The following is a guest post from GayMoBro.
Margaret Mead said you should get married three times even if it’s to the same person: marry first for sex, then for children, and finally, marry for companionship. I doubt many Church members would take issue with this thinking as long as all three marriages are to the same person (though President Kimball might encourage you to hurry along from marriage one to marriage two).
I once wrote a blog post where I confessed that I had never really been in love.  That’s not to say I don’t love my wife; I do, deeply. My wife is an amazing woman, full of talent and love and compassion.  No, as a gay man in a mixed orientation marriage, I think what I was trying to express was, “I never got to marry for sex.” I married first for companionship and second for children, but never for sex.
Now I know marrying for sex isn’t a necessity, but to all my straight, unmarried friends, “Would you be willing to never have sex?” (Yeah, I didn’t think so.) And no arguing, “The law of chastity is the same for spinsters who never marry as for an LGBT member who must remain a virgin.” As several people pointed out in the comments of this great post, it is fundamentally different to tell someone they can never have sex than to say they can have sex after they marry. For example, say I take my children to an Easter egg hunt. My daughter I allow to hunt for Easter eggs; my son comes with me to watch, but I forbid him from hunting eggs. Note that even if my daughter ends up without eggs, either by bad luck or by choice, her experience is fundamentally different than (and I would argue more rewarding than) my son’s.  The law of chastity may be universal, but the effects of its application are not.
The Church thankfully has abandoned encouraging mixed orientation marriage as a means for curing homosexuality. I came of age right as President Hinckley made this policy change public. The trouble is, at the time, members didn’t believe it. I actually think few members today believe it. A lot of people still seems to think, “Just marry a girl and, once you experience how awesome sex is, you’ll straighten right up.”  Now the Church’s stance is, “Being gay is ok; acting gay, not so much”. In other words, celibacy, that evil practiced by Catholic priests, is the only sexual sacrament suitable for queer saints.
The trouble is, celibacy precludes our LGBT brothers and sisters not just from sex, but also children and companionship. To be fair, children and companionship can be had outside marriage, (though the Church is pretty adamant that children belong in a family with one father and, since the Manifesto, one mother). Don’t get me wrong; you can live a meaningful, deeply fulfilling, celibate life. But I think it’s different than the life you get from marriage. The level of companionship one gets from marriage is vastly different than what one gets from mere friendship. If my wife and I had not married, but simply stayed close friends, she and I might hang out together for a few hours now and again; we might text occasionally (maybe even daily) and sometimes catch a movie or play, but at the end of each night I would still go home to my empty apartment. (Clearly I wouldn’t have roommates because, you know, temptation. Maybe if he were some ugly bloke and we had little in common…)
I came to a crossroad and chose a mixed orientation marriage. I am generally content. But I admit I occasionally find myself playing what if, longing and wondering. What would my life have been like if I had not married my wife? Would I have found a partner? Would we still be in love? Would I be playing “What if I had married a woman?” Then I wonder if I’m going to become a pillar of salt for looking back.
A few weeks back, I had a hallway discussion with a member of our ward who asked about some of my Facebook posts supporting same-sex marriage. The tone and tenor of our discussion don’t matter much. (The conversation was both non-combative and non-productive.) What struck me, however, was my friend’s inability to bring himself to use the word “gay” or “homosexual”. He spoke in circles, alluding to the word then paused until I completed his sentence. It was as if speaking the word might infect him somehow or give homosexuals more power over him. (“Voldemort, Voldemort, Voldemort.”)
This conversation highlighted one reason a 1978-like, LGBT revelation is likely not in the offing: I’m not sure the majority of members are ready for such a revelation. When 1978 doctrinal revision came it’s likely there were some hold-outs who thought lifting the black ban was wrong  but discomfort with the racist nature of the ban was rising among the general membership. Regarding LGBT issues, I don’t see the same groundswell of support from everyday members. Sure, the Church has a relatively small contingent of progressives. The bloggernacle/Twitterstake give me hope, but then I go to church or get on Facebook where I see many, many faithful members “defending the family”. And I am disheartened.
There are of course other differences between the current struggle and 1978 priesthood/temple ban. For example, like blacks denied the Priesthood in earlier generations, LGBT members practicing celibacy today have been promised all blessings in eternity. But unlike LGBT members who must remain celibate in this life, a black man without the priesthood could still marry (for sex and kids and companionship). They could still experience the sweetness of marriage in this life. I’m not black, so I can’t imagine the pain of being denied priesthood blessings, but I often find myself wondering which doctrine of delayed blessings would be the harder cross to bear–the priesthood/temple ban or LGBT celibacy. I don’t know the answer to that one.
Another difference, in the run up to 1978, General Authorities loosened enforcement of the ban. If there was any doubt about someone’s ancestry, they often allowed the ordination.  With the November 5th policy leak and its subsequent doubling down (“It was revelation!”) by President Nelson, I’m not seeing a softening stance towards LGBT members. 
Perhaps the biggest difference between the priesthood/temple ban and LGBT celibacy policy however, is, well… me. With the announcement lifting the priesthood/temple ban it was like a light switch flipped: one day black men couldn’t have the Priesthood and blacks couldn’t attend the temple; the next day they could. Now try to imagine a similar revelation that gay members can marry a partner (even if for time only), be active in the Church, and eventually go to the Celestial Kingdom. After rejoicing at the doctrinal shift, I would probably wonder, “Where does this leave me?” Imagine the pillars of salt such a revelation would inspire! Alas, comparing 1978 and our current LGBT situation I fear the differences are too great to give me hope for even slight change anytime soon.
I actually think the 1978 revelation is more closely aligned to the struggle to ordain women than to the the struggle for LGBT acceptance. I think that a revelation allowing female ordination would be met with less resistance among the general membership than accepting same-sex marriage. Plus, there has been recent progress towards parity between the sexes. There has been an increased role of women in the Church: women now pray in Conference, sit on General Councils (albeit not enough women, but it’s a start), and now they can even wear pants at the Church Office Building. (Welcome to the 1980s!) But most of all, ordaining women would be like a light switch: one day they don’t have the priesthood; the next day they do. No collateral damage; no pillars of salt!
I am not implying this will be an easy light switch to flip on. Indeed a few conferences back Elder Oaks seemed to shut the door to ordaining women. I’m also not saying the two situations, the priesthood/temple ban and withholding the priesthood from women, are exactly analogous. Before blacks received the priesthood, they were always told that they would eventually have the priesthood if only in the next life; for women, with regard to priesthood promises in the next life, things are murky at best. Women are promised that if they’re faithful, they’ll be one of the wives of some heavenly hunk, but even I, an obtuse man, realize polygamy isn’t a great selling point for the hereafter. 
The fight for women to hold the priesthood may not be easy. I actually think that giving women the priesthood could be a huge boon for the struggle towards more LGBT acceptance. What better way to help church leaders have more compassion for the plight of our LGBT saints than letting their mothers be church leaders at the highest levels?
 I have a much neglected blog http://gaymobro.blogspot.com/ but it seems I have deleted that post. Probably for the best.
 And the sense of humor of a twelve year old boy.
 I’m not arguing whether or not it’s right or wrong to tell LGBT saints to remain celibate. I’m merely explaining that members need to stop arguing “the law of chastity is the same for all members” in such a way as to imply that what the law of chastity asks of our LGBT brothers and sisters is the same as it is for straight members.
 In case anyone wonders, I bear solemn testimony with every fiber of my being, that this just doesn’t work. Not that I married to become straight, though I admit I had hope. No, I married because God had prepared my wife for me and it’s what I feel He wanted for me.
 I dare say there are probably still a few holdouts. I really want to put a Trump joke in right here, but look at me exercising restraint.
 For example, My great grandfather said he had prayed for years that this change would come. For a great analysis of the 1978 lifting of the priesthood/temple ban, check out a href=”https://byustudies.byu.edu/file/3693/download?token=vMjyg9Vr”>https://byustudies.byu.edu/file/3693/download?token=vMjyg9Vr I feel inspired every time I read it.
 MormonLeaks published alleged notes from a training meeting where Stake Presidents were encouraged to use a man’s support of the Nov. policy as a litmus test when selecting Bishops. (So, hey, I’m never again going to be in a leadership role.) https://mormonleaks.io/wiki/documents/a/a7/Utah_Area_Seventies_Correlation_Meeting-2015-11-11.pdf
 My wife and I are hoping that polyandry is a thing in the next life. Surely there’s some beautiful, nerdy man who’ll fancy both me and my wife.
Elder Oaks’ s talk today was a perfect example of just how disheartening church can be.
Thanks for this insight and for sharing your very challenging personal experience. It makes one wonder how many people would pair up, get married and have a family if there were no sex drive? Given that the sex drive is evolutionarily programmed into all creatures that reproduce that way, I think I can deduce the answer to that question. Gay members who are high on the Kinsey scale and who enter into mixed-orientation marriages are making a supreme sacrifice.
The Church cannot support homosexual activism because of where it will eventually lead.
@Bryce Cook, thanks for your comment, your post the other day, and your fight for our Heavenly Parents’ LGBT+ children.
@Maelstrom, where exactly will “homosexual activism” lead? The Church’s stance towards homosexuality from the 70’s and 80’s (“get. married and hetero sex will straighten you up”) led to many broken homes and much heartache. The current stance (“celibacy is evil for Catholic priests, but great for gay Mormons”) leads to loneliness. And GC talks like Elder Oaks this morning correlates to an increase in suicides among our LGBT+ members. And I predict the current teachings are going to lead to a loss of a good part of my children’s generation. My children have and love friends who are gay; my children won’t stand for the hatred taught by current church leaders.
In reading this, especially the paragraphs about being denied companionship during this, I was reminded of something Elder Renlund said in his face to face in August. In response to a question about the value and importance of marriage, he quoted billboard (or whatever the South African equivalent is) he had seen in the Johannesburg airport. Something to the effect of, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” My immediate reaction back then was, why does this “truth” not apply to LGBT?
Wow, GayMoBro, this is powerful. I think you make such a good point about the “pillar of salt” problem, where you (and others) have made choices that you can’t really take back based on church advice/counsel/commandment at one time that may change in the future. This might not be quite as dramatic a change, but since the church has largely backed off on telling women they absolutely must have as many kids as they physically can, I know I’ve heard some women who had large families in response to past counsel/commandment wonder where it leaves them. Does their sacrifice count if the counsel changes?
@MrShorty, how I hope everyone in the church can come to this same realization: homosexuality is not just about sex; sex is such a small (but not unimportant) aspect of homosexuality.
@Ziff, thanks. As I try to envision a way for the church to make progress on LGBT+ issues, the path I see is murky at best. And I realize that I’m part of the problem (or would be if church leadership actually wanted to make progress on this issue).
I don’t see any progress until leaders stop dropping talks like Elder Oaks’ from this morning. I’m particularly troubled that the new Priesthood/RS curriculum will be even more based on GC talks than past years, meaning this talk may be emphasized in wards and stakes throughout the church for the next six months.
It’s not exactly the same, of course, but my wife quit her job (actually, not a job but a career) at BYU in the late 1980s when we had our first child and President Benson was strongly preaching that mothers should not work outside the home. Our lives have been blessed, but we sometimes wonder how much good she might have done as a very capable professional woman in Provo over the last three decades. I’m sure she would have been an inspiration and role model to many young women, and it would have been a benefit to many Mormon men to have interacted with her in her supervisory and administrative roles. If we faced the same decision today, I think she would choose differently, but she chose to follow the prophet at the time, even though later prophets changed their tune dramatically, In other words, her life ‘s course changed because of prophetic counsel that turned out to be less than immutable, for better or for worse.
I have a question for you as a gaymobro. It has to do with the origins of same sex attraction. There are many theories but to my knowledge no one knows for sure why approximately 3 to 4% of humankind are gay (do you agree with the 3 to 4%?). Some medical researchers are investigating the possibility that SSA is a “birth defect”? Have you ever looked into this?
I’m guessing that this is not our typical Jared commenting.
MH-I’m the same as ever. I just noticed my name isn’t linked to my site. Let’s see if it links in this comment.
I think that main problem is with Jared’s use of the term “birth defect” (especially “defect’). Not only does it seem obvious to me that the biological, genetic, epigenetic, and other causes of same sex attraction are an active area of research, the overall consensus is that theories involving “a complex interplay of genetic factors, the early uterine environment and brain structure.” (Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biology_and_sexual_orientation ) are favored by experts. Most wouild not call these “birth defects”, but these are the same kinds of mechanisms that would be implicated in many other conditions that we term “birth defects”.
I don’t know which specific studies or research that Jared is referring to, but it seems that a study focused specifically on SSA as a “defect” must have good research protocol or very carefully crafted definitions of “normal” and “defect” in order to specifically address SSA as a defect.
Two possible parallels that come to mind:
1) Deafness. I know that there are elements in the deaf community that are opposed to calling congenital conditions that cause deafness “defects”, even opposing some of the simple surgeries that can correct deafness.
2) It might make an interesting debate topic for a debate class or someone else who is good at debate, but it seems possible to argue that maleness is a birth defect. It is fairly well known that embryos will develop into females unless acted upon by some factor early in development. To what extent is this similar to and parallel to other birth “defects”?
Even though Jared did not address his question to me, I think my answer is that I am not aware of any studies that are specifically addressing SSA as a “defect”. It seems that there are several attempting to address the genetic and gestational factors that influence sexual orientatioin, but I don’t see any of them trying to call it a “defect”. The choice to call it a “defect” seems to be an ideological choice by some commentators.
@Jared, I thinks the 3-4% is likely a bit understated, due to the stigma associated with being gay.
I too take issue using the term birth “defect”. So I’ll rephrase your question, “Have I ever considered whether my homosexuality was something I was born with or something that grew within me over time?” I have given it much thought but don’t know the answer. I do know that at a very early age I recognized same-sex attraction within me and realized I was different from other kids. I recapped my childhood here:
In the end, I am currently gay whether from nature, nurture, or some combination of both. As I look back on my life, just as CTR’s wife would likely choose a different path if she had a redo, I likely would have stayed single. My wife deserves to be loved by a man who desires her in ways I never can.
Now a question for you, given the Lord has yet to reveal a way to change sexual orientation, do you feel Heavenly Father really wants his LGBT sons and daughters to never experience the three marriages of sex, children, and companionship? If in the next life, God can change a celibate LGBT son or daughter’s sexual orientation, can he not do the same for a non-celibate member who felt in this life the joys of same-sex marriage were better than the loneliness of celibacy?
A basic definition of birth defect: a physical or biochemical abnormality that is present at birth. Maybe the word “abnormality” is more useful.
Below is a link to an article about Pseudohermaphrodites. This documented phenomenon is both educational and disturbing. About 1 in 50 children born in the small isolated village of Salinas in the Dominican Republic are girls at birth but change into boys at about 12 years.
I want to make it clear that I am providing a view of SSA from a scientific perspective, nothing more.
I think the problem with the word defect is the implication of flaw or imperfection. I don’t think abnormality is much better.
This was thoughtful and reflective.
Thank you for this post and for responding to my comment. SSA is a huge issue for America and for people of faith. This is particularly true for Mormons because of our doctrine of premortality. SSA is a condition that only exist in a fallen world. This is also true of many other kinds of conditions that afflict human kind. The scriptures are almost silent on SSA, but scripture speak powerfully about sexual conduct. As Alma taught his immoral son, “see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love”. This counsel applies to all.
You asked, “do you feel Heavenly Father really wants his LGBT sons and daughters to never experience the three marriages of sex, children, and companionship?”
My experience in mortality has taught me that there are all kinds of afflictions that are hard to bear for God’s children. For those who have a testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that the LDS is “the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth”, have an incomparable blessing, no matter what affliction they are called on to bear while in mortality.
I have great respect for you as a gay mormon brother who, as I understand it, decided to marry a daughter of God so he could be true to his faith. Having done so, I believe you have the opportunity to move forward and receive blessing that are far more important than any sacrifice you are required to deal with in this life. I hope you will keep your eye fixed on the blessings you will receive by living faithfully in this life. Consider the words of Paul, “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
Remember, and this is important, you are not required to wait until the next life to have unspeakable blessings. You have access to the first and second comforter in this life. I’ve had many experience with the first comforter, so I know the promises are real. In order to receive these blessing we need to seek diligently for them. We need to focus on Godliness and not the cares of this world. Not an easy task, but those who make the decision to focus on the things of God subdue the things of this life and the blessings begin to flow.
Personally, I think the idea that 3-4% (or more) have a defect is incredibly condescending and insulting. Homosexuality exists in the animal kingdom, and it’s been around forever. People who are gay state that they’ve always known they are. Why don’t we believe people about their own lived experience?
What I think is more likely is that the vast majority of people are somewhere on a continuum when it comes to sexual orientation. Those who are bisexual, asexual or pansexual may be more likely to make a mixed orientation marriage work, but for those who think it’s easy, I suggest they try it. You don’t see a lot of heterosexuals lining up to marry one of their own sex to make people more comfortable. The thing is that once the stigma is removed, people will have to face and get over their own prejudices, and that takes a full generation and often longer to die out.
Where in scriptures does it say that homosexuality only exists in this earthly life and doesn’t exist in the world to come?
Also, regarding bridling my passions, my passion is towards tall, slightly nerdy British men. The church has not asked me to bridle this passion; it has asked me to extinguish it.
I’m less worried about me. My family is pretty great, though many of the challenges and struggles and the pain we’ve gone through could have been avoided if I never married my wife. I’m more concerned about future generations; if my son is gay (and I’m fairly certain his is) would I want him to: 1.) marry a woman, 2.) remain celibate, or 3.) marry a guy? While I hope all my kids know the joy of nurturing their own offspring, I don’t want my son (if gay) to suffer some of the trials I have endured. And I think #2 is a terrible choice. Which leaves option #3 as the best option for his mental health and growth as a human.
Thank you for your post and willingness to answer questions. I appreciate it. SSA needs to be understood by people from all walks of life. As someone who is working at being a TBM, in other words, a follower of Christ I want to have an understanding of SSA. Some commenters feel it is condescending to attempt to understand the cause(s) of SSA from anything outside their of their point of view. Apparently, they want to censor the freedom to investigate and find truth. I’m not interested in putting those with SSA down, name calling, and etc., I would like to acquire understanding. Thanks again.
Jared, thanks for your attempts to understand. I don’t think it’s condescending to try to understand homosexuality. But I would recommend you choose your words carefully. For example, saying my homosexuality is a defect may imply imperfection or inadequacy. You likely didn’t mean this in a negative way, but by using this word, it seems you feel homosexuality is a shortcoming. Until we know better why God allows his sons and daughters to be born LGBT+ I wouldn’t assume it’s a weakness. You might instead try seeing homosexuality as a wonderful variety in the Lord’s creation.
The Church’s teaching that homosexuality will be cured in the next life is both non-doctrinal and, I believe, detrimental to LGBT+ youth. It’s very easy for confused youth to think, “If I’m broken, but will be fixed in the next life, let me hurry on to that celestial sphere. (Because life here sure sucks as a gay Mormon.)” And life as a gay Mormon youth truly sucks. Straight Mormon youth grow up feeling ashamed for things they’ve done; gay Mormon youth grow up feeling ashamed for things they’ve done AND for who they are. Straight Mormon youth have an outlet for their sexual feelings: they can go on dates; they can talk with friends about girls they think are petty. Gay Mormons have to extinguish their passions. It sure would have been nice growing up if I could have had a friend to confide in about my crushes. I know you want to understand what causes homosexuality. I think you would be better served trying to understand the impact that current church teaching has on LGBT+ youth. They are literally killing themselves because of it.
““If I’m broken, but will be fixed in the next life, let me hurry on to that celestial sphere.”
This is really a hazard of having the afterlife theology that we have. It’s used in too many contexts to count. I couldn’t even count the number of time’s it’s gone through my mind, again for various circumstances. We’ve only in the past decade or so gotten to the point where there’s a stress to not judge those who have committed suicide. The Church continues to work on improving attitudes toward mental health. Suicide doesn’t happen because of just one thing; it’s a build up of a great many things, all of which should be worked out with professionals.
We all hope to be “cured” in the next life. We hope it’ll happen in the way we’d like, but there’s just as much chance there will be a great number of things we’ll need to just get used to. This doesn’t even take into account integrating with our life before this. The question then becomes how much of ourselves can we let go?
Yes. And there are quotes like BY saying the Telestial Kingdom is so awesome people would kill themselves to get there. This coupled with the marginalization of LGBT+ members leads to a suicide rate higher than the national average.
I honestly don’t comprehend homosexuality. It is like I have a mental birth defect, a sort of limited nonviolent but anti-social personality trait towards it. I rationally try to comprehend but emotionally I don’t feel the empathy that I do for other people who are different. I have friends and co=workers who are gay and I just try to ignore it and not be obnoxious (on that topic anyway) and consider it none of my damned business.
I knew a bisexual girl and made out with her once. Later when I found out about her other desires, I didn’t know what to think. I never had a crush on her or felt in love with her. But I thought she was amusing and liked her as a friend. It was a moment of passion and opportunity more than anything for me. I don’t know what she was thinking. I doubted it was going to “cure” her. I have known a couple of boy scouts who were probably gay and I tried to treat them just like the rest and ignore it. I don’t think they understood it very well until the late teens..
I like the analogy of getting married 3 times for different reasons, hopefully to the same person.. Even when married, life is not a bed of roses. Disappointment and unfulfilled expectations are rampant. After a few years both partners change into mostly new and different people. It seems like waking up one day and realizing a marriage partner has become a totally random person.
Anthropologists say monogamy is a product of the agricultural revolution which was a process that happened for most of our ancestors about 10,000 years ago. For at least a million years or maybe more before that, humans and their precursors made children with multiple partners. And 10,000 years was only 1% or less of that time and not long enough for inherited biology to catch up with rapidly changing culture. Now culture changes drastically every generation. Biology still dictates women are no longer able to bear children after their late 40;s or early 50’s. Men can sire children until very late in life. And basic biological urges follow this pattern, if not modified by culture and conscious effort. What often results is dirty old men still hankering for nubile young and seemingly fertile women. Alternatively women at the very end of their reproductive years may desire younger men (“cougars” in some circles) and find many willing partners. I suspect being constrained from this behavior this can be as frustrating as gay people being told to remain celibate. For some lechery at advanced age is presumed to be normal but for most of us it is deplorable..
Today few seriously consider sexual interest or activity with younger teenagers, children or animals to be normal. (Did Bill Clinton actually get on the “Lolita express” airplane to an island off Thailand where sex with young teenagers is rampant, over 20 times? Is that acceptable?) But less than a couple of generations ago homosexuality was considered to be in the same category. Homosexuality along with these other activities s have been practiced for eons of time. I am confused to say the least.
Mike, I find you comment disturbing on so many levels.
*your.* (Sorry for the typo, and sorry if the comment sounded judgmental. It’s just what you are saying about gay people seems very misguided at best.)
The anthropologists I’ve read say polygyny arose with agriculture and the domestication of animals. During the span of human prehistory and now in the present age, most humans practiced serial monogamy.
Homosexuality has been observed in hundreds of species, including bonobos who are genetically most related to us.
We need to consider multilevel selection. Individually we are a random collection of genes. Individuals do not evolve. It’s the population, our gene pool. What matters for our group is our inclusive fitness. It’s all about cooperation and altruism and social bonds. Gay and straight people both are capable of cooperating for the good of humanity.
OF late I have realized at how big of a role paradox plays in life. So much truth and now I see so many Lies are full of paradox (Lie Paradox Mean and women are the same, Men are such sexist pigs…not women). It was with that Idea of seeking all truthful sides of the paradox that I read your entire blog and spend many, many days contemplating it. I have many other perspectives I would like to share with you and hope you will take the time to read all I have to say and spend some time thinking about it. Here is hoping this can be put together in a coherent manner as my brain does not work in a linear fashion. I am a very global thinker.
You brought up several reasons why you think Gay marriage needs to be made acceptable as a part of the church and many do seem compelling on the surface but as I have considered them they are based so much on emotional sense and I have seen not 1 piece of doctrine to back it up. In many ways you seem to be viewing these things from a bubble. from another perspective (perspective is everything until you can see all truth clearly and I don’t claim that as yet) it seems that you are after this change so that you can have gay sex and it not be considered a violation of the law of chastity. On another perspective, I see that you have a situation in your life that causes you a great deal of pain and you want the external world to change so your internal pain can be alleviated. Guess what me too. you talk a great deal about se and this being a sexual issue, the fact that you have to abstain from your desire and that it is somehow different or special in comparison to other sexual challenges and I wholeheartedly dispute that. There are so many people that , law of chastity aside, struggle with so many aspects of sexual pain, including me.
I personally considered myself a only experiencing a near miss in the sexual pain department. it was not until my Husband and I were arguing over the struggles om yet another child caught up in the myriad of sexual sign, addiction and trauma that it hit me like a ton of bricks, It was not a near miss, it was sexual abuse! I always thought my I was lucky to have escaped this trauma when there are many who suffer so much. I actually thought I did not have the right to be traumatized since so many people suffer so much more. Over the next many months the true nature of this occurance and all the places it impacted my life began to show up. I realized that another near miss was actually a date rape, and then there was another of those. I also realized that this thing that happened to me all those 40+ yrs ago still was hurting my marriage and my abitlity to love my husband completely. Typing this still brings a tear to my eye. You spoke of the pain of being told you can never have sex as you would like to and at least the spinster has the promise of sex “IF” she “EVER” marries. I say I know many who don’t mourn the loss of sex but mourn not having the very thing you do have with your wife. Do you know how many times I wish I could never have to have sex again! That trauma keeps me from having as deep and abiding companionship as you have. I aslo believe my abstaining is not fair to him and proclaim what a great man he is to continue on loving me as I withhold so much from him that I am just not capable of giving him yet. Yet being the key word…despite the massive healing I have experienced. I have witnessed first hand the pain that all aspects of sexual dsifunction etc can cause. During my own healing I came across this scripture in 1Peter,:2;11 Dearly Beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul! That hit me like a ton of bricks and I came to understand the Lord’s law more fully because to fall outside of it wars against the soul. Please don’t dismiss the suffering of others by somehow saying the price you have to pay is somehow higher, there is no way for you to know that for sure.
I have told my one daughter at all times. There are the higher laws of the universe which God is bound by (and so are we) and he is God because he obeys all those laws. If he were to violate any one of those He would cease to be God. We are bound by those laws which we don’t have the ability to comprehend so God, in his wisdom and desire to protect us as we learn and grow, has given us lower laws. He sees the consequences we cannot begin to. Mosiah 4 says that we need to understand that God comprehends all and we cannot. My daughter understands the law of interest. She understands if you pay now it costs far less than if you pay later. It is the same with all of God’s laws, they are designed to keep us from paying later. We often think the price is way too high but is it really. Remember the Lord descended below all things. We cannot pay a price anywhere close to the price he paid for us and his GRACE is SUFFICIENT to help us carry our burdens. He has asked us to take up our crosses and follow him.
You bring up instances where things have changed in the church. Those things are procedural and not doctrinal. Any doctrine that has ever changed (The Law of Moses and maybe The Blacks and Priesthood , don’t know if I would call that doctrinal but for this we can say it) we were told from the get go that it would change. Even with that the spirit of the Law of moses did not change. We are still told to offer a sacrifice only now it is sacrificing ourselves and all that we think we are, all that in the way of allowing god to make us who he knows we can be. There are many procedural changes in regards to women and the church that you mentioned and the latest of those is those who work for the church no longer have to wear dresses. You know the men still have to wear ties. What has not changed nor will change is women being ordained to the priesthood.
This for me has been an opportunity to exercise faith and to be taught line upon line. There are still things Paul and peter say in the New Testament that make me cringe but much of that was cultural to the time so I simply ask what is in it for me. I did not understand all about women and the priesthood but trusted the Lord would teach me and he has. it has taken 2o years but I could care less if I was ever ordained to the priesthood, in fact I have enough on my plate the men can have it. First I understood the principle that blessings of the priesthood are available to all. Then I began to understand that the power of the Priesthood is available to all who learn to use it. I know of non members who use it bet than many who have been ordained. One of the greatest acts I have done using the power of the Priesthood is to give birth. I use the power of the priesthood every day. Priesthood ordination is for the order of the administration of the Gospel and it ordinances under priesthood authority or to be able to act in God’s name. I get plenty priesthood assignments that gives me authority. What I don’t have in regards to the priesthood is merely a drop in the bucket. Everyone, even the Prophet has to answer to someone of Higher authority in the Priesthood so what does it really matter? Not one gift or blessing of the priesthood, the Atonement or the Saviors enabling and saving Grace is withheld from me! Nothing! My brother onece told me that The Lord gave the men the Priesthood to teach them humility and he didn’t give it to women to teach them humility. I’m great with that!
I mentioned that you have not given one piece of doctrine for the change you want. Le’s discuss the doctrine. You bring up that that the brethren used to encourage gays to marry hoping that once they had heterosexual sex and saw how great it was that they would be changed and their homosexual nature would be gone. What if it is simply that marriage between a man and a woman is a key part of the plan of salvation and like any of us who have a thorn in the flesh (and we all have those things the Lord will not see to relieve us of until the next life..EVERYONE OF US!), you can find a way to have a meaningful marriage despite the thorn in the flesh. You and many others are proof that is true. My marriage is far from what I would like it to be as our weaknesses get in the way every day but we stay because of the covenants we made. Those covenants are doctrinal in nature. In the temple there is 1 covenant that lays the law of chastity out in the full doctrine. Meditate on that covenant for awhile
The doctrine of the family was established before the world was created. The Lord follows patterns in all he does and this world is patterned after the pre existence and the family we had there. God created Man or Adam and said that it is not good that he should be alone so he created a Helpmeet for him and commanded that he should remain with her, Eve who is the mother of all living. One definition I read of Helpmeet is spiritual savior. So here from the beginning, the pattern we were to follow was laid out of families with father and mother at its head and the rearing of children to the Lord as they were his children before ours 1 Cor 11:11 , Nevertheless, neither is the man without the woman, neither is the woman without the man, in the Lord. There is nothing ever that suggests this doctrine will ever change. Salvation is an individual process and Exaltation is a process of the family being eternal. We all have issues with certain doctrines that we find painful. Mine is the doctrine of enduring to the end. My life has been so full of spiritual, emotional, physical and mental pain, I often pray for death. I often hate talks that address being cheerful, hopeful, and enduring well. The wicked take the truth to be hard so I continue to try to replace the wickedness in me with the attributes of Christ and as I continue to try, his Grace is added to me as are the attributes I seek. I still have many thons in the flesh but God changes the world by first changing the man from the inside out and the we go change the world When we give our hearts to Jesus Christ and The Father, our world changes though our circumstances don’t (this womens conference which was awesome)
We all have our crap and it all stinks. No ones pain gives them some special advantage over someone else’s pain or challenges. They serve one purpose, to help us turn to Christ so that he can make week things strong. OK there is another purpose, to teach use empathy so that we can better love people where they are at. As to the sexual aspects of many peoples challenges, sex is the power of creation God is sharing with us and and there are strict boundries. Why? because to deviate from them causes much pain. I agree trying to overcome weaknesses in this area is vvery painful but overcoming any big weakness is. The best talk on the Law of chastity I have ever heard was given by Jeffrey R Holland when president of BYU. and is called Of Souls, Symbols and Sacraments. I reread it often.
I do not wish to minimize the challenges that face the LGBT community both in the church and out but merely wish to show another perspective and suggest as my Stake president says, we 1st learn the doctrine, then the principles based on the doctrine and we have a guide in any circumstance to govern ourselves with the aid of each other and Christ’s sufficient Grace. There it is, His Grace Is Sufficient! Sufficient is a big deal and it includes these matters