Thursday, August 14, 2008

Who We Are?

I have a question for people in this group to ponder.

How do you perceive yourself?

Are you a gay man who have chosen to live according to gospel principles or are you a child of God who struggles with feeling and attractions for members of the same sex?

Do you believe God has created you for a purpose and that our struggles can refine us, that the things we struggle with in this life can teach us and help us grow into the things God wants us to one day be able to inhariet from Him? Or do you believe that God has created us to be how we feel and so these things should define who we are and fighting against them is going against the way God wants us to be? In a sense fighting against our feelings is unnatural?

I think how you answer this question will dictate how you define yourself in a lot of ways spiritually, emotionally and internally.

The brethren have been clear on how we should and shouldn't define ourselves. Do we accept their council as council from God or just council from men who may not understand our struggles but who are trying to? Or do we feel that they don't know enough and no one can really understand our struggles?

Allowing others to have their agency and accepting that not everyone will agree with what we do, do we still accept what the Prophet has said as revealed to him by Heavenly Father. Do we consider acting on homosexual urges sinful or just a personal choice? Do we understand why and how in doing so it would frustrate our eternal progression? Or do we just think its a cruel choice we have to make in order to show God we love him.

Do we believe that it is possible to be tolerant of those who choose to sin, while still believing something is wrong enough to stand against it? Or is standing against sin always going to offend us because we take it personally?

I will admit that when I first heard that the church was going to consent to a meeting with them I too snickered and thought "What on earth is Affirmation hoping to accomplish? These people don't represent me or my point of view?" We all know they aren't looking for dialog, they seek to council the brethren on what they are doing wrong. They hope to lobby for the church to change its beliefs on things that we know through revelation to be wrong and damning.

These people, these "gay Mormons" aren't me any more then Mormon Fundamentalist are in fact Latter-day Saints. I don't think that its judgmental to say that. Part of being a faithful Latter-day Saint is sustaining the Prophet not lobbying against him or his teachings. Yes we need to be loving and tolerant of others but in so doing we don't surrender our beliefs.

I know that when cruel, uniformed things are said in priesthood about gay people, that for the most part, those things aren't about me. I am just as worthy to hold my temple recommend as the next guy. I have chosen not to act on those beliefs. Things like Prop 8 aren't geared against me. Yes we do need to step forward if things are being said out of hatred and ignorance but we also can't confuse someones misinformed attempts at standing for the right to be hateful attacks either. This is where need to step in to foster understanding along with encouraging faithfulness.

I think one of Satan's biggest tools is that after he may fail to bring us down with temptation, he attacks us with being offended. We need to step back and realize that. This isn't about me.

Again I ask you, who are you? Why are you here?


Anonymous said...

I consider myself to be a child of God who God knew would be gay. I don't know if that means that he made me gay... but he didn't stop it from happening. I believe the fact that I am gay was not my choice. (Nor was it anyone else's.)

I believe that this was part of Heavenly Father's plan for me. I can guess that it was part of his plan for all other homosexuals as they didn't choose it either.

That being said, why God allowed me to be gay may be a very different reason why he allowed someone else to be gay. Perhaps, it teaches me things that I couldn't learn any other way. Perhaps it teaches me patience, acceptance of people not like me, loving a religion that doesn't love me, making hard decisions, not condemning others for their choices, and many other things. Each one of those things could be a virtue another gay person is trying to learn as well.

As a child of God I am privileged to have grown up in his Church and have a living prophet. Because we have a living prophet we have continuing revelation (A marvelous thing!) Our prophet is a man like any other... this is wonderful as well! It means that any person on this planet can achieve the spirituality that he has. And being a man, our prophet has all the susceptibilities and difficulties that we do. Which means that he must interpret his spiritual promptings like we do. (Though I admit he's one of the best on our planet at doing so.) Perhaps God does have plans for his gay sons and daughters, and perhaps they are very different than his plans for his other children. The Church has made changes in doctrine and feeling concerning those children over the years. Perhaps this is only to increase the love these children feel or maybe it's something else. You and I can't say.

So don't blame other gays who love the Church for wanting to feel more loved and included. Don't hate them because they might stumble and fall. Many policies and doctrines of the Church have changed because members had questions... and questioned doctrines. The D&C is full of those examples. Oftentimes, God doesn't answer these questions until we want it bad enough. This might mean that passively accepting the current truths only keeps you at one level of truth. Searching for further truth is part of being a Latter-day Saint. Just don't make the mistake of believing that other gays (Affirmation, me, or any other) don't love the Church and God equally or more.

A CROW'S VIEW said...

You make some good points. But remember that God only reveals more truth once we have proven that we can live according to the truth we already have. Homosexuality clearly frustrates God's plan of salvation. When do we decide that the Prophet is wrong? When what he says goes against what we want? I think you confuse hate with the inability of the faithful to accept what the Lord has told us to be a sin to be okay. That isn't hate. Again the church doesn't change it's doctrine. The Lord changes His doctrine, it's not up to the Prophet, its not his church.

Anonymous said...

"The Lord changes His doctrine, it's not up to the Prophet, its not his church."

This is true. But this is not to say that the Prophet does not have sway and influence with God. I would say he is the closest person to God alive.

I think most gay LDS want homosexuality to be better accepted in the Church so they can feel openly loved by the organization they love so much. Even if you have committed no homosexual sin, the Church doesn't quite know what to do with you. Do people who have confessed homosexual tendencies to their bishop get considered for callings in the Primary, scouting, or youth? Or even Sunday School or Priesthood teachers? Being afraid of gay people will keep the Spirit from prompting you to put them in those callings.

But I think the thing that we gays get most frustrated about is this: The Church basically wants to put us on pause. 'Just be good and stay as you are until you are old and die.' This keeps you from sinning, but it also does something else. It is damning you. When I was young, I heard the word 'damning' in Church. I asked my mom what it meant. It means to stop progression. When you are damned and go to a lower kingdom, your progression is stopped. I don't mean this in a bad way, but that is essentially what the Church does with its gay members. Our progression is stopped until we die. Everyone else gets to progress, but we must be 'damned' for our time here on Earth.

That wouldn't be so hard if we lived individually as monks or something. But when all your friends, relatives, friends, and everyone you know progresses, becomes more spiritual, learns to love more, and expands, it becomes very hard to accept your 'damned' position. You want to experience all the same things!


robert said...

"Again the church doesn't change it's doctrine. The Lord changes His doctrine, it's not up to the Prophet, its not his church."

"When do we decide that the Prophet is wrong? When what he says goes against what we want?"

I'm confused by these two statements being made at the same time.