We’d like to welcome guest author Christian Harrison who shared the following exchange with the Daily Universe (BYU’s campus paper). Christian Harrison is an out gay man and Elders Quorum teacher in Salt Lake City, where he’s a communications professional. He has fond memories of his years at BYU, where he studied International Relations, French, Mandarin, and Danish. He’s posted at Wheat and Tares previously, on the issue of excommunication.
In promoting a story in the Daily Universe about the letter, the Daily Universe posed a question:
Did your ward read the letter last Sunday? What were the reactions?
Here was my response (and the resulting discussion thread).
We did. I was bracing for the worst, but our bishop simply read the letter and invited people with questions to speak with him privately. He prefaced the letter reading with an acknowledgement that there was a divided opinion in the ward on the issue and pointed ward members to the Church’s official site:
While I was thankful that I ducked the bullet of a painful conversation, I must admit that I think painful conversations may be just what is needed. The policy in the letter is wrong and the sooner we shake it off, the better: for the kingdom, for our wards, and for the innocents cowering in the closets — deathly afraid of what God has wrought.
THE DAILY UNIVERSE
Why is the policy in the letter wrong?
It’s based on the incorrect traditions of our fathers. It makes no sense in light of reality: that orientation isn’t chosen. If it’s not chosen, then there is no use in punishing someone for being gay. If we actually believe that families are truly the university of the Lord and believe that this life is a time set aside to acquire spiritual wealth, then there is NO reason to ask our LGBT brothers and sisters to sit out of the greatest spiritual endeavor of this life: marriage and family life.
Gays can and do get married and sealed in the temple, just to a spouse of the opposite sex. No one has denied them the blessings of marriage and family life.
Just because a tradition is old doesn’t mean it is wrong. God has spoken through His mouthpiece, the Prophet, and the Prophet sent this letter, containing the will of the Lord, to the body of the Church.
Gays can and do get married and sealed in the temple — into marriages that farandway end in divorce and heartache (or worse). Would you want your son or daughter to marry a gay man or woman? Or a man or woman who believed that they were actually born into a body of the opposite sex? Are you really willing to sacrifice the long-term happiness of your child, their spouse, and their children for a teeny, tiny rhetorical victory?
And you’re correct: the age of a tradition doesn’t directly correlate to its correctness. Of course, that’s not what I said or even implied. What I said was that THIS tradition — the notion that marriage must be strictly heterosexual — is a human invention. I’m actually a HUGE fan of marriage… and its evolution. I loved it, for example, when we stopped buying our wives and selling our daughters.
Finally: simply opening their mouths — or firing up their word processors — does not mean that what comes out is the word of God. That’s ludicrous. The history of God’s kingdom is littered with the mistakes of His prophets. And that’s okay. I don’t sustain the Prophet because he’s a magical tea leaf reader with a perfect track record — I sustain the Prophet because he was chosen by God to lead the Church. Just like I sustain my stake president because he was chosen by God and not for his business acumen, or GQ hair, or beautiful wife, or well-behaved children… and my bishop… and the relief society president… and the lowly ward bulletinist.
We sustain because we love and that love comes without conditions.
What I’m hearing is that if the Church leaders say something that is against your beliefs, then they obviously weren’t inspired to say it.
Prayer, not opinion, is how we learn what is true and what is not. I bear witness that the Lord’s prophet speaks His will on this issue. I have prayed about it and I know that the Prophet was inspired to say what he has said.
And I prayed about it, and know that they were not.
Of course, there were plenty who prayed about blacks never receiving the priesthood … or polygamy never being taken from the earth … or, or, or.
I think I’ll stick with the answers I got to my prayers. Especially when the answers I got reaffirm a just and loving God — and not a capricious God that once thought that gays were worthy of execution and now believes that gays only need to be denied the blessing of family life. Because gays need to be punished, apparently. Because … gays.
Those things did change, but it is wrong to say the brethren were wrong when the were simply waiting on the word of the Lord. One of the apostles, in the mid 70’s, was saying that blacks should have the priesthood and that certain of the other Brethren were wrong for opposing it. He later formally apologized for speaking against the Brethren. He admitted to being in the wrong.
While giving blacks the priesthood was a good thing, the important thing is to live according to the law as it has been revealed so far. We will be judged today for following the law as it stands today, not for following how we think the law should be tomorrow (or even how it very well may be tomorrow).
Christian, you labor under the fallacy that God would make people that by their own nature or genetics deny the most fundamental reality of natural law. That of gender and procreation. God created this law and is not going to ‘walk it back’ because some wish to succumb to unnatural temptation.
You can argue about scripture and interpretations and prophecy all you like in the spiritual realm, but denying reality when it stares you in the face is like staring at the sun and insisting it is dark.
Do you believe in the plan of salvation? The whole purpose for man to come to earth is marry and then multiply and replenish the earth. It IS the plan. Only the union of a man and a woman can create children. The church is basically just stating the plan of salvation.
Peter, you’re apparently not all that versed in either nature or nature’s laws… children are born EVERY day who lack the tools needed to procreate. Moreover, children are born every day whose genitalia point to either multiple sexes or no sex at all (you mistakenly call “sex”, “gender”). It happens, it’s rare, and it’s okay.
But let me be blunt: children are born into families that will TORTURE them, into bodies that will only know pain, into minds that will never comprehend love. Of the hundreds of millions of ways for children to be born into conditions that don’t meet our notions of health or normalcy, you seem to fixate on one specific condition and say — with all the hubris of a “normal” person — that this ONE condition is beyond the pale?!
And the sick irony — the depravity of your assertion — is that this one condition (being born LGBT) is the minor offense of loving someone differently.
God is love. Love is not a defect.
Why then, did God create people who by nature are incompatible with that plan of procreation?
You don’t know the entire plan, and neither do I. There are gay people – that’s a fact. Currently, we don’t know about the part of the plan where they fit in. I believe the Brethren are working to figure this out, and sure – this is the current church policy – but don’t step farther than church leaders and assume that our current understanding of the plan of salvation is complete.
Logan: blind obedience is the doctrine of Satan. God asks us to sustain — which is a higher law. I sustain the Brethren. I also think they’re dead wrong on this. Sustaining and disagreement aren’t mutually exclusive.
David, Tami: it’s not the plan of procreation. There are millions of people who do not now nor will they ever procreate. If you’ve ever been in sacrament meeting on Mother’s Day, you know this.
It’s the plan of salvation — the great plan happiness. And love is at the center of both.
Who said anything about blind obedience? But it is still better to obey, for whatever reason, than to disobey. The prophet has told us what is true. It is our duty, then, to find the will to follow the truth. The Prophet can never lead the Church astray. If you side with the prophet, you are never wrong.
And we’re not just speaking of the love of a parent for a child or a woman for her neighbor… we’re also speaking of romantic love!
At a BYU fireside in November of 1963, Elder Boyd K Packer said: “Romantic love is not only part of life, but literally a dominating influence of it. It is deeply and significantly religious. There is no abundant life without it”.
Logan: you ask, without irony: “Who said anything about blind obedience?” and then say “it is still better to obey, for whatever reason, than to disobey. The prophet has told us what is true. It is our duty, then, to find the will to follow the truth. The Prophet can never lead the Church astray. If you side with the prophet, you are never wrong”.
My mind boggles.
If I sided with the prophet when he said blacks would never have the priesthood, that man would never visit the moon, that polygamy would never leave the earth, that Nauvoo was the promised land, then I would have been wrong every time. Every time. There’s nothing magical about being a prophet. Being a prophet is not a get-out-of-jail-free card.
And the same prophet who said “the Prophet will never lead the Church astray” was at that moment lying about polygamy and actively thwarting federal law.
I don’t begrudge our leaders for being human. Why do you? Why do you insist that they can’t be wrong? Will you abandon them when they are? Or will you engage in mind-blowing acrobatics to say that right was wrong and wrong was right — just so you can sleep soundly at night believing the false doctrine of infallibility?
There is a blessing in following the Prophet. There is. But sometimes the blessing of following the prophet doesn’t out shine the blessing of not walking off a cliff. That’s why we have the Spirit. That’s why we have personal agency. That’s why we are called to SUSTAIN and not to OBEY.
Nature in this world, being a fallen world, is imperfect and has flaws. This is intended. We are spiritual beings having a physical experience. I also have genetic flaws which makes me predisposed to cancer and diabetes. God ‘made’ me that way as well but expects me to deal with it positively based on his commands which come via the mouth of his servants. I don’t go kill myself because someday I may suffer because of this. Suffering is part of the experience. It is a refiners fire that sanctifies my body and spirit. Because people deal with suffering doesn’t make them bad, just human. It’s when we recognize truth (which is the only reality) of Gods word and act accordingly, he saves us through Christ. That people must suffer with same sex attraction is undeniable, but it is how they grow through the suffering by obeying Gods commands through his servants. In the end all is made right and we will understand the purpose of our suffering. You presume to know Gods mind, when it has already been expressly known through scripture and prophecy both ancient and modern.
People may feel that it’s not fair to have to deal with these challenges. But physical genetic defects happen, fair or not, it’s all part of this training program God made for us called ‘life’
But people who aren’t flawed physically?
That’s all about free agency which can be mastered.
When we read the scriptures, we are commanded to “be perfect even as your father in heaven is.” What is God, a perfected man, a holy man who we learn from modern day revelation is in a holy covenant of marriage our heavenly mother. If we are to be perfect like God as Jesus explicit told us to be we must emulate him. Anything less would be breaking that command.
But some will say why do some feel attraction the same sex? Doesnt it make God cruel to create same sex attraction in a person, or are we yhe bigots for not understanding people are born with and it comes from God?
This kind of thinking highlights a few fallacies intoduced by satan. One that sin is natural and obedience is unnatural. That our appitietes and desires should be the guide of our actions not some “tradition”. Our personality is created by God therefore our feelings, urges, and appitietes are from him.
Let’s talk about the first one, King Benjamin made it clear that after the fall man, with sin and righteousness (as explained in The Gospel) enticing us one way or another, we would have to chose whether to follow our natural appitiates and give in to sin, or give into the enticings of the spirit and put off the natural man, and obey Gods commands. The temple clarifies this further by explaining the law of chasity, is between a man and a woman entered into a covenant of marriage and reminding us the Lord command have set boundaries on or desires and desire with in that law. But this is the choice we have to make. God has told us time and time again he will not force us to be like him. To give up the natural man and be made holy through Christ. We must chose it.
The second issue is thinking that our appitiates, passions and desires are somehow more important that o”old, out dated traditions”, the priesthood and the blacks was a matter of policy not doctrine as marriage is. We run a danger in labeling doctrine as “tradition”. God instituted the doctrine of covenant marriage and has made it clear all others are either counterfiet or done by authority other than his. Why did God institute it as between a man and a woman. Because it is how he lives and he lives it because that is how it is suppose to be. It is rightous to do it as God has. Because of this, we must understand covenant marriage isnt a policy or tradition made up and established by man but rather the only way to live that is in harmony with God and the only way to be like him.
The last fallacy is the hardest to understand as it is hard to understand if your heart is hardened by a desire to be “natural” or sin in otherwords. D&C teaches us that our inteligence or us as core individuals was not created but eternal and from the begining we had a choice to become like God. We knew, likely in great detail what sin on earth would be like, and how it would be that some would, because if the vail succumb to sin. Hence satans plan. He would save all of us, whether we were worthy of it or not. There would be no agency because there would be no consequence. God s plan would place us at odds with all our flaws and put opposition to our obedience. These would be fact of life. We knew that some might not overcome sin. He opposed god by saying no would overcome sin and become as God and christ would not atone. But for many, we overcame satan, testifying of christ and overcoming the first trial of our faith. That is the beauty of the restored gospel, we learn of our eternal nature, that we, even in heaven, are beings who choose, like God. Lehi explained that there must be oposition to all things, and if we understand 2 nephi 2, we understand we must use christ to over come the enticings of sin and inherent weakness in our mortal state, being supported by christ, not ourselves or satan. This was by design not arbitray choice or malicious intent. To say we are created a certain way is to give into satan argument, that we cant overcome and we are acted upon, and cannot act for ourselves. That we will sin and have no recourse other than to sin.
But still it is hard to overcome weakness and sin, especially when the world, and by world i mean individuaks who hold worldly power, try and justify their own desires by making good evil and evil good. Or they deny God as revealed and make God and his christ into a caricature of themselves having a form of godliness but dening the power thereof. There is a lot of pressure to conform and adopt these attitudes. but we must never give in, we must overcome this error with the light of the restored gospel. If we dont have the sufficient answers we want we must hold to what truth we have and endure hardship and attacks of doubt with faith, prayer, and desire to act, even if it is imprefectly on that command to be lie God our father. We are promised strength to endure and support as we suffer reviling and false accusers who see our desire to follow christ and our example as an offense as it strikes them with their own guilt.
Now, if you cannot find this by reading, listening to the words if the prophet than your heart is hardened and you sin against the light and greater will be your condemnation for you have accepted covenants to listen to god, and his annointed one, christ, by his holy spirit which you have recieved and by his annointed and chosen prophets.
I know God guides his prophets and is the same today, yesterday and forever. Greater light and knowledge will come. We will perfect the church, its people, practices and policy. We will have added understanding to the gospel and doctrine of christ. Our prophets will continue to be imperfect as we all are but God is a God miracles and faith in Christ will overcome our doubt, weaknesses and short comings, as a people, families and individuals. This I know because I have recieved the holy spirits witness.
Peter: you realize you’re comparing loving differently to a life-threatening disease, right?
At one point in our history both redheads and left-handed people were vilified as being demonic spawn. So let’s kill them all and then go to their parents and tell them that OUR problem with THEIR children is just a part of living in a fallen world — and that they should accept our choice as part of the trials of their mortal probation. Let’s see how well that goes over.
There is nothing — NOTHING — about being LGBT that warrants their current status as second-class citizens in the world and certainly not in the Kingdom of God.
The policy put forward in the letter is a direct descendant of thinking that came from the assumption that homosexuality was a contagious psychological/moral disorder. Even the Church has abandoned that line of thought — so it’s time they abandon the fruit of the poisoned tree.
Loren: your entire treatise rests on the assumption that LGBT love is somehow sinful. I don’t accept the premise. Love isn’t a defect.
In response to your premise, you raise the point that being born with a condition doesn’t necessarily grant that condition any sort of special dispensation from God. And I actually agree with you. People are born with a host of conditions and predilections — none of which are automagically “right” or “good” in the sight of God.
Of course that really doesn’t have any bearing on my position. I know that some of my LGBT brothers and sisters (and our allies) have made arguments like that. But that is not my argument.
It’s important to me that being LGBT is in-born because it negates the idea that it’s possible to “catch” the gay — and therefore negates the social framework that grew up around that incorrect belief.
Being gay, trans, bi, or lesbian isn’t a sin — any more than being a albino or left-handed person is a sin. We’re only handicapped or challenged or burdened to the extent that society insists on vilifying us. Society has reason to be concerned about hate and violence and robbery and the like — but society has nothing to fear from a minority population that loves differently.
Christian Harrison, with out any desire to attack you personally, I am concerned about your erroneous perceptions of God, prophets and doctrine in general.
God is perfect and as such, is incapable of making any mistakes (commission or omission) because as soon as He does, He ceases to be God. To say that God made gay, trans, bi or lesbian people that way in fact is saying that God made a mistake. Also the notion that He was opposed to it before but isn’t now or that because God loves all people, He now accepts, approves and endorses said indulgence also implies God makes mistakes. There is only one individual that promotes those fallacies as truth is the great deceiver that wanted everyone to follow him because God’s plan was flawed. In the preexistence, Satan attempted to deceive us by claiming that his way was better than God, our Father. Satan is still using that same ploy even though he has been using it for thousands of years. Doesn’t seem to be too outdated to me. Just as Satan’s tactics aren’t outdated, God’s teachings aren’t outdated. Who are we to question or go against God? Anytime we do, it ultimately ends in misery.
We are told to follow the prophets because, even though they may make mistakes because they are human, if they ever start to go against Christ, THEY WILL BE REMOVED! That means death. Starting with Joseph Smith up to Spencer W. Kimball each were directed (by the Lord) that blacks were not to hold the priesthood. Who the Lord dictates blessings to be denied to is not our call to question. For those that went against it once blacks were approved and left the church, that is THEIR problem and they will answer to the Lord. Unless they changed their attitude/thinking through repentance, the Lord will judge them fairly and completely because they didn’t bring their behavior closer to alignment with His.
While being gay, trans, bi or lesbian isn’t a sin in and of itself, it IS a sin if those desires/impulses are acted on. If marriage was created/instituted by man, who married Adam and Eve such that God recognized and stated that they were husband and wife? God married them because He instituted and defined what marriage is with them. Man can attempt to change that definition all they want but it DOESN’T change the fact that God gave the definition already. If ANYONE is in a sexually active lifestyle/relationship that falls outside the boundaries that God established, they are committing sin AND MUST REPENT! The LGBT community is doing nothing more than mocking God and slapping Him and society in the face by claiming they have the ‘right’ to marry. Within in the church, someone must show they are living according to a minimum level of standards BEFORE they can go to the Temple and receive those blessings. The LGBT community DOESN’T meet the minimum level of standards required to get married. You claim that God wouldn’t expect someone in the LGBT community to marry someone that is completely opposite because that would be asking them to be miserable. Some of that statement is true because God doesn’t want any of His children to be unhappy or miserable. The problem is that you are taking the position that God will alter His standards and align them with sinners. God has stated over and over many times and different ways that wickedness never has led to happiness. If anyone in the LGBT community (or anyone who is committing sexual or other sins for that matter) wants to be truly happy, they MUST alter their actions and align themselves with the standards God has established. If they do it having faith in God, He will ultimately lead them to a state of happiness because they learned and overcame the things that they needed to for them to be happy. As it is right now, anyone in the LGBT community that thinks pursuing their desires will make them happy is being deceived and deluded by Satan. They will no more be happy than an alcoholic is when they are drunk or the drug addict is when they are high. Same-sex attraction isn’t a sin but acting on it is.
Your whole argument is based on deception from Satan including your ‘answer’ from the Lord. God cannot and will not tell anyone (through revelation or any other way) that going against Him is the right way or thing to do yet Satan can and WILL tell people that going against God is good or right and he can even make them feel warm and fuzzy at the moment. If you are so certain that God told you that LGBT lifestyle is okay, why are you so defensive and why are you so critical of His leaders? True revelation binds peace AND it brings one one step closer to alignment with God.
I hope you will recognize that you HAVE been deceived and that it has been by Satan so that you will be wearing the right uniform when the game is over. I of course am referring to what Jeffrey R. Holland said:
“The FUTURE of this world has long been DECLARED; the final outcome between GOOD and evil is already KNOWN. There is absolutely no question as to who WINS because the VICTORY has already been posted on the SCOREBOARD. The only really strange thing in all of this is that we are still down here on the FIELD trying to decide which TEAM’S JERSEY we want to wear!”
Scott, I scarcely know where to begin.
Let’s start with this gem: “God is perfect and as such, is incapable of making any mistakes because as soon as He does, He ceases to be God. To say that God made gay, trans, bi or lesbian people that way in fact is saying that God made a mistake.”
LGBT persons aren’t mistakes. So making them “that way” doesn’t say a thing about God — except, perhaps, that he’s more fabulous than you dare imagine.
Christian: hilarious you’re convinced an answer you have received trumps revelation a prophet and his apostles have been given. I mean, if YOU say the apostles are “wrong on this one” of course then it must be true! Sustaining a leader isn’t blindly following every counsel it also requires a sense of humility and realising that you’re not privy to all that they are privy to, that you don’t know all the answers, that answers we receive may not satisfy all the we questions we have. So Therein lies a true test of faith & genuine sustaining.
One more… “God cannot and will not tell anyone that going against Him is the right way or thing to do” — I’m not sure how this is supposed to persuade me to abandon the answer He so clearly gave me.
“God told you that LGBT lifestyle is okay, why are you so defensive and why are you so critical of His leaders?” — because His leaders aren’t above reproach? Because the nice Daily Universe person asked me why I thought the policy was wrong? Because my brothers and sisters in the Church are literally killing themselves because of the crushing weight of having to listen to men and women they revere call them less-than-human — unworthy of the love and growth and happiness that comes from romantic love… Because saying nothing isn’t an option unless I want to be complicit in their deaths and countless other lives ruined.
Christian… I admit this conversation is like talking to a wall of LGBT talking points.
The brethren and the scriptures couldn’t be more clear. You claim that it’s all about ‘love’ and how could ‘love’ be wrong. Sexual attraction does not equal ‘love’. I can ‘love’ a man in a filios (brotherly) or agape (heavenly, charity, pure love of Christ) way and not have a sexual attraction for him. The love to which you undoubtedly refer is ‘eros’ or erotic, sensual and is given only for the purpose of procreation in the proper context of marriage between a man and woman. But you know this. Yet, you seek to pervert the meaning of the term and insult God by equating his love, with sensual desire…
If that’s what you think of as love, then your God an mine are not the same…
And you’re the one suggesting that people who have these feelings are second class citizens… No one here has said nothing of the sort. They have all the privileges that any child of God has…. On conditions of righteous behavior…. But that extends only to those who are obedient
Hinauri: since the Brethren CAN be wrong and HAVE been wrong, then it follows that there WILL be times when a lowly member’s prayer is answered in contradiction to the expressed opinions of the Brethren.
It’s that simple.
Of course, it could be that they’ve not been given a single word of revelation on this issue. Frankly, I can’t imagine for a second President Packer (may he rest in peace) ever doubting himself. It’s more likely that some of the Brethren know the direction the Church will eventually take and are biding their time. Much like so many of the Brethren bid their time in the wind-up to the 1978 revelation revoking the 150 year old practice of denying priesthood and temple blessings to black members.
And as an out gay man who has diligently kept faith in a Church that insists on his second-class status — I humbly submit that I know what it means to wait on the Lord. I wait on the Lord as I home teach each month, as I attend all my meetings, as I teach EQ, as I organize the annual ward chili cook-off, and as I endure the tone deaf protestations of other Mormons so certain that Things Will Never Change™ — ignorant that things have already changed.
Peter: What I have said should not be dismissed simply because others have said it.
Sexual attraction and love are not synonymous and I’ve not used them interchangeably. In fact (without rereading all I’ve said), I’m pretty sure I’ve only ever referenced romantic love — something which Elder Boyd K Packer “a dominating influence of [life; that] is deeply and significantly religious. There is no abundant life without it”.
Well that’s a matter of opinion. They can make mistakes because they are human, although the Lord is not wrong and cannot be wrong in regards to doctrine, or even timing of altered doctrine – that’s impossible. Here’s the thing, I would fight & protest for your right Christian to love and care for whomever you chose to love. We all have that right & that freedom to choose who we love. But there is no mistaking the law of marriage was established by God and can only be changed or altered by Him, so this battle to get the so called ignorant in the church to realise it’s only matter of time before its changed is in vain. Man has no power to alter such doctrine until it is first altered by God. And when and if it is? Yay! But until then you can’t fault us for following what we know is true.
Hinauri: “But there is no mistaking the law of marriage* was established by God and can only be changed or altered by Him, so this battle to get the so called ignorant in the church to realise it’s only matter of time before its changed is in vain. Man has no power to alter such doctrine until it is first altered by God. And when and if it is? Yay! But until then you can’t fault us for following what we know is true.”
Of course I can fault you. I fault you deeply … and I’ll forgive quickly, you know, as soon as the policy changes and everyone here starts singing the old Mormon tune “we always knew it was that way”. But your beliefs have real consequences. Moreover, the Church is literally built on the back of bottom-up decisions — so crying out for change is as Mormon as it comes.
Sacred Grove: bottom up.
Word of Wisdom: bottom up.
Primary and Sunday School: bottom up.
Welfare program: bottom up.
Blacks and the priesthood: bottom up.
On and on and on.
* Marriage is ordained of God to accomplish certain of His goals — but I’d be hard-pressed to say that it was ever His intention that women were bought and sold as chattel. Marriage is good. But it could always be better. You’re worth more than a goat, Hinauri — don’t forget that.
Scott Z … “Without any desire to attack you personally, I am concerned about your erroneous perceptions of God, prophets and doctrine in general.”
Scott, I gotta say, after reading these comments, I find the majority of the LDS members’ opinions expressed on this thread to be extremely judgemental and homophobic. Then to level such an accusation such as yours on an internet forum against someone with whom you disagree is a low blow, especially for someone who claims to be a follower of Xrist … I happen to know Christian personally. We served in the same mission. The people for whom I have such a high level of respect are few and far between, but Christian is one of them.
Members of the Church have been commanded to ‘work out their salvation with fear and trembling before G-d’, and when they ‘lack wisdom, let them ask of G-d, who giveth to all men liberally’.
To say that a person ‘chooses to be LGBT’ or caught the gay virus is close-minded at best, and naive beyond belief. It is not a choice. Do you honestly think that someone would choose that identity, knowing full well what horrors society will inflict upon them? I cannot conceive the level of courage it takes for anyone, let alone an active member fo the Church, to come out of the closet and still remain active.
Your assertion that someone who receives a different message has been deceived by the adversary, or is receiving ‘incorrect’ revelation is absurd. I can count many times when as a father and husband, the guidance I received differed greatly from that which my Church leaders counselled. Had I not trusted my answers, obtained through prayer and fasting, I would not be here. Period.
As for the plan of salvation, procreation is an important part of it, but I do not believe that it is the end-all-be-all of the plan. The purpose of the plan is to return from whence we came. Period. To say that the LGBT community would be withheld those blessings is absurd. Prophets have said that single sisters who have never married will not be denied any blessing in the next life. Why would a gay member, through no fault of their own, not be able to obtain the same blessings? To suggest otherwise would imply that G-d is contradictory. I see no difference.
A person has no more choice in their sexual orientation or identity or with whom they fall in love than they do over the color of their eyes.
Honestly, I have rarely seen such a level of blind acceptance as I have seen on this thread.
Christian, keep the faith, my brother. I am confident in the knowledge that you will emerge victorious.
The others, you need to quit judging or trying to fit everyone into your worldview, because your worldview couldn’t be more wrong.
Peter: I’m not the one suggesting that we’re second-class citizens. I’m merely pointing out that we’re treated that way. Put on your empathy hat and tell me that — being told that our love isn’t the right kind of love and that our dreams for happy ever afters aren’t the right kind of dreams — you can’t see how we’d walk away thinking we’re second-class citizens in the Church.
And that’s the Church NOW. When I was in high school I was called an abomination — someone who’s mere existence was an offense to God second only to murder. Not the sex act, mind you — but my very existence. And while I was getting that at church, my gay brothers at BYU were having electrodes attached to their genitals in the basement in vain attempts to “fix” them.
I don’t need fixing. I’m not broken.
A dial that goes to 11 isn’t broken just because you can’t count that high.
Way to gloss over real love and focus on the physical aspect. God has never in the entire history of the world endorsed sensual same sex relationships. Every culture that has adopted it pagan or otherwise was quickly wiped off the map. You can argue with me or logic all you like, but the slag heap that became sodom and Gomorrah testifies of that
I am aware that Mormon culture can be very judgmental. That will be a fatal flaw and I am not judging you either. I simply stand on what the brethren have said and is stated in scripture. You can deny reality all you like, but it doesn’t make it less real. God will make things right in all things and I feel for your struggle, but there are some things that are immutable. That only a man with a woman making a family can have increase is one of these things.
Nobody ever said anything about the physical side of the relationship, Peter. I know plenty of LGBT who do not engage in any sexual activity. Not everyone in their community is looking for the next hookup or can’t wait to jump the next person they see. They are no more likely to jump into bed with an anonymous partner than a heterosexual. This only goes to show just how skewed the majority of LDS members’ perception of the LGBT community really is.
Um… romantic love isn’t a gloss. I’m not sure how you think that gay love could only be physical — maybe I don’t understand straight people that well. Is your love merely physical? Because the love I feel is deep and abiding and romantic. I mean, if I believe all those songs I heard in junior high, I have to assume that straight people understand romantic love — though watching Game of Thrones leads me to believe that you straight people have a pretty messed up idea of what love is.
And Sodom and Gomorrah had nothing to do with homosexuality. Have you even read the story? Or are you just aping the comments of your forebears who also, probably, failed to read and/or understand it. In Ezekiel, it is stated plainly: “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy” — a sentiment that Joseph Smith later repeated.
A sentiment that is all too common in every country today.
Christian Harrison, this is what happens when you put your pearls before the swine. You rock.
Peter, if only a man with a woman making a family can have increase is an immutable reality, what about those who are unable to have children of their own and are unable to adopt? will they never have increase?
Peter: God made Eve from Adam’s rib. Something tells me there’s more to this whole “eternal increase” thing than an eternity of marital relations.
Heck, scientists on earth — right this very moment — can make children from the genetic material of the male alone. I’m guessing God has this thing down, pat.
But let’s pretend for one second that you’re right, and eternal increase is only available to hetero couples — why not allow me the chance to fulfill the measure of my creation on earth (find the man of my dreams, marry, and adopt the children you straight people throw away) and then fix everything in the millennium?
In the end, I suspect that this has little to do with any profound doctrinal concerns (because those can be addressed). In the end, y’alls disgust with homosexuality is an extension of y’alls disgust with gay sex. And I get it. Girly parts freak me out. But I’m able to differentiate between my discomfort with something y’all do in the privacy of your homes and what God hopes for me.
Wrest the scriptures all you like… If you all really are endowed, returned missionaries, then get your heads around what happens in the temple…
Also, I don’t think anything is going to change for the church doctrinally any time soon, unless they are going to change all the above mentioned…. Gender is an immutable part of life and of our experience here and the guidelines have been well established for time immemorial.
I can only experience love in all its aspects with my wife in the proper context of God endorsed marriage.
And judgmental? Let the name calling begin! I as a ‘swine’ don’t need for you to agree… I’m only pointing out facts. You all are the ones that really need to get in touch with reality. Read the Proclamation on the Family… Those are hard facts…. If it hurts your feel goods because it goes against what you think you want, there’s nothing for it but to deal.
No hate, sorrow only for how misguided and misled you have all been.
God Bless and may you find peace.
Peter: Unless you’re willing to bring up what, exactly, in the temple should persuade me, it’s impolite to bring it into the conversation.
And which scriptures have I wrested?
You’re adorable, Peter. I look forward to welcoming you to the right side of the fight when your hand is forced by the Brethren. Of course, you could be correct, now… but you apparently need permission.
I think he’s referring to Eve and the created from adam’s rib, Ezekiel and the truth about Sodom and Gomorrah, and the whole James 1:5 … but he can stay with his opinion, it’s his right … just like it’s my right to think he’s wrong grin emoticon
Swine and pearls was drawing from scripture. Do you hate the Bible?
Ah. Well … if quoting scripture is wresting it, then … well … we’re all bumfuzzled.
Thank you to Christian for contributing to this discussion and providing insightful context.