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Why Would A Gay Man With Aids Join The Church?


Sky

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Now here’s a type of story we don’t often hear about…

See here and here.

This man has taken the road less traveled, to say the least. I’m thankful he has been able to find a sense of peace and happiness in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Interesting article, Sky. Thanks for sharing. Many of the comments after the article are worth reading, as well, as they offer a variety of views on the complexity of homosexuality as it relates to LDS (as well as non-LDS) belief and culture.

Steven Wilson's choice to live his life according to the dictates of his own conscience are certainly to be respected. He evidently made some very tumultuousness choices in his younger years which led to drug use, addiction, disease, and depression. Given the harsh consequences he's faced, I think even those of us who don't share his LDS views (or his beliefs about the causation of homosexuality, as well as the notion that gay men could alter their orientation) can can understand that he feels greater peace in his current LDS lifestyle than in continuing patterns of behavior that led to the self-destructive consequences he'd previously been experiencing. It certainly appears that his path to overcome self-shame and validate his personal identity led to those troubling behavior. Such actions would clearly cause even deeper shame and invalidation, not to mention causing him bodily harm. Such patterns are traps that are all-too-often shared by members of the LGBT community searching for authentic self-validation through many of the antithetical means. Trying to overcome personal shame, guilt, and self-loathing by seeking reckless physical self-gratification (again, all of which are too-often seen in the LGBT community) is rarely wise.

Although I wouldn't personally condone many of what I've read of his past or current choices, I support Mr. Wilson's right to endorse and pursue an LDS lifestyle, and, like you, Sky, wish him all the best.

Daniel2

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A couple of things that I find questionable about this situation is how Steven Wilson was baptized by the same man he was formerly in a same-sex relationship with. And also, that the men continue to live together but supposedly aren’t sexual. It’s hard for me to imagine how Church leaders could be okay with that arrangement. Part of repentance, as I understand it, is to sever old friendships with people who you were formerly involved with in sin.

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A couple of things that I find questionable about this situation is how Steven Wilson was baptized by the same man he was formerly in a same-sex relationship with. And also, that the men continue to live together but supposedly aren’t sexual. It’s hard for me to imagine how Church leaders could be okay with that arrangement. Part of repentance, as I understand it, is to sever old friendships with people who you were formerly involved with in sin.

Yeah, having done some work in the gay Mormon community as a missionary myself, I have to be suspicious of this.

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. Part of repentance, as I understand it, is to sever old friendships with people who you were formerly involved with in sin.

Not always. Depends a great deal on whether those friends are continuing in sin or have repented as well. Even couples that began in adultery if fully repented and showing commitment to each other and their faith may eventually be sailed in the temple. Many formerly cohabiting couples end up being sealed as well.

Sometimes it is the old friend who has straightened out their life that is the most support to someone trying to straighten out his own life.

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Not always. Depends a great deal on whether those friends are continuing in sin or have repented as well. Even couples that began in adultery if fully repented and showing commitment to each other and their faith may eventually be sailed in the temple. Many formerly cohabiting couples end up being sealed as well.

Sometimes it is the old friend who has straightened out their life that is the most support to someone trying to straighten out his own life.

BC makes a good point.

Are you aware of any unmarried, previously sexually-active, LDS heterosexual (opposite-sex) couples that were permitted to remain cohabitating who had "repented" because they were offering each other "the most support to straighten our their lives"?

Daniel2

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I am not talking about this specific instance, but sky's comment about severing contacts with old friends as part of repentance. I believe it was too general. This is why I quoted just the relevant comment and said nothing about the specific relationship.

Since I have not listened to the podcasts which provide the details, I do not think it is appropriate for me to comment on it.

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And I do know of one couple that were sexually active that were "permitted" to remain together. They became quite active in church, had beautiful testimonies, were a delight to be around and with the help and celebration of the ward recently were married and are now on their way to be sealed.

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I just don’t think it’s a very good idea to get baptized by the same person you were previously in a same-sex relationship with, and to continue to live with that person even if it’s nonsexual. It doesn’t seem like good common sense to me, or consistent with counsel from church leaders. Getting baptized implies a complete transformation in a person’s life. But this situation provides too many opportunities for temptation and reminiscing about the past.

And an obvious difference between these two men and a previously sexually active heterosexual couple is that the heterosexual couple has the opportunity to continue their relationship and eventually be sealed to each other. But these two men will never be able to be anything more than close friends or “spiritual brothers in the gospel.”

Sorry if I came across as being too judgmental, but that is how I see it.

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Like I said, I haven't listened to the podcast so I don't know the details.

I don't really see an issue with the baptism if both were repentant just as I wouldn't see a former smoker baptising another former smoker as an issue. I can see potential difficulties with living together (that would be like a former smoker working in a tobacco store or an alcoholic going to a bar, it makes abstaining harder than when one avoids the environment as well as the activity), but I would assume that his church leaders are intelligent as he is and they can see the same potential problems as total strangers on the Internet and if they have certified him in whatever way is satisfying to him, I will assume there is nothing to be concerned about.

I do agree it is an unusual situation if it is as describe and not something that I would automatically suggest (quite the opposite) for someone dealing with any form of addiction, but sometimes there are other factors that take precedent such as health or family needs.

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The still living together part is a bit odd, but I don't get what the big deal is with the getting baptized by someone you had a previous relationship part. Why does it matter who baptizes you as long as he is a worthy priesthood holder?

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