Conference explores unique challenges of gay Mormons

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  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Nov. 10, 2011 9:07 a.m.


    Just because they're living the expected LDS lifestyle doesn't mean they're happy. They might just be ultra miserable and putting on a happy face because that is what is expected. I know, because that is how I lived my own life.


    Assuming, of course, that there actually IS a god and that those "passing down the information" to you aren't simply leading you on.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Nov. 10, 2011 9:07 a.m.

    @Mike Richards;

    Leaving the "friends" in the LDS Church was the best thing that ever happened to me. Until I did that, I was extremely miserable. The Church was the cause of that misery, thank you very much.


    Marriage is ALWAYS an option for heterosexuals. Just because some *choose* not to enter into the contract doesn't mean that they can't. Aspen1713 said it correctly.

    @Utah Girl;

    I would hate to be your son.

    @I M LDS 2;

    Thank you.

    The Rock says;

    "We are also told that God will prepare a way for us to escape temptations when they come."
    You know, I've never felt that being gay was a "temptation". The "tempttion" for me was to try and be heterosexual. And God did provide the way for me to overcome it - its called "self acceptance".


    No, you don't get it. I don't define myself primarily by my sexual attractions. That is only ONE aspect of how I define myself. If you define yourself solely by your sexual attraction (hetero) then, actually, I pity you because you are missing out on so much in life.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Nov. 10, 2011 9:06 a.m.

    @ Kith 2:11

    If you have friends who are gay or heterosexuals you should worry about them because they are your friends and you love them.

    We always worry about those who we love.

    What many many good intentioned LDS and other don't understand is that being gay is not a problem, it shouldn't even be an issue.

    Gays don't have the problem. Some heterosexuals have the problem! Some because they see it as disgusting. Other have a conflict with their religious up bringing, etc. you know how it goes by now (always the same tired arguments).

    As RanchHand said, the repression of who you are, the belief that is something wrong with you, those around you are the ones who make you feel horrible.

    Gays are children of God. Loved by God. Accepted by god and MADE by God.

    Kith continue worrying for your friends but also be happy for them. If they feel the freedom to confide on you is because they see you as a friend as well.

    There is no sin in loving somebody of the same sex. The sin and what is hurtful here is making LGBT lives unbearable because they are different.

  • RanchHand Huntsville, UT
    Nov. 10, 2011 7:27 a.m.

    Keith43 says:

    "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."

    Avoidance doesn't change anything. I was an active Mormon, RM, celibate, virgin for 30+ years. Every. Single. Day. of my life was horrible. Every. Single. Day.

    You can't stop the feelings/attractions just because you don't hang out with those who "encourage the lifestyle". I became a hermit essentially, because just being around others (heterosexuals) who had SOMEONE else to love, was painful knowing that I couldn't have someone to share my own life with. Someone I was attracted to. That is no kind of life.

    And for the record, it isn't a "problem". You see, you calling it a "problem" only adds to the self-hate that we are encouraged to feel.


    We don't just "convert" to being gay. We ARE that way naturally.

    Nov. 10, 2011 2:11 a.m.

    This has been a large issue for me. I'm straight, but many if not most of my close friends are gay. And I worry about them, severely, and almost every day. If another LDS would correct me if I am wrong, or clarify, I would appreciate it. It is my understanding that a sin is not hurtful because it is a sin, it is a sin because it is hurtful. In the end, IT WILL make you unhappy. Our Father as well as our saviour love us all far more than we can conprehend. They are omniscient, or all knowing. They understand perfectly what will make us happy and what will not. And Christ will not stand Idly by while we harm ourselves without reaching out in some way. That is this gospel, His church. That is why we do not approve of homosexual behavior. And that is why I worry.

  • Vince here San Diego, CA
    Nov. 9, 2011 4:25 p.m.

    @ Mike Richards,

    It is easier to pass comment, pass judgment, tell someone else what to do, than it is to walk in their shoes.

    If I knew that some part of what you say, from a religious point of view, I would agree. However, I cannot agree.

    The gospel is for EVERYONE. Any part of the gospel - or rather, people's interpretation of it, that would cause others to draw some to feel ostracized, I believe, counters the purpose of the Savior who said "Come unto me."

    So often, gays have been told, assimilate, meaning, act, behave like a heterosexual - suppress your identity - (but they call it temptation). Typically they suggest counseling or therapy.

    What is the effect of that? Typically depression. Is the gospel of Christ meant to send people spiriling into depression. Not my Savior's gospel because he said, "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more cabundantly."

    You seem to be equating gay identity with other appetites of the flesh, if you will --- and I believe the more you do that, the more counterproductive you will be. Choose to draw people to Christ, gay or not.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Nov. 9, 2011 1:19 p.m.

    LDS Revelations,

    I agree that the timeline was thought to be farther off. Hence my comment reference timing.

    But the priesthood and polygamy are not good examples here. Homosexual acts are considered to be a serious sin. There was no such consideration for the other two.

    Also, the priesthood (in whatever timeline) was considered a temporary situation. Polygamy was (and is) understood to be only when so directed. The injunction against homosexual acts is not in any way seen as temporary or something that would be reversed either here or in the eternities.

    They are simply different.

    I understand that you think that societal pressure and opinion are the issue. I think otherwise.

    Nov. 9, 2011 12:58 p.m.

    @LDS Revelations 12:07 - when you say that societal pressure and opinion is the "real source" of most of the large revelations that have changed LDS policy, are you saying LDS leaders implemented major course corrections for no other reason than to "remain relevant on a global scale" and that revelation from God had nothing to do with it?

    Or, are you saying that societal pressure and opinion was the impetus behind the diligent seeking of LDS leadership to know the will of God, that ultimately led to inspiration and revelations on the subjects?

    If the latter, I can accept that. If the former, wow, I don't know how anyone who believed that could feel good about being a member, because that is so very contrary to the most fundamental theology of our religion, which is to represent God, not to seek global relevance.

    Strait is the gate, and narrow the way, the FEW there be that find it. Although a desire for global relevance may cause us to reconsider traditional dogma, I certainly hope it never overshadows following God's will as the motivating force behind major policy and doctrinal shifts.

  • LDS Revelations Sandy, UT
    Nov. 9, 2011 12:07 p.m.

    @ Twin Lights-

    Some expected it or hoped it would change. Many did not expect it before the millennium and had the quotes from early LDS leaders to back them up. So if you're implying that it was seen as imminent I'd say that's a stretch.

    That said I get the difference between how the Curse of Cain and homosexuality in LDS theology. Currently there is accommodation for anything other than heterosexuality. Even by LDS standards though that does not mean that there is not 'revelation' to come. 'Further light and knowledge' could change all that.

    Personally I think that societal pressure and opinion is the real source of most of the large revelations that have dramatically changed LDS policy, practice and/or doctrine and I think it will be again. It may take a long time but I think eventually in an effort to remain relevant on a global scale the Church will change it's views on homosexuality. This is how it happened with polygamy. From the first real attacks on plural marriage by the US in the 1860s to the 2nd Manifesto in 1904 it was 40 years or so. This could easily take that long.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Nov. 9, 2011 10:31 a.m.

    LDS Revelations,

    When I joined the church in 1975 I brought the question of the priesthood ban to an institute director. He reviewed with me statements that indicated the ban would be lifted one day. I spoke with a long-time black member and he also expected the day when either he or his sons would receive the priesthood. So, the overturning of the ban (while it might have surprised some in its timing) was not otherwise a surprise.

    Homosexuality is demonstrably different. To expect the church's stance on it to change noticeably is simply wishful thinking.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 9, 2011 10:13 a.m.

    @LDS Revelations - sounds like we need to promote you to prophet and president of the church, since you're clearly more enlightened and knowledgeable about truth and morality than our current one.

    Despite 50 years in the church, serving in various callings, including teaching and leadership, I've never heard that the church's stand on blacks and the priesthood was a matter of morality. Sexual boundaries have been established since the beginning of God's people on the earth, and now apparently you, Jon Fairborn, Christy, and many others think you're more inspired than all the prophets who ever lived, combined, on this matter.

    I fully agree with your suggestion that we are tested to love all of God's children, including those who struggle with the endless possibilities of human challenges, including homosexuality. I don't know what you mean by ACCEPT, but you seem to imply that we must not only accept them as children of God, but that we must accept their scripturally sinful behavior as well. Right on the first acceptance, not so much on the second.

    But, you can accept anything you want - that's the beauty of free agency.

    As for me and my house...

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 9, 2011 10:02 a.m.

    @LDS Revelations- these rules and regulations weren't contrived in the Bronze age. Read Genesis 1 again. "Male and female created he them." "Be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth."

    Of course LDS leaders can be wrong but God isn't. I've never read anywhere in the Bible where he commands men and women to try to reproduce with their own gender. Or to even pair off.

    The priesthood and Blacks issue is so different in every way from doctrine against homosexuality that they can't even be compared. This course was NOT reversed to avoid embarrassment. President Kimball pleaded with the Lord in the temple for many days before that revelation was given. To say otherwise is to flirt with apostasy.

    President Packer's conference talk was changed, but I still believe he spoke the truth. I don't believe for one minute that God created homosexuals to be that way. I believe that for innumerable reasons having to do with hormones, environmental influences and interpersonal relationships as a child people come to believe they are irreversibly gay, lesbian or transgendered. We should have compassion for their struggles but it won't result in a single doctrinal change. Never!

  • LDS Revelations Sandy, UT
    Nov. 9, 2011 9:22 a.m.

    While it's unthinkable for many that LDS leaders can be wrong I think there is clear evidence that they can be and have been. A careful a study of LDS history shows that on a number of occasions LDS leadership has promoted what it considers 'morally right' only to reverse course later in order avoid further embarrassment. Personally see the exclusion of blacks for the priesthood as once clear example where LDS leadership let a rigidity of theology as well as old cultural carry overs to cause them to be on the wrong side of not only truth but history. I think that they are very likely going to do it once again in relation to homosexuality.

    What if the real test God has for those on earth is to see if they will love and ACCEPT those who are different or unique (read as 'gay') unconditionally, instead of whether they will just go along with judgements and rules contrived in the bronze age by men they know nothing about? What if judgement is reserved for those who are so following so-called holy writ that they do not follow what they feel in their hearts?

  • Jon Fairborn WASHINGTON, UT
    Nov. 9, 2011 7:20 a.m.

    All you people who are talking about "repressing unhealthy desires" and "being celibate just like single straight people", etc., you just don't get it! You have totally got the cart before the horse.

    It is NOT about sex! I repeat, it is NOT about sex! It's about who a person is attracted to on every emotional, psychological, romantic, physical, and spiritual level. These things are NOT choices. They are hard-wired. The sex is only one facet. What you're really denying gay people is love and intimacy and happiness just because your religion thinks their version is bad. You prevent them from marrying and then you punish them for seeking the only kind of intimacy that's left.

    It's a myth that healthy, stable gay relationships harm society. Proof is already there in other countries. Please stop just regurgitating the prejudice of your religious leaders and look at the actual history and facts before you presume to tell other people how to live. It's NOT ABOUT SEX.

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    Nov. 9, 2011 2:38 a.m.

    On the other hand, it wouldn't hurt if heterosexual members of our society did a little repressing, too. Maybe we could begin being brothers and sisters if there were less concentration on the physical aspect of relationships. Just a thought...

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    Nov. 9, 2011 2:05 a.m.

    Many people never marry. Many have, but through divorce, or death of a spouse, or both, for some, choose to remain unmarried afterwards. And in the instance of those of us who choose to be celibate after having been wed, we know what we're missing, so we choose with eyes wide open. Yet all of us also choose to remain celibate, through every holiday, through our senior years. Sometimes, we are sad when those of us who have seen companions we loved die and live long enough to see other loved ones pass on as well, but we go on alone. We remember happier times. There is more to life than physical love, and, as one commenter put it, if that's what you married for, it's really a sin. (I paraphrased, hopefully I kept your meaning intact.) cjf's example really tells the story of what's important to all of us, and like this sister and brother, if we have a testimony of the Lord and the Gospel, we find a way to obey with willing heart and spirit, and to lift our brothers and sisters as these two have done.

  • kargirl Sacramento, CA
    Nov. 9, 2011 1:37 a.m.

    I thought Utah Girl's point was interesting, especially regarding opposite-gender attraction. Yes, it's fine, after marriage, to act on it. Of course, not with the babysitter or the neighbor or the teacher....there are still lines which our heterosexual Mormon may not cross. No different, is it, from the lines our gay Mormon may not cross? And both, if they don't cross those lines, my take part in all the same activities. Please, let's not prejudge someone's actions, when such actions haven't necessarily taken place, and it's no one's business but that person's and God's.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 9, 2011 12:48 a.m.

    @Christy - apparently you've not read about the proliferation of child pornography. Indeed, there are many, many people who are attracted to children.

    But, let's take that out of the equation. You've still not addressed why homosexuals should get a pass on their deep-seated inclinations, but people obsessed with having different sexual partners, including many married men and some married women, should for some reason be bound by restrictions imposed by the LDS religion. Both the homosexual and the obsessively and nearly uncontrollably promiscuous heterosexual may need to equally suppress their desires, if they are committed to living the commandments.

    @JSB - I think we're in complete agreement. I wasn't making an accusation against you, because I do not know you, or whatever struggles you may or may not have. You made a very good point to Christy, and I was likewise challenging her to support her viewpoint that homosexuals should somehow be excused from the universal challenge of suppressing natural tendencies that are contrary to commands of God. If sexual desire is the singular protected class, does she believe the LDS church should give a pass to those with sexual desires she finds less acceptable?

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Nov. 8, 2011 11:03 p.m.

    DSB. My strong heterosexual desires are no different than most men I know. I know of enough people who compromise just a little and then find themselves in serious trouble that I, like almost all men recognize the need to control "natural man" desires. I just don't see that people that are attracted to people of the same sex should get some kind of special break. A healthy society is a chaste society. For the good of society, everyone, including homosexuals, has the responsibility to avoid acting out on unhealthy impulses.

  • Christy Beaverton, OR
    Nov. 8, 2011 5:16 p.m.

    DSB | 2:25 p.m. Nov. 8, 2011

    Do you not believe there are many, many people, including LDS people, who have an attraction to children?


    Surely you're not equating gay people to pedophiles, DSB, because that would be very, very wrong. Everyone knows there is a victim involved in pedophilia. An innocent child is hurt. That is not the case in a consensual adult relationship between two gay people. Why don't you equate gay people to straight people. That would make more sense.
    And frankly, no, I do NOT believe that 'many, many people', LDS or not, have an attraction to children. Good grief.

    I simply would like to see, some day, Mormon (or not) same sex individuals/couples be given equal respect and rights given to Mormon (or not) straight individuals/couples. You know, 'content of their character' stuff. Not the color of their skin or which sex someone is attracted to. You know, things people don't choose. And things that don't make them 'less than', anymore than me being white or straight should make me 'less than'.

    A girl can dream.

  • lmc West Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 8, 2011 2:39 p.m.

    The problem with this conference, the Mormon Stories web site, Mormon Matters, and John Dehlin is that they misrepresent the positions of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, criticize those positions, and organize the community of like minded "Mormons" in an attempt to change LDS policy. This is done under the guise of bringing disaffected and practicing LDS together to "build bridges between all who identify as Mormon". The more I learn about John Dahlin the more obvious it becomes that he is not seeking to return the lost sheep to the LDS fold. He is seeking to move more of the LDS fold to join the lost sheep. That is usually characterized as the role of the wolf rather than the Good Shepherd. The LDS Church did provide an official spokesman who taught the importance of the Atonement in the lives of all people. Elder Jay E. Jensen of the LDS Church Presidency of the Seventy spoke during the 21st Annual Evergreen Education and Resource Conference last month. Practicing LDS who want to know how to help disaffected Mormons would be better served to re-read President Monson's "To the Rescue" May 2001 conference address.

  • Mc West Jordan, UT
    Nov. 8, 2011 2:36 p.m.

    The Mormon Stories group and Mormon Matters started by John Dehlin are made up of members or former member of the LDS Church who want the Church to change basic doctrines to fit their ideas and feelings. They feel if they unite and get enough people with them they can get the leaders of the Church to listen to them and change.

    Their website and blogs are filled with anti-Mormon arguments about Church history and critical of Church leaders. They claim to love the Church and desire to stay in it, but they want to change it. I checked all this out when our son told us that he no longer believed in the Church after going to these websites. I know there were other factors in his unbelief, but if you want to build your testimony and understanding of church doctrine that is not the place to go.

    Stick with the scriptures and Conference addresses. Follow the prophets of God who have given us the way He wants us to go in this life. If you don't like Church doctrines find one you do agree with or start your own. You don't seem to like prophets anyway.

  • DSB Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 8, 2011 2:25 p.m.

    @Christy - do you not believe there are many, many heterosexual people, including LDS people, who struggle to live a monogamous life? Do you not believe there are many, many people, including LDS people, who have an attraction to children, or who are nearly uncontrollably drawn to pornography? For all you know, JSB's "strong heterosexual desires" are not confined to relations with his wife, and he may have a tremendous constant struggle to keep his desires in check and remain faithful to his wife and covenants.

    Why do you believe that GLBTQ people, particularly those who believe LDS doctrine and have made covenants to keep commandments, should get a pass on living within the mandated, divinely-appointed parameters of sexual activity with a spouse of the opposite sex, within the bounds of legal marriage, while others with prohibited sexual inclinations must stifle their possibly genetically driven desires?

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Nov. 8, 2011 1:15 p.m.

    als Atheist ,Other societies (arguably, including ancient Hebrew societies) have allowed homosexual relations among men (e.g., Greek warriors) simultaneously with marriage and reproduction with a female spouse. Presumably, this would be justified by the argument that "multiply and replenish" may require heterosexual relations, but does not necessarily exclude homosexual relations. The Bible does:
    (1Cor 6:9 NKJV ) Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals,] nor sodomites
    (Jude 1:7), Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after unnatural lust, are set forth for an example

  • als Atheist Provo, UT
    Nov. 8, 2011 1:01 p.m.

    This debate may very well force a deep examination of the basis for our beliefs regarding marriage itself.

    LDS Doctrine and history, taken together, suggest that there are many different ways to fulfill God's commandment to "multiply and replenish the earth".

    Polygamy (and polyandry) was one way the early LDS Church used to fulfill that commandment in 19th century America.

    Prior to that, ancient followers of God used concubinage, plural wives, and even justified rape (Deuteronomy 22:28-29) to fulfill the "multiply" commandment.

    Other societies (arguably, including ancient Hebrew societies) have allowed homosexual relations among men (e.g., Greek warriors) simultaneously with marriage and reproduction with a female spouse. Presumably, this would be justified by the argument that "multiply and replenish" may require heterosexual relations, but does not necessarily exclude homosexual relations.

    So, perhaps we will yet see alternative forms of relationships legitimized and recognized in our Western societies.

  • Kittycat CRESTON, OH
    Nov. 8, 2011 12:38 p.m.

    It's so sad because ultimately there should not be a struggle. People are born gay, straight, or bi. People don't wake up and choose to be a certain orientation one day. GLBT folks have so much to give to all churches (not just Mormon). I look forward to the day when we have worked through this issue and all people will be welcomed for the gifts they bring.

    I suggest readers check out the story of Ray Boltz, an evangelical Christian who came out as gay after years and years of struggle. His story is a powerful one.

  • publ1ius ACME, MI
    Nov. 8, 2011 11:49 a.m.

    @Sneaky Jimmy

    I agree with you there. I don't believe in reparative therapy. But from a gospel standpoint, I believe and I have seen first hand that it is possible to minimize unwanted sexual urges whether it is directed toward the same or opposite gender. I also believe that non-sexual urges can be minimized too through the same process. Sexuality, like all other desires, is a natural but we should know that there are consequences when go beyond certain boundaries.

    The whole "pray the gay away" battle cry is a little overused (not to mention annoying) because it is oversimplifies the process whereby an individual undergoes a "mighty change of heart." To undergo a change (and any change) requires more than just prayer and going to an Evergreen meeting.

    Bottom line, we all have our freedom to choose. If someone wants to leave the church because they feel as if they don't belong, while unfortunate, I do not judge. Same as if I don't judge whether one wants to be a part of the church despite their struggles.

    This conference should help members that we should be less judgmental, and more compassionate towards those who struggle.

  • NWCL INDP Murray, UT
    Nov. 8, 2011 11:17 a.m.

    This has got to be a difficult story to run for the Deseret News, who has in the past ignored most news and talk about gay mormons. Even within our Church, there is a lot of movement to being more Christlike and showing Charity to our gay brothers and sisters. However, we still see and hear many un-Christlike comments and actions for Church members. May we all take a step back and realize that no matter where we are in our lives, we all need the help of our Heavenly Father, our Savior Jesus Christ, and our fellow brothers and sisters.

  • krissy Sterling, VA
    Nov. 8, 2011 9:59 a.m.

    I have a strong sympathy for gay Mormons on multiple levels. I have many close friends who have stuggled, and ultimately left the church. I agree with some of their reasons and can relate. I was a single heterosexual in the church trying my best to live life to the is not possible. Many of the "blessings" of the gospel are out of reach. The culture, which is a VERY big part of being LDS excludes you. I'm sure that some could argue different. Human sexual expression and companionship are very important to one's mental health. Being alone is very difficult. You cannot judge till you've been there.

    I was fortunte to meet my spouse when I was in my late thirties and I chose to marry someone outside the LDS church. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity and my life and family is very full and complete in a way that was not possible before. There are many sides to happiness. The "gospel" cannot always provide that for someone who is gay and LDS. Many that are gay and LDS leave because they want somcething very conservative...companionship and family. I hope they get it.

  • Sigfried Payson, UT
    Nov. 8, 2011 9:31 a.m.

    This is a discussion about people who believe in Mormon (LDS) doctrine and are gay. I don't understand what you are arguing for, since it seems you don't subscribe to the LDS belief system.

  • Sneaky Jimmy Bay Area, CA
    Nov. 8, 2011 9:22 a.m.

    Do you really not know how condescending you are? These organizations like Evergreen and Exodus have no long term success with changing orientation, because it cannot be done. Reap Pagans statistics. You can't pray the gay away. Yes, right wing advocates would point to these organizations as evidence that its a lifestyle choice and anyone can change if they really want to. I can only hope that someday you have to sit next to a gay person in church.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:12 p.m.

    Christy, there are so many many single heterosexual members of the church who can't marry. They have to use restraint just like homosexual church members do. There are an abundance of ways to live a happy and fulfilling life without having sex, even without having a partner. I've seen it over and over. Trust the ones that want to live a celibate life and are willing to do it. If they want to, who are you to tell them otherwise? That IS intellectual honesty...and emotional and spiritual, too.

  • cymrul West Valley City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:08 p.m.

    @ Marine Man,

    The answer is:

    I honestly don't know what the difference is between gay and queer, but that is what the "Q" stands for.

  • Christy Beaverton, OR
    Nov. 7, 2011 10:50 p.m.

    "There shouldn't be a different standard for homosexuals than there is for heterosexuals who are expected to live a chaste life if they are in the church."

    There shouldn't be, but there is! You, JSB, can marry and act on your 'strong heterosexual desires', with the blessing of the Church. Gay people are told they cannot, should not, to wait for the afterlife where there they will be 'healed'.

    Let's get intellectually honest.

  • JSB Sugar City, ID
    Nov. 7, 2011 10:21 p.m.

    I'm a Mormon heterosexual. I've had to deal with strong heterosexual desires all my life. But, I've made covenants and I must keep them even if my biological urges would have be do otherwise. That's the issue. God would have us live a chaste life even if there are strong desires to do otherwise. There shouldn't be a different standard for homosexuals than there is for heterosexuals who are expected to live a chaste life if they are in the church.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Nov. 7, 2011 9:37 p.m.

    "Brother Miller got one thing wrong with me. I have not been a long-time
    advocate for the cause...

    Over the past year, I have felt promptings from the Spirit that I needed to
    learn all I could about these issues. To listen, finally, to many of your
    stories. Some of them Ive read in books. Some of them Ive read on the
    Internet. And as I took the time to listen and as I took the time to learn, I
    began to have a mighty change of heart.

    But it was not without some pain. As you know very well, the stories that have
    been written, your own stories, are extremely painful. Some have called it a
    tragedy. I call it an atrocity, what has happened. And as I read these stories
    and as I learned more about these issues, I began to see the emotional wounds
    and the scars that many of you still have today. And I seem to ask the
    question, Where did you get these wounds? and unfortunately the answer was,
    In the house of my friends.

    (excerpts from Bishop Kevin Kloosterman's talk on homosexuality)
    last post

  • publ1ius ACME, MI
    Nov. 7, 2011 8:39 p.m.

    "This mindset is what ultimately drives some (many?) gay members away from the Church. It is saying that there is something inherently wrong with them, through NO FAULT of their own, because of something they have no control over, something they didn't choose."

    The standards of the church don't just apply to gay members it applies to ALL members no what their issues are. Gay members think they are being singled out because they think they are the only ones struggling over something.

  • Christy Beaverton, OR
    Nov. 7, 2011 8:31 p.m.

    "When we fail to resist these or other vices that the Church warns against, it does not necessarily make us bad people--it just prevents us from reaching our full potential."

    This mindset is what ultimately drives some (many?) gay members away from the Church. It is saying that there is something inherently wrong with them, through NO FAULT of their own, because of something they have no control over, something they didn't choose. And to self-righteously tell them, that if they hope to stay in God's great grace, they will agree to live a life alone, while the rest of us - through NO CHOICE of our own - get make our own families and die surrounded by them.

    It is the epitome of hypocrisy to say to someone, look, even though I got to marry exactly who I wanted to, and we have a family, YOU don't get to do that because God said so.

    It's grossly unfair. It's ugly. And stop speaking for God.

  • publ1ius ACME, MI
    Nov. 7, 2011 8:16 p.m.

    "So why should it be accepted, condoned, excused or tip-toed around on earth?"

    I am not sure what you mean by this because it does not matter. We should love all people despite our opinions about their personal life.

  • nyca411 Menlo Park, CA
    Nov. 7, 2011 5:12 p.m.

    Being almost middle-aged and single/never married, I can empathize with the struggle to be attracted to someone but not be able act on those feelings. People always say, "Well, if you're heterosexual, you at least have the HOPE of getting married." Yes, I have the HOPE, but it might not happen in this lifetime (which upsets me terribly.) But still, I'm not going to go sleep around if I can't get married, and I can't force a guy to marry me. I have to wait for it.

    Also, I think it's erroneous to assume that Gays will be "gay" after this life. Were they "gay" in the pre-existence? No. Our spirits were formed perfectly in the images of our Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother, with distinct genders. But our mortal bodies bring about many challenges that we have to deal with and overcome. So I believe that Gays who remain true to their covenants will not experience same-gender attraction in the next life-- thus they will be able to fully enjoy the blessings of marriage.

  • @Charles the greater outdoors, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 5:08 p.m.

    In reading through the pages of comments on this issue it's crystal clear that there are many LDS folks who really don't understand the plan of salvation, eternal gospel principles and the depth of the Atonement.

    What role does homosexuality play in the eternal plan? Pre-mortal life? Earth-life? Here-after?

    I submit that homosexuality has no role in the plan of salvation in any step of life. It surely didn't exist before we came to earth and it won't exist when one dies. So why should it be accepted, condoned, excused or tip-toed around on earth?

    Is it any wonder why the entire church has been studying Gospel Principles for the past 2 years? Members don't know the doctrines of the gospel!

    And some of you think that revelation works "up", it doesn't. Revelation works down. Christ to His chosen Prophet to the world. The scriptures are clear that homosexuality is an abomination. They are also clear that man and woman are to be married and multiply and replenish the earth. They're also clear that one has to obey the commandments to enter the Celestial Kingdom.

    The doctrines are clear. Man makes a mess of them.

  • Dixie Mike Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 4:54 p.m.

    Perhaps I am missing something, but I did not see in the article the remarks of the current LDS Bishop, one of the speakers at the conference. Aren't his remarks worth printing in the Deseret News?

  • publ1ius ACME, MI
    Nov. 7, 2011 4:00 p.m.


    Why would you "have to wonder"? Couldn't the same standard of wondering whether someone is honest with them self applicable to everyone?

    I would hope that people in general are honest with themselves.

  • murray19 Murray, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 3:50 p.m.

    Just because i think about doing something or being a certain way doesn't I am that person. Until I act on the urge then I have to deal with the consequences. I refrenced an alcoholic because drinking in the LDS religion is also considered a sin. You wouldn't openly commit sins and be considered active. You are not a gay person until you act upon those urges. If I think about robbing a bank because I have the urge/need/want for more money does this make me a bank robber? And yes the church also looks upon theft as a sin.

  • friedeggonAZstreets Glendale, AZ
    Nov. 7, 2011 2:24 p.m.

    All of you referring to our brothers and sisters struggling with SSA and are members of The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints please remember what the 2nd Counselor, Keith B. McMullin, of the church's Presiding Bishopric said during The Evergreen Conference on September 18, 2010-"If someone seeking your help says to you, I am homosexual or I am lesbian or I am gay, correct this miscasting. Heavenly Father does not speak of His children this way, and neither should we. It is simply not true. To speak this way sows seeds of doubt and deceit about who we really are. It belittles, depreciates and disparages the individual."

    "Elder Dallin H. Oaks explained it this way: The words homosexual, lesbian, and gay are adjectives to describe particular thoughts, feelings, or behaviors. We should refrain from using these words as nouns [or pronouns] to identify particular conditions or specific persons. . . . It is wrong to use these words to denote a condition, because this implies that a person is consigned by birth to a circumstance in which he or she has no choice in respect to the critically important matter of sexual behavior

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 2:19 p.m.

    @ Pac_Man, I've known of situations like yours, and while I would never judge because I am not in your skin, I would guess that you are in for some struggles, and I hope you are at least truly honest with yourself. I have to wonder....

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Nov. 7, 2011 2:13 p.m.

    I find interesting when heterosexual people (LDS and others) find reasonable and comforting to advice gay people, that to have the inclination is O.K. as long as you don't act on it.

    Let's make a rethorical reversal:

    What about if we ask all heterosexuals not to act but repress their sexual feelings. And they should try to be gays. They could follow the example of all gay people in society. If a heterosexual complain we should advice him/her "Don't let your sexuality define you".

    What do you think of my idea? stupid, ridiculous, absolutely disgusting?

    Well, that is exactly what many heterosexuals, no doubt, with good intentions are asking from the gay community.

    @ Pac_Man: If you have found happiness. Please receive my sincerest congratulations.

    Homosexuality exist. Why? Nobody knows.

    What we know however, is that all human beings should have the right to work to achieve their happiness and full potential.

    Shouldn't that be enough to let everybody be and enjoy the same privileges that you enjoy?

  • Kami Bountiful, Utah
    Nov. 7, 2011 2:11 p.m.

    My own personal take about gays, is that I think it quite possible that some people are created with an attraction to the same gender. I also think it quite possible that there are people with this attraction who are placed on this earth as a TRIAL for heterosexuals, particularly for those who seem to think it is OK to judge others for their sexual orientation. I think the judgers, not the gays, are going to be in for a huge surprise on their judgment day. Huge surprise ...

  • friedeggonAZstreets Glendale, AZ
    Nov. 7, 2011 1:58 p.m.

    Wow. I can't believe we are even having this discussion. Yes, all people who have SSA are children of our Heavenly Father, but to say they can hold hands, be in relationships, etc.. goes against the doctrines of God. The Bible speaks of it, as well as the Book of Mormon and not to mention The Family Proclamation. The words of the Lord are clear on this issue. Should we treat them differently? No, we should not.

    With that said, it would be wise for us to remember what President Young warned us about..."when a man begins to find fault [with the Church leaders and teachings]you may know that that person has more or less of the spirit of apostasy." pg78 Teachings of the President of the Church Brigham Young.

  • MarineMan Lehi, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 1:19 p.m.

    What does the Q stand for in LGBTQ?

  • Pac_Man Pittsburgh, PA
    Nov. 7, 2011 12:21 p.m.

    "A gay Mormon can 1. be celibate, 2. enter into a fraudulent hetero marriage, 3. enter in to a gay relationship, or 4. take care of things alone (if you know what I mean)."

    Unfortunately you forgot to mention option number 5. When married men in the Church like myself has been faithful to both his wife and Church even when serving in the Bishopric who at times struggle with same sex urges. My wife knew about this before and she knows it now. This is just an unwanted part of me that I choose not to let define the whole of me.

  • Pac_Man Pittsburgh, PA
    Nov. 7, 2011 12:16 p.m.

    The APA et al. all issue their findings through extensive research. Sometimes they are correct, sometimes they are wrong, sometimes their research is in flux.

    At one point some of these organizations thought that homosexuality was a mental disorder. Unfortunately this excluded many gay people and made them feel as if they had serious mental problems.

    Now they say it is no longer a mental disorder, and that is great! But that does not mean that individuals who struggle with unwanted sexual urges cannot decide not to live a gay lifestyle, and possibly even serve in the Church.

    I find it hypocritical that people in these organizations and those like yourself want to dismiss these individuals and say that "change is not possible" when it really is none of their business. Especially when these organizations base their research on sampling and issue opinions based on a majority of cases at the "expense" of excluding exceptions.

    While those in "conservative communities" should be accepting of gay people, it is equally incumbent upon those in the gay community to be just as accepting of those who want to resist unwanted sexual urges and live a happy, healthy, and productive lifestyle.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 12:01 p.m.

    My point in talking about this person I am close to is, it is easy for us heterosexuals to tell gays and lesbians, "Just don't think about your same sex attraction."

    But the fact is, those feelings are deep and can very easily cause struggles, especially if you are trying to stay active in the LDS Church or similar Christian faiths.

    Until science can prove with a shadow of a doubt why person A is gay or lesbian while person B is straight, we must show greater compassion to those with same-sex attraction. (again I do not intend this description in a negative way)

  • Aspen1713 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:57 a.m.

    The problem with arguing that asking gay LDS people to be celibate their entire lives is the same thing asked of straight LDS people is that it (deliberately?) overlooks an elephant in the room.

    No straight single LDS person is celibate for celibacy's sake. They are celibate because they haven't found the right person. If they did find the right person, they could get married and would be off the celibacy hook and everyone would be happy for them.

    Whereas if a gay single LDS person were to find "the one," they would be told to just stay single.

    It is not remotely the same.

    I'm 27, female, straight, and LDS. I worry constantly about, "What if I never find the right guy?" But I never have to worry about finding him and then being told, "Now don't pursue anything with him."

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:56 a.m.

    People need to read Elder Hollands conference talk a few years back on homosexuality. Elder Holland does NOT condemn anyone for struggling with same gender attraction and goes on to say that any person with such feelings can enjoy the full blessings of the gospel. However a person cannot act out those feelings in a sexual way otherwise they violate the law of chastity. In other words, it is not the conflicted feelings that are sinful - it is acting on those feelings. Homosexuality is a mental disorder for most and for others it is a personal choice.For those that experience same gender attraction no fault of their own there is therapy and help available - both physical and spiritual.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:55 a.m.

    A gay Mormon can 1. be celibate, 2. enter into a fraudulent hetero marriage, 3. enter in to a gay relationship, or 4. take care of things alone (if you know what I mean). All of these choices are condemned. In light of the accepted belief that sexuality is important to all humans and is recognized as God-given even by conservative religions, where does that put one? In a box to live out a miserable existence. Is that what life is about? For those who want to moralize and preach, if you have your solution, you are in no position to talk. Think it through more carefully. I wish there were easy solutions. The Church has an obligation to deal with this issue. Man is that he might have joy, unless nature hands him something that we don't like?

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:49 a.m.

    I gained greater sympathy for those with same-sex attraction (side note, I do not mean to use that description in a derogatory way) when someone I am very close to (I won't say this is a family member or friend, only it's a he) confided something to me I found quite surprising.

    This person is happily married in the temple, has been active for many years and has served in many church callings. One day he came to me very privately to say that for about a year or so, he had been falling in love with a young woman in his ward.

    He told me while he had never touched this girl, he would think about her every day and that these feelings truly frightened him, especially since giving in to his feelings would mean destroying his marriage and church membership, as well as land him behind bars. A short time later, this girl and her family moved away, without knowing of his feelings. He felt both relief and sadness.

    Those with same-sex attraction can't simply snap their fingers and make it better, which is why they need greater love and understanding from us all.

  • mattrick78 Cedar City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:49 a.m.

    "Man who shot himself during Cedar City standoff dies."
    -Salt Lake Tribune (First published Feb 16 2011 07:21AM)

    Verified. Now I will move on...

  • Brent78 Holladay, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:48 a.m.

    Some people may have difficulty reconciling the gospel with the fact that some people have same sex attraction. In fact, the main purpose of the gospel is to help each one of us navigate through exactly these sorts of issues. For some people, the challenge may be overcoming certain sexual impulses or additions. For others, it may be avoiding judgment of others. When we fail to resist these or other vices that the Church warns against, it does not necessarily make us bad people--it just prevents us from reaching our full potential. We in the Church should be very careful not to ostracise others or especially to speculate and gossip about their private lives simply because they come off as effeminate, just as those with same sex attraction should be careful how they define "being gay" (something you acknowledge as a temptation vs. something you embrace and allow to dictate your life choices). Whether born with it or not, some people came to this life to experience same sex attraction and to be tested on what choices they would make in spite of this. This is their test, and no one else's.

  • RAB Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:48 a.m.

    I likewise feel for those who struggle with this issue and hope they will find happiness in their lives.

    I think that there is a lot of misconception going around as to what it means to choose to be gay. It is perfectly true that few people ever consciously consider their options and choose to be gay. But most people do not choose to be fat either, or violent, or alcoholics, or child abusers, or porn addicts, or drug addicts, or homeless. They simply start on a road without fully realizing that it will end up somewhere where they did not want to be.

    When a person discovers something, right or wrong, that brings them pleasure, they are inclined to continue on that road. To deny this is laughable. No doubt, there are genetic dispositions for being gay. But that does not mean there are not self-created dispositions as well. I know people who experimented with it and who turned out not to be gay.

  • YouthforEagar MONROE, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:43 a.m.

    I was going to say something, but mightymite said it all for me.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:28 a.m.

    Now, rather than attack a person PERSONALLY...

    I am going to support my point that those who support you 'can' change your orientation...

    have no evidence to base such rational on.

    My previously mentioned, Exodus International:

    One of the founding members, Michael Bussee left the orginazation to be with his gay lover, Gary Cooper... in 1979.

    NARTH. The National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuals:

    *'A Heaven-Sent Rent Boy' - By FRANK RICH - NYTimes - 05/15/10

    '...the married, 61-year-old Rekers was caught by Miami New Times last month in the company of a 20-year-old male escort at Miami International Airport.'

    George Rekers, a founding boardmember of NARTH, has since resigned from that group.

    NOM. The National Orginazation for Marriage.

    *'NOM Strategist, Louis J. Marinelli, Declares Support For Same-Sex
    Marriage' - Huffington Post 04/09/11

    'Last summer, I organized the Summer for Marriage Tour for NOM. For 30 days, I traveled across the nation pushing an un-American agenda that harms gays, lesbians, and their families. I deeply regret...'

    *'National Organization For Marriage NOM Uses Photoshop To Create Doctored Photos...' - 10/26/11 - Huffington Post

    How much credibility is here?

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:27 a.m.


    You said - "You can not be active LDS and be gay. Just the same way you can't be active LDS and be an alcoholic."

    Here's where I disagree with this comment. An alcoholic is one who continually drinks, even if they are hiding it from everyone else. Just because someone is gay does not mean they are sexual promiscuous. If you were compare a gay person to someone who say, has a higher susceptibility to alcohol, I would agree with that.

    The important thing those of us who are LDS need to remember is, just because someone is gay or lesbian does not mean they are wildly sexual or wildly promiscuous. Of course there are some that are, but it likely isn't any different than heterosexuals who are wildly sexual and promiscuous.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:25 a.m.

    He is coming. He is the judge. I think he'll have some eye-opening information for people on both sides of this issue. So much is still unclear. In the meantime, can we afford each other respect and kindness...ON BOTH SIDES?!? Return hate and ignorance, if it comes your way, with class and dignity and kindness. Be above it.

    Let's work and live and be neighbors and hire each other and take care of each other without forfeiting the standard that has been set in the minds of each.


  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:18 a.m.

    'Pagan: Here are some supporting facts:
    I knew a guy...' - mattrick78 | 10:36 a.m. Nov. 7, 2011 a fact?

    How can I verify anything you have said?

    Moving on...

    Many will claim many of my facts are 'propoganda'. When scientific sources come out AGAINST attempts to change orientation.

    Such as...

    'You are normal
    Homosexuality is NOT a mental disorder. All of the major medical organizations, including The American Psychiatric Association, The American Psychological Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics agree that homosexuality is not an illness or disorder...'

    Published online: 11/2008
    Source: Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Teens: Information for Teens and Parents

    - America Acadamy of Pediactrics

    The American Psychiatric Association
    The American Psychological Association
    The America Acadamy of Pediactrics &...

    11/10/09 - The American Medical Association on Tuesday voted to oppose the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, and declared that gay marriage bans contribute to health disparities.

    "A law which makes people lie to their physicians is a bad law," said Dr. David Fassler, a University of Vermont psychiatry professor who attended the meeting.'

    The American Medical Association.

    Isn't asking someone to be celibate...

    asking them to LIE about their orientaion?

  • Riverton Cougar Riverton, Utah
    Nov. 7, 2011 11:04 a.m.

    mattrick78, don't take Pagan's logical fallacies away from him; it's all he has! Without them, he won't be able to "prove" his "facts". Correlation means causation after all, right?

  • Pac_Man Pittsburgh, PA
    Nov. 7, 2011 10:45 a.m.

    'No solid evidence exists that such change is likely, says the report, and some research suggests that efforts to produce change could be harmful, inducing depression and suicidal tendencies.'

    I think the church would agree that change is unlikely but there is evidence both in and out of the church that those who struggle are able to resist unwanted sexual urges and live a happy, healthy, and productive lifestyle.

    No solid evidence exists because most people who struggle (and do no submit to these urges) do not want others to know. Their sample study is clearly unbalanced.

  • mattrick78 Cedar City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 10:36 a.m.

    Pagan: Here are some supporting facts:

    I knew a guy who killed himself. He was a gay man living in a conservative Utah town. It would be easy to lump him into the gay suicide stat.

    However, it was later realized that he killed himself (after a police standoff) because of a spat with a boyfriend.

    Suicides (gay or straight) are more strongly linked with people who have emotional and mental issues.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 10:31 a.m.


    "You can not be active LDS and be gay."

    Of course you can since...

    "If you belive in the church then you will resist the tempations or urges. "

    having those urges is what makes someone gay. You were still straight when/if you were/are single and not dating someone.

  • murray19 Murray, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 9:56 a.m.

    You can not be active LDS and be gay. Just the same way you can't be active LDS and be an alcholic. If you belive in the church then you will resist the tempations or urges. Until you act on them you are just like everyone else trying to resist the tempations that are placed before you. We all have different urges and tempations that we struggle with. But if you are active LDS you can not be gay and act on those urges. The church is based on self declaration and free agency, so you have the agency to lie or to have yourself removed from the records. The LDS church is not a pick and choose what you belive in and keep only the commandments you want to. It is hard and we all make mistakes, thank goodness for repentance.

  • Kittycat CRESTON, OH
    Nov. 7, 2011 9:38 a.m.

    The LDS church is definitely not alone in dealing with these issues. My denomination in another state is wrestling with the same issues, and there is much work to do in both of our churches. My hope is that the younger generation will lead the wave for change in acceptance of GLBT people in churches. Young Mormon celebrities in pop music and other areas can also play a role in publicizing and supporting causes such as bullying of gay Mormon kids and teen suicide/depression.

    I've heard the term SSA bandied about on blogs and news reports. It makes being gay sound like a disorder. With more education about the issue, it will also change how people talk about the issue.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 9:38 a.m.

    For those who claim you can 'change' your orientation....

    Exodus International. 1978. A group very much AGAINST lgbtq, out of 800 people who tried to 'change' their orientation...

    only x3...were successful.

    That's a 'success' rate of... 0.4%.

    The other 99.6%...? Did not accomplish what others said they could.

    A possible result....?

    *'Gay man says 'reversal' therapy did not change him' - By Lisa Leff - Associated Press - Published by DSNews - 01/20/10

    'SAN FRANCISCO A gay man testified Wednesday in a federal same-sex marriage trial that the "reversal therapy" he underwent as a teenager to change his sexual orientation drove him to the brink of suicide.

    Supported by...

    *''Psychologists nix gay-to-straight therapy' - AP - 08/05/09

    'The American Psychological Association slams technique that seeks to change sexual orientation.

    'No solid evidence exists that such change is likely, says the report, and some research suggests that efforts to produce change could be harmful, inducing depression and suicidal tendencies.'

    I take no issue with people who want to encourage OTHERS to try to change orientation. Never, themselves.

    But it is my hope they are HONEST about the odds of such changes.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 9:32 a.m.

    'According to the LDS Church's Handbook of Instructions, "homosexual behavior violates the commandments of God, is contrary to the purposes of human sexuality, and deprives people of the blessings that can be found in family life...' - Article

    Supporting facts:

    *Survey shows some LGBT residents dont feel safe By Rosemary Winters SL Tribune 07/12/10
    'A kiss between two men on the LDS Churchs Main Street Plaza that resulted in trespassing charges.'

    *'Survey links gay suicides to religious message - BY KRISTEN MOULTON SL TRIBUNE 02/17/11

    *Gay teen suicide linked to conservative climates By Rosemary Winters SL Tribune 04/18/11

    *'Teens gay or straight more likely to attempt suicide in conservative towns' - By LINDSEY TANNER - Medical Writer - AP - 04/18/11

    Glad these people are reaching out with...


  • JayJay Sandy, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 9:30 a.m.

    The philosophies of men run rampant in the comments to this story. I'm choosing to listen to the Lords representatives and not the philosophies of men.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 8:13 a.m.

    @Sneaky Jimmy Please stop listening to Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh and start listening to Christ.
    (Jesus) said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh(Mt 19:5).

    Exodus International is a non-profit, interdenominational ex-gay Christian organizatio E. I., promotes "the message of Freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ." E. I. states reorientation of same-sex attraction is possible,] but warns its members not to go to counselors who claim they can help eliminate all attractions to the same gender.

    15% Success: Conversion: subjects who reported that they felt their change to be successful, and who reported substantial reductions in homosexual attraction and substantial conversion to heterosexual attraction and functioning;
    23% Success: Chastity: These were subjects who reported that they felt their change to be successful and who reported homosexual attraction to be present only incidentally or in a way that does not seem to bring about distress, allowing them to live happily without overt sexual activity.

  • mattrick78 Cedar City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 7:29 a.m.

    @Sneaky Jimmy It is difficult to assess someone's heart especially on these message boards. But to say that those who say they "love those that struggle" MUST be listening to Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh could also be construed as condescending not to mention narrow minded. I don't think it adds substance to the discussion.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 7:15 a.m.

    The comments we see on the D.N. reflect the following accusations frequently.

    Gay is okay, we have a right, etc. - the original issue in this case.

    then we see these things follow...

    You LDS aren't acting Christian on this.
    You LDS aren't even acting LDS on this.
    You guys aren't in line with LDS doctrine.
    ...and several other statements of 'I know who you are better than you do yourself'

    Often times these statements are in response to LDS members saying "Gays have a choice, there is indeed help" (I'm not saying all statements are on the 'there is help' point, but there are plenty who do, and those responses are frequent, even on this article.)

    So, here's where the fun starts:

    They accuse us of not being something that is defined BY us, our leaders who say the same, or our God who has revealed the same. It's as illogical as saying- "You aren't yourself!"

    While others merely stated "You can choose. We're not speculating whether people are born with inclinations, etc... but you do have agency and choice, we'll help make what we're calling moral."

    This kind of logistical hypocrisy favors ignorance over peaceful public discourse.

  • Jon Fairborn WASHINGTON, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 2:22 a.m.

    P.S. I realize that the Doctrine & Covenants say marriage is not required for the celestial kingdom generally. But it IS required for the highest level, which Mormons are taught is the only place worth aiming for, and only within which will full family relationships be possible. Again, if marriage to a woman is required to get there, then no thanks. I realize it may boggle the Mormon mind that anyone would say that, but I assure you I'm being honest. And I'm not the only one who feels this way.

  • Robbie512 PROVO, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 1:28 a.m.

    Mere existence does not imply virtue, i.e. you cannot argue that something is good, simply because it is innate. Moral arguments are inherently subjective. Hence, the reason such studies fall under the so-called soft sciences. Your opinion of morality is not equal to scientific fact.

  • Sneaky Jimmy Bay Area, CA
    Nov. 7, 2011 1:25 a.m.

    The thing I find nauseating is the number of posters showing their Christianity by saying how much they love those that struggle with a lifestyle. It's so condescending and trite. Please stop listening to Glen Beck and Rush Limbaugh and start listening to Christ.

  • Utah Girl Vernal, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 1:17 a.m.

    @ Stenar. You know nothing of our family situation. We love our son very much. While we might not agree with or like his personal choices, we love him and accept him just as much as any of our children. We have children who have used drugs when they were younger, but no longer do. We have a son in prison. We have daughters who have had children out of wedlock. None of them is a perfect person, but we love all of them just the same. Our son was married and has 2 beautiful children. But he decided it was just not working for him, and he was unhappy. Why did this happen? Who knows. He was molested when he was young. Maybe that influenced him, maybe not. My point was that we all have choices to make. God has given us the directions, and we can choose to follow them, or not. Just as we love our son, God loves all of His children, regardless of the choices they make. Just as parents feel sorrow over some of the choices our children make, so does God. With choices come consequences.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Nov. 7, 2011 12:36 a.m.

    For the most part, I have really enjoyed the comments I have read in connection with this article. Most of them have been well thought out, positive and thought provoking, so Thank You.

    I am not gay, nor do I have any siblings or close friends who are gay, but from a distance I've seen the struggles and challenges which have been experienced by those in the LGBT community. I always want to make sure I am as respective and understanding to those different from myself.

    I recently finished reading Larry H. Miller's biography "Driven" in which he briefly discusses the situation involving the "Brokeback Mountain" movie. Miller said in hindsight he wished he had handled it better, although it did give the opportunity to better understand the harrasement and bullying which gay and lesbian couples have experienced while attending at his theaters.

    Reading about how these people have had popcorn thrown at them or have had nasty words said to them, I sat dumbfounded thinking, "Why do people need to bother others like this? I don't get it."

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    Nov. 7, 2011 12:34 a.m.

    I think that an important point is being lost. Religious faith is not just a "lifestyle choice." It is either true or it is not. For example, families are eternal or they are not. If man-woman marriage is God's pattern for celestial families, then to allow gay marriage in the LDS Church would be a lie. If God doesn't care how people form their versions of what a family is, then the LDS Church is in error and the choice to remain temple-worthy would be merely a "lifestyle choice" with only social consequences.

    Nov. 7, 2011 12:20 a.m.

    @aumacoma 10:07 - you made me laugh with that post. Tell you what - find me a dictionary older than 50 years that defines the word "gay" as a homosexual person. When you get back on that one, we'll discuss who has redefined things to suit an agenda.

  • Buzzards LEHI, UT
    Nov. 6, 2011 11:31 p.m.

    Listen I want to be nice, and loving, and accept all my brothers and sisters no matter what.
    But lets get to the nub. The very core doctrine of the church, one could say it's reason for being, is the concept of the eternal family. Those who are not able to have this family in this life for reasons over which they have no control are assured they will have the ability to have every possible reward in the world to come. But that means that people who struggle but do not act on SSA will be attracted to the opposite gender in the next life. If it where not so, THE VERY PLAN OF SALVATION would be thwarted.
    I would love to hear anyone tell me where the Great Plan of Happiness allows for eternal, exalted, same-sex relationships. I'll be waiting.

  • cymrul West Valley City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2011 11:16 p.m.

    If I made the "choice" to be gay that means that sexuality is a choice so why don't some of you heterosexuals share with me why you chose to be straight. Maybe you can provide me with a point of view that could make me change my mind.

  • cjf Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2011 10:13 p.m.

    @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.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 6, 2011 9:55 p.m.

    @ 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.

  • Pac_Man Pittsburgh, PA
    Nov. 6, 2011 9:28 p.m.

    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.

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Nov. 6, 2011 8:09 p.m.


    "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?

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Nov. 6, 2011 7:56 p.m.

    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.

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Nov. 6, 2011 7:36 p.m.

    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?


    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.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2011 6:41 p.m.

    "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.

  • Jon Fairborn WASHINGTON, UT
    Nov. 6, 2011 6:34 p.m.

    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.

  • O'really Idaho Falls, ID
    Nov. 6, 2011 5:57 p.m.

    @ 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.

    Nov. 6, 2011 5:14 p.m.

    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.

  • The Rock Federal Way, WA
    Nov. 6, 2011 5:02 p.m.

    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.

  • Scott06 PROVO, UT
    Nov. 6, 2011 4:12 p.m.

    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.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Nov. 6, 2011 3:55 p.m.

    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...

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Nov. 6, 2011 3:38 p.m.

    @ I AM LDS 2 2:44

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

  • Florwood American Fork, UT
    Nov. 6, 2011 3:38 p.m.

    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.

  • Ophelia Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 6, 2011 3:20 p.m.

    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!

  • I M LDS 2 Provo, UT
    Nov. 6, 2011 2:44 p.m.

    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?

  • aumacoma SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 6, 2011 2:39 p.m.

    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.

  • Stenar Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2011 2:29 p.m.

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

  • Twin Lights Louisville, KY
    Nov. 6, 2011 2:15 p.m.


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


    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.

  • Petra Sanpete County, UT
    Nov. 6, 2011 2:08 p.m.

    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.

  • Utah Girl Vernal, UT
    Nov. 6, 2011 1:04 p.m.

    @ 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.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 6, 2011 12:45 p.m.


    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.

  • mightymite DRAPER, UT
    Nov. 6, 2011 12:29 p.m.

    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.

  • Max Charlotte, NC
    Nov. 6, 2011 12:11 p.m.

    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.

  • Vince here San Diego, CA
    Nov. 6, 2011 11:58 a.m.

    @ 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?

    Nov. 6, 2011 11:51 a.m.

    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.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, Utah
    Nov. 6, 2011 10:55 a.m.

    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.

  • seer kaysville, ut
    Nov. 6, 2011 10:25 a.m.

    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.

  • aumacoma SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Nov. 6, 2011 10:07 a.m.

    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.

  • cymrul West Valley City, UT
    Nov. 6, 2011 10:03 a.m.

    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.

  • xscribe Colorado Springs, CO
    Nov. 6, 2011 9:59 a.m.

    Can you be gay and Mormon? Is that allowed?

  • snowman Provo, UT
    Nov. 6, 2011 9:32 a.m.

    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.

  • S.Andrew Zaelit Deseret, UT
    Nov. 6, 2011 9:17 a.m.

    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.

  • Jonathan Eddy Payson, UT
    Nov. 6, 2011 9:08 a.m.

    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.

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Nov. 6, 2011 8:54 a.m.

    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.

  • Baccus0902 Leesburg, VA
    Nov. 6, 2011 8:05 a.m.

    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.

  • Keith43 Springville, UT
    Nov. 6, 2011 6:45 a.m.

    "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.

  • indycrimson Franklin, IN
    Nov. 6, 2011 2:50 a.m.

    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.

  • One of Vai's Cousins Nairobi, Kenya
    Nov. 6, 2011 2:03 a.m.

    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.