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Jeff Robinson on the LGBT issue at FairMormon

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2 minutes ago, rockpond said:

Eternity.  And you know there isn’t a measure of “how happy”.  This is where empirical data hits its limits. 

"Empirical" is a tough concept in the soft sciences, wouldn't you agree?  Is somebody's opinion about himself an accurate datum from G-d's-eye-view?

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13 minutes ago, rockpond said:

I think the problem here is when we put it into practice.  Let’s say you’ve got an RM at BYU who is gay but desperately wants stay in the faith that he has committed his life to.  And while in that singles ward environment, living a chaste life, he dates girls.  At 22 he is convinced that he’s got enough “OSA” in him and faith that he’ll decide he can make it work.  Doesn’t tell his bishop.  Doesn’t tell his fiancé. 

At 32 with three kids he realizes that faith and a desire for acceptability weren’t enough.  And now you’ve got a broken family. 

These are the stories that we’ve heard over and over again.  Not only do we have years of incorrect teachings to overcome and education regarding sexual orientation to do but... we have a doctrinal problem that will continue to push people into mixed-orientation marriages with the risks and heartbreak being ignored.

I know it works for some.  So does celibacy.  But I thank God every time I see a gay person walk away from the church because it’s too harmful a place for them.  

I wish we could fix that. 

The only problem in "I wish we could fix that"..is..that the church doesn't see that anything is broken.    Someday, I hope they will notice that  there is wall that is cracking..and the when it falls..there is the extra space for all mormons..all people

Edited by Jeanne
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13 minutes ago, rockpond said:

Eternity.  And you know there isn’t a measure of “how happy”.  This is where empirical data hits its limits. 

Which is fine in discussion until you start making claims about various forms of marriage in comparison to others.

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Urg...

Edited by Calm

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11 minutes ago, USU78 said:

"Empirical" is a tough concept in the soft sciences, wouldn't you agree?  Is somebody's opinion about himself an accurate datum from G-d's-eye-view?

I agree (first question).  I think “it depends” is the best answer you can get for the second question. 

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7 minutes ago, Jeanne said:

The only problem in "I wish we could fix that"..is..that the church doesn't see that anything is broken.    Someday, I hope they will notice that  there is wall that is cracking..and the when it falls..there is the extra space for all mormons..all people

To be fair, the Brethren have recognized that past teachings on this matter were broken and have made efforts to fix that.   Elder Ballard’s call to do better is evidence of that. 

But I tend to agree that they likely don’t see any brokenness to our current doctrine on homosexuality.  And we won’t ever truly be able to address the problem of mixed orientation marriages as long as the only other option is celibacy. 

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10 hours ago, california boy said:

So you think the above is equivalent to this:

Quote

In 25 years of therapy. he has never encountered a family which has rejected or thrown an SSA offspring out of their house.  The split has always come only when the child gave the parents an ultimatum, such as -- I want to have my gay lover live with me here.

Telling a gay child to leave the house after they have refused to allow their gay lover to move into the house is exactly the same as murdering an 8 year old child or a 14 year old child.

This is the kind of hysteria that gives people zero credibility.

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11 hours ago, california boy said:
Does this now give you more options?

Well, I was already familiar with this option, but if I hadn't been, then yes, that's how it works.

Where things get problematic is when no one hears the opposite. How many men do you think have, logically, justified their promiscuity because all they've ever heard is that they're hard-wired for it? How many of them heard alternatives and then dismissed them because that's not what they wanted? And so forth. This is Book of Mormon 101. We are only free to make choices when we are exposed to and enticed by opposites.

When I was studying in America, one of my callings was as a cub scout leader. Our little group (den?) included a boy with a volatile personality. The slightest little thing would set him off, and then we'd have an 'incident'. I talked to him about it one day whilst dropping him home. He told me there was nothing he could do about it; that was just the way his family was. His dad was like that, his mum was like that, and he'd been born that way too. End of story.

But not for me. Out came the Book of Mormon (figuratively), and we discussed agency. We talked about how both genetics and family culture could explain his short fuse and inclination to angry outbursts, but then we talked about how all people everywhere, including me, have to learn not to give in to their natures. We brainstormed ways that he could work on this and ways that I could help. All of a sudden, he had a real alternative.

He didn't have to believe me. He could have thought I didn't understand his situation. He could have stuck his fingers in his ears. He could have talked it over with his parents and concluded that I just didn't like his family or their ways of being. Thankfully, he listened. And things got better. He still struggled with anger management, but, with every passing week, our meetings grew less likely to end in a brawl that he'd started. After a while, the other boys stopped fearing him.

I have no clue what happened to him after I moved away. He may have gone on to have a fulfilling life. He may be in gaol. To be honest, I think it's about 50/50. But at least he had an option.

I simply have no space in my life for 'psychology' or 'science' or the philosophies of men (no matter how mingled with scripture) or political agendas that seek to rob children of the Most High God of their agency. This was the entire point of the battle you and I and everyone else fought before we came to this earth.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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21 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Well, I was already familiar with this option, but if I hadn't been, then yes, that's how it works.

Where things get problematic is when no one hears the opposite. How many men do you think have, logically, justified their promiscuity because all they've ever heard is that they're hard-wired for it? How many of them heard alternatives and then dismissed them because that's not what they wanted? And so forth. This is Book of Mormon 101. We are only free to make choices when we are exposed to and enticed by opposites.

When I was studying in America, one of my callings was as a cub scout leader. Our little group (den?) included a boy with a volatile personality. The slightest little thing would set him off, and then we'd have an 'incident'. I talked to him about it one day whilst dropping him home. He told me there was nothing he could do about it; that was just the way his family was. His dad was like that, his mum was like that, and he'd been born that way too. End of story.

But not for me. Out came the Book of Mormon (figuratively), and we discussed agency. We talked about how both genetics and family culture could explain his short fuse and inclination to angry outbursts, but then we talked about how all people everywhere, including me, have to learn not to give in to their natures. We brainstormed ways that he could work on this and ways that I could help. All of a sudden, he had a real alternative.

He didn't have to believe me. He could have thought I didn't understand his situation. He could have stuck his fingers in his ears. He could have talked it over with his parents and concluded that I just didn't like his family or their ways of being. Thankfully, he listened. And things got better. He still struggled with anger management, but, with every passing week, our meetings grew less likely to end in a brawl that he'd started. After a while, the other boys stopped fearing him.

I have no clue what happened to him after I moved away. He may have gone on to have a fulfilling life. He may be in gaol. To be honest, I think it's about 50/50. But at least he had an option.

I simply have no space in my life for 'psychology' or 'science' or the philosophies of men (no matter how mingled with scripture) or political agendas that seek to rob children of the Most High God of their agency. This was the entire point of the battle you and I and everyone else fought before we came to this earth.

Beautiful.

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41 minutes ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I have no clue what happened to him after I moved away. He may have gone on to have a fulfilling life. He may be in gaol. To be honest, I think it's about 50/50. But at least he had an option.

His Google 'footprint' is very small, two entries. But I just learnt that he got married in 2015 and was in attendance at a city council meeting on 27 April last year. I'll take those as good indicators! :D

ETA: I just noticed his wife in the list of 'others attending', so they were still together!

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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2 hours ago, rockpond said:

Eternity.  And you know there isn’t a measure of “how happy”.  This is where empirical data hits its limits. 

And yet you were just demanding that we have empirical data before we dare suggest heterosexual marriage. 

See here:

4 hours ago, rockpond said:

IOW, I think we ought to consider how we measure success and then get solid data to support what you are suggesting before we offer it as a recommended course of action. 

But now that sort of data is out of bounds. So the only data you are willing to consider are the risks?

2 hours ago, rockpond said:

I thought it spoke directly to the substance of the discussion. 

So you thought that by refusing to engage the entire paradigm of the OP you were addressing the substance? Why insist on talking about gay youth as though that's all they are and all they'll ever be?  

3 hours ago, rockpond said:

we have a doctrinal problem that will continue to push people into mixed-orientation marriages with the risks and heartbreak being ignored.

How is that any different than any other RM who has a desire to be true to his faith and commits to be monogamous with a woman? Then at 42 with the kids, he realizes his desire to be monogamous and how fair just aren't enough, so there's another broken family. After all, science says he is just hard-wired that way and the Church has a doctrinal problem that pressures people into a monogamous marriage, ignoring the risks. 

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4 hours ago, rockpond said:

A confounding issue here is that the Church still puts gay people in a category that is something less than straight people.

Actually, I'd love to see evidence of this. From what I see, the Church consistently says that all people are equal and loved and capable of the same eternal potential. The only people telling gay people this story are those opposed to prophetic guidance on the issue, or who don't believe there is any to be found in the Church.

Which is fine. To each their own. I'm not judging people who don't believe in priesthood authority. I just can't imagine them being so desperate for acceptance that they would force themselves to stay in a faith that makes them so ashamed.  

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7 hours ago, kllindley said:

This is pure propaganda, that (intentionally?) Ignores the entire substance of this discussion. Congratulations. 

You may thing it is pure propaganda, but I certainly don't.  Are you out openly to your ward with your attraction to men?  I think you might find a different perspective.  You have figured out a way to make things work.  That is not always the case.

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7 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

So you think the above is equivalent to this:

Telling a gay child to leave the house after they have refused to allow their gay lover to move into the house is exactly the same as murdering an 8 year old child or a 14 year old child.

This is the kind of hysteria that gives people zero credibility.

Of course it is not the same.  And kicking someone out of the house simply because they are gay is different than telling a child to leave after they refused to allow their gay love to move in is also the extreme.  My point is that indeed, some kids are kicked out of the house simply because they are gay.  And for some, it is even worse then loosing their family.  

For most, the situation is somewhere in the middle of these two extremes.  From my point of view, kicking a child out of the house should be the last resort.  Dressing wrong or dating someone of the same sex does not always mean they should be kick into the street.  Where that line is drawn is probably as varied as the number of parents.  I would hope that any family would error on the side of love and compassion.  Do you really find that unreasonable?

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6 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

Well, I was already familiar with this option, but if I hadn't been, then yes, that's how it works.

Where things get problematic is when no one hears the opposite. How many men do you think have, logically, justified their promiscuity because all they've ever heard is that they're hard-wired for it? How many of them heard alternatives and then dismissed them because that's not what they wanted? And so forth. This is Book of Mormon 101. We are only free to make choices when we are exposed to and enticed by opposites.

When I was studying in America, one of my callings was as a cub scout leader. Our little group (den?) included a boy with a volatile personality. The slightest little thing would set him off, and then we'd have an 'incident'. I talked to him about it one day whilst dropping him home. He told me there was nothing he could do about it; that was just the way his family was. His dad was like that, his mum was like that, and he'd been born that way too. End of story.

But not for me. Out came the Book of Mormon (figuratively), and we discussed agency. We talked about how both genetics and family culture could explain his short fuse and inclination to angry outbursts, but then we talked about how all people everywhere, including me, have to learn not to give in to their natures. We brainstormed ways that he could work on this and ways that I could help. All of a sudden, he had a real alternative.

He didn't have to believe me. He could have thought I didn't understand his situation. He could have stuck his fingers in his ears. He could have talked it over with his parents and concluded that I just didn't like his family or their ways of being. Thankfully, he listened. And things got better. He still struggled with anger management, but, with every passing week, our meetings grew less likely to end in a brawl that he'd started. After a while, the other boys stopped fearing him.

I have no clue what happened to him after I moved away. He may have gone on to have a fulfilling life. He may be in gaol. To be honest, I think it's about 50/50. But at least he had an option.

I simply have no space in my life for 'psychology' or 'science' or the philosophies of men (no matter how mingled with scripture) or political agendas that seek to rob children of the Most High God of their agency. This was the entire point of the battle you and I and everyone else fought before we came to this earth.

I don't see anyone arguing that people should not be fully informed on what options are available.  I would think that it is every parent's responsibility to teach the same lessons you were giving the kid.  Any parent who ignores that responsibility I think is failing in their responsiblity.

I do want to comment about the sentence at the beginning of your post.  For some gay members of the church, holding hands, hugging dating, and having romantic feelings to someone of the same sex often is presented as such a major taboo that it can make them feel they are not ever going to qualify for the Celestial Kingdom anyway if they engage in these kinds of activities.  So why not just marry the person they love. What difference to their eternal salvation would breaking the law of chastity do?  Of course, with the church policy, that decision leaves no middle ground.  They have crossed a line that now labels them as apostates.  Any chance of salvation seems lost especially if they stay in that relationship with the person they love.  What difference does it make if they are promiscuous?  When they die, there are not headed anywhere that requires chastity.  Do you think that is a problem that can be discussed?  Or does God just write off anyone who wants to marry someone of the same sex as being unredeemable unless they leave their life partner.

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3 hours ago, california boy said:

I don't see anyone arguing that people should not be fully informed on what options are available.  I would think that it is every parent's responsibility to teach the same lessons you were giving the kid.  Any parent who ignores that responsibility I think is failing in their responsiblity.

I do want to comment about the sentence at the beginning of your post.  For some gay members of the church, holding hands, hugging dating, and having romantic feelings to someone of the same sex often is presented as such a major taboo that it can make them feel they are not ever going to qualify for the Celestial Kingdom anyway if they engage in these kinds of activities.  So why not just marry the person they love. What difference to their eternal salvation would breaking the law of chastity do?  Of course, with the church policy, that decision leaves no middle ground.  They have crossed a line that now labels them as apostates.  Any chance of salvation seems lost especially if they stay in that relationship with the person they love.  What difference does it make if they are promiscuous?  When they die, there are not headed anywhere that requires chastity.  Do you think that is a problem that can be discussed?  Or does God just write off anyone who wants to marry someone of the same sex as being unredeemable unless they leave their life partner.

The middle ground, I think already makes up the vast preponderance of attitudes. The behaviors you say are presented as major taboos are actually most often discouraged as unwise (for both moral and social reasons within the community), and the feelings have been repeatedly doctrinally defined as not sinful. At what point do you think a lack of judgement regarding moral or social behavior and having romantic feelings become sinful?

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4 hours ago, california boy said:

What difference does it make if they are promiscuous?  When they die, there are not headed anywhere that requires chastity. 

I don't think you quite understand the Plan of Salvation. Every kingdom of glory requires chastity, not just the celestial one. Their motivations for repenting may differ, but in the end, all who are saved will have repented, fully, of all their sins, will have accepted Christ's offer of salvation, and will have been fully cleansed from all unrighteousness. There will be no unchastity in the Telestial Kingdom, just as there will be no lying, stealing, gossiping or violence.

There is certainly an option open for those who turn down every opportunity to embrace the Lord's requirement of complete purity, but it doesn't involve a kingdom of glory.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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5 hours ago, california boy said:

You may thing it is pure propaganda, but I certainly don't.  Are you out openly to your ward with your attraction to men?  I think you might find a different perspective.  You have figured out a way to make things work.  That is not always the case.

I understand and admit that it is not always the case. My point there was about the language in use. I'm sorry I didn't make that clear.

To answer your question, I am out in my ward. What different perspective do you think I'll find?

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22 hours ago, california boy said:

You know me well enough that I don't judge choices people make.  It is their life.  Of course mixed marriages can work.  And I am all for supporting dialogue that makes that a possible choice.  But I do think that extra care needs to go into that decision and all parties involved need to know the risk of such marriages.  The success of those types of marriages are not really very high.  I read an article a number of years ago in SunStone written by a BYU professor/therapist.  He was dealing with 300 gay men married to someone of the opposite sex.  He reported that of the 300 cases he dealt with, after 3 years, only 5 survived.  I wish I had a link to the article.  I have tried to find it since, but have been unable to.  So take that for what it is worth.

I also think that those numbers go up significantly if the person is bisexual.  I would think that changes the paramaters quite significantly. I know you are very happy in your marriage.  That is really all that matters and any study is not going to change your view, nor should it.

Mixed marriages is a problem across the board, even though some can work.  The mix can be of almost any sort, in which the partners can be from different religions, different political parties, etc., and that is always a burden for a marriage.  The largest cause of divorce is usually differences of view on finances -- disputes about money matters can doom a marriage quicker than anything.  The same applies to disagreements about religion, and maybe about which faith will the children be raised in.

The statistics today, however, are very depressing:  We have higher than ever levels of people just living alone, with marriage at an all time low, and even those who are married or just living together are having less intimacy than ever.  Young people cannot afford to get married.  Pay is low, and college debt too onerous.

As Don Henley sings:  "How can love survive, in such a graceless age?"

Community helps protect against that anomie and depression, helps us gain real victories over our own shortcomings, and provides a vehicle for immediate friendship and compassion.

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13 hours ago, kllindley said:

And yet you were just demanding that we have empirical data before we dare suggest heterosexual marriage. 

See here:

But now that sort of data is out of bounds. So the only data you are willing to consider are the risks?

So you thought that by refusing to engage the entire paradigm of the OP you were addressing the substance? Why insist on talking about gay youth as though that's all they are and all they'll ever be?  

How is that any different than any other RM who has a desire to be true to his faith and commits to be monogamous with a woman? Then at 42 with the kids, he realizes his desire to be monogamous and how fair just aren't enough, so there's another broken family. After all, science says he is just hard-wired that way and the Church has a doctrinal problem that pressures people into a monogamous marriage, ignoring the risks. 

I’m operating from the default that straight people have the greatest odds of a successful  relationship in an opposite sex marriages and gay people have the greatest odds of a successful relationship in same sex marriages.

So, if you are going to make a recommendation contrary to that, there should be some supporting data for it.  

If you disagree with that premise, we’ll likely find common ground on this. 

As for your example of a married 42 year old who decides he no longer wants to obey the law of chastity, that is condemnable.  Gay or straight. 

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13 hours ago, kllindley said:

Actually, I'd love to see evidence of this. From what I see, the Church consistently says that all people are equal and loved and capable of the same eternal potential. The only people telling gay people this story are those opposed to prophetic guidance on the issue, or who don't believe there is any to be found in the Church.

Which is fine. To each their own. I'm not judging people who don't believe in priesthood authority. I just can't imagine them being so desperate for acceptance that they would force themselves to stay in a faith that makes them so ashamed.  

Leaving isn’t that easy if you have faith in and a testimony of the restored gospel.  Gay or straight.  Trust me on this. 

As for our gay brothers and sisters being considered less than... you don’t feel that way and that’s great.  But I know of many who do because they cannot participate, in this life, in all saving ordinances.  They are told they must be celibate and that to do otherwise makes them apostates.  And the promise of being made straight in the next life is more hurtful than helpful to many that I have come in contact with.

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27 minutes ago, rockpond said:

I’m operating from the default that straight people have the greatest odds of a successful  relationship in an opposite sex marriages and gay people have the greatest odds of a successful relationship in same sex marriages.

So, if you are going to make a recommendation contrary to that, there should be some supporting data for it.  

If you disagree with that premise, we’ll likely find common ground on this. 

As for your example of a married 42 year old who decides he no longer wants to obey the law of chastity, that is condemnable.  Gay or straight. 

The Church operates from the default that everyone has the greatest opportunity (availed through the Atonement of Christ) for a successful relationship with God, which defines successful relationships with the other children of God. The covenants establish that relationship with Him (beginning with baptism and spiritual rebirth in the covenant), and legitimize them with other children of God (an aspect of baptism and all the other ordinances, including marriage and birth or adoption in the covenant).

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2 minutes ago, CV75 said:

The Church operates from the default that everyone has the greatest opportunity (availed through the Atonement of Christ) for a successful relationship with God, which defines successful relationships with the other children of God. The covenants establish that relationship with Him (beginning with baptism and spiritual rebirth in the covenant), and legitimize them with other children of God (an aspect of baptism and all the other ordinances, including marriage and birth or adoption in the covenant).

Not relevant to what we were discussing but, I agree. 

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6 hours ago, CV75 said:

The middle ground, I think already makes up the vast preponderance of attitudes. The behaviors you say are presented as major taboos are actually most often discouraged as unwise (for both moral and social reasons within the community), and the feelings have been repeatedly doctrinally defined as not sinful. At what point do you think a lack of judgement regarding moral or social behavior and having romantic feelings become sinful?

You are asking the wrong person.  I don't think romantic feelings are ever sinful within the bonds of marriage or dating if you are single.

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6 hours ago, Hamba Tuhan said:

I don't think you quite understand the Plan of Salvation. Every kingdom of glory requires chastity, not just the celestial one. Their motivations for repenting may differ, but in the end, all who are saved will have repented, fully, of all their sins, will have accepted Christ's offer of salvation, and will have been fully cleansed from all unrighteousness. There will be no unchastity in the Telestial Kingdom, just as there will be no lying, stealing, gossiping or violence.

There is certainly an option open for those who turn down every opportunity to embrace the Lord's requirement of complete purity, but it doesn't involve a kingdom of glory.

So where does a person who is married to his same sex partner end up in the Plan of Salvation?  Outer Darkness? The law of chastity becomes irrelevant to someone who is gay and eventually wants to marry someone of the same sex whether they are members of the church or not.

Edited by california boy

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