This reminds me of the atheist who marries a religious spouse. The atheist proposes a compromise for teaching their children which goes something like "If you won't teach our children to believe in God, I won't teach them to not believe God and they can choose for themselves." Such a proposal all but guarantees the atheist spouse will win. If children are not taught to believe in God, they become atheists by default. By the same token, a recent study shows that 85% of children who exhibit same-sex attraction will grow out of it IF they are just left alone (I was part of that group). Instead, children are encouraged to experiment and declare their sexuality even before puberty. In my early pubescent stages, I had feelings of same-gender attraction, but was never encouraged to act on those feelings. Like 85% of other youth that had the same experience, I grew out of it. Maybe if we stopped foisting same-gender relationships on our youth, it would become a non-issue.
Ben is right, it's not a choice, but that's because choice is not the right word. No one really thinks anyone was offered a choice to have SSA or not. It is the attraction they feel, which is real, but somehow based on a part of our nature, maybe more or less of one hormone or another, and a part of our nurture, what happened in our environment. I can give lots of examples or explanations of how childhood brains interpret situations to support one idea or another. No one will ever be able to establish how every little life experience may contribute to how we view those of the same or opposite sex. It's dishonest to claim people are not inclusive, intolerant or hateful just because they want a person to get help for what they are experiencing, rather than feed a lie that it's all nature.
Same sex attraction (SSA) is not a choice. Nobody chose to experience SSA. You can of course choose to act out or stay true to the covenants you made.
As somebody who is suffering (yes I suffer) from SSA I know that for whatever reason I experience SSA it is how Heavenly Father wants me to be. I'm not less a man because of my SSA.
If I choose to seek counseling in hope to possibly overcome SSA it will be my own decision. Nobody has the right to tell me " No, you can't do this." And if I choose to live with SSA and by doing so miss some blessings during my mortal time it will also be my decision. As long as I stand true to my covenants I will eventually lose no blessings whatsoever.
For a Latter-day member it is especially challenging to do not feel alienated or lost in the eyes of Heavenly Father. I have to learn every day that my Father in Heaven loves me regardless from what I might suffer.
THAT is true inclusion!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this. I've been fighting for my right and my children's right to ethical therapy to address unwanted same-sex attractions in Utah and I've been feeling so alone. So incredibly tired of being told I was "lying to myself" and that I "hadn't really changed". I literally sobbed when I read this article. Maybe sometime soon the Deseret News will have the courage to publish something similar.
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