A few gay Latter-day Saint men learning to love life, and gaining the skills to live up to their covenants.
The Sons of Sacrifice group is for men with same-sex attraction who want to keep their covenants with God, especially of a sexual nature, and remain active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our focus is on ‘brideling’ unwanted sexual behaviors, NOT on changing sexual orientation.
One of the basic foundations of Sons of Sacrifice is that gay, bisexual, or queer men are beautiful, acceptable, and loved just as they are. We strive to accept our sexuality as God has let it happen in our lives and work at staying faithful with God’s standards at the same time.
Being attracted to men is not a sin (see Church’s stance). We choose to live according to our self-chosen beliefs and acknowledge that all men have the agency and right to choose their own moral standards.
Being attracted to men is not an addiction, but gay men can develop addictions just like any other man can. Addictions are just as unwanted by gay, bisexual or queer men as they are for straight men.
In our meetings we also explore masculinity and male bonding issues. We address ways of expressing our emotions, acknowledging them, and noticing how they affect temptations that Satan throws at us.
We have talked a lot about authenticity and vulnerability and how to let down our walls to allow others into our worlds, thus allowing for stronger connections and bonding that will bring out our best selves.
This week we had a man “vest” (graduate) in the program, which is amazing considering it takes 84 days to “vest” and we have been meeting fewer than 100 days. In two weeks, we anticipate a second man will “vest.”
These men came into the program discouraged by their covenant-violating behaviors; now their success and optimism are palpable.
Below are some of the comments the men have posted about their success and experience in this training program. As you will see from their comments, these are good men with strong testimonies of Jesus Christ who are striving to live up to their standards, which they have chosen as the goal for their own lives.
- “I have felt that I could not be useful to the Lord because of my being gay. [With this program,] I am starting to see that the Lord is using all of us for His purposes to be a strength to each other and other people we serve.”
- “When I opened the door to allow the possibility that being gay is a good thing, my entire worldview took a cataclysmic shift in a new direction. Now I see that being gay is a blessing in my life and absolutely essential for me to do the things God wants me to do. I didn’t choose it, but God can use it to help me help others.”
- “At church this morning, I actually volunteered to pass the sacrament. I’ve always tried avoiding the assignment because I felt unworthy and didn’t want awkward conversations. But lately I’ve felt able and willing to participate, which is such a welcomed change in my feelings. This program works. It has helped me scale the walls that I’ve never been able to climb, and to gain some momentum in recovery. I feel more me, not just with other people, but also when I’m alone.”
- “Yesterday I noticed a woman and her son trying to lift a heavy object into their car, but they were having trouble. I decided to go over and help them out. The old addicted me would not have reached out to help, but I am noticing that I am thinking more outside myself and willing to help others.”
- “I’m grateful for our meetings. When I see others going through a hard time I just want to help them in the best way I can. Even though I go through the same crap. I’m grateful for [everyone’s] examples of fighting and keeping going in what is right.”
- “Men back to the Hugs! I have an incredible network of men and some I might have lusted over in the past, but the Lord moves all that out of the way and lets the Bonds of Brotherhood grow and a respect and trust is born.”
- “I had an interview today for a new job, and I was more vulnerable than I normally would have been in an interview and I think that notched me up in my ranking in their minds. It felt like the conversation was more authentic after that.”
- “I am starting to enjoy Sundays. I feel worthy to bless the sacrament and this feels wonderful. I am so grateful for you guy’s influence, I am so grateful for this program. . . . I realize how much courage it is taking me to accept God’s will. I am grateful for the Atonement and the wonderful power of feeling clean. I want to walk His chosen way.”
- “The Lord [has shown] me what I needed to see, and I gained a piece of myself I didn’t know I had, I [have] also learned to be vulnerable and to be comfortable with it.”
- “I’m also feeling so grateful for this extended period of sobriety. I’m currently at 78 days. It’s been almost 10 years since I’ve had an extended period of time between misbehaving. I feel much steadier overall. Not tons different, which surprises me, but just less emotionally volatile [with] an undercurrent of peace. I’m happy with the progress I’ve made so far in this program. Thank you Warren. Thank you Sons of Sacrifice.”
- “I was wanting to share a lie that Satan uses against me. He tells me because I am gay, I am more broken, more dirty, etc. than a straight man giving into his sexual urges. The truth is that sin is sin and because I view gay porn doesn’t make me more broken or dirty than a straight man viewing porn. I hope that makes sense what I am trying to say.”
- “I don’t think this war is about becoming impervious to temptation. I think it’s about how we manage it, what choices we decide to make. As Warren explained last week, we live between opposite forces, constantly enticing us to choose their road. We are never forced to take one or the other, and this creates agency. As much as we try to keep the enticements of darkness out (and we should!) they will find a way into our lives…. We must learn how to respond. So perhaps it’s less about things “affecting us” and more about us decisively and powerfully responding to those enticements. I think resisting temptation—not the absence of it—is godly.”
As you can see, these are mature and articulate men who are deeply committed to the Lord Jesus Christ and to keeping the promises they have made to Him.
Learning to navigate the tricky waters of being a gay, covenant-keeping Latter-day Saint is challenging, but these fine men are learning to do just that, and are becoming better Latter-day Saints for being gay, which is apparently what God intended for them all along.
Please spread the word that Sons of Sacrifice is a viable program for gay and bisexual men who commit to live the gospel of Jesus Christ.
For more information, go to https://sonsofsacrifice.org
To register for Sons of Sacrifice, go to https://sonsofsacrifice.org
Warren Bittner is a certified Life Coach and Addiction Recovery Coach at Life Changing Services and the Founder of Sons of Sacrifice. If you would like to schedule a consultation with him, please CLICK HERE.