The conversation was very interesting. I really enjoyed it, but I did have the same question that you did. I have thought about it a little and I can
only offer a few thoughts. I have not really done anything to substantiate this, but these are my thoughts.
It is one thing for the temptations to be present, for the thoughts to enter your mind. You most surely are not accountable for them. I admit, I have temptations that come, sometimes I don’t even realize a thought process, I think it is more of an impulse, and then I realize the emotion, and have to try and talk myself out of it. Obviously, those types of thoughts in relation to it are okay. I have this weakness for ice cream. I will admit, sometimes I have the ice cream out of the freezer and am already scooping it before I think, “No, I am not going to do this.” Sometimes I am more successful than others. I really struggle with the impulses that come sometimes. They come and it is almost like I am already far down the road and it is harder to resist. I can imagine that is what it is like with quitting smoking or something. Something happens and there is almost a reflex. Converting must be an odd thing, for these old habits and impulses must come. They were not curtailed at an early age and therefore the road is paved, where when we grow up with the gospel, some roads are never traveled, in thoughts or action. I admit, there are temptations that
sometimes I think in my mind, “hmmm, what is going on, I am not going to do that, nope, nosir, stop, agh” and I am somewhere I should not be. I have to be very careful not to put myself in certain situations, I find I am weak from exposure during childhood to various things. There is a rational process, and I don’t see that as wrong. I often don’t think of the eternal scenario, but other than God doesn’t want me to do that…. Yet somehow, at times, my pride blatantly wins. I admit, I am on a kick right now that I absolutely refuse to run. I just want to, but is really my only means of cardiovascular exercise. I certainly think about doing it, and what happens to me if I don’t.
Having said all that, I think it is the desire, the thoughts that lead to desire, that will get us into trouble. There was a time, during the teenage years, where I was curious about various things. I thought about them and desired them. Those are the thoughts that make me feel bad today. Those are the thoughts that entered the heart. Oddly, those desires are now the impulses that my mind has to fight now. Once the desires were cultivated, and the seed grew and sprouted, I have spent the rest of my life since trying to uproot it, and never seem to be able to get all of it. It
definitely goes dormant, it seems to be gone, but then it reappears. It is like the blasted cancer, somehow, sadly, it always seems to creep in,
reappear, and devour somewhere else.
It seems I passed by many of the weaknesses of others without batting an eye. Yet, somehow they catch others in vicious snares. Certain things seem to catch our eye, or minds eye, and we ponder and consider those things. Many things I was fortunate to just dismiss, but those I did not, and pursued due to desire, are those things I still fight.
With any weakness, judging only from my personal experience, it was not so much the thoughts that did the damage, but the accepting of certain
thoughts, and then letting them take root, that has done the most harm.
Surely, I do not believe in leading a sheltered life. But rather, having the Spirit in such a way that I am inclined to find unwholesome things as
wanting, and therefore move on.
Funny, I have a scripture story in mind:
We are in bondage…are taxed with a tax which is grievous to be born…
Might gather themselves together to the temple, to hear the words which he should speak unto them…
O ye, my people, lift up your heads and be comforted; for behold the time is at hand or is not far distant, when we shall no longer be in subjection to our enemies, notwithstanding our many strugglings, which have been in vain; yet I trust there remaineth an effectual struggle to be made. Therefore, lift up your heads and rejoice, and put your trust in God, in that God who was the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob…
And behold, it is because of our iniquities and abominations that he has brought us into bondage…
So they are in bondage, and there is an effectual struggle to be made, always to keep them from bondage. Even under the possibilities or being
slaves to the Nephites, or paying tribute to the Lamanites, it looks terrible. How did they get there?
I being over-zealous to inherit the land of our fathers…we were smitten with famine and sore afflictions; for we were slow to remember the Lord our God…
They ended up in that position because they had not followed the Spirit enough, and a desire swept them away.
Who knows, I don’t believe the gay gene exists. If it does, then the blessed day of genetic altering and gene therapy are at hand, we will soon
eradicate it. So that is not the problem. But I fear it is something more deep, something more frightening, a lessening of the Spirit of God abroad in the land, a lesser degree of inspiration in avoiding bad thoughts, the inspiration to avoid incorrect decisions, and a prolonged dwelling,
desiring, even lusting for those things we ought not. The loss of control, the lack of morals, and a more carnal, sensual (!!), and devilish world is
A most frightening world
And he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received; for my Spirit shall not always strive with man, saith the Lord of Hosts.
2 Ne 26:11
For the Spirit of the Lord will not always strive with man. And when the Spirit ceaseth to strive with man then cometh speedy destruction, and this grieveth my soul.
Do all things with prayer and thanksgiving, that ye may not be seduced by evil spirits…
Many false spirits have gone forth in the earth…
As for a child who has already gone down that path? Well, by the time a person realized they are gay, there has been a long process of reasoning,
thinking, to come to that stage. Now I know people who are gay, but not participating. They rationalize that one simply because they have no desire to women, but none to men either. That is just a great deception to me. But those who come out and proclaim they are gay, seem to do it more for the recognition and more for the acceptance than anything. Who knows. I honestly do not know enough about these things. But it is a weakness, it is something that comes up later in life, not from childhood, and is a road that appears very, very difficult to return from. To me it seems easier to raise a child right, than to help someone already on a bad path. Most of it is the struggle of the silent chambers of their own soul. Once they are older, it seems to be between them and the Lord. Now, obviously a Bishop or Judge would play a role, but I have not seen that role played, and am not familiar with it. Any thing I needed to repent that I needed to tell a Bishop, I had ceased doing when I entered activity in the church. I confessed, but did not have the struggle that requires a Bishop. I do, and everyone has their struggles though.
Well, it has been interesting to pursue some of the thoughts. It was more rambling. If you made it this far, I am certainly impressed. I seem to say
that if a child is thoroughly acquainted and walking in the ways of the Spirit, these things will not be an issue. Perhaps that is simple minded, or hopeful, or not realistic, but nevertheless, that seems the hope of Zion.
The sexual powers are the most powerful appetite it seems to me. When it goes, or is allowed, or taken down the wrong path, it is terribly difficult
to set things right. Like trying to resurrect a fully submerged, upside down vessel. It is better to avoid the capsize, then to correct the problem
later. For those who struggle with, and overcome these things, I must take my hat off to them. I don’t have the will power to cut out the mild swear words I like to use in utter frustration (by myself, never around others) yet alone imagine a Goliath like sexual deviance. I sense a frustration and disappointment if I ever were to fall to such devices. But, nothing is too great for the Lord. Every Goliath can fall, just how to find the faith….