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Variety: LDS Musician Confronts His Church’s LGBT Stance in New Sundance Documentary

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19 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

There are heterosexual people in the Church who wish and hope to be married but, for whatever reason and through no fault of their own, will not have that blessing in mortality. They are under no condemnation. Moreover, they have the promise that the blessing will be granted to them in the hereafter.

Key difference is heterosexual singles always have the hope and option to be married to someone they are attracted to.  And the emphasis is on getting married.  I can't imagine how hard it is to be single in the church as I got married in my mid 20s, but for those I've spoken with it is quite difficult, and they feel marginalized or forgotten much of the time.  

But gay people have no hope for a marriage in this life that is compatible with church teachings.  So this is a huge difference, there is no option for gay people to marry a person they are attracted to.  

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14 minutes ago, Bernard Gui said:

Are there any other behavioral exceptions to the law of chastity or the LDS doctrine of marriage that need to be reinterpreted?

Well, for one, the LDS definition of the "law of chastity" is an interpretation in the first place.  Its a cobbling together of a multitude of disparate passages, traditions, and interpretations of various scriptures.  It also has evolved and been interpreted and emphasized differently over our relatively short Mormon historical timeline.  

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These specific statements seem to be at odds with one another-

“If the leaders aren’t going to change their teachings, then it’s the members who have to say, ‘this doesn’t feel right, and we’re not okay with this,’” he says.

“A great thing about Mormonism is that they believe...that God still talks to the prophets..."

It sounds like he's saying that even though the premise of the mormon church is that God leads the prophet, if members don't like something the prophet teaches, they have to do what they can to change it.  

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12 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Well, for one, the LDS definition of the "law of chastity" is an interpretation in the first place.  Its a cobbling together of a multitude of disparate passages, traditions, and interpretations of various scriptures.  It also has evolved and been interpreted and emphasized differently over our relatively short Mormon historical timeline.  

Yes. The emphasis on legal marriage is only possible in a post polygamy church. And of course in the scriptures no one was going down to the courthouse to get a license.

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46 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Not really, the church says you have to get married, and is constantly telling the single people to get married.  That's because the theology says you have to be married to make it into the celestial kingdom. 

This is not true.  Doctrine and Covenants 131 1-2 explains that

"In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;

And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];"

Those who have not married can obtain the celestial kingdom, just not the highest degree.

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13 hours ago, bluebell said:

I was disappointed that he described the church’s position as teaching that “being gay is a sin.”

He lost me there. 

While I understand that it's a HUGE difference to active Mormons and some/many Christians, I think that the difference between "being gay is a sin" vs. "ACTING on one's gay urges is a sin" is a distinction without a difference to most non-Mormons/non-Christians.  The reason for that is a) Christ taught that even lusting after someone else in one's heart/mind is sinful, and b) even if we were to consider that opposite-sex desires aren't inherently sinful, man/woman marriage still provides a vehicle that allows the vast majority of people the opportunity to enter into a relationship where such desires are not only allowed, they're viewed to be God-given gifts and encouraged.  "Being straight" is viewed with favor and sexual desires and expressions are God-approved... whereas "being gay" is universally viewed to be a malady/maladaptation/thorn of the flesh which will likely/needs to be 'corrected' at some point, whether in this life or the next. 

Given that context, and the audience Reynolds was addressing, I don't think it's disingenuous for Reynolds to use that phrase as he did.  I don't interpret Reynolds use of that phrase as an attempt to deliberately misrepresent the position of the LDS Church so much as he was using language that reflects the views of his intended audience (which, in this case, was clearly non-believers), and most of whom I speak with feel it's a distinction without a difference.

Of course, I don't expect that all will disagree with me, but everyone is more than welcome to keep promoting a view that his comments were inaccurate, provide the context you feel makes a compelling difference, and try to convince others the distinction is real.

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1 hour ago, hope_for_things said:

Not really,

Yes, really.

1 hour ago, hope_for_things said:

the church says you have to get married, and is constantly telling the single people to get married. 

That sounds like . . . an explanation (or part of it, anyway).

1 hour ago, hope_for_things said:

That's because the theology says you have to be married to make it into the celestial kingdom. 

Yes.  That is the doctrine.  The doctrine provides some insights and explanations.  There is more than this, however.

1 hour ago, hope_for_things said:

Being gay is the only legitimate kind of celibacy in mortality, 

This is not correct.  Marriage between a man and a woman is the only legitimate venue for sexual activity.  That means everyone outside of that venue is obligated to remain celibate.

1 hour ago, hope_for_things said:

and there is no articulation that I'm aware of for how gay people will live in the next life. 

"That I'm aware of" being the operative phrase here.

1 hour ago, hope_for_things said:

If they have explained this officially, I would love to hear about it, but I can't recall any explanations.  

I wish you well in your studies.  There is guidance on this subject.

Thanks,

-Smac

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9 hours ago, kiwi57 said:

 

9 hours ago, kiwi57 said:

The "younger generation" aren't simply going to "assume leadership." They will be called into positions of leadership, as they demonstrate, inter alia, (1)  courage to stand for truth and righteousness when such a stand is unpopular with the world, (2) an understanding and acceptance of core LDS doctrine, including (but not limited to)  the Plan of Salvation, Eternal Families and Eternal Marriage. I've capitalized these because they are absolutely core and absolutely key doctrines - and they absolutely require opposite-sex marriage.

Sorry.

But if it makes you feel better to imagine that a religious dilettante whose doctrinal knowledge starts and ends in three chords represents the "wave of the future," then please don't let any serious thinking slow you down.

 It's not about whether something will make me feel better or not--my feelings are irrelevant. 

The LDS Church has a history of caving and changing it's previous doctrines in light of social change; it's not unique in that regard--EVERY institution does, in order to adapt and survive.

The Church has changed before, and assuming it continues to endure, will have to change on this issue in order to remain relevant.

What you see as a small band of antagonistic and self-centered misfits who want the church to change from the bottom up and who will be ineligible to lead represent the minority today, but in a decade or two, they will represent the majority, and ultimately, the super majority.  People will continue to see that gays and lesbians can form loving, committed families, can be as capable parents as our straight counterparts, and can be valuable, contributing members of our communities, churches, civic organizations, and groups.

 

Edited by Daniel2
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9 hours ago, Bernard Gui said:

 

I hope his message is not that the Law of Chastity no longer pertains, but it sure seems that to be precisely that.

In the interests of keeping Reynolds' views grounded in what he's actually saying instead of unfounded conjecture, I don't see any evidence that he is suggesting doing away with all standards related to chastity, but seems probable he doesn't agree with a) prohibiting ANY/ALL expressions of intimacy between at least some same-sex couples, and b) how those standards are implemented

Edited by Daniel2
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42 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Key difference is heterosexual singles always have the hope and option to be married to someone they are attracted to.  And the emphasis is on getting married.  I can't imagine how hard it is to be single in the church as I got married in my mid 20s, but for those I've spoken with it is quite difficult, and they feel marginalized or forgotten much of the time.  

But gay people have no hope for a marriage in this life that is compatible with church teachings.  So this is a huge difference, there is no option for gay people to marry a person they are attracted to.  

It is kind of like "love ye one another...but not you two!!:(

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1 hour ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I understand your meaning and agree with it.

However, as is so often the case, definitions are crucial here. If what he means by "being gay" is engaging in homosexual behavior, he is correct.

I suspect he intentionally muddles the point, since publicly condemning the Church because it declares a state of being (as in "being" gay or having same-sex attraction) as "sinful" is quite a bit more difficult when the the truth is acknowledged, namely, that it is actions that are sinful.

Mischaracterization through muddling.

Thanks,

-Smac

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28 minutes ago, Daniel2 said:

While I understand that it's a HUGE difference to active Mormons and some/many Christians, I think that the difference between "being gay is a sin" vs. "ACTING on one's gay urges is a sin" is a distinction without a difference to most non-Mormons/non-Christians. 

I guess it depends on what his goal was with the article/project.

If he's trying to reach mormons, then the distinction is important and he hurts his cause by pretending it's not for that audience.  If he's trying to accurately describe the church's teachings on the subject, then the distinction is also important and he calls into question his motives/integrity by pretending that it's not.

If he doesn't care about reaching mormons and he also doesn't care if nonmembers have any idea what the church actually teaches on the subject, then I agree, it's probably a distinction without a difference.

 

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38 minutes ago, smac97 said:

"That I'm aware of" being the operative phrase here.

I wish you well in your studies.  There is guidance on this subject.

Thanks,

-Smac

If there is an articulation about what happens to gay people in the next life that is officially from the church, can you please point me in that direction.  I haven't heard one and I'm interested.  

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20 minutes ago, smac97 said:

There are many heterosexuals who are so situated as to also be unable to marry.

It is a difference of degree, not kind.

Thanks,

-Smac

Its a huge difference in degree, and I believe a difference in kind as well.  A gay person according to Mormon teachings will be unable to marry a person they are attracted to, either in this life or in the next life.  Where a celibate heterosexual will be able to be married to a person they are attracted to in the next life presumably.  

I asked what the church's position is for gay people in the next life, and I'm really hoping you can answer it.  I haven't ever heard one expressed in recent years, unless you want to go way back to some older statements by leaders from a few generations back, but like the blacks and the priesthood topic, I don't consider those speculations to be church doctrine on the subject. 

Edited by hope_for_things

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36 minutes ago, Daniel2 said:

While I understand that it's a HUGE difference to active Mormons and some/many Christians, I think that the difference between "being gay is a sin" vs. "ACTING on one's gay urges is a sin" is a distinction without a difference to most non-Mormons/non-Christians. 

I don't think that's a fair statement of what "most" people believe.  To the contrary, I think "most" people comprehend the distinction between thought and deed, between impulse and action, between feelings and behaviors.

36 minutes ago, Daniel2 said:

The reason for that is a) Christ taught that even lusting after someone else in one's heart/mind is sinful,

Correct.  So "lusting" is not the same as "being gay" (or heterosexual, for that matter).  "Lusting" appears to be more a matter of volition.  Choice.

Conflating "lust" with sexual orientation does not help your position.  This is not a "reason" that explains your "distinction without a difference" claim.

36 minutes ago, Daniel2 said:

and b) even if we were to consider that opposite-sex desires aren't inherently sinful, man/woman marriage still provides a vehicle that allows the vast majority of people the opportunity to enter into a relationship where such desires are not only allowed, they're viewed to be God-given gifts and encouraged. 

Yes.  God has authorized marriage between a man and a woman.  He has not authorized marriage between persons of the same sex.

This is not a "reason" that explains your "distinction without a difference" claim.

36 minutes ago, Daniel2 said:

"Being straight" is viewed with favor and sexual desires and expressions are God-approved...

Yes.  But "being straight" isn't the end of it.  A person can "be straight" and fornicate or commit adultery or commit rape or some other form of sexual abuse.  None of these behaviors - despite being manifested by a "straight" person - "are God-approved."

This is not a "reason" that explains your "distinction without a difference" claim.  To the contrary, it strengthen's the LDS Church's position, which states that it is actions which are sinful.

36 minutes ago, Daniel2 said:

whereas "being gay" is universally viewed to be a malady/maladaptation/thorn of the flesh which will likely/needs to be 'corrected' at some point, whether in this life or the next. 

Well, no.  I don't think the LDS Church recognizes sexual orientation as a state of "being."  And the Church does not condemn anyone for merely having a sexual attraction to persons of the same sex.

36 minutes ago, Daniel2 said:

Given that context,

Nope.  We can't take that context as a "given."  it is not an accurate representation of the LDS Church's doctrines and teachings on this point.

36 minutes ago, Daniel2 said:

and the audience Reynolds was addressing, I don't think it's disingenuous for Reynolds to use that phrase as he did. 

I do.  There seems to be plenty of room for both inferences (mine and yours).

The problem, though, is that Bro. Reynolds' remarks feed prejudice and animosity.  He grew up in the Church, and he served a mission, so he should know better.  And now he apparently harbors resentment against the Church for delaying his entry into BYU because he violated the Law of Chastity.  Given that context, his mischaracterizations of the Church's position do not come across as inadvertent, but as deliberate.  

We agree on one point, though.  Reynolds was certainly intending to convey a message to a particular "audience."  One that is not familiar with the LDS Church. One that is far less likely to be aware of the Church's teachings on this issue, including the obviously profound and important distinction between thoughts and deeds.  By conflating them he appears to seek to make the Church look bad.  To embarrass it.  To cast it in the worst possible light.  For an "audience" that will, by and large, not know any better.

You can chalk all that up to inadvertence if you like.  Given the context, though, I'm coming to a different conclusion.

36 minutes ago, Daniel2 said:

I don't interpret Reynolds use of that phrase as an attempt to deliberately misrepresent the position of the LDS Church so much as he was using language that reflects the views of his intended audience (which, in this case, was clearly non-believers), and most of whom I speak with feel it's a distinction without a difference.

So Bro. Reynolds can disregard the Church's emphasis on that distinction, and mislead his audience regarding that distinction, because . . . the audience probably wouldn't agree with that distinction if they knew about it?

You're just making Bro. Reynolds look worse.  The Church's position is predicated on the distinction between thoughts and actions.  Bro. Reynolds, in making representations about the Church's position to an otherwise generally uninformed audience, affirmatively chooses to mischaracterize the Church's teaching by withholding that distinction from his audience.  And he also injects other risible (and easily misunderstood) characterizations of the Church to this same audience (such as the notion of "religious 'shaming'") to that same audience.  And all of this is . . . benign?  Harmless?  Inadvertent?

I think . . . not.

36 minutes ago, Daniel2 said:

Of course, I don't expect that all will disagree with me, but everyone is more than welcome to keep promoting a view that his comments were inaccurate, provide the context you feel makes a compelling difference, and try to convince others the distinction is real.

The distinction between thoughts/desires/inclinations/passions/preferences/orientations and actions is real.  It is axiomatically real.

Thanks,

-Smac

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19 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Its a huge difference in degree,

In some ways, yes.  I acknowledge that the Law of Chastity is difficult to observe, particularly in our increasingly sexualized and depraved world.

In some way, no.  By sheer numbers, there are far more heterosexual and unmarried Mormons who are required to be celibate than gay Mormons.

Abstaining from sexual activity is a tall order.  But it's one that is shared by many, many people.

19 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

and I believe a difference in kind as well. 

I'd be interested in understanding that.  The Law of Chastity limits sexual activity to a man and a woman who are married to each other.  All other forms of sexual activity are prohibited.  That includes fornication, adultery, and homosexual behavior.

Again, by sheer numbers, there are far more heterosexual Mormons who are required to be celibate than there are gay Mormons.

19 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

A gay person according to Mormon teachings will be unable to marry a person they are attracted to, either in this life or in the next life. 

Not quite.  They will not be able to marry someone of the same sex in this life or in the next life.  

I think sexual orientation is a complex topic.  There does not seem to be discrete categories, even though we sometimes act as if there are.  Sexual attraction/orientation seems to be more like a spectrum.

19 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

Where a celibate heterosexual will be able to be married to a person they are attracted to in the next life presumably.  

Everyone will have the possibility of entering into a marriage with parameters set by God.  Everyone.

19 minutes ago, hope_for_things said:

I asked what the church's position is for gay people in the next life, and I'm really hoping you can answer it.  I haven't ever heard one expressed in recent years, unless you want to go way back to some older statements by leaders from a few generations back, but like the blacks and the priesthood topic, I don't consider those speculations to be church doctrine on the subject. 

I encourage you to give the matter a bit of study. 

Thanks,

-Smac

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Semantics aside, the choice for a faithful gay LDS is to either be celibate or marry somebody of the opposite sex. I'm not going to try to pretend to understand how difficult either option would be. It's tempting for us heterosexuals to just expect a gay person to conform because breaking the law of chastity is second only to murder. I can't imagine what it would be like to be told that I could never satisfy my intense desire to be with a woman.

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14 hours ago, bluebell said:

I was disappointed that he described the church’s position as teaching that “being gay is a sin.”

He lost me there. 

I get what you are saying.  I also think that LDS parlance can be confusing at times.  I have had people, here on these threads, tell me that "being gay" means that one is acting on their homosexual attraction.  That said, if I had to guess, I would say that he was referring to orientation alone which means that his statement is incorrect as you imply.

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14 minutes ago, smac97 said:

I encourage you to give the matter a bit of study. 

Can you even point me in the direction of where to look?  I follow Mormon topics closely enough and I've yet to see an articulation of this idea of what happens to gay people in the next life.  I remember hearing Greg Prince who's just finishing a book on this subject and who presented recently in SLC for the Sterling McMurrin lecture series and I believe he even said the church has no position on this topic for gays in the afterlife.  You sound like you know something, but you don't want to share.  Is there a reason you can't give me a hint at the very least?  

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People here are trying to obfuscate the issue by claiming is a Law of Chastity issue.  It isn't just about having sex but homosexual behavior which is defined as "any behaviors that indicate homosexual conduct, including those not sexual in nature, are inappropriate".  So heterosexual couples can hold hands, go on a date, and have a goodnight kiss without committing a transgression. A gay couple could not. 

Phaedrus 

Edited by phaedrus ut
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5 hours ago, smac97 said:

It also rather strains credulity to suggest that not being allowed to attend BYU is equivalent to "religious 'shaming.'"

"Shaming" here seems to strongly imply the publicizing of his misconduct, or formalized/ritualistic shunning.  I strongly suspect none of that happened.  Instead, Bro. Reynolds apparently may have done the right thing in confessing a serious transgression (let's assume that, rather than the alternative-but-also-plausible possibility that his admission was not altogether voluntary).  Sexual transgression is amongst the most serious forms of misconduct for members of the LDS Church.  Bro. Reynolds, having been raised in the Church and served a mission, must know this.  And BYU thereafter allowed him to enroll, which even further undercuts his "religious 'shaming'" accusation.

So perhaps his message is not that the Law of Chastity "no longer pertains," but that it's just not that big a deal.  That's a best-case scenario (although a bleak one).  A worst-case scenario would be not that the Law of Chastity "no longer pertains," but that the Church is affirmatively wrong to teach it and implement it and require members to live according to it.  If so, that would be a very unfortunate position for a Latter-day Saint to take.  And since Bro. Reynolds appears to be publicly calling the Church out for teaching and requiring adherence to the Law of Chastity, this worst-case scenario also appears to be the most likely scenario.

The Law of Chastity is an extremely important doctrine of the Church.  If Bro. Reynolds is really doing what he appears to be doing (publicly criticizing the Church for teaching and implementing it), then Kiwi's description of of ("religious dilletante") would, unfortunately, be apt.  I hope this is not the case.

I have a hard time understanding the motives a person who do not take his faith seriously when he criticize the lives of his fellow adherents because they do take their faith seriously.

Thanks,

-Smac

EDIT TO ADD:

Speaking of "religious 'shaming'" (written by a gay man and published in the Washington Post) (emphases added):

Gotta love that.  Mr. Ambrosino, very much to his credit, recognizes that people like the Gaineses are either "shamed" into silence about or coerced ("They also know that if the statement is not 100 percent supportive of same-sex marriage, the network will be pressured to drop them") into supporting same-sex marriage.  

If by "unemployable" he means "anyone who dares either oppose or not actively endorse and embrace same-sex marriage is not entitled to a livelihood," then yes, that is the "suggestion."

I applaud Mr. Ambrosino for his willingness to speak about this.

Wow.  "There are not two sides" on the issue of same-sex marriage.

This is the world in which we now live, folks.  

Who is "shaming" who, really?

Yep.  And with the complicity of a pliant media, that strategy continues to this day.  It happens regularly on this board.

Again, I applaud Mr. Ambrosino here.  I disagree with him at a pretty fundamental level, but at least he is calling for principled and reasoned debate and discussion, rather than the let's-shame-anyone-who-disagrees-with-us-by-labeling-them-bigots-and-homophobes schtick that is much, much more prevalent (and toxic).

Well said.

Mr. Ambrosino is correct.  I think the "terrible job" the LGBT folks have done in persuading people like me is ongoing.  And it will come back to haunt them.  Nobody likes being bullied and coerced.

Thanks,

-Smac

Characterizing his expulsion from BYU for having engaged in premarital sex as "religious shaming" reflects an entitlement mentality. Enrollment at the university is a privilege, and conformity to the law of chastity is but one of the requirements for eligibility. I feel certain there are thousands of young people in the Church who are in full compliance with the law of chastity who would love to attend BYU but can't for other reasons.

Edited by Scott Lloyd

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1 hour ago, Daniel2 said:

The LDS Church has a history of caving and changingit's previous doctrines in light of social change; it's not unique in that regard--EVERY institution does, in order to adapt and survive.

1

This is one of the most absurd arguments in support of the notion that the Church's stance on homosexuality is wrong and will change.

You're arguing that the exception makes the rule.  

It's like saying that because the Bible talks about stoning witches that it must follow that Jesus Christ did not exist.

Why isn't the better argument that because the Church has not changed its position on homosexuality, being a sin, for the entirety of its existence, and that it continues in general conference talks and Ensign articles to address the issue, as well as its handbook, that it is not likely to change?  As well, since homosexuality was condemned by the patristic authors as a grievous sin, without exception for 1000 years, that it is a rather entrenched doctrine?

I don't really have a dog in the race and don't care whether it is a sin or not, but I do follow closely your (and others) constant browbeating the church on this single issue, suggesting that a change is about to come.

I remember delivering a lecture to law students at UCLA about Prop 8.   African American students were rather outraged that the gays compared their struggle to the struggle to abolish slavery.   Kind of apropos here a little.

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2 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

I understand your meaning and agree with it.

However, as is so often the case, definitions are crucial here. If what he means by "being gay" is engaging in homosexual behavior, he is correct.

Well...and what is homosexual behavior?  If someone who is gay has thoughts about someone of his/her same sex, is that homosexual behavior?  If so, then what's the distinction if any?  Aren't we all prone to these thoughts to some degree and in charge of controlling them, even if no one really ever purges them completely?  Would dating another of the same sex, without inappropriate touching, homosexual behavior?  It seems like it is to me.  If so, what constitutes a date?  What if a gay man makes a friend who is also gay and they eat lunches together or something?  

I find this effort to dissect people lame and problematic.  It may be the best way to address the problem and the best way to make change happen (which I realize you're not supportive of).  

 

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On 12/1/2017 at 10:37 AM, hope_for_things said:

Key difference is heterosexual singles always have the hope and option to be married to someone they are attracted to.  And the emphasis is on getting married.  I can't imagine how hard it is to be single in the church as I got married in my mid 20s, but for those I've spoken with it is quite difficult, and they feel marginalized or forgotten much of the time.  

But gay people have no hope for a marriage in this life that is compatible with church teachings.  So this is a huge difference, there is no option for gay people to marry a person they are attracted to.  

I don't accept and never have accepted the notion that homosexual attraction will persist beyond death. Therefore, every person who obeys the commandments of God, including those who are challenged with same-sex attraction, will be one day be provided with the blessing of marriage as God has ordained it, whether in this life or the next.

 

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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