In Poole, England my missionary companion and I were called over to a members home who we had come to know very well. This member had health issues for the past couple of years, but since I had been called a Zone Leader and moved to this area he had quickly worsened. We met the couple and saw Ed (name is changed) gasping into his oxygen mask as if it was the last bit of air on earth. His wife sat down and told us he was nearing his end and called us over to administer his last Sacrament and give him a blessing.
We blessed the Sacrament and administered it to him and his wife as he put his mask down just long enough to eat and drink. He then very firmly and confidently asked us who had the most faith that night. My companion, being the person he was, volunteered to offer him the blessing. Ed told us we had two options: One, my companion could bless him to pass from this life quickly and painlessly, or two, he could bless him to heal completely. My companion hesitated and asked Ed what he wanted. Ed looked him in the eye, lifted his mask slightly off his face and said, "live!"
My companion administered Ed a priesthood blessing that he would be healed 100% percent and live on this earth for many years to come.
I had felt uncomfortable with the request taking place and did not feel the spirit confirm to me that Ed would live. What I did feel was that Ed's wife needed a blessing. When my companion had finished, I looked at Ed's wife and asked, "would you like a blessing too?" She paused for five seconds and then gushed with tears and nodded her head in the affirmative. She asked me to offer the blessing.
As a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I had many opportunities to offer such blessings. But this bless was one of a few that I will never forget. I laid my hands on her head and after the prescribed wording to start, I paused. In that moment I received direct counsel from the Spirit that Ed would not live. I blessed Ed's wife that though she would be tried and tested in the near days and though her life was about to change she would find peace and find solace to the gospel. I all but said Ed was going to die—without saying it. It was what I felt being told to me.
This experience taught me that God's will, no matter how opposed we are to it, will go forth.
I have never asked for my gay feelings to go away. I never thought about asking in prayer to be straight. The idea that God would change who I am internally was foreign to me. Though to this point I always assumed I would marry my BFF. I had never heard to that point in my life from anyone in the church that someone could, or should pray the gay away. Why would God need to change something so innocent and benign.
What I did ask God for was that I could love my BFF and that we could be married one day and be happy. I asked many times to give me a clear sign she was the one. I sat in the London England Temple more than a couple dozen times, looking at the beautiful art in the celestial room, staring at God through the gold trimmed, pale blue sky with white clouds on the ceiling, asking for a way to marry her.
I was a faithful, obedient and worthy missionary. There was no reason for God to not honor my prayers, except that it wasn't God's will for me to marry my BFF or any woman.
When I was attending Brigham Young University Idaho (for the one semester I was there) Elder Russell M. Nelson came to speak at our Stake Conference. The bulk of his talk was about priesthood blessings going unanswered or being answered in the opposite way they were called for. I instantly thought back to the blessing of Ed on my mission. Ed died a week after his blessing to be restored to full health. Nelson related that even though we can be worthy and have righteous desires in our heart, God's will won't be stopped. A sick woman will die, if it is God's will, whether or not she received a Priesthood blessing to be healed. It does not invalid the priesthood's worthiness or mean they didn't follow the spirit. Blessings, Nelson related, were to comfort and give God's message to the recipient. Though sometimes requests are made and though sometimes they are honored, we should not be surprised if they are not.
Like I said, I have never prayed for my gay to be taken away. To those of you who have prayed that God might change you by removing your gayness, you do not lack faith or worthiness or priesthood power. It is my belief, that it is not God's will that you be changed. He made you and me, he has a will for us. I do not profess to know why, in God's plan, I am gay.
Ed was being called home by God and no priesthood blessing or prayer could change that. I am attracted to men and no priesthood blessing or prayer can change that. I am a gay Mormon, so why should I, or you, wish to change what God won't.