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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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Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Cymrul,

I'm sorry. I hope it can work out differently in the future for you as well as others.

Mightymite,

If your post was an attempt at humor, it falls terribly flat. If you are serious, you need to look at what the general authorities have been saying on this issue. If it were a matter of testimony, that would have been clear. Also, the solution would be a relatively easy one. Neither is true.

I do not fully understand this issue. I can only hope that those who struggle with it can do so with the love and full support of their ward family and leaders. That they feel connected and can find peace in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

He knows all struggles. There is no difficulty he does not understand to its fullest. He can and will accompany us in every righteous fight.

Stenar
Salt Lake City, UT

@Utah Girl, I feel sorry for your son having to live with a parent who doesn't accept him.

aumacoma
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

IF there is a God, and God is the creator of all things, and therefore is all things, doesn't it stand to reason that nothing exists that isn't just as God imagined all things to be. "Thou shalt not judge" for to do so is to judge God and in turn, yourself.

I M LDS 2
Provo, UT

I must confess, the thought of homsexuality is uncomfortable to me. I used to say I don't really like homosexuals, but I have discovered that I generally cannot tell a person's sexual orientation just by looking at them, and a number of friends and acquaintances of mine have confided in me that they are gay. So I have learned that I apparently do like some homosexual people...without even knowing it. When I said I didn't like homosexuals, then, I really meant I didn't like the idea of homosexuality, which is just another way of saying I am heterosexual - not sexually attracted to men, but definitely attracted to women.

I do know I did not choose to be attracted to women. As long as I can remember, I have been attracted to women. I never remember sitting there looking at a woman and a man and thinking: "OK, which one will I choose to be attracted to? Eeny, meeny, miny, mo...".

And if I did not choose my heterosexual orientation, then I have to allow the possibility that people who identify themselves as gay did not choose their sexual attractions, either.

So why exclude them from Church life?

Ophelia
Bountiful, UT

I was grateful to have been in attendance. The speakers and musical presentations were so loving, inspiring, and beautifully touching. I wish we could participate in something like this more often. My son and I went home feeling so hopeful. He cried later revealing that he had never felt so much love from members of the LDS Church. Oh! How I wish all wards could develop the same love, acceptance, and understanding as those who were in attendance. I know it will be slow, but I sincerely believe that change is on the horizon. It's just so hard to be patient!

Florwood
American Fork, UT

For those that have asked about access to the conference information, they did do audio recordings and will make them available for a nominal payment. Check the Mormon Stories site for more information on that.

Baccus0902
Leesburg, VA

@ I AM LDS 2 2:44

What an honest, reasonable and human evolution.
Thank you for sharing.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Very simply the 2nd most important commmandment was to "love our neighbors as ourselves." Nowhere does it tell us to judge others.
In memory of Stuart Mattis...

Scott06
PROVO, UT

As a gay male currently at BYU, life has definitely not been easy dealing with being gay and Mormon. There have been many times I have felt alone and depressed, feeling like I didn't fit in. It got to the point where I stopped hanging out with my friends and distanced myself from them because I thought they would all hate me once they found out I was gay. For a long time I struggled to accept that I am gay, desperately wanting to change and be "normal." I'm happy to say that I've since told my family and some friends that I'm gay and they have all been very supportive, accepting, and loving. I can't express in words what it feels like to have their love and support. Now, for the first time in my life I am beginning to feel like myself and am learning to love myself as a gay man. Thank you for all of the comments on here that have expressed love and acceptance for those struggling with this issue.

The Rock
Federal Way, WA

I don't believe that God gives us commandments we cannot keep.
In one place He commanded us not to covet. In another place He said; "Husbands, love your wives even as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it."

Conclusion: We can control our feelings. Coveting is a feeling. Love is a feeling. We can control these.

We are also told that God will prepare a way for us to escape temptations when they come.

That said; I have no idea what it must be like to suffer from SSA (no, it is not gay, gay means happy and the word was co opted.) We must all remember that these people are children of God just like we are. They are our brothers and sisters. We should treat them with kindness and love.

I don't think any mortal understands the root cause of Same Sex Attraction. I am sure that this is one thing that will be revealed at the right time and place.

GV
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

I was blessed to be there. I am straight, formerly Mormon, officially, and probably genetically Mormon for the rest of this life, maybe into eternity.

The most positive concept I absorbed in 44+ years of Mormonism was the beautiful concept of Zion. That there will, at some future blessed time, be no poor among us. I'm spiritual enough, in spite of my supposed apostasy, to feel that spiritual poverty is more harmful than ever was material poverty.

Today, at the conference, I feel that I reached out and touched Zion, as I threw my arms around my gay, straight, lesbian, and transgender brothers and sisters. I cried tears of joy and pain. Joy upon realizing that I was witnessing a glimmering of Zion, and pain upon realizing that it wasn't exactly in the place I spent my youth and best efforts.

The beloved church of my birth is slow to move. But today, I'm happy. I've been to the mountaintop, and I've seen a bit of the Promised Land. One day, our culture will catch up to our scientific knowledge.

Meantime, we'll be here, the supposed defective ones, and their allies.

Until then, God Bless and keep you all.

O'really
Idaho Falls, ID

@ IMLDS2 The "choice" is not which gender to be attracted to, but whether or not to act on inclinations. Human beings are generally sexually attracted to other human beings. If you're LDS you know fully what the law of chastity is. It's not OK for unmarried humans to engage in sexual activity, or if married, to have sex with anyone other than one's spouse. A person makes a choice simply by not bridling passions, by not exercising restraint and self control, but by allowing onself to follow through and give into sexual urges in the wrong situation or with the wrong person. Every person with intellect on this earth makes a choice about their sexuality in regards to how, when and with whom they will express it.

Another choice humans must make is the company they keep. By acting like, talking like, dressing like and hanging out with certain groups with common characteristics, we choose how we will express aspects of our personality that are tied closely to our sexuality.

So it is one thing to have sexual attractions. It is another thing altogether- a definite choice to allow oneself to BECOME gay or lesbian.

Jon Fairborn
WASHINGTON, UT

You who say attractions are fine but acting on it is a big problem, you dont get it.

The issue isnt sex. The church demands we give up hope, live lonely frozen lives. I dare any of you to do that. Divorce your wives. Be celibate. No touching, holidays and senior years alone. None of you could do it but you insist we do.

Youll say We dont know why, but you must do it anyway. Sorry. We dont trust you or the generations of LDS leaders whove contradicted each other about this. For you to condemn us for seeking the love you take for granted is like beating us till we bleed then beating us because were bleeding.

Straight marriage in the next life is no incentive. We dont want it here either. The Book of Mormon says death wont change our spirits or desires.

Attractions are okay, but behaviors not isnt persuasive, its patronizing. You and the church dont get this. Thats why so many of us leave. Its not about sex. Its about love and hope.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@O'really
"So it is one thing to have sexual attractions. It is another thing altogether- a definite choice to allow oneself to BECOME gay or lesbian."

The attractions themselves define sexuality. I'm attracted to women, that makes me straight. I argue for gay rights including gay marriage which has led people to claim I was gay which is false because I'm not attracted to men. You're asking people to hide their attractions. Okay that makes someone a closeted gay or lesbian, that doesn't change their sexuality. You don't have to have sex to be gay just like you don't have to have sex to be straight. It is said that this church is not against homosexuality... just the sex... but culturally that isn't true. Wards wouldn't tolerate things like same sex people dating, or holding hands during sacrament meeting.

Twin Lights
Louisville, KY

Jon Fairborn,

We get it. The distinction between thought and action exists in all aspects of life. No one is condemned for being tempted. The problem is when we give in.

The issue certainly is sex. There is hope and life without sex. It does not have to be frozen and lonely. I know more than one straight person with little prospect for marriage who must live with no touching and their senior years alone. They can and do do it.

To assert that we are "beating" you because we maintain a concept of right and wrong is disingenuous. The church is a religious institution and all religions I know of have some things they consider good and others as bad or unacceptable. Is it your position that a church must accept all comers exactly as they are? That a church should have no requirements whatsoever?

atl134

Wards won't tolerate same sex people dating or holding hands during sacrament meeting because these are courtship rituals. They imply a preparation for marriage and the sexual relationship therein. The actions are unacceptable because they lead to an unacceptable end.

Truthseeker
SLO, CA

Re:TwinLights
No, you don't get it. Not even remotely.

Here's a suggestion. Read "No More Goodbyes: Circling the Wagons around Our Gay Loved Ones" by Carol Lynn Pearson.
That will be a start on your education.

I M LDS 2
Provo, UT

O'really,

"The 'choice' is not which gender to be attracted to, but whether or not to act on inclinations."

I do not disagree with what you wrote. But that still doesn't solve the problem.

When I was dating, I was able to hold hands with a girl, and give her a kiss good night. We were able to embrace each other in a romantic slow dance on the dance floor. We were able to walk with arms around each other through Disneyland, giving each other a peck once in a while. We could go "park" at a drive-in theater without concern for Church discipline. These are all ways in which we were able to "act on inclinations" of attraction. We withheld "sex" until after marriage, but we were certainly expressing our attraction with these behaviors.

So how can LDS society claim to accept SSA, but still have this double standard? Can two men share their attraction for one another in a similar way? Can they hold hands and walk across Temple Square? Can they give one another a peck while waiting in the line for the Teacup ride? Can they "park" without worry about Church discipline?

Why not?

Pac_Man
Pittsburgh, PA

It is possible to have SGA and be a part of the Church. If you choose not to live your life that way, that is fine with me as I have seen it with many of my friends who have left the church. I find it funny however that even though they want acceptance, there are some who want to berate you because you have to follow them out of the closet. I found that hypocritical.

I have learned to accept SGA as a part of my life but I refuse to allow it to define everything about me.

O'really
Idaho Falls, ID

@ Truthseeker

We get it. We get that gays and lesbians define themselves primarily by their sexual attractions. We get that homosexuality occurs in nature in some animals-so it's "natural". We get that no one fully understands what causes it. We get that humans with same sex attraction feel extremely frustrated if they can't pair themselves with someone of their same gender.

Perhaps what you don't get is that there are some things that are more important than sexual attraction. Without a doubt, keeping commandments is more important. Sex is a powerful force that needs to be reigned in and mastered. It's just as challenging for hetero men and women, whether they be married or single to live the law of chastity as it is for homosexuals. Heteros have to deny themselves all kinds of natural pleasures, too.

The choice then is, will I keep the commandments or will I follow the crowd telling me to give in to the "natural man" because that's who I really am.

I respect Carol Lynn Pearson. She very loving and accepting, but if her husband hadn't "chosen" to re-explore homosexuality, he might still be alive and their marriage intact today.

cjf
Salt Lake City, UT

@Jon Fairborn
"I dare any of you to do that. Divorce your wives. Be celibate. No touching, holidays and senior years alone. None of you could do it but you insist we do."

I know two active, gay LDS who are doing exactly what you described - living a celibate life. One female in her 50s, the other male in his 40s. They are two of the best people I know.

"You and the church dont get this."

The two active gay LDS DO get this - and I admire them more than anything. You have your lifestyle and opinion, but please allow that some LDS choose to be celibate. That is their choice. And the woman that I know has one of the most powerful testimonies that I have ever met. Perhaps the Lord has rewarded her choice to be celibate with an ever powerful testimony and love of Him. Her experiences that she has described about the Lord are wonderful. I doubt it has been easy for her, but she would be the first to say it has been well worth it.

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