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Thursday, December 25, 2008


Every Christmas season I am reminded of one of the gifts brought to Christ at His birth by the wise men: gold. I often wonder what gift I could give to my Savior for the many gifts He has given to me; what could I place on the altar for Him.

In Job 23:10 it reads that, "But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold."

It dawned on me years ago that, though Christ gave me the gift of life, my gift to Him is that very life He gave me - He wants ALL of me back. Am I willing to sacrifice what He has given me and return it ALL back to Him? Am I willing to trust Him, follow Him and allow Him to refine me so that I may become something more than I could create on my own?

It is my true desire to show Him my love, adoration and sincere devotion by allowing Him to make me into a gift fit for His kingdom.

This song is one of my very favorites:

"GOLD" (from Camille Claudel)
lyrics by Nan Knighton music by Frank Wildhorn
as performed & recorded by Linda Eder

I wonder if when all is done
Anyone heard my voice
But from the start, we have no choice
Our journeys just begin

I'll never know if I was right
Did I fight hard enough?
Or when the battles grew to rough
Should I have given in?

But here I stand and swear to you
I did the best that I could do
I know my voice was just a whisper
But someone may have heard
There were nights the moon above me stirred
And let me grab a hold
My hands have touched the gold!

My heart's been driven by extremes
Blind with dreams, tight with fear
But still, God knows that I was here
And I was so alive!

So now I lay the past to rest
For in the end I did my best
You have to live the life you're given
And never close your eyes
You hold on and stare into the skies
And burn against the cold
For any moment, you might find the gold

And there was joy
Through it all
And I am standing tall

I know my voice was just a whisper
But someone must have heard
There were nights the moon above me stirred
And let my life take hold
I rode across that sky
And once I touched the gold!

Here in my own two hands
I once held the gold

You have been caught Jey Walking! (you're lookin' good!)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

the battles i face

Who am I today and what battle must I face? What armor should I put on?

Am I fighting as a man - to be a man - to be be masculine - to understand masculinity - to be accepted by the world of men - to know the secrets of the brotherhood?

Am I fighting as a white person to prove that I am not the stereotype or maybe I am - that I too wish I was not judged by the color or lack of color of my skin? Must I prove that I have a dream as well?

Am I fighting as a brother, a son, a grandson, a nephew or a cousin to connect my family dots and repair what may be broken or find what my be lost?

Am I fighting as a friend to keep friends close - to find support from those I trust and to give support to those I care about?

Am I fighting as Latter-day Saint (Mormon) though I am excommunicated or maybe because I am - to prove that I am faithful - that I belong - that I am worthy?

Am I fighting as a Jew descendent - standing up against hatred and misunderstanding - or am I fighting to prove that I am apart of the family too even though I accept Christ as my Savior and not just a nice guy or an radical prophet/rabbi?

Am I fighting as a man struggling with same-sex attraction - proving that I can change through the power of the Atonement - while supporting and loving my gay brothers and sisters who don't seek change?

Am I fighting as an abused and neglected child who experienced the failing bureaucracy (are there any bureaucracy that are successful?) of the foster care system that is a part of a society that so often forgets that foster children are victims/survivors - not criminals and that with enduring love - any child can reach their potential?

Am I fighting as an HIV positive person who faces the stigma of a disease that is deemed by many to be less "honorable" than fighting against something like cancer? Am I fighting to educate others so that one day funding isn't entirely cut because of ignorance? Am I fighting to keep loved ones at a distance so their eventual loss isn't so dramatic - am I fighting to accept it all and learn to love more carefully? Am I living to die or dying to live - am I fighting to make the most out of what I have?

Am I fighting as an advocate for drug abuse prevention - so that people around the world, especially youth, will realize the dangers of the drugs they choose to take - the substances that destroy so many lives?

Am I fighting as an sex addict - someone who has put everything including his and others' lives on the line for fleeting moments of pleasure that merely act as my drug - clouding the pain of a life full of loss, abandonment and rejection?

Am I fighting as a American for democracy, freedoms, rights and privileges?

Am I fighting as a voter - someone who regardless of political scandals, lies and conspiracies - still puts his faith into a broken system - hoping that eventually the change he is seeking will come?

Am I fighting as a creator, a visionary and an artist for authenicity, originality and integrity? Am I fighting the - sometimes - thin line between reality and imagination - dreams and actuality? Am I fighting to create selfishly or share selflessly?

Am I fighting as a student - to learn all that I can and share that knowledge to those around me - freely and without arrogance? Am I fighting to learn or learning to fight?

Am I fighting as a human - a member of mankind - to live long enough to see people change their hearts and seek peace and love with one another more often?

What battle will I choose to face today? With so many battles - so many enemies - how am I to win and overcome?

"Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward." Hebrews 10:35

"But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." Job 23:10

"Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them."
2 Kings 6:16

You have been caught Jey Walking! (and fighting too!)

Friday, December 19, 2008

do you believe in magic?

The other night I took one of those 5-Hour Energy drinks - to stay up while I continued cleaning up the mistakes of my semester long procrastination. Around 11 pm I decided I was hungry and decided to go to McDonald's. I went to the one of 6th Avenue and 14th Street instead of my usual 7th Avenue and 14th Street eat-something-before-I-get-on-the-train-home location.

The change was somewhat refreshing. In fact it was clean. The cashier was kind and quick. There were no more than 20 people in the place and this location is large. It was quiet and actually peaceful - for a fast food place and McDonald's in NYC - no less. I got fresh, hot fries for the first time in forever. There was no employees yelling at each other. No one walking around soliciting people for money and no one loitering . It was quite the experience.

I got my food and sat down and as I began to eat - The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire) began to play. To be real honest - I thought a tear might come rolling down my face at that moment. I wondered to myself if the energy drink had transported me to a hallucinogenic dimension. Where was I - New York City's Union Square was outside but inside it felt like I was in Small Town USA. Another song came on that is about going to Toytown but for some reason it sounded like Georgia - and that warmed my heart a little more. Maybe it was the magic of the Christmas season - it all seemed like an out of body experience.

Just as I was swept away with dreams of a snow covered New York City Christmas - in walked three white guys who - in my opinion - may not realize that they're white. Their clothing choices said it all - baggie pants - NASCAR racing jackets (one was for Double Stuff Oreos - maybe he thinks he is an "oreo") and Yankees hats cocked up and to the side. Even more disturbing was their language - there is nothing worse than anyone - but certainly white guys - throwing around the "N" word.

I soon left the McDonald's magic to return to my computer and the nightmare of the finals season - but now it's over - so there's some magic!

You've been caught Jey Walking!

Monday, December 15, 2008

something's coming

During this fast I recently held I requested a blessing from a friend. In the blessing it was mentioned to me that my life was on the Lord's timetable - as I believe all of our lives are. I felt something different though - I have since felt a deep urgency to get my life in order; to no longer procrastinate and to prepare for something that is coming - just as Tony sang in West Side Story - but most likely unrelated.

A few days later I sort of had a half-conscious dream of a name - the name of a foundation/organization. I am in school for Nonprofit Management and I had a dream about a foundation that doesn't exist, yet - is it a sign or just a dream?

The thing is I care about three things a lot:

HIV/AIDS related issues and policies
Foster Children's Rights Advocacy / Child Abuse Prevention
Drug Abuse Education & Prevention

So I guess I wonder what it is I am here for...what's my purpose? What does God want me to do to better myself and to serve Him?

Is it to manage a nonprofit, be an advocate/lobbyist, write a blog/books/essays, run for public office, be a motivational speaker OR am I supposed to live the gospel, be a good friend, a loving brother and testify of Jesus Christ and His gospel of peace and salvation and not worry about others so much (is that considered living the gospel)?

Today was my last session of my Making A Difference: Global, Organizational & Individual Perspectives on Social Change class.
We had our last discussion stemming from these three thought-provoking questions:

What kind of change do you plan to bring about?

What does "social change" mean to you?

What kind of leadership is needed to bring about this kind of change?

Whether I live until September 21st 2013 or 2079 - I realize that I cannot continue to waste my time here on Earth - not when there is so much work I could do - so many things I can contribute with the many gifts, talents and abilities I have been blessed with.

I will say what a friend told me - I will not mock my journey. After coming so far, being blessed so much and being saved so many times - how can I turn my back now - how can I mock the journey I have made thus far? I can not. I will not.

Just some thoughts for today. I will try to tell a joke next time - I don't want to be accused of being so serious all the time.

You have been caught Jey Walking! (a little struttin' too - tisk tisk)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

faith, hope & love

I visited my doctor yesterday and my T-cells went back up from 303 to 360. My viral load went down from 81,000 to 66,000. This is great news, but not a significant change.

I do, however, completely acknowledge the faith, hope & love of the many people who fasted, prayed and/or went to the temple on my behalf and others with HIV/AIDS. I acknowledge the great power, love and grace bestowed upon me and others by God. It could have been worse; my T-cells could have dropped to 246 and my viral load could have gone up to 96,000 which would be REALLY close to being diagnosed with AIDS.

I decided that, though the results were good, I would still start my medicinal treatment when school ends next week. After discussion of my options (thank goodness I have any) I am going to start my first drug cocktail of Viramune ( and Truvada ( I only have to take 3 pills once a day. What a blessing and how marvelous is the advancement of science and medicine - people used to take anywhere from 12 - 20 pills three times a day or more. Not to mention that EACH pill would cost between $40 and 100. My medicine is provided to me for free. Like I said, God loves me - I can't possibly doubt that He does.

I just wanted to share this update with you and thank you for your continued support - it means so much to me. I know that God blesses those who bless others - I pray that God shines His light and love upon you, especially during this joyous and beautiful holiday season.

love Jey

You have been caught Jey Walking! (thank you, come again!)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

procrastination, frustration & revelation

These three words seem to sum up all of my experience in 2008.

Every year, around this time, I ponder my mistakes, regrets, grudges still held and fleeting moments of enlightenment.

I usually send out an email in lieu of a picture of myself, alone, inserted into a classic "Holiday" card. The one year I did that it costs me nearly $50 so I vowed not to do it again until I am married - so at least I have someone else to talk about and be in the picture with.

This year I will still email - but due to the downfall of the economy, I am merely attaching this post on my blog to people I love and care about. (I know, lucky them)

As it is with tradition I will run through this year's past events and milestones - some of them you may not have heard of yet - so it's like a gift.


A new year, last semester of school and I just ended my internship with the GA Secretary of State - I was looking for a smooth 11 weeks towards degree completion. I went back to work for The Art Institute of Atlanta, where I was attending, in the Accounting Office. I continued to record my piano music with friend, Phil Hall. I applied for the lucrative MTV Networks Summer Associate Program but was later told I was not qualified or acceptable - ouch! I said good-bye to Jennifer - my girlfriend - as she went back to Columbus, GA to prepare to leave for the MTC. President Gordon B Hinckley died - I still miss him.


Jennifer left to the MTC. Another Single's Awareness Day (Valentine's Day) goes by me. I bought a new laptop - my first! LEAP YEAR! (really, I don't know why that's exciting for me)


My 10th anniversary of March 1st - I can't believe how fast times go by. Joined forces with the Clark Howard team to help Habitat for Humanity finish 5 houses in one day. I finished my BA Advertising degree from The Art Institute of Atlanta. Within a week afterward found out I was accepted into Milano The New School for Management & Urban Policy in New York City. I would be pursuing a Master's of Science in Nonprofit Management degree. I moved in with Jacob Terry - great guy!


General Conference - first solemn assembly I remember viewing - but I was sad because I could not be counted. (I am hoping I will be able to next time) Started a PT job at The Fresh Market in the bakery - remember the posts earlier this year? I brought my family history out of the dust and tried to get some work put together - thanks to Jeff Babcock. I broke my silence once again and wrote an essay to North Star - a website for LDS people dealing or wishing to help those who struggle with same-sex attraction. Nate Mortensen, Geoff Davies and I journey to the Jacksonville, FLO-RIDA to chill with Lt. Cliff May before he departs to Japan for his military duties flying helicopters


Jennifer completes her stay at the MTC and leaves for Mongolia to begin the end of her mission. My brother Steven gets engaged to girlfriend Katie. I officially accepted my acceptance into graduate school - which was terrifying. I started working for friend, Mindy Spritz, at the Spruill Center for the Arts. I opened up to my friend at church, Clint, about struggling with same-sex attraction - we become better friends because, well, we share the struggle and he's awesome! I start my new blog - duh - THIS ONE!


I walked across the stage of the the Georgia World Congress Center and graduated - just after they cleaned it up from a tornado that rushed through downtown Atlanta. I attended Journey Into Manhood - it was quite an experience. I am finding out a lot about myself - the way I treat myself and how far I have come in this journey called life.


My 29th Birthday! I found out I could help produce/have children someday despite being HIV positive - I was shocked! Friends said temporary good-byes to Cliff & Jill May as they left the US to live in Japan for three years. (I am planning to go to Japan next summer) Spruill Summer Camp ends - it was so fun and such a great experience. I stopped working at The Fresh Market as well.


My grandmother Carole's health is still declining but she turns 81. My mother turns 60 despite struggling with AIDS for over 15 years. Amazing 2008 Beijing Olympics takes place - Michael Phelps wins eight gold medals and I saw it happen. My awesome friends join me in my farewell to Atlanta party that was just too wonderful - words can not express. I played one last song for the North Point Ward sacrament meeting, "Because I Follow Thee" - parting is such sweet sorrow - I really do miss my Atlanta friends - I feel I have taken them all for granted. I moved to New York City (Brooklyn) with acquaintance Martin Harwood and within a few days I lost my new phone and pair of Rx glasses in a cab. Welcome to New York City!


Ty Mansfield comes to NYC and a few of us enjoy Long Beach on Long Island on Labor Day - a day full of riptides and lifeguards! Classes start - I must be so used to art school that I forgot to bring a notebook and pen to class - too funny - I felt real stupid. Within a month of living in NYC - I get mugged on a Sunday night but am not hurt - my new laptop and passport are taken from me, sadness. Again, welcome to New York City!


Martin & Mim get married and I move out to a temporary apartment in Manhattan while my permanent place gets renovated. General Conference felt different, but sweet. Visited Atlanta for a week to get some of my belongings. Enjoyed a day with friends at an Apple Festival and Pumpkin Patch. My doctor tells me it's time to start medicinal treatment and I finally have to face the fact that I am not invincible.


Finally moved into my NEW semi-permanent apartment on Madison Avenue. Senator Barack Obama elected first black US President! (I voted as a New Yorker!) Watched the NYC Marathon from my livingroom - love my Central Park/5th Avenue view. Special Stake Conference with a visit from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland - awesome! Thanksgiving Day celebration with Seth Hill - "Enchantment Under the Leaves" - what a great time. Held a special World AIDS Day fast - over 40 people joined me.


Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin dies - another spiritual giant gone. Completed first semester of graduate school - somewhat unscathed. Looking forward to my first NYC Christmas and New Year's Eve celebration, (though without family) while starting medicinal treatment this week despite doubts and fears.

I guess that's all - it still amazes me that so much fits into one year. Here's to the new year 2009 which will, undoubtedly, bring with it opportunities and challenges to face and learn from and maybe a few revelations along the way.

I love all of my friends and family wherever you are and hope and pray that each of you continues to celebrate the life you have with those you cherish so deeply. I hope that as we tread forward into the dawning of a new era - we can all face the opportunities and challenges we are given without forgetting to remember He who walks with and watches over us has provided a way to that eternal joy we all seek.


love always, your friend and brother Jey

You have been caught Jey Walking (like an Egyptian!)

Monday, December 8, 2008


Yesterday, in church, a young woman told us about how she had asked God, "how should I worship today?" The answer came to her, "Worship is reaching, reaching is worship."

I immediately replaced the word worship with a hundred different words - but the word grow - in its many forms - rested upon my mind the longest.

God, how can I grow today?

Growth is reaching, reaching is growth.

This has stayed with me since. I have always known this to be true, but maybe not as much in the spiritual sense. As a former athlete, I was taught the importance of muscular growth and care. I learned that one must set goals and reach them in order to have muscles expand. In order for the muscles to be useful, one must stretch them out before rigorous use, like a race or a game. If a muscle is damaged, there are certain ways to repair it over time.

A young man spoke about turning 30 and the concern he had regarding such a milestone. He was concerned about his physical ability and health and wanted to make sure he was in great shape for his thirties. He read a guide to prepare for a new physical fitness regiment in which the first step is to consult a doctor before making any major changes to one's daily routine. After he found out he was in great shape and had the go ahead to apply a new, rigorous workout to his 30 year old life - he pondered about his spiritual 30. He wondered why he had not worried about where he was with his testimony and spiritual growth. He then made the comment that maybe the scriptures should have a tag on them that reads: Please consult God before starting a rigorous spiritual regiment. How often do we just binge on spirituality in an effort to become closer to God, but leave God out of the process along the way?

I guess I needed to hear about growth yesterday - whether it be in the way I worship, take care of my body or spirit and also the way I treat others.

In Sunday School I read Mormon 7-9, in which Mormon is telling the Lamanites of our time what they must do to receive celestial glory. At the top of the list was that they needed to lay down their weapons of war and delight no more in the shedding of blood. I pondered how I could apply that in my life, though admittedly, I am not a descendant of the Lamanites. Then it came to me that I have various "weapons of war" that I use to battle or hurt others and even myself everyday. Weapons like hate, fear, doubt, sarcasm, lying, stealing, cheating, mockery, gossip, fighting or contention. These weapons can also replace "shedding of blood" - I doubt that I delight in murder, but how much do I delight in the misery of others - heck myself - sometimes I enjoy conflict. At first, I thought, I don't really delight in doing any of these things and yet there are some on the list and some not listed that I do and continue to do even when I know they cause myself or others pain or anguish. Fortunately, I have been able to recognize my faults as I grown up and been able to reduce my weapons of war and my "delight" in the shedding of blood or causing someone else pain or anguish.

So, how can I continue to grow?

Mormon tells me the answer is accepting and living the gospel. Now that's a reach for me, but I don't have to reach all the way to the Celestial Kingdom now - nor could I ever - based upon my own strength or merit. That's why I have a Savior - one who will reach the distance I can not. He is the one who will match my growth times infinity. The first step to growth is reaching. Reaching is growth; in the spiritual sense - it is humility.

In response to President Benson's statements on humility, a young man in Sunday School made the comment that he is weary of praying for humility because it will only bring more trials upon him. Truthfully spoken I think because humility is obtained through trials. However, I responded to him with a story I was inspired to read this last week in scripture study - the story of Moses. Moses saw God face to face and was transfigured before him to be in the presence of glory. It took time for Moses to regain his own natural strength once God left. Moses comments that, "Now for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed." (Moses 1:10) Listen to the sound of humility in that verse. Immediately after this is said Satan arrives to tempt Moses. It is because Moses was in the depth of humility that he could fight against Satan - for Satan had no glory. Moses called upon God for help to get rid of Satan because of humility - he knew God was God and He would add to his strength during a very overwhelming trial. My point I made to the young man is that trials will come regardless of whether you pray for humility or not. The idea is that while you pray for humility you are in essence praying for God - not to take away the trial - BUT to guide you - as He did Moses - in fighting against Satan when the trials and temptations are upon you.

I just wanted to share what I had learned yesterday - I found it all to be enlightening and helpful.

Maybe I am only 5'10 here on Earth - but I hope that as I continue to obtain humility and strength from Lord and as I grow - I will spiritually be at least 10 feet tall or maybe bigger just for effect.

You have been caught Jey Walking! (or "growing" for that matter)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

the distance you have come

I thought these lyrics came to me at just the right point in my life - The Lord knows I learn best through music and this song really moves me - I hope you agree (to listen: go to his website)

The Distance You Have Come

music and lyrics by Scott Alan

I don't know where tomorrow finds me
The only thing I know is where I'm standing now
In this life there's never been a guarantee
Which seems to be the only guarantee I've found

But keep your eyes upon the road - keep driving
It won't be long until you see a sign that says that you're arriving
And when you reach that day
When you conquer what's behind you
Don't forget the fight it took to get you there
And when you reach the top of the mountain you've been climbing
Don't forget the distance you have come

It's hard when no one tells you if you're winning
But just remind yourself how far that you've already come
And some days you may feel that there is no ending
But if you give up now you'll never know if you could have won

Keep your eyes upon the road - keep driving
It won't be long until you see a sign that says that you're arriving
And when you reach that day
When you conquer what's behind you
Don't forget the moments that have come before
And when you reach that place
When you're miles from where you started
Don't forget the distance you have come

And there'll be days that the weight of the world will bind you
And you're wondering if the world really needs you
But keep on going - keep on driving on
Cause the sign ahead will soon be behind you

And when you reach that day
When you conquer what's behind you
Don't forget the fight it took to get you there
And when you reach the top of the mountain you've been climbing
Don't forget the distance you have come

When you conquer what's behind you
Don't forget the moments that have come before
And when you reach that place
When you're miles from where you started
Don't forget the distance
Don't forget the distance
You have come