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  1. Nothing I have seen in the above arguments convinces me that the eternal principle of marriage between a man and woman is endangered by gay marriage. For a heterosexual, cisgender member of the Church, the proclamation on the family feels to me like an eternal principle. Since 80% to 90% of God's children are heterosexual and cisgender I believe that what the Church now teaches is pretty much 100% correct for those members and assures procreation on this earth. I don't not believe that the Church nor any of its leaders have received any revelation on queer members as it relates to their eternal possibilities. President Oaks formed an opinion long ago that excludes queer individuals from God kingdom on the earth. I am assuming it is based on his fear that allowing a place for queer individuals in the Church would destroy the Church. Once again, I would love for someone to explain in detail how allowing gay marriage and gender transitioning would destroy the Church. The only thing I can come up with is bigoted members who dislike queer individuals and would refuse to accept them make up such a large portion of Church membership that when they all left, the Church would collapse somehow.
  2. I have never heard of a parent being told would you rather have a live trans child or a dead cisgender child. What I have heard is hundreds of parents testify that as they pondered and prayed about their transgender child, this very thought came into their mind. Many attribute it to guidance from the Holy Ghost. I am sure as the stories are shared some parents might feel like they are being told this. I have seen nothing to indicate there are more transboy or transgirls, If there is a difference it can't be to great. Acceptance has definitely made a difference. Easy examples are Ed Smart and Lori Lee Hall. So many of the older queer generation lived lives kept secret and many cases never had the knowledge to understand why they felt so different. One common thing that happens to many LDS queer youth is that as soon as they start to realize they a queer, they will go through incredible mental gymnastics to convince themselves they are not queer. These individuals often don't fully admit to themselves they are queer until a triggering event such as coming home from a mission and finding nothing changed or marrying someone of the opposite sex. For these individuals the coming out process can take years. With all the open knowledge available now days many young queer kids can figure out who they are all by themselves. My son did extensive research on the internet including everything available from the Church on homosexuality when he was 11 years old and decided at 12 that he would rather be kicked out of our house than not come out. He courageously told our Bishop before he came out that he did not enjoy young men's and asked if he could work in the primary. It is very common for young kids to take a long time to decide exactly how they are queer because sexual attraction and gender identity have much broader spectrum for these youth. Many on this board can only see man or woman, gay or straight when today's youth see hundreds of different shades. There is absolutely no evidence of any transgender woman transitioning with a major reason being to win sporting events. It just doesn't happen. Just like there is absolutely no evidence of transgender women who transitioned just to they could see women's bodies in bathrooms or changing rooms. It just doesn't happen. Your article is so far outside of the mainstream that I feel safe in calling it a trash piece. As more and more research is done and as more and more people transition, there is less and less evidence that the current process is harming large groups of individuals. Like any complicated process involving the human mind and body, there are mistakes made both by professionals and individuals. These mistakes are becoming so insignificant compared to the real lived experience of so many that transgender people will become an undeniable segment of the human population and everyone will have to deal with it. There is no going back because the actual results of transitioning are overwhelmingly positive. Laws and religious beliefs can't stop something that is so positive in the lives of so many.
  3. Viewpoint from someone on the front lines dealing with these issues everyday. The Facebook group I administer and mentor for LDS families with queer children is currently getting 5 to 10 requests a day from parents wishing to join. We are fast approaching 3,000 members in our group. I and my wife are members of other groups for parents of queer kids that include people of all religions or no religions. The numbers in these groups are in the 10's of thousands. 5 years ago 90% of the parents joining were dealing with gay kids. Today its about 40% transgender, 40% gay and 20% other on the queer spectrum. This article describes nothing that is actually going on. If the author or any of you would take the time to visit with 20 parents of transgender children and visit with the children themselves, you would discover a very different picture. You would discover kids with serious depression, suicidal thoughts and young lives coming apart until they come out as transgender. Once they do, their mental health almost always begins to improve. The first step these youth and their parents always take is counseling. Transition usually starts with clothes, hair, makeup and binders. After a period of counseling if the child is at the right age and wants to, they can start puberty blockers. Almost all the transgender kids I know today choose the blockers. The blockers aren't permanent and can be stopped at any time. Almost universally parents report dramatic improvements in mental health and a return of happiness to their child's life. Like any medication, there are those who don't respond well to puberty blockers and go off them. That happens very rarely. A very common occurrence is for a child to come out gay or bisexual to test the family waters. If parents are accepting and things progress well, the child will then come out as transgender. The kids aren't stupid and they know that many parents go into deep shock over transgender versus gay or bisexual. Many parents currently have concerns about puberty blockers and detransitioning because of articles like this. These parents are thoroughly investigating both issues and almost without fail come back with only positive reports. Although there are articles arguing that many transgender people are regretting their decision, that is not the lived experience in the groups I am in. Many parents in these groups have transgender children that transitioned 5 or more years ago and none have reported a child regretting their transition. I personally know probably 100 transgender adults. None of them have ever expressed any regrets. The only regret they express is that they had to wait until adulthood to start transitioning. We have had absolutely no cases of children coming out as queer then later saying they are straight or cisgender. Many bisexual children have married someone of the opposite sex but they still openly call themselves bisexual. Now this is only my experience based on 10 years and thousands of personal stories but it resembles nothing like the article or comments offered above. Kids will keep coming out as queer including transgender and their very lives will depend on acceptance and the ability to live life as they choose. Literally, children are taking their lives because of the attitudes expressed in this article, by politicians and church leaders of religions.
  4. I would ask us all to look behind Elder Holland's words and ask why is he addressing this subject? There is a crisis among american youth today and it seems to hit LDS communities hard, it's youth suicide. Elder Holland addressed it from his viewpoint with a lot of compassion. Unfortunately, Elder Holland should have taken a suicide prevention course before he gave his talk. While the words he used resonated with active believing members, quotes such as the original poster asked about are very damaging to those considering suicide. Such a comment doesn't help anyone who is suicidal. They need to hear you say I am here for you, please don't hurt yourself, I would miss you and I will just sit here an listen to you. No expert would ever tell you to tell someone that suicide won't relieve the pain they are feeling.
  5. So I am assuming for you scriptural literalists that you believe once you are married in the temple and stay married, you can commit any sin but murder and your guaranteed the celestial kingdom (D&C 132:19). It also seems based on the certainty expressed above that God can't reveal any more on the subject of marriage because the cannon of scripture is sealed and you believe that prophets, seers and revelators have declared the revelation on marriage is sealed and final. Is that your feeling on the subject? Do you believe that is the Church's official position? If so then it is clear to see why folks leave the Church. They see too much evidence that the subject has not been sealed by God and are looking for more revelation on the subject. When they express those feelings, they are solidly denounced as heretics by many members and church leaders. It's really the basic issue for most of the confusion around religion. Those in control of each religious institution want to limit change and they cast out those who advocate for change. Of course the only problem with this is that God has a history of sending more revelation that expands the understanding of man on the eternal principles, in other words, change. Is marriage the eternal principle or is love the eternal principle. I put my money on love. Anything that creates or increases love of any kind is from God. Men and women weren't created to satisfy the demands of marriage. Marriage is an eternal part of that which creates eternal love between two people. The evidence that gay marriage creates as much love as straight marriage is undeniable. Gay couples even raise kids who are happy, well adjusted and loved.
  6. I won't call out names but I can certainly see some who have no love for their queer brothers and sisters but rather see them as disturbed people making bad choices.
  7. One doctor against thousands who have just the opposite opinion. I am sure you can find 10 or 100 more who will say the same thing versus that thousands that will totally disagree. Some doctors let their religious and moral viewpoints override science and facts all the time. Do your homework and quit cherry picking.
  8. This is one of the weakest posts I have seen. Almost universally, queer kids and adults have spent huge amounts of time studying everything they can get their hands on related to their own brand of queerness. I have yet to meet a queer person that is not very aware of most books, shows, podcasts, groups and movies that deal with queer themes. This is the first step a queer kid will always take because they know they are different and they want to understand why. Most young people today are very aware of the issues and many more read books than you seem to think. They just might read their books on a Kindle, Ipad or smartphone. I know who you are listening to get your supposed facts but I totally disagree with everything you said. Most of the current generation has little or no negative views of their queer classmates and those who do have issues with queer classmates get upset because they are in the minority. That is the pressure they feel. There are not many teachers pushing the topic. Most teachers try very hard to be neutral. Now out of the 3.2 million teachers in the United States, I am sure you can find a few thousand that push the topic. I am sure there are many more teachers pushing a white christen narrative on their students. Your ignorance about the current usage of the term homophobic is unbelievable. No one in the queer community or ally would ever call your gay daughter homophobic. They would use the correct term which is transphobic. It really doesn't matter what you think is the correct usage of a term. Word's meaning are decided by the culture they are used in. Even your term biological man is incorrect. Transgender women's hormone levels are those of a woman not a man. No transgender woman competing in sports has demonstrated a performance that exceeds the top women in that sport at the level the transgender woman is competing. Most transgender women have breasts and many when old enough have vaginas. Transphobic for most of us today means someone who believes transgender people are weird, shouldn't be allowed to change their gender or believes transgender individuals should be treated differently from other people such as in sports. You seem to be an educated poster. Please do your homework. Everything you have said above comes from the right wing propaganda machine. The vast majority of of specialists in this field will testify that puberty blockers save lives. They give kids a chance to mature and grow in understanding of their gender dysphoria before any surgical changes are made. Many transgender teenagers become suicidal when their bodies start to change in puberty and the blockers bring them relief. No child can receive puberty blockers unless they: Show a long-lasting and intense pattern of gender nonconformity or gender dysphoria Have gender dysphoria that began or worsened at the start of puberty Address any psychological, medical or social problems that could interfere with treatment Have entered the early stage of puberty Provide informed consent Mayo clinic The actual occurrence of detransitioning is not well documented but most current peer reviewed studies indicate it is in the low single digits percentage wise. The whole medical field of transgender treatment is relatively new and one of the issues that is part of every transgender person's treatment is a careful approach to any changes. I know many transgender people that only take hormones. I know other transgender people that only change their hairstyle, dress and makeup. I know of youth that after a time taking puberty blockers will decide to go off them as puberty blockers are not permanent. Some decide they are really nonbinary and need no physical change. Some stop to allow their genitals to develop enough so that certain types of gender change surgery can be performed. Please before you form opinions, seek out some transgender folks and talk to them. Talk to a gender specialist. Look carefully at your sources because there are some so called medical people that are transphobic and twist science much like those who argue against climate change.
  9. And we criticize the interpretations of scriptures by other christian denominations? You can all have opinions but none of the above statements is based on anything other than opinion. Your opinion is no more accurate in this case than any other opinion. There is no revelation directly explaining anything about Mother in Heaven, nothing. We members of the Church chose to believe in a Mother in Heaven because of feelings in our heart (sure a form of revelation) not because a prophet received any prophetic revelation from Heavenly Father that has been canonized or even written down.
  10. Thanks. Lots of very thoughtful and kind responses that really do show love.
  11. There is no evidence that the physical plates were ever present and open during the translation process. That is different than saying the plates didn't exist. The only evidence that Joseph ever looked at the plates was to copy characters from the plates as explained in the Pearl of Great Price. Joseph then used the Urim and Thummim to translate some of the characters implying that even then Joseph wasn't looking at the actual plates. There is actually no clarity as to whether the Urim and Thummim referenced was those found with the plates or the seer stone as Joseph referred to both and Urim and Thummim.
  12. I just don't enjoy discussions that only revolve around personal beliefs and interpretations of scripture, history and conference talks. What good is the gospel if all one does with it is examine it and work to prove one's interpretation is the right one? I think that is exactly why the Savior condemned so strongly lawyers, scribes, priests, pharisees and Sadducee's. I think we all agree that one of the greatest commandments is to love thy neighbor as thyself. Since everyone on this board seems to have strong views on LGTBQ+ members, please share with us all what you are actually doing for the queer members of the Church to help them feel loved? I spend 5 to 10 hours a week helping parents of queer children navigate membership in the Church. Last Saturday I was visiting Austin Texas and my wife and I attended a rally to protest the Texas governors directive to investigate parents of trans children for child abuse. We met a non-binary person whose LDS family had rejected them. We spent a long time talking with them and the one thing that hurt them the most was the total withdrawal of love from their family and ward members when they came out. I gave them a hug and they just didn't want to let go. They were really amazed that there were actually LDS parents who loved and accepted their gay children. There are a handful of queer members here in the Portland area trying to maintain some level of Church activity. We serve as a sort of crisis line when any of them start to have dark thoughts. We have had calls at midnight, last minute guests to holiday meals and offered lots of hugs. We have brought a few inactive queer members to church with us when they have had a desire just to sit in sacrament meeting one time. From experience, queer members especially those attending need extra help. So please share with me what you are doing.
  13. A few example of doctrine that would never change. *** PLURAL MARRIAGE May 17, 1888: “We are not going to stop the practice of plural marriage until the Coming of the Son of Man.” (Wilford Woodruff, Manti temple dedication, quoted in journals of Heber J. Grant and John Henry Smith) October 6, 1890: “And I now publicly declare that my advice to the Latter-day Saints is to refrain from contracting any marriage forbidden by the law of the land.” (Wilford Woodruff, OD 1) *** 1878: “Some people have supposed that the doctrine of plural marriage was a sort of superfluity, or non-essential, to the salvation or exaltation of mankind.... I want here to enter my solemn protest against this idea, for I know it is false.... [W]hoever has imagined that he could obtain the fullness of the blessings pertaining to this celestial law, by complying with only a portion of its conditions, has deceived himself. He cannot do it.” — Joseph F. Smith, 1878 (quoted in Harrell TIMD Chpt. 15) 1891: “We, the First Presidency and Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, … represent to your Excellency the following facts: We formerly taught to our people that polygamy, or celestial marriage, as commanded by God through Joseph Smith, was right; that it was a necessity to man’s highest exaltation in the life to come. That doctrine was publicly promulgated by our president, the late Brigham Young, forty years ago, and was steadily taught and impressed upon the Latter-Day Saints up to a short time before September, 1890.… In September, 1890, the present head of the church in anguish and prayer cried to God for help for his flock, and received permission to advise the members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that the law commanding polygamy was henceforth suspended.” — December 18, 1891 letter, First Presidency and Twelve to United States President Benjamin Harrison 1912: “Celestial marriage is essential to a fulness of glory in the world to come, as explained in the revelation concerning it; but it is not stated that plural marriage is thus essential.” — Charles W. Penrose (First Presidency) INTERRACIAL MARRIAGE 1863: “Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law, is death on the spot. This will always be so.” (Brigham Young, JOD 10:10) 1973: “Surely no one of you who is an heir to a body of more favored lineage would knowingly intermarry with a race that would condemn your posterity to penalties that have been placed upon the seed of Cain by the judgments of God.” (President Harold B. Lee, Decisions for Successful Living, p. 168). Today: “Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that … mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else. Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form.” (Gospel Topics Essay on Race and the Priesthood) BIRTH CONTROL 1954: “When a man and a woman are married and they agree … to limit their offspring to two or three, and practice devices to accomplish this purpose, they are guilty of iniquity which eventually must be punished.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 2:273) Today: “Physical intimacy between husband and wife … is ordained of God for the creation of children and for the expression of love between husband and wife…. The decision about how many children to have and when to have them is extremely personal and private. It should be left between the couple and the Lord. Church members should not judge one another in this matter.” (General Handbook 38.6.4) SEXUAL ORIENTATION 1969: “Many have been misinformed that they are powerless in the matter, not responsible for the tendency, and that God ‘made them that way’. This is as untrue as any other of the diabolical lies Satan has concocted. It is blasphemy. Man is made in the image of God. Does the pervert think God to be ‘that way’?" (Spencer W. Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, Chpt. 6 (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft) 1969, p. 85) 1995: “There is some widely accepted theory extant that homosexuality is inherited. How can this be? No scientific evidence demonstrates absolutely that this is so. Besides, if it were so, it would frustrate the whole plan of mortal happiness…. The false belief of inborn homosexual orientation denies to repentant souls the opportunity to change and will ultimately lead to discouragement, disappointment, and despair.” (James E. Faust, Sept. 1995 First Presidency Message, Ensign) 2006: “The Church does not have a position on the causes of any of these susceptibilities or inclinations, including those related to same-gender attraction. Those are scientific questions – whether nature or nurture – those are things the Church doesn’t have a position on.” (Dallin H. Oaks interview, 2006) 2015: “Even though individuals do not choose to have such [same-sex] attractions, they do choose how to respond to them.” (M. Russell Ballard, “The Lord Needs You Now,” Ensign, Sept. 2015)
  14. Please explain the God you believe in. Please explain His characteristics that make Him God. 25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy. (explain how the Church's current teachings toward queer members brings joy into their lives) 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (explain how the Church's current teachings toward queer members brings freedom to their lives) 18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. (explain in detail the good fruit that comes from the Church's current teachings toward queer members in the live of those members) 2 And that I am the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world; (explain how the Church's current teachings toward queer members brings light into their lives) 21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated. (explain what blessings come into the lives of queer members from the Church's current teachings toward queer members) 5 And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the glory of God, qualify him for the work. (explain how the Church's current teachings toward queer members brings faith, hope, charity and love with an eye single to the glory of God into their lives) So you are seriously equating the damage done by a teaching supposedly from God with the damage that happens in life from so many other causes? Name some other current teachings of the Gospel that cause the same damage to individuals and families? Give me your doctrine on why God won't allow homosexuality. How does homosexuality defeat God's plan? Remember God created 90% of His children as heterosexual, cisgender individuals. God knew that out of this 90% enough would desire families that His spirit children would have plenty of opportunity to be born on this earth. Do you believe that accepting committed homosexual relationships will cause all those heterosexual cisgender individuals to stop forming families? If 10% of His children are born queer, I am pretty sure He took that into account. Do homosexual relationships cause the destruction of society? Please tell me the harm a committed gay relationship causes. How would accepting gay relationships harm the gospel? God doesn't have enough room in the Church to allow two kinds of relationships? Or do you think the acceptance of gay relationships as being righteous would cause all those members of the Church who married in the temple to renounce their marriages? If so, why would they do that? Do you believe accepting gay marriages invalidates straight marriages? Please explain to me what would have to change in current church teachings about heterosexual marriages if gay marriages were accepted as righteous? Please share with me your thoughts on why God could never consider a gay marriage as something good? Maybe you are saying the only real reason God has marriage is for the creation of children and not the relationship between two people (I guess that would explain your support of polygamy). Please give it a try again to explain how accepting gay marriage would destroy the doctrine of marriage between a man and a woman. What current teachings about marriage between a man and a woman would have to change? Why would God never allow gay marriage? How would accepting gay marriage destroy the Church? You just saying it would destroy the Church is not evidence or reasoned thought? I can see nothing would have to change other than leaders having to admit they were wrong. Is that what would destroy the Church, the issue that leaders would be wrong?
  15. I don't have the final answer but I can confidently testify that what the Church is teaching currently is wrong. God and truth would never create the damage, hurt, broken lives and families that the current teachings create. My human mind says maybe the other two levels in the Celestial kingdom are for gays and transgender individuals that live worthy lives of love, kindness and love of God. Such individuals could have full membership and only not have a marriage performed in the temple. I stay because only in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints do I find so many beliefs that ring true to me. I will not allow beliefs that I see as false with no evidence of their truthfulness to keep me away from the truths I see plenty of evidence of their truthfulness.
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