Faces of Affirmation

My Story of Faith and Self-Acceptance

By Joaquín Bustamante, President, Affirmation – Chile

In my office, I have looked back at my life so far and am infinitely grateful for everything that Heavenly Father has given me.

I was born in a town called San Vicente de Tagua Tagua, located in the O’Higgins region in Chile. I am the oldest of three brothers and with them and my parents I grew up immensely happy and surrounded by the love of family. I was baptized into the Church very young. My family supported me in my decision, and later they decided to take the same route, except for my middle brother who, despite not being a member of the Church, continued with the values ​​and principles of excellence instilled by my parents in each of us.

We were sealed in the temple of Santiago as an eternal family and my family and I have all had the opportunity to serve in various callings in the Church. At age 19 I left my studies to serve a mission. I was called to the La Paz Bolivia Mission, where my love of neighbor could grow and my testimony of the gospel was further strengthened.

Upon returning from my mission I continued a normal life of study and work, while continuing to serve in the Church. As far back as I can remember, to my early childhood, I was always attracted to people of the same sex. I never shared this with my parents. Despite the fact that I always felt different, they always treated me with love. I was 25 years old when I decided to tell my parents and the rest of my family.

All the suffering that I had felt inside my entire life had always been alleviated by the loving family my Heavenly Father had given me, and also by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My family accepted my orientation and supported me in every step of what followed. They never judged me. On the contrary, they were always with me.

On May 2, 2015 I was called as president of Affirmation Chile and continue to serve on a voluntary basis with my brothers and sisters who need to be supported and strengthened in their path of self acceptance and reconciliation with spirituality.

Captura de pantalla 2015-08-05 a la(s) 21.32.55

 

I can say that forever and today at the age of 36 my life is beautiful, though like all human beings I have had to face opposition. I have never stopped believing in Jesus Christ. I have a firm testimony of the Church. I know the ancient and modern scriptures can guide us in our lives. I know firmly that it does not matter where we are, but rather that what is important is to serve our fellow human beings. In Affirmation I have this opportunity to give love and give my time to a work of love and excellence.

I am convinced that in this life you can be happy being gay and Mormon. I think everyone is born with the gifts and feelings that God wants every one of his children have. He accepts you as you are and has made you a free person who can go forward recognizing and respecting yourself and those around you. Our duty is to educate and teach every one of the people we meet in the course of our life.

Not long ago, a very special person in my life told me how he looked at everything ever built, and I realized how valuable all that was. I realized he was right, and it is when I look at everything around me that I realize how happy I am and how I wouldn’t trade my life for anyone else’s.

My advice to all those who find it difficult to face this situation with themselves and with their families and friends is to be brave. The only thing that sets us free in this life is the truth.

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2 thoughts on “My Story of Faith and Self-Acceptance

  1. I love your story, I think is great you’ve been able to find that peace and love within family friends and the affirmation group. Regarding your story, I have a single question which I hoped to read about abd I suppose that everyone’s stories avoid that part. . . For my own personal information. . . You are having your happily ever after in celibate or with someone of the same gender, committed and trying to live the gospel principles to the best you can or? …

  2. Thank You for the words of inspiration. Less than a week ago at the nearing 52 I prayed for inspiration which prompted me call a brethren whom I could trust. He was more readily accepting and supportive of my struggles, I’ve known him the nearly 20 years as a converted member. Next June 30 will mark an unbelievable accomplishment having reached 20 years as a member. Though my struggles have continued to slow my progression, having my friend to talk with has shown me that I am still loved by our All Mighty Creator and still do have great worth ,purpose and promise. Though my heart aches so very much because I am the the last of nine children and the only member of the Church. I continue to pray that not only be but feel truly worthy to enter The House Of The Our Lord once again. The beliefs of many members of my family is that the Savior as God Hates people like us who are different and hold no value in His Kingdom or here on Earth, that Hell is our last stop in our progression. So it this is why I stay in the closet, in least and in the most He loves me with no end in sight and His Power Triumphs always. There is so much more to share of my blessings. The Sacred things I’ve been show the Power of the Priesthood. But for now I pray for all our lives to continue to bless others with The Priesthood and of the love of our Savior , He being the Son of The Almighty , He Being Jesus The Christ. To you and all who take to reading this thank you . With the Love of Jesus Christ, Brother Albert Anthony Muro. From Sunny Southern California!

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