I am 15 years old, and I am baptized into the Mormon Church. I go to church every Sunday and it’s fine. But recently I have been having feelings for boys. I don’t really know how to explain this, but I’m still attracted to girls. But now I have a new thing for boys. Can you help me? Christian, from Houston, Texas
Dear Christian, Now it gets interesting. Now we’ll have a chance to find out who you really are. You say that you belong to and are active in the Mormon Church. Here we come to a fork in the road. One path is in the direction of the emotions that you feel and the other path is in the direction of the principles that you have espoused. We could call one road the emotional road and the other one the intellectual road; or one could be called the carnal road and the other the spiritual road. There are different forces that try to impel us in one direction or another. One of the forces is directed by Satan and the other is directed by the Lord. Satan and his forces attempt to influence us through the emotions, the Lord attempts to influence us through the intellect. Another way of putting it is that Satan attempts to influence us through carnal desires, the Lord attempts to influence us by the Holy Spirit. Satan’s influences shout at us, make insistent demands, cry for attention; the Lord speaks to us in a still small voice as though it had been a whisper. Let’s take the case of music as an example. Music is comprised of four components–melody, harmony, tempo and beat. Melody and harmony are the intellectual, spiritual components of music; beat and tempo are the emotional or carnal components. Both components are needed in any composition, but when people give themselves over to the tempo and the beat they become highly emotionally involved. They are captured by the music, swing and sway with the tempo and are dominated by the beat. Where these elements are prominent, there is little room for and little attention paid to melody and harmony. If one wants to appreciate the fine, intellectual qualities of music, one must pay attention, listen carefully to the beautiful strains and the harmonious relations of the different sounds often produced by different instruments. With well-written music one may be uplifted and inspired, at the same time be in control of all his emotions. Since Satan influences us through the emotions, his plan is for us to give in to our emotions, and to live by them. But the Lord has set well defined bounds and limits to emotional feelings and expressions. Emotions have their place, and can be very beneficial if controlled and directed by the intellect or by the Holy Spirit. But if one wishes to satisfy emotion without regard to moral values just because it is there, that person is already captured by the adversary. So you have discovered that you have feelings for boys as well as for girls. If those budding feelings for boys were to be explored, or given expression, it would lead to your complete destruction! So recognizing that such feelings exist, they are to be managed and controlled, and NEVER given any expression. This can work well for your eternal welfare. As you overcome these emotions without giving expression to them you will gain spiritual strength. That spiritual strength can then be used to overcome other kinds of temptations. If you go into training by lifting bar bells, the strength you gain can be used to lift any kind of weight. So it is with spiritual strength–once gained, it can be used against any temptation. So this temptation to give expression to your feelings for boys gives you the opportunity to gain spiritual strength by resisting it completely. Some will try to rationalize that giving in to such temptations gives them experience. But who wants to have experience in going against the will of the Lord? Who wants to gain experience in following the will of the adversary? Who wants to gain experience in becoming more carnally natured? That is merely a fallacious argument put forth by those who want their own feelings bolstered by being in the company of others with like feelings. So again, here’s the question: who are you? Are you one who at age 15 would give in to unnatural sexual feelings just to experience the Satan inspired emotions that are carnally driven, or are you a young man with the courage of moral conviction, who has the strength to stand up against anyone who would tempt you to follow that carnal path, and follow instead that sometimes lonesome road of righteousness, preparing yourself to be the Lord’s servant with the strength to follow Him regardless of any temptation that may come your way?