Jump to content

Concrete guidance on gay dating while remaining a member in good standing?


Recommended Posts

11 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I honestly didn't know that you don't believe the racist stuff (blacks were fence sitters in the pre-existence, etc. etc.) that was taught over the pulpit due to the priesthood ban is crap.  

I don't believe "fence sitters" (I believe that everyone on earth overtly chose the plan of salvation), but I do believe that the pre-existence directly impacted all factors with our placement (race, era, family, geography, etc.). 

13 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Most of it is stuff that it's not huge deal to get wrong and is just an aspect of growing line upon line. 

I agree. 

That's why if the Church were to say "Oops! Totally whiffed on that one over the years" about the law of chastity and other Proclamation doctrines, I think it's a whole other degree of dicey from most other issues people could bring up as far as doctrinal and policy changes (I would put the priesthood ban and polygamy as the two that really stand out in terms of hard issues --- hard to explain, hard to explain the change, and hard to deal with the fallout). Law of chastity is a third rail in many ways, which is why I think so little has been directly said about it in what I call the "fast moving era." Sweeping change and movements swamp at breakneck speed over the last seven years or so, I would say --- and this coincides with a perceived, studied pattern of the institutional Church trying to avoid the "eye of Sauron" on it. 

Link to comment
20 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I honestly didn't know that you don't believe the racist stuff (blacks were fence sitters in the pre-existence, etc. etc.) that was taught over the pulpit due to the priesthood ban is crap.  

Some of the other stuff that we've had to backpedal on have to do with women in the church.  We've got some stuff on science that was taught over pulpit that turned out not to be as doctrinal as we thought it was.  Some teachings around our history that we had to go "oops, didn't understand that as well as we claimed we did".  That kind of stuff.

Most of it is stuff that it's not huge deal to get wrong and is just an aspect of growing line upon line.  But it's a good reminder that sometimes we draw lines in the sand that God doesn't agree with.  

If God's ways really and truly are higher and different than our's, and if we actually do see through a glass darkly, we should stop assuming that we can always use our reason to come to His conclusions.

Your examples show that policies (and even "revelations") can really be just be conservative opinions of church leaders, that over time need to be reversed.  Polygamy and the Priesthood ban have been reversed, but not after they have caused much suffering and damage to the Church's public relations.  We should learn from this and modify our LGBTQ policy to be inclusive.

Link to comment
27 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I honestly didn't know that you don't believe the racist stuff (blacks were fence sitters in the pre-existence, etc. etc.) that was taught over the pulpit due to the priesthood ban is crap.  

Some of the other stuff that we've had to backpedal on have to do with women in the church.  We've got some stuff on science that was taught over pulpit that turned out not to be as doctrinal as we thought it was.  Some teachings around our history that we had to go "oops, didn't understand that as well as we claimed we did".  That kind of stuff.

Most of it is stuff that it's not huge deal to get wrong and is just an aspect of growing line upon line.  But it's a good reminder that sometimes we draw lines in the sand that God doesn't agree with.  

If God's ways really and truly are higher and different than our's, and if we actually do see through a glass darkly, we should stop assuming that we can always use our reason to come to His conclusions.

Let’s make one things clear. My beliefs on deity follow what the church had taught me. Should the church come out tomorrow and change their views of homosexuality, I will gladly begin to reconsider those beliefs. In my own personal life, I see no benefit in trying to anticipate and pick up on doctrinal changes that may or may not come.

 

Im going to use your own line on you now

If God's ways really and truly are higher and different than our's, and if we actually do see through a glass darkly, we should stop assuming that we can always use our reason to come to His conclusions.

 

I acknowledge my homophobia not because I choose to hate gays, but because I have enough self confidence and awareness to know that I find the idea of two men making out absolutely disgusting. I will happily admit that this may sway my views on this topic.

 

 

Edited by Fether
Link to comment
1 hour ago, bluebell said:

How is a gay person supposed to repent and change from being gay?  

I wish I could give more than one rep point for this.

And, I would add, why should a gay person who was born that way repent for something he/she did not do?

Link to comment
17 minutes ago, sunstoned said:

Agreed.  According to the policy stated in the family proclamation, 

So if gender is eternal, and God created all of us, including our LGBTQ friends, then the church needs to come up with an updated policy to include them in a way that they can have a fulfilled life.  If the church wants to prosper as a 21st century organization. Then we need to choose inclusion or exclusion. 

I do want to say that I don't think the church should do anything just so it can prosper as a 21st century organization.  I want it to do what God wants, not what society wants.  But I also want it to do what God wants and not what our previous conservative cultural ideas around homosexuality want.

It's a hard line and we're probably not completely on it very often, but I think it's worth having it as our goal.

Link to comment
19 minutes ago, rongo said:

I don't believe "fence sitters" (I believe that everyone on earth overtly chose the plan of salvation), but I do believe that the pre-existence directly impacted all factors with our placement (race, era, family, geography, etc.). 

I agree. 

That's why if the Church were to say "Oops! Totally whiffed on that one over the years" about the law of chastity and other Proclamation doctrines, I think it's a whole other degree of dicey from most other issues people could bring up as far as doctrinal and policy changes (I would put the priesthood ban and polygamy as the two that really stand out in terms of hard issues --- hard to explain, hard to explain the change, and hard to deal with the fallout). Law of chastity is a third rail in many ways, which is why I think so little has been directly said about it in what I call the "fast moving era." Sweeping change and movements swamp at breakneck speed over the last seven years or so, I would say --- and this coincides with a perceived, studied pattern of the institutional Church trying to avoid the "eye of Sauron" on it. 

I don't really see this as affecting the Law of Chastity itself.  I think we've interpreted the LoC to include homosexual relations in any form (hand holding) and even in the bounds of marriage, but would the death of that specific interpretation kill the whole thing?  

I don't think so.  Because to me the Law of Chastity is no improper sexual contact before marriage and fidelity in marriage, and that could be applied to everyone, heterosexual or homosexual.  

In other words, I don't believe that the double standard has to be a part of the LoC or the whole thing falls apart.  I think it could exist just as well, and just as strong, without the double standard.

Link to comment
15 minutes ago, sunstoned said:

Your examples show that policies (and even "revelations") can really be just be conservative opinions of church leaders, that over time need to be reversed.  Polygamy and the Priesthood ban have been reversed, but not after they have caused much suffering and damage to the Church's public relations.  We should learn from this and modify our LGBTQ policy to be inclusive.

Sure, they can be.

Are they always?  No.  And that's why this kind of stuff is complicated.  

Link to comment

I have a gay son.  I spend hours each week helping Church members with queer kids who are trying to stay in the Church and love and support a queer child.  I have listened too thousands of queer individuals stories, hopes and dreams.  I spent 2 hours on Zoom with a transgender woman yesterday that had been a member of the Church and continues to feel a pull toward the Church.  I live in the world of this story as much as a 60 year old cisgender, heterosexual man can.  So here is my viewpoint for what it is.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of gay members and former members of the Church.  There are literally tens of thousands transgender members and former members.  There are literally tens of thousands of other members that identify as some other form of queer.  Many of these folks find great truths in the LDS Church that they hold dear to their hearts.  99.9% of these same individuals find that celibacy or not transitioning bring depression, self hatred, deep pain and suicidal ideation.   These individuals desperately want to find a way to stay in the Church but at the same time live a life free of the pain so they are desperate to find a solution.  The Church has offered no solution that works.  Celibacy and not transitioning with faithful devotion to current Church guidance does not work to relieve or overcome the pain and sorrow.  Many in this group of queer members believe being able to have a loving relationship with everything allowed other than actual sex and legal marriage might be a possible solution so they are pushing for that.  Tom Christofferson and David Archuleta are two of the most well known gay individuals who have publicly stated they are following this path.

So what this article is really about is the efforts of queer individuals to stay active and worthy of full Church participation while at the same time meeting their emotional and mental needs for love and the stability that committed relationships offer.  They don't believe the Church has ruled out that possibility and are asking if it is a possibility.  I like many of you believe that the Church has stated that it isn't a possibility but that statement is communicated in a code that gives the Church a way to say that queer people are loved and treated just like cisgender, heterosexual members of the Church.  Queer people aren't treated equal in my experience and I have problem with the Church not being totally clear about that.  The Church has the right to define what behavior is acceptable.  I just don't think our leaders have a satisfactory answer to how queer members are to live following that acceptable behavior and have a good life.  The leaders know that and don't want to admit it.

Link to comment
1 hour ago, rongo said:

I think a big part of the calculus is going to be how averse to criticism the Brethren are if there is a different standard for gay people than there is for straight people. 

I'm comfortable saying that the Church doesn't apply the law of chastity equally to gay and straight people. Whether the Church is or will be willing to be so frank about it and come out and say that is another thing. I would be very surprised (as in, very) if the Church ever formally stated that "innocent" dating activities are okay for gay members. But this brands the Church as intolerant, bigoted, etc. with the world, so there is certainly pressure there. 

If the church has a law beyond God's law of chastity then they will surely have to state it and defend it. If the church claims it's God's law but it isn't, then that is taking the name of God in vain and the church should repent.

I think what you are saying is the church has a different policy about how hetero and homo couple interact. I agree with that. The problem is that they are calling it the Law of Chastity which is false, even though calling it the law give it an heir of Godly authority.

IF the church has a clear revelation on the matter of LGBT issues, it should state it, publish it and let the chips fall. The problem is, they don't. They refer back to the family proclamation which has an origin story with lawyers and lawsuits. They have tradition and leaders have their own bias. So they make up new rules to exclude people and call it law.

Link to comment
1 hour ago, rongo said:

I'm sure you're referring to the priesthood ban, which I'm sure you know I have a different opinion on. :) I'm curious what other examples there actually are, though. Despite the strong feelings of some about polygamy, I don't think most would agree that it was "extrapolated from doctrine that turned out to be a bunch of crap." What other examples can you think of?

I think we should be careful about assuming things that just aren't so, but I think we're on pretty firm ground with the law of chastity --- including that acting on homosexuality leads away and does not lead towards our purpose for being here and beyond. 

I would love for there to be concrete, direct guidance and insight from the key-holders on this (and other issues). 

There's a problem when Pres Nelson said it was revelation for the November 2015 policy and then changes it back. Sounds like a wish-washy God to me. 

Link to comment
40 minutes ago, rongo said:

I don't believe "fence sitters" (I believe that everyone on earth overtly chose the plan of salvation), but I do believe that the pre-existence directly impacted all factors with our placement (race, era, family, geography, etc.). 

I agree. 

That's why if the Church were to say "Oops! Totally whiffed on that one over the years" about the law of chastity and other Proclamation doctrines, I think it's a whole other degree of dicey from most other issues people could bring up as far as doctrinal and policy changes (I would put the priesthood ban and polygamy as the two that really stand out in terms of hard issues --- hard to explain, hard to explain the change, and hard to deal with the fallout). Law of chastity is a third rail in many ways, which is why I think so little has been directly said about it in what I call the "fast moving era." Sweeping change and movements swamp at breakneck speed over the last seven years or so, I would say --- and this coincides with a perceived, studied pattern of the institutional Church trying to avoid the "eye of Sauron" on it. 

I get it. The church used to teach that very strongly. It's the justification that seems to have led to the racial priesthood ban. So that philosophy has a big ugly strike out on its record. Yikes.

Part of the reason why the LGBTQ issue is so hard for the church is that it doesn't fully match up with the church's law of chastity. They've made up new rules and call it the LoC. So, yes...IMO it's another big whiff. Big enough to make people really question how reliable the church and the brethren are in discerning the will of God over their own cultural bias.

Link to comment
37 minutes ago, Fether said:

Let’s make one things clear. My beliefs on deity follow what the church had taught me. Should the church come out tomorrow and change their views of homosexuality, I will gladly begin to reconsider those beliefs. In my own personal life, I see no benefit in trying to anticipate and pick up on doctrinal changes that may or may not come.

 

Im going to use your own line on you now

If God's ways really and truly are higher and different than our's, and if we actually do see through a glass darkly, we should stop assuming that we can always use our reason to come to His conclusions.

 

I acknowledge my homophobia not because I choose to hate gays, but because I have enough self confidence and awareness to know that I find the idea of two men making out absolutely disgusting. I will happily admit that this may sway my views on this topic.

 

 

It's true. When you have bigoted beliefs about gays, it will "sway" your views on LGBTQ topics.

You've likely been taught a certain way your whole life. I know I was. It's extremely hard to break free of the bias that shapes our views but sometimes that is exactly what is needed. If you know your ideas are bigoted you might want to try to change that. And for the record, acknowledging homophobia is acknowledging bigotry.

Link to comment
25 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I don't really see this as affecting the Law of Chastity itself.  I think we've interpreted the LoC to include homosexual relations in any form (hand holding) and even in the bounds of marriage, but would the death of that specific interpretation kill the whole thing?  

I don't think so.  Because to me the Law of Chastity is no improper sexual contact before marriage and fidelity in marriage, and that could be applied to everyone, heterosexual or homosexual.  

In other words, I don't believe that the double standard has to be a part of the LoC or the whole thing falls apart.  I think it could exist just as well, and just as strong, without the double standard.

Yes!

The Law of Chastity is clearly stated in many scriptures, the temple, church teachings. Retrofitting that to include handholding amongst gays is akin to retrofitting the LoC to ban interracial marriage, which was also attempted

Link to comment
1 hour ago, Ragerunner said:

Without clarity a bishop could do the same to a gay member. He sees an active gay member out at the theater holding another persons hand or kissing. He could decide that is inappropriate and not in harmony with a temple recommend.
 

Yet another bishop might say those actions don’t break the law of chastity, move on.

I'm not sure how much of the "leadership roulette" problem informs the LGBT problem or how much the leadership roulette problem is its own thing and it often intersects with LGBT issues. In the end, though, I think you are right. The Church organization has a feature/bug that allows individual bishops/leaders wide latitude regarding many decisions that can inequitably effect people in the Church. Some are denied recommends while others are permitted recommends (or permitted/denied other levels of "membership restrictions") when all else seems equal. I don't see a good answer for the overall problem of leadership roulette. Certainly some clarification around these LGBT specific issues would reduce leadership roulette in these circumstances, but leadership roulette would still be a thing.

Link to comment
25 minutes ago, HappyJackWagon said:

It's true. When you have bigoted beliefs about gays, it will "sway" your views on LGBTQ topics.

I’ve always been confused about the word homophobic and bigotry. and the definition of hate in this.
 

Further question. I don’t “hate” gays. Just the idea of two men kissing is grotesque. Because that image is so repulsive to me, does that mean I hate them? Am I a bigot for this?

Not seeking to argue, only seeking to understand definitions here.

Link to comment
45 minutes ago, kimpearson said:

I have a gay son.  I spend hours each week helping Church members with queer kids who are trying to stay in the Church and love and support a queer child.  I have listened too thousands of queer individuals stories, hopes and dreams.  I spent 2 hours on Zoom with a transgender woman yesterday that had been a member of the Church and continues to feel a pull toward the Church.  I live in the world of this story as much as a 60 year old cisgender, heterosexual man can.  So here is my viewpoint for what it is.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of gay members and former members of the Church.  There are literally tens of thousands transgender members and former members.  There are literally tens of thousands of other members that identify as some other form of queer.  Many of these folks find great truths in the LDS Church that they hold dear to their hearts.  99.9% of these same individuals find that celibacy or not transitioning bring depression, self hatred, deep pain and suicidal ideation.   These individuals desperately want to find a way to stay in the Church but at the same time live a life free of the pain so they are desperate to find a solution.  The Church has offered no solution that works.  Celibacy and not transitioning with faithful devotion to current Church guidance does not work to relieve or overcome the pain and sorrow.  Many in this group of queer members believe being able to have a loving relationship with everything allowed other than actual sex and legal marriage might be a possible solution so they are pushing for that.  Tom Christofferson and David Archuleta are two of the most well known gay individuals who have publicly stated they are following this path.

So what this article is really about is the efforts of queer individuals to stay active and worthy of full Church participation while at the same time meeting their emotional and mental needs for love and the stability that committed relationships offer.  They don't believe the Church has ruled out that possibility and are asking if it is a possibility.  I like many of you believe that the Church has stated that it isn't a possibility but that statement is communicated in a code that gives the Church a way to say that queer people are loved and treated just like cisgender, heterosexual members of the Church.  Queer people aren't treated equal in my experience and I have problem with the Church not being totally clear about that.  The Church has the right to define what behavior is acceptable.  I just don't think our leaders have a satisfactory answer to how queer members are to live following that acceptable behavior and have a good life.  The leaders know that and don't want to admit it.

You seem to have decided that given a gospel context, individuals' emotional and mental needs for love and stability are found exclusively in committed, single-partner relationships. Is that correct?

Link to comment
Just now, Fether said:

I’ve always been confused about the word homophobic and bigotry. and the definition of hate in this.
 

Further question. I don’t “hate” gays. Just the idea of two men kissing is grotesque. Because that image is so repulsive to me, does that mean I hate them? Am I a bigot for this?

Not seeking to argue, only seeking to understand definitions here.

You don't "hate" them. You just find them "grotesque".

Yes, if you conjure an image in your mind that you find so grotesque that you would treat them differently based on that prejudice, then that is definitely bigoted.

The definitions aren't hard to understand even if accepting how they may apply to you is difficult.

Quote
homophobic
[ˌhōməˈfōbik]
 
ADJECTIVE
  1. having or showing a dislike of or prejudice against gay people.
Quote
bigot
[ˈbiɡət]
NOUN
  1. a person who is obstinately or unreasonably attached to a belief, opinion, or faction, especially one who is prejudiced against or antagonistic toward a person or people on the basis of their membership of a particular group.

 

Link to comment
1 hour ago, Fether said:

Let’s make one things clear. My beliefs on deity follow what the church had taught me. Should the church come out tomorrow and change their views of homosexuality, I will gladly begin to reconsider those beliefs. In my own personal life, I see no benefit in trying to anticipate and pick up on doctrinal changes that may or may not come.

 

Im going to use your own line on you now

If God's ways really and truly are higher and different than our's, and if we actually do see through a glass darkly, we should stop assuming that we can always use our reason to come to His conclusions.

 

I acknowledge my homophobia not because I choose to hate gays, but because I have enough self confidence and awareness to know that I find the idea of two men making out absolutely disgusting. I will happily admit that this may sway my views on this topic.

 

 

Yeah, good reason to move on.

Link to comment
56 minutes ago, kimpearson said:

I have a gay son.  I spend hours each week helping Church members with queer kids who are trying to stay in the Church and love and support a queer child.  I have listened too thousands of queer individuals stories, hopes and dreams.  I spent 2 hours on Zoom with a transgender woman yesterday that had been a member of the Church and continues to feel a pull toward the Church.  I live in the world of this story as much as a 60 year old cisgender, heterosexual man can.  So here is my viewpoint for what it is.

There are literally hundreds of thousands of gay members and former members of the Church.  There are literally tens of thousands transgender members and former members.  There are literally tens of thousands of other members that identify as some other form of queer.  Many of these folks find great truths in the LDS Church that they hold dear to their hearts.  99.9% of these same individuals find that celibacy or not transitioning bring depression, self hatred, deep pain and suicidal ideation.   These individuals desperately want to find a way to stay in the Church but at the same time live a life free of the pain so they are desperate to find a solution.  The Church has offered no solution that works.  Celibacy and not transitioning with faithful devotion to current Church guidance does not work to relieve or overcome the pain and sorrow.  Many in this group of queer members believe being able to have a loving relationship with everything allowed other than actual sex and legal marriage might be a possible solution so they are pushing for that.  Tom Christofferson and David Archuleta are two of the most well known gay individuals who have publicly stated they are following this path.

So what this article is really about is the efforts of queer individuals to stay active and worthy of full Church participation while at the same time meeting their emotional and mental needs for love and the stability that committed relationships offer.  They don't believe the Church has ruled out that possibility and are asking if it is a possibility.  I like many of you believe that the Church has stated that it isn't a possibility but that statement is communicated in a code that gives the Church a way to say that queer people are loved and treated just like cisgender, heterosexual members of the Church.  Queer people aren't treated equal in my experience and I have problem with the Church not being totally clear about that.  The Church has the right to define what behavior is acceptable.  I just don't think our leaders have a satisfactory answer to how queer members are to live following that acceptable behavior and have a good life.  The leaders know that and don't want to admit it.

kim - Can you provide a reference for the numbers you seem to be claiming in your 2nd paragraph? Those do seem to be exorbitantly high. 

Link to comment

I read the article (and the church comments).   I suggest that human touch is one of the most important of all experiences a mortal can have.    Other cultures are far better at hugging and kissing more than romantic partners.   The question is whether what someone is doing is because of same sex pairing.    If we hug and kiss and hold hands with platonic friends, then we can fairly say that doing that also with same sex people to whom we may be attracted is NOT related to that same sex attraction, and no one should have a problem with us doing the same things with same sex friends.   I'm sure some of you remember when Brother Maynes spoke about how he could be the Exec Sec, active and faithful member and he said that it was because the members of the bishopric hugged  him regularly.   We are so afraid to have that human contact widely and freely.   But if we can catch that vision of loving others,  we may also benefit ---lots of people do not get enough human touch in our world.   

And we tend to excuse ourselves for passionate kissing even when we know what we are doing is stimulating sexual desires, which is when we violate the Law of Chastity by continuing if we are not married.   That is wrong for hetrosexuals too, and yet plenty of us have excused ourselves of that behavior.

If I were gay, I would just be sure I was open with my affection with all of the people I am around, so I could truthfully say that I wasn't doing anything with people I was attracted to that was sexual or couple in nature.   AND I could get all the human touch I needed.   (I also wouldn't call my interaction with others "dating" as that appears to make whatever the activity is about a couple intimate relationship.)

 

 

 

Link to comment

I haven't read the whole thread, so this may have already been mentioned, but...

I don't think the church will ever come out and suggest that gay dating is a sin - barring a specific revelation on gay dating (without sex), there is no scriptural doctrinal basis for it.  I wouldn't be surprised at all if they came out and strongly discouraged it though - suggesting that they are playing with fire.  It would be a non-doctrinal policy akin to the old cremation policy. 

If gay people are looking for romantic companionship and a life-partner that they can spend their life with while remaining active in the church, and avoiding sex - I think they are kidding themselves, to be honest.  These people are looking for companionship.  They are looking for that spark.  A spark that they want to nourish and foster and let it grow and grow...until it must be doused with water before it catches fire.  That cycle will wear a person down over time.  It is unsustainable, I think.  

The forbidden fruit would become too tempting and frustrating in a long-term serious relationship with no possibility of marriage or sex.  One can only take that kind of dousing so many times.  Most would either leave the church to pursue their relationship to the fullest, or they would be ever frustrated.  I think most would eventually partake of the fruit and come to the realization that they either have to leave their partner or leave the church.  It would be better for mental health to commit to a monastic type of celibacy or pursue their romantic interests outside the church.  

Barring a radical change in the church in terms of homosexual marriage, I don't think that fostering romantic gay relationships and remaining an active Latter-day Saint are cohesive and conducive to good mental health.  

Edited by pogi
Link to comment
3 minutes ago, Vanguard said:

kim - Can you provide a reference for the numbers you seem to be claiming in your 2nd paragraph? Those do seem to be exorbitantly high. 

Pretty sure it's what Kim says. In this article it says Utah is 7th highest in the nation that are LGBTQ. But it's in 2015 and many haven't even been counted! https://www.deseret.com/2015/3/20/20561106/salt-lake-city-has-7th-highest-rate-of-lgbt-population-in-u-s#gov-gary-herbert-speaks-in-salt-lake-city-wednesday-dec-3-2014-on-tuesday-herbert-signed-the-second-of-two-bills-dealing-with-nondiscrimination-and-religious-freedom

Link to comment
9 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

I don't see in the article where it reports anything to the magnitude of hundreds of thousands of gay members, tens of thousands of transgender members, and tens of thousands of other members who identify as some form of queer as kim has claimed. Where in the article does it even come close to corroborating this? 

Edited by Vanguard
Link to comment
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...