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Birth to the Arms of the Savior -- The Journey of an SSA Struggler
My son, Guy II, was born in 1968. He died on July 31, 1995. His journey through life was both happy and sad. He had a happy childhood and loved family life. At the age of nine, Guy, and our other three children and ourselves were baptized into the Church. This was an important and invaluable choice for all of us. One year after our baptism we were able to be sealed in the temple for time and all eternity. Most of the information I will use in these series of articles will be from memory and from both my own journal and mostly from Guy's journals.
At age 12 Guy drew a picture in his journal of his face with a frown on it and giant tears all over the page flowing from his eyes. He wrote, "I hate life! My dad is an idiot! No one knows how I feel! I'm so confused. I'm so ugly inside!"
A few days later he wrote, "The page behind this one is how I feel when I'm angry, I wrote this in there when I was angry. Now I look at it, and I don't really understand it. My whole life seems like a big, bad dream. Although sometimes it's a good dream."
As I recall, I had driven a bunch of the youth to a fireside. It was on a Sunday and President Kimball was the President of the church and basically the fireside was on morality. There was mention of homosexuality in it and it upset Guy a great deal. He was Deacons' Quorum President at the time and his whole attitude started to change after that fireside. One member of the ward said, "His light started to go out." This is when he decided it wasn't acceptable to have homosexual feelings. I guess as he explained it, "I started to not like myself and couldn't accept myself for having those feelings!" This started many years of struggling and searching for Guy as to who he was and where his life should go.
I guess you could say that I'm pretty depressed. I have dozens of girls that I like as friends. But I only have one friend that is a boy. This isn't too bad, I mean being able to hand around with all these girls all the time, but it's not as good, because then other people think that I'm going around with the girl I'm hanging around with. I'm just awful in sports. My one boyfriend I don't think likes me that well. Me and my dad are starting to get a little closer.
Things in my life are continuously switching from bad to good. Mostly it's bad. Everyone, practically everyone at school think I'm a fag, I don't know what to do. Should I stand up to them and fight them or do I just ignore them and cry about it when I get home? I have been thinking and well, nothing really matters except God's plan of salvation.
Journal entries, age 13, 1981
I've decided to give the gospel, and God, a try. I am going to fast tomorrow, and hopefully, I will get to be; 1-- close to God and Jesus Christ, 2-- Know without a shadow of a doubt that the church is true, 3-- Leave all sins. I want to earn my eternal salvation. I will have faith in the Lord and always try my best in all I do while I'm here on the earth. The devil is my life time and eternal enemy. It's because of him I have these problems. I hate him from now until eternity. I may seem happy on the outside, but I am terribly upset on the inside. I have no friends and nobody loves me. Inside of me is a person so hurt by the cruelties of the world that I am really frightened. I wish I could tell people how I really feel. But what do I want in life? I can't fit in somehow.
Today was an awful day at school. People called me a fag and I'm not exactly the most popular boy in my school. But I'd much rather be called a fag and be the ugliest person in my school than go through what the Lord did. But I still hope and pray that these people that call me a fag, and bother me, I pray their hearts will be softened. And I forgive them and I forgive my Dad for his faults. Amen.
Comments from Guy's mother:
Our whole family were converts to the church in 1977 when Guy was age 9. He would come home from school very upset at what the kids called him. Girls loved him, but boys were often mean to him. It didn't help that he had three sisters and no brothers. He wanted so much to fit in and to have many male friends who accepted him. He always had friends, but somehow they never were the right friends in his eyes. He would get so angry with his father and his apparent lack of approval of him. He started writing "Amen" at the end of all his journal entries. A formerly happy child started turning into a depressed and unhappy teenager.
Guy's story continues -- Journal entries, age 16
What to do with my life is the question I am faced with now. I blame everything on myself. I'm carrying some incredible emotional burdens that are literally destroying me. I feel more alone now than I have ever felt in my life. When I feel this loneliness I get an urge to call a male friend, as a habit. I want to sit down and make some goals as well as construct some sort of regular weekly schedule. But my goals are cloudy with confusion, uncertainty and this weekend I'm left in absolute misery. I actually had decided to put my full trust in God to help me become "straight" and be able to have a family and so on. But then I heard a true story of a man who went "straight," got married in the temple, had a few children, and then went back to being gay. This has left me feeling very discouraged. Will this happen to me? (Guy is referring to the book Goodbye, I Love You.)
As Guy's mother I can only say that the pain I watched him go through was devastating to me. I can't claim to fully understand his feelings, but I loved him so much I wanted to help him get the answers he longed for and needed. I just wanted him to be happy and live a life where he could make peace with himself. My husband and I started taking him to psychologists. Guy started counseling regularly with the Bishop. He began on a long line of various antidepressant medications to ease his pain. These were started at age 14 and continued off and on throughout his life. One could feel his pain by looking at his face and by talking with him. His nonacceptance of himself caused him to become very fragile and easily hurt, especially by other males. Our family began many years of fasting and prayer on behalf of our son.
Guy's story continues
Guy became very depressed at times. This seems to be consistent with what others who suffer from SSA have experienced.
I wish to change my thinking patterns to positive non-confusing ones. I wish to explore the issue of homosexuality with friends. Talking about my fears, religious conflicts, and overall acceptance of myself are the specific issues I will focus on.
Guy talked about some the cues that tell him he is feeling great anxiety:
Public situations, the way I look, my hands shake, my head feels like it is shaking, looking people in the eyes, and money.
Guy had become very aware of people looking at him and he worried about what they thought of him. Actually, he was very hard on himself. Girls would constantly notice him and flirt with him. This is not what he wanted, however. He wanted love and acceptance from men. When he was asked when did he feel accepted by men he commented:
High-fives during sporting events, hand shakes from men is an acceptance, hugs from men at church, rough-housing or hanging out, laying on of hands for blessings touches my heart.
One of his journal entries expresses his concerns:
I've learned not to put myself in a situation where I will be tempted to do something I know is wrong even though I'm convinced there's no way I'll fall. When I fall it makes me hate myself and brings stress, depression, as well as self-doubt to me. Remember the great joy you felt from doing the right things. How good you felt about yourself. I only hope the Lord will have mercy on me. Please do what's right Guy. Please! Do it for yourself. For what you can become. Do it for Jesus Christ. My mission is a very short time away and the devil is working overtime on me. My concerns about my sexuality just kill me inside and I am worried. It's so hard sometimes. Some times I can get so down about my sexual feelings. This problem hurts me so much. Please Lord! Help me! I worry a lot about my ability to be a missionary having the sexual feelings I do. Being on a mission is not going to be easy for me at all! I know God will watch over me and I know this is the best things for me to do at this time in my life. God help me! (Guy did get his mission call to the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission on February 15, 1988)
Guy's story unfolds -- Journal entries, 1987
I am thankful I have the gospel in my life. It seems that going through my whole life depressed is much shorter than eternity.
I want to do the Lord's work so badly. I must be strong. I must change things today, not tomorrow. These antidepressants are making me forget things, like how to spell. I only hope God approves. I will use my motivation to do His work -- to be His emissary.
I change with the wind. I think I'm starting to loose it upstairs, really! I forget little things. I've been so sad. I'm crying all the time, just extra sensitive. I have the self-esteen of a snail. How come I don't have a brother and a sweet, kind father. I know that God has been very generous with his blessings and I am forever in debt with Him.
My view of life has changed dramatically in one day. I was reading in the Doctrine and Covenants and I came upon this verse, 35:8, "For I am God, and my arm is shortened; and I will show miracles, signs, and wonders unto all those who believe on my name." I have received a sign, simply because I came across that verse and it inspired me to have it repeated to myself all day long. I studied with my mom this evening my Patriarachal blessing. It has become very apparent to me that I do well have a glorious mission on this earth; one that Jesus Christ himself knows that I am capable of completing. I am so thankful to the Lord for His great mercy and understanding and guidance in my life at this time. I am experiencing right now, at this moment, the Holy Spirit revealing to me of the truthfulness of these things. My heart feels great joy and I feel dedicated to this work the Lord would have me do. It is going to take great faith and intense struggling to do this, as Satan is obviously very determined for me to fail. Once again I proclaim that I need to be strong.
Note from Guy's mother: Guy continued to study the scriptures, accepted a calling in the church as assistant to the ward clerk, and was trying to prepare himself to possibly be able to serve a mission. Guy fought constantly the battle between his SSA feelings and his love of the gospel and Heavenly Father.
Excerpts from Guy's journal, 1987 I have actually done something right. I have made a covenant with my Heavenly Father to do his will, as well as keep his commandments. My heart rejoices in this decision. I can feel Satan attempting to destroy me; but I know who I am now, and I am happy and I rejoice in the knowledge of this. It has been revealed to me of the great happiness and peace of mind that accompanies righteousness.
(Guy had become infatuated with another boy -- I'll omit his name.)
My mind slips into unrealistic scenes with _____. I'm trying to not let this dominate my thinking, if not eliminate it. But, I want to suffer some so that I can feel sorry and know of a surety that my life has been anything but holy. I pray for strength and comfort. I know now that God isn't going to do anything for you that you can do for yourself. I have learned that I can have a very brotherly relationship with a man, with no need or want of a physical relationship.
Comment from Guy's mother: Guy was 18 years old when these entries were written. It was so difficult for him as he was attracted to men, but wanted so much to obey the commandments. We spent hours discussing his SSA and his confusion about wanting to be accepted by men and yet being so nervous and uncomfortable around them. He said something interesting to me. He said he hated men and yet he wanted to get them to love him. That statement I have always remembered and have pondered it many times. All I felt I could do at this point in Guy's life was love him unconditionally and always be there when he needed someone to talk to use as a sounding board about his SSA.
Journal Entries, 1987, age 17
My heart is lonely and sad. I know Satan wants me to give in to the pleasures that I am tempted with. I want to be strong. Stronger than I have ever been. I have to or I will fall into Satan's traps. But it is so hard to be strong when I am so hurt, lonely, sad, and depressed. My self-esteen is totally shot. My patriarchal blessing promises me many great blessings if I go on a mission. In fact, everything depends on me going on a mission. I have faith, but I just don't like myself. I have much faith in God and I am sure he will provide a way for me to do this great work. It seems almost impossible today. I know there is an incredibly strong and faithful spirit waiting to be set free in me. I pray that I may break the chains that Satan has bound me with so that, that great and powerful, and happy spirit in me will be set free. I need to ask some questions about being in the mission field. Could I really do it? Would I feel like I do now about guys. What can I do? I would feel rather uncomfortable sharing a room with another guy. Yet, I have been inspired to go on a mission -- I am a bit confused. In listening to the tape, "Hand to Hand Combat With Satan," I learned I should have my heart, mind, and strength single to the glory of God. I also have had new revelation pertaining to the wickedness Satan has bound me with.
For one, he knew I was going to be a powerful priesthood holder, so he filled my mind with a fascination for witchcraft -- which could lead to priestcraft. I will not watch Bewitched or any other movie with witches or demons with powers, etc. I feel a darkness around me at this very moment. Another thing I learned is that I have important children to raise in the Gospel. That is why Satan wants me to be homosexual. The devil wants you to fail, Guy, read this page (23) when you are in a time of doubt. For the church is true, I bear witness unto it. The devil has no hold on you. You have more power on your side. You do what you know will bring you the most happiness; doing the Lord's work, being his emissary. I pray that I will wax strong and take on the battle fully armed and ready to win.
Note from Guy's mother: And so Guy began to prepare himself to possibly serve a mission. I would hear his Book of Mormon tapes going all the time. He would listen to General Conference tapes constantly. Whenever he was feeling tempted or low he would try to stay close to the Spirit. But he was sorely tempted by his loneliness and desire for someone to love and to love him.
Guy's story continues -- Journal Entries, mission, 1988
Guy received his mission call and left for the MTC in April of 1988. He expressed that his greatest fear was that of the MTC and the showers. I think this is a common fear for those who have SSA.
On Saturday, February 13th I received my mission call to the Philadelphia Pennsylvania Mission. I came so close to crying I had to stop a moment before finishing reading my call. I really feel that this is the place for me to go. I feel so blessed.
I received a blessing from the Bishop last night and in it he talked of people or relatives beyond the veil helping me. This is very strange yet fascinating; me having ancesters from Philadelphia this makes sense. He also talked of Melchizedek Priesthood Holders from beyond the veil helping me. I don't understand this. Hopefully, I will understand it someday.
Here I am at the MTC. I feel strange right now. I really want the Spirit with me. I have waited for this day for a long time. I'm nervous about some things including the showers since I am a modest person. I want to learn to be more outgoing. The reality of the whole thing is slowly sinking in. I will pray dilligently this evening. My compnion is very nice and really is the perfect companion for me. He's not overbearing or rude. The Lord is with me. I miss my family and I'm scared, but I will keep a positive outlook. I need the Spirit of the Lord with me. I need to keep a clear perspective. God help me!
What's keeping me going is the Lord. I can feel his sweet lovingness. I look at pictures of Jesus and I feel close to Him. I can feel the Spirit really strong here.
Today is Fast Sunday and I am praying and fasting that I will be able to control my appetites and passions and that I may have the Spirit more fully with me. I do know that the Church is true. Satan is trying very hard to make me think that is isn't. Last Wednesday I went through the temple by myself and had a beautiful, sweet feeling as I sat in the Celestial Room. I cried. I miss my family, but I am being comforted by the Spirit. I can feel love and comfort. Even though sometimes I get depressed, the Spirit I can count on. The Spirit I love and love to have around me.
Note from Guy's mother: Guy wanted to serve a mission very much. He wanted to serve the Lord, but at the same time he had hopes that serving a mission would help him conquer his SSA feelings. I guess it was sort of a feeling of "if I do this for you Lord, will you please, please take away these feelings." A mission was difficult for him in that you live, sleep, dress, shower with other men. When SSA is your trial this makes it very difficult and Guy found he needed to be extra cautious and have the Spirit with him always.
Guy's mission continues...1988
Entries from Guy's journal
I can't believe I'm on my mission -- it's finally here. I dislike my companion, but I knew I'd have some I did not like. Oh well. I miss home, but the full reality doesn't always hit me. I have been quite depressed here at times, alot of the time: it's hard. I just wish it would be like I had intended and still want it to be: a time when I give my full and whole heart, my very soul to the Lord. So that I can feel His love and His Spirit.
Humble myself before Him and allow Him to "heal" me. I am in desperate need of help. Why am I cursed? Can I not control myself? I really don't think so, but I need to be positive. One moment I can be caught up in the love of Jesus Christ, and know that He loves me and that I can put my full trust in Him and He absolutely will not let me down. He loves me and wants me to be happy. He has all power, He is God! He is my God. Wickedness never was happiness. But then very soon I become caught up in carnal desires and am soon led by a force that is so strong. God does not allow question to come into my mind, and I feel Him trying to help, actually. It proves I must make my own decisions. Man! God do not forsake me! How do I pass up such a thing. I need to give my heart to God, not to carnal desires which are of the devil! Oh Lord, is it a thing of impossibility? I would very, very much like to say nay. I know where from happiness comes. I know it is not from this. I am in a prison. Torture of evil, wicked thoughts bringing my soul to deep woe and unhappiness.
I thank the Lord for the opportunity of being a missionary. I teach with force and power. It's hard for me to accept this. I am a very weak and humble person. I definitely feel like a "rock". I get to confirm one of the ____ Family. I hope I am totally worthy of such a responsibility. I had a private interview with my mission president where I told him of some of my difficulties. We are going to work on them together. He said not to think about things, but to concentrate on the work. I felt a strong feeling of forgiveness. It felt really nice. President _____ is a compassionate man. Zone conference in general was pretty neat. I really felt the Spirit and enjoyed it. I bore my testimony. I talked about my conversion. I said my parents were good examples for me as well as some ward members. I said a testimony is something you need to nourish.
On Wednesday, the high point of the day was our visit to the ____ Family. I felt the Spirit so strong at one point that an evil force lashed out at me and made itself manifest. It didn't want me to say what I was saying. The Spirit was upon me like a magnet.
Note from Guy's mother: Guy had hopes that his SSA feelings would diminish and eventualy go away as a result of his serving a mission. The usual problems on a mission were evident as well as problems dealing with other men and his lack of confidence in himself as a capable and worthwhile person. The Lord is never going to do for us what we can do for ourselves. Guy came to realize that he needed to learn what the Lord wanted him to learn on his mission.
Guy's mission continues...
Entries from Guy's Journal
I've been sick so I rested all day today. Nothing real exciting has happened lately. I've been depressed, though, about my problem in it's full scope causing great pain. But today I read something in The Articles of Faith book. It says: "There are others (other spirits) whose integrity and faithfulness have been demonstrated in their pristine state; the Father knows how unreservedly they may be trusted, and many of them are called even in their mortal youth to special and exalted labors as commissioned servants of the most high." Compare to this statement in my patriarchal blessing.
"You were selected and foreordained before coming into this mortal probationary period to set the example and be the emissary of our Lord and Master that you might constantly strive to accomplish His bidding and do His will."
I believe I know the example I was meant to set. These two connections help calm my mind about how the Father knows if we will make it back to Him or not. I make no extensive comments on this statement for I know the knowledge of the Father.
I'm having a hard time controlling my thoughts and actions, but when I put my faith in Christ, I get a spiritually uplifting and happy feeling, a tinge is what I felt today. I felt like a child just deciding to not do something. It fit, it made sense, it felt good, it was the Holy Ghost.
The most beautiful experience ever happened to me last night. Through the Spirit, and my brother's presence, I was able to not have my problem because my brother was right with me. Right on top of me in the spirit world dimension. We were sharing the same space. The beautiful Holy Spirit was with me and comforted me and made me feel it was okay. Through the Holy Spirit I felt my brother's love for me enormously. A sweet comfort and peace. He was with me or allowed to comfort me. I believe because I made the right decisions with their help. I thank my Heavenly Father for such a great blessing and for His love and mercy.
Note from Guy's mother: I lost a baby when Guy II was only 8 months old. I miscarried in my fourth month of pregnancy, and it was a boy. Guy II always had wanted a brother as he had three sisters. I had a very spiritual experience involving my other son and I shared it with Guy II. It is so sacred I cannot really share all the details here, but needless to say I am not surprised that Guy was blessed with help from his brother in the spirit world. I believe angels watch over us and help us many times when we are not even aware. I think Heavenly Father allows special help such as this, especially when we are on His errands.
6/29/88 Missionary Journal Entry
On Monday, June 27th I played basketball at the park and I was very touched when the guys said I did good. Now of course I wasn't great or nothing, but I did okay. Elder ____, Elder ___ and myself went bowling after that. ( it was P-Day) My high score was 131. It was sort of fun. I like bowling.
Note from Guy's mother: Guy wanted very much to be accepted by other males. On his mission, basketball was the most popular sport to play on P-Days. Guy felt very insecure in sports and dreaded these times. Guy longed to feel a bond with other males and hoped this would happen on his mission.
7/17/88 Missionary Journal Entry
I must keep the commitment which I have made with God. I know I am one of the noble sons of my Heavenly Father. [That is in his patriarchal blessing.] I believe I was foreordained to go through this so that I could help others, to set the example, so that I can do what Jesus Christ would have done if He were here. I was given this problem for a reason. My agency is unrelated to this calling. I must do this. I must conquer this problem. The powers of heaven are at your disposal Guy. I know this. You were set apart for this calling before you were born. Heaven will shake and tremble and sing songs of great joy for your accomplishments. Also, in my Patriarchal Blessing it says that "My Heavenly Father is pleased with the steps I have taken." What are those steps? They were eliminating myself from that other world. ___ and all that goes along with it. [He's referring to a friend with same-sex attraction.] God knew I was doing the right thing, and on that foreordained track back to His graces.
You envision yourself coming home new, fresh, clean, and "healed" or "changed"; having a certain glow and specialness about yourself; feeling confident about yourself and the world around you, having the ability to persevere, and a real closeness to your Heavenly Father. Let's keep that goal in sight alright. I get real depressed and feel subjected to the devil when I fall. Then I don't feel confident or good about the world around me. Let's do what's right! [Guy is referring to his thoughts and temptations which always bothered him greatly.]
I finished certifying yesterday, thank goodness. That should please the Pres!
Again I've had a problem with relating to people. I don't feel I'm being understood or liked all the time. I'm very picky and want to make a great impression on everyone. I suppose that's a big thing to live up to. I sometimes make things out to be worse than they really are.
8/14/88 Missionary Journal Entry
I got some studying done this afternoon. I finished my studying feeling a bit like I had really better straightened up and stop being so carnal. Again I know some absolutely remarkable blessings will be mine if I would just put my full faith in Christ with this problem. I always ask myself how? Through faith Guy. Through faith and prayer and study at the time of the problems is the answer to your problem. Even then you must sacrifice. It's a test.
Guy's Mission Continues... [Date missing] The one problem that I have on my mind this evening the most is my problem with being insecure and not feeling like I'm relating with people well enough. I'm not sure how to act, or what kind of personality to have. I haven't found myself yet. I'm still growing up and learning about myself. I hope that by the end of my mission I will feel more comfortable and adequate and relaxed and genuinely liked, understood, and accepted by people in whom I come in contact with. I hope I can come to the point where I feel I have expressed my true self or true spirit to people and feel satisfied and happy with myself and the image or personality I reflect. And I would know that they like it too. When we are brought to the depths of humility is when the Lord works best in our lives.
I wrote a letter today to my mom. I wrote about the feelings I had before I bore my testimony at Church last Fast Sunday. When I felt like maybe I had spoken with confidence to a large group of spirits in the spirit world. I also talked about my youth and I really felt the Spirit. Today, the Sabbath Day, we of course went to Church and a lot was spoken about Charity. Also a lot about stripping ourselves of pride and envying. I realized I needed to work on this myself. This day has been a bit of a struggle as Satan has been attempting to weaken my testimony and bug me. Again, as I read the Book of Mormon he attempted to try and make me doubt as I read. The Spirit needs to be present to get the full meaning of scriptures. I will fight though and have faith that the Lord will help me. I do know that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God. I know the Book of Mormon is true and when I think about it in the right light it's spiritually fascinating and wonderful. There's a lot of things about me I don't like, yet feel natural, yet aren't accepted. I'm not referring to sexuality, I just mean my general personality, how terribly insecure I am. People are so typical in their reaction to me. I need people's undivided attention when I speak or I'm hurt. Lord help me. I just need to have faith now that the Lord will help me. I just can't do anymore.
I have to have faith. I know that Satan isn't happy that I've made some accomplishments and is trying real hard to get to me. I've learned that I have a choice. That I have that power and it is a very powerful thing. I have the freedom to choose. As part of God's plan, no one can take that freedom of choice from me, not even Satan. I don't even have to listen to him. I have a tremendous gift -- the freedom to choose. Don't even think differently and keep that integrity and self-confidence. I talked to my mom this evening. She says she could feel my spirit a lot the last few days! I can't believe it, because I felt the same thing and even contemplated her mentioning it to me. I love my mom dearly.
I learned that I must exercise my own free agency, with the help of the Lord, to change my feelings. I need to start acting and thinking in the right way and have faith that the Lord will support me and aid me in my endeavor. We will do it together. I know the Lord will take my hand and guide me, but it's not something He will just change for me without me working at it too. Faith without works is dead.
Today was a bad day that turned out great. I felt real depressed and sick. I laid on my bed wishing I was not here on my mission, really missing home. I had put myself into my mission and I know there is no turning back. It would be too humiliating and mom and everyone would be so disappointed. As I laid there though, in deep despair and sadness, I felt a warmth come over me and again I felt a closeness with mom and the Spirit trying to comfort me and let me know it's alright; that things would work out.
Guy's Mission continues... [Date missing]
It was very hard to say goodbye to Elder___. No hug, no real sensitive scene, yet I feel a bit heartbroken to have him gone. It's strange not having him here. At transfers I was just at the point of sinking into despair because I felt so awkward, when things got a little better as Elder _____ and _____ started talking to me.
I like Elder _____ (my new companion). He is very nice and very clean too which is great! I've felt entirely unspiritual today, but I haven't felt all that bothered by Satan either. Except this morning I felt a sweet spirit about Elder _____ (my companion who got transferred today). Probably the Spirit was there because the Lord was commending him for a job well done. I love Elder _____. I hope things go well for him.
I feel rather scared this evening as I don't think I'm very attractive. I'm only 5'6" tall which is too short. I don't think girls like guys that short. Well, I'll be able to find a beautiful girl that will marry me. Also, I really insist on keeping my mind on changing my problem.
Sometimes you forget that you are a child of God. Not only that, but you're a noble son of your Heavenly Father. You must have achieved much in your pre-mortal life. God loves you and He wants you to succeed and He absolutely will do all He can for you without taking away your free agency. You very often have identity confusion.
These are beliefs about yourself that aren't true:
Written afterward in parenthesis are what he felt really was true. This is the format he used.
1. You are feminine. (Truth is you are kind, loving and male.)
2. You can't change, you're stuck the way you are. (You can change.)
3. People don't like you for an "unknown reason." (People like you.)
4. You're awkward, strange, and don't belong. (You are accepted.)
5. Because you're hairier than some guys you're ugly. (Hair is normal and you are handsome.)
6.You should never say hi to people or be loving and friendly with people because they will hurt you if you do this by shunning you as you are absolutely unacceptable, and too shy, awkward, and feminine and don't know how to approach people; you're uninteresting, and don't keep their attention. (You are a great person, an interesting one, and if you speak up in a firm "unshaky" voice, people will respect and like you, and always want to talk to you.)
8-I don't care. (You do care.)
Six keys to commitment:
1) Vision or dream
I want to be a father, a great father! I want children who love me and I love and can nurture, help, have fun with, and love (like Jessica). (Note: Jessica is his niece.) I want a wife who I love dearly with all my heart, whom I am attracted to in all ways; one whom I can respect and take care of. I want to be here to do this because I know if I do this it will bring me the most happiness, more than can anything else in this world! It is the ultimate high and pleasure to have a family who loves and supports each other. This is what my Heavenly Father wants me to do. He is behind me I know. I want to do it because I know He will be there for me to support, guide, influence, comfort, teach and strengthen. I want to do this because I will, or it is the way I can achieve or gain Eternal Life with my Heavenly Father. There is no other way.
To do this I know that I must put aside all other feelings and desires, lusts and evil thoughts. By doing this you will grow closer to your Heavenly Father and His Spirit. I want this because I am unhappy with the present situation and I will never be happy until I resolve to do these things. You must and you will right now at this very moment bind yourself to this end and to your Heavenly Father. You will follow this program because whenever you haven't, you have become very depressed. You have repented of all your sins and are forgiven. !Forgive yourself!
You can do this; God can do this and will, other people will support you, love you, and accept you; this system or plan will work.
4) Concentrate or focus
I must dedicate my heart, might, mind, and strength to this endeavor. I must concentrate and focus my energies, thoughts, and attention always, every minute of the day, to this goal.
To do this I know I must deny myself of certain feelings and thoughts, and "trick" pleasures brought by Satan and through the natural man. I must sacrifice some safety and take risks. I must entirely commit myself to this endeavor. I must sacrifice my wants and passions for what Heavenly Father wants me to feel like, act like, talk like, and be like.
6) Endurance, Perseverance
I must keep pushing and "fall forward." Keep an eye single to the glory of God and none else. I must have the strength and courage to get back up as I "strive" to do the Lord's will and accomplish His bidding. Stay positive and press forward with strength. Be strong! Be courageous and unbroken in your ground! You are your own free agent! Don't let Satan hinder you! Persevere! Push ahead looking at the end of the tunnel!
I still do have some very strong temptations and habits that I just can't seem to break. Oh I really don't know how to do this. I mean I know where to go for help and comfort, and He has comforted and helped me, yet how can I change these things that have been so deeply rooted in my head since my very early childhood if not infancy? There is a certain calm I do receive as I ponder on this. I am thankful for this. I don't need to worry. I need but know that God loves me and will help me.
Guy came home from his mission and his last entry in his missionary journal reads:
Do not feel that you are consumed in this problem. The Temple Covenants that you solemnized are very real and must be kept. Oh please, Guy, just promise yourself you will think carefully and remember that your goal is to get married and have beautiful children. That can be yours immediately! Be careful and don't rush into any bad decisions. Pray and listen to the Spirit. If you ever need help, call! The Lord will hear you! It's going to be tough. Temptations will still rage against you. Know it and be prepared. Honor your covenants.
11/22/88 Journal Entry
Here I am home from my mission. I'm very worried that I haven't been applying the things I have learned to my life. My journal for me is a tool to get out my true feelings on paper and really I hope it helps me to stop trying to escape.
1/7/89 Journal Entry
I'm on a antidepressant. (Prozac) I am radically withdrawn and blinded by hurt and loneliness and wandering liked a dazed zombie. Hiding, denying, not facing; I'm a mess. I am not thinking clearly. Strangely, I seem to want to be like this in a bizarre sort of way. I seem to be unwilling to try or work on the problems. I seem to have given up.
1/9/89 Journal Entry
Today I tried to be a more useful person and helped my mom out with this and that. The antidepressant started working today in a very subtle way. I've decided I need to try. Not to go on blind faith so much, but to put the faith or spiritual feelings with the mental and really start to find myself and feel better about myself. My action idea for tonight and tomorrow is to be nicer to myself. More kind and loving, gentler with myself. More comforting. Not to be such a worrier.
May, 1989 Journal Entry
These past few days have been the most spiritual of all my days on earth. All I know for sure is that I have a calling to do: to help the members of the Church of Jesus Christ on Earth to come to understand homosexuality. This has certainly been the most enlightening day if not the best day of my life.
A thought from Mom: I think that this was important to him in that he felt that he was needed and trusted by the Lord to do this work. I think that he felt inspiration through the Spirit. I also think that he felt that some good would come from his trials with SSA and that there was more purpose in it then he ever realized.
11/10/92 Journal Entry
I'm back again in the arms of the Lord. I am happy about this, but I am having problems adjusting to the new feelings I feel within my soul. There seems to be three parts to check on: the spirit or soul, the physical body (which is very weak), and finally the Rx I am taking. I want to find myself or my new self, I should say, with a good balance, a proper balance. A proper balance that leaves no room for doubt which of the three check points are screwing up. I know that along with my blessings being sealed back upon me that I have also brought upon me Satan and his evil followers into my life in great strength, for I am a weak vessel of the Lord.
11/11/92 Journal Entry
This morning I learned through the scriptures that the Lord makes us all suffer according to His will that we may grow. If I try to cover up all my suffering with pills, I won't see as clearly the lesson to be learned. Rather with caution and carefulness should I take pills. There always seems to be some side effect that messes me up. I must learn not to murmur, but to rather count my blessings which are great in abundance. Pills have good reason in your life; follow the Spirit.
Note from Mom: I worried about Guy a lot at this time in his life. The doctors tried many medications on him to help with his depression and his headaches which had now been diagnosed as migraines. The medications had various side effects on his psyche. All of the psychiatrists he had seen since his mission were not LDS and advised him to just accept himself as homosexual and to leave the Church. His Dad and I were anxiously searching for therapists that were LDS and in our area for him. It was difficult trying to help him and yet wanting to allow him to make his own decisions. We could see him going up and down all the time emotionally and struggling to think clearly with all the medications he was taking.
5/4/94 Journal Entry
Though the Spirit of God is helping me, I sometimes, in my stubbornness, refuse to listen. I feel no great spirit about me, but I know it's there. It's hard because I don't seem to know how to have fun or enjoy life with the strong pressure I feel to be straight or celibate: avoid people and places that can inspire evil doings. I need to totally reevaluate what is important and where to compass my life. I can only go on faith, hoping that there is, or knowing that there is, a greater power; even my Father in Heaven who loves me and has great comforting powers.
5/23/94 Journal Entry
Today I have made an objective decision for enlightenment. I will pray 3 times a day and fast for one week only drinking my diet shakes and water to quench my thirst in the hot days ahead. I must come to decisions that my life can follow, have a "will" to do those things (not being changed by the winds of the north, south, east or west). Oh, my days on earth, how they have changed. My ever growing challenge to be enlightened and do better my whole life through. Give me the strength my Father, to be in a different space, making sure my ever needing love.
5/25/94 Journal Entry
I'm learning today the meaning of discipline and delaying gratification. It's been a hard morning for me. I had to start the day with a headache. I must pray (and fast), listen, and learn until my bosom burns, especially at the very moment temptation comes.
5/31/94 Journal Entry
Ezra Taft Benson died yesterday. I listened to a talk he gave on 10/2/88, around the time that I returned from my mission. He said that this had been a landmark in time for the Book of Mormon to sweep the earth. I'm glad I was able to be a part of the giving away of the Book of Mormon. I pray that I might be able to give away more than just the ones I gave away on my mission. For this was only the beginning, and I do not wish to be under any condemnation from God. That goes for all things. That's why I'm going to switch psychiatrists in a fight within my mind to change my thinking. For God hast commanded it, and I must be true to the nobleness I showed in the pre-mortal existence, and be true to my endowments and promises I made in the Temple in front of God and His angels.
Note from Mom: Guy was able to find Evergreen and also Reparative Therapy. To go to Evergreen he needed to drive to San Francisco, as that was the closest group to us. We flew him on a plane for visits with Dr. Nicolosi in Southern California every two weeks and also found a Christian psychiatrist here in San Jose that didn't discount his desires to change his feelings and to be a part of the church he loved. Our son was worth every effort on our part to help him. It was very painful for us to watch a son we loved so much suffer and struggle with his trials and innermost feelings. We constantly needed to fast and pray for strength and guidance from the Spirit to help us know how to help him and in order to cope.
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