Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Follow-up Post: Same Gender Attraction

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.

God bless.

1 comment:

Ryan said...

I'm appreciative of people who are grounded in their religious beliefs despite opposition. It encourages me to stand my ground on the things I believe as well. I'm always intrigued when people, because of their religious beliefs, get involved in discussions like this. Why do you (and others like you) engage in these discussions?