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Gillebre

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  • Birthday 10/08/1989

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  1. Thank you, Ken! I appreciate having you and others here as my brothers and sisters in the Lord. It makes all the difference! Looking back at it all...I was deeply torn by life and the consequences of other's choices, but then at that point who better to minister to me than One who too was torn by His life and literally crucified by the choices of His own people. He and I are very close now that I see Him as He is, and that He never, ever left me. I share what I do because I want others to realize His faithfulness in their own lives. If I can grow in such soil with His nourishment, then any of us can too if we'll hearken to He who knows our pain so intimately and completely. My parents have changed, truly, but we don't have the close relationship they want, and as I don't want to make them suffer more than they already do (being aware and repenting of their own sins in the deepest abyss of parental torment), I have decided to let my Redeemer show them my life when they reach the other side in a handful of years. For now I'm focused on preparing to be sealed to my beloved in just under 2 months. I've been doing proxy sealings for deceased family in the Ogden Temple this entire Easter week, and it's been a truly Celestial experience. I highly recommend it! I am truly exalted by His tender mercies and lovingkindness. All is well because of Him! I will praise and serve Him for delivering me all the days of my life, and in Zion when the time comes. Your Brother, Brett
  2. I figure I'll contribute a bit to this thread where I can. As a teenager I experienced fantasies of suicide regularly on the bus to and from school when I was away from family and not engaged in schoolwork. The pain I felt came from being exposed to nudity and sexuality at the age of 8, and then addicted to pornography a short while later. Many issues at home coalesced and feelings of same gender attraction manifested in what I was looking at. An abusive home life made everything much more challenging. I remember being 14 and feeling so alone, so vile and worthless, and in the midst of these fantasies about it being better for others if I were gone, how I wouldn't be missed, I met the Lord in these darkest moments of my life. I remember clinging for dear life to Gospel hymns on CD, this was probably around 2003, because nothing else helped. It was when I was listening to I Know That My Redeemer Lives that I first felt His presence. I somehow knew at that moment that the words of the hymn were literally true. He really does live to wipe away my tears. He lives to impart *all* blessings. He lives to bring me safely back into His presence. Life was still incredibly difficult with a homophobic and abusive father, but I now knew that I wasn't alone in enduring such things. My personal Savior was preparing the way before me, the way of His deliverance, so that I could not only survive, but thrive. Part of my challenge was not being taught about how the Atonement of Jesus Christ really works. I didn't understand that He didn't see me the way I saw myself and my problems and fears. He didn't see me as a drain on His love or divine resources. He simply needed me to realize that nothing I could do would change how He felt about me, or deter Him from trying to rescue me as often as possible. I now know the Lord personally, and I can witness with confidence that He is and will always be faithful to us even when it doesn't always seem that way in the moment. He really does feel after us. He reaches out and invites us to bind ourselves to Him through holy covenants, and by virtue of those covenants I am closer to Him than ever. Hope and happiness are possible through Him, by Him, and of Him.
  3. For me personally I seek out those who have felt the same attractions I have, as well as who have a desire to develop a greater covenant connection to God, and together we minister and counsel about life, hopes, fears, and how we've come to know the Lord better through our trials. I place a heavy emphasis on leaving them space to be themselves, and to try to understand where they're at, without fear of condemnation or chastisement. We follow the Spirit in our discussions. I call it hot tub institute because we end up discussing the Gospel as well as sharing experiences and testimony while enjoying the hot tub at my apartment complex.
  4. The life of a queer Latter-day Saint, in my opinion and experience, should be focused on a gradually increasing covenant relationship with Jesus Christ through one's endowment in the Temple. By making their covenant relationship with Him their treasure, their daily/weekly focus, and subsequently growing closer to Him and receiving more grace as they strive to be truly converted and reborn regularly their emotional needs and sexual feelings will be informed by a new perspective. What I want has changed as I've come closer to His presence. What I mean is that Jesus Christ, through His Atonement, has the power to change our nature such that our lives come to revolve around Him and the relationship we're growing into with Him. This has a powerful effect on us when all other needs, particularly emotional, are aligned with the Savior's will. He has the power to help queer Saints, like myself, live the covenant path if such a course, in His wisdom, means living a celibate life. He has power unto the fulfilling of all His commandments and promises, and if He does expect chastity to be honored as taught by His Apostles then He will be faithful to queer Saints who both hold fiercely to their Temple covenants as well as tune out voices that take their focus off of the Savior. It's a lot like what I'd imagine Peter experienced when walking on the water. He asked the Savior to bid him to do something the world through all ages would consider impossible and ridiculous. Celibacy as a queer Saint seems just as impossible and ludicrous to many, but I testify and witness that both miracles are accomplished, fulfilled, and maintained in the exact same way. Satan works overtime on queer Saints, I think, by enticing them to believe that celibacy is the worst hell. How can it be hell if it brings you nearer to the literal presence of the Lord? I mean exactly what I say. I accept and understand that celibacy and chastity as maligned may seem just as impossible and reckless as trying to walk on water. Agency must be preserved, honored, and cherished, but a lifestyle that goes against the law of chastity is not the only option for queer Saints (or even a desirable one, imo). We may have to agree to disagree.
  5. The Church could stop collecting tithes and offerings and then we would lose the blessings of acting and growing in faith by paying tithes and giving generous offerings. To me it's not about making sure the Church has enough to build Temples as much as it is about me being prepared and willing to consecrate 100% rather than 10%, and giving 10% plus a fast offering helps me remember that everything I have isn't mine, but the Lord's, and this helps inoculate me from some of the more common tactics of the adversary. The only reason I could conceive for the Church to *need* so much might be something like this: the government needs a bailout, Missouri has been wiped clean, the Church offers to buy Missouri for a few hundred billion, the government agrees because it needs the money and no one wants Missouri. What I'm completely confident in is that God has told me personally that President Nelson and those who serve with him are His anointed, and that contrary to all worldly assumptions I can trust them because I trust Him, and that even though I don't know them, I certainly do know Him and great has been His faithfulness to me.
  6. I think that this transition of your friend's faith will be a great learning experience for you and those in your sphere who know and love Jane. Boundaries between associates and friends are important, and your friend seems very caught up in many feelings and experiences right now, but as time rolls on she'll likely balance out and settle into her new beliefs. Loving Jane means finding a way to have compassion without casting final judgments and still finding meaningful ways to let your light shine, to serve and be there for her as circumstances allow. What I've learned when friends leave the faith is this: life is a journey with so many ups and downs, and the Lord is very good at rescuing His lost sheep. This is a learning experience for Jane who perhaps was never fully converted to the Lord through His Church and the covenants available to us. We're all meant to learn to tell between sweet and bitter, light and dark, and in His way He will continue to look after her and will surely continue to teach and utilize you as you continue to humble yourself, trust Him, and treasure up His word. Much longsuffering will be required on your part, I think, because you're still a source of peace as you reflect the Lord's light to you. While we do need to establish boundaries out of love and mutual respect, we don't need to become combative or yield to a spirit of contention ("how dare she!!! I am so angry and frustrated!") which will only diffuse the light that remains. As you encourage her to continue to become more Christlike, even outside the Church of Jesus Christ, the Spirit will whisper to her and lead her along. Heavenly Father knows what His children need, and perhaps she needs a season away, as the prodigal son did, to realize what was taken for granted. It may take years, but as you cultivate gentleness and stand firm in your faith, drinking deep from the scriptures and worshiping in the Temple as often as you can, I know the Spirit will not fail you as you seek to know what He would have you do. Make more time for the Lord every day so that the Holy Ghost can be with you more consistently. He will prompt you on what to pray for, what is truly expedient, and you'll grow closer to your Savior.
  7. I don't have an adequate answer to that question. All I know is this: we must not rebel in our hearts because of what we don't yet understand. That's what I'm concerned about - telling the Lord that something in His scriptures that I can't comprehend yet is unacceptable and I refuse to leave any room for further light and knowledge that doesn't say "it's an abomination of men, it had nothing to do with God or His laws." The moment we make up His mind for Him is the moment we become vulnerable to darkness. I'm not saying plural marriage *will* exist because I don't have the what, how, or why, but only that I believe it behooves us to trust Him more than we fear what we don't understand. If we can do that then we leave room for Him to still teach and stretch us beyond what we're comfortable with as His Spirit so often does throughout mortality. The moment we close our minds is the moment Satan starts wrapping us in flaxen cords to lead us on to destruction, and if the Lord Himself were to personally command it then I don't want to reject Him because of my weakness. I maintain that worldly attitudes, assumptions, and modern ideas are poisoning minds as a plot by Satan to get us to reject even the notion of plural marriage, and then *if* it were required for exaltation we've got a generation or more of men and women who're ready to refuse eternal life because of telestial misconceptions about eternal relationships.
  8. When I was studying Come Follow Me a few weeks ago when section 132 was the topic the Spirit impressed heavily upon me the extremely damaging impact that popular media and culture, including Hollywood, are having upon the expectations and willingness of the Saints to accept the Lord's commandments, and specifically the practice of plural marriage. The point, I feel, is to get to a place where we don't rebel against God should He decide to ask us to do something that runs contrary to our assumptions and expectations. We can debate all day and night but that is the only question we need to answer right now: will we trust Him and give heed to His wisdom more than our own fears and lack of perception. What if there was a way that plural marriage could be lived in a celestial way that solved every single problem people have with it? Would we be willing to trust Him enough not to draw a line in the sand that says "nothing anyone could say, even the Lord, could ever convince me this practice was anything but wrong." Don't use that absolute because none of us have a perfect knowledge of the Lord's mind and will. He can't give us peace concerning plural marriage while our faith and thinking are both tainted by worldly philosophies and assumptions. If plural marriage were practiced in the Celestial Kingdom then all the mortal drawbacks to relationships that we know of will not exist there: abuse, jealousy, manipulation, fear, envy, lust, pride, selfishness, greed, and so forth. If those things aren't tolerated in the presence of the Father and the Son then those who are in a position and state to have a plural marriage relationship won't be burdened by our telestial concerns. Eternal life and heavenly sociality will be so very different from the poor reflections that exist here as to leave us little to no room to truly conceive of how wonderful life with Him will be. Am I comfortable with the idea of having multiple wives? Not really, except that I trust Jesus Christ more than anything, and if He sees fit to ask me to act then I can trust Him both now and then. I don't have to be afraid of plural marriage because in that day He will be able to help me understand why He's asking it, and if I don't let that trust be enough for me now then I'll be in perpetual frustration as I continue viewing the Celestial through Telestial perspectives, fears, and assumptions.
  9. As far as coming to a place of understanding about how your sexuality fits into those covenants all I can suggest is that this is something that can only be received by revelation. I've discovered this to be one of the governing principles of our right to receive revelation for our lives: the Gospel gives us the broad strokes, the highest principles we strive towards, and when specifics are required beyond the general then that must come by revelation. We must grow in our ability to hear Him and be close to Him on a more regular basis so that we can hear the answers we seek (and we must get better at forming inspired questions).
  10. To overcome the natural man is to experience a spiritual rebirth wherein we develop a determination to set the covenants we've made with the Lord as our highest guiding priority on a daily basis. It means losing the desire to sin such that we're more motivated by a hunger for light, for greater personal righteousness, more than we value temporal concerns or distractions. A person who has been spiritually reborn strives to set their heart on treasures in Heaven and not treasures on earth. They turn to prayer easily rather than grudgingly, and in prayer they regularly and proactively ask Heavenly Father to help them clear out any debris that would prevent them from having the Holy Ghost as their literal constant companion. In three words: let God prevail.
  11. The pain you describe due to the law of chastity as taught today at least partly comes from persons holding on too tightly to what they want, or what society says they should want, rather than giving ear to Prophets and Apostles who testify that only by giving up what we want can we be given something far better that will make us happier (becoming one with the Lord). Pain is also certainly caused by very imperfect people not living up to their covenants to mourn with others and to help bear burdens, and the culture that grows out of their hostility and unwillingness to be Christlike. The pain they feel is meant to be healed by their receiving and living Gospel covenants. If they won't do that then they tie the Lord's hands (I the Lord am bound when ye do what I say, but when ye do not what I say ye have no promise). What we set our hearts on has a big impact on where we find fulfillment, peace, and motivation. It doesn't help that society has it's own ideas of what we should be setting our hearts on, and the pressure to conform to worldly standards is immense. If I set my heart and hopes on romantic relationships with other men then I will be perpetually frustrated and let down because of the innate conflict with Gospel standards of marriage and eternal family. I can choose one or the other, but not both, because no man can serve two masters. The path to eternal happiness and peace in this life is found by choosing the Gospel and Church of Jesus Christ as restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Strength to grow in righteousness and motivation to choose obedience over distractions and temptations comes through daily active reliance on our covenants with the Savior. Intentionally placing our covenants first in the list of life's daily priorities is the heart and soul of the covenant path. I have spent many years with my heart set on other things besides the Savior's Gospel and Church: pornography, video games, junk food, fantasies about relationships I could have, and none of those things left me feeling spiritually fulfilled and content. My satisfaction is in knowing, through the power of the Holy Ghost, that my days are accepted by Him because I've tried to put off what I want. It's about making more room for His Spirit to be present more often in my mind and heart through striving submission to His will. To choose to walk the covenant path grows more difficult because of how many voices loudly insist that we shouldn't have to, or that the path must be made to accommodate the pain of those who, like myself once upon a time, wanted their own heart's desire more than the Lord's revealed heartfelt desire. We can disbelieve the living Prophet and Apostles if we want, but this is the choice placed before us: our will be done, or His will be done as made known to us today. Happiness and spiritual stability comes by striving to trade our mind and will in exchange for His mind and will. It's like me trying to describe the taste of salt: experience with the Lord in this way is impossible to comprehend unless you've tasted it yourself. Those who have tasted know exactly what I mean, and those who haven't probably think I'm deluded for asking others to trust my word: that the covenant path really is possible for those who are LGBT once the Holy Ghost becomes your constant companion, and I mean that literally.
  12. This helps me really appreciate the Temple work we can each do for our deceased ancestors so that they can partake of the same opportunities as living members of the Church today. Without Temple ordinances everything would seem to fall apart.
  13. Fair enough. My point is that we'll all be challenged in some way by what we didn't expect. As a brief tangent: I'm actually more convinced about the return of plural marriage in Zion because we know that at least some resurrected men will be living it on account of being sealed to multiple women. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and other individuals from our dispensation. President Nelson. Therefore because they'll be living in Zion the policy will of necessity be adjusted lest we excommunicate resurrected beings. Lol. That doesn't speak to what we may or may not be called upon to do, but I think an argument can be made that plural marriage is part of celestial law and we know that Zion must be built up according to those principles. Therefore I think it wise to consider our willingness to obey every command of the Lord regardless of cultural baggage and how distorted we view it due to hypersexualization in our society today. If we aren't willing to do anything He asks then it follows that we'll be moved out of our place at some point. For some it was the vaccine. Others masks in the Temple. We'd be wise to prepare our hearts to receive all His laws no matter what we may expect. Tangent over. Hah.
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