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?