In truth, these chapters are much more about the gospel through the eyes of one individual who experiences same-gender attraction than they are about same-gender attraction itself. To be certain, these chapters are about "change," and they are about "overcoming" but not in the same way usually referred to in discussion on homosexuality.... These chapters are about a "change" of heart (Helaman 15:7) and of "overcoming" the world (John 16:33) through faith in Jesus Christ....Ty Mansfield in In Quiet Desperation
My counselor several months ago was recommending books to me and suggested In Quiet Desperation wasn't the best one and that I would be best served by trying some others. I don't remember what our conversation was about exactly, but his suggestion may have been because at that point I was looking for more clinical and scientific information about homosexuality and reparative therapy.
Now that I've started In Quiet Desperation, I think I should fire him. I really like it a lot. I was further prepared to hate the book because of some critical comments circulating around the blogs several months ago, many by really smart folks I respect a ton. So, imagine my surprise when I finally got my hands on a copy and love it so far! It fits with my observation about most things in life--set your expectations low and you'll usually be pleasantly surprised. ;-)
The quote above is my favorite so far because it jives with something Elder Wickman said that has been weighing heavy in the back of my mind:
Ultimately, the wisest course for anybody who’s afflicted with same-gender attraction is to strive to extend one’s horizon beyond just one’s sexual orientation, one’s gender orientation, and to try to see the whole person. If I’m one that’s afflicted with same-gender attraction, I should strive to see myself in a much broader context… seeing myself as a child of God with whatever my talents may be, whether intellect, or music, or athletics, or somebody that has a compassion to help people, to see myself in a larger setting and thus to see my life in that setting.
The more a person can look beyond gender orientation, the happier and more fulfilling life is likely to be. The worst possible thing for any of us — no matter what our temptations, no matter what our mortal inclinations may be — is to become fixated with them, to dwell on them. When we do that, not only do we deny the other things that comprise us, but experience teaches that there will be an increased likelihood that eventually we will simply succumb to the inclination.
So, I think I'll be focusing more on the gospel as I go along. I do see myself in the larger context--this is only one part of my life. But I must admit that my mind goes to this blog much more frequently than it does, say, the scriptures. Ty is wise, and Wickman is inspired. I'll be adopting Ty's approach I think. It feels so right considering my recent frantic grasping for some strength and solidity in meeting my challenges. And then at General Conference the message over and over was that whatever your challenges may be, you need to rely on the Savior for mercy and comfort.
I feel much better.
Index of Matis/Mansfield posts
In Quiet Desperation, 1
Mutually exclusive yearnings
Family and friends
Fat and sassy
Goldilocks and the three queers
Celebrity deathmatch: Mansfield vs. Byrd
In Quiet Desperation, 2