those who try to understand it from all sides.
While I refuse to label myself as gay or homosexual or same-sex attracted, I fully respect and love those who take on those labels for themselves - whether or not they live the lifestyle associated with the gay identity. At the same time, I expect and advocate for the same respect to be given to me and others in my same position who wish to live lives of peace with themselves, their family, and their faith. I also fight for the right for myself and others to receive help in the form of therapy and other resources that assist us in reaching that level of peace. Most of all, I advocate for everyone to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ - in loving others, following His commandments, and allowing all men the freedom of conscience that allows them to freely decide whether they will believe and what they will do with that belief, without fear of discrimination or persecution.
As the prophet Joshua said in Joshua 24:15:
"... choose you this day whom ye will serve ... but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
Photo credit: Time is Precious Photography