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Comments about ‘Conference explores unique challenges of gay Mormons’

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Published: Saturday, Nov. 5 2011 11:17 p.m. MDT

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One of Vai's Cousins
Nairobi, Kenya

I hope all Mormons, no matter your sexual orientation, at least empathize with how difficult it must be to be gay and Mormon. Personally, I have no question that our sexual orientation is genetic. I have too many gay friends to think for a second that it is simply a choice. I am heterosexual and can't imagine any set of life circumstances that could provoke me to choose to be gay. Sexual desire is just too much an innate part of who we are.

One challenge with being gay and Mormon is that in order to remain a "worthy" member you basically can NEVER enjoy sexual relations. I struggled along with many straight Mormons with morality growing up in the Church. But I always had the option of marriage in which I could fully enjoy sexuality and be considered worthy.

Gay Mormons really have two options if wanting to remain a worthy member. They can live a completely celibite life or they can try to enter into a heterosexual marriage. And the Church publically not longer encourages that as too many lives and marriages have been torn apart attempting to be someone you are not.

indycrimson
Franklin, IN

What a great event. I hope you publish some results of this effort. Nothing could be more painful than balancing or choosing between these two powerful and conflicting emotions.

I appreciate the organizers... Thank you so very much.

Keith43
Springville, UT

"Mormons with same-gender attraction often feel torn apart by individuals urging them to "get off the fence to be gay or be Mormon," suggesting that one can't be both."

I agree 100%. I can only begin to imagine the struggle that these people are going through. To simply state that 'with anything, nothing is too hard for the Lord", is also not enough. None the less, homosexuality is against the Lord's commandments.

I have heard of examples where some have overcome the lifestyle. My prayers are with all of you who struggle with this problem. My counsel, as weak and inadequate as it may be, is that you separate yourself as best you can, from everyone and everything that encourages the lifestyle. Counsel often with those who have experience and success with helping others overcome this problem. And I'll say without reservation, nearly all bishops in the LDS Church are untrained and ill-equipted to handle the task. While you are required to account to him of your progress and "repentance", that's as far as it goes. Best wishes to all - may you find peace and success.

Baccus0902
Leesburg, VA

The only thing that bothers me here is that the conference took place in a building other than a building of the Church of Jesuchrist of Latter Days Saints.

This conference is a meeting that is long overdue and should have been sponsored by the LDS Church to explore the existencial and spiritual needs of a large number of its members.

LGBT are being born within faithful families of the church and they are struggling with a very serious issue. For years the option presented by the church has been plagued by failure for all those involved.

Where are the shepherds? The Lord would have left its flock to look for the lost and hurting sheep.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

This conversation is definitely needed! I hope our GLBT brothers and sisters will have the courage to share their stories so that there can be a greater understanding and recognition of their struggles. No doubt it is a personal journey and no follower of Christ should stand in judgement of that journey. That some/many of our GBLT brothers and sisters can't find a "home" in our Church is tragic.

Jonathan Eddy
Payson, UT

My heart goes out to anyone that struggles with feelings or actions that are contrary to natural law whatever those feelings and actions may be. Hopefully, unwarranted desires can be held in check until divine providence can step in and sort things out and deliver all from those things that cause feelings unhappiness or unworthiness. We are all worthy of the pure love of a loving creator regardless of personal religious or non religious upbringing.

S.Andrew Zaelit
Deseret, UT

I sympathize greatly with the struggle between being gay and being a Mormon. The truth is you can be both. All are welcome at LDS Church services. Everyone is a child of a loving Heavenly Father, worthy of respect and dignity. The problem comes when a LGBT individual wants to exercise the priesthood, attend the temple, or serve in a leadership position. Obviously, this would not be possible. The LDS Church has clear, voluntary standards of behavior. We must never forget that it is possible to respect a person and not condone every aspect of that persons behavior. Christ never gave up on a soul, but that did not stop Him from reminding everyone of his or her personal responsibility. What do we say to the person who is bi-sexual and has made the decision to be in a committed relationship with a loving wife, have children, goes to the temple, and serves faithfully? Do we discount their sacrifice and their daily struggle because they are following the tenants of their faith? Do we force those who are LDS to sacrifice their beliefs for something they hold as deeply wrong? The answers are not easy to face.

snowman
Provo, UT

One of Vai's Cousins: If you chose to marry just so you could enjoy sex and be worty you would be living a lie. And you would be lying to your church leaders.

xscribe
Colorado Springs, CO

Can you be gay and Mormon? Is that allowed?

cymrul
West Valley City, UT

I'm a gay ex-Mormon. Best thing I ever did for myself was leave the hostility, misunderstanding and contention of the LDS faith behind and have my name removed form the church records.

aumacoma
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

To Keith, "homosexuality is against the Lord's commandments". To you.

"My prayers are with all of you who struggle with this problem". A problem to you.

It's called gay not same-gender attraction. Calling it same-gender attraction makes it sound like a physcological disorder which is why you choose to call it that. Stop redefineing things to suit your own agenda. And it is not a lifestyle, it is a fact of life. Always has been and always will be.

seer
kaysville, ut

I once knew a young boy who was very sensitive to the world. He was small for his age and seemed to genuinely care for everyone he met. He was a deep feeling and deep thinking boy. I saw as he was tortured by those who would call him names because of his size and his gentle mannerisms. After awhile, the boy was taken in by a group of other boys who proclaimed to him that he was gay. The boy did not think he was gay, but he also did not have the support of any other group. You guessed it...the young man eventually chose to be gay because it was all he had. With both groups of boys telling this young man that he was gay, he became that which he was told.

Love is a powerful motivator of behavior. We will do nearly anything to obtain it.

I wonder how many times this story plays out in our schools and our society.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

We all have choices to make. Some are difficult. But, there are some simple things that everyone must do if they want to change their lives. They stay away from anyone who encourages them to NOT change. They do not look to friends who have that same problem for a solution to that problem. They leave those friends behind. They leave that life-style behind. The choose new friends, new activities, new ways of thinking, new ways of living.

That's the change that Christ demanded that we all undertake no matter what it is that needs changing. How many times did he tell others to leave behind them their life-style, their friends, their ideas, and come follow him?

Too many won't let go. Their's will always be a miserable life because they want something that can never be.

Cate
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

I have enjoyed the interesting comments made here, and hope to can add to the discusssion with my own observations. I have a gay son who defies all stereotypes with his 6'4" frame, his love of cars and sports, and his great mechanical abilities. It is time to look beyond such irrational sterotypes, and refuse to use the phrase, "gay lifestyle". My son and his partner have long been in a stable, loving, and committed relationship. They are no different from millions of other Americans who work, pay taxes, contribute to their communities and families. Having spent my career in the arts, I have been exposed to may LGBT colleagues, and find that their so-called lifestyles exactly imitate those of us who are heterosexual : some are flamboyant, some are quiet and reserved, with all the shades in between. The only difference I see at all is the effects of being denied certain rights which can drive some to anger, others to depression, and still others to acceptance. My experiences have taught me to judge others on the basis of their character and their contributions to society rather than their sexual orientation.

Vince here
San Diego, CA

@ Mike Richards,

Your comments are, sorry to say, unchristian. In an effort to sound Christ-like, you do exactly the opposite, in the name of the Savior, at that. Yes, people do make choices, people do leave friends behind, people do leave lifestyles behind--do people ever leave themselves behind?

You are equating identity as if it were something that needs to be left behind, when in fact, it is very much a part of who you are, it is a part of your soul, and any effort to deny yourself, in that regard, is not only an effort in futility, but usually results in depression and in self-hate--none of which is guided by the Lord.

Being gay is no more a temptation than being heterosexual. Gay people do not need the preaching, but they --- in fact, we need the Savior as much as anyone else. We can embrace a Christ-like lifestyle without the judgments. Now, do we have some charity to take care of today?

Max
Charlotte, NC

Cate: "Having spent my career in the arts..." Isn't that kind of a stereotype?

S. Andrew Zaelit: You have missed the difference between same sex attraction and homosexual behavior. Those who have same sex attraction ARE allowed to serve and attend the temple. It is only when one acts on that attraction and engages in homosexual behavior that there is a problem -- just as it is when an unmarried heterosexual engages in sexual behavior.

One of Vai's Cousins: While I agree with much of your post, it needs to be remembered that marriage is often not an option for many heterosexuals either. You may have always had the option to be married, but for whatever reason, the opportunity to marry never presents itself for many men and women. These people live lives of celibacy.

mightymite
DRAPER, UT

I don't believe there is such a thing as gay mormons, just those with a weak testimony who choose not to lead a righteous life.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

@Vince,

The choice is Christ or yourself. There is no other choice. You are free to do whatever you want, to be whomever you want, to listen to any voice anytime.

Christ told us that we cannot serve two masters. We cannot be like him if we are holding to things that he told us to leave behind.

YOU have to decide.

It is YOUR life.

You, just like me, will have the opportunity, soon enough, to speak with Christ directly and to report directly to him whether we decided, of our own free will, to be like him or whether we wanted to be like our friends, those whose words we preferred over the words of Christ, those whose lives we emulated, rather than his life, those whom we loved, rather than having the faith to follow him - including the faith to leave behind those who would keep us from him.

Many tell you to follow them. Christ asked us to follow him, leaving behind any character trait not fit for his kingdom.

ALL of us have to change. ALL of us.

Utah Girl
Vernal, UT

@ xscribe, it is my understanding, and experience from having family in this situation, that yes, gay people can be members of the Church. That isn't the problem. We have a son who is gay. He is attracted to men. OK, and our other sons are attracted to women. So there is a strong attraction that both types of people have to deal with. The attraction isn't the problem. It is what one DOES about that attraction that becomes the problem. God has said that a sexual relationship outside of marriage is unacceptable to Him. That applies to all people. He has also said that marriage is to be between a man and a woman. So when a man and woman marry, sexual activity is OK. The same is not true for someone who is gay, because marriage between same-sex individuals is not acceptable to God. The attraction is definitely there, but if they do not act upon that attraction, they are just as worthy as the single man or woman who does not have premarital sex. God loves all of His children and will bless our efforts to be worthy.

Petra
Sanpete County, UT

We are all being tested here, both those LDS who are part of the GLBT community and those who are not. While we often talk about those who are attracted to the opposite sex, we might better look within ourselves to make sure we are not disrespecting (or worse) others who are different from us. The fact is, we have no idea why people are gay/lesbian. My personal belief is that some are really born that way and some chose to become that way for various reasons. But "my personal belief" may not be truth.

In the midst of this uncertainty, perhaps the best thing we can do is to simply include all God's children in our lives and hearts and love them, no matter what they do or do not do.

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