I’ve been seeing (and using) the hashtag #BecauseofHim on Twitter and Facebook lately, but I can’t convey, in 140 characters, what the Savior means to me, and just how big my “BecauseofHim, ______” should be.
My story is not unlike many transgender (ie, intersex) people in that I discovered who I was at an early age, and am now living as who I am supposed to be, after a long struggle with the world’s interpretation of who I am supposed to be. However, my story is unlike many transgender people because I am a Mormon, a Priesthood holder, and because I truly believe it is #BecauseofHim that I am now the man I was always designed to become.
In the premortal world, my life was discussed and decided upon. I chose to come here, in this body with all its infirmities, and I was entrusted with the task of discovering what it truly means to be a man. Heavenly Father’s trust in me is tremendous! I am humbled and honored by the opportunity to come here, have a body, and experience everything I have, including (and especially) my transition. I was always male, as my Patriarchal Blessing tells me, and as the Holy Spirit tells me. The Holy Spirit was telling me this from the time I was 2, through all the heartache and struggles with my parents, teachers, and friends insisting I was wrong, right through to the early days of my psychology studies in college, when the Holy Spirit prompted me to click on certain academic articles, and read about “transgenderism”, and finally right through to the moment when He prompted me to pray, and gave me a witness of my manhood. He was with me when I decided not to go into the Navy, not because I didn’t want to serve the country, but because their policy prevents those like me from entering. He was with me when I began investigating the Church. He was with me when I prayed to know whether the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was true, and He gave me the same testimony of the truth of this Church as He did my manhood, and of His existence, when I first asked in college whether there was a God. And He was with me throughout my Patriarchal Blessing, when I received final, everlasting confirmation that I am, always have been, and always will be a man.
But before ANY of this happened, there was a Council in Heaven. One stood and said He would form a world where we might experience these things, and learn and grow. He knew we would fall, and not be perfect, and be unable to return to the Father. So He offered to take upon Him, all of our sins. He offered to suffer, bleed, and die, and then rise. And another stood, and said this plan was foolish and unfair. He said that he would come down to Earth and make us obey the Father, taking away our choice, and obtaining all the glory for himself. The Lord rejected this alternative, and accepted the first Plan, which is the Plan of Salvation. Jesus Christ was the one who stood and offered to be our Savior. And Jesus Christ was the one who followed through, coming to Earth and teaching us with all the tenderness, firmness, and Truth of the Father in Heaven. Then Jesus Christ was the one who took upon Him our sins, both in the Garden of Gethsemane and upon the Cross. The Cross is where his body died, and He descended to the prison where spirits were kept, who could not return to the Father, because they had perished before Jesus had come to Earth. He set up a ministry for those spirits, so that our forefathers might hear the Gospel in its entirety, and make an informed decision, and return to Father in Heaven. And finally, He ascended, appearing on the Earth to all those who were faithful, all over the world. And finally, He ascended all the way to Heaven, to sit at the right hand of the Father.
So you see, nothing would be possible without Him. If there was no Christ, there would have been no Salvation, for there would have been no Sin, because there would have been no Life, because there would have been no World, for He created it at the Father’s direction.
Perhaps I can sum up my feelings about the Lord in 140 characters or less…it is quite simple, really. It’s simple and True.
In the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.