I'm still bothered that the original article had to be taken down, but I appreciate the steps that are being taken to discuss this openly and fairly honestly. The truth is being increasingly silenced, and it's time to fight back.
Christ established His church so that we as children of God may learn about our creator and live in a way that will bring us back to live with Him eternally. His prophets and apostles follow that premise. Sexual inclination may be one of many challenges we go through in this mortal life. When with all trials we come to the Lord first to ask for guidance He never leaves alone. His spirit will direct and comfort us. In the end, God the author of our salvation will judge and send us to a kingdom the glory of which we have obtained by the choices we've made in this life. Who are we to ask church to change its policy or brethren to augment their stance so that we may deviate from God's laws and still qualify for all His blessings? Only the adversary would have us believe we don't have a choice and church teachings are outdated.
I am not usually someone who comments online, but I felt compelled when I read this roundtable.
I am a committed Latter Day Saint and have worked hard to raise kids who are also committed. My daughter jumped through all the hoops--she was a willing participant in early morning seminary, a personal progress graduate, a joy to her leaders and an example to younger girls in our ward. And when she was a teen, she realized that she likes girls, not boys. It took her awhile to feel like she could tell me. Put yourself in her place. Put yourself in my place. It's a lot easier to draw hard lines in the sand when the gay person is theoretical. One of the kindest things I have read was a statement on a Christian web site that reminded parents of gay children that their child's orientation may have been a surprise to them, but it was not a surprise to God.
As homosexuality becomes more visible, are there kids that are experimenting? Probably. But I would suggest that your average LDS teen is keenly aware of everything that is to be lost by doing this. They have sat through all the lessons and the talks. They know. So imagine the pain as it dawns on them that they are the thing that is being roundly condemned. They realize that the very community that has loved and nurtured them might reject them if they are authentic . Because, what does "acting on it" mean? Can a gay teen date, hold hands and kiss someone they like? All this talk about treating people with "same sex attraction" kindly, while at the same time offering them a life alone is hardly comforting. Think about it. One of the central joys of life is human intimacy--and I mean the whole package, of which sex is only a part. I have often heard people say, "well, single Mormons are supposed to be chaste. That is no different than asking gays to do the same." What those people forget, however, is that a single person can hope for a relationship and can keep looking as long as they can bear the dating scene. Not so for a gay person. They are being told that they can never, never have a relationship. EVER.
We are a faith community that spends a lot of time talking about commitment--to the gospel, to covenants, to family, to community. How can more commitment in the world, people loving each other and committing to spend their lives together, be a bad thing? In a world where the marriage rate is plummeting, don't we want more rather than less of it? Criticisms of the gay community have long centered around promiscuity. So let gays get married. Hold them to the same standard of chastity, when single, as heterosexual people. But respect their very real, very heartfelt need for the same family experience that we, as Mormons, value so highly.
I pray numerous times a day that the church I love will have a place for the girl I love. If not, both will lose out.
Thank you for having the courage and wisdom to speak up. Parents need to know how to talk to their children about this difficult subject. It is a fine balance to live gospel principles and embrace those who don't without sending confusing messages to our children. There never has been a time when clear, intelligent and loving discussions are more needed in families - we cannot stick our heads in the sand and hope our children will choose God's path. Sex education is not an option ... my eleven year old granddaughter recently discussed with her mother how she would answer if asked if she is a lesbian. Thank heavens for a mother who could talk calmly and lovingly without losing sight of eternal principles. This article and others are so needed in helping parents know how to discuss sexuality and choices that are before their children.
I applaud those with ssa who are practicing their religious beliefs and remaining chaste and UNMARRIED. I am a heterosexual woman who was married in the temple to a man with SSA. The marriage was miserable and ended in divorce. I would advise anyone with SSA not to marry someone who is heterosexual just because marriage is expected or the person is pressured by others to get married. Far better not to ruin other lives by being dishonest with one's self. I must admit I am one that disagrees totally with the author's views. In fact, I was astonished that anyone who is a clinical psychologist could be so outdated as to think that someone with SSA can "change" those feelings through sheer will power. My experience was horrendous, and I certainly wouldn't want a daughter or granddaughter who is heterosexual to EVER experience this mistaken notion.
Thank you Meridian Magazine for highlighting this issue.The one truth I live every day is that I have chosen to live God's laws about chastity, even though I am over 50 years old and have never been married or have had sex. After all my years of watching friends having sex out side of marriage and experimenting all kinds of sexual behavior, the only true way to be happy in life without any sexual hangups is to live the law of chastity.Following Gods laws are laws of love and happiness.
Don't believe me, then try it for a year and document what happens.
One issue that is seldom being discussed, but that would considerably enrich the debate is the addictive power of sex. How can one accept the principle that the taking of drugs generates addictions, but that sex doesn't and is only limited to the expression of one's nature?Recent scientific studies actually reveal that the type of chemical reactions that take place in the brain when being sexually stimulated are of the same nature as those that take place as a result of the ingestion, injection or inhaling of addictive substances. Some peope even witness that the power of sexual addiction, including through the use of pornography, is harder to break than the use of cocain!Therefore, could it be that the association of sexual pleasure with physical intimacy between people of the same sex does condition someone to believe that he/she was "born" homosexual? Even if this does not apply to all cases, it must be significant enough, it should be made part of the debate on homosexuality.
Thank you Meridian Magazine! Thanks so much for continuing to stand strong as a voice for God's truths despite the overwhelming opposition. It's mind-boggling how far society has strayed from God's simple truths about gender, sexuality, marriage, families. I applaud you for continuing to stand! :)
Thoughtful, carefully worded, and appreciated. Thank you for answering some of the most emotionally charged issues of our day with such kindness, clarity and compassion.
Thank you and the other authors for all of the follow up articles on the original article on teaching heterosexuality. I am grateful that you all and Meridian are willing to stand and be counted and not be intimidated into silence, yet to remain loving at the same time. One commentor here said that many of those who caused or participated in the firestorm were active members of the church. It saddens me to think that we, as members, cannot even have an exchange of ideas on hot topics without tearing each other down or reducing ourselves to worldly standards. If we truly understand the gospel we cannot deny the truth in what was said. Even if the attraction is not a choice, the action is. I am a single person and I am expected to be chaste. I know this and am not going to express hatred for those who dare tell me this.If this makes people angry, then (and I do say this lovingly) I strongly suggest they re-examine the strength of their testimony.
An very important aspect of this discussion that your still missing is that fluidity in attraction doesn't mean that attraction to men or women is willfully chosen at any given time.Also what you fail to acknowledge is the validity of the negative response to your article. Many of the people I know who were horrified by the article aren't gay or even supporters of the "gay agenda." Many of the concerned voices were active members of the Church who have a higher level of sensitivity on this issue than your article portrayed.While your initial article had a few nuggets of truth, you failed to give any context for your article, you didn't identify your use of terms clearly, you gave irrelevant, insensitive, and dangerous examples, and the article was very poorly written.Sexual development is complex and needs to be approached in a way that honors the complexity while still holding to doctrine.
I agree with this message. They can persecute us, they can bind our hands and mouths but that will never change our minds or hearts. I know what God has said. I know His commandments. But I also want SSA people to be happy. I hope they will learn to do both.
Thank you for all of these thoughtful and well written articles today, and for not backing off amidst the ugly backlashing. As a researcher of neuroplasticity, I believe in the new iconic phrase, "neurons that fire together wire together", and that sometimes, in the critical phase of forming a person's sexuality, certain experiences may combine to produce a same sex attraction that seems to have come from birth, but actually occurred at this critical time. Much the same as a man being attracted to his wife who appears quite homely to onlookers, he has had love experiences with her that have wired his neurons together. Difficult as it may be, it is because of this new understanding of neuroplasticity (the brain's ability to change) that a way may soon be found to "rewire" the neurons of those with a same-sex sexual identity who both DESIRE and BELIEVE it can be done. This may be as difficult as treating a stroke victim in the use of a "paralyzed" arm, yet it has been shown to be done via neuroplasticity. Because this issue is fraught with such extreme emotions, it reminds me of Cognitive Dissonance, which the best way to resolve is to get more information. I believe that getting to the real truth (as to the "cause" and "treatment) as well as recognition of agency are underlying principles that can bring peace, even in the midst of controversy.
Thanks so much for clarifying the original article. Despite the "firestorm," I believe it helped many of us readers to better handle this sensitive subject. I know it helped me, and opened my eyes to a new way of approaching the subject with both children and adults. I'm also glad you posted the quote from Elder Christofferson, mentioning that SSA feelings are not a sin--only when acted upon. The LDS belief that ".... the worth of a souls is great in the sight of God" applies to all His children--all of them.
I truly appreciate this article. It was written out of love and understanding of the situation we're in today as we navigate the world we've all come into. I, personally have never had a problem with those that choose the gay or lesbian lifestyle. I was exposed to it through family and neighbors all my life. I know God's laws and I practice them for myself alone. Unless asked, I don't impose it on others. I think though what we're seeing in society is a real reversal or events, as usually happens when a new law or set of laws come into existence; the pendulum swings the other way. Where those in the LGBT lifestyle for many years have been persecuted and misunderstood for their choices,they are now choosing to do the persecuting, along with those that support the changes. The LGBT equal rights movement is bringing out every bloodthirsty lawyer who wants to make a big buck. In the wake, many who only want to live a Christian lifestyle are being black-balled, taken to court, and having businesses shut down due to THEIR personal choices. Schools have jumped on the bandwagon and decided it's not enough to just teach the Three R's, but they now insist they should also step into the shoes of the parents and help children learn about sexuality - both their own and others. I think the whole matter stems from a lack of spiritual training in the home. Less and less families are training their children from the perspective of God and His laws. If we truly love our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and our neighbor as yourself, all these matters would take care of themselves.
British social anthropologist Joseph Daniel Unwin studied Roman, Greek, Sumerian, Moorish, Babylonian, and Anglo-Saxon and 80 primitive cultures. He noted in his study of these 86 civilizations, any society that devalued the nuclear family soon lost what he called "expansive energy," which might best be summarized as society's will to make things better for the next generation. In fact, no society that has loosened sexual morality outside of man-woman marriage has survived.
Analyzing studies of cultures spanning several thousands of years on several continents, Chairman of Harvard University’s sociology department, Pitirim Sorokin, found that virtually all political revolutions that brought about societal collapse were preceded by a sexual revolution in which marriage and family were devalued by the culture’s acceptance of homosexuality.
More recently in 2012, Professor Mark Regnerus of the University of Texas completed a study which found children from heterosexual parents had superior outcomes compared with children from any other parenting.
Thank you for standing up for God's truth. A well written article.
My compliments on the clarity of this article. And on your resolve to continue to proclaim gospel truths.
I read the first article....and responded..I haven't read this entire article..it is hard to deal with this. I have relatives who are homosexual and two have acted on it...their parents feel despair because they are afraid for their souls. both of these men pray and believe in God. they don't understand how this could happen and according to them they choose to have a partner in their lives. I feel for their parents because it saddens them. but they keep a good relationship with them and love them dearly...
I love the gospel and I love my homosexual friends. I think I can do both without issue.
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