Saturday, August 23, 2008

Our divine destiny as it applies to gays and lesbians

One of the first lines from The Family: A Proclamation to the World reads: "All human beings—male and female—are created in the image of God. Each is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents, and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny."1Our nature is that we are children of God.2 Our destiny is to have joy.3 This joy comes from following the commandments of God.4 We must accept Christ and take upon us his name.5 One of the greatest joys is found in the family, which is one reason we are commanded to multiply and replenish the Earth.6 Our destiny is to be exalted, together as a family. Being God's children, we are to inherit all that he has.7Of course, all that isn't going to happen here. There are children who die before being able to accept Christ, and many others who live their whole lives without even hearing of the gospel. Other people, for whatever reason, will never have the chance to get married in this life. But God is just, and it will all work out in the end. However, we must understand the goal that we are working towards. Understanding that goal is key in helping us fulfill our divine nature and identity. Once we understand our own purpose, we can help others to understand and fulfill their destiny.Since our identities are so essential to the Lord's plan, our identities are often under attack. It is this attack of which I wish to speak of today. Our identities are under attack by what we think of ourselves, how we see other people, and how we act according to those identities. One of the ways our identities are attacked is through labels. We use labels everyday. It is how we identify what we are talking about. However, labels can be used to hurt or limit the capacity of our fellow man. These labels are powerful, and whether they are true or not, they take a hold of our hearts, and lead us to action. This is one of the reasons it is so important that we take upon ourselves the name of Christ. If this is our identity, it will lead to act according to the commands of God. However, if we choose some other label as our main identity, we become weak, for we are only as strong as that label. When Satan came to Moses and told him to worship him, Moses replied: "Who art thou? For behold, I am a son of God, in the similitude of his Only Begotten; and where is thy glory, that I should worship thee?"8 If Moses had responded "Who art thou? For behold, I am Moses, a prince of Egypt," he would not have had the same result. Elder Holland tells the story of one man who let one of these labels diminish his self worth and distract him from his divine identity. He states:
A pleasant young man in his early 20s sat across from me. He had an engaging smile, although he didn’t smile often during our talk. What drew me in was the pain in his eyes.
“I don’t know if I should remain a member of the Church,” he said. “I don’t think I’m worthy.”
“Why wouldn’t you be worthy?” I asked.
“I’m gay.”
I suppose he thought I would be startled. I wasn’t. “And … ?” I inquired.
A flicker of relief crossed his face as he sensed my continued interest. “I’m not attracted to women. I’m attracted to men. I’ve tried to ignore these feelings or change them, but …”
He sighed. “Why am I this way? The feelings are very real.”
I paused, then said, “I need a little more information before advising you. You see, same-gender attraction is not a sin, but acting on those feelings is—just as it would be with heterosexual feelings. Do you violate the law of chastity?”
He shook his head. “No, I don’t.”
This time I was relieved. “Thank you for wanting to deal with this,” I said. “It takes courage to talk about it, and I honor you for keeping yourself clean.
“As for why you feel as you do, I can’t answer that question. A number of factors may be involved, and they can be as different as people are different. Some things, including the cause of your feelings, we may never know in this life. But knowing why you feel as you do isn’t as important as knowing you have not transgressed. If your life is in harmony with the commandments, then you are worthy to serve in the Church, enjoy full fellowship with the members, attend the temple, and receive all the blessings of the Savior’s Atonement.”
He sat up a little straighter. I continued, “You serve yourself poorly when you identify yourself primarily by your sexual feelings. That isn’t your only characteristic, so don’t give it disproportionate attention. You are first and foremost a son of God, and He loves you.
“What’s more, I love you. My Brethren among the General Authorities love you."9
One of the things that struck me about this story was the pain the young man's eyes. When Satan came to him, and told him he wasn't worthy, he didn't say "Who art thou? I am a son of God." He said "You're right, I'm gay." He ended up believing Satan's lies that he wasn't worthy, and hence Satan was able to prevent this man from having joy, and replaced his deserved joy with pain.Does this happen to you? Does Satan cloud your mind from your true identity, and tell you that you are not worthy of God's love? Does he replace your core identity with some other identity, that isn't nearly as important your true identity as a beloved child of God?Satan uses many tricks to do this. We may look around and think of ourselves as less talented, less skilled, not as faithful, or not as beautiful as those around us. When Satan comes and tells us we aren't worthy, we too might bow our heads and agree with him, "You're right, I'm not as good as so and so at such and such."God gives us our gifts. God gives us our weaknesses. Everything we have we have received from the Lord. He knows what we are capable of and what we are not capable of. He gives our weaknesses so that we can be humble, and he uses that humility to bring us unto him, so that he can make those weak things become strengths.10 If we believe in Christ, and follow his will, we will be able to accomplish all things.11One of the greatest impediments to feeling worthy is the feeling we cannot accomplish what the Lord has asked us to do. But He knows our weaknesses, and yet promises that he shall prepare a way for us so that we may accomplish the thing which he has commanded us.12 Relying on the Lord and trusting that we can accomplish what he has in store for us is all part of preparing us to achieve our destiny.13 This is one of the reasons hope is so essential to the plan of happiness.14 I think gays are especially challenged in this area, because so many people teach they are inherently evil. God did not create anyone to fail. He created us to succeed.15 Our divine destiny applies to every one of God's children. Some may forget that the Family was not a proclamation to the church, but a proclamation to the world. President Hinckley said "Now we have gays in the church. Good people. We take no action against such people – provided they don’t become involved in transgression, sexual transgression. If they do, we do with them exactly what we’d do with heterosexuals who transgress."16 Later, as a follow-up to the Larry King interview, he said "People inquire about our position on those who consider themselves so-called gays and lesbians. My response is that we love them as sons and daughters of God. They may have certain inclinations which are powerful and which may be difficult to control. Most people have inclinations of one kind or another at various times. If they do not act upon these inclinations, then they can go forward as do all other members of the Church."17Knowing that we are able to accomplish the Lord's commandments is an essential step in feeling our worth and fulfilling our destiny. The next logical step is to obey the Lord's commands. Of course, Satan challenges us here too. The world teaches us that we should embrace all of our feelings. If something feels good, we should do it. Elder Oaks said “All of us have some feelings we did not choose, but the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that we still have the power to resist and reform our feelings.”18 These unchosen feelings do not take away our divine nature and destiny. We were made to act, not to be acted upon.19 The natural man acts unrestrained on these desires, and is an enemy of God.20 But we have been given the power to choose for ourselves.21 We fought a war for our agency, for our ability to act, and that war continues here on Earth. Satan would have us believe we are incapable of acting, incapable of obeying God’s commandments, and hence incapable of joy.
As we learn to control our feelings and bridle our passions, we feel better about ourselves.22 We are empowered to do more, and accomplish great things. There is a peace that only Christ can give us.23 This peace is this sweetest thing on Earth.24 As members of the Lord's church, we dedicate our lives towards bringing this peace to our fellow man.25 This may prove difficult at times, as it may require an abrupt change in the lives of those we teach.26 However, this peace and joy is the purpose of why we are here, and if we are diligent in helping our brother and sisters to change their lives, they too can join with us in the most glorious joy available to man.27
This requires some hard changes. In doing so, we might come off unloving. With regards to the church's position on same-sex relationships, many feel the church is unloving. But this is really one of the greatest things we can do for those involved in same-sex relationships.
President Packer explains "We understand why some feel we reject them. That is not true. We do not reject you, only immoral behavior. We cannot reject you, for you are the sons and daughters of God. We will not reject you, because we love you. You may even feel that we do not love you. That also is not true. Parents know, and one day you will know, that there are times when parents and we who lead the Church must extend tough love when failing to teach and to warn and to discipline is to destroy. We did not make the rules; they were revealed as commandments. We do not cause nor can we prevent the consequences if you disobey the moral laws. In spite of criticism or opposition, we must teach and we must warn."28
Our church leaders teach us correct principles because they love us. Wickedness brings pain,29 and our purpose is to have joy. They do all that they can to teach us joy, and I am so grateful for the love they show to us.
Michael Glatze, who was the founder of the magazine Young Gay America and was of the up-and-coming gay right activists, said after repenting and being baptized into the Lord's Church, “Homosexuality prevents us from finding our true self within. We cannot see the truth when we are blinded by homosexuality." He said that before he was baptized, whenever he had a sense that he was doing something wrong, "I would just attribute it to, 'that's just the way life is.'...30
How many of us feel that our leaders don't love us because they tell not to do something? Do we feel they are harsh, unfair, or unloving. It is precisely because they are loving that they teach and warn us against the dangers of our day. They know obeying the commandments will bring us joy. Here is one story how the “tough love” President Packer was discussing brought joy to one woman's life:
Melissa Fryrear came to believe at an early age that her same-sex attractions made her "detestable" before God. Under this false belief system, she turned away from God and by the time she was 16 had started having sexual relationships with women. After living with her girlfriend for many years, a Christian co-worker befriended her. She talked with her girlfriend, and they decided to go to a local church. When they entered the small, conservative church, they were welcomed with open arms and the congregation invited her and her girlfriend to the various activities. Doris and her husband D.J. in particular took time to reach out to Melissa. She recounts "They met me where I was, accepted me with grace, loved me unconditionally and prayed for me fervently. It was through the relationship with them that I was led to make the most important decision of my life. One day in February of ’91, I said quietly in my heart, Jesus, I need You. I receive You. Please, please, please come and be the Savior of my soul and the Lord of my life. And He did... For months I went around and around with the Lord. I didn’t understand. I argued with Him, begged Him, ignored Him, hurt Him and fled from Him... Over the next months, the Holy Spirit continued to work God’s truth in my heart until I ultimately came to the point where I knew that I knew what I was doing was wrong. Even in my confusion, even in my anger, even in my rebellion, God showered me with His kindness, which led to repentance. In October ’92, by His grace, I repented of my years of sexual sin."31 Melissa left her girlfriend and is touring the country telling all of how God saved her from the chains of homosexuality.
What would have happened to Melissa if Doris and DJ had adopted the philosophy of day, and had told Melissa that she would never change, and that God wanted her to be in a same-sex relationship? Melissa would have been denied the healing power of the atonement. So many gays are looking for healing, and much of the world is telling them it is impossible.
This is the whole point of the church: to bring us to Christ, so that through his atoning mercy, we can turn all of our sorrows and pains over to him.32 Yet this is a difficult process. Both the young man that Elder Holland interviewed and Melissa talked of severe pain associated with the process. Alma recounts a similar pain: “But I was racked with eternal torment, for my soul was harrowed up to the greatest degree and racked with all my sins.”33 Yet this pain is a cleansing pain. It brings us to our Savior. Alma continues: “Now as my mind caught hold upon this thought, I cried within my heart: “O Jesus, thou Son of God, have mercy on me... And now behold, when I thought this, I could remember my pains no more; yea, I was harrowed up by the memory of my sins no more. And oh what joy, and what marvelous light I did behold; yea my soul was filled with joy as exceeding as was my pain.”34
The pain might be hard, but it is worth the joy. There are many good-intentioned people, who encourage a sinner to continue in their ways, so that they would not have to feel that pain. I remember on my mission, I was working with an investigator who was trying to quit smoking. She threw away all of cigarettes and didn't bring any money with her to buy any more. However, when her friends saw how much pain she was going through to quit smoking, they insisted that she take one of their cigarettes. If they were true friends, they would have suffered with her. I think that is why the scriptures ask us to “mourn with those who mourn.”35
I think gay men and women have a lot of suffering to do, and it is our responsibility to help them. Elder Oaks exhorted us that "All should understand that persons (and their family members) struggling with the burden of same-sex attraction are in special need of the love and encouragement that is a clear responsibility of Church members, who have signified by covenant their willingness “to bear one another’s burdens” “and so fulfil the law of Christ.”36 Let us live up to that covenant.
The greatest commandment is to love the Lord thy God, and the second is to love thy neighbor as thyself. All other commandments hang on these two great ones.37 Everything we do should be out of love. From reading the words of our prophets, I know that they love gays and lesbians, and they are doing all that they can to teach them of their divine heritage and help them fulfill their divine potential.
However, there are many forces trying to tell gay men and lesbians that they are incapable of fulfilling their divine destiny, or that they would be happier rejecting their destiny than fulfilling it.
Satan tells gay people who want to obey the commandments of God that it is impossible, he tells gay people who are confused about which way they should go that they should pursue same-sex relationships, and he tells those that are in same-sex relationships that they can't change. Isaiah 5:20 reads "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!" So many people with same-sex attraction believe they should pursue same-sex relationships in order to be true to themselves. They avoid marriage because they believe it would be dishonest for their spouse. Those already married leave their marriages because they believe that is what they should do. Those who want to obey the commandments of God are being ridiculed and told they are being dishonest, and those trying to help them are being told they are hurting them. Marriages are being broken apart, lives are being destroyed, souls are lost, and the wounded suffer in silence and are denied the healing power of the atonement, all in the name of acceptance and open-mindedness.
I have chosen to focus on the divine nature and destiny of gay men and women partially because of the political atmosphere, but also because I think it is a strong example of how destructive a false view of one's identity could be. We all face challenges to our identity. Whatever the temptation may be, there are those lined up to tell us we would be happier embracing that desire rather than going through the pains of repentance. We must be strong. If we remember who we are, we will be able to ignore Satan, and continue with faith and fulfill our destiny. And that will bring true joy, which is the whole reason why we exist.
It also a testimony of how powerful the Lord is in helping us overcome our struggles. Any struggle can be overcome. I know way too many people who victimize themselves, who falsely believe they are incapable of attaining the Celestial Kingdom, who believe the road is too hard to travel because they are too weak, because some desire is too strong, or some burden is too heavy. Others falsely believe that something that happened in the past, like abuse or a transgression, disqualifies them from the kingdom of God. 2 Nephi 26:5 reads "Doth he cry unto any, saying: Depart from me? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; but he saith: Come unto me all ye ends of the earth, buy milk and honey, without money and without price." God is that powerful. He can redeem all who come unto him. This is my testimony. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
1 The Family: A Proclamation to the World
2 Romans 8:16
3 2 Nephi 2:25
4 Mosiah 2:41
5 3 Nephi 27:5
6 Genesis 1:28
7 Romans 8:17
8 Moses 1:13
9 Holland, Jeffrey. "Helping Those Who Struggle with Same-Gender Attraction" Ensign, Oct. 2007, 42–45
10 Ether 12:27
11 Philippians 4:13
12 1 Nephi 3:7
13 Mosiah 4:9-10
14 Ether 12:32
15 2 Nephi 2:25
16 Lattin, Don (April 13, 1997), "Musings of the Main Mormon: Gordon B. Hinckley"
17 Hinckley, Gordon. "What are People Asking About Us?" Ensign, Nov 1998, 70)
18 Oaks, Dallin "Same-Gender Attraction" Ensign, Oct 1995, 7
19 2 Nephi 2:14
20 Mosiah 3:19
21 2 Nephi 2:27
22 Alma 38:12
23 John 14:27
24 1 Nephi 11:22
25 D&C 15:6
26 Mosiah 27:25
27 D&C 18:15-16
28 Packer, Boyd K. "Ye Are the Temple of God" Ensign, Nov 2000, 72–74
29 Alma 41:10
30 Glatze, Michael "How a 'gay rights' leader became straight" WorldNetDaily
31 Fryrear, Melissa "The Seeds that Grow: Real Stories - Women" Exodus International
32 Alma 7:11
33 Alma 36:12
34 Alma 19-20
35 Mosiah 18:9
36 Oaks, Dallin "Same-Gender Attraction" Ensign, Oct 1995, 7
37 Matt 22:37-40

Coming out talk from March 11, 2007

One of my favorite prophets was Enoch. This guy started off hated by men and slow of speech, but out of a people of which it was said were evil continually, and against whom the fierce anger of the Lord was kindled, he was able to create a Zion so righteous that it was brought up into God's bosom.
After he built Zion, Enoch was able to have one of the most intimate conversations with God ever recorded. He saw a vision of the world and the wickedness thereof. He also got a unique view of what God means when he says about a people:
“And the fire of mine indignation is kindled against them; and in my hot displeasure will I send in the floods upon them, for my fierce anger is kindled against them.” (Moses 7:34)
As God was showing the wickedness of the world, Enoch looked over, and saw God weep. He was really confused. These were people against whom the wrath of the Lord was kindled. He asked “How is it that the heavens weep, and shed forth their tears as the rain upon the mountains?” Again he says “How is it that thou canst weep, seeing thou art holy, and from all eternity to all eternity?” He recounts the majesty of God and all his creations, about how he had just taken a whole city of righteousness into his bosom. Enoch must really have been confused, because he asks a third time “how is it thou canst weep?”
God explained that he gave them agency, and taught them the Celestial law, but they rejected him, and now they were about to be destroyed. He sums up by saying;
“Satan shall be their father, and misery shall be their doom; and the whole heavens shall weep over them, even all the workmanship of mine hands; wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer? But behold, these which thine eyes are upon shall perish in the floods; and behold, I will shut them up; a prison have I prepared for them. And That which I have chosen hath pled before my face. Wherefore, he suffereth for their sins; inasmuch as they will repent in the day that my Chosen shall return unto me, and until that day they shall be in torment; Wherefore, for this shall the heavens weep, yea, and all the workmanship of mine hands.” (Moses 7:37-40)
These were the most wicked people the world has ever known, and God's anger was kindled against them, and yet He wept for them. He had just gained a whole city of righteous followers. Why would care about these people with whom his fierce anger was kindled? Why? Because He loved them, and wants to be with them. Even for those who willfully rebelled against him, he wept over their suffering. Do you understand how great their worth must be if the God of the universe weeps over them? Do you understand your worth? If God weeps for their suffering, how do you think he feels when you suffer, or I suffer? I know God loves us, and that we are worth more to him than we could ever possible imagine. He wants us to be with Him, and he will weep if we aren't.
Even though God weeps for our suffering, he still allows us to go through trials. He allows us to suffer, even if we did nothing to deserve it. Let me relate an experience I had that helped me better understand how God feels:
I volunteered as a translator at a health clinic where they were taking blood samples to test for iron deficiency. Lots of kids went through and acted to various degrees of bravery. Some acted like nothing happened, while some screamed bloody murder.
One toddler came in, a very happy little guy, and innocently gave his hand to the nurse. Once he discovered that the nurse wanted to prick his finger with something pointy, he let out a yelp and drew back his hand in horror. He had the most betrayed look in his eyes. His eyes grew big, questioning “Mom, if you love me, why did you get me into this mess.” The mom comforted her son and coaxed him to give his finger to the nurse. The little boy mustered up all of his courage and gave his hand to the nurse. Tears swelled up in his eyes when the nurse tested his blood, but he didn't make a sound, just cradling in his mom's bosom. I noticed that his mother's eyes teared up as well. I wondered who this experience was harder for, the son or the mother.
The Lord told Joseph Smith in Carthage jail, “And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.” (DC 122:7)
Experience. Stinking experience. It seems like a high price to pay for experience, but I know it shall be for my good, and I need to pass through tribulations in order to be exalted, which I want more than anything else in the world. Still it is hard for me to go through. I imagine it must be hard for God to see me go through, but there is something God wants more than my temporal happiness. He wants me to live with him again. He wants my soul. Do you realize how great the worth of your soul is in the sight of God? He was willing to literally suffer with us through hell so he may bring our souls back to live with him again.
But before we can get through our tribulations, before they can be consecrated for our good, we need to let the Lord in to suffer with us. We need to let him carry, not just our sins, but our sorrows, and our tribulations. We need to understand that he wants to helps us, and he wants us to live him again. We need to understand our worth before God. In 1 John 4:19 it says “We love him, because he first loved us.” We have to understand his love first. The little boy would not go to the nurse at first. It wasn't until he felt the love his mother had for him that he was able to allow the nurse to prick his finger. We need to understand how great our worth is in the Lord's sight before we can allow him to help us.
Although the hardships we endure may at first make it harder to recognize our worth, I think tackling it with faith in Christ helps us realize that our worth is great even though we have trials. I look at people who are suffering from chronic disease. Some have became bitter and angry at God, but others have developed an immense spirituality and trust in the Lord. This is definitely true of me and what I have gone through in my life. Through my struggles with same gender attraction, the Lord has taught me how great his love for me really is, and how through coming to him and using the atonement I can overcome anything. I learned his love really is all-encompassing, and he really loves all of me.
I didn't always have that view. At first, I was horribly ashamed of my struggle, and wanted to hide it from the Lord. I was like the little boy that screamed when he was pricked, and questioned if his mother still loved him. I knew God loved me, but I didn't think he loved that part of me. I separated myself into the good Josh that God loved, and the other Josh that dealt with this struggle. For years I would just beat myself up over it, thinking that if I could just get rid of that other Josh, then God would love me. I thought if I just made the good Josh good enough, it would make up for my attractions. I withdrew from others, thinking something was wrong with me, and they wouldn't accept me unless I was able to get rid of that part of me. I swung into depression thinking I would always be alone.
But the fact of the matter is that the love of God is more powerful than that. In Romans 8:35-39, it states “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? ... For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
How could I think that this could separate me from the love of God? God's love is more powerful than that. I realized that God loved all of me and that he allowed me to have this, not to punish me, because it has to be hard for Him too, but for my own good. He is over everything, and knows what we can handle. He gave us our tribulations to make us stronger. Paul said we should “glory in tribulations also; knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience experience; and experience, hope; and hope maketh not ashamed.” (Romans 5:3-5)
I then went and talked to my bishop at the time. He helped me understand my worth before God. I realized that hardships were not something we got because we were bad or worthless, but because God trusted us with them. Once I understood my worth before God and trust how He was running my life, I was able to hand them over to him. No longer was I the little boy that feared at the sight of a needle and questioned his mother's love, but the one that bravely gave his finger to be tested while holding on tightly to his mother.
As I understood my worth before God, I began to have more confidence in myself. I lifted up my head, and interacted more with others. Rather than keeping all of my burdens to myself, I began sharing what I was going through. As I saw that they accepted me for who I was, regardless of what struggles I might have, I began to accept myself. I was able to date with more hope and expectation, and now look forward with confidence to the day that I will be sealed to my wife in the temple and raise a righteous family to the Lord. As I recognized my worth before God, I also recognized the worth of my brothers and sisters. I became less judgmental, less critical, and more loving of them through their faults and weaknesses because I understood God still loved me.
Brothers and sisters, I testify that God's love is deep. Nothing in the world can compare to it. It is more powerful than anything you might encounter in your lives. If you understand how deeply God loves you, and how great your worth is, you can do anything.
If you do not understand your worth before God, go talk to the bishop. You don't have to be sinning to talk to him. He frequently talks to many people who are struggling with financial, relationship, emotional, identity and physical trials. He wants you to understand your worth. He has been a constant help to me, refusing to let me get down on myself. He has helped me to open up, and gave me the courage and permission to share my experience with you today. He has helped me understand my worth. He can do it for you.
Last October, Elder Oaks said “Many carry heavy burdens. Some have lost a loved one to death or care for one who is disabled. Some have been wounded by divorce. Others yearn for an eternal marriage. Some are caught in the grip of addictive substances or practices like alcohol, tobacco, drugs, or pornography. Others have crippling physical or mental impairments. Some are challenged by same-gender attraction. Some have terrible feelings of depression or inadequacy. In one way or another, many are heavy laden. To each of us our Savior gives this loving invitation: 'Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.'” And oh, does he give us rest.
Jesus has seen it all. We always talk about how Christ suffered for our sins, but we often forget that he suffered for every type of infirmity. Alma 7:11 tells us that “he went forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind,” not just sins. The next verse reads that “he [took] upon him [our] infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, and that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.”
If any of you are struggling with anything, whether a struggle, or even a sin, please understand that your worth is great in the sight of God. He wants you. Yeah, he wants you to be happy, to be comfortable and normal, but more importantly, he wants your soul. And he will do anything, even put you through hell, in order to be with you forever.
Come unto Christ. Lay your burdens on the Lord and He will heal you. Realize your worth. He loves you, and wants to be with you. Your worth is great is in his sight. He loves you so much, and there is nothing that can separate you from his love. If you come to Him, he will cry tears of happiness, as the father of the prodigal son did. If you don't, he will weep, yea, even the Great God of the Universe will weep your over loss, as he did for the people in the time of Enoch.
I testify that God loves each and every one of you, more than you could ever possibly understand. I testify of this, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.