This talk was given at the 2018 Affirmation International Conference.
by Alexsandro Barbosa
In my quest for self-acceptance, I once heard the Lord asking me, “Do you accept me?” I answered with another question: “Does it matter?” He clearly replied that yes, I did. Since then only that matters to me.
There was a man who was going through many difficulties, the company where he worked went bankrupt and his wife had left him, taking their two children. After going through so many blows in life, and becoming depressed, he decided to spend a few days on the beach. He was walking to the seashore, watching two children making a large sand castle, with towers, walkways, and inner passages. When the work was finished, a wave came and destroyed all their work, reducing the castle to a heap of sand and foam. Watching this scene of destruction play out, the man felt that it resembled his life and was sad. To his surprise, instead of crying, the children laughed at what had happened and began to build a new castle.
After completing a full-time mission for the LDS Church, I needed to make a decision about my sexuality and happiness. The decision I made led to some castles collapsing that I had built in my life. I could have done the same as the man who lamented for his castles destroyed, but I chose to be like children and build new castles for my life.
Some factors were very important and determinant for my success in my life. The first was making an important decision. As a child, my father taught me that I was a God, that I should accept no less than that, and it would be my duty to find my own way. From this principle, I had to be happy. That was my decision.
The power to choose what I wanted for myself; that made me a God. I needed to have a positive attitude and act in a manner to achieve all that I wanted. I decided to find happiness. That decision led to some battles that I didn’t know if I would overcome, but something very strong in my heart said that Heavenly Father was with me and that I certainly would win in this war. I believed this, and the Father graced me with victory, just as He had promised me.
Today I am a person who succeeded in life, for everything I struggled for and sought, I became a confident and determined person. I never distrusted the promises of the Lord for me. I prayed unceasingly as if everything depended only on God and I worked hard as if everything depended on myself. I received blessings for that. Today, I have a loving and understanding husband. I have my family. I have my home that is our safe harbor. I have my profession and my job.
With all that happened, I never lost my faith and spirituality. Today I accept myself. My family accepts me. Most important of all, I built new castles for my life.