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Everything posted by Buckeye

  1. Catholics, but for reasons of personal exposure. Our family has lived mostly in areas with large catholic populations and my wife’s mother was raised catholic. So we’ve been to mass many times, our kids are friends in parochial schools, and we’ve swapped babysitters with catholic neighbors often. Our kids have also been sprinkled with holy water. Knowing Catholics has been a real advantage for our son serving in Italy. One of my fondest memories is of my wife and I standing in line at Costco with our five young children who were struggling to behave. A kind-hearted catholic woman behind us motioned for my wife to chat. I thought she was going to offer advice but instead said (in a whisper) “it’s so nice to see a young couple heed the church’s teaching against contraception.” My wife took the compliment in stride and didn’t correct her. I don’t know what revelation would have hurt more - that we are Mormon, that we believe contraception is a God-send (literally), or that we support early term abortion rights in large part because our church doctrine that life begins well before conception.
  2. I was referencing the scriptural instruction to not call good things evil. From your post, can I take it that you agree gay marriages are good (even if not best)? That would be a welcome development and one I would hope to see in the church. My heterosexual marriage/sealing is good too but no where near celestial yet. I can’t expect better fruit from gay marriages than from my own. In the long run, do you think gay people stay gay? If so, I’d recommend gay marriage to them all since none of them will qualify for exaltation under current church doctrine. Either their orientation changes or the doctrine changes. It’s apparent the church has given up on changing anyones orientation in this life. So my honest answer for gay members is to find the most happiness in this life and continue searching in the next. If we find that orientations can change in the next then we can revisit getting back on the covenant path then. But inasmuch as the covenant path only offers isolation here it’s not a plan of happiness for gay members.
  3. FWIW, I’m been in multiple ward and stake leaderships that have tried to set local policies for same-sex dancing. Some have implemented policies excluding the practice entirely, with mixed results. But over time I’ve generally seen local leadership relax so long youth are just dancing. Another trend is there are a lot fewer slow dances than when I was a youth. Maybe 5-6 per dance. Also fewer line dances.
  4. Count me as one of those progressives. My grandparents and parents were taught that interracial marriage was sin. But they watched the good fruit of those marriages, prayed for direction, and repented. My generation is doing the same with gay marriage. Evil trees do not produce good fruit. As I’ve seen their fruit is good, I’ve prayed for direction and repented. That repentance has brought me enormous peace on an issue that still troubles so many members. The divine intervention is there for all who seek it.
  5. Yep. Some of the strongest examples I point to my children for why they should marry are gay marriages. They’re truly inspiring. One of the tragedies from our vocal opposition to gay marriage is that we desperately need these allies. We are engaging in senseless and tragic friendly fire and will look back on these days with great sorrow.
  6. I’m an eternal optimist and also a realist. So when I see expectations lowered I’m always hopeful that eventually - including the next life - they will be raised again. I’m confident that if the church were to try to create a space for LGBT members by having lower standards, it would still offer a hope that LGBT could eventually qualify for exaltation if they renounce their sexuality, including in the next life. My point still remains, though. We shouldn’t expect to create a ‘lesser’ place for some group of members, even if just for this life, and not have many other members outside that group also decide to inhabit that space. In other words, if we say ‘it’s fine for the gays to live lesser laws now and not go to the temple because they can change in the next life’ I guarantee you lots of our non-gay members will say ‘me too; I don’t need to live temple standards here; I’ll just change in the next life.’
  7. I agree and often feel the same. The challenge for the church, though, is that we very much want everyone to aim for sealing in the temple. If we decide that some group of members (in this case LGBT) should aim lower and therefore don’t need the temple, we inevitably open the door to lots more members who are not LGBT doing the same. It’s like the current situation with young men serving missions. We teach that YM have a duty to serve because they are ordained to the priesthood, and that YW have option to serve but shouldn’t feel any pressure, but in practice every ward I’ve been in ends up treating all youth the same. We bend towards equality and are lousy at setting different bars for our sons than our daughters. So by setting a lower expectation for one group we inevitably do the same for the other. That’s one reason mission numbers are down IMO. Getting back to my original comment in this thread, I’m very encouraged if President Oak’s plan is to find ways to include LGBT members better in our church community. But I strongly doubt we can set a lower bar for them without seeing many other members decide the lower bar is fine for them too. There’s a high risk in teaching that any group is not ‘exaltation material.’
  8. I believe strongly in this relationship model and use in my counseling of members often. In short, while there will always be faults to see in the "other" (whether a spouse, child, sibling, or organization like the church), the focus must always be on the positives. Once the negatives become dominant, particularly when one's approach is contempt, divorce is soon to follow. If a member gets solely focused on an issue such as SSM, they will eventually separate themself from the church. That separation may be very understandable and even wise, such as when one's LGBT child is placed in an unhealthy and untenable place by the church community, but members should try to step back and make the decision consciously rather than with contempt. Likewise, if the church makes the sole focus on a particular member their disobedience to a specific commandment, they will eventually separate themself from the member. As an example, I've seen vastly different reactions to members who do not live the WoW. Wards that embrace the member and try to find ways to work together (e.g., call the brother as an assistant scout master) have much better results than those that try to shun. The successes are not just for the member but their family and the whole ward family. Here's to continued hope that such an approach can be found with LGBT members, whose numbers will never significantly decrease in our church because we keep giving birth to new ones.
  9. I love Bro. Nibley. I read many of his works on my mission. He gave a special lecture at BYU when I got back in the late 90s. I was dating my future wife at the time and convinced her to go. I spent the entire lecturing straining to understand anything he said and came home with a headache. She was smarter and gave up in the first minute, instead passing the time by counting the number of times he said 'papyrus.' We got engaged soon thereafter with an agreement that she would pick the date night activities and neither of us would ever use the word 'papyrus' again.
  10. Not really. I'm trying to stay away from SSM here (it's tough as you can see in the other comments). My intent is really to understand how the slice of mormondom found on this board views the criticality of sexual reproduction to their idea of deity. For me, what type of body, organs, etc. God has doesn't matter to me at all. They are not part of His 'image' that I am trying to adopt. The 'image' we take on is His attributes found in places such as the beatitudes and D/C 121, not any physical form. God could be a pink river dolphin for all I care. I'm personally planning on being a falcon. But I know that some here (and certainly in the rest of the church) feel very strongly that a celestial body must look and operate like a mortal body. This belief has important ties to how someone views issues such as homosexuality, evolution, and so forth, but none of those issues are specifically it issue in this thread. And, yes, I believe that the creation of spirit children has nothing at all to do with sexual procreation. It's a very long process that began in the pre-existence, continues here, and will yet continue into the next estate. None of us has been fully 'created' yet; we're works in process.
  11. I agree that anyone's answer will depend on how they define 'materially alter'. I chose that term specifically to leave the judgment up to everyone. Feel free to vote and elaborate in a comment how you define a material alteration.
  12. My support for SSM doesn't come from any secret doctrine (I'm just an ordinary member) or from any certainty that sexual orientation cannot change. I'm open to changes, but those must come from those who currently experience SS attraction, not from myself or others who do not. If all my friends and cousins that are LGBT were to come to me and say, "turns out we were wrong and could change," then I'd repent too. But I just haven't seen that. What I haven seen - and what I strongly believe will not change - is that SS marriages are fundamentally good. They produce good fruit for the couple, the children, and society at large. I've see that fruit and do not believe it will change. What is fundamentally good here will remain fundamentally good in the hereafter.
  13. Very thorough and profound. Thank you. For Question 2, my wording was unintentionally confusing for women. I was trying to get at scenarios such as a 'baby switched in the hospital.'
  14. Thanks. I'm personally fine with the notion that I can at most be part of 'Team Elohim' but not become the same, but I know that's heresy to other members. Can you elaborate on why the spirit creation ordinance operates with only a man and woman? Is it anything more than plumbing and "that's how things work on earth?" I'm honestly not trying to belittle; just understand. And, in particular, do you believe the celestial couples have any role with the child after the creation ordinance? I know lots of women in the church that chafe at the idea they'll only be 'baby machines' in the eternities. To be honest, I'd never considered the possibility that my role, as a male, would also be only the creation of spirit babies.
  15. Very impressive FHEs. Are you suggesting that members blanch at the thought they don't fully become an Elohim (I've seen that myself) or blanch at the thought that spirit children are begotten by heavenly couples in a means parallel to how babies are created on earth? I couldn't tell if your view is that spirit children are conceived by heavenly parents - even if those parents are not on the level of God/Elohim - and, if so, whether your relationship with Elohim/God would be materially altered if you came to learn that was not how spirit children are created.
  16. That makes a lot of sense. Thanks for sharing.
  17. Good question. Assume everyone here is acting in good faith. There's no affairs or concealment. I'll update the explanation.
  18. The purpose of this poll/thread is only for discussion of the importance of biological fatherhood (mortal and eternal) to you personally. If you wish to discuss gay marriage, church doctrine, or the science of biological parenthood, there are plenty of other threads to do so. For this poll/thread, please stick to just your own relationships with your earthly father, earthly children, and Heavenly Father. For question 1, assume that your earthly parents did not have an affair or conceal anything from you. Your father (and mother) are just a surprised as you to learn that you are not biologically related. I realize I am leaving earthly and Heavenly Mothers out of this (except that women should of course answer question 2 from their own perspective). The decision to exclude relationships with earthly and Heavenly Mothers comes at a big cost, and certainly there can be other threads for such discussion, but I wanted to keep this poll/thread narrowly focused. I worried that a discussion of one's relationship with Heavenly Mother would branch off into too many tangents (e.g. polygamy), since there is little LDS doctrine as to Her and likely a wide range of relationships between members of this board and Her. ***************** For my own answers: No. If I learned I was not biologically related to the man I've looked to as my earthly father these many years, I would face some minor changes, but nothing significant in my relationship with my father would change. I'd miss hearing members in my ward remark "that must be your dad, you look so alike." And I'd certainly want to know more about the biological father I'd never met. But I would still revere and look to my earthly father for guidance and direction back to my Heavenly Father, the same as I do now. No. If there was a mix-up at the hospital, I'd certainly have questions for the medical staff and search to find my biological child. But there would be no change to how I view the child I have been raising. My obligations to, love for, and eternal bond to that child would be unchanged. No. My current relationship with my Heavenly Father stems entirely from His providing me with a world in which to grow, righteous teachings and examples to direct me, and constant patience and forgiveness as I stumble. Most of those blessings come indirectly through the Savior (my Brother) and others through whom Father works - all of whom I look to as fathers and mothers. While I'm open to the possibility that my existence in some fashion stems from a sexual union of heavenly beings at some point in time, that possibility does not at all color how I related to my Heavenly Father.
  19. Eternal progeny does not require sex - either in this life or the next. Adopted children are progeny. Christ could raise seed into Abraham from rocks. Indeed, anyone who gives of their life to raise another is a father or mother. In the King Follett discourse Joseph taught that we are all co-eternal with God. God himself, finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent, saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself. God is not our Father because he had sex once a million years ago. He’s our Father because he sacrificed his time and talents to help us become like him. In a few weeks I’ll call my earthly father on Father’s Day. I won’t express appreciation that he provided sperm one time decades ago - that has nothing to do with our relationship. He’s my father because he gave his life in service to me and still shows the way. In this regard I’m exactly the same as millions of children of gay fathers who will express the same gratitude to their fathers on Fathers Day. Seriously, do you know any gay or lesbian couples? If you talk to them for even a minute you’ll learn that their marriage and parenthood is anything but an empty consolation price.
  20. It’s missing my stake center. I feel left out.
  21. I’ve made the same point in many talks. Revelation hasn’t stopped. We just don’t codify it in the d/c because it’s not practical. My sons mission call is just as much revelation as Samuel Johnson’s, just not codified.
  22. I see. I misunderstood you. Certainly there are some who want change just for changes sake. That’s not my view. I want “more good” - to use Joseph’s definition of Mormon. And yes, there needs to be a balance with constancy. We can’t run faster than we have strength. The branches can’t grow so fast they exceed the strength of the roots. But we also don’t just wait for God to give more. That’s never how revelation comes. We must decide for ourselves what is good and then seek confirmation. That’s the model for individuals and the church as a whole.
  23. Constant improvement is part of our gospel. “… We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.” I see the blessings my sons receive by administering priesthood ordinances. I desire my daughters to receive the same. I see the blessings that come to my hetero siblings through marriage and temple sealings. I desire my gay and lesbian cousins and friends to receive the same. To borrow Elder Uchtdorf’s metaphor, there is so much wonderful food available at the cruise banquet that we are not currently partaking of.
  24. Navidad, rest assured that the church doesn’t teach or practice this idea either. Quite the contrary. My sister and her husband have been unable to conceive. They adopted two wonderful children and they are all sealed together in the temple with the same promises any other family has. Adoption is strong part of our history and doctrine, and is a great hope for how same-sex couples could be included in the covenant path.
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