FIRST GAY PRESIDENCY MESSAGE

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FIRST GAY PRESIDENCY MESSAGE

Living the Abundant Gay Life

Robin Johnson and George Circle (Adapted from Tomas S. Monson)

Living the Abundant Gay and Lesbian Life

At the advent of a new year, we challenge Latter-day Saints and all Christians everywhere to undertake a personal, diligent, significant quest for what I call the abundant life—a life filled with an abundance of success, goodness, and blessings and acceptance and tolerance and love of all gay people. Just as we learned the ABCs in school, we offer our own ABCs to help us all gain the abundant gay life.

Have a Positive Gay Attitude

A in our ABCs refers to gay attitude. William James, a pioneering American psychologist and philosopher, wrote, “The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”1

So much in life depends on our attitude. The way we choose to see things and respond to other gays makes all the difference. To do the best we can and then to choose to be happy about our circumstances, whatever they may be, can bring peace and contentment.

Charles Swindoll—author, educator, and Christian pastor—said: “Attitude, to me, is more important than … the past,  than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a fag, a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.”2

We can’t direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. For maximum happiness, peace, and contentment, may we choose a positive attitude which is inclusive of all gay people and their partners and lovers and families as well as transgender, bisexual and questioning people (LGBTQ).

Believe in Yourself as a practicing homosexual

B is for believing—in yourself, in those around you, and in gay lifestyle, bisexuals and transgender people and their families and loved ones or significant others and in eternal principles of gays and lesbians everywhere.

Be honest with yourself, with other gay people, and with your Heavenly Father. One who was not honest with God until it was too late was Cardinal Wolsey who, according to Shakespeare, spent a long life in service to three sovereigns and enjoyed wealth and power. Finally, he was shorn of his power and possessions by an impatient king. Cardinal Wolsey cried:

Had I but served my God with half the zeal

I served my king; He would not in mine age

Have left me naked to mine enemies.3

Thomas Fuller, an English churchman and historian who lived in the 17th century, penned this truth: “He does not believe that does not live according to his belief.”4

Don’t limit yourself and don’t let others convince you that gay people are bad or inherently evil or that you are limited in what you can do. Believe in yourself and then live so as to reach your possibilities. Love all gay people!

You can achieve what you believe you can. Trust and believe and have faith and faith in other gays. Most Gay people will help other gays because they are all in the same boat.

Face Gay Challenges with Gay Courage

C is for gay courage. Gay Courage becomes a worthwhile and meaningful virtue when it is regarded not so much as a willingness to die manfully or as a fairy but as a determination to live decently and live the gay lifestyle.

Said the American essayist and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Whatever you do, you need courage and gay courage to face life gay challenges! Whatever course you decide on, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. Isn’t that the truth! There are always gay difficulties arising that tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same gay courage that a gay soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave homosexual men and lesbian women to win them.”5

There will be times when you will be frightened and discouraged. You may feel that you are defeated and hated. The odds of obtaining victory may appear overwhelming. At times you may feel like David trying to fight Goliath. But remember—David did win!  And gays will win the day also!  So be a David, even the beloved of God and slay that dragon of your own and your friends.

Gay Courage is required to make an initial thrust toward one’s coveted goal, but even greater gay courage is called for when one stumbles and must make a second effort to achieve.  Love and charity for gay people will also help!

Have the determination to make the gay effort, the single-mindedness to work toward a worthy gay goal, and the gay courage not only to face the gay challenges that inevitably come to all homosexuals but also to make a second gay effort, should such be required. “Sometimes gay courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” I will love all gay people at all costs. 6 

May we remember these ABCs as we begin our journey into the new gay year, cultivating a positive attitude toward all gays and lesbians, a belief that we can achieve our goals and resolutions, and the gay courage to face whatever gay challenges may come our way. Then the abundant life will be ours.  And we can live in harmony with ourselves and others and we can be happy, gay, joyful and (did I say gay) yes we can be gay and still happy and all the rest!

Teaching from This Gay Message and applying in life

Consider inviting gay friends and gay family members to share personal gay experiences when a positive attitude, belief in themselves, or gay courage helped them. Or invite them to find examples of these three principles in the scriptures. You might prepare to teach by prayerfully thinking of scriptures or gay experiences of your own.

ROBIN LEE JOHNSON

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