(Forgive me for a moment while I explain a math lesson. While it is not essential to understand the math involved, it is important to note the application that will be later applied to life, so please bear with me. :)
...The notes are for learning about the Law of Sines, which can be used to solve triangles (meaning to find all missing sides and angles) if you already know 3 of the sides or angles. Specifically, you can use Law of Sines if you know the measurements of two of the angles and one side (ASA or AAS) or if you know two sides and one angle (an angle that is NOT between the sides) then you can solve it using Law of Sines, but it is not as straightforward as with 2 angles and a side because there are 4 possible scenarios.
(In a nutshell, for those with more curiosity regarding this mathematical situation, given SSA--the students like to spell it the other way around, but I try to avoid doing so :D--there can be one right triangle, two non-right triangles, no triangle (meaning one of the sides does not reach far enough to make a triangle), or one non-right (called oblique) triangle. Before solving the triangle (or triangles, in case there are 2), one must test to see how long the one side is compared to everything else so that they will know whether to solve it or not, and if possible to solve it, how many triangles are possible.)
Anyway, I don't know if the comparison is obvious or not, but Mormons who find themselves born with SSA (meaning same-sex attraction this time, instead of side-side-angle) have different choices they can make with regards to their lives. What is right for one person is not the best thing for someone else. I think that it is important to remember that regardless of which path someone has chosen, we should try to be non-judgmental of that choice, even if we do not understand it and cannot fathom how it works for them. We assume that they are miserable because they are without someone to really love while staying in the church, or that they cannot possibly be happy living in sin away from the church (since wickedness never was happiness.) Get the picture? Going with our math analogy, one triangle should not judge another triangle for being right, oblique, double, or non-existent. They cannot help being what they are even though they all have SSA in common!
For example, it seems that many gay men are confused about Scott's choice to remain married to me. They can't imagine it working for them, and therefore cannot understand how it can possibly work for him. But he just happens to be the right kind of "triangle", if you will, for that to work.
Meanwhile, many members of the church think that it is horrible that so many gay Mormons leave the church and live the "lifestyle." J G-W has claimed that he actually believes God directed him to that choice to save his life. I believe him. He is a different kind of "triangle" and God knows that and has directed him to follow the right path for him.
Meanwhile, others like Ty Mansfield have chosen to remain active, worthy and celibate members of the church. That is the right choice for them.
Another somewhat related but unrelated thought. I have a student in one of my college math classes that has been working so hard to pass. She got in a car accident early in the semester and had some other life complications that put her way behind in the class. She wanted to drop; her parents convinced (or forced) her to stay and make the best of it.
She has been working very hard--coming in for extra hours of tutoring, even staying home from a family camping trip over memorial day weekend so she could study for her final. Over the last week she has been sick with step throat and a sinus infection, and shared with me a few days ago that she had asked for several blessings and spent many nights crying because she was so worried about the final exam. Upon discovering yesterday that her final exam score barely skimmed the required percentage, but her efforts were still not quite enough, I told her to come back today with as much more done as possible. She came in to my classroom happy, even though she had stayed up until 4 in the morning doing math assignments she had missed when her life was crazy. It was nice to see that Heavenly Father had granted her peace to accept whatever outcome resulted with regards to her math grade.
I put all the scores in the computer, fudged everything that I felt was ethical to do, but it was still not enough for her to have a "C", which is required in order to have successfully completed the course and not have to retake it later to meet her college math requirement. Without mentioning anything about religion (although she is LDS so it would not have been a big deal), I spoke of justice and mercy, how sometimes when we have done all we can, we have to allow the mercy of someone else to take care of the rest. As I spoke, I changed her low C- to the required C on my computer. I was of course thinking of the atonement, and specifically of "the parable of the bicycle" told by Steven E. Robinson in his book Believing Christ. I looked over at my student, she wiped small, glistening tears from her eyes, hugged me and whispered a heart-felt thank you.
Over-the-Rainbow was present for the conversation, so she and I discussed it later in the car, how we feel that the atonement of Jesus Christ and the delicate balance between justice and mercy will work for all those who are doing the best they can, whatever type of SSA "triangle" they might be, and what choices they make and paths that they follow. I have met many wonderful people who make such moral and righteous decisions in their lives, except for, perhaps, who they choose to be their soul-mate and partner through life. I cannot condemn them, and if acting on homosexuality truly is a sin as the church teaches, I can only hope and pray that the atonement will make all the difference for them as they try to live their lives the best they can.
One last thing from the last week of school--look at this awesome bracelet that one of my students gave me yesterday! I am grateful that he helped to motivate and inspire me to help him get a GSA going as I realized how important it truly is for kids like him.
It has been a horribly awesome year. I am so ready for a summer break, but then I am excited to come back for a new school year, to meet students that will touch my life, while I have the opportunity to do some good for them as well. I am so grateful for the path my life has taken and where I find myself right now. Life is good, and I am very blessed.