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Anniversary of the “The Policy”

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When I was growing up in Southern California, my older siblings had some friends who were raised Catholic. The teenage children became interested in the Church, were taught the discussions, and wanted to be baptized. The parents were very upset and it took a while for them to give permission for their children to join the Church. The teenage children were baptized, and eventually the younger children AND the parents followed.

Imagine if the Church had a policy back then (the 70's) that prohibited children of Catholic parents from getting baptized because...well, read The Great Apostasy (approved missionary reading material at the time).

I would be surprised if a same sex couple decided that their children needed to belong to the LDS Church. However, what if the child of a gay couple discovers the Church and wants to be baptized. The parents aren't happy but decide to allow their child to make that choice. The current policy won't allow that child to be baptized.

 

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20 hours ago, Thinking said:

The current policy won't allow that child to be baptized.

Until s/he turns 18, which at an extreme maximum is a 10-year wait, likely far less than that (teens vs children).

But are you sincerely hoping we’ll believe that you’re opposed to this policy because it might be stopping gay couples from repenting, divorcing and joining the Church? Or are you just seeing if you can make us worry about that possibility?

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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On 11/8/2018 at 7:27 PM, Storm Rider said:

I have been in two wards here in Virginia and it has had zero impact - no gay couples attending. Don't recall it as a topic of discussion; however, in a Sunday School class I asked and one couple did know of a gay couple who were attending church. 

You are far enough outside of DC you probably have fewer activists in your ward.  We had a family leave for about 6 months while the mom angry blogged about the policy.  But they've come back and seem to be at peace now.

Virginia is beautiful this time of year.  I'm planning on  hiking in the Shenandoah mountains to celebrate Veteran's day.  The leaves changing colors are breathtaking and put those boring, ugly, brown mountains Utahns brag about to shame.

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7 hours ago, Thinking said:

When I was growing up in Southern California, my older siblings had some friends who were raised Catholic. The teenage children became interested in the Church, were taught the discussions, and wanted to be baptized. The parents were very upset and it took a while for them to give permission for their children to join the Church. The teenage children were baptized, and eventually the younger children AND the parents followed.

Imagine if the Church had a policy back then (the 70's) that prohibited children of Catholic parents from getting baptized because...well, read The Great Apostasy (approved missionary reading material at the time).

I would be surprised if a same sex couple decided that their children needed to belong to the LDS Church. However, what if the child of a gay couple discovers the Church and wants to be baptized. The parents aren't happy but decide to allow their child to make that choice. The current policy won't allow that child to be baptized.

 

The policy unfairly targets children of gay Catholics since they have to wait 18 years to get baptized instead of the additional 10 years for children of gay LDS parents.

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Wasn't the greatest outrage of the policy was that it directly led to the suicides of 26 gay LDS teens in Utah in the two months after the policy was announced?  I recently saw that same claim made in another forum so it hasn't gone away yet.  Now we know that suicides have decreased since the policy.  Shouldn't the inspired Church leadership get credit for saving the lives of conflicted LDS teens by issuing the Nov policy?

And who is trying to convince gay LDS teens that they are unwelcomed, unwanted, and even unloved in the church?  It's not coming from any Church leaders that I'm aware of.  In everything I've heard and read, the message is the opposite.  But they are constantly being told that by ex-mos and disgruntled members.  Is that really helpful for gay LDS teens who have testimonies of the restored Gospel and living prophets?  Hopefully they put more trust in their parents and Church leaders who are more likely to have their best interests at heart.

There is always more members can do to minister and support everyone so there's definitely room for improvement.

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12 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

What do you mean “at the well”? Are you conflating two New Testament stories? I’m referring to the woman taken in adultery, not the one whom Christ asked to draw water for Him at the well. 

And Christ did (and does) ask all his followers to repent. His is the gospel of repentance. We have record of this specific instance because Jesus has just rescued the woman from a mob intent on stoning her to death. He told her to go and repent, just as His authorized representatives enjoin sinners today, including those whose acts are egregious enough to warrant Church discipline. If and when they truly repent, they are welcomed back into full fellowship. 

In both instances, the woman was living in adultery.  In both cases, Christ did not brand them as apostates and teach that they younger children should not be permitted baptism.

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1 hour ago, gopher said:

Wasn't the greatest outrage of the policy was that it directly led to the suicides of 26 gay LDS teens in Utah in the two months after the policy was announced?  I recently saw that same claim made in another forum so it hasn't gone away yet.  Now we know that suicides have decreased since the policy.  Shouldn't the inspired Church leadership get credit for saving the lives of conflicted LDS teens by issuing the Nov policy?

And who is trying to convince gay LDS teens that they are unwelcomed, unwanted, and even unloved in the church?  It's not coming from any Church leaders that I'm aware of.  In everything I've heard and read, the message is the opposite.  But they are constantly being told that by ex-mos and disgruntled members.  Is that really helpful for gay LDS teens who have testimonies of the restored Gospel and living prophets?  Hopefully they put more trust in their parents and Church leaders who are more likely to have their best interests at heart.

There is always more members can do to minister and support everyone so there's definitely room for improvement.

(bold mine)

Absolutely not, I'd say it comes from those that rose above the policy and reached out in love to their gay loved ones, 100%! Or, if you are saying once the church came out against having gays be members, who are living the "lifestyle", are able to finally be free of the chains of the church, I guess I can give you that.

Edited by Tacenda

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1 hour ago, gopher said:

Wasn't the greatest outrage of the policy was that it directly led to the suicides of 26 gay LDS teens in Utah in the two months after the policy was announced?  I recently saw that same claim made in another forum so it hasn't gone away yet.  Now we know that suicides have decreased since the policy.  Shouldn't the inspired Church leadership get credit for saving the lives of conflicted LDS teens by issuing the Nov policy?

And who is trying to convince gay LDS teens that they are unwelcomed, unwanted, and even unloved in the church?  It's not coming from any Church leaders that I'm aware of.  In everything I've heard and read, the message is the opposite.  But they are constantly being told that by ex-mos and disgruntled members.  Is that really helpful for gay LDS teens who have testimonies of the restored Gospel and living prophets?  Hopefully they put more trust in their parents and Church leaders who are more likely to have their best interests at heart.

There is always more members can do to minister and support everyone so there's definitely room for improvement.

You haven't attended the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a gay member.  You haven't heard the subtle and not so subtle snide remarks about "those gays".  You haven't heard priesthood leaders stand up and talk about the evil the gay community does.  You haven't had ward members quit talking to you and literally never hear from them again once they found out you were gay.  You haven't had parents and siblings quit inviting you to family events for 13 years.  Not one. No family reunions, no baptisms of your nieces and nephews, no missionary talks from those same nephews and nieces.  You don't look at those children and have no idea who they are or even are able to identify them because they were 6 when the family found out you were gay.

The church has this passive/aggressive relationship with those that are gay.  You really think those that are gay feel welcomed at church?  You really can't understand why the vast majority of gay members leave the church?  Why the church policy against gays is one of the major reasons why so many youth are leaving the church?  You think it is because the church is so loving and embracing of its gay members?

 

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13 hours ago, Gillebre said:

I really struggle to understand and accept that people can't see the Church's reasoning for this policy. Perhaps see isn't the right word, but it's what comes to mind at this point.

If this policy were not in force then there would be greater division among the families of same-sex couples over the long term, in my opinion. Those that would have their children taken to Church, either by their own hand or that of relatives or friends, would see firsthand how awful it'd be for their little ones to have certain religious expectations set that they cannot uphold or witness upheld in their closest family relationships. The child will hear an affirmation from the Family Proclamation about the sanctity of marriage, of gender, and perhaps the different roles men and women fill as parents. This will confuse them because their situation can be vastly different. They might feel singled out because it's not like it'll be a secret that their parents are a same-sex couple (married or not). There will be an increase of anxiety and tension as the example of their parents and immediate family stands apart and in contrast to the teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Every single person on this earth, member or not, should be valued, respected, and treated with as much mercy and dignity as we can give, for that is how the Lord treats us. This policy, in my belief, is part of the Prophets looking forward with seership and prophecy and heading off a worse trial for members of the Church who are gay and their loved ones. All I ask is that if you have serious concerns about this policy then take this line of thought and continue it, and keep in mind that Satan will always try and tear families apart, ruin relationships, and tarnish the benefit of the doubt members of the Church give the Prophet. Make it a thought exercise: what might a family look like that shows, by example, one aspect of life, and then on Sunday at least some within the family will be taught and have it reinforced that romantic and sexual relationships between two people of the same gender will keep them from being like their Heavenly Parents and their Savior. They'll be taught it as an absolute because that's what we believe and what Prophets inspired of God have taught us (both by inspiration and revelation, as well as the Scriptures) while their parents don't see it as such.

I would feel awful for couples in such a situation as to have beliefs they don't agree with or support taught to their children at least once a week. If they can't, in their own good conscience, be members of the Church, then why on earth would they permit their children to be (I realize that culture and tradition are important concepts to some)? Church membership and same-sex marriage are fundamentally opposite and opposed because of the Father's end design for His children: eternal marriage and offspring as numerous as the stars. Many things on earth are patterned after things in Heaven, in my opinion. The creation of children, on earth, is only possible by certain means, and possibly by extension the same is true in eternity. This is about the Father's big picture for us. More than anything I think it (a same-sex relationship) nurtures ideas and seeds in the heart during a mortal life such that the person won't want anything to do with exaltation because of their long-term same-sex relationship or marriage (assuming for the sake of argument that progression between kingdoms is possible). Christ can't exalt those who don't choose and accept it as it really is (and not as they'd wish it to be). 

Well it is just too bad that the church does not have the same concern for children whose parents are not married.  They are not prohibited from being baptized are they?  Too bad the church does not have that same concern when the parents are of a different religion.  They underage children are not have a blanketed prohibited baptism.  Too bad the church does not have the same concern for part member families who the church does not prohibit their children from baptism.  No possibility for children to hear contradictory teachings at church concerning the choices their parents have made?

In each and every one of these other cases, the church leader is allowed to sit down with the parents, evaluate each case individually and lead by the Spirit the best course of action to take for those children.  BUT if you are gay, well then those parents obviously can not possibly allow their children to decide for themselves if they want to be members and support that decision.  Gay parents must be unable to put their children first and allow their children to act on their agency.  

I have children that are still active in the Church.  Do you think as a loving parent should try and do everything I can to tear them away from the Church?  Should I assume that because the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has no place in my life, then it should have no place in the life of my children?  Am I a bad parent because I don't try and tear their relationship with the church down the same way the Church tries to tear down my relationship with my partner?  Should I exclude my children from my life the way my family excluded me from their life simply because of the choices they made about how they see their relationship with God and what they believe is right and good?  You really struggle with trying to understand this?  Maybe it is because you don't want to understand.

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1 hour ago, california boy said:

Well it is just too bad that the church does not have the same concern for children whose parents are not married.  They are not prohibited from being baptized are they?  Too bad the church does not have that same concern when the parents are of a different religion.  They underage children are not have a blanketed prohibited baptism.  Too bad the church does not have the same concern for part member families who the church does not prohibit their children from baptism.  No possibility for children to hear contradictory teachings at church concerning the choices their parents have made?

In each and every one of these other cases, the church leader is allowed to sit down with the parents, evaluate each case individually and lead by the Spirit the best course of action to take for those children.  BUT if you are gay, well then those parents obviously can not possibly allow their children to decide for themselves if they want to be members and support that decision.  Gay parents must be unable to put their children first and allow their children to act on their agency.  

I have children that are still active in the Church.  Do you think as a loving parent should try and do everything I can to tear them away from the Church?  Should I assume that because the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has no place in my life, then it should have no place in the life of my children?  Am I a bad parent because I don't try and tear their relationship with the church down the same way the Church tries to tear down my relationship with my partner?  Should I exclude my children from my life the way my family excluded me from their life simply because of the choices they made about how they see their relationship with God and what they believe is right and good?  You really struggle with trying to understand this?  Maybe it is because you don't want to understand.

This should be pinned, for all to refer to on this topic! 

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2 hours ago, bluebell said:

That's because the situation isn't the same, and it would help if you could stop making arguments without acknowledging that the situation isn't the same if you want members to take your arguments seriously.

 

Well let's talk about this.

 

Quote
  • For a child of unmarried parents, do the parents have to break up in order for the family to be living in accordance with gospel teachings? No.  
 

Do the unmarried parents have to agree to even consider getting married before they allow their children to be baptized?  Have unmarried homes split up because one of the parents wants the join the church and insists on getting married when the other partner still does not want to marry?  Yes.

Quote
  • For children of parents who are a different religion, do the parents have to divorce in order for the family to be living in accordance with gospel teachings?  No.  
 

Do the parents who are a different religion have to agree to even hear about the church or are they required to consider changing religions in order to have their children baptized?  Have marriages split up because one partner joins the church and the other resents that?  Yes.

Quote
  • For children of part-member families, do the parents have to divorce in order for the family to be living in accordance with gospel teachings?  No.
 

Is the non member required to join the church before his child can be baptized? Has a marriage ever ended because the non member becomes hostile to the church?  Yes. Are their children still allowed to be baptized if both parents had agreed?  Yes.

Quote
  • For a child of gay or lesbian parents, do the parents need to divorce in order for the family to be living in accordance with gospel teachings?  Yes.

It's not just about hearing contradictory teachings.  It's about what those contradictory teachings mean to the primary relationship that the child depends on and deserves-the relationship of the parents.

 

So here is my point of view about this policy that targets gay parents.  We are used to being called names by various groups.  Being called an apostate isn't any different than all the other things I have been called.  I have learned name calling is just part of what is going to happen when you are gay.

What is the most insulting thing about this policy is that just because you are gay, you must not be able to see that the path towards God might be different for your child than your own path?  Just because you are gay, you can't support your child in the religion they feel they want to worship in.  Do gay parents quit talking to their kids for 13 years when they find out that their children are attracted to the opposite sex?  Do gay parents decide not to talk to their children just because they dream of an opposite-sex marriage? Is it automatically assumed that just because you are gay you have a need to control the beliefs of your children?  Is it automatically assumed that just because your child is baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints then you will want to follow that same path?  I know that path well.  I left that church knowing as much about it as any active member.  Do you think that if my child joined the church, somehow my beliefs about the church would magically change and I would want to separate from my partner?  And what happens when the oldest child turns 18 and chooses to be baptized?  Should the parents quit having any contact with that child because when that child joins the church it will surely cause their marriage to end in divorce.  And what if there are still younger children in the home? Yet there is a blanketed policy that covers every gay family.  That policy has caused more discord among family members than allowing any child of gay parents to be baptized ever has. Yet you sit there and defend this policy as if it is bringing some kind of wonderfulness to these families.  Were gay families breaking up if they allowed a child to be baptized  before this policy was mandated?

It is all excuses because members try to justify a policy that number one, never needed to be instituted and number two the reasons for its existence is bogus.

Edited by california boy

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

That's because the situation isn't the same, and it would help if you could stop making arguments without acknowledging that the situation isn't the same if you want members to take your arguments seriously.

  • For a child of unmarried parents, do the parents have to break up in order for the family to be living in accordance with gospel teachings? No.  
  • For children of parents who are a different religion, do the parents have to divorce in order for the family to be living in accordance with gospel teachings?  No.  
  • For children of part-member families, do the parents have to divorce in order for the family to be living in accordance with gospel teachings?  No.
  • For a child of gay or lesbian parents, do the parents need to divorce in order for the family to be living in accordance with gospel teachings?  Yes.

It's not just about hearing contradictory teachings.  It's about what those contradictory teachings mean to the primary relationship that the child depends on and deserves-the relationship of the parents.

 

I think you've put it very succinctly. The Church has judged that two types of family situations might present a greater challenge where family life and faithful activity meet: families of same-sex couples and those involved in polygamy. Since the precedent for this practice has already existed for years (and without the same attention this latest iteration has received), I feel like the connection and reasoning should be obvious.

If I considered myself on the other side of the argument I'd want to ask, and know: what makes these kinds of families different, in the eyes of the Church, than other family types (part-member, inactive, etc...). As bluebell pointed out there is an distinction as it relates to Church membership and activity. Ignoring that distinction only demonstrates, in my opinion, that one is only perceiving part of the whole story. Why does it matter if polygamous families allow their children to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? What might happen if there were no protocols for handling such situations?

I can't imagine the difficulty this must pose for some couples and families, but I genuinely believe that their happiness and peace would not be helped in the long term we're this policy not in effect.

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4 hours ago, california boy said:

In both instances, the woman was living in adultery.  In both cases, Christ did not brand them as apostates and teach that they younger children should not be permitted baptism.

There is scriptural precedent if we did go that route:

“A ******* shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the Lord”

Deuteronomy 23:2

Edit: Forum software is censoring the scriptures again. ;) 

Edited by The Nehor

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26 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

There is scriptural precedent if we did go that route:

“A ******* shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the Lord”

Deuteronomy 23:2

Edit: Forum software is censoring the scriptures again. ;) 

1

Another Old Testament conveniently ignored in the church today.  Now if the scripture would have read  "“The children of gay parents shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the Lord”  the church would be all over that one and not allow the children of gay parents to be baptized for 10 generations.

Edited by california boy

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29 minutes ago, Gillebre said:

I think you've put it very succinctly. The Church has judged that two types of family situations might present a greater challenge where family life and faithful activity meet: families of same-sex couples and those involved in polygamy. Since the precedent for this practice has already existed for years (and without the same attention this latest iteration has received), I feel like the connection and reasoning should be obvious.

If I considered myself on the other side of the argument I'd want to ask, and know: what makes these kinds of families different, in the eyes of the Church, than other family types (part-member, inactive, etc...). As bluebell pointed out there is an distinction as it relates to Church membership and activity. Ignoring that distinction only demonstrates, in my opinion, that one is only perceiving part of the whole story. Why does it matter if polygamous families allow their children to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? What might happen if there were no protocols for handling such situations?

I can't imagine the difficulty this must pose for some couples and families, but I genuinely believe that their happiness and peace would not be helped in the long term we're this policy not in effect.

Were gay families breaking up when their children joined the church before this policy was mandated to the extent that it needed to be a blanketed policy covering all underaged children of gay parents?

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18 minutes ago, california boy said:

 

Another Old Testament conveniently ignored in the church today.  Now if the scripture would have read  "“The children of gay parents shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the Lord”  the church would be all over that one and not allow the children of gay parents to be baptized for 10 generations.

To be fair that scripture is part of the Law Jesus did away with and should not be enforced. At best you could try to draw a principle from it but I am drawing a blank here on mine.

I am also reasonably sure that no one in the Church is chucking literal stones at you with the intent to kill you so I do not think it is fair to say the LDS Church would try to enforce other law from the Torah.

I have my suspicions about additional reasons why God would inspire leaders to put this policy in place in this time but it is not complimentary towards either members of the church who support it or those opposed to it (in or out of the church) and I would probably end up chastised by everyone if I shared so I think I will walk away.

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9 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

To be fair that scripture is part of the Law Jesus did away with and should not be enforced. At best you could try to draw a principle from it but I am drawing a blank here on mine.

I am also reasonably sure that no one in the Church is chucking literal stones at you with the intent to kill you so I do not think it is fair to say the LDS Church would try to enforce other law from the Torah.

I have my suspicions about additional reasons why God would inspire leaders to put this policy in place in this time but it is not complimentary towards either members of the church who support it or those opposed to it (in or out of the church) and I would probably end up chastised by everyone if I shared so I think I will walk away.

And to be fair, the church picks and chooses which of the laws of Moses they feel Christ did away with and cling on to the ones they like.

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2 minutes ago, california boy said:

And to be fair, the church picks and chooses which of the laws of Moses they feel Christ did away with and cling on to the ones they like.

I can’t think of anything in the Torah we hold on to. Maybe the Ten Commandments but most of them were reiterated in the D&C.

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7 hours ago, california boy said:

You haven't attended the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a gay member. 

No, I haven't. But I do attend the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a member who nearly every week hears one or more of my myriad weaknesses (and even some open rebellions) preached against. Our cleaning roster coordinator and official ward greeter attends each Sunday as a smoker who repeatedly hears about the evils of violating the Word of Wisdom. A young couple who attend our ward are living together (in every meaning of that word) 'without the benefits of marriage', and they get to hear sermons and lessons (especially the latter!) discussing the wickedness of adultery and fornication. A man in our ward was on the front page of the newspaper some years ago; he had started up an internet 'relationship' with who he thought was a 13-year-old girl. It turned out to be a cop in another nation, who then worked with our police force to get him arrested. He now has a notation on his membership record that guarantees he will never be allowed to work with (or even be around) children ever again. He essentially attends church each week as the paedophile member.

Having served in our ward's bishopric three times and now serving in the stake presidency, I can assure you that this is the tip of the iceberg. Virtually all members of our ward show up to church each week knowing that some facet of their identity or behaviour will be identified as a threat to God's plan of happiness for His children. That they will be called upon to repent. That they will be reminded that, without the intervention of a Saviour Who is capable of remaking them in His image, they will be cast off forever. That they can lift up their heads and rejoice in this promise of salvation despite the fact that who they are today simply isn't good enough or godly enough. This is kind of the whole point of Christianity.

From my vantage point, the only difference between all of us and those you have in mind (and I know from personal experience that this absolutely does not include all gay members!) is that everyone I've described above, myself included, knows that we're not OK just the way we are. We know that our only hope is that Christ is indeed mighty to save and has promised that, through our faithfulness, He will purify us and sanctify us until everything that is contrary to His will has been burnt out of us in His refining fire. We peg our hopes to the promise that someday our weaknesses and rebellions will no longer be ours, having fully surrendered them, every whit, to Him ... even if, as Joseph Smith taught, this takes aeons beyond the grave to complete.

In the midst of my acknowledged impurity, I crave to be pure. And that means that when I show up in all my impurity, I am welcome, because that is what binds the community of Saints together: our united desire to be what we are not and our united faith in Christ that, through Him, it will eventually be brought to pass. I feel contrite when I hear people like me described as a hazard to the prosperity of our nation or the stability of society -- because I know it's true! -- but I don't feel unwelcome. I am in the midst of people just like me. Their flaws may vary in kind or degree, but we are all fundamentally flawed.

And so I reiterate, there is always room in the pew next to me: for the gay member, the smoker, the drinker, the father who hits his kids, the wife who gossips, the young man who can't seem to stay away from p0rn, the young woman who cheats on her exams, the little child who lies to his parents, and everyone else. I have no ability to guarantee that the message of repentance won't sting a bit, but there is literally no point to Christianity unless it is spoken.

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

No, I haven't. But I do attend the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as a member who nearly every week hears one or more of my myriad weaknesses (and even some open rebellions) preached against. Our cleaning roster coordinator and official ward greeter attends each Sunday as a smoker who repeatedly hears about the evils of violating the Word of Wisdom. A young couple who attend our ward are living together (in every meaning of that word) 'without the benefits of marriage', and they get to hear sermons and lessons (especially the latter!) discussing the wickedness of adultery and fornication. A man in our ward was on the front page of the newspaper some years ago; he had started up an internet 'relationship' with who he thought was a 13-year-old girl. It turned out to be a cop in another nation, who then worked with our police force to get him arrested. He now has a notation on his membership record that guarantees he will never be allowed to work with (or even be around) children ever again. He essentially attends church each week as the paedophile member.

Having served in our ward's bishopric three times and now serving in the stake presidency, I can assure you that this is the tip of the iceberg. Virtually all members of our ward show up to church each week knowing that some facet of their identity or behaviour will be identified as a threat to God's plan of happiness for His children. That they will be called upon to repent. That they will be reminded that, without the intervention of a Saviour Who is capable of remaking them in His image, they will be cast off forever. That they can lift up their heads and rejoice in this promise of salvation despite the fact that who they are today simply isn't good enough or godly enough. This is kind of the whole point of Christianity.

From my vantage point, the only difference between all of us and those you have in mind (and I know from personal experience that this absolutely does not include all gay members!) is that everyone I've described above, myself included, knows that we're not OK just the way we are. We know that our only hope is that Christ is indeed mighty to save and has promised that, through our faithfulness, He will purify us and sanctify us until everything that is contrary to His will has been burnt out of us in His refining fire. We peg our hopes to the promise that someday our weaknesses and rebellions will no longer be ours, having fully surrendered them, every whit, to Him ... even if, as Joseph Smith taught, this takes aeons beyond the grave to complete.

In the midst of my acknowledged impurity, I crave to be pure. And that means that when I show up in all my impurity, I am welcome, because that is what binds the community of Saints together: our united desire to be what we are not and our united faith in Christ that, through Him, it will eventually be brought to pass. I feel contrite when I hear people like me described as a hazard to the prosperity of our nation or the stability of society -- because I know it's true! -- but I don't feel unwelcome. I am in the midst of people just like me. Their flaws may vary in kind or degree, but we are all fundamentally flawed.

And so I reiterate, there is always room in the pew next to me: for the gay member, the smoker, the drinker, the father who hits his kids, the wife who gossips, the young man who can't seem to stay away from p0rn, the young woman who cheats on her exams, the little child who lies to his parents, and everyone else. I have no ability to guarantee that the message of repentance won't sting a bit, but there is literally no point to Christianity unless its spoken.

This is ridiculous Hamba, we shouldn't be comparing their sins with being gay. Gays were born this way, they didn't choose it. What if someone told you that your attraction to women was wrong or a sin? And what if you better never think of wanting to marry someone you were in love with. And what about the gays is a pedophile, or a child abuser? Think about it....

Edited by Tacenda

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9 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

This is ridiculous Hamba, we shouldn't be comparing their sins with being gay.

What is ridiculous, Tacenda, is that we have a group of politically powerful people who have determined that their sins are off-limits to God, His prophets, and all other people. And then we have professed Latter-day Saints who decide to side with them over God despite the fact that the entire 'born that way' cry is a recent cultural (and now political) construct with a completely known genealogy.

God has told me that my attractions are wrong. That's what He does. Accepting or rejecting that assessment is what I get to do. I'm happy for other people to reject God's statements, but they don't get to walk into our churches and demand that we reject them too or risk being labelled hateful and intolerant.

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

What is ridiculous, Tacenda, is that we have a group of politically powerful people who have determined that their sins are off-limits to God, His prophets, and all other people.

 

This sounds more like straight Christians justifying their own adultery (divorce and remarriage) than gay people. In America at least gay people still don't have equal rights politically, nor do they have enough influence in most churches to have church leadership give them special dispensation to sin, as happens for straight people in the LDS Church and most protestant churches.

 

Quote

And then we have professed Latter-day Saints who decide to side with them over God despite the fact that the entire 'born that way' cry is a recent cultural (and now political) construct with a completely known genealogy.

 

If you're going to fundamentalist, fundamentalist all the way. None of these half measures.

Edited by Gray
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On 11/8/2018 at 5:08 AM, Hamba Tuhan said:

Zero, that I'm aware of.

If it really was zero, after three years, than it makes me wonder why the Lord would have felt the need to supposedly reveal a policy to the Brethren that wasn’t really needed. 

Of course, it wasn’t zero. 

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We had a young man (16), non-member and the son of a married lesbian attend our ward for a short time.  The ward council wanted to send the missionaries to meet with him.  I thought that was funny.  

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