Wednesday, August 4, 2010

LoC Box Results

A apologize for this being late. I wanted to post on Sunday but kept pushing it back. Okay so two Sundays ago my bishop passed around this law of chastity box in Elders Quorum and this Sunday he attempted to address some of the questions.

I guess I was disappointed in how it all went down. Before going into what he was planning on talking about he started to answer some of the other questions that people had submitted. I was sitting on my seat waiting for him to talk about homosexuality and he just kept talking about other subjects. It was totally frustrating. 

Then he went in to what he had planned on talking about, which was when and how it's appropriate in dating to address concerns about the Law of Chastity specifically for girls to be able to address guys about pornography. It was interesting the different ideas people came up with, but as a whole I really didn't care about it.

Finally, with only two minutes left in the class he begins with, "And as for Same Gender Attraction..." yeah that's right he never used the word homosexuality or gay or anything like that. It felt like an afterthought that he just decided he would address. He talked about how it's become politicized lately. That those who have SGA are much more than that and to not let it define who you are. He then talked about how when the thoughts become a behavior then there is a problem and then it gets more complicated. Like I said, he spent maybe two minutes on the subject and didn't address anything specific. I was really disappointed, but looking back I don't know if I could have expected anything more. If he tried to answer my questions he'd be going away from doctrine and into theory. It frustrates me how vague the church is on this subject. They go into great length on many other issues, but one this one there is very little talk.

Bishop told us that he had more info on all the subjects we talked about in a document he put on our ward website. As soon as I got home I went to the computer and downloaded and read what he posted. Here is exactly how it went:

Same-Gender Attraction

•If homosexuals are about to marry & wait till matrimony to have sex, is it still breaking the Law of Chastity?
•Are the same standards for straight couples (i.e., kissing, cuddling, holding hands) allows for homosexual relationships?
•How can someone who is homosexual reconcile themselves with the idea of an Eternal Temple Marriage?

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it"
1 Corinthians 10:13

“As fellow Church members, families, and friends, we need to recognize that those attracted to the same gender face some unique restrictions regarding expression of their feelings. While same-gender attraction is real, there must be no physical expression of this attraction. The desire for physical gratification does not authorize immorality by anyone. Such feelings can be powerful, but they are never so strong as to deprive anyone of the freedom to choose worthy conduct.”

“As for why you feel as you do, I can’t answer that question. A number of factors may be involved, and they can be as different as people are different. Some things, including the cause of your feelings, we may never know in this life. But knowing why you feel as you do isn’t as important as knowing you have not transgressed. If your life is in harmony with the commandments, then you are worthy to serve in the Church, enjoy full fellowship with the members, attend the temple, and receive all the blessings of the Savior’s Atonement... You serve yourself poorly when you identify yourself primarily by your sexual feelings. That isn’t your only characteristic, so don’t give it disproportionate attention. You are first and foremost a son of God, and He loves you. What’s more, I love you. My Brethren among the General Authorities love you."

Helping Those Who Struggle with Same-Gender Attraction
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

“Applying the First Presidency’s distinction to the question of same-sex relationships, we should distinguish between (1) homosexual (or lesbian) “thoughts and feelings” (which should be resisted and redirected), and (2) “homosexual behavior” (which is a serious sin).”

“We should note that the words homosexual, lesbian, and gay are adjectives to describe particular thoughts, feelings, or behaviors. We should refrain from using these words as nouns to identify particular conditions or specific persons. Our religious doctrine dictates this usage. 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.”

“Feelings are another matter. Some kinds of feelings seem to be inborn. Others are traceable to mortal experiences. Still other feelings seem to be acquired from a complex interaction of 'nature and nurture.' All of us have some feelings we did not choose, but the gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us that we still have the power to resist and reform our feelings (as needed) and to assure that they do not lead us to entertain inappropriate thoughts or to engage in sinful behavior.”

“Different persons have different physical characteristics and different susceptibilities to the various physical and emotional pressures we may encounter in our childhood and adult environments. We did not choose these personal susceptibilities either, but we do choose and will be accountable for the attitudes, priorities, behavior, and 'lifestyle' we engraft upon them.”

“Essential to our doctrinal position on these matters is the difference between our freedom and our agency. Our freedom can be limited by various conditions of mortality, but God’s gift of agency cannot be limited by outside forces, because it is the basis for our accountability to him.”

Same-Gender Attraction
Elder Dallin H. Oaks
Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

This was even more unsatisfying than what my bishop had said. I really didn't like the part about not using the words homosexual, lesbian, and gay as nouns. I can understand their reasoning in this, but it just seems extreme in nature. To avoid the word almost feels like you're avoiding the fact that we actually exist. Yeah, being gay isn't everything about me. It doesn't sum me up, but it is a part of who I am and a part of my self identification. I denied that for too long and don't want to anymore. 

So all in all it was a very unsatisfying day. I got my hopes a little too high, just to have them crash back to the reality of the situation.


  1. Looking for the institutional LDS Church to support you as a gay person is looking for love in all the wrong places. From point of view of the institution, you are at best an inconvenience. I hate to see you disappointed like this. You deserve better.

  2. Man, that bites! I wish he would have answered the questions instead of deflecting them with General Authority Addresses. Sorry, bro.

  3. What you did was like going into a candy store and asking for a salad...The best they can offer will only lead to decay. (Very harsh I know...But I have seen too many people like you end up hurt, ostracized, and alone. You deserve so much better.)

  4. ((hugs))Really, though the church has already answered your questions. I am not surprised he did not talk about them with the group.

    I am sorry.

    It is going to be a long time before the church has open dialog with its gay members. (If it ever happens...) They wonder why most of us leave...

  5. I really can't do better than what everybody else has said, and I agree with all of it.

  6. Hey I just want to thanks everyone for all you guys have said. I was thinking about all of this today and realized that the church and members are taught to fortify against all weaknesses, but when it comes to homosexuality it's like this huge hole in the fortification that people are either pretending doesn't exist or putting off getting to till later. It's just frustrating to me.