I had some interesting follow-up reactions to my previous post. I had an email exchange with Mitch Mayne, the man whom I referred to in the last post. I came under some scrutiny, concerned friends both for and against Mitch's stance, so I decided to investigate. I asked him rather pointed questions, to which he politely and openly responded. He was strongly opposed to Proposition 8 in California (same sex marriage ban), despite the First Presidency's concerns. He would not be unhappy if the leaders of our Church gave the green light to seal same gender couples together in the temple. Trying to change the very essence of God's Plan for families is like trying to drown a fish. (Not gonna happen, dude.)
Let me be very clear-- My intention for posting Mitch Mayne's blog was simple: I thought it was so commendable that this man is trying to overcome something so challenging; NOT because I feel the Church is becoming more 'mainstream.'
Also, I had an LDS friend (who is a supporter of Mitch, and incidentally this friend is a lot more liberal than I am), email me and mention his disagreement with my post. Apparently I wasn't sympathetic enough towards gays. Or tolerant? Or something.
President Boyd K. Packer, speaking to those who struggle with same gender attraction, stated, "We do not reject you. We cannot reject you, because we love you." There is no room for malice or contention when discussing these issues, just like there is no room to label the Church "intolerant."
What's there to disagree with? I stated doctrine, as quoted by latter-day prophets, and shared my supporting opinion of those doctrines. But just to be on the safe side, here is more plain language to illustrate aspects of Heavenly Father's Plan.
A bit of doctrine:
"Heaven is organized by families, which require a man and a woman who together exercise their procreative powers within the bounds the Lord has set. Same-gender relationships are inconsistent with this Plan. Without a husband and wife, there would be no eternal family and no opportunity to become like Heavenly Father."
"It is not helpful to flaunt homosexual tendencies or make them the subject of unnecessary observation or discussion." (God Loveth His Children, LDS Church manual)
"We should refrain from using these words (lesbian, homosexual, gay) as nouns 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.
Satan would like us to believe that we are not responsible in this life. A person who insists that he is not responsible for the exercise of his free agency because he was 'born that way' is trying to ignore the outcome of the War in Heaven. We ARE responsible, and if we argue otherwise, our efforts become part of the propaganda effort of the Adversary. "(Dallin H. Oaks, Oct. 1995)
President Boyd K. Packer, speaking to those who struggle with same-gender attractions, stated: "We do not reject you. We cannot reject you, because we love you." There is no room for malice or contention. We are spiritually brothers and sisters. And the one thing that makes me angry (in political arenas as well) is that people confuse "not being tolerant" with having boundaries...
Nonetheless, I am grateful for my friends, no matter which side of the debate you may find yourself. It was a pleasure to have an open and friendly dialogue with Mitch, his supporters, and other concerned friends.
Let me clarify-- my parents were responsible for hosting world renowned pianists and organists that were invited to be part of the Ricks College/BYU-I Center Stage Concert Series. These performers were some of my parents' best friends. Sadly, we witnessed a few of these good men as they succumbed to AIDS.
Fast forward 20 years... by virtue of the fact that I am in the arts and music industry, I am also acquainted with many gay and lesbian colleagues. Some LDS, (some ex-LDS), and some not. In fact, I dated a guy I met in music circles at Ricks College when I was 19 years old. He had graduated from Interlochen Arts Academy (a prestigious private arts high school in Michigan) and was offered music scholarships to various conservatories throughout the United States. However, he chose to come to Ricks College (on a full-ride scholarship, no less.) We dated seriously and he asked me to marry him when he got home from his mission. He was called to a state-side mission and I wrote him faithfully... until he unexpectedly got sent home from his mission for having same-gender attraction issues with his zone leader. (Yuck, I know.) Gives new meaning to the cultural term, "Dear John", no? Needless to say, I put the kabosh on things and after he graduated from Ricks, he formally left the Church to pursue both his alternate lifestyle as well as his musical dream in New York City. And he has made quite a name for himself on the stage.
I don't have all the answers. I do believe that there is a distinction between having immoral thoughts and feelings verses engaging in immoral acts. Elder Dallin H. Oaks stated, "Different persons have different physical characteristics and different susceptibilities to the various physical and emotional pressures we may encounter in our childhood and adult environment. We did not choose these personal susceptibilities either, but we do choose and will be held accountable for the... behavior and 'lifestyle' we engraft upon them."
I recently found this post via facebook. It is very interesting.
This man in this blog was recently sustained as a counselor in his local San Francisco Stake. I support the Church's standing whole heartedly-- if a member of the Church is worthy (not acting on gay impulses and/or tendencies), he/she may participate in all of the ordinances and blessings of the restored gospel. Because gender is eternally essential to our identity, God would not/could not create gay spirit children. Perhaps some have inclinations more than others certainly, but our Loving Father would not allow us to "be born this way." It is contrary to the Plan of Salvation.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland stated, "Let me make it clear that attractions alone, troublesome as they may be, do not make one unworthy. If you do not act on temptations, you have not transgressed." (Oct. 2007 Ensign) No matter your stand on the issue, the bottom line (on which we can all agree) is that God's richest blessings will eventually be available to all of His children, if they are clean and faithful.
I wonder if this guy is the same one who authors the blog on my sidebar "Which Means Life is Extra Tough"??? Anyhoo, enjoy the read.
"If the U.S. Government was a family, they would be making $58,000 a year; they spend $75,000 a year, and are $327,000 in credit card debt. They are currently proposing BIG spending cuts to reduce their spending to $72,000 a year. These are the actual proportions of the federal budget and debt, reduced to a level we can understand."
I am honored to be married to my husband extraordinaire Joseph, for 15 years. Our joy is full (most days) because we are blessed to have these children in our family: Joshua (12yrs), Emma (10 yrs), Caleb (7yrs), and Elizabeth (5 yrs.). I enjoy camping with my family, cooking, reading, playing and teaching the violin and blogging. Our story began over 15 years ago at Ricks College. We have moved 9 times in 14 years, but have come full circle to the city where we were married and sealed in the LDS temple.