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About smac97

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    My name is Spencer Macdonald

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  1. Treat gay people as a race.

    I am reminded of this riddle attributed to Abraham Lincoln: Thanks, -Smac
  2. Treat gay people as a race.

    ↑ the above was in response to "- would you want to marry someone who was gay? " Yes. I am heterosexual. I would not want to be married to a woman who was not sexually attracted to me, and was instead sexually attracted to other women. Is this problematic, in your view? Unless, of course, what is being counseled reflects God's plan for us (which, despite much noise to the contrary, does not include same-sex marriage). Then that's not "sad." Difficult? Yes. But obedience to God is never "sad," particularly in light of promises such as is found in 1 Corinthian 2:9: This, of course, should be taken in tandem with scriptures such as John 14:15: And D&C 121: And Matthew 25:21: The Latter-day Saints profess to be playing the long game. This life is "but a small moment." Difficult, to be sure, but we need to endure. If we do, "eye hat not seen, nor ear heard..." Thanks, -Smac
  3. Treat gay people as a race.

    I'm not speaking about that sort of conformity. I think many people have let themselves be bullied or shamed to goaded into conforming to a specific point of view about things like same-sex marriage. Conformity is the order of the day. If you do, you're an "ally." If you don't, you're a bigot and homophobe. Yes, it is. "Chastity" means "refraining from sexual intercourse that is regarded as contrary to morality or religion; virtuous." In an LDS context, the Law of Chastity allows for sexual behavior between a husband and wife. That's all. All other forms of sexual conduct are prohibited. But not the LDS teachings about it. So you must be okay with group marriages. And polygamy. And incestuous marriages. Marriage has, until very recently, been defined as the association based on the attributes of those people, including A) gender (a man and a woman), B) number (two people), C) age (this one varies by jurisdiction a bit), D) mental capacity, E) consent (no coerced marriages), F) consanguinity and G) species (no human / non-human marriages). Since the Supreme Court has decided that the constitution mandates tossing out one attribute as a defining element of marriage (gender), then it would seem all of the others can be constitutionally tossed out as well. In other words, same-sex marriage was a radical re-definition of one of the bedrocks of society. I can understand and respect your generalized perspective about the parameters of marriage. It would be nice if you could find a way to reciprocate those sentiments for people whose principled views differ from your own. I can understand your perspective. I hope you can likewise understand ours. We believe that Christ's church is important. It is analogized in the New Testament to being akin to a bride, with Christ as the Bridegroom. "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it." (Eph. 5:25) In the LDS paradigm, the Church, as a community, is very important. To be sure, it is not a substitute for each of us having a personal relationship with God, but it is clearly a necessary component of it. The Church houses the Lord's priesthood, and administers His saving ordinances, and is led by His servants. Or it could be that many different denominations were the result of a loss of the leadership and priesthood authority when Peter and the other apostles were all scattered and killed. This loss led to confusion and disagreement, and hence factionalization and division. Hence the need for a restoration. I dont' believe the LDS Church is merely an "earthly organization." And we certainly are not supposed to be "puppets" to it. I agree. "And it is given unto them to know good from evil; wherefore they are agents unto themselves." (Moses 6:56). However, you seem to be advocating a sort of anarchistic, anything-goes, do-whatever-you-want, if-it-feels-good-do-it approach. With respect, I have never found that to be a viable or enduring approach to discipleship. I think there is necessarily an external and higher authority to which we must submit, as otherwise there is no "right" or "wrong," and each person becomes a law unto himself. So yes, we certainly need to "think for ourselves," but we don't get to make the rules as we go along, or to cherry pick only those which are convenient and comfortable to us. Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously observed that "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts." I think somethign similar must be said of discipleship. Faith in Jesus Christ must be based on something more objective and external than each individual's personally-crafted opinions. Thanks, -Smac
  4. Treat gay people as a race.

    Revealed by who? By Jesus Christ, to His servants. I wish you the best as you seek out how to proceed. I disagree that the Law of Chastity is a doctrine of men, or that it is juxtaposed against "principles of love." Doctrines of men would be more along the lines of if-it-feels-good-do-it. The Law of Chastity teaches us to resist sin, to constrain our behaviors to the parameters set by God. We don't do ourselves any favors by ignoring the Law of Chastity. That's not a "principle of love" at all. So do I. Hence we have the Savior's exhortation in John 14:15: "If ye love me, keep my commandments." And more: Sexual licentiousness is, in my fiew, not compatible with obedience to God's commandments, and is instead a demonstration of disobedience to God. It was Jesus Himself who connects love of God to objedience to God's commandments. Thanks, -Smac
  5. Treat gay people as a race.

    It is not complicated - if it is just, loving, merciful - then I'm all for it. So am I. The Law of Chastity as taught by the LDS Church is, in my view, "just, loving [and] merciful." It restricts sexual behavior to the parameters set by God. If followed, there would be no rape or other forms of sexual abuse, no STIs, no unwanted pregnancies, much fewer elective abortions, no adultery, and on and on and on. So does that settle the matter? Or are things about to become . . . "complicated?" Indeed. But there's more than that, right? It's not like there is a spiritual free-for-all, where we are all at liberty to craft doctrines to our personal likings and preferences. That would be a doctrinal cacophany. Anarchy. Confusion. This is why Joseph Smith had the First Vision in 1820, and the subsequent events which led to the restoration of priesthood authority, access to revelation, and so on. So we have scriptures. And prophetic authority and revelation. And personal revelation, to be sure. It is possible that we as individuals can become confused or misguided, hence the tremendous value of the "reality check" that come from assessing our personal opinions to see if they are in accordance with the scriptures and with the teachings of modern prophets and apostles. I am grateful for that, particularly in the era of you-must-either-endorse-and-embrace-homosexual-behavior-and-relationships-without-exception-or-else-we-will-brand-you-a-bigot-and-a-hater-and-ridicule-and-profane-things-you-hold-sacred. I've had the following quote in my sig line for some years now: "'Conformity' is doing what everybody else is doing, regardless of what is right. 'Morality' is doing what is right, regardless of what everybody else is doing." I invite you to look at our society and see "what everybody else is doing." I also invite you to consider the possibility that the leaders of the Church are correct in teaching the Law of Chastity, such that obeying it is "right, regardless of whate everybody else is doing." I quite agree. And through prophets and apostles. That's what we believe, anyway. Probably not. Hence the importance of discerning if the Church's truth claims are what they claim to be. I follow my own conscience, but I also recognize that it is not a perfect barometer of right and wrong. Sometimes my biases and prejudices get in the way. Sometimes the teachings of men get in the way. What is "common-sense morality?" To me, it is the Law of Chastity as taught by the LDS Church. Indeed. Romans 10 comes to mind (again): I think substituting "God's righteousness" with something else is something we call are at risk of doing. Hence the value of having living prophets and apostles. Thanks, -Smac
  6. Treat gay people as a race.

    I think it is significant that you think obedience to God as an LDS characteristic is "unfair." Actually, "obedient sheep" vis-à-vis our relationship to God is not "unfair." It is what we aspire to achieve, actually. So . . . mindreading. You are faulting Mormons for things you can't possibly know. Yes, I acknowledge that. Okay. So how do you propose that we discern "what God wants?" I think we should read the scriptures, listen to living prophets and apostles, and otherwise give the matter real study and effort and prayer. Are you open to the possiblity that the leaders of the Church are substantively "right" in their understanding and implementation of doctrines and policies regarding homosexual behavior and gay people? Yes, that can be difficult. But then, it is also "actually difficult is standing up for your own moral conscience, even when doing so means openly disagreeing with" popular notions, including when doing so runs the risk of being maligned and insulted and slandered by people like you. I believe the same thing. Really? And if members' opinions embrace what is being taught by the Church rather than what is being taught by people like you, you'd be okay with that? Thanks, -Smac
  7. Treat gay people as a race.

    Yes. And that mandate, we believe, comes from God. So we are not at liberty to deviate from it whenever we choose. Certainly not. We are all brothers and sisters, after all. I want them to be saved. But salvation is based on obedience to God. We don't get to re-define what God wants us to do. We don't get to pick and choose. Romans 10 seems very appropriate here: I, too, hope that our gay brothers and sisters "might be saved." But salvation does not happen when people are "ignorant of God’s righteousness," and instead are "going about to establish their own righteousness, hav[ing] not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God." The Law of Chastity is a fairly important part of "the righteousness of God." We are not at liberty to go about and establish our own version of it. My child, being an adult, would not need my permission. So it's not a matter of what I would or would not "allow." I would obey the Law of Chastity. That means no sex except as between a husband and wife. I know many, many people in the Church who are single. Widowed. Divorced. Never married. They can and do lead lives with much richness and value. No. This is not a matter of "culture." It's a matter of revealed doctrine. And "LGBT people" have the same access to salvation as the rest of us. To suggest otherwise . . . is wrong. Thanks, -Smac
  8. Treat gay people as a race.

    I’m talking about people born gay who live authentically. What does "live authentically" mean? Not at all. The Priesthood Ban operated to deny the priesthood and entry to the temple based solely on ancestry. A black person could not, through behavior and choices in life, gain entry to the temple or receive the priesthood. So "black lifestyle" (whatever that means) did not factor in at all. In contrast, someone who has same-sex attraction, but who chooses to not act upon it, and instead obeys and keeps the Law of Chastity, is fully able, through behavior and choices in life, to gain entry to the temple and receive the priesthood. I have no idea what you mean by "black lifestyle." I didn't know there as such a thing. Thanks, -Smac
  9. Treat gay people as a race.

    Homosexuality is no more a choice than heterosexuality is. Bluebell is speaking of a "homosexual lifestyle." "Lifestyle" means "the habits, attitudes, tastes, moral standards, economic level, etc., that together constitute the mode of living of an individual or group." "Homosexuality" can refer to "sexual desire or behavior directed toward a person or persons of one's own sex." I think Bluebell distinguishes a latent, not-acted-upon, it's-just-there "sexual desire" ("homosexuality") from behavior (sexual activity with someone of the same sex). The former is generally construed as not being a "choice," but the latter plainly and unequivocally is a "choice." Thanks, -Sac
  10. Treat gay people as a race.

    A revelation saying what? I don't think so. The "policy on gay people" pertains to sexual behavior (prohibiting same-sex behavior) and is in accordance with scriptures and with continuing revelation through modern prophets and apostles, the same way the Church has scripture-based policies on other forms of sexual behavior (prohibiting adultery, fornication, and otherwise restricting sexual behavior to only between husband and wife). What sort of "change" do you have in mind, and why do you think such a change would be a good thing? Thanks, -Smac
  11. Treat gay people as a race.

    You manifestly are presuming something. You presume that the Church's stance on homosexual behavior is - in your words - "erroneous." This is an assertion, not a statement of fact. Again, reasonable minds can disagree about whether homosexual behavior is compatible with discipleship in the Restored Gospel, wouldn't you agree? Thanks, -Smac
  12. Treat gay people as a race.

    What sort of "disavowal" are you anticipating? You are presuming that which has yet to be demonstrated, namely, that the Church is on an "erroneous path." You have asserted this, that's all. You aren't even trying to demonstrate or argue for it. Reasonable minds can disagree about whether homosexual behavior is compatible with discipleship, wouldn't you agree? No, not the same. Apples and oranges. Apples and baseballs, more like. Both are round and can be thrown, but they are otherwise very, very different. So it is with the Priesthood Ban (which, AFAIK, lacks a known revelatory provenance) and the Church's teachings on same-sex behavior (which has ample scriptural support and ongoing revelatory guidance from those in authority). Thanks, -Smac
  13. Treat gay people as a race.

    These are just taunts. Do you have anything substantive to say?
  14. Treat gay people as a race.

    No. The Church's "stance" in sexual orientation and behavior has really improved in the last several years, but I don't think it is going to change substantively. The Sexual Revolution has not changed the Church's teachings on extra-marital sex. Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey has not changed the Church's teachings on abortion. Obergefell v. Hodges has not changed the Church's teachings on same-sex marriage. FWIW, I disagree that the Church's stance on same-sex attraction and its constellation of associated issues is erroneous. To the contrary, I think its stance is substantively correct and good and reflective of truth and God's will. Thanks, -Smac
  15. Prop 8

    Yes, some things need to change. But checking out of marriage and society, while understandable to some extent, is not the way to go. Huh? The system needs fixing and improvement. Such nihilism doesn't help. I don't expect that. I am a man, after all. I think that's a great idea. MGTOW does not accomplish that, though. I'm not understanding your reasoning at all. Thanks, -Smac