Monday, January 27, 2014

A Small Favor Asked to Mormons by Mormons Who Experience Same-Sex Attraction

Me riding the Seattle Great Wheel.
My name is Jimmy and I'm a Mormon who experiences same-sex attraction. I came out (of the closet) in this video on YouTube just short of a year ago. I'm a faithful Mormon who plans on remaining single, celibate, and happy. If I marry a woman somewhere down the road, that's great. If I stay single, that's great.

I intentionally avoid discussing the topic of gay marriage on my blog, and that's not about to change. Hopefully my above listed plans for the future denote my thoughts about it.


I know many of my LDS friends post articles on social media in order to share their views on gay marriage. I love that people are doing this; it's a conversation we need to be having! Though, with some of my friends that post such articles, I feel the topic of gay marriage has become a sort of scapegoat.

My friends who frequently post articles that aren't in support of gay marriage, well, I fail to see any effort put forth by these friends to make LDS members who experience SSA feel welcome, let alone acknowledge our existence. While I won't have to disagree with something they post necessarily, such posts of theirs can really hurt. I can't help but feel their their strong feelings against gay marriage bleed over into how they feel about me. "Surely this isn't their intention." you say. I believe you're right, for the most part. But that doesn't change that their actions can be less than inviting.

A frame taken from my coming out video.
While such posts aren't intended to come off as homophobic, many of them can be. If these great friends of mine had the slightest idea of the hardships those of us who experience SSA have gone through and are going through, I know they would be more sensitive about their posts. Which goes to show, and I don't like saying this, how little thought they seem to have put into those in my same situation.

I really am trying hard to raise awareness and "Use boldness, but not overbearance;", yet when I pray and ask for guidance and direction, especially when I so often witness hurtful actions towards my dear gay LDS brothers and sisters, I often feel to hold my tongue. I sense I just need to be patient. But for the time being, maybe a little help?

42 comments:

  1. Thanks for Writing this Jimmy! I've experienced similar thngs. Just yesterday in church on of the leaders said to the YSA group "well if you're not dating why are you in this ward"

    I'm sure he wasn't looking to cause pain, but as someone who experiences same sex attraction, it hurt. Like the only reason to go to the ward was to date. And the only reason to have good friends was to have a marriage prospects pool.

    "God doesn't call us to be straight. He calls us to be holy." For many of us that might mean a life of celibacy. My desire to stay in the church doesn't rest on others, but it feels good when they acknowledge me, and accept that some of us don't quite fit the standard mold.

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    1. I felt uncomfortable about his comment as well. I thought to myself: "Well, would you like me to go to a family ward? I'm not in a singles ward to date, I'm in a singles ward because I'm assigned to be there." Yeah I'm not sure his comment helped anyone. Definitely not his best moment.

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    2. People have their rights to their own opinions, truthfully a singles ward isn't just for dating. Your Bishop is being led wrong in his thoughts. There are other things that you learn about, and grow in during this time frame. Some of the things are maturing, gaining friendships, social skills, growing spiritually in the gospel in different ways. And for a comment that Ogden made about "being assigned there," that shouldn't be the case. We should be able to choose to go, and have our records transferred into that singles ward if we want. If someone forced you to go, and you have found you don't like it after being there for a while, then you are allowed to go back to your family ward. Our Prophet and Apostles haven't forced this on us and it's not a commandment, so whomever has made you think it is needs to be talked to. I used to be in one. I graduated in one way or another from it. Our church leaders and SLC never stated it was mandatory.

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    3. "God doesn't call us to be straight. He calls us to be holy." That is a great quote, Jake P.. (Do you know the source?) I really like what you said. Your leader in YSA who said that missed the big picture. That's like saying, "why are you using your college degree" to a stay-at-home mom. You use what you learn, and you keep learning.

      I can see that such this is slight in comparison to the comment to you, and I hurt for your hurt. "What hurts my brother, hurts me." I liked your whole post. You exhibited bigness of heart, tolerance for the blunder of another even though it hurt, and a very positive ending and overall positive tone. Admirable and well done! Yes, there sure needs to be more acceptance that , as you said, "some of us don't quite fit the standard mold." Pres. Hinckley (I think it was) once spoke on the need for us to cherish the diversity our members. That it so true of our SSA members! It don't have SSA, but I sure love those who do. I admire their tenacity, their faithfulness, their faith, their example....the list is long. Thank you to all of you who read my note here. You're a blessing in my life and I pray for you to continue as you are -- keeping the faith. Heaven knows I need people to pray for me to do so!

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    4. Ogden Mills, good comment!

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    5. Anonymous January 29, 2014 at 7:22 AM, A correction: That's AREN'T -- "why AREN'T you using your college degree" to a stay-at-home mom.

      Yeah, you do use what you learn, and you keep learning. You go to church to worship and to learn and to share fellowship, friendship. in the processes. I stay in the zone about why I go to YSA, or any Church meetings.

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    6. Anon@7:22am, that quote was from Ty Mansfield at the Finding Faith and Feelings conference. I don't know if he was quoting someone else.

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    7. jake p, Anon@7:22am here.
      Hey, thanks for your reply. Good to know. That quote "God doesn't call us to be straight. He calls us to be holy" is helping me.

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  2. Jimmy,

    I've been impressed by the way you represent what it looks like to by a faithful gay member of the LDS church. I'm confident there are more out there than we realize and I suspect the reason for that is that a) they don't want to be ostracized by those who don't understand and b) those who are intent on remaining faithful are likely trying not to focus their lives around their same-sex attraction (which is harder to do if they are talking about it all the time).

    When you ask for a small favor I'm all ears but as I read your post (as someone who has occasionally posted things in opposition to gay marriage) I was left with wondering what effort you think people like me could make to help LDS members who experience SSA feel welcome. An obvious first step would be making sure that we distinguish between the issue of gay marriage and the people who experience SSA. I try to do that and I also try to reach out and be supportive to those who I know are gay but I'm wondering if you could give some more concrete ideas about how to acknowledge people with SSA and make them feel welcome.

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  3. How do we be more sensitive then while still standing for traditional marriage? I may have hurt someone inadvertently, so we may need more specific examples so we don't do it again.

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    1. I would love a response to this, too. Only through education, can people understand one another.

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    4. Anon, you are perfectly right. Education is the key. The Church is working on increasing acceptance by all member of those among us who experience SSA regardless of manifestation or gender.
      See: http://www.mormonsandgays.org/
      and
      http://mormonsandgaysblogs.com/
      for individual bloggers’ stories. The list is short, but it has grown and will continue to do so.
      These pages are the ones I refer people to. I think its important for us all to accept each other as we are. That's a given.

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    5. Regarding accepting SSA members with open arms: I have a son who is gay so I understand a bit better than some. It doesn't change my love for him at all. But then, I've had gay friends too, and it never affected my love for them. I didn't approve of the lifestyle some chose, but that didn't change my love either. I believe the more discussion people in the church have about acceptance of SSA members, the more attitudes will change to be more in keeping with Christ's teachings.

      A comment to Jimmy on his experience: "My friends who frequently post articles that aren't in support of gay marriage, well, I fail to see any effort put forth by these friends to make LDS members who experience SSA feel welcome, let alone acknowledge our existence." I understand your pain and bitterness. I encourage your to look for the times you ARE accepted and focus on those. There have got to be some bloggers who are staunchly for tranditional marriage and still staunchly for loving our neighbors as ourselves and accepting SSA people as they ARE, accepting YOU are you are. The LDS friends you described have not yet progressed enough in the Light of Christ, to love you fully as you are. (See Moroni 7:48).

      I am definitely for tradition marriage and always will be, although I can see the need for Civil Unions. I know that the Lord's stand on gay marriage will never change, and I see the reasons quite clearly. It has to do with maintaining the family, the biological unit (if only in theory), binding a father to his children even as a mother is (by giving birth), and binding both parents to their children and to each other.

      Anyone who has done as much genealogy (family history) as I have dons over 40 years, as well as temple work, can see this clearly. God set it up that way in the beginning with Adam and Eve. Never will the general authorities okay gay marriage, and never will there knowingly be sealings in temples of gay couples. In LDS doctrine, the apostles and prophets speak to the world, so members should consider their stand on gay marriage for those outside our faith. We need to look ahead to where such marriage would lead and consider all the ramifications. The fact is, the make up of the eternal family will never change. Marriage is not a "till death do us part" thing in the Plan of Salvation.

      I know that sound harsh, but it really doesn't change my love for those who wish this were not so, that the church WOULD okay gay marriages. I understand the desire for gay couples to be married, I do. When I read books, I sometimes try to see them through the eyes of someone attracted to my same sex. How one's perspective changes in such an exercise! I can't maintain it for long, because it starts to hurt, mentally and emotionally. But this "exercise" and my experiences with my gay son and others like him compels me to feel their angst. I weep for them. I accept them. I love them. Still, my stance for tradition marriage stays adamantly firm.

      I am only one person. But there are many who ARE learning more about SSA and how those with SSA feel, how much those without it need to accept and love those with it, particularly in Christ's Church. I see a day when it will be so. I see it coming. My son is part of this change. More and more people are reaching out and more and more people with SSA share their stories. This is a pioneer effort.

      Thank you, Jimmy, for sharing yourself through your blog. Your attitude is inspiring.

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    6. This response is, sadly, precisely the type of familiar, well-worn and repeated, though ultimately unconsidered and uninformed type of tenet we LDS adhere to, far too often. When Adam and Eve are addressed in the garden of Eden the instructions were very symbolic. The woman's seed (semen) is the virgin birth, the woman following her husband as he follows the Lord is the church membership following its leadership as these follow the Lord. We are to follow the Lord, not men, nor brethren. Traditional marriage is very modern, as even in the 1980's the brethren counseled against interracial marriage, and we even now publicly disavow polygamy, but in our temples we practice it, so long as only one of the wives is alive at a time. Joseph Smith married young women, not by civil law, and had coitus. If Abraham were alive today he would get excommunicated for polygamy, breaking the law of chastity (concubines), sexual predatory behavior (marrying young maidens prior to death from very old age), failure to provide for dependent wives/concubines and children (he sent them into the desert), and the list goes on. Traditional? Brother, show us that you have some understanding, and trust God, not the brethren. They do not consider things here beyond old bigotries, but you and I have the same access to God ad they; so it is about time we use it. I follow the brethren as they follow the Lord, and when the brethren go astray on a point (usually by leaving aside the Gospel for polemicizing culture wars), I leave them to blakcen their own eyes on their own.

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    8. Jacob Frieden, your comment is out of line and inappropriate. I can't delete my reference to Adam and Eve without deleting my whole comment. If Jimmy asks me to, I will. I hope you will do the same.

      You are very confused and lack understanding markedly. You refer to Genesis 3:15, in which seed means children, period. It has nothing to do with the context you associated with it. You're confused with the Church's view about Abraham, too, and have arrived at some grave misunderstandings, for one, regarding the historical situation Abraham's day. I suggest you study Hebrew and ancient civilizations.

      You show little tolerance for opposing opinions. You called my post "the type of familiar, well-worn and repeated, though ultimately unconsidered and uninformed type of tenet we LDS adhere to, far too often" and yet you do not write as if you are part of "we Latter-day Saints" (as you imply by your statement) since you do not sustain the LDS prophets and apostles as the Lord's mouthpieces today -- one of the most basic LDS tenets. "We Latter-day Saints" include people such as Jimmy and myself.

      In my post, I'm not parroting others' views, but have arrived at my own considered and informed conclusions. I have not heard anyone else speak of the implications and ramifications of gay marriage for family history and the binding together of families: father, mother, children. I've perceived this on my own. My words are my own. I've had years to think very deeply about these things. I've seen many changes in Church policy, but have also seen that which endures. I trust God, first and foremost, but I also sustain the LDS prophets and apostles, my personal scripture study and searchings, my experiences with the Holy Ghost, and my honest attempts to live my religion. I rely on my Savior, God the Son, as I'm sure Jimmy does.

      You are very bitter, and I'm sorry for you, but I don't apologize for my post. I trust God, more that you'll ever know in this life. People with SSA are not the only people who suffer, although their suffering is great and their need for acceptance (which Jimmy describes so well) by other Latter-day Saints is greater than that for most of us Latter-day Saints. There is great need for change here and Jimmy is part of that in raising awareness. So am I.

      This blog is not the correct forum for your activism. Please respect the tenor of Jimmy's blog, which is a place to support LDS Mormons and raise awareness of the need for acceptance of SSA members within the LDS faith. Please respond in an kind, appropriate manner. After all, charity "suffereth long and is kind" and that's what the main issue here is -- the pure love of Christ, and practicing it. (See Moroni 7:45-47.)

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    9. Since Jimmy "intentionally avoid[s] discussing the topic of gay marriage on [his] blog," we should do the same. Now we can both see why he does so.

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    12. Babatta Mertz, your emotional reaction was the typical extremist "run for cover" denial we often see in Mormon ranks, sorry to say. I accept your statements that you arrived at your soft and superficial views independently, you state, but your manner of speech and phraseology demonstrate a high level of mimcry of banal officlal assertions. I follow God, and as the brethren follow the Lord, then I am in line with them. I think you may be a woman, and I so, I am sorry I confused your gender, not that gender affects the validity of anyone's argument. Activism, you say. Well, channelling whole phrases from others could be activism, and though you use this term as a negative, it is a positive. I am not on a crusade, but as far as activism is concerned, it is the church that promotes sharing what we know to be true and edifying.

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    14. You missed my points entirely, Jacob. And my meaning. There is no "softness" in my views/beliefs" -- they are as diamond. There is no superficiality in my views/beliefs either -- they are deep rooted in "the Rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God," as must all of a Latter-day Saint's beliefs be if they are to endure the fiercest of life’s storms (and mine have and will forever. My life has proven that to me.).[Helaman 5:12] Regardless of what you THINK you hear when you read what I write, that firmness is the truth of it.

      I don't have to describe my own personal anguish and pain and suffering to you, but it is there and very real, and very permanent, though I often ache to have it gone. I am a survivor. As the concentration camp survivors were, so am I. I read Viktor Frankl and I "get it" -- I KNOW the meaning that resides in suffering. In the words of Dr. Albert Schweitzer, "I am made part of the fellowship of suffering." My beliefs, and my faith in Christ and his restored Gospel (in which I steadfastly believe) have seen me through much -- truly a trial by fire.

      If these words seem to reflect others you have heard, then they have simply arrived at the same place by the same route -- that is, through suffering and holding fast in spite of it, and firmer BECAUSE of it. I relate profoundly to Rainer Maria Rilke’s rhetorical question to a young poet: “ Why do you want to shut out of your life any agitation, any pain, any melancholy, since you do really do not know what these states are working upon you? ”(Rainer Maria Rilke’s Letters to a Young Poet, Letter 8, M.D. Herter Norton Translation. The best translation of this favorite German author and poet of mine.) The thing is, one needs to let these conditions, these struggles, pain, difficulties, work in one for one’s good. I know whereof I speak. Suffering has given me utterance. At times I “look upon myself, and curse my fate, .../ Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising, / Haply I think on [Christ] .../ And [His] sweet love remembered such wealth brings / That then I scorn to change my state with Kings.” (Shakespeare, Sonnet 29, paraphrase in brackets.)

      There is no denial here, no running for cover. Time to look at yourself, sir. You are mimicking other typical rhetoric, regardless of wording. I must say, you draw some pretty nice distinctions (I use the word "nice" in its original sense) as to what you will believe by "the brethren" and what you will not. I agree activism can be a positive. But I doubt you'd accept an activist who, as one post put it, "stands for traditional marriage." Your posts prove that you would not. This is not tolerance.

      Your previous posts do not, as you put it, "promote sharing what we know to be true and edifying." Attacking another person in your posts ,as you do me, does not tend toward edification, nor does the vulgarity or graphic language you used in your first response. D&C -- "...let your words tend to edifying one another." 1 Cor. 8:1 “Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth.” Romans 14:19 -- "Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another." PEACE is a key word here. The word edify includes to uplift, particularly spiritually. You might mean as "to instruct, enlighten." But your method tends toward the opposite. You are on a soap box.

      (And I've no comment on my specific gender, whether you were wrong or right -- as you say, it makes no difference.)

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  4. It makes me cringe too, even though I'm not the one directly effected. Who has time to bully or be ignorant when there are so many people who need support and a friend? I think everyone needs acknowledgment and love, to know that someone appreciates their life story.

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  5. I think this comment, "How do we be more sensitive then while still standing for traditional marriage?" hits the nail on the head. Not condoning something invariably gives it a negative light for most people. This feeling often leads to dislike, then hate, then outright discrimination or active participation against it, those that support it, or those involved on the other side of the fence. Part of the reason I left the church was this culture of intolerance and hypocrisy. "Love the sinner, hate the sin" is easier said than done. People are unwilling to look at these issues from the perspective of those they are hurting and instead rely on their faith in their religious leaders or–god forbid–political and media icons. It ends up coming off as aggressive, rude, and intolerant. The same people that post leaders from the brethren on my facebook page about loving each other are also the same who become extremely angry when gay people have a parade or mock people openly who come out of the closet.

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    1. I don't see how this comment by Brennings -- "How do we be more sensitive then while still standing for traditional marriage?" -- "hits the nail on the head" based on your explanation, which seems too simplistic. It’s not a question of condoning something or not. I notice at least as much if not more intolerance by those FOR same-sex marriage than by those for traditional marriage. The "path to hate" you describe can happen to anyone about anything, in this case whether for or against.

      I'm sorry you left the Church because people exhibit human failings. Intolerance and/or hypocrisy will ALWAYS be present to some extent wherever people are involved. There is much good in it and it will move forward in tolerance for people with SSA -- it is just slower happening that some or ever many us Latter-day Saints would like.

      The Church needs people with SSA who have strong testimonies of it's truthfulness, like Jimmy and many others I personally know, to remain IN the Church as pioneers in raising awareness of both SSA challenges, and especially so that straight members can learn to accept SSA members.

      It comes down to a strong testimony, constantly strengthened by individual initiative. Believe me, there are so many reasons people leave the Church, and I've found that most of the time it's due to someone taking offense for some reason. Points of doctrine are only second to this. Once offense occurs, no matter how egregious the offense was, by one or many or by repetition of the same offense in some form, the one offended can take more and more offense. This applies to EVERYone. If one is not in the Church FOR the Church's sake, for the restored Gospel's sake, first and foremost, keeping this always in heart and mind, loving God best of all, then when offense comes (and it always does) down the path of leaving one goes if one doesn’t catch oneself and let go of the hurt of the offense and offense itself.

      I pray for the Saints, SSA ones and those without. We need each other; we’re in this together.

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  6. Adding a simple reassurance that you are against same sex marriage, but not people who experience SSA, in your next post can make a huge difference. As human beings we all desire a bit of compassion and love, no matter who we are or what we believe.

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  7. Curious - do you see yourself marrying a guy? SSM will be legal in Utah at some point regardless of the Mormon church opinion on it (which has changed its doctrine a number of times to fit with the changing world). I personally find it hard to reconcile you being happy and not being able to live a life with the person you love.

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  8. I believe that the church would do well to start another group like they did to reach out to black members. It was started by the (then) current prophet of the church and (now) Pres. Monson served on it as well.

    http://www.ldsgenesisgroup.org/GenHistory.html

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  9. Jimmy, I really like your coming out video. Well done! I also loved the scripture you used and how you used it: "I really am trying hard to raise awareness and 'Use boldness, but not overbearance;." I can understand your hurt because I've experienced it myself due to an illness I have -- but not as severely as you, I'm sure. I'm trying to raise awareness, too, and your blog and video help. So, in my way, I am helping you. It's just a small thing, but I have the hope that other LDS members will change, learn, and grow into the "Saints" we are all trying to be. God bless and help you...too!

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  10. Hi Jimmy. My Name is Norman Ravellette. I am also a gay Mormon. And I have known since I was as young as 8 that I was different. I do not believe that my being gay was a choice. And I do not believe we were put here on Gods earth to be punished for who we are just because we are different than others. It took me a long time to finally feel comfortable in my own skin and know that God and Jesus love me for who I am. Not WHAT I am. I am and always will be a child of God. Regardless of what others think.
    I have also studied everything in all forms of scripture about SSA. If people have truly read and studied their scripture like the church teaches, they would realize that the only sin in being SSA is the act of carrying out the feelings. It all boils down to chastity. Plain and simple. NO one knows what the future holds in store for the gay community. I personally believe that SSA couples should be allowed to have a civil union in which they are joined together as a couple. And leave the marriage to the straight people. the big deal now is that gay marriage somehow will be detrimental to the Straight form of marriage. I find that thought convoluted to say the very least considering the divorce rate in our country is at least 50% and rising.

    If people really want to get technical about the scriptures, divorce is at best, not allowed. And if you remarry you are considered to be committing adultery. As far as God not approving of civil unions and the like, only God knows the true answer. Our church as well as the Catholic church are the forerunners on accepting that gays are here to stay and that they are also Gods Children. Those that are for traditional marriage, more power to ya. those that are not, likewise. Its okay to be different. Things are moving in a positive direction for gay people in the Christian community. And I am so glad to have been in this dispensation of time to see it happen. You are one of Gods children as am I. As long as we do our best to do as we are taught by the creator and his son, I believe very strongly that blessings will be our way as well. Nobody truly know what goes on, on the other side of the veil. SO keep your chin up, my dear brother. A persons opinion is just that. An opinion. Where YOU stand with our Heavenly father is more important than what others think. Love you much my fellow brother, Norman Ravellette

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  11. Jimmy, don't you find it rather amusing how only gay Mormons are "called to celibacy"? Divorced Mormons are NOT "called to celibacy" though. Anyone who reads the Bible knows that Jesus clearly taught that anyone who divorces his husband or wife and marries someone else is commiting adultery. Clearly, Christ taught that once married it was indisoluable.. And yet the Mormon church gives divorced Mormons a pass on celibacy. Only the poor gays it seems are singled out to be eunuchs for life. Hypocritical? You bet. For all you holier than thou type heterosexuals who love throwing stones at gay people....try to imagine being a member of a church that taught you it was wrong and sinful to have heterosexual feelings and that you should only have homosexual feelings in order to please God.. Imagine what it would be like for you emotionally to be a member of that church or live in such a world. Being gay is not a chosen "lifestyle" any more than being left-handed is a chosen "lifestyle".

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    1. It is LDS doctrine that anyone outside of marriage between a man and a woman should be celibate. Please give the reference in the Bible where you get the doctrine that once you are divorced, you have to be celibate for the rest of your life even though you remarry. You clearly have bad feelings and I'm sorry that you do, But, your accusations are wrong. A heterosexual man or woman who isn't married is told to be celibate just as much as gays. No difference!
      By the way, there have been many talks and articles given about being gay which says that it is not a sin to have homosexual feelings and that we should always treat all of our brothers and sisters with respect. I suggest you open your mind, educate yourself, and stop being angry. Ask yourself if you are harboring hatred before you accuse others of doing the same thing.

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    2. Plus the doctrine or laws in the Bible were how we were to live back then only up until Christ changed them, by the time he returned to the Father, then He told us how we are to live the commandments and laws from then on. Also in the Article of Faith says," We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly." Key message, "as far as it is translated correctly." Men in the past tried to fix the Bible and get it back to the correct and original writing as best they could, which they were martyred for it. Anon is correct with celibacy.

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    3. Read the Gospels. It couldn't be any clearer what Jesus taught about divorce. Unlike the subject of homosexuality in which Christ said NOTHING.

      Matthew 5:31,32 - "It hath been said, whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: but I say unto you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery." This is from the Sermon on the Mount where Jesus was teaching his disciples to hear him and do his sayings.

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  12. I'm not gay, so I can't claim to know what you are going through. That said, I'll make it my business to make sure that any of my brothers and sisters never feel ostracized for the trials they are going through. No matter what, you and anyone else for that matter are children of God, and need to feel the love appropriate to that station. Whatever the political debates, whatever church policy is, etc., if we forget that you are a child of God, then in us lies the greater sin. God has as much of a plan for you as he does for me, so we should respect that. Carry on my brother. God loves you, and as such, everyone who doesn't is on the wrong side of it, and love needs to be shown, not taken for granted.

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  13. I will admit that a lack of understanding in my situation has lead to many hurtful things being said to me. To include my bishop telling me that because I am gay, I have to repent longer of my sins than straight people do. I have felt similar feelings to include church members turning every lesson in church to the subject of gay marriage and how gays are inherently sinners. It's been tough for me to desire to stay with the church, so I hold true to most of my beliefs and have stopped going to church. I just can't deal with that kind of stress in my life right now, and I have decided to stop going to church so that I can be happier. While I am sure this isn't necessarily the norm, I do know it happens.

    One reason that I stopped going was because the stress caused by such attitudes in church was driving my depression towards suicide. I felt it was better to stay alive and not be active in the church than to commit suicide as an active member.

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    1. Yes, please. Don't commit suicide. I really don't believe that would help, and it would be terribly sad. (Both religious and personal viewpoint)

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  14. Thanks for this Jimmy, I've got a few friends and even my parents that are like this from time to time. I'm not 100% "out" but it's hard to hear many of these comments. Thanks again bro.

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  15. Good post. I've seen some get up and leave Sunday school over some small comment such as "God is clear that marriage is between man and woman and that is how things should always be." I've overheard people judge them, saying that they were offended over true doctrine. What they may not have considered is that it's sometimes what you don't say that hurts. (insert cheesy movie scene here: "i didn't do/say anything!" [other person]: "i noticed.")

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  16. "Hopefully my above listed plans for the future denote my thoughts about it."

    Uh, no, they don't at all. You'd better clarify.

    I know lots of gay Mormons who share your plans, and they certainly don't all feel the same way about gay marriage. Do you think they should?

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