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Ssa Questions

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According to my understanding, a member of the LDS Church who happens to be attracted to the same sex may remain in good standing and be eligible for every ordinance and/or blessing as long as he/she does not act on those impulses.

Suppose you have a daughter who is engaged to be married in the temple. You happen to discover that her fiancee has struggled with SSA his entire life. You also happen to discover that his parents know about his SSA.

Does your daughter have the right to know about his SSA?

If your daughter does have the right to know about his SSA, who should be the person to tell her?

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Why do the parents assume the daughter isn't already fully aware?

Edited by nackhadlow

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Why do the parents assume the daughter isn't already fully aware?

The daughter has never said anything about it, so the parents don't know if she knows (sounds like an episode of Friends).

Edited by Thinking

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Know of a similar case:

She was fully aware. Guess what: we all have our favorite temptations.

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The daughter has never said anything about it, so the parents don't know if she knows (sounds like an episode of Friends).

The parents should address it, as gently and sensitively as possible, and after the yelling and screaming subsides, she will either never speak to them again or not.

Is that what you wanted to hear?

Sometimes you have to do what you have to do as a parent, and not be a buddy.

Edited by mfbukowski

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I would be concerned if my daughter didn't know, since i personally feel that something like that should be disclosed before the person suffering from it asks (or accepts) a proposal of marriage. I would be concerned with a fiance who didn't feel the need to tell an intended that such a struggle exists for them.

I think that i would probably tell my daughter what i had learned so that she could make a decision with all the information. Not because i would feel that her fiance wasn't worthy of her, but because i would want to give her marriage every opportunity to succeed.

I don't think a marriage that begins with major secrets is a good thing and i can't see myself knowingly allowing someone i love to enter a marriage where i knew more about their soon-to-be spouses weaknesses than they did.

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I had a mission comp. who has SSA and he didn't tell his fiancees and now 11 years later and two failed marriages later I think the third one is a keeper! Plus I suspect he told her but didn't with the two others.

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According to my understanding, a member of the LDS Church who happens to be attracted to the same sex may remain in good standing and be eligible for every ordinance and/or blessing as long as he/she does not act on those impulses.

Suppose you have a daughter who is engaged to be married in the temple. You happen to discover that her fiancee has struggled with SSA his entire life. You also happen to discover that his parents know about his SSA.

Does your daughter have the right to know about his SSA?

If your daughter does have the right to know about his SSA, who should be the person to tell her?

They should talk about it. They should also have some idea how they are doing to deal with it. Hoping it will just go away did not work for Carol Lynn Pearson (whose husband died of AIDS, as recounted in Goodbye, I Love You), or her daughter Emily,(whose first husband wrote the lengthy one man play, Confessions of a Mormon Boy). On the other hand, some have made it work quite successfully, obviously because they tried something other than "hoping it will go away."

I would suggest before getting married, they try reading those accounts and talking about them. But I also wouldn't stop there. I suggest something like Don't Call it Love, by Patrick Carnes, or 30 Days to Hope and Freedom by Milton Magnus. Both on sex addiction. And yes I know that gays will say, "same sex attraction is not the same as sex addiction." But they are not mutually exclusive, as seems obvious in reading the forgoing accounts. (Or perhaps dopamine and other involved biochemicals only affect heterosexual brains, leaving homosexuals utterly free of obsessive behavior patterns.) And if addiction is present, a 12 step approach can not only help deal with it, but recovery actually heals the brain, shrinking the affected area of the mid-brain, and producing growth in the cortex, where the decision making capacity ought to function to make sex optional, a choice, not a chronic compulsive need that fits the famous A.A. description as "cunning, baffling, and powerful." For an addict, the enlarged area of the mid-brain changed by increased dopamine demands is the locus of addiction as experiences a need equivalent to survival, which is why Carnes says that a core belief (and diagnotic key) of sex addicts is that "Sex is my most important need." The recovery process is not about learning to control or brow-beat desire into submission or lock in manacles, but actual healing, including physiological changes that show up in the brain scans of people in recovery. It takes about 90 days for recovery tasks to start cutting new neural pathways, which means that "this is just the way I am thinking" is conditional upon not making the effort that brings actual change. The whole healing process takes a few years.

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

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According to my understanding, a member of the LDS Church who happens to be attracted to the same sex may remain in good standing and be eligible for every ordinance and/or blessing as long as he/she does not act on those impulses.

Suppose you have a daughter who is engaged to be married in the temple. You happen to discover that her fiancee has struggled with SSA his entire life. You also happen to discover that his parents know about his SSA.

Does your daughter have the right to know about his SSA?

If your daughter does have the right to know about his SSA, who should be the person to tell her?

Yes she should know, and anyone who knows should tell her, most appropriately the fiancee, but anyone else would do. How she is told should be in a spirit of love and respect.

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If your daughter does have the right to know about his SSA, who should be the person to tell her?

yes your child has the right know what struggles she might face. Who is the right person to tell her, the parents who have been given her care and keeping.

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According to my understanding, a member of the LDS Church who happens to be attracted to the same sex may remain in good standing and be eligible for every ordinance and/or blessing as long as he/she does not act on those impulses.

Suppose you have a daughter who is engaged to be married in the temple. You happen to discover that her fiancee has struggled with SSA his entire life. You also happen to discover that his parents know about his SSA.

Does your daughter have the right to know about his SSA?

If your daughter does have the right to know about his SSA, who should be the person to tell her?

Yes, I think a person has a right to know if a potential marriage partner is strongly attracted to people of their same gender.

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And if addiction is present, a 12 step approach can not only help deal with it, but recovery actually heals the brain, shrinking the affected area of the mid-brain, and producing growth in the cortex, where the decision making capacity ought to function to make sex optional, a choice, not a chronic compulsive need that fits the famous A.A. description as "cunning, baffling, and powerful."

Are you referring to helping the spouse with same-gender attraction, or the heterosexual one?

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If I were the parent who found out, then I would contact the person who had ssa and ask if s/he had fully disclosed this to fiance', and if not tell him/her that I would do it, if they didn't within 24 hours. It is one of those things that a partner has a right to know in order to give informed consent to the marriage. If it is not disclosed then in my view there would be fraud in the inducement of the marriage. Now fiance' may tell you that your child knows, in which case I would tell him/her that he/she needs to tell daughter to come to you and tell you she knows within that same 24 hours. The question isn't whether s/he is worthy, it is that failure to disclose something that is this big about what a person feels and thinks, and which will require specific attention, is dishonest and almost guarantees that when it is eventually discovered will fell like betrayal to the spouse that was unaware. It would be like marrying someone without telling him you'd had a previous hysterectomy and couldn't have children.

If my child asked me about such a marriage (or I was forced to tell him/her about the ssa), I would tell them that it is a big struggle that some couples can work through and have happy and successful longterm relationships. That only s/he knows whether he/she is willing and able to walk this road with him/her. That if s/he is willing, then you will be fully willing to be supportive and never bring up the subject again and never discuss it with anyone but your spouse. That you can see the good in the fiance and you believe the atonement can heal even this. And I would also say that if s/he needed more time to think and pray about it, you would have no problem helping call the guests to postpone the wedding. And if she doesn't need more time, that is okay too, you're looking forward to celebrating her marriage with her/him.

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It should be discussed, by the daughter and the fiance. I would tell the daughter, but make no judgement on her decision, it is her choice, a long as she is aware then it remains her choice.

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Ideally her fiance should tell her. A parent should approach the subject with a great deal of care. But she should know the chances for a happy successful marriage are not good. The decision is ultimately up to her to make.

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Nothing should be kept secret. Everything relevant should be vented prior to marriage.  If not, stuff will come up later. Further, you want the person you're marrying to know YOU, and if they really love you, and want YOU, then they will be perfectly able to accept and love you as you are, if they are the right person for you. People have all kinds of crosses they must bear.

Don't be selfish and shortsighted and think you really must marry that person, etc., and they won't marry you if they know. Because if it's something that can affect the marriage, then it needs to be told. Your spouse has a right to know the crosses that might effect the marriage, such as if you have control of that cross, etc.

There is one other possible exception. If your cross, such as SSA has no real power over you, then it may not be necessary to reveal.

For example, a person can have a terrible cross that they bear, but they control it fully, and under no circumstances allow an opportunity or allow themselves to give in to opportunity to engage in that sin. In other words, if you for example say you will never commit adultery, and that law is written in your heart mind and soul to never break, even though you may have a cross of lusting after women, there may be no need or reason to reveal that cross to your spouse or future spouse.

So, if a cross has power over you, then that is something that can effect the spouse and children. But, if the cross is well locked, and you know how to keep it well locked, by living the Gospel, then it may not be necessary to reveal your cross, such as a SSA. We must know ourselves, and go to the Lord in this as to what to do. This is not one size fits all.

Edited by ldsfaqs

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According to my understanding, a member of the LDS Church who happens to be attracted to the same sex may remain in good standing and be eligible for every ordinance and/or blessing as long as he/she does not act on those impulses.

Suppose you have a daughter who is engaged to be married in the temple. You happen to discover that her fiancee has struggled with SSA his entire life. You also happen to discover that his parents know about his SSA.

Does your daughter have the right to know about his SSA?

If your daughter does have the right to know about his SSA, who should be the person to tell her?

This sounds more like a time to have a father-son-in-law talk. Then I would come to know if it has already been discussed with my daughter, confirm that his is something both parties are committed to, and give him a blessing and our committment to support him in his choice. His path will be a difficult one and many would say it will be an unsuccessful venture, but they both have the right to try and make it work together with eyes wide open. It might even be a good time to have a frank discussion with a qualified marriage counselor.

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Let's change the scenario. Now suppose your child is the one with SSA who is engaged to be married. Does this change your opinion of what communication should happen before the marriage?

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Let's change the scenario. Now suppose your child is the one with SSA who is engaged to be married. Does this change your opinion of what communication should happen before the marriage?

No. The fiancee should know, and anyone who knows should tell him/her, most appropriately my child, but anyone else would do. How the fiancee is told should be in a spirit of love and respect.

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I would feel the same way, honesty must be at the beginning, in the heart, and in the foundation of marriage.

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Let's change the scenario. Now suppose your child is the one with SSA who is engaged to be married. Does this change your opinion of what communication should happen before the marriage?

Absolutely not. Why would you think it would?

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Absolutely not. Why would you think it would?

Perspective can affect how a person acts. I would be interested to know if anybody on this board has been on either side of the described situation.

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Perspective can affect how a person acts. I would be interested to know if anybody on this board has been on either side of the described situation.

Thankfully I have not had this exact situation; however, my experience has been in a position to counsel married men that were coming to a conclusion they were gay and felt it necessary to pursue that way of life. I can think of nothing so difficult, so grueling or painful for all involved. There are no easy answers to theses situations. My best advice is to be as honest as possible.

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Let's change the scenario. Now suppose your child is the one with SSA who is engaged to be married. Does this change your opinion of what communication should happen before the marriage?

Nope of course not!

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I have seen how failure to disclose ssa played out IRL. The bride in this case received spiritual confirmation several times that something wasn't right, but thought that she should marry anyway (the last impression came in the temple itself). Ten years and 6 six kiddos later, dh has found the ssa-underground in city with huge LDS population and been told by people who described themselves as currently serving ssa-sp, eqp (he is too), and bishop who attend such gatherings that it is really okay, that someday going to be alright with the church to act on the feelings. Does. Resists dealing with symptoms of cancer, thinking they are related to what he has been doing so is too far along by the time dx'd. Gets six months to figure it out,talk it out, make it right with spouse, repent, and die. Not enough time really, but finally lots of stuff makes more sense. And he understands fully how he got lured off track, and wishes he had disclosed so spouse could have helped him see edge of the cliff and that he was getting near it. (Spouse admits probably wouldn't have gone through with wedding.)

Pretty substantial catch 22.

ETA

In what had to have been one of the most good things I have ever witnessed, spouse invited the other man (not LDS) (whom she once had simply known as a friend of dh's) to participate fully in the viewing and funeral (without disclosing to anyone his "place"). The man had not told most of his family the whole truth. Most of spouse's family also does not know.

It was around that time that I found "In Quiet Desperation", the four or five middle chapters of which are among the best I've ever read explanation of how the atonement really works.

Edited by rpn

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