1. God really does answer my prayers.

I used to believe that God wasn't really all-powerful. Not in those words, but I didn't fully believe that just turning to Him could really ease the pain in my life. I've realized that sincere prayer often does more to help me feel loved, understood, valued, and inspired than anything else. I can honestly say that God is my friend; hopefully someday I can also say that I am His.

2. Modern prophets and others receive revelation on my behalf

I love sitting in General Conference or another meeting with my notes out in front of me, the questions I've recently pondered written at the top of the page... and then listening as speaker after speaker explains the Lord's will as if He were speaking directly to me. I sometimes wonder if God spends too much time listening and responding to me as one gay Mormon guy... but then I realize that He can and will do the same for everyone. That's pretty cool.

3. The little things make a big difference

People talk about the importance of studying the scriptures daily, having daily prayer, going to Church... but a huge number of people have trouble actually doing the little things. I've realized that holding on to the word of God is important. When I have the world and my inner demons pulling as hard as they can, I have to do everything possible to stay attached to the gospel.

4. I am the ruler of my destiny

A whole lot of people may say that I am born the way I am and that I can't change. But not being able to change doesn't determine my destiny. Blind men have won Olympic medals. Deaf men have written symphonies. And gay men have fallen madly in love with a woman, married, had children, and lived happily ever after. It takes a whole lot of work. More work than most people think is possible or reasonable. But, with God, all good things are possible. With Him, I can do anything. I'm the ruler of my destiny.

5. I can affect the world

Sometimes I look at the things I do in life - work, free time, social life - and muse about their impact on the world. Honestly, most of what I do doesn't have a huge effect. But when I find a way to lift someone - to inspire them, or to light their eyes with truth, then I realize deep inside that I can affect the world in a meaningful way.

6. Everything works together for the good of them that love and serve God

There have been times when I wanted to die. Literally. But when I turned to God and explained my pain, He always took it away and gave me the injunction to serve others. And as I found ways to serve them, I felt hope. Today I look back on my life, with being Mormon and gay, and can see the hand of God in everything. There are things I've learned from this that I couldn't learn any other way. And, as long as I'm faithful to the end, it will all work out.

7. Life is good

Happiness is partially a choice. I can think optimistically, see the good in the world and others, and try to be up all the time. But happiness is also a gift from God - like it explains at the end of Mosiah 2. "Keep[ing] the commandments of God" is the key to being happy. As long as I'm doing that, nothing else matters.

As an afterthought, I am still sort of uncomfortable calling myself a gay Mormon. If you search for gay Mormons on Google you normally get a lot of people who don't fully believe what the Church teaches - they aren't fully believing Mormons. And the word gay is sometimes used to describe someone who engages in homosexual activities and sometimes used to describe same-sex attraction. In both cases I usually try to be more articulate in my word choice. But my choice has backfired, as I got a message from Google that my blog's main keyword was "Christmas." Hence the rebranding effort.
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