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"love The Sinner, Hate The Sin"


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Zoidberg brought up a point in another thread that i've heard many times-that's it's impossible to really love a person and hate something they are doing or believing.

I really don't get why?

I'm trying to understand better why some people feel that you can't really love them unless you agree with them.

I'm hoping people can help me see this issue from the other side.

:P

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Zoidberg brought up a point in another thread that i've heard many times-that's it's impossible to really love a person and hate something they are doing or believing.

I really don't get why?

I'm trying to understand better why some people feel that you can't really love them unless you agree with them.

I'm hoping people can help me see this issue from the other side.

:P

We see the sinner as part of his sin. Isn't he the one who chose this sin? Isn't he the one who committed the sin? It isn't easy to separate the sin from the sinner because it has become part of him--is part of him until he is released from the sin by Christ.

We aren't God and therefore see the sinner as created by his sin-- I believe we should love the sinner, help the sinner, but we can't separate him from his sin-- only God can.

If the sinner loves his sins more than God and even us, how do we handle that?

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Maybe this is why itâ??s so hard to love ourselves when we arenâ??t living up to our preconceived notions of perfectionâ?¦

Here too we can love ourselves and even the difficult to love if we truly have charity:

Moroni 7:47 But charity is the pure bove of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

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It is easier if you already love the person. It is harder if you don't love the person and become aware of the sin to develop a love for the person after.

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We see the sinner as part of his sin. Isn't he the one who chose this sin? Isn't he the one who committed the sin? It isn't easy to separate the sin from the sinner because it has become part of him--is part of him until he is released from the sin by Christ.

We aren't God and therefore see the sinner as created by his sin-- I believe we should love the sinner, help the sinner, but we can't separate him from his sin-- only God can.

If the sinner loves his sins more than God and even us, how do we handle that?

Maybe i'm being to simplistic about this topic-but i just don't get why only God can separate the sin from the sinner?

I mean, i have children, and i love them so much, even when they do thing i just HATE and which are very wrong.

I have members of my family that live lifestyles that i really don't agree with-but i love them SO much and they are as much a part of my life as they were when they weren't living such lifestyles.

I know they are good people, with good hearts-and i've never felt that i have to agree with their choices to think so about them.

:P

It is easier if you already love the person. It is harder if you don't love the person and become aware of the sin to develop a love for the person after.

I can see that being true.

I have very little experience with such examples-except on my mission where i did learn to truly love some of the people i taught, who were never baptized, and who held beliefs and made choices i did believe were wrong-but it's always easier to harshly judge people we have no emotional attachment to.

<_<

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If the sinner loves his sins more than God and even us, how do we handle that?

This question reminds me of 2 of my all-time favorite quotes of the restored gospel; and they are as good as scripture to me.

First from Brigham Young:

I will repeat part of the "Mormon Creed," viz, "Let every man mind his own business." If this is observed, every man will have business sufficient on hand, so as not to afford time to trouble himself with the business of other people. (Journal of Discourses 2:90.)

And second, from Joseph Smith:

If you do not accuse each other, God will not accuse you. If you have no accuser you will enter heaven, and if you will follow the revelations and instructions which God gives you through me, I will take you into heaven as my back load. If you will not accuse me, I will not accuse you. If you will throw a cloak of charity over my sins, I will over yoursâ??for charity covereth a multitude of sins. (History of the Church, 4:445.)

What do you think of these, Hammer?

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Maybe i'm being to simplistic about this topic-but i just don't get why only God can separate the sin from the sinner?

I mean, i have children, and i love them so much, even when they do thing i just HATE and which are very wrong.

I have members of my family that live lifestyles that i really don't agree with-but i love them SO much and they are as much a part of my life as they were when they weren't living such lifestyles.

I know they are good people, with good hearts-and i've never felt that i have to agree with their choices to think so about them.

:P

I can see that being true.

I have very little experience with such examples-except on my mission where i did learn to truly love some of the people i taught, who were never baptized, and who held beliefs and made choices i did believe were wrong-but it's always easier to harshly judge people we have no emotional attachment to.

<_<

I think your children and family come into almost a 'God relationship" with us. With others it is different and more difficult. But if we are able to do it, I BELIVE, it is through Christ and not our own magnamity.

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Zoidberg brought up a point in another thread that i've heard many times-that's it's impossible to really love a person and hate something they are doing or believing.

I really don't get why?

I'm trying to understand better why some people feel that you can't really love them unless you agree with them.

I'm hoping people can help me see this issue from the other side.

:P

Down under our civilized surface we all have the instincts of survival. There have been times in our

collective past, when human beings who actively battled those different from them were the survivors.

So I think that there is a natural tendency for us to react with hostility against that which we do not

agree with, or understand.

Jesus and other prophetic voices of our same collective past, offered a different approach -- one which

is not always socially practical, but which offers us a means of spiritual evolution. That prophetic view

focuses our distaste and hostility on the actions of those who are different from us, rather than on their

personhood --- in a way, that is sort of the "flip side" of the precept of God being no respector of persons.

But how do we even begin to seperate out the actions of a being from their personhood? Natural sympathy

and compassion only go so far -- they are that "civilized surface" I spoke of above. Under all of that we

still have our even more natural instincts of fear, distrust and self-preservation.

My feelings are that being "born again" or becoming a "new creature in Christ" is the solution. That is,

when we experience the soul-shaking realization of God's redemption and acceptance ourselves, on a

deeply personal level, we are changed "below the surface," and our natural instincts of the flesh really

can be affected by the Spirit of God. Buddhists have a similar realization that is not Jesus-centered, but

which appears to elevate their compassion, in some instances, to the level of Christian agape.

It is not an easy path -- and we should not expect everybody to comprehend what it means, until they

themselves have experienced the redemption I am here speaking of.

Your Uncle Dale

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I think your children and family come into almost a 'God relationship" with us. With others it is different and more difficult. But if we are able to do it, I BELIVE, it is through Christ and not our own magnamity.

Charity, indeed, is a gift. This is long, so bear with me. I recently did a blog post on this topic as well.

Joseph Smith spoke on this subject in a discourse to the Relief Society in Nauvoo in 1842:

"As you increase in innocence and virtue, as you increase in goodness, let your hearts expand--let them be enlarged towards others--you must be longsuffering and bear with the faults and errors of mankind. How precious are the souls of man!...You must not be contracted but you must be liberal in your feelingsâ?¦Nothing is so much calculated to lead people to forsake sin as to take them by the hand and watch over them with tenderness. When persons manifest the least kindness and love to me, O what pow'r it has over my mind, while the opposite course has a tendency to harrow up all the harsh feelings and depress the human mind. All the religious world is boasting of its righteousness--it is the doctrine of the devil to retard the human mind and retard our progress by filling us with self righteousness--The nearer we get to our heavenly Father the more are we disposed to look with compassion on perishing souls to take them upon our shoulders and cast their sins behind our back. (Instructions delivered at the Eliza R. Snow, Relief Society Minutes, Nauvoo Female Relief Society, Thurs. April 28, 1842, Held in upper room of Red Brick Store).

Loving others in this way can seem difficult, especially when we must love those who hurt us, or even those we donâ??t really know yet. Where does this love, this charity, come from? Is it self-generated? I believe it is not. I believe the more we have the Spirit of God with us, the more He fills us with charity, as a gift. We need room to receive that charity, so we have to clear the junk out of our lives; the self-righteousness, the anger, the unworthiness. As we do this, the Spirit will bestow upon us the gift of charity. And the more charity we receive, the more the Spirit can be with us. The process, then, is self-reinforcing. We are more likely to look upon others with compassion because we begin to see them as God sees them.

The entire Book of Enos details the process of seeking God, being forgiven, seeing as God sees, being led to love others, including enemies. When charity didnâ??t come easy, he served his enemies anyway, praying for them, and was filled with love for them, but it took effort:

"And my soul hungered; and I kneeled down before my Maker, and I cried unto him in mighty prayer and supplication for mine own soul; â?¦And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessedâ?¦ Now, it came to pass that when I had heard these words I began to feel a desire for the welfare of my brethren, the Nephites; wherefore, I did pour out my whole soul unto God for themâ?¦ And after I, Enos, had heard these words, my faith began to be unshaken in the Lord; and I prayed unto him with many long strugglings for my brethren, the Lamanites. And it came to pass that after I had prayed and labored with all diligence, the Lord said unto me: I will grant unto thee according to they desires, because of thy faith," (Enos 1:4-11).

Moroni also described the process:

"But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him. Wherefore, my beloved bretheren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen." (Moroni 7:47-48. see also Mosiah 2:4; Alma 38:12; 3 Ne. 12:6; Moroni 8:26.)

Notice we must be filled with the love. Again, it is not self-generated; it is a gift by the grace of Jesus Christ.

It seems we can measure our closeness to God by observing our feelings of others. Do you have any enemies? Arguments? Is the Spirit with you? We all fluctuate in this process, being closer at some times than at others. Our goal is to seek to be filled with that love, and share it with others. When we are converted, we will want to strengthen others. (Luke 22:32.)

So seek to have charity through prayer and service, which brings the Holy Ghost, which fills us with charity, which inspires us to love, pray for and serve others, and the cycle continues.

Joseph Smith:

"While one portion of the human race is judging and condemning the other without mercy, the Great Parent of the universe looks upon the whole of the human family with a fatherly care and paternal regard; He views them as His offspring, and without any of those contracted feelings that influence the children of men," (TPJS, p.218).
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This question reminds me of 2 of my all-time favorite quotes of the restored gospel; and they are as good as scripture to me.

First from Brigham Young:

And second, from Joseph Smith:

What do you think of these, Hammer?

I believe they are right as far as they go. But I believe they are referring to the weaknesses of men rather than outright sins of a lower nature. If we have a 'sinner' come and confess their sins to us as associates, are we then the accusers? Is sin the business of others? We must ask ourselves what consequence will follow us in associating with those who are "UNREPENTANT" sinners. They are different than 'repentant' sinners. Do we validate their sin by not condemning them? Do we tell them they are okay in our eyes without realling loving them enough to want them clean and upright before God? Do we take upon ourselves their eternal condemnation when we give them to understand we accept them as they are in their sins?

Complicity or call to repentence? Which are we as LDS required to do in the face of sinners?

What do you think about these:

D&C 88: 81

81 Behold, I sent you out to atestify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to bwarn his neighbor.

Moroni 7:16 For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

17 But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do aevil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves unto him.

18 And now, my brethren, seeing that ye know the alight by which ye may judge, which light is the light of Christ, see that ye do not judge wrongfully; for with that same bjudgment which ye judge ye shall also be judged.

19 Wherefore, I beseech of you, brethren, that ye should search diligently in the light of Christ that ye may know good from evil; and if ye will lay hold upon every good thing, and condemn it not, ye certainly will be a bchild of Christ.

I had a particular experience relavant to this issue just this week. A man/lds has been an aquaitence of mine for over 10 years. He has had many issues, even to the point of trying to commit suiside. His face was blown off, but he lived. He wares long hair and has been in and out of the mental institutions.

He came to me this week for a blessing. My son and I gave him one and during the blessing several demons I had commanded to come out of him, circled around the room testing everyone in the room to see if they could enter them.

Before we finished visiting with this man, the demons had all returned to him-- him stating that he needed them. Well I felt for the safety (spiritually) of my children and wife. I wondered if it were wise to entertain them man again as a friend.

It wasn't an easy decision. What would you do? What if those with whom you associate give you attitudes and feelings that lead you out of the church? Who and what is more important here?

If someone genuinely feels a loved one's choice is wrong-in your opinion, what are their options? If loving them and hating the action or belief doesn't work-then what does work?

Praying.

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I believe it's not really a matter of how a person who "loves the sinner" feels, but how the "sinner" feels. The "sinner" does not feel loved. He/she feels that as long as he/she is continued to be engaged in "sin", his/her family (or whoever's doing the "loving") will continue to have a lesser opinion of him/her (alright, I'll just say "they" from now on, this he/she stuff is tedious) and will always disagree and never accept their "sin" as something that, perhaps, could be a positive experience for the "sinner", if not for their family. This leads to alienation. The "sinner" feels extreme emotional drainage. They start getting paranoid. They start trying to present the "sin" in the most positive light to their family (and cover up the possible controversial and negative aspects associated with the "sin"). They don't ask them to change their opinion, just to let the "sinner" be who they are, as they feel that "sin" is a part of them without which they cannot be happy or complete. This does not happen, as the family is unwilling to give up their attempts to bring the "sinner" back into the fold (or express hope that someday the "sinner" will realize the error of their ways, or constantly try to engage the "sinner" in behavior that is incompatible with the "sin"). They keep telling the "sinner" that their "sin" is tearing their family apart. Since the "sinner" wants to influence their opinion (at least somewhat) of the "sin", they increase their engagement with the family (perhaps, even more than before they became a "sinner") to show them that it can, in fact, bring families closer together in understanding, even though every attendance of such family function inexplicably leads to hints at how the "sin" is somehow bad, and it becomes an unbearable torment for the "sinner" to engage with their family. They start dreading the time they will have to spend with their family. Yet they make themselves do it, otherwise the family will be right that the "sin" is tearing their family apart. The "sinner" feels like an utter hypocrite since they are not even sure they love their family anymore (or starts entertaining daydreams about how maybe they would be more able to love them if they never had to talk to them ever again...) The "sinner" starts spending more and more time with the other "sinners" because that's the place where they feel most accepted and loved. The family, meanwhile, is ready to point out that the "sinner" does not pay enough attention to them because they are so engaged in the "sin". Eventually, the sinner develops a severe depression.

Now substitute "sinner" for "LDS" and "sin" for "LDS Church", and you'll get my story in a nutshell. This "loving" might work for the person who "loves", as they feel charitable and willing to still extend their grace to the "sinner" despite their horrible abominable behavior. The "sinner", however, will never benefit from such "love". It would be better for their psyche if the family cut them off completely (then they wouldn't have to feel ungrateful all the time). The best way, of course, IMHO, is to accept and love all parts of the "sinner", including the "sin" part. You don't have to start "sinning" yourself, just let the "sinner" know you are comfortable with their "sin" and will not try to make them choose between "sin" and your company under any circumstances. Obviously this does not apply to sins such as murder, rape or child molestation, but I fully believe could be applied to people who are actively gay (which is not really a sin, IMHO, but that's irrelevant). Hopefully, this will provide a sufficient explanation od why I think "loving the sinner, hating the sin" doesn't work.

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I believe it's not really a matter of how a person who "loves the sinner" feels, but how the "sinner" feels. The "sinner" does not feel loved. He/she feels that as long as he/she is continued to be engaged in "sin", his/her family (or whoever's doing the "loving") will continue to have a lesser opinion of him/her (alright, I'll just say "they" from now on, this he/she stuff is tedious) and will always disagree and never accept their "sin" as something that, perhaps, could be a positive experience for the "sinner", if not for their family.

I definitely understand the feelings of insecurity.

My next question then becomes though-what is the alternative?

If someone genuinely feels a loved one's choice is wrong-in your opinion, what are their options? If loving them and hating the action or belief doesn't work-then what does work?

:P

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I believe they are right as far as they go. But I believe they are referring to the weaknesses of men rather than outright sins of a lower nature. If we have a 'sinner' come and confess their sins to us as associates, are we then the accusers? Is sin the business of others? We must ask ourselves what consequence will follow us in associating with those who are "UNREPENTANT" sinners. They are different than 'repentant' sinners. Do we validate their sin by not condemning them? Do we tell them they are okay in our eyes without realling loving them enough to want them clean and upright before God? Do we take upon ourselves their eternal condemnation when we give them to understand we accept them as they are in their sins?

Complicity or call to repentence? Which are we as LDS required to do in the face of sinners?

I believe the Joseph Smith quote about throwing a cloak of charity applies here. Also, D&C 121 has a lot to say on this as well. There is a way to communicate the Holy Ghost to someone, which is the medium through which calls to repentence are most effective. Reproving betimes with sharpness, with clarity, at the right time, is effective when showing forth an increase of love. The essence of loving the sinner while not approving of the sin. You're right, we can play pitty-pat with them and never help them. Following the promptings of the Holy Ghost, then, are paramount. Also, knowing what your jurisdiction is must be considered.

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...what does work?

:P

"Tough love" may work in some instances -- that is, not tolerating "sinful" actions and thus temporarily

pulling back from that other person. But all the while letting them know that the situation can change

for the better, if the bad actions/outlooks cease.

Doesn't always get immediate results -- and can be hard on both sides -- can induce self-righteousness,

if not approached prayerfully. But it is one way.

UD

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I believe it's not really a matter of how a person who "loves the sinner" feels, but how the "sinner" feels. The "sinner" does not feel loved. He/she feels that as long as he/she is continued to be engaged in "sin", his/her family (or whoever's doing the "loving") will continue to have a lesser opinion of him/her (alright, I'll just say "they" from now on, this he/she stuff is tedious) and will always disagree and never accept their "sin" as something that, perhaps, could be a positive experience for the "sinner", if not for their family.

I submit it is more difficult to feel love in general when we are sinning. Especially habitually. Our views are contracted. A sense of guilt can be turned to a sense of feeling "judged," and we start thinking people might look down on us, etc.

This leads to alienation. The "sinner" feels extreme emotional drainage. They start getting paranoid. They start trying to present the "sin" in the most positive light to their family (and cover up the possible controversial and negative aspects associated with the "sin"). They don't ask them to change their opinion, just to let the "sinner" be who they are, as they feel that "sin" is a part of them without which they cannot be happy or complete.

First and foremost, the sinner shouldn't seek through any form of coersion to get the family to approve of the behavior. Alienation, paranoia, these are not fruits of the Spirit. Love unfeigned, that's a key.

This does not happen, as the family is unwilling to give up their attempts to bring the "sinner" back into the fold (or express hope that someday the "sinner" will realize the error of their ways, or constantly try to engage the "sinner" in behavior that is incompatible with the "sin"). They keep telling the "sinner" that their "sin" is tearing their family apart. Since the "sinner" wants to influence their opinion (at least somewhat) of the "sin", they increase their engagement with the family (perhaps, even more than before they became a "sinner") to show them that it can, in fact, bring families closer together in understanding, even though every attendance of such family function inexplicably leads to hints at how the "sin" is somehow bad, and it becomes an unbearable torment for the "sinner" to engage with their family. They start dreading the time they will have to spend with their family.

At this point perhaps some meta-communication would help. Setting some basic guidelines about what is appropriate to talk about.

Now substitute "sinner" for "LDS" and "sin" for "LDS Church", and you'll get my story in a nutshell. This "loving" might work for the person who "loves", as they feel charitable and willing to still extend their grace to the "sinner" despite their horrible abominable behavior. The "sinner", however, will never benefit from such "love". It would be better for their psyche if the family cut them off completely (then they wouldn't have to feel ungrateful all the time). The best way, of course, IMHO, is to accept and love all parts of the "sinner", including the "sin" part. You don't have to start "sinning" yourself, just let the "sinner" know you are comfortable with their "sin" and will not try to make them choose between "sin" and your company under any circumstances.

Christ taught some may have to forsake family for the gospel. I don't believe you are at that point, and it will take a great deal of forbearence on your part.

Obviously this does not apply to sins such as murder, rape or child molestation, but I fully believe could be applied to people who are actively gay (which is not really a sin, IMHO, but that's irrelevant). Hopefully, this will provide a sufficient explanation od why I think "loving the sinner, hating the sin" doesn't work.

Kind of. Being gay and being a member of the Church aren't really the same thing, but I see what you are trying to say.

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...Obviously this does not apply to sins such as murder, rape or child molestation...

I think that there can be gradations of "sin" in these sorts of cases -- and that is why criminal law

differentiates between those gradations, in convicting and sentencing the perpetrators.

An otherwise truly good and gentle person might be driven to murder once in his/her life -- if, for

example, they were the continual witness to some horrendous victimization which the legal system

was doing nothing to stop. Perhaps that is why we even have terms like "battered wife syndrome."

Is a battered wife who murders her husband, after lengthy and substantial abuse, any more a "sinner"

than I am, if I cheat on my taxes or am prejudiced against my neighbor's ethnicity?

On the other hand, criminals who repeatedly victimize others, through rape, or torture, or criminal

child abuse, are NOT demonstrating a "once in a lifetime" kind of "sin."

The only way I can even begin to think of such monsters in an objective sort of way, is to picture them

at some earlier stage of their lives -- when the terrible behavior was not yet part of them. We all begin

as innocent babes, and perhaps some "sinners" can only be loved if we look at them outside of time.

I feel that God loves us in that way -- outside of time -- and I try to remember that, when I encounter

a person whose every word and deed summons up only my hatred and disgust.

UD

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I submit it is more difficult to feel love in general when we are sinning. Especially habitually. Our views are contracted. A sense of guilt can be turned to a sense of feeling "judged," and we start thinking people might look down on us, etc.

First and foremost, the sinner shouldn't seek through any form of coersion to get the family to approve of the behavior. Alienation, paranoia, these are not fruits of the Spirit. Love unfeigned, that's a key.

At this point perhaps some meta-communication would help. Setting some basic guidelines about what is appropriate to talk about.

Christ taught some may have to forsake family for the gospel. I don't believe you are at that point, and it will take a great deal of forbearence on your part.

Kind of. Being gay and being a member of the Church aren't really the same thing, but I see what you are trying to say.

Well, I didn't believe I was sinning. I believed I was doing the right thing. The guilt I was feeling came from my inability to have a perfect love for my family despite their constant bashing of my religion. I wasn't trying to coerce them. And, BTW, I didn't feel it was my responsibility to convert them, either, but I was hoping to set an example with my behavior that could at least demonstrate that the Church can be beneficial, and maybe that would eventually lead to their conversion (I have failed at being an example, BTW, which only contributed to my depression; also, of course, I was careful not to mention celestial polygamy, MMM etc.). Obviously, gay people wouldn't be trying to make their parents gay, but the same still goes for attempts to demonstrate that a person can simultaneously be good and gay (and much, much happier than when they are trying not to be gay). Like I said in the "blind obedience" thread, there are certain examples Elder Oaks thought were the way to go (non-inclusion of the child's life partner in family activities) that are incompatible with perfect acceptance of the child.

I believe that gay people with LDS families who love them but hate their homosexuality are going through an experience very similar to mine. That's why, if I ever have children and they want to be polygamists, for instance (wouldn't that be ironic seeing how I abhor polygamy), I would want to invite all their "spouses" over for dinner and be friends with them. Because if my children believed it's the best way to live their life, who am I to tell them I know better? Each of us has nothing to rely on but their feelings (whether you call them the Holy Ghost or just plain old emotions). Why, then, am I justified in assuming that my feelings are better than that other person's feelings, or that they're being insincere and deep down they know they're wrong and I'm right? It's easier when you are a value pluralist and believe that different mutually exclusive values are equally valid and good, no matter which of them you subscribe to. I guess when you are convinced that you know the truth that is equally valid for other people, it's much harder. Anyway, a lifestyle choice is not a sin that can be repented of and forgotten. It is intended to be lifelong and part of this person's identity. If your child kills someone once, should they or would they want, you think, to be identified as a murderer and have people accept them as a murderer? If someone comes out of the closet, they WANT to be gay and intend to be known as a gay person, be identified as a gay person and always be able to live as a gay person would. They are gay! Get over it. Same thing with me and the Church. If someone who is living a homosexual lifestyle and whose family is "loving" them this way, decides, for whatever reason, to embrace a heterosexual lifestyle or celibacy, it will be much harder for them to do so, since so much effort has been invested into trying to show their family that being gay is good, and so much mental anguish has been endured, that the homosexual lifestyle increases in value the more suffering they have to endure because of it. It's called justification of effort. Also, there is the pride issue: who wants to crawl back to their parents and be the prodigal son? Therefore, if your goal is to facilitate their return to the Church, you should show them as much acceptance as possible (of course, I'm not saying that you should always be praising the advantages of homosexuality over heterosexuality or become gay yourself, just show some recognition that their lifestyle and opinion is as valid as yours). Then, if for whatever reason, they decide their behavior was wrong, it will be easier for them to admit it and go back to "good" behavior. They might never come back. Well, tough luck. However, if you keep directly and indirectly reminding them that they are "sinners" and not fully including them, they are more likely to just tire of this emotional abuse and cut contact with you altogether. This goes for any lifestyle choice, really (unless this lifestyle choice is obviously harmful to others, like a cult that sacrifices virgins or something).

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Well, I didn't believe I was sinning. I believed I was doing the right thing. The guilt I was feeling came from my inability to have a perfect love for my family despite their constant bashing of my religion. I wasn't trying to coerce them. And, BTW, I didn't feel it was my responsibility to convert them, either, but I was hoping to set an example with my behavior that could at least demonstrate that the Church can be beneficial, and maybe that would eventually lead to their conversion (I have failed at being an example, BTW, which only contributed to my depression; also, of course, I was careful not to mention celestial polygamy, MMM etc.). Obviously, gay people wouldn't be trying to make their parents gay, but the same still goes for attempts to demonstrate that a person can simultaneously be good and gay (and much, much happier than when they are trying not to be gay). Like I said in the "blind obedience" thread, there are certain examples Elder Oaks thought were the way to go (non-inclusion of the child's life partner in family activities) that are incompatible with perfect acceptance of the child.

I believe that gay people with LDS families who love them but hate their homosexuality are going through an experience very similar to mine. That's why, if I ever have children and they want to be polygamists, for instance (wouldn't that be ironic seeing how I abhor polygamy), I would want to invite all their "spouses" over for dinner and be friends with them. Because if my children believed it's the best way to live their life, who am I to tell them I know better? Each of us has nothing to rely on but their feelings (whether you call them the Holy Ghost or just plain old emotions). Why, then, am I justified in assuming that my feelings are better than that other person's feelings, or that they're being insincere and deep down they know they're wrong and I'm right? It's easier when you are a value pluralist and believe that different mutually exclusive values are equally valid and good, no matter which of them you subscribe to. I guess when you are convinced that you know the truth that is equally valid for other people, it's much harder. Anyway, a lifestyle choice is not a sin that can be repented of and forgotten. It is intended to be lifelong and part of this person's identity. If your child kills someone once, should they or would they want, you think, to be identified as a murderer and have people accept them as a murderer? If someone comes out of the closet, they WANT to be gay and intend to be known as a gay person, be identified as a gay person and always be able to live as a gay person would. They are gay! Get over it. Same thing with me and the Church. If someone who is living a homosexual lifestyle and whose family is "loving" them this way, decides, for whatever reason, to embrace a heterosexual lifestyle or celibacy, it will be much harder for them to do so, since so much effort has been invested into trying to show their family that being gay is good, and so much mental anguish has been endured, that the homosexual lifestyle increases in value the more suffering they have to endure because of it. It's called justification of effort. Also, there is the pride issue: who wants to crawl back to their parents and be the prodigal son? Therefore, if your goal is to facilitate their return to the Church, you should show them as much acceptance as possible (of course, I'm not saying that you should always be praising the advantages of homosexuality over heterosexuality or become gay yourself, just show some recognition that their lifestyle and opinion is as valid as yours). Then, if for whatever reason, they decide their behavior was wrong, it will be easier for them to admit it and go back to "good" behavior. They might never come back. Well, tough luck. However, if you keep directly and indirectly reminding them that they are "sinners" and not fully including them, they are more likely to just tire of this emotional abuse and cut contact with you altogether. This goes for any lifestyle choice, really (unless this lifestyle choice is obviously harmful to others, like a cult that sacrifices virgins or something).

I would invite my child's spouses (or partner depending on the issue you are speaking of) over for dinner as well because i love them, and i would treat their loved ones with love and respect and make them a part of our family.

but i would still 'hate' the sin of polygamy or homosexuality and would still feel it was wrong to be involved in it.

what, in your opinion, is wrong with that course of action?

I'm trying to understand better.

:P

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I would invite my child's spouses (or partner depending on the issue you are speaking of) over for dinner as well because i love them, and i would treat their loved ones with love and respect and make them a part of our family.

but i would still 'hate' the sin of polygamy or homosexuality and would still feel it was wrong to be involved in it.

what, in your opinion, is wrong with that course of action?

I'm trying to understand better.

I am one that also had some thoughts sparked by the comment of "love the sinner - not the sin" So I was glad to see you start this thread.

Some of the things that I think are wrong with that course of action - well - I'll ask - How do you define sin? Homosexuality is one of those issues - some think it's a sin, others do not.

If you are inviting a child and their partner over for dinner because you love them, are you then able to say - I am so happy for you to have found a partner that you can love and you adds something good and positive to your life? Or in the back of your mind - are you repulsed? There is a difference of the level of acceptance of that child if you can not accept their lifestyle. There is a difference in the amount of love you are able to give. IMO, accepting their choice as one that best suits who they are and how fulfilled they can be in this life shows the greater love. Because you are able to share in their joy or struggles instead of thinking you know there is something better for them out there.

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I am one that also had some thoughts sparked by the comment of "love the sinner - not the sin" So I was glad to see you start this thread.

Some of the things that I think are wrong with that course of action - well - I'll ask - How do you define sin? Homosexuality is one of those issues - some think it's a sin, others do not.

If you are inviting a child and their partner over for dinner because you love them, are you then able to say - I am so happy for you to have found a partner that you can love and you adds something good and positive to your life? Or in the back of your mind - are you repulsed? There is a difference of the level of acceptance of that child if you can not accept their lifestyle. There is a difference in the amount of love you are able to give. IMO, accepting their choice as one that best suits who they are and how fulfilled they can be in this life shows the greater love. Because you are able to share in their joy or struggles instead of thinking you know there is something better for them out there.

Who ever said loving a fellow person meant agreeing and supporting every decision they ever make?

"I sure do love you, sweety. Go ahead and drive drunk; I don't want to judge you for that. I'm glad it makes you happy to get plowed and then drive home."

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I am one that also had some thoughts sparked by the comment of "love the sinner - not the sin" So I was glad to see you start this thread.

Some of the things that I think are wrong with that course of action - well - I'll ask - How do you define sin? Homosexuality is one of those issues - some think it's a sin, others do not.

If you are inviting a child and their partner over for dinner because you love them, are you then able to say - I am so happy for you to have found a partner that you can love and you adds something good and positive to your life? Or in the back of your mind - are you repulsed? There is a difference of the level of acceptance of that child if you can not accept their lifestyle. There is a difference in the amount of love you are able to give. IMO, accepting their choice as one that best suits who they are and how fulfilled they can be in this life shows the greater love. Because you are able to share in their joy or struggles instead of thinking you know there is something better for them out there.

this is what i have issue with, and LOAP already brought it up...

but if i honestly and truely believe that homosexuality is a sin-then WHY do i have to believe that living a homosexual lifestyle adds something good and positive to my child's life before i can truly love them?

Why do i have to accept action or belief i feel is wrong in order to love someone?

If we were talking about alcoholism, would you still suggest that i take the 'i'm so glad you found alcohol to make your life better and more fulfilled' approach to loving my child, if my child truly believed that alcohol did such for them?

:P

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