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How do you love your queer neighbor?


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I just don't enjoy discussions that only revolve around personal beliefs and interpretations of scripture, history and conference talks.  What good is the gospel if all one does with it is examine it and work to prove one's interpretation is the right one?  I think that is exactly why the Savior condemned so strongly lawyers, scribes, priests, pharisees and Sadducee's.  I think we all agree that one of the greatest commandments is to love thy neighbor as thyself.

Since everyone on this board seems to have strong views on LGTBQ+ members, please share with us all what you are actually doing for the queer members of the Church to help them feel loved?

I spend 5 to 10 hours a week helping parents of queer children navigate membership in the Church.  Last Saturday I was visiting Austin Texas and my wife and I attended a rally to protest the Texas governors directive to investigate parents of trans children for child abuse.  We met a non-binary person whose LDS family had rejected them.  We spent a long time talking with them and the one thing that hurt them the most was the total withdrawal of love from their family and ward members when they came out.  I gave them a hug and they just didn't want to let go.  They were really amazed that there were actually LDS parents who loved and accepted their gay children.  There are a handful of queer members here in the Portland area trying to maintain some level of Church activity.  We serve as a sort of crisis line when any of them start to have dark thoughts.  We have had calls at midnight, last minute guests to holiday meals and offered lots of hugs.  We have brought a few inactive queer members to church with us when they have had a desire just to sit in sacrament meeting one time.  From experience, queer members especially those attending need extra help.   So please share with me what you are doing.

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My friendship is all I can offer. I have family that is gay and we are very tight. We talk always and share concerns and thoughts, and I try to stand up for different needs, allergies etc of his.

This is somewhat related to this, but I have tried to work on being more cordial online since President Nelsons talk on burying the war hatchet. I have found myself not posting messages I have written far more often. I am not perfect, and I am not always part of the solution, but I have tried to be patient.

Standing up for your believes while making sure to keep your emotions in line is always a balancing act

Edited by SwedishLDS
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2 hours ago, kimpearson said:

I just don't enjoy discussions that only revolve around personal beliefs and interpretations of scripture, history and conference talks.  What good is the gospel if all one does with it is examine it and work to prove one's interpretation is the right one?  I think that is exactly why the Savior condemned so strongly lawyers, scribes, priests, pharisees and Sadducee's. 

False.  Jesus harshly condemned members of the Jewish religious establishment because they were complete hypocrites -- they said one thing and did another.  Jesus himself was a Pharisaic rabbi and he adhered to the high moral and ethical standards of Beth Hillel (read the talmud).  Later, Paul the Apostle (also a Pharisaic rabbi) gave up his hypocrisy to follow Jesus.  Paul had been harshly persecuting the true followers of God, before his vision on the road to Damascus.

As Paul himself shows us, there is nothing at all wrong about defending the faith against the lies so frequently brought against it.

2 hours ago, kimpearson said:

I think we all agree that one of the greatest commandments is to love thy neighbor as thyself.

Since everyone on this board seems to have strong views on LGTBQ+ members, please share with us all what you are actually doing for the queer members of the Church to help them feel loved?

Only a few members of this board have had anything to say about so-called LGBTQ people, and most probably know very few such LDS members, if at all.  Most people do not feel qualified to pontificate on the issue.  Indeed, I frequently find people on this board (both LDS and non-LDS) who show a good deal of compassion toward people who feel left out and persecuted.

2 hours ago, kimpearson said:

I spend 5 to 10 hours a week helping parents of queer children navigate membership in the Church.  Last Saturday I was visiting Austin Texas and my wife and I attended a rally to protest the Texas governors directive to investigate parents of trans children for child abuse.  We met a non-binary person whose LDS family had rejected them.  We spent a long time talking with them and the one thing that hurt them the most was the total withdrawal of love from their family and ward members when they came out.  I gave them a hug and they just didn't want to let go.  They were really amazed that there were actually LDS parents who loved and accepted their gay children.  There are a handful of queer members here in the Portland area trying to maintain some level of Church activity.  We serve as a sort of crisis line when any of them start to have dark thoughts.  We have had calls at midnight, last minute guests to holiday meals and offered lots of hugs.  We have brought a few inactive queer members to church with us when they have had a desire just to sit in sacrament meeting one time.  From experience, queer members especially those attending need extra help.   So please share with me what you are doing.

I don't know of anyone in my ward here in Utah who would identify as LGBTQ, but I haven't inquired to find any.  However, when I lived in San Francisco for a number of years I did have a bisexual LDS roommate (there were 5 of us LDS guys in one apt), and I had an excellent home-teaching companion who was gay.  Lots of gay acquaintances and co-workers.  There was a married couple in my ward there in Frisco who had major problems, but that was only because they were both drunks.  That was a couple I home taught, and I would find them out on the street falling down drunk.

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2 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

False.  Jesus harshly condemned members of the Jewish religious establishment because they were complete hypocrites -- they said one thing and did another.  Jesus himself was a Pharisaic rabbi and he adhered to the high moral and ethical standards of Beth Hillel (read the talmud).  Later, Paul the Apostle (also a Pharisaic rabbi) gave up his hypocrisy to follow Jesus.  Paul had been harshly persecuting the true followers of God, before his vision on the road to Damascus.

As Paul himself shows us, there is nothing at all wrong about defending the faith against the lies so frequently brought against it.

Only a few members of this board have had anything to say about so-called LGBTQ people, and most probably know very few such LDS members, if at all.  Most people do not feel qualified to pontificate on the issue.  Indeed, I frequently find people on this board (both LDS and non-LDS) who show a good deal of compassion toward people who feel left out and persecuted.

I don't know of anyone in my ward here in Utah who would identify as LGBTQ, but I haven't inquired to find any.  However, when I lived in San Francisco for a number of years I did have a bisexual LDS roommate (there were 5 of us LDS guys in one apt), and I had an excellent home-teaching companion who was gay.  Lots of gay acquaintances and co-workers.  There was a married couple in my ward there in Frisco who had major problems, but that was only because they were both drunks.  That was a couple I home taught, and I would find them out on the street falling down drunk.

thank you for standing up for the faith. Christ was very much living the law.

Defending the faith is important. And I usually find people to be very accepting of same sex people (sometimes to the point they forgot what the commandments say), of course this varies

That said, being loving is also important.

Edited by SwedishLDS
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I show kindness and love too them. Many are my friends (family, coworkers, neighbors, missionary companions and members of the church).
I support their right to live their life, have equal rights in work, housing, medical care, etc.

I also remind myself that most of the persecution the LDS have experienced since the restoration has not come from LGBTQ or atheist it has come from other Christian’s. 

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6 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

False.  Jesus harshly condemned members of the Jewish religious establishment because they were complete hypocrites -- they said one thing and did another.  Jesus himself was a Pharisaic rabbi and he adhered to the high moral and ethical standards of Beth Hillel (read the talmud).  Later, Paul the Apostle (also a Pharisaic rabbi) gave up his hypocrisy to follow Jesus.  Paul had been harshly persecuting the true followers of God, before his vision on the road to Damascus.

As Paul himself shows us, there is nothing at all wrong about defending the faith against the lies so frequently brought against it.

Only a few members of this board have had anything to say about so-called LGBTQ people, and most probably know very few such LDS members, if at all.  Most people do not feel qualified to pontificate on the issue.  Indeed, I frequently find people on this board (both LDS and non-LDS) who show a good deal of compassion toward people who feel left out and persecuted.

I don't know of anyone in my ward here in Utah who would identify as LGBTQ, but I haven't inquired to find any.  However, when I lived in San Francisco for a number of years I did have a bisexual LDS roommate (there were 5 of us LDS guys in one apt), and I had an excellent home-teaching companion who was gay.  Lots of gay acquaintances and co-workers.  There was a married couple in my ward there in Frisco who had major problems, but that was only because they were both drunks.  That was a couple I home taught, and I would find them out on the street falling down drunk.

Yes, there are many compassionate people on this board, just as you described.  Unlike some others here, they don’t have the need to constantly virtue-signal. 

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I don’t have as much opportunity as I used to. My world’s shrunk a lot between child and COVID. Pre-COVID i went to my stake’s first support group (?…I think…or maybe it was something slightly different…I can’t remember) for anyone with queer relatives/loved ones wanting to chat or learn how to better support. I was so pleased they were doing this and they had a great attendance. But then COVID and being merged into a new stake had me lose track. I hope they kept it up. It was not my first group around this topic. I facilitated another one with another woman, for queer women to explore their experiences. I was the only straight person. 

 

For my job I’ve had the pleasure of working with LGBT clients several times. Usually, due to how the larger business is advertised, these are usually LDS-affiliated  who haven’t come to terms with their sexuality and are struggling to figure out what to do with it/themselves. Several times their lives have been in chaos/falling apart when I met them on several different fronts. I helped them navigate this, find and trust family supports, come to terms to their attractions, and move into a different chapter that was less painful and fearful. They were some of my favorite clients even though it was often heavier work. 
 

in my personal life, my cousin is lesbian and left the church sometime in her late teens, I believe. she informed me on both her sexuality and leaving all in a parking lot one night. I told her that no matter where she went in life that  i hoped she would always feel comfortable talking to me about her life and experiences. If anything we grew closer and that’s continued to be the case. I’m hopeful this summer we’ll have a double date with her current girlfriend. I plan one day, whenever she meets (if she hasn’t already) the right one, to attend her wedding.
 

currently I’m listening to a podcast on lgbt/LDS concerns that I’m really liking. I’m doing so mainly to keep this fresh on my mind for whenever I do have a queer LDS client and to think about this intersection of experience. Plus it’s just a really good/fun podcast. 
 

I’ve spoken up when my southern bros who grew up in a conservative town have used epithets. They’ve at least stopped using it around me (or hopefully just grew up enough to realize that’s not okay). 
 

I don’t much flaunt my ally-ship much. I feel there’s people who are better at it, closer to the subject, and thus more “called” to this end of the vineyard Per se. It’s enough for me to be a safe space for those I work with and those I love. 
 


With luv, 

BD 

 

Edited by BlueDreams
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I literally have a gay couple who live next door. I treat them the same as I treat everybody else. Why does it even matter that they are gay? Funny story about them. They are an older couple who are both war vets. They are always outside working on their yard, so I have conversations with them regularly. One of them mentioned to me a few years back that he was at one point in his past an Elder's Quorum President.

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10 hours ago, kimpearson said:

I just don't enjoy discussions that only revolve around personal beliefs and interpretations of scripture, history and conference talks.  What good is the gospel if all one does with it is examine it and work to prove one's interpretation is the right one?  I think that is exactly why the Savior condemned so strongly lawyers, scribes, priests, pharisees and Sadducee's.  I think we all agree that one of the greatest commandments is to love thy neighbor as thyself.

Since everyone on this board seems to have strong views on LGTBQ+ members, please share with us all what you are actually doing for the queer members of the Church to help them feel loved?

I spend 5 to 10 hours a week helping parents of queer children navigate membership in the Church.  Last Saturday I was visiting Austin Texas and my wife and I attended a rally to protest the Texas governors directive to investigate parents of trans children for child abuse.  We met a non-binary person whose LDS family had rejected them.  We spent a long time talking with them and the one thing that hurt them the most was the total withdrawal of love from their family and ward members when they came out.  I gave them a hug and they just didn't want to let go.  They were really amazed that there were actually LDS parents who loved and accepted their gay children.  There are a handful of queer members here in the Portland area trying to maintain some level of Church activity.  We serve as a sort of crisis line when any of them start to have dark thoughts.  We have had calls at midnight, last minute guests to holiday meals and offered lots of hugs.  We have brought a few inactive queer members to church with us when they have had a desire just to sit in sacrament meeting one time.  From experience, queer members especially those attending need extra help.   So please share with me what you are doing.

I remember Mark 10:21 when I am with them, focusing more on the first phrase (bolded) and adopting an attitude of invitation, encouragement and confidence with regards to what Jesus said (bolded):

Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and agive to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and bfollow me.

My individual, personal interaction varies by individual. I'm not geared toward a more programmatic attitude because I find it often detracts from the sense of belonging in Zion and too easily provides fertile ground for a pharisaical "us/them" relationship.

 

Edited by CV75
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10 hours ago, kimpearson said:

I think we all agree that one of the greatest commandments is to love thy neighbor as thyself.

Since everyone on this board seems to have strong views on LGTBQ+ members, please share with us all what you are actually doing for the queer members of the Church to help them feel loved?

Storytime!

Members only?  I suppose I only know one - my BiL who lives in another state.  We've had a fun relationship from the very start, revolving around lighthearted sparring and jabs.  On Facebook, whenever there's an opportunity, we'll talk smack about each other.  He's a worthy opponent, but we're both big targets so it's an equal match.  I discovered he was gay from 600 miles away before he came out, and asked his mom to give him a big hug for me and tell him he's all right in my book.

 

Former members:

My old high school buddy and I both love to fight and argue religion and politics online, and we had done it for years.  I learned about the church's ban on baptizing children from SSA households by reading a long post from him about how he had just turned in his letter of resignation.  Before I even learned why, I shot him a note saying he was still ok in my book.  We argued and battled away happily until he turned nasty and condescending and I had to kick him for the sake of my own mental health. 

Another buddy moved away, divorced his wife, married his husband.  Facebook acquaintances, haven't talked in years, but it's been friendly.  

 

Nonmembers: 

I've joined one of my work's diversity resource group, where I am one of the more energetic participants.  I'm the token white Christian conservative male.  We have excellent discussions and do excellent things like learn about each other and how to be respectful.  A big reason I'm there is exactly the reason you mentioned - the 2nd great commandment - and we talk about it a lot.  I basically seized on 'love thy neighbor' as my guiding principle in the group, and wherever it swings me, I fly.  It's been going well.  We have a lot in common, and are learning to respect each others' differences.  

Teen daughter got me all excited about her beginning to date, when she wanted to invite a guy to family movie night.  I didn't get the full story, but I'm 98% certain this person is a biological female, and it wasn't a date.  The extent of my involvement with the person was meeting them at the movie, buying popcorn, exchanging a few jokes, handing 'em off to their mom when the movie was over.  Honestly, just standing there with a dumb look on my face, was the only thing required by the situation to fulfill the 2nd great commandment.  Later I asked daughter if she wanted to invite the person on other things, but I guess the 'new' wore off of the friendship, or something. 

In a men's group I attended 5 years ago, a guy showed up one night trying to hold his marriage together.  He/wife/counselor had a short list of items he needed to master, in order for his wife to agree to not divorce him.  No more wearing women's clothes, no more taking the medication that caused him to grow breasts.  Dude was struggling mightily, Trying to figure out how to do right by himself, his God, and his wife and kids.  The only support I was able to give him was along the lines of this: "Dude, I don't have the faintest clue what you're going through.  I see you are struggling and in pain, and I honestly don't know what advice to give.  But I see you are trying hard to figure out what the right thing is, and it's causing you pain, and that tells me you're a good person trying to do what's right.  Good luck and God bless."

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Oh - one other story.  One of the boys at my ward showed up in a dress a few months ago.  I don't have the story, so I don't know what to do, other than make friendly eye contact in the hall.  I'm not in the habit of running after the 14 year old kids at church and trying to form relationships with them.  I brought the matter to my diversity group, and they all agreed that me running across the chapel to give the kid a huge bear hug and demand to know the details so I could make a big loud show of love and support, was probably not an appropriate course of action.  

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1 hour ago, BlueDreams said:

......................

I’ve spoken up when my southern bros who grew up in a conservative town have used epithets. They’ve at least stopped using it around me (or hopefully just grew up enough to realize that’s not okay)....................

A lot of those people who use epithets are using them as protection against anyone thinking that they might be "infected" with the wrong "disease."  I've met a lot of tough guys who do that.  It's a sign of weakness.

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I wear rainbows to church in some fashion most sundays (because I read a couple of LGBTQ+ perspectives that said seeing them gave them hope/helped them feel like they belong).    But as to this post's title, why wouldn't any of us be neighborly with anyone who is our neighbor or community whatever their struggles?  

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16 hours ago, kimpearson said:

I spend 5 to 10 hours a week helping parents of queer children navigate membership in the Church.

2 hours ago, kimpearson said:

Thanks.  Lots of very thoughtful and kind responses that really do show love.

 

I often think about how far removed from cultural norms and realities some folks can be.  Cops, for example, as they move through their day interacting with the public, the portion of the public that gets interacted with are the seedy folks, the lawless, the criminal, people having the worst day of their week/month/life.  Their default every day experience with many humans, involves behaviors, opinions, and moods that strike the average person perhaps only a small handful of times in their entire life.  Cops move through their private life in a state of guard, seeing the monsters in the shadows, anticipating danger from unseen people who wish to do them harm.  The rest of us sit in the sun and think they're weird that they always want their back against the wall.

Similar things with counselors and advisors.  They only end up meeting the people who need/want/are forced to have counseling and advising.  Their day is filled with broken people, folks in pain, folks with mental/physical/emotional challenges.  People going through rough patches and hard times that most of us may brush against maybe once in life.  And the counselors/advisors say things like "just last week two of my clients attempted suicide, one got disowned by their family, and three more got arrested".  The rest of us sit in the sun and wonder why they get so passionate about stuff that really doesn't matter, like loving gay folk.

One person says "I see it happening on a daily basis, of course it's a problem."  Another person says "It pretty much never happens, of course it's not a problem".  Both of them are describing exactly, precisely, the same reality.  

I wonder if there's a word for that?

Edited by LoudmouthMormon
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I have a gay daughter who is loved by both my wife and I, and her siblings, as well as her wife. She is always welcome at Church, since they have known and loved her for her entire life. She is also clear on one fact. There are men, and there of woman, and no other sexes. She believes this binary nonsense is hurting the relationships of gay men, and gay women, and only making their unions of marriage, laughing stock’s. 

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54 minutes ago, Bill “Papa” Lee said:

I have a gay daughter who is loved by both my wife and I, and her siblings, as well as her wife. She is always welcome at Church, since they have known and loved her for her entire life. She is also clear on one fact. There are men, and there of woman, and no other sexes. She believes this binary nonsense is hurting the relationships of gay men, and gay women, and only making their unions of marriage, laughing stock’s. 

I'm surprised that she feels that way, totally surprised that she isn't empathetic to other's feelings, because she is in the same spot, with not being the so called norm. 

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I'm not surprised.  I've heard from at least half a dozen gays and lesbians that there are some serious problems with gender theory impacting the LG end of the alphabet.  They've been told "if you won't date a woman just because she's trans, you're transphobic".  That's a problem for lesbians who prefer their romantic partners to not have a wee-wee.  They're being told that the core of their existence is transphobic.  You know what gays and lesbians have had a problem with for a long time?  Being told their desires and loves are wrong.  Being told how they need to change their sexuality in order to be acceptable.  They're feeling pushed back into the closet.  They're seeing the same stuff from trans activists, that they saw from conversion therapy. 

They're finding their voice and starting to speak out against it, same as many straight folk.

Edited by LoudmouthMormon
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25 minutes ago, LoudmouthMormon said:

"if you won't date a woman just because she's trans, you're transphobic". 

This rhetoric isn’t working in general. An expressed desire for a cis-male or cis-female in dating profiles is not seen as transphobia. At least very few would call it that and most of those who do see it that way are the kind of people others roll their eyes at. These exceptions are a few angry transgender people (mostly young) upset that some people they want to date won’t date them. People being upset that other people don’t have romantic interest in them is nothing new and is not going to sink the movement. Gay men having a crush on a straight guy has not led to gay men in general calling straight guys homophobes for not returning their interests and lesbian women face the same thing and many are burned by the “experimentation” of many straight women when young but they don’t call them homophobes either.

There is a more subtle pushback with F2M people being excluded from gay spaces and the TERF (Trans-Exclusive Radical Feminists) movement pushing against M2F people.

This clash exists but it is played up way too loudly in some sources. It is a prominent movement in the same way that incels are. They exist but most people have learned to ignore their whining about how no one will ever have sex with them. You stop feeling sorry for them after talking to them for five minutes and know exactly why no one wants to be around them.

I admit there is a weird irony that the same conservative voices who were screaming that gays would destroy society now hold out a secret hope that these immoral predators ‘who are after your kids’ are going to drive out the new batch of transgender predators ‘who are after your kids’.

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17 minutes ago, The Nehor said:

This clash exists but it is played up way too loudly in some sources. It is a prominent movement in the same way that incels are. They exist but most people have learned to ignore their whining about how no one will ever have sex with them. You stop feeling sorry for them after talking to them for five minutes and know exactly why no one wants to be around them.

So, I'm hardly the most involved in the alphabet infighting, but this is the first time I've ever heard anyone from the more progressive (than me, at least) side of the debate, actually admit these people exist, and be willing to speak out against them publicly. (Or, at least, speak out against them anonymously on a small niche private forum.)

I'm assuming you're not the only one doing this, and I'm encouraged to see some sanity breaking out in the shifting winds of cultural change.  I'm hoping trans folk can find peace and acceptance.

It might be asking for too much, but could you also opine about the advisability of giving gender-affirming counseling/care/medication to minor children, sometimes against their parents' wishes?

Edited by LoudmouthMormon
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