The Heavy Laden Club
Last night I read Elder Oak’s talk, “He Heals the Heavy Laden.” And who of us aren’t heavy laden? If you were to ask anyone in the Church I think they would attest to the fact that they have many things that weigh them down and put them into the “heavy laden category. And yet there are times when even the most prestigious of the H.L.C. (Heavy Laden Club) are feeling more buoyed up, than weighed down, and that’s because being heavy laden is fluid. We feel it more times than others, and I’ve also been told that sexuality is fluid. For me that’s not necessarily the case, but since I’ve been married I’ve gained some pretty strong heterosexual desires for sex, that I otherwise have never encountered before.
But fluidity is the least of my problems, and the least of interest concerning this entry. I wanted to mull over a couple of things that Mr. Dallin H. said, with the hopes of better understanding this “disease” called “same-gender attraction.” Doesn’t that phrase, “same-gender attraction” sound so safe? No rainbow waiving drag queens or leather wearing hairy men with whips come to mind when someone uses “same-gender attraction.” Leave it to the Church to revolutionize the very simple three letter word (say it under your breath with a slight whisper...”gay”) that has become a politically correct term around the world.
With less sarcasm let me say that I really did enjoy Elder Oak’s talk. It was sincere, and I felt like his message was clear and probably very helpful to most of the members of the Church. But confusion fills my mind in regard to some of the phrasing he used. He implied a lot about “healing,” he said:
Healing blessings come in many ways, each suited to our individual needs, as known to Him who loves us best. Sometimes a "healing" cures our illness or lifts our burden. But sometimes we are "healed" by being given strength or understanding or patience to bear the burdens placed upon us.
That last sentence really made me think. In referring to healing as something that doesn’t actually heal, but that lifts our burdens and gives us patients, now that makes sense because I know that I will never be free of the temptations, desires, and issues that surround my homosexual tendencies, but I do know that I can learn how to deal with them adequately. The only problem I see with that is that visually it looks and feels a lot like a tight rope, always afraid of falling and never being ok with the security of balance.
I guess that’s the way I see myself in the gospel. I see myself as the man on a tight rope, who can’t let his guard down, who can’t sit and rest, and who has to constantly be worried that he’s going to fall. I look below me and I see people who have actually fallen off the rope and who have landed on a net and are now living their lives below me with no worry of falling down and all the time in the world to just let their guard down and just be.
So I therefore am led to believe that I need more faith. I need more faith in the Savior and His healing power because that’s what this life is about, not finding out more about myself, but finding out how the Lord is the only path to true and everlasting happiness. And if the Lord’s prophets and apostles tell me that homosexuality is a sin, then here I stand on the tight rope, praying and hoping that I make it to the other side.