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The Matthew Gong Letter


pogi

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4 hours ago, Calm said:

I think you are way overestimating the Church's influence.  Just look at all the other countries that have legalized SSM.  Are you suggesting the Church is the cause of legalized SSM there?

I think it could have had an affect on the US perhaps. I remember discussion about it, not sure where, but if memory serves they were saying by the church coming out against and doing it with ferver, it started the equal rights for gays and SSM. Wish I could bring up the conversation now. And definitely it was inadvertently that this happened. 

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36 minutes ago, pogi said:

You can never get enough inspirational messages in my opinion, and these are more often than not framed that way.  For example, the messages on porn have improved over the years from less guilt/shame type messages to more healing/empathy/inspiration type messages.  It has been helpful and welcome in my experience.  Again, I am not asking for less same-sex messages, just different ones. 

We are not talking about what other people wish for - let them wish! Like I said, I don't think there is a single person who questions the brethren's position.  

Here is what I said.  I have taken the freedom to lightly edit a couple places for clarity.

More of this, less of the defensive.

 

 

 

Quote

"To those who struggle with same sex attraction or identify as gay but want to remain faithful in the church.  ...

 

I can see a problem with this going out of the gate. California Boy and others have been highly contemptuous of the phrase "same-sex attraction," especially when combined with "struggle with".

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40 minutes ago, Scott Lloyd said:

 

 

I can see a problem with this going out of the gate. California Boy and others have been highly contemptuous of the phrase "same-sex attraction," especially when combined with "struggle with".

Even California boy would probably acknowledge the improvement in focus, message, and tone even if he doesn’t agree with all of it.

It is not directed at CB or other critics who have already chosen to leave, however.  It is directed towards faithful members and those questioning to leave or stay.  That is where we need to stop the hemorrhage.  No message will please everyone, and some will continue to leave regardless of the message, but I think it would touch more hearts and inspire more faith (and who knows, perhaps even soften more moderate critics) than the defensive approach.  This will speak to many in the church who do identify with it and appreciate simply being acknowledged for their struggles- I know there are many who feel like the church doesn't understand.

Edited by pogi
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I'm glad that Pres. Oaks wants us to love the LGBT but also not condone their behaviour if they break the law of chastity. But he grouped it with being evil in this BYU-H devotional in June of this year, that doesn't sit well with me.  

https://speeches.byuh.edu/node/1788 (bold mine)

 We live in stressful times.  For some young people the stresses are financial:  loss of employment or home or financial security.  For others, the stresses are associated with painful separations from those we love, such as caused by divorce of parents or other threats to personal security.  We also have the challenge of living in a godless and increasingly amoral generation.  More and more publicized voices deny or doubt the existence of God.  More and more support the idea that all authority and all rules of behavior are man-made and can be accepted or rejected as one chooses, each person being free to decide for himself or herself what is right and wrong.

        Along with these challenges—and caused by them—we are confronted by a culture of evil and personal wickedness in the world.  This includes:

            Dishonesty

            Pornography

            Perversions

            The diminishing of marriage and childbearing

            The increasing frequency and power of the culture and phenomenon of lesbian, gay, and transgender lifestyles and values

Edited by Tacenda
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2 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I'm glad that Pres. Oaks wants us to love the LGBT but also not condone their behaviour if they break the law of chastity. But he grouped it with being evil in this BYU-H devotional in July, that doesn't sit well with me. 

 

https://speeches.byuh.edu/node/1788 (bold mine)

 We live in stressful times.  For some young people the stresses are financial:  loss of employment or home or financial security.  For others, the stresses are associated with painful separations from those we love, such as caused by divorce of parents or other threats to personal security.  We also have the challenge of living in a godless and increasingly amoral generation.  More and more publicized voices deny or doubt the existence of God.  More and more support the idea that all authority and all rules of behavior are man-made and can be accepted or rejected as one chooses, each person being free to decide for himself or herself what is right and wrong.

        Along with these challenges—and caused by them—we are confronted by a culture of evil and personal wickedness in the world.  This includes:

            Dishonesty

            Pornography

            Perversions

            The diminishing of marriage and childbearing

            The increasing frequency and power of the culture and phenomenon of lesbian, gay, and transgender lifestyles and values

It is evil, though, Tacenda.  You might not like to hear it but people having sex with other people of the same sex is evil.  Whether or not they are married by some evil law of the land, and yes any law that condones evil behavior is wrong and evil.

It is also evil to have sexual relations with someone of the opposite sex if those couples are not married to each other.  And it is also evil to steal and lie and commit murder and all of the other evil things it is possible for people to do.

If what bothers you is that President Oaks is not ashamed or afraid to call evil behavior evil, then I would say your problem is not so much with President Oaks and more to do with the fact that people do evil things and what those evil things are.

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9 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Also as far as I’m aware the church handbook does not list polygamy as apostasy either. 

Practicing or promoting polygamy is considered one of the definitions of apostasy in the Church handbook.

From an interview back awhile, so not the most uptodate:

Quote

 

Apostasy, being rare, has to be carefully defined. We have three definitions of apostasy: one is open, public and repeated opposition to the Church or its leaders. Open, public, repeated opposition to the Church or its leaders — I’ll come back to that in a moment. A second one is to teach as doctrine something that is not Church doctrine after one has been advised by appropriate authority that that’s false doctrine. In other words, just teaching false doctrine is not apostasy, but [it is] teaching persistently after you’ve been warned. For example, if one were to teach that the Lord requires you to practice plural marriage in this day, it would be apostasy. And the third point would be to affiliate and belong to apostate sects, such as those that preach or practice polygamy. 

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/elder-oaks-interview-transcript-from-pbs-documentary

Haven't heard of that being changed.

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@Tacenda - I am curious if this comment is aimed at the questions I asked:

18 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I'm glad that Pres. Oaks wants us to love the LGBT but also not condone their behaviour if they break the law of chastity. But he grouped it with being evil in this BYU-H devotional in June of this year, that doesn't sit well with me.  

https://speeches.byuh.edu/node/1788 (bold mine)

 We live in stressful times.  For some young people the stresses are financial:  loss of employment or home or financial security.  For others, the stresses are associated with painful separations from those we love, such as caused by divorce of parents or other threats to personal security.  We also have the challenge of living in a godless and increasingly amoral generation.  More and more publicized voices deny or doubt the existence of God.  More and more support the idea that all authority and all rules of behavior are man-made and can be accepted or rejected as one chooses, each person being free to decide for himself or herself what is right and wrong.

        Along with these challenges—and caused by them—we are confronted by a culture of evil and personal wickedness in the world.  This includes:

            Dishonesty

            Pornography

            Perversions

            The diminishing of marriage and childbearing

            The increasing frequency and power of the culture and phenomenon of lesbian, gay, and transgender lifestyles and values

 

In your view, is the above an example of the tons of hurt he has caused?:

On 11/13/2019 at 12:57 AM, Tacenda said:

I feel Pres. Oaks has caused tons of hurt by being the point man for the church in this regard. 

 

Are there worse examples or is this as bad as it gets?

Also, I'd still love your thoughts on my other questions below (this is kind of answering ii in the first list, but I am curious on your thoughts on the others:

7 hours ago, Anonymous Mormon said:

i) What statements in his recent conference talk did you find hurtful?
ii) Can you compile a top 10 list of statements that he has made overall in the last 40 years that are hurtful? 

Lastly, I am curious if you believe the following statements are hurtful to the LGBT community as well:
A) "Marriage  as ordained by God is and should only ever be between a man and a woman"  
B) "ALL HUMAN BEINGS were made by God as either male and female. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose."

 

 

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17 minutes ago, Calm said:

Practicing or promoting polygamy is considered one of the definitions of apostasy in the Church handbook.

From an interview back awhile, so not the most uptodate:

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/elder-oaks-interview-transcript-from-pbs-documentary

Haven't heard of that being changed.

Thank you for the correction and clarification. Would I be correct in stating that plural marriage in and of itself is not apostasy? That is, joining a break off polygamous sect is apostasy. Teaching polygamy is apostasy, practicing polygamy is not? 

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39 minutes ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Thank you for the correction and clarification. Would I be correct in stating that plural marriage in and of itself is not apostasy? That is, joining a break off polygamous sect is apostasy. Teaching polygamy is apostasy, practicing polygamy is not? 

I believe the handbook states practicing it is apostasy.  I was too lazy to try and find where it was referenced when the 2015 policy was released.  One of the reasons I suspect the policy of children of same sex married parents could not received blessings, etc, was used was because of the effectiveness since the 40s iirc of the identical policy for children of polygamous parents.

Added:  The phrasing is apparently to continue to follow the teachings of apostate sects even after instruction to stop...

https://kutv.com/news/local/lds-church-issues-update-on-what-is-considered-apostasy

I suppose if a family said they were polygamous solely because they desired multiple partners and had come up with the idea on their own, that might qualify under a Chasity definition.

However, any hint it was for religious reasons, I think it would be defined as apostasy even if only the one family was the "apostate sect".

Edited by Calm
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41 minutes ago, Anonymous Mormon said:

@Tacenda - I am curious if this comment is aimed at the questions I asked:

 

In your view, is the above an example of the tons of hurt he has caused?:

 

Are there worse examples or is this as bad as it gets?

Also, I'd still love your thoughts on my other questions below (this is kind of answering ii in the first list, but I am curious on your thoughts on the others:

 

I specifically do not wish to beat Oaks over the head with these since they are obsolete and would take effort to find, but if you really want to know the guy over the last 40 years he published a couple pieces:

https://archive.org/details/Oaks_Criminalize_Homosexuality/page/n4

 

https://archive.org/details/PrinciplesToGovernPossiblePublicStatementOnLegislationAffectingRightsOfHomosexua/page/n13

In these documents Oaks (amongst other things) argues against decriminalizing homosexuality and against broad anti-discrimination laws for employment and other areas. 
 

They are dated, and I would imagine his views have substantially evolved. 

Edited by SeekingUnderstanding
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13 minutes ago, Anonymous Mormon said:

@Tacenda - I am curious if this comment is aimed at the questions I asked:

 

In your view, is the above an example of the tons of hurt he has caused?:

 

Are there worse examples or is this as bad as it gets?

Also, I'd still love your thoughts on my other questions below (this is kind of answering ii in the first list, but I am curious on your thoughts on the others:

 

First question by you: partly

Second: Yes, there are many, many gay individuals out there. So that will equal a lot of hurt, even if they don't want to follow up on their inborn inclinations, they are still going to feel hurt if this subject is brought up over and over again. 

Third: There are worse examples, but I've a feeling you're aware of what went on and what has been said by a few LDS apostles in the past, not just Pres. Oaks. It dawned on me today that I had forgotten the words Pres. Oaks said right after the Nov.'15 policy was sort of reversed, I appreciated his comments for the most part. 

Fourth: In answer to the c/p of your list below in blue:

i) What statements in his recent conference talk did you find hurtful? In a nut shell, separating children from their families in the kingdoms, I find very hurtful to both their loved ones and themselves. I don't believe it will happen, but believing members do. 
ii) Can you compile a top 10 list of statements that he has made overall in the last 40 years that are hurtful? Too many to list, early in his tenure at BYU he had students spy on others to weed out the gay students. But at least he overturned the policy of just kicking them out, like Wilkerson did, so kudos for that. The statements are mainly about the eternities and being able to create families. But the statement about being separated from your family if you act on your homosexuality is the one that is so hurtful, IMO. 

Lastly, I am curious if you believe the following statements are hurtful to the LGBT community as well:

A) "Marriage  as ordained by God is and should only ever be between a man and a woman"  I believed this at one time, but evolved because I put myself in their shoes. If you are a heterosexual, would you like someone telling you, you should marry someone of the same sex? And yes, it hurts because they don't have inclinations to love someone of the opposite sex in that way, usually.

B) "ALL HUMAN BEINGS were made by God as either male and female. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose." No, it's been proven that there are many, many sexualities out there. The time I put my foot down is if someone wants to harm a child, by thinking they can carry on a love/sexual relationship with them. I'm not a fully in member of the church any longer and now have to rely on my moral compass, or internal thought process. I no longer follow a prophet or apostles, like I did at one time. I may get to heaven and find I'm wrong, but I won't be too happy with my heavenly father either. It took knowing someone related to me and a couple of people that I personally know that are gay, that changed my outlook. To make me know without a shadow of doubt they are born that way. 

Thanks for your thoughtful questions, I hope my answers aren't going to be used against me. 

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2 hours ago, pogi said:

Even California boy would probably acknowledge the improvement in focus, message, and tone even if he doesn’t agree with all of it.

It is not directed at CB or other critics who have already chosen to leave, however.  It is directed towards faithful members and those questioning to leave or stay.  That is where we need to stop the hemorrhage.  No message will please everyone, and some will continue to leave regardless of the message, but I think it would touch more hearts and inspire more faith (and who knows, perhaps even soften more moderate critics) than the defensive approach.  This will speak to many in the church who do identify with it and appreciate simply being acknowledged for their struggles- I know there are many who feel like the church doesn't understand.

Oh yeah.  Things have definitely gotten better.  When I first came out, my very faithful family thought they were suppose to have nothing to do with me.  They felt that if they did, it would some how signal that they approved of "the gay lifestyle". It only took about 13 years before I was once again invited to family activities.  I don't think that would happen today.  And my relationship with my family has completely changed, all for the better.  They even decided that they want my partner as part of the family.  What they found out is that he is a wonderful guy that they like having around.  That would have been unheard of not all that long ago.  

I have also noticed that the Church is pulling away from the SSA thing and actually using LGBT and gay.  Certainly, that is clear signals that they are making an effort to be more respectful to the LGBT community.  That is something they didn't do for literally years.  

The divide between the LGBT community is never going to come together.  What would help the most IMO is if the Church backed off with it's whole campaign to try and control what the LGBT community does outside the church through their political and legal maneuvers..  And the LGBT community quit worrying about how the Church treats its gay members.  

As far as members like Ahab viewing me as evil, I don't really care.  It is more a reflection on how some members of the Church view this whole issue.  And if Scott wants to continue to use SSA, I also don't really care.  He can continue to use a name that many in the LGBT community don't like.  He too doesn't have to show any respect to the LGBT community.  That too is more a reflection on how some members of the Church treat the LGBT community.  We get called far worse than either of those things.  When you are gay, living in a straight world, you end up growing a pretty thick skin.

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Quote

 

   9 hours ago,  Calm said: 

I think you are way overestimating the Church's influence.  Just look at all the other countries that have legalized SSM.  Are you suggesting the Church is the cause of legalized SSM there?

 

 

4 hours ago, Tacenda said:

I think it could have had an affect on the US perhaps. I remember discussion about it, not sure where, but if memory serves they were saying by the church coming out against and doing it with ferver, it started the equal rights for gays and SSM. Wish I could bring up the conversation now. And definitely it was inadvertently that this happened. 

I personally think that the church played a very important role in legalizing marriage.  It is not from the Church's influence, but rather the time and money spent to pass Prop 8.  That one event created a very public debate on the subject.  For the next two years, the public got to hear both sides of the issue make their case.  In the end, 60% of the public believed that gay marriage should be legalized.

The other result of Prop 8 was the opportunity to bring a civil rights suit before the courts,  In the courtroom, where distortions and slanted propaganda is not permitted, where only facts are what decide the law.  Gay marriage was legally decided in virtually every court it was challenged across the country based not on religious beliefs, but on constitutional issues..  It was the passing of Prop 8 that spurred that on, and ultimately lead to the landmark Supreme Court ruling affirming the Civil Rights of the gay community.

 

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Here is a wonderful talk by Phillip Barlow that was presented on the Mormons Building Bridges website:

http://mormonsbuildingbridges.org/custodians-of-doctrine-and-the-work-of-empathy-philip-barlow/?fbclid=IwAR2n2Z5KxHhXxSfmdv5CtaczmXKeNRHoQ3JEP3t2e0PDoAgN5AsL8vP2T78

I c/p this part below. 

Because there are untold ways for spoken “love” to run askew, may I conclude by positing two observations? The first is that it is not an inevitable conclusion that more (even authentic) love on the part of straight and LGBTQ church members will yield agreement on the proposition that God approves or disapproves of gay marriage. For some time to come we may have to enact a better love than we have thus far managed, even in disagreement.

The second observation is that our LGBTQ friends, who commonly know ill-treatment, do not always sense love in every case where it is verbally uttered.  Here are two examples, borrowed from confiding friends, of how professed love can come across to them:

“Maybe before you say to an LGBTQ person trying to live by church rules that ‘We understand’ and ‘We sympathize’ and ‘Don’t let your gender be the whole of your identity,’ you should volunteer to live celibately and apart from your spouse for a long season each year.”

For many (most) LGBTQ Latter-day Saints and their loved ones, no amount of listening with empathy and love can adequately assuage the pain of repeatedly hearing “clearly taught truth” that says our sexuality and gender expression are not fully welcome in the church today and will be “perfected” (read: erased) in the eternities. Reminding us perpetually of our “eternal identity as children of loving heavenly parents” seems to be another way of saying that we are children of God…created as mistakes. This can be demoralizing to LGBTQ members who know that they have not chosen to be gay or transgender and who work for years to feel peace about how they experience their sexuality and gender. We are told to find some peace with who we are now, in this mortal and fallen state of being gay or transgender, while also finding hope in being perfected in the next life – [i.e., made straight….] That can feel discombobulating on the best days … soul crushing on the worst days.

Whether it is accurate to infer that the church’s position implies correction of a disordered sexual orientation in heaven is a separable question. My friend’s lament nonetheless reflects a common understanding held by both straight and gay members of the church. Hence the trauma of enforced celibacy expressed above captures what it can feel like to be a gay person in a church framework. This means that members of the church, like me, face hurdles as we seek to enact, rather than merely to pronounce, love and empathy. How shall we proceed?  

For the moment, let us listen well to each other today. Let us find the instruction inherent in these lives we are about to glimpse. Let us absorb and question and converse with the scholars who can help our field of sight.  Let us, by the end the day, somehow be better prepared to face these hurdles together. 

And for those among us who aspire to Christian discipleship and who also respect the authority of church leaders, perhaps we can ponder, with righteous discontent at our own understanding, a new yet ancient injunction. Of all the many laws in the Hebrew biblical tradition (613 by Talmudic count), their foundation for many centuries before Christ were two: love of God and of neighbor, whom people were to love as themselves. Given the deeply entrenched primacy of those two commandments for every Jew long before the mortal Jesus, exactly what was “new” when Christ declared, “A new commandment I give to you: that you love one another as I have loved you”? 

What manner of love is this?  What is its character, distinct from what has preceded it? How shall we enact such new love in the present circumstances?

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3 minutes ago, california boy said:
 

 

I personally think that the church played a very important role in legalizing marriage.  It is not from the Church's influence, but rather the time and money spent to pass Prop 8.  That one event created a very public debate on the subject.  For the next two years, the public got to hear both sides of the issue make their case.  In the end, 60% of the public believed that gay marriage should be legalized.

The other result of Prop 8 was the opportunity to bring a civil rights suit before the courts,  In the courtroom, where distortions and slanted propaganda is not permitted, where only facts are what decide the law.  Gay marriage was legally decided in virtually every court it was challenged across the country based not on religious beliefs, but on constitutional issues..  It was the passing of Prop 8 that spurred that on, and ultimately lead to the landmark Supreme Court ruling affirming the Civil Rights of the gay community.

 

Thanks for this! I'm not going crazy afterall! ;)

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11 hours ago, pogi said:

You can never get enough inspirational messages in my opinion, and these are more often than not framed that way.  For example, the messages on porn have improved over the years from less guilt/shame type messages to more healing/empathy/inspiration type messages.  It has been helpful and welcome in my experience.  Again, I am not asking for less same-sex messages, just different ones. 

We are not talking about what other people wish for - let them wish! Like I said, I don't think there is a single person who questions the brethren's position.  

Here is what I said.  I have taken the freedom to lightly edit a couple places for clarity.

More of this, less of the defensive.

 

 

Very eloquently expressed, Pogi. I compliment you. 
 

The phrase “Trust in the Lord,” struck a familiar chord with me. I know we hear it a lot, but I have heard it given renewed emphasis very recently. 
 

I soon realized it was in a general conference sermon given last month. The speaker’s name was Dallin H. Oaks. 
 

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2019/10/17oaks?lang=eng

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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6 hours ago, Scott Lloyd said:

Very eloquently expressed, Pogi. I compliment you. 
 

The phrase “Trust in the Lord,” struck a familiar chord with me. I know we hear it a lot, but I have heard it given renewed emphasis very recently. 
 

I soon realized it was in a general conference sermon given last month. The speaker’s name was Dallin H. Oaks. 
 

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2019/10/17oaks?lang=eng

Yep, I read conference talks while riding trax every morning.  I read his talk the day before I jotted those words down, so it was fresh on my mind.  Dallin H. Oaks inspires me in  many ways, so I hope no one paints me differently.

Thanks for the compliment!

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41 minutes ago, pogi said:

Yep, I read conference talks while riding trax every morning.  I read his talk the day before I jotted those words down, so it was fresh on my mind.  Dallin H. Oaks inspires me in  many ways, so I hope no one paints me differently.

Thanks for the compliment!

I can tell you are well acquainted with the conference sermons. “Stay on the covenant path” was another allusion I noticed. 

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14 hours ago, Tacenda said:

First question by you: partly

Second: Yes, there are many, many gay individuals out there. So that will equal a lot of hurt, even if they don't want to follow up on their inborn inclinations, they are still going to feel hurt if this subject is brought up over and over again. 

Third: There are worse examples, but I've a feeling you're aware of what went on and what has been said by a few LDS apostles in the past, not just Pres. Oaks. It dawned on me today that I had forgotten the words Pres. Oaks said right after the Nov.'15 policy was sort of reversed, I appreciated his comments for the most part. 

Fourth: In answer to the c/p of your list below in blue:

i) What statements in his recent conference talk did you find hurtful? In a nut shell, separating children from their families in the kingdoms, I find very hurtful to both their loved ones and themselves. I don't believe it will happen, but believing members do. 
ii) Can you compile a top 10 list of statements that he has made overall in the last 40 years that are hurtful? Too many to list, early in his tenure at BYU he had students spy on others to weed out the gay students. But at least he overturned the policy of just kicking them out, like Wilkerson did, so kudos for that. The statements are mainly about the eternities and being able to create families. But the statement about being separated from your family if you act on your homosexuality is the one that is so hurtful, IMO. 

Lastly, I am curious if you believe the following statements are hurtful to the LGBT community as well:

A) "Marriage  as ordained by God is and should only ever be between a man and a woman"  I believed this at one time, but evolved because I put myself in their shoes. If you are a heterosexual, would you like someone telling you, you should marry someone of the same sex? And yes, it hurts because they don't have inclinations to love someone of the opposite sex in that way, usually.

B) "ALL HUMAN BEINGS were made by God as either male and female. Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose." No, it's been proven that there are many, many sexualities out there. The time I put my foot down is if someone wants to harm a child, by thinking they can carry on a love/sexual relationship with them. I'm not a fully in member of the church any longer and now have to rely on my moral compass, or internal thought process. I no longer follow a prophet or apostles, like I did at one time. I may get to heaven and find I'm wrong, but I won't be too happy with my heavenly father either. It took knowing someone related to me and a couple of people that I personally know that are gay, that changed my outlook. To make me know without a shadow of doubt they are born that way. 

Thanks for your thoughtful questions, I hope my answers aren't going to be used against me. 

Thanks for explaining your point of view.

It seems to me that the offensive part for you and so many others isn't Elder Oaks, as much as the doctrine of the church, especially as put forth in the Proclamation on the Family. And yes, Elders Oaks does seem to be an especially vocal champion of God's standards as taught in the Proclamation.

I do not see that this divide will ever be solved by you, the Mama Dragons, Elder Gong's son, CA Boy, or others who are vocal on this subject. I believe the church and its leaders (and myself as well) sees the doctrines as taught in the Proclamation as God's law. And if it's God's law, it won't change and it's final - we don't have a say in it. So every conference there will continue to be talks given about this subject and every conference there will be tweets and news articles and those who attack the leaders of the church for doing their job of giving us God's law and God's will. 

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12 hours ago, california boy said:

As far as members like Ahab viewing me as evil, I don't really care.  It is more a reflection on how some members of the Church view this whole issue.  

Yes, that is exactly what it is.  Good that you are identifying what is actually going on here.  We who believe it is evil for 2 people of the same sex to have sexual relations (intercourse) are merely stating that when people do that, it is evil.  We are simply calling it evil, rather than calling it good, because we believe it is evil.  If you can keep that in mind as what we have in mind when we call that kind of behavior evil, and think nothing more about it other than we are simply saying it is evil because we believe it is evil, then maybe you can start to respect us for calling things as we see them, rather than as you or others on "your side" see them if you believe those things are good and would rather call them good rather than evil.  It is simply a difference of perspective.  I'm sure evil people consider everything they do that is evil as if it is something that is good.  And they probably also consider some of the things we call good as if they are evil.  What is actually good is good and what is evil is evil but since good and evil are determined on a subjective level even with inspiration from God, some people are just wrong sometimes when they label something as good or evil. I'm still going to stick with whatever God tells me, though, so if he calls something evil I am also going to call it evil rather than good.

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19 minutes ago, Ahab said:

Yes, that is exactly what it is.  Good that you are identifying what is actually going on here.  We who believe it is evil for 2 people of the same sex to have sexual relations (intercourse) are merely stating that when people do that, it is evil.  We are simply calling it evil, rather than calling it good, because we believe it is evil.  If you can keep that in mind as what we have in mind when we call that kind of behavior evil, and think nothing more about it other than we are simply saying it is evil because we believe it is evil, then maybe you can start to respect us for calling things as we see them, rather than as you or others on "your side" see them if you believe those things are good and would rather call them good rather than evil.  It is simply a difference of perspective.  I'm sure evil people consider everything they do that is evil as if it is something that is good.  And they probably also consider some of the things we call good as if they are evil.  What is actually good is good and what is evil is evil but since good and evil are determined on a subjective level even with inspiration from God, some people are just wrong sometimes when they label something as good or evil. I'm still going to stick with whatever God tells me, though, so if he calls something evil I am also going to call it evil rather than good.

  Are you sure you got enough evil in your post?  Maybe add a few more for good measure?

Look, you and the Church can believe whatever you want.  That has never bothered me.  My life, and my relationship with God is not going to be influenced by your personal opinion.  So you can demonize me as much as you think you need to.  I am sure it makes you feel so superior to my horrible evil choices I have made that have so enriched my life and brought me so much joy and happiness.  I do think you guys should reconsider the whole wickedness never was happiness thing though.  That's not working out to be all that true of statement..My partner and I have been together for 10 years.  Still happy as ever.

Edited by california boy
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11 minutes ago, california boy said:

... you can demonize me as much as you think you need to.  I am sure it makes you feel so superior to my horrible evil choices I have made that have so enriched my life and brought me so much joy and happiness.  I do think you guys should reconsider the whole wickedness never was happiness thing though.  That's not working out to be all that true of statement..My partner and I have been together for 10 years.  Still happy as ever.

We have a different perspective.  Did you understand that from what I said earlier?  What you call good is not what I call good and what you call happy is not what I would call happy. I've seen how evil people act when they get to do whatever they want to do, how they appear to be happy, but that is not what I would call happy.  So my perspective remains unchanged and you can choose to believe whatever you want to believe, as well.

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25 minutes ago, Ahab said:

Yes, that is exactly what it is.  Good that you are identifying what is actually going on here.  We who believe it is evil for 2 people of the same sex to have sexual relations (intercourse) are merely stating that when people do that, it is evil.  We are simply calling it evil, rather than calling it good, because we believe it is evil.  If you can keep that in mind as what we have in mind when we call that kind of behavior evil, and think nothing more about it other than we are simply saying it is evil because we believe it is evil, then maybe you can start to respect us for calling things as we see them, rather than as you or others on "your side" see them if you believe those things are good and would rather call them good rather than evil.  It is simply a difference of perspective.  I'm sure evil people consider everything they do that is evil as if it is something that is good.  And they probably also consider some of the things we call good as if they are evil.  What is actually good is good and what is evil is evil but since good and evil are determined on a subjective level even with inspiration from God, some people are just wrong sometimes when they label something as good or evil. I'm still going to stick with whatever God tells me, though, so if he calls something evil I am also going to call it evil rather than good.

Do you mind giving reference to where God calls it evil, any scriptures of Him saying it vs. a man saying it? And if it's from a prophet, are prophets fallible? How about the curse of cain, do you believe that? Do you believe blacks should have been banned from having the PH? Or were leaders racist, like those in the Bible? And is the story of Cain even true? I've read that the Old Testament may not have even happened, but is allegory. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allegorical_interpretation_of_the_Bible

I believe that if gay couples are monogamous, we should be grateful. The mentalilty of the gays before now, seemed to make them feel that they were bad and so they just fell into the syndrome of having many partners, maybe believing they aren't like the heterosexuals and can't make a union. Maybe not very knowledgeable to make that claim, but feel in my gut that the gays being allowed marriage changes the whole ballgame, and allows for those monogamous relationships to happen more. If this makes any sense.

35 minutes ago, Anonymous Mormon said:

Thanks for explaining your point of view.

It seems to me that the offensive part for you and so many others isn't Elder Oaks, as much as the doctrine of the church, especially as put forth in the Proclamation on the Family. And yes, Elders Oaks does seem to be an especially vocal champion of God's standards as taught in the Proclamation.

I do not see that this divide will ever be solved by you, the Mama Dragons, Elder Gong's son, CA Boy, or others who are vocal on this subject. I believe the church and its leaders (and myself as well) sees the doctrines as taught in the Proclamation as God's law. And if it's God's law, it won't change and it's final - we don't have a say in it. So every conference there will continue to be talks given about this subject and every conference there will be tweets and news articles and those who attack the leaders of the church for doing their job of giving us God's law and God's will. 

I answered a few questions by you, would you mind answering this one:  If you are a heterosexual, would you like someone telling you, you should marry someone of the same sex? 

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1 hour ago, Ahab said:

Yes, that is exactly what it is.  Good that you are identifying what is actually going on here.  We who believe it is evil for 2 people of the same sex to have sexual relations (intercourse) are merely stating that when people do that, it is evil.  We are simply calling it evil, rather than calling it good, because we believe it is evil.  If you can keep that in mind as what we have in mind when we call that kind of behavior evil, and think nothing more about it other than we are simply saying it is evil because we believe it is evil, then maybe you can start to respect us for calling things as we see them, rather than as you or others on "your side" see them if you believe those things are good and would rather call them good rather than evil.  It is simply a difference of perspective.  I'm sure evil people consider everything they do that is evil as if it is something that is good.  And they probably also consider some of the things we call good as if they are evil.  What is actually good is good and what is evil is evil but since good and evil are determined on a subjective level even with inspiration from God, some people are just wrong sometimes when they label something as good or evil. I'm still going to stick with whatever God tells me, though, so if he calls something evil I am also going to call it evil rather than good.

37 minutes ago, Ahab said:

We have a different perspective.  Did you understand that from what I said earlier?  What you call good is not what I call good and what you call happy is not what I would call happy. I've seen how evil people act when they get to do whatever they want to do, how they appear to be happy, but that is not what I would call happy.  So my perspective remains unchanged and you can choose to believe whatever you want to believe, as well.

Ahab, You can judge a specific behavior to be good or evil, but stop calling people who do much good in the world "evil".  That is terribly wrong of you.  This life is a probationary state.  Do you know what that means?  It means you are speaking prematurely, and neither is it your place to speak.  Even God waits 'till the end to review and pronounce judgment of good or evil on the heads of men. Only he can see the heart and judge fairly.  It pains me deeply to see such toxic shame so easily slide off the tongue towards another brother and child of God.  Make no mistake, it is toxic! You should ask his and His forgiveness.    

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31 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

Do you mind giving reference to where God calls it evil, any scriptures of Him saying it vs. a man saying it?

You do know where the scriptures came from, right?  Yep, the hand of men.

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