The thought was underlined for me during Sunday's ward conference when my friend the Bishop referenced the of the story of the young man who had everything and asked Jesus what he needed to do to obtain eternal life. Jesus said…
19 Thou knowest the commandments,…
20 And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, …
Interrupting the story. I love reading this, that Jesus acknowledged all the the young man had done already to follow the Savior.
21(Continued) …and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
22 And he (the young man) was sad at that saying, and went away grieved:
The man turned and walked away. It doesn't say that he left the church, or that he stopped following the commandments. It doesn't state that he became bitter and started an anti Jesus web site. It doesn't say that he would not be welcomed into heaven. It simply says that he was sad and walked away.
He appears to have been living a type of life where the Savior may have been calling him to a position. He was definitely being offered something more than what he had -- something of great value that the world wouldn't consider a step up.
This young man at the time of the story decided that what was being asked was too much for what he thought he would get in return. Today, we have the same decisions to make -- if we believe what the Church teaches -- and I do.
So, the question is, would I be a modern version of the Young Man? Would I give up something important to me because I had been promised something I felt was better? Would I give it up simply because I was asked to by someone I respect and revere?
To bring this home -- right to my house -- I think that I would. I know that I have chosen to follow the commandments concerning sexuality. I am doing what has been asked of me, as Calvin Thompson. I am a gay man and I am choosing not to have sex with men. I am married to a woman and I am faithful. I am giving up something valuable for something even more so.
President Joseph F. Smith said: No man can obtain the gift of eternal life unless he is willing to sacrifice all earthly things in order to obtain it”.
President Smith also taught: “… if he will bring his heart and affections into subjection to the law of God and to the principle of truth; if he will place his affections upon God, his heart upon the truth, and his soul upon the accomplishment of God’s purposes, and not fix his affections and his hopes upon the things of the world".