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Is it possible to love the sinner but hate the sin?


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2 hours ago, MustardSeed said:

Admittedly still need to read all replies, but my initial reaction is to twist the original question to say, is it possible to feel loved when someone important to us hates what we do? 
I imagine much of the answer depends on how that hate for behavior is communicated, directly or passively .  IMO

That is an interesting thought. It fits well with the thought I previously expressed about being unsure that loving the sin while hating the sinner has anything to do with positive feelings. If a friend or family member were to steal something from me, I wouldn't exactly have positive feelings toward them, at least not at that moment. I still certainly love them though. The adage is about what you do, not how you feel. If you are communicating hatred, can you really say that what you are doing is loving the sinner?

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4 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Can you love someone without being able to think of them positively or feel about them positively?

Yes, if you think of love as something you do. I see someone do something stupid and get hurt as a result. My feelings may reflect what I saw them do (e.g., "What an idiot!"). What I am going to do is treat their injuries and help them heal as best I can.

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57 minutes ago, tagriffy said:

I don't really agree here, at least in the specific example given. Being gay is not a lifestyle; being gay is what a person is. Granted, there is a often lifestyle associated with being what one is. For example, I am an intellectual, and my lifestyle involves a lot of reading and writing that is particularly bent toward scholarly pursuits. I suppose it is theoretically conceivable that my family could love me without approving of my scholarly pursuits, but I would question whether it is me they really love in such cases as opposed to some artifical construct that really isn't me.

"Being gay" is also not a sin.  The lifestyle is perceived as a sin.  It places parents in an uncomfortable position of wanting to support their children in blossoming in who they feel they are, while having deeply held convictions of conscience that such pursuits may be sinful.  It may not be easy for many to navigate such a relationship for the child or parents.  But, as I said previously, tolerance and compassion needs to be a two-way street.  The children should not expect their parents to just change who they feel they are either.   So the children and the parents alike need to have compassion and accept the person in unconditional love without necessarily approving of their lifestyle.  Unless you are suggesting that it is also impossible for a child to love their parents who do not approve of their gay marriage but still extend love in every other way.  I personally don't buy it.  Gay children can still love their parents despite not approving of their more conservative lifestyle. 

Have your parents always approved of everything in your life?  I simply don't understand the resistance to the idea that we can love someone without approving of their pursuits/lifestyle.   There is nothing artificial about it if they are open and honest about what they disapprove of while still accepting loving you.  What if your scholarly pursuits were more pursuits of ill repute, are you suggesting that in order for them to love you, they must approve of all pursuits?

Edited by pogi
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20 minutes ago, pogi said:

Have your parents always approved of everything in your life?  I simply don't understand the resistance to the idea that we can love someone without approving of their pursuits/lifestyle.   There is nothing artificial about it if they are open and honest about what they disapprove of while still accepting loving you.  What if your scholarly pursuits were more pursuits of ill repute, are you suggesting that in order for them to love you, they must approve of all pursuits?

It occurs to me that I have been confounding acceptance with approval. So I've been reading "not approving" as "not accepting." They may be interrelated enough that expressing disapproval is easily heard as expressing unacceptance. Perhaps that is what I'm really trying to get at here. I have to think about this more. Please ask questions.

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52 minutes ago, pogi said:

Have your parents always approved of everything in your life?

It’s just a matter of scale and how big this issue is. If my parents don’t like my career choice and don’t bring it up when we are together. Fine. Sure. Mutual tolerance and love. My parents don’t approve of my spouse of 10 years? Yeah, they can take a hike and shove their “love” up … somewhere. 

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1 hour ago, tagriffy said:

The adage is about what you do, not how you feel. 

That would seem to be an assumption given that the word love is an emotion.

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6 hours ago, bluebell said:

Only when you believe that no one is sinning, is loving everyone possible.

But surely they see some behaviour as wrong, such as torturing babies to take it to the extreme. Is it just the use of the term “sin” or something else?

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6 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Well it’s probably both! I’m sincerely reflecting the “love” that prophet seers and revelators have told members to express to their LGBTQ family members. It’s sarcasm, because I don’t feel the way I expressed, and I would be hard pressed to say love is possible in the scenario I expressed. So if someone believes that my identity is a threat to civilization, that expressing my identity is an abomination, and that my family is counterfeit and then says they “love” me, I won’t believe them. 

Even if they don’t see you as identical to the identity you have chosen (I am speaking of choosing to use sexual orientation as part of one’s identity, not the type of sexual orientation one has as well as choosing to see other orientations such as political and religious, even National as part of one’s identity)?

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5 hours ago, Rain said:

Yes, sometimes we need to let certain sayings go because the relationship of the words to the actions is tainted by people spouting the saying while doing the opposite of the saying.  

I think it wise to avoid cliches in general when talking personal relationships or anything significantly meaningful. Cliches are cliches because they come with a lot of baggage.   Too often someone will make an assumption about what one is saying if one uses a cliche that wasn’t meant by the user. 

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3 hours ago, tagriffy said:

It occurs to me that I have been confounding acceptance with approval. So I've been reading "not approving" as "not accepting." They may be interrelated enough that expressing disapproval is easily heard as expressing unacceptance. Perhaps that is what I'm really trying to get at here. I have to think about this more. Please ask questions.

Yes, it is important to distinguish between the two.  

For me, the commandment to not judge requires us to distinguish between the individual and their actions.   We don't judge the person, but we are expected to judge the behavior.  This life is probationary.  Judgment of any individual is therefore premature even if we had the Godly capacity to see the individuals heart and inside motivations, etc. (which we don't have).  The all seeing and all perfect deity of all creation waits until the end to judge...why then are we in our vastly limited perspective and fallibility so quick to judge?  Judgment of the individual should therefore be left up to God, and God alone!  God has commanded us to rise above that natural man tendency to judge other people.  We should therefor view everyone under the only defining title in this probationary period, which is "child of God".   Because of this, we should be accepting of all people and not judgmental.  We are expected to judge actions/behavior, however.  That is the critically important distinction and what makes it possible for us to be accepting/loving of others while not approving of their choices/behavior.    This allows us to protect ourselves from abusive behavior but also to love and have relationships with those who are not abusive but live in a way that we disagree with. 

I will always accept and love my children no matter what.  I will not always approve of what they do.   "Acceptance" of an individual is about who they are (child of God that we are commanded to not judge, but to love), while "approval" in this context is about what they do.  I hope that makes better sense.  

Edited by pogi
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10 minutes ago, Calm said:

But surely they see some behaviour as wrong, such as torturing babies to take it to the extreme. Is it just the use of the term “sin” or something else?

I think it’s mostly about belief systems, views of harm, and what is considered socially acceptable.

From what I’ve seen it seems like it’s wrong to suggest anything that you can’t prove causes harm is sinful, but if it’s socially agreed on that it causes harm, then it’s wrong not to openly condemn it.

 

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2 hours ago, Calm said:

Even if they don’t see you as identical to the identity you have chosen (I am speaking of choosing to use sexual orientation as part of one’s identity, not the type of sexual orientation one has as well as choosing to see other orientations such as political and religious, even National as part of one’s identity)?

I think I understand your parenthetical. In all things, it depends. Does Elder Gong as described here “love” his son? 
https://medium.com/@thatonegaygong/state-of-the-matt-2021-6e0d278e8d01

I guess in some anemic way probably, but what is made abundantly clear by the anecdote is that whatever “love” there is secondary to maintaining appearances. If it were me, as the son in that relationship, I would one, not feel loved, and two I would cut off all interaction with the offending parent barring repentance. Life is far too short. 

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C.S. Lewis once said that loving the sinner and hating the sin seems like rhetorical shorthand for shunning until you comprehend that many people are perfectly capable of doing this but only for themselves. Hence the need to love our neighbor as ourselves.

 

It is easier to love the sin and hate the sinner who is giving my favorite sin a bad reputation due to being associated with someone like him.

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6 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

It’s just a matter of scale and how big this issue is. If my parents don’t like my career choice and don’t bring it up when we are together. Fine. Sure. Mutual tolerance and love. My parents don’t approve of my spouse of 10 years? Yeah, they can take a hike and shove their “love” up … somewhere. 

As a parent, I can attest that my love for our children is the same no matter what they do, career-wise or morally, or anything else. The love is the same and grows as time moves on. Petty personal annoyances are nothing when the big crises come, and as they come for psychic (as in emotional/psychological/spiritual) survival's sake, we put those aside and practice greater love.

Our children are grown with children of their own, so I’m not sure why I would ever tell them what I approve of and don’t approve of (and why should they care, or I expect them to care?). I keep that to myself, because I love them enough to know that the Lord loves us all equally. “Approval dynamics” do not seem to be applicable among adults; of course, every family has its nuances.

But I think love is the last thing that warrants being regarded in terms of approval, for both adult children and their parents.

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2 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

I think I understand your parenthetical. In all things, it depends. Does Elder Gong as described here “love” his son? 
https://medium.com/@thatonegaygong/state-of-the-matt-2021-6e0d278e8d01

I guess in some anemic way probably, but what is made abundantly clear by the anecdote is that whatever “love” there is secondary to maintaining appearances. If it were me, as the son in that relationship, I would one, not feel loved, and two I would cut off all interaction with the offending parent barring repentance. Life is far too short. 

There is a big difference between wanting to maintain appearances and believing it is important to teach by example and that example may include not suggesting by appearance to support something that one believes is damaging to others’ spiritual health.

I know some Saints and others will take offense by someone refusing to pray with them because they are seen as not Christian.  But I see it quite differently.  I see it as potentially as a great act of love and sacrifice.  The person refusing may be concerned with only how they look praying with nonChristians or look on the nonChristians as not good enough to pray with them…or they could be sincerely concerned that they are there to teach nonChristians even though it’s painful that nonChristians are damned for eternity and to be saved one must accept Christ. And they may be trying to avoid by not praying with nonChristians any implication that the Christian believes that God is okay with the nonChristian the way they are. I would rather someone be concerned for my immortal state than concerned about me feeling insulted and embarrassed in that moment. To me, the person making that ‘stand’ of refusing to pray with me, taking the risk of being rejected or even attacked by me or others for making it clear they believe I am damned because they want me to recognize my state and come to Christ, I consider that a great sign of love. They love me enough to risk losing my friendship or love for them and to be seen as a bigot, etc.

Elder Gong and others may be more concerned about someone’s eternal destiny rather than the condemnation of others looking from the outside of their relationships. It may be a great act of love to refuse to act superficially in a way the world interprets as love and acceptance and instead take a different, a harder path to teach and support in ways one believes are spiritually healthier.

Unfortunately such choices of love may not look much different than intolerance when viewed at a distance. There may be not much that can be done about that, but something can and must be done in the relationship itself if that is the path one chooses. It matters a great deal if one shares the why in a loving way.  It is unlikely to convey a loving message if you just assume it will, that the loved ones knows they are loved without it being said and shown in a variety of ways. One must actually explore if the message one wants to give is being understood or not.  

It is the private, intimate ‘stands’ that matter imo and those can’t be fully seen by the public and are therefore unfortunately easily misunderstood, imo.  If you are going to take such paths, you need to work hard to try and ensure the person you are trying to communicate with through such choices understands why you are making that choice.  If they do not understand and instead interpret it as rejection, it may be better to adapt and try and teach what you believe are eternal truths another way. 

Edited by Calm
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5 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Love this. Much truer and better response than appeals to criminal behavior. And I don’t know. I do know that if you refuse to let them around your children, and don’t want to be seen with them in public (lest your friends think you approve of thier lifestyle), then the answer is likely no. If you hide them from your social circle the answer is likely no. (I’m not sure what the equivalent would be to say not put up wedding photos of your gay daughter, next to the wedding photos of all your other children). 

I've been thinking about this off and on today. First to see if I can come up with an equivalent. There are people who geographically isolate to live a life that's closer to nature. This can range from nature based communes where people of like ideas come together and where permanent residency is based on following specific ideals and expectations around the community core values. And there are plenty of examples of really annoying activists who promote confrontational methods to promoting environmental concerns. Such as one I recently saw that included putting tomato soup over an iconic van gough painting. The artist in me was mortified by that one. People in any camp can take their values to extremes. I don't know if I have a personal equivalent as I try to keep my one value in balance with other things I value.

I was also thinking of the account you mentioned of Elder Gong particularly. I was trying to jump into a context where I would be willing to eat and kindly meet my son's boyfriend in a fairly public setting while requesting that a photo not be shared for concern of how it may be taken. One of the biggest differences between he and I is that I'm by no means a public figure representing a large and diverse organization where there's definitely scrutiny around this issue, among others. I do know that there are climate activists that have their views discredited because they took a plane for a climate conference, for example. Their actions can't simply be their own, particularly if they're more well known, since they can literally make or break their legitimacy in the eyes of others and potentially their beliefs they've applied their lives to. They may be more cautious to be caught associating with people, places, or things that are a publicly questionable. FTR, I would not have done what Gong did. Just wouldn't, plain and simple.  But I'm also not in a place where my actions are being watched and read like tea leaves to validate or dash a person's experiences. I really hope I never am. And I'm also less willing to described him as having an "anemic" love for his son, because he dropped the ball on one moment. Particularly since said son also describes a loving relationship with his father that included working through their own misunderstandings and concerns. 

Lastly I keep thinking about whether I agree with cutting people off for the reasons you've mentioned so far. I've distanced myself from people before and I have a brother I don't communicate with at all because I don't like him. Plain and simple. It would be fair to say that he rubs up against several of my values and beliefs in a way that I don't want him in my life as he is...though it was more of a passive drift than a final straw. I'm cordial when I do see him. I don't hate him. I just don't like him nor do I miss him. He is not the sort that would miss me. I don't know if that's right though and I don't know if the eject button should be hit so soundly most of the time. Distancing, sure. Reducing what you share with people, absolutely. But cutting a person out is different. It's extreme. Sometimes it really should happen, particularly for extremely harmful people. But that bar should be pretty high. Certainly higher than what Gong was hitting. If it's not, I struggle to see the difference between the person who cuts out a gay child because they're gay and the person who cuts out a straight-laced member parent because their parent wasn't affirming enough.

 

With luv, 

BD

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I have real concerns about what seems to be a familial trend, this “cutting out”.  I think it’s reflective both on and of a black and white society and general polarization.  IMO it happens too often.

I also find it sad, really, when children are alienated in the name of righteousness.  It feels manipulative to me and prideful. IMO

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7 hours ago, BlueDreams said:

I've been thinking about this off and on today. First to see if I can come up with an equivalent. There are people who geographically isolate to live a life that's closer to nature. This can range from nature based communes where people of like ideas come together and where permanent residency is based on following specific ideals and expectations around the community core values. And there are plenty of examples of really annoying activists who promote confrontational methods to promoting environmental concerns. Such as one I recently saw that included putting tomato soup over an iconic van gough painting. The artist in me was mortified by that one. People in any camp can take their values to extremes. I don't know if I have a personal equivalent as I try to keep my one value in balance with other things I value.

 

I was also thinking of the account you mentioned of Elder Gong particularly. I was trying to jump into a context where I would be willing to eat and kindly meet my son's boyfriend in a fairly public setting while requesting that a photo not be shared for concern of how it may be taken. One of the biggest differences between he and I is that I'm by no means a public figure representing a large and diverse organization where there's definitely scrutiny around this issue, among others. I do know that there are climate activists that have their views discredited because they took a plane for a climate conference, for example. Their actions can't simply be their own, particularly if they're more well known, since they can literally make or break their legitimacy in the eyes of others and potentially their beliefs they've applied their lives to. They may be more cautious to be caught associating with people, places, or things that are a publicly questionable. FTR, I would not have done what Gong did. Just wouldn't, plain and simple.  But I'm also not in a place where my actions are being watched and read like tea leaves to validate or dash a person's experiences. I really hope I never am. And I'm also less willing to described him as having an "anemic" love for his son, because he dropped the ball on one moment. Particularly since said son also describes a loving relationship with his father that included working through their own misunderstandings and concerns. 

Let’s say I am a white male that married a black woman. In real life I have heard racist things come out of my parents mouth. In describing a black child adopted in their ward, my mom said something along the lines of “that’s all they could get”. When she was called on this statement, she said, well you should here what the other sisters are saying. My mother is loving and caring, but holds these hateful sentiments leftover from her upbringing. (As an aside, I think she is trying to change. I think she is trying to be better, and I agree this one issue doesn’t define her). My parents growing up also made it clear that they would not approve of me dating a black girl. So this is the back drop. 
 

Just for fun let’s pretend for argument sake that my parents belong to an organization that preaches against interracial marriage. I take my parents out to dinner with my spouse, things go fine, but they don’t want people to get the wrong idea so don’t post a picture. My wife is devestated. As I have children, I notice their pictures aren’t up on the wall next to their other cousins. They hear comments and start to question their worth. How much of this is it reasonable to endure before deciding, that the relationship isn’t working out?

7 hours ago, BlueDreams said:

Lastly I keep thinking about whether I agree with cutting people off for the reasons you've mentioned so far. I've distanced myself from people before and I have a brother I don't communicate with at all because I don't like him. Plain and simple. It would be fair to say that he rubs up against several of my values and beliefs in a way that I don't want him in my life as he is...though it was more of a passive drift than a final straw. I'm cordial when I do see him. I don't hate him. I just don't like him nor do I miss him. He is not the sort that would miss me. I don't know if that's right though and I don't know if the eject button should be hit so soundly most of the time. Distancing, sure. Reducing what you share with people, absolutely. But cutting a person out is different. It's extreme. Sometimes it really should happen, particularly for extremely harmful people. But that bar should be pretty high. Certainly higher than what Gong was hitting. If it's not, I struggle to see the difference between the person who cuts out a gay child because they're gay and the person who cuts out a straight-laced member parent because their parent wasn't affirming enough.

 

With luv, 

BD

I guess it depends on what you mean by cutting out. Many Utah families get together weekly or monthly. Is deciding not to go “cutting out” if you respond to the occasional phone call or text?

If I set a boundary and say “you treat me the same as your other children or you don’t see me at all”, and they choose their racism over my children did I cut them out or did they cut themselves out?

Edited by SeekingUnderstanding
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33 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

I have real concerns about what seems to be a familial trend, this “cutting out”.  I think it’s reflective both on and of a black and white society and general polarization.  IMO it happens too often.

I also find it sad, really, when children are alienated in the name of righteousness.  It feels manipulative to me and prideful. IMO

Yes, and I see that "children" are learning from it. Many are cutting out parents often over small things or mistakes. It may not be their parents they learn it from, but from society as a whole. 

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2 hours ago, SeekingUnderstanding said:

Let’s say I am a white male that married a black woman. In real life I have heard racist things come out of my parents mouth. In describing a black child adopted in their ward, my mom said something along the lines of “that’s all they could get”. When she was called on this statement, she said, well you should here what the other sisters are saying. My mother is loving and caring, but holds these hateful sentiments leftover from her upbringing. (As an aside, I think she is trying to change. I think she is trying to be better, and I agree this one issue doesn’t define her). My parents growing up also made it clear that they would not approve of me dating a black girl. So this is the back drop. 
 

Just for fun let’s pretend for argument sake that my parents belong to an organization that preaches against interracial marriage. I take my parents out to dinner with my spouse, things go fine, but they don’t want people to get the wrong idea so don’t post a picture. My wife is devestated. As I have children, I notice their pictures aren’t up on the wall next to their other cousins. They hear comments and start to question their worth. How much of this is it reasonable to endure before deciding, that the relationship isn’t working out?

I guess it depends on what you mean by cutting out. Many Utah families get together weekly or monthly. Is deciding not to go “cutting out” if you respond to the occasional phone call or text?

If I set a boundary and say “you treat me the same as your other children or you don’t see me at all”, and they choose their racism over my children did I cut them out or did they cut themselves out?

I would say in this scenario they cut themselves out, because their love is weaker than peer pressure, habit, ignorance, etc. The same can be said of addicts. This does not seem to be a matter of their disapproval of your marriage per se, but of their own need for approval from others outside the family, and their resulting self-consciousness and shame. You disapprove of their "family dysfunction" and "codependency" on this point and so seek to set protective, healthy boundaries, separating harmful expressions of unhealthy emotions from healthy expressions of love.

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11 hours ago, Calm said:

There is a big difference between wanting to maintain appearances and believing it is important to teach by example and that example may include not suggesting by appearance to support something that one believes is damaging to others’ spiritual health.

I know some Saints and others will take offense by someone refusing to pray with them because they are seen as not Christian.  But I see it quite differently.  I see it as potentially as a great act of love and sacrifice.  The person refusing may be concerned with only how they look praying with nonChristians or look on the nonChristians as not good enough to pray with them…or they could be sincerely concerned that they are there to teach nonChristians even though it’s painful that nonChristians are damned for eternity and to be saved one must accept Christ. And they may be trying to avoid by not praying with nonChristians any implication that the Christian believes that God is okay with the nonChristian the way they are. I would rather someone be concerned for my immortal state than concerned about me feeling insulted and embarrassed in that moment. To me, the person making that ‘stand’ of refusing to pray with me, taking the risk of being rejected or even attacked by me or others for making it clear they believe I am damned because they want me to recognize my state and come to Christ, I consider that a great sign of love. They love me enough to risk losing my friendship or love for them and to be seen as a bigot, etc.

Elder Gong and others may be more concerned about someone’s eternal destiny rather than the condemnation of others looking from the outside of their relationships. It may be a great act of love to refuse to act superficially in a way the world interprets as love and acceptance and instead take a different, a harder path to teach and support in ways one believes are spiritually healthier.

Unfortunately such choices of love may not look much different than intolerance when viewed at a distance. There may be not much that can be done about that, but something can and must be done in the relationship itself if that is the path one chooses. It matters a great deal if one shares the why in a loving way.  It is unlikely to convey a loving message if you just assume it will, that the loved ones knows they are loved without it being said and shown in a variety of ways. One must actually explore if the message one wants to give is being understood or not.  

It is the private, intimate ‘stands’ that matter imo and those can’t be fully seen by the public and are therefore unfortunately easily misunderstood, imo.  If you are going to take such paths, you need to work hard to try and ensure the person you are trying to communicate with through such choices understands why you are making that choice.  If they do not understand and instead interpret it as rejection, it may be better to adapt and try and teach what you believe are eternal truths another way. 

I think it's also helpful to remember that we have only been given one side of this story.  

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29 minutes ago, BlueDreams said:

on the second, If you make them choose their beliefs over a relationship it’s a bit of both and may not be fair ironically. Particularly if they’ve been working on it and have shown progress in curbing some of their more onerous beliefs and practices. This also randomly happened to my cousin and her mom. Her sister is gay and they’re still active members of the church. My cousin has always been supportive and caring of her. And I’ve never heard anything concerning fly out of her mouth. Her mom made homophobic comments before knowing and worked to pivot after. All of said girlfriends have been welcomed to their family events over the years. Yet a church leader made a harsh comment and suddenly both of them received texts insisting they choose her or the church. She backpedaled after talking to her mother and it became clear that she was likely making them icons of the church rather than treating them as individuals who had space and made space in their hearts for her as she was. I am sure if I asked her there may have been more to the story. That there were things she saw or felt they did or believed that were painful to her beyond just this moment. Her own cache of homophobic/non-affirming memories. I don’t blame my cousin though I think what she did was unfair and am glad she corrected it. 

I don’t know the whole story here, but it sounds like your cousin and your aunt disagree with the Church on this statement. They have repudiated whatever harsh comment was made and they are rejecting apostolic counsel from Elder Oaks. They have already rejected those beliefs to maintain a relationship with their gay daughter/sister. Maybe I’m wrong?

Edited by SeekingUnderstanding
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2 hours ago, BlueDreams said:

this one isn’t hypothetical for me. My white family holds several racist views and beliefs. And technically we’re part of a church that at least discouraged mixed race relationships into the 1980’s-90’s (with at least the quote that was tacked in at least LDS manual for lessons to youth when discussing marriages well past two lifting of the ban). My grandmother, who loves me, still treated my bio-dad like he took advantage of my Lilly white mom and was still circumspect in character even though he’d been faithfully married to his wife for years when she met him at my first college Graduation. Same gma was the one who gathered her family in rural Oregon to explain to the kids that my mother was going to have a baby by a negro with deep gravity in the late 80’s. I have a list of things cached in my memory called “racist crap my family’s done/said” that I could pull out and continue with. I don’t know how much one is called to endure. For me it was at least the errant uncomfortable conversation that suddenly turned racist. It’s an uncle who doesn’t talk to me for whispered reasons. It’s the mother who spouted racist theories from early Mormonism about the ban and black skin. I could go on. 

I guess I would say it would depend on both where I’m at and the entire context of the relationship. If someone is seriously struggling with their identity and value, having this may be too much to handle until they’re on sturdier ground. If the relationship is constantly tinged with this in major ways than I could see a reason to step back. For me, the main hits were sometimes shocking and hurtful but always manageable. I haven’t distanced myself from any family member for those reasons. (Though that uncle may have chosen distance from me for his own reasons).

If you reread the scenario this one was about how much pain you are willing to allow on others. The pain you experienced growing up, do you allow that into your home and on your children. If your spouse feels unwelcome and disliked, do you continue onward? How do you balance showing your children what is and isn’t acceptable while also maintaining relationships. What if you drawing a line in the sand is what your family needs to see the very real harm they are inflicting on not just your children, but other of children in their lives?

Edited by SeekingUnderstanding
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